Might we have a Last Four without any No
The 2023 NCAA males’s competition has actually currently been a bruising experience for top seeds.Kansas played
without its head coach and was gotten rid of in the round of 32 by Arkansas and Eric Musselman (who promptly commemorated by removing his shirt).
Houston was down 10 at the half against Auburn (in Birmingham!) before the Cougars rallied for the win.And Purdue … well, you know everything about Purdue.What is happening
here? Is this a modification in the game, random possibility, seeding error or a little of all of the above? Or are all of us overreacting to a number of days of basketball? ESPN’s males’s college basketball professionals Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello and John Gasaway have been enjoying closely and thinking deeply. They have some theories. — John Gasaway
What went wrong with Kansas?Editor’s Picks
2 Related Jeff Borzello: Devo Davis
, generally. One Huge 12 head coach told me prior to the competition that Kansas’ absence of size made it susceptible at the basket due to its inability to safeguard the rim. On paper, Arkansas felt unlikely to check that since the Razorbacks don’t have a go-to post player. But Arkansas took advantage in other methods. Davis and his colleagues were definitely relentless while attacking the rim in the second half, repeling the bounce and ending up in traffic– especially after Kansas’K.J. Adams Jr. and Ernest Udeh Jr. were saddled with foul difficulty. The Razorbacks also grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and had 15 second-chance points.Another quote from the previously mentioned Big 12 coach struck me on Saturday night: “Gradey [
Dick] and Jalen [Wilson] have to make shots. Among them making them isn’t enough. “Wilson went to work, but Dick had seven points on 3-for-9 shooting. Davis was just elite at both ends of the floor.Myron Medcalf: Well, I tend to think it’s more about what went right with an Arkansas group that hasn’t played like this in a constant stretch all season. The Razorbacks– who never had any questions about their athletic abilities– are defending, managing the offending glass and making essential plays down the stretch in the most essential chapter of the season. However Kansas ‘Kevin McCullar Jr. fouled out late, and Gradey Penis finally looked like a freshman, which put a lot more pressure on Jalen Wilson to do everything late; and the Jayhawks likewise didn’t have their head coach.Norm Roberts did an excellent task getting this Kansas team to the 2nd round. In those crucial moments, however, Hall of Famer Expense Self wasn’t on the sideline to constant his players when Arkansas had them on the ropes.
I think that was a considerable element in all of this, in spite of what anybody stated about it.John Gasaway: Where have you gone, David McCormack? Arkansas launched 15 attempts from beyond the arc (and made simply three)however likewise entered the interior against Kansas. That’s where Eric Musselman’s team truly finished the job. After enabling the Hogs to get15 offensive boards and score 21 points at the line, the Jayhawks were sent out home after simply two games. Both the quick exit and its nature are a surprise. KU’s interior defense in Huge 12 play was rather excellent, however that was no aid versus Arkansas when it mattered most. Marcus Sasser, who was a big question for Houston in the tournament, went back to help his team advance to the Sugary food 16. Does his healing affect Houston’s possibilities to go even more? Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Houston endured. How far can this 1-seed go?Medcalf: I believe Houston can become the first string in NCAA history to both host and take part in the Final Four and win a nationwide title.( Yes, Butler reached the Final Four in Indianapolis in 2010, but Butler was not the host school.)For Houston, I just needed to see if Jamal Shead and Marcus Sasser might
play at a high level, although they’re both handlinginjuries. Shead had his struggles, but he played 34 minutes. And Sasser scored 22 points (7-for-14 shooting) in 31 minutes, although he needed to play through foul trouble.That’s not the only proof. When healthy– or most healthy– this team has a depth that improves its possibilities. Tramon Mark (26 points )reminded all that this team is larger than Sasser. I don’t understand if Houston is 100 percent. But it’s close adequate to make its national title dreams seem tangible. Plus, the Cougars have a great deal of time to rest and prepare for their next opponent.Borzello: I would be more worried about Houston if it didn’t just enter into Auburn’s home state and beat the Tigers by 17. The Cougars were dreadful in the first half, tracked by 10 at the break, had both Sasser and Shead banged up and in nasty difficulty– and still beat Auburn in convincing style. Kelvin Sampson’s team still has an extremely high floor.The Cougars can turn up the heat defensively like few other groups in the nation, they crash the offending glass at a high rate and they have many weapons offensively. Sasser looked fine when he was on the flooring, Shead looked fine when he was on the flooring, Mark stepped up in a big method– and that’s not even mentioning their lotto pick in Jarace Walker. Houston is still the preferred to get to the Final Four.Gasaway: State this for Houston’s injury concerns: Their hurt men are actually playing. That’s a deal UCLA (Jaylen Clark)or Tennessee(Zakai Zeigler) would take in a heart beat. Pertain to think of it, the Cougars would not have actually minded that arrangement themselves one year earlier. Kelvin Sampson’s group had to play the 2022 competition without both Sasser and Mark due to season-ending injuries. However, UH reached the Elite 8. Something tells me Houston’s ceiling in its present situations is still quite high.Alabama is also handling injuries.
What are the chances we could lose at least another No. 1 seed prior to the Last Four?John Gasaway: The chances are much better than they’ve been in a while due to the fact that we’re currently down to just two top seeds left. We have actually also seen both of the remaining No. 1 seeds look beatable in the current past. The first half Houston bet Auburn left the Cougars tracking by 10 points (though Sampson’s group did end up winning easily). Alabama appears to have actually conquered its late-season malaise that included an overtime win at South Carolina and a loss at Texas A&M.
We might have a Last 4 without a top seed for the first time since 2011, however today, the chances are against it.Myron Medcalf: After enjoying Arizona, Purdue and Kansas lose, I’m not sure anything will surprise me. However I likewise think there are tiers amongst the front runners. Houston and Alabama have actually played at a level above the field. I ‘d put Kansas in that group, but the Jayhawks didn’t have their head coach, which I think mattered. Purdue faced questions about its depth all season.Alabama signed up 132 points per 100 belongings in a 21-point win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, even with Brandon Miller going scoreless in 19 minutes. I think Alabama and Houston– supplied the Cougars can stay as near to healthy as possible– will be tough to knock off prior to the Final Four.
Absolutely nothing is difficult, but I believe they remain in a different class.Jeff Borzello: Alabama and Houston were the only 2 1-seeds I had advancing past the Sugary food 16, so I’ve felt Kansas and Purdue were susceptible for a while. And I still believe both the Crimson Tide and the Cougars will find themselves in the Last 4. It wouldn’t be a substantial shock to see one of them fall,
however.Houston will have a challenging Sweet 16 matchup versus either Miami or Indiana, two groups that can really score. And after that Texas, which burnt out Kansas two times in eight days earlier this month, could wait for in the Elite 8. I’m less worried about Alabama, with 2-seed Arizona already knocked out. However San Diego State is going to present a various kind of defense than the Crimson Tide have actually seen in weeks, and
neither Baylor nor Creighton would be a pushover in the Elite Eight.Taking into account the past number of days, who do you have going to the Last Four?Jeff Borzello: I had Alabama, Marquette, Houston and UConn before the tournament started. After three days of action, I’ll opt for Alabama, Marquette, Houston and UConn. No wavering over here!John Gasaway: I’m riding with my initial 4, and they’re all still here!(At this writing.)Offer me Houston, UCLA, Marquette and Alabama. Fingers crossed.Myron Medcalf: Alabama, Marquette, UConn, Xavier