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‘Tournament’ Tagged Posts

NCAA Match: Texas Tech vs. Florida basketball reside updates

By Matthew Cardenas , Particular Contributor ...


By Matthew Cardenas , Particular Contributor

Field rating

Texas Tech beat Florida 69-66 on the American Airways Middle to advance to the Candy 16 spherical of the NCAA match. Listed here are 5 takeaways from the Crimson Raiders’ victory.

Maintaining within the first half

Tech’s protection was capable of get of their groove after Florida began the sport 9-12 from the sphere within the first eight minutes. The Crimson Raiders protection would power the Gators to shoot Four-16 the remainder of the opening half and solely make two subject targets within the remaining eight minutes of the half. 

The Crimson Raiders have been capable of flip their protection into offense. They went on a 10-2 run within the half that featured a fast jumper on the finish of the shot clock from Zhaire Smith and a flashy reverse layup from Jarrett Culver in transition. That run acquired Tech again into the sport and the group that was predominately pro-Tech helped give an additional increase. 

A greater begin for Keenan Evans

Whereas Evans at all times exhibits up within the second half for the Crimson Raiders, his begin was wanted to maintain Tech within the sport. He scored eight factors within the opening half, hitting his first two three’s and flattening a troublesome mid vary jumper in entrance of the Gators bench. Evans went on to stare down the bench after changing the jumper. 

The second half could be the standard for Evans. He scored 14 of his 22 within the half and completed Eight-14 from the sphere. His lob to Smith with 30 seconds remaining gave the Crimson Raiders a 5 level lead. 

When Evans is in a rhythm for all the sport, it makes life simpler for Tech. His aggressiveness forces the defenders to assist and he can both kick out to a shooter or discover a lob. With a superb sport for all the 40 minutes, his confidence is at an all time excessive. 

Smith and Culver rising to the event 

Smith and Culver have been key to the Crimson Raiders success all the season. The primary two video games of the match have proven the large stage doesn’t section them. The thrilling freshman duo mixed for 29 factors, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. 

The duo had nice chemistry all the sport. 4 of Smith’s seven assists have been to Culver, which resulted in 9 factors. Culver’s acrobatic end within the first half and different robust finishes via contact have been thrilling to observe all evening. He had two key assists within the remaining Four:30 of the sport, with considered one of them leading to a 3 for Evans to provide Tech a 3 level lead with 2:35 left. 

Smith had his arms everywhere in the sport. He nearly had a triple double, ending the evening with 18 factors, 9 rebounds and seven assists. His passing made an enormous distinction within the sport. Smith’s connections with Culver and a key go to Smith for the jumper with three:47 left helped prolong Tech’s lead late. The bulk are seemingly going to debate his putback dunk and the alley oop that appeared to be the dagger for Tech with 30 seconds remaining. 

A curler coaster second half

This sport was tight all the means and the second half was a curler coaster. The half began with an Eight-2 run from the Crimson Raiders after which a Eight-Zero run by the Gators in response to that. These two groups have been neck and neck all evening and placed on a basic March Insanity matchup. 

Tech was capable of reap the benefits of Florida guard Chris Chiozza committing his fourth foul with 13 minutes remaining within the sport. The Crimson Raiders went on a 15-5 run as soon as he was taken out for about six minutes. 

The tip of the sport was nothing wanting thrilling. Smith had a clutch block with 2:12 left within the sport that might have lower the Gators deficit to at least one. Florida was capable of strip the ball from Evans with 22 seconds left and get two open appears to be like to tie the sport. Neither would fall and Tech would stroll away with a Candy 16 start. 

Keep the course

That is Tech’s first time advancing to the Candy 16 since 2005 and the fourth time in program historical past. That’s an accomplishment in itself and deserves recognition. The eye can now be moved to subsequent weekend with a Elite Eight start on the road. The Crimson Raiders will face the winner of Purdue/Butler, who play Sunday at 11:10 a.m. on CBS. 

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Duke girls’s basketball set to open NCAA match vs. No. 12 seed Belmont


When Mississippi State’s Morgan William launched her midrange leap shot with 1.Three seconds remaining in final yr’s Ultimate 4, Connecticut had gained 111 straight video games, together with 4 consecutive nationwide championships. However when the clock hit zero, the historic streak was over.

This yr, all eyes will once more be on the Huskies, and the Blue Devils will doubtlessly have a say if they’ll return to the mountaintop as soon as once more. However that Candy 16 assembly is not going to occur with out two wins this weekend.

When fifth-seeded Duke and 12th-seeded Belmont tip off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., the sport may also have a higher that means than merely a first-round NCAA match contest. For the primary time since their days in highschool, graduate pupil Lexie Brown and Bruin graduate pupil Kylee Smith will face one another carrying reverse uniforms.

“She’s one in every of their finest gamers. From what she’s instructed me about them, they’re actually good shooters. They’re only a actually stable total staff and so they have a whole lot of enjoyable enjoying with one another. Clearly, they dominated their league the final couple of years, so I’m sort of excited to play towards her,” Brown stated Monday evening after the choice present. “I haven’t been capable of play towards her in school. We used to play AAU collectively and he or she’s been one in every of my finest buddies since center faculty, sixth grade. I don’t know an excessive amount of about them, however I do know so much about her.”

Brown and Smith first met as members of the Georgia ICE 13U AAU staff. In a while, the pair performed on reverse sides within the Elite Eight of the Georgia State Excessive Faculty playoffs.

Though the 2 standout school gamers didn’t develop up in the identical city in Georgia, they continue to be finest buddies. Brown’s father and former NBA star Dee Brown helped the 2 develop their video games collectively, and it has paid dividends as they each will start their ultimate NCAA match at No. Four seed Georgia’s dwelling enviornment. The elder Brown created an environment that served as a second household for Smith.

Like Lexie Brown, Smith transferred schools so as to discover her match. She began her profession at Vanderbilt, the place she notched greater than six factors and three rebounds a sport. However Smith determined to switch to Belmont, the place she has led the staff in scoring for the previous three seasons and been one of many important the explanation why the Bruins have gained three straight Ohio Valley Convention championships.

Smith, who missed the primary six video games of the convention slate resulting from an ankle twist, is accompanied on the prime of the scoring charts with sophomore Darby Maggard, who checks in with 16.7 factors and 5.Three assists per sport. Smith enters the match with 18.6 factors and rebounds per contest. The duo has mixed to empty 188 Three-pointers, 55 greater than Brown has mixed to hit alongside classmate Rebecca Greenwell.

The Blue Devils (22-Eight) might want to restrict the efficiency of the Bruin duo so as to win the primary assembly at school historical past between the 2 groups. Belmont (31-Three) enters the first-round matchup averaging 10.2 made triples whereas capturing 36.Eight % from lengthy vary, which lands sixth and 27th within the nation, respectively. On the opposite facet of the ball, the Blue Devils ran ninth with a extra environment friendly % clip from past the arc. 

One other space the place the Blue Devils have a bonus is on the defensive finish. The ACC’s tallest staff enters the matchup with a 2.5-inch common top benefit. Belmont will doubtless begin 6-foot-Three Sally McCabe within the heart place, with the remainder of the starters falling in need of the 6-foot bar. The Blue Devils will doubtless begin 4 gamers taller than 6-feet, with senior Erin Mathias standing tall at 6-foot-Four and graduate pupil Bego Faz Davalos alongside her at 6-foot-Three.

“Duke is an unimaginable staff, and we’re simply excited for this chance to be within the NCAA match,” Smith stated in a YouTube interview Monday evening. “We get to return to Georgia, the place I’m from, in order that’ll be enjoyable.”

Though the Blue Devils missed out on internet hosting the opening rounds at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the situation was one which Duke will fortunately take. Situated close to Brown’s hometown and only some hours from Charlotte—the place Greenwell’s household now lives—Athens is lower than six hours south of Durham by automotive.

“I didn’t care about seed. I didn’t care about something besides Athens. I assumed let’s attempt to get there. It offers everybody an opportunity to help our staff,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie stated Monday evening. “We need to play our greatest basketball of the yr, and it could be enjoyable if some people witness that, be part of that straight, so it’s only a very thrilling time for our staff.”

In McCallie’s final 13 match appearances courting again to her time at Michigan State, her staff has superior into the Spherical of 32. If historical past repeats itself, the Blue Devils will face off towards the winner of Georgia and 13th-seeded Mercer, with a berth within the Candy 16 and a possible matchup towards No. 1 Connecticut on the road March 24 within the Occasions Union Middle.

“It’d be tremendous, as a result of what you’re telling me is that we gained the primary two video games on the highway in a powerful vogue in Athens,” McCallie stated. “I can’t consider something higher, so that will be terrific.”

However earlier than even a second-round matchup is on the desk, McCallie’s senior-laden staff might want to knock off a fellow top-25 staff whose seniors play a important half.

“[Smith is] stable as a rock,” first-year Belmont head coach Bart Brooks instructed ESPN’s Across the Rim podcast earlier this month. “You rely on her each single sport and you already know what you’re going to get from her.”

Belmont is presently driving a 22-game win streak, and a rating within the AP prime 25 that will signify a top-six seed. Nonetheless, because of a weaker power of schedule than what Energy-5 groups can current to the choice committee, the Bruins sit in a harmful underdog place.

Brown and Smith will match up for the primary and final time for his or her respective faculties. However identical to they’ve accomplished for greater than 10 years now, they’ll stroll away buddies.

“We’re each tremendous aggressive and we’ve by no means let basketball come between us, and we’re not going to start out now,” Smith stated in an interview posted on her staff’s twitter account. “I’m positively going for a win.”

Purdue basketball defeats Penn State to achieve Large Ten event championship sport



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Carsen Edwards scored 27 factors within the Boilermakers’ 78-70 victory. Michigan awaits in Sunday’s four:30 p.m. championship sport.

NEW YORK — If anybody wanted a reminder as to which convention crowns a champion in Madison Sq. Backyard this week, Purdue and Penn State doubled down on Large Ten mentality Saturday evening.

Our bodies — some as massive as any who’ve performed within the historic area — crashed to the ground. Tempers flared. Technical fouls flew. 

Amid these chaotic moments, Boilermaker freshman Nojel Japanese adopted Tony Carr’s each step. The freshman, as senior starter P.J. Thompson had earlier than, tried to not flinch whereas locking in on the Large Ten’s main scorer.

The semifinal unfolded as a psychological warfare as a lot as a bodily one.

“In case you lose focus just a bit bit,” Japanese mentioned, “these sort of gamers will make the most of it.”

Purdue’s psychological toughness emerged in a 78-70 victory over Penn State that secured this system’s second Large Ten Match championship sport look in three years. 

BOX SCORE: Purdue 78, Penn State 70

Whereas Purdue’s personal star scoring guard, Carsen Edwards, scored 27 factors, the Boilermakers stifled a Penn State backcourt enjoying its third sport in as many nights. Minutes after the sport, they have been already speaking about needing one other such effort of their rematch with Michigan in Sunday’s championship.

“It is so essential in these tournaments, if you play back-to-back video games, simply to maintain that battle up and hold going,” mentioned Matt Painter, who coached Purdue to its solely different convention event title, in 2009. “I assumed our guys actually picked that up.” 


The senior guard scored 15 factors and within the course of tied E’Twaun Moore for probably the most profession Three-pointers in Boilermaker historical past. Nathan Baird/Journal & Courier

Shep Garner’s 33 factors on eight of 11 capturing led Penn State. The senior cranked in a few Three-pointers within the ultimate 20 seconds, tightening a sport Purdue had led by 18 with below 4 minutes to play.

Regardless of that stake to the center of gamblers who took Purdue giving eight.5 factors Saturday, the Boilermakers received with protection.

Carr got here into the semifinal averaging 20.1 factors per sport. A proficient perimeter shooter — 42.2 % from Three-point vary — the sophomore had scored 25 factors each in wins over Northwestern and Ohio State.

But solely two weeks earlier, within the groups’ solely regular-season assembly at Mackey Area, Thompson and Japanese pressured Carr to take 18 photographs to attain his 19 factors. Saturday they barricaded his driving lanes and compelled him to loft photographs farther and farther from the basket. 

The consequence: 12 factors on four of 18 capturing, together with 1 of 6 from Three-point vary.

Throughout a seven-second Purdue surge within the ultimate 44 seconds of the primary half, Carr was referred to as for an offensive foul for pushing off of Japanese. Penn State coach Patrick Chambers protested so vigorously that he was given a technical foul.

“They have been very bodily,” Chambers mentioned. “Clearly that is why I felt I wanted to get T’ed up — my first T in an extended, very long time. However they w ere enjoying him very powerful and really bodily, and I hoped that may assist him out a bit bit, and it did.”


The Boilermakers’ senior heart posted 17 factors and 7 rebounds previous to fouling out. Nathan Baird/Journal & Courier

Lamar Stevens, who averages 16 factors per sport, scored 14 however on four of 12 capturing. Josh Reaves, who averages 9.1, went scoreless on Zero-for-9 capturing.

Penn State shot 33.9 % from the sector general, and barely worse than that contained in the arc. Carsen Edwards, Dakota Mathias and Vincent Edwards all guarded these opponents at one time or one other.

“They did a very good job of taking over their house and making them earn their photographs,” Vincent Edwards mentioned.

Carsen Edwards hit 6 of eight from Three-point vary, giving the Boilermaker offense some perimeter punch after it began 1-for-7 past the arc. The sophomore, who earlier within the week was named first crew All-Large Ten, has scored 48 factors in his final three halves of basketball.

His Three-pointer capped the possession that started with the Carr shove-off and the Chambers technical. That 7-Zero spurt — changing a five-point deficit right into a 33-31 halftime lead — offered a spark. Isaac Haas’ offensive rebound and help to P.J. Thompson for a Three on the primary possession of the second half stored it going.

Carsen Edwards has scored 26 or extra factors in 5 of his final eight video games. In maybe his most memorable second Saturday, he tried to calm Matt Haarms after a verbal spat resulted in a technical foul for the backup heart.

“He is being very environment friendly, too,” mentioned Mathias, whose 15-point sport included two Three-pointers, tying him with E’Twaun Moore for Purdue’s profession document. “He is making the correct reads, the correct passes. And he is attracting so many defenders.”

Haas scored 10 of his 17 factors within the second half because the Boilermakers step by step wore Penn State down. 4 of his seven rebounds got here on offense — the flip facet of what once more loomed as Purdue’s largest downside spot.

Purdue Boilermakers guard Carsen Edwards (Three) reacts towards the Penn State Nittany Lions through the first half of a semifinal sport of the 2018 Large Ten Match at Madison Sq. Backyard. (Photograph: Nicole Candy-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Purdue allowed 17 offensive rebounds in Friday’s quarterfinal victory over Rutgers. Penn State’s skill to construct an analogous benefit appeared unlikely given the absence of Mike Watkins. The Large Ten’s second-leading rebounder missed your entire event attributable to a late-season knee damage.

The Nittany Lions, nonetheless, thrived on the offensive glass as properly. They made solely 4 of their first 20 photographs however grabbed 9 offensive boards. Within the first six-plus minutes of the second half, they grabbed six extra.

Purdue corrected the difficulty, permitting just one extra offensive board within the ultimate 13 minutes. But a 3rd straight such efficiency towards a Michigan crew that knocked off No. 1 seed Michigan State 75-64 Saturday would possibly finish the Boilermakers’ run.

Purdue beat the Wolverines twice through the common season — a 70-69 nail-biter in Ann Arbor determined by Haas’ late free throw, and a 92-88 scorcher at Mackey Area. In some methods the sequence has been a microcosm of the Boilermakers’ skill to win in several methods.

“Regardless of who we’re enjoying, we’ve got to rebound the basketball higher,” Painter mentioned. “I believe that is going to be crucial tomorrow. Their crew’s persistently getting higher on the defensive finish and actually performed laborious defensively, so we all know it should be powerful to go towards them.”

Kentucky basketball: Projecting the Wildcats’ NCAA Event seed ceiling


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Yeah, so, about that NCAA Event bubble speak for Kentucky. Scratch that.

In reality, after the Wildcats washed out the bitter style of a four-game shedding streak by beating consecutive top-50 opponents — Alabama at house Saturday, then a dominant highway win at Arkansas on Tuesday — they’re not simply in the Massive Dance, however climbing seed strains.

Regardless of solely a so-so document (19-9 total, Eight-7 in SEC play), the Wildcats at the moment are trending towards a No. 5 seed in most projections. They’ve 5 RPI top-50 wins and 7 KenPom top-50 victories.

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Shelby Mast, bracketologist for USA At the moment (and his personal web site,, has Kentucky a 5 seed as of Wednesday morning. He and colleague Scott Gleeson tagged the surging Cats a darkish horse Closing 4 contender after the blitz in Fayetteville.

Over the past two video games, coach John Calipari appears to have lastly settled on a profitable mixture of gamers: Quade Inexperienced, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt. Dominating the minutes Tuesday, that quintet outscored and outrebounded the Razorbacks by itself.

“I’m slowly beginning to determine this workforce,” Calipari mentioned afterward.

If that’s true and Kentucky is starting to click on, what’s the NCAA Event seed ceiling? Three regular-season video games stay, all towards KenPom top-100 groups (the Wildcats have already got a dozen top-100 wins this season), together with No. 41 Missouri at house on Saturday and at No. 28 Florida every week later.

What if — and this stays a massive if — UK swept these video games and gained the SEC Event, conceivably beating two or three extra top-50 groups alongside the best way? That might imply an eight-game win streak heading into Choice Sunday and near double-digit high quality wins for the season.

We reached out to Mast to see the place he thinks that might put the Wildcats. Relying on how outcomes elsewhere shake out, he figures that might of run would in all probability benefit a No. three seed.

That’s vital, as a result of threes and fours have traditionally gained 84.1 and 80.three p.c of the time within the first spherical, whereas these numbers drop considerably to 64.four and 62.9 p.c for fives and sixes. In different phrases, get above the 5-seed line and enhance your odds of avoiding an early upset loss.

Additionally, by vaulting up out of the Eight/9 vary, Kentucky might keep away from enjoying a No. 1 seed within the Spherical of 32. With this younger, tall and gifted workforce that’s solely scratching the floor of what it might turn into, extending the season into the second weekend of the NCAA Event may make virtually something attainable.

How’s that for a change in outlook within the matter of simply seven days?

NCAA tournament and Chinua Achebe


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