Late Night Snacks: Omar (Strong) comin’, yo

Leave a comment

Games of the Night

No. 19 Colorado 85, Texas Southern 80 2OT: Double overtime against a team that was 1-5 on the season with four losses by more that 18 points is not impressive. Winning despite the fact that someone named Omar Strong goes for 39 and your star player — Andre Roberson — fouls out at the end of regulation is. So take this for what it is worth: a terrific basketball game. Texas Southern tied the game with a three with 13 seconds left at the end of the first overtime, after Askia Booker his a tough, shot clock-beating three from the corner 20 seconds earlier. Regulation ended as Strong missed a decent look at a step-back three.

No. 3 Michigan 79, No. 18 NC State 72: We talked about this game plenty here, so I want to get into Lorenzo Brown a little bit. He entered this game averaging 11.4 points and 4.4 assists, which isn’t bad but certainly comes no where near the expectations he had coming in to the season. Brown solved his distribution issues on Tuesday, improving his nearly 1:1 assist-to-turnover ration by handing out ten assists while committing just a single turnover. His scoring, however, is a different issue. Brown lowered his 34.8% shooting from the floor with a 3-10 performance against Michigan, and is now just 1-10 from beyond the arc this season. That’s a problem because he’s not finishing around the rim well at all. A disappointing start, without a doubt.

Important Outcomes

No. 1 Indiana 83, No. 14 UNC 59: Indiana looked superb. UNC? Not so much. Not sure what else needs to be said here.

Southern Miss 61, Denver 50: Denver, the WAC’s one-year rental that was supposed to come in and potentially win the league, is now off to a 1-4 start after losing an ugly affair with the Golden Eagles. The score was 23-15 at the half, and USM used a 14-5 run early in the second half to open up a 17 point lead. Dwayne Davis had 22 points to lead the way, as Southern Miss won their 24th straight home game, the sixth best streak in the country. Chris Udofia had just six points on 3-6 shooting.

Virginia Tech 95, Iowa 79: Erick Green had 24 points, five boards and five assists as the Hokies ran through an Iowa team that was supposed to be pretty good this season. The Hokies have no problem putting up points. This is the third game they’ve scored at least 95, something they didn’t do once a season ago. Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown have proven to be solid complimentary pieces. If the Hokies had Dorian Finney-Smith and Montrezl Harrell this year, they might actually be a tournament team.


Sandro Carissimo, Vermont: Carissimo went for 25 points and six assists in a win at Harvard.

Trey Burke, Michigan: Burke was absolutely dominant in a win over No. 18 NC State. He finished with 18 points, 11 assists and no turnovers in the win. He went scoreless in the first half, handing out nine of his assists, while taking the game over in the second half as a scorer.

Omar Strong, Texas Southern: 39 points. Double OT. At No. 19 Colorado. While cramping. With 52 points on the season coming in. Omar. Strong.


James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina: No. 14 North Carolina got embarrassed by No. 1 Indiana on Tuesday night as their star, McAdoo, was put into his place by Cody Zeller. He finished shooting 4-15 with just 10 points.

Drew Crawford, Northwestern: Northwestern suffered their first loss of the season, but it was a bad one, losing at home to Maryland by 20. Crawford was 4-14 from the floor and finished with just 10 points. As a team, the Wildcats were 6-25 from three.

Michael Snaer, Ian Miller and Devon Bookert, Florida State: Michael Snaer: 3-9, 12 points. Ian Miller: 1-7, 2 points. Devon Bookert: 0-1, 0 points, 10 minutes. That ain’t gonna cut it. FSU lost to Minnesota 77-68.

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

The 2018 NCAA tournament bracket looks wide open after a wild opening weekend

Getty Images
1 Comment

The wild opening weekend of the 2018 NCAA tournament is finally in the books.

The bracket officially turns its attention to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight this week as teams are trying to punch tickets to San Antonio during an especially wide-open year.

Major upsets, double-digit seeds advancing into the Sweet 16 and the loss of all four top seeds in the South Regional means there’s still plenty of action to watch over the next several weeks.

Here’s how the updated bracket looks after the first weekend of March Madness.

Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Recap: Four top three seeds fall

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Leave a comment


Caleb Martin was, once again, a monster for Nevada on Sunday.

He finished with 25 points. He handed out seven assists. He put the No. 7-seed Wolf Pack on his back and carried them back from a 22-point deficit in the final 12 minutes of a game that looked like it was lost.

It was impressive.

But he’s not our player of the day. His teammate Josh Hall is. Because he’s the one that grabbed this offensive rebound and scored this put back and sent Nevada into the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

That lead was Nevada’s first lead of the game.


  • JEVON CARTER, West Virginia: 28 points. Five steals. Five assists. Four boards. Eight turnovers for Marshall’s Jon Elmore. Jevon Carter was terrific this weekend.
  • T.J. STARKS, Texas A&M: While Tyler Davis and Big Bob Williams combined for 26 points and 22 boards, it was Starks that was the star for the Aggies on Sunday, finishing with 21 points and five assists in a blowout win over UNC.


No. 9-seed Florida State erased a 12-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to send No. 1-seed Xavier back to the Queen City. Both Xavier and Cincinnati blew late leads on Sunday.

It was not a pretty game, but No. 11-seed Syracuse knocked off No. 3-seed Michigan State in a game where the Spartans completely forgot how to make a jump shot.


Playing without their starting center, who is recovering from a broken elbow, Purdue’s Dakota Mathias buried this shot to send in-state rival Butler home:


Michigan State shot 8-for-38 from three on Sunday afternoon, which was the major reason that the Spartans found a way to lose to Syracuse in the second round.

But one of the eight threes that they did hit was this one:


Auburn never stood a chance. No. 5-seed Clemson led by 41 points at one points as they sent Bruce Pearl’s boys packing.

The dream died. No. 16 UMBC lost to No. 9 Kansas State, ending their “run” in the NCAA tournament at two games.

VIDEO: Roy Williams reflects on recent run: ‘Those kids on the court were my salvation’

Getty Images
Leave a comment

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams took a moment to reflect on a special three-year run after the Tar Heels were eliminated from the 2018 NCAA Tournament with a blowout loss to No. 7 seed Texas A&M on Sunday.

After back-to-back national title game appearances and a championship win last season, Williams grew quite fond of seniors like Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson. Williams also mentioned some of the tumultuous circumstances surrounding the program from the past few years as he maintained that his players helped him through a difficult stretch in his life.

Speaking to reporters at the postgame press conference, Williams tried to subdue the emotion in his voice as he talked about this Tar Heels team.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 betting odds and national title futures

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
1 Comment

With four more top threes falling out of the NCAA tournament on Sunday, here are the updated national title futures and betting odds in the NCAA tournament.

Odds via

Villanova: 4/1
Duke: 6/1
Michigan: 8/1
Kentucky: 8/1
Kansas: 10/1
Gonzaga: 12/1
Purdue: 15/1
West Virginia: 22/1
Texas Tech: 25/1
Nevada: 100/1
Texas A&M: 100/1
Loyola Chicago: 100/1
Clemson: 125/1
Kansas State: 125/1
Syracuse: 125/1
Florida State: 150/1

No. 5 West Virginia earns blowout win over in-state rival No. 13 Marshall

Getty Images

West Virginia completely dominated in-state rival and No. 13 seed Marshall for a 94-71 second-round win in the NCAA tournament on Sunday night.

The No. 5 Mountaineers (26-10) made it back to the Sweet 16 for the second straight campaign, and for the third time in four years, as senior guard and All-American Jevon Carter had another monster outing with 28 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals.

West Virginia went 12-for-25 from three-point range and crashed the glass for 15 offensive rebounds during an impressive offensive performance. It’s also notable that head coach Bob Huggins changed up his defensive approach during some of this game from the usual “Press” Virginia. Going to a 1-2-2 zone to disrupt Marshall’s high-powered offense, 6-foot-8 Lamont West was stationed at the top of the zone as his length gave the Thundering Herd offense issues.

West Virginia, and Carter in particular, look like they mean business with the way they played this opening weekend. While many teams in the field had either upset losses or close scares, the Mountaineers won by an average margin of victory of 20 points in two wins this weekend. West Virginia only faced a No. 12 and No. 13 seed, but the Mountaineers never let off the gas the entire weekend.

Marshall (25-11) was a fun team to watch in this tournament because of its uptempo offense and propensity to shoot deep three-pointers. America learned about junior guard Jon Elmore and his ridiculous range in the Thundering Herd’s upset win over No. 4 seed Wichita State on Friday afternoon.

But Elmore (15 points) and fellow guard C.J. Burks (12 points) struggled to knock down shots in this one as they combined to go 7-for-27 from the field on Sunday. Ajdin Paneva led Marshall with 18 points as he was the team’s only consistent offensive option.

The Thundering Herd were blown out by a superior team on Sunday, but Dan D’Antoni’s ballclub was one of the most pleasant surprises of this tournament. After winning the Conference USA tournament and eliminating the Shockers in the Big Dance, D’Antoni has established some legitimate credibility for his program. And with minimal seniors on the roster, Marshall could be in position to make another run to the tournament next season.

With the win, West Virginia advances to play No. 1 seed Villanova in the East Regional in Boston on Friday night. After getting multiple chances to tie the game on the final possession and failing to convert during a memorable loss to No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 last season, the Mountaineers will have a lot of motivation when they tip against the Wildcats.

The backcourt matchup between Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and Carter might also be the most riveting individual matchup of the entire tournament. Not only are Brunson and Carter both All-Americans this season, but they’re also former AAU teammates who are very familiar with each other’s games.

In a Sweet 16 full of unusual matchups and surprise teams, the Villanova/West Virginia game is appointment television.