Starting tonight, now that there will never again be more than two games in any competition on the same evening, we're doing away with the segregation between men and women. For science! Or brevity.
The only men's game was a fairly straightforward affair. Loyola built a small lead by halftime, and made it slightly larger by the end of the game. In other words, a pretty even contest, with the home team holding the slight and obvious advantage. Unfortunately for the Ramblers, game two on Wednesday -- and game three on Friday, if necessary -- are both in Monroe. As a tip, if you've been shrugging your shoulders at the minor tournaments so far, you may want to stop doing that this week. The NIT, CBI, and CIT, at the behest of the NCAA, have used a 30-second shot clock throughout their tournaments. The impact of that may be something you'd like to see for yourself, especially since it's possible the NCAA will choose to implement the change permanently.
The late game in the women's Elite Eight was tight for 20 minutes, but Maryland pulled away for an easy victory over the Volunteers. They'll head to their fifth Final Four, and their second straight.
And lastly, there's Dayton. Before last night, the last time Connecticut had trailed anyone at the half was all the way back on March 12, 2013, when the Huskies fell to Notre Dame in the Big East tournament final. Seven hundred and forty-eight days later, eighty-three games later, they finally once again felt what it was like to go into the locker room with a deficit. Dayton came out fighting, and went bucket-for-bucket with the Huskies throughout the first twenty; at no point in the first half did either team lead by more than five.
But Connecticut is Connecticut, and the Huskies launched a 15-3 run coming out of the half to effectively put the game away. Every time Dayton started to chip at the lead, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis seemed to drain a three -- a situation which will disappoint K-State fans, as in the process Mosqueda-Lewis broke the NCAA record for career three-pointers which had previously been shared by Laurie Koehn and Tennessee-Martin's Heather Butler. Mosqueda-Lewis now has 395, well within range of breaking the 400 barrier during the Final Four.
Still, a game effort by the Flyers, who only lost by 21. If that seems sarcastic or unimpressive, know this: they're only the fifth team to do that this year. Duke didn't do it. South Carolina didn't do it, and they're in the Final Four. The Flyers had five players in double figures, shot over 52% from the arc, held their own on the defensive glass, and even managed to block five shots. Moral victories don't exist, but if they did Dayton won one last night.
Results, with (as always) green linked recaps courtesy our friends around the SB Nation college network:
|COLLEGE BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES|
|GAME 1||(MW1) Loyola (IL) 65, (S2) Louisiana-Monroe 58||Earl Peterson (LOY), 16|
|NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|FINAL||(1) Connecticut 91, (7) Dayton 70||Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (CONN), 27|
|FINAL||(1) Maryland 58, (2) Tennessee 48||Ariel Massengale (TENN), 16|
Not a single women's game tonight; just the semifinal rounds of the CIT and NIT. In addition to the shot-clock experiment, the NIT is also testing a four-foot restricted arc under the basket. You may also want to see if MURICA'S TEAM can win on the road; after all, NJIT beat Michigan on the road, so surely Northern Arizona is doable.
Another storyline: Evansville, a school with a rich basketball history that nobody remembers, has a chance to advance to their first championship game in a national tournament since joining Division I... a move which was marred after only four games by the plane crash which killed the entire program. Tonight's schedule:
|NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT|
|SF||6:00pm||(RCH2) Miami (FL)||vs||(TMP1) Temple||New York NY||ESPN||PBP: Bob Wischusen
Color: Fran Fraschilla
|SF||8:00pm||(CSU2) Stanford||vs||(ODU1) Old Dominion||New York NY||ESPN||PBP: Bob Wischusen
Color: Fran Fraschilla
|SF||6:00pm||Tennessee-Martin||vs||Evansville||Evansville IN||CBSSN||PBP: Mike Corey
Color: Rich Zvosec
|SF||8:00pm||New Jersey Tech||vs||Northern Arizona||Flagstaff AZ||CBSSN||PBP: Dave Popkin
Color: Dave Galloway