Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

The NCAA Tournament of upsets that really aren’t continued Saturday.

Through five days, the 2017 tourney has become marked by its lack of surprises, and Saturday was no different, regardless of what seeds say. The day did leave us with our first two top 16 seeds eliminated, though, including defending champion Villanova plus (region) 3 seed Florida State.

Villanova’s season-long ability to close tough games out vanished on Saturday, and with it went chances to repeat as national champions. The Wildcats led Wisconsin by seven points late, yet couldn’t get stops down the stretch. With it, the Badgers came through for a 65-62 win.

For 20 minutes, Wisconsin looked primed to pull off what was only a light upset, if one knows how good the Badgers’ recent postseason history. Villanova overcame poor shooting in the first half, though, and appeared to be set to move on after taking a 57-50 lead with 5:31 left. Wisconsin did not fold, though, Nigel Hayes scored the go-ahead basket with 12 seconds left, and the Badgers will play in their fourth straight Sweet 16. Which should surprise no one-not with a team including three starters who were part of a national runner-up two years ago, plus another of the Big Ten’s top players in Ethan Happ. The only question is: what took this team so long to play like this?

Later in the day, another veteran of March that was knocked out by Wisconsin a year ago got some revenge, as Xavier dominated Florida State 91-65. The 11th-seeded Musketeers took an early lead and poured it on in the second half, blowing away an ultra-deep, ultra-athletic Seminoles team that had shown chinks in the armor late in the season and did not last long in this tourney. Xavier, meanwhile, is in the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in 10 years, showing once again: this is one of the premier programs in the country.

The message from Saturday should be this: there are no invincible teams this year. Not even close. At the same time, beware of teams with postseason experience and ones who have heated up or found themselves right at the end of the year.

Side Dishes

  • Other than those two results, the tourney still continues to follow form. West top two seeds Gonzaga and Arizona continue to be on a collision course after the Bulldogs ended Northwestern’s season 79-73 and Arizona’s Wildcats held off stubborn Saint Mary’s 69-60.
  • We were in Milwaukee on Saturday, and two games competitive to the final minutes went to schools who continue to show basketball in Indiana is doing just fine. Butler got an early jump on Middle Tennessee State and made it hold up, finishing up its two games at the Bradley Center without having trailed one second after a 74-65 win that ended the Blue Raiders’ outstanding season. Next, Iowa State fell into a big hole before climbing out-again-but Purdue recovered after losing a 19-point lead, with P.J. Thompson hitting a big three-pointer late in the Boilermakers’ 80-76 victory.
  • West Virginia is back in the Sweet 16 and continued the ACC’s disappointing tournament, knocking out Notre Dame 83-71. Later, Florida routed Virginia 65-39, dominating the Cavaliers behind Devin Robinson with a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds). UVA played without Isaiah Wilkins, its’ leading rebounder who has been limited for several weeks and was completely out of this one with strep throat.
  • Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy has generated some much deserved praise this past week with his willingness to start a series with an Illinois State team that was hosed from an NCAA Tournament bid in large part because of the fear some of Ole Miss’s peer institutions have of playing teams like the Redbirds. The Rebels deserve further accolades now for their NIT win on the road at Syracuse on Saturday, an 85-80 victory putting Ole Miss in the NIT quarterfinals.

Today’s Menu

  • The final eight games of the NCAA Tournament second round continue, with action leading in Indianapolis. And there’s two more prime chances at non-upset upsets, with Michigan taking on a vulnerable Louisville team (12:10 p.m., CBS) and the following game matching Wichita State and Kentucky (2:40 p.m., CBS).
  • Games in Tulsa include Kansas taking on Michigan State, followed by USC against Baylor. The Trojans are another 11 seed like Xavier with a terrific opportunity to move on, and absolutely no one would be surprised if the Spartans did, either.
  • The Pac-12, er, Sacramento sub-regional site will feature Rhode Island against Oregon and Cincinnati meeting UCLA. Both West Coast teams will have significant advantages playing these games so close to home against opponents from far across the country-this is almost a full-fledged full-court advantage for the Ducks and Bruins.
  • Another team all but gifted a game in its own gym was South Carolina, which now faces much-hated Duke in Greenville, S.C. The other game includes top seed North Carolina, which should handle Arkansas.
  • The NIT stays busy on Sunday with three more games, including two matching 7-vs.-6 seeds. Belmont is at Georgia Tech (Noon, ESPN) and will see how its spread-out offense works against the Yellow Jackets’ size. In the evening, Oakland looks for its second straight on the Atlantic Coast when it plays at Richmond (7:30 p.m., ESPNU). The other game for the day includes TCU at Iowa.

Have a relaxing Sunday.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout