This latest Final Four — won by Duke on Monday by a 68-63 score against Wisconsin at pristine Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis — was my 20th straight covering the national semifinals and final. It is a stretch that began in 1996 and has included some unforgettable moments, on and off the court.
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Wisconsin rallied late, and because of it will play for a second straight trip to the Final Four, having eliminated North Carolina 79-72 in a West Regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers will play Arizona, a 68-60 winner over Xavier.
Point guard T.J. McConnell scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half, sparking second-seeded Arizona to a 68-60 victory over sixth-seeded Xavier in an NCAA West Regional semifinal Thursday night at Staples Center.
Forward Trey Lyles scored 14 points, and the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats remained undefeated with an overwhelming 78-39 win over fifth-seeded West Virginia in the Midwest Regional semifinals Thursday night.
Sam Dekker posted 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Badgers topped the Tar Heels 79-72 in the West Regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in Los Angeles.
Demetrius Jackson scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting as third-seeded Notre Dame used a hot-shooting second half to knock off the seventh-seeded Wichita State 81-70 in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional semifinal in Cleveland.
Kentucky is four wins from a perfect season and is about to take on its toughest defensive test so far against West Virginia. The Mountaineers beat up Maryland in the third round to advance and will put the Wildcats’ depth to the test with their full-court pressure.
Notre Dame and Wichita State each won rare matchups against in-state rivals in the round of 32, but Thursday’s stakes are higher. The Fighting Irish defeated Butler in overtime, and the Shockers upset Kansas to reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years.
Wisconsin is two wins from returning to the Final Four, while North Carolina has reached the Elite Eight six times since 2005.
Arizona, in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season, brings a 13-game winning streak into the game. Xavier has won five of its last six games and is in the Sweet 16 for the third time in six seasons under coach Chris Mack.
The Review-Journal’s Adam Hill, Kelly Stewart and Matt Youmans compete with handicappers Bruce Marshall and Ken Thomson in a contest covering NCAA Tournament games last week, today and Friday. Each contestant selects a total of 22 games against the spread, sides or totals.
A look at some prop bets for the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 games Thursday and Friday. Lines are from the Westgate Las Vegas sports book.
It’s all about matchups at this point, and Kentucky has the edge mostly because of its size. Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson are 7-footers, Karl-Anthony Towns is 6-11 and Trey Lyles is 6-10. Wildcats coach John Calipari, like him or loathe him, has done a great job of putting it all together.
Matt Stainbrook has one of those stories only March Madness can relay to a nation of college fans, and there is also the part about him being a main reason Xavier has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time since 2008.
Few remember to take a deep breath and appreciate, which is how we should view the final days of Frank Kaminsky’s college basketball career at Wisconsin. His is the sort of story that makes the NCAA Tournament so special.
A phone message threatening President Barack Obama’s niece, a player on the Princeton basketball team, prompted authorities to increase security at Monday night’s NCAA women’s tournament game between the Ivy League school and Maryland, USA Today reported.
Everyone is entertained by the Cinderella stories. This was not one of them. Jahlil Okafor is too big and skilled, and the 6-foot-11-inch freshman slaughtered San Diego State in a game that played out as expected.
The turmoil that seemed to follow the Louisville Cardinals during the regular season was nowhere to be found Sunday night.
West Virginia 69, Maryland 59: Devin Williams posted 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Mountaineers knocked off the Terrapins in Columbus, Ohio to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
An Internet poll came out just before the ongoing edition of March Madness ranking Las Vegas No. 124 among the 300 best basketball cities in the U.S.
Forward Sam Dekker scored 17 points, and top-seeded Wisconsin never trailed in a 72-65 victory over eighth-seeded Oregon on Sunday in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional quarterfinal at Century Link Center Omaha.
Kyle Wiltjer authored a sizzling shooting display en route to 24 points as the Gonzaga Bulldogs rolled past the Iowa Hawkeyes in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 in Seattle.
Jordan Woodard scored six of his 16 points in the final minute as the Oklahoma Sooners held off the Dayton Flyers in the NCAA Tournament round of 32 in Columbus, Ohio.