Lansing State Journal columnist Graham Couch and Detroit Free Press / LSJ MSU beat Chris Solari break down MSU’s NCAA tournament draw in Tulsa.
U-M was seeded eighth at the Big Ten Tournament and defeated No. 2 seed Wisconsin, 71-58, in the championship game earlier today. “We went through a lot and they could have thrown in the towel a few times, (but) they hung in there”.
OR just lost one of their block shot specialists in 6-foot-10 Chris Boucher due to a torn ACL suffered in the Pac-12 Tournament. So it turned out to be a surprisingly nice win over Wichita State.
Jacksonville State (20-14), in head coach Ray Harper’s first year, won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed, defeating UT-Martin 66-55 in the final. Two of Michigan’s road losses (Iowa and Minnesota) went into overtime, and another (Northwestern) ended on one of the craziest plays of the college basketball season.
On paper, this might be the weakest of the four regions.
The same was basically true of Louisville, which also failed to win a game last week.
Kansas is led by National Player of the Year candidate Frank Mason. So that second game is far from a cakewalk for the Cardinals, no matter who wins that one.
But unless and until the city has a domed stadium, or the NCAA relents on its trend since 1996 of awarding Final Fours only to cities with such accommodations, those days are over. The only redeeming quality of the Cowboy offense has been its ability to force turnovers on over 20% of their opponents’ possessions. Should Morris’ teammates score and find a way to get stops, this team might have a long run in it. “I hope people appreciate it and I hope they appreciate it about this year’s team”. He’s grateful not to be part of team that snapped the streak.
Villanova is trying to become the first team to repeat since Florida in 2006 and ’07, and Duke stands in the way of the Wildcats in the East. There are more unsafe No. 10 seeds out there than Oklahoma State, and Louisville isn’t the scariest No. 2 seed. Home-court advantage favors the Jayhawks. Haas is the second-leading scorer for the Boilermakers at 12.8 ppg, canning almost 59 percent of his field goals. And No. 11 Rhode Island promises to be a handful for No. 6 Creighton, which has gone 7-8 since Maurice Watson’s January knee injury. But a 10-2 finish, including two wins each over regular-season champion Purdue and runner-up Wisconsin, put MI safely in the field. If Oregon has an off-night shooting the ball, it could be one-and-done.
Jackson is a superlative athlete who, at 6-8, can play three positions.
The numbers could be split to the atomic level, yet they’d still be similar – they’re both teams with top-30 schedules (No. 15 OKST, No. 29 UM), and they’re each capable of winning on Friday.
The 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket is out and instantly everyone wants to pick upsets. A clear sign that the Jayhawks are still improving on the defensive end, if they can take that mentality into the do-or-die portion of their season, these Jayhawks definitely can make a run. The best win on the resume is a 82-75 victory at West Virginia, but 7 of the last 8 losses have come at the hands of Big 12 powers Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas. Or even during the regular season?