- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger7 hrs ago
LAS VEGAS --- Hugh Greenwood had just finished explaining why New Mexico had been hoping to get a third crack at San Diego State all week when his coach interjected.
“Hugh that was really good,” Craig Neal told his junior guard. “You’ve just got to be careful about being real honest about things.”
Yes, now that New Mexico has defeated Boise State 73-70 in the Mountain West semifinals, it’s OK for the Lobos to admit the obvious. As much as they tried to keep their focus on Fresno State and Boise State this week, they’re thrilled to get the chance to redeem themselves for blowing a 16-point lead with 11 minutes to go last Saturday at Viejas Arena with the regular season league title at stake.
“It’s been in the back of our minds since that game,” Greenwood said. “We’ve always taken it one step at a time, one game at a time. We took care of Fresno, took care of Boise. Now we want a rematch. The city of Albuquerque wants a rematch. We’re definitely looking forward to the challenge.”
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger8 hrs ago
Creighton fans in Omaha were able to watch most of the Bluejays' Big East tournament semifinal win over Xavier on Friday until Cox Cable and Fox Sports 1 switched over to coverage of UCLA-Stanford semifinal in the Pac-12 Conference.
Obviously this didn't go over well among Bluejays fans with the Creighton game still in doubt when the change was made and they shared their frustrations on Twitter. Here are a few examples.
@bubbaprog Did Fox Sports 1 just switch everyone to the Pac 12 semifinal? We just had it happen in Omaha, where Creighton is.
@CoxHelp hey you probably already know this, but you need to wake someone up in Omaha and put the Big East tourney game back on FS1!!!
Omaha market FS1 feed switched over from Creighton game to Pac-12 game? Say what?
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger9 hrs ago
Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick said this week he thought he should have won the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Award that went to Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier.
After winning a quarterfinal game in the conference tournament Thursday, Napier took issue with the notion.
"He cares so much about that MVP," Napier said. "I don't care about that. Those guys believe he won it? He can have it."
It was appropriate then that Friday night's semifinal between the top-seeded Bearcats and the fourth-seeded Huskies came down to Napier and Kilpatrick being heavily involved in the outcome with Napier ultimately prevailing again 58-56 when Kilpatrick's tying layup attempt rolled off the rim in the final seconds.
- Christopher Wilson at The Dagger10 hrs ago
NEW YORK — “Weather the storm!”
A particularly loud member of Xavier’s very vocal pep band shouted the above phrase early in the first half of the Musketeers’ Big East semifinal against Creighton. The weather he was referring to was the barrage of Bluejay threes raining down upon his team. Unfortunately for Xavier and their fans, the storm lasted for the better part of two hours as the Musketeers fell 86-78.
It was another night of history making for Doug McDermott - who moved past Keydren Clark and Harry Kelly to fifth on the all-time scoring list – but he was just the biggest part of a multi-pronged attack that shot 55% from the field, made 21-of-24 free throws, knocked down 11 threes and assisted on 18 of 27 made field goals. McDermott now has 3,078 career points after his 32 on Friday night, sitting 89 points behind Alphonso Ford’s fourth-place mark. McDermott's 67 points in his first two Big East Tournament games also broke Allen Iverson's old record of 58.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger11 hrs ago
Syracuse was undeniably the nation's best team a month ago, but what a difference the past month has made.
The Orange escaped with a one-point victory over North Carolina State on Feb. 15 to remain unbeaten. One day short of one month later, the seventh-seeded Wolfpack wasn't about to allow that to happen again Friday. They held on to beat No. 2 seed Syracuse 66-63 in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.
The game ended with an amazing sequence in which Syracuse managed to get off six shots thanks to five offensive rebounds. None of them went in and NC State advanced to the semifinals with an improved NCAA tournament resume and hope still alive of wrecking dreams of other teams by stealing the league's automatic bid.
ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren led the Wolfpack with 28 points and eight rebounds.
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger11 hrs ago
Forty minutes was not enough to decide a Sun Belt quarterfinal matchup between No. 5 seed Arkansas-Little Rock and No. 4 seed Arkansas State. In fact, it took 60 minutes for Arkansas State (19-12) to prevail over Little Rock 116-114 in quadruple overtime at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.
A shot at top-seeded Georgia State in the semifinals was on the line and late in regulation, it looked like Little Rock (15-17) was going to come out on top. The Trojans led by six with 1:20 remaining, but the Red Wolves stormed back and took a 77-76 lead on a Melvin Johnson III layup with just eight seconds remaining. Little Rock’s James White split a pair of free throws on the other end to send the game to overtime tied at 77.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger12 hrs ago
Iowa State finally conquered Kansas in the Big 12 Conference tournament semifinals Friday 94-83 behind an impressive performance from forward Georges Niang whose face was bloodied late in the game when he took a charge.
The Cyclones carried a five-game losing streak against the Jayhawks into the game spanning both regular season games this season and games last season. Niang taking a charge to keep a fire lit under his teammates was somewhat fitting because the Cyclones lost a game to Kansas last season when officials flubbed a call against Niang for a block when he tried to take a charge in the final minute.
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger13 hrs ago
Wisconsin rebounded from its regular season-ending loss at Nebraska in emphatic fashion and, at the same time, jeopardized Minnesota’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Behind a career-high 29 points (on just 15 shots) from senior Ben Brust, the Badgers cruised to a dominating 83-57 victory over the Gophers in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. The 26-6 Badgers will now face the winner of Friday night’s Michigan State-Northwestern showdown in Saturday’s semifinals.
Deandre Mathieu (18 points, five assists) and the Gophers kept things close for the game’s first 17 minutes. That was until the Badgers notched the final eight points of the first half on two 3-pointers from freshman Bronson Koenig and a Sam Dekker jumper and headed to the locker room up 34-22.
The Badgers picked up where they left off in the second half and Minnesota could never get closer than nine points the rest of the way.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger16 hrs ago
Pittsburgh finally got a win it needed to enhance its NCAA tournament resume Friday by beating North Carolina 80-75 in the ACC tournament, but the Panthers almost gave it away at the free throw line.
Pitt led 51-33 with 10 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the game. From that point to the end of the final buzzer, the Panthers combined to make only 13 of 29 free throws. North Carolina took advantage of the shakiness, surging to within four points twice in the final minute before coming up short.
Pittsburgh was just 21 of 41 at the foul line in the game. Forward Talib Zanna and guard James Robinson each scored 19 points. They combined to make 11 of 15 free throws.
- The Dagger18 hrs ago
Hoping to keep its slim chance of securing an at-large bid alive, Missouri matched top-ranked Florida shot for shot in the first half, going into the locker room tied at 29. The second half was a different story.
Led by senior point guard and SEC player of the year Scottie Wilbekin, the Gators turned up the energy and were deadly from three in the second half, eventually pulling away for a 72-49 victory.
The Tigers were hanging around until midway through the second half when Wilbekin made a huge play to stretch the Gators’ lead from two to seven in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
After Will Yeguete converted on a layup off a crisp feed from Kasey Hill, the Gators employed the full-court press on the ensuing inbounds pass. Wilbekin picked off the pass and with his momentum pulling him out of bounds, saved the ball to Yeguete. Wilbekin then got free in the corner and knocked down a three off a dish from Yeguete – his fourth successful three-ball in five attempts.