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.

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 – Wednesday, March 22

Yesterday, there were a pair of head coaching vacancies filled in the Atlantic 10 Conference. First was the VCU opening – it lasted less than 24 hours after Will Wade announced that he would resign to take the head coaching position at LSU. They stayed within the family and hired Rice head coach Mike Rhoades (a former Shaka Smart assistant) to their open position.

Elsewhere in the A-10, UMass announced that now-former Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey will be their new head coach – he replaces Derek Kellogg. Kelsey does have ties to the A-10 from his playing and coaching days with the Xavier program.

As far as postsesaon games go, only 2 games were played last night in the NIT. The first game saw TCU withstand a 33-point performance from Richmond star TJ Cline. He had little support in TCU’s 86-68 victory over the Spiders. Jamie Dixon will be returning to familiar territory at Madison Square Garden from his days at Pitt. Georgia Tech will also join the NIT Final 4 thanks to their 74-66 victory at Ole Miss last night.

NIT

(2) ILLINOIS at (4) CENTRAL FLORIDA (7:00 PM, ESPN2). Illinois is the highest seeded team remaining in the NIT, but they are unable to host this game due to scheduling conflicts at the State Farm Center. Therefore, UCF will get to play host to the Illini tonight for the right to advance to the semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Dawkins is also no stranger to the Garden in March – his Stanford teams won a pair of NIT titles in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

(8) CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD at (6) TEXAS-ARLINGTON (9:00 PM, ESPNU). This would definitely have been a feature UTR Game of the Day had this been scheduled earlier in the season, but better late than never with both the Roadrunners and Mavericks involved in playing for the final spot in the NIT semifinals.

CBI

ILLINOIS-CHICAGO at COASTAL CAROLINA (7:00 PM). In what can be unofficially described as the CBI Eastern Conference final, a pair of former NCAA Tournament coaches go head-to-head. Cliff Ellis (Coastal Carolina) had prior tournament runs with Clemson and Auburn and Steve McClain (UIC) had a run with Wyoming in 2002 that included an upset of Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament that season. The winner advances to the Best-of-3 CBI finals.

UTAH VALLEY at WYOMING (9:00 PM). The Front Range will play host to the unofficial Western half of the CBI bracket. Utah Valley is coming off of a pair of road wins against Georgia Southern and Rice to advance to this point. Should they beat Wyoming on the road tonight, they are assured of at least hosting one game in the best-of-3 CBI finals to be played next week.

CIT

IDAHO at TEXAS STATE (8:00 PM, Facebook Live). This will be the last of the 2nd round games in the CIT that will take place tonight. Idaho has the biggest star power in this one (at least in our minds) with Victor Sanders and the Sherwood twins, but Texas State has been a tough out since their surprise trip to the Sun Belt championship game a week and a half ago.

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

For last night’s HoopsHD Report podcast recapping the NCAA Tournament – CLICK HERE

4 games were played last night in the NIT – this completed the second round and sets the quarterfinal matchups that will begin tonight. Cal-State Bakersfield’s surprising run continued last night with an 81-63 win at Colorado State. The Roadrunners are the eighth seed in their region and will move on to play UT-Arlington on Wednesday night. The Mavericks beat Akron 85-69; they have won both games by 16 points. Illinois State had a chance to host Illinois at home for the first time since 1920 with a win last night, but a costly foul with 1.4 seconds to go gave the Knights 2 free throw attempts in the closing seconds. They converted and move on to play an Illinois team that defeated Boise State 71-56 last night. UCF will actually host the Illini due to a scheduling conflict at the State Farm Center.

The CBI also had their 2nd round games take place yesterday. Both Coastal Carolina and UIC won at home against Loyola (MD) and GW to set up a semifinal game that will be played tomorrow night at Coastal Carolina. On the western half of the bracket, Utah Valley won their 2nd straight game on the road (this time against Rice) and will play at Wyoming on Wednesday – Wyoming beat UMKC 72-61 last night as well.

In the CIT, all 3 home teams won their 2nd round games. Liberty beat Samford 66-58, Campbell extended their surprising run with a 73-56 win at home over UT-Martin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi beat Weber State 82-73 at home.

Yesterday’s major move in the 2017 Coaching Carousel involved Will Wade – he will move on from VCU to take the open job at LSU after spending 2 seasons with the Rams. He will be formally announced as head coach later today.

NIT

(6) RICHMOND at (4) TCU (7:00 PM, ESPN2). Fresh off of an overtime win over Iowa on the road, TCU will play host to Richmond (who beat Oakland at home) for the first spot in the NIT Final 4 at Madison Square Garden next week.

(6) GEORGIA TECH at (5) OLE MISS (9:00 PM, ESPN2). After a pair of road wins at Monmouth and Syracuse, Ole Miss finally gets to play host for one final home game this season. They will play a Georgia Tech team that had a fairly comfortable win at home against Belmont on Sunday.