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Zion Williamson scores 29 points in return from injury as Duke rolls Syracuse

PLAYERS OF THE DAY: Myles Powell, Seton Corridor and Zion Williamson, Duke

Whilst Williamson’s go back to motion used to be the focal point of many, the display that Powell placed on within the first part of Seton Corridor’s Giant East quarterfinal win over Georgetown used to be a sight to behold. Powell scored 29 of his 31 issues within the sport’s first 20 mins, a Giant East event document for issues in a part, outscoring the Hoyas by way of 4 with Seton Corridor taking a 53-25 lead into the part in a sport it might win 73-57.

Powell did get just a little banged up all over the second one part, in order that’s one thing to keep watch over as he and the Pirates face Marquette and Giant East Participant of the Yr Markus Howard (who lit up St. John’s for 30) in Friday’s 2d Giant East semifinal matchup.

Now, again to Williamson. The freshman performed 38 mins in his first motion since February 20, capturing 13-for-13 from the sphere and completing with 29 issues, 14 rebounds, 5 steals, two assists and one blocked shot in Duke’s 84-72 win over Syracuse. The one position the place Williamson confirmed any signal of rust used to be on the foul line, the place he shot simply 2-for-7 at the evening.

Subsequent up for he and the Blue Devils is a matchup with North Carolina, which swept the common season collection. Williamson performed a complete of 33 seconds on the ones video games because of the knee harm he suffered within the first assembly. Now he’s wholesome, and has a more potent pair of brogues to play in as neatly.

THURSDAY’S BUBBLE BANTER

TEAM OF THE DAY: West Virginia

There’s no sugarcoating the truth that West Virginia’s 2018-19 season has been a unhappiness, as Bob Huggins’ staff entered the Giant 12 event with a 12-19 document. However convention tournaments may give groups a shot at redemption, and the Mountaineers at the moment are within the Giant 12 semifinals after knocking off No. 7 Texas Tech Thursday evening, 79-74.

Emmitt Matthews Jr. scored a career-high 28 issues whilst additionally grabbing 8 rebounds, with Jordan McCabe including 13 issues, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Subsequent up for West Virginia is Kansas, and whilst the problem can be a hard one it might be silly to rule out the Mountaineers. And their run is one who has the eye of bubble groups around the nation, with the ones techniques hoping that West Virginia does now not finally end up being a “bid thief.”

ONIONS OF THE DAY: Terence Mann, Florida State

Of the 4 quarterfinals within the ACC just one went all the way down to the cord, with Four-seed Florida State and Five-seed Virginia Tech wanting 5 further mins to resolve the winner. The Seminoles complex, profitable 65-63 with Terence Mann’s floater with 1.Eight seconds last being the adaptation. Florida State complex to stand top-seed Virginia Friday evening within the first ACC semifinal.

And an honorable point out is going to Lengthy Seaside State’s Jordan Roberts, whose jumper with three-tenths of a 2d last gave the 49ers the 68-66 win over Hawaii in a Giant West quarterfinal matchup.

THURSDAY’S WINNERS

Ohio State: Some of the greatest “bubble video games” of the day used to be the Giant Ten 2d spherical matchup between Eight-seed Ohio State and Nine-seed Indiana, with the winner getting a shot at top-seed Michigan State on Friday. Chris Holtmann’s Buckeyes were given the task achieved, profitable 79-75 with Keyshawn Woods (18 issues, seven rebounds), Kaleb Wesson (17 issues, 13 rebounds) and C.J. Jackson (17 issues, 5 rebounds and 5 assists) main the way in which. Of the 2 groups the Buckeyes seemed to be in a greater spot on the subject of the NCAA event, and Thursday’s outcome does not anything to harm Ohio State’s case for inclusion.

Xavier: The Musketeers had been additionally locked in a bubble battle of types, with Giant East quarterfinal opponent Creighton additionally short of a win. Travis Steele’s staff beat the Bluejays by way of a 63-61 ultimate rating, with Zach Hankins’ tip-in with 27.Eight seconds last being the adaptation. Xavier’s veteran transfers made giant performs past due, with Hankins’ basket being adopted by way of a Kyle Castlin block of a Ty-Shon Alexander three-point strive within the sport’s ultimate seconds. How shut Xavier is to an NCAA event bid is up for debate, however they’ll have some other alternative to provoke the choice committee with Giant East champion Villanova being the opponent Friday evening.

Alabama: The Red Tide helped their case for an NCAA event bid with a 62-57 win over Ole Pass over Thursday afternoon in Nashville. Tevin Mack accounted for 21 issues and 6 rebounds off the bench, and Donta Corridor led a dominant effort at the glass with a game-high 15 rebounds. Alabama outscored Ole Pass over 38-19 in the second one part, and the praise is a matchup with 2-seed Kentucky on Friday. Avery Johnson’s staff will see Kentucky’s complete rotation, as Reid Travis (knee) has been cleared to play.

North Carolina: Within the first quarterfinal of Thursday’s night time consultation on the ACC event, 2-seed North Carolina complex with an 83-70 win over 7-seed Louisville. Luke Maye and Coby White scored 19 issues apiece to cleared the path, with the latter additionally shelling out six assists and committing only one turnover. Whilst a lot has been made in regards to the case for a 1-seed within the NCAA event that Duke could make now that Zion Williamson is again, North Carolina too can enhance its argument.

UNC gained each conferences with Duke, however with Williamson enjoying 33 seconds general in the ones video games some might glance to glue an asterisk to the consequences as whether it is North Carolina’s fault that he couldn’t play. Friday evening North Carolina and Duke meet once more, and a win for Roy Williams’ staff would most likely lock up a 1-seed without reference to what occurs Saturday evening.

Florida: The Gators had been inconsistent for a lot of this season, therefore their being a bubble staff within the eyes of many. Florida took care of commercial Thursday afternoon, getting rid of Arkansas (66-50) to advance to the SEC quarterfinals. Mike White’s staff, which used to be led by way of Keyontae Johnson (20 issues, 12 rebounds) will face LSU for the 3rd time this season Friday afternoon.

The Tigers, outright SEC common season champions, don’t lack for ability however given the whole lot that’s long gone on round that program lately possibly they’re inclined. Florida don’t lack for ability, however they haven’t been in a position to position all of it in combination. Friday can be a great time to modify that.

The %-12 place of business: The %-12 has been an absolute mess this season, so it might had been becoming for both common season champion Washington or runner-up Arizona State — the league’s best possible bets for an at-large bid — to get knocked off Thursday in Las Vegas. That didn’t occur, with the Huskies escaping USC’s disenchanted bid within the first sport of the day and the Solar Devils dealing with UCLA within the first sport fo the night time consultation.

Becoming a member of the ones two groups within the semifinals are Five-seed Colorado and 6-seed Oregon, arguably the 2 freshest groups within the %-12. Remaining month there have been critical conversations as as to if the %-12 can be a one-bid league. Will have to Colorado or Oregon win the automated bid, there’s a possibility that the convention finally ends up with 3 bids come Variety Sunday.

THURSDAY’S LOSERS

TCU: The excellent news for the Horned Frogs is they have shyed away from dropping their Giant 12 event opener Wednesday evening. The dangerous information: Jamie Dixon’s staff overlooked on its alternative to (in all probability) lock up an NCAA event bid, as TCU misplaced to top-seed Kansas State by way of a 70-61 ultimate rating. Now not counting Thursday’s effects TCU used to be ranked 48th within the NET, and the staff is now Nine-13 in video games in opposition to Quadrant 1/2 opposition. Is TCU’s resume just right sufficient as is? It can be given one of the vital different profiles up for debate, however the Horned Frogs would have slept a lot better had they pulled off the disenchanted.

Texas: There have been some who believed win over Kansas can be simply what the Longhorns had to seal a event bid. Shaka Sensible’s staff failed to take action, dropping to the Jayhawks by way of a 65-57 ultimate rating to fall to 16-16 at the season. No .500 staff has even won an at-large bid to the NCAA event, so at this level the Longhorns should hope that its power of agenda can sway the choice committee.

What makes issues even worse for Texas is the truth that freshman giant guy Jaxson Hayes suffered a left knee harm past due in the second one part of Thursday’s loss. Hayes’ well being is clearly a very powerful factor right here. Nevertheless it additionally offers the committee some other query to contemplate, particularly if the analysis isn’t a just right one.

Indiana: As famous above the matchup between the Hoosiers and Ohio State used to be a large one, and with its loss Archie Miller’s staff has to play the ready sport. Indiana has some just right wins on its resume, together with a sweep of Michigan State, however that 1-12 stretch previous this season might be an excessive amount of to conquer. The Hoosiers, ranked 51st within the NET, are Eight-15 in Quadrant 1/2 video games. 3 of the ones wins had been earned at the highway: Michigan State, Penn State and Illinois. NCAA or NIT? We’ll in finding out Sunday. However till then Indiana can best sit down at house and root for “chalk” within the convention tournaments which can be nonetheless being performed.

Creighton: The Bluejays may even need to undergo the uncomfortable wait because of their Giant East quarterfinal loss to Xavier. Ranked 54th within the NET, Greg McDermott’s staff is now Nine-14 in Quadrant 1/2 video games with its best possible win being a 66-60 win at Marquette again on March three. Creighton has as many Quadrant 1/2 wins as Ohio State, however the Bluejays gained’t be able so as to add some other to the ledger because of Thursday’s loss to Xavier.

St. John’s: Say this a lot for Indiana, which fought again to erase a 20-point deficit prior to dropping, and Creighton: no less than the ones groups competed. St. John’s, then again, fell in the back of Marquette early and didn’t seem all that involved in combating again because it misplaced by way of an 86-54 ultimate rating. And after the sport Chris Mullin declined at the alternative to politic on behalf of his staff.

The Pink Typhoon can level to house wins over Villanova and Marquette, however this may be a staff that misplaced each common season conferences to DePaul (they beat DePaul Wednesday evening) and didn’t play the hardest of non-conference slates both. St. John’s will most likely get into the sphere because of the wins over the Giant East’s two best possible groups, however Shamorie Ponds and corporate could also be headed to Dayton.

Maryland: Mark Turgeon’s staff has struggled with two issues for a lot of this season: sluggish begins and turnovers. All of it went improper Thursday, as Maryland used to be bounced from the Giant Ten event by way of Nebraska, 69-61. Maryland is clearly headed to the NCAA event and can in all probability put on its house uniforms for the opener. However the Terrapins is probably not there too lengthy primarily based upon how they performed in Chicago and this system’s fresh historical past in postseason play. The remaining time Maryland wasn’t one and achieved in both the Giant Ten or NCAA event: March 2016.

FINAL THOUGHT

With Duke’s Zion Williamson making his go back to sport motion Thursday, the talk of whether or not or now not he must be enjoying as soon as once more got here up. In fact there are those that imagine that Williamson must play, out of loyalty to his teammates and coaches. And there are those that had been (and nonetheless are) of the opinion that he can be best possible served to take a seat in preparation for his most likely being decided on with the primary total select in June’s NBA draft (if he comes to a decision to forego his ultimate 3 years of eligibility).

Everyone seems to be entitled to their opinion at the topic, however just one actually holds any weight: Zion’s. Had Williamson made up our minds that, within the aftermath of his harm, the danger used to be an excessive amount of and he sought after to give protection to himself from a long run profits point of view that will had been tremendous. Williamson’s choice to play as a result of, as he said in his postgame interview on ESPN, of his love for his teammates is completely tremendous as neatly.

The one “worry” must be whether or not or now not Williamson — or every other athlete in a an identical place — is in a position to make that call on their very own phrases.

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