March 8, 2022 

Daily Briefing — March 8, 2022: STARR TURN — UT-Arlington, UConn win tournaments

Big 12 conspiracy theory talk

It’s Tuesday, the barest day of the week. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 118 of college basketball is here, following UConn securing yet another sweep of the Big East conference, to the surprise of no one, while Starr Jacobs continued dominating.

What did come as a surprise was Kansas’ Brandon Scheinder winning Big 12 Coach of the Year. Don’t get me wrong — Scheinder did a great job getting the Jayhawks to an expected at-large NCAA tournament bid, with a fifth-place finish that stands as their first time finishing higher than second-worst since 2014. But as I said in my awards picks, Jennie Baranczyk is widely expected to contend for National Coach of the Year, after taking a Oklahoma roster than hadn’t finished above .500 in conference play in the past three years, barely changing it, and peaking in the top-15 in the AP poll.

Now, I’m not big on conspiracy theories (though I wrote a research paper on their causes and classifications once). But Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby essentially got pantsed by Oklahoma (and Texas) in front of the entire country last summer. Do I think the conference offices rigged the vote? Probably not. Do I think there’s significant odds of foul play, between Bowlsby and the possibility of those eight coaches voting against Oklahoma out of spite? Well…

W Roundup

Free agency

  • Morgan Bertsch: Signed a training-camp deal with Dallas.
  • Unique Thompson: Signed a training-camp deal with Dallas.

Visit our offseason trackers page to see all the other free agent moves and how they affect team’s caps, other front-office changes, and more — in neat, colorful fashion!



Watch List, Tuesday, March 8

(All times in Eastern)

Must-watch

South Dakota State v. South Dakota, 2 p.m., ESPNU — Summit League championship

Good games

None

Also watchable

None

Monday, March 7 recap

(All rankings below reflect tournament seeding)

Big East tournament, championship

#1 UConn beat #2 Villanova, 70-40, winning its eighth-straight conference tournament in one of the ugliest games of the tournament season. The Huskies won the middle half 32-16. Nine automatic qualifiers down!

AAC tournament

#6 Houston beat #11 Cincinnati, 67-45.

#7 Memphis beat #10 ECU, 59-48.

#8 Tulsa beat #9 Wichita State, 88-86 in overtime.

WCC tournament, semifinals

#1 BYU beat #4 Portland, 59-52.

#2 Gonzaga beat #3 San Francisco, 69-55.

Sun Belt, championship

#2 UT-Arlington beat #1 Troy, 76-61, winning the conference tournament for the first time in 15 years in their last year in the Sun Belt. Wing Starr Jacobs led with 28 points on 10-for-21 from the field and 8-for-11 from the line and 11 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double, plus two assists and three steals against two turnovers. If you’re wondering more about how this JuCo transfer helped lead a significant conference upset this year, Justin Carter at Texas Basketball wrote a great breakdown before Sun Belt play started. Ten automatic qualifiers down!

Patriot League, quarterfinals

#8 Navy upset #1 Holy Cross, 50-49. TDB favorite Jennifer Coleman avenged an arguable-conference-Player-of-the-Year snub by simply eliminating the competition on this buzzer-beater:

She finished with 27 points on 10-for-27 from the field and 6-for-13 from three and 13 rebounds for a double-double, plus three assists and three steals against seven turnovers and four fouls in 39 minutes. Not bad!

NEC, quarterfinals

#7 Bryant upset #2 St. Francis, 65-63. The Terriers led by 10 with under six minutes to go, and were still ahead on the final play. Then they fouled the Bulldogs on a three-point attempt. Tough!

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the Seattle Storm and college basketball for The Next, while also writing for The Chronicle, Duke's independent student paper

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