Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, the morning column on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
The NCAA Tournament is not a coronation for the Blue Devils or any other blue blood program to advance. Nobody knows that better than Oral Roberts. Two years ago, the Golden Eagles beat Ohio State and Florida back-to-back in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and advanced all the way to the Sweet 16 before losing to Arkansas. This team has similar capabilities. Oral Roberts shoots 36.9 percent as a team from three-point range and will need to make in excess of 10 three-point shots to upset Duke, who has won nine games in a row. The Golden Eagles have won 30 games and boast a former NCAA Tournament star in Max Abmas, who was the catalyst of this program’s 2021 run to the second weekend. Abmas enters today’s game averaging 22.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and four assists while shooting 37.7 percent from long distance. Tip off is at 7:10 PM ET on CBS.
Amari Bailey is primed to become a household name in the NCAA Tournament
This kid made a statement last week at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. He can make another one if he keeps performing at a high level over the next few weeks. With Jaylen Clark out of the lineup, the 6-5 Bailey asserted himself as a primary piece on the wing for the Bruins and averaged 18 points and 5.3 rebounds last week in three games at Las Vegas. For UCLA to advance to the second weekend and beyond, it needs Bailey to perform like he did a week ago in Sin City. The Bruins will face UNC Asheville tonight in Sacramento (10:05 PM ET, truTV).
Jalen Pickett versus Wade Taylor IV
Unique individual matchups are part of what makes the NCAA Tournament so special. We’ve got one today between an All-American from the Big Ten and arguably the best guard in SEC. A fifth-year senior, Pickett has dragged Penn State to an NCAA Tournament berth and enters today’s game averaging 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists. Taylor meanwhile, averages 16.5 points and four assists. Guard play is already completely synonymous with the Midwest Region. These two guys are a major reason why. Tip off is at 9:55 PM ET on CBS.
On The Side
- Miami’s Norchad Omier (ankle) has still yet to practice and is TBD for Friday’s NCAA Tournament game against Drake, Jim Larranaga told College Hoops Today on Wednesday. Omier suffered the injury during last week’s ACC Tournament. The 6-7 forward averages 13.6 points and 9.7 rebounds.
- Texas’ bench averaged 18 points during last week’s Big 12 Tournament. That was without Timmy Allen — a key rotation player — who was out due to a leg injury. Allen is expected to play today against Colgate in Des Moines (7:25 PM ET, TBS).
- Arizona can’t make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament without getting more out of Kerr Kriisa. The veteran guard only averaged four points in last week’s Pac-12 Tournament and was just 4-15 from the field and 3-13 from three-point range during that span.
- San Diego State is 9-0 in this season in games where JaeDon Ledee scores in double figures. The Aztecs will play Charleston this afternoon in Orlando (3:10 PM ET, truTV).
- Looking for a mid-major name to keep an eye on today? Try Furman’s Mike Bothwell. The 6-3 senior is averaging 21 points in his last two games and has been one of the better players in the SOCON over the past few seasons. The Paladins will play Virginia today in Orlando (12:40 PM ET, truTV).
- The Breakfast Buffet: UConn’s dominance, Andre Jackson, Florida Atlantic’s path is similar to Loyola Chicago in 2018
- The Breakfast Buffet: Things come full circle for Gonzaga and UConn, Kansas State, Rodney Terry
- The Breakfast Buffet: Markquis Nowell, UCLA will always be left wondering what could have been, FAU
- The Breakfast Buffet: Rick Barnes’ best chance to return to the Final Four, Adama Sanogo, Gonzaga/UCLA
- The Breakfast Buffet: Tobin Anderson, the Big East’s roster of head coaches is elite, Bobby Hurley