Late Night Snacks: No. 13 Oregon survives first road test

2 Comments

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 13 Oregon 115, Ole Miss 105 (OT) 

Prior to Sunday the 13th-ranked Ducks hadn’t played a game away from Eugene since beating Georgetown in South Korea in their season opener, so their trip to Oxford represented a significant test. And after a Jarvis Summers three-pointer with eight tenths of a second remaining in regulation sent the game to overtime, Dana Altman’s squad did enough to leave the “Tad Pad” with the win. The Ducks took advantage of match-ups, with Johnathan Loyd (25 points, 15 assists) and Mike Moser (24 points, ten rebounds) being two of the beneficiaries. Marshall Henderson led Ole Miss with a career-high 39 points, shooting 10-for-23 from beyond the arc.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES: 

1) No. 24 San Diego State 70, Washington 63

After struggling offensively in the first half San Diego State was much better in the second, shooting 60% from the field and assisting on ten of their 15 made field goals. Xavier Thames (19 points) and Winston Shepard III (17) led the way for SDSU, while C.J. Wilcox paced the Huskies with 17 points.

2) George Washington 77, Maryland 75

The Colonials nearly blew a 14-point lead in the game’s final seven minutes but Indiana transfer Mo Creek came to the rescue, knocking down a stepback jumper to give GW the win. Creek scored 25 points, and the victory is the latest sign that the match of player and program has been a very good one.

3) Creighton 82, Nebraska 67

This one got out of hand quickly, as the Bluejays scored 22 of the first 25 points on their way to the victory. Doug McDermott scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the way for Creighton, which also received a solid performance from senior forward Ethan Wragge. Shavon Shields scored 22 points and Terran Petteway (who was ejected from the game along with Creighton’s Grant Gibbs with 1:14 remaining) added 21 for the Huskers.

STARRED: 

1) Johnathan Loyd (Oregon): 25 points and 15 assists in Oregon’s 115-105 overtime win at Ole Miss.

2) Doug McDermott (Creighton): 33 points (12-for-23 FG) and eight rebounds in the Bluejays’ 82-67 win over Nebraska.

3) Juvonte Reddic (VCU): 24 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the Rams’ 69-48 win over Old Dominion.

STRUGGLED:

1) George Mason starters: Shot 4-for-25 in an 81-66 loss to Oklahoma, with Vaughn Gray responsible for three of the made field goals (on 11 attempts).

2) Boston College: The Eagles shot 9-for-35 from beyond the arc in their 78-62 loss at USC. And Olivier Hanlan attempted just five shots, with the result dropping BC to 3-6 with their ACC opener against Maryland next on the schedule.

3) Saint Peter’s: After limiting Niagara to just 15 points in the first half the Peacocks fell 61-56, and their 21 turnovers had a lot to do with the outcome.

NOTABLES:

  • Oklahoma’s Cameron Clark is one of the nation’s most improved players. In the Sooners’ 81-66 win over George Mason he tallied 22 points and ten rebounds, his eight double-figure scoring effort in nine games. He had six such games all of last season.
  • Illinois returned to Atlanta just days after they blew a large lead at Georgia Tech, but met much less resistance in their 81-62 win over Auburn. Illinois shot 12-for-23 from deep and led 41-17 at the half.
  • Juwan Howard Jr. scored 17 points and Evan Bruinsma added 15 as Detroit beat Rhode Island 70-68, dropping the Rams to 0-4 in true road games.
  • Mike Thorne Jr. scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots in Charlotte’s 77-59 win at Appalachian State.
  • Sean Armand accounted for 28 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in Iona’s 83-72 win at Fairfield, moving the defending MAAC tournament champs to 2-0 in league play.
  • Jarell Eddie scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Virginia Tech beat Miami 61-60 in overtime. Garrius Adams led three Hurricanes in double figures with 14 points in the ACC opener for both teams.
  • Seton Hall held on to beat in-state rival Rutgers, 77-71, and the tandem of guard Sterling Gibbs and center Eugene Teague was a big reason why. Gibbs scored 27 points and four assists, with Teague adding 16 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and four assists.

TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 13 Oregon 115, Ole Miss 105 (OT)
  • No. 24 San Diego State 70, Washington 63

Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight schedule, tip times, and announcer pairings

Leave a comment

Regional Finals – Sunday, March 26

2:20 p.m.,CBS, New York
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Florida (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

5:05 p.m., CBS, Memphis
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

Steve Alford: ‘I’m very happy at UCLA’

Leave a comment

UCLA head coach Steve Alford was still processing an 86-75 season-ending loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Friday night when he had to answer questions about another blueblood program.

Sine the dismal of Tom Crean at Indiana, Alford has been one of the names rumored to be in the mix for the coaching vacancy. A reporter in the press conference in Memphis didn’t even get a chance to finish his question before Alford cut him off and a publicly state that he was happy in Westwood.

“I said it last week, and I’ll reiterate it again even more so, I guess, that I love Los Angeles,” Alford said. “To begin with, it’s a beautiful place, and our family has fallen in love with it. I’ve got two sons now, Kory first and now Bryce, that have graduated. Bryce is done, so he’s graduating from UCLA, so I’ve got two sons that are graduates from there, a daughter that loves the school she’s going to in Thousand Oaks. I’m very happy. I’m at UCLA. I don’t know of a lot of people that are out there wanting to leave UCLA.

“This is a pretty special place. We’ve worked awfully hard. Our staff has worked hard. We’ve got the No. 2 recruiting class coming in next year. We’re opening a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 60-plus million practice facility, Mo Ostin Center, that is going to be spectacular that we’ve worked awfully hard to be a part of that, and I want to see that through, and we’ve got some special kids that are coming to join us.

“I’m very, very happy where I’m at, and hopefully, that’ll continue.”

Alford won a national championship with the Hoosiers in 1987, scoring more than 2,400 points in his career under head coach Bob Knight. He has been with UCLA since 2013, reaching the Sweet 16 in three of his four seasons with the Bruins.

Crean was fired on March 16 after nine season in Bloomington.

Lonzo Ball has officially declared for the 2017 NBA Draft

1 Comment

Following a season-ending loss in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, UCLA freshman point guard unsurprisingly announced that he will enter the NBA Draft.

“That was my final game for UCLA. I appreciate the fans,” Ball told reporters.

The 6-foot-6 point guard has a strong case to be the No. 1 overall pick. It could be almost too enticing for the Los Angeles Lakers to pass on a Southern Cal product if the ping pong balls fall in their favor. New Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were in Memphis for Friday night’s Sweet 16 matchup with Kentucky.

Ball, in an All-American freshman season with the Bruins, averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and a nation’s best 7.6 assists per game, while shooting 56 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.

He ended his college career with an 86-75 loss to the Wildcats, scoring 10 points, off 4-of-10 shooting, with eight assists.

VIDEO: Florida’s Chris Chiozza beats Wisconsin at the buzzer

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
5 Comments

NEW YORK — So you didn’t think the NCAA Tournament had enough excitement this year?

Wisconsin and Florida solved that problem for you.

The Badgers started things, as they erased a 12-point deficit in the final 4:15 to force overtime, a stretch that included an 8-0 run at the end of regulation that was capped by a Zak Showalter running three with 2.5 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 72.

Wisconsin jumped out to a lead in overtime, but the combination of an inability to make free throws and and this epic chasedown block from Canyon Barry left the door open for the Gators, who eventually won the game on this running three from Chris Chiozza:

What.

A.

Game.

If we get a better one than this, I just hope I’m courtside for it.

KeVaughn Allen led the way for the Gators with 35 points, and no one else on the Gators scored more than eight points, but it didn’t matter. The Gators are still headed to the Elite 8, and Mike White will have a chance to play for the right to go to the Final Four in his first NCAA Tournaments.

Replacing a legend like Billy Donovan was never going to be easy, but White is doing an admirable job.

The other subplot here: With the win, Florida becomes the third member of the SEC in the Elite 8, and with a regional final against South Carolina on Sunday afternoon, it guarantees that there will be at least one SEC team in the Final Four.

While there were celebrations in the Florida locker room, Wisconsin’s was one of devastation.

The Badgers started four seniors, including tournament stalwarts Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, who played in their 17th career NCAA Tournament games.

Hayes had 22 points, but he’s going to be haunted by the free throws he missed. He was 7-for-14 from the line on the night, including four missed freebies in overtime. The end was similarly heart-breaking for Koenig, as he was a non-factor in overtime due to an injury he suffered on the possession before Showalter’s game-tying three.

Both of them are going to spend years thinking ‘What if?’ That’s how the NCAA Tournament works.

Everyone leaves in tears, either because they’re cutting down the nets at the Final Four or because their season — their career — just came to an end.

Hayes and Koenig were no different.

VIDEO: Canyon Barry saves Florida with epic chase down block

Rob Carr/Getty Images
1 Comment

Florida’s Canyon Berry had the best chase down block since LeBron James in the 2016 NBA Finals.

It kept Wisconsin’s lead at two points and gave the Gators a chance to tie and, eventually, win the game.

Look at this: