Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Wednesday, March 21st

Alas, all good things eventually come to an end. In their one and only appearance in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, Cal Baptist came up short in the day’s highest scoring game and lost to Queens (NC) 100-94. The Lancers will move up to Division I (along with North Alabama) next season and join the WAC. Ferris State also survived a game effort from Barry, but Ferris won their 24th straight game to advance to the semifinal round on Thursday against West Texas A&M. Queens will face Northern State in the other semifinal game.

In the NIT, both road teams came up victorious last night. Lamar Stephens led Penn State with 30 points in an 85-80 victory over Marquette and will make a short drive to Madison Square Garden next week. They will face Mississippi State in the first semifinal matchup – the Bulldogs coasted to an easy 79-56 victory at Louisville last night. While the Bulldogs will prepare for a trip to New York next week, Louisville can now focus on whether or not they hire a new permanent head coach or whether they stick with David Padgett and make him their permanent head coach beginning next season.

Elsewhere, another prominent freshman that will declare for the NBA Draft will be Texas center Mo Bamba. Bamba averaged 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds in his lone season with the Longhorns.


(4) WESTERN KENTUCKY AT (2) OKLAHOMA STATE (8:00 PM, ESPN2). Western Kentucky is coming off of a road win at USC where they upended the top-seeded Trojans in this quadrant of the bracket; they will now travel to Oklahoma State where the Sooners are coming off of a come-from-behind win against Stanford on Monday night.

(2) UTAH AT (1) SAINT MARY’S (10:00 PM, ESPN2). Neither team has had to seriously sweat out any of their games so far – while Utah coasted to an easy win at home against LSU on Monday, Saint Mary’s beat up on Washington later that night. Tonight’s winner claims the final semifinal spot for the NIT and will play either Western Kentucky or Oklahoma State in the second semifinal matchup.


JACKSONVILLE STATE AT NORTH TEXAS (8:00 PM). While Jacksonville State was winning decisively at Central Arkansas on Monday, a tornado was causing extensive damage throughout Jacksonville State’s campus that caused roof damage and flooding of the basketball court and other offices. Thankfully nobody was killed or seriously hurt because of the damage, but nonetheless is going to force the Gamecocks to play on the road for the remainder of the CBI Tournament. As for North Texas, the Mean Green beat Mercer in their own quarterfinal game on Monday night.


ILLINOIS-CHICAGO AT AUSTIN PEAY (8:00 PM, CBS Digital Network). Both teams won their home openers to advance to the quarterfinal round; UIC beat St. Francis (PA) at home and Austin Peay beat Louisiana-Monroe in their opener dubbed the John McLendon Classic. Austin Peay is 4-0 at home in the brief history of the CBI and CIT Tournaments.

NORTHERN COLORADO AT SAN DIEGO (10:00 PM, CBS Digital Network). With Sam Scholl filling in as interim head coach for San Diego, the Toreros have not missed a beat with home wins against Hartford and Portland State in the first two rounds of the CIT. They will play against a Northern Colorado team that beat Drake at home thanks to a triple-double from Jordan Davis (12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists).

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Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Tuesday, March 20th

For last night’s Hoops HD Report podcast reviewing the first week of the NCAA Tournament – CLICK HERE

The story of last night’s NIT games were fourth quarter comebacks – in the case of Oklahoma State, it meant holding serve after a 5-point deficit at the end of the 3rd quarter last night. They outscored Stanford 29-18 to advance to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday. They will play host to Western Kentucky; the Hilltoppers took the lead for good at USC with under 3 minutes to play following a pair of free throws from Darius Thompson. The Trojans missed an opportunity to take the lead in the closing seconds with a missed 3-point attempt; a dunk by Dwight Coleby sealed the win for Western Kentucky.

Saint Mary’s had a 14-point lead at the end of the 3rd quarter against Washington, but the Huskies’ comeback bid fell short as the Gaels won 85-81 thanks to 26 points (and a game-sealing 3 in the final minute) from Jordan Ford. They will face Utah at home on Wednesday night; the Utes jumped out to a 30-11 against LSU and were never challenged en route to an easy 95-71 victory at home.

Jordan Howard’s stellar career at Central Arkansas ended on a sour note as the Bears lost at home to Jacksonville State 80-59 in the quarterfinals of the CBI. For the Gamecocks, both Marlon Hunter and Malcolm Drumwright led the way with 17 points apiece. They will go on the road to play North Texas in the first semifinal game on Wednesday night; the Mean Green earned their game at home following an easy 96-67 victory at home over Mercer. The best game of the night was Campbell and New Orleans – after Chris Clemons of  Campbell (who led the game with 35 points) and the Privateers’ Ezekiel Charles both hit 3s to leave the score tied at 69-69, Cory Gensler hit the game-winning shot for the Camels with under a second remaining to send Campbell to the CBI semifinal round with a 71-69 victory. They will go on the road to play San Francisco – the Dons held off Utah Valley 78-73 in the nightcap. The Wolverines never got closer than 2 points after the 3-minute mark.

UPDATE (12:10 PM) – Thankfully, the Central Arkansas-Jacksonville State was played at CAU last night – a confirmed tornado did extensive damage to Jacksonville State’s campus, including their recently renovated on-campus arena that had extensive roof damage. If they do advance to the CBI Best-of-3, they would either have to find an alternate venue for a home game or play all games on the road.

The lone game in the CIT last night involved Sam Houston State hosting Eastern Michigan – Josh Delaney led the Bearkats with 19 points to a 69-62 victory at home against the Eagles. Sam Houston State’s next game will be against in-state foe Texas-San Antonio on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Trae Young also officially announced that he will declare for the NBA Draft after a stellar season at Oklahoma. He averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game as a freshman for the Sooners.

In the coaching ranks, there are now two suitors potentially looking to hire Dan Hurley away from Rhode Island. UConn is thought to be the leading contender, but Pittsburgh now appears to have him as their top candidate for their head coaching vacancy as well. Penny Hardaway will formally be introduced as the new head coach for Memphis today.


(4) WEST TEXAS A&M VS. (5) LE MOYNE (1:00 PM). West Texas A&M comes in on a high note after earning the top seed in the South Central region and winning all 3 games at home, the last of which was against UT-Permian Basin. Le Moyne (Syracuse) won the East regional at home as the top seed as well; they beat Bloomfield to advance to this point.

(1) FERRIS STATE VS. (8) BARRY (approx. 3:30 PM). This year’s Cinderella team comes in the form of the Barry Buccaneers; despite a #7 seed in the South region, they upset #2 West Florida, #3 Claflin and #4 Eckerd to advance to the Elite Eight. Ferris State is the overall #1 seed and is fresh off of 3 wins at home in the Midwest Region – most recent was their 15-point win against Findlay.

(2) QUEENS (CHARLOTTE) VS. (7) CAL BAPTIST (7:00 PM). This game features the Team of the People – they scored an upset at top-seeded Western Oregon (ranked #3 overall) to win their first and only West Regional crown. The Lancers will play Queens University; the Royals also come in with a ton of momentum after beating a Lincoln Memorial team that was ranked #1 in the country for much of the season to win the Southeast Region.

(3) NORTHERN STATE VS. (6) EAST STROUDSBURG (approx. 9:30 PM). The nightcap features a Northern State team that ended the 8th-seeded Minnesota State-Mankato’s Cinderella run in the Central Regional final. They will play East Stroudsburg who is coming off of a win in the Atlantic Regional final against in-state foe Shippensberg.


(4) PENN STATE AT (2) MARQUETTE (7:00 PM, ESPN). Marquette will have one last home game at the Al McGuire Center on campus after beating Harvard and Oregon in the first two rounds. Penn State upset top-seeded Notre Dame on Saturday to put themselves on the doorstep of Madison Square Garden as well.

(4) MISSISSIPPI STATE AT (2) LOUISVILLE (9:00 PM, ESPN). The Bulldogs are alive and well after a buzzer-beater by Quindary Weatherspoon gave Mississippi State a win on the road at Baylor back on Sunday. They will play at Louisville – the Cards earned their way to the quarters with home wins against Northern Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.

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The Hoops HD Report: Sweet Sixteen Edition

The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament have been crazy!  We’ve seen a #16 seed beat a #1 in UMBC, Loyola Chicago has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, #1 seed Xavier fell to Florida State, Michigan won on an incredible buzzer beater, Nevada overcame a 22 point second half deficit to Cincinnati for the third biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history, and so much more.  Chad and the panel break down all of the action, discuss the significance of it, and preview the upcoming Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games.


And for all you radio lovers, below is an audio file of the show…

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NCAA Tournament: Second Round Recap – Monday, March 19th

With all of the second round games now complete in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, we are now assured of complete chaos on the South/West half of the bracket. Charlotte was expected to be a formality for both Virginia and North Carolina en route to at least the Sweet 16 and beyond, yet both teams lost in blowout fashion. Texas A&M brought the Wrecking Crew and blew out the Tar Heels after UNC went ice-cold from beyond the 3-point arc yesterday. In the nightcap, only friends and family remained to see Kansas State survive another run from UMBC – the Wildcats ended up winning 50-43 in a slow-paced game.

Even more chaotic were the two games played in Nashville yesterday. Cincinnati began the game with an 18-4 scoring run and looked like they would completely run away from Nevada. After jumping out to a 22-point lead with 11:34 remaining in the game, the Wolf Pack cut the lead to 3 in the next 8 minutes of the game. After taking their first lead with 9 seconds to play, Nevada was able to keep Cincinnati from getting off a shot as Cane Broome drove the lane but lost the ball before he could get a shot off. This assures that NONE of the top 4 seeds advanced in the South region – they will have #5 Kentucky, #7 Nevada, #8 Kansas State and #11 Gryffindor House Loyola-Chicago.

The city of Cincinnati’s miseries were completed in the nightcap when Xavier blew a 12-point lead in the 2nd half as Florida State took advantage of Xavier’s foul trouble and inability to hit free throws throughout the game. The Noles were 19-for-22 from the foul line and outscored Xavier 18-4 at the end of the game to advance to their first Sweet 16 since 2011. The top 2 seeds are out in the West, but they will still be well represented with #3 Michigan, #4 Gonzaga, #7 Texas A&M and #9 Florida State.

Things actually tipped off in Detroit to begin the day, however. Purdue survived a slow start in which they fell behind by 9 points against Butler, but were able to make a late run in the 1st half to take a halftime lead. They withstood a late run by Butler and ended up with a 76-73 victory. They will advance to the East Region – it will be mostly chalk with #1 Villanova, #2 Purdue, #3 Texas Tech and #5 West Virginia all headed to Boston.

In the 2nd game in Detroit, Syracuse is performing an encore from their tournament run in 2016 where they barely get into the field and end up making a deep run to what will at least be the Sweet 16. They trailed for much of their game against Michigan State, but mounted a late comeback themselves and beat the Spartans 55-53.

Both games in San Diego turned out to be blowouts to cap off the night. While West Virginia’s win over Marshall was hardly unexpected, Clemson handled Auburn with an absurdly easy 84-53 victory. Clemson jumped out to a 43-19 lead at halftime and advanced to their first Sweet 16 since 1997. They move on to the Midwest Region that will feature #1 Kansas, #2 Duke, #5 Clemson and #11 Syracuse.

Be on the lookout later tonight where we will have our Sweet 16 podcast to further discuss the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. We will also preview the Team of the People as Cal Baptist starts play in the Division II Elite Eight tomorrow night against Queens University (Charlotte, NC).

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Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Monday, March 19th

While games in the NCAA Tournament were completely unpredictable yesterday, there was actually one buzzer-beater that happened in the NIT. Quindary Weatherspoon hit a 3 at the buzzer to give Mississippi State a 78-77 victory at Baylor. Terry Maston had 26 points off the bench for Baylor, but it will be Mississippi State that advances to the NIT quarterfinals. Marquette also gave the Big East their lone victory yesterday with a thrilling 101-92 victory at home against Oregon – they will host Penn State for the right to advance to Madison Square Garden next week. Louisville outscored Middle Tennessee 26-10 in the 2nd quarter to lead to an 84-68 victory for the Cards. With the Middle Tennessee season now over, Kermit Davis’s tenure at MTSU is now officially complete.

One game was played in the CIT yesterday – Northern Colorado edged Drake 81-72 at home to move to the quarterfinal round. Andre Spight had 21 points to lead the Bears; they also had a double-double from Jordan Davis (12 points, 11 rebounds).


(3) STANFORD AT (2) OKLAHOMA STATE (7:00 PM, ESPNU). While the Cowboys had a fairly easy win at home against Florida Gulf Coast last week, Stanford had a closer game against BYU before ultimately ending up victorious.

(3) LOUISIANA STATE AT (2) UTAH (9:00 PM, ESPNU). While Larry Krystowiak did not see the end of Utah’s game in person after getting ejected, the Utes did end up getting a workmanlike victory against UC-Davis in their opener. LSU is coming off of an emotional victory themselves against in-state foe Louisiana in their opener last week.

(5) WASHINGTON AT (1) SAINT MARY’S (11:00 PM, ESPNU). Washington was the only lower-seeded team to win in the first round of the NIT, but that was also because their first-round opponent Boise State had to play on the road because of NCAA Tournament games being played at Taco Bell Arena. The Gaels had no difficulty beating Southeastern Louisian and now get to play host to a Pac-12 team outside of the Bay Area for a change.

(4) WESTERN KE NTUCKY AT (1) USC (11:30 PM, ESPN2). While USC will be without the services of Chimezie Metu during the NIT (bear in mind it’s Metu’s decision to sit out to avoid any potential injury), they needed 2 overtimes to beat UNC-Asheville in their first game last week. The Hilltoppers are coming off of a home win against Boston College and are more than capable of pulling off a road (albeit not hostile) victory tonight.


-JACKSONVILLE STATE AT CENTRAL ARKANSAS (6:30 PM). Both teams were victorious on the road in their opening games of this tournament; coincidentally, both teams needed overtime to pick up wins at Seattle (for CAU) and at Canisius (for Jacksonville State).

-NEW ORLEANS AT CAMPBELL (7:00 PM). While Campbell was able to get a fairly comfortable win at home over the Miami RedHawks in their opener, New Orleans squeezed by Texas-Rio Grande Valley by 3 points in their opener at home.

-MERCER AT NORTH TEXAS (8:00 PM). North Texas’s 13-point win at South Dakota was quite the surprise last week – they will be playing host to a Mercer team that also won in a hostile environment with their 5-point win at Grand Canyon in their CBI opener.

-UTAH VALLEY AT SAN FRANCISCO (10:00 PM). While the Dons had a tough opener against Colgate at home, Utah Valley had little trouble in defeating Eastern Washington at home last week. Please note that only the first two rounds of this tournament are bracketed at this point; semifinal matchups will be determined after all the games go final tonight.


-EASTERN MICHIGAN AT SAM HOUSTON STATE (7:30 PM, CBS Digital Network). This is the final 2nd-round matchup of this tournament – Eastern Michigan defeated Niagara 83-65 in their opener last Friday. Sam Houston State is the last team that has yet to play a game in this tournament – the winner tonight will play at either UT-San Antonio or at Liberty in the CIT quarterfinals. Central Michigan will also await their next opponent depending on what happens tonight.

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NCAA Tournament: Second Round Recap and Preview – Sunday, March 18th

Yesterday’s 2nd-round games started slowly with Villanova and Duke beating Alabama and Rhode Island (respectively) in blowout fashion, but the evening games did not disappoint. In Boise, Gonzaga jumped out to a fast start against Ohio State with a 15-point lead. The Buckeyes didn’t panic – they gradually whittled the lead away and led by as many as 5 points with 5 minutes to play. Unfortunately for Ohio State, they ran out of gas and Gonzaga made one final run to win 90-84. Kentucky also took Buffalo’s best punch and were able to keep the Bulls at arm’s length throughout the game and won 95-75 to advance to the South Regional in what is sure to become Cat-lanta next weekend.

One team that will be joining UK in Atlanta will be the Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago; they had another game-winning shot in the closing seconds (courtesy of Clayton Custer) and won 63-62 after Tennessee missed a buzzer-beater of their own. Texas Tech and Florida also had a close game in the nightcap in Dallas, but the Red Raiders held off Florida and beat the Gators 69-66 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.

A heroic 24-point, 23-rebound performance from Angel Delgado wasn’t quite enough for Seton Hall to overcome Kansas in a de facto road environment in Wichita. The Pirates were able to cut the deficit to 3 points in the final seconds, but the Jayhawks were able to put their game away late with clutch free throws and advanced to the Sweet 16 with an 83-79 victory. Free throws were not as kind to Houston in the nightcap – Devin Davis missed two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining for the Cougars. Michigan rebounded the final miss and Jordan Poole hit a buzzer-beating 3 to send the Wolverines on to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. They will advance to the West Regional and play either North Carolina or Texas A&M.


(10) BUTLER VS. (2) PURDUE (12:10 PM, CBS). The big story for this one will be the health status of Isaac Haas – he did practice with the Boilermakers after suffering a fractured elbow in their win against Cal State-Fullerton on Friday. His elbow is in a cast, but it is unlikely he will be cleared to play in this game. Butler will be looking for revenge from their Crossroads Classic matchup in December where they were blown out by Purdue.

(11) SYRACUSE VS. (3) MICHIGAN STATE (approx. 2:40 PM, CBS). Syracuse’s win against TCU on Friday night ensured the 8th straight year that a team from the First Four in Dayton would advance to the Round of 32. The Spartans (outside of a pair of losses against Michigan) have been almost unbeatable for the past 2 months and figure to have a huge home-court advantage about an hour away from campus.


(7) TEXAS A&M VS. (2) NORTH CAROLINA (5:10 PM, CBS). It’s rare that you see a team on the 2-line with 10 total losses, but North Carolina has had a number of quality wins (home and away) throughout the regular season. Texas A&M started off the year strong with their victory against West Virginia in Germany, but were inconsistent throughout the regular season while dealing with injuries and suspensions. History tells us that Carolina has had tough 2nd round games in recent years, but they will be tough to beat in what will likely be an even bigger home crowd after Virginia’s early exit.

(16) MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY VS. (8) KANSAS STATE (approx. 7:40 PM, TruTV). Jairus Lyles and UMBC have had quite the week – it started with a buzzer-beating shot to win the America East Championship at Vermont the previous week, and culminated with a shockingly easy win against top overall seed Virginia in their opener on Friday. They will look to continue their Cinderella ways against a Kansas State team that also had a surprisingly easy victory against Creighton in their opener on Friday night.


(7) NEVADA VS. (2) CINCINNNATI (6:10 PM, TNT). The Bearcats started slow against Georgia State on Friday afternoon, but were able to wear down the Panthers in the 2nd half and won fairly comfortably. In contrast, Nevada trailed for virtually all of regulation before forcing overtime and outlasting Texas in their opener. The winner here will play Loyola-Chicago in the South Region next Thursday.

(9) FLORIDA STATE AT (1) XAVIER (approx. 8:40 PM, TNT). While the Seminoles hammered Missouri into submission in their opener, they did lose Terence Mann to injury and he will be questionable as to whether or not he will play tonight. Xavier has their own injury issue with Naji Marshall and a strained back, and will need the benefit of a deep bench to contend with a Florida State team that will be looking for revenge for last season’s blowout loss in the 2nd round of last season’s tournament.


(5) CLEMSON VS. (4) AUBURN (7:10 PM, TBS). While this is normally a nice rivalry in college football season, both teams will be playing for a rare trip to the Sweet 16 in the first game in San Diego today. Clemson will be playing for their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1997; Auburn has not made it to the Sweet 16 since 2003 (and that was a team that many people felt should not have made the field to begin with).

(13) MARSHALL VS. (5) WEST VIRGINIA (approx. 9:40 PM, TBS). This wasn’t the rivalry that fans and Hoops HD staff members were originally clamoring for prior to the bracket being unveiled last week, but this will be the first time the Thundering Herd and Mountaineers will renew their in-state rivalry in postseason play. John Elmore has become a folk hero for Marshall fans; the Mountaineers will have a huge advantage in terms of postseason experience, however.

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