Odds and Ends from NCAA Conference Tournaments

The NCAA conference tournaments end this weekend then everyone waits for Selection Sunday. Selection Sunday will list the seeds in each of the four regions. Many teams will end the weekend on an up note, while other will be thinking about what might have been.

  • The North Carolina State Wolfpack was paced by 28 points from T.J.Warren, including two clutch free throws during the final minutes to knock the Syracuse Orange out of the ACC tournament. The Wolfpack’s 66-63 win was its 21st of the season giving them an opportunity to be picked for the NCAA tournament as at at-large entry if they do not win the ACC tournament. The Pack won the game outright as 9-point dogs. Those taking the money line enjoyed a +400 payout or a $100 wager paid $400.
  • South Florida ended the tenure of Stan Heath at the school after six years by firing him on Friday as the head basketball coach. Heath led South Florida to one NCAA and one NIT tournament. Overall, Heath had a 97-128 record at the school and South Florida this season was 12-19. Heath coached at Arkansas for five years prior to South Florida. Over his 11 seasons as head coach between the two schools he earned just one NCAA tournament win.
  • Ben Brust had 29 points to lead Wisconsin to an 83-57 victory versus Minnesota as a favorite by 5 points. The win was No. 700 for Bo Ryan. Ryan has had an illustrious career and is one college basketball’s most underrated coaches of all time.
  • Nearly 24 years have passed since Hank Gathers the power forward for Loyola Marymount collapsed at the WCC Tournament back in 1990. He was pronounced dead just minutes later. In Brooklyn, on Friday afternoon, Jordan, Gather’s nephew, hit a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give St. Bonaventure a huge upset victory over Saint Louis by the score of 71-68. Now the Billikens will enter the NCAA Tournament on a run of 1-4 over their past 5 games played. The win by St. Bonaventure came as a 6.5-point dog.
  • Even though they trailed by 18 points during the early part of the second half, the Ohio State Buckeyes were able to rally and defeat the upstart Nebraska Cornhuskers 71-67. Regardless, those taking the Cornhuskers were happy as they cashed at the window since Nebraska covered as a 6-point underdog.
  • The Louisville Cardinals have won the past two Big East Tournaments and now are attempting to win their first AAC tournament versus Connecticut on Saturday. Next season the Cardinals will join the ACC and a win tonight and next season in that tournament could give them 4 tournament championships in three conferences in four years.