Albuquerque Journal

Islanders get 1st-ever NCAA Tournament win

No. 1 NIT seed Rutgers falls


DAYTON, Ohio — Isaac Mushila had 15 points and 12 rebounds as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi held off Southeast Missouri State 75-71 to earn the first NCAA Tournament win in program history.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi went 3 of 4 at the free-throw line in the final 15 seconds to ice the game and advance to play top-seeded Alabama in the South Region.

The 16th-seeded Islanders (24-10), winners of the Southland Conference, returned to the First Four for a second straight season and led for all but 23 seconds in the opening game of this NCAA Tournament.

Jalen Jackson led the Islanders with 22 points, going 14 of 18 at the freethrow line

Chris Harris scored 23 points before fouling out for No. 16 seed Southeast Missouri State (19-17), the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champion. The Redhawks went 9 of 20 at the free-throw line and shot 47% from the field.

Also from Dayton, Jamarius Burton made a go-ahead jumper with 10 seconds left and Pitt edged Mississipp­i State 60-59 in a back-and-forth First Four game that featured 21 lead changes — most in the NCAA Tournament in five years.

Mississipp­i State had a great chance to win at the end, but Shakeel Moore missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner with two seconds remaining and D.J. Jeffries’ tip-in attempt was off target just before the buzzer.

Nelly Cummings led Pitt with 15 points as the Panthers (23-11) won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 2014

NIT: In Piscataway, New Jersey, Hofstra knocked off one of the four No. 1 seeds in the tournament with an 88-86 victory over Rutgers. And that result has potential implicatio­ns for New Mexico.

The Lobos, who play Utah Valley Wednesday night in the Pit, are seeded second in the same NIT quadrant as Rutgers. It now means the Lobos would have homecourt priority if it reaches the tournament’s third round.

However, the Pit won’t be available for the third round, scheduled for either March 21-22, because the building is turned over to Profession­al Bull Riders (PBR) for its annual visit to Albuquerqu­e — this time set for March 24-26.

UNM of course would have to win Wednesday and then Sunday vs. Tuesday’s Seton Hall-Colorado matchup for the conflict to even matter.

HIRINGS: Longtime NBA guard Damon Stoudamire was announced Tuesday as new men’s coach at Georgia Tech, taking over a program he thinks can once again be a national powerhouse. It capped a whirlwind search that took only three days after Josh Pastner was fired following another losing season.

Stoudamire’s only previous head coaching experience came at Pacific where he posted a 71-77 record over a five-year tenure.

Wyoming assistant Sundance Wicks is taking over at Green Bay, its athletic director Josh Moon announced Tuesday. Green Bay had been seeking a permanent replacemen­t for Will Ryan, who was fired Jan. 24 after going 15-61 in 2½ seasons.

ALL-AMERICA TEAM: Purdue’s Zach Edey and Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis have given the Big Ten Conference a third straight year with multiple first-team Associated Press All-America picks, while Kansas had a second straight first-teamer in Jalen Wilson.

The 7-foot-4, 305-pound Edey appeared on all 58 ballots as a firstteam selection from AP Top 25 voters as the lone unanimous pick.

Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Alabama’s Brandon Miller joined Edey and Wilson on the first team .


Here is what to know about the women’s NCAA Tournament, including the favorites and underdogs as well as key games and how to watch:

TOP SEEDS: They are South Carolina, Indiana, Virginia Tech and Stanford. Each is in a region, some tougher than others (on paper).

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The women’s tournament field is filled with stars, including South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, last season’s AP player of the year who is back in hopes of winning a second straight national title.

She will have plenty of competitio­n for the honor this year, including sharp-shooting Iowa star Caitlin Clark.

The field is also remarkable for the high number of internatio­nal players, a growing trend in women’s basketball. Alas, some of the top programs are also dealing with injuries to key players.

South Carolina

is a heavy favorite to become the first repeat champion in the women’s tournament since UConn won the last of four straight in 2016.


Selection Sunday set the brackets for First Four games (March 15-16) and first- and second-round games (March 17-20) at multiple sites across the country.

Sweet 16 weekend brings a twist this year for the women’s teams: There will be two regional sites instead of four, with Greenville, South Carolina, and Seattle each hosting eight teams.

Where is the women’s Final Four? In Dallas, where the semifinals are March 31 and the championsh­ip game is April 2. As it happens, the men’s Final Four is a four-hour drive down the road in Houston that same weekend.

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