NCAA

Kyle Guy's free throws send Virginia to first-ever NCAA Tournament final

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Kyle Guy's free throws send Virginia to first-ever NCAA Tournament final

And that's why it's called March Madness.

Virginia trailed Auburn 62-60 in the final seconds of their Final Four matchup Saturday. But as UVA guard Kyle Guy caught the ball and put up a last-second three, he was fouled by Auburn's Samir Doughty. 

Guy stepped to the line and cooly sunk all three free throws, giving UVA the 63-62 lead. The Tigers' desperate attempt to hit a buzzer-beater failed, and the Cavaliers celebrated reaching their first-ever NCAA Tournament final. 

“I could lie to you and say I knew I was going to hit them, but I was terrified," Guy told CBS' Tracy Wolfson after the game. "I had confidence in myself, but this is what we dream of. And for me to be able to do this for our team, I couldn't be happier."

To quote Bill Raftery: "Onions!"

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An impressive record still has the Liberty Flames in a must-win spot to make March Madness

An impressive record still has the Liberty Flames in a must-win spot to make March Madness

When one looks at the best records in college basketball, the first teams that come to mind are the ones around the No. 1 seed conversation: Gonzaga, San Diego State, Dayton, Kansas, etc. One team that is a surprising outlier? The Liberty Flames. 

Liberty has quietly amassed a 27-3 record for the 5th best record in college basketball as of this writing.  They’ve rolled through their season with their only losses coming on the road at LSU, North Florida and Stetson. 

But in the Atlantic Sun, they have struggled to put together a quality resume that would give them a favorable seed in the NCAA Tournament. While the win total is impressive, a small number are considered relatively good. Only two games are rated as a Quadrant 1 or 2 opportunity – where they went 1-1 – the remaining 25 are in Q3 and Q4. 

When the NCAA eliminated the RPI as a metric to determine the NCAA Tournament field, the Quadrant system was implemented to rank the quality of games based on the opponent and where the game was played. And in the committee’s eyes, Liberty does not meet the standards to solidly be in the NCAA Tournament. 

Bracketologists are unified though in their analysis of the Flames. They’re one of the best teams from a single-bid conference and are currently on the No. 12 seed line. With that being the current positioning of the bubble, many teams will have an interest in how the Flames finish the season. 

Liberty will instantly pop in the bubble conversation if they lose in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Likely, they probably won’t make it to the big dance if they get another loss to an Atlantic Sun team. But it will make other teams sweat for the final two weeks. To solidify their spot in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, Liberty will have to win the A-Sun tournament.

They run a style similar to Virginia. A focus on defensive effort and limited possessions for the opposition. Their offense is balanced more efficiently than last season as they have three scorers averaging more than 10 points a game. 

They don’t match up well against many teams in the country. Last year they proved it by upsetting Mississippi State in a No. 5 vs. No. 12 contest. Power 5 teams won’t want to see this team on their side of the bracket this year either. 

It's not out of the question that the Flames could lose somewhere in their conference tournament. If they do, they'll have an automatic qualifier for the NIT. 

Liberty Flames Resume

Record: 27-3 
NET: 47
KenPom: 57
BPI: 40
Average Seed: 12
Q1 Record: 0-1
Q2 Record: 1-0
Q3 Record: 4-1
Q4 Record: 20-1
Best win: Akron -neutral site (NET: 79)
Worst loss: @ Stetson (NET: 304)
Remaining Schedule: Atlantic Sun Tournament

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Maryland women's lacrosse refuses to travel to Syracuse due to weather concerns

Maryland women's lacrosse refuses to travel to Syracuse due to weather concerns

The Maryland women's lacrosse team is getting an unexpected home game after concerns from the Terps' athletic department about the forecast in Syracuse, N.Y.

A game that was slated to be the first in a doubleheader in Syracuse on Friday will now be played at noon Saturday at the University of Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex after Maryland's athletic department voiced concerns about the weather forecast.

"We want to apologize for the inconvenience this causes our loyal fans, including the parents of our student-athletes and women's lacrosse alumni," said Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack said in a statement. "We informed our colleagues at Maryland that the local weather forecast for the next few days is not expected to impact any of the home athletic contests we have scheduled but they chose not to travel." 

In a tweet on Friday, the Syracuse men's lacrosse account cheerfully reported that it was excellent weather for a lacrosse game.

"Safety of our student-athletes is of the utmost importance at the University of Maryland," said Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans in a statement. "Due to the forecasted winter weather conditions in Upstate New York, our University Department of Transportation determined it was unsafe to travel."