PITTSBURGH (AP) — No. 7 seed Rhode Island (25-7) vs. No. 10 seed Oklahoma (18-13)
Second round, Midwest Region; Pittsburgh; 12:15 p.m. EDT.
Bottom line: The Rams have reached the NCAAs in consecutive years for only the second time in program history. The Sooners and star freshman Trae Young stumbled down the stretch in the Big 12 and their surprising at-large bid provided the critics with plenty of fodder. There’s only one way to quiet them.
Young is restless: Young is on his way to becoming the first Division I player since the NCAA began tracking assists in 1983 to lead the nation in scoring (27.4 points) and assists (8.8). He’s not shy about putting it up. Young’s 600 field goal attempts are 63 more than the combined attempts of Oklahoma’s next two leading scorers (Christian James and Brady Manek).
Rhody rules: While Oklahoma relies heavily (at times too heavily) on Young, the Rams have put together consecutive 25-win seasons by taking a more balanced approach. Five different players average at least 9.0 points and all five have had at least one 20-point game this season.
He said it: Rhode Island head coach Danny Hurley on hearing his name in connection with jobs at higher-profile schools, including Pittsburgh: “It’s something, social media age, for me to sit up here and say I have no awareness would be, you know, it wouldn’t be truthful,” Hurley said. “But I haven’t thought one second about, you know, any other team or program or, you know, what city I’m playing in, relative to who has a coaching vacancy.”