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
Markquis Nowell had a performance for the ages
The New York City native looked like the second coming of Shabazz Napier on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden and made the World’s Most Famous Arena his own personal sanctuary. The 5-8 Nowell had 20 points and 19 assists — the most assists ever by one player in an NCAA Tournament — to lead Kansas State to a 98-93 overtime win over Michigan State. The Wildcats will play FAU on Saturday in the Elite Eight. Nowell has 42 assists in three NCAA Tournament games.
UCLA will always be left wondering what could have been
You have to be a little lucky to get to a Final Four and win a national title. Nobody has been unluckier during the past few weeks than the Bruins. UCLA lost the best defensive player in college basketball — Jaylen Clark — to an achilles injury in the final game of the regular season and its starting center Adem Bona to a shoulder injury in the Pac-12 Tournament. Both didn’t play in Friday night’s Sweet 16 loss to Gonzaga in Las Vegas. The Bruins still almost advanced, but a late three-point shot from Julian Strawther just inside of half court didn’t allow that to happen. We’ll always be left wondering what UCLA could have done in this NCAA Tournament if it had all hands on deck.
Florida Atlantic has returned to Cinderella status
The Owls transitioned to playing Goliath when they faced upstart FDU in the Round of 32, but Friday night’s win over Tennessee at Madison Square Garden has now returned this team to its more appropriate label. Florida Atlantic — much like Loyola Chicago five years ago in 2018 — dominated a non power conference and now finds itself 40 minutes away from the Final Four. The 34-win Owls will play Kansas State on Saturday at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
On The Side
- The unsung story of Kansas State’s epic win over Michigan State on Thursday night? Ismael Massoud and David N’Guessan combined to score 26 points off the bench.
- UConn has won its first three NCAA Tournament games by an average of 20.7 points.
- One thing to keep in mind tonight when Alabama faces San Diego State? The Aztecs have seven seniors in their rotation while three of the Crimson Tide’s top five scorers are freshman.
- 26 teams from the Big Ten have made the last three NCAA Tournaments. Only one has reached the Elite Eight.
- Michigan State’s loss ensures that the head coach that wins the national title on April 3rd will be a first-time national champion.
- Episode 397 — Georgetown’s Ed Cooley
- Weekend Brunch: Why Zach Edey’s return means that Purdue’s expectations are again “Final Four or bust”
- Creighton/UNLV, New Mexico/Santa Clara to headline Jack Jones Classic
- USC to play Kansas State, Oregon to face Georgia on opening night in Las Vegas
- Saint Mary’s no longer slated for Diamond Head Classic, will instead play in Continental Tire Main event with Xavier, SDSU, and Washington