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Basketball Is A Zero Sum Game, But Analysis Is Not

A blowout win over Marshall, the defending champ. A three-point loss to the most talented team in the league, WKU.

This was not a bad weekend even if North Texas dropped from 2nd to a tie for 3rd (really fourth given the tie-breaker against WKU). NT is still in a great spot for a top-five spot.

Next week NT travels to Florida to take on the FAU/FIU squads and that will wrap up the regular regular season.

If you forgot, or did not know that the league then goes into Bonus Play where the league is divided into three pods — 1-5, 6-10, 11-14 — and a round-robin mini-league will take place.

Right now the current top five in CUSA is like this:

1st — ODU / UTSA 9-3 — as of this writing ODU is playing MTSU
3rd — WKU / UNT 8-4
5th — Southern Miss

North Texas has lost to every one of these teams except for USM, and it required a game-winning layup from Michael Miller with seconds to go. ODU handled NT easily. UTSA required a travel+ miracle shot to win. Western just beat NT.

The league says Bonus Play scheduling will be determined based on “a preset formula” but I imagine that will be something like the seeding determining the home team. In that guesstimate, NT would (right now) play on the road at ODU, UTSA, WKU, and host Southern Miss (again).

Western

Losing to WKU was always likely. The oddsmakers gave NT a two-point favorite designation but the matchups favor WKU. The most talented team in the league had struggled early but had recently begun to figure things out. Charles Bassey is a future NBAer and against NT’s frontline, we were in store for another ODU.

NT needed shooting and instead begun the game as brick-layers. The second half saw the kind of energy and sharpshooting the will win games, but it was too little, too late. NT dropped a game in front of one of the largest crowds in a decade.

Marshall

NT jumped out to a lead and dominated the Herd from start to finish. This is the kind of thing that is hard to interpret. Marshall lost by 50 to USM the other night and that is the kind of thing that makes any win feel unimpressive.

When you read the roster, you see why you should be rewriting the media guide, though. Jon Elmore was an NCAA Tourney hero, and lead the Herd to a conference tourney title.

What Should We Think?

North Texas is in a good spot — 20 wins! — and is playing like one of the better teams in this league. The latter was expected in pre-season, and while it is frustrating to lose an opportunity game against Western, there are plenty of chance to win this league and this tournament to earn an NCAA tourney bid.

Western and ODU are the toughest matchups because of their size. On the right day, NT can overcome that with superior shooting and good pace. We saw how that would look when NT made the big comeback in the second half vs the Toppers.

As it stands, I like NT’s chances against any of the top-five on the right day. NT matches up better with UTSA, and Southern Miss but both of those games came down to the wire. Both of those teams are playing even better than they were then, also. One more week to go and we get our first taste of Bonus Play.

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North Texas wins 76-75, Come Back From Down 16

Sometime during the initial five minutes of the game, I tweeted that North Texas could blow this thing open if they continued their way of playing. That did not happen.

I also wrote that any lead in this league is unsafe. This proved true. North Texas could not shoot at all through most of the game. They shot a miserable 35% from the floor to the point where they found themselves down 16 to Rice when Josh Parrish made a layup to make things 68-52 with 7:06 left.

From then on North Texas’ full-court press produced results and ultimately won the game for the Mean Green. Rice scored only seven more points in the final 7:06 while NT roared back thanks to timely steals, some late free throws, and layups.

The hero, if one can be found in a total team comeback, was Mike Miller. He scored 7 points down the stretch and played some good defense that included a clutch block in the final stretch.

Jordan Duffy, however, was the man who started things off with a big five points — a three pointer followed up by a layup + a FT attempt (missed).

The comeback was not without the benefit of fortune. Rice turned the ball over, made some bad decisions, and the refereeing went North Texas’ way in a number of possessions late. This, of course, is common when one team is the aggressor.

NT came into this one being the better team, but without having played particularly well for long stretches of the last few games. They had to mount a comeback before losing late to UTSA. They had to rally from a larger margin in this one.

Leading Scorers

  • Woolridge – 14 ponts 8 rebounds 4 assists
  • Duffy – 19 points 4 reb
  • Gibson – 15 points 2 assists

What It Means

North Texas is 17-2 and 5-1 on the season in conference play, which temporarily puts the Mean Green on top of the standings. Marshall and UTSA are currently playing.

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North Texas Falls to 16-2, Loses to UTSA in SA

Sometime after the game the players leave their locker room and don athleisure wear and meander out of the locker room. The crowd of an announced 2600+ that was just loudly cheering for or against the comeback was now quiet, talking about free Whataburger.

It was a bit of a strange scene. North Texas had comeback from down as many as 9 points against a scruffy UTSA squad in the Convocation Center. North Texas held Jhivvan Jackson to 0-7 on his first attempts until he got unglued and came alive late. In fact both Jackson and Keaton Wallace were held to a combined 8-28 shooting.

The Mean Green had struggles from deep early. Umoja Gibson went 1-9 from deep, and NT went 8-29 from distance themselves.

North Texas was outplayed through the first 2/3rds of the game because of turnovers, missed shots, and fouls. It looked to us — the green side — like the refs were a little near-sighted but these are the breaks of playing in CUSA and playing on the road in general.

When the lead was big and time was short, North Texas played with aggression. Woolridge and Jordan Duffy were attacking the bucket and getting layups, and occasionally drawing fouls. The defense was holding UTSA to one shot and pushing the ball with purpose.

Oh and Roosevelt Smart starting hitting jumpers. He finished with five threes and led the balanced NT attack with 18. None were bigger than the two buckets to tie the game at 71 and the one to tie it at 74. Mixed in there were some Jhivvan Jackson layups as he got unstuck.

North Texas forced a Jackson miss but couldn’t get the ball — only the fifth offensive rebound for UTSA — and then Jackson got a miracle falling-away shot off with 3 ticks left that dropped. A full-court, Laettner shot from Zachary Simmons went wide and that was that.

NT’s comeback fell short by two.

Random Thoughts

  • The crowd was a nice shade of green. I cannot say how many exactly there were, but it was a solid crowd. At least four of the sixteen rows of section 101 were 90% NT fans. MGN brought seven people. There were green-clad fans throughout the gym.
  • North Texas plays much better when they play with purpose.
  • At least one timeout-crowd gag was a dude. The “smile-cam” saw no one smile. The PA announcer seemed pretty disappointed.
  • MGN tried the North/Texas chant twice. We had little participation that I could hear. The sound is weird in that gym so that may be just me.
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North Texas Men’s Basketball Falls to Oklahoma 73-57

Mean Green basketball was 8-0 coming into this game and had a big regionally televised game against Oklahoma on the road tonight. NT had every reason to figure it could compete reasonably well in this one.

Last year, NT went to Norman and only lost by ten to a Trae Young-led Sooner squad. It could be argued that if were not for the future-NBA first round pick NT would have triumphed then.

Tonight, NT did not play nearly as well. NT shot 29% in the first half … and the second. Meanwhile, Oklahoma figured out how to shoot in the second half.

NT was down just two at the end of the first half thanks to the shooting of Roosevelt Smart — he had 11 in the first — and then sort of fell apart in the final seven minutes.

Why Did They Lose?

Poor shooting.

Oklahoma is better than the teams North Texas beat up on to this point. There is a little debate among the Mean Green fans about this — we knew they had not played anyone of note just yet but there is some value in doing this. It allows you to get a nice run out and work on some things with a little bit of a safety net.

Whatever the situation, the Sooners were more athletic, and more skilled than the previous competition and it sure seemed like that caused some of the early turnovers. North Texas had to go to their second and third options on offense and did not make those decisions quickly enough.

As they settled into things (both teams) stopped turning the ball over a ton, and NT started playing NT basketball, hitting shots, getting to the rim and pushing the pace.

In the second half, the Mean Green fell into the same traps, but couldn’t defend Oklahoma as well. Zach Simmons dunked and put NT up by two briefly (for :13) before Oklahoma went on a run.

What Does It Mean?

In the long run? Not much. This is mostly a learning experience. NT could have used the hype of a win in Norman but the path to any kind of notoriety for this team was always going to come via the CUSA Tournament and a possible NCAA bid through that path.

The non-conference schedule is weak, but again the CUSA Bonus Play rounds will attempt to fix that if NT can win early in league play.

Who Played Well?

Roosevelt Smart came back from injury and put in 13, but did not shoot well overall. He is working his way back into the groove. Zach Simmons did not score as well, but rebounded well. Ryan Woolridge played really well in certain aspects, but was a little loose with the ball as he tried to make things happen late. He finished with 17.

Next Up

Indiana State on the road and UT Arlington at the Super Pit.

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North Texas Wins 2018 CBI Tournament 88-77 Over San Francisco Dons

North Texas basketball won the CBI Tournament Final 88-77 in a game that meant very little nationally, but very much to the program.

Cheap jokes were made, but the uninformed only ever have surface level observations. To truly understand a moment one has to pay attention to the details.

The CBI is not prestigious, but North Texas basketball was not playing for prestige. It was playing for respect, and for themselves, and for the fans, and mostly again for themselves.

The CBI need not be covered like the NCAA tournament, but it is silly to think that the effort and competition were somehow less intense or less meaningful.

Tonight, was memorable.

Every so often in the life of a program there is a very special game that sticks in the collective minds of the fans. The Johnny Jones era of Mean Green ball had the Texas Tech victory game in which North Texas beat a Big 12 team. It was not quite a culmination of of things, but it stood out as a glimmer of what the program could be while also validating the success of previous campaigns. NT had won 20 games four straight years (and would go on to win 20 again in that 2010-2011 season) with two NCAA Tournament appearances in that time.

Beating Tech during the season was supposed to kick off the next era.

As far as collegiate basketball venues go, the Pit is decent. The greatest venues are great not because of sight lines, but because of memories.

The Tech game was a highlight but supposed to be supplanted by new and better memories. Tony Mitchell, Chris Jones, and Jordan Williams were supposed to carry the program to new and higher heights. Instead, well, you know what happened. North Texas followed six straight winning seasons (including five straight 20+ win seasons) with four losing seasons and one .500 year.

This was never about the CBI. This was always about returning the program to the path it was on from 2001-2012. The fans and supporters that endured the grind from an underperforming afterthought to a Tournament-bound, and consistent league contender were ready for the next step.

Winning the CBI means that basketball is back.

To know that you had to be paying attention.

The Game

North Texas beat a good team, let us acknowledge that here, but one that was at a disadvantage against NT. Frankie Ferrari is good, and has turned the Dons into a 20-game winner, with designs on returning the program to its previously lofty heights himself.

The Dons made 12 threes, on 37.5% shooting and 42% in the second period. Frankie the former Uber man made all five of his threes in the second half and fifteen of his nineteen in the second. USF made a nice little run to make things interesting but NT was able to put them away fairly easily.

North Texas was always the better team but San Francisco is the better executing squad. Tonight, the talent of NT and the improved offensive and defensive execution won the day. Roosevelt Smart had 25 in 39 minutes, wreaking havoc on the USF defensive plan, and Ryan Woolridge controlled the game.

AJ Lawson has struggled to find a consistent rhythm all season but looked like the slashing scorer NT needed. He had 12 huge points including 10 in the second half on 3/3 shooting and 4/6 from the line.

In one four-minute stretch he had an assist, two jumpers and a layup.

USF survived off second-chance points even without JR forward Matthew McCarthy, putting up 18 to NT’s 4. They also got points off of NT turnovers — scoring 19.

In the end, though, it was NT’s superior ability to get to the rim and really, wherever they wanted that was the difference. The Mean Green shot better — 40% from deep — in this one and that helped. In this series North Texas has won all but two halves — the first in game one and the final in this one, in which they simply tied at 50.

What It Means

North Texas basketball is back. Most people felt like Grant McCasland woud be able to right the ship. Few expected another 20-win season from the man who got Arky St to that number last season. Yet, here we are. NT has won 20 games for the first time since that aforementioned season wherein they beat Tech in the Pit.

The good feelings and new memories will carry over into the summer and build up the good will for the next season. It helps that the CBI has branded itself as the launching pad for NCAA tournament success. Things are looking up for this program, as you no doubt have seen written in this space this season. The league has had one of the better seasons in all of college basketball and North Texas competed well within it.

WKU, ODU, and Middle Tennessee all lost quality players. Marshall may lose more. The offseason will bring new faces into all of the league’s 14 programs, but North Texas has the one of the more intriguing returning squads of them all.

All of last offseason NT was selling hope and now the ticket sellers and outreach staff can sell results. That is big.

But you knew that because you, unlike some others, were paying attention to the details.

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2018 CBI Final Game 3: North Texas vs San Francisco

Sometime after the game wrapped on Wednesday night, Your Favorite Blogger (YFB) decided to put off a hastily written recap to enjoy time with his family. Work emergencies, snooze buttons, and the movement of the earth through time and space later, it is the day of game three and no recap is in draft form.

So it goes.

On the eve of the Final Four in San Antonio, somewhere on your dial — ESPN U — you can watch the Mean Green battle San Francisco one last time in the Spring of 2018 for the College Basketball Invitational tournament. This three-game series has familiarized us all with Frankie Ferrari, he of the small stature but big shot making ability. Three games have shown that if North Texas is engaged defensively, and shooting decently, then the Dons are not up to the task of winning.

Last game, the Super Pit creaked to life like it has not been since the very early days of the Tony Mitchell era, when he was blocking and rebounding and supposed to put North Texas on the minds of all the important college basketball people. Football is a spectacle, but basketball is a religious experience.

This tournament has felt like the Revival Weeks at my old church. Instead of the typical Sunday/Wednesday meetings we would do an everyday service while a visiting preacher(s) would reignite the spiritual flame of the congregation with the same old words told in new, fresh ways. So it has been for North Texas. The Super Pit is still the same, the game is still basketball, but old fans have renewed passion for their team.

If everything goes to plan, North Texas should win this game fairly easily. The loss on Monday and the mid-game struggles on Wednesday were caused by defensive lapses and poor shooting. San Francisco can shoot the ball really well, but they have yet to show they can consistently get their own shots in individual matchups, or punish North Texas at the rim. McCasland’s defense has been quick to help but USF has found the shooters with skip passes and quick ball movement.

When Duffy and Smart are on, NT has played extremely well. Ryan Woolridge has been great in this tournament — and all season — but he still will turn the ball over. Unfortunately, NT does not have anyone at his ball handling level, and has gotten in trouble when anyone else has to do more than cross over and go. Last game NT feasted on turnovers and got easy buckets at the rim. For a team that has lost it’s hot shooting touch (see table below) NT needed all the easy stuff it could get.

Opp 3FG 3FGA 3FG %
USD 14 34 41.18%
Mercer 12 29 41.38%
Jacksonville St 14 20 70.00%
USF G1 4 21 19.05%
USF G2 2 18 11.11%

Every coach will tell you that the shots will not always fall, but you can always control defense and effort. This team has not executed well defensively for all 40 minutes, but has shown the effort. The defense won game two, and will be very necessary for this deciding game three.

North Texas is the slightest of favorites tonight: last check showed a -4.5 edge for the Mean Green. Zach Simmons was briefly hurt last game, and Frankie Ferrari sat with a bad ankle for a bit. Ferrari only averages 11 points per contest, and has not really gone off this series, but he has found his teammates for easy buckets and makes the offense look much more crisp when he is the conductor. In Game 1 he had nine assists of the USF 20 total. That tied the opponent high for the season (Oklahoma had 20 in November). Wednesday, Frankie managed five of ten (with four turnovers).

If he is not at 100% that should bode well for NT.

If you are in the DFW area, you should make every attempt to get to the Pit for tonight’s game. Whatever the outcome, the experience should be memorable and that is all that one can hope for.

The Details

Game 3 of the CBI Finals

  • U of San Francisco (22-16) at U of North Texas (19-18)
  • 6PM CDT
  • Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
  • TV: ESPNU

Other Things

CUSA has had a remarkable postseason run. Marshall made it to the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament, WKU went to the NIT semi final at Madison Square Garden, Middle got a win in the NIT before bowing out, and even UTSA got a win in the CBI tournament. A win tonight would mean CUSA would have its sole championship winner in a postseason tournament by league’s 7th seed. North Texas will have won 20 games, putting Grant McCasland at 20 wins each of the last two seasons (he won 20 at Ark St). This tournament run has been helpful for all of the young player getting time in meaningful games. Whatever the outcome, the development time is already in the bag.

Aside from that, the renewed excitement surrounding the program is infectious. Winning tonight will carry over into next season, the support and attention is valuable, the kind of thing that athletic departments and higher ups dream of. All things considered, this tournament run could not have turned out better.

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USF Holds On To Beat North Texas in CBI Tournament Final Game 1: 72-62

We have to use a different set of sports fan skills in (over)reacting to the game one loss last night. Typically college sports is all about the singular moment of a handful of games. One shining moment, etc. The CBI’s unusual three-game final series is unique in this regard. I like it, as it spreads the drama and entertainment. Anything can happen in a game, but over a series of games the better team usually prevails. I do not have the data to tell you anything about a three-game series, but I do prefer it in this context. We can be patient. North Texas is still the better team even if the first half of last night’s game looked otherwise.

USF was favored last night so losing to the Dons was not completely unexpected, but opening the game by missing everything and defending no one was. The Mean Green had a few open looks and missed those. They had a few contested looks, and missed those. Meanwhile, the USF and Ferrari were stroking jumpers with only casual resistance.

The Dons made 12 threes in the first half but went only 1-12 for most of the second (before hitting one or two to close things out in the final minute). NT scored 30 and 32 points in the first and second halves, while the Dons had 46 and 26. There was a comeback as North Texas looked like the better, more athletic team in the second half and USF started missing. Our guys scrambled, turned the ball over too much, and could not score at the kind of clip needed to make it all the way back. There were missed layups and missed free throws and our best shooters were off.

For all the praise we deservedly gave the Mean Green squad this tournament, this team is far from complete. Still, there was plenty to like in that loss. The players played hard, if not well. They got back in the game, and did not give up.

The series is back in Denton and this is now a must-win elimination game. The urgency that has been in every tournament game since first round of the CUSA Tournament is back. That will help, but focus on defense and the confidence that comes with making open shots will help more.

Observations

  • USF prepared for Ryan Woolridge by not trying to outrace him, and simply meeting him at the rim. Zach Simmons should continue to get all of the rebounds, but North Texas only got 51% of the total rebounds. USF kept a few important possessions alive with big offensive boards that killed the rally.
  • The announcers are clearly 3rd string and we cannot complain too loudly. Still, it will get a bit irritating hearing them clearly repeat just-learned knowledge so inartfully this week. Also I hate car puns.
  • Ryan Woolridge did not have one of his better games and the entire team looked off because of it. He is so important to what this team does, because of his vision, ball handling, and speed.
  • Jorden Duffy took a couple of awful shots in this one. A comeback has to increase risk-taking but that usually means taking the first good shot available and not the first shot.

Next for North Texas

North Texas is at home on Wednesday. Game 2 is obviously hugely important and the crowd should be loud. USF is good, but I think NT is a little bit better athletically and that showed in the second half. NT won that by six and only ran out of time. It is silly to say, but that is why you do not let first half leads get out of hand. NT was down 12 and suddenly the half ended at 16.

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North Texas Dominates JSU 90 – 68, Into CBI Final

Once upon a time, North Texas Basketball seemed like it was going to be really good. NT had a future NBA player and a handful of really good recruits. Then it all disappeared and for the last five years fans who remember that time have filled the ears of anyone who would listen of stories of that time.

Seeing this NT basketball team dominate a team so completely in a postseason game in front of a fun crowd is almost like a dream. It is something like an oasis. The Mean Green have thoroughly dominated three good, solid college basketball teams in this postseason tournament on the way to the CBI Final. I never knew I would care so deeply about a tournament that I so recently learned about but so it is.

This is the second straight game NT has won at home after scoring 90 points. Even though they scored fewer points than on Monday, the shooting was even better. NT shot a blistering 62% from the field and 70% from three on 14/20 shooting. CBI records are and were falling every time NT has stepped on the floor this March.

Roosevelt Smart was your leading scorer with a mere 20 in an efficient night — shooting 6/12 shooting. Jorden Duffy hit all five of his three balls on the way to 19 points. This of course after the two combined for 62 points on Monday. If they were asked to score more, they could have and likely would have. Instead the rest of the roster contributed buckets upon buckets. DJ Draper was left alone to hit 4/5 from three also.

This game was never in doubt as (for real this time) North Texas led from tip to buzzer. Duffy hit the first bucket of the game and NT never looked back. The Mean Green led by five at the 16:57 mark and never looked back. The Gamecocks never got closer than that the rest of the way. By halftime the lead was 28.

What do we make of this incredible series of games? NT has famously (now) gone to an all-guard lineup and the change has been dramatic. Spacing in basketball — pro and college — has always been the name of the game, and this era even more so. With Mike Miller shooting with his right hand now — that story is so crazy — NT has three shooters, a ball handler, and a big man that can finish on the court. Add to this combination an increase in tempo and a solid, active defense, and the result is a team that cannot be stopped by the CBI field.

North Texas has a nice little break before the Monday CBI Final Game 1 (yes, this is a strange tournament). For a sneak peak at the possible competition watch Campbell at San Francisco tomorrow on ESPN3 at 9 CDT.

Much has been made of the fact that Nevada and Loyola Chicago the 2016 and 2015 champs, respectively, are facing off in this year’s Sweet 16. If this tournament is any indication of the progress we can expect North Texas to make next year, then Wren Baker will have an easy time selling season tickets.

Grant McCasland is two wins away from 20 on the season. This is really happening. GMG

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North Texas Dominates Mercer in CBI Quarterfinal 96 – 67, Advance To Semifinal on Wednesday Night

Who knew North Texas was destined to dominiate in the College Basketbal Invitational? I gather that no one thought this nor knew that this particular tournament existed. Here we are now and the Mean Green are giving little glimpses into what Grant McCasland had cooking up in his head.

At Baylor Scott Drew was known for adapting his playing style to the talent of the team on his roster. This may seem like extreme common sense but it is not that common. Grant McCasland has had only two D1 level squads that we can judge and in both situations he was adapting to the roster of a program he inherited.

The above is a long way of saying we did not know exacly what to expect from coach Mac. After the disaster before him, anything resembling a coherent program was going to be fine with most observers.

The early roster makeup and early games looked like North Texas was going to push the pace and be something like the team we have seen in this CBI. Because of injury — Umoja Gibson and Jorden Duffy — NT has played a slower, more deliberate pace that ranked as one of the slowest in the league.

Against South Dakota and tonight against Mercer, the Mean Green have been attacking with pace, using a smaller, quicker lineup with shooters.

Duffy has been the guy we thought he would be along side Rose Smart. He had 19 against USD while Rose had 34. Tonight, they put on show. There was little-to-no drama about the outcome after a point but there was drama around which NT player would be the leading scorer.

In the end, they both had 31 points. Duffy did it from deep, knocking down 6/10 from beyond the arc to go along with his four assists and two steals. Rose Smart went 8/20 including 4/13 from deep, but added eleven boards and went 11/12 from the stripe.

North Texas shot 55% for the game and held Mercer to 35% from the floor including an abysmal 5/26 (19%) from three, where they live and die.

This sleek NT starting five — Woolridge, Duffy, Smart, Miller, and Simmons — came out ready to attack. Tope Arikawe split the minutes at the five spot pretty evenly with Simmons and was a +23 in that time.

The win has put NT in position to host the semifinal round of the CBI on Wednesday night. The crowd was good and rowdy, filling long time fans with nostalgia for the late Johnny Jones era when good basketball at the Pit was a given, and post season fun was expected.

The Denton crowd has a chance to repeat the performance and so does North Texas. The CBI Tournament final is an unusual set up wherein the two entrants play a three-game series to determine the champion. Depending on the situation, North Texas has a chance to host as many as three more games in this event.

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North Texas Men’s Basketball Wins CBI First Round Game Over South Dakota 90-77

North Texas has one postseason win. No doubt you read Greg’s CBI First Round preview of South Dakota. So you know how difficult this game was going to be.

Then a little March Craziness. South Dakota was favored by someting like 13 points and proceeded to get run out of their own building.

Mercer beat Grand Canyon on the road and will now face North Texas in the CBI quarterfinal round. From what I can tell, NT will host the game at the Super Pit on March 19th. Beyond that and the tournament is re-bracketed afterward so there is no telling who will be on the schedule past then.

CBI Bracket can be found here.

Roosevelt Smart scored 23 points in the second half as he demoralized the Yote’s radio announcer. The man was devastated with each additional three point haymaker.

Michael Miller incredibly added 19 points on 4/5 shooting from beyond the arc. Jorden Duffy added 19. North Texas stuck with a six-man rotation of Smart, Miller, Duffy, Simmons, Woolridge, and Draper. NT shot well from the line, but the real story was how poorly South Dakota shot.

In front of what looked like a very mediocre crowd, Matt Mooney and company shot only 37% from the field including an awful 18.2% from deep. USD made a valiant attempt at a comeback but the 22 poitn deficit was too much.

Zach Simmons had seventeen rebounds and nine points. Woolridge added nine assists.

NT improved to 16-17 on the season.