Friday, March 10, 2017

Villanova Advances In Big East; Donte DiVincenzo Scores 25

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, March 9, 2017

Within the slew of conference tournament games this week, it's easy to overlook otherwise fantastic performances by players not quite on the national radar.

Such would be the case of freshman Donte DiVincenzo, who came off the bench to score a game-high and career-high 25 points as the Wildcats slaughtered St. John's, 108-67.

In 31 minutes, DiVincenzo was 7-for-8 from the field, going 5-for-6 from three-[point range and 6-for-8 from the foul line. The 6'5" guard also collected five boards and dished four assists.

The #2-ranked Wilcats are on cruise control in the Big East tourney and are widely expected to win the conference title handily and receive a #1 seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Zach DeLay Scores 31, Adds 15 Boards As Hokies Advance In ACC Tourney

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Senior Zach LeDay dominated the interior, leading Virginia Tech to a 99-90 victory over Wake Forest in the second round of the ACC tournament.

LeDay came off the Hokie bench to go 8-for-15 from the field, also grabbing 15 boards, seven of them off the offensive glass. The 6'7" forward from Dallas, Texas, was deadly from the charity stripe, making 14 of 18 free throws. The win sends the Demon Deacons home and possibly out of the NCAA, while the Hokies continue against Florida State on Thursday night (7:00 pm ET) in the quarterfinal round of the tourney.

One bid was taken on Wednesday, as the Bucknell Bison Thundered past Lehigh in the Patriot League Tournament Final, The game was tight in the first half, with Bucknell taking a one-point lead into the break, 35-34, but the Bison rampaged in the second half, outscoring Lehigh, 46-31, for the easy win.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Mike Daum Scores 37 As South Dakota State Captures Summit Title; Three Others Advance To NCAA Tourney

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Four more teams punched their tickets to March Madness on Tuesday:

Gonzaga defeated St. Mary's for the third time this season, 74-56, this time winning the finals of the West Coast conference tournament.

Mount St. Mary's defeated St. Francis for the Northeast Conference (NEC) title, 71-61; Northern Kentucky defeated Milwaukee, 59-53, earning the NCAA bid from the Horizon League.

The nation's second-leading scorer, Mike Daum, led South Dakota State to the Summit League championship with a game-high 37 points, defeating Omaha, 79-77. The victory earned the Jackrabbits their fourth NCAA bid.

Daum, the Summit League Player of the Year, made 14 of 24 shots from the field and was 5-for-9 from three-point land. He cashed all four of his free throws and added 12 rebounds, five of them on the offensive end. The Jackrabbits were just 8-8 in the conference and 18-16 overall, but a player like Daum, who average 25.4 points per game, make them a threat under any condition.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

C.J. Bryce Leads UNC-Wilmington To CAA Title; Iona, E. Tennessee St. Also Receive Bids

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, March 6, 2017

C.J. Bryce scored 24 points, leading UNC Wilmington to its second straight NCAA tournament berth, winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship with a 78-69 victory over College of Charleston Monday night.

Bryce, a 6'5" sophomore from Charlotte, NC, was 9-for-15 from the field, hitting three of four from three-point land. He also had five rebounds and five assists in the championship effort.

The Seahawks went 15-3 in conference play and are an impressive 29-5 overall. Including their three tournament wins, UNCW has won seven straight and head to the first round of the NCAA tourney, the location of their game to be determined on Sunday, when the selection committee seeds all 68 teams.

Also earning automatic bids were Iona, capturing the MAAC championship with an 87-86 victory over Sienna in the tourney final.

Finally, East Tennessee State rallied past UNC Greensboro, 79-74, to win the Southern conference tournament and the automatic NCAA invitation. The Buccaneers trailed the Spartans 38-31, at the half, but shot the lights out in the second half, scoring 49 points for the win.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Caleb Swanigan's 25th Double-Double Leads Purdue Past Northwestern

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Purdue Boilermakers cemented their claim on the Big Ten regular season title, winning at Northwestern, 69-65. Finishing the regular season with a 14-4 record, the Boilermakers wrapped up two games ahead of Maryland and Wisconsin, at 12-6.

Fueling the Boilermakers was their candidate for national player of the year, Caleb Swanigan, who notched his 25th double-double of the season with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

The 6'9" sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana, was 8-for-15 from the field and hauled down 14 rebounds. Swingian's effort was aided by Vince Edwards' 25 points.

Swanigan and Edwards lead #16 Purdue into the upcoming Big Ten tournament, the winner of which will grab an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, though Purdue is assured to get at least an at-large bid should they not win the conference tourney.

Swanigan averages 18.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, making him one of the more versatile inside players in the collegiate ranks.

A week out from Selection Sunday and there are already a host of teams that have played their way into the Big Dance.

On Saturday, Jacksonville State took down the Ohio Valley conference championship with a 66-55 win over UT-Martin. It's the first OVC title for the Gamecocks and their first NCAA invite since jumping to Division 1 and joining the conference in 2003.

Sunday began with Winthrop ending the dreams of Campbell, taking the Big South conference title with a no-doubter, 76-59 win over the upstart Fighting Camels. Winthrop had gone to the conference championship game in each of the past four seasons, but this is their first win during that span.

Florida Gulf Coast captured the Atlantic Sun conference championship, defeating North Florida, 77-61. The automatic bid is the third for the Eagles in the last six seasons.

The Missouri Valley conference championship went to Wichita State, as the Shockers pounded Illinois State, 71-51. Both teams were 17-1 in conference play, but 21st-ranked Wichita State was clearly the better of the two, racking up a 30-4 record overall.

Princeton, champions of the Ivy League, wrapped up an undefeated, 14-0, conference schedule with a 85-48 win over Dartmouth on Saturday. The perfect confernce mark was the sixth in Princeton's rich basketball history, but the kicker is that the Tigers, despite winning the conference title by four games, will have to play on in the first ever Ivy League Tournament. The league has implemented a four-team playoff, with the top seed playing #4 and #2 playing #3. All games will be played at the Palestra in Philadelphia, home to Princeton's first opponent, the Penn Quakers.

Semi-final games are on Saturday, March 11, with the finals on Sunday, March 12.

Syracuse Improves Post-Season Chances Behind 40 Points By Andrew White III

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, March 4, 2012

Likely in need of a win for consideration by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, the Syracuse Orange torched the visiting Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets before a sellout crowd at the Carrier Dome Saturday, using a stifling defense and 40 points from Andrew White III for a 90-61 victory.

White, in his final home game as an Orange, set a career mark with 40 points. Deadly accurate from anywhere on the floor, White was 12-for-16 from the field, including a Syracuse season-high eight threes on nine attempts. The fifth-year senior also went 8-for-9 from the foul line, adding three rebounds, two assists and a pair of thefts.

A transfer from Nebraska, and previously having spent two seasons at Kansas, White tied the Syracuse record for most points scored in the Carrier Dome, matching the effort by Gene Waldron in 1983 against Iona.

The Orange avenged a 71-65 two weeks ago at Georgia Tech and bolstered their chances of making the NCAA tourney, improving to 18-13 overall and 10-8 in the ACC.

Syracuse's 2-3 zone, brainchild of mastermind coach Jim Boeheim, limited the Yellow Jackets to 44% shooting, and was even more effective at limiting three-pointers. Georgia Tech shot just 25% (5-for-20) from beyond the arc. In contrast, the Orange were blistering, hitting at 54% overall and 62.5% (15-for-24) from three-point range.

Elsewhere in the ACC, #5 North Carolina captured the regular season title with a 90-83 win over #17 Duke and #8 Louisville outlasted #19 Notre Dame, 71-64.

The Tar Heels finished conference play with a 14-4 mark, two games better than Florida State, Louisville, and Notre Dame, each of which finished at 12-6.

The conference tournament, the winner of which will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney, runs Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Chris Clemons Leads Campbell To Big South Championship With 33 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, March 3, 2017

The 5'9" whirling dervish was at it again, as Chris Clemons scored 33 points to lead the Campbell Fighting Camels to a semifinal win over the Radford Highlanders.

Campbell scored exactly half of his team's points in the 66-50 romp, sending Campbell to the finals on Sunday against top-seeded Winthrop.

Clemons was solid, playing all but two minutes in the win, going 11-for-20 from the field, with a 4-for-9 mark from three-point range. The sophomore guard made seven of nine free throws, but, perhaps most impressive was his work on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds. His unselfish play led to Campbell out-rebounding Radford, 42 to 34. He also dished four assists.

The opportunity for Campbell University against Winthrop is not without obstacles. In their two meetings this season, the Eagles won both games, winning 72-63 at Campbell and 76-62 at home. Clemons had just 16 points in the meeting at Winthrop and 24 against the Eagles on his home court.

Game time for the Big South championship game is Sunday at 1:00 pm ET, at Winthrop University, in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Campbell's Chris Clemons Ties NCAA Season High With 51 In Win Over UNC-Asheville

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, March 2, 2017

One of the most exciting players in Division 1 was at his best Thursday night, as Campbell's Chris Clemons racked up 51 points in the Fighting Camels 81-79 victory over UNC-Asheville in the Big South tournament quarterfinals.

The effort tied Mike Daum of South Dakota State (51 points on February 18 at Fort Wayne) for the most points scored by a player in a single game this season. It was also Clemons highest point total in his two years at Campbell University and set a new school and conference scoring mark.

At 5'9", the sophomore from Raleigh, NC, may be small in stature, but he is certainly not short on scoring. Thursday's result moved him into third place nationally at 24.1 points per game. Clemons hit on 18 of 32 shots from the field, including an impressive 8-for-14 tally from three-point land and 7-for-8 from the foul line.

Campbell's win over Asheville came in the quarterfinals of the Big South tournament, dropping the Bulldogs - who finished the regular season tied for first place with Winthrop - out of the running for the automatic NCAA bid. Both Winthrop and Asheville finished at 15-3 in the conference. Campbell, whose only chance of making the NCAA tournament lies with winning the ongoing Big South tourney, ended at 7-11 in conference play.

The win was a huge boost for the small private school, based in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Campbell (16-16) faces sixth-seeded Radford on Friday in the semifinals, upset winners over 3rd-seeded Liberty.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

#3 UCLA Wins 8th Straight Behind Bryce Alford's 29 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, March 1, 2017

If you're looking for a team that has the right elements to capture the NCAA tournament championship, look no further than the UCLA Bruins.

A strong starting five, experienced head coach, deep bench, an extending winning streak, and senior leadership make the Bruins a team to watch as the tourney unfolds.

On Wednesday, the Bruins took down Washington, 98-66, for their eighth straight win behind senior guard (and son of coach Steve Alford) Bryce Alford, who canned 10 of 18 from the field, including an 8-for-14 effort from three-point range.

Lonzo Ball chipped in with 19 and the Bruins got 15 from Isaac Hamilton. UCLA's bench accounted for 27 points.

Alford has been remarkably consistent in his three years as a starter for the Bruins, averaging 15.4 points per game as a sophomore, 16.1 as a junior, and 16.6 this season. His 29 points was the most he's scored since putting up 30 as the Bruins pounded Pacific in their season opener.

While the Bruins may be a serious threat in the NCAA tournament, they're still unlikely to win their own conference. They trail both Oregon and Arizona by one game, with one game remaining. However, they've beaten both the Ducks and Wildcats during their current winning streak and will certainly be a factor in the PAC-12 tourney which begins next Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Malik Monk Guides Kentucky To 25-5 Mark, 15-2 Leading SEC

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, February 28, 2017

With only Texas A&M remaining on the regular season schedule, the Kentucky Wildcats are on the verge of winning their 3rd straight SEC title, after downing Vanderbilt Tuesday, 73-67.

Fueled by super sub, Malik Monk, the Wildcats overcame a six-point halftime deficit, scoring 49 in the second 20 minutes to win going away.

Monk went 8-for-21 from the field, but made up for his dull shooting at the free throw line, where he canned nine of ten attempts.

A 6'3" freshman from Lepanto, Arkansas, Monk scored 33 on Saturday to lead the Wildcats over their closest conference rival, Florida, 76-66. Kentucky has a 1 1/2 game lead in the standings with just one game left. The Wildcats pounded Texas A&M earlier in the season, 100-58. While that game was at Rupp Arena and Saturday's final is a road game, there's little doubt as to the final result.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Freshman Kyle Guy's 17 Points Rallies #23 Virginia Over #5 North Carolina

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, February 27, 2017

After four straight losses - to Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, and Miami - Virginia's season was on the ropes, the Cavaliers having dropped from #12 in the rankings to #23 in the most recent poll (2/26) at 18-9.

Then, along came freshman Kyle Guy, who came in off the bench to light up the NC State Wolfpack with 19 points in Saturday's 70-55 victory. So solid was the effort that head coach Tony Bennett named Guy a starter for the home game against North Carolina Monday night.

Guy's response was a huge boost for the Cavaliers, whose style is predicated on hard-nosed defense and opportunistic offense. Leading all scorers, Guy dropped in 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including going 5-for-7 from three-point range. He added four assists and six rebounds, helping the Cavaliers to a 53-43 win over the #5 Tar Heels.

Virginia's defense was exceptionally good in the victory, allowing North Carolina just 35% shooting while forcing 14 turnovers from the Tar Heels. It's the kind of gritty defense for which the Cavaliers have become renowned over the past seven years of Tony Bennett's coaching tenure.

A 6'3" guard from Indianapolis, Indiana, Guy has played sparingly throughout the season, but respectively logged 35 and 32 minutes in the wins over NC State and North Carolina and will likely be a fixture in Virginia's starting rotation through the ACC tournament and into the NCAA tourney later in March.

The win put the Cavaliers at 10 up and seven down in conference play, tied with Miami and Virginia Tech, but just three games behind ACC leader North Carolina in the nation's most-contested conference. A win over 4-11 Pitt on Saturday (3/4) and a win or two in the conference tournament would have Virginia at 11-7 and a near lock for an NCAA invite.

Monday, February 27, 2017

With 25 Points, Donovan Mitchell Leads Louisville Rout Of Syracuse

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 26, 2017

After defeating #10 Duke on Wednesday, 78-75, the Syracuse Orange had reason to be excited over their prospects of receiving an invitation to the NCAA championship tournament.

That thrill faded quickly, however, as the unranked Orange were devastated at Louisville by the #7 Cardinals, 86-66.

The culprit was defense, or, in the Syracuse case, the lack thereof, that led to the lopsided loss. The Cardinals shot a healthy 57% from the field, including a solid 45% (9-for-20) from three-point range, as Syracuse defenders were often out of position in their trademark 2-3 zone. Another fallback of the zone was in rebounding, where Louisville held a 39-28 advantage.

Topping the scoring barrage was Louisville's sophomore guard, Donovan Mitchell, who was 9-for-16, including six threes, amassing 25 points over 35 minutes of court time.

The 6'3" native of Greenwich, Connecticut added four assists, five rebounds, and a pair of steals to his outstanding performance.

Louisville penetrated and found the open man repeatedly throughout the onslaught, with a team total of 18 assists on 33 buckets. Tied with Notre Dame and Florida State at 11-5 in the ACC, the Cardinals are two games back of conference leader, North Carolina. An overall record of 23-6 has the Cardinals as high as a #3 seed heading into March Madness.

With only one game left in the regular season, Syracuse likely needs a win over visiting Georgia Tech, this Saturday, March 4, and a win in the opening round of the conference tournament to make a case for inclusion into the NCAA field. With the Louisville defeat their fourth in five games, the Orange are on the bubble, or, the ropes for tourney inclusion. The Yellow Jackets topped the Orange, 71-65, on February 19.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

BYU Stuns #1 Gonzaga, 79-71, Behind Eric Mika's 29 Points, 11 Boards

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 25, 2017

BYU ended the nation's longest winning streak at 29, defeating top-ranked and previously-undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs, with a 79-71 win at Spokane, Washington.

Sophomore forward Eric Mika led the assault, racking up 29 points and 11 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season.

Working primarily against the Gonzaga interior, 6'10" Mika was 10-for-14 from the field, adding nine of 13 from the line. Aiding the effort were Gonzaga's long-range shooters, who were a combined 3-for-16 (19%) from three-point range.

The loss was the first of the season for the top-ranked Bulldogs, ending their regular season with a BYU blemish at 29-1 and a 17-1 mark in the West Coast conference. The Cougars finished up 21-10 overall, and 12-6 in the conference, good for third place and, with an important road victory now on their resume, a likely at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament.

In other key match-ups from Saturday, Miami dumped #10 Duke, 55-50, handing the Blue Devils their second straight loss, after they were upset at Syracuse earlier in the week. #5 UCLA prevailed over #4 Arizona, 77-72, putting five players in double figures.

In Lexington, Malik Monk score 30 of his game-high 33 points to lead #11 Kentucky over #13 Florida, 76-66, giving the Wildcats a one-game lead in the SEC standings.

On tap for Sunday, Syracuse seeks to add to their register of top 10 victims when the take on the #7 Louisville Cardinals at 2:00 pm ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS, followed by Big Ten action as #16 Wisconsin travels to Michigan State. Later (6:30 pm ET), #21 Notre Dame hosts Georgia Tech on ESPNU.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Princeton Closer To Ivy League Title With Win Over Columbia; Devin Cannady Tallies 18

College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 24, 2017

Princeton won its 14th straight, improving to 11-0 in the Ivy League, defeating Columbia, 64-45, closing in on another conference title.

Devin Cannady scored a game-high 18 points all on three-pointers, going 6-for-14 from the field, but 6-for-11 from beyond the arc.

A 6'1" sophomore guard from Mishawaka, Indiana, Cannady didn;t go to the foul line at all as the Tigers breezed to the win with a sharp second half.

Princeton has just three games left in the regular season, and needs just one win, over either Cornell, Harvard or Dartmouth to clinch at least a tie. Considering that the Tigers have beaten all three of their upcoming opponents earlier in the season, their chances for getting the automatic NCAA tournament invite are very good.

The Tigers travel to Cornell on Saturday, and play Harvard and Dartmouth next Friday and Saturday, respectively, at home next weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2017

T.J. Leaf Scores 25, Leads #5 UCLA Past Arizona State

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2017

There's a serious showdown coming in the PAC-12 between the Arizona Wildcats and the UCLA Bruins, currently ranked numbers four and five in the AP Poll, and among the leaders in the conference (Arizona is on top; UCLA 2 1/2 back).

The colossal collision is expected to occur beginning with the tip-off Saturday night in Tuscon, when the Wildcats host the Bruins for the second time this season. The first meeting - at UCLA - went to Arizona, 96-85, but, since that result and a subsequent loss at USC, the Bruins have reeled off six straight wins, including Thursday night's 87-75 victory at Arizona State, and 25 points from freshman T.J. Leaf, who fell just shy of his 12th double-double, with nine rebounds.

Leaf dominated the middle, hitting 11 of 16 shots and making all three free throw attempts. The 6'10" frosh has become a mainstay for the Bruins as they improved to 25-3 overall and 12-3 in conference play.

With just two games left for Arizona, 16-0 in the conference, UCLA would have to win Saturday night and the wildcats would have to lose their remaining game against Arizona State, in order to tie the Wildcats for the PAC-12 title.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Syracuse Wins, 78-75, On John Gillon's Buzzer-Beater Over #10 Duke

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The bank was open for John Gillon.

With time running down and the scored tied at 75, the Syracuse guard let fly from 25 feet, the ball banking in off the backboard for the game winner as Syracuse prevailed at home over the #10 Duke Blue Devils, 78-75.

Gillon finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting including three of five from three-point range. The Orange had trailed by as many as ten points in the first half, but trimmed Duke’s advantage and the game was tight for the final ten minutes. Syracuse never led by more than two points until Gillon’s heroic buzzer-beater.

Sending the partisan Syracuse crowd at the Carrier Dome into a court-rushing frenzy, the 17-12 Orange kept alive their hopes of receiving an invitation to the upcoming NCAA national championship tournament. It was the third win over a top 10-ranked team for the Orange. They previously upset Florida State and Virginia.

The victory leaves the Orange at 9-7 in the ACC with just two games remaining in the regular season. A Syracuse win on Sunday at #7 Louisville would likely result in a bid to the big dance, but a Marcvh 4 win over Georgia Tech in their regular season finale at home and a good showing in the ACC tournament would also weigh mightily on the selection committee’s decision.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#13 Florida Powers To 9th Straight Win Behind KeVaughn Allen's 26 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 22, 2017

Winning their ninth straight, the Florida Gators moved into a tie for first place in the SEC with Kentucky, sending slumping South Carolina to their third straight loss, 81-66.

Leading the Gators was sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen, who took just seven shots from the field but ended up the game's high scorer with 26 points.

Allen was 5-for-7 overall, including 3-for-5 on three-pointers. He also made 13 of 14 from the free throw line, dished three assists, blocked a shot, made a pair of steals and had seven boards.

Florida, ranked #13 in the most recent poll, avenged a 57-53 setback at South Carolina back on January 18.

The Gators (23-5, 13-2 SEC) play at #11 Kentucky this Saturday, the result likely to determine the SEC regular season champion. Florida topped the Wildcats on February 4, dominating, 88-66.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jevon Carter, Lamont West Lead West Virginia Past Texas

College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, February 20, 2017

Alive and well in the Big 12, #12 West Virginia (22-6, 10-5) still trails Kansas in the conference standings by 3 1/2 games after the Mountaineers trashed Texas Monday night, 77-62, aided in large part by the 38 minutes of floor time from junior guard Jevon Carter.

Carter, 6'2", from Maywood, Illinois, was 9-for-17 from the field with a pair of three-pointers, 4-for-4 from the foul line and had his third double-double with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds.

6'8" freshman, Lamont West, chipped in 23 points in the same number of minutes, went 7-for-10 from the field, including 6-for-8 from beyond the arc, adding four boards, two assists and a blocked shot. Carter also dished four assists and made a steal.

The Mountaineers may not be the ultimate class of the conference, but they're close, and continuing to meld as a unit. The win was their fourth of the last five games, the only defeat coming last Monday, in an 84-80 overtime loss at Kansas.

With just three games left in their regular season, the Mountaineers appear to be headed to the NCAA tournament for the third straight time, after having missed out in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Marcus Foster Pours In 35, Leading #20 Creighton Past Georgetown, 87-70

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 19, 2017

While the Creighton Blue Jays aren't likely to win the Big East conference - that seems to belong to Villanova - they are almost certainly going to the NCAA tournament, aided by Kansas State transfer, Marcus Foster, who scored a career-high 35 points in Sunday's 87-70 win over Georgetown.

A junior guard from Wichita Falls, Texas, Foster was 13-for-19 from the field, canning four of six from three-point range, adding five boards and five assists in his best game of the season. After two years at Kansas State, Foster sat out the 2015-16 season to ply his trade at Creighton and the results have been better than expected.

Foster's range and shooting percentage have improved markedly from his stint at KSU, and he leads the Bluejays in scoring, averaging 18.6 points per game.

Creighton took an 8-point lead (41-33) into halftime, then went on a 19-6 spurt early in the second to essentially put the game on ice.

Creighton (22-5, 9-5 Big East) shot 53%, avenging a 20-point road loss to the Hoyas on January 25. Georgetown (14-13, 5-9) shot just 38.5% and made only 3 of 22 three-point heaves.

The win leaves the Bluejays alone in third place, 3 1/2 games behind second-ranked Villanova (26-2, 13-2). Butler is second, three games back; Xavier, at 8-6 in conference play, is 4 1/2 behind the front-running Wildcats.

With four games remaining on the regular season schedule, Creighton has home games against Providence and St. John's, travels to Villanova on Feb. 25th, finishing up on the road at Marquette, March 4th.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Freshman Lauri Markkanen Scores 26 With 13 Rebounds in Arizona Win Over Washington

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 18, 2017

College teams in the PAC-12 and down the road in the NCAA tourney had best acquaint themselves with #5 Arizona's Freshman Finn, seven-footer Lauri Markkanen, who tallied 26 points and 13 boards in the Wildcats' 76-68 victory at Washington Saturday.

Markkanen, who hails from Jyvaskyla, Finland, is a potent scorer, who is equally deadly near the rim or from three-point range, where he splashes at a .457 clip. Though he did not connect on two attempts from beyond the arc Saturday, he was 9-for-17 overall and canned eight of nine from the charity stripe. He leads Arizona in minutes, scoring (15.7) and rebounding (7.5), and has the Wildcats a game better than second place Oregon in the conference standings, at 14-1 (25-3 overall).

Arizona won their fourth straight, following an 85-58 drubbing at Oregon two weeks ago, and they won't play the Ducks again unless they meet up in the conference tourney. The Wildcats have just three games left in the regular season, with a home game against #6 UCLA looming as the potential conference title clincher. UCLA is 11-3 in the conference, 2 1/2 games back after blasting USC on Saturday, 102-70.

Arizona, Oregon and UCLA look like locks for the NCAA tournament, with either Colorado or Cal becoming the fourth team from the PAC-12 to get invited, hinging largely on their performance in the conference tournament.

Notable: Mike Daum of South Dakota State scored a career-high 51 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Jackrabbits' 97-89 win over the Fort Wayne Mastadons (no really, that's their chosen name). Daum's point total was the highest in the NCAA this season.

Sunday Spotlight: #23 Maryland plays at #11 Wisconsin, Sunday at 1:00 pm ET in a Big Ten showdown. Both the Terps and Badgers trail Purdue by 1/2 game in the conference standings, making the game a must-see (CBS has the national broadcast) despite the NCAA tournament committee completely shunning the Big Ten in their early top 16 seedings last week.