March 6, 2022
Daily Briefing — March 6, 2022: CARDIAC CANES — Miami makes first ACC championship
Rhyne Howard does it again
Happy Sunday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 116 of college basketball is here, following a second-straight major upset from Miami, as the Cinderellas have certainly punched their NCAA ticket after upsetting No. 3-seed Notre Dame in a back-and-forth game. The seventh-seeded Hurricanes were likely WNIT-bound with a possible exit in their first ACC tournament game and now stand hours away from their first-ever ACC championship game.
Elsewhere, freshman phenom Aneesah Morrow’s double-double streak and DePaul’s season were snapped in the same game, Caitlin Clark once again smoked Nebraska, Rhyne Howard motored Kentucky into being the second No. 7 seed in a championship game today, and SFA lost a conference game for the first time since before the pandemic.
Phoenix: Center Brittney Griner has been in detention by police in Russia for the past three weeks after being accused of having a marijuana product in her possession.
Watch List, Sunday, March 6
(All times in Eastern)
#1 South Carolina v. Kentucky, 2 p.m., ESPN — SEC championship
#12 Iowa v. #14 Indiana, 4 p.m., ESPN2 — Big Ten championship
#3 N.C. State v. Miami, Noon, ESPN — ACC championship
RV* Dayton v. UMass, 2 p.m., ESPN2 — A-10 championship
Princeton @ Harvard, Noon, ESPN+
Villanova v. Seton Hall, 5:30 p.m., FS1 — Big East semis
#2 Stanford v. Utah, 6 p.m., ESPN2 — Pac-12 championship
Saturday, Mar. 5 recap
#8 Iowa State: 74-57 win over West Virginia. Point guard Emily Ryan led with 29 points on 10-for-12 from the field (1-1 3pt.) and 8-for-11 from the line, four rebounds, and four assists against four turnovers without sitting; wing Ashley Joens and combo guard Lexi Donarski combined for 23 points on 5-for-21 from the field, 3-for-11 from three, and 10-for-14 from the line, and 15 rebounds and six turnovers.
#9 Texas: 65-50 win over Oklahoma State. Center Lauren Ebo led with 17 points on 6-for-9 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line, six rebounds (three offensive), two assists, and two blocks against four fouls in 32 minutes; point guard Rori Harmon had 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting (0-1 3pt.), three rebounds, four assists, and four steals against two turnovers.
#19 Oklahoma: 73-67 loss to Kansas. Trailed 60-51 with just over six minutes remaining, retook the lead at 2:37 in the fourth quarter, and then ended on a 11-3 Jayhawk run.
SFA: 76-74 loss to UT-Rio Grande Valley. That’s the Lumberjacks’ first conference loss in over two calendar years.
(All rankings below reflect tournament seeding)
ACC tournament, semifinals
#1 N.C. State beat #5 Virginia Tech, 70-55. The Hokies were playing without ACC Player of the Year center Elizabeth Kitley and wing Cayla King, one of the best shooters in the conference. Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks noted Kitley probably could’ve played if this were the NCAA tournament, but he wasn’t “going to put [her] in harm’s way” in something short of that kind of situation. The Hokies sit surprisingly high in NET so… maybe they host games? Who knows.
Wolfpack center Elissa Cunane led with a double-double of 20 points on 8-for-16 FG (2-3 3pt.) and 13 rebounds (six offensive), plus two blocks against four turnovers.
#7 Miami beat #3 Notre Dame, 57-54. The Hurricanes have now covered the Her Hoop Stats spread by a combined 28.5 points the past two days to advance to their first-ever ACC championship. Outside of minute-long span, neither team led in the fourth quarter by more than four, and the Irish got multiple looks at a game-tier in their last couple possessions.
Here’s what a win that tense looked like, from the vantage point of our ACC reporter, Mitchell Northam:
Big Ten tournament, semifinals
#2 Iowa beat #6 Nebraska, 83-66. Hawkeye point guard Caitlin Clark, who clearly enjoys destroying the Huskers, led with 41 points on 13-for-27 from the field, 5-for-13 from three, and 10-for-12 from the line, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals against nine turnovers.
#5 Indiana beat #1 Ohio State, 70-62. Despite this being a five-seed beating a one-seed, it was very much not an upset — Her Hoop Stats projected Indiana as a two-point favorite. Hoosier big Aleksa Gulbe was feeling a bit under the weather and played only 14 minutes off the bench (six points, 2-4 FG); with wing Chloe Moore-McNeil starting in Gulbe’s place, all of Indiana’s starters scored double-digits, including 16 points and 11 rebounds and five assists for combo guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, and 10 points and six rebounds and seven assists for point guard Grace Berger.
SEC tournament, semifinals
#1 South Carolina beat #4 Ole Miss, 61-51. The Gamecocks led 53-30 after three quarters. South Carolina center Aliyah Boston had 15 points on 4-for-7 from the field and 7-for-9 from the line and 12 rebounds for a double-double, plus two assists, three steals, and three blocks.
#7 Kentucky beat #3 Tennessee, 83-74. Wildcat wing Rhyne Howard had 24 points on 7-for-12 from the field (2-3 3pt.) and 8-for-11 from the line, nine rebounds (six offensive), and seven assists to lead a decent upset — the Vols have looked like a complete mess since losing point wing Jordan Horston to injury last month. Tennessee is probably even odds to host tournament games.
Big East tournament, quarterfinals
#1 UConn decimated #9 Georgetown, leading 43-9 at the half before winning 84-39. Point guard Paige Buckers led with 16 points in 18 bench minutes on 6-for-9 shooting (4-5 3pt.), five rebounds, and four assists against two turnovers.
#2 Villanova beat #7 St. John’s, 76-52.
#5 Marquette beat #4 DePaul, 105-85. The Blue Demons’ season is over.
#6 Seton Hall beat #3 Creighton, 66-65. The Bluejays seem like a good bet to still take an at-large bid.
A-10 tournament, semifinals
#1 Dayton beat #4 VCU, 59-48.
#3 UMass beat #7 St. Joe’s, 76-58.
WCC tournament, quarterfinals
#3 San Francisco beat #7 Santa Clara, 72-63.
#4 Portland beat #9 Loyola Marymount, 69-44.
OVC tournament, championship
#1 Belmont beat #2 Tennessee Tech, 51-29. One automatic qualifier down!