Two days until Selection Sunday.  Bubbles are bursting (Vanderbilt?) and coaches are getting fired.  Rutgers ends the Eddie Jordan regime…the Scarlet Knights Jordan inherited were a hot mess after filmed abuse ended the Mike Rice Jr. era.  Jordan was on the school’s Final Four team (in 1976) but hadn’t coached college ball in over 20 years.  He was inheriting an underperforming program making a transition to a new league…and a 29-68 mark over three years was hardly a surprise even if this year’s 1-17 Big Ten mark was way lower than expectations.  The Scarlet Knights go back to the drawing board for the sixth time in 20 years.  And Big Ten schools hope they get them twice when the schedule comes out…while others wonder what happens to “Real Housewives of the Potomac”?

First to the in-crowd:

Virginia (25-6, 13-5 ACC) used a 20-5 second half run to pull away from Georgia Tech, 72-52.  Malcolm Brodgon led the Cavaliers with 26 points on 10-15 shooting and the Cavalier defense contained Yellowjacket leading scorer Marcus Georges-Hunt to 1-for-8 shooting.  The UVa faithful in the area get to watch their team at Verizon Center for at least one more game.  Both bracket models have them in the South Region playing in Raleigh the first weekend:  ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi has the Cavaliers as a #1 facing Florida Gulf Coast, while CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm has them a #2 playing Weber State.

Maryland (24-7, 12-6 Big Ten) is one of the last teams from a power conference to play this week:  being the 3rd seed in a league that plays its title game Sunday has its privileges. Both ESPN and CBS have them in the South playing Yale in Providence, ESPN in as a #5 seed and CBS as a #4. Which means they’ll probably be a #6 facing Northern Iowa in Denver.

VCU (22-9, 14-4 Atlantic 10)–  ESPN has them 9th in the East facing South Carolina in Raleigh, while CBS has them 10th in the South facing Providence.  As the #2 seed in the A-10 the Rams have six days off entering the A-10 Tournament.  Question is…will there be any rust with that rest?

On the Outside Looking In-

George Washington (23-9, 11-7 Atlantic 10) took its first step with a 73-65 A-10 Second Round win over Saint Louis…turning the Billikens over 17 times.  Yuta Watanabe led a balanced attack with 19 points (his second highest output of the season) while Joe McDonald tallied 10 assists initiating the offense.  As of this moment GW is a First Four team in the CBS model…and still needs to exorcise one demon in order to consider itself semi-comfortably on the fringe.

Over and Out…

Virginia Tech (19-14, 10-8 ACC).  The Hokies just didn’t have the firepower to match Miami…as the Hurricanes hit 10 of their first 12 shots (and 4-5 from three point range) coming out of halftime in an 88-82 decision.  Seth Allen scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half…but it wasn’t enough to extend their stay in DC.  The NIT looms…if the Hokies are lucky.  With a roster filled with newcomers (Buzz Williams said that 63% of the minutes played this year where by guys who didn’t play for the Hokies last year), an extra few weeks would be huge in preparing for 2016-17.

Georgetown (15-18, 7-11 Big East) actually led #3 Villanova 47-46 in the second half before the Wildcats went on a 14-1 run;  the Hoyas 81-67 ends a winter of discontent.  From the opening day loss to Radford, this season simply had nightmare written all over it.  Despite the high points of close losses to Maryland and Duke, beating former Big East rival Syracuse, the upset of top-5 Xavier and last-minute rallies against Creighton and Butler (they beat the Blue Jays but lost to the Bulldogs) the best thing for the Hoyas is that the season is complete.  Senior DVauntes Smith-Rivera deserved better.  For coach John Thompson III and staff…the 2016-17 season begins now.

 

Today’s games:

Noon– Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals– Richmond (16-15, 7-11) meets Dayton (24-6, 14-4).  The Spiders beat Fordham 70-55 Thursday…advancing to face the regular season champs.  The Flyers won the most recent matchup 85-84 despite a career high 36 points for Richmond’s TJ Cline…as Scoochie Smith scored 24 of his 26 in the second half.

2:30pm– Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals– George Washington faces Saint Joseph’s (24-7, 13-5).  I remember St. Joes.  I remember the Hawks coming into Smith Center last month and executing offensively…blowing out the Colonials in the second half of an 84-66 triumph.  But St. Joes enters the A-10 tourney having lost 3 of 5…can GW play the defensive game necessary to negate the Hawks Isaiah Miles (18 ppg, 38% from 3pt range)?

4pm– Conference USA Semifinals– Old Dominion (21-12, 12-6) plays Western Kentucky (18-15, 8-10).  A window of opportunity is open after the Hilltoppers upset regular season champ UAB.  Just like last year when the Monarchs were bounced in the quarterfinals.  ODU’s Trey Freeman has scored 25 points in both of their tournament wins so far…and Jeff Jones’ team has won six straight.  But…Western has taken six of seven.

6:30pm– Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals– VCU meets Massachusetts (14-17, 6-12).  The Minutemen beat the Rams 69-63 in the regular season meeting behind 10-17 from three point range.  Trey Davis scored 18 points in that game…and netted 20 points in last night’s win over Rhode Island.  Will havoc win out?  VCU leads the A-10 in turnover margin and UMass is 10th in assist to turnover ratio…

8:55pm– Big Ten Quarterfinals– Maryland takes on Nebraska (16-17, 6-12).  So much for a day of doom and gloom and “how will the Terps match up with a Wisconsin team that beat them in College Park?” questions.  The Cornhuskers’ Shavon Shields notched 20 points with 9 rebounds as the Badgers were held to 30% shooting.  Maryland won the regular season matchup 70-65 in a game where Diamond Stone tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds while Melo Trimble scored 20 points;  Stone hasn’t had a double-double since and Trimble hasn’t scored 20 since that night.

9pm– ACC Semifinals– Virginia plays Miami (25-6, 13-5).  The Cavaliers and Hurricanes split the regular season series with each team winning on its home floor. We all know UVa can defend (2nd nationally in scoring defense) but coach Tony Bennett’s team is also the best shooting squad in the conference.  Can the Canes contain Malcolm Brogdon (20 and 28 points in the regular season series)? 

Advertisements