Roundup: First-weekend success for Pac-12 men's and women's hoops
Well I’d say that this NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is just a wee bit better than the 2016 edition with Arizona, Oregon and UCLA on to the Sweet 16 and USC almost getting there. Let’s start with Oregon, as Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports writes about Tyler Dorsey’s late-game heroics, including hitting the game-winning three to completely erase an 11-point second-half deficit in the 75-72 win over Rhode Island. The Rams have had some tough losses to Pac-12 schools in the tourney over the years (Oregon 2017, Stanford 1998).
A quick break from the Big Dance to let you know that Washington hired Mike Hopkins as its men’s basketball head coach, the school announced Sunday. Hopkins, who according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman will sign a six-year deal with the school, has been an assistant under the legendary Jim Boeheim at Syracuse for 21 years.
Read the Associated Press recap of UCLA beating Cincinnati 79-67 behind 19 points and nine second-half assists from Lonzo Ball. Steve Alford has now taken UCLA to three Sweet 16s in his four seasons. Kentucky is up next.
After watching him return to the game after breaking his index finger to help lead the Wildcats to a comeback win over Saint Mary’s and speaking with him in the locker room, Greg Hansen compares Rawle Alkins’ personality to former Arizona greats Steve Kerr and Jason Terry.
Zach Helfand has the look-back on USC’s hard-fought second-round loss to Baylor 82-78, as another comeback bid fell just short. The Trojans certainly acquitted themselves well in March Madness.
On the women’s side, Oregon State is on to the Sweet 16 after beating Creighton 64-52, and Gina Mizell writes that seniors Sydney Wiese and Gabby Hanson spurred the Beavers on to the second weekend of the tournament in their final game at Gill Coliseum.
Hats off to Arizona State for nearly upsetting South Carolina, falling 71-68 to the top-seeded Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. Chris Dearing has more in this article for The Arizona Republic.
A first-round triumph over LSU in the books, Cal is looking for a major upset against top-seeded Baylor Monday night in Waco, writes Rusty Simmons. The Bears are coming off an NCAA-record 89-point win in the first round over Texas Southern.
We could talk about the women’s hoops team prepping for Kansas State, or we could discuss Stanford women’s swimming and diving winning the NCAA title in going-away fashion, clearing second-place Cal by more than 160 points. Katie Ledecky won five national titles in freestyle events, while Simone Manuel claimed four titles in freestyle events.
Congratulations to Utah for winning the Pac-12 gymnastics championship, scoring a season-best 197.925. Frosh MyKayla Skinner won the all-around with a 39.725 and floor with a perfect 10 (she also tied for first on vault with teammate Tiffani Lewis at 9.95).
Meanwhile, Colorado women’s basketball defeated South Dakota State in overtime to advance to the third round of the WNIT, getting 29 points, eight assists and seven rebounds from Kennedy Leonard. The Buffs blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead before regaining their footing in overtime and booking a third-round date at Iowa on Thursday.
Jason Jenks of the Seattle Times reached out to LaVar Ball’s teammates at Washington State to see how they’re reacting to his recent comments about himself being able to beat Michael Jordan one-on-one and everything else he has said.