March 13th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
Few people thought it could be done: winning five games in five days had never happened in the history of conference tournaments, and no team in the history of the expanded Big East Championship had gone from playing on Tuesday to the tile game. That all changed when Preston Knowles' attempt to tie the game at the buzzer hit the back iron, giving Connecticut the 69-66 win and their seventh Big East Championship title (first since 2004). MVP Kemba Walker scored 19 points, making the game-winning play on an assist after scoring a tournament-record 130 points through five games.
March 12th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
The day before Selection Sunday is finally here, which means that a number of conferences will determine their winners throughout the course of the day. Thirteen automatic bids are up for grabs and a 14th, the battle between South Dakota and North Dakota in the Great West, will be for an automatic bid in the College Insider Tournament. The Big 12 and Big East title games may receive a great deal of attention (and rightfully so), but the first meeting between teams with 30 victories will take place in the Mountain West final.
March 11th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
The bubble has been so bad that we've become used to the sight of someone else shooting themselves in the foot. But outside of losses incurred by Colorado State (to a New Mexico team that could work its way back into the conversation), UAB (in overtime to East Carolina) and Washington State (to Washington) it was a good day for the teams most in need of wins at this stage in the season. On the flip side of Washington State's misfortune despite a performance for the ages from Klay Thompson was the second half revival for Washington, with C.J.
March 10th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
With more games come more opportunities to see who actually wants to go to the NCAA Tournament. Now that the Big 12 (for the most part) has sorted itself out it's time for conferences such as the ACC, Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac-10 and SEC to begin their tournaments in earnest (the Mountain West and Pac-10 had games yesterday but none had an impact on the field of 68).
One game to keep an eye on tips off late in Greensboro with banged-up Virginia Tech taking on Georgia Tech in the final game of the day.
March 9th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
Three more tickets were punched on Tuesday night with one being snagged by Greg Kampe's Oakland Golden Grizzlies in a 90-76 win over Oral Roberts in the Summit League title game. Regular season and tournament MVP Keith Benson went off for 28 points, 14 rebounds and four assists and Reggie Hamilton added 26 points and six assists as Oakland completed an impressive run through the conference that included just one loss (IUPUI).
March 4th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
Trailing by just one point (25-24) at the half but mostly stifled offensively (21.2% FG) the Washington Huskies needed someone to step up and change the flow of the game. Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning struggled to find clean looks, which is to be expected given how prominently they figure in the Husky attack. Enter freshman CJ Wilcox, overlooked by some who chose to focus on the loss of Terrence Jones and the anticipated impact of Terrence Ross.
March 3rd, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
One final Pac-10 Thursday before the end of the regular season, and the showcase matchup is a hot UCLA (21-8, 12-4) squad taking their show on the road to face Washington (19-9, 10-6) in an important game for both. The Huskies put forth a lackluster showing on Sunday night as they were soundly whipped by rival Washington State, and given their overall resume Lorenzo Romar's team may be slipping back into a position they'd rather avoid.
February 20th, 2011 by 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.
February 19th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
One of the more important games of the day doesn't involve a ranked team, but because of the inconsistent nature of both teams they find themselves in need of a victory. Michigan State (14-11, 6-7) hosts Illinois (17-9, 7-6) in an important contest both teams need in regards to their NCAA Tournament hopes. Tom Izzo's had to deal with maddening inconsistency from some of the players expected to be leaders, not to mention the dismissal of backup point guard Korie Lucious that's sapped them of their depth at the point.