Home 9 Non categorizzato 9 USC pulls the upset over SMU

USC pulls the upset over SMU

Autore: Sergio Vivaldi
Data: 18 Mar, 2017

“Doctor JJ” carries the Jayhawks

Josh Jackson was the best player on the floor in a Kansas win over UC Davis. One of the most talked-about draft prospects made a few plays that drew comparison to Steve Nash and Julius Erving. It was not just about scoring, he threw a perfect alley opp to Landen Lucas and had one huge block. He finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 from the floor.

Louisville wins ugly

Jacksonville State made 10 threes, including one off the backboard and three heaves, on 19 attempts, but Louisville still wasted plenty of opportunities to build a comfortable lead, a trend that might be a source of concern going forward. Donovan Mitchell had an awful game (9 points on 3-of-15 from the floor, but still helped with 10 rebounds and 5 assists) but his inconsistency usually swings between bad and good games. That should be good news for his team for the upcoming game against Michigan. The Cardinals won the game outrebounding their opponent 36 to 23. Likely a consequence of that, Louisville best player was Mangok Mathiang with 18 points on 8-for-13 from the field.

SMU’s collapse

Southern California won 26 games this season, half of them coming back from a 10+ points deficit. In the words of Elijah Steward, crucial with his 22 points, including the game winner: “We’ve been in those positions before. So we’re kind of seasoned to it. And you just can’t stop. You just got to keep going”. The 13th come-from-behind win counts as the biggest surprise of the tournament so far, since SMU dominated the AAC tournament and had an open 16-game winning streak. The Mustangs took all the wrong choices in the final minutes of the game. For example, Semi Ojeleye is a dominant player and did prove it against the Trojans as well by posting 24 points and 10 rebounds and yet, his teammates didn’t feed him the ball in the three final possession (a turnover and two missed shots). He still had the time to throw down this amazing dunk. Will he be back for his senior year?

Defense over offense

Wichita State built the 64-58 win over Dayton on rebounding (48) and strong defense. It is an unexpected turn for a team that is used to score 80 points per game. The Shockers raised their intensity and aggressiveness to limit Scoochie Smith (15 points in the first half, 25 for the game), bringing him to force a few shots towards the end of the game.

Freshmen for the win

Miles Bridges is an all-around wing, center Nick Ward is effective on both sides of the floor when he can get in the post. Michigan State destroyed Miami despite the Hurricanes’ attempt to lull the game with their zone. The rebounding battle went to Michigan State (36-23) and the two freshman finished with 18 and 19 points respectively on a combined 16-for-21 from the field.

Top teams still in cruise control

A good first half by Justin Jackson was all North Carolina needed to take care of Texas Southern (103-64 the final). It was an historic game for Northern Kentucky, a small college in his first year of tournament eligibility, while for Kentucky it was just a nuisance to overcome with the smallest possible effort. Mission accomplished and a 79-70 win for the Wildcats in a game without huge leads but that was never balanced. No troubles at all for UCLA either in a 97-80 win over Kent State. The Bruins went on a 16-2 run in the first 5 minutes, the Golden Flashes tried to get back into the game (4 points deficit with just over 16 minutes left) but succumbed to UCLA’s offense. TJ Leaf was the top scorer of the game with 23 points while Aaron Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 assists.

“Another three for Michigan!”

That was the most common line on the Espn broadcast for the Wolverines’ game. Michigan went from 5-for-14 on threes in the first half to 11-for-15 in the second half, for a total 16-for-29, good for 55.2%. These kind of shooting performances are not really news, since the Wolverines shot 55% against Indiana, 47.6% against Michigan State, 43.5% against Wisconsin and 42.3% against Purdue this season.

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