Hoops du Jour
Penn State men vs. Minnesota
Tipoff: 7 p.m., United Center, Chicago
Records: Penn State (14-17); Minnesota (19-12)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers is 127-138 in his eighth season at Penn State and 168-167 overall. Richard Pitino is 109-90 in his sixth season at Minnesota and 124-104 overall.
Radio: ESPN 1430, PSU Sports Network (Steve Jones, Dick Jerardi)
Notes: Penn State dominated Illinois in its final regular season game to finish the season on a high note. The win marked the seventh in the Lions last 10 conference games. Josh Reaves was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year… Minnesota is coming of a 69-60 loss to No.21 Maryland. Junior guard Amir Coffey leads the Gophers with 16 points per game.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 72, Minnesota 68
Comment: The Lions are to be feared in this tournament. Their momentum will carry them past the first round.
Mirror prediction record: 20-11
— Paddy Cotter
SFU women at Sacred Heart
Northeast Conference Tournament, Semifinals
Tipoff: 6 p.m. at William H. Pitt Center, Fairfield, Conn.
Records: Saint Francis (15-16); Sacred Heart (19-11).
Coaches: Susan Robinson-Fruchtl, returning on an interim basis, is 88-97 in her sixth year at Saint Francis and is 114-191 in her 10th year overall; Jessica Mannetti is 98-87 in her sixth season at Sacred Heart.
Internet stats: www.sacredheartpioneers.com
TV: NEC Front Row
Leading scorers: Saint Francis — G Jess Kovatch, 5-9 Sr. (21.8); Sacred Heart — F Katherine Haines, 6-2 Gr. (16.9).
Notes: Saint Francis comes in as the fourth seed, while Sacred Heart is the second … The Pioneers lead the all-time series 24-15 … Each team won convincing on their home floor with the Red Flash winning 85-68 on Jan. 26 and the Pioneers coming out on top just 12 days ago by a 77-51 edge … The two teams met in last year’s semifinals with Saint Francis claiming a 78-47 win at DeGol Arena … Kovatch and fellow senior Courtney Zezza are just 4-6 in their careers against SHU … The 91 points scored by SFU on Monday are the fourth most in Northeast Conference Tournament history … Sacred Heart matched the NEC record as four players were named to the all-conference teams. Haines was named to the All-NEC first team, Candice Leatherwood (11.4 ppg) was on the second team, and Erin Storck (10.6) and Adrianne Hagood (11.3) were selected to the third team.
Bombs away (where Kovatch ranks all-time in 3-point field goals made in NCAA Division I men’s and women’s history): 1. Travis Bader, Oakland (2010-2014), 504; 2. Fletcher Magee, Wofford (2015-present), 502; 3. Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State (2015-18), 497; 4. Kovatch, 469; 5. J.J. Redick, Duke (2002-2006), 457.
Mirror prediction: Sacred Heart 89, Saint Francis 86
Comment: As freshmen, Kovatch and Zezza saw their season come to an end with a 92-71 loss in the same building. In her last four tournament games, Kovatch has been averaging 35.3 points per game. The Red Flash are going to need another March magical performance from the senior to have a chance to pull this one out.
Mirror prediction record: 23-8
— Nate Ritchey