cloudyn.png
Wednesday August 17th, 2022 4:28AM

TIPPING OFF: Can Peacock Power prevail vs North Carolina?

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

A look at what’s happening in the NCAA Tournament today:

GAME OF THE DAY

SAINT PETER'S VS. NORTH CAROLINA

Saint Peter's startling win over mighty Kentucky was written off as an accident, a happy one for fans who love seeing the little guy rise up to knock off a behemoth in the NCAA Tournament.

It followed then that the 15th-seeded Peacocks' win over Murray State was a coincidence, again, a savory one for everyone who loves an underdog story.

Now the ever-growing legion of Peacocks fans — folks who'd never heard of Daryl Banks III, Clarence Rupert or Doug Edert two weeks ago — hold to the belief the Sweet 16 upset over powerful Purdue established a pattern, one that could take the little school from Jersey City, New Jersey, right to the Final Four.

All that stands between the Peacocks and Bourbon Street next week is No. 8 seed North Carolina, one of the bluest of the bluebloods, in the East Region final in Philadelphia, a 93-mile drive from their campus.

First-year coach Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels have been a pretty good story themselves, playing their way off the tournament bubble late in the regular season and knocking out Marquette, Baylor and UCLA.

Never mind that Carolina's number of national championships, six, is one fewer than the Peacocks' total number of NCAA Tournament games played in their 58-year basketball history.

Coach Shaheen Holloway's Peacocks are 8.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. All of Carolina's advantages on paper really don't mean much at this point. After all, Saint Peter’s wasn’t supposed to be able to handle Purdue’s superior size, strength and talent, but it did.

Brady Manek, Caleb Love and Armando Bacot — not to mention the name on the front of their jerseys and the whole Carolina legacy— can be intimidating. It's safe to assume the Peacocks won't be fazed a bit.

SELF-ANALYSIS: RUGGED ROAD AHEAD

Kansas, the last No. 1 seed still standing, has reached the Elite Eight. That should make Jayhawks fans very nervous entering the Midwest Region final against 10th-seeded Miami in Chicago.

This has been the game that has dogged coach Bill Self more than any other. He’s 3-7 in regional finals in his career, including 3-5 at Kansas.

“It is a different game because it’s the hardest game in the tournament to not win,” Self said Saturday. “You can talk about first round, you can talk about whatever, it’s the hardest game. The national championship finals, at least you’re playing for it all or whatever.

“But this one, every goal of every team is road to the Final Four. It’s not road to the national championship. It’s road to the Final Four. And even though the national championship is by far the biggest carrot and the biggest prize.”

The Jayhawks won their most recent regional final, 85-81 over Duke in overtime in 2018.

Self’s worst regional final loss came under circumstances similar to this year. It was 2011, the Jayhawks were the last No. 1 seed in the tournament, and they were playing a double-digit seed, No. 11 VCU. The Jayhawks fell behind early and never caught up while going down 71-61.

HOPING FOR THE BEST

Villanova might find out how badly guard Justin Moore was injured in the final minute of the Wildcats' 50-44 win over Houston.

Moore hurt his lower leg and was on crutches Saturday after 'Nova earned a spot in the Final Four. He dribbling against a defender, and looked like he slipped and fell, then went back down after trying to get up.

Initial X-rays showed nothing was broken, but coach Jay Wright said an MRI was planned and that it didn’t look good for Moore.

Moore averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game this season.

Villanova will face the Kansas-Miami winner next weekend in a national semifinal.

NOW HEAR THIS

North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said he pays no attention to seedings, so the fact Saint Peter's is a 15 is meaningless to him.

More important, he said, is that the Peacocks have beaten two of the teams North Carolina lost to during the regular season. The Tar Heels lost 93-84 to Purdue in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Nov. 20 and 98-69 to Kentucky in Las Vegas on Dec. 18.

Davis said Saint Peter's will be Carolina's toughest game of the season.

“They have an outstanding coaching staff, and it’s a team that has won 10 games in a row and they’re playing with a confidence and a toughness that has put them in the final eight," Davis said.

The winner will face Duke next Saturday in a national semifinal. Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils beat Arkansas 78-69 to win the West.

GEORGE MASON CONNECTION

Miami’s Jordan Miller played his first three seasons at George Mason.

That’s the same the school that current Miami coach Jim Larranaga led to the Final Four in 2006, when Miller was 6 years old.

“Yeah, being at George Mason, it’s hard not to hear about his success there,” Miller said.

Miller drew laughs at a news conference when he added, “Coach L, when I first talked to him, he actually said, ‘Do you know about my success at George Mason?’"

___

More AP coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
TIPPING OFF: Can Peacock Power prevail vs North Carolina?
Saint Peter’s has knocked off Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue and now has its sights on pulling another NCAA Tournament upset
7:28PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Medvedev, eyeing No. 1 ranking, tops Murray at Miami Open
Daniil Medvedev never gave Andy Murray a chance
7:24PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Perez on pole for Saudi Arabian GP day after nearby attack
Sergio Perez takes his first career pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Formula One races on amid heavy scrutiny, the day after an attack on a nearby oil depot
7:13PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Medevdev, eyeing No. 1 ranking, tops Murray at Miami Open
Daniil Medvedev never gave Andy Murray a chance
6:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
Perez's late basket lifts NC State to 66-63 win over Irish
Raina Perez’s steal at midcourt and go-ahead layup with 14 seconds left lifted top-seeded N
3:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
MLB asks umps for more random checks on sticky substances
Major League Baseball is asking umpires to make more random checks this season for pitchers using sticky substances
3:34PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Irving indicates he plans on staying with Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving is finally going to play a home game for Brooklyn again on Sunday
2:25PM ( 5 hours ago )
UCF's Abrahamson-Henderson hired as Georgia's new coach
Georgia has hired Central Florida’s Katie Abrahamson-Henderson as its new women's basketball coach
1:01PM ( 6 hours ago )
Upstart Creighton women top Iowa State, reach Elite Eight
Morgan Maly scored a career-high 21 points to help 10th-seeded Creighton beat Iowa State 76-68 in the NCAA Tournament, becoming one of the lowest seeds to ever reach a women’s regional final
2:47AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Saint Peter's 1st 15 seed in Elite Eight, tops Purdue 67-64
Daryl Banks III scored the tying and go-ahead baskets that pushed 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s to the brink of the Final Four
9:51PM ( 21 hours ago )
TIPPING OFF: Coach K win away from record 13th Final Four
Mike Krzyzewski would pass famed UCLA coach John Wooden for most Final Four appearances if No. 2 seed Duke can beat fourth-seeded Arkansas in the West Region final in San Francisco
7:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Busted brackets mark another topsy-turvy NCAA tourney
There were 17.3 million brackets filled out in ESPN's Tournament Challenge this year, and the quest for a perfect one was done before the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament
3:29PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Notae, Arkansas muscle top overall seed Gonzaga out of NCAAs
JD Notae scored 21 points despite missing 20 shots and fourth-seeded Arkansas made Gonzaga miserable on both ends of the floor, bouncing the top overall seed from the NCAA Tournament with a 74-68 win
1:22AM ( 1 day ago )
Duke beats Texas Tech 78-73 to send Coach K to Elite 8
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has moved within one win of his record-setting 13th trip to the Final Four in his final season on the bench
1:09AM ( 1 day ago )
Duke beats Texas Tech 79-74 to send Coach K to Elite 8
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has moved within one win of his record-setting 13th trip to the Final Four in his final season on the bench
12:25AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Medvedev, eyeing No. 1 ranking, tops Murray at Miami Open
Daniil Medvedev never gave Andy Murray a chance
7:24PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Perez on pole for Saudi Arabian GP day after nearby attack
Sergio Perez takes his first career pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Formula One races on amid heavy scrutiny, the day after an attack on a nearby oil depot
7:13PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Shelled city in north Ukraine fears becoming 'next Mariupol'
The northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has been holding out against Russian forces since the early days of the invasion
7:09PM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Oscars are Sunday. Here's how to watch the show live
The 94th Academy Awards are right around the corner
6:58PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Live updates: Man detained at site of Lviv rocket attacks
The governor of the Lviv region says a man was detained on suspicion of espionage at the site of one of the two rocket attacks that rattled the city on Saturday
6:57PM ( 35 minutes ago )