- The Dagger1 hr ago
One of the lessons Green Bay coach Brian Wardle always emphasizes with his players is to control what they can control, which explains why this week promises to be excruciating.
The Phoenix are pretty much helpless.
Green Bay can do nothing more on the floor to improve its chances of making the NCAA tournament after it fell to rival Milwaukee in the Horizon League semfinals in perhaps the most stunning conference tournament upset so far this March. All Wardle can do now is refocus his players in practice and to make his case to the media for a long-shot NCAA bid in hopes his plea might sway members of the selection committee.
"If we get called, I feel we will make some noise and make the selection committee look smart," Wardle said. "We can be a team fans can really embrace. We play a fun style of basketball, we have talented players and we've got a couple guys who can really do some things that the nation hasn't seen. We'd love the opportunity."
- The Dagger11 hrs ago
The Dagger will be previewing this week's marquee conference tournaments. Here's our look at the American Athletic Conference:
American Athletic Conference Tournament Dates: March 12-15 Site: Memphis (FedExForum) Top four seeds: 1. Cincinnati 2. Louisville 3. SMU 4. UConn Draw: Click here
Best draw: Louisville. The Cardinals lost three league games this season. None of those losses came against teams in their half of the bracket. Not only did Louisville sweep likely semifinal opponent SMU in the regular season, the Cardinals also won by 13 in Dallas last week. That's a much more favorable path than, say, one including host Memphis, which beat Louisville twice in the regular season.
- The Dagger11 hrs ago
Wofford held three consecutive opponents under 60 points to win the Southern Conference tournament and earn an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
The Terriers capped a defensive-minded run through the conference tournament Monday night with a 56-53 win over Western Carolina, which averaged 75 points a game this season and authored an upset of top-seeded Davidson in overtime on Sunday to get to the tournament final.
The Catamounts nearly tied the game at the buzzer but Trey Sumler’s 3-pointer was just off the mark. Junior guard Karl Cochran scored 23 points for the Terriers, including five 3-pointers.
Davidson was expected to emerge from the Southern Conference after going 15-1 in the conference in the regular season with the lone loss coming against Elon. But it all came together for No. 3 seed Wofford instead.
The Terriers have been to the tournament only twice before in 2010 and 2011 but the program is still looking for its first victory after losses to Wisconsin and Brigham Young in its previous trips.
- The Dagger12 hrs ago
Even facing a three-point deficit with 17 seconds remaining in Monday night's MAAC title game, defending champ Iona had to be confident.
Five Gaels hit more than 40 percent of their attempts from behind the arc this season. With so many deadly outside shooters, surely Iona could at least get a clean look to tie.
It's a testament to Manhattan that the Gaels didn't anywhere close to the shot they wanted.
When the Jaspers' pressure defense forced freshman A.J. English to pick up his dribble 35 feet from the rim, he could not find an open shooter. Instead he dished to center David Laury, whose first 3-point attempt of the season predictably missed the mark, sealing Manhattan's 71-68 victory.
The defensive stand sent Manhattan to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004 when the Jaspers upset Florida in the opening round. This year's team has that kind of potential as well thanks to a defense-first mentality fueled by shot-blocking big man Rhamel Brown and an array of athletic perimeter players.
- The Dagger13 hrs ago
Eight times in its star-crossed history, William & Mary has come within one win of escaping ignominy.
Never has falling short been this painful.
Having surged to a six-point lead with 80 seconds remaining in Monday night's CAA championship game, William & Mary appeared to be in position to secure its first NCAA bid in program history. Instead the Tribe surrendered the final seven points of the game to top-seeded Delaware and suffered a heartbreaking 75-74 loss that had to leave their fans wondering if they'll live to see William & Mary in an NCAA tournament game.
Devon Saddler attacked the rim and sank a pair of free throws to trim the lead to four with 1:10 remaining. Jarvis Threatt drove around a top-of-the-key screen, drew contact and made the layup and the free throw to make it a one-point game with 51.3 seconds left. And with William & Mary focused on taking away dribble penetration from the high-scoring Delaware guards, big man Carl Baptiste shook free for the game-winning layup with 13 seconds to play.
- The Dagger15 hrs ago
When Bill Self updated reporters on the condition of star 7-footer Joel Embiid's back on Monday morning, the Kansas coach acknowledged the potential future No. 1 pick might be held out of the Big 12 tournament as a precaution
"The big thing is having him for the following week," Self said.
Hours later, Embiid's prognosis had worsened enough that Self was no longer optimistic the freshman would be ready for the start of the NCAA tournament either. A visit to a back specialist in Los Angeles confirmed that Embiid had suffered a stress fracture in his back but also revealed that the timetable for his return was longer than Kansas initially anticipated.
"This weekend (in the Big 12 Championship) is out," Self said in a statement released by the school Monday night. "Next weekend, we feel like is a long shot, but the doctors are hopeful that if Joel works hard in rehab and progresses that it is possible that he could play in the later rounds of the NCAA Tournament if our team is fortunate enough to advance."
- The Dagger17 hrs ago
The Dagger will be previewing this week's marquee conference tournaments. Here's our look at the Big East:
Big East Tournament Dates: March 12-15 Site: New York (Madison Square Garden Top four seeds: 1. Villanova, 2. Creighton, 3. Xavier, 4. Providence Draw: Click here
Best draw: Georgetown. At 17-13 overall, the Hoyas need quantity of wins as much as quality. An opening-round game against Depaul should provide one stress-free. And while a must-win quarterfinal against Creighton won't be easy, Georgetown would probably rather see the second-seeded Bluejays than top-seeded Villanova. Last week, the Hoyas beat Creighton by 12 and lost to Villanova by 18.
Worst draw: Providence. If the Friars need to make the Big East title game to feel confident about receiving an at-large bid, they certainly have their work cut out for them. Up first is an equally desperate St. John's team on its home floor. Then if Providence survives the surging Johnnies, their reward is a top-seeded Villanova team that handled the Friars twice in the regular season.
- The Dagger19 hrs ago
The top two picks in the 2014 NBA draft may come out of Kansas, so why are the Jayhawks a risky bet in the tournament?
Four words: Joel Embiid's injured back. According to head coach Bill Self, Embiid will miss the Big 12 tournament and likely won't be ready for the beginning of the big dance.
Yahoo Sports Brad Evans has Self's crew slotted as a No. 2 seed, but don't expect them to make a deep run into the tournament. Or so says Brad.
Here's a look at the top eight seeds in his latest Big Board. For a look at all 68 teams predicted to make the field, click on the image below.
- The Dagger1 day ago
Top-ranked Florida, unbeaten Wichita State and Pac-12 champion Arizona have all but wrapped up three of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, but nobody seems to want to seize the fourth.
Kansas fell at West Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Virginia was upset by Maryland the next day. And Wisconsin couldn't hold on at Nebraska the next night.
Those losses have made the race for the final No. 1 seed a free-for-all heading into conference tournament play and have opened the door for some other contenders to capitalize. Here's a look at how the teams chasing the final No. 1 seed stack up six days before Selection Sunday:
- The Dagger1 day ago
As a sea of red-clad fans jumped up and down, pumped their fists and screamed all around him, Nebraska guard Shavon Shields said something rarely heard at Huskers basketball games before coach Tim Miles arrived two years ago.
"My ears hurt, it's so loud," he told the Big Ten Network.
Nebraska fans had reason to make noise after the Huskers notched perhaps their biggest victory since their last trip to the NCAA tournament in 1998. They upset ninth-ranked Wisconsin 77-68, a damaging blow to the Badgers' hopes of earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and a giant step toward Nebraska securing one of the last spots in the field of 68.
By charging back from an 0-4 start in Big Ten play to win 11 of its final 14 games, Nebraska (19-11, 11-7) finished alone in fourth place, ahead of NCAA tournament-bound Ohio State and Iowa. The Huskers don't have any meaningful non-conference wins but Big Ten victories over Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Minnesota have boosted their RPI to 41st in the nation.