St. Joseph’s: The Hawks picked up a win over St. Bonaventure, avoiding another bad loss on their resume and advancing them to the Atlantic 10 tournament title game against the winner of VCU and George Washington. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Hawks are probably safe at this point. They are now 9-8 against the top 100 with a RPI in the high-30s and just one sub-100 loss.
Providence: The Friars played their way off the bubble … by winning the Big East tournament.
Tennessee: The Vols had a chance to lock up a bid to the NCAA tournament with a win over Florida, but the Gators erased a 35-25 halftime deficit and pulled away late, knocking off Tennessee 56-49 in the SEC semifinals. Cuonzo Martin’s club will now be forced to play the waiting game, and I think that they’ve done enough that they will hear their name called on Selection Sunday. Their RPI is in the low-40s, they have three top 50 wins (including the 35-point win over Virginia in December) and a 7-9 record against the top 100 with four of those losses coming to top four teams. The three sub-100 losses are ugly, but remember: two of them came as a result of last-second three pointers from Antwan Space of Texas A&M, who hit 11 threes all season long.
This doesn’t factor into the conversation officially, but Tennessee is playing as well as anyone in the country of late and they are one of just seven teams to be ranked in the top 30 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack were barely in the bubble conversation until they beat Syracuse on Friday afternoon. After that win, the conversation was “beat Duke, and they’ll have a shot”. Well, N.C. State lost to Duke, which means that T.J. Warren will be lighting up scoreboards in the NIT.
After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.
Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.
“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”
According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”
Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.
The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.
“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.
“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”
A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?
Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.
Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.
The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.
According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.
John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech
John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.
The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.
Ohio State snags third 2018 commitment in a week with four-star guard Luther Muhammad
Ohio State continued a strong week on the recruiting trail on Friday night by landing a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Luther Muhammad.
Regarded as a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-4 Muhammad is a tough and rugged perimeter defender who can attack the basket. Also showing some ability to play on the ball as a secondary handler, Muhammad is a very solid addition to Ohio State’s recruiting class since they need to overhaul their roster under new head coach Chris Holtmann.
Muhammad is the third player to commit to the Buckeyes in the Class of 2018 this week as he joins four-star forward Jaedon LeDee and three-star guard Duane Washington in the current Ohio State recruiting class. Since Washington is a three-point threat and Muhammad is more of an off-the-bounce specialist, the two guards are a good start for Ohio State in this class as they will likely try to find a true floor leader to play with them on the perimeter.