- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger1 hr 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 Dagger3 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.
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger4 hrs ago
Boston College’s season concluded in a fitting way on Wednesday with a 73-70 overtime loss to Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC tournament. The loss was the 24th of the season for Steve Donahue’s Eagles, 17 of which came by ten points or less.
Despite another disappointing year, Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel is reporting that BC athletic director Brad Bates informed Donahue that he will return for his fifth season.
The news is a bit puzzling, especially with the postseason expectations the team had this year. BC finished the 2012 campaign with a 16-17 record and returned the majority of its core players, so fans were hopeful the Eagles would continue to improve. Instead, a brutal non-conference slate doomed the Eagles from the start as the team dropped seven of its first ten games. The Eagles suffered a similar fate in ACC play, losing five of its first six before trudging to an eventual 4-14 conference record.
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger5 hrs ago
Today, March 14, is affectionately known as Pi Day. Pi Day commemorates “pi,” the famous mathematical constant which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
Pi has been calculated to over ten trillion digits (which apparently rounds up to 3.14), and for some reason, Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft knows the first 62 of them.
It’s pretty impressive to watch him recite all of those numbers with ease and really funny at the end of the video when he tells those filming that he was “extremely accurate” and that they “don’t have to check that.”
Well done, Aaron. Happy Pi Day!
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger19 hrs ago
After sitting out postseason play a year ago as part of APR penalties and losing this season's regular season finale to Louisiville by 33 points, No. 21 Connecticut was eager to get tournament play started Thursday night against No. 19 Memphis.
The Huskies trounced the Tigers 72-53 on their home floor at FedExForum in Memphis in the American Athletic Conference tournament. It is the third time this season UConn has beaten Memphis. The most recent game between the teams in February was decided in overtime, making Thursday's outcome even more surprising.
Memphis isn't exactly going into the NCAA tournament next week with any confidence. It has alternated wins and losses in its past six games over a span of three weeks.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger23 hrs ago
There was more than one question about Kansas before the Big 12 Conference tournament tipped off this week in Kansas City and the Jayhawks took a step toward answering some of them Thursday by surviving Oklahoma State in a 77-70 overtime quarterfinal game.
Some want to know if the Jayhawks can become the first team to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with more than seven losses. To do so, they would likely have to win the Big 12 tournament because they're already sitting on eight losses this season and would definitely eliminate themselves from a No. 1 seed with a ninth setback.
Others wanted to know if the Jayhawks would be motivated to win the conference tournament considering they're so firmly locked into the NCAA bracket. They obviously weren't lacking enthusiasm Thursday, playing hard throughout the game.
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger23 hrs ago
Upset-minded Wyoming and Josh Adams gave UNLV all it could handle in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament Thursday.
Adams, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, poured in 24 points to lead all scorers. 18 of Adams’ 24 points came in the first half including this thunderous dunk over UNLV big man Khem Birch.
Adams took a handoff at the top of the key off a ball screen and exploded down the right side of the paint toward the rim where Birch was waiting. Adams elevated off of two feet, then double-clutched before throwing it down emphatically with two hands.
Despite Adams’ efforts, the Cowboys could not pull out the victory, falling 71-67. Bryce Dejean-Jones (22 points) and Roscoe Smith (18 points) combined for 40 points off the bench for the Rebels.
UNLV will move on to square off with MWC No. 1 seed San Diego State in the semifinals Friday night.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger1 day ago
Buzzer beaters and overtime games generally get all the attention in March because they thrill college basketball fans, but every now and then there are jaw-dropping results of another kind that just can't be ignored.
Defending national champion Louisville provided one example Thursday in its opening game in the American Athletic Conference tournament routing Rutgers 92-31. Yes folks, that's a 61-point margin of victory in a conference game.
Louisville led 58-16 at halftime and could have gone scoreless in the entire second half and still won by 28 points. The Courier-Journal reported it was the most lopsided conference game in the nation this season.
The betting line on the game beforehand had Louisville favored by 18.5 points. The Cardinals covered the sprea by more than 40.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
The only people in Winston-Salem who will be disappointed if Wake Forest fires Jeff Bzdelik are those who sell ad space on billboards.
Bzdelik's rocky four-year tenure has probably single-handledly paid for some of their kids' college education.
Wake Forest fans erected yet another billboard to show their displeasure with Bzdelik in advance of Thursday's 84-55 loss to fifth-seeded Pittsburgh on day two of the ACC tournament. This one read "We're Waiting ... Fire Jeff Bzdelik" with the hashtags "#buzzout" and "#wellmanout" written beneath.
It may not be a long wait for Wake Forest fans considering the way Bzdelik's fourth season finished.
This was the year Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman believed Bzdelik would break through after a dismal first three seasons in which he rebuilt the character of the program but went 34-60 overall and 11-42 in conference play. Instead the Demon Deacons dropped 10 of their last 13 games to finish 17-16 overall and tied for third-to-last in the 15-team ACC.
- Christopher Wilson at The Dagger1 day ago
NEW YORK — Leaning on Josh Fortune’s 24 points, a tremendous effort on the offensive boards and some clutch free throw shooting late, Providence survived a nearly epic collapse against fellow bubble team St. John’s in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
The Friars appeared to be running away with the game when a LaDontae Henton layup put them up 17 with 6:24 to go, but on a day that had already seen top-seeded Villanova eliminated, the drama in the Garden was just getting started. Orlando Sanchez and JaKarr Sampson spearheaded a Red Storm run – mixing a frantic press on defense with a dedication to attacking the paint on offense - that made it a 69-68 game with a little over a minute remaining.