College Basketball: Familiarity may help BYU
BYU is back in the building where it pulled off the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history. The Cougars (25-9) play Mississippi (20-12) in a first-round game Tuesday night at the University of Dayton Arena in Ohio.
BYU is back in the building where it pulled off the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history.
The Cougars (25-9) play Mississippi (20-12) in a first-round game Tuesday night at the University of Dayton Arena in Ohio.
It's the same place where BYU made history three years ago. The winner goes to Jacksonville, Fla., to play sixth-seeded Xavier on Thursday afternoon.
BYU fell behind Iona by 25 points in the first half of a first-round game in 2012, but rallied for a 78-72 win that was the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history.
The teams have never met, but are similar in that they like to push the pace and feel more comfortable when there are a lot of shots in the air.
Ole Miss averaged 72.6 points per game; BYU averaged 83.6 points.
"Their pace of play is unlike anything we've seen this season," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "People think I'm a liberal offensive coach. I'm the most conservative coach you've ever seen compared to the way that BYU runs and shoots quickly."
Ole Miss is making its second trip to Dayton this season. The Rebels lost to the Flyers, 78-74, Dec. 30 and are 0-2 all-time at UD Arena.
"We've been here before and we kind of have a feel for the building and the arena," guard Stefan Moody said.
Hampton vs. Manhattan. Like many college hoops fans, Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. has thought about playing mighty Kentucky.
The thing is, Joyner's team - if it can find a way to knock off Manhattan in a first-round game - will get its chance Thursday in Louisville.
"I'm going to give you the truthful answer - I believe everybody has thought about that," Joyner said with a laugh.
Manhattan's coach knows more than a little about Kentucky. Steve Masiello was a walk-on for Rick Pitino with the Wildcats and was a part of two national championship teams.
But he said he has never even considered what it would be like to take his Jaspers up against the Wildcats.
"It's the furthest thing from my mind, maybe because I lived it," Masiello said. "Hypothetically, if there was another 1 (seed) waiting for Hampton or us, maybe I would have. But because it's them, it's the last thing I'll think about."
Alabama associate head coach John Brannen will lead the team through the NIT after the firing of Anthony Grant. The Crimson Tide open the NIT Tuesday against Illinois, just two days after Grant's firing.
Paul Hewitt has been fired as George Mason coach after going 66-67 in four seasons. The Patriots went 9-22 this season, 4-14 in the Atlantic Ten, and lost their opening game in the conference tournament.
Bill Grier is out as coach at San Diego after the Toreros finished 15-16. Grier's overall record was 117-144.