The Villanova Wildcats are national champions after Kris Jenkins (6'6''-F-93) swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat North Carolina 77-74 in one of the great NCAA title games of all time. North Carolina's Marcus Paige (6'1''-PG-93) had just tied it for the Tar Heels when he adjusted in the air and rattled home a game-tying 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to make it 74-all. For Villanova, it is its first national title since 1985, when the Wildcats shocked Georgetown. At the half it was North Carolina 39, Villanova 34. The crowd at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas was announced at 74,340 - the second largest in NCAA tournament final history. Carolina coach Roy Williams was looking for his third national championship with the Tar Heels and the school's sixth overall, but just couldn't make it happen. In the semifinals, Villanova shocked the hoops world with a 95-51 dissecting of Oklahoma. The Wildcats set a record for margin of victory in a Final Four game. They held Oklahoma's Buddy Hield (6'4''-G-93) to just nine points. The Carolina-Syracuse semifinal game was never really in doubt as the Tar Heels won 83-66. The victory for the Tar Heels was their third this season over the Orange. Phil Booth (6'3''-G-95) led Villanova with 20 points. Jenkins finished with 14. Paige had 21 for the Heels (33-7) who came one shot short of giving coach Roy Williams his third national title. Courtesy of: fox61.com
Ft. Collins, CO - Although Colorado State had the lead over San Diego State for only two minutes in the game, Emmanuel Omogbo(6'8''-F-95)'s 3-pointer with four seconds to play gave the Rams a 56-55 win. The loss drops the Aztecs to 16-12 on the season and 9-7 in MW conference play while CSU improves to 20-9 and leading-tying 12-4 mark. The Rams swept the season series over San Diego State who were selected to repeat as regular-season champions. The Aztecs returned three starters from las... [read more]
Ft. Collins, CO - Although Colorado State had the lead over San Diego State for only two minutes in the game, Emmanuel Omogbo (6'8''-F-95)'s 3-pointer with four seconds to play gave the Rams a 56-55 win. The loss drops the Aztecs to 16-12 on the season and 9-7 in MW conference play while CSU improves to 20-9 and leading-tying 12-4 mark.
The Rams swept the season series over San Diego State who were selected to repeat as regular-season champions. The Aztecs returned three starters from last year's team. Colorado State has now won nine of their last ten games although utilizing only seven players.
San Diego State's leading player is junior 6-4 guard Trey Kell, the team leader in assists (78), free throw percent (.765) and minutes (31.8 mpg) while ranking second in scoring (13.9 ppg). 6-5 senior guard Dakarai Allen scores at 8.7 ppg, on 53 percent from the field and leads the defensively with 36 steals on the season. But it is 6-10 junior forward Malik Pope that catches attention shooting with range on 34 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and scoring 10.1 points to go with 5.7 rebounds per game.
6-4 senior guard Gian Clavell is Colorado State's leading scorer (18.9 ppg) and rebounds at 6.3 rpg, while 6-8 senior forward Omogbo averages a double-double at 14.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
CSU trailed by as many as 13 with Omogbo in early foul trouble and Clavell going 0-of-7 from the three-point arc, but chipped away with transition buckets and unforced Aztec turnovers leading to fast break basketball. Just as in their previous meeting, when senior forward Omogbo hit a key 3-pointer to tie the game, this time he hit the game-winner.
The Rams only hit 32 percent of FG shots, but were a +8 in rebounding margin and shot twice as many free throws as the Aztecs, both important stats for winning. San Diego State finished at 36 percent on its field goal attempts and were led by Allen's 12 points and eight rebounds. San Diego State is now 2-9 this season in games decided by eight points or less. Prior to this season, the Aztecs were 50-22 in games decided by six points or less or in overtime. One of those losses was a 78-77 decision to Colorado State on Jan. 28.
San Diego State's Allen was impressive on defense and was a major factor in CSU's poor shooting night. He leads the team in steals and fills the stat line each game with the senior leadership in the knowing the value of team roles. Allen is vocal and anticipates very well. His shot selection is excellent and he is fundamentally solid (block-outs, crisp passing, etc.). We expect at the next level Allen will look to increase his shooting range and getting to the rim in order to create more offense. All the physical tools and great attitude are there.
Clavell led Colorado State and all scorers with 18 despite being 2-for-15 from the 3-point line. He plays hard and refuses to be denied. He is a good defender and had some key steals in the Ram final run. Clavell gets excellent height on his jump shot and is smooth shooting off the dribble or pass. Although his shot was off for this game, it was evident that the Rams need him to score for team success. Physically he is very solid and deceptively quick. He is capable of high energy for extended minutes. An overlooked aspect of Clavell's game is his defense. He picks up the other team's best perimeter player and doesn't give up an easy basket.
Earlier in the season, CSU's Omogbo displayed the typical power forward skills of tough defense and high energy rebounding while offensively working to help the guards score by setting screens and kicking the ball out from the low post. But perhaps the Ram's emergence can be tied to Omogbo's ability to score. He possesses a nice 'turn and face' game with the ability to hit the mid-range jumper or put the ball down and drive past a defender. He no longer relies on offensive rebounds for points but now puts pressure on the defense to be aware of him. Omogbo moves well without the ball and 'competes' at both ends of the court, which is not a skill seen every day.
Butler pulls away late to 88-79 win over Xavier - 10 hours ago
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Kelan Martin (6'6''-PF) had another big game, scoring 25 points, and No. 22 Butler followed its biggest road win of the season with yet another on Sunday, pulling away in the closing minutes for an 88-79 victory over Xavier. The Bulldogs (23-6, 12-5 Big East) were coming off a 74-66 victory at No. 2 Villanova, one of the biggest road wins in their history. They kept the momentum with a strong finish, outscoring Xavier 19-8 down the stretch for their fourth straight win. Neither team led b... [read more]
Kelan Martin (6'6''-PF) had another big game, scoring 25 points, and No. 22 Butler followed its biggest road win of the season with yet another on Sunday, pulling away in the closing minutes for an 88-79 victory over Xavier. The Bulldogs (23-6, 12-5 Big East) were coming off a 74-66 victory at No. 2 Villanova, one of the biggest road wins in their history. They kept the momentum with a strong finish, outscoring Xavier 19-8 down the stretch for their fourth straight win. Neither team led by more than six points before Butler's closing spurt. Kamar Baldwin (6'0''-G) added 17 points and had two steals that set up the late run. Xavier (18-11, 8-8) has lost five in a row, its deepest slump in 35 years. The Musketeers dropped six straight in 1981-82 under coach Bob Staak. The Musketeers' slide coincides with top scorer Trevon Bluiett (6'6''-G-94) suffering a sprained ankle. He was back for the second straight game and led with 21 points. Courtesy of: wlwt.com
Mika leads BYU to upset of No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 - 1 day ago
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Top-ranked Gonzaga's quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU's Eric Mika (6'10''-F) on Saturday night. Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars' first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs' perfect record in their last regular season game. The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute lef... [read more]
Top-ranked Gonzaga's quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU's Eric Mika (6'10''-F) on Saturday night. Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars' first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs' perfect record in their last regular season game. The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute left in the game. Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and then Corbin Kaufusi (6'10''-C) had a putback and Mika hit two free throws to put the game out of reach. Gonzaga ended a string of 15 consecutive games where it didn't trail in the second half. "They haven't had anyone have a lead on them in the second half for quite a while," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I thought that would be a really big emotional thing for us, and an emotional thing for them to have to respond. "You beat the No. 1 team on the road the last weekend of the season, it's good for a lot of reasons," Rose added. The Cougars rallied from an early 16-point deficit, and Mika said the team never wavered in its belief it could win. "I think all of us did and that was a big thing," Mika said. "I don't think a lot of teams, especially in our conference, believe 100 percent that they're going to come in and do that." The Cougars scored 44 points in the second half and made nine 3-pointers to just three for Gonzaga. Nigel Williams-Goss (6'3''-G-94) scored 19 points for Gonzaga (29-1, 17-1 West Coast), which was seeking to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season without a loss. "Obviously, it didn't go as we hoped," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We missed a lot of free throws and turned the ball over too much to be able to win a close game like that." Gonzaga missed 13 of its 29 free throws and had 16 turnovers but still led most of the game. "The season isn't over," Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews (6'4''-G-94) said. "It is a great season. We'd love to be 30-0, but we are 29-1." T.J. Haws added 17 points and Elijah Bryant 14 for BYU (21-10, 12-6). The last team to finish the entire season undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76. Gonzaga came out fired up and jumped to an 18-2 lead in the first five minutes, making 7 of 10 shots. The Zags cooled off, and three consecutive 3-pointers by BYU's Haws cut Gonzaga's lead to 26-22. Mika's basket cut Gonzaga's lead to one point before the Bulldogs closed with a 10-5 run to take a 41-35 lead at halftime. Zach Collins (7'0''-F-97)' putback gave Gonzaga a 58-46 lead midway through the second. A technical foul on Gonzaga helped BYU cut its deficit to 58-53 and seemed to spark the Cougars. A pair of 3-pointers by Nick Emery (6'2''-G) cut Gonzaga's lead to one, and Mika's basket gave the Cougars their first lead at 61-60. The teams traded baskets until Mika put the Cougars ahead for good. Courtesy of: abcnews.com
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