Brad Tinsley, Bradley Beal

Florida back in the Elite Eight with win over Marquette

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Bradley Beal had 21 points, six boards, four assists, two steals and two blocks while shooting 8-10 from the floor as No. 7 seed Florida advanced past No. 3 seed Marquette 68-58 and into the Elite Eight.

It is the second straight year that Florida has made it to the Regional Final, and while that’s nowhere near as impressive as winning back-to-back national titles, it should put some of the rumblings that “Billy Donovan has lost it” to rest.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the win for the Gators was that they did it despite Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton combining to shoot 5-19 from the floor. If anything, this game should tell you that this Florida team is at their best when they play through Brad Beal. He’s the most consistent player the Gators have on their roster.

The other guy that deserves a ton of credit for this win is Patric Young. He didn’t score much, but he did grab five offensive rebounds. Young also made one of the biggest plays of the game. With just over two minutes left, he grabbed an offensive rebound after Marquette had cut what was once a 14 point lead to six. Marquette ended up with Jamil Wilson guarding Walker, and when the Golden Eagles tried to switch, Walker attacked, pulling up for what turned out to a dagger. He drilled a three to push the lead to nine.

As has been the norm in this tournament, the game ended with some controversy. With less than a minute left, an errant elbow from Boynton caught Wilson in the face. The referees went to the monitor to review it, but instead of calling a flagrant foul on the Florida guard, they ruled that the elbow was a “basketball play” and gave Florida two free throws.

If a flagrant 1 had been called, which many believed would have been the correct call, Marquette would have gotten two free throws and the ball back.

Florida will advance to play No. 4 seed Louisville, who knocked of No. 1 seed Michigan State, for the right to go to the Final Four. It sets up one of the most intriguing matchups of the tournament — Billy Donovan taking on his mentor and former head coach Rick Pitino.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

No. 25 Texas A&M outlasts No. 10 Gonzaga

Billy Kennedy
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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No. 25 Texas A&M made a statement on Turkey Day, as they knocked off No. 10 Gonzaga 62-61 in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Danuel House led the way with 19 points for the Aggies while Tony Trocha-Morales finished with 14 points as Texas A&M picked up the win despite the fact that they did not score for the final eight minutes of the game.

Billy Kennedy’s club looked the part of an SEC contender, playing tough defense and keeping Gonzaga’s massive and talented front line in check. Perhaps most impressive was that they were able to hang on despite blowing a lead late in the second half, and that they did it with their defense. Gonzaga can score. They have big bodies inside and shooters to surround them, but Domantas Sabonis struggled with foul struggle throughout the game while Kyle Wiltjer did not score in the final 12 minutes.

Kentucky, at this point, is the clear-cut favorite in the SEC, and while Vanderbilt looked really good in Maui this week, A&M looks like they’re going to end up giving the Commodores a run for their money for second-best in the league.

On the other hand, this loss wasn’t a total disaster for the Zags. They had the final possession with a chance to be a good team on a day when Domantas Sabonis was rendered completely ineffective. And, more importantly, point guard Josh Perkins was terrific. He did have a late turnover, but he scored all 15 of his points in the second half as he helped keep the Zags within striking distance.

Texas A&M will play the winner of Syracuse and No. 18 UConn for the title.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.