Monday News and Notes

Breaking down the news around college basketball and the NBA draft

• Duke advanced to the sweet sixteen with a down to the wire victory over Central Florida. RJ Barrett scored 16 points including the game winning put back after a missed free throw from Zion Williamson that would have tied the game. Williamson scored 32 points to go with 11 rebounds, as well as going 3 for 5 from deep with UCF sagging on defense giving the freshman open jump shot opportunities. Cam Reddish only scored 13 points, but he had a big three late in the game that gave Duke the chance to win the game. On the UCF side, the coaches son Aubrey Dawkins was on fire going 5 for 7 on three pointers and finishing with 32 points along with missing the potential game winning put back as time expired. The 6’6″ guard has athleticism, size, and can knock down the outside shot. It was a big game on the biggest stage, was is always a good way to impress the many scouts in attendance. Despite being in foul trouble the majority of the game, Tacko Fall finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds to go with 3 blocks. The senior will move his focus towards the pro game now, and could be drafted in the second round as project type of pick.

• Buffalo’s best season in school history came to a terrible conclusion with the bulls getting dominated in the second half against Texas Tech. Senior CJ Massinburg closed out a great career with 14 points, and Texas Tech’s lottery pick Jarrett Culver finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists while setting the tone early for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech will take on #2 seeded Michigan on Thursday.

Coby White got hot early in North Carolina’s game against Washington, and the freshman finished with 17 points and 6 rebounds while making 4 three pointers. Nassir Little had an impressive 20 points, and anytime he makes a three it is usual a good sign that he has it going that day. The freshman also had 7 rebounds and a block in only 21 minutes of play, showing why scouts are intrigued with his potential despite the limited playing time he has received. Washington’s NBA prospects Jaylen Nowell and Matisse Thybulle struggled with Nowell scoring 12 points and Thybulle with 2 points although the latter did have 4 blocks and 4 steals which is common place for the defensive star.

• Although Virginia Tech got back Liberty to make their first sweet sixteen in school history, Nickeil Alexander-Walker will need to play better going forward as the competition no doubt gets tougher on the road ahead. The sophomore went 2 for 8 from the field in the game, finishing with 6 points. He did grab 6 rebounds and dish out 6 assists, which showcases that when his shot is off he can still effect the game in a positive way. The Hokies play #1 overall seed Duke on Friday.

• Tennessee came out strong against Iowa, building a large first half lead. Iowa chipped away at it, and eventually got the game back to even before heading to overtime. Tennessee ultimately finished it off, with the vols winning 83-77 in overtime. Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield both had 19 points, and they will need their two stars to keep playing well when they go up against Purdue on Thursday in the sweet sixteen.

• Virginia held off Oklahoma to advance to the sweet sixteen, which is big for the program after their historic loss to #16 seeded UMBC in last years tournament. Deandre Hunter scored 10 and Ty Jerome finished with 12. As a whole, UVA struggle from deep going 7 for 29 (29.2%) from deep, but as per usual with a Tony Bennett team they played good team defense and held the Sooners to 51 points. Blank is up next for the Cavaliers as they look to get to the final four with two more wins.

• Houston beat Ohio State behind 21 points and 6 rebounds from their star Corey Davis Jr., although he struggled shooting 3 for 9 from deep. They will need Armoni Brooks to get going to if they want to take down Kentucky, who they will face in the sweet sixteen. Houston’s second leading scorer has been in a shooting slump since the postseason began, going 8 for 35 on three pointers in the AAC tournament and the NCAA tournament.

• Oregon pulled away late against UC Irvine for a 73-54 win advancing to the sweet sixteen to face #1 seeded Virginia. Kenny Wooten dominated the game on the defensive end, with 8 blocks, and he also had some big dunks on offense. Louis King played well showing off his versatility, going 4 for 7 on three pointers, and 5 for 10 from the field. Point guard Payton Pritchard scored 18 points and dished out 7 assists, the Ducks will need him hitting big shots in their match-up with UVA.

• California fired their coach Wyking Jones after two seasons, the Golden Bears were 16-47 in his time as coach.



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