NCAA Talk

Irish fall to Louisville; No. 1 seed in jeopardy

Irish fall to Louisville; No. 1 seed in jeopardy

Friday, March 11, 2011
Posted: 11:24 p.m. Updated: 11:42 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) Preston Knowles, despite playing the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime with four fouls, scored 20 points to rally No. 14 Louisville to an 83-77 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame on Friday night and a spot in the championship game of the Big East tournament.The third-seeded Cardinals (25-8) will face ninth-seeded and 21st-ranked Connecticut, which advanced with a 76-71 overtime win over Syracuse.It is the first time both Big East semifinals went to overtime and this was the third extra-session game of the tournament, matching the record.The overtime was certainly nothing new to these teams as six of their last 10 games have gone to the extra 5 minutes, including this season's meeting, an 87-79 Notre Dame win on Feb. 9.Ben Hansbrough, the conference player of the year, struggled through one of his worst games of the season for the Irish (26-6), who had won 12 of 13. The senior guard finished 3 of 16 from the field for 13 points and had six turnovers.Peyton Siva, who also played the final 10 minutes and overtime with four fouls, had 15 points and seven assists for the Cardinals, who will be seeking their second title, having won it in 2009.Connecticut will be looking for its seventh title, which would tie Georgetown for the most ever. The last time the Huskies won the tournament was in 2004.Notre Dame ended the first half on a 13-5 run to take a 46-32 lead. The largest halftime deficit overcome for a tournament game win was 15 points by Syracuse in a 58-57 semifinal win over Georgetown.Louisville had its 14-point deficit wiped out by taking advantage of a terrible second half of shooting by the Irish.Notre Dame shot 56.7 percent from the field (17 of 30) in the first half. The Irish managed to go just 6 of 22 in the second 20 minutes (27.3 percent) and then 2 of 6 in the extra 5 minutes. They finished 25 of 58 overall (43.1 percent), including 8 of 24 from 3-point range.Knowles tied the game at 66 with 2:47 left in overtime. His tip-in of his own jumper gave Louisville a 70-68 lead with 1:52 to go and then his jumper with 1:02 left gave the Cardinals a 72-70 lead.Carleton Scott tied the game at 72 with 46 seconds left and both teams missed a chance at taking the lead late in regulation, Notre Dame's a 3-point attempt by Hansbrough with 3 seconds to go.It was Knowles again who gave Louisville the lead in the overtime for the final time with two free throws with 3:57 to play. Notre Dame managed just two points the rest of the way, keeping the Irish from their first ever championship game appearance.Terrence Jennings, Louisville's center who played the final 9:30 of regulation and overtime with four fouls, had 16 points.Scott Martin led Notre Dame with 21 points and eight rebounds, and Tim Abromaitis added 16 points.Complete Recap Boxscore
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

tygercampbellnodepaul.jpg
AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

uic.jpg
USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."