3x3U Tournament

Friday-Sunday this weekend, a really neat three-on-three tournament event will be taking place in San Antonio.  The event will consist of 32 teams of four players each (three players and one substitute) with each team representing one of the 32 D1 conferences.  The game will be played in a half-court only, with each regular basket worth one point and each basket from beyond the arc worth 2.  The first team to 21 point, or the leader after 10 minutes, wins.

The event will begin with pool play consisting of 8 pools of 4 teams each (guaranteeing at least 3 games per team).  The 8 winners will advance to a bracketed quarterfinal round, followed by semifinals and a Best-of-3 championship round.  All games are being streamed on Twitter (Friday starting at 7 PM Eastern, Saturday at 11AM Eastern, Sunday at 2PM Eastern)), with the semifinals and finals on Sunday also being on ESPN2.  Given that the teams are all seniors who have exhausted their eligibility, they can and will win money — $1,000 to be split by the team for each team win through the semifinals and $50,000 for the champions.  For more info, check out this link:  https://www.3x3uhoops.com/

The teams are below.  The Pac-12 is not fielding a team:

Big 12
Donovan Jackson, Iowa State
Manu Lecomte, Baylor
Kendall Smith, Oklahoma State
Zach Smith, Texas Tech

Big Sky
Ryan Richardson, Weber State
Jamal Aytes, Southern Utah
Geno Luzcando, Idaho State

David Cohn, William & Mary
Joe Chealey, College of Charleston
Rokas Gustys, Hofstra
Mike Morsell, Towson

A.J. Mosby, Alcorn State
Donte Clark, Texas Southern
Paris Collins, Jackson State
Jared Sam, Southern


Quentin Snyder, Louisville
Gabe DeVoe, Clemson
Tadric Jackson, Georgia Tech

Marcus Barham, Florida A&M
Desmond Williams, Florida A&M
Artem Tavakalyan, Delaware State
Brandon Tabb, Bethune-Cookman

Sun Belt
Jaylen Shaw, Coastal Carolina
DeMario Beck, Coastal Carolina
Sam McDaniel, Louisiana-Monroe
Wesley Person, Troy

Brandon Randolph, Utah Valley
Jordan Hill, Seattle
Keonta Vernon, Grand Canyon
Joshua Braun, Grand Canyon


Atlantic Sun
Brandon Goodwin, Florida Gulf Coast
Divine Myles, Stetson
Nick Masterson, Kennesaw State
Ramel Thompkins, South Carolina Upstate

Big East
J.P. Macura, Xavier
Rodney Bullock, Providence
Andrew Rowsey, Marquette
Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall

Big West
Chance Murray, UC-Riverside
Victor Joseph, Cal Poly
Leland King II, UC-Santa Barbara
Gabe Vincent, UC-Santa Barbara

Wes Clark, Buffalo
Mike Laster, Ohio University
Kevin Zabo, Kent State
Cecil Williams, Central Michigan


Metro Atlantic
Zane Waterman, Manhattan
Rich Williams, Manhattan
Tyler Nelson, Fairfied
Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius

Joel Hernandez, LIU-Broolyn
Junior Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s
Chris Wray, Mount St. Mary’s
JoJo Cooper, Wagner

Yante Maten, Georgia
Juwan Porter, Georgia
Kassius Robertson, Missouri
Frank Booker, South Carolina

Summit League
Nick Fuller, South Dakota
Reed Tellinghuisen, South Dakota State
Daniel Amigo, Denver
Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne


Big Ten
Nate Mason, Minnesota
Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State
Robert Johnson, Indiana
Vincent Edwards, Purdue

Conference USA
Giddy Potts, Middle Tennessee
Ronald Delph, Florida Atlantic
Gerdarious Troutman, Florida Atlantic

Stephon Jelks, Mercer
Ria’n Holland, Mercer
Marvin Smith, UNC-Greensboro
Alex Thompson, Samford

Jordan Capps, Southeastern Louisiana
Travin Thibodeaux, New Orleans
Shawn Johnson, Incarnate Word
Joseph Kilgore, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi


Atlantic Ten
Davell Roby, Saint Louis
Jonathan Williams, VCU
Rene Castro-Caneddy, Duquesne
Matt Mobley, St. Bonaventure

Ivy League
Miles Wright, Dartmouth
Amir Bell, Princeton
Caleb Wood, Penn
Darnell Foreman, Penn

Patriot League
Stephen Brown, Bucknell
Zach Thomas, Bucknell
Jordan Swopshire, Colgate
Kharon Ross, Lehigh


Shaquille Morris, Wichita State
Connor Frankamp, Wichita State
BJ Tyson, East Carolina
AJ David, Central Florida

Horizon League
Jalen Hayes, Oakland
Grant Benzinger, Wright State
Lavine Holland II, Northern Kentucky

Ohio Valley
Avery Ugba, Austin Peay
Terrell Miller Jr., Murray State
Amanze Egekeze, Belmont
Austin Luke, Belmont

West Coast
D’Marques Tyson, Portland
Henry Caruso, Santa Clara
Cullen Neal, St. Mary’s
Calvin Hermanson, St. Mary’s


America East
Trae Bell-Haynes, Vermont
Peyton Henson, Vermont
Jahad Thomas, UMass-Lowell
Tanner Leissner, New Hampshire

Big South
Reggie Dillard, Presbyterian
Liam O’Reilly, Gardner-Webb
Ahmad Thomas, UNC-Asheville
Kevin Vannatta, UNC-Asheville

Missouri Valley
Donte Thomas, Bradley
Tevonn Walker, Valparaiso
Brenton Scott, Indiana State
Bennett Koch, Northern Iowa

Mountain West
Trevor Lyons, Air Force
Jacob Van, Air Force
Che Bob, Colorado State
Jahmel Taylor, Fresno State

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NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Recap (and CBI Finals Preview) – Monday, March 26th

The Final Four is all set for next weekend at San Antonio – both Villanova and Kansas advanced to join Loyola-Chicago and Michigan. Villanova did not have their normal sterling performance on offense, but they did help to solidify their win with 29-for-35 shooting from the foul line. While Jalen Brunson led Nova with 15 points, Eric Paschall also had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats.

They will play Kansas in the second semifinal on Saturday; they exchanged leads with Duke on numerous occasions throughout regulation and Grayson Allen narrowly missed a shot at the end of regulation for Duke. When overtime ensued for Kansas, they got an opening when Wendell Carter Jr. fouled out on a questionable block call that could have gone the other way. Nonetheless, Kansas took the lead for good with a 3-pointer from Malik Newman Jr. and he also hit four more free throws to ice the game for Kansas and send them to their first Final Four since losing to Kentucky in the national title game in 2012. The Jayhawks can also avenge a loss to Villanova in the 2016 Midwest Regional final.

CBI – Game 1

NORTH TEXAS AT SAN FRANCISCO (10:00 PM, ESPNU). The Dons of San Francisco have played all 3 rounds of the CBI Tournament so far at home – they’ve advanced to this point with wins against Eastern Washington, Utah Valley and Campbell thus far. North Texas actually came into the CBI with an overall losing record (15-17) but got things started with an upset victory at South Dakota to start the tournament. They coasted to a pair of victories at home against Mercer and Jacksonville State, but must start the best-of-3 championship series on the road. San Francisco has a pair of notable wins against Nevada and Saint Mary’s on their docket during the regular season. Until the CBI, the best wins North Texas could claim were at San Diego and at UAB.

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NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Recap and Preview (and other Postseason News) – Sunday, March 25th

Last night, the first two spots of the Final Four were filled – the South Region and West Region were both decided. Unlike their first three games of the NCAA Tournament, Loyola continued their winning ways with a relatively easy 78-62 victory over Kansas State in Atlanta. Ben Richardson led the Ramblers with 23 points last night, and was also named MVP of the South Regional for his efforts. They will play Michigan on Saturday night – the Wolverines were able to survive against Florida State despite hitting a low percentage of 3s this time around. The Seminoles did cut the game to 2 points with 24 seconds remaining, but after a pair of free throws by Duncan Robinson, they missed a 3-point attempt with 14 seconds left and strangely opted not to extend the game with fouls after that point. FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton would not elaborate any further on that point, but nonetheless Michigan advanced to their second Final Four under John Beilein and their first since they advanced to the championship game in 2013.

Elsewhere, it was more good news for another team in Michigan – Ferris State completed their dream season with a 71-69 victory against Northern State to win their first NCAA Division II championship. Zach Hankins hit a shot to put the Bulldogs up for good with 1:31 to play and sealed the game with one more free throw afterwards. Northern State was denied their bid to win the championship in their own state for the first time since Kentucky Wesleyan in 1999.

In the CIT, Liberty edged out Central Michigan 84-71 to advance to the CIT semifinals next Wednesday. Liberty will host their third game of the tournament on Wednesday – these Flames will take on another group of Flames when they play Illinois-Chicago in the first semifinal. Sam Houston State will travel to Northern Colorado in the second semifinal that same night.

Middle Tennessee will also name UNC-Asheville’s Nick McDevitt as their next head coach. Rumors originally had Xavier associate head coach Travis Steele originally turning down the job to await whether or not Chris Mack moves on to Louisville and put his name in the ring should Xavier’s position open up.


(3) TEXAS TECH VS. (1) VILLANOVA (2:20 PM, CBS). The third spot for the Final Four will be decided in Boston – this was the same place where Villanova won back in 2009 to advance to the first Final Four during head coach Jay Wright’s tenure. While Villanova did have their first close game against West Virginia on Friday night, Texas Tech held a fairly comfortable lead against Purdue for most of the night before moving on to their first Elite 8 in program history.


(2) DUKE VS. (1) KANSAS (5:05 PM, CBS). Normally we are treated to this matchup every three years in the season-opening Champions Classic – these two teams met last season where Kansas beat then top-ranked Duke at Madison Square Garden. This time around, both teams are coming off of close wins in the Sweet 16 – Kansas survived against Clemson and Duke overcame a poor outside shooting performance against Syracuse to move on to today’s game. Kansas will also be looking for their first Final 4 in 6 years and overcoming recent heartbreak in the Elite 8 the last two seasons – they fell to Villanova in 2016 and Oregon last season. Duke will be looking for their first Final 4 since winning the title in 2015.

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NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Recap/Elite 8 Preview (and other News and Notes) – Saturday, March 24th

On Thursday, chaos continued to reign in the Sweet 16. Last night, there was a sense of order returning to all 4 games played last night. In the Midwest, Udoka Azubuike had 14 points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes of action as Kansas outlasted Clemson 80-76 in the first semifinal of the night. Gabe DeVoe led Clemson with 31 points, but just wasn’t quite good enough to put the Tigers over the top. In the second game in Omaha, both Syracuse and Duke struggled mightily behind the 3-point arc, but the Blue Devils did force Syracuse into 16 turnovers (while only committing 7 themselves) to survive with a 69-65 victory.Marvin Bagley III led Duke with 22 points, and also got a double-double from Wendell Carter Jr. (14 pts, 12 rebs) to move on to the Elite 8 against Kansas.

In the East Region, West Virginia gradually pulled ahead to a 6-point lead with 11 minutes to play after trailing by 2 points at halftime. From that point, Villanova scored 11 straight points to take a 65-60 lead and gradually pulled away en route to a 90-78 victory in Boston last night. Villanova did live comfortably by the 3 last night – they hit 13 of 24 overall and were led by 27 points from Jalen Brunson. In the other game, Texas Tech beat Purdue 78-65 despite the Boilers’ Carson Edwards scoring a game-high 30 points. The story of this game was the Red Raider bench – they outscored Purdue 24-6 (including 14 points from Zach Smith). This is the first time in Texas Tech’s history that they have advanced as far as the Elite 8.

There was one notable coaching vacancy that opened up in the Atlantic 10 – after 14 seasons and an appearance in the 2013 Sweet 16, La Salle parted ways with Dr. John Giannini as head coach. Coupled with Rhode Island, there are now 2 spots open in the coaching ranks for the Atlantic 10.


(11) LOYOLA-CHICAGO VS. (8) KANSAS STATE (6:09 PM, TBS). From a historical perspective, you wouldn’t think of Kansas State immediately as a team that has 13 appearances in the Elite 8. While they have advanced to the Final Four on four different occasions (most recently in 1964), they are 0-7 in the Elite 8 since 1964. However, at least one team is guaranteed to break a 50-plus year drought – Loyola’s last Final 4 appearance was in 1963 when they won the national championship that season.


(9) FLORIDA STATE VS. (3) MICHIGAN (8:49 PM, TBS). It took a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for Michigan just to get into the Sweet 16 with their win against Houston, and then had 8 different guys hit 3-pointers in their rout of Texas A&M on Thursday night. A little more surprising is the relative ease in which Florida State has won 2 out of their 3 games in the NCAA Tournament; they had 2 decisively easy wins against Missouri and Gonzaga sandwiched around a 12-point come-from-behind win against Xavier in the 2nd round of the tournament. The Seminoles have not been to the Elite 8 since 1993, but they do have one lone appearance in the Final Four dating back to 1972 (when they lost in the championship game to UCLA that season under head coach Hugh Durham).


(3) NORTHERN STATE VS. (1) FERRIS STATE (3:00 PM, CBS). At a school where hockey is usually their big sport this time of year, Ferris State comes into this game with a 25-game winning streak and will be looking for their first-ever championship in men’s basketball following a 6-point win against West Texas A&M in the semifinals (which, oddly enough, happened on the same day that Michigan beat Texas A&M). The Wolves of Northern State will also be looking for their first-ever championship in men’s basketball – they will also have a home-court advantage as they are playing about 200 miles away from their campus in Aberdeen, South Dakota. NSU outlasted Queens (NC) 105-99 in double overtime to advance to today’s championship game.


CENTRAL MICHIGAN AT LIBERTY (2:00 PM, CBS Digital Network). There is also one final quarterfinal matchup in the CIT that will be played this afternoon. Liberty is coming off of a 12-day layoff after their victory in the 1st round against North Carolina A&T (dubbed the Jim Phelan Classic). Central Michigan has also had a week of down time to prepare; they beat Wofford last Friday that followed their opening win against Fort Wayne in the Hugh Durham Classic. The semifinal matchups will be determined after this game goes final.

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NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Recap/Preview (and other News and Notes) – Friday, March 23rd

For Jon Teitel’s interview with Drake Academic All-American Reed Timmer – CLICK HERE

John Calipari had warned his players not to “drink the poison” going into Kentucky’s matchup with Kansas State, but K-State made him look prophetic with a strong start in which K-State jumped out to a 13-1 lead in the opening minutes. Kentucky never led until the 2nd half, but the game was tied going into the final minutes. Barry Brown put K-State up for good with 18 seconds to play, and Kentucky missed twice from 3 in the closing seconds of the game. This will be Bruce Weber’s 3rd trip to the Elite Eight – he made one appearance with Illinois and 2 with K-State.

They will play the Loyola Ramblers – they overcame an early 12-point deficit and had a 12-point lead themselves in the 2nd half where they hit their first 12 shots to start the 2nd half. Even after the Wolf Pack made their customary 2nd half comeback, Marques Townes hit a dagger 3 to give Loyola a 2-possession advantage with 10 seconds to play. Nevada hit a 3 with 5 seconds left on the clock, but since they still had fouls to give, they were not able to foul Loyola to the point where they would have to shoot a 1-and-1 and the clock ran out on their season. Loyola has now won 3 games by a grand total of 4 points, yet they find themselves on the doorstep of their first Final Four since their championship season in 1963.

In the West Region, Florida State continued the chaos on their side of the bracket with a surprisingly easy 75-60 victory over Gonzaga. The Zags were without Killian Tillie in the post and paid dearly against the Noles’ deep front line. Terence Mann led FSU with 18 points; they will play Michigan for the West Region Championship on Saturday. The Wolverines saw 8 different players hit 3-point shots during the game (they were 14-for-24 overall) and coasted to an easy 99-72 victory against Texas A&M.

Only 3 other games were played under the radar of the NCAA Tournament last night – 2 of which were in the NCAA D-II Tournament. Ferris State won their 25th game in a row and beat West Texas A&M 85-79 to advance to the title game on Saturday afternoon. They will play nearby Northern State in the championship; the Wolves outlasted Queens (NC) in double overtime with a 105-99 victory.

The CBI best-of-3 championship is also set – San Francisco held off a late rally by Campbell to beat the Camels 65-62 at home. They will host North Texas in the first game of the championship next Monday; Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be played at North Texas later in the week.

After the Dan Hurley hire became official at UConn yesterday, there were 2 other notable vacancies that were filled – Walter McCarty will take over at Evansville and Niko Medved will become the new head coach at Colorado State as well. But the major domino that will potentially fall this weekend will be when Chris Mack meets with the Louisville staff to discuss their head coach vacancy.


(5) CLEMSON VS. (1) KANSAS (7:07 PM, CBS). Clemson finds itself in their first Sweet 16 in 21 years with a victory against New Mexico State and a thorough trashing of Auburn in their first 2 games played at San Diego last weekend. They will take on a Kansas team that had to claw their way through both games played in Wichita – they overcame an early 10-point deficit against Penn and had to survive a late push by Seton Hall in their 2nd round win last weekend. However, Udoka Azubuike played limited minutes in the Jayhawks’ first 2 games, but won’t be further restricted by the medical staff for this weekend’s games.

(11) SYRACUSE VS. (2) DUKE (approx. 9:37 PM, CBS). In a case of better-late-than-never, Syracuse is not just winning games away from home, but also beating at least one heavyweight in Michigan State in the process in a de facto road game in Detroit. They did lose 60-44 at Duke in their lone regular-season matchup. As for the Blue Devils, they were rarely challenged in 2 blowout wins in Pittsburgh against Iona and Rhode Island.


(5) WEST VIRGINIA VS. (1) VILLANOVA (7:27 PM, TBS). It wasn’t surprising that Villanova was able to breeze through their first two games against Radford and Alabama, even with the Wildcats’ recent woes in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament. It was a little surprising that West Virginia also won their two games with relative ease – they avoided the 5-12 upset special in Round 1 against Murray State and then followed that up with a beatdown of in-state foe Marshall two days later. This has the makings to be the highest scoring game of tonight’s round of games.

(3) TEXAS TECH VS. (2) PURDUE (approx. 9:57 PM, TBS). This is the ONLY matchup tonight where chalk completely held in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Even though Purdue did lose Isaac Haas to a broken elbow in their win over Cal State-Fullerton in the first round, they did come back from an early deficit against Butler and ended up holding off a late Bulldog rally to advance to the Sweet 16 in Boston. As for Texas Tech, they ended up surviving and advancing after a pair of white-knucklers against SFA and Florida in their first 2 rounds in Dallas.

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Basketball and brains: HoopsHD interviews Drake Academic All-American Reed Timmer

It has been an eventful little month in Des Moines: a 2-PT loss to Bradley in the MVC tourney, a 9-PT loss to Northern Colorado in the CIT, and Coach Niko Medved just announced that he will become the new head coach at Colorado State. On a positive note, SR SG Reed Timmer was named an Academic All-American. On the court Reed completed his college career by averaging 15.7 PPG/84.1 FT%: off the court he averaged a 3.47 GPA while getting his doctorate of pharmacy. Earlier this week HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to speak with Reed about the guy who shares his name and what it was like to face the Ramblers twice in conference play.

There is another guy named Reed Timmer who is a famous storm chaser: do people ever mix you 2 up? On Twitter they do quite often! He tweeted at me 2 years ago in an attempt to clear it up.

You played for Coach Niko Medved: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing that you have ever learned from him? He is an awesome coach. He is enthusiastic and gained our trust/respect right away. He was not asking for anything because he knew the relationship needed to build. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve strategically and knows how to make use of our talent.

Back in 2010 your assistant coach Ali Farokhmanesh made the cover of Sports Illustrated after beating Kansas to get to the 2010 Sweet 16 as a player at Northern Iowa: have you ever asked him about his famous tourney run, and how does he feel when you play the Panthers? We joke about it all the time! He is 1 of my favorite coaches and is still good friends with all the guys at UNI. It is not awkward at all when we play them: he wants us to win.

You played a pair of NCAA tourney teams this year in South Dakota State/Loyola-Chicago: which of these teams impressed you the most? Both of them are good teams but Loyola was more impressive. They were picked 3rd in our conference and came out of nowhere to get where they are. They are really shocking the world but we knew that it was coming: they have a really solid group with a good team dynamic.

You made the CIT and beat Abilene Christian in OT at home before scoring 20 PTS in a 9-PT loss at Northern Colorado: what is the biggest difference between the regular season and the postseason? The level of play: all of the teams in the postseason are really good and you have to do a lot of scouting because they are not in your conference. You know you are in for a battle every single game.

You are 1 of several seniors on the roster: how will the Bulldogs do next year after losing all of that talent? It has been a lot of fun playing with my fellow seniors this year. There will be a bit of a learning curve next year and expectations will be different but they are headed in the right direction.

Last week you were named an Academic All-American: how do you balance your work on the court with your work in the classroom? It has gotten easier over time: I just try to balance my schedule and study every night. You have to enjoy studying because if your mindset is that it is going to suck then it will never be fun. It gets easier when you find people who share the same vision as you.

You have a 3.47 GPA while getting your doctorate of pharmacy: why did you choose that subject, and what do you hope to do with your degree? I did not know what I wanted to do at 1st but the administrators suggested I try a pre-pharmacy program, then I just stuck with it after arriving on campus. It is 2 years of pharmacy and then 4 years in a graduate program, so after 6 years I hope to become a pharmacist.

Last month you scored a career-high 39 PTS in a win over Indiana State and also broke the school’s all-time record for career PTS: was it just 1 of those scenarios where every shot you put up seemed to go in because you were “in the zone”, and do you think that anyone will ever break your own record? We knew that Indiana State would be a big game because they came in gunning and not wanting to play on the 1st day of the conference tourney. My 1st 3 looks were pretty wide-open and then Coach kept calling more plays for me. It was a fun game and I definitely felt in the zone. I hope that someone breaks my record in the future: we have a good program that attracts good players but I never thought that I would own that record. You need the right teammates/coaches/skills.

Your father David played football at Wisconsin: who is the best athlete in the family? My grandfather played football at Marquette so there is definitely a genetic aspect to it.

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