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Stevens’ 30 points leads Penn State past Marquette in NIT

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.

The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face either Mississippi State or Louisville at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27. They advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since winning the 2009 tournament.

Stevens hit three crucial buckets in the final three minutes, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Josh Reaves for an eight-point lead with one minute left. The 6-foot-8 Stevens then maneuvered through a couple Marquette players to secure a rebound off Andrew Rowsey’s missed 3 with 46 seconds left.

Carr went 5 of 8 from the foul line over the final 30 seconds to give Marquette another chance. Rowsey hit a 3 and a layup to get the Golden Eagles as close as 83-80 with six seconds left before the Golden Eagles ran out of time.

Rowsey, a senior, scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).

The Golden Eagles had whittled a 14-point deficit early in the second half to 72-68 with 2:39 left on three foul shots by Rowsey. Penn State went nearly three minutes without a bucket and got sloppy with the ball and the sharpshooting Golden Eagles started hitting 3s to get back in the game.

CBT Podcast: Jeff Borzello’s Bracket Q-and-A and why he loved the bracket reveal

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Jeff Borzello of fame joined Rob Dauster on the podcast today to talk through the Coaching Carousel, the bracket reveal and some bracket advice Q-and-A. Spoiler alert: Jeff LOVED the bracket reveal, and he tries to justify that opinion unsuccessfully.

OPEN: What did the Selection Committee get wrong with seeding and bubble teams?

10:25: Jeff tries to justify his love for the bracket reveal.

15:15: UConn, Georgia, Pitt and Memphis. Who should they hire? Who will they hire?

26:45: Bracket Breakdown Q-and-A!

CBT Podcast: The Why Your Team Sucks Bracket Breakdown

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Brian Snow joined Rob Dauster for another stirring rendition of the Why Your Team Sucks podcast, only this time they breakdown the entire NCAA tournament bracket, giving picks for every single game and even giving you a full bracket to use for your convenience. The rundown:

OPEN: The South Region

17:35: The West Region

33:15: The Midwest Region

48:20: The East Region

1:00:50: The Final Four

There were no bubble snubs this year, but Syracuse over USC, Oklahoma State is perplexing

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The NCAA almost got it perfect.

Almost every team decision they made was totally and completely justifiable.

They left out Saint Mary’s, a 28-5 team out of the WCC that simply refuses to schedule anyone. They left out a USC team that, like Louisville, just did not have enough really good wins on their résumé to justify inclusion. They put the likes of UCLA, Oklahoma, Arizona State and St. Bonaventure into the field.

For the most part, I think the committee almost got all of the teams right.


Except for Syracuse.

The Orange, according to NCAA Selection Committee Chair Bruce Rasmussen, were the last team into the tournament field. They got in just ahead of Notre Dame, who was the team that got knocked out on Sunday morning by Davidson winning the Atlantic 10’s automatic bid.

And I’m sorry Syracuse fans, but I just don’t get the argument for this one. Syracuse had four Quadrant 1 wins — Clemson (11), Buffalo (25), at Miami (288) and at Louisville (38) and a 7-11 mark against the top two Quadrants with two Quadrant 3 losses. When compared with some of the teams that were left out, it just doesn’t make all that much sense to me.

Unless, of course, you’re the selection committee and you value things like the RPI and SOS. The Orange have a much, much better RPI than both Baylor and Oklahoma State (45 vs. 68 vs. 88). Their SOS is 16th. USC’s is 57th. Their best win is better than Middle Tennessee State’s. That’s where the logic has to lie.

And to be frank, I don’t think anyone here got “snubbed”. I do not pity Saint Mary’s at all. They were a tournament team last season returning a senior-laden lineup with an all-american at center and they scheduled no one and lost to Washington State, Georgia and San Francisco. Randy Bennett did this to himself again. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then Bennett is clinical.

INSTANT ANALYSIS: East | South | Midwest | West

Baylor lost 14 games. Oklahoma State won some impressive games — they swept Kansas! — but that RPI of 88 is tough to get around. That, combined with a non-conference SOS in the 290s cost them. It is what it is.

Middle Tennessee State lost a couple dumb games down the stretch. Louisville didn’t beat anyone in the top 50 of the RPI. Marquette is … whatever.

The only team that really has an argument to me is USC. Their RPI is 34. They had a top 60 non-conference SOS. They went 6-5 on the road, which included wins at Utah, at Oregon and at Colorado; anyone that follows the Pac-12 knows how hard it is to win at the mountain school. But their best wins were Middle Tennessee State and New Mexico State on a neutral court while they had that awful home loss to Princeton, albeit without a couple of role players.

So I get it.

I wouldn’t have gone that way myself, but no one on the bubble really has that strong of an argument. At the end of the day, the committee went with the résumé that had the least amount of horrible on it.

Here is how the bubble played out:

LAST FOUR IN: UCLA, St. Bonaventure, Arizona State, Syracuse

FIRST FOUR OUT: Notre Dame, Baylor, Saint Mary’s, USC

NEXT FOUR OUT: Marquette, Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee, Louisville

Bracketology: Virginia reigns over Field of 68

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While plenty of questions remain for a handful of teams on the bubble, this much we know: Virginia will be the overall No. 1 seed when the 2018 NCAA tournament bracket is revealed tonight.  The Cavaliers completed a remarkable season Saturday night by beating North Carolina in the ACC title game.  That appears to leave the No. 1 line as it was yesterday – Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier.

The underlying story today is Davidson, who beat Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 championship.  Davidson is now our second bubble thief.

We’ve reached another Selection Sunday.  Here’s to an incredible journey through the Madness of March.

UPDATED: March 11, 2018   |   4:30 p.m.  ET

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Oklahoma vs. Arizona State | South Region
  • Texas vs. USC Midwest Region
  • NC-CENTRAL vs. TX-SOUTHERN | South Region


SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston           
Charlotte Pittsburgh
8) Providence 8) Virginia Tech
9) Alabama 9) Kansas State
Boise San Diego
5) Houston 5) Clemson
4) Texas Tech 4) KENTUCKY
Nashville Wichita
6) Ohio State 6) Miami-FL
11) Texas / Arizona St 11) LOYOLA-CHICAGO
3) Tennessee 3) West Virginia
Detroit Detroit
7) TCU 7) Rhode Island
10) Creighton 10) UCLA
2) Cincinnati 2) Purdue
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Pittsburgh Wichita
1) Xavier 1) KANSAS
8) Missouri 8) Nevada
9) Florida State 9) NC State
San Diego Boise
5) GONZAGA 5) Wichita State
4) ARIZONA 4) Auburn
Dallas Dallas
6) Arkansas 6) Florida
11) NEW MEXICO ST 11) Oklahoma / USC
3) MICHIGAN 3) Michigan State
Charlotte Nashville
7) Seton Hall 7) Texas AM
10) St. Bonaventure 10) Butler
2) North Carolina 2) Duke

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier

Last Four Byes (at large): Butler, Creighton, St. Bonaventure, UCLA

Last Four IN (at large): Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona State, USC

First Four OUT (at large): Saint Mary’s, Louisville, Marquette, Middle Tennessee

Next four teams OUT (at large): Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Baylor

Bracketology: Kansas moves up, bubble tightens

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Kansas moves into the Midwest Region courtesy of the Jayhawks’ win over Kansas State and Xavier’s loss to Providence.  The Musketeers remain the fourth No. 1 seed this morning, shifting to the West Region.  Close behind, now, is North Carolina, which beat Duke for a second time. If the Tar Heels beat Virginia in the ACC title game, they could find themselves as a No. 1 seed come Sunday morning.

Elsewhere, the bubble has tightened thanks to some upsets – particularly in the Mountain West.  Nevada is a likely at-large candidate, meaning their loss to San Diego State opens the door for SDSU or New Mexico to grab a seat, courtesy of the league’s automatic bid.  That’s bad news for teams along the cutline.

We still have more questions than answers, but as of this morning, Arizona State slides into the First Four and hopes to hang on.  If the Committee considers the non-conference season as important as the conference season, it’s hard to ignore ASU’s wins over Kansas, Xavier, and Kansas State (not to mention San Diego State and St. John’s).

The reality, however, hasn’t really changed.   There are eight or nine teams for what amounts to two or three spots.  The Committee has its hands full.  And that number could still shrink.  Memphis is alive in the American and Davidson, in particular, is threat in the Atlantic 10.  In other words, until today’s games are complete, we’re still in a holding pattern.

The latest …

UPDATED: March 10, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Oklahoma vs. USC | East Region
  • Arizona State vs. Saint Mary’s South Region
  • SE Louisiana vs. LIU-BROOKLYN | East Region
  • Hampton vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | South Region


SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston           
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) Virginia 1) Villanova
16) Hampton / Ark-PB 16) SE La / LIU-BROOKLYN
8) Providence 8) Rhode Island
9) Nevada 9) Kansas State
San Diego San Diego
5) Florida 5) Clemson
12) Western Kentucky 12) MURRAY STATE
4) West Virginia 4) Arizona
13) Louisiana 13) Vermont
Nashville Dallas
6) Miami-FL 6) Houston
11) Arizona St / Saint Mary’s 11) Oklahoma / USC
3) Auburn 3) Tennessee
Detroit Detroit
7) TCU 7) Seton Hall
10) Butler 10) NC State
2) Cincinnati 2) Purdue
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Pittsburgh Wichita
1) Xavier 1) Kansas
16) RADFORD 16) Harvard
8) Virginia Tech 8) St. Bonaventure
9) Alabama 9) Florida State
Boise Boise
5) Texas Tech 5) Ohio State
12) New Mexico State 12) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
4) GONZAGA 4) Wichita State
13) UNC-GREENSBORO 13) Buffalo
Dallas Wichita
6) Kentucky 6) Arkansas
11) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 11) Texas
3) MICHIGAN 3) Michigan State
14) New Mexico 14) Montana
Charlotte Nashville
7) Missouri 7) Texas AM
10) Creighton 10) UCLA
2) North Carolina 2) Duke
15) UC-Irvine 15) IONA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier

Last Four Byes (at large): Butler, Creighton, UCLA, Texas

Last Four IN (at large): USC, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Saint Mary’s

First Four OUT (at large): Louisville, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Baylor

Next four teams OUT (at large): Middle Tennessee, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Penn State

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, Florida State, NC State

SEC (8): Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas AM, Missouri, Alabama

BIG 12 (7): Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma

Big East (7): Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence, Butler, Creighton

Big 10 (4): MICHIGAN, Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State

Pac 12 (4): Arizona, UCLA, USC, Arizona State

American (3): Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (2): New Mexico, Nevada