- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger13 mins 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 Dagger32 mins 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 Dagger4 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 Dagger5 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 Dagger6 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 Dagger8 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 Dagger21 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 Dagger1 day 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 Dagger1 day 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.