Duke is too good to pick against in the NCAA Tournament

Well, here it is. The NCAA Tournament bracket that you’ve all been waiting for. No. 1 seeds are Duke, Gonzaga, Virginia and North Carolina. The No. 2s include Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Texas teams

(3) Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. (14) Northern Kentucky Norse — Midwest Regional, at Tulsa, Okla., Friday, 12:30 p.m., TNT.

(3) Houston Cougars vs. (14) Georgia State Panthers — West Regional, at Tulsa, Okla., Friday, 6:20 p.m., TBS

(9) Baylor Bears vs. (8) Syracuse Orange — Thursday, at Salt Lake City, Thursday, 8:57 p.m., truTV

(15) Abilene Christian Wildcats vs. (2) Kentucky Wildcats — Thursday, at Jacksonville, Fla., 7:10 p.m., CBS

(16) Prairie View A&M Panthers vs. (16) Fairleigh Dickinson (round of 68) — Tuesday, at Dayton, Ohio, 7:40 p.m., truTV.

Bracket buster

Keep an eye on the Ja Morant-led Murray State Racers, seeded 12th in the West, who are good enough to spring an upset against No. 5 Marquette in the first round. I also like the West’s third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders’ chances to go deep in the bracket.

Final Four projection

Duke in the East, Texas Tech in the West, Virginia in the South and North Carolina in the Midwest. I really like the Houston Cougars, but they’d need to get through Kentucky in the Sweet 16, and I don’t think that will happen. Kentucky has a chance against North Carolina in the Elite Eight, but the Tar Heels have too much firepower.

Who will win?

Duke over Texas Tech in one semifinal. North Carolina over Virginia in the other. Duke over North Carolina for the title.

Local athletes

Duke forward Justin Robinson (San Antonio Christian), Gonzaga guard Jeremy Jones (East Central), Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy (Brennan) and Colgate guard Jordan Burns (Marshall). Baylor forward Tristan Clark (Wagner) is injured.

Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar (Wagner) is a redshirt. Prairie View A&M guard Tyler Singleton played previously at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Area colleges

Texas State (24-9) hosts Florida International (19-13) Saturday at 6 p.m. in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

UTSA (17-15) and UIW (6-25) will not play in the postseason.

History: 16th-seeded UMBC ousts No. 1 Virginia

Maryland-Baltimore County recorded perhaps the greatest upset in college basketball history Friday night, knocking off Virginia 74-54 in a Round-of-64, South Region game at the NCAA Tournament.

Registering the victory at Charlotte, North Carolina, UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to oust a No. 1.

The Retrievers, who are led by second-year head coach Ryan Odom, pulled off the shocker in style at Spectrum Center.

They outscored the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament 53-33 in the second half, running away from the defense-minded champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Coming in, Virginia had held opponents to an average of 53.4 points a game.

Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points to lead the Retreivers, who raced off the floor with raised fingers pointing toward the sky, according to the Associated Press.

“These are the moments that you dream of,” Lyles said.

UMBC advanced to play in the Round of 32 on Sunday against ninth-seeded Kansas State of the Big 12 conference.

Earlier in the day, Kansas State beat Creighton, 69-59, a game that was also held in Charlotte.

Meanwhile, two other tournament heavyweights survived scares.

Third-seeded Michigan State, buoyed by Miles Bridges’ 29 points and 9 rebounds, held off Bucknell 82-78 in the West Region at Detroit.

Also, Mustapha Heron scored 16 as No. 4 Auburn beat the College of Charleston 62-58 in the Midwest at San Diego.

Here’s a recap of the R-64 results, including scores of games played on Thursday.

NCAA Round of 64


* (16) UMBC beat (1) Virginia, 74-54
* (9) Kansas State beat (8) Creighton, 69-59
* (5) Kentucky beat (12) Davidson, 78-73
* (13) Buffalo beat (4) Arizona, 89-68
* (11) Loyola-Chicago beat (6) Miami, Fla., 64-62
* (3) Tennessee beat (14) Wright State, 73-47
* (7) Nevada beat (10) Texas, 87-83, overtime
* (2) Cincinnati beat (15) Georgia State, 68-53


* (1) Xavier beat (16) Texas Southern, 102-83
* (9) Florida State beat (8) Missouri, 67-54
* (5) Ohio State beat (12) South Dakota State, 81-73
* (4) Gonzaga beat (13) UNC-Greensboro, 68-64
* (6) Houston beat (11) San Diego State, 67-65
* (3) Michigan beat (14) Montana, 61-47
* (7) Texas A&M beat (10) Providence, 73-69
* (2) North Carolina beat (15) Lipscomb, 84-66


* (1) Villanova beat (16) Radford, 87-61
* (9) Alabama beat (8) Virginia Tech, 86-63
* (5) West Virginia beat (12) Murray State, 85-68
* (13) Marshall beat (4) Wichita State, 81-75
* (6) Florida beat (11) St. Bonaventure, 77-62
* (3) Texas Tech beat (14) Stephen F. Austin, 70-60
* (10) Butler beat (7) Arkansas, 79-62
* (2) Purdue beat (15) Cal-State Fullerton, 74-48


* (1) Kansas beat (16) Penn, 76-60
* (8) Seton Hall beat (9) N. Carolina State, 94-83
* (5) Clemson beat (12) New Mexico State, 79-68
* (4) Auburn beat (13) College of Charleston, 62-58
* (11) Syracuse beat (6) TCU, 57-52
* (3) Michigan State beat (14) Bucknell, 82-78
* (7) Rhode Island beat (10) Oklahoma, 83-78
* (2) Duke beat (15) Iona, 89-67

Texas Tech, SFA to meet in NCAA round of 64 at Dallas

Seven programs from the state of Texas were slotted into the 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The tournament opens Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio, on the first of two days of the First Four, and then it concludes with the Final Four, set for March 31 and April 2 at the Alamodome.

Here’s the bracket just released at ncaa.com.

Texas schools in the tournament include Texas Tech, Stephen F. Austin, TCU, Texas Southern, Houston, Texas A&M and Texas.

Texas Tech … The Red Raiders (24-9) are the No. 3 seed in the East Region and will be headed to Dallas to play on Thursday against 14th-seed Stephen F. Austin (28-6). The winner would play again on Saturday against sixth-seeded Florida or No. 11 UCLA or St. Bonaventure.

Stephen F. Austin … The Lumberjacks are coached by former UTSA and Texas A&M assistant Kyle Keller. In his second year with SFA, Keller led the Lumberjacks to the Southland Conference postseason title with a 59-55 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday night in Katy.

TCU … The sixth-seeded Horned Frogs (21-11) will play either No. 11 Syracuse (20-13) or Arizona State (20-11) on Friday in Detroit in the Midwest Region. If TCU can win, it would draw either third-seeded Michigan State or No. 14 Bucknell.

Texas Southern … The Tigers (15-19) open with the North Carolina Central Eagles (19-15) on Wednesday in Dayton on the second day of the First Four phase of the tournament. The winner of the matchup will advance as a No. 16 seed to face West Region No. 1 Xavier on Friday night in Nashville.

Houston … The Cougars (26-7) are seeded 6th in the West, opening Thursday in Wichita, Kansas, against No. 11 San Diego State (22-10). The winner would advance to play either No. 3 Michigan or No. 14 Montana on Saturday.

Texas A&M … The Aggies (20-12) are seeded 7th in the West and will start play Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina, against 10th-seeded Providence (21-13). If the Aggies advance they would face either No. 2 North Carolina or No. 15 Lipscomb on Sunday.

Texas … The Longhorns (19-14) are a No. 10 seed in the South, playing against No. 7 Nevada (27-7) on Friday in Nashville. A victory would boost them into a round of 32 game Sunday against either second-seeded Cincinnati or Georgia State.


“This is a day we’ve looked forward to and knew it was going to happen,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard told boosters Sunday night, in remarks published in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “So thanks for making it special for the players. We can’t thank you enough for your support this year. Let’s make Red Raider nation a big force in Dallas.”

NCAA set to release 68-team tournament bracket

(Davidson players celebrate after knocking off Rhode Island for the Atlantic 10 championship.)

By Jerry Briggs
For thejbreplay.com

The 68-team NCAA tournament bracket is set for release Sunday at 5 p.m.

You can click on this link and fill it in as the teams are announced on national television, on TBS.

For the fourth time, San Antonio will host the Final Four.

The NCAA semifinals and finals will be held March 31 and April 2 at the Alamodome.

Sunday’s highlights

The up-and-down Kentucky Wildcats won the Southeastern Conference title Sunday, beating Tennessee 77-72.

Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander exploded for 29 point and 7 rebounds to lead the Wildcats to the win over the SEC co-champions.

Tennessee entered the game projected as a No. 3 seed and Kentucky a No. 5 seed.

In a game that is expected to force the selection committee to drop one of its at-large selections from the field, Davidson beat Rhode Island 58-57 to win the Atlantic 10.

As a result, Davidson moves in unexpectedly to secure the conference’s automatic bid.

Rhode Island, projected as either a No. 7 or No. 8 seed, likely will make the tournament as an at large to effectively bump another team out.

In other games, Cincinnati scored a 56-55 victory over the Houston Cougars to claim the American Athletic championship.

Also, Georgia State won the Sun Belt title in New Orleans with a 74-61 victory over UT Arlington.

Sunday’s scores

(Tournament finals)

American — Cincinnati 56, Houston 55

Sun Belt — Georgia State 74, UT Arlington 61

Southeastern Conference — Kentucky 77, Tennessee 72

Atlantic 10 — Davidson 58, Rhode Island 57

Ivy League — Penn 68, Harvard 65

Saturday’s scores

(Tournament finals)

Big West — Cal State Fullerton 71, UC Irvine 55

Pac-12 — Arizona 75, USC 61

Western Athletic Conference — New Mexico State 72, Grand Canyon 58

Atlantic Coast Conference — Virginia 71, North Carolina 63

Southland Conference — Stephen F. Austin 59, Southeastern Louisiana 55

Conference USA — Marshall 67, Western Kentucky 66

Big Sky — Montana 82, Eastern Washington 65

Big East — Villanova 76, Providence 66, OT

Big 12 — Kansas 81, West Virginia 70

Mountain West — San Diego State 82, New Mexico 75

MAC — Buffalo 76, Toledo 66

America East – Maryland-Baltimore County 65, Vermont 62

MEAC — North Carolina Central 71,, Hampton 63

SWAC — Texas Southern 84, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 69

(Former UTSA assistants Jeremy Cox (left) and Kyle Keller (second from right) pose for the team picture on Saturday after Stephen F. Austin won the Southland Conference title).

Conference / NCAA automatic qualifier

Ohio Valley — Murray State (26-5)

Missouri Valley – Loyola-Chicago (28-5)

Big Ten — Michigan (28-7)

Big South — Radford (22-12)

Atlantic Sun — Lipscomb (23-9)

Southern — UNC Greensboro (27-7)

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — Iona (20-13)

West Coast Conference — Gonzaga (30-4)

Horizon — Wright State (25-9)

Northeast — LIU Brooklyn (18-16)

Colonial Athletic Association — Charleston (26-7)

Summit — South Dakota State (28-6)

Patriot League — Bucknell (25-9)

America East — Maryland-Baltimore County (24-10)

MEAC — North Carolina Central (19-15)

SWAC — Texas Southern (15-19)

Big 12 — Kansas (27-7)

Mountain West — San Diego State (22-10)

Big East — Villanova (30-4)

MAC — Buffalo (26-8)

Conference USA — Marshall (24-10)

Southland — Stephen F. Austin (28-6)

Atlantic Coast — Virginia (31-2)

Big Sky — Montana (26-7)

Western Athletic Conference — New Mexico State (28-5)

Pac-12 — Arizona (27-7)

Big West — Cal State Fullerton (20-11)

Ivy League — Penn (24-8)

Southeastern — Kentucky (24-10)

Atlantic 10 — Davidson (21-11)

Sun Belt — Georgia State (24-10)

American — Cincinnati (30-4)

(Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins throws down a monster dunk, helping Arizona power past Southern Cal in the Pac-12 tournament).