March 26, 2022 

Daily Briefing — March 26, 2022: Somewhere over in Greensboro, Bluejays fly

Nothing but Bluejays from now on

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 131 of college basketball is here, following the Creighton Bluejays’ first-ever Elite Eight berth. The Bluejays kept pace with Iowa State in the first half before taking over in the second — something no other team did yesterday, as the three other winners allowed big late runs. That, plus Stanford’s frontcourt raining threes, updates on Georgia’s coaching search and more big-name transfers!

Watch List, Saturday, March 26

(All times in Eastern, all rankings reflect tournament seeding)

Must-watch

#3 Michigan v. #10 South Dakota, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

Good games

#1 N.C. State v. #5 Notre Dame, 11:30 a.m., ESPN

#2 UConn v. #3 Indiana, 2 p.m., ESPN

Also watchable

#1 Louisville v. #4 Tennessee, 4 p.m., ESPN2

NCAA Roundup

Coaching carousel

  • Georgia: UCF head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson met with Georgia. Per Brandon Sudge of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, UCF is trying to offer her a “competitive salary” and increased assistant pay.
  • Wyoming: Longtime head coach Gerald Mattinson retired. The program immediately thereafter promoted associate head coach Heather Ezell to the opening.

Matthew Mitchell, the longtime Kentucky head coach who retired in 2020 after suffering a severe concussion, is ready to get back in the game, per Sudge.

(Side note: Few people in the women’s basketball mediasphere are as locked into their beat and in-the-know as Sudge is on Georgia. If you’re remotely interested in the Bulldogs, give him a follow and check out his blog, The Lady Bulldogs Report.)

Transfer portal

New to the portal:

  • Naomie Alnatas, point guard, Kansas City
  • Azana Baines, combo forward, Virginia Tech
  • Jacorriah Bracey, off-ball guard, Mississippi. The sophomore was the composite No. 68 player in the class of 2020.
  • Dre’una Edwards, big, Kentucky
  • Gabby Elliott, wing, Clemson. The sophomore was the composite No. 48 player in the class of 2020; her other finalists during her high school recruitment were Maryland, North Carolina, Minnesota, Pitt and Marquette.
  • Treasure Hunt, combo forward, Kentucky. The sophomore was the composite No. 17 player in the class of 2020.
  • Koi Love, big, Arizona (transferred from Vanderbilt last year)
  • Jazmine Massengill, combo guard, Kentucky
  • Reigan Richardson, combo guard, Georgia. The freshman was the composite No. 32 player in the class of 2021; her other finalists during her high school recruitment were North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Virginia.
  • Aaronette Vonleh, center, Arizona. The freshman was the composite No. 76 player in the class of 2021.

Friday, March 25 recap

(All rankings below reflect tournament seeding)

Greensboro

#1 South Carolina beat #5 North Carolina, 69-61. The first half was neck-and-neck until a late Gamecock run, and South Carolina led by as many as 13 in the second half before the Tar Heels got within four points with 2:05 left. Then North Carolina forgot that it had to foul when it was down six with 38 seconds left — and forgot again when it was still down six with 22 seconds left.

Center Aliyah Boston led the Gamecocks with a 28-point, 20-rebound double-double — a career high in boards — on 8-for-13 shooting from the field (0-1 3pt.) and 12-for-13 from the line. She had 12 offensive boards, plus two assists against three turnovers. North Carolina combo guard Deja Kelly had a team-high 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting (1-2 3pt.), five rebounds, three assists and two steals against four turnovers.

#10 Creighton beat #3 Iowa State, 76-68. The score makes it seem a little closer than it was (at least for most of the second half); ESPN’s win probability model had the Bluejays favored for the first time after 55 seconds in the third quarter, and they dipped below 60% favorites just once thereafter. Creighton shot 44.8% from the field and 44.0% from three while holding the Cyclones to 38.1% and 32.0%, respectively.

Wing Morgan Maly led the Bluejays with a career-high 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting (3-4 3pt.) and four rebounds against two turnovers. Iowa State point guard Emily Ryan had 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting (2-5 3pt.), eight rebounds, six assists and three turnovers without sitting; wing Ashley Joens said afterwards that she had not yet made a decision on whether she’d be declaring for the WNBA Draft — she’s tentatively the No. 11 player on my board.

Spokane

#1 Stanford beat #4 Maryland, 72-66. The Cardinal led by as many as 26 points in the late third quarter before losing the fourth 30-13. Stanford shot 45.6% overall while holding the Terps to 3-for-19 from three and out-rebounded them by 18.

Point wing Haley Jones led the Cardinal with a double-double of 17 points on 7-for-17 shooting (2-4 3pt.) and 10 rebounds (three offensive), plus six assists against three turnovers; wing Lexie Hull had 19 points (6-16 FG, 1-6 3pt., 6-9 FT), nine rebounds (three offensive), three assists and three turnovers; center Cameron Brink was back to her old ways, fouling out in 19 minutes, but still notched 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting (1-1 3pt.), eight rebounds (four offensive) and five blocks against three turnovers. Maryland big Angel Reese scored a game-high 25 points on 7-for-16 shooting from the field (1-1 3pt.) and 10-for-12 from the line, with nine rebounds (five offensive), three steals, three blocks and four fouls in 30 minutes.

In case you missed it the first time: Jones and Brink combined to go 3-for-5 from three. The end is nigh for opponents.

#2 Texas beat #6 Ohio State, 66-63. The Buckeyes trailed by only one point with possession and 23 seconds to go, but they ran two awful plays and forgot to intentionally foul for about 10 seconds. Wing Joanne Allen-Taylor led the Longhorns with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting and three assists against three turnovers.

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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