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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_

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.