Beejay Anya gave us our FIFTH 1-point game, a #MarchMadness single-day record! pic.twitter.com/KgzDUudM5D
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 20, 2015
No. 8 NC State and No. 9 LSU have both managed to show flashes of their potential this season, but they’ve also shown a lack of consistency that tends to be a main characteristic of teams that land in the 8/9 matchup. With that being the case, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the two teams played a game that was both exciting and befuddling.
But all that matters is the end result, and thanks to a BeeJay Anya jump hook with one tenth of a second remaining the Wolfpack won by the final score of 66-65.
Next up for the Wolfpack is East Region No. 1 Villanova, which coasted to a win over No. 16 Lafayette in the first game of the evening session in Pittsburgh.
Anya’s game-winner capped a stunning collapse for LSU, which led by 14 points (62-48) with 9:13 remaining. From that point forward LSU scored just three points, all coming from the foul line, as they missed their final 12 shots from the field. Add in the fact that Johnny Jones’ Tigers also missed their final six free throws of the game, and it isn’t took difficult to see why NC State had the opportunity to come back.
But even with that opportunity a team has to take advantage, and thanks in part to Kyle Washington NC State was able to do so. Washington scored seven of his nine points in the early stages of the Wolfpack’s 18-3 game-ending run, and from there his teammates stepped forward on both ends of the floor.
Trevor Lacey added five points and Abdul-Malik Abu two during the run, with Anya responsible for the final four points of the game. And after being worn out by the tandem of Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey for most of the first 30 minutes of the game, the NC State front court stepped forward when Mark Gottfried needed them most. Add in Cat Barber’s team-high 17 points, and the Wolfpack were able to find a way to win.
NC State has the talent to give Villanova trouble on Saturday, but the key for them will be consistency. They can ill-afford to play as they did for the majority of Thursday’s win against the Wildcats, as that would lead to defeat. Play as they did in the final 9:15 Thursday night, and the Wolfpack have a shot at pulling off the upset.
.2014-2015 Season Preview
College Basketball Talk’s Top 100 Players: Nos. 16-1 #CBTTop100
The #CBTTop100 Players Countdown:
Kentucky holds top spot in 2015 Preseason Bracket
Fresh off a national title game appearance, the Kentucky Wildcats hold the top spot in our 2015 Preseason Bracket – hardly a surprise given the team’s returning talent and stellar recruiting class. If all goes according to the UK’s plan, the Wildcats path to the Final Four would likely go through Louisville and Cleveland in the Midwest Region.
Keeping the top spot won’t be easy. Wisconsin, Arizona, and Duke will push the Wildcats as projected No. 1 seeds. Next in line: Kansas. The Jayhawks have a habit of winning Big 12 titles and putting themselves in the top-line discussion. Some believe Gonzaga has the horses, too. And the Atlantic Coast Conference appears as deep as the once-mighty Big East – which opens the door for more than one ACC representative atop the bracket.
But let’s also remember this … we’re currently working off of blueprints and expected returns. The actual college basketball season is more like the stock market. Teams will have ups and downs. Some teams will outperform expectations. Some will underperform. There will be a surprise or two, and that’s we love it.
What we do know is that come March, 68 teams will begin an amazing journey toward Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In 2010, that venue delivered an incredible championship game between Butler and Duke, as Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave bounced off the rim as time expired. Let’s hope we’re treated to an equally good classic this go-around.
UPDATED: November 14, 2014 | PRESEASON PROJECTION
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced last year. You can read them for yourself here. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
- Xavier vs. Colorado State | Midwest Region
- Boise State vs. LSU | West Region
- ST. FRANCIS-BROOKLYN vs. WEBER ST | East Region
- STONY BROOK vs. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF | Midwest Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
|MIDWEST – Cleveland||SOUTH – Houston|
|1) KENTUCKY||1) WISCONSIN|
|16) STONY BROOK / UAPB||16) COASTAL CAROLINA|
|8) Dayton||8) UCLA|
|9) BYU||9) Arkansas|
|5) Michigan State||5) Utah|
|12) Xavier / Colorado State||12) LOUISIANA TECH|
|4) Iowa State||4) SAN DIEGO STATE|
|13) GEORGIA STATE||13) IONA|
|6) SMU||6) Michigan|
|11) Northern Iowa||11) Georgia|
|3) VILLANOVA||3) Virginia|
|14) WOFFORD||14) S.F. AUSTIN|
|7) Ohio State||7) Syracuse|
|10) George Washington||10) Minnesota|
|2) North Carolina||2) KANSAS|
|15) NORTHEASTERN||15) FGCU|
|EAST – Syracuse||WEST – Los Angeles|
|1) DUKE||1) ARIZONA|
|16) ST. FRANCIS / WEBER ST||16) ORAL ROBERTS|
|8) Illinois||8) Iowa|
|9) HARVARD||9) Pittsburgh|
|5) Kansas State||5) Oklahoma|
|12) TOLEDO||12) Boise State / LSU|
|4) CONNECTICUT||4) GONZAGA|
|13) MURRAY STATE||13) UC IRVINE|
|6) VCU||6) Colorado|
|11) Miami-FL||11) Memphis|
|3) Florida||3) WICHITA STATE|
|14) CLEVELAND STATE||14) NEW MEXICO STATE|
|7) Stanford||7) Nebraska|
|10) Florida State||10) Georgetown|
|2) Texas||2) Louisville|
|15) AMERICAN||15) NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Wisconsin, Arizona, and Duke.
Last Five teams in (at large): Memphis, Xavier, Boise State, LSU, Colorado State
First Five teams out (at large): Maryland, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, St. John’s, Baylor
Next five teams out (at large): NC State, Oklahoma State, UNLV, Massachusetts, UTEP
Breakdown by Conference …
ACC (8): Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Miami-FL
Big Ten (8): Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota
Big 12 (5): Kansas, Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas State
Pac-12 (5): Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Stanford, UCLA
SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU
Big East (3): Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier
American (3): Connecticut, SMU, Memphis
Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, George Washington
Mountain West (3): San Diego State, Boise State, Colorado State
West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU
Missouri Valley (2): Wichita State, Northern Iowa