March 9, 2022
Daily Briefing — March 9, 2022: HEY BULLDOGS — Gonzaga races to WCC title
Macee you in the NCAA tournament
Happy hump day! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 119 of college basketball is here, following 2-over-1 upsets in the WCC and Summit League from Gonzaga and South Dakota, respectively. IUPUI also joined the Bulldogs and Coyotes, punching the Horizon League’s ticket to the big dance.
Dallas, Indiana: The Fever traded fourth-year-center Teaira McCowan, the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft, and Chicago’s 2023 first-rounder to the Wings for the Nos. 4 and 6 picks in this year’s draft and Dallas’ 2023 first-rounder. We’ll have stories to come from both the Indiana and Dallas perspectives in the coming days.
Some quick analysis: McCowan is a solid backup center, but she undermines the Wings’ best player (indubitably Satou Sabally), by taking up space in the paint instead of opening up lanes as a cutter or shooter, while struggling to defend in space. Bibb basically got her and a late-2023-first-rounder in exchange for this year’s No. 4 and a likely lottery pick in a 2023 group much stronger than this year’s. Indiana, one the other hand, has now traded Julie Allemand, McCowan, and cap relief equivalent to Bria Hartley’s contract for the Hartley, Nos. 4, 6, and 20 picks this year, Dallas’ 2023 first-rounder, and Phoenix’s 2023 second-rounder. Pretty good!
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!
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Watch List, Wednesday, March 9
(All times in Eastern)
Houston @ South Florida, 7 p.m., ESPN+ — AAC semifinal
Tuesday, March 8 recap
Michigan State: Point guard Nia Clouden announced her intention to enter the draft.
Oklahoma State: Our NCAAW reporter and Big 12 announcer Missy Heidrick breaks down the Cowgirls’ opening at head coach, including its future benefits and challenges.
(All rankings below reflect tournament seeding)
AAC tournament quarterfinals
#1 UCF beat #8 Tulsa, 69-54. Knights center Masseny Kaba led with 23 points on 10-for-20 FG (3-7 FT), eight rebounds (four offensive), and two blocks against two turnovers; backup center Brittney Smith notched a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double on 7-for-11 from the field (5-7 FT) with six offensive boards, two steals, two blocks, and three turnovers; point guard Diamond Battles had 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting (1-5 3pt.), seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two turnovers.
#2 USF beat #7 Memphis, 63-53.
#5 SMU beat #4 Temple, 63-55.
#6 Houston upset #3 Tulane, 65-57. There was a possibility the AAC would be a three-bid league if Moon Ursin’s Green Wave could win the tournament. Nope!
WCC tournament championship
#2 Gonzaga beat #1 BYU, 71-59, securing its 17th conference championship of some kind in past 18 years. Four Bulldogs scored in double-figures, while holding the Cougars to 32.3% from the field and 21.7% to avenge a regular-season collapse in the teams’ head-to-head that cost Gonzaga the regular-season WCC championship. 11 automatic qualifiers down!
BYU was already a longshot to host tournament games, and now that’s almost certainly out of the question.
Summit League championship
#2 South Dakota beat #1 South Dakota State, 56-45, for its second straight conference tournament title. The Jackrabbits led right before the half, but an 11-2 Coyote run gave South Dakota a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Coyote center Hanna Sjerven led with 19 points on 6-for-14 from the field (0-1 3pt.) and 7-for-8 from the line and 10 rebounds for a double-double, plus two steals and four blocks; 2022 Summit League Player of the Year combo guard Chloe Lamb had 17 points on 5-for-13 shooting (3-5 3pt.), three rebounds, and three assists. 12 automatic qualifiers down!
South Dakota State sits 33rd in the NET and has had big wing Myah Selland, its best player and last year’s Summit League Player of the Year, healthy for four Q1 games, going 1-3 in those. The Jackrabbits split the season series with South Dakota and ran roughshod over the rest of the conference. They probably ought to make the tournament, but also probably won’t.
Horizon League championship
#1 IUPUI beat #3 Cleveland State, 61-54. Four-time Horizon League Player of the Year center Macee Williams — who became the fourth DI player to accomplish that feat in any conference — recorded a 19-point, 18-rebound double-double on 8-for-12 shooting with two steals and two turnovers. 13 automatic qualifiers down!
Big Sky, quarterfinals
#8 Northern Colorado upset #1 Idaho State, 72-54. The Bengals’ lineup was entirely healthy; they just shot 18.8% worse from the field and 20.7% from three than the Bears.
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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