"Three mens singles players and two doubles teams from the state of Oklahoma were extended invitations Wednesday to compete for NCAA individual national titles. Two womens singles and a pair of doubles found spots in their brackets, as well.
ITA No. 25 Axel Alvarez Llamas (Oklahoma), No. 46 Or Ram-Harel (Tulsa) and No. 52 Julian Cash (Oklahoma State) will compete in the mens singles bracket, the NCAA announced Wednesday. No. 51 Alex Ghilea (OU) is listed as the fifth alternate.
Alvarez Llamas played as the mens singles overall No. 1 seed a year ago in Waco, Texas. However, he was upset by Baylors Tony Lupieri in the round of 32 in straight sets. Ram-Harel saw action in the singles competition last season, but didnt get out of the first round.
The doubles teams of OSUs Arjun Kadhe/Julian Cash and OUs Alvarez Llamas/Andrew Harris earned berths, as well."
"Only one team in this series can crank up their defense enough to win them games.
The Warriors offense feeds off that stingy defense with or without Stephen Curry in the lineup, again Tuesday it was without and the combination can lead to big runs.
Such as a 34-12 fourth quarter. It was historic, as our own Dan Feldman pointed out on twitter.
Golden State trailed by 17 at one point but came on in the fourth with a defensive energy that held Damian Lillard to 0-of-3 shooting and his entire Portland team to 26.5 percent shooting. Those miss shots fueled transition buckets and opportunities Klay Thompson had 10 of his 27 points on the night in the fourth and the Warriors roared back for a 110-99 victory.
Golden State now leads the series 2-0 as it heads to Portland, with Game 3 not until Saturday. The biggest question is whether Curry will play in that game, or will the Warriors use their position of strength to get him more rest (as they did in the Houston series up 2-0)?
Portland was also getting buckets from Al-Farouq Aminu 10 first quarter points and thats always a good sign because hes the guy (well, him and Maurice Harkless) that the Warriors will live with shooting.
Still, you knew the run was coming. The Warriors went on a 14-2 run to make it close as the second half started to wind down. But then Portland responded with some real poise and an 8-0 run of their own. Portland was getting their buckets and had a 59-51 run at the half. They continued to hold that lead through the third quarter thanks to a red-hot Damian Lillard, who had 16 points in the quarter.
But again, you knew the run was coming and this time it was fueled by the Warriors defense. Festus Ezeli was a big part of that, his defensive presence in the paint helped turn things around, he was setting big screens to free up Thompson and others, plus he had eight points of his own in the quarter.
When the game got tight Portland missed seven in a row down the stretch, and that sealed the Blazers fate. Meanwhile, the Warriors kept hitting shots, and the Blazers have no great options to change up the defense and alter that dynamic. Even without Curry, the versatility of the Warriors makes them tough to slow, let alone stop.
Going home, maybe the Trial Blazers can hit some difficult shots and hold off a Warriors charge in the fourth quarter.
Or, maybe Stephen Curry is back, and the Warriors just get better.
"In the womens brackets, Oklahoma State asserted its dominance in the state just three days after claiming the Big 12 Championship. No. 45 Vladica Babic and No. 47 Katarina Adamovic received singles invitations, and the pairings of Kelsey Laurente/Maria Alvarez and Carla Tur Mari/Viktoriya Lushkova will play for the doubles crown.
Lushkova was also listed as the seventh singles alternate.
Laurente and Lushkova teamed in the 2015 doubles bracket, losing in the first round. Lushkova advanced to the round of 32 in the singles portion.
TUs Saana Saarteinen received an automatic bid from the American Athletic Conference in the singles bracket.
Neither the Sooners nor Golden Hurricane received berths in the womens doubles bracket, however.
Sixty-four singles players and 32 doubles teams received bids in the mens and womens championships. All matches will be best-of-three sets."