Boise State cheerleader

Pregame Shootaround 3.20.13: First Four continues in Dayton

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Game of the Day: No. 13 La Salle vs. No. 13 Boise State (9:10 p.m. ET, truTV)

Boise State powered through arguably the nation’s best conference this side of the Big Ten with a 21-9 record, including 9-7 in the league. Now we will see if there is an “SEC football” effect. What’s that? The Mountain West has been pummeling its own teams in conference play for the last two months and change, but once they face outside competition, will they prove to be better than many?

La Salle is in a similar spot. The Atlantic 10 was one of the most competitive mid-major conferences, enough so even that VCU coach Shaka Smart took time out of the press conference after his team’s loss to Saint Louis to speak to its quality. This is the centerpiece of Wednesday night, with both teams finding different but equally difficult paths to the Dance.

Get more on La Salle vs. Boise State in a video here from

Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: No. 16 LIU Brooklyn vs. No. 16 James Madison (6:40 p.m. ET, truTV)

LIU Brooklyn is one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation. The problem is, for as well as it produces offensively, it is equally offensive on the defensive end. LIU would prefer a track meet, somewhere in the scoring range of the 80s or even 90s. It will be James Madison’s job to either keep up scoring or slow down the pace to limit LIU’s offensive output.

JMU will be without Rayshawn Goins for the first half of Wednesday’s game after he was arrested over the weekend. LIU’s C.J. Garner, Jamal Olasewere, and Jason Brickman will all try to push the tempo and get a lead before Goins is able to get into the game.

NCAA Tournament First Four

LIU Brooklyn vs. James Madison (6:40 p.m. ET, truTV)

No. 13 La Salle vs. No. 13 Boise State (9:10 p.m. ET, truTV)

Other Notable Games (NIT)

Indiana State vs. Iowa (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Stony Brook vs. Massachusetts (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Charlotte vs. Providence (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Mercer vs. Tennessee (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Long Beach State vs. Baylor (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Charleston Southern vs. Southern Miss (9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Detroit vs. Arizona State (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Marquette’s Henry Ellenson shows off his versatility

Marquette's Henry Ellenson is fouled by Providence's Ben Bentil as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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I’m on record saying that I would consider Marquette freshman Henry Ellenson if I had the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, and while, at this point, I think that Brandon Ingram is probably going to end up going No. 2 — (Maybe No. 1???) — I still believe that Ellenson is going to be one of the best players from this draft class.


Well, just take a look at these highlights from the 26-point, 16-rebound performance he had in a win over Providence last night.

Then remember that Ellenson is 6-foot-11:

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.