Tag Archives: 2017 NCAA Tournament

RECAP: Virginia thwarts upset bid from UNC-Wilmington, advances to Second Round with 76-71 win

Virginia used a late first half run to eliminate the 15-point lead for the Seahawks, and they held on in the second for the 76-71 victory. (Source: Virginia Men’s Basketball)

ORLANDO, Fla. — It may have been the second game of the NCAA Tournament, but it also provided fans with another exciting finish.

Coming into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the UNC Wilmington Seahawks were a trendy upset pick against the Virginia Cavaliers.

The Seahawks came into the afternoon averaging a shade over 85 points per contest, good for 10th in the nation. On the flip side, Virginia makes their mark on the defensive end of the floor.

Early on, it looked as though the Seahawks’ offense was going to break the defense of the Cavaliers. An early 16-2 run gave UNC Wilmington a 26-11 lead with 7:25 to play in the opening frame.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett made a lineup change, going with a smaller lineup. It worked.

The Seahawks were held without a field goal the rest of the way in the first half, and the Cavaliers took a one-point lead into the break. In the second half, the teams went back and forth, but it was the play of a senior guard that pushed Virginia to the win.

London Perrantes assumed the role of hero, hitting a pair of crucial runners to keep Virginia in the lead. In the end, the Cavaliers put to rest any doubts, and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament with a 76-71 victory. Continue reading RECAP: Virginia thwarts upset bid from UNC-Wilmington, advances to Second Round with 76-71 win

PREVIEW: Notre Dame begins their tournament journey against Princeton

Bonzie Colson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish open up their 2017 NCAA Tournament with a date against Princeton on Thursday. (Source: Michael Shroyer – USA Today Sports)

The #5 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish will begin their road to the Final Four on Thursday March 16th at 12:15 PM when they take on the #12 seeded Princeton Tigers at the KeyBank Centre in Buffalo, NY.

Notre Dame is coming off a loss in the ACC tournament finals against the Duke Blue Devils, who made a late push to put the Irish out of reach of their second ACC title.

Regardless of the outcome, the Irish are going dancing, and have been seeded in the West Region.

The quadrant includes teams such as the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the #1 seed, who dominated the West Coast Conference, finishing the season with a 32-1 record, and the Arizona Wildcats, who came away victorious in the Pac 12 tournament final.

“Thrilled to be back in this thing again (NCAA Tournament) and we are kind of making it an annual event, which is what you want your program to be doing” said Coach Mike Brey right after Selection Sunday. “To not sweat on Selection Sunday, which we haven’t in a long long time, is good for the blood pressure and the hair line”.

Continue reading PREVIEW: Notre Dame begins their tournament journey against Princeton

Powerful Ivy League representation at opening game of 2017 NCAA Tournament

The Ivy League hosted their first conference tournament this season, and it was a huge success.

Up until the 2016-17 season, the Ivy League was the only conference to not hold their own tournament prior to Selection Sunday. At season’s end, the team with the best record would be the one with a ticket to the Big Dance.

Since we complain all the time that conference tournaments can end up sending an average team instead of their strongest into the field of 68, you would think the Ivy would have preferred to keep its long-standing selection method.

After all, it has worked rather well for 63 years.   Continue reading Powerful Ivy League representation at opening game of 2017 NCAA Tournament

Ohio Valley Conference Championship Preview: Jacksonville State takes on UT-Martin

After knocking off the top-seeded Belmont Bruins on Friday, Malcolm Drumwright and the Jacksonville State Gamecocks will look to secure their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday against the UT-Martin Skyhawks in the Ohio Valley Conference championship.
After knocking off the top-seeded Belmont Bruins on Friday, Malcolm Drumwright and the Jacksonville State Gamecocks will look to secure their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday against the UT-Martin Skyhawks in the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two of the three teams from the Ohio Valley Conference who have never appeared in the NCAA Tournament will square off on Saturday night in the conference championship.

The winner will advance to their first-ever NCAA Tournament, and will get to experience the joys of hearing their name called on Selection Sunday as a part of the field of 68.

Inside the Nashville Municipal Auditorium on Saturday night at 8:00pm EST, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks will take on the regular season West Division leaders, the UT-Martin Skyhawks. It’s a slightly unexpected final pairing, as the Gamecocks eliminated the top-seeded Belmont Bruins in the semifinals.

Both teams have been playing some of their basketball at the right time. But, outside of the hardcore basketball fan, many won’t know much about the two teams taking part in the finale.

Here’s what you need to know about both teams heading into Saturday’s championship contest. Continue reading Ohio Valley Conference Championship Preview: Jacksonville State takes on UT-Martin

Trifecta: Three teams with the best chance of earning their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament

Matt Mooney and the South Dakota Coyotes earned their first-ever regular season Summit League crown this season, and will look to turn that into their first-ever trip to the Big Dance. (Source: South Dakota Athletics)
Matt Mooney and the South Dakota Coyotes earned their first-ever regular season Summit League crown this season, and will look to turn that into their first-ever trip to the Big Dance. (Source: South Dakota Athletics)
CALGARY, Alta. — Some power conference teams simply don’t know what it’s like to not make the NCAA Tournament each year. Teams like the Kansas JayhawksMichigan State Spartans, and even the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs have lengthy streaks of appearances in the Big Dance.

On the flip side, some smaller programs are still awaiting their first spot in the magical field of 68.

Advancing to the NCAA Tournament is always tougher for smaller programs. In most cases, non-power conferences are only represented by their respective conference champions. Outside of the Missouri Valley Conference and the West Coast Conference, it’s very rare to see to see multiple teams from the same small conference in the field of 68.

This season, the level of parity across the NCAA appears to be at an all-time high. So far in March, we’ve already seen our fair share of upsets. The Campbell Camels knocked off the UNC Asheville Bulldogs behind a Big South record 51 points from Chris Clemons, and two of the top three teams are already out of the Big South tournament.

Because of these upsets, it makes us think that anything is possible.

In the latest edition of the Trifecta, here are three teams who appear to have the best chance of securing their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Note: the three teams listed below have yet to begin their conference tournaments.
Continue reading Trifecta: Three teams with the best chance of earning their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament

RECAP: Southeast Missouri State comes back to down Tennessee State in overtime, 78-75

Freshman Denzel Mahoney scored a game-high 34 points on Wednesday, but it was another freshman who came up big in the closing seconds of Southeast Missouri State's 78-75 win over Tennessee State in the OVC Tournament. (Source: SE Missouri State Basketball)
Freshman Denzel Mahoney scored a career-high 34 points on Wednesday, but it was another freshman who came up big in the closing seconds of Southeast Missouri State’s 78-75 win over Tennessee State in the OVC Tournament. (Source: SE Missouri State Basketball)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tahj Eaddy may only be a freshman, but he showed on Wednesday night that he is poised beyond his years.

In the Music City, the Ohio Valley Conference tournament opened up with a match-up featuring the Tennessee State Tigers and the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks.

Despite both teams boasting a high-profile senior guard, in Tahjere McCall for the Tigers and Antonius Cleveland for the Redhawks, two freshmen stole the show in the end. The veterans played a big role in the outcome, but ultimately it came to one big shot from a first-year player to give his team the win.

Tennessee State led by as many as 14 points early in the second half, but a 17-5 run brought the Redhawks back into the game, and they would keep the momentum going the rest of the way. Continue reading RECAP: Southeast Missouri State comes back to down Tennessee State in overtime, 78-75