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'He needs to get the ball more.' C-Webb gushes over J.P. Macura


J.P. Macura stepped into the national spotlight Thursday night after taking a leading role in No. 11 seed Xavier’s upset of No. 2 Arizona in the Sweet 16.

The former Lakeville North star and two-time All-Metro selection scored 14 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out seven assists while playing 38 minutes in the 73-71 victory.

The stats were enough to earn Macura the attention, but it was his hustle, vision, defense and overall versatility on that court that impressed the game’s broadcast team and opposing coach Sean Miller.

“Wow, this guy has got heart,” play-by-play broadcaster Brian Anderson said on the call after one of Macura’s buckets in the second half.

“Xavier asks Macura to do a lot,” Anderson added. “And of all the players that Sean Miller talked about [Trevon] Bluiett was certainly on his mind. [Bluiett] was the first on the game plan to be discussed, but [Miller] was raving about Macura and what he does for Xavier. Last year, he was the Sixth Man of the Year in the Big East and now he’s in that starting role for Xavier ... and one of the toughest kids you’ll see in the game.”

Even former NBA All-Star Chris Webber, Anderson’s broadcast partner Thursday night, was impressed, but wants to see even more from Macura.

“Do not want to overemphasize this point, but only because he’s so talented, Macura needs to get the ball more,” Webber said. “And he needs to get it more inside so that then he can space the floor. But right now, a little bit predictable in how he plays and it’s just a physical game. … Macura don’t care, though.”

Cameras caught Miller embracing Macura after the game telling the Minnesota native how much he respects his game. 

Read: Macura elevates Xavier from survival mode to Sweet 16.

Basketball fans proclaimed their newfound love for Macura through social media. Here is a sampling:

Buzzer-beater II: Goggleye a deadeye from half-court (and ESPN notices)

You didn't see this one Thursday from the state high school basketball tournament unless you were watching on the web, but North Woods High knocked out Central Minnesota Christian 54-51 with a half-court shot from sophomore Cade Goggleye, who had missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw only a few seconds earlier.

That miss helped set up a 51-51 tie when Central Minnesota Christian scored on a sweetly executed out-of-bounds play with four seconds left.

More details about the game are here. (It was the second spectacular game-winner of the tournament. Here's the video of Champlin Park's Sam DuBois hitting an off-balance heave at the buzzer in the 4A quarterfinals.)

Both buzzer-beaters showed up on ESPN Thursday night. "There's a bit of a theme developing in Minnesota," anchor Scott Van Pelt said, introducing "the best thing I saw today."

Goggleye's shot is here:

Where's North Woods? It's in Cook. Where's Cook? It's on Hwy. 53 in northern Minnesota between Virginia and International Falls. If you want to know all the towns that comprise North Woods, go here. (The test is tomorrow.)

That reminds us. if you haven't done so already, take our "Name That School" geography quiz that Star Tribune high school coordinator Paul Klauda created in honor of the tournament season. That's right here.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Baltimore at Twins (spring training)

    6:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at L.A. Lakers

    9:30 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Vancouver at Wild

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at New England

    1 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Gophers men's hockey vs. Notre Dame

    2:30 pm on ESPNU, 1500-AM

  • Twins at Baltimore (spring training)

    5:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Portland

    9 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Wild at Detroit

    11:30 am on Ch. 11, 100.3-FM

  • Boston at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Pittsburgh (spring training)

    5:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN

  • Timberwolves at Indiana

    6 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Washington at Wild

    7 pm on NHLN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Boston (spring training)

    12:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Tampa Bay (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • L.A. Lakers at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Ottawa at Wild

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

  • Rochester at Twins (exhibition)

    11:05 am

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