It felt right that the ending to the Sixers-Knicks game Friday night coincided with what has been a wild NCAA Tournament. Not being able to close out a game has been a common trend in the amateur ranks (holy crap NC State/Oklahoma/Providence/VCU), but that dreaded curse also fell upon the Knicks.
New York found themselves up 17 with just 5:17 left in the fourth quarter, and then proceeded to not score again until the :58 second mark, a drought of over four minutes. Meanwhile the Sixers were climbing their way back in thanks to a trio of shots beyond the arc. Philadelphia found themselves down a deuce with Carmelo Anthony at the line, who proceeded to make one of two. The ball was left in the hands of none other than Michael Carter-Williams, whose 25-foot three point attempt rattled the rim before falling out. It was a fitting ending to a wild night and a staple of the Sixers season, who have now tied the NBA's second longest losing streak with 23 straight.
On top of another demoralizing loss, the Sixers are forced to play on back-to-back nights as they head to Chicago to take on the Bulls. They will also be without the services of retro Jordan destroying, backup point guard Tony Wroten. Head coach Brett Brown announced last night that the former University of Washington star will miss the Sixers entire road trip after severely spraining his ankle Friday. Word is x-rays came back negative and we've heard that despite it being severely swollen, the team does not believe his ankle is broken. The second unit is most likely to be run by Eliot Williams now.
But enough with the boring stuff, more college basketball today!
Some notable games being played today:
Michigan vs. Texas: I begrudgingly took Michigan to make it to the elite 8, but the size of Texas is going to give them some fits. Cameron Ridley is built like a damn SUV, and without Mitch McGary on the inside the Wolverines are pretty defenseless. Definitely a game to keep your eye on.
Wisconsin vs. Oregon: My gut is saying don't sleep on the Ducks tonight. Bo Ryan's Badgers always seem to come up short in the tournament, and Joseph Young is a true playmaker.
Villanova vs. UCONN: Nothing would bring me more joy than Villanova being exposed for the really bad team they are. Connecticut is fresh off a good come from behind win against St. Joe's, and Shabazz Napier seems poised to give Arcidiacono that work.