Michael White

Louisiana Tech outlasts Oklahoma in overtime (VIDEO)

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Louisiana Tech entered the season as one of the nation’s trendiest mid-majors, but thanks to an opening night loss at St. Mary’s and disappointing results against Louisiana-Lafayette and Oklahoma State, a lot of people forgot about the Bulldogs.

Not anymore.

Mike White’s club picked up a 102-98 win at Oklahoma on Monday night. They erased a 14-point first half deficit on the road, bouncing back after Cameron Clark hit a ridiculous, buzzer-beating three to force the extra frame.

Winning on the road isn’t easy. Beating Oklahoma after being down 14 points on the road isn’t easy. Bouncing back from a momentum-killing three at the end of regulation isn’t easy.

No matter how you slice, this was a very impressive win for Louisiana Tech.

If you’ve never seen the Bulldogs play, they are reminiscent of VCU. They like to press, they like to trap, they like uptempo basketball. But like VCU, when they struggle, it’s on the offensive end of the floor. They are not a particularly good shooting team.

On Monday night, however, Louisiana Tech got 31 points from Alex Hamilton and 22 points from Raheem Appleby. Cordarius Johnson chipped in with 17 points, hitting five of LTU’s 10 three-pointers. When they are hitting their threes and when they are putting up more than 100 points, this Louisiana Tech team is going to be a tough out.

This win probably won’t be enough to get them an at-large bid is the struggle at all in Conference USA play. But it is a sign that their length and athleticism in that press can cause anyone they would draw in a potential tournament trip a lot of issues.

(h/t Nordy for the video)

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: