Big Ten teams Michigan, Indiana and Iowa were either on the bubble or in the last four out for the NCAA Tournament so one has to consider them among the top teams in the NIT this year. For Michigan (24-11), senior Derrick Walton, Sr. has been outstanding the second half of the season and dominated the recent Big Ten tournament by averaging more than 25 points and eight assists in the final two games.
The Cowboys never led again. Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each had 16. When Senior Phil Forte, III fouled Abdur-Rahkman on a three-point bucket, the MI comeback had been complete. Mason has reached at least 20 points in seven of the last eight games so the goal for the Spartans will be to keep him to 15 points or less.
GREENVILLE, South Carolina - Jaylen Barford hit the go-ahead layup with 57.8 seconds left to help Arkansas hold off Seton Hall 77-71 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
They'll be gearing up to play the Miami Hurricanes of the ACC. The Cardinals have won all three meetings in the series, including the 2013 national championship game. You shouldn't overreact to one good game, especially against offensively limited opponent.
The injury-riddled and youthful Spartans suited up only three players on Friday who saw action in last year's opening-round loss as a No. 2 seed to Middle Tennessee State. Nick Ward led the Spartans with 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. And, honestly, things weren't looking good, as MSU was a turnover machine.
Combined, the Hurricanes' Davon Reed, Ja'Quan Newton and Bruce Brown average about 40 points per game and nine assists. Ellis averages 5.6 points per game and 1.2 assists on an average of 19.1 minutes per game.
SMU's Shake Milton missed a floater at the buzzer. Bennie Boatright and Chimezie Metu each added 14 for USC, which advances to play Baylor in the second round of the East region on Sunday. So I didn't make the bench during the NCAA Tournament in '86. I think Josh Jackson and Miles Bridges will be a wash, and it will come down to whether Frank Mason III can exploit Michigan State's young guards.More news: National Football League player accepts prom invitation from Wisconsin girl
Evans threw in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a one-point loss for the Cowboys - which blew the cover from MI bettors, who were laying 2.5 points.
And they blew out IL, 75-55.
Cincinnati (30-5) was knocked out the first round a year ago and No. 6 seeds were 0-3 before the Bearcats took the floor, with Maryland, Creighton and SMU all losing to No. 11 seeds.
The Bearcats took care of their business and the No. 6 jinx with an impressive shooting display, shooting 62 percent. The Jayhawks allow 72.1 points per game, but some of that is a byproduct of their high-scoring ways as they can be suffocating at times.
The Wolverines trailed most of the game before pulling out a 73-69 victory over second-seeded Louisville in the Midwest region at Indianapolis.
OSU was ideal in 10 trips to the charity stripe in the opening half, but U-M held a distinct advantage in turnovers, committing just two while forcing eight as the Wolverines converted the miscues into 10 points. In the meantime, the ACC doesn't have any regional semifinalists yet and is down to just two teams left in the tournament: North Carolina and Duke.
Iona kept pace with some insane 3-pointers, but OR overwhelmed them in the paint.