Rob Dauster

VIDEO: Watch UConn’s Katie Samuelson do something no NBA player has ever done

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In Monday’s AAC tournament title game, No. 1 seed UConn won their 8 millionth straight game (it’s actually 107 straight) 100-44 over No. 3 seed South Florida.

The star of the night?

Katie Samuelson, who had 40 points and hit all ten of the threes she attempted in the win. She had 29 points and seven threes at the half. USF had 23 points and four threes.

The NBA record for most threes made in a game without a miss is nine, which was done by Latrell Spreewell and former UConn Husky Ben Gordon on two different occasions.

 

Introducing Cinderella: Mount St. Marys is headed to the NCAA tournament

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Conference: NEC

Coach: Jamion Christian

Record: 19-15, 15-3 (1st)

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 215
RPI: 164
AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: Mount St. Mary’s is very likely going to end up being a No. 16 seed. The hope is that they avoid the play-in game.

Names you need to know: Elijah Long is the best player on the Mount’s roster, averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 boards and 4.3 assists, but the guy that everyone is going to fall in love with on this team is Junior Robinson. A 5-foot-5 point guard, Robinson averaged 13.8 points on the season and 20.7 points in the NEC tournament.

Stats you need to know: The Mountaineers were the second-best defensive team in the NEC this season on the strength of their ability to force turnovers; they were 24th nationally in defensive turnover rate. They’re not bid and they don’t really rebound, but they can make you pay if you are not careful with the ball.

Big wins, bad losses: The Mount tested themselves during the non-conference portion of their schedule, playing their first eight games on the road, but the only one of those games that they won came at George Mason.

How’d they get here?: The Mountaineers took advantage of the fact that the NEC does the league tournament the right way. They played three home games during the NEC tournament, won all three and advanced to the NCAA tournament as a result.

Outlook: Not good. Mount St. Mary’s is all-but-assured of having to play, in a best-case scenario, a No. 2 seed in the tournament, and there have been just eight No. 15 seeds that have won a first round game. That said, four of those eight have come in the last five years, including Middle Tennessee State last year and Florida-Gulf Coast in 2013. So it’s possible. But the Mount will need to get lucky.

How do I know you?: If you are a real hoop-head, you know the name Jim Phelan, the legendary Mount St. Mary’s head coach that spent 49 years in Emmittsburg, Maryland, and coached the Mountaineers to 830 wins.

Bubble Banter: Three tickets punched, ACC tournament’s bubble teams in action

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The most recent NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here

There will be four tickets punched tonight, including in the WCC, where No. 4 Gonzaga will be squaring off with No. 19 Saint Mary’s for the right to claim a No. 1 seed in the West Region. 

WINNERS

Wake Forest (RPI: 28, KenPom: 30, No. 11 seed): The Demon Deacons won a game that they had to win, picking off Boston College in their ACC tournament opener. For my money, if Wake can get past Virginia Tech in the second round on Wednesday, they’ll be in the NCAA tournament. They still have a chance if they lose, it will just be a long, long week of waiting.

Georgia Tech (RPI: 93, KenPom: 80, next four out): The Yellow Jackets needed to win at least two, and probably three, games if they were really going to have a chance to get an at-large bid to the tournament. They lost to Pitt in the opener. Josh Pastner did a fabulous job this season, but his year is going to end in the NIT.

Cleveland State, Gary Waters to part ways

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Cleveland State and head coach Gary Waters are expected to part ways, sources told NBC Sports.

An announcement could come as soon as today.

Waters had been the head coach with the Vikings for the past 11 seasons, having reached the 2009 NCAA tournament and three NITs in his first six seasons with the program. But after averaging 20 wins in his first nine seasons with the Vikings, Waters’ program was decimated by transfers. Bryn Forbes left for Michigan State after the 2014 season. Trey Lewis (Louisville) and Anton Grady (Wichita State) transferred prior to the 2015-16 season to play their final season at a bigger school. As a result, Waters spent the last two years failing to rebuild his team, finishing 18-45 over that stretch.

Prior to Cleveland State, Waters was the head coach at Kent State and Rutgers.

Youngstown State coach Jerry Slocum retires

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Youngstown State announced on Tuesday afternoon that head coach Jerry Slocum will be retiring after 42 seasons as a head coach.

“After 42 years of head coaching, I have been blessed and honored to have coached so many great young men and the privilege of working alongside some great assistant coaches,” Slocum said in a release. “At this time I’m announcing that I’m retiring from coaching and have loved every moment that I was called ‘Coach’.”

Slocum spent 30 years coaching at Nyack, Geneva and and Gannon before finally landing a Division I gig in 2005. He spent 12 years with the Penguins, going 142-232 in those 12 years. Slocum won 723 games in his career.

LaVar Ball responds to Charles Barkley’s criticism of Steph Curry comparison

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LaVar Ball is back in the news this week after Charles Barkley was quoted ripping the father of Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo for the braggadocious way that he speaks about his three sons.

“Just because you say some s—, doesn’t make it right,” Barkley said, according to the Sporting News. “He’s gonna be better than Steph Curry? That’s what he said. Steph Curry has won a couple MVPs, he’s pretty good. Man, let me tell you something. That’s that AAU s—. You can’t say a guy is going to be better than Steph Curry, a guy who has played 30 college games. I know you can be proud of your son, but at some point, it becomes stupidity.”

Ball went on The Undisputed on Tuesday and, while he wasn’t directly responding to Barkley’s comments, he did answer questions about whether his comments about Lonzo being better than Steph Curry was going too far.

“No. On the fact that I have the utmost confidence in what my son does,” Ball said on The Undisputed. “And just because I say he’s better than somebody, who cares. I believe it. I don’t care what nobody else says. You can judge on your own.”

He’s got a point.

“I know what work my boy put in for me to say that,” Ball added. ‘Just because someone else has titles, I’m not disliking Steph Curry or nothing. What he’s done for himself, that’s for him. But I know what my boy’s all about. Lonzo was the best player in high school. He was the best player in college. You think he’s going to get to the pros and be like, ‘I made it to the pros, now I can be average?'”

When asked if he thinks he’s putting too much pressure on his sons, Ball answered, “First of all, your pressure and our pressure are two different things. There’s no pressure in sports. It’s entertainment.”