Archive | March, 2012

One Key Stat for Every Round of 64 Game

15 Mar

SOUTH

1 Kentucky MAR. 15 6:50P.M.

16MISS. VALLEY ST

­­-Western Kentucky ranks 321st in field goal % (39.4), Kentucky is #1 in field goal % defense (36.8)

8 IOWAST            MAR. 15 9:20P.M.

9 UCONN

-Iowa State scores 73.2 points per game while Connecticut gives up just 64

5 WICHITA ST     MAR. 15 7:15P.M.

12VCU

-Wichita State shoots 48.5% 11th in the country, VCU just 41% 281st

4 INDIANA          MAR. 15 9:45P.M.

13NEW MEX ST

-New Mexico State is 3rd in rebounding margin (+8.7), Indiana is 8th in shooting at 48.7%

6 UNLV                 MAR. 15 9:57P.M.

11COLORADO

-UNLV 73rd in turnover margin at +1.7, Colorado State commits 12.7 turnovers a game

3 BAYLOR               MAR. 15  7:27P.M.

14SOUTH DAKOTA ST

-Baylor 109th in points allowed 64.9, 36th in offense 74.9. South Dakota State 161st on Defense 66.5 points, 18th in offense 77.3

7 NOTRE DAME MAR. 16  9:45PM

10XAVIER

­­­-Xavier is 63rd in rebounding 36.7, Notre Dame is 202nd with 34.0

2 DUKE MAR. 16 7:15PM

15LEHIGH

-Duke is 59th in 3-point defense (31.7%), Lehigh is 105th (32.7)

EAST

1SYRACUSE         MAR. 15 3:10PM

16UNC ASHEVILLE

­­­UNC-Asheville is 5th in scoring (81.2 points), Syracuse is 24th in scoring defense 60 per game

8 KANSAS ST      MAR. 15 12:40PM

9SOUTHERN MISS.

­­­­­­­­­­-Kansas State 57th in assists per game (14.5), Southern Mississippi is 297th with 11.1

5 VANDERBILT   MAR. 15 4:40PM

12HARVARD

-Vanderbilt scores 72.9 points per game, Harvard checks in at 65.4

4 WISCONSIN    MAR. 15 2:10PM

13MONTANA

-Wisconsin is 226th in field goal % (42.4), Montana is 48th (46.5)

6 CINCINNATI    MAR. 16 2:15PM

11TEXAS

-Texas shoots free throws at 73.1%, Cincinnati at just 64.1%

3 FLORIDA STATE  MAR. 16 2:45PM

14ST.BONAVENTURE

-Both teams have 10 players that average over 10 minutes per game

7 GONZAGA       MAR. 15 7:20PM

10WEST VIRGINIA

-Gonzaga shoots 37.6% from behind the arc, West Virginia is at 30.2%

2 OHIO STATE    MAR. 15 9:50PM

15LOYOLA-MD

-Ohio State shoots 48.3% (17th), Loyola-MD is 201st at 42.5%

WEST

1 MICHIGAN STATE  MAR. 16 9:20PM

16LONG ISLAND

-Long Island is 3rd in points with 81.9 per game, Michigan State holds teams to 59.1 per game

8 MEMPHIS        MAR. 16 6:50PM

9 ST.LOUIS

-Memphis is 5th in field goal % (49.4), St. Louis holds teams to 41.1% shooting

5 NEW MEXICO MAR. 15 4:10PM

12LONG BEACH ST

-New Mexico holds teams to 30.7% 3-point shooting and Long Beach State shoots 36%

4 LOUISVILLE      MAR. 15 1:40PM

13DAVIDSON

-Louisville shoots 42.4% from the field and Davidson averages 78.4 points per game

6 MURRAY ST     MAR. 15 2:15PM

11COLORADO ST

-Murray State is 5th in 3-point shooting at 40.6% and Colorado State defends the 3 at 35.7% (241st)

3 MARQUETTE     MAR. 15 2:45PM

14BYU

-BYU has 148 blocks and Marquette has 112

7 FLORIDA MAR. 16 2:10PM

10VIRGINIA

-Florida is #1 in the country in 3-point makes per game (9.9), Virginia is 10th in three point defense at 29.5%

2 MISSOURI        MAR. 16 4:40PM

15NORFOLK ST

-Missouri makes 8.2 three pointers per game and Norfolk State holds teams to 30.4% from behind the arc

MIDWEST

1 NORTH CAROLINA MAR. 16 4:10PM

16VERMONT

-North Carolina is #1 in the country in rebounding (45.2), Vermont is 123rd at 35.4

8 CREIGHTON    MAR. 16 1:40PM

9 ALABAMA

-Creighton scores 80 points per game while Alabama holds teams to 58.1 point per game

5 TEMPLE   MAR. 16 9:50PM

12 SOUTH FLORIDA

-Temple shoots the 3 at 40.2% 8th in the country, South Florida holds teams to 29.7% from behind the 3-point line

4 MICHIGAN      MAR. 16 7:20PM

13OHIO

-Michigan takes an average of 23 3 pointers per game and Ohio is 12th in the country in 3-point defense (29.6%)

6 SAN DIEGO ST                    MAR. 16 2:40PM

11NORTH CAROLINA ST

-North Carolina State averages 16 assists per game and San Diego State averages just 12.4

3 GEORGETOWN MAR. 16 3:10PM

14BELMONT

-Georgetown is #1 in 3-point defense at 27.6% and Belmont shoots the 3 at 37.8%

7 ST MARYS        MAR. 16 7:27PM

10PURDUE

-St. Mary’s is 9th in rebounding margin at +7.2, Purdue is 209th at -0.6

2 KANSAS            MAR. 16 9:57PM

15DETROIT

-Kansas averages 36.9 rebounds per game, Detroit grabs 34.1

College Hoop Haven

Wild Wild West

13 Mar

West Region (Phoenix):

2nd Round must-see games:

#3 Marquette (25-7) vs. #14 Iona (25-7) Thursday 2:45PM Louisville, KY

This game assumes that Iona wins its First Four game with BYU, should they do that, the team that drew the biggest reaction over their inclusion into the tournament  would get a Marquette team that likes to score (75.9 ppg) has Jae Crowder, Davante Gardner (who has returned from injury after missing  8 games) and dynamic guard Darius Johnson-Odom.  That would suit Iona just fine as the Gaels led the country at 83.3ppg and a highly regarded trio of their own in guards Scott Machado, Lamont “MoMo” jones and forward Michael Glover.  This game should have beaucoup baskets.

#5 New Mexico (27-6) vs. #12 Long Beach State (25-8) Thursday 4:10PM Portland, OR

Much like the game between Wichita State and VCU, this is a game between two mid major teams with Sweet 16 potential.  The key for New Mexico may be their big man UCLA transfer Drew Gordon who averages a double-double (13.4ppg,10.9rpg).  Long Beach State played the #1 non-conference schedule in the country and because of that they were ready for Big West play.  Dan Monson’s squad had cast every conference opponent they had aside before falling to Cal-State Fullerton in the regular season finale.  They then went on to win the conference tournament beating rival UC-Santa Barbara in the final.  Long Beach is also experienced led by 4 seniors, including star guard Casper Ware who had 33 points in the championship game. It is too bad

Big East Champion Louisville takes aim at the West

One first round in-game match up to watch:

#4 Louisville (26-9) vs. #14 Davidson (25-7) Thursday 1:40PM Portland, OR

You will hear it ad nausea over the next three weeks but it is so true, guard play rules in March.  That’s where the key match-up is here.  A couple of junior point guards are at the forefront of this game as Louisville’s Peyton Siva and Davidson’s Nik Cochran lead their respective teams and assists and are the catalysts to making their offense run.  In this game which ever guard is able to facilitate for their teammates better will go a long way in deciding a victor.

One anticipated Round of 32 game:

#1 Michigan State (27-7) vs. #8 Memphis (26-8) Sunday

In what could be a big contrast in styles, this potential game could be a stumbling block for the #1 seed.  Tom Izzo’s typical Michigan State, Big Ten style team predicated on defense and rebounding facing the get-out-and run style of Josh Pastner’s super athletic Memphis Tigers.  The Spartans, led by do everything Draymond Green, with Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix will have to find a way to contain the Tigers’ Barton brothers (Antonio and Will), Joe Jackson and Tarik Black.

College Hoop Haven

Come to Boston for the Springtime

13 Mar

East Region (Boston):

2nd Round must-see games:

#5 Vanderbilt (24-10) vs. #12 Harvard (24-6) Thursday 4:40PM Albuquerque, NM

In what will clearly be the most intellectual game of the 2nd round the Commodores draw the Ivy League’s Crimson.  Harvard may have backed into the NCAA tournament, avoiding a 1 game playoff with Penn thanks to Penn’s loss to Princeton in the regular season finale.  Harvard are led by forwards Kyle Casey (11.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Keith Wright (10.7ppg, 8.1rpg) who rank 1st and 2nd on the team in scoring and rebounding.  One problem the Crimson may have with Vanderbilt would come inside where Vanderbilt’s Festus Ezeli has 3 inches and 15 pounds on Wright.  Where the Commodores have another advantage is on the perimeter with John Jenkins, Jeffery Taylor and Brad Tinsley all shooting at least 40% from behind the arc and Harvard is 139thin 3-point fg% at 33.4%, that could be an issue for Harvard in this game.

Festus Ezeli could be key for Vanderbilt

#7 Gonzaga (25-6) vs. #10 West Virginia (19-13) Thursday 7:20PM Pittsburgh, PA

Mark Few must have a perpetual enemy on the Selection Committee.  In 2008 his Gonzaga Bulldogs got a 7 seed and traveled to Raleigh, NC to face #10 and Carolina school Davidson.  In 2010 8-seed Gonzaga received a 2nd round game with #1 Syracuse in Buffalo, NY.  Now in 2012, the Bulldogs are again a 7-seed and must travel east to Pittsburgh to face #10 West Virginia (who have a 60 mile trip to Pittsburgh), not exactly geographical generosity for Gonzaga.

Besides Gonzaga’s traveling hardships this game is full of interesting match ups all over the floor.  In the back court you have Gonzaga’s freshman Kevin Pangos vs. West Virginia’s senior Darryl “truck” Bryant.  On the perimeter you have one of the Big East’s most dynamic players Kevin Jones, and Gonzaga’s versatile swingman Elias Harris.  Finally, in the paint you have two tough and rugged big men; Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre and West Virginia’s resident mountain man Deniz Kilicli.

One first round in-game match up to watch:

#3 Florida State (24-9) vs. #14 St. Bonaventure (20-11) Friday 2:45 PM Nashville, TN

The best in-game battle to watch in this region takes place in the paint.  You’ve heard the saying, “men among boys”, well for Florida State’s Bernard James it’s the truth.  The 27-year old James took time away from basketball to serve his country and now has led the Seminoles in rebounding, blocked shots, an ACC Tournament title and a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament.  He will face off against one of the nation’s best kept secrets in St. Bonaventure big man Andrew Nicholson.

Nicholson has picked up his game since a Feb. 15 loss to Temple, having averaged 26 points, 9.3 rebounds and five double-doubles in a 7-1 stretch that ended in an Atlantic 10 championship.  In the conference tournament he averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds in the 3 games in Atlantic City.

One anticipated Round of 32 game:

#1 Syracuse (31-2) vs. #8 Kansas State (21-10) Saturday Pittsburgh, PA

The reason I like this game is one word, rebounding.  Kansas State is one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country, and Syracuse has trouble rebounding on the offensive end because of the zone they play.  If the Orange struggle making shots, there could be a lot of one-and-done opportunities, giving the Wildcats the chance to keep a potential game close.

College Hoop Haven

Meet Me in St. Louis

13 Mar

Midwest Region (St. Louis, MO):

2nd Round must-see games:

#3 Georgetown (23-8) vs. #14 Belmont (27-7) Friday 3:10PM Columbus, OH   

This is the same Belmont team that gave Wisconsin a scare in the 2ndround of last year’s NCAA tournament.  Rick Byrd’s senior-laden squad also gave Duke all they could handle at Cameron Indoor in November.  They face a tough defensive Georgetown team whose length could cause problems for a Belmont team that likes to play out on the perimeter.  Georgetown could have a big advantage inside with Henry Sims and freshman Otto Porter patrolling the paint.  But if you remember Georgetown was a #3 seed last season and was tripped up by Ohio out of the Mid-American conference in the first round.  A tested, experienced Belmont team has a chance to pick off the Hoyas if they, they most certainly won’t be intimidated playing under the big lights.

Purdue's Robbie Hummel gets one more shot at the NCAAs

#7 St. Mary’s (27-5) vs. #10 Purdue (21-12) Friday 7:27PM Omaha, NE

This game is less about star power and more about the things I find right about college basketball.  After nearly a decade of trying St. Mary’s finally leap frogged Gonzaga to the top of the West Coast Conference, claiming the first outright title by someone other than Gonzaga in 11 years.  The Gaels are led by guard Matthew Dellavedova who is not only the leading scorer but also the heart and soul of Randy Bennett’s team.   Dellavedova has a terrific supporting cast as well with big man 6’8 Rob Jones and back court mates Clint Steindl and Stephen Holt.

The Gaels face a Purdue squad that may have the poster child for college athletics in Robbie Hummel.  Two years ago the Boilermakers were a popular pick for the final four when Hummel suffered a torn ACL, ending his season.  Last year, unbelievably he suffered the same fate, another torn ACL ending his senior season before it ever began.  He petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility, which was granted, allowing Hummel to end his college career the way he should, on the court.  Now he has his Boilermakers in the NCAA tournament giving us all one more chance to watch Robbie Hummel play basketball.

One first round in-game match up to watch:

#4 Michigan (24-9) vs. #13 Ohio (27-7) Friday 7:20PM Nashville, TN

Much like the South region, the on court head-to-head battle in the Midwest region takes place in the back court.  Trey Burke of Michigan not only led the Wolverines in scoring with 14.8 points per game, he also led the team in assists at 4.6 dimes a game as a freshman.  He led the Wolverines as their floor general from the first day of practice for John Belein’s team.  It will be his first taste of post-season play for Burke and he will be facing a well-seasoned guard in Ohio’s D. J. Cooper.  This will be Cooper’s 2nd trip to the NCAAs in three seasons.  He scored 23 points in a first round upset of #3 Georgetown in 2010.  Like Burke, Cooper led his team in points (14.6) and assists (5.7).  Watching these 2 guys go head-to-head will be a treat to watch.

One anticipated Round of 32 game:

#1 North Carolina (29-5) vs. #8 Creighton (28-5) Sunday Greensboro, NC

What makes this potential game interesting is a reunion between UNC’s Harrison Barnes and Creighton’s Doug McDermott.  The two stars led Ames High to back-to-back Iowa state championships in 2009-10.  It would be interesting to see how these two play against each other should the meeting come to pass.

College Hoop Haven

A Look at the South

13 Mar

South Region (Atlanta, GA):

2nd round must-see games:

#5 Wichita State (27-5) vs. #12 Virginia Commonwealth (28-6) Thursday 7:15pm Portland, OR

When this game popped up on the screen there was a collective ooh and eww among college basketball fans everywhere.  Both teams have Sweet 16 capability, Wichita State was a trendy, sneaky final 4 pick for some.  With big man Garrett Stutz and silky smooth guard Joe Ragland the Shockers have the personnel to make a deep run.  The nation was alerted to the ability of Wichita State when they totally dismantled a pretty good Davidson squad on the road in Bracket Busters.

VCU, coming off a magical run to the final 4 last year is probably the one mid major team (aside from Butler) that casual fans would associate with.  This is a different Rams team, this one is led by Senior Bradford Burgess and Sophomore Javonte Reddic.  The experience the Rams gained last season helped them this season as they continually got better, culminating in a Colonial Athletic Association championship where they beat one of the hottest team in the country, Drexel.

While this may be one of the more exciting games of the 2nd round, it also will eliminate a team that could do some damage down the road.

#3 Baylor (27-7) vs. #14 South Dakota State (27-7) Thursday 7:27pm Albuquerque, NM

If you like track meets this may be the game for you.  Baylor is undeniably one of the most athletic teams in the country.  The question has been which version of the Bears will show up?  When Perry Jones III, the Quincys (Acy and Miller) and company play to the capabilities they can beat anyone in the country.  The effort and mental toughness is the question, when they got punched in the mouth by Kansas and Missouri they didn’t punch back, last we saw it happened in the Big 12 title game against Missouri.

South Dakota State not only has the one of the best nicknames in the country, Jackrabbits, it also has one of the better players in the nation that not many people have heard of Nate Wolters.  One of the leading scorers in the country Wolters dropped 34 on PAC 12 regular season champion Washington  earlier this season.  The Jackrabbits live up to their name averaging 77 points per game and can score with anyone in the country.

A team like South Dakota State could give Baylor some fits, having someone that can keep up with them offensively.  How will Baylor react if they get 30 minutes in and are unable to put away a #13 seed.

One first round in-game match up to watch:

#2 Duke (27-6) vs. #15 Lehigh (26-7) Thursday 7:15pm Greensboro, NC

One aspect of basketball that carries more weight than some in March it has to be guard play, and the 2/15 game has two of the better guard mano-a-mano duels in the entire bracket.  Duke’s fabulous freshman Austin Rivers introduced himself to the country and his arch rival by confidently hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to sink the hearts of those clad in Carolina blue.  Since that game he has become the “the guy” late in games for the Blue Devils, for better or worse.

Rivers faces Lehigh’s CJ McCollum who carried his team to a Patriot League championship by defeating league favorite Bucknell in the title game, a game in which he dropped 29 on the Bison.  McCollum at 6’3 is one of the country’s leading scorers at 21.9 points a game also leads the Mountain Hawks in rebounding at 6.5 per game.

It will be interesting to see how a Duke team that has struggled getting stops on the defensive end this season how they try and contain McCollum.  If the two back court leaders guard each other, how much will work on the defensive end effect their ability to run their offenses?

One anticipated Round of 32 game:

#1 Kentucky (32-2) vs. #9 Connecticut (20-13) Saturday Louisville, KY

Freshman Anthony Davis leads #1 Kentucky in the South Region

For garnering the top overall seed in the tournament, the Kentucky Wildcats were certainly thrown a gauntlet if they hope to make it to New Orleans.  The first may come in their 2nd game as they could face defending national champion Connecticut.  The Huskies have been one of the most frustrating teams in basketball this season, but a team with the likes of Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier, Andre Drummond and Ryan Boatwright certainly has the talent to give the ‘Cats a run.

College Hoop Haven

Bullet Bracket Thoughts

12 Mar

South:

-Kentucky may have been the #1 overall seed and rewarded with the easiest #16 match up, but that’s about all they were rewarded with.  The Wildcats have a potential 3rd round game with the defending national champs, Connecticut as well as potential road blocks Indiana, Baylor, UNLV and Duke on their road to New Orleans.

-The #5/#12 game between Wichita State, arguably the best non BCS team in the field and VCU looking to return to the final four.  This will be a fantastic game, the only disappointing thing is one of these teams will be gone on day 1.

-The South region contains 11 at-large teams, most of any of the 4 regions.

Midwest:

-This region sets up for a regional final episode of “This is Your Life Roy Williams” with North Carolina the #1 and Kansas the #2.

-#8 Creighton seems to be seeded a bit low for a 28-win team that won the Missouri Valley, when say #6 San Diego State lost in the tournament final with a worse RPI 26v23 and a worse non-conference RPI (which the committee has emphasized as a big factor) 155v205.

East:

-#5Vanderbilt/#12 Harvard may be game with the highest IQ in the tournament.

-Gonzaga two years ago traveled east to Buffalo and faced Syracuse in their 2nd game.  This year they again travel east and draw West Virginia in Pittsburgh.  Does Mark Few have a bitter neighbor on the committee?

West:

-Has 10 automatic qualifiers

-Like Creighton, #8 Memphis seeded too low based on the way they have played the last month.  As a result the Tigers could get a shot at #1 Michigan State.

-Again a #5/#12 match up of potential sweet 16 teams New Mexico and Long Beach State, one of which will never get the chance, shame.

– Missouri’s non- conference strength of schedule (294) seems to have cost them a chance at a #1 seed as they were ranked 8th overall.

-Could be renamed “Guard Central” with teams like Memphis, Florida and Missouri, in addition to Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom, Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan, Iona’s Scott Machado and MoMo Jones and Long Beach State’s Casper Ware.

College Hoop Haven

Friday Snapshot-Conference by Conference

10 Mar

ACC: #1 North Carolina’s floor general Kendall Marshall had 13 points and 12 assists to help carry the load as John Henson left after 7 minutes with an apparent left wrist injury and did not return.  It didn’t matter as the Tar Heels dominated #8 Maryland despite 30 points from the conference’s leading scorer Terrell Stoglin.  Carolina will now face #5 NC State in the semifinals.

#5 NC State may have played their way into the NCAA tournament with a 67-64 win over #4 Virginia.  Double doubles for Mike Scott (23 points and 11 boards) and Akil Mitchell (10 points 11 rebounds) weren’t enough to overcome C.J. Leslie’s 19 points and 14 rebounds. Up next for Mark Gottfried’s team is #1 North Carolina in the semifinals.

#2 Duke survives a valiant effort from #10 Virginia Tech to outlast the Hokies 60-56 and advance to the semifinals.  The Blue Devils were led by Mason Plumlee’s 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Michael Snaer had 20 points and Ian Miller added 17 as #3 Florida State delivered a blow to the at-large hopes of #6 Miami with an 82-71 win.  The Seminoles now face Duke in the semifinals tomorrow.  The Hurricanes were without guard Durand Scott who was ruled ineligible just prior to the tip for receiving impermissible benefits.

Atlantic 10: The first quarterfinal of the day and the top seed goes down.  Down 5 at the half #8 Massachusetts started the 2nd half on 20-5 to take a 51-41 lead. But #1 Temple then answered with 20-6 run of their own, In the end diminutive Chaz Williams (20 points 10 assists) and 22 turnovers did in the Owls, giving UMass a 77-71 upset and a trip to the semifinals.

#4 St. Bonaventure made just 3 of their last 6 free thows down the stretch but it was enough to beat #5 St. Joseph’s 71-68 in the quarterfinals.  Andrew Nicholson once again led the Bonnies into the next round with 25 points 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.

#2 St. Louis led nearly wire-to-wire, and survived a late run by # 7 LaSalle that saw the Explorers cut the lead to 57-56. But Kwamain Mitchell’s 15 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists propelled the Bilikens to a 78-71 victory and a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.

In what may have amounted to an NCAA elimination game #3 Xavier took out state rival #6 Dayton 70-69 in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Trailing 69-63 Mark Lyons refused to lose, going on a 7-0 run to end the game and send the Muskateers into the semifinals against St. Louis.

Big East: Sean Kilpatrick went 6-9 from behind the arc and Yancy Gates added 18 points and 8 rebounds as #4 Cincinnati upset #1 Syracuse 71-68.  Dion Waiters did his best to carry the Orange with 27 points on 7 three pointers, the last one cut the lead to 2 with 17 seconds to play.  The Bearcats now await Louisville in the Big East Championship tomorrow.

#7 Louisville held #3 Notre Dame to 19 first half points and 12.5% from 3-point land in a 64-50 win.  The Cardinals will face former Metro Conference foe Cincinnati in the title game.

Big Ten: Top seed Michigan State shot 70% in the first half and never looked back in beating #8 Iowa 92-75. Draymond Green led the Spartans, who will now face #4 Wisconsin in the semifinals, with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

#4 Wisconsin pulled away from #5 Indiana late 79-71, getting an offensive boost from the unlikeliest of performers, senior Rob Wilson who averages just 3 points per game.  Wilson on the biggest stage of his career led the Badgers with an improbable 30 points on 11-16 shooting including 7 three pointers.

#2 Michigan got 30 points from freshman Trey Burke and 20 more from Tim Hardaway, Jr. to defeat #10 Minnesota 73-69 in OT.  Evan Smotrycz made his only field goal of the game, a 3-pointer with 17 seconds to play to send the game to overtime. The Wolverines now face Ohio State in the semifinals.

#3 Ohio State dismantled #6 Purdue in the 2nd half on their way to an 88-71 win and a semifinal date with rival Michigan.  The Buckeyes were led by Jared Sullinger’s 30 points and 12 rebounds and DeShaun Thomas’ 22 points.

Big 12: #4 Baylor did something in the Big 12 tournament they were unable to do in the regular season, knock off #1 Kansas 81-72 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.  The Bears pulled off the feat with 6 guys in double figures, including Brady Heslip who hit 2 late 3-point daggers for Baylor, who will face Missouri in the title game.

#2 Missouri earned a trip to the Big 12 title game by the way of an 81-67 win over #6 Texas.  The Tigers got 46 points from Kim English and Flip Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe added 18 points and 15 rebounds.  Missouri now gets Baylor in the championship who upset #1 Kansas in the other semifinal.  The loss leaves Texas sweating out their fate on Selection Sunday.

Big West: #1 Long Beach State survived a scare from #7 UC-Irvine to pull away and earn a 68-57 win.  The 49ers advance to the Big West title game where they will face their nemesis UC-Santa Barbara. T.J. Robinson (11 points, 10 rebounds) and James Ennis (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Casper Ware added 22 in the win.

#3 UC-Santa Barbara earned a trip to the Big West title game with a 64-52 win over #4 Cal Poly.  Orlando Johnson led the way for the Gauchos with 20 points.  UCSB now faces the team they’ve knocked out of the last two tournaments, top seed Long Beach State.

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