College Basketball: Big East Tournament Quarterfinals, Jim Boeheim’s Retirement

Xavier rallied in the second half to defeat DePaul by the final score of 89-84. Xavier ended the game on a 14-4 run. Forward Jack Nunge led Xavier with 23 points, ten rebounds, and four assists. Xavier had all the momentum in the last four minutes of the game.

St John’s had a chance to get revenge on Marquette after losing to them in a close game last week. The Red Storm led 36-26 by the end of the first half. Marquette was the better team in the second half and during the overtime period. Marquette defeated St John’s 72-70. It is one of the best games of the Big East Tournament this season. St John’s relief too much from the perimeter. Marquette, on the other hand, fought and rallied back and made better adjustments. They were resilient, and that’s why they won this game. 

Creighton took out the defending Big East champs, Villanova Wildcats, 87-74. Center Ryan Kalkbrenner led the team with 21 points on a 9-for-12 shooting from the field, 12 rebounds, nine assists, and two blocks. 

Jim Boeheim worked his last game as Syracuse’s head men’s basketball coach on Wednesday.

Adrian Autry is the successor of Jim Boeheim as the new head coach of the Syracuse Men’s Basketball team. 

Who is Adrian Autry? The 51-year-old played four seasons at Syracuse from 1990-94. After an overseas professional career as a player and a brief stint on the Virginia Tech sideline, Autry returned to Syracuse as an assistant coach in 2011.

During Jim’s 47-year career span, he went to 35 NCAA tournament appearances, five Final Fours, and the 2003 national championship featuring Carmelo Anthony.

His 1,015 career wins rank second all-time in Division I basketball, behind only Krzyzewski’s 1,202.

When you think about Syracuse basketball, you think about Jim. He was an integral part of the Golden Era of Big East in the 1980s alongside his rivals John Thompson, Rollie Massamino, and Lou Carsenneca. The battles between Georgetown and Syracuse were epic. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

The Washington Wizards took on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. The nets didn’t have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the building. The Wizards didn’t have Bradley Beal on the court. Wizards gave up a 20-point lead. The Nets fought and rallied in the second half. Both teams exchanged baskets in the 4th quarter, but the Nets came out victorious, 125-123. Cam Thomas led the Nets with 41 points. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 38 points. Kyle Kuzma left the game with an injury. The nets had one of the most impressive comeback victories of the season. 

The Clippers had a 17-point lead entering the fourth quarter on the road against the Knicks. The almighty Knicks rallied back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. They almost stole this game from the Clippers, but Nicolas Batik’s three-pointer tied the game at the end of regulation to force it to overtime. That’s where the Clippers took advantage of the momentum. The Clippers won 134-128. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 65 points. Norman Powell added 24 points. It’s a crushing loss for the Knicks. 

Michigan State Spartans took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a fascinating Saturday afternoon game. Rutgers played outstanding against the Spartans, thanks to Paul Mulcahy. Paul led Rutgers to victory, 61-56, after scoring all 17 points in the second half. The Scarlet Knights improve to 16-7. 

Atlantic Division drafts Central Division to win the 2023 NHL All-Star Game in Florida. Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist. He was named the MVP of the All-Star Game. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas had the game of his life. He scored a career-high 33 points off the bench while shooting 13-for-20 from the field and going perfectly from the perimeter. Thomas led the Bets to victory 136-133 over the Indiana Pacers. 

The battles between Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets are always exciting. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic had a monster game, scoring 31 points with 12 boards, 14 assists, and four blocks to help the Nuggets win 115-110. Jazz shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker had a season-high 27 points, hitting five threes in 40 minutes of playing time. 

BYU hands Creighton their fourth straight loss on Saturday. After starting the season 6-0, Creighton seems out of focus and can’t seem to finish games. BYU won the battle in rebounding and points in the paint. Rudi Williams led BYU with 26 points. Forward Arthur Kamala led Creighton with 27 points 

Sunday Sports Shorts

Syracuse snapped a five-game losing streak and defeated Boston College 32-23. Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader completed 21 of 27’passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Orange made an impressive comeback as they trailed by 11 points in the fourth quarter. 

Edmonton Oilers rallied and came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Rangers at the garden, 4-3. The Rangers left the ice with some boos from their fan base. The final 20 minutes of the game were awful performances. 

St John’s Joel Soriano is one of the most improved players in college basketball. Soriano stepped up and carried the Red Storm with 21 points and 19 rebounds in a 78-70 win over Niagara. St John’s stays undefeated with a 7-0 record. Red Storm will face Long Island University on Tuesday. 

Saturday Morning Sports with Miguel

The New York Knicks could not get it done against the Portland Trail Blazers without Damian Lillard. Knicks had problems against one of the Blazer’s best players. His name is Jerami Grant – a talented and underrated player who I think it’s a solid two-way player. Grant poured 44 points on the Knocks as the Blazers left the garden with a 132-129 overtime victory. 

In college basketball, the Oklahoma Sooners have won their fifth straight game by defeating Seton Hall, 77-64. Grant Sherfield scored a season-high 25 points for the Sooners. 

During the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational, Duke took care of business against Xavier. Jeremy Roach led the Blue Devils with 21 points in a 71-64 win. Duke will face Iowa State in the championship game. 

Aside from Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino has been the Mets’ most dependable reliever this last season. There’s a possibility that Ottavino could be playing elsewhere. It’s a dicey situation because Adam loves playing for New York. Ottavino is 37 years old and has posted a 2.06 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 66 appearances. What will the Mets do in this situation? 

Mar 25, 2022; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of the game against the Houston Astros during spring training at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Legendary Toronto Maple Leaf defenseman Borje Salming passed away. He played in the NHL from 1973 through 1990. Salming was a tough player during his career in a challenging physical era. He was a pioneer as a Swedish player and paved the way for many upcoming Swedish hockey players in the future. Salming was one of the best two-way players in the league. In the past year, up until his death, he was battling ALS, which limited him to many things, including speaking. 

Joey Brunk’s Surprising Performance Against Michigan State

Michigan State Spartans took on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a game where one player caught many by surprise. His name is Joey Brunk.

The 7-footer had the game of his season and maybe of his career. The first-year Buckeye scored six straight points for the Buckeyes during one stretch from the 17:37 mark to 16:18, helping engineer an 8-3 run that took Ohio State from up 10 to ahead by 15 with 15:11 to go.

Brunk finished the game with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in 33 minutes. Brunk is one of the reasons why Ohio State won last night’s game against the Spartans. The Spartans’ defense had no answer for him. The home crowd went crazy every time Joey Brunk scored points. It was an insane atmosphere at Schottenstein Center.

Brunk’s performance caught everyone off guard, especially Spartans’ head coach Tom Izzo. While it may be surprising, the fascinating part about it is that two years ago, Brunk put up 14 points on Michigan State as an Indiana Hoosier during the 2019-20 season.

Last April, Brunk committed to play for the Buckeyes. The day before he committed, forward Kyle Young elected to take advantage of the extra COVID season and play a fifth year for the Scarlet and Gray. What a fantastic story for Joey Brunk and his Ohio State program. They love him in Ohio State, he has tremendous support from the program, and last night proved it a lot.

Can Joey Brunk do this again and again? Is it going to be a fluke? It may be asking too much from him now that he’s made some headlines, but why not? This could be a confidence booster for him. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t deliver a similar type of performance from last night for March Madness. It was fun seeing this on ESPN. Great decision to have this game televised.

Sports Throwback Thursday: 1992 March Madness

Welcome to Sports Throwback Thursday! The weekend is almost here. Today, we will take it back to the 1992 March Madness. The Michigan Fab 5 made it to the National Championship game with five first-year students, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. They’re considered the greatest recruiting class of all time. 

During the 1992 NCAA tournament, Duke wins its second consecutive national championship after beating Michigan in the finals. Christian Laettner’s memorable buzzer-beater against Kentucky in the Elite Eight is something that will never be forgotten in college basketball history. However, a crucial situation happened before that moment that could’ve changed the game’s outcome if the referees had taken action. 

At the end of the first half, Duke led Kentucky 50–45. After Aminu Timberlake was knocked down during a play during the second half, Laettner stepped on his chest. Laettner got hit with a technical foul but was not ejected. I’m sure Kentucky fans are still salty about Laettner not getting thrown out of the game. With Laettner being gone from the game, there would’ve been no “The Shot.” Who knows? Maybe the Kentucky Wildcats or the Michigan Wolverines would’ve been champions that year. So many “what ifs?” Laettner finished the game with 31 points and seven rebounds. He was a perfect 10–10 from the field (including one three-pointer) and 10–10 from the free-throw line.

Some consider Kentucky and Duke the most fantastic NCAA tournament game ever. 

It’s fair to mention other teams that made it far in the tournament but were often overlooked because of the success of Duke and Michigan. For example, Cincinnati and Indiana also made the Final Four. Those were also good teams that fought hard to make it that far. 

The 1992 March Madness is one of those years in college basketball history that I didn’t get to experience watching it on TV. Why? I was a baby. I was born in 1991, but I’ll be forever grateful to ESPN Classic because I learned and watched so many classical games on that channel. I love the history of sports, which is one of the reasons I created “Sports Throwback Thursday.” I am responsible for teaching the following generation of games and moments in sports history that should be acknowledged and never forgotten. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

Freddie Freeman, who had just helped the Atlanta Braves capture a World Series title in 2021 for the first time since 1995, might not be going back to the only team he has ever known in his 12-year big-league career. The New York Mets could be one of those teams to make an exciting offer to Freeman. Supposedly, Freeman is asking for a 6-year contract, but the Braves are offering him five years. Freeman is almost like the perfect player that any team would love to have. Outstanding leadership, great personality, and a terrific ballplayer. 

Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons is dealing with back soreness in his reconditioning process. There is still no timetable set for Simmons to make his debut with the Nets, but the good news for Brooklyn is that Simmons’ back issue doesn’t seem to be especially serious. We hope to see Simmons back by Mar. 10 against the Philadelphia Sixers. 

In the Associated Press poll, seven of the top 10 college basketball teams were defeated Saturday, including No. 4 Purdue. It was the first time that many top 10 programs fell on the same day, including every team in the top six. The last time six top-10 programs lost in the same day was back on Feb. 4, 2017, which had happened five times in college basketball history before Saturday. 

Here’s a look at every top-10 team that suffered a loss Saturday: 

  • No. 1 Gonzaga lost to No. 23 St. Mary’s, 67-57.
  • No. 2 Arizona lost to Colorado, 79-63.
  • No. 3 Auburn lost to No. 17 Tennessee, 67-62.
  • No. 4 Purdue lost to Michigan State, 68-65.
  • No. 5 Kansas lost to No. 10 Baylor, 80-70.
  • No. 6 Kentucky lost to No. 18 Arkansas, 75-73.
  • No. 9 Texas Tech lost to TCU, 69-66.

The Toronto Maple Leafs took on the Detroit Red Wings in one of the worst collective goal-tending displays in a hockey game, but at the same time, one of the exciting periods in a hockey game. A game where both teams combined for 17 goals. You read correctly. 17 GOALS COMBINED! After the first two intermissions, the Leafs were up 7-2. The Red Wings made it a little more interesting in the third intermission, but it wasn’t enough. Red Wings scored five goals in the period, while the Leafs tacked three more. Maple Leafs would win the game, 10-7. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

The Mets have hired Buck Showalter as their next manager. The 65-year-old is heading back to New York for the first time since 1995. Showalter is well-known for his work in the Bronx from 1992-95, leading and developing the pre-dynasty Yankees for four seasons. He worked for 20 years as a big-league manager for the Yanks, D-backs, Rangers, and Orioles, most recently spending nine seasons in Baltimore from 2010-18.

Andrew Nembhard scored 16 points, Rasir Bolton added 15, and No. 5 Gonzaga fought off No. 25 Texas Tech’s tenacious defense for a 69-55 win in the Colangelo Classic on Saturday. Gonzaga has a great team. Texas Tech needs some work on offense but has a lot of transfers, so it’ll take some time.

DeWayne McBride rushed for over 180 yards in the Blazers’ 31-28 upset over No. 13 BYU in the Independence Bowl. The win means UAB finishes the season at 9-4 and has won at least nine games in three of the past four seasons. UAB is an outstanding team and put in an exceptional performance. Maybe UAB is underrated. As for BYU, they have a tough schedule next year. Hopefully, this loss will be a wake-up call for them.

Dylan Larkin got his first career hat trick and assisted as the Detroit Red Wings handed the New Jersey Devils their fifth consecutive loss, 5-2 on Saturday. New Jersey has allowed four or more goals in 15 games this season.

Vermont Snaps Brown’s Four-Game Winning Streak

Vermont vs. Brown – 2nd Half Highlights

The University of Vermont Catamounts took on the Brown University Bears. The Bears came into this game on a four-game winning streak—a well-played defensive game from start to finish.

Both teams played stellar defense in the first half, but the Catamounts were in command. They led 29-23 by the end of the half. The Bears didn’t take care of the ball enough in the first half – committing nine turnovers.

The bears were more aggressive in the second half and played with more urgency. The Bears, who trailed for most of the night, took a 65-64 lead with 30 seconds to play on a pair of free throws by graduate student forward Tamenang Choh.

A costly turnover ended the game for the Bears. Isaiah Powell made a crucial stop in the game’s final seconds to help Vermont (7-4) secure a 70-65 victory over Brown (8-5) on Friday night, snapping the Bears’ four-game winning streak. The Catamounts finished the contest with six unanswered points.

Freshman guard Ben Shungu had a game-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Senior forward Ryan Davis had 16 points for the Catamounts after shooting 5-for-8 on the night. Davis was a perfect 4-for-4 from the perimeter and added a pair of free throws.

Brown Bears had a total of 14 turnovers in this game.

Brown is now off for the next 11 days as the Bears do not retake the court until Dec. 22 at Rhode Island. The Catamounts will visit Northeastern on Sunday, Dec. 19.