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2018 NCAA Tournament: Friday’s Notes

As Trae Young leaves but Buffalo stays.

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Iona v Duke
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 15: The Duke Blue Devils band plays during the game against the Iona Gaels in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Another year, more fireworks from the NCAA tournament.

The ACC had a rough first day with NC State, Virginia Tech and Miami all bowing out.

NC State and Virginia Tech just got beat by better teams. Miami’s loss was devastating - and the ‘Canes have no one to blame but themselves because Miami should have won.

They just made too many mistakes down the stretch.

Miami had a five point lead with 2:47 left and then things just went wrong.

Dewan Huell had two turnovers and on the second, Loyola tied the game at 60.

Lonnie Walker turned the ball over with :23 left but Loyola failed to score. Then, with :09 left, Walker had a chance to probably guarantee overtime...but missed the front end of his free throws. Down two, Loyola’s Donte Ingram nailed a three with :01 left.

Jim Larranaga held his hands to his head as the shot fell through. Miami should’ve won.

Whatever you can say about the ACC though at least it’s not the PAC-12 which didn’t make it out of Thursday night.

UCLA and ASU lost in the play-in round but neither was embarrassed. Arizona wasn’t either.

Arizona was humiliated.

We said we thought Buffalo could win this game because they are a tough-minded team but did we expect them to crush them like a week-old grape?

We did not.

And intriguingly, the Bulls will get Kentucky next. UK had to struggle to beat Davidson and won’t have an easy time with Buffalo either. You may remember the teams played in Rupp a couple of years ago and Buffalo didn’t back down. They certainly won't after Thursday’s smashing win.

For Arizona, the questions resume. All the big shots will enter the NBA draft and Sean Miller’s status is not at all clear. Stay tuned.

Bulls coach Nate Oats is going to get calls like crazy and Wes Miller probably will too because UNC-G went toe-to-toe with Gonzaga, nearly knocking off the Zags.

Like the Spartans, Davidson gave Kentucky a tremendous game before falling. With Davidson, State, UNC-G and NCCU all out, North Carolina is down to just UNC and Duke.

We didn't get to see the end of the Houston-San Diego State game, hearing it on a car radio instead, but wow: that sounded incredible.

Despite a size disadvantage, Rhode Island came back and ended Trae Young’s season and almost certainly his college career. He was brilliant at times but the comparisons to Stephen Curry were premature. He’s really good but Curry put a Southern Conference team on his back and just barely missed the Final Four. Young isn’t at that level.

We realized, a bit late frankly, that no matter who won, playing Duke would be cathartic: either Jeff Capel would be hit with Oklahoma questions, and face off against Young, who he’s known at least since Young was an OU ballboy.

On the other hand though is Hurley. And while he is a huge fan of brother Bobby, as we saw on Selection Sunday, his relationship to Duke might be a bit more complex.

While Bobby soared in college, Danny, who was constantly compared to his brother, suffered and became depressed. At one point he actually took a leave of absence.

He has always pulled for his brother but it was never easy for him to follow him and he never could match his success.

Playing Duke could be huge for the younger Hurley brother.

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