Trevon Bluiett (6'6''-G-94) doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about missed shots because knows makes will eventually come. After missing his first seven shots and contributing only three points in the first half, Bluiett found his rhythm Thursday night to lead No.11-sedeed Xavier to a 76-65 upset of sixth-seeded Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Bluiett made six of seven shots from the field during the final 20 minutes to finish with 21 points. 'Once I get a couple to go in and get a rhythm going then everything starts to fall,' said Bluiett, the Musketeers' leading scorer. 'Everything you shoot just feels good.' Bluiett made four three-pointers in the second half to help Xavier come back from a six-point deficit. The Musketeers move on in the West Region, marking the third straight year they have advanced to the second round. Maryland, which started three freshmen for much the season, lost in the first round for the first time since 1997. Maryland came in favored after finishing second in the Big Ten during the regular season but the Terps seemed to be one of the more vulnerable No. 6 seeds in the tournament, primarily because of their youth. Maryland's young players struggled at times as Xavier shifted from zone to man-to-man. Kevin Huerter (6'7''-G-98) finished with 19 points but was just five of 13 from the field and star junior Melo Trimble couldn't find a rhythm against the Musketeers zone, going one for nine from three-point range to finish with 13 points, three assists and three turnovers. 'I just believe in my players,' said Xavier Coach Chris Mack . 'Maryland is really good against man-to-man offensively. We don't want Quentin Goodin (6'3''-G-97) to be chasing Melo Trimble all over the floor so zone is fairly effective at times.' Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said his players had difficulty trying to beat Xavier's defense. The Terps went long stretches without making baskets and shot just 26% from three-point range, worse in the second half as Xavier played mostly zone. 'The changing defenses gave us more problems than anything tonight,' Turgeon said. 'I think they got hot and we kind of got rushed a little bit.' The Terps also had no answer for Xavier big man Sean O'Mara (6'10''-F/C-95),, who had a career night off the bench, forcing his way in the paint. O'Mara, who finished with 18 points on five-of-six shooting from the field while making eight of nine free throws, dominated as Bluiett struggled and kept the pressure on the Terps' two big men. 'My teammates got me the ball in great positions and pretty much all I had to do was throw up five foot hook shots and make a couple of back-to-the-basket moves to score,' O'Mara said. The Musketeers also got a huge contribution from Kaiser Gates off bench with 11 points. Xavier's bench outscored the Terprapins, 30-13, and outrebounded them 11-4 in a game that was fairly close throughout. 'When you get production like that with those two it just makes us that much tougher to defend,' Mack said. Courtesy of: latimes.com
Player of the Year:Michael Mallory(6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange (6'2''-G) of Newberry Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin (6'8''-F) of Dominican, NY Hunter Leveau (6'5''-F) of King Michael Mallory (6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Matthew Dogan (6'7''-G) of Gannon [read more]
Oregon Advances After Surviving Michigan's Buzzer-Beater Attempt - 8 hours ago
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The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contribut... [read more]
The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contributed a block and a steal in just seven minutes of play, his time limited by foul trouble. But Michigan's seemingly impending surge never materialized, as third-seeded Oregon, playing one of the country's most 3-point-happy teams, began to take more aim from deep and hit 3-pointers. And hit them and hit them and hit them. Five from sophomore Tyler Dorsey (6'4''-SG-96), two from junior Dillon Brooks (6'6''-F-96) - all in the second half. The Ducks, which entered making fewer than one-third of their shots from deep, made 47.1 percent (8-for-17) for the game. But Dorsey's most crucial shot came not from beyond the 3-point line, but on an acrobatic drive to the basket that put the Ducks ahead by a point with 1 minute 9 seconds remaining. Those proved to be the final points in a 69-68 victory for Oregon (32-5) over seventh-seeded Michigan (26-12), sending the Ducks to the round of eight on Saturday to play the winner of the later game Thursday night, between No. 1 Kansas and No. 4 Purdue. The Ducks were led by Dorsey and the junior Jordan Bell (6'9''-F-95). Dorsey had 20 points; Bell had a double-double, with 16 points and 13 rebounds - including, on the possession before Dorsey's lay-in, a crucial board on a missed Oregon free throw that he put back to cut Michigan's lead to 1 point. Michigan's Walton finished with 20 points and 8 assists, and his fellow senior guard Zak Irvin (6'6''-G/F-94) had 19 points and 8 rebounds. Moritz Wagner, a 6-foot-10 sophomore from Berlin, who goes by Moe, was Michigan's leading scorer in the last game, an upset of second-seeded Louisville, but on Thursday he appeared physically overwhelmed in the low post and hapless elsewhere, at one point botching a clear layup after Oregon gave him the lane. He finished with 7 points on 10 shots and barely saw the court in the second half. When Brooks hit a 3 with a little more than 13 minutes left in the game, Oregon led by 50-44 and looked in control. But the Ducks let the Wolverines back in it, missing their next five field goals and going scoreless for more than three minutes. Wilson played terrific defense on Bell, forcing him into a miss one-on-one in the post and then grabbing the rebound. Michigan took a 51-50 lead with Walton sitting for the first time in the game. Then Oregon fought back and built a 56-51 lead, with Tyler Ennis (6'2''-G-94, college: Syracuse) contributing a 3-point play. Wilson brilliantly faked his defender with the ball down low, only to miss the layup. Later, Wilson found Irvin underneath in a Walton-like assist to cut Oregon's lead to three. The game continued to seesaw between 3- and 5-point Oregon leads until Wilson hit a 3 to cut Oregon's lead to 60-58 with less than five minutes left. On Michigan's next possession, Walton dribbled at the top of the key, and Oregon's defense dropped back, giving him room to hit his own 3-pointer for a 61-60 lead for the Wolverines with 4:15 remaining. The lead was short-lived: Another Oregon 3-pointer was in store, from Dorsey. On the other end? A 3 from Irvin. With fewer than two minutes left and the shot clock dribbling, Walton took it upon himself again, creating a fadeaway shot that seemed to take an eternity to decide whether to go through the hoop or not. It finally decided in the affirmative, making the score 68-65 - Michigan's largest lead since the first half. Bell grabbed a missed Oregon free throw and put it in to make it a one-point Wolverines lead. This was followed by Dorsey's athletic drive to make it 69-68 Oregon with one minute remaining. Walton had one last chance to go ahead, but his attempt at a buzzer-beating 3-pointer was short. Though a major-conference champion with a famous football team, Michigan might have been the closest thing to a Cinderella story among the 16 teams that entered the N.C.A.A. men's basketball tournament's second weekend. Fledgling through the end of the season, its plane bound for the Big Ten tournament skidded off the runway, spooking the team and causing light injuries. The Wolverines proceeded to tear through that tournament, winning it all. Ranked as high as fourth overall in the Associated Press poll this season, Oregon lost its top shot-blocker, senior Chris Boucher, to a season-ending knee injury in the Pacific-12 tournament. The Ducks now look to make just their second Final Four in program history - and their first since 1939, the very first Final Four of them all. Courtesy of: nytimes.com
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