Late Night Snacks: Jay Wright wins 400th, Doug McDermott passes J.J. Redick on all-time scoring list

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Columbia 53, Princeton 52

Columbia accomplished something tonight that they haven’t done since 1993: beat Princeton at Jadwin Gymnasium. For some of the players on Columbia, they weren’t even born the last time this occurred. As another point of reference, Pete Carril was coaching Princeton the last time Columbia won at Jadwin. More than just breaking this curse, the Lions remain alive in the chase for an Ivy League championship. With Harvard sitting at 5-0, it’s beginning to look like three losses will all but eliminate a team from winning the Ancient Eight. Meiko Lyles hit a three-pointer with 28 seconds remaining to propel Columbia to the one point victory.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

1) Villanova 70, Seton Hall 53

Jay Wright won the 400th game of his coaching career as Villanova routed Seton Hall to move to 21-2 on the season, and 9-2 in the Big East. Four of Villanova’s starters scored in double-figures and did so in an extremely efficient fashion. JayVaughn Pinkston, Daniel Ochefu, James Bell, and Darrun Hilliard II combined to shoot 24-34 FG for 59 points. Seton Hall hung around for much of the first half, but a Pinkson layup early in the second half extended the Wildcats’ lead to 38-28, and the Pirates never got within single-digits the rest of the way.

2) Creighton 78, DePaul 66

Creighton wasn’t at their best tonight, but Doug McDermott was his usual good self. The Bluejays led DePaul for the entire game, but the Blue Demons made a run in the second half to get within a point with less than eight minutes remaining. McDermott then took over the game, scoring 11 of Creighton’s next 14 points to ensure the victory. Creighton is now 10-1 in the Big East.

3) Manhattan 84, Canisius 73

Losers of three of their last five games, Manhattan was beginning to fall out of contention for the MAAC regular season title. Tonight in Buffalo against Canisius, however, George Beamon out-dueled Billy Baron as the Jaspers picked up a much needed win.

STARRED

1) Tony Hicks (Pennsylvania) — The sophomore guard dropped in 27 points and dished out seven assists as the Quakers got back to .500 in the Ivy League.

2) A.J. English (Iona) — David Laury was actually the big story for Iona as he came off the bench to score 28 points, but it was English’s game-winning three-point bucket in the final seconds that propelled the Gaels to a win at Niagara. Iona sits alone atop the MAAC with an 11-2 conference record.

3) George Beamon (Manhattan) — Hindered by an injury to his shoulder that sidelined him for a few games, Beamon has struggled in his return from a scoring perspective. Tonight against Canisius, Beamon was in top-form as he scored 27 points, along with four rebounds and four assists.

STRUGGLED

1) Cornell — Big Red isn’t winless, but they are against Division 1 competition. In their loss to Pennsylvania, Cornell is now 1-18 overall and 0-5 in the Ivy League. Their lone win on the season has come against Oberlin.

2) Sean McGonagill — Brown was looking to move to 4-1 in the Ivy League, but their star guard struggled from the field, shooting just 2-11 for eight points. The Bears scored just 45 points in the loss (52-45).

3)  Fuquan Edwin — Seton Hall hung around with Villanova for a half, but Edwin shot just 3-10 from the floor and scored eight points as the Pirates were unable to keep pace.

NOTABLES

  • Yale went on the road and beat Dartmouth, 67-54. The Bulldogs are now 4-1 in the Ivy League, and will travel to Cambridge tomorrow evening for the “game of the year” in the Ancient Eight to date as Harvard and Yale currently sit at 1-2 in the league.
  • Mercer escaped Kennesaw State, winning 75-68. A loss here would have been the Bears’ second consecutive loss, and a real disastrous one as the Owls entered the game with a 4-20 record.
  • Jay Hook hit a free throw with a second remaining as Tulane defeated Charlotte, 64-63.
  • Southern Mississippi overcame an 11 point halftime deficient, and eked past Marshall at home, maintaining their position atop Conference USA.
  • Juwan Howard Jr. hit a three-pointer in the final seconds to propel Detroit to a road victory against Valparaiso, 59-57.

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

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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’

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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

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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)
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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

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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: