Roundup: Arizona is elite; more Sweet 16 action
Arizona is through to the Elite Eight after grinding out a 68-60 win over Xavier (that defense down the stretch tho…), and Lindsay Schnell of Sports Illustrated (and formerly of The Oregonian) notes that T.J. McConnell rallied Arizona to victory. Now we get what everyone wanted – an Arizona-Wisconsin rematch with a Final Four berth on the line.
Now it’s time for the other two men’s Pac-12 representatives to do battle in the Sweet 16. UCLA kicks the night (early afternoon) off with a Sweet 16 rematch (of nine years ago) against Gonzaga (4:15 p.m. PT, CBS), and Jack Wang writes that beating Gonzaga would solidify UCLA’s late-season success.
Once that one’s over, Utah takes on top-seeded Duke (approximately 6:45 p.m. PT/7:45 p.m. MT, CBS), and Brennan Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune gives us a Duke-Utah position-by-position preview. Additionally, veteran CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz says Utah can upset Duke.
The women’s Sweet 16 also gets underway Friday, and Arizona State will match wits with second-seeded Florida State in Greensboro, N.C. (6:30 p.m., ESPN2). Jeff Metcalfe opines that rebounding will be key for Arizona State against Florida State. The Seminoles are third nationally in rebounding margin.
Stanford faces top-seeded Notre Dame in Oklahoma City (7 p.m., ESPN), and you can bet that Stanford guard Briana Roberson is ready to play Notre Dame. At least that’s what Elliott Almond says, and I’ll take his word for it.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Memphis AD Tom Bowen is a finalist to become the next AD at Cal, and is supposedly going up against H. Michael Williams, the interim AD.
Adam Schein of NFL.com says that the top question in the 2015 NFL draft is “who’s going to draft Marcus Mariota?” Tennessee at No. 2 appears to be the most likely destination, but ya never know…
David Lombardi recaps the busy week for USC football, providing links to the major headlines surrounding the program. #linkception
Kyle Ringo features the Buffs participating in the IAAF cross country world championships in China on Saturday.
What’s the 2015-16 Oregon State men’s basketball team gonna look like? Connor Letourneau gives us a lil’ glimpse into the future.
Writing for The Spokesman-Review, Sean Kramer writes that turnovers are the key to Alex Grinch's defense at Washington State. Grinch is the new defensive coordinator in town and got in his first practice with the boys Thursday.
Adam Jude looks at the Washington football defense during spring practice.