Johnson, Arizona heat up, rally over SDSU

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nick Johnson put an awful first half behind him and came up large for Arizona in the closing 2:forty five.

The Pac-12 player of the year scored all of his 15 factors over that span after lacking his first 10 photographs and helped Arizona maintain off San Diego State 70-sixty four on Thursday night time to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA match.

"After I hit one shot, it simply began to feel a little bit bit better," he mentioned. "I just saved on hitting shots."

Largely, Johnson hit free throws, making all 10 of his attempts to go together with a discipline goal and a three-pointer after the Aztecs shut him down for the first 37 minutes.

"He simply exploded within the second half," stated San Diego State's Dwayne Polee II, who guarded Johnson. "I can not say that we didn't play onerous protection, however he just made a variety of good pictures."

Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 15 points each for the highest-seeded Wildcats (33-4), who will try to win a West Regional last for the primary time in Anaheim. They're 0-3 at Honda Heart going into Saturday's game towards second-seeded Wisconsin (29-7).

Arizona coach Sean Miller joined brother Archie in the ultimate eight. The younger Miller coached Dayton to an 82-72 victory over Stanford of the Pac-12 in the South Regional semifinals.

"We watched the sport in our locker room," Sean Miller stated. "The truth that two of us are within the Elite Eight is a really unique situation, but we'll see."

Xavier Thames scored 25 factors and Polee added thirteen points for the Aztecs (31-5). Those two tried to bail out SDSU within the final minute, every hitting 3-pointers before Thames' basket minimize the deficit to 65-61 with 38 seconds left.

The drama wasn't over but in a game that includes tenacious defense and rabid depth by both groups.

SDSU acquired known as for a 10-second violation, and the Wildcats regained the ball. Johnson obtained fouled and made each for a 67-61 lead with 26 seconds to go. Thames obtained fouled on a 3-level try, and he sank all three pictures to depart SDSU trailing 67-64.

The Aztecs had Johnson trapped close to their bench, however he handed out of the double-team and Gabe York bought fouled at the other end. He missed the first and made the second, maintaining Arizona forward 68-64. Thames missed, and Johnson once more went to the road, where he ended the scoring with two free throws.

San Diego State led by eight factors early within the second half after leading by that many simply earlier than halftime. The Aztecs managed the boards 37-29, with three of them often battling without delay on the defensive finish. Josh Davis had 14 rebounds for SDSU.

The Aztecs were making an attempt to reach the final eight for the primary time at school history below sixty nine-year-outdated coach Steve Fisher.

"One in every of as of late, we will get to a Closing 4," Fisher mentioned.

Johnson's 2-of-12 taking pictures wasn't the Wildcats' only drawback. Kaleb Tarczewski returned late within the sport with four fouls, and Hollis-Jefferson fouled out with four:forty two to play.

However Johnson made his first basket a couple of minutes later and carried the Wildcats across the end line after they trailed a lot of the second half.

"It is wonderful for a kid to be able to try this after not making shots for about 25, 30 straight minutes," Miller mentioned.

T.J. McConnell's layup gave Arizona its first lead, 50-49, of the second half after the Wildcats got within one 3 times. SDSU answered with baskets the primary two occasions however couldn't cease McConnell, who finished with 11 factors.

The Wildcats started getting a number of the offensive rebounds that eluded them a lot of the sport, and Tarczewski scored after his teammates grabbed two on the identical possession to keep Arizona ahead 54-51.

Polee's protection helped maintain Johnson scoreless within the first half, when he went zero-for-7 and missed all three of his 3-point makes an attempt. He lastly hit a jumper at the buzzer, however typical of Arizona's early luck, it was dominated no good. Tarczewski picked up his third foul with 5:13 to go, leaving the Wildcats without their 7-footer to guard the basket.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

Read The Original Article

Aztecs end Jayhawks’ home winning streak

San Diego State Edges Kansas

 

LAWRENCE, Kan. – It was so loud inside Allen Fieldhouse that San Diego State's gamers might barely hear what coach Steve Fisher was saying, yet they knew what the message could be because the timeout ended.

No matter the scenario, it's always the identical.

"He just tells you to assume something constructive, whether or not it is basketball, family, whatever. Assume something positive," Xavier Thames stated. "I think that actually helps."

It positive appeared to settle down the Aztecs.

Thames scored sixteen factors, and calmly made 4 straight free throws in the closing seconds Sunday, helping No. 21 San Diego State knock off No. 16 Kansas sixty one-57, ending the Jayhawks' sixty eight-game nonconference winning streak at their venerable on-campus arena.

Skylar Spencer added thirteen factors and Josh Davis had 10 for the Aztecs (12-1), who have received eleven straight since shedding to No. 1 Arizona on Nov. 14. That streak is tied for the second-greatest at school historical past, trailing solely the 20-0 start of the 2010-11 workforce.

"Our coach by no means will get rattled," San Diego State ahead Winston Shepard stated. "He's always even keeled, whether we're up 20 or it is a shut game in here. After each timeout, he tell us to take a superb thought out there."

Think blissful ideas? Why didn't those other sixty eight groups strive that at the Phog?

Kansas (9-4) nonetheless had a chance to tie the game when Perry Ellis went to the free throw line with eleven.9 seconds left. He made his first free throw however, after San Diego State known as a timeout to ice him, Ellis missed the second and the Jayhawks had been forced to foul.

Thames made both free throws to offer San Diego State a 3-level lead, and the Aztecs fouled reasonably than enable Kansas to try a tying three. Frank Mason missed the first and made the second, and Thames made two extra free throws with 4.6 seconds left to seal the win.

"It is a great win for us," Thames mentioned. "Quite a lot of teams don't come in right here and get victories. I'm simply blessed to be a part of this one."

Andrew Wiggins and Mason scored 14 points apiece for the Jayhawks, who had gained 112 of their final 114 video games at Allen Fieldhouse. Joel Embiid completed with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Jayhawks struggled towards the long, lanky Aztecs proper from the start, lacking eight of their first nine pictures and permitting San Diego State to dictate the tempo.

After a three-pointer by Naadir Tharpe gave Kansas a 9-eight lead, the Jayhawks had just one more subject aim over the subsequent eight-plus minutes. Thames and Davis had no such hassle for San Diego State, hitting a series of jumpers and contested layups because the Aztecs built a 29-23 halftime lead.

Kansas wound up taking pictures 20.7 p.c (6 of 29) within the first half.

"I think all people, we all missed pictures we normally make," Wiggins said, "and that's going to occur occasionally with a young staff."

The Aztecs kept up the depth in the second half, forcing the Jayhawks to misfire on eight of their first 10 shots with their in-your-face, man-to-man defense. The lead slowly grew to 44-33 when JJ O'Brien transformed after two misses, once extra silencing a packed home.

The Jayhawks finally began to construct some momentum midway by way of the second half, closing inside fifty eight-fifty six on a basket by Wiggins and 50-forty eight on Tharpe's scooping layup.

It appeared as if each time Kansas went on a run, although, the Aztecs had a solution.

Spencer scored after Tharpe's basket, and Thames curled in a 3-pointer to offer San Diego State a fifty five-48 lead with 3 minutes to play. Kansas made another salvo, getting inside 57-55 on a three-pointer by Mason and seemingly getting the ball back after O'Brien missed a free throw.

Throughout a stoppage in play, the officers determined that the ball went off Kansas with forty four.8 seconds left. And regardless that the Jayhawks got a stop, it price them valuable time.

Kansas coach Invoice Self known as a timeout with 20 seconds left and determined to go with Ellis, the positive-handed sophomore. He drove to the basket and was fouled, but the 72 percent free throw shooter may only make the first of his two attempts, and San Diego State finally held on to win.

"Each play we made, it seemed like they came down, they got something positive out of the subsequent possession," Mason mentioned. "Whether it was free throws or a made basket, we simply couldn't get the stops we would have liked."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

Read The Original Article

post

NCAA Prediction College Bowl Game Preview/Pick- Buffalo vs. San Diego State

buffalo ncaa picks

NCAA Prediction and Free Pick Bulls vs. Aztecs

Buffalo Bulls (8-4) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (7-5) 12/21- 5:30PM EST

 

Line: EVEN

Over/Under: 53.0

 

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL- Boise, ID

 

The San Diego State Aztecs will make their school-record fourth consecutive bow appearance when they meet the Buffalo Bulls in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday evening.

 

The Aztecs (7-5) overcame a brutal 0-3 to put themselves in a position to continue building its football program under the guidance of third-year coach Rocky Long, who has maintained the programs success following predecessor Brady Hoke.

 

I think the team is happy and excited about going to a bowl game,” Long said.

 

With its fourth straight bowl game, the Aztecs have matched their total bowl appearances over the last 41 years combined and are the first team since 2010 to make it to a bowl game following an 0-3 start.

 

San Diego State will look to junior running back Adam Muema to carry the load as he has gained over a 1,000 yards for the second straight season, but has struggled in his last two games with only 57 yards on 36 carries.

 

(The lack of success) has nothing to do with Adam Muema,” Long insisted. “It has to do with our offensive line not blocking very well for the run in the last two games. But all good running backs that have a good game have to have someone open a hole for them up front.”

 

Senior safety Nat Berhe, a first-team all-Mountain West selection anchors the San Diego State defense that finished second to Fresno State in the conference. Berhe recorded team-highs of 59 solo tackles and 94 overall and added six passes defended with two fumble recoveries.

 

Buffalo (8-4) will be making its second straight bowl appearance in school history and like the Aztecs had to overcome a rough start of the season with losses to BCS-bound Ohio State and Baylor by a combined 110-33 margin.

 

The Bulls then turned it on with a seven-game win streak that ended when they lost their regular-season finale 24-7 to Mid-American champion Bowling Green on November 29th.

 

It’s been four years in the making,” coach Jeff Quinn said about his team’s bowl berth.

 

Expect Buffalo to use a ground attack as well, behind senior star running back Brandon Oliver, a two-time 1,000 yard rusher who has accumulated 1,421 yards with 15 touchdowns this season.

 

The oddsmakers have the game EVEN with Ohio State having been the common opponent for both teams. The Aztecs lost to the Buckeyes 42-7 at Ohio State, while the Bulls loss to Ohio State was much closer according to Aztec quarterback Quinn Kaehler… “I remember Buffalo played Ohio State pretty tough, a lot tougher then we did, so they have some good players on that team and especially on defense,” said Kaehler.

 

With a pick-em game, expect the line to maybe move, so be up to date with the latest spread right here at Wonder Punter up until game time.

 

This will Buffalo’s second bowl appearance since a loss to Connecticut in the 2009 international Bowl.

 

I too have it as an evenly matched game, but I expect both teams to play hard and with pride, but in the end will predict the Aztecs winning to take home the trophy.

 

Prediction/Pick- San Diego State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

post

Michigan State, Arizona 1-2 in AP hoops poll

Indiana To Try To Crack Syracuse Zone

 

Michigan State stays No. 1 for a third straight week in The Associated Press’ Top 25 poll, receiving all but two of the first-place votes.

Arizona moved from fourth to second Monday, drawing the other No. 1 votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Kentucky remains third, while Syracuse jumps from eighth to fourth. Ohio State moves up two spots to fifth and is followed by Kansas, which had been second.

Completing the top 10 are Louisville, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Duke.

Memphis and Syracuse used wins in holiday tournaments to make the week’s biggest moves in the Top 25.

The Tigers won the Old Spice Classic, beating then-No. 5 Oklahoma State 73-68 in the championship game to move from 21st to No. 16. It was an impressive win, considering Memphis lost 101-80 at Oklahoma State two weeks earlier.

Syracuse beat Minnesota, California and then-No. 18 Baylor to win the Maui Invitational. The Orange moved from No. 8 to fourth with the three wins.

The Blue Devils dropped four spots after losing to Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Villanova beat Kansas and Iowa to win the Battle 4 Atlantis and enters the poll at No. 14.

Gonzaga, which lost Dayton in the opening round at the Maui Invitational before beating Chaminade and Arkansas in the consolation bracket, had the week’s biggest fall from 11th to No. 19.

The Atlantic 10 has two teams in the rankings as No. 25 Dayton joined No. 21 UMass. Dayton finished third at the Maui Invitational by beating then-No. 11 Gonzaga in the opening round, losing to Baylor in the semifinals when a last-second shot didn’t fall, and beating California for third place. The Flyers’ last appearance in the Top 25 was the first two weeks of 2009-10.

The other newcomer is No. 24 San Diego State, which earned wins over Creighton and Marquette en route to the championship run of the Wooden Legacy. The Aztecs were ranked in 12 of the first 13 weeks last season.

Three teams dropped out of the poll this week, with North Carolina’s fall from No. 16 the biggest exit after a 63-59 loss to UAB on Sunday.

The Tar Heels were 12th in the preseason poll and the first poll of the regular season. Their home loss to Belmont dropped them to No. 24. North Carolina turned that drop around the next week when the upset of then-No. 3 Louisville moved it to No. 16.

The others to fall from the ranks of the ranked this week were Big East members who both lost two games. Creighton fell from 20th after losses to San Diego State and George Washington in the Wooden Legacy. Marquette dropped from No. 25 after losing at Arizona State and to San Diego State in the Wooden Legacy.

There were no changes at the top of the conference race in the Top 25 with the Big Ten still having five teams, followed by the Big 12 with four.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Read The Original Article