When Utah released its schedule for the 2014-15 season one date, November 18, was noticeable due to the lack of an opponent being listed. And according to multiple reports, the opponent expected to fill that date provided there are no issues in negotiations, will make the Utes’ schedule even tougher.
The opponent: San Diego State, which won 31 games and the Mountain West regular season title last season. The first game in the proposed home-and-home series would be played at Viejas Arena in San Diego, with Utah hosting the return meeting during the 2015-16 campaign.
Many expected the 2013-14 campaign to be one of transition for Steve Fisher’s Aztecs, but that obviously didn’t prove to be the case. SDSU also reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, falling to Arizona in the West regional semifinals. San Diego State will need to account for the loss of Mountain West Player of the Year Xavier Thames and leading rebounder Josh Davis, but they return three of their top five scorers led by rising junior Winston Shepard III.
Add to this group a highly-regarded recruiting class, and San Diego State is once again expected to be one of the preeminent teams on the west coast.
That should make for a good early season test for Utah, which won 21 games and reached the Postseason NIT in 2013-14. And just as importantly for Larry Krystkowiak’s team, playing San Diego State will help them when it comes to factors such as the RPI and non-conference strength of schedule, with the latter being a major issue for Utah in 2013-14.
Utah returns its top five scorers from last season’s team, led by Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection Delon Wright and forward Jordan Loveridge.
National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.
The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.
Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.
This isn’t really a secret.
Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:
You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:
Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.