Nembhard’s 25 carry Creighton past Arkansas in Maui thriller Curbelo, St. John’s wins Legends, top Syracuse 76-69 in OT NCAA awards Final Four to Las Vegas for first time No. 21 Texas Tech holds Louisville to lowest score since 1948 Strong 2nd half lifts No. 10 Bluejays past No. 21 Texas Tech Boston College defeats Wyoming for 3rd place at Paradise Jam

0
2

LAHINA, Hawaii. Ryan Nembhard drove down the lane with an authoritative last-minute dunk to score a season-high 25 points for No. 10 Creighton, who endured a tight second half by beating No. 9 Arkansas 90-87 on Tuesday to advance. for the Maui Invitational championship game.

Trey Alexander hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds left for Creighton, who will play for the title on Wednesday against No. 14 Arizona or No. 17 San Diego State.

The Bluejays (6-0) and the Razorbacks (4-1) had an electrifying second half worthy of a March Madness match. Arkansas have made the Elite Eight for consecutive seasons, with Creighton reaching the second round last year after moving to the Sweet 16 in 2021.

Ryan Kalkbrenner scored 21 points, Baylor Scheierman 20, and Alexander 12 for the Bluejays, who ended the first half with a 12-point lead.

Anthony Black scored 26 points, Ricky Council IV 24 and Trevon Brazil 17 for the Razorbacks.

There were 10 score changes and the game was tied 10 times in the second half.

Nembhard made two free throws after the Arkansas bench was whistled for a technical foul from 13:57 to a 53–53 draw. Creighton has been in double bonus for the last 13 minutes.

Nembhard, the shortest player on the court at 6 feet, dunked and led 79-76 with 2:34 left. The next time the Brazilian responded with three-pointers, leveling the score to 79.

Kalkbrenner backjammed with 1:20 left to give the Bluejays an 83-81 lead.

After Schuierman made two free throws to take an 87–84 lead with 16 seconds left, the Council conceded a third corner and Nembhard rebounded and was fouled. He made one of two free throws and Black went down to the floor and struck out the 3rd straight, taking Arkansas out for one. Then Alexander realized two insurance free throws.

Creighton took a 12-point lead with 1:43 left in the first half before the Sharp Backs closed out 6-0, culminating in Trevon Brazil’s thunderous pass-through dunk from Anthony Black.

THE BIG PICTURE

Creighton: The Bluejays’ free offense set up three players in double figures for halftime: Nembhard with 13 points, Scheierman with 11 and Kalkbrenner with 10.

Arkansas: It was a big step forward in the Razorbacks competition. They opened the season with easy home wins over the states of North Dakota, Fordham and South Dakota before beating winless Louisville by 26 points in the opener in Maui.

NEXT

Creighton will face either the Wildcats or the Aztecs in what should be another game worthy of the March Madness for the title.

Arkansas will face underdog SDSU-Arizona for third place.

NEW YORK. André Curbelo scored a career-high 23 points, Joel Soriano and David Jones scored a double-double, and the St. Johns dominated overtime, beating Syracuse 76-69 on Tuesday night to clinch the Vividseats Empire Classic at the Barclays Center.

Soriano had 19 points, a career-high, and 14 rebounds, while Jones had 18 and 13, and matched Curbelo’s six assists for the Red Storm (6-0), who beat Temple 78-72 in their classic opening game.

Both teams had shot clock violations in the last minute of the regulation before the Oranges missed a contested shot at the buzzer signal to leave the game tied at 65. Offensive problems continued into extra sessions before Jones was stopped midway through.

Jesse Edwards quickly returned them with a pair of free throws, but the St. Johns scored six points in a row, which was too much for Syracuse. The Oranges left the field 1 of 4, missed a one-on-one start and lost the ball four times in the extra session.

Four starters scored in double figures for Syracuse (3–2), led by Judah Mintz with 20 goals. Edwards had 18, Chris Bell had 12 and Benny Williams had 11 with 10 rebounds. Joe Girard had a terrible night, scoring four points on 1-of-10 shots of the night after scoring 31 points in overtime over Richmond in the first game of the classic.

Williams had five points and Mintz had four in a 9-0 series to give Syracuse a 19-8 lead midway through the first half. Red Storm closed the gap to three with Curbelo’s three-pointer with six seconds left, but Mintz converted a three-pointer with one second left to give the Oranges a 35–29 lead.

Syracuse took the lead back to 10, but the St. Johns went 16-2 and 56-52 ahead when Montes Mathis made two free throws at 8:17.

Syracuse was 3 of 16 from three-point range and shot 39%. St. Johnson was 40% and 7 out of 23 out of 3 points.

The Final Four is heading to Las Vegas for the first time, where NCAA Tournament betting has long been a staple of the March frenzy after the NCAA awarded the Allegiant Stadium men’s national semi-finals and championship game for the 2027-28 season.

The NCAA also announced Tuesday that Ford Field in Detroit will host the Final Four in 2027, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in 2029, and AT&T Stadium in Dallas in 2030.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the NCAA Major Championship in Las Vegas, a city that has hosted multiple championships for several member conferences over the years,” said Bradley Athletic Director Chris Reynolds, Chairman of the NCAA Selection Committee. “Reviews from the leagues, the fans of their teams and the media coverage of the events organized there have been extremely positive and we are confident that we will receive the same feedback.”

The national championship this season will be decided at NRG Stadium in Houston, while State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, Alamodom Stadium in San Antonio, and Lucas Oil Stadium have already been selected for the next three Final Fours.

The NCAA has long avoided holding major events in Las Vegas due to its reputation as the Mecca of gambling. But the stance has softened over the years, especially after sports betting became legal in states across the country and many leagues turned their glitzy arenas into the home of their post-season basketball tournaments.

Mountain West will play their championship game this season at Thomas & Mack Center, Pac-12 at T-Mobile Arena, West Coast Conference at Orleans Arena and WAC split between Michelob ULTRA Arena and Orleans Arena.

Las Vegas was already set to host nine other NCAA championships over the next four years, and the NCAA men’s tournament will be held there for the first time next March when the regional round is played at the T-Mobile Arena.

“We are delighted. It’s great to have such a big event in the city,” said Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Vegas has been a basketball city for decades. At the time, we had an interesting journey with the NCAA. It’s great to be able to work with the NCAA to bring their big event here and really celebrate what basketball is in this city.”

Las Vegas, once a pariah of sports, has suddenly become a destination. The NHL’s Raiders and Golden Knights are playing in gleaming new arenas, the NFL was so successful with the Pro Bowl last season that it’s bringing back a revamped version in February, and Formula One is returning to the Las Vegas Strip for the first time. time since 1982 next summer.

The other Final Four venues chosen on Tuesday have already hosted the men’s basketball championships multiple times.

Ford Field was the venue for the 2009 tournament when 72,922 fans filled the Detroit Lions’ home to watch North Carolina beat Michigan State. AT&T Stadium will also get its second Final Four after hosting it in 2014 when Connecticut beat Kentucky in front of a crowd of 79,238 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted the Final Four six times over the past 25 years, including the 2021 event, when the entire NCAA Tournament was played in front of a limited number of fans at venues scattered across Indiana. When it hosts the Final Four in 2029, Indianapolis will play Kansas City the most times in a 10-man title game.

“There’s been a lot of talk about how coaches, players, fans and the media love coming to the Final Four in Indianapolis, but I don’t think it’s overstating how much everyone enjoys their experience when they come,” Reynolds said. “People not only take big events, but they don’t take anything for granted.”

LAHINA, Hawaii. Texas Tech’s defensive identity was on full display against a Louisville team that was trying to find its way under freshman coach Kenny Payne.

The 21st-seeded Red Raiders took the Cardinals to their lowest level in 74 years in a 70-38 victory at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday, a record that continued Louisville’s worst season start since 1940-41.

“We’re going to dive into the floor, we’re going to play hard,” said Technological Institute freshman Robert Jennings. “We will make the teams feel uncomfortable. We’re going to be the team that people don’t want to play.”

Louisville had a pretty tough time on offense when they lost 80-54 to ninth-seeded Arkansas on Monday. On Tuesday things got much worse. The Cardinals shot 29% overall and 23% on 3-pointers, as well as 40 assists in two games.

“The two things I took away from Arkansas and Texas Tech were their defense and their ability to generate turnover,” Payne said. “It’s not about how qualified they are. It’s about their will.”

Kevin Obanore scored 15 points as he led the Red Raiders (4-1), who bounced back from a 76-65 loss to No. 10 Creighton on Monday, posting their highest defensive performance since Incarnate Word’s 37 points in 2018. .

“They were constantly imposing their will on us throughout the game and we were flipping the ball and we had poor shooting percentage because of them,” Payne said. “We have to learn from this and play the way they played.”

Louisville (0-5) went scoreless for over 10 minutes at halftime. The Cardinals conceded 13 field goals and two free throws as well as…



Source: collegebasketball.nbcsports.com