• How deep can Ja Morant take Murray State on this tournament? The 12th-seeded Racers face No. four Florida State within the Round of 32.
• Michigan ends Florida’s season with a 64-49 win within the West Region.
• Wofford’s storybook season ends within the Round of 32, as does its 21-game profitable streak. Meanwhile, Kentucky is headed again to the Sweet 16 for a 3rd straight 12 months. John Calipari has taken the Wildcats to the tournament’s second weekend eight occasions in 10 seasons as head coach.
• LSU is shifting on to the Sweet 16 after holding off a late-surging Maryland staff that overcame a 15-point first-half deficit. The Tigers made the game-winning layup with below two seconds remaining and the Terps couldn’t join on a full-court heave.
The most up-to-date information and highlights from the 2019 males’s NCAA tournament.
Michigan advances to Sweet 16
It’s over in Des Moines, the place Michigan ended Florida’s NCAA tournament and superior to its third consecutive Sweet 16 with a 64-49 win. The Wolverines saved Florida at arm’s distance by the second half. Even with star freshman ahead Ignas Brazdeikis off his sport, Michigan has largely held on to a double-digit lead. Point guard Zavier Simpson has achieved effectively to maintain the offense in rhythm with eight assists, together with this half-court bounce move for Isaiah Livers’s highly effective dunk.
The Wolverines will meet the winner of Sunday’s Texas Tech-Buffalo matchup in subsequent weekend’s West regional semifinals in Anaheim, Calif.
Seminoles appear to be an excessive amount of for Morant, Racers
Ja Morant’s heroics don’t appear to be they’ll be sufficient for Murray State. The soon-to-be lottery choose is carrying his staff, however Florida State’s measurement and athleticism are proving an excessive amount of for the Racers to the tune of a 50-34 Seminoles lead at halftime. Florida State made 57 % of its three-point makes an attempt within the first half and have three gamers in double figures, whereas Morant has greater than half of Murray State’s factors by himself.
Wolverines trying to run away
After Michigan jumped on upset-minded Florida with a fast 11-Zero run to start out the second half, Florida answered with a 11-Three run of its personal, reducing the Wolverines’ lead all the way down to seven factors, 46-39 with simply over 12:30 to go within the second half.
The Wolverines led by as many as 15 factors within the second half.
Fueling Michigan’s run was the Wolverines’ smooth-shooting guard Jordan Poole, who is understood for his three-point taking pictures skills. Poole’s had each a powerful drive to the ring to transform an and-1 layup and a fairly step-back three-pointer. He additionally had a troublesome four-point play early within the sport.
Ja Morant going through stiffer take a look at from Florida State
The Ja Morant present is again. The Murray State phenom already has 16 factors and three assists within the first half in opposition to Florida State. Even the Seminoles unimaginable size and athleticism can’t include Morant, who, in case you forgot, jumped over a human being whereas dunking a basketball in the course of the Racers’ first-round win over Marquette.
His dunks haven’t introduced the home down (but) on Saturday, however his taking pictures stroke is retaining Murray State within the sport. He’s 5 for five from three-point vary, together with three straight swishes from the precise wing.
Michigan in control at half, but Florida’s shooting keeps it close
Michigan leads upset-minded Florida 32-28 at the half. Both teams have plenty of tournament experience and freshman playmakers, but the Wolverines are showing their dominance on the boards, outrebounding Florida 20-14 and 6-2 on the offensive glass. Freshman guard Noah Locke leads the way for Florida with eight points. Michigan’s trio of Jordan Poole, Zavier Simpson and Charles Matthews with seven points.
Florida has remained within striking distance of the Wolverines thanks to 6-for-12 shooting from three. Locke has two of those, as does starting guard Jalen Hudson.
Entering the game, Michigan had led by 10 or more points in 42.2 percent of minutes played this season, which is good for second in the NCAA. Michigan is trying to reach its third straight Sweet 16. Florida is trying to make its first round of 16 since 2017, when it beat No. 8 Wisconsin 84-83 in overtime, then lost 77-70 to No. 7 South Carolina in the Elite Eight.
With Florida’s 70-61 win over No. 7 Nevada in the first round, Coach Mike White became the sixth coach in SEC history to win 20 or more games in each of his first four seasons. Michigan flexed its muscles in a 74-55 win over No. 15 Montana.
The last time the two teams played in the tournament was 2013, when Florida lost to the Wolverines in the Elite Eight. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to play the winner of Buffalo-Texas Tech.
Kentucky is heading back to the Sweet 16; Wofford’s streak ends
Kentucky advanced to its third straight Sweet 16 after squeaking out a 62-56 win over a Wofford team who just wouldn’t go away. Wofford cut Kentucky’s lead down to a two points, 58-56, with 37.9 seconds remaining on a tip in from Keve Aluma, but the Terriers were unable to finish the comeback.
After Kentucky’s Reid Travis made two free throws to extend the lead to four points, a wild three-point attempt by Fletcher Magee at the top of the arc hit the rim and bounced off, ensuring the Kentucky win. Travis scored a team-high 14 points. Magee has made the most three-pointers all-time in Division I history, but his 0 for 12 performance was the most three-point attempts without a make in a game in NCAA tournament history, according to ESPN. He finished with eight points.
Both teams struggled from behind the arc Saturda: Wofford went 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) from the three-point line, while Kentucky finished 3 of 13 (23.1 percent).
Kentucky’s Tyler Herro, who has only missed one free throw since Christmas, knocked down the game’s final two points from the charity stripe to seal the win.
With Kentucky moving forward to face the winner of Houston-Ohio State on Friday, John Calipari has taken the Wildcats to the tournament’s second weekend eight times in 10 seasons as head coach.
It’s no surprise Wofford proved resilient in a fight with a college basketball blue-blood. Wofford entered Saturday’s game on a 21-game winning streak. But the Terriers hadn’t faced a team like Kentucky, and so the would-be Cinderella story ended earlier than many hoped.
FSU’s Phil Cofer launches GoFundMe after father’s death
After finding out about his father’s death following his team’s first-round win Thursday, Florida State senior Phil Cofer has launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his father’s medical and funeral expenses.
On his GoFundMe page, Cofer wrote: “Moments after my team’s win in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, celebration turned into devastation as I received a phone call that would change my life forever. My dad, Michael Cofer, had passed due to a battle with a long-term illness. My dad has always supported me on and off the court and I will miss him dearly.”
Cofer noted that the GoFundMe was created after consultation with the NCAA and the FSU Athletics Compliance Department.
FSU Coach Leonard Hamilton said that Cofer would remain with the team through the weekend but is not expected to play Saturday. Cofer did not play against Vermont in the first round with a right foot injury.
“It was tough,” FSU guard PJ Savoy said of Cofer on Friday. “Just to hear him cry like that. You never see Phil cry. We didn’t think it would come this fast. We at least thought Phil would be able to go home and see him.”
Florida State’s second-round matchup is against No. 12 Murray State Saturday at 6:10 p.m.
‘He’s always with us’
After LSU’s 69-67 win over Maryland sent them to the Sweet 16, Tremont Waters, who made the game-winning layup for the Tigers, said the team knew it needed to pull out Saturday’s win for their late teammate, Wayde Sims. Sims was shot and killed in September.
“We lost a brother, but we understand that he is always with us,” Waters said. “Our score was 44 at one point and we all stopped in the huddle, looked up at the scoreboard and just said ‘44’ in the huddle — we just knew we needed to get this one for him.”
With the Tigers’ score at 44, LSU’s Emmitt Williams held up “44” with his hands on the bench as fans in the crowd started chanting “44” in honor of Sims.
LSU moving on after holding off late-surging Maryland
LSU is headed to the Sweet 16 after a 69-67 win over Maryland on Saturday in Jacksonville. The Tigers will face the winner of Michigan State-Minnesota in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
LSU had the final possession of the game after Maryland guard Jalen Smith hit a game-tying three-pointer from the corner with 25.8 seconds left. LSU sophomore Tremont Waters made the game-winning layup with less than two seconds left in the game on a drive down the right side.
Prior to Smith’s three, with the game tied at 64, LSU guard Skylar Mays hit a deep three with 36.8 seconds left in the second half to give LSU a three-point advantage after Maryland’s Eric Ayala missed from behind the arc on the other end of the floor.
The Terrapins trailed by as many as 15 points during the second half, but were unable to complete back-to-back comebacks to start the NCAA tournament.
Skylar Mays led the Tigers with 16 points, while Darius Days had 10 off the bench. Freshman Jalen Smith led the Terps with 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
Saturday’s games of the day
• No. 7 Wofford vs. No. 2 Kentucky, approx. 2:40 p.m., CBS: There might not be a bigger contrast between opponents Saturday. The Terriers (30-4) have won 21 straight, but had never won an NCAA tournament game before Thursday’s victory over Seton Hall. Kentucky, as the Associated Press noted, has more wins than any team in Division I history, plus eight national titles. And Kentucky Coach John Calipari, naturally, has attempted to argue that his team shouldn’t be considered a favorite.
• No. 12 Murray St. vs. No. 4 Florida St., 6:10 p.m., TNT: Murray State’s Ja Morant will become a household name by June’s NBA draft, when he’s expected to be a top-three pick, but he’s moving up the timeline. In Thursday’s rout of Marquette, Morant recorded just the eighth NCAA tournament triple-double since assists became an official statistic in 1983-84, and the first since Draymond Green did so for Michigan State in 2012. The Seminoles are used to facing elite talent: As their athletic site noted, they just faced four of the top five NBA prospects (from one mock draft) during the ACC tournament. The only one left? That would be Morant.
• No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 3 Purdue, approx. 8:40 p.m., TNT: The Big East has had a nightmare start, with only Villanova surviving of its four tournament teams. The Big Ten has been the reverse: Big Ten teams went 7-1 in the first round. Villanova isn’t just any No. 6 seed; the Wildcats are the defending national champions, and have won two of the past three titles. Purdue’s Carsen Edwards was the leading scorer in the Big Ten this season; the Boilermakers are trying to get to a third straight Sweet 16.
The Hokies make history
Virginia Tech won its first tournament game since 2007, dominating Saint Louis from the start in a 66-52 win. It was an ideal tone-setter for the Hokies, who were stifling on defense and got back senior point guard Justin Robinson after he missed 12 games with a foot injury. Virginia Tech will next face Liberty; the two schools are located about 90 miles apart, and started this season by playing an exhibition against each other. (Read more)
Liberty gets burgers
With the two Virginia schools spending the opening weekend in San Jose, they were able to explore Pacific Coast culinary adventures. For Liberty, which trailed Mississippi State by 10 points late in the second half before rallying for its first tournament win, that meant a late-night trip to California institution In-N-Out.
Schedule and results
Game times and TV information. All times Eastern.
- No. 3 LSU 69, No. 6 Maryland 67
- No. 2 Kentucky 62, No. 7 Wofford 56
- No. 10 Florida vs. No. 2 Michigan, 5:15 p.m., CBS
- No. 12 Murray St. vs. No. 4 Florida St., 6:10 p.m., TNT
- No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 1 Gonzaga, 7:10 p.m., TBS
- No. 10 Minnesota vs. No. 2 Michigan St., approx. 7:45 p.m., CBS
- No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 3 Purdue, approx. 8:40 p.m., TNT
- No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 4 Kansas, approx. 9:40 p.m., TBS
Tournament news and notes
The guy who coached Zion Williamson and Ja Morant is out here selling houses
“I’ll tell you what: It does blow my mind,” Ricky Taylor, 50, says. “I feel very, very fortunate to have coached them. I feel like the luckiest guy in basketball right now.”
Pay the players
The absence of LSU Coach Will Wade is a central story line in the Maryland-LSU matchup. He was suspended March 8. He has refused to sit down with LSU and NCAA officials on the advice of his attorney, because he’s the subject of a criminal investigation. Yet he’s also pleaded for his job back. Here’s Post columnist Barry Svrluga: “It all sounds so sordid. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be. This argument is so old, it’s almost trite. And yet here it comes again: Pay the players.” (Read more)
Virginia survives itself
To avoid a repeat NCAA tournament apocalypse, to avoid deja boo, to avoid eternal damnation as a fraudulent No. 1 seed and reclaim some dignity with a 71-56 victory over Gardner-Webb on Friday, Virginia’s Tony Bennett wanted composure, extraordinary composure, as The Post’s Jerry Brewer writes. He found it in a thoroughly dominant second half. (Read more)
Luka Garza is a rising star
The former star at Maret in the District was key to Iowa’s comeback win over Cincinnati. (Read more)
As the annual Sad Locker Room Month in America began again in earnest Thursday, the first sad locker room of the final 64 of the NCAA tournament turned out to be Louisville’s. If the truest fabric of March is its tears, its recurring finality as team after team completes months of collaboration and locker room after locker room goes hushed, Louisville provided a modest example. (Read more)
The March Madness oddities that could actually happen this year
A North Carolina-Duke tournament matchup? Three No. 1 seeds ousted before the Sweet 16? A team lower than a No. 11 seed in the Final Four? Here are the odds. (Read more)
Barack-etology is back, as Obama reveals his NCAA tournament picks
Do “one-and-done” teams succeed in March?
Zion and beyond: The NBA fan’s guide to March Madness 2019
10 NCAA tournament players who could become breakout stars
“It’s a cesspool!”: ESPN’s Dick Vitale says it’s time the NCAA paid players
NCAA tournament gambling guide: Will the underdogs have their day?
Feeling shaky about Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament? Remember, no program is more solid.
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