Fri, 02/25/2011 - 19:54 — Raphielle Johnson
Just a month ago the question was not just whether or not Gonzaga would get to the NCAA Tournament but also if their run atop the West Coast Conference was coming to an end. But what's said on the outside doesn't have to be accepted inside of a locker room, that's been the case for Mark Few's team as they've hung around. The end result was the chance to pull into a tie for first place, an opportunity the Bulldogs took full advantage of in their 89-85 overtime win at Saint Mary's.
Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:02 — Raphielle Johnson
Well, someone has to go to the NCAA Tournament. But there are more than a few teams who either don't value the importance of making a statement at this point or are willing to roll the dice on Selection Sunday. Wednesday was one of those nights, with a number of teams squandering opportunities to either bolster their causes or avoid stubbing their toe in contests they should win. Boston College qualifies, as they fell behind Miami at home by as many as 21 points before rallying back, ultimately losing 73-64.
Wed, 02/23/2011 - 08:05 — Raphielle Johnson
There comes a point in many teams' season where they're faced with a choice: fold up the tent and accept the result, or put up a fight in the face of adversity. That point for Tennessee may have come at the 13:02 mark in the second half, as a Festus Ezeli dunk extended Vanderbilt's lead to 42-31 in front of a raucous crowd at Memorial Gym. Bruce Pearl called a 30 second timeout, making sure to also send Melvin Goins, Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson back into the game, and from that point forward the Volunteers outscored Vanderbilt 29-9 and winning by the final score of 60-51.
Tue, 02/22/2011 - 17:45 — Raphielle Johnson
Usually a concern to play a bit reckless when in his hometown of Philadelphia, Scoop Jardine had no such issues on Monday night in leading Syracuse to a 69-64 win over Villanova at the Well Fargo Center. Jardine made seven of eleven shots from the field, finishing with 20 points along with six assists and four rebounds and fellow Philadelphian Rick Jackson added 18 points and five rebounds. Offensively this contest was a far cry from the first meeting between the two, an 83-72 Villanova win that featured a combined 21 three-pointers made with the Wildcats making 11.
Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:19 — Raphielle Johnson
Saturday night's matchup between Illinois and Michigan State didn't set up to be the marquee meeting expected when the season began, but it definitely didn't lack for importance with both teams needing wins to ensure an NCAA Tournament appearance. And in a battle of seniors who needed to step up it was Kalin Lucas who came through, scoring 25 points in Michigan State's 71-67 win over the Illini.
Fri, 02/18/2011 - 20:41 — Raphielle Johnson
Before Thursday night's game between Richmond and Temple the Atlantic 10 may have been in some trouble with regards to getting three teams into the NCAA Tournament. Both the Owls and Xavier are seen to essentially be locks to get into the NCAA Tournament, and after Thursday night they may be the only two teams that get in come Selection Sunday.
Thu, 02/17/2011 - 08:16 — Raphielle Johnson
The game between Purdue and Wisconsin was a big one as the two teams were tied for second place in the Big Ten with matching 9-3 league records. Add in Wisconsin's 66-59 win over the Boilermakers just 15 days prior and the rematch in West Lafayette was even more important for Matt Painter's team. And they rose to the occasion, turning the ball over just four times and limiting the Badgers to 3-for-19 from beyond the arc in winning 70-62.
Wed, 02/16/2011 - 07:08 — Raphielle Johnson
If you haven't paid much attention to Jim Larranaga's George Mason Patriots it's about time you did. The Patriots made quite the statement on Tuesday night, going on the road to whip VCU 71-51 to wrap up at least a share of the CAA regular season title. A win in either of their last two conference games clinches the league outright, and this group is well on their way to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Ryan Pearson led five players in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds, and George Mason assisted on 17 of their 23 made baskets.
Tue, 02/15/2011 - 18:17 — Raphielle Johnson
"I'm not going to the NIT. I won't play basketball in the NIT. I'm saying that now. If we lose, and we have to go to the NIT, I will not play."
Those were the words of Kansas State senior guard Jacob Pullen to Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star on January 12th, but from that point forward neither Pullen nor the rest of his teammates had done much to avoid such a decision.