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Late Night Snacks: Bubble teams Pittsburgh, LSU and Tulsa suffer home losses

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Bryant 91, Sacred Heart 85 (2OT)

Three of the four Northeast Conference tournament quarterfinal games were decided by nine points or more, with this wild affair being the exception. Up three late in regulation Sacred Heart decided to play defense, and the decision looked to be a good one…until Bryant’s Joe O’Shea knocked down a desperation three-pointer as time expired. O’Shea led the Bulldogs with 23 points and six rebounds, and Dyami Starks added 22 on 8-for-25 shooting from the field. Cane Broome, a freshman guard who’s going to be really good down the line, led six Pioneers in double figures with 23 points.

NEC semifinal matchups (Saturday): No. 5 Saint Francis (PA) at No. 1 St. Francis-Brooklyn; No. 3 Bryant at No. 2 Robert Morris


1. No. 12 Notre Dame 71, No. 16 Louisville 59

Jerian Grant had his issues in the second half, scoring two points on 1-for-5 shooting, but Bonzie Colson and Demetrius Jackson stepped forward for the Fighting Irish. Those two scored 11 points apiece in the final 20 minutes to lead the way for Notre Dame, which made its last seven field goal attempts. With the win Notre Dame wraps up the three-seed in next week’s ACC tournament, and the double-bye means that they won’t play until Thursday.

2. Miami 67, Pittsburgh 63

In a matchup of ACC teams in dire need of wins the Hurricanes won on the road despite not having Angel Rodriguez due to injury. Sheldon McClellan, who’s been banged up himself recently, scored 20 points and Davon Reed added 19 to lead the way. Michael Young led the Panthers with 22 points and seven rebounds, but the Panthers attempted 21 three-pointers and made just six. By comparison, Miami shot 6-for-12 from deep.

3. Michigan State 72, Purdue 66

Travis Trice scored 27 points to lead Michigan State to the six-point win at home, with the Spartans remaining in contention for a double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. Matt Costello was also key for the Spartans, as his play on both ends of the floor (13 points, seven rebounds and four blocks) helped Michigan State hold their own against Purdue’s big men despite losing Branden Dawson to an injury after just nine minutes. Kendall Stephens led the Boilermakers, who host Illinois over the weekend, with 16 points.

READ MORE: Wednesday’s Bubble Banter


1. Duke’s Grayson Allen

Allen scored 27 points, shooting 9-for-11 from the field, and grabbed four rebounds in the Blue Devils’ 94-51 win over Wake Forest.

2. UNC Asheville’s Andrew Rowsey

Rowsey made seven of his ten three-point attempts, scoring 34 points in the Bulldogs’ 80-70 win over Liberty.

3. St. Francis-Brooklyn’s Brent Jones

31 points and five assists in the Terriers’ 79-70 win over LIU-Brooklyn.


1. Wake Forest’s Devin Thomas

Thomas finished a 94-51 loss at No. 3 Duke with more turnovers (four) than points scored (zero).

2. LSU’s Jalyn Patterson

Shot 0-for-5 from the field, going scoreless in 33 minutes of play in the Tigers’ 78-63 loss to Tennessee.

3. La Salle’s Cleon Roberts

Roberts shot 1-for-9 from the field, scoring four points in the Explorers’ 55-50 loss at Saint Joseph’s.


  • It was senior night for starter Quinn Cook as No. 3 Duke rolled to a 94-51 win over Wake Forest. Freshman Grayson Allen scored 27 points off the bench for the Blue Devils, who will be the two-seed in the ACC tournament.
  • LaDontae Henton became the second player in program history to reach the 2,000-point/1,00-rebound plateau (Ryan Gomes is the other) to lead No. 24 Providence to a 79-61 comeback victory at Seton Hall. Ben Bentil led the Friars with 21 points.
  • D’Angelo Russell scored 28 points and Jae’Sean Tate and Shannon Scott added 13 apiece as No. 23 Ohio State won 77-67 at Penn State.


  • The America East tournament tipped off Wednesday night, with the four home teams all taking care of business. Albany and Vermont won comfortably, with Stony Brook beating Binghamton by five and New Hampshire needing overtime to beat Hartford. Sunday’s semifinal matchups: No. 3 Stony Brook at No. 2 Vermont, and No. 4 New Hampshire at No. 1 Albany.
  • Seeds six through eleven were in action at the Big South tournament, with No. 9 Longwood beating No. 8  Presbyterian 65-61 in the opener. No. 6 UNC Asheville and No. 7 Gardner-Webb were the other winners. Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups: No. 9 Longwood vs. No. 1 Charleston Southern, No. 5 Winthrop vs. No. 4 Radford, No. 7 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 2 High Point and No. 6 UNC Asheville vs. No. 3 Coastal Carolina.
  • Seeds five through eight tipped things off at the Ohio Valley tournament in Nashville, with No. 5 Morehead State beating No. 8 Southeast Missouri 79-74 in the opener and No. 6 Eastern Illinois beat No. 7 SIU-Edwardsville 78-66 in the nightcap. Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups: No. 5 Morehead State vs. No. 4 UT Martin and No. 6 Eastern Illinois vs. No. 3 Belmont.


  • Tennessee shot nearly 70 percent from the field in the second half as they won 78-63 at LSU. Not only does the loss hurt the Tigers, but it also hurts the profile of a Texas A&M team that has two wins over LSU on its resume and not much else.
  • NJIT, which announced Wednesday afternoon that it will be playing in the CIT, beat Howard 71-62 for its 18th win of the season.
  • Cincinnati won 56-47 at Tulsa, dropping the Golden Hurricane into a tie for first in the American with SMU. Tulsa closes its regular season with a game at SMU, and the winner gets the conference title outright.
  • Rayvonte Rice led four players in double figures with 23 points and Illinois pulled away from Nebraska, 69-57.
  • Anthony Hickey and Le’Bryan Nash scored 20 points apiece to lead Oklahoma State to an 82-70 win over TCU. The win ends a four-game losing streak for the Cowboys.
  • Boise State moved one step closer to its first-ever Mountain West title, as they won 68-51 at San Jose State. The Broncos host Fresno State Saturday night. They remain tied with San Diego State, which won 60-58 at UNLV.
  • Oregon completed its regular season with a 65-62 win at Oregon State, moving to 13-5 in the Pac-12. Dana Altman’s team is playing well at the right time, and has likely sewn up an NCAA tournament bid as a result.

Joe O’Shea’s off-balance three-pointer forces overtime in Bryant’s double OT win over Sacred Heart (VIDEO)

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It goes without saying that while March can be a joyous month for some programs, it can be a painful one for other. Sacred Heart falls into the latter category, as they lost 91-85 in double overtime at Bryant in an NEC quarterfinal they led by three points in the final seconds of regulation. That’s where things got wild, with Bryant’s Joe O’Shea playing the role of hero.

In a scramble situation that started with a Dyami Starks missed three, Dan Garvin chased down the missed shot and passed the ball to O’Shea. Leaning forward between two Sacred Heart defenders, O’Shea made a three-pointer as time expired to force overtime. O’Shea finished with a team-high 23 points for Bryant, which is the three-seed in the NEC tournament.

Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip to Pennsylvania to take on two-seed Robert Morris in an NEC semifinal Saturday afternoon.

Video credit: ESPN

No. 17 UConn opens title defense with comeback win over Bryant

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Ryan Boatright (Getty Images)

UConn struggled to find itself at home against Bryant on Friday night, but the No. 17 Huskies rallied after trailing at halftime to win 66-53 at Gampel Pavilion.

After trailing 34-28 at the half, UConn fought back in the second half behind a better defensive showing and a superb second-half effort from senior guard Ryan Boatright. Boatright led the Huskies with a team-high 24 points on Friday, as he scored 16 of those points in the second half.

With UConn struggling to find a second consistent scoring option behind Boatright, the senior decided to take matters into his own hands, as he relentlessly attacked on the offensive end and defended hard on the perimeter. The Boat Show’s dunk with 8:51 left in the second half gave UConn a 47-45 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish after the Huskies trailed for much of the first part of the second half. Besides the 24 points, Boatright added eight rebounds, five assists and four steals on the night.

Playing without N.C. State transfer guard Rodney Purvis, who was held out of the game for playing too many offseason games, the Huskies took some time to find their offensive identity. UConn only finished with 12 assists to 10 turnovers on Friday night as only six players scored for the Huskies.

Junior guard Sam Cassell Jr. chipped in 10 points in his UConn debut and freshman guard Daniel Hamilton played much better on both ends of the floor in the second half as he finished with nine points and seven rebounds in his college debut. On the interior, UConn relied on sophomore center Amida Brimah, as the 7-footer had 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks.

This wasn’t a particularly promising start for the defending champions, but it’s going to take some time for the Huskies to find a new identity after the departure of graduated guard Shabazz Napier and DeAndre Daniels. It’s a good sign that Boatright put the team on his back, however, and once Purvis is back, UConn should have an easier time scoring points.