(UPDATE: Vinales has since backed off his commitment.)
In two seasons at Central Connecticut State, Kyle Vinales proved to be one of the better scoring guards at the mid-major level. Vinales averaged 19.8 points per contest during his time in New Britain (21.8 ppg last season), but something was missing: postseason success.
The Blue Devils failed to reach the semifinals of the NEC tournament in either of Vinales’ two seasons, and that lack of success ultimately led to his decision to transfer.
Via Twitter Vinales announced his decision to transfer to Toledo. The move is somewhat surprising given Vinales’ stated desire to reach postseason play, as the Rockets haven’t gone to the NCAA tournament since 1980.
Toledo won 15 games last season, a campaign that included a postseason ban due to APR issues. But with leading scorers Rian Pearson (17.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Julius Brown (13.1, 6.0 apg) returning and Loyola (MD) transfer Justin Drummond eligible after sitting out last season, the Rockets could be poised to make a jump in the MAC pecking order.
Vinales won’t fit into that equation on the court as he’ll be required to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules. But he can help them in practice, and once eligible (2014-15) Vinales will join Brown and Drummond as Toledo’s biggest factors.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Watching Roy Williams dance never gets old.
The North Carolina head coach is taking his team back to the Final Four next weekend after the Tar Heels outlasted Kentucky in a thrilling South Regional final.
North Carolina is making its 20th appearance in the Final Four as they are going for the second consecutive season.
National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.
The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.