When Georgetown misplaced 63-48 at dwelling vs. Creighton and fell to 5-10 general on Feb. 9, it regarded as if the one good case for coach Patrick Ewing to maintain his job for a fifth season may be the stable five-man recruiting class he is assembled within the 2021 cycle. The Hoyas seemed to be misplaced on the courtroom, as they’d usually through the early years of Ewing’s tenure.
However after what Georgetown did on Friday evening in a 66-58 Huge East Event semifinal win over Seton Corridor, there may be lastly an on-court accomplishment for Ewing to tout. The No. 9 seed Hoyas are headed to the Huge East Event title recreation for the primary time in a decade with their former star heart main the way in which on the sideline.
That recruiting class — ranked No. 10 nationally proper now by 247Sports — remains to be coming, and now there may be some tangible progress to pair with the group. Profitable Saturday’s ultimate is the one manner Georgetown (12-12) will qualify for the NCAA Event, however even when the Hoyas falter, the late-season turnaround that Ewing has engineered should be held in excessive regard.
Not like final season when the Hoyas misplaced seven in a row to shut the 12 months, this workforce is surging on the proper time, and that makes Georgetown and Ewing one of many apparent winners from Friday in school basketball.
Spoiler: Ewing wasn’t the game’s solely big-name coach to guide a No. 9 seed to inside a recreation of qualifying for the NCAA Event as we draw nearer to Choice Sunday.
Winner: Rick Pitino and Iona
It seems like there may be a Pitino on this 12 months’s NCAA Event in spite of everything. Whereas Richard Pitino’s Minnesota squad faltered down the stretch to fall out of competition for an at-large bid within the Huge Ten Event, his father’s first workforce at Iona is on the cusp of incomes computerized qualification. The No. 9 seed Gaels gained their third recreation of the week by knocking off No. 5 seed Niagara in Friday’s semifinals to achieve Saturday’s title recreation. If Iona wins, Pitino will be part of Lon Kruger and Tubby Smith as one in all solely three coaches to ever lead 5 packages to the NCAA Event.
Beware, nevertheless, that the Gaels in all probability should not have been the No. 9 seed after going 6-3 in league play through the common season. They solely landed that poor seed as a result of the MAAC seeded its match by whole variety of victories as an alternative of profitable proportion. — Cobb
In a traditional 12 months, Virginia and Kansas would don’t have any purpose to fret about whether or not they’ll be taking part in within the NCAA Event. Each groups have had stable seasons making them lots worthy of receiving at-large bids to the Huge Dance. As an alternative, although, each packages will probably be ready on pins and needles for the outcomes of COVID-19 and call tracing measures after they have been eradicated from their convention tournaments on Friday as every had a participant check optimistic.
Their points with COVID-19 forged a pall over two of essentially the most compelling convention tournaments, and reminded everybody that the virus will probably be a drive to be reckoned with through the NCAA Event. — Cobb
Winner: Arkansas stays sizzling, advances in SEC tourney
Arkansas gained its twelfth (!) consecutive recreation over an SEC opponent on Friday in ousting Missouri 70-64. Only a few groups have been as sizzling or deadly as they have been over the past two months, and this was a picturesque instance of simply how balanced this workforce might be. Examine this: freshman star Moses Moody — the workforce’s main scorer — solely notched 5 factors within the win. However J.D. Notae, who’s averaging fewer than 13 factors per recreation and was coping with an sickness, picked up the slack to attain 27 off the bench.
“He performed phenomenal,” stated Arkansas coach Eric Musselman of Notae. “He threw up at one level, then he did it once more at halftime. Did not know if he was going to return out and play within the second half. I feel it was some meals, to be trustworthy with you.”
It is a harmful roster coached by Musselman that is gaining confidence by the day and bettering its seed line with swiftness within the course of. They entered the day a 3 seed in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology and can not seem to cease themselves from profitable. If there is a workforce that is not getting its correct due as a real and bonafide title contender, it is Arkansas. — Boone
Loser: Blueblood dominance within the ACC tourney
Duke was pressured to duck out of the ACC Event as a result of a participant examined optimistic and North Carolina bowed out Friday with a 69-66 loss to Florida State. Which means Saturday’s ACC Event title recreation would be the first since 1996 wherein neither Duke nor North Carolina will probably be featured. 1996! The 12 months “Macarena” ended the 12 months No. 1 on the Billboard High 100. Make ya really feel previous? — Boone
Winner: Iowa pulls off the Badgers three-peat
Iowa grabbed the broom and began sweeping late Friday evening when it knocked off Wisconsin within the Huge Ten Event quarterfinals 62-57. It was the third win for the Hawkeyes over Wisconsin on the season, however simply crucial because it stored Iowa alive for a match title and marked the workforce’s eighth win in 9 outings. — Boone
Winner: Cade Cunningham, Cowboys hold cruising
Oklahoma State gained its eighth recreation in its final 9 outings on Friday when it surprised No. 2 Baylor — the top-seeded workforce within the Huge 12 Event — with an 83-74 win. It was a continuation of dominance for the Cowboys and for freshman celebrity Cade Cunningham, who led the way in which with 25 factors and carried his workforce down the stretch. OSU entered the day a projected No. 3 seed in CBS Sports activities Bracketology Professional Jerry Palm’s bracket, however a win over a projected No. 1 seed in Baylor and maybe one other one Saturday within the title recreation towards Texas has this workforce on an ascension as speedy as any workforce within the sport proper now. — Boone
There’s been a celebratory feeling round Wichita State basketball in current weeks. The Shockers closed the common season sturdy to earn the highest seed within the AAC Event and eliminated the interim tag from coach Isaac Brown as a reward for the job he is executed main the workforce this season following the resignation of Gregg Marshall.
However the Shockers almost suffered a surprising loss within the AAC Event quarterfinals on Friday. They trailed No. 9 seed South Florida 41-32 at halftime earlier than rallying for a 68-67 win. A loss would have been a crushing blow for his or her hopes of an at-large bid to the NCAA Event, and this workforce should not be within the clear. Wichita State must win its semifinal recreation towards No. 5 seed Cincinnati on Saturday, as a result of even that might be thought-about a foul loss within the watered down AAC. If the Shockers can eek out yet one more victory, maybe they’ll lastly be capable to exhale and admire what’s been a season of renewal. — Cobb
Loser: Seton Corridor’s at-large hopes take big hit
An already-shaky at-large resume for Seton Corridor took a success Friday when it fell 66-58 to Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas. The Pirates (14-13) may be kissing their NCAA Event hopes goodbye with that one. They dropped 5 of their final six video games with just one win over bubbly St. John’s within the final three weeks. After coming into the day needing high quality wins and nonetheless on the skin trying in of Jerry Palm’s tourney projections, this stumble may cost them an opportunity to go dancing. — Boone
Winner: Alabama seems deadly
So, if Alabama wins the SEC Event, can it steal the fourth No. 1 seed within the NCAA Event? It is a subject value contemplating for the reason that Crimson Tide regarded completely deadly in an SEC Event quarterfinal shellacking of Mississippi State on Friday. The 85-48 romp over the No. 9 seed Bulldogs provided an ideal show of the hard-nosed protection and 3-point marksmanship that carried Alabama to the SEC’s regular-season title. If it carries them to an SEC Event title as effectively, you can make a compelling case for the Crimson Tide to be on the highest seed line. — Cobb
Loser: Huge Ten sportsmanship
Apparently, there was some lingering dangerous blood between Michigan and Maryland from the their two common season conferences. Regardless of the beef was, it spilled over in a significant manner through the Wolverines’ 79-66 Huge Ten Event quarterfinal victory. Michigan coach Juwan Howard obtained two technical fouls and needed to be restrained from stepping towards Turgeon through the center of the second half. Turgeon additionally acquired T’d up, and the ordeal appeared to profit Maryland at first. However after a short 5-0 run for the Terrapins, Michigan surged down the stretch for its third victory within the collection this season. — Cobb
Winner: Ohio State seems like itself once more
After shedding 4 straight video games to finish the common season after which struggling to get previous a reeling Minnesota workforce within the second spherical of Thursday’s Huge Ten Event, Ohio State lastly began to appear like itself once more on Friday. The No. 4 seed Buckeyes outlasted No. 5 seed Purdue 87-78 in time beyond regulation regardless of shedding beginning ahead Kyle Younger to damage early within the second half after he exploded for 18 factors within the first half. The resiliency continued in time beyond regulation after main scorer E.J. Liddell fouled out for the Buckeyes. This workforce was as soon as on the projected No. 1 seed line in Palm’s Bracketology and fell to the No. 2 seed line throughout their late-season struggles. The Purdue win ought to assist stabilize issues, nevertheless. — Cobb
Loser: Jackson State’s match goals get dashed
March might be simply as merciless as it’s cool, and no workforce realized firsthand the agony of defeat and the reality of that assertion than Jackson State, which fell 84-81 in time beyond regulation to Texas Southern within the SWAC semifinals. The Tigers went an ideal 11-0 in SWAC common season play and final took a loss on Dec. 20, 2020, however the gorgeous stumble dashed their NCAA Event hopes after an excellent season. Texas Southern will face the winner of Grambling State and Prairie View A&M for the league’s computerized bid on Saturday. — Boone
Winner: Florida State staves off pesky UNC workforce
In its third ACC Event semifinals look in 4 seasons, Florida State efficiently superior to the title recreation on Friday by defeating North Carolina 69-66. The Seminoles, a 4 seed in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology, held off a Tar Heels workforce that exploded within the second half to outscore them 42-34 behind Balso Koprivica’s 17-point, 11-rebound outing. They face Georgia Tech on Saturday with an opportunity to win their second ACC Event championship. — Boone