Ed Cooley

Notre Dame, Providence among teams playing in 2014 Tip-Off Tournament

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On Thursday the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the two brackets for this November’s Tip-Off Tournament, and the Naismith Bracket will have a slightly different setup than in years past. With two of the four teams in that bracket, Florida State and Notre Dame, being members of the same conference (ACC) each team will play two pre-determined games on the weekend of November 22 and 23.

The other two teams in the Naismith Bracket are UMass and Providence, with both teams looking to build on NCAA tournament appearances in 2014. Each of these two teams will host two on-campus games in addition to the two games at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., with those on-campus games being played against the four teams that will make up the Springfield Bracket.

The Springfield Bracket will have a more “traditional” setup, with Manhattan playing Binghamton (5:30 p.m. EST) and Navy facing Northeastern (8:00 p.m. EST) on November 22 and the championship and consolation games being played on November 23. Below is the schedule for the on-campus games and the Naismith Bracket games.

On-Campus Games
November 14 – Binghamton at Notre Dame
November 15 – Manhattan at Florida State
November 16 – Navy at Notre Dame
November 17 – Binghamton at Providence
November 18 – Northeastern at Florida State
November 19 – Manhattan at UMass
November 20 – Navy at Providence
November 26 – Northeastern at UMass

Naismith Bracket
November 22- 12:00 p.m. EST UMass vs. Notre Dame
November 22- 2:30 p.m. EST Florida State vs. Providence
November 23- 12:00 p.m. EST UMass vs. Florida State
November 23- 2:30 p.m. EST Notre Dame vs. Providence

Springfield Bracket
November 22- 5:30 p.m. EST Manhattan vs. Binghamton
November 22- 8:00 p.m. EST Navy vs. Northeastern
November 23- 5:30 p.m. EST Consolation Game
November 23- 8:00 p.m. EST Championship Game

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons. Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.