belmont

Late Night Snacks: Three ranked teams fall on Sunday

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GAME OF THE DAY: Belmont 83, No. 12 North Carolina 80

Thanks to a J.J. Mann three-pointer in the game’s final seconds the Bruins knocked off the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. For the game Belmont hit 15 three-pointers on 37 attempts, and that combined with some incredibly poor foul shooting led to North Carolina’s demise. James Michael McAdoo scored 27 points to lead UNC offensively, while Mann led all scorers with 28. 

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

1) Iowa State 77, No. 7 Michigan 70: Both Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) and Mitch McGary (Michigan) made their season debuts on Sunday, and in the end it was Ejim and the Iowa State balance that won out. Ejim led five Cyclones in double figures with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines with 20. Michigan will now go through the process of re-adjusting to having McGary in the rotation, and they’ll be a better team as they do so.

2) Indiana State 83, No. 21 Notre Dame 70: Just a couple days after dropping a tough decision at Belmont, Indiana State rebounded in a big way in South Bend. Greg Lansing’s team hit 11 three-pointers, putting together a performance that illustrated why many expect Jake Odum and company to be Wichita State’s biggest threat in the Missouri Valley. As for Notre Dame, they need to tighten things up defensively if they’re to be a factor in the ACC.

3) No. 1 Kentucky 87, Robert Morris 49: While some may choose to focus on the whole “revenge” factor, last season’s Postseason NIT meeting had little to do with this matchup. The key for Kentucky: come out focused from the start after watching Michigan State score the first ten points of Tuesday’s showdown in Chicago and that’s what the Wildcats did, scoring ten of the first 11 points and never looking back. And Aaron Harrison rebounded from a rough game on Tuesday, scoring a game-high 28 points to lead the way.

STARRED:  

1) Olivier Hanlan (Boston College): 38 points (11-for-19 FG), four rebounds and two assists in the Eagles’ 82-79 win over Florida Atlantic.

2) Devon Collier (Oregon State): 29 points and 11 rebounds in Oregon State’s 90-83 win at Maryland, providing quite the supplement to Roberto Nelson’s 31-point, seven-assist performance.

3) Eron Harris (West Virginia): 33 points (12-for-19 FG) and six rebounds in the Mountaineers’ 96-83 win over Duquesne.

STRUGGLED: 

1) Northwestern. Chris Collins’ Wildcats trailed by as many as 18 points before mounting a rally against Illinois State that fell four points short, 68-64.

2) North Carolina at the foul line. UNC shot a poor 22-for-48 from the foul line in a three-point loss, with J.P. Tokoto going 4-for-16.

3) Towson. Three days after beating Temple the Tigers struggled mightily against Villanova, shooting 30.9% from the field and committing 24 turnovers.

NOTABLES: 

  • DeAndre Daniels scored 24 points to lead No. 19 UConn to a 77-60 win over Boston University. But the Huskies will need more from him on the glass, as through four games the junior has just ten rebounds.
  • K.J. McDaniels finished three blocks short of a triple-double, tallying 21 points, ten rebounds and seven blocks in Clemson’s 71-57 win over rival South Carolina.
  • Ronnie Johnson scored 16 points to lead four Boilermakers in double figures as Purdue held off Rider, 81-77.
  • No. 17 Gonzaga shot 11-for-20 from three in their 82-67 win over Oakland. Kevin Pangos hit five, finishing with a team-high 21 points.
  • Freshman point guard Nigel Williams-Goss led Washington to a 92-80 comeback victory over Eastern Washington with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.
  • TaShawn Thomas is one of the American’s best big men, and he had another productive day in Houston’s 80-66 win over Lehigh. Thomas finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks.
  • Marcus Foster’s taken the reins for Kansas State as the Wildcats adjust to life without Rodney McGruder. In K-State’s 71-58 win over Long Beach State, Foster scored a game-high 17 points one game after scoring 25 in a win over Oral Roberts.

UT-Arlington dominates, upsets No. 12 St. Mary’s

Texas-Arlington's Kevin Hervey, left, reacts to a 73-68 NCAA college basketball game win as Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate looks on  in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
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UT-Arlington made a statement on Thursday night, completely dominating No. 12 Saint Mary’s in a 65-51 upset win in a true road game in Moraga.

Back in October, I ranked both the Gaels and the Mavericks in the top-5 of my Mid-Major Power Rankings. Saint Mary’s was the obvious top choice, one of the nation’s most efficient offenses that returned Emmett Naar and Jock Landale. UT-Arlington, ranked fifth, served as a dangerous opponent. The Mavs had defeated Ohio State and Memphis in 2015, but their season was derailed once Kevin Hervey, a player with serious pro potential, tore his ACL.

With five starters back, including Hervey, who is just now getting back to 100 percent, UT-Arlington looks every bit the part of a March Cinderella.

The Mavericks jumped out to an early lead and forced the Gaels to play out of character. Saint Mary’s had only committed a season-high 14 turnovers before the midway point of the second half. The Gaels, who entered shooting 40 percent from three as a team, was held to 8-of-27 (30 percent) from beyond the arc.

UT-Arlington did an incredible job of closing out on shooters. And it didn’t matter the matchup, at times we saw Hervey, a 6-foot-9 junior, come out and run a guard off the 3-point line. While those statistics mentioned above show up in the box score, the amount of deflections don’t. The Mavericks used its length and athleticism to get their hands everywhere on the defensive end of the floor, making it difficult to find good looks.

In the first half, UT-Arlington controlled the glass. Saint Mary’s found more success in that department after halftime, as Kevin Clark’s offensive putback capped an 11-2 run, which cut the deficit to 52-41. However, the Mavs were able to counter each time the Gaels threatened, never letting the lead get to single digits.

Aside from the struggles the typically-efficient Saint Mary’s offense had, the Gaels struggled to keep UT-Arlington guards Erick Neal and Kaelon Wilson out of the lane, whether it be on a high ball screen or a handoff. Saint Mary’s never seemed to have a help-side defender there to protect the rim. Neal had 13 points and eight assists (five turnovers), while Wilson had 10 points off the bench. Hervey had a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds.

UT-Arlington is winners of eight straight after losing three straight. One of those wins includes a double-digit win over Texas in Austin. The Mavericks are the clear-cut favorite to win the Sun Belt. Come Selection Sunday, I’d say plenty of at-large teams would not like to be paired up with Scott Cross’ team.

Iowa cruises past No. 25 Iowa State

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Head coach Fran McCaffery of the Iowa Hawkeyes reacts in the first half against the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 20, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Iowa picked up a major win on Thursday night, defeating in-state rival No. 25 Iowa State, 78-64, in a contest the Hawkeyes thoroughly dominated.

Let’s put it this way: the Hawkeyes have played four top-100 teams, according to kenpom. In those games, all losses by the way, their defense has surrendered 91 points to Seton Hall, 74 points to a Virginia team that plays at the slowest tempo in the country, 100 points to Memphis and 92 points to Notre Dame.

On Saturday, on the same floor Iowa demolished the Cyclones, its defense allowed 98 points in a loss to Nebraska Omaha.

This is exactly the sort of win Fran McCaffery and Co. needed to right the ship as we inch closer and closer to conference play.

When the Cyclones went to their bench in the first half, Nick Baer sparked a 10-0 run which helped set the tone for the remainder of the half. Iowa State went without a field goal for more than six minutes during that span.

Iowa kept Iowa State from getting out and running, holding the Cyclones to zero fast break points through the first 20 minutes and limiting them to only 36 percent from the floor as a team. Iowa, on the other hand, shot 47 percent, including 59 percent in the first half, which led to a 15-point halftime lead.

Peter Jok torched Iowa State to the tune of 23 points (4-of-7 from distance).

Monte Morris was held in check with 10 points, while Naz Mitrou-Long and Matt Thomas shot a combined 4-of-13 from three (they each hit a three with less than three minutes to play and the outcome all but decided).

Iowa State’s offense is becoming a bigger concern. Just like against Gonzaga, the Cyclones dug a first-half hole they could shoot out their way of. And like last week’s overtime loss to Cincinnati, they struggled from beyond the arc.

Iowa landed a marquee win it needed, while its rival headed home with questions to answer after losing three of four.

 

Alabama wing sidelined due to weight loss

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Head coach Avery Johnson of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at HP Field House on November 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Alabama junior wing Nick King will not be with the team for Sunday evening’s matchup against No. 24 Oregon in Eugene.

According to Rainer Sabin of the AL.com, Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said King undergoing a series of tests after losing more than 10 pounds in less than a week and a half.

Johnson told reporters that he is “very concerned” and estimates that as of now King will be sidelined for “a week or two.”

King, who played his first two seasons at Memphis, has appeared in all seven games for the Crimson Tide, averaging 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game.

Damonte Dodd out with MCL sprain

COLLEGE PARK, MD - FEBRUARY 13: Melo Trimble #2 and Damonte Dodd #35 of the Maryland Terrapins react to a call as Alex Illikainen #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on in the second half at Xfinity Center on February 13, 2016 in College Park, Maryland. Wisconsin won 70-57.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Maryland could be without the services of starting center Damonte Dodd for the remainder of the non-conference slate, the team announced on Wednesday.

Dodd suffered a MCL sprain in his left knee during practice earlier this week. The injury caused him to miss Wednesday’s 76-56 win over Howard. He will not be available for matchups with St. Peter’s and Jacksonville State. The Terrapins then close out the non-conference slate at Charlotte on Dec. 20 before opening up Big Ten play a week later.

Dodd has started in six of seven games he’s appeared in this season. He’s averaging 5.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Michael Cekovsky started in place of Dodd on Wednesday night. Ivan Bender, who returned to the lineup against Howard after missing the previous contest, should also see an increase in minutes with Dodd sidelined.

Federico Mussini goes coast-to-coast, beats buzzer with and-1

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Chris Mullin the head coach of the St. John's Red Storm gives instructions to Federico Mussini #4 during the game against the  Xavier Musketeersat Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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St. John’s capped the first half with a 6-0 run.

Sophomore guard Federico Mussini went coast-to-coast to beat the buzzer, and draw the foul, as the Johnnies went into the break up 42-33 on city rival Fordham.

The 6-foot-4 guard had gone cold during a five-game stretch, but since Thanksgiving he’s scored in double figures in four consecutive games, including on Thursday night.