Late Night Snacks: Saturday’s Elite Eight matchups set

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 1 Arizona 70, No. 4 San Diego State 64

For 37 minutes Arizona’s Nick Johnson couldn’t buy a bucket, as he missed all ten of his shots from the field. But complete players find other ways in which to help their team when the shots aren’t falling and Johnson did that, continuing to defend, rebound (eight rebounds) and distribute (three assists) the basketball. And when it was winning time the Pac-12 Player of the Year stepped forward, scoring 15 points in the final three minutes.

Just as important for Arizona was their improvement in keeping Josh Davis off of the boards, as the forward corralled 11 rebounds in the first half. His second-half rebound total: three. Xavier Thames scored 25 points and Dwayne Polee II added 13 for the Aztecs, who end their season with a record of 31-5. Next up for Arizona, which also received 15 points and six rebounds from Aaron Gordon, is No. 2 Wisconsin.


1) No. 1 Florida 79, No. 4 UCLA 68

After shooting no better than 39% in either of their two games in Orlando last weekend the Gators shot 50% from the field against UCLA, with Michael Frazier II scoring 19 points and Scottie Wilbekin adding 13. Also of note for Florida was their bench, with Dorian Finney-Smith (ten points, six rebounds and four assists), Kasey Hill (six points, ten assists and six rebounds) and Chris Walker (seven points, three rebounds) all having productive evenings. UCLA had its chances to get wrestle away control of the game, but the Bruins were unable to get the stops they needed in the second half.

2) No. 2 Wisconsin 69, No. 6 Baylor 52

The Badgers removed any doubt early, limiting the Bears to 16 points and 20% shooting in the first half. Frank Kaminsky led Wisconsin with 19 points and six blocked shots, and against Baylor’s zone defense the Badgers were able to get many of the quality looks they desired. Baylor shot just 31.6% against Wisconsin’s pack line defense, and after going off against Creighton on Sunday guards Kenny Chery and Brady Heslip combined to shoot 3-for-14 from the field.

3) No. 11 Dayton 82, No. 10 Stanford 72

Balance and depth have been keys for Dayton throughout the season, and that was once again the case as the Flyers advanced to their first Elite Eight in 30 years. Jordan Sibert scored 18 points to lead four Dayton players in double figures, and Archie Miller’s reserves combined to score 34 points. Stanford had its issues on both ends of the floor, with Chasson Randle shooting 5-for-21 from the field and the defense struggling to limit Dayton’s quality looks in both zone and man-to-man. Next up for Dayton, which last reached the Final Four in 1967, is No. 1 Florida.


1) Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) 

19 points (8-for-11 FG), six blocks, four rebounds and three assists in Wisconsin’s 69-52 win over Baylor.

2) Michael Frazier II (Florida)

19 points (5-for-8 3PT), six rebounds and three assists in Florida’s 79-68 win over UCLA.

3) Jordan Sibert (Dayton) 

18 points (7-for-12 FG), three rebounds and two assists in the Flyers’ 82-72 win over Stanford.


1) Brady Heslip and Kenny Chery (Baylor)

Chery scored 12 points but did so on 2-for-8 shooting from the field in Baylor’s 69-52 loss to Wisconsin, and Heslip scored three points on 1-for-6 shooting.

2) Chasson Randle (Stanford)

Randle scored 21 points but did so on 5-for-21 shooting while also accounting for five rebounds, five turnovers and three assists.

3) Anthony Brown (Stanford)

Brown scored just four points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field in Stanford’s loss to Dayton.

CIT: Murray State advances to semifinals

Murray State advanced to the semifinals of the CIT with an 85-73 win over Towson in Murray. Cameron Payne led four Racers in double figures with 24 points to go along with seven assists, four rebounds and five steals, and as a team Murray State shot 10-for-23 from beyond the arc. In his final game at Towson senior forward Jerrelle Benimon scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Mike Burwell scored a team-high 20 points.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.