NCAA

UVa advances to finals, a rematch with Vandy awaits

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UVa advances to finals, a rematch with Vandy awaits

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Kenny Towns drove in three runs, including the winner in the seventh, and Josh Sborz pitched four innings of shutout relief as Virginia defeated Florida 5-4 on Saturday night to set up a College World Series finals rematch against Vanderbilt.

Virginia (42-23), which lost 10-5 to Florida on Friday, took two of three CWS games against the Gators (52-18) and now has won eight of its nine NCAA Tournament games. The Cavaliers open the best-of-three finals against a Vanderbilt team that beat them in three games for the championship last year.

It will be the first CWS finals rematch since Oregon State beat North Carolina in 2006-07.

Sborz (6-2) ran his shutout innings streak to 23 since May 15, getting Richie Martin to ground out after Harrison Bader reached on a two-out single in the ninth. Danny Lewis (6-2) took the loss.

After second baseman Ernie Clement flipped the ball to shortstop Daniel Pinero for the final out, catcher Matt Thaiss ran to the mound and embraced Sborz and first baseman Pavin Smith and Towns, the first baseman, dashed across the diamond to do a jumping back bump.

The Cavaliers took the lead for good in a back-and-forth game after Lewis intentionally walked Thaiss to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Towns, Virginia's career leader in NCAA Tournament RBIs who hit a game-winning double against Arkansas earlier in the week, sent a sacrifice fly to right to bring home Clement.

Sborz, who hasn't allowed a run since the eighth inning against North Carolina over a month ago, allowed three hits in relief of Brandon Waddell.

Thaiss' homer in the first inning opened the scoring, but Peter Alonso answered with another majestic homer in the second to put the Gators up 2-1. Alonso, who hit a 421-foot homer against Miami for what was then the longest in TD Ameritrade Park history, sent a Waddell pitch 429 feet over the center-field wall after JJ Schwarz walked leading off.

After Pavin Smith tripled over center fielder Buddy Reed's head and scored on a sacrifice fly for Virginia in the fourth, Bader homered leading off the fifth to make it 3-2 Florida.

The Cavaliers went back ahead in the bottom half, with Thaiss, the catcher, scoring the go-ahead run from first on Towns' two-RBI double down the left-field line.

Florida tied it at 4 in the sixth on Mike Rivera's single off Sborz, who entered with none out after Schwarz singled off Waddell.

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.