For last night’s Hoops HD Report where we preview the NCAA Tournament and unveil the AC8 field – CLICK HERE
For Jon Teitel’s NCAA Tournament Interviews:
SFA Head Coach Kyle Keller – CLICK HERE
Florida State SF Phil Cofer – CLICK HERE
KPI Creator Kevin Pauga – CLICK HERE
Lipscomb SG Garrison Mathews – CLICK HERE
Lipscomb Head Coach Casey Alexander – CLICK HERE
Charleston Assistant Coach JD Powell – CLICK HERE
Wright State SG Grant Benzinger – CLICK HERE
South Dakota State SG David Jenkins Jr. – CLICK HERE
UNC-Greensboro Head Coach Wes Miller – CLICK HERE
Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie – CLICK HERE
Murray State PF Terrell Miller Jr. – CLICK HERE
Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett – CLICK HERE
-The Team of the People had a historic night last night – despite a late run from top-seeded and 3rd ranked Western Oregon that saw a 10-point lead cut down to 2, Cal Baptist was able to seal the game with free throws and won their first (and only) West regional 80-76 in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Kalidou Diouf was named Most Outstanding Player for the regional. In the meantime, Cal Baptist will find out their next opponent in the Elite Eight later tonight – the other 7 regional finals will be played tonight and the teams will be reseeded for the Elite Eight that will begin next Tuesday.
-There were also a number of coaching vacancies that were filled yesterday – Lorenzo Romar will be the next head coach at Pepperdine, although he will remain as an assistant at Arizona as long as the Wildcats remain in the NCAA Tournament. Rodney Terry will move on from Fresno State and take the UTEP job full-time after Tim Floyd resigned earlier in the year. Last, and certainly not least, Mark Gottfried will return to the coaching ranks by accepting the head coaching position at Cal State-Northridge.
-There were also 4 CIT games that were played last night – all of which were “Classics” televised on CBS Sports Network. Central Michigan was the only road team that won – they beat Fort Wayne in the Hugh Durham Classic. One game went overtime – Drake beat Abilene Christian in the Lou Henson Classic. In the later games, Liberty beat North Carolina A&T in the Jim Phelan Classic and San Diego beat Hartford in the Riley Wallace Classic. Their opponents will be determined after the remaining 4 first-round games are complete.
(7) NORTHERN KENTUCKY AT (2) LOUISVILLE (7:00 PM, ESPN). While the Norse were upset early in the Horizon tournament, they appear to be the far more enthusiastic team in this matchup where they make the short drive down I-71 to face off against in-state foe Louisville in the first round.
(8) WAGNER AT (1) BAYLOR (7:00 PM, ESPN2). Wagner qualified for the NIT by virtue of their regular-season championship in the Northeast Conference, but they appear to be overmatched by a Baylor team that is ranked #2 overall in the NIT. Question is – will Baylor mail it in, or will they make a run at their 2nd NIT title under Scott Drew?
(5) BOSTON COLLEGE AT (4) WESTERN KENTUCKY (8:00 PM, ESPN3/WatchESPN). Boston College had a decent showing in the ACC Tournament where they beat Georgia Tech and NC State, whereas Western Kentucky came up just short against Marshall in the C-USA Championship despite a furious run late in that game.
(6) VERMONT AT (3) MIDDLE TENNESSEE (8:00 PM, ESPNU). Both the Catamounts and Blue Raiders were fixtures in our UTR Top 10 all year, but both teams ended up outside the NCAA Tournament after late-season stumbles. This might be the best matchup of the day.
(7) FLORIDA GULF COAST AT (2) OKLAHOMA STATE (9:00 PM, ESPN2). Oklahoma State may have been the biggest NCAA snub according to our Hoops HD Committee, but they can’t brood over their exclusion against a Gulf Coast team that looked hot at times (but unfortunately cold at the wrong time) during the A-Sun Tournament.
(8) HAMPTON AT (1) NOTRE DAME (9:00 PM, ESPN). The Irish were the first team left out of the NCAA Tournament and are thus the top overall seed in the NIT. They will be hosting a Hampton team that will more likely than not be playing their last game as a member of the MEAC (as they are joining the Big South in 2018-19).
(8) SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AT (1) SAINT MARY’S (10:00 PM, ESPNU). The Gaels are seeded #3 overall among the #1 seeds in the NIT, but they arguably will be facing off against the most dangerous #8 seed in this field.
(6) RIDER AT (3) OREGON (10:00 PM, ESPN3/WatchESPN). This is another potential upset special in this tournament. However, Oregon did improve as the season went on (while Rider had an early exit in the MAAC Tournament).
(8) UNC-ASHEVILLE AT (1) USC (11:00 PM, ESPN2). USC was the most vocal of the First Four teams out of the NCAA field, but now have to get back to business against an Asheville team that lost in the Big South semifinals on their home court against Liberty.
EASTERN WASHINGTON AT UTAH VALLEY (9:oo PM, CLICK HERE for Live Stream). Eastern Washington lost a tough game in the Big Sky championship, but did lead Montana for a good portion of that game. They’ll have a taller task when they go on the road to Utah Valley – the Wolverines had also beaten New Mexico State at home earlier in the season.