The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks wrapped up their first practice Thursday afternoon in advance of Friday night's opening game in the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Tulsa.
The Aggies beat the Eagles of North Carolina Central in Dayton, Ohio - 63 to 67.
The 16th-seeded Aggies rallied in the second half and held off N.C. Central down the stretch to earn a trip to Tulsa to play No. 1 seed Kansas on Friday. Davis was placed in one of the two 16 seed First Four games on Selection Sunday.
All the hype in the Chicago area this week has been around Northwestern punching its first ever ticket to the NCAA tournament.
For Les, this is the second time he has taken a program to its first NCAA tournament.
Providence outshot Southern Cal 49 percent to 42 percent, but the Friars outscored them in the second half 46-27. And, like I said, the chips will fall where they may. "We try to play to that standard and be together ... if we just come out and play Kansas basketball, we'll be fine". He's trying hard to get here to cheer on, obviously, his Mustangs - he recruited those guys, he and Jank (SMU coach Tim Jankovich) - and, obviously, to watch us play, as well. "But we still got to come out and do what we need to do to make sure it stays that way". They also fared well in close games, winning 9 games by 5 points or less. I don't know that they (Jayhawks) have used it as motivation because I don't think it should be motivation, but I also don't think it should be an excuse and a distraction. Jackson missed the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal against TCU, a game that the Jayhawks lost 85-82, but head coach Bill Self was emphatic when asked if his star freshman would miss any more action. He plays a lot of 4 for the Aggies, so he will be an interesting cover for the Jayhawks, even with their small ball lineups. We went to do bed check, guys are studying and preparing for finals next week.
In 2005-05, Les took his alma mater Bradley to the tournament, where it reached the Sweet 16. In Landen (Lucas, senior forward) we've got a really good glue guy, a guy who does a lot of things that really don't show in the stat book.
Just as the Aggies looked to seize the moment, the Eagles forced three consecutive turnovers out of a half court 1-3-1 trap, getting them right back into the contest.
Jackson did explain that he feels like he "made a couple mistakes that could have been avoided, small mistakes" but said there's nothing he can do about it now. "Great kids, great character and they're a joy to coach". I think they've been focused. "And I have a lot of coaching friends around the country".
"My wife and I fell in love with the Sacramento region a long time ago and developed some really strong ties with the community, established some really good friends that we consider family", Les said. So I've got to navigate that.
Turnovers plagued UC Davis throughout the game, but the Aggies always had a response for NC Central.
"Pressure is walking outside of your home every single day having to make a life and death decision to go back in and pressure is your mother struggling to keep the lights on and having a hot meal on the table".