Hampton cruises and Ole Miss outguns BYU in classic shootout

Hampton fans will not have to talk just about their 15th seed upset over Iowa State 58-57 in Boise, Idaho way back in 2001 anymore (remember Tarvis Williams hitting a 4-footer with 6.9 seconds left?  Once Iowa State raced back the other way and their attempt at winning the game missed, it was all jubilation on the Manhattan bench).

A firm ‘belief’ that a higher power would carry a team to victory

That was because they completely took away the Jaspers of Manhattan’s key offensive weapons and breezed into their possible date with destiny and undefeated Kentucky Thursday night (9:40 p.m. or thereabouts Eastern time on CBS) in the Louisville pod.

The final score was 74-64, but it was not really that close.  Manhattan missed 19 shots from long range and only made 37 percent of their shots.  Also, 17 turnovers did not help matters.

Hampton utilized a 20-2 advantage in fast break points as Reginald Johnson shared high scoring honors with Quinton Chievous with 15 points each.

Chievous, a former transfer from Tennessee scored 11 of his 15 points and 10 of his 13 rebounds during the first half when the Pirates led 38-31.  But hopefully, he will be fine to go on Thursday after injuring his ankle late in the game.

But the really cute thing caught by some people using the Vine app on their smartphones inside the Dayton Arena was after a made free throw with 24 seconds left.  In the background, you can clearly see most of the players on the Hampton bench clapping their feet against the playing surface–all in a gentle nod toward the Cleveland Indians’ rally cry in the movie Major League.

Yes, I do have Kentucky winning it all as my bracket will point that out succinctly and very clearly.

At the very least, Manhattan can savor their first NCAA Tournament win since 2001.

A tale of two different halves as Ole Miss outguns BYU

Brigham Young was the highest scoring team in the nation.  Even the most astute of Brigham Young alumni in Eyewitness News ABC7 New York weekend weather meteorologist Amy Freeze can attest, when the Cougars get hot from behind the arc–they usually stay hot.

And for the first 20 minutes, they put on a major shooting exhibition.

First, it was Kyle Collinsworth.  Then, Tyler Haws hit one towards the end of the first half–and you guessed it, following a missed shot by the Rebels, Haws calmly drained yet another three to carry them to a 36-32 lead at the break.

But the second half was all Rebels.

Thinking long and hard in the back of their minds on how the school squandered a four point lead late in that first round game in Oklahoma City to tiny Valparaiso way back in 1998, they weren’t going to let that happen again.

BYU holds the longest comeback in a tournament game from the 2012 First Round when they stormed back from a 25 point deficit to stun Iona.

Well, Iona lost in the NIT as well–so I guess, misery loves company.

Ole Miss put up a mind boggling 62 points in the second half.  The Cougars could only manage 41 in a stunning 94-90 decision.

Yes, Amy and other BYU alumni that might be reading–that 62 point total was not an error.

The 184 total points by both teams fell eight points short of the two-team record set by Kentucky and Indiana in the 2012 Sweet Sixteen round.

Stefan Moody keyed a 15-2 run and ended the great career of Tyler Haws, who broke Jimmer Fredette’s all-time school record with over 2,700 points by finishing as the game’s high scorer with 33 on 13 of 23 shooting.

The key stat on the night was BYU turned over the ball 15 times, which led to 27 Rebels points.  Conversely, Ole Miss coughed up the ball only seven times.

Both teams shot 138 times, with Ole Miss going a ridiculous 36 of 80 (60 percent in the second half alone) and BYU finished a respectable 28 of 58 from the floor.

The Rebels earn a date in Jacksonville with the sixth seed Xavier Musketeers at 3:40 p.m. Eastern time Thursday on TBS.

Wednesday’s doubleheader will have North Florida taking on Robert Morris and the host Dayton Flyers should get a raucous crowd ready for the NCAA Tournament’s first true home court game since 1987 when Dallas Comegys led DePaul to a stunning second round upset over Lou Carnesecca and his St. John’s squad at the old Rosemont Horizon.

Dayton’s 11 seed opponent will be Boise State.

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