No. 1 Virginia gets a scare from No. 16 Coastal Carolina

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No. 1 Virginia got a scare from No. 16 Coastal Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night.

The Chanticleers jumped out to a 31-21 lead, managing to take a 35-30 lead into the break and staying close enough to tie the game at 47 with eight minutes left in the second half.

But that’s when the Cavaliers turned things on, using a 23-7 surge to pull away from CCU and advance into the Round of 32 with a 70-59 win. They will take on No. 8 Memphis.

London Perrantes and Malcolm Brogdon combined for 26 points, 11 assists and no turnovers and Anthony Gill chipped in with 17 points off the bench for Tony Bennett’s club, who saw their defense dissected by CCU for much of the first 20 minutes.

Virginia was doubted as much as any top two or three seed when the bracket was released, and they didn’t do much to silence those doubters on Friday. But we see this happen from time to time with No. 1 seeds. Ask Arizona. Ask Florida. Louisville ran into the same situation as well. It’s easy to overlook a team when it feels like your first game is a bye, and I think that’s what the Cavs ran into.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.