- Sam Cooper at The Dagger1 hr ago
Florida found itself in an unfamiliar position after one half of play against Tennessee.
The Volunteers were shooting the lights out (14-of-26, 53.8 percent) and jumped out to a surprising 35-28 halftime lead over the nation’s No. 1 team. Much like Friday’s quarterfinal win over Missouri, the Gators turned things around in the second half to win the game 56-49.
The Vols provided quite a bit more resistance than the Tigers though. It only took 5:11 of second half play for Florida to overcome the seven-point halftime deficit to take its first lead since it was 9-7.
The rest of the game was a grind.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 hrs ago
At the height of Tulsa's success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Golden Hurricane were a mid-major to be feared.
They made the NCAA tournament eight times in 10 years, won at least one tournament game all but one of those seasons and reached the Elite Eight under Bill Self in 2000.
It may be a little while before Tulsa inspires the fear and respect from opponents that it did back then, but Danny Manning has the Golden Hurricane back on the upswing again. They culminated a breakthrough season Saturday afternoon by outlasting Louisiana Tech 69-60 in the Conference USA title game to earn their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2003.
Tulsa's win caps a late-season surge that elevated the Golden Hurricane from a mid-tier Conference USA team to the top of the league. They won nine straight to secure a share of the league title before dispatching of Tulane, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech to secure the automatic bid.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger2 hrs ago
Albany will make a surprise return trip to the NCAA tournament after upsetting the top two seeds in the America East Conference tournament to steal an automatic berth.
The Great Danes, who lost in the NCAA tournament last year to Duke, defeated No. 2 seed Stony Brook 69-60 on Saturday to earn the program's fourth NCAA tournament bid. They will be looking to pull off an unlikely upset, probably as a No. 16 seed, to earn their first NCAA tournament win next week.
Forward Sam Rowley led the Great Danes with 18 points before fouling out with more than 7 minutes remaining. Teammate Peter Hooley scored 15, including a big 3-pointer in the final 70 seconds to give the Great Danes a five-point cushion. Albany was the fourth seed in the tournament.
At one point during the game, the mascots from the two schools appeared to get into a minor scuffle on the baseline and needed to be separated. Check it out.
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- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger3 hrs ago
When CBS unveils the NCAA tournament bracket on Sunday, every coach will respond by describing his team's opening-round opponent as though they were 1996 Kentucky or 1976 Indiana.
Don't believe them if they draw one of the teams below.
A look at four struggling or injury-riddled teams that are limping into the NCAA tournament and should be favorable draws for whoever gets them.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger14 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 Dagger15 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 Dagger15 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 Dagger17 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 Dagger18 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 Dagger18 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.