Iowa lands signature win on the road over Ohio State

Leave a comment

Iowa had lost three games this season — to Villanova, Iowa State and Wisconsin — with all those games either played on the road or at a neutral site. Those three losses also came by a combined 12 points.

Heading into Columbus, the No. 20 Hawkeyes were looking to put together a full, 40-minute game after surrendering second half leads in each of their three defeats. Sunday afternoon looked to be going the same way against No. 3 Ohio State, as the Buckeyes turned a two-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead eight minutes into the second half.

Fran McCaffrey’s team withstood the Ohio State defense and ended the afternoon with a 20-9 run, leaving Columbus with an 84-74 road victory in Big Ten action.

Trailing by nine, with under 12 minutes to play, the Hawkeyes showed off its depth and 3-point shooting when Mike Gesell, Aaron White and Jarrod Uthoff connected on back-to-back-to-back threes. After OSU took the lead back, Josh Oglesby tied it at 60-all with a three of his own. Iowa shot poorly from deep (1-for-7) in the first half, but in the second half connected on 4-of-10 shots.

Roy Devyn Marble scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half to pace the offense.

Despite not shooting well from three in the first half, Iowa led by two heading into halftime, scoring 30 of its 37 points in the paint as the talented frontline took advantage of the smaller Ohio State front court.

We know Iowa can score, the Hawkeyes are top 10 in scoring nationally. But they took care of the ball in the first half, only committing five turnovers. In the second half, the Hawkeyes made four turnovers within the first eight minutes, but regrouped and executed down the stretch.

While Iowa limited Ohio State’s transition opportunities by taking care of the basketball, its defense forced 17 Ohio State turnovers. Even though the Buckeyes were successful at times against the zone, the 2-3 defense forced some mistakes.

This game really says a lot about Iowa, a team expected to be one of 68 selected come March. The Hawkeyes had devastating losses to Villanova, Iowa State and Wisconsin, but in all those games —  especially in hostile environments like Hilton Coliseum and the Khol Center — remained competitive until the end.

The fourth time was the charm for Iowa, scoring a signature road win against a resilient Ohio State team.

2017 NCAA Tournament Final Four schedule, tip times, and announcer pairings

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
1 Comment

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)

VIDEO: The insane final 10 seconds of North Carolina’s win over Kentucky

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
1 Comment

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.

No. 1 seed North Carolina outlasts No. 2 seed Kentucky to advance to the Final Four

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
1 Comment

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.

VIDEO: South Carolina celebrates Final Four trip by dousing Frank Martin in water

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

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.

https://twitter.com/marchmadness/status/846124174259118080/video/1

VIDEO: Darius Rucker tears up as South Carolina advances to the Final Four

Leave a comment

Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.

This isn’t really a secret.

Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:

You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:

Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.