Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Tuesday, March 28

There were a couple more coaching hires that were announced yesterday. The first one comes as a little bit of a surprise – Akron’s Keith Dambrot will become the new head coach at Duquesne (sorry, @CoachMarkTitus). He spent 13 seasons as Akron’s head coach that included 5 regular season championships in the MAC (in the East Division) and 3 MAC Tournament championships in 2009, 2011 and 2013. The only thing missing here was an NCAA Tournament victory.

Elsewhere, Quinnipiac also has a new head coach in place. That would be former Villanova assistant coach Baker Dunleavy. He is the son of Tulane head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. and the brother to current NBA player and former Duke player Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Last night, the CBI Best-of-3 tipped off with Coastal Carolina beating Wyoming 90-81 in Game 1. Jaylen Shaw, Michel Enanga and Demario Beck each had 15 points for the Chanticleers. Jason McManamen led the Cowboys with 19 points. Games 2 (and 3, if necessary) will be played at Wyoming later on this week. Wednesday’s game is set for a 9 PM tip (Eastern time).

NIT

(8) CAL STATE-BAKERSFIELD vs. (6) GEORGIA TECH (7:00 PM, ESPN). The Cinderella Lite run continues for Bakersfield – they advanced to Madison Square Garden with 3 consecutive road wins against California, Colorado State and Texas-Arlington (which was the only game the Mavs lost at home all year). Georgia Tech actually got a pair of home wins due to Indiana’s unwillingness to play at home and a matchup with lower-seeded Belmont in the 2nd round, but proved themselves worthy of a trip to New York with their win at Ole Miss in the quarterfinals last week. Still, the Yellow Jackets have far exceeded what little was expected of them this season.

(4) CENTRAL FLORIDA vs. (4) TCU (app. 9:30 PM, ESPN). Both the Knights and the Horned Frogs knocked out the #1 seeds in the 2nd round (UCF won at Illinois State and TCU won at Iowa) and both teams won at home in the quarterfinals (UCF against Illinois and TCU against Richmond). While UCF’s Tacko Fall literally towers over everyone left in the field, don’t sleep on TCU’s Kenrich Williams, either. He is half a rebound away from averaging a double-double.

 

Elite Eight Recap and other Under The Radar Games – Monday, March 27

***NOTE***  We will be recording this week’s Hoops HD Report on Thursday night instead of the normal Monday night.

After yesterday’s games in the NCAA Tournament, our Final Four is now set for next weekend. In the first game, South Carolina was able to call on their defense one more time and were able to come up with a 77-70 victory over Florida. A year of firsts continues to roll on for the Gamecocks and are now assured of their first trip to the Final Four. They will play Gonzaga in the first game on Saturday.

The other game was even more of a nailbiter. North Carolina had a 7-point lead in the final minute and managed to give up back-to-back 3s sandwiched around a 5-second call where they failed to inbound the ball against Kentucky’s pressure defense. After a Carolina layup, Kentucky hit a game-tying 3-point shot with 7 seconds to play, but Carolina’s Luke Maye hit a game-winning shot just inside the arc to give the Tar Heels the final ticket to the Final Four. They will play Oregon in the second game on Saturday night.

As for the CIT, the final 2 quarterfinal games were played yesterday. Fort Wayne was unable to take advantage of their 2nd-round bye; they looked a little rusty on the road in their 78-62 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. UMBC’s magic carpet ride also continued with their 80-68 win at home over Liberty. This now sets up both semifinal matchups for Wednesday night – Corpus Christi will travel to UMBC for the first semifinal game at 7 PM. The other game will feature Furman hitting the road to Saint Peter’s for a  9 PM tipoff. Both games will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Last and not least, ESPN is reporting that GW officially named Maurice Joseph their permanent head coach with a 5-year deal. He was the interim head coach after Mike Lonergan was dismissed last fall just prior to the beginning of the season.

CBI (Game 1)

WYOMING at COASTAL CAROLINA (7:30 PM, ESPNU). At last, the under-the-radar tournaments are beginning to wrap up. The CBI championship will be determined in a best-of-3 series with each team assured of at least one home game. The first game will be played at Coastal Carolina – the Chanticleers defeated Illinois-Chicago 89-78 to advance to the championship series. Wyoming gets to host the second and final games (if necessary), but must first hit the road for the first and only time during the CBI. They beat Utah Valley 74-68 to advance to the championship series.

Elite Eight Rundown – Sunday, March 26th

For other coaching updates and CIT postseason games – CLICK HERE

As we had teased yesterday, we were guaranteed a new entrant into the 2017 Final Four to be played in Glendale, Arizona next weekend. It will be the Gonzaga Bulldogs – they smashed Xavier 83-59 yesterday. While Gonzaga hadn’t shot well on a consistent basis all tournament long, they found their shots yesterday, especially from outside the arc. Xavier stuck with their gameplan for most of the tournament essentially daring teams to beat them from the outside and pack in the lane. Gonzaga will now await the winner of the East Regional between Florida and South Carolina this afternoon.

For the second year in a row, both Oregon and Kansas advanced to the Elite 8, but this time the Ducks were able to hit an extra gear and they will advance to the Final Four for the first time since the inaugural NCAA Tournament was played in 1939. Much to the horror of the quasi-hometown crowd, Oregon beat Kansas rather handily by a 74-60 final score. The Ducks now await the winner of the Kentucky-North Carolina game in the South Region.

East Region (New York, NY)) (all times Eastern)

(7) SOUTH CAROLINA vs. (4) FLORIDA (CBS, 2:20 PM). Today’s matchup represents the 3rd time this season that the Gamecocks and Gators will face each other this season (with each team winning on their home court). South Carolina’s defense suffocated Baylor in their win on Friday night and had an easier night than Florida did – they survived a meltdown in the end of regulation and needed a clutch block from Canyon Barry and a game-winning 3-pointer in overtime to knock out Wisconsin. South Carolina continues to break barriers in their program’s history, whereas Florida has an opportunity to reach the Final Four under their 3rd different coach (Lon Kruger and Billy Donovan were the first two).

South Region (Memphis, TN) (all times Eastern)

(2) KENTUCKY vs. (1) NORTH CAROLINA (CBS, 5:05 PM). This is also a regular-season rematch of a game played back in December in Las Vegas. Kentucky won the first matchup, although North Carolina wasn’t completely healthy at the time. While the Tar Heels struggled to beat Arkansas last week, they had little trouble knocking out Butler on Friday. Kentucky wore down UCLA in their Sweet 16 matchup and had an easier time than their close call against Wichita State the week before.

Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Sunday, March 26

It finally happened for Indiana. They announced yesterday that Archie Miller will become their next head coach to replace the departed Tom Crean. Miller had a run to the Elite 8 in 2014 with Dayton and other multiple NCAA Tournament appearances to his credit (along with the outright A-10 regular season title this year). This now leaves Dayton in a more precarious position since they now have a head coaching vacancy and a roster that’s losing a boatload of experienced seniors.

As for yesterday’s results in the CIT, both Furman and Saint Peter’s advanced to the CIT semifinals with road wins against Campbell and Texas State, respectively. Both Furman and Saint Peter’s were runners-up in their respective conferences during the regular season and had early exits in their conference tournaments. We will learn the semifinal matchups tonight after the final two quarterfinal games are played today.

CIT

LIBERTY at UMBC (2:00 PM, Facebook Live). This is the only quarterfinal matchup where neither team got a bye into this round. Liberty made it this far with wins over Norfolk State and Samford and UMBC’s continued turnaround season includes wins over Fairfield and St. Francis Univerity in the CIT.

FORT WAYNE at TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI (3:00 PM, Facebook Live). The last quarterfinal matchup first involves the Fort Wayne Mastodons – they were the final team to get a bye into the quarterfinal round after their opening win against Ball State. They will hit the road to play the Islanders of Corpus Christi – they beat Georgia State and Weber State at home to advance to this checkpoint in the CIT. Both this game and the aforementioned game will be streamed on Facebook Live.

Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Saturday, March 25

With UCLA’s loss to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen last night, it cleared a roadblock for Indiana fans who are waiting on bended knee for Steve Alford to return home to Indiana to become their next head coach. As of this morning, however, all indications are that he will remain at UCLA for the foreseeable future.

There were 2 other notable vacancies filled yesterday – both were in-house hires. Oklahoma State announced that former assistant coach Mike Boynton Jr. will take over as head coach for the Cowboys following Brad Underwood’s surprise departure for Illinois. Boynton played for South Carolina and also spent 4 years as an assistant for the Gamecocks, but recently he was an assistant for Underwood both at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State.

Wyking Jones will also be promoted at California and takes over as head coach for the Golden Bears after Cuonzo Martin resigned to become the new head coach at Missouri. Not only was he an assistant for Martin, but had also spent time as an assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville.

As for other postseason tournaments, the CIT resumes this weekend with 2 quarterfinal games today and 2 quarterfinal games tomorrow. All 4 games can be streamed on Facebook Live. (And if you really want to go below the radar, Fairmont State (WV) and Northwest Missouri State will play for the Division II title today at 3 PM at the Samford Pentagon on CBS.)

CIT

FURMAN at CAMPBELL (2:00 PM, Facebook Live). The Camels’ improbable success in March continues after a pair of home wins against Houston Baptist and UT-Martin. Furman was one of 3 teams to get a bye into the quarterfinals, but that also means they must hit the road for today. They did look impressive in beating nearby USC-Upstate in their only game in the CIT so far.

SAINT PETER’S at TEXAS STATE (5:00 PM, Facebook Live). Like the aforementioned Paladins, one of the trade-offs of getting a 2nd-round bye for Saint Peter’s will be a road game this round. The Peacocks won their opener against Albany last week. Texas State is coming off of a pair of home wins against Lamar and Idaho.

Under The Radar Postseason News, Notes and Highlighted Games – Thursday, March 23

It may only be the NIT, but Cal State Bakersfield is STILL in the process of making a historic run through that tournament as a bottom seed. They nearly blew a 15-point 2nd half lead at Texas-Arlington, but managed to hang on for an 80-76 victory that will send the Roadrunners to the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden next week. This is the first time in the history of the NIT that an 8-seed advanced to the NIT Final Four and also the first time a bottom seed advanced to the Final 4 of any postseason tournament since Penn pulled off a similar feat in the 1979 NCAA Tournament.

Johnny Dawkins is no stranger to success in the NIT and his Central Florida team also secured their place in New York for next Tuesday with a 68-58 victory over Illinois. Next week, Georgia Tech will play Bakersfield in one semifinal matchup and UCF will play TCU in the other game.

In the CBI, Wyoming held Utah Valley scoreless for the final 2 minutes of the game and finished the game on a 6-0 run to win 74-68 in their CBI semifinal game. They will play Coastal Carolina in the best-of-3 CIT Finals next week beginning on Monday night on ESPNU. The Chanticleers advanced with an 89-78 victory over Illinois-Chicago.

In the final 2nd round matchup in the CIT, Texas State advanced to the quarterfinals with a 64-55 victory over Idaho at home last night. They will host Saint Peter’s in the quarterfinal round on Saturday afternoon at 5 PM. Furman will also play at Campbell on Saturday at 2 PM. As for the Sunday matchups, Liberty goes to UMBC for a 2 PM game and Fort Wayne will play at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 3 PM (all times Eastern). All 4 quarterfinal matchups will be streamed on Facebook Live.