Pages

Sunday, March 24, 2019

SEC schools survive in the Jacksonville slate of second round games


Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann- Getty Images


By: Brian Schaible
Twitter: @SBNationReports


A remarkable weekend in North Florida came to a close with two SEC teams advancing on to the Sweet 16.

LSU played two similar games. In both, they managed to squander away large leads late in the second half, only to eek out a close victory in the end.

On Saturday, Maryland dug themselves out of a 15-point deficit and briefly took the lead in the closing minutes. 

After Skylar Mays hit a deep three pointer to break the tie and propel LSU back in front, the electrifying Jalen Smith responded with a triple for the Terrapins.

It was high drama in Jacksonville.

With just over a second to go, Tremont Waters made an off-balance layup that sealed LSU’s ticket to the regional final in Washington, D.C.

“Yeah we wanted to pretty much hold the ball, take the last shot so they would have a chance to clear on the other end and put up a shot,” said Waters. “Coach Benford and my teammates said they wanted me to take the last shot. So, we just held the ball out, Naz came and set a screen, and I just made a play.”

As the final buzzer sounded, Tremont found himself at the bottom of an emotionally charged dog pile of teammates in front on the LSU bench.

“I was at the bottom of the dog pile, and just the feeling, it was amazing,” said Waters. “To have a great support system behind me, my teammates, the coach staff, all the fans here, it was humbling to make a play like that. I’m going to continue to do everything I can to help this team win and just keep pushing for my guys.”

After the 79-77 victory, Tigers interim coach Tony Benford tried to put it all in perspective.

“It’s huge for these guys. They’re the ones that paid the price. They’ve been through a lot,” Benford said.

In the LSU locker room, there’s an outpouring of support for Wayde. Everywhere you turn you hear his name, you see the tributes, he’s still very much a part of the team.

I’m not talking about suspended coach Will Wade. 

Wayde Sims’ life was tragically cut short after a fight escalated into gunfire. On the day before their first practice of the season, a teammate was fatally struck down in Baton Rouge.

“I got emotional after the game, just thinking about him,” said Skylar Mays. “He’ll always be a part of this team.”

The Kentucky Wildcats are also advancing to the third round.

After rolling past Abilene Christian in the opener, Wofford was certainly not a team to take lightly.

The Terriers led for much of the first half and consistently fought off any Kentucky momentum swings down the stretch.

However, for a team that’s lived and died by the three-point shot, any aspirations of Sweet 16 or even Final Four glory were subsequently laid to rest.

Unfathomable. Astonishing. Incredulous.

These are just some of the words used to describe the offensive output of Wofford senior Fletcher Magee.

With over 2,500 career points, and the record for most three-point baskets in NCAA history, nobody could envision such a futile stat line.

0-of-12.

Magee’s a legend and will always be a part of Wofford folklore, but 0-for-12 from behind the arc? It seems unimaginable to even to type. 

“Yeah, I mean it’s incredibly disappointing,” said Magee. “I feel like if I make three of those shots, we win the game. You know a lot of them were good shots, they just…. didn’t go in.”

Despite Magee’s struggles, Wofford had opportunities to advance.

Afterwards, Wofford coach Mike Young had a hard time keeping his emotions in check.

“I’m struggling here, pardon me. I applaud coach Calipari and the Wildcats,” Young said. “They fought, and they were incredibly well prepared. We’ve been so fortunate in a number of situations but, we couldn’t get one break today to get us over the hump.”

This marks the 15th time a John Calipari coached team has advanced to the Sweet 16.

“I mean these kids, I told you before, what they go through, what they hear, what’s thrown at them, I just appreciate the kind of kids we have and the kind of families they come from,” Calipari said.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Seminoles split doubleheader with the Irish as Martin moves to 2,003 wins at FSU


Photo Credit- Don Juan Moore-Getty Images

By: Jon Opiela
Twitter: @jonopiela24


SOUTH BEND, Ind.— After Friday night’s contest was cancelled, the No. 19 Florida State Seminoles (16-6, 4-4 ACC) and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-11, 5-3 ACC) squared off in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The teams split the afternoon twin-bill with the Seminoles taking game one by a score of 7-1 and the Irish claiming revenge in game two, 12-3.

After three scoreless innings, Florida State opened the scoring with a three-run fourth. Robby Martin got the Seminoles out in front with a 2-run RBI double and Mike Salvatore added an RBI single to make it 3-0. In the fifth, Elijah Cabell pushed the Seminoles lead to five with a home run to straightaway center field.

The lone Irish run was scored by Niko Kavadas after an RBI single from David LaManna. Florida State added an insurance run with a moonshot off the bat of Drew Mendoza in the ninth inning to seal the 7-1 victory.

Drew Parrish recorded a season-high nine strikeouts in six innings of work for the Seminoles.  In game one, the Seminoles pitching staff recorded 14 strikeouts.

Between games, Notre Dame honored Florida State head coach Mike Martin with a brief ceremony. Following the victory in game one, Martin recorded his 2,003rdcareer victory– the most career wins by any coach in any NCAA sport. With Martin’s career as manager coming to end at season’s end, the Seminoles have recorded 40-plus win seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament in the previous 39 seasons under his leadership.

Notre Dame got the offense going early in game two. Kavadas plated Spencer Myers on a sacrifice fly before Eric Gilgenbach roped an RBI double to left field to make it a 2-0 game. The Seminoles got a run back in the top of the second when Cabell scored on a wild pitch.

Notre Dame was able to take advantage of defensive miscues from Florida State. The Irish scratched across two runs in the third with a rally that was partially fueled by an error from Mike Salvatore. In the fourth, a throwing error from catcher Jonathan Foster allowed Myers to reach on his sacrifice bunt attempt.  Myers came around to score on Jaden Miller’s 2-run RBI single with two outs to push the lead to 7-1.

The Irish pushed across two more runs in the fifth inning and three more runs in the sixth and were just three outs away from completing the 12-2 mercy-rule victory.  J.C. Flowers led off the top of the seventh inning with a double before Foster pushed him across with a 2-out RBI single to extend the game.

Several Irish players broke or tied career-highs in game two.  In the fifth inning, Myers matched his career high with four runs scored in the contest. Carter Putz drove in four runs, surpassing his previous career-high of two.  Notre Dame starting pitcher Cameron Brown tossed his first career complete game and recorded a career-high ten strikeouts.  

Florida State and Notre Dame will look to settle the series on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

No. 1 Notre Dame 92, No. 16 Bethune-Cookman 50: Irish begin quest to repeat on the right note


Photo Credit: Michael Hickey- Getty Images


By: Jon Opiela
Twitter: @jonopiela24

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— The top-seeded and defending national champions Notre Dame Fighting Irish (31-3) had no problems holding off the 16th-seeded Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (21-11) in a 92-50 route in the opening round of the women’s NCAA tournament at the Purcell Pavilion. 

Bethune-Cookman’s road to its tournament debut was capped off by a 57-45 win over Norfolk State to secure the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title for the first time since 1984, when the conference did not receive an automatic bid.

After winning the opening tip, Notre Dame’s Jessica Shepard drove in for an easy layup to open the scoring five seconds in. The Irish never looked back from the tip, leading for 39:55 of the game as Shepard’s 22 points highlighted the barrage.

The top-seeded Fighting Irish had no problems getting their offense to fire on all cylinders. The Irish closed the opening quarter on a 18-5 run, taking a 29-12 lead into the second quarter.

From there, the Irish continued to dominate the Wildcats for the remainder of the contest. Throughout the game, Notre Dame managed to shoot 54.5 percent from the floor and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Notre Dame may be the hottest offensive team in the country as it has eclipsed the 90-point mark in nine of the last 10 games. The lone outlier? An 89-point performance against Duke on Feb. 21.

Shepard carried a double-double into the halftime break with 12 points and 10 rebounds over the first twenty minutes. The 6-foot-4 senior finished the contest with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Brianna Turner also finished just one rebound short of a double-double, contributing 19 points in addition to the nine rebounds.

“I thought we played well. I thought our posts did a good job inside. We were able to get the ball inside when we wanted to. Mikayla Vaughn did a great job off the bench, Jess with a double-double and Bri just one rebound away.” Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw stated. McGraw joked, “Coach should have played her a bit longer, I guess.”

Bethune-Cookman was led by Angel Golden, who poured in 25 points for the Wildcats. Amaya Scott snagged 12 rebounds to lead the team, while also contributing six points.

“I thought we worked for a couple of days on just finding one player specifically in all of our defensive drills and I thought we did a decent job at practice, but today we lost sight of her quite a few times.  I felt we could have done better,” said McGraw. “Overall, we’ve got a long way to go to be a good defensive team.”

As she did last March, Arike Ogunbowale contributed well for Notre Dame on both sides of the basketball. Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer finished with 23 points, four assists, and three steals.

Notre Dame will move on to play the winner of the No. 8 seed Central Michigan and No. 9 seed Michigan State on Monday (Time TBD).

Schiable: Columbia brought the intensity as the top seeds worked a bit to move onto the second round


Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox- Getty Images


By: Brian Schaible
Twitter: @SBNationReports


The NCAA tournament normally puts together a consistent rotation of cities to host the first and second rounds. The script would be flipped as Columbia, S.C. hosted its first set of games in 50 years.

Unlike many first and second round sites, the arena was packed and the crowds were raucous late into the evening hours.

It certainly helped having two number one seeds in Virginia and Duke playing.

But, as we have become more and more accustomed to in recent years, these games are no longer walkovers.

Last year, I was courtside for what seemed to be the unimaginable. Not only did UMBC knock off top seeded Virginia, they completely dominated them in every facet.

For much of the first half, the same could be said about Gardner-Webb. The Runnin’ Bulldogs literally ran all over Virginia.

Freshman Jose Perez was relentless in leading his team in scoring and exuberance. When Perez’s deep three pointer put Gardner-Webb up by 14, it certainly appeared Virginia coach Tony Bennett was headed for another early offseason.

“Well, as a freshman playing in March Madness is like definitely a dream come true, and to play with these guys, they are my family,” said Perez. “They (senior teammates) are my role models. I learned a ton from them. It’s just said it had to end today.”

Virginia closed the gap and ultimately pulled away in the final ten minutes. The increased intensity on defense and aggressiveness on loose balls and rebounding propelled the heavy favorites in the second round against Oklahoma.

“When Ty (Jerome) gets going, Mamadi (Diakite) is all over the offensive glass, and guys are hitting shots, it’s a beautiful thing to watch,” Virginia guard Kyle Guy said.

The Cavaliers will need to play with a much greater sense of urgency on Sunday. Their opponent, the Oklahoma Sooners, could not have looked better as they flat of annihilated Ole Miss from start to finish.

Brady Manek stood out for Oklahoma as he was out there causing panic for the opposition.

“We wanted to have a lot of energy,” said Manek. “I think we did just that, and we just played together and just played basketball. I mean, we just kept making plays and went from there.”

Kristian Doolittle, also known as Kristian Doolots, was all over the court. He finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in Oklahoma’s 95-72 dismantling of Ole Miss.

“Going into the game, I couldn’t have predicted I’d have 19 and 15, but I’m glad to have it,” said Doolittle. “Just doing what my team needed me to do and getting it going early in the first half.”

In the night session, the 16th seeded North Dakota State Bison definitely rattled the Duke Blue Devils for about a half.

Duke took a four-point lead into the locker room but unlike Virginia, immediately exploded out of the intermission.

“In the second half, we played beautiful basketball,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Once you get behind, there’s the confidence of the other team and the pressure of the game. But, I thought our defense picked up after the first ten minutes.”

All eyes were on Duke’s star freshmen trio of Cam Reddish, RJ Barrett, and Zion Williamson.

“We did start out very sluggish and we weren’t playing well,” Williamson said. “In the second half, we calmed down and started playing Duke basketball.”

“We’ve all grown up watching the tournament for many years,” said Barrett. “We didn’t have as much energy in the beginning but thankfully, we were able to pick it up.”

Their opponent on Sunday had plenty of energy all night as UCF ran through a pesky VCU team.

The Knights showed they have the potential to present matchup problems to anyone in their path.

Whether or not they can compete with Duke, we will find out on Sunday.



Friday, March 22, 2019

LSU's gritty win highlights Thursday's first round NCAA tournament recap from Jacksonville


Photo Credit: Matt Marriott/NCAA Photos via Getty Images


By: Brian Schaible
Twitter: @SBNationReports


An exciting day in Jacksonville came to an end.

In the early session, LSU survived and advanced. That’s about the best way to describe the Tigers’ performance. 

They survived.

The storyline in this game was Yale’s inability to score from long range. The Bulldogs finished with a horrendous eight-for-37 from beyond the arc. And four of those makes occurred in the final forty seconds of the game.

Yale coach James Jones ackonwledged there were missed opportunities.

“We obviously didn’t shoot the ball as well as we’d like to or as well as we have in the past. The energy and effort was there, and you’ve got to tip your hat to LSU for holding onto the lead and knocking down their free throws,” Jones said.

LSU held on for a 79-74 victory.

For LSU, there is a noticeable closeness amongst this bunch. Considering all of the speculation on whether the Tigers should have pulled out of the tournament with the ongoing investigations involving suspended Head Coach, Will Wade, the comradery is clear and in abundance.

Freshman Javonte Smart, who also found himself temporarily suspended recently, summed up the mood of the team. “LSU is capable of coming together because we are a brotherhood,” Smart said.

Maryland’s composure and resiliency was on full display Thursday.

Despite trailing by as many as twelve points, Maryland kept battling a tenacious Belmont squad and outlasted them in the final minute.

For those who haven’t seen Dylan Windler before, the Belmont senior undeniably rose to the occasion. From a reserve for much of his first two seasons, to a dominating force his final two, it’s a remarkable tale of hard work and persistence.

With 35 points and 11 rebounds, this was the type of spotlight performance that will surely elevate his draft status. 

Windler wasn’t the only one in this game who caught the attention of scouts.

Maryland freshman Jalen Smith was equally dominant in the paint. With a combination of toughness and speed, Smith looked the part of an elite NBA prospect.

It will be interesting to see Maryland and LSU matchup on Saturday. Can Maryland star Anthony Cowan Jr get back on track after a horrendous shooting night? Can LSU continue stay focused and overcome the distractions that come along with their dysfunctional situation?

These questions and more will be answered early Saturday.

Kentucky was determined not to be “that team”.

They left no doubts against an outmanned Abilene Christian squad.

“In this tournament, it’s really important (to stay focused). What happens when teams get desperate, they’ll do stuff they don’t normally do,” said Kentucky coach, John Calipari. “If you let a team hang around, something stupid or crazy can happen.”

Kentucky will face Wofford on Saturday.

The Terriers knocked off the Seton Hall Pirates behind another remarkable performance from senior superstar, Fletcher Magee.

From barely recruited out of high school, to now over 2,500 career points, Magee added 24 to sink the Pirates in round one.

Magee’s 509 three-point makes is first all-time in NCAA history. He surpassed Oakland’s Travis Bader early in the first half to break the record.

“I feel like I didn’t get too caught up in it,” said Magee. “I feel like I was focused on us continuing to lead and win down the stretch.”

With comparisons to Steph Curry, Magee now finds himself a little over 100 points behind his idol in career scoring.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Schaible: Auburn peaking at the right time


Photo Credit: Andy Lyons- Getty Images


By: Brian Schaible
Twitter: @SBNationReports


NASHVILLE— Playing four days in a row is never easy.

After willing his team to victories over South Carolina and Florida, it’s understandable that Auburn’s Jared Harper had little left to give in Sunday’s SEC championship. The superstar junior was just 1-of-8 from behind the arc and 1-of-11 overall.

He hit the proverbial wall, but that’s okay.

Just a week after defeating the Volunteers at home on Senior night, Auburn needed a perfect game to claim the title…. or so they thought.

Instead while Harper struggled, others emerged and Auburn rolled to an 84-64 victory in Nashville.

Chuma Okeke finished with 18 points and Danjel Purifoy added 10 points off the bench.

However, it was senior Bryce Brown who proved to be unstoppable on Sunday. Brown’s 19 points led the way and earned him Most Outstanding Player honors.

“We still have a lot more to accomplish and prove as a team,” Brown said.

Prior to this season’s tournament, the Auburn upperclassmen never even experienced winning an SEC tournament game.

“It means so much. First off, it’s a blessing from the man upstairs,” Brown said. “I feel like we paved the way for a foundation at Auburn.”

Auburn has now defeated Tennessee in its last three meetings. While it’s easy to draw conclusions, coach Bruce Pearl says there’s no extra motivation in beating the Volunteers despite being there from 2005-11 in the same capacity.

“I spent so many wonderful years as a Tennessee Vol,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “I got great respect for their fans, program, and their tradition in basketball.” 

After Brown and Okeke each buried five three pointers, practically the entire second half was garbage time.

“I think we are very strong, especially our bench. Our bench doesn’t drop off. We’re still undersized, but we got a lot of heart,” said Chuma Okeke.

Like most things in life, the celebration will be short-lived as Auburn drew the No. 5 seed and plays 12-seeded New Mexico State Thursday in Salt Lake City.





The 2019 Genotology field of 68




By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


The moment has arrived and here are all 68 teams who made it to the final Genotology bracket along with the overall seeds from 1 to 68.




 






Last Four In:

Belmont
NC State
Ohio State
Florida

First Four Out:

Alabama
Indiana
Texas
Clemson

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Green’s takeaways from Villanova’s third straight Big East tournament crown


Photo Credit: Geno Green- College Sports Overload


By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


The Villanova Wildcats (25-9) made history as they became the first school to win three straight Big East Tournament titles in a 74-72 nail-biter over the Seton Hall Pirates (20-13). Here are my takeaways from Madison Square Garden.


1) The youth movement rose to the occasion:

While Eric Paschall and Phil Booth have been the constants for most of the season, Villanova’s underclassmen delivered in the Big East tournament final. Saddiq Bey did a little bit of everything as the freshman recorded his second career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game.

Paschall and Booth’s influence rubbed off on the young group, but took a little longer than expected to gel.

“They helped us through every practice and game and made us more comfortable,” Bey said. “Coach [Wright] said that everyone needed to make plays when they gave the ball up and it was great to have a couple of guys to help in the growth.”

Bey started the tournament struggling to find his shot from the perimeter, but found his comfort zone over the last three games.

“[Saddiq’s] first two of three shots were airballs and then after that, just had great games,” Wildcats coach Jay Wright said.

Jermaine Samuels’ contributions to the Wildcats on both ends came in different forms as the sophomore finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in 33 minutes.

While Villanova coach Jay Wright views Samuels as an upperclassman, the experience was exponential over the past week.

“I’m even counting Main-O as an upperclassman because he hangs with [Phil Booth and Eric Paschall] so much,” Wright said. “Main-O is inexperienced, but man, he was great in this tournament.”


2) Overcoming adversity:

After unexpected early season losses to Furman and Pennsylvania, Villanova looked more like a team bound for the NIT, but as the season progressed, the more it blossomed back into a potential postseason team and a contender in the Big East regular season title picture.

Losing Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman and Mikal Bridges to the NBA Draft in the offseason made the task more daunting, but Wright looked adversity in the eye and tore it down piece by piece behind Paschall and Booth’s influence on the underclassmen.

“They have been like coaches this season. We can do so much on the court, but they’ve got to take guys in the locker room and teach them how to prepare for practice and games,” Wright said. “They’ve been like big brothers, fathers almost to these guys.”


3) History at Madison Square Garden:

Through the rich history of the Big East conference, teams have come and gone such as Syracuse, Connecticut, Louisville and Pittsburgh. While their contributions to the league were monumental, no one could ever lay claim to three straight tournament crowns until the Wildcats accomplished that feat on Saturday night.

Jay Wright was even keeled and taken back by the accomplishments over the years.

“It’s a little overwhelming when you think of the great teams past and present and we are very humbled by it and take great pride in being in the Big East,” Wright said. 

Paschall and Booth set out to achieve goals, but never thought about winning back-to-back-to-back crowns as the result.

“We never really talked about it. We just talked about being the greatest Villanova team we could ever be and there was nothing really like that in our plan,” Paschall said.

“You can’t really talk about it and try to think in your mind and think we won three straight tournament championships. It doesn’t happen like that,” Booth said.


4) Villanova’s potential NCAA tournament seeding:

While Marquette and Seton Hall are virtual locks to make the 68-team field in Sunday’s NCAA tournament selection show, Villanova will likely be the highest seeded of the Big East schools given the regular season and tournament crowns.

No matter where the seeding is, the Wildcats have a chance to fly under the radar as the nation will focus primarily on schools such as Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee as the main threats to claim the national title.

Despite its ups and downs, the Wildcats have grown and could cause trouble. Only time will tell, but Wright put together arguably his best coaching job regardless of where their season ends.


Genotology for March 16





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


A lot of upsets going on in the conference tournaments as bid stealers have popped up in the latest Genotology bracket.

x= Automatic NCAA Tournament birth




Last Four In:

Belmont
Alabama
Ohio State
Florida

First Four Out:

Alabama
Texas
Clemson
Indiana

Green’s takeaways from a wild Friday night at Madison Square Garden


Photo Credit Ezra Shaw- Getty Images


By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

There is something about the majesty of Friday night semifinal games in the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden and the latest slate lived up to the billing for more reasons than one. Here are my five takeaways from New York City.


1) Foul night in America:

The Seton Hall Pirates’ 81-79 win over the Marquette Golden Eagles would be overshadowed by a series of technical and flagrant fouls in the second half, which culminated in the ejections of Theo John, Sacar Anim (Marquette) and Seton Hall’s Sandro Mamukelashvili at the 12:46 mark in the second half.

Even after the ejections, fouls were continued to be called at an unusually high rate, which began to anger fans on both teams in the stands as the flow of the game would be interrupted in what felt like an endless loop.

Golden Eagles coach Steve Wojciechowski looked visibly angry and did not want to get into specifics about the officiating.

“I don’t know if I want to get into specifics. It was the most unusual basketball game I’ve ever been a part of, and I feel bad for my kids,” Wojciechowski said. “They’re in there, and they’re sobbing. I wish our kids would have had a chance to decide the game and their kids, too.”

The ejections were deemed to be non-fighting and all parties ejected are eligible to play in their respective teams’ next game.

“From what we ruled on the floor, they do not,” Lead official James Breeding said to Associated Press reporter Mike Fitzpatrick. “Those were not deemed fighting acts. Ejections do not carry over unless the conference office reviews the play and decides to take further action on its own.”

Nine technical fouls and 85 free throws occurred on a game that spanned technically over two days. Not the kind of March Madness anticipated.


2) A range of emotions for Powell:

Myles Powell would not be a factor in the first half as he was held to four points and called for a technical foul, but avoided ejection as he was called for a flagrant as part of the earlier skirmish.

Powell went back to the locker room crying as he assumed an ejection occurred only for one of Seton Hall’s assistants to chase down and inform him to come back out to the floor.

“He just said, “Coach said come back out,” Powell said. “Once I heard that, I’m wiping my tears. Come back out? So, I ran back out and was just happy they gave me a second chance.”

Powell took advantage of the second chance as he re-entered the game to a Willis Reed-like standing ovation and looked like the elite level player once more with 18 of his 22 points in the final 20 minutes of play.


3) Markus Howard’s off night:

Markus Howard had a night to forget as a left wrist injury early led to the junior leaving the game in the first half, but would not be the same player coming back as he struggled going 1-of-15 from the field, but got 18 of his 21 points off free throws.

While the free throw makes appeared to have been normal, Howard’s injury affected his form as he missed a career-high six attempts.

Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard was impressed on the job his defenders did to neutralize Howard.

“[Quincy] has worked really hard and I thought Romaro Gill was really good in the pick-and-roll defense in the second half, just using his length and being big,” Willard said. “I think it helps, when Markus is coming off pick-and-rolls, just trying to make sure he can’t see.”


4) Villanova’s comeback in overtime:

The first semifinal showcased Villanova’s ability to adapt to playing different styles of basketball and grinded its way to a four-point over Xavier in overtime.

In need of extra help outside of Phil Booth’s 28 points, the Wildcats got a clutch play not on offense, but defense with Colin Gillespie’s charge on Naji Marshall on the high post in the wing with 1.6 left in regulation.

Gillespie finished with two points on 1-of-6 shooting, but Wildcats coach Jay Wright didn’t care about the offensive struggles, but the clutch defensive play.

“[Collin] is so valuable to our team. He does all the little things,” Wright said. “Obviously, he’s had big nights scoring. Defensively, he’s always one of the smallest guys on the court, and he’s one of the toughest. That charge was huge, man. That was a big play.”



Friday, March 15, 2019

Genotology for March 15





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


The stretch run of champ week is here and the majority of the conference tournament titles will take place over the next two days. Here is the latest Genotology bracket.

x= Automatic NCAA Tournament bid





Last Four In:

Alabama
Ohio State
Temple
Texas

First Four Out:

Florida
Clemson
Xavier
Indiana