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NCAA Tournament: Saturday Previews, Friday Recaps


Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK’s the thing.

When our Purdue writer is the one doing gamethreads, and Purdue is a 1-seed, you don’t expect a rage-quit until at LEAST the second weekend.


Friday’s Scores

NCAA Men’s Tournament

[16] Fairleigh Dickinson Knights 63, [1] Purdue Boilermakers 58

BoilerUp89: BoilerUp89 punching in and writing his season ending comments. Feel free to use this on whatever article gets written: There’s a lot of losses I can write thru. This is not one of them. I’m gonna need a month or three or five.

For my fellow boilerbots, I don’t know what to tell you. If you are like me, you aren’t reading this anyway. As a huge college basketball fan, I’ve left tonight wondering why I choose this as one of my hobbies. And tonight, I’m left with no answers. I suppose I’ll be dusting myself off and doing this again next season, but right now I’m left feeling empty.

MaximumSam: All of Purdue’s faults rose together in one very sad game. The freshman back court struggled with relentless pressure. The freshman point guard had as many turnovers as points. FDU basically just hung on to Zach Edey like a crop of little barnacles and didn’t bother guarding the three, but Purdue shot just 19%. By the end, everyone was passing up shots besides Foster Loyer.

The good news for Purdue is they could return nearly everyone, and there is literally no way to do worse in the tourney next year.

Buffkomodo: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
To be a little serious, this is what happens when you’re 1 dimensional and rely on freshman guards. It’s what happens when your best player or most explosive player isn’t a ball handler. To be honest, I’ve loved watching the Painter era at Purdue because I do truly respect him and it does suck for you guys that every year this will be brought up from now on.

The difference between Matt Painter and Tony Bennett is 1 national championship. Looks like yours might be coming next season Purdue, so cheer up!

Kind of...: A lot of the contextual factoids have already been shared: FDU is far worse by advanced metrics than UMBC, they needed Merrimack to be ineligible to even get a bid, Painter has lost to 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16 seeds now, etc.

But if my purpose is to twist the knife a bit, here’s my observation: I’m going to take Boiler fans even less seriously the next time I hear “we were definitely making the Final Four until Hummel got hurt in 2010.” Matt Painter coached that team too.

misdreavus79: Man, I feel terrible for Purdue fans. I guess, in a way, being a fan of Penn State makes scenarios like this one basically impossible, so I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to relate. And, given the choice, I think I prefer living in the world where merely making the tournament is cause for elation, because I cannot imaging the anguish that this fanbase must be going through right now.

[4] Indiana Hoosiers 71, [13] Kent State Golden Flashes 60

Hey, Trayce Jackson-Davis is taller than a MAC team!

Do with that what you will.

Glad Pete Nance finally got to be at an NCAA Tournament.

MaximumSam: A surprisingly ho hum win where the Hoosiers controlled basically the whole game. I’m glad I didn’t stay up to watch it.

Buffkomodo: This game was nip and tuck (mostly nip) in the first half until Indiana extended its lead heading into the half. The Hoosiers pushed the lead to double digits in the second half and never really let the game get scary.

And that’s really the secret to winning games in this tournament. Do everything you can to keep a cushion when you have it otherwise you could wind up on the wrong end of a buzzer beater.

A lot will be made about TJD, and rightfully so. However this game belongs to Miller Kopp and Race Thompson. They were awesome and outscored the TJD/JHS combo overall. If they play like this Sunday, Indiana has a chance to get back to the Sweet 16.

Kind of...: Given that Drake should have beaten Miami—despite the Bulldogs’ best player shooting 1-13—because Drake dominated in the paint, you’ve got to like Indiana’s odds of getting through to the Sweet 16. If this happens, look for multiple think pieces on the nature of the Purdue/Indiana rivalry.

misdreavus79: For a second there, it did look like Indiana might have thought they were playing Penn, and not Kent, State.

[7] Michigan State Spartans 72, [10] USC Trojans 62

I’ll admit to being a little surprised by this result, but when your old-ass coach is doing this, that’s a sign of something:

Anywho welcome to the neighborhood, USC. You’re gonna hate it here.

MaximumSam: Sparty made a spirited effort to give this game away. They missed the front end of three consecutive one and ones at the end and six free throws in a row. Luckily for them, USC did not resemble Iowa in any way, and was happy to throw the ball away as opposed to make a bunch of threes. I’m still a Spartan believer, but man I can’t fathom why they look so bad down the stretch of games.

Buffkomodo: Breaking clip boards is easy for everyone but Jay Wright apparently. Could explain why he’s a better coach than me. Also the PAC-12 is the big loser this year, so cheers OTE fans! We’re still not last place (except you Purdue).

Kind of...: Don’t want to be arrogant and say “I’m not surprised” but I definitely thought MSU was winning. And I think they have a real shot against Marquette, too. I based this optimism on the fact that Wisconsin, deemed not good enough to make the tournament beat USC on a neutral court, and beat Marquette on the road. Duke/Sparty Elite Eight?

misdreavus79: I mean, it’s “beat Marquette and the Final Four is yours” for Michigan State, right?

NCAA Women’s Tournament

[2] Iowa Hawkeyes 95, [15] Southeast Louisiana Lions 43

[2] Maryland Terrapins 93, [15] Holy Cross Crusaders 61

[6] Michigan Wolverines 71, [11] UNLV Rebels 59

Saturday’s Games

Men’s NCAA Tournament

[13] Furman Paladins vs. [5] San Diego State Aztecs

11:10am | CBS | SDSU -5.5 | O/U 137.5

South Region: Orlando, FL

The Aztecs nearly choked against College of Charleston, while Furman benefited when Virginia did choke! I don’t know that San Diego State will be as bad from three as Virginia was, but I do know that the Paladins can capitalize if they are.

misdreavus79: Last Mountain West Team Standing!

[5] Duke Blue Devils vs. [4] Tennessee Volunteers

1:40pm | CBS | Duke -3.5 | O/U 128.5

East Region: Orlando, FL

This is what happens when you lose, Purdue. One of these teams is probably going to the Elite Eight. Are you happy now?

misdreavus79: Oh right I forgot these two were here. Still.

[8] Arkansas Razorbacks vs. [1] Kansas Jayhawks

4:15pm | CBS | KU -3.5 | O/U 143.5

West Region: Des Moines, IA

The Hogs looked pretty impressive in keeping the Illini at arm’s length for the entirety of their game—Kansas will not afford them that courtesy, obviously, nor are they likely to shoot 27% from deep and 65% from the line or turn it over 17 times. Arkansas will need to be a lot more efficient on offense to make it stick even if Kansas is sloppy — but hey, we all get the Liberty Bowl redux we wanted.

misdreavus79: [sarcastic voice] “Why is one pronounced Kansas, but the other one pronounced Arkansaw?”

[15] Princeton Tigers vs. [7] Missouri Tigers

5:10pm | TNT | Mizzou -6.5 | O/U 149

South Region: Sacramento, CA

Did you know that both these teams are called the Tigers?

I’m on the fence as to whether Princeton will struggle with Mizzou’s athleticism and pressing ability or be able to pick it apart with that Ivy League precisi—they shot how badly against Arizona?

Genuinely happy for longtime Northwestern assistant—and Bill Carmody disciple—Mitch Henderson and Princeton, though. Here’s hoping.

misdreavus79: Tigers vs Tigers. It’s almost like there are too many Tiger mascots in college sports.

[9] Auburn Tigers vs. [1] Houston Cougars

6:10pm | TBS | UH -5.5 | O/U 132

Midwest Region: Birmingham, AL

Did the Coogs wake up after a 63-52 slopfest against fellow clock-burners Northern Kentucky? Marcus Sasser claims he’s going to be 100% for Auburn, but, uh...the Tigers sure looked decent in their romp over Iowa.

Now, Houston is a team that is actually familiar with the concept of “playing defense,” and the way that both Bruce Pearl and Kelvin Sampson set up their squads, this could easily be a first-to-60 proposition. I’d take the under here and miiiiiight lean Auburn in an upset.

misdreavus79: Oh look more Tigers. At least they’re facing Cougars...

[10] Penn State Nittany Lions vs. [2] Texas Longhorns

6:45pm | CBS | Texas -5.5 | O/U 139

Midwest Region: Des Moines, IA

I didn’t know that Jalen Pickett and Andrew Funk were the Second Coming of...well, name a famous duo. Bird and McHale? Rizzoli and Isles? It’s like 2am and I’m watching Australian Rules Football.

Why is Marcus Carr still here? Is it 2017?

misdreavus79: No, I don’t care that a Nittany Lions is just a type of cougar.

Penn State is going to need to play just as well, if not better than they did against A&M. Texas can shoot from outside, and has the athleticism to actually force Pickett out of what he wants to do. Of course, if the threes are falling it won’t matter much, but I’m not expecting that kind of performance again, so let’s hope they can just keep it close.

[7] Northwestern Wildcats vs. [2] UCLA Bruins

7:40pm | TNT | UCLA -7.5 | O/U 126.5

West Region: Sacramento, CA

I want to believe. I so badly do.

Boise State shoved Northwestern’s defensive rebounders in a goddamn locker on Thursday, yet the ‘Cats really did control that game, force Boise into some tough shots, and largely deserve to win.

I don’t think they get that benefit of the doubt against UCLA.

While I do think Chase Audige and Boo Buie can hold their own defensively against the UCLA backcourt of Tyger Campbell and Amari Bailey, who knows what the hell Jaime Jaquez Jr. is going to do to Robbie Beran or Matt Nicholson or whoever the ‘Cats try to throw at him on defense. It may not be pretty if Jaquez gets going.

On the other hand, Northwestern matches up a little better with the Bruins on account of that defense. We’ll see how the Bruins do facing another real team without Jaylen Clark and a possibly-still-injured Adem Bona. Drag it into the mud and hope for a slightly-above-average game from Northwestern’s guards, and the ‘Cats could grind out a 62-60 kind of donnybrook.

misdreavus79: UCLA already plays like a Big Ten team, so this is just a preview of next next season.

[8] Maryland Terrapins vs. [1] Alabama Crimson Tide

8:40pm | TBS | Bama -9 | O/U 144.5

South Region: Birmingham, AL

The committee giveth and the committee taketh away, huh, Kev?

I can’t wait to hear about how it was unfair that Maryland had to go from an 11am game to an 8:40pm game. That’s why they’ll lose this one.

misdreavus79: You know what Maryland, if you beat Alabama, I’ll force Penn State fans to acknowledge you as a rival in football. How’s that sound?

Women’s NCAA Tournament

[1] Indiana Hoosiers vs. [16] Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

10:30am | ESPN2 | IU -30 | O/U 139.5 | at Indiana

[3] Ohio State Buckeyes vs. [14] James Madison Dukes

12:30pm | ESPN2 | OSU -18 | O/U 143 | at Ohio State

Men’s NIT

[3] Michigan Wolverines at [2] Vanderbilt Commodores

11am | ESPN | Vandy -2 | O/U 148 | Clemson Region

[4] Cincinnati Bearcats at [NR] Hofstra Pride

1pm | ESPN+ | Rutgers Region

Here’s your open thread for the day’s hoops. Behave.