Category Archives: NCAA Tournament

WATCH: Auburn Fans Go Wild on Campus Celebrating Upset Over UNC

Auburn Tigers basketball wrapped up a statement victory on Friday night by upsetting No. 1 seed North Carolina in dominant fashion during the Sweet 16 of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels, who were a popular championship pick (after the Duke Blue Devils), were stunned and sent packing in a double-digit loss to Bruce Pearl’s squad.Not surprisingly, after the huge win, Auburn fans had plenty to celebrate, and they did just that on campus. As Sara Palczewski of the Opelika-Auburn News revealed, fans were wreaking havoc over their team’s Elite Eight trip.

This is what happens when you knock off a No. 1 seed in Auburn. 😳 pic.twitter.com/lVBD6MrS3B
— Sara Palczewski (@SaraPalczewski) March 30, 2019
Auburn’s Dominant Win Over UNCThe Tigers were up just two points at halftime but outscored the Tar Heels by 15 in the second half while pouring in 56 points over the final 20 minutes to win 97-80. They were led by a superb performance by Chuma Okeke, who scored 20 points with 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Unfortunately, he left the game with an apparent knee injury and there hasn’t been an update yet on his status.Along with Okeke’s impressive showing, Malik Dunbar scored 13 points while Bryce Brown added 12 points and four rebounds. Jared Harper did a bit of everything by scoring nine points with 11 assists.Auburn was simply on fire in this game, shooting 54.5 percent from the field and knocking down 17-of-37 from beyond the arc (45.9 percent). Along with the four aforementioned players, the Tigers got production across the board, including 40 bench points. Danjel Purifoy led the bench scoring with 14 points while J’Von McCormick tacked on 10 points.What’s Ahead for Auburn BasketballThe trip to the Elite Eight is a huge accomplishment, and the Tigers will now face the winner of Kentucky vs. Houston, which was the late game on Friday night. Whoever they face, that game will be played on Sunday, but the time has yet to be determined.As for the team specifically, attention will shift to Okeke, whose knee injury left obvious cause for concern as he needed to be helped off the floor. It was a tough scene to watch and came on a non-contact play, as seen below courtesy of CBS Sports.

Amazing sportsmanship from UNC’s players to greet Chuma Okeke as he made his way off the court pic.twitter.com/cAMeBjZsAK
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 30, 2019
We’ll certainly monitor the situation, but it’s unlikely any major update on the forward’s injury will come until some point on Saturday. After the game, Pearl was asked about Okeke and couldn’t hold back his tears while attempting to talk about the injury.

“We’re going to rally. I’ll go hug on him.”
Bruce Pearl gets emotional discussing Chuma Okeke after @AuburnMBB’s win over North Carolina. 🙏#MarchMadness | #Sweet16 pic.twitter.com/sOaD9dtrEz
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 30, 2019
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REPORT: Duke’s Cam Reddish Not Starting Vs. Virginia Tech in Sweet 16

Cam Reddish will not start in Friday night’s Sweet 16 matchup versus Virginia Tech. The initial report came courtesy of Stephen Wiseman of the Durham Herald-Sun.
“Problem with a knee is keeping Cam Reddish out of Duke lineup. He arrived at arena with team but is not currently warming up with them,” Wiseman tweeted.
Reddish averages 13.6 points and 3.7 rebounds for the Blue Devils this year. In his place, sophomore guard Alex O’Connell is starting.

Cam Reddish banged up his knee late in the Blue Devils' practice oN Thursday. Team was hoping ice/stretching would be enough to be in the starting lineup.
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 30, 2019

CBS’ Tracy Wolfson could not confirm if Reddish will be available or not for the whole game. In addition, Duke has not provided any official update.

Cam Reddish is not on the court warming up with the rest of his teammates. No official word from Duke. https://t.co/eBmJJVbSX7
— Adam Rowe (@AdamRoweTDD) March 30, 2019

This is a developing story, so more to come.


WATCH: Chuma Okeke, Auburn Forward, Collapses & Grabs Knee

Category : Auburn , NCAA Tournament , Sports

As Auburn was streaking to a double-digit lead over No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Midwest Regional semifinals, Tigers forward Chuma Okeke collapsed to the ground after going up for a rebound. The crowd went silent as he writhed on the floor in pain.

Amazing sportsmanship from UNC's players to greet Chuma Okeke as he made his way off the court pic.twitter.com/cAMeBjZsAK
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 30, 2019

He leads all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He also notched a double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds. The No. 5 seeded Tigers led by 13 at the time, and pulled away for a 97-80 victory. He walked off the court with the assistance of medical personnel.
Sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl stated that Okeke will not return to the Sweet 16 matchup, as he suffered a “severe knee injury.”
Jared Harper said to Erdahl afterward that the team was motivated to win for Okeke. Pearl teared up in the ensuing interview, saying that he was going to hug his forward in the locker room. He acknowledged that he feels Okeke is seriously hurt.

@AuburnMBB defeats @UNC_Basketball 97-80 to advance to the #Elite8
Jared Harper and Coach Bruce Pearl speak with @jamieerdahl about the team’s victory pic.twitter.com/b9RCmCLHyS
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 30, 2019

Auburn will face the winner of Houston-Kentucky in the other Midwest semifinal, which will take place later tonight in Kansas City.
While the Tigers are in their first Elite 8 since 1986, Chuma’s absence could be a major blow to their Final Four chances. The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder has moonlighted at center, averaging 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while out of position.
He’s versatile slasher with a wide frame, while also presenting 3-point touch (38 percent) and defensive acumen (1.2 block and 1.8 steals per contest). This level of production has led some to believe he’s a potential NBA Draft pick this summer.
Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype features him at No. 37 overall on his aggregate mock draft.
NBA Draft Net sends Okeke to the Brooklyn Nets with the No. 27 pick. He’s listed as a small/power forward hybrid and would pair well with the recently-acquired Jarrett Allen.
NBA Scouting Live projects him as a second-rounder in its scouting report.
Chuma Okeke is an athletic, combination forward that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful to a team at the next level. He can shoot and score the basketball, and he can also finish plays above the rim. Right now, he may be a second round prospect for the upcoming draft.
He has not declared one way or the other about leaving early for the NBA. Time will tell if this injury is severe enough to affect his decision.


Bruce Pearl Salary: How Much Does the Auburn Coach Make?

While Bruce Pearl has helped two SEC programs turn become relevant in the South and nationally. As head coach at Tennessee from 2005-11, his final record was 145-61 in Knoxville, with his best year coming in 2007-08 season. During that stretch, the Volunteers went 31-5 and lost in the Sweet 16 of the tournament to the Louisville Cardinals.
Back in March of 2011, his tenure with the school came to a conclusion, as the higher-ups decided to part ways due to NCAA violations. As ESPN previously revealed, Tennessee fired Pearl, even though they had hoped to keep him through the off-court issues hanging over the program’s head.
Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a statement released late Monday that school officials decided to dismiss Pearl, who has been charged by the NCAA with unethical conduct, after learning of additional violations committed on Sept. 14, 2010, and in March 2011.
Since taking over for Auburn in 2014, he has turned around the Tigers’ fortunes. He guided them to the NCAA Tournament last year, and got to the program’s first Sweet 16 since 2003. Auburn is currently playing North Carolina in the Midwest Regional in Kansas City.
Despite the violations, the on-court results speak for themself. What kind of money is he making at Auburn?
According to USA Today Sports, he earns $2.6 million a year with his current contract. It ranks No. 38 out of all coaches in the country, just behind Kansas State’s Bruce Weber and Providence’s Ed Cooley. The Wildcats bowed out last weekend in the Round of 64, while Providence missed the dance altogether.
Compared to his SEC peers, Pearl is right in the middle of earners. He trails Kentucky’s John Calipari ($9.7 million), Tennessee’s Rick Barnes ($3.25 million), Georgia’s Tom Crean ($3.2 million), Alabama’s Avery Johnson ($3.06 million), South Carolina’s Frank Martin ($2.95 million), Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin ($2.8 million) and White ($2.61 million).
Crean, Johnson and both Martins failed to make the tournament this season.
The highest-paid coach is Calipari, followed by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski at over $7 million. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is third at $4.157 million.