Maryland

Stanford, Maryland join undefeated UConn and Notre Dame in women’s Final Four

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Maryland 76, Louisville 73: The Terrapin head to Nashville as the lowest seed remaining — the No. 4 seed coming out of the Louisville Region. Maryland had to knock off top-seeded Tennessee to reach the Elite 8, where it faced the No. 3 seed Louisville, playing inside its home arena.

With two minutes Maryland appeared to have the game locked up, leading the Cardinals by a dozen. But Louisville would use a late-game comeback which was nearly completed before Shoni Schimmel missed her potential game-tying 3-pointer. With 31 seconds remaining Schimmel connected on three 3-pointers. She finished with 31 points, five rebounds, four assists and five steals. Alyssa Thomas scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Maryland. Lexie Brown added 20.

Maryland faces undefeated Notre Dame, though, the Fighting Irish will be without senior forward Natalie Achonwa, who tore her ACL in the Elite 8 win over Baylor.

Maryland-Norte Dame is scheduled for 6:30 on April 6.

Stanford 74, North Carolina 65: Chiney Ogwumike played her Maples Pavilion on Tuesday night, but her college career with continue as the No. 2 seed Stanford will head to Nashville for the Final Four following its Elite 8 win over No. 4 seed North Carolina.

Ogwumike went for a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. She was one of five Stanford players in double figures as Mikaela Ruef (17 points), Amber Orrange (14 points), Bonnie Samuelson (13 points), Lili Thompson (10 points) followed.

The Cardinal will play unbeaten UConn, which enters the Final Four with a 37-0 record. In 2010, Stanford ended the Huskies’ 90-game winning streak.

Stanford-UConn is scheduled to tip at 8:30 p.m. on April 6.

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.