NCAA prez Emmert: Food rule was ‘absurd’

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Friday that he was happy to take pressure off his organization and its member schools as the governing body's legislative council voted earlier this week to eliminate all previous restrictions on food for athletes.

"The biggest problem was, the NCAA has historically had all kinds of, I don't know how to describe it [except to say] dumb rules about food," Emmert said on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" show. "The infamous one is you can provide between meals a snack, but you can't provide a meal. Well, then you got to define what's the difference between a snack and a meal? So it was literally the case that a bagel was defined as a snack – unless you put cream cheese on it. Now it becomes a meal. That's absurd."

Emmert went on to say that "if UConn wants to feed Shabazz [Napier] breakfast in bed every day they can," but he made a point of saying that the new rules weren't brought about because of the Huskies guard's recent comments that sometimes he went to bed "starving."

The problem wasn't an issue only for schools, it was a burden on the NCAA, as well.

"We wind up having to enforce the stupid rule, which means you have to have someone watching if someone is putting cream cheese on a bagel," Emmert said.

Emmert told ESPN.com that if the deregulation of food gives some schools advantages over other schools, so be it.

"The notion that schools might compete by offering better quality food, that's not inherently a bad thing," Emmert said. "So let's compete over who can provide the best nutrition for a student-athlete. We compete over who can give them the best locker room. I'd rather they compete over who can give them the best nutrition. So will there be competition around that, I'm sure there will be, but I don't think that's a bad thing."

Next week, Northwestern football players will vote on whether to form a union. For his part, Emmert said, "Most of the things that I saw Northwestern athletes asking for are either in place or on their way to being in place."

One issue brought up by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter in his hearing with the National Labor Relations Board was the idea of completely covering medical expenses. Emmert said the NCAA spends $20 million a year on premiums to cover a long-term disability insurance policy for athletes. The NCAA policy has covered some former athletes who were permanently disabled on the field of play during their college years for at least 20 years.

Emmert said that 2014 will be a year of progress, as he expects the NCAA to approve a measure that will cover the gap between a scholarship and the full cost of attendance. Emmert also said a vote will take place next week on a rule that will tack on an extra year at the end of the eligibility of a player who transfers and immediately has to sit out a season.

"You don't want to be punitive to an athlete who makes a change, obviously, but you don't want to have coaches recruiting people off other people's benches," Emmert said.

As the pressure mounts on the NCAA, with lawsuits and potential unionization of the Northwestern players, Emmert told ESPN.com he hopes the current model will survive.

"The reality is that the model serves more than a half a million students every year very well," Emmert said. "It produces $2.7 billion in scholarship support. Are there things we need to fix? You bet there are. But you don't throw that baby out with the bathwater. We have to find ways to change and improve without ruining that successful model.

"It's far too easy to look at this huge top-line revenue number and say 'Everyone is making money,' when the reality is that that top-line number supports a half a million kids."

Florida, OU tie for gymnastics championship

The athletic director with the largest budget in the nation said Thursday he doesn't support paying athletes nor a system in which they can market themselves, and doesn't understand the recent quest by some Northwestern football players to unionize.

Steve Patterson, who took over as AD at the University of Texas this past November, told ESPN.com that he listened to the case made by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, which was backed by the College Athletes Players Association, and it wasn't clear what he was seeking.

PattersonIt's interesting when you look at the objections of the plaintiffs in the case; we address all of them… We do everything that they say they wanted.

- Texas athletic director Steve Patterson

"It's interesting when you look at the objections of the plaintiffs in the case; we address all of them," Patterson said. "If our athletes get hurt, we pay all their medical bills. If they want to come back and graduate, we pay for them to come back and graduate. We do everything that they say they wanted."

Northwestern players, who were found by the National Labor Relations Board last month to be university employees, are set to vote on whether to unionize late next week.

Patterson, who oversees an annual athletic budget of roughly $170 million, said the "whole thing smells of guys in the legal profession looking for a fee."

Patterson directed that comment towards sports labor lawyer Jeff Kessler, who last month filed an antitrust claim against the NCAA and the five largest conferences in New Jersey federal court, hoping to represent all scholarship players in college basketball and football players.

Kessler is arguing for a more free market in which schools can offer more than a scholarship to win over a player's services.

"Guys like Jeff Kessler are trying to destroy the college system to get a percentage or a fee," Patterson said. "If they do that, they'll be destroying the greatest thing to happen to the college system aside from the G.I. Bill."

Patterson did admit Thursday that he felt the NCAA and the schools were losing the public relations battle.

"The universities, the conferences and the NCAA have done a very poor job of telling our story and we've allowed this story to be created by the sports press to focus on the one-half of 1 percent of the student-athletes that go on to play pro sports. But 99.5 percent of student-athletes would not be in the position they're in without getting a scholarship."

Patterson said that, thanks to scholarships, many are the first in their generation to attend college and that athletic programs contribute greatly in the graduation process.

Patterson said first-generation college students normally graduate at a rate of around 15 percent compared to those in the athlete population who have graduation rates of at least 75 percent due in part to tutors and mentors.

Patterson said he can't envision any system where players can benefit from their value on the free market, including be able to market themselves, sign autographs for compensation and get a percentage of their jersey sales.

"The difficulty in opening up free-market marketing to the half of the 1 percent is that it would create a competitive balance issue," Patterson said. "It would be easy for Booster X to figure out how'd he'd essentially pay a recruit to come to a school."

NCAA outlines stance in opposition to ‘pay for play’ in memo

 

Dabo Swinney isn't a fan of the college athletes' union movement. (USATSI)
Dabo Swinney isn't a fan of the school athletes' union motion. (USATSI)

With the College Athletes Gamers' Association union movement on one aspect, and the Ed O'Bannon and Jeffrey Kessler lawsuits (amongst others) on the opposite, you can't blame the NCAA for feeling threatened lately. And in flip, you can't blame it for a talking factors memo revealed by al.com Sunday that seeks to "help members in conducting public outreach or responding to media requests."

 

That includes a number of bullet factors beneath headings like "Why Pay for Play Isn't the Answer," "Necessary Information/Proof Points," and "The World with Scholar-Athlete Unions/Pay for Play," the memo initially surfaced on the website of the Nationwide Affiliation of Collegiate Women Athletics Directors. An NCAA spokesperson told al.com that the NCAA created the memo after "our members requested details and information on pay-for-play as a result of there was so much misinformation in the media."

The memo also options quotes from the likes of Mike Slive, Larry Scott, South Carolina athletic director Pat Haden, and a prolonged one from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Talking in late March, Swinney argued that "we have got enough entitlement on this nation as it's" and "to say these guys get nothing totally devalues an education."

Placing apart the issue of whether or not the NCAA needs to be championing feedback that describe the CAPA's emphasis on lengthy-term well being points and assured scholarships as "entitlement," it's worth noting – as SBNation did – that the NCAA's version of Swinney's feedback neatly elides that he began them by saying "I have no idea" what to make of the NLRB resolution and "I really do not know sufficient about it to comment.”

That doesn't essentially imply Swinney's feedback must be dismissed out of hand. But still, it seems worthy of an "oops" all the same.

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NCAA College Basketball Prediction- #2 Wisconsin vs. #1 Arizona

NCAA Free Pick & Prediction Badgers vs. Wildcats

#2 Wisconsin Badgers (29-7) @ #1 Arizona Wildcats (33-4) 03/29- 8:49PM EST- Honda Center, Anaheim CA

 

Line: ARI -3.0

Over/Under- 131.0

 

With a spot for the Final Four up for grabs on Saturday night, No. 2 seed Wisconsin and No. 1 seed Arizona will take to the court at the Honda Center in Anaheim with the winner of the West Final punching their ticket to next weeks Final Four.

 

It’s hard to go to the Final Four,” said Arizona Wildcat coach Sean Miller, who began his coaching career as the Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach way back in 1992. “You can be really good and not make it, both as a coach, a team and a player.”

 

That will be the challenge for this Arizona team that is looking to advance out of the West Regional for the first time since 1998. The Wildcats (33-4) have failed the previous three times when playing in Anaheim, but this years team who was ranked No. 1 in the polls for eight weeks and went on a 21-game win streak have to be feeling good about their chances.

 

The Arizona program has gone the last five years going unnoticed, but now want to deliver for coach Miller who has restored this once proud basketball program back to prominence this season.

 

What we have done during the season has validated how good we are,” said 7-foot center Kaleb Tarczewski.

 

Tarczewski hopes to have a more productive game after struggling with foul trouble in Thursday’s night semifinal game in which they staged a comeback against the San Diego Aztecs.

 

For Wisconsin (29-7), they haven’t tasted the Final Four since 2000 and reached the regional final just once in 13 straight trips in the NCAA tournament under long-time coach Bo Ryan. Ryan turned 69 earlier this week and his team feels they need to finally deliver for their coach who became was an assistant for the Wisconsin program from 1976-85.

 

Badger guard Josh Gasser had this to say about his coach… “He deserves it. We all want it and we all want it for him.”

 

These two teams are similar in their defensive approach and go after it when it comes to rebounding.

 

We are tough, nasty and relentless,” said Arizona freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

 

Expect a good battle between both 7-foot centers, Arizona’s Tarczewski and Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, who had 19 points and six blocks in helping to lead the Badgers to their semifinal win over the Baylor Bears.

 

We’re looking to draw fouls and throw them off-balance a little bit with early foul trouble,” said Wisconsin’s three-point specialist Ben Brust.

 

The Badgers are a slightly better team from beyond the arc shooting 38 percent to Arizona’s 36, so containing any damage done from 3point range will be a priority for both teams.

 

We have to close out the high ends and keep them off line,” said Hollis-Jefferson. “They’re going to play tough in guarding us too.”

 

One person the Badgers will need to guard closely will be Nick Johnson, the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

 

It still makes you say, ‘Wow,’ every time you see them,” says Badger’s Sam Dekker on Johnson and his high-flying teammates. “Dunks aside, they are a very solid team that can go out there and defend. They get after people and make you work.”

 

Both teams enter averaging 73 points per contest while limiting opponents to 42 percent shooting or less and with that, oddsmakers are expecting a tightly close played game making the Wildcats a slight (minus -3.0) point favorite with an O/U of just 131.0, so stay up to date on the latest spread up until tipoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

I expect the same… a close game from beginning to end but will have to predict the slightly stronger Arizona Wildcats doing just enough to punch their ticket to the Final Four next weekend.

 

Prediction/Pick- Arizona

 

 

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

 

 

Johnny Football’s Replacement, Texas A&M Quarterback Kenny Hill, Arrested For Public Intoxication

kenny-hillKenny Hill, the sophomore Texas A&M quarterback set to take over for Johnny Manziel next season, was arrested early this morning for public intoxication. Police found the 19-12 months previous Hill handed out in entrance of a Chimy’s, a Faculty Station bar simply before 3am. If that wasn’t sufficient, he was sleeping in a planter stuffed with rocks and vegetation. From The Eagle:

When asked who the present president of the United States was, Hill reportedly answered “Bush” and told officers his title was “Kennedy,” authorities said.

You could recall that Johnny Manziel was arrested the summer earlier than he was anticipated to compete for the starting job at Texas A&M.

 

Michigan repels Tennessee rally to advance

Michigan Closes Out Tennessee To Advance

 

INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan coach John Beilein had watched his group blow almost all of a 15-level lead, and he was sure he knew how Tennessee would try to take the lead.

With 6 seconds left and trailing 72-71, Cuonzo Martin would probably send the ball into Jarnell Stokes, who would attempt to back into the post or drive. Beilein urged his defenders to buckle down and keep Stokes away from the rim.

Jordan Morgan, who scored 15 points, heeded his coach's recommendation and stood his ground until Stokes lowered his shoulder. The senior forward immediately crashed to the floor – perhaps embellishing the contact – but drawing the call that saved the sport for Michigan and infuriated Tennessee's "Rocky High" contingent.

Huge Ten player of the yr Nik Stauskas made a late free throw and nobody was more relieved than Beilein when Jordan McRae's 70-foot heave fell harmlessly to the ground because the buzzer sounded on a seventy three-seventy one Michigan victory.

"We received simply sufficient stops," Beilein stated.

Tennessee thought they acquired one stop unfairly.

"With the magnitude of this recreation, I do not suppose you can call a charge at that time," McRae said dejectedly after scoring 24 factors.

But the officers did name it, allowing Michigan to reach a second straight regional final.

The Wolverines (28-8) have gained 10 of their last eleven, none as tenuous or excruciating as this one to set up a Sunday showdown towards eighth-seeded Kentucky, the 2012 nationwide champion. The Wildcats received seventy four-69 over fourth-seeded Louisville, which beat Michigan in final yr's nationwide championship recreation.

Tennessee nearly pulled off one of the vital stunning comebacks in current regional reminiscence.

With 10:55 to go, Spike Albrecht's layup gave Michigan a seemingly insurmountable 60-45 lead.

When Stauskas made the final of his three 3-pointers with three:forty to go, the Wolverines still led 70-60. Stauskas finished with 14 points.

For some motive, Michigan went into panic mode and, simply two weeks after nearly blowing two huge leads within the Big Ten match, they nearly threw this one away.

The Volunteers staunch protection restricted Michigan to only one basket over the final three:forty and compelled 4 turnovers within the closing ninety seven seconds to offer themselves a chance within the closing seconds.

"I do not think I fouled him," mentioned Stokes, who had 11 factors and six rebounds after two straight double-doubles. "However it was a wise play for him to try to take the charge. He just about anticipated it."

Just as Beilein had predicted.

For a lot of the evening, Michigan relied on its taking pictures stars to remain in control against a defense that had allowed just 54.zero factors in its previous eight games.

The Wolverines took a thirteen-point lead in the first half and nonetheless led 45-34 at halftime as a result of they have been shooting 61.5 p.c from the sector and made 7 of 9 on three-pointers. Michigan did not slow down early within the second half, both, taking the most important lead of the sport at 60-forty five.

But one way or the other Tennessee played itself right back into the sport.

The eleventh-seeeded Vols, who had a primary-spherical recreation in time beyond regulation at Dayton, Ohio, just to start their surprising postseason run, lower the deficit to sixty two-56 with 6:forty five left. They acquired within 72-sixty seven when McRae completed a 3-point play with 1:fifty six to go. They made it seventy two-sixty nine when Josh Richardson scored the final of his 19 points on a layup with 24.6 seconds left. McRae's layup following one other Michigan turnover made it 72-seventy one with 10.eight seconds remaining.

So when the officers ruled Michigan's Caris LeVert caught the ball with one foot on the baseline and 9.6 seconds left, Martin made the sensible name by giving Stokes an opportunity to win it with a basket or draw the foul.

"We bought the ball to Jarnell. Jordan set a display screen for him to get him proper to isolate him, assault him within the center," Martin explained. "Obviously we got the ball the place we needed."

Nonetheless, the call went against them.

"We heard all week about they'd mismatches and the way we could not guard them inside," Morgan stated after letting out a scream on the end. "We're not really mushy round here. That is not who we're."

 

UK surges to boot defending champ L’ville

Kentucky Upsets Louisville

 

INDIANAPOLIS – No one will accuse these Kentucky youngsters of being the fastest learners. Not this season. And positively not during most of Friday evening's game against Louisville.

But once again, late within the game with everything on the road, they figured issues out just in time.

Aaron Harrison hit a 3-pointer for the go-forward rating with 39 seconds left and Julius Randle made a pair of clutch free throws to elevate the implausible freshmen of Kentucky to a seventy four-sixty nine victory over their in-state rivals.

The eighth-seeded Wildcats (27-10) led for a grand total of sixty five seconds on this Midwest Regional semifinal. They will play Michigan on Sunday for a visit to the Remaining 4.

"I advised them before the game, you will get punched in the mouth and you are going to taste blood," coach John Calipari said. "You'll be able to fight or you possibly can brace yourself for the next shot. They fought."

Fourth-seeded and defending champion Louisville ends its season at 31-6.

Few expected a run this deep for the Wildcats as this season performed out and their five freshman starters struggled to play a staff game. However they have been learning slowly. They trailed by thirteen midway via the primary half, then by seven with four half minutes left.

Abruptly, issues kicked in.

Really, it was a sophomore, Alex Poythress, who scored 5 factors and blocked a Russ Smith layup try throughout a 7-0 run that tied the sport at 66 with 2:11 left.

"Alex Poythress gained the game for us," Calipari stated. "We were begging him the entire game to start taking part in, and he performed at the right time."

From there, it was the Kentucky freshmen who showed all of the poise in opposition to the defending national champs, who were led by seniors Smith (23 points) and Luke Hancock (19).

Harrison took a move from Randle and noticed up in the nook for the go-forward shot. Each finished with 15 factors, as did yet another freshman starter, Dakari Johnson.

On the following possession, Louisville's Wayne Blackshear got fouled. The seventy one percent profession free throw shooter missed the first. Randle got here down and made two free throws to place Kentucky forward by three. Harrison guarded Smith and forced him to overlook a tricky 3-pointer on the next possession – "His first cease of the game," Calipari quipped.

Just a few seconds later, the Wildcats were chest bumping and Calipari was pumping his fists to a loud stadium that was about two-thirds Kentucky blue, one-third Cardinals red.

Kentucky now has knocked off previously undefeated Wichita State and defending nationwide champion Louisville, and has a gathering with final year's runner-up, Michigan, coming next. Earlier, the Wolverines beat Tennessee seventy three-71.

The newest win for Kentucky was the last word lesson in persistence for a team that, for therefore lengthy, had bother exhibiting any. The Wildcats were touted on T-shirts as the workforce that would go 40-zero and win the nationwide title, then all head off to the NBA.

Two out of three remains to be potential.

"They finally have surrendered and misplaced themselves within the workforce," Calipari stated. "It is just taken a long time."

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who fell to 11-1 in Candy 16 games, produced a matchup zone that the Wildcats had hassle working by.

The Playing cards took the double-digit lead early, yet went to halftime up solely three regardless of holding Kentucky to 33 percent from the ground.

The difference in Pitino's mind: Louisville went 13-for-23 from the free throw line whereas Kentucky went 22-for-27. And the Wildcats had a 37-29 rebounding edge, which additionally led to eight more second-likelihood factors.

"I informed them we in all probability beat ourselves a little bit bit down the stretch," Pitino mentioned. "But how can any of us complain with the run we've been on?"

Louisville's string of Closing Fours will end at two, and there will likely be a brand new national champion.

Making this win much more impressive for the Wildcats: They played almost all the sport with out Willie Cauley-Stein, an NBA-caliber forward who damage his left ankle early.

"It's not a superb ankle damage, let me simply put it that means," Calipari mentioned.

One other NBA prospect, James Young, fouled out with 5:32 left.

That left it to Harrison, his twin brother, Andrew (14 factors), and Randle, a lottery pick in waiting who was a monster inside. He had 12 rebounds to go along with the 15 points. He has had a double-double in all three match games.

Calipari makes no apologies for recruiting the perfect expertise and taking his probabilities they will depart before they actually arrange shop at Kentucky. That technique helped him convey the eighth national title again house two years ago. Now, Kentucky is a win away from this system's sixteenth trip to the Ultimate Four.

 

Michigan St. prevails, ousts top-seeded UVa

Michigan State Knocks Off Virginia

 

THE BIG APPLE – Michigan State turned the defensive tables on Virginia, and the Spartans advanced to the Elite Eight, placing them back in a place the place they've had a number of success.

Branden Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spartans compelled prime-seeded Virginia right into a horrible shooting efficiency in a sixty one-fifty nine victory Friday evening to advance to East Regional final of the NCAA event.

The fourth-seeded Spartans (29-8) will play Connecticut (29-eight) on Sunday with a Closing 4 berth at stake. The seventh-seeded Huskies beat third-seeded Iowa State 81-seventy six earlier Friday.

Michigan State overcame a horrible begin to the second half after which withstood a late run by the Cavaliers (30-7) to advance to the regional finals for the eighth time since 1999 – all underneath coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans have a 6-1 report in those games, and in 2000 they went on to win all of it.

Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon every had 17 factors for Virginia, which turned the second No. 1 seed to be eradicated, joining Wichita State.

Adreian Payne had 16 points for Michigan State, and his three-pointer with 1:29 left gave the Spartans the lead for good at 54-fifty one. After a miss by Brogdon, the 6-foot-10 Payne turned point guard, discovering Dawson with a line-drive lob pass for a dunk with fifty two seconds to go.

Harris hit a three with 39 seconds left to bring the Cavaliers within 56-fifty four.

Payne found one other way to assist the Spartans, making two free throws with 32 seconds left for a 58-fifty four lead.

Brogdon hit a 3 with 1.1 seconds left to deliver Virginia within 60-59. Gary Harris made one in every of two free throws to make it sixty one-fifty nine, and Virginia's last attempt was effectively off the mark.

Michigan State got here up with the sort of defensive effort that Virginia is understood for. The Spartans held the Cavaliers to 35.1 % taking pictures (20-of-fifty seven), nicely off the 45.7 % they shot during the season and nowhere near the 54.3 % they shot of their two previous NCAA event games.

"I believe I undoubtedly should credit their defense," Brogdon stated. "They have lots of good athletes. They contest pictures. However we also missed some easy layups inside for positive. However I am unable to take away from their defense."

Dawson, who averages 11 points per sport, has scored in double figures in six straight games, and he had a career-high 26 points in the third-round win over Harvard. He missed 9 games this season with a broken proper hand, an harm he inflicted on himself when he hit a table while watching movie.

"It was powerful, being out for those 9 games," Dawson mentioned. "For me, simply making the dangerous choice that I made, I learned from it rather a lot. That did not stop me from coming in and working onerous, and I believe that being out for these 9 games, I just advised myself that my team wants me, and I just have to step up and be a man. And that is what I did."

Izzo called Dawson "a freak athlete," each in strength and athletic skill.

"He isn't been an excellent shooter. He's worked arduous on it," Izzo mentioned. "I advised him God may need taken his hand when he broke it, however he gave him a soar shot when he returned, as a result of he's loads better shooter."

Payne missed seven games with a proper foot sprain, and Gary Harris and Keith Appling were bothered a lot of the season with nagging injuries. For the reason that Huge Ten tournament started and the Spartans did not have much hassle profitable it, everyone has been wholesome.

"They have expertise and they're a bodily workforce. I believe they're taking part in the perfect ball," Virginia coach Tony Bennett mentioned. "Dawson makes all the difference; he did as we speak. He was a matchup downside for us."

Michigan State began the second half by missing seven of its first eight photographs and committing 5 turnovers. Virginia took advantage to show a 31-27 halftime deficit right into a 38-34 lead.

"I believed the beginning of the second half, I think we had five turnovers within the first six, seven minutes," Izzo stated. "They regarded like they were actually operating. They have been cranking that offense up… I give our guys lots of credit."

The Spartans went on a thirteen-2 run to go up 49-42 with 6:10 to go.

Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Convention regular-season and tournament champion, answered with a 7-0 run to tie the sport at 51 with 1:51 left, after which Payne accounted for Michigan State's next seven points.

Michigan State shot 44.7 % (21-for-47) from the sphere and was able to score simply greater than the 55.5 points per game Virginia had allowed all season in leading the nation in that statistic.

The Spartans, who started the season 18-1 and spent three weeks at No. 1 in the Associated Press Prime 25, shot 52.three percent of their past 4 games.

"It is life," Bennett mentioned of the loss that ends the season for the Cavaliers and the careers of seniors Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell and Brogdon. "We had so many good things occur this 12 months. Unbelievable things. That is part of it."

These were the first NCAA tournament games performed at Madison Square Backyard since 1961.

 

UConn holds off Iowa State at MSG

 

THE BIG APPLE – DeAndre Daniels' UConn teammates were going to keep passing him the ball until he cooled off.

By the time that happened, it was too late for Iowa State.

Daniels scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, and the Huskies hung on for an 81-seventy six victory Friday to reach the East Regional final a year after UConn was barred from the NCAA match.

"DeAndre's a scorer, and once you are feeling that you've that confidence, the following shot's going to go in," said senior Shabazz Napier, who knows a thing or two about scoring himself. "We stored feeding him, and he bought super scorching."

Daniels hit his first six photographs after halftime, the one Husky to make a area aim for over eight half of minutes. His three-pointer gave seventh-seeded UConn a forty nine-32 lead.

The third-seeded Cyclones rallied late, pulling within sixty seven-63 with 2 half minutes remaining. However senior Niels Giffey hit a three in the nook for his first factors because the recreation's opening moments, and when the Huskies (29-8) made their free throws within the remaining minute, the UConn followers packing Madison Sq. Backyard could have a good time.

The Huskies will face fourth-seeded Michigan State on Sunday for a trip to the Final 4.

Dustin Hogue scored a profession-excessive 34 factors for Iowa State (28-8), but Large 12 participant of the year Melvin Ejim was three of 13 for seven points, greater than eleven below his average.

The Cyclones, within the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2000, had been enjoying their second game with out third-leading scorer Georges Niang, who broke his foot of their tournament opener.

They trailed by sixteen with less than 7 half of minutes to go however almost came all the way again behind Hogue's scoring inside.

"That is who these guys are, they're fighters," coach Fred Hoiberg stated.

With UConn clinging to a 70-sixty five lead and fewer than a minute left, Iowa State's Naz Lengthy missed a three-pointer, and the 6-1 Napier pulled down the rebound and was fouled by Hogue. The guard calmly drilled each free throws.

UConn was 20 of twenty-two from the foul line, while Iowa State was 6 of 15.

Napier, the American Athletic Conference player of the 12 months, drained 4 early three-pointers, then made just one more area purpose the remainder of the best way. However the quick start by Napier and backcourt mate Ryan Boatright opened up house for the 6-foot-9 Daniels, an inconsistent junior who can score all over the courtroom when he is on.

Since a stretch in late February and early March when he failed to achieve double figures in 4 straight games, Daniels had averaged 15 in his last six outings before Friday. Then towards Iowa State, he shot 10 of 15 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"With our seniors on this staff, I simply need them to exit with a bang," Daniels stated.

Ejim and DeAndre Kane, Iowa State's prime scorers, have been a mixed 9 of 31. But Hogue, from nearby Yonkers, discovered plenty of space, shooting 15 for 19.

"To play within the Backyard, it's one thing I dreamed about as a child," he mentioned.

After Napier's tough early 3-pointers – he was falling away on two of them and stepping back to open a sliver of space on a 3rd – Boatright and Daniels took over. The three combined for all however six of the Huskies' factors as they constructed a 36-26 halftime lead.

Second-year coach Kevin Ollie is now 3-zero within the NCAA event after taking over for mentor Jim Calhoun, who gave him a giant hug after this one was over. The final time UConn made it this far, the Huskies won a nationwide title when Napier and Giffey have been freshmen.

The current upperclassmen might have transferred after this system's low scores on the NCAA's tutorial progress measure stored UConn from final yr's Large East and NCAA tournaments.

"We were banned from quite a lot of issues," Ollie stated. "We couldn't come here for the match, but they weren't banned from loving and pushing and encouraging one another, and that is what it's all about. Those darkish times, if you don't surrender at nighttime instances, it can reverse, the wind will begin going in your favor, your path.

"And I think that is what's happened now."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

 

Two tie for 50-yard freestyle title at NCAAs

AUSTIN, Texas – Three months ago, Alabama's Kristian Gkolomeev lived in Greece. Two months ago, Arizona's Brad Tandy was ineligible for NCAA competition.

On Thursday, they shared a national title in the 50-yard freestyle at the NCAA men's swimming championships, each finishing in 18.95 seconds.

Tandy, cleared by the NCAA last month after its investigation of his year off after high school spent in South Africa training to make the country's Olympic team, held a slim lead after the first 25 yards.

But Gkolomeev, who moved to the United States in January, rallied in the final 25.

"Usually my first 25 is the strongest, so I'm kind of used to having that open water," Tandy said. "I hit (the turn) fine, I just couldn't quite get the grab to maintain my speed from the first 25. Luckily, it was a tie, so I'm pretty happy with that."

Texas, serving as this year's host, is looking for its first NCAA men's swimming title since 2010. Led by freshman Michael Dixon, who won an individual championship in the 1-meter springboard, the Longhorns, with 146 points, had a one-point lead over California after the first of three days.

"Have you ever seen a meet like this in your life? There's never been one like it," Texas coach Eddie Reese said. "If we win one here, I can turn the guys loose Saturday night and I can go home."

The Golden Bears, who won the 400 medley and 200 freestyle relays Thursday, are trying to capture their third title in four years.

"You don't get to do that too often in a sport where you put four guys together and let them go after it," Cal coach David Durden said. "Relays are fun. It was never one split or one person. It was kind of the collective group that did the job."

Florida's Marcin Cieslak won the 200 individual medley in 1:40.58. The Gators were third with 137 points.

Defending champion Michigan was fourth with 109 points, followed by Georgia with 74.

Southern California's Cristian Quintero won his first individual NCAA championship with a pool-record 4:10.02 in the 500 freestyle, an event he finished third in last year and second the year before.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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Johnson, Arizona heat up, rally over SDSU

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nick Johnson put an awful first half behind him and came up large for Arizona in the closing 2:forty five.

The Pac-12 player of the year scored all of his 15 factors over that span after lacking his first 10 photographs and helped Arizona maintain off San Diego State 70-sixty four on Thursday night time to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA match.

"After I hit one shot, it simply began to feel a little bit bit better," he mentioned. "I just saved on hitting shots."

Largely, Johnson hit free throws, making all 10 of his attempts to go together with a discipline goal and a three-pointer after the Aztecs shut him down for the first 37 minutes.

"He simply exploded within the second half," stated San Diego State's Dwayne Polee II, who guarded Johnson. "I can not say that we didn't play onerous protection, however he just made a variety of good pictures."

Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 15 points each for the highest-seeded Wildcats (33-4), who will try to win a West Regional last for the primary time in Anaheim. They're 0-3 at Honda Heart going into Saturday's game towards second-seeded Wisconsin (29-7).

Arizona coach Sean Miller joined brother Archie in the ultimate eight. The younger Miller coached Dayton to an 82-72 victory over Stanford of the Pac-12 in the South Regional semifinals.

"We watched the sport in our locker room," Sean Miller stated. "The truth that two of us are within the Elite Eight is a really unique situation, but we'll see."

Xavier Thames scored 25 factors and Polee added thirteen points for the Aztecs (31-5). Those two tried to bail out SDSU within the final minute, every hitting 3-pointers before Thames' basket minimize the deficit to 65-61 with 38 seconds left.

The drama wasn't over but in a game that includes tenacious defense and rabid depth by both groups.

SDSU acquired known as for a 10-second violation, and the Wildcats regained the ball. Johnson obtained fouled and made each for a 67-61 lead with 26 seconds to go. Thames obtained fouled on a 3-level try, and he sank all three pictures to depart SDSU trailing 67-64.

The Aztecs had Johnson trapped close to their bench, however he handed out of the double-team and Gabe York bought fouled at the other end. He missed the first and made the second, maintaining Arizona forward 68-64. Thames missed, and Johnson once more went to the road, where he ended the scoring with two free throws.

San Diego State led by eight factors early within the second half after leading by that many simply earlier than halftime. The Aztecs managed the boards 37-29, with three of them often battling without delay on the defensive finish. Josh Davis had 14 rebounds for SDSU.

The Aztecs were making an attempt to reach the final eight for the primary time at school history below sixty nine-year-outdated coach Steve Fisher.

"One in every of as of late, we will get to a Closing 4," Fisher mentioned.

Johnson's 2-of-12 taking pictures wasn't the Wildcats' only drawback. Kaleb Tarczewski returned late within the sport with four fouls, and Hollis-Jefferson fouled out with four:forty two to play.

However Johnson made his first basket a couple of minutes later and carried the Wildcats across the end line after they trailed a lot of the second half.

"It is wonderful for a kid to be able to try this after not making shots for about 25, 30 straight minutes," Miller mentioned.

T.J. McConnell's layup gave Arizona its first lead, 50-49, of the second half after the Wildcats got within one 3 times. SDSU answered with baskets the primary two occasions however couldn't cease McConnell, who finished with 11 factors.

The Wildcats started getting a number of the offensive rebounds that eluded them a lot of the sport, and Tarczewski scored after his teammates grabbed two on the identical possession to keep Arizona ahead 54-51.

Polee's protection helped maintain Johnson scoreless within the first half, when he went zero-for-7 and missed all three of his 3-point makes an attempt. He lastly hit a jumper at the buzzer, however typical of Arizona's early luck, it was dominated no good. Tarczewski picked up his third foul with 5:13 to go, leaving the Wildcats without their 7-footer to guard the basket.

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Gators finish off UCLA for 29th straight win

Gators Put Away Bruins

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Florida Gators are back where their previous three seasons have ended with one more likelihood to go to the Remaining Four.

Being within the Elite Eight again, though, simply isn't enough.

Michael Frazier II hit 5 three-pointers and finished with 19 points as the Gators beat UCLA 79-68 on Thursday night time to succeed in their fourth consecutive NCAA regional closing.

"We just talked about it, and it isn't sufficient for us," Florida senior Will Yeguete said. "We've got two days to get ready for a superb team, and we're simply going to go for it on Saturday."

The Gators (35-2) additionally prolonged the very best profitable streak in class history to 29 straight in reaching the South Regional last.

"From a group side, I believe we've executed an ideal job of just staying in the second and just trying to chase greatness," Frazier mentioned. "Whenever you do that, complacency is not an element, so I feel we have carried out a great job all year of just staying in the moment and chasing greatness."

The tournament's general prime seed will play 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday night for a visit to the Closing Four. Dayton beat Stanford 82-72 earlier Thursday night time.

"Proper now we acquired to place this game behind us and get focused on Dayton," Florida senior Scottie Wilbekin said. "They're an important staff. Everyone is at this level within the season, and so we received to be locked in and prepared as a result of it will be a battle."

Wilbekin added 13 points for Florida. Casey Prather had 12 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 10. Kasey Hill had 10 assists. The Gators have not lost since Dec. 2.

The Gators misplaced to Michigan a yr ago in a regional closing.

"Nevertheless it's a new workforce that we've got, and we're taking part in a new team so it's a completely different situation," Wilbekin stated. "We're simply excited to get this win and transfer on to the next recreation. We're completely targeted on that. The previous has no impression."

UCLA (28-9) was back in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2008 underneath first-12 months coach Steve Alford. But the Bruins just could not match Florida's bodily protection or outshoot the Gators. UCLA now is zero-four against Florida coach Billy Donovan all time – all in the NCAA tournament.

"They played very effectively," Alford said of the Gators. "They're an impressive basketball group."

Florida shot 50 p.c (29-of-58) for the game, together with 59.three % in the second half. UCLA completed at forty two.2 p.c (27-of-sixty four) in only its fifth sport scoring fewer than 70 points this season. The Bruins have been a cold 1-of-12 beyond the arc within the second half.

Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 17 points, and Kyle Anderson had 11 and 5 assists with nine rebounds. Travis Wear added 14.

Frazier confirmed off the Gators' capturing expertise. He had hit solely three of thirteen photographs beyond the arc by means of the Gators' first two match wins however hit five of his first six towards UCLA.

The Gators led 36-30 at halftime and clicked on a unique degree within the second half. They hit their first six shots and eight of their first 10. Each time UCLA tried to make a run, Florida answered. First, it was Frazier hitting consecutive three-pointers as UCLA pulled within 43-39.

When the Bruins pulled within 56-55 on a layup by Norman Powell halfway via the half, Finney-Smith hit a jumper for the first of 10 straight points. The Gators had UCLA working up and down the courtroom a lot Adams couldn't even hit the rim with a jumper despite having an open take a look at the basket.

Wilbekin completed off the run with a 3-level play that had the Gators solidly in control, up 66-fifty five with 5:34 left.

"He hit two large shots down the stretch," Anderson said. "That's what you count on out of your senior level guard. He's been right here in the Sweet sixteen 4 years. He made huge photographs. Credit to him."

For all the discuss of Florida's stingy defense, UCLA opened the game blocking the Gators' first two pictures. The Bruins blocked only two extra pictures the rest of the sport.

The Bruins got here in as one of many nation's best scoring groups, averaging eighty one.5 points a game. Florida showed early it might shoot, too, hitting 5 of eight shots from past the arc in spurt that turned a 14-eleven deficit right into a 20-16 lead. Again-to-again 3s from Frazier put the Gators forward to stay.

Each time Anderson acquired the ball close to the UCLA basket, he discovered himself with no less than two Gators making an attempt to smother him.

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Florida State, Winston in fracas with Gators

Florida upset No. 1-ranked Florida State four-1 after a benches-clearing fracas Tuesday night time in Jacksonville.

Jameis Winston scuffle

Police got here onto the sphere to assist umpires restore order, holding Jameis Winston and others again.

It began when FSU's DJ Stewart ran into Florida pitcher Danny Young, who was trying to discipline Stewart's slow roller up the primary-final analysis. Florida first baseman Zack Powers confronted Stewart before umpires separated them.

However, the benches and bullpens emptied, and gamers – including FSU reliever and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston – spilled onto the field. Police got here onto the field to assist umpires restore order, and one was photographed holding Winston and different players again.

It appeared to be nothing more than pushing and shoving, and the gamers returned to their benches. Stewart, Younger and Powers had been ejected. Florida's Justin Shafer was later ejected in a separate incident.

"It's very laborious for me to touch upon," FSU coach Mike Martin mentioned, in accordance with FloridaState.247sports.com. "I will simply wait till the verdict is in concerning D.J.'s standing."

Florida (sixteen-9) took the groups' common-season sequence with the win. The Gators also beat Florida State (19-5) three-1 last week in Gainesville. The teams additionally meet April 8 in Tallahassee.

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Cougars’ Dickey resigns; Sampson in line?

James Dickey has resigned as coach of the Houston Cougars attributable to "private family matters," the college introduced in a press release Monday, and ESPN.com sources say Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson is being targeted as Dickey's alternative.

James Dickey

James Dickey had a 64-sixty two record as coach at Houston over 4 seasons. He cited "private family matters" in resigning.

Sampson was fired from Indiana in 2008 and hit with a 5-12 months show trigger by the NCAA after being caught making impermissible telephone calls. He has since labored as an assistant within the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and Rockets. Sampson has also been concerned with NBA head coaching jobs.

Nevertheless, sources near Sampson advised ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman that he misses the school sport and is fascinated within the opening. One holdup, though, might be compensation.

Sampson, fifty eight, has been a Division I school head coach at three stops – Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana. He took Washington State to the NCAA match in 1994, then went to 11 NCAA tourneys in 12 seasons at Oklahoma – including a Closing Four in 2002 – and was at Indiana for 2 seasons earlier than being fired.

Dickey had a sixty four-sixty two document in four seasons at Houston, together with a 20-13 mark in 2012-thirteen. The Cougars had been 17-sixteen this season, together with a 3-four file in opposition to Prime 25 teams.

"This has been a troublesome decision to make," Dickey mentioned in a press release launched by the varsity. "I continually preach to my players about being an on a regular basis man, and the balance of your private and skilled life is a significant part of it.

"With that being stated, I've a family matter that requires my time and vitality, and I'll regretfully step down from my current position on the College of Houston… I would like to thank the Houston fans for his or her help by way of the years and enormously encourage them to proceed their help of this system sooner or later."

Earlier Monday, athletic director Mack Rhoades said a search for a coach would begin immediately.

"Coach Dickey just isn't only a great individual and coach however an incredible mentor for all of our pupil-athletes and whole employees," Rhoades stated in a press release. "He made so many of us in our department better. No one has worked tougher than Coach Dickey… He can be missed greatly."

 

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Women’s NCAA teams best men in grad rates

ORLANDO, Fla. – Women's teams competing in the NCAA tournament are graduating their players at a higher rate than their male counterparts.

A study released Tuesday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport shows the women graduating at a rate of 87 percent, compared to 72 percent for the men.

The women's field has 21 teams graduating at 100 percent.

Northwestern State University was the lone women's NCAA tourney team to fall below the NCAA-mandated Academic Progress Rate score of 930, or 50 percent graduation rate equivalent. Eight men's teams were below that standard.

The women also saw 1 percentage point decrease in the disparity between the graduation rates of white and African-Americans. That gap is five percentage points. It is a 24-point gap for men's teams.

Study author Richard Lapchick said the women's success in consistently closing the gap between white and African-American players is proof that the men's gap can also be reduced.

"Clearly the thing that troubles me in these reports the most is the gap between white and African-American athletes, though for women it's very different, and it includes a number of situations where the rates for African-Americans are higher than whites," Lapchick said.

Lapchick said he would like to see disparity gaps be factored into APR calculations to motivate both men and women's teams to improve their numbers.

"If (the gap) is narrowing, it should be a positive impact, but if there is a 30 percentage point or more gap and not narrowing, they should be facing penalties," he said.

Currently, teams scoring below a 925 APR can lose up to 10 percent of their scholarships. Teams can also be subject to penalties for poor academic performance over time.

Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams must earn a minimum 900 four-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible for NCAA championships.

The APR was developed by the NCAA in 2004 as a way to improve graduation rates. It is a four-year rolling average of academic performance that takes into account academic eligibility and retention.

The NCAA recently voted to institute stricter policies with regards to APR performance and postseason participation. The new legislation will require teams to have a four-year APR above 930 to qualify for postseason participation the following year.

For 2014-15, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930.

To that end, the women in this year's tournament are well on their way to surpassing those benchmarks.

All of the teams in the women's field graduated more than 60 percent of their players except Florida Gulf Coast (40 percent). Eighty-eight percent of the teams in the men's tournament currently graduate at least 60 percent of their players.

"Some people say `What's your real aim with these studies, not anything less than a 100 percent (graduation rate)?' I'm always going to be somebody who wants to see people get the best possible mark they can get," Lapchick said. "There still can be improvement and the area is the gap between white and African-American athletes. If the women can do that, obviously the men can do that."

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Warren stars as NC State reaches field of 64

Warren, NC State Cruise Past Xavier

T.J. Warren scored 25 points in North Carolina State's seventy four-59 win over Xavier, because the Wolfpack advanced to face St. Louis.

Warren, NC State Cruise Previous Xavier

 

DAYTON, Ohio – Two missed pictures, two fast fouls. T.J. Warren's second likelihood on the NCAA tournament did not begin very nicely at all.

It ended with the ACC's prime participant placing on a show.

The exhausting-to-guard sophomore ahead scored 16 of his 25 factors within the second half on Tuesday night, exhibiting why he was chosen as the ACC's player of the 12 months, and North Carolina State led many of the manner in a 74-59 victory over Xavier within the NCAA event's First 4.

N.C. State (22-12) didn't have a lot time to celebrate. The 12th-seeded Wolfpack headed to the airport for a two-hour flight to Orlando, Fla., and a recreation on Thursday towards St. Louis in the Midwest Regional.

Warren had the most to do with it. He made up for a freshman tournament flop on the same floor a year earlier and prevented Xavier (21-14) from getting any traction in the second half.

"I simply needed to come back out and be aggressive," said Warren, who was 10 of 18 from the sphere. "My photographs would not fall in the first half, but my teammates did a terrific job of finding me."

No shock there.

"Finally in a 40-minute recreation, he's going to find a way," coach Mark Gottfried mentioned.

Middle Matt Stainbrook led Xavier with 19 points and 9 rebounds regardless of an injured left knee. Main scorer Semaj Christon was restricted to 14 factors, and Xavier made only 2 of 14 shots from past the arc.

Xavier's biggest disappointment was its incapacity to decelerate the Wolfpack in the second half, when N.C. State shot 61.5 p.c from the sector.

"We weren't ourselves today on defense," Strainbrook said. "We construct our identity on defense. After we cannot get stops, it ruins every part else. Total, it was just a shambles."

Xavier was taking part in in a well-recognized enviornment less than an hour from campus. Familiar, but not totally pleasant. Fans of the Dayton Flyers – an extended-time rival – booed loudly as they took the court, making for a mixed welcome with a whole lot of Musketeer fans in the stands as well.

Warren made it all a moot point, serving to N.C. State take all the drama out of the sport over the ultimate eleven minutes. Ralston Turner added 17 factors.

The Wolfpack went six years between NCAA appearances earlier than Gottfried obtained them there three years in a row. This was his youngest and least-skilled group: Only two players with match expertise. They bought one of many last at-large bids with a robust closing run, successful five of their final six games, together with an upset of Syracuse within the ACC tournament.

Warren was the important thing. And he really wished a second likelihood at the NCAA match.

As a freshman final 12 months, he managed solely 4 points as N.C. State lost to Temple seventy six-72 on the College of Dayton Enviornment in its opening game. He's grown so much in a single year, main the ACC with 24.eight points per recreation this season and hitting the forty-level mark twice.

He got off to a bad start on Tuesday, missing his first two shots and choosing up two fouls in the first four minutes, 14 seconds. Warren checked back into the game and hit a jumper for his first factors on the eleven:29 mark.

Christon, who was Warren's roommate at Brewster Academy for one yr, stored the Musketeers in it in the course of the first half. He scored off two drives to the basket, starting an eight-1 run. Stainbrook's reverse layup trimmed it to 27-26 with 2:22 left. Jordan Vandenberg's three-level play gave N.C. State a 34-28 advantage at halftime.

Dee Davis hit Xavier's first three-pointer, and Christon scored on a quick-break lay-in that lower it to 39-37.

That is when Warren took over.

"T.J.'s a terrific player," said point guard Tyler Lewis, who had eight assists and 7 points. "We know that generally it's not going to be his greatest game. We need all people to step up and make performs. I assumed within the second half, T.J. did an incredible job of hitting some pictures."

He had a pair of pull-up jumpers, adopted by a steal and a lay-up as N.C. State rebuilt the result in fifty one-42. He had another pull-up jumper and a fast-break dunk that made it 57-forty seven with 7:56 to go. Xavier never received closer than seven factors the rest of the best way, fading down the stretch.

The largest query for Xavier was how Stainbrook's left knee would hold up. The Massive East's second-main rebounder sprained a ligament, sat out the final regular season game and was extremely limited in two Massive East convention games.

He was back in type, however Xavier did not have enough different scoring choices to maintain up.

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L’ville, Zona, MSU, UF in Obama’s Final Four

President Barack Obama, the nation's first basketball fan, took marker to bracket with ESPN once more on the White House and selected defending event champion Louisville, No. 1 overall seed Florida, prime seed Arizona and Michigan State to advance to this year's NCAA men's Remaining Four.

The paths Obama took to reach at his 2014 Remaining 4, an event that has come to be referred to as "Barack-etology", have been revealed on SportsCenter at eleven p.m. ET Tuesday. The president's full picks – that is the sixth consecutive year he is made them with ESPN's Andy Katz – will likely be introduced Wednesday on the 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.

The President has picked three totally different teams in the "Barack-etology" era to win the boys's title – Indiana (over Louisville in 2013), Kansas (over Ohio State in 2011 and Kentucky in 2010) and North Carolina (over Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2009). His correctly picked national champion was the Tar Heels in '09.

Last yr Obama's men's bracket ranked 2,080,996 out of eight.15 million entries in ESPN.com's free ESPN Men's Tournament Problem, inserting him in the seventy four.4th percentile.

The president accurately picked Louisville to play in the 2013 championship game, predicting a loss to Indiana for the title. Actually, the Hoosiers fell in need of the Closing 4 and the Cardinals defeated Michigan eighty two-76 in what the president mentioned was "top-of-the-line championship games that any of us have seen in a very, very very long time."

Florida within the South Area and Arizona in the West are the only high seeds represented in the president's Closing Four. The other top seeds in the event are undefeated Wichita State in the Midwest and Virginia within the East. Louisville is the four seed in the Midwest and Michigan State is the 4 seed within the East. The Cardinals and Spartans completed their seasons by winning their convention tournaments and are standard picks to make it to the Last Four.

The president is an avid fan of the school game and his hometown Chicago Bulls, and his brother-in-legislation is the pinnacle coach at Oregon State.

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Smart defends A-10 qualifications for NCAA

RICHMOND, Va. – Shaka Good isn't amused by individuals taking photographs at the power of the Atlantic 10 Convention.

The Virginia Commonwealth coach mentioned on Monday the A-10 must apologize to no one for getting six teams within the NCAA match, together with 5 at-giant bids, as a result of they all earned the suitable to be included.

The Rams (26-eight), who misplaced within the championship to Saint Joseph's, acquired an at-massive bid along with other A-10 schools: Massachusetts (24-eight), Saint Louis (26-6), George Washington (24-8) and Dayton (23-10).

Shaka Smart

Shaka Good, presumably in reaction to a Mike Krzyzewksi comment, mentioned taking pot-shots at one other league "is low-level."

On Saturday, after Duke beat North Carolina State within the ACC semifinals, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewksi stated he thought the Wolfpack deserved an at-massive berth, even forward of an A-10 crew.

"I will get in trouble probably for saying it. (I) like the Atlantic 10, they are a really good conference," Krzyzewksi stated. "I hear people saying there are six groups in there. Come on. I imply, they're good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our convention has to go through."

Smart said he sees no level in evaluating leagues in discussing event viability.

"Initially, evaluating your own league to another person's league is like me saying that my daughter is cuter than your daughter," he mentioned. "There is a level of bias that comes into play that you should not even make those comments. Secondly, coaches are too busy to be an authority on another person's convention.

"I know our league very well because we have been in our league making ready for our league, however I don't know a lot about anybody else's league past the groups we have played in non-convention play," he stated.

Sensible mentioned a coach lobbying for his league is one thing, however taking pot-pictures at another league "is low-degree."

"You type of need to rise up to your league," he stated, "… a number of this league solidarity, like a Duke man standing up for N.C. State, that's all self-serving too. Let's be sincere. 'Our league is great because it's our league.' It's a whole lot of that. Let's simply have a stage of respect for one another and let's respect the nine individuals on the choice committee and the work they put into to choosing the 68 groups."

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin additionally spoke out Monday in protection of the Bearcats' convention when requested about SMU's absence from the NCAA tournament.

Cronin, speaking to Andy Katz in an interview on ESPNU, mentioned he understood "it is a onerous job but SMU not being in the tournament is ridiculous."

"The American conference was grossly disrespected by the committee," Cronin mentioned. "It isn't private. I am not mad. It is just a truth.

"I mean, Louisville's a 4 seed?" Cronin added earlier than laughing. "Are you kidding me? Is that a joke? Did anyone watch them play? They're the defending nationwide champs."

Cronin reiterated he did not perceive the NCAA tournament committee's reasoning.

"The fundamental message that was despatched to our league was that you simply're not so good as a number of the other leagues," Cronin mentioned.

 

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UConn No. 1 in Lincoln; Stanford draws No. 2

Connecticut has landed within the Lincoln Region as the top seed for the women's NCAA tournament, which begins Saturday.

The Huskies (34-zero) will likely be making an attempt for a document ninth NCAA title, which might break a tie with Tennessee for most all-time.

Fellow unbeaten Notre Dame (32-0) additionally picked up a No. 1 seed as host of the Notre Dame Area, with Tennessee drawing the top seed in the Louisville Area and South Carolina getting the No. 1 seed within the Stanford Area.

Notre Dame plays in opposition to Robert Morris on Saturday. UConn opens Sunday in opposition to No. sixteen Prairie View.

It units the stage for the former Massive East rivals to meet in an historic national championship game and is simply the second time two groups have entered the NCAA match undefeated.

In the event that they do both get to Nashville, the Irish can be all that stands between Geno Auriemma and a report ninth title.

"We actually have not talked, I wager hardly at all, about this national championship or what number it's or any of that," Auriemma stated.

Regardless of being the 13th girls's staff to go unbeaten throughout the regular season, the Irish have felt almost unappreciated with most of the talk centered on the Huskies. Coach Muffet McGraw does not appear to mind.

"I like it as a result of we are able to get a chip on our shoulder and head into the event with a bit of chip," she said.

Although UConn and Notre Dame didn't play this season, the two teams know plenty about one another having met 12 instances over the previous three seasons. Notre Dame is not intimidated by Connecticut; the Irish have gained seven of the previous 9 meetings with the Huskies.

"It was very unusual to go through a complete season with out playing them, we're so used to it, 3 times yearly," McGraw stated. "We have gotten pretty good at beating them the last couple of years."

Earlier than the potential meeting of unbeatens, the 2 may need to go through SEC powers Tennessee and South Carolina, who also earned No. 1 seeds.

Whereas it is the twenty second time that the Girl Vols have earned a high spot, it's the primary for the Gamecocks. The Huskies, Lady Vols and Gamecocks all may should play on an opponent's residence court docket with a trip to Nashville on the line. Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisville and Nebraska, who're all internet hosting regionals, had been a mixed fifty two-3 at residence this season.

The Lady Vols, who gained the SEC tournament championship, are the highest seed in the Louisville Regional and would also like nothing more than to interrupt the tie with Connecticut and win their ninth NCAA title. They open up against Northwestern State and will probably be trying to end a five-12 months drought of not making the Closing 4. The Girl Vols won't have an easy path. West Virginia is the second seed. Host Louisville is the three seed and Maryland is the four.

Tennessee was concerned in the one different meeting between unbeatens. The Lady Vols routed Liberty within the opener of the 1998 tournament when both have been undefeated.

Like their SEC rivals, South Carolina would not have an easy street to the Ultimate 4. The Gamecocks may face an inspired younger North Carolina group in the regional semifinals before potentially taking part in host Stanford.

The Tar Heels and their stellar freshman class, led by Diamond Deshields, beat the Gamecocks in December. The Tar Heels also might have coach Sylvia Hatchell again on the sidelines at that point. The Corridor of Famer battled leukemia throughout the common season.

Whereas Hatchell's status is unknown for the match, Baylor shall be lacking coach Kim Mulkey for the first game. She is suspended for the primary round sport against Western Kentucky for comments she made last season after shedding to Louisville within the regional semifinals.

"I have not talked to the workforce in depth about me not coaching in the first recreation," Mulkey stated. "I will watch it on television at dwelling… I at all times tell the workforce something might happen to me on that sideline and it's best to be able to coach your self."

Connecticut may have to beat host Nebraska in the regional semifinals if each groups make it that far.

The host faculties have been chosen in October. Tennessee did not bid to host a regional because of a scheduling conflict at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Auriemma mentioned his school did not bid as a result of he didn't just like the concept of getting colleges host regionals.

"I do not imagine in it," Auriemma said. "I do not think it is fair and I informed our administration, 'We're passing on it. I don't want to do it.' So we did not."

Louisville coach Jeff Walz also would not like the concept of host websites for the regional rounds. Walz cited Louisville's eighty two-eighty one upset of prime-ranked Baylor in last 12 months's Oklahoma Metropolis Regional semifinal as evidence.

"I exploit us as an example," Walz stated. "If we played Baylor at Baylor last yr, I am not sure we win that game.. I am an enormous proponent of enjoying regionals on neutral flooring and I'm excited that we will again to."

The choice to have schools host regionals was made in an effort to attract larger crowds.

Last season, the NCAA posted an average attendance of 5,883 for all event games, a 21-p.c improve over 2012. But the event had posted average attendances of a minimum of 6,400 every year from 1998-2005.

The common attendance for regional rounds last yr was 7,a hundred, a 38-% improve over 2012 but a far cry from 10 to fifteen years in the past. Average attendance within the regional rounds had been over 8,000 5 occasions in a seven-yr stretch from 1998-2004.

"I believe residence courts are a real a part of the women's event versus the men's event," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.

Next 12 months, the regionals will likely be back at impartial websites.

Auriemma has one idea for serving to these impartial sites draw massive crowds.

"We do have to search out, I believe, 4 cities which are hotbeds or probably, for ladies's basketball and we have got to offer them an opportunity to host the regionals, and give it to them for a few years at a time, instead of only a one-shot deal," Auriemma stated.

The Huskies have made it to the Closing Four in a file six straight seasons. They hope to make it to Nashville to maintain that streak alive.

If the Huskies do win the national championship it would be the fifth time they went undefeated in a season. This would be the first time that they gained 40 games, joining Baylor as the only teams ever to perform that feat.

The defending national champions have won games by an average of 36 points. They open up at home towards Prairie View A&M on Sunday evening. The Lady Panthers grew to become the ninth team to reach the NCAA event with a shedding file when they won the Southwestern Convention championship.

Tennessee will be making its 33rd straight look in the NCAA match, entering into the sector ever year. 5 teams will probably be making their first trip – Akron, North Dakota, South Dakota, Winthrop and Wright State.

Whereas these colleges will be getting their first taste of the NCAAs, Chattanooga's Jim Foster grew to become the first coach to take four totally different groups to the NCAA tournament.

 

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NCAA Tournament Schedule, Times and Announcers For Thursday & Friday

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The NCAA Match just released the schedule for the first two days of the NCAA Event, and there’s probably not a surprise – the way in which this units up, the marquee game Sunday evening might be Wichita State vs. Kentucky, and the early Saturday sport will seemingly contain Syracuse, which is an enormous TELEVISION draw within the East. The Sunday slate is shaping up a lot stronger – it (possible) will characteristic marquee teams reminiscent of Duke, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA.

Thursday Afternoon, March 20
12:15 p.m.
CBS
Buffalo I
Ohio State vs. Dayton
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Allie LaForce

12:forty p.m.
truTV
Milwaukee I
Wisconsin vs. American
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//Lewis Johnson

1:forty p.m.
TBS
Orlando I
Colorado vs. Pittsburgh
Anderson/Bonner//Leahy

2:10 p.m.
TNT
Spokane I
Cincinnati vs. Harvard
Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio

CBS
Buffalo II
Syracuse vs. Western Michigan
Lundquist/ Raftery// LaForce

After conc. I
truTV
Milwaukee II
Oregon vs. BYU
Eagle/Spanarkel// Johnson

After conc. I

TBS
Orlando II
Florida vs. Albany/Mount St. Mary’s
Anderson/Bonner//Leahy

After conc. I

TNT
Spokane II
Michigan State vs. Delaware
Dedes/Gottlieb//Maggio

Thursday Night, March 20

6:fifty five p.m.
TBS
Buffalo III
Connecticut vs.Saint Joseph’s
Lundquist/ Raftery// LaForce

7:10 p.m.

CBS
Milwaukee III
Michigan vs. Wofford
Eagle/Spanarkel// Johnson

7:20 p.m.
TNT
Orlando III
St. Louis vs. N.C. State/Xavier
Anderson/Bonner//Leahy
7:27 p.m.

truTV
Spokane III
Oklahoma vs. North Dakota State
Dedes/Gottlieb//Maggio

After conc. III
TBS
Buffalo IV
Villanova vs. Milwaukee
Lundquist/ Raftery// LaForce

After conc. III
CBS
Milwaukee IV
Texas vs. Arizona State
Eagle/Spanarkel// Johnson

After conc. III
TNT
Orlando IV
Louisville vs. Manhattan
Anderson/Bonner//Leahy

After conc. III
truTV
Spokane IV
San Diego State vs. New Mexico State
Dedes/Gottlieb//Maggio

Friday Afternoon, March 21 (Midday-6 p.m. ET)

12:15 p.m.
CBS
Raleigh I
Duke vs. Mercer
Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols

12:forty p.m.
truTV
San Antonio I
Baylor vs. Nebraska
Marv Albert/Steve Kerr//Craig Sager

1:40 p.m.
TBS
St. Louis I
New Mexico vs. Stanford
Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony//Tracy Wolfson

2:10 p.m.
TNT
San Diego I
Arizona vs. Weber State
Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski//Otis Livingston

After conc. I
CBS
Raleigh II
Massachusetts vs. Iowa/Tennessee
Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols

After conc. I
truTV
San Antonio II
Creighton vs. Louisiana Lafayette
Albert/Kerr//Sager

After conc. I
TBS
St. Louis II
Kansas vs. Jap Kentucky
Nantz/Anthony//Wolfson

After conc. I
TNT
San Diego II
Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State
Catalon/Gminski//Livingston

Friday Night, March 21

6:55 p.m.
TBS
Raleigh III
Memphis vs. George Washington
Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols

7:10 p.m.
CBS
St. Louis III
Wichita State vs. Cal Poly/Texas Southern
Nantz/Anthony//Wolfson

7:20 p.m.
TNT
San Antonio III
North Carolina vs. Providence
Albert/Kerr//Sager

7:27 p.m.
truTV
San Diego III
VCU vs. Stephen F. Austin
Catalon/Gminski//Livingston

After conc. III
TBS
Raleigh IV
Virginia vs. Coastal Carolina
Harlan/Elmore/Miller/Nichols

After conc. III
CBS
St. Louis IV
Kentucky vs. Kansas State
Nantz/Anthony//Wolfson

After conc. III
TNT
San Antonio IV
Iowa State vs. N.C. Central
Albert/Kerr//Sager

After conc. III
truTV
San Diego IV
UCLA vs. Tulsa
Catalon/Gminski//Livingston

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