Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan watches from the sidelines as his team plays the Louisville Cardinals during the NCAA men's West Regional basketball tournament in Phoenix

Florida has no one to blame but itself for collapse


Say what you will about Louisville’s move from their 2-3 matchup zone to a switching man-to-man after the first half making the difference for the Cardinals.

Florida knocked down eight 3-pointers in building a 41-33 halftime lead, only to not make another the remainder of the game. However the defensive adjustment by Louisville produced another opening for Florida, as they were able to use the pick and roll to their advantage.

With 8:14 remaining Florida led 65-54 following a Patric Young dunk, and simply continuing to take good shots likely would have resulted in their first Final Four appearance since 2007.

But Florida got away from what was working, exercising questionable shot selection down the stretch as Louisville closed the game on an 18-3 run. Louisville advances by the final score of 72-68, and Florida is left to think about what could have been.

After that Young dunk Florida attempted just two shots around the rim the remainder of the game, with both being missed layup attempts by Bradley Beal.

“I don’t know if we did a great job offensively of taking advantage of what was open,” said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “I thought we stood around too much, I thought we over-handled.  I don’t think we got the ball where it needed to go.  And we allowed them on some empty possessions to dwindle the lead back down.”

Florida was one of the best perimeter shooting teams in America this season, leading the country in 3-pointers made both per game (9.6) and for the season (357), and they made 38% of those shots (2nd in the SEC).

The confidence in those perimeter shots has been both a gift and a curse for Florida throughout the season, with the Gators struggling when they forget about Young in the paint or the fact that they’re talented enough to not have to settle for poor shots.

For the second straight season Florida allowed a double-digit lead slip away in the Elite Eight, last year falling to Butler in overtime and shot selection was an issue in that defeat as well.

After three games of very good play the Gators reverted to bad habits against Louisville, and it got them beat.

Raphielle Johnson is the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.