Leading Off

It’s not NCAAs or UK, but CIT will have to do

Sacramento State’s Mikh McKinney, (10) is fouled as he goes to the basket against Riley Barker of Portland at the Hornets Nest on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014.
Sacramento State’s Mikh McKinney, (10) is fouled as he goes to the basket against Riley Barker of Portland at the Hornets Nest on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. hamezcua@sacbee.com

This, that and the other thing:

▪ It was fun to imagine, even for just a couple of weeks, a first-round NCAA Tournament matchup between No. 1 Kentucky, favored to win the championship, and those upstart Hornets from Sacramento State. Instead, the Hornets and their fans will have to settle for a first-round game Wednesday night at Portland University in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).

▪ The CIT may not seem like a great consolation prize, but having the opportunity to pull on a jersey – for at least one more night – will be a big deal for Sac State seniors Mikh McKinney and Dylan Garrity.

▪ It will be tough for UC Davis and coach Jim Les to watch UC Irvine represent the Big West Conference in the NCAA Tournament. The Big West regular-season champion Aggies beat the Anteaters in both conference games this season. The sting will hurt less if the Aggies bounce back Tuesday with a surprise victory at Stanford in a first-round National Invitation Tournament game.

▪ After losing in the semifinals of their conference tournaments, the Hornets and Aggies share the same odds – 100 to 1 – to win their postseason tournaments. A sign of disrespect or the ugly truth?

▪ Want a tip to help fill out your NCAA bracket? Pick Kentucky to lose in the Final Four. With most of 70-plus million Americans expected to pick the Wildcats as champions, take a chance on Gonzaga, a second seed, or Notre Dame, a third seed.

▪ This year’s Cinderella? Look for 12th-seeded Buffalo, coached by former Kings guard Bobby Hurley, to beat fifth-seeded West Virginia in the first round and then fourth-seeded Maryland in the second. Kentucky will make Buffalo mascot Victor E. Bull’s clock strike midnight in the Sweet 16.

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch, do

Men’s college basketball, UC Davis at Stanford, 8 p.m., Maples Pavilion, ESPN2: Winning the Big West Conference regular-season title earns the Aggies a trip to Maples Pavilion, where the Cardinal is 13-3 this season.


On this date

1988: Denver’s Michael Adams sets an NBA record by making at least one three-pointer in 24 consecutive games. The streak extends to 79 games (over two seasons).

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