College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Solomon Bozeman kept his team in hotly-contested Sun Belt final with North Texas and stepped up with a crucial three-pointer (his only trey of the game) with 1.5 seconds left to put the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans ahead by a point to win the conference tourney, 64-63.
A senior guard, Bozeman was the Sun Belt Player of the Year, and showed why with his clutch, game-winning shot that sends the Trojans to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990. The North Texas players were stunned and deflated after the winning shot, especially after leading by seven points with under a minute to play.
Bozeman led all scorers with 20 points, hitting 6 of 12 shots from the field (1-for-2 from beyond the arc) and 7 of 8 free throws. He's averaged 16.5 points per game this season and now has the opportunity to add to his, and the Trojans' resume.
NOTABLE: The Villanova Wildcats seem to have dug themselves a hole from which they may not emerge again this season, losing their fifth straight game, in the opening round of the Big East tournament, dropping a 70-69 to South Florida.
Villanova's slide has been pronounced as the Big East season wore on. The Wildcats lost six of their last eight games in the regular season, falling to 9-9 in conference play and now must watch and wait through the Big East tournament to see if the NCAA tournament selection committee still feels they are worthy of an invitation. At 21-11 and sitting out the fun and games at Madison Square Garden, they're looking mighty shaky.
Butler will be dancing once again, after beating Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Horizon League championship game, 59-44. The Bulldogs, who lost to Duke in last season's NCAA final, took control early and led by 15 points just minutes into the game. Senior Matt Howard was the game's high scorer with 18 points.
Oakland took the Summit League championship with a 90-76 victory over Oral Roberts. The Golden Grizzlies went 17-1 in conference play, easily winning the regular season title and now will represent their conference at the NCAAs.
In the Ivy League, Princeton tied Harvard for first place, winning, 70-58, at Penn, setting up a one-game playoff for the league title and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The game will be played at a neutral site, Saturday, at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, Connecticut. Both Princeton and Harvard finished the regular IvY League season with 12-2 records.