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Friday, April 19, 2024

2024 March Insanity scores, winners and losers: Tennessee again to Candy 16, Kansas falls, is on to subsequent 12 months

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The theme surrounding Saturday’s second-round NCAA Match slate was a scarcity of upsets. Seven of the eight winners have been lower-seeded groups.  No. 11 seed Oregon seemed prefer it may present a late-night upset, however ran out of fuel within the second time beyond regulation of an 86-73 loss to Creighton. The lone exception got here from Gonzaga, which blew out No. 4 seed Kansas, 89-68.

The win gave the No. 5 seed Bulldogs their ninth consecutive Candy 16 look and opened the door for an intriguing showdown in opposition to the winner of (1) Purdue and (8) Utah State subsequent week. Kansas failed to succeed in the second weekend of the NCAA Match after opening the season because the preseason No. 1 staff.

Jayhawks coach Invoice Self lamented on the staff’s lack of firepower after the loss. 

“I believe for the final month, I have been fascinated with subsequent season, to be sincere,” Self mentioned. “Not within the moments throughout the sport, however clearly, we performed — we had eight guys on scholarship, and we play — I imply, that have been wholesome there late. Accidents are a part of the sport. That is not an excuse.

“However we might have finished a significantly better job as a employees of placing extra guys on the market that we might play, and in order that’s one thing that I’ve thought of for a very long time. The factor about it’s, in basketball, early on you possibly can play by means of some issues. However the course of a season, there is a grind that goes with it and our bodies get run down, accidents happen. It is all a part of it. When you do not have as a lot firepower or that perhaps you have had in previous years, it definitely confirmed this 12 months.”

The primary time beyond regulation sport of the second spherical was an exciting end back-and-forth contest between March Insanity darlings Oakland and NC State. The Wolfpack held off a late second-half surge from Oakland behind 24 factors from huge man D.J. Burns Jr. within the 79-73 win. 

No. 7 seed Texas gave No. 2 seed Tennessee all it might deal with down the stretch earlier than SEC Participant of the Yr Dalton Knecht knocked down two free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining to seal a 62-58 win. The Volunteers superior to their third Candy 16 since 2019. 

Illinois star Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 30 factors in a win over No. 11 seed Duquesne. Shannon has scored a minimum of 25 factors in his final six video games to assist the Combating Illini punch their ticket to the Candy 16 for the primary time since 2005.

Listed below are the winners and losers from Saturday’s motion.

Winner: Gonzaga makes ninth straight Candy 16

No. 5 seed Gonzaga reached its ninth straight Candy 16 by throttling No. 4 seed Kansas 89-68. The Zags outscored KU 46-24 within the second half, making one other assertion two days after crushing No. 12 seed McNeese 86-65. Gonzaga fell out of the AP ballot for six weeks throughout WCC play after beginning 11-5. The Zags have been struggling to construct an at-large resume, and their streak of eight consecutive Candy 16 appearances appeared prefer it could possibly be ending. Actually, all this staff wanted was time. With program legend Drew Timme gone after 4 seasons and transfers Ryan Nembhard and Graham Ike discovering their approach, the Zags jelled within the season’s second half after the nationwide highlight had light. An 89-85 win at Kentucky on Feb. 10 confirmed the place this staff was headed. We should always have paid extra consideration. — David Cobb

Loser: Kansas limps to the end line

Kansas received 23 contests — together with an NCAA Match sport — and spent 17 weeks within the prime 10 of the AP ballot. However KU’s 2023-24 season will nonetheless go down as one of many worst in coach Invoice Self’s 21-year tenure. A lot of it needed to do with this system’s roster development — or lack thereof. 

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The Jayhawks misplaced a pair of top-100 commitments from their 2023 recruiting class as Marcus Adams Jr. and Chris Johnson each opted to attend different Large 12 faculties. Kansas additionally rolled the cube on Texas switch Arterio Morris, even supposing he’d beforehand been accused of home violence. He was then charged with rape and dismissed from the staff earlier than the season. 

With Towson switch Nic Timberlake and the freshman pair of Elmarko Jackson and Jamari McDowell struggling to satisfy expectations, the Jayhawks have been perilously gentle on depth. A bone bruise for star wing Kevin McCullar Jr. proved to be the demise knell. He was unable to play within the NCAA Match, and KU simply did not have the horses wanted to satisfy this system’s typical commonplace. That was painfully obvious within the Jayhawks’ uncompetitive second-half efficiency in opposition to Gonzaga. — Cobb

Creighton wins a thriller

After the opening day of the second spherical of the NCAA Match was full of blowouts, No. 3 seed Creighton’s dramatic 86-73 double-overtime win over No. 10 seed Oregon supplied a spark. Creighton stars Steven Ashworth, Baylor Scheierman, and Ryan Kalkbrenner delivered huge particular person performances to assist the Bluejays advance to the Candy 16. No. 3 seed Creighton’s upcoming matchup with Tennessee subsequent week is already the most effective video games on the schedule. If Baylor Scheierman misses the game-tying jumper on the finish of regulation, then we by no means get handled to an exciting end. — Cameron Salerno

Winner: Arizona function gamers step up

Keshad Johnson and Jaden Bradley rank fourth and sixth, respectively, in scoring for Arizona. However with main scorer Caleb Love making simply 1 of 8 makes an attempt within the second half, they stepped as much as assist the No. 2 seed Wildcats beat No. 7 seed Dayton 78-68. Each gamers produced 9 factors after the break and mixed to hit 7 of 11 photographs from the ground. Bradley additionally completed with three steals and three blocks whereas Johnson added seven rebounds and two steals. Johnson’s nasty dunk helped propel the Wildcats to their second Candy 16 look previously three seasons. — Cobb

Loser: Saturday offers little drama

Until you are adept at predicting school basketball outcomes or have resorted to picking your winners primarily based on the aesthetics of the mascots, chances are high your bracket is toast. The common school basketball fan (with no rooting curiosity) is probably going cheering for chaos and underdog tales the remainder of the best way. Saturday supplied little of that, as seven of the eight higher-seeded groups received. The constructive information is Day 2 of the second spherical has the potential for loads of upsets. — Salerno

Iowa State entered the day ranked second nationally in turnovers pressured per sport at 17.5, which is spectacular contemplating the Cyclones do not play a very quick tempo. In a 67-56 win over No. 7 seed Washington State, the No. 2 seed Cyclones performed true to their identification with a 13-6 turnover margin. That led to a 21-4 edge in factors off turnovers. It could not at all times (or ever) be fairly with Iowa State, however third-year coach T.J. Otzelberger has his staff within the Candy 16 for the second time in three years after inheriting a program that went 2-22 in 2020-21. — Cobb

Winner: NC State’s unfathomable run continues

NC State by no means received greater than 4 straight video games throughout the common season. After outlasting No. 14 seed Oakland 79-73 in time beyond regulation, the No. 11 seed Wolfpack have received seven in a row throughout the postseason. The inconceivable run is transferring on to Dallas and subsequent week’s Candy 16 because the Wolfpack make their first look in a regional semifinal since 2015. DJ Burns Jr. was the hero but once more as he led a contingent of 5 NC State gamers in double figures with 24 factors and 11 rebounds. The formidable huge man has reached double figures in each sport of his staff’s postseason journey. — Cobb

Loser: Duquesne’s shining second goes darkish

On a day stuffed with video games that have been usually shut — or a minimum of shut for a half — the one exception got here as No. 3 Illinois crushed No. 11 seed Duquesne 89-63. The Illini took a double-digit benefit on the 13:58 mark of the primary half and by no means seemed again. The Dukes made a splash by upsetting No. 6 seed BYU on Thursday however went out quietly. Nonetheless, it was a memorable March for retiring coach Keith Dambrot, who led his staff to an sudden A-10 Match title and this system’s first win within the Large Dance since 1969. — Cobb

Winner: Tennessee survives a clunker

Tennessee is now 10-1 when it makes fewer than eight 3-pointers after outlasting No. 7 seed Texas 62-58. The No. 2 seed Volunteers have garnered consideration this season for his or her improved offense, however protection continues to be this system’s lifeblood. With out it, the abysmal taking pictures efficiency would have despatched the Volunteers dwelling. As an alternative, they’re making consecutive Candy 16 appearances for the primary time since Bruce Pearl’s tenure as coach. –– Cobb

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