banner

College Basketball

more stats

54
Final 12Score
UC Irvine302454
SMU293968
Preview | Lineup | Wrap | Box
68


UC Irvine (23-11) at SMU (23-9)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 19, 9 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (7,000) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: ESPN2. NIT Record: UC Irvine 2-4, SMU 0-2. Series Record: First- ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: After being snubbed for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, the SMU Mustangs will begin play as the overall No. 1 seed against in the National Invitation Tournament against the UC Irvine Anteaters at Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night.

A three-game losing streak, including a setback to Houston in the American Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals, came at the wrong time for SMU, which missed out on the NCAA Tournament despite owning a national ranking and logging the most wins for the program since (1987-88). The Mustangs will have to settle with a berth in the NIT, where they have suffered first-round losses in their two previous visits (1986, 2000).

UC Irvine's absence from the NCAA Tournament is a bit less surprising, but still not what was expected at the end of the regular season. The Anteaters won the Big West Conference regular-season title, but they lost to an 11-19 Cal Poly team in the conference tournament semifinals. They are 23-11 overall as they enter their fifth NIT. They are 2-4 in the event all-time.

This matchup will mark the first ever between these two teams, and the winner will take on either San Francisco or LSU in the next round.

Although UC Irvine never trailed by double digits, it also never led in the second half in its loss to Cal Poly. The Anteaters connected on 46.9 percent from the floor in the contest, but had a slight deficit from the free-throw line (10-7), which proved to be the difference.

UC Irvine still maintained its reputation as one of the better defensive teams in the country in losing to Cal Poly. On the season, the Anteaters are only letting up 63.6 ppg on 37.5 percent shooting, ranking fourth in the nation in opponent field goal percentage. They counter with a balanced, if not extremely potent offensive attack. Luke Nelson (11.7 ppg) is one of three double-digit scorers on the roster, with Chris McNealy (11.1 ppg) and Will Davis II (11.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) also lending a hand. Mamadou Ndiaye (8 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 bpg) is critical for his ability to protect the rim.

Off nights from several major contributors doomed SMU against Houston. Nic Moore, who earned all-conference honors, was especially out of character, finishing with eight points, all from the free-throw line, as he went 0-of-9 from then field. The Mustangs only shot 40 percent from the floor as a team.

SMU is also a team that focuses more on defense and feeds off of that success when it has the ball. The Mustangs rank among the top-20 in the country in both scoring defense (62.3 ppg) and opponent field goal percentage (.377). Moore (13.7 ppg, 4.8 apg) is the team's top scoring threat, and a solid defender in the backcourt. Nick Russell (9.6 ppg, 3.3 apg) provides plenty of support. Markus Kennedy (12.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg) is an athletic forward who can score, rebound and defend with equal effectiveness. Kennedy was the only one of the three to really show up against Houston, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds.

There should be some extra motivation for SMU in this game, and the tournament as whole. Expect the Mustangs to feed off of the disappointment from Selection Sunday, and roll into the second round.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 76, UC Irvine 62

03/19 10:33:36 ET

Other Stories

TV
  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Today at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
1:00pm Today
BOS
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
DET
MIL
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
NOP
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
TEXAM 17
LSU 23
Final
TEX 10
TCU 48
11:00am Today
WMICH
NILL
12:00pm Today
SMU
HOU
12:00pm Today
IOWA
NEB
12:00pm Today
SFLA
UCF
12:00pm Today
MARS
WKENT
1:00pm Today
KSU
AKR
1:00pm Today
BGU
BST
1:00pm Today
UMASS
BUF
1:00pm Today
EMICH
TOL
2:30pm Today
MIZZ
ARK
3:00pm Today
SALABAMA
NAVY
3:30pm Today
ARZ
ARST
3:30pm Today
AFA
COLST
3:30pm Today
UCLA
STAN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
TENN 64
SCU 57
Final
RMU 71
LAMON 54
Final
BUT 46
OKLA 59
Final
BRO 58
PEAY 79
Final
UTEP 62
PRIN 56
Final
CHAT 78
CCAR 67
Final
RIU 60
KU 76
Final
USCU 68
FIU 53
Final
GEOR 65
WISC 68
Final
USB 73
LIU 54
Final
XAV 82
SDU 71
Final
INDST 62
ILL 88
Final
WRST 62
CSFU 67
Final
STJOE 59
WKENT 62
Final
RIDE 45
MSU 77
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
Final
WMICH 55
LBSU 73
Final
GT 70
MARQ 72
Final
PVU 61
STEPH 73
Final
MERC 77
RICE 71
Final
UF 56
UAB 47
Final
WASH 78
SJST 56
Final
MEM 47
BAY 71
Final
UCSB 71
WASU 43
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
12:00pm Today
KU
TENN
1:00pm Today
TEXAM
NO
 
1:30pm Today
NCAT
RAD
 
2:00pm Today
GEOR
BUT
2:30pm Today
BRO
PVU
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
SCU
2:30pm Today
NARZ
SOUTH
 
3:00pm Today
DART
MAST
 
3:30pm Today
WRST
FIU
3:30pm Today
XAV
UTEP
 
4:00pm Today
OSU
JMU
4:00pm Today
TXSOU
LAM
 
4:00pm Today
TAMCC
MVSU
 
4:00pm Today
AKAN
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
BUCK
PSU
 
4:00pm Today
PROV
YALE
 
4:30pm Today
UGA
MINN
 
4:30pm Today
WISC
OKLA
5:00pm Tonight
Terriers
NORST
 
5:00pm Tonight
PEAY
STEPH
 
6:00pm Tonight
FSU
CSOU
 
6:00pm Tonight
VALPO
DRAK
 
6:00pm Tonight
CIN
MTST
 
6:00pm Tonight
SDU
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
CSFU
USCU
6:15pm Tonight
WASU
RICE
6:30pm Tonight
GT
RIDE
7:00pm Tonight
TXPA
ALAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TCU
BRAD
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
EMERSON
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GONZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
HC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVST
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
VANDY
 
7:30pm Tonight
PETE
TENST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
HOF
 
8:00pm Tonight
INDST
MEM
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
 
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
 
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
 
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
 
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
 
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
 
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
 
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
 
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
NAS 1
EDM 0
1:00pm Today
PHI
NYR
 
4:00pm Today
ANA
CHI
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
VAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN
 
Final
DET 34
CHI 17
Final
DAL 10
PHI 33
Final
SFX 3
SEA 19