‘The first time I’ve seen my play card all night’

Here we are, on Saturday morning, and I’d like to throw out some NCAA tournament ‘Best of the Round of 64’ awards.

First, the best quote:

“I mean this is the first time I’ve seen my play card all night. It felt like they were guarding me. I couldn’t even see my play card.” — Montana State coach Danny Sprinkle, commenting on the defensive performance by the Texas Tech Red Raiders against his Bobcats in a Round of 64 game Saturday in San Diego.

Third-seeded Texas Tech won in a rout, 97-62, and advanced to the West Region’s R32 to meet the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Red Raiders and Irish will play Sunday.

Next, best performance by a player from San Antonio:

Arkansas senior Stanley Umude, from Warren High School, a grad transfer from South Dakota. Umude, who had 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and zero turnovers in a 75-71 victory Thursday night against Vermont.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman on Umude’s zero turnovers:

“It’s hard to turn it over when you shoot it when you got it,” Musselman joked.

Asked to elaborate on Umude’s game, Musselman said, ‘Stan was awesome. He keeps getting better and better and better with each game.”

Musselman said he remembered the 6-foot-6 Umude doing ball-handling drills all summer after he arrived on campus.

“He has basically gone from a power forward/small ball five to playing the two-three for us. He has improved so much defensively and improved on valuing the basketball as well. He has become a complete player,” the coach said.

Arkansas plays New Mexico State Saturday in Buffalo Saturday for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16 in the West region. Tipoff is at 7:40 p.m. on TNT.

And, finally, the best in Texas:

Five teams from the state of Texas remain in the tournament. Baylor plays North Carolina today at 11:10 a.m. in Fort Worth.

On Sunday, TCU will take on Arizona and Texas Tech will meet Notre Dame in San Diego. Also Sunday, Houston will battle Illinois in Pittsburgh and Texas will take on Purdue in Milwaukee.

Both TCU and Houston, bracketed in the South region, are looking to play next week in San Antonio. The South region Sweet 16 is next Thursday at the AT&T Center. The Elite Eight game is next Saturday.

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