Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 11 hrs ago
It’s that time of year again. College basketball conference tournaments get underway Monday, Feb. 27, and continue every day throughout the next two weeks. The first champion is crowned this Saturday, March 4, with the final six of the 32 automatic bids to the NCAA tournament handed out on March 12, Selection Sunday.
Below is everything you need to be able to keep track of the 32 tournaments, starting with the dates for each, and concluding with the schedule and bracket for every single tournament. As of Sunday night, 12 brackets have been set. As more get released, starting Monday, they will be added to this page.
Conference tournament dates
Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) put together this useful chart to show what’s happening in conference tournament land every day over the next two weeks:
Let's try again without cutting off the WAC … All 32 D-I conference tournaments in one chart: pic.twitter.com/5Aldsj5dm2
Brad Evans at The Dagger 13 hrs ago
Still recuperating from your midweek bar crawl? Are you nostril deep in term paper research? Have no fear, fellow bracketeers. As a companion to the Bracket Big Board, the I.D. is here to highlight what teams are gaining and what teams are losing ground in the march toward the NCAA Tournament.
DA BULLS (Moving Up)
DA BEARS (Moving Down)
DA BUBBLE (Living in limbo)
Want to throw elbows at Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise.
Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 16 hrs ago
One week ago, Michigan State guard Eron Harris was ruled out for the season. He suffered a serious knee injury in a loss at Purdue, and his teammates teared up as he was stretchered off the court. A day later, Michigan State announced that Harris’ career was over.
Technically, Michigan State was wrong.
With Sunday’s game against Wisconsin wrapped up, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo called timeout with 11.2 seconds remaining to sub the injured senior into what would have been his final game at the Breslin Center. Now it was actually his final game.
A touching Senior Day moment for Eron Harris.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 26, 2017
— Zachary Barnes (@Forrest_Barnes) February 26, 2017
Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago
You’ll probably hear some folks argue that a loss is the best thing that could have happened to Gonzaga, that it will ease the pressure on the Zags going into the NCAA tournament, that it will remove the target on their backs.
Don’t buy that.
The primary burden on Gonzaga remains trying to reach its first Final Four after so many past near misses. Whatever extra load the Zags would have faced entering March unbeaten was worth it if it meant already achieving something rare and historic.
Gonzaga’s bid for a perfect regular season fell one game short Saturday night when the Zags suffered a stunning 79-71 home loss to BYU. In their regular season finale, in front of an enthusiastic home crowd ready to celebrate history, the Zags instead squandered a 10-point second-half lead and tasted defeat for the first time after 29 victories in a row to start the season.
With the score tied at 71 apiece and just over a minute remaining, BYU forward Eric Mika recognized that Przemek Karnowski was giving him too much space and sank a tie-breaking 18-foot jump shot. Mark Few’s decision to not call timeout to set up a play then backfired as Josh Perkins committed a costly turnover.
The 180-degree turning point of UCLA’s biggest win of the season wasn’t a Lonzo Ball dunk, wasn’t a Bryce Alford bomb, wasn’t a TJ Leaf drive. It wasn’t a flash flood of a fast break, wasn’t a 3-point barrage, wasn’t a crafty set play. No, it was something UCLA hasn’t often been praised for this season.
It was defense.
Oh, and rebounding. Rebounding too. Specifically offensive rebounding, the one facet of the nation’s top offense that isn’t typically anything special.
The fifth-ranked Bruins, who trailed No. 4 Arizona by four at halftime in the first Pac-12 game between top-five teams in nine years, used a zone defense and nine second-half offensive rebounds to beat the Wildcats, 77-72, and ensure that the Pac-12 race will come down to the regular season’s final weekend.
Arizona closed the first half on a 16-5 run behind 16 first-half points from Allonzo Trier, and led 43-39 at the break. But in the second half, UCLA head coach Steve Alford went primarily to a 3-2 zone that interrupted everything Trier and the Wildcats were doing well offensively.
UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is still in college but his father, LaVar, already knows where his son is going to be playing after college: The Los Angeles Lakers.
“My son will only play for the Lakers,” LaVar Ball said on The Kevin and Mike Show, a local Arizona sports radio show.
Lavar Ball: “My son will only play for the Lakers.”
— Michael Luke (@ironmikeluke) February 25, 2017
LaVar later cleared up the comments, telling ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, “All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers, and I’m going to speak it into existence. I want him to be a Laker, but I wasn’t saying he’s only going to play for the Lakers. I’m not trying to say he won’t play for a different team.”
If that is going to happen, the Ball family has to hope that the Lakers can hang onto its 2017 pick. The only way they will get a first round selection in the upcoming NBA Draft is if it is one of the top three picks.
Kelsey Plum made history on Saturday night, surpassing Jackie Stiles’ 3,393 points to become the new all-time leading scorer in Division I women’s basketball. Plum scored a career-high 57 points in the No. 11 Washington Huskies’ 84-77 win over Utah.
Plum entered Saturday’s game needing 54 points to claim the record but wasn’t expected the break it until tournament play. But she hit 19-of-28 shots against Utah to reach 3,397 all-time points. The record-breaking basket came off of a left-handed running floater with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
It was a perfect way for Plum to end Senior Day. She checked out 44 seconds remaining to a standing ovation and was greeted on the bench with hugs from teammates and a slew of photographers snapping pictures of the moment.
WNBA player Sue Bird even weighed in on Twitter to congratulate Plum.
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) February 26, 2017
Baylor women's coach says parents concerned about sexual assault scandal should be 'knocked right in the face'
Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Baylor University, had strong words for parents who were concerned about female students’ safety on campus.
After the women’s team clinched the Big 12 regular season title on Saturday, Mulkey used her postgame speech to defend her school, which has been under fire for a sexual assault scandal under former football coach Art Briles.
— John Elizondo (@JohnElizondo25) February 25, 2017
“If somebody is around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you should knock them right in the face,” Mulkey said as the crowd cheered. “Because these kids are on this campus. I work here. My daughter went to school here and it’s the damn best school in America.”
Her players then told her to drop the mic, which she did.
After the speech, Mulkey defended her comments to the local media.
One of the most popular narratives of what has been both a turbulent and thrilling season of Duke basketball was the one surrounding the point guard position: Duke didn’t have one, Grayson Allen was forced to become one, and the offense was suffering as a result.
On Saturday at Miami, another branch on that narrative tree grew: Duke, without Allen, played its worst offensive game of the season, and was upset by Miami, 55-50 in Coral Gables.
The Blue Devils scored just 0.79 points per possession, by far their worst per-possession output of the year. Jayson Tatum scored just eight points on 16 shots, Luke Kennard scored 16 on 20 shots, and Duke staggered to its second-straight loss.
Some portion, and maybe even a large portion, of the credit for the 50-point performance goes to Miami, who has been on a roll, both defensively and in general. The Hurricanes smothered Virginia earlier this week, and held the Cavs to 48 points in 45 minutes in an overtime victory on the road. They’ve now held four of their past six ACC opponents under a point per possession, and have won six of their past seven games.
The numbers were downright ugly. Three points. One assist. Five turnovers. Zero flow.
No. 11 Kentucky was tied with No. 13 Florida at halftime of Saturday’s showdown atop the SEC standings in Lexington, but not because of Malik Monk. The freshman flamethrower put together one of the worst halves of his season, and with their star ineffective, the Wildcats sputtered offensively.
But Monk, as he has so often this season, went into full-on takeover mode after halftime. He scored 30 second-half points to lead Kentucky to a 76-66 win over Florida, and to the top of the SEC, one game clear with one week to play.
Monk’s takeovers are like no other player’s in college basketball. They feature 3-pointers off the catch and the dribble, dunks in transition and off ball screens in halfcourt sets, and everything in between. At his most unstoppable, Monk even creates for teammates as well. He did all of those things Saturday.
He again force White to take time with a 3 that put Kentucky up 6: