Iona was up 6-5 three minutes into its second round game against Ohio State on Friday night. The Buckeyes quickly put to rest any chance they would join Georgetown, Missouri and Duke as No. 2 seeds that got bounced by No. 15 seeds in the past two NCAA tournaments.
Ohio State went on a 15-0 run, counted Iona cutting the lead to four late in the first half and then held a double-digit lead throughout the second half en route to a 95-70 win. Deshaun Thomas scored a game-high 24 points, Sam Thompson shot 6-of-10 from the field for 20 points and 10 rebounds and although Aaron Craft was held to four points, he had seven assists and six of the team’s eight steals. The Buckeyes also held Momo Jones, who averages 23 points per game, to nine — only the second time all season he was held to single digits.
Ohio State advances to the third round to play the winner of Iowa State or Notre Dame in the mess that has become the West Region. Harvard beat No. 3 New Mexico Friday night and the No. 14 Crimson isn’t the only double-digit seed to advance in the West. Marshall Henderson and No. 12 Ole Miss will play No. 13 La Salle in the third round. Oh yeah, and top-seeded Gonzaga beat Southern by six.
The Big Ten champs might be the team to beat out West, despite No. 1 Gonzaga still alive. The Buckeyes had a lot of momentum entering the tournament, winning eight straight with four of those against ranked opponents, including at Indiana. Ohio State is getting into rhythm at the right time, and as the round of 64 is trimmed to 32, the Buckeyes look like a team poised to return to the Final Four.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.
South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.
Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.
The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:
A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:
That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.
But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?
Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.
The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.
Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.
Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.
During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.
Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.