What you may have missed this weekend: 3/15-3/17
Let’s get use to all the basketball news that we missed this weekend cause we are likely to miss plenty more throughout the next month. That is unless you spend all day Thursday through Sunday watching the madness. But before we get there, let’s take a look at some of the teams that earned automatic bids!
We will also be talking about the NBA players obstacles as they continue to wrap up the season. And Aman Huda will provide us with the Soccer and Cricket news we need to know about from this weekend!
Atlantic Coastal Conference dominates the No. 1 seeds:
Like I thought in my version of the selection Sunday, the ACC earned three of the four No.1 seeds. The final No.1 seed goes to Gonzaga who has only lost three games all season. One of those games was to North Carolina. North Carolina is the third ACC team to receive the No. 1 seed, and they earned their way there by beating Duke twice this season. Duke lost to Gonzaga and North Carolina, but they still managed to claim a No. 1 seed as well. Virginia has only lost to Duke twice in the regular season and then Florida State in the conference tournament, but they were a solid team all season long! This is the first time since 2009 where we had three teams from one conference claim No. 1 seeds, that conference was Big East.
Duke and Williamson are No. 1 overall team:
Now that we know Duke made the tournament has the No. 1 overall team let’s get to the why they’re No. 1. It’s pretty simple, Zion Williamson! Zion is a more significant piece to Duke’s success then we may have thought. Williamson battled his way through an injury that caused him to miss several key games in the ACC which resulted in losses more than wins for the Blue Devils. Duke went 3-3 without a full game, Zion Williams in the game losing to Virginia Tech and North Carolina twice! Duke battled through adversity with Zion missing the final five in half games and held things together for his Superman return in the ACC tournament. Zion left off right where he was before missing those games as he goes a perfect 13-of-13 with 29 points in his return in the tournament. Williamson continued to play hot as he scored 31 in a win over North Carolina.
Michigan State goes 3-0 against the Wolverines:
When we watch the Big Ten tournament, we also expect to see Michigan State and Michigan in it. This was the third matchup between the two teams and Michigan was looking to revenge their previous losses.
Yes, the Wolverines lost three times to the Spartans in a season and the Spartans picked up their sixth Big Ten Tournament championship. The Spartans were led by Matt McQuaid and Cassius Winston. McQuaid scored a career-high 27 points while Cassius Winston converted the go-ahead layup in the closing minute, and the Spartans rallied to beat No. 10 Michigan 65-60 in the Big Ten final on Sunday.
Michigan State beat Michigan and stopped them from winning the tournament for the third straight year.
Bruce Pearl and Auburn beat his former team twice in a week:
Former Tennessee coach, Bruce Pearl had led his new team to the SEC for the first time since 1985. That year they made it all the way to the Sweet sixteen, but can Coach Pearl take them further.
This last week has been good for Auburn and Pearl as they gave beaten Tennessee twice in the last week. It is also Pearl’s first ever conference tournament championship and it was a complete domination as the Tigers won 84-64.
Belmont is in the tournament despite losing conference tournament:
Belmont lost a nail-biter to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, but still put together a nice resume to get an at-large bid. Belmont becomes the first team since Middle Tennessee in 1987 to do so.
Belmont will take on Temple in the East Region with the winner to face Maryland. And if you ask me, I think they could make it as far as the sweet sixteen.
McCollum’s injury might hurt the Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum left Saturday nights game against the San Antonio Spurs with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter. He left with an apparent left knee injury that would not allow him to return to action as the Blazers fall to the Spurs 108-103.
McCollum is a big piece to the Blazers success on offense when he plans with All-Star guard Damian Lillard. Without McCollum, Portland ranks last in the NBA on offensive efficiency.
Hopefully, McCollum doesn’t miss more than at least a week that he’s supposed to miss with his knee strain. It would be a surprise to see a man like McCollum miss any time. He only missed six games over the past four seasons ranks third in total minutes played behind James Harden and Andrew Wiggins.
The timeout that wasn’t…
It was a game between the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans and you probably won’t watching, but that’s fine because all you really missed was a Suns win that result from a timeout that was even there.
After Suns Josh Jackson makes a deep 3 to tie the game at 136 late in overtime, the Pelicans called a timeout they didn’t have. The call of a timeout resulted in a technical foul shot and the ball for Phoenix. There wasn’t much time left to being with, but Suns made the one technical free throw and then got fouled right away. After making the first free throw to take a two point lead, the Suns missed the second leaving the Pelicans a chance at a full court heave to win the game. Suns won 138-136.
Westbrook faces suspension after 16th technical
Russell Westbrook has been in the news a lot lately, but none of it as been good. Westbrook as led the Thunder to a top spot in the Western conference. He has also led the team in several stats while averaging a triple double again. But the biggest stat that will hurt his team if he can’t fix it is the technicals.
During the 111-88 loss to Golden State on Saturday, Westbrook picked up his 16th technical which means he’ll save a one game suspension on Monday.
Bucks’ Brogdon likely out 6-8 weeks
The Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the NBA and they have taken a big blow late in the season with an injury to guard Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot.
Brogdon is averaging a career-best 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 28.6 minutes per game this season while shooting 50.5 percent from the field. The Bucks will certainly miss his presence on the court, as we saw in their game on Sunday.
Giannis pours in career-high 52 in loss to Sixers:
The bucks played their first game since announcing the possible season ending injury to Brogdon and All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo did everything he could. Giannis got a career-high 52 points against the Philadelphia 76ers, but still come up short.
The Sixers beat the Bucks 130-125 behind Joel Embiid’s 40 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday.
Casey plays big role in Pistons-Raptors season sweep:
For the second straight season, Dwane Casey has swept the season series between the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.
Last year as the coach of Toronto, Casey coached his team to a 4-0 season record against the Pistons before he was fired and later joined the Detroit Pistons.
This year Casey coached the Pistons to a 3-0 season sweep against the Raptors with their latest victory on Sunday (110-107).
This could be a potential first round match up in the East playoffs and we could see what these Pistons are really made of! Can they sweep the No. 2 team in a seven game playoff series? That would be a bit of revenge from Casey to knock out his old team early in the playoffs.
Afghanistan closes in on first test win:
During Ireland’s tour of India, where they’re facing Afghanistan, both sides had an opportunity to play their second test match, and look for their first win. In the first innings, Ireland only scored 172, but it could’ve been much worse if it wasn’t for number 11 Tim Murtagh’s 54(75)*. Afghanistan’s batting truly showed skill in the test format as they put up a strong score of 314. There were three half-cenurians: Rahmat Shah 98(214), Hashmatullah Shahidi 61(154) and Asghar Afghan 67(92). In Ireland’s second inning, they were able to perform better, scoring 288, but were limited to a lead of 117, thanks to Rashid Khan’s five-wicket haul. Heading into Day Four, Afghanistan is 29-1, chasing 147.
Kamran Akmal, Imam Ul-Haq power over Islamabad United:
Within the first twelve overs, Peshawar Zalmi had won the game. Their openers Kamran Akmal and Imam Ul-Haq put up a 135-run partnership, Akmal scoring 74(43), Ul-Haq adding 58(33). Peshawar set a total of 215, which Islamabad was unable to achieve. Islamabad was restricted to 166-9, Hasan Ali added three wickets to his name already 22 tournament wickets and Chris Jordan pitching in with three as well. With this win, Islamabad was eliminated and Peshawar went through to the final to face Quetta Gladiators.
Quetta lifts first Pakistan Super League title:
Quetta ended up beating Peshawar in the finals comprehensively, by eight wickets. On a pitch which supported spinners, leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed heroically played for Quetta while Peshawar made the mistake of dropping their spinner for an extra batsman.
Peshawar could only make 138-8. Eighteen-year-old Mohammad Hasanain bowled brilliantly, with figures of 3-30.
Despite Quetta losing Shane Watson early run out for seven, Ahmed Shehzad pulled a half-century to take Quetta over the line and lift the trophy.
USA comes close to win in historic series:
Yup, you read that right. USA in a cricket headline. The US team played their first international T20I series in the form of a two-match series against the UAE.
In the first match, the US wasn’t able to complete their 20 overs but put up a strong 152-7 in 15 overs. Steven Taylor contributed with his 72(39), which comprised of nine fours and three sixes.
The UAE only played three overs for 29-2 before rain canceled play.
In the second match, the US wasn’t able to repeat their magic. The UAE set the Americans a target of 183, but the US fell short by 24 runs, losing the series 1-0.
Tottenham announces new stadium opening date:
After the closure of the historic White Heart Lane, Tottenham will finally play in the new White Heart Lane. The Spurs announced their first fixture will be against Crystal Palace on April 3rd. Check out the beautiful new stadium here.