Iona v Brigham Young

BYU caps wild night in First Four, overcomes 25-point deficit vs Iona


In the first 16 minutes Iona scored 55 points. The Gaels had 17 assists and 3 turnovers, and led the BYU Cougars by 24 (two minutes earlier they had led by 25). The announcers couldn’t resist questioning how Iona would match up on Thursday with No. 3 seed Marquette.

In the next 24 minutes they turned the ball over 15 times and scored 17 points.

Meanwhile, BYU, played a consistent game. It scored 40 in the first half. It scored 38 in the second half. With 2:28 Noah Hartsock made a three and BYU took their first lead of the game. And at that point, Iona was done. The Cougars outscored them 8-2 down the stretch and won 78-72.

For those keeping score, that’s a 47-17 run to finish the game and a 25-point deficit that was overcome.

For the 2nd time in two games, the NCAA First Four featured an epic comeback.

Five other great NCAA comebacks

Everything the Gaels did well in the first half, they did poorly in the 2nd half. Early, they consistently got into transition which led to easy buckets. After Iona got to 55 points by making 65% of their 2s, it was easy to see why only one team in the nation has shot better on the interior than the Gaels. They ran. They moved the ball. They got layups. It all looked too easy.

In the 2nd half Iona suddenly went stagnant against BYU’s zone. They rarely got into transition. And their half court sets were flat. It was unclear if they were trying to burn clock, or if they just couldn’t figure out the angles to attack.

BYU’s Noah Hartsock led all scorers with 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting. Brandon Davies added 18 points and 15 rebounds.

Scott Machado, in his final game at Iona, finished with 15 points and 10 assists.

Now BYU advances to play No. 3 seed Marquette on Thursday.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.