Men's College Basketball
NCAAB News Wire
  • NCAA roundup: No. 1 Duke barely holds off UCF
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 25, 2019

    RJ Barrett scored off a rebound with 12 seconds remaining, and Duke made a final defensive stand to pull out a 77-76 victory against Central Florida in the NCAA Tournament's East Region second round Sunday in Columbia, S.C.

    • Central Florida's BJ Taylor missed a runner in the final seconds, and a tip-in attempt by Aubrey Dawkins barely rolled off, allowing top-seeded Duke to advance. Duke (31-5) will meet Virginia Tech on Friday night in the Sweet 16 in Washington, D.C.

      Taylor made two free throws with 45.2 seconds to play for a 76-73 lead for ninth-seeded UCF (24-9).

      After Zion Williamson missed a 3-pointer, Javin DeLaurier grabbed the offensive rebound. Williamson drove for a layup and was fouled with 14.4 seconds left, with UCF 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall fouling out on the play. Williamson missed a chance for a three-point play by leaving the free throw short, but Barrett rebounded and laid it in to put Duke ahead.

      EAST REGION

      No. 4 Virginia Tech 67, No. 12 Liberty 58

      Post player Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Hokies over the Flames in San Jose, Calif.

      Blackshear's work inside helped offset the early hot shooting of the Flames (29-7), who went cold in the second half, going almost seven minutes without a basket until Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz's 3-pointer brought Liberty within 59-54 with 2:24 left.

      Virginia Tech (26-8) set a school record for victories.

      SOUTH REGION

      No. 2 Tennessee 83, No. 10 Iowa 77

      Junior power forward Grant Williams scored six of his 19 points in overtime as the Volunteers blew a 25-point lead before posting a victory over Iowa at Columbus, Ohio.

      Senior guard Admiral Schofield also scored 19 points for the Volunteers (31-5). Junior guard Lamonte Turner scored 15 points and junior point guard Jordan Bone added 14 for Tennessee, which never trailed.

      Junior guard Jordan Bohannon scored 18 points and junior guard Isaiah Moss added 16 for the 10th-seeded Hawkeyes (23-12). Sophomore forward Luka Garza tallied 13 points and junior power forward Tyler Cook and freshman guard Joe Wieskamp added 11 apiece for Iowa, which shot 39 percent from the field and went 7 of 21 from 3-point range.

      No. 1 Virginia 63, No. 9 Oklahoma 51

      The Cavaliers advanced to their third Sweet 16 in six seasons with a win over the Sooners at Columbia, S.C.

      Mamadi Diakite got the start for the Cavaliers (31-3) and provided a spark with a game-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Despite a 2-for-15 shooting performance from junior Kyle Guy, the Cavaliers got 12 points from Ty Jerome and 10 from De'Andre Hunter to make up for the lack of scoring.

      Oklahoma (20-14) shot just 37 percent and was led by Christian James, who scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds in his final game with the Sooners.

      No. 12 Oregon 73, No. 13 UC Irvine 54

      Payton Pritchard had 18 points, Kenny Wooten blocked seven shots and the Ducks roared back after a big Anteaters run en route to victory in San Jose, Calif.

      Oregon (25-12) will play top-seeded Virginia on Thursday in the Sweet 16 in Louisville, Ky. The Ducks won their 10th consecutive game, having allowed an average of 54.2 points per game during that streak.

      Pritchard scored 10 of his points in the final 10 minutes, as the Ducks pulled away. Wooten, who scored 11 points and had eight rebounds, has blocked 19 shots in the past four games.

      MIDWEST REGION

      No. 1 North Carolina 81, No. 9 Washington 59

      Luke Maye poured in 20 points as the Tar Heels defeated the Huskies in Columbus, Ohio.

      The Tar Heels (29-6) were in control for most of the game, with freshmen Nassir Little's 20 points and Coby White's 17 points also providing a lift. North Carolina will face fifth-seeded Auburn in the Sweet 16 on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo.

      Jaylen Nowell scored 12 points, while Noah Dickerson and Nahziah Carter each posted 10 points for Washington (27-9), which was hurt by 4-for-10 shooting on free throws.

      No. 3 Houston 74, No. 11 Ohio State 59

      Guard Corey Davis Jr. led a balanced attack with 21 points, and backcourt mate Galen Robinson Jr. had 13 points, five assists and a career-high six steals to lift the Cougars to the Sweet 16 with a victory over the Buckeyes in Tulsa, Okla.

      Houston (33-3) will play No. 2 seed Kentucky (29-6) in the round of 16 in Kansas City, Mo. Kentucky advanced with a 62-56 victory over No. 7 Wofford in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday.

      Houston led 39-31 at the half but missed its first eight shots of the second half to let Ohio State (20-15) remain within striking distance. But the Cougars made key buckets to stifle each Buckeye run. C.J. Jackson led Ohio State with 18 points.

      WEST REGION

      No. 3 Texas Tech 78, No. 6 Buffalo 58

      Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Red Raiders crushed the Bulls at Tulsa, Okla.

      Senior center Norense Odiase added 14 points and a career-best 15 rebounds for Texas Tech (28-6), which will face second-seeded Michigan in the Sweet 16 in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday. Senior guard Matt Mooney and sophomore guard Davide Moretti had 11 points apiece and senior forward Tariq Owens had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Red Raiders.

      Senior forward Nick Perkins registered 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Buffalo (32-4), which scored its fewest points of the season. Senior guard CJ Massinburg added 14 points and junior guard Davonta Jordan had 13.

      --Field Level Media

  • College basketball notebook: Johnson out as Alabama coach
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Alabama and basketball coach Avery Johnson parted ways Sunday, just three days after the Crimson Tide suffered an opening-round defeat on their home court in the NIT.

    • The two sides had spent the past few days negotiating a buyout of Johnson's contract, though no terms were announced on Sunday. Alabama will begin the search for its next coach immediately, according to the news release. Assistant coach John Pelphrey will serve as head coach in the interim.

      The SEC now has three openings for a head basketball coach: Alabama, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. The top-seeded Crimson Tide were stunned 80-79 in overtime at home by Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

      Johnson, who turns 54 on Monday, became Alabama's coach in 2015, but the Crimson Tide have made just one NCAA Tournament in his four seasons at the helm. Johnson went 75-62 with a 34-38 conference record in Tuscaloosa.

      --California fired basketball coach Wyking Jones after two seasons and a 16-47 record.

      Cal finished the season 8-23 overall and 3-15 in the Pac-12. In Jones' first season (2017-18), the Golden Bears were 8-24 overall and 2-16 in conference. Cal hired Jones, an assistant for two seasons, in March 2017 to replace Cuonzo Martin, who won 62 games in three seasons before leaving for Missouri.

      Already, speculation has focused on some high-profile candidates, including Cal alum Jason Kidd, Nevada coach Eric Musselman and Russell Turner, whose UC Irvine team beat Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian.

      --Tulane will name Georgia State's Ron Hunter as the Green Wave's new men's basketball coach, Hunter confirmed to ESPN.

      Hunter, 54, replaces Mike Dunleavy Sr., who was fired earlier this month after three seasons and a 24-69 record -- including 4-27 in 2018-19. Tulane has not been to the NCAA Tournament since the 1994-95 season and has not posted a winning record since 2012-13.

      As the head coach at Georgia State since 2011, Hunter has led the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament three times. Georgia State won three Sun Belt Conference regular-season championships and three tournament championships under his direction.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cal fires coach Jones; Kidd reportedly on radar
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    California fired basketball coach Wyking Jones on Sunday after two seasons and a 16-47 record.

    • "This was a difficult decision to make and comes after a deliberate and holistic review of our men's basketball program," Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a prepared statement. "As always, we were guided by the best interests of our student-athletes, as well as the values and objectives of Cal Athletics and our University. As we quickly turn toward our search for a new head coach for our men's basketball program, I am certain that we will attract a strong, talented and highly qualified pool of candidates. I am confident that we will find someone who will help lead us on a path to being exceptional."

      Already, speculation has focused on some high-profile candidates, including Cal alum Jason Kidd, Nevada coach Eric Musselman and Russell Turner, whose UC Irvine team beat Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, according to John Canzano of The Oregonian.

      Cal finished the season 8-23 overall and 3-15 in the Pac-12. In Jones' first season (2017-18), the Golden Bears were 8-24 overall and 2-16 in the conference.

      Cal hired Jones, who had been an assistant coach for two seasons, in March 2017 to replace Cuonzo Martin, who won 62 games in three seasons before leaving the Golden Bears for Missouri.

      If Kidd is indeed on the Bears' radar, there could be some competition for his services. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that Kidd will be "among the serious candidates" if Luke Walton is dismissed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

      Kidd, a San Francisco native, played two seasons at Cal (1992-94) and was a consensus first-time All-American in his second season. He went on to play 19 years for four teams in the NBA, being selected to 10 All-Star teams. He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

      Now 46, Kidd has coached in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets (2013-14) and Milwaukee Bucks (2014-18) and has a 183-190 career record.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tulane hiring Georgia State's Hunter as coach
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Tulane will name Georgia State's Ron Hunter as the Green Wave's new men's basketball coach, Hunter confirmed to ESPN on Sunday.

    • Hunter, 54, replaces Mike Dunleavy Sr., who was fired earlier this month after three seasons and a 24-69 record -- including 4-27 in 2018-19.

      Tulane has not been to the NCAA Tournament since the 1994-95 season and has not posted a winning record since 2012-13.

      As the head coach at Georgia State since 2011, Hunter has led the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament three times. Georgia State won three Sun Belt Conference regular season championships and three tournament championships under his direction.

      Georgia State was 24-10 this season, which ended Friday with a first-round loss in the NCAA tourney. The 14th-seeded Panthers fell to third-seeded Houston, 84-55.

      Hunter's record at Georgia State after eight seasons is 171-95. Before that, he compiled a 221-179 record with one NCAA Tournament berth in 13 seasons as the coach at IUPUI.

      At the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Hunter had to coach from a stool after tearing his Achilles celebrating the Panthers' victory in the Sun Belt tournament. He memorably fell off the stool when his son, R.J. Hunter, hit the game-winning 3-pointer in 14th-seeded Georgia State's 57-56 upset against No. 3 seed Baylor.

      --Field Level Media

  • Johnson out after four years as Alabama coach
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Alabama and basketball coach Avery Johnson parted ways Sunday, just three days after the Crimson Tide suffered an opening-round defeat on their home court in the NIT.

    • The two sides had spent the past few days negotiating a buyout of Johnson's contract, though no terms were announced on Sunday.

      "After meeting with Coach Johnson, we made the decision to mutually part ways," Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in news release issued by both Johnson and the school. "This was not an easy decision, and we thank him for his contributions over the past four seasons. We wish Coach Johnson and his family the very best."

      Alabama will begin the search for its next coach immediately, according to the news release. Assistant coach John Pelphrey will serve as head coach in the the interim.

      "I would like to thank The University of Alabama, Bill Battle and the Board of Trustees for providing me the opportunity to serve as the head basketball coach," Johnson said in the release. "I'd also like to thank President Bell and Greg Byrne, our assistant coaches, support staff, the fans and student body for making this such a special experience for me and my family. Finally, and most importantly, I'd like to thank all of the players and parents. It was an honor and privilege to work with these young men and their families. This was an opportunity of a lifetime."

      The SEC now has three openings for a head basketball coach: Alabama, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

      The top-seeded Crimson Tide were stunned 80-79 in overtime at home by Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

      Johnson, who turns 54 on Monday, became Alabama's coach in 2015, but the Crimson Tide have made just one NCAA Tournament in his four seasons at the helm.

      Johnson's contract ran through 2023 and was set to pay him approximately $3 million annually. It called for the school to pay him $8 million if was fired without cause before April 15, but fell to $6 million after that.

      In his four seasons at Alabama, Johnson went 75-62, with a 34-38 conference record.

      As an NBA coach, Johnson has a 254-186 record over stints with the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He was the NBA Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season, when the Mavericks finished 60-22 and won the Western Conference title.

      --Field Level Media

  • Morant not ready to discuss NBA Draft
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Murray State star guard Ja Morant saw his season come to an end on Saturday night, but is he done with college basketball altogether?

    • After losing 90-62 to Florida State in the West Region semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, Morant wasn't ready to announce his intentions for the 2019 NBA Draft.

      "That time will come ... My focus is not on that right now," said Morant. "It's just celebrating this -- what a great season we had -- with my teammates."

      Morant, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who would likely be a lottery pick if he declares for the NBA Draft this summer, poured in a game-high 28 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in the losing effort.

      Morant dropped a triple-double on Marquette in Murray State's emphatic first-round win on Thursday.

      For the season, Morant averaged 24.5 points and 10.0 assists per game for the 28-5 Racers. He nearly doubled his scoring average from his freshman season (12.7), despite playing just two more minutes per game as a sophomore.

      Racers coach Matt McMahon sang his young star's praises afterward.

      "You see all of the talent and ability out on the floor and how he makes everyone better, but he's got some of those intangibles that really separate him," said McMahon.

      "He loves to play. He's just a relentless competitor. He's tough and he's a winner. His growth as a leader this year was a big key in the success we were able to have."

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA roundup: FSU overwhelms Morant, Murray State in rout
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Florida State's depth and height proved way too much for upstart Murray State and star guard Ja Morant on Saturday night, as the fourth-seeded Seminoles reached the West Region semifinals of the NCAA Tournament with a 90-62 rout in Hartford, Conn.

    • Senior guard Terance Mann paced Florida State's starters (29-7) with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Mfiondu Kabengele came off the bench to net 22 points, going 10 of 12 from the field, and Raiquan Gray chipped in 11 to go along with five steals.

      The Seminoles, who will meet top-seeded Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif., canned nearly 51 percent of their field-goal tries and were 11 of 27 on 3-pointers. They also dominated the much smaller Racers on the glass, earning a 45-33 advantage.

      Morant, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who would likely be a lottery pick if he declares for the NBA Draft this summer, poured in a game-high 28 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. But he made just 8 of 21 shots from the field after a hot start, as Florida State's length appeared to bother him. Murray State's season ended at 28-5.

      WEST REGION

      No. 1 Gonzaga 83, No. 9 Baylor 71

      Brandon Clarke had a historic performance with a career-high 36 points and five blocked shots to lead the Bulldogs over the Bears in the second round in Salt Lake City.

      Clarke, who entered the NCAA Tournament leading the nation in field-goal percentage (.693), made 15 of 18 shots, including five dunks. The 6-foot-8 senior also had eight rebounds, three assists and two steals for Gonzaga (32-3). Baylor's season ended at 20-14.

      Clarke broke the school record for points in an NCAA Tournament game (Adam Morrison, 35) and became the third player in NCAA history with at least 35 points and five blocks, joining Navy's David Robinson and LSU's Shaquille O'Neal. The NCAA started tracking blocked shots as an official stat in the 1985-86 season.

      No. 2 Michigan 64, No. 10 Florida 49

      Jordan Poole scored a game-high 19 points and the Wolverines pulled away with an 11-0 run to start the second half as they bagged a win over the Gators in the second round in Des Moines, Iowa.

      Isaiah Livers came off the bench to add 10 for Michigan (30-6), which will face No. 3 Texas Tech or No. 6 Buffalo in the West Region semifinals on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Michigan, which owned the boards 42-29, overcame 42.1 percent shooting from the field.

      Jalen Hudson was the only double-figure scorer for the Gators (20-16) with 11 points, but he made just 4 of 15 shots from the floor and was 3 of 10 from the 3-point line. Florida fired away to no avail, hitting only 19 of 55 field-goal tries (34.5 percent) and 9 of 26 from 3-point range.

      EAST REGION

      No. 2 Michigan State 70, No. 10 Minnesota 50

      After failing to get out of the first weekend in each of the previous three seasons, the Spartans started quickly, then followed star guard Cassius Winston to a victory over the Golden Gophers in Des Moines, Iowa.

      Michigan State (30-6) advances to the regional semifinals for the 14th time under coach Tom Izzo and for the first time since 2015, when the Spartans reached the Final Four. Winston finished with 13 points and nine assists.

      Minnesota, which was without senior Jordan Murphy for all but four minutes due to a bad back, ended its season at 22-14.

      No. 3 LSU 69, No. 6 Maryland 67

      Tremont Waters made a tie-breaking layup with two seconds left as the Tigers held off the Terrapins in a second-round game in Jacksonville, Fla.

      Waters' basket created the final separation in a tight game in which the score was tied six times in the last 6 1/2 minutes. Defense dominated the game as both teams shot below 40 percent from the floor.

      The Tigers (28-6), who edged 14th-seeded Yale 79-74 on Thursday, will face No. 2 seed Michigan State in a regional semifinal next weekend in Washington, D.C. Skylar Mays added 16 points for LSU. Maryland's season ended at 23-11.

      SOUTH REGION

      No. 3 Purdue 87, No. 6 Villanova 61

      Carsen Edwards recorded career highs with nine 3-pointers and 42 points as the Boilermakers eliminated the defending champion Wildcats with a victory in a second-round game in Hartford, Conn.

      Matt Haarms collected 18 points and nine rebounds, and Ryan Cline added 12 points for Purdue (25-9), which went 16-for-30 from 3-point range to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. Purdue will face the winner of Sunday's contest between second-seeded Tennessee and No. 10 Iowa.

      Eric Paschall scored 19 points and Phil Booth added 15 on 5-of-13 shooting from the field for the sixth-seeded Wildcats (26-10), who were denied in their bid for a third NCAA title in four years.

      MIDWEST REGION

      No. 2 Kentucky 62, No. 7 Wofford 56

      Reid Travis scored 14 points, including a pair of clutch free throws, as the Wildcats fended off the Terriers in a second-round game in Jacksonville, Fla.,

      Kentucky (29-6) goes to the Sweet 16 on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo., to face either third-seeded Houston or No. 11 Ohio State. The Cougars and Buckeyes play Sunday.

      Wofford's Fletcher Magee, the NCAA's leader in career 3-point baskets, was 0-for-12 from beyond the arc, including eight misses in the second half. The Southern Conference Player of the Year finished with eight points for the Terriers (30-5), whose school-record 21-game win streak ended.

      No. 5 Auburn 89, No. 4 Kansas 75

      Senior guard Bryce Brown made his first six shots, five from 3-point range, to ignite a first-half tear as the Tigers crushed the Jayhawks in the second round at Salt Lake City.

      The win was the 10th straight for Auburn (28-9), which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. The Tigers will head to Kansas City to face the winner of Sunday's second-round game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 9 Washington.

      Auburn surged to a commanding 51-25 halftime bulge, the worst deficit Kansas has ever faced at the break in 155 NCAA Tournament games. The Jayhawks (26-10) reached double-digit losses for only the second time in 16 seasons under coach Bill Self.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cal G McNeill announces transfer
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 23, 2019

    California guard Darius McNeill announced Saturday that he is transferring from the program.

    • As a sophomore, McNeill averaged 11.0 points and made 66 3-pointers this season as the Golden Bears went 8-23.

      "After countless conversations with my family and weighing the pros and cons, I've decided it's in my best interest to transfer from California Berkeley," McNeill wrote in a note he posted on Twitter. "... I want to thank my teammates that I went to battle with. For the past 2 seasons, the adversity we faced is proof that we're not just teammates but indeed brothers for life."

      The Golden Bears were just 16-47 in McNeill's two seasons.

      McNeill averaged 11.3 points and made 67 3-pointers his first season. The 3-pointers broke Allen Crabbe's school record (62 in 2010-11) for a freshman.

      Meanwhile, multiple outlets are reporting that head coach Wyking Jones will return for a third season despite the 16-47 mark during his tenure.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Missouri F Porter re-tears ACL
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 23, 2019

    Missouri Tigers sophomore and NBA draft prospect Jontay Porter re-tore his right ACL while rehabbing the original injury in Denver, the Kansas City Star reported Saturday.

    • ESPN reported confirmation of the injury from the school.

      The 6-foot-11 power forward missed the 2018-19 season after tearing the ACL and MCL ligaments in a preseason scrimmage in October.

      The new injury occurred while he was on the court working out, sources told the Star, although it was unclear if he had been cleared for activity.

      Porter averaged 9.9 points and 6.8 rebounds as a 2017-18 freshman. He was named the co-Sixth Man of the Year in the Southeastern Conference after helping the Tigers reach their first NCAA Tournament in five years.

      Without Porter, Missouri finished 15-17 overall and 12th in the SEC this season.

      Porter had been projected as a mid-to-late first-round selection in this June's draft, but the repetitive nature of the injury raises concerns.

      "I think this latest injury creates a major red flag around his re-torn ACL as far as the health of the knee going forward and his medical status in general," one NBA scout told the newspaper.

      An NBA team that doesn't require immediate help could still take a chance on Porter and allow him time to work his way back to full health.

      That's the same situation facing his older brother, Michael Porter Jr., who missed all but three games at Missouri in 2017-18 due to back problems that required surgery. He was selected with the 14th pick by the Denver Nuggets, who are not expected to play him at all this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Duke F White doubtful for second round vs. UCF
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 23, 2019

    Duke reserve forward Jack White is doubtful for Sunday's NCAA Tournament second-round game against UCF due to a lingering hamstring injury, according to Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    • "We don't think he's going to play," Krzyzewski said after Saturday's practice.

      White, a team captain, missed Duke's first-round win Friday against North Dakota State.

      The coach said the 6-foot-7 junior will test the hamstring in warmups Sunday before the second-seeded Blue Devils (30-5) face the ninth-seeded Knights (24-8) in Columbia, S.C.

      White has averaged 21.5 minutes per game in 33 games this season, including three starts. The Australia native averages 4.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • FSU's Cofer of father: 'I will miss him dearly'
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 23, 2019

    Florida State forward Phil Cofer made his first statement about his father's death this week, saying he "will miss him dearly."

    • Cofer's statement is posted on the GoFundMe page he started to raise money for his father's funeral and lingering medical expenses.

      "On Thursday March 21st, moments after my team's win in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, celebration turned into devastation as I received a phone call that would change my life forever," Cofer wrote. "My dad, Michael Cofer, had passed due to a battle with a long-term illness. My dad has always supported me on and off the court and I will miss him dearly."

      The elder Cofer, 58, was a former NFL linebacker who played 10 seasons (1983-1992) for the Detroit Lions.

      The Detroit Free Press said the cause of death was a rare disease, which it did not name, that affects organs and tissue.

      "My family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and now humbly asks for the community's help with our existing and continuing expenses," Phil Cofer continued in the GoFundMe post. "All proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards my Dad's funeral expenses and my family's outstanding and ongoing medical costs. My family will contribute any donations that exceed our funeral and medical needs towards a charitable organization."

      As of Saturday afternoon, nearly $31,000 of the campaign's $100,000 goal had been raised. The NCAA and Florida State's compliance department gave the go-ahead for the fundraiser.

      Phil Cofer did not play Thursday against Vermont because of a right foot injury, but coach Leonard Hamilton said Cofer would be with the team Saturday night when the Seminoles face Murray State at Hartford, Conn.

      Injuries limited Cofer, a senior, to 22 games (19 starts) this season. He is averaging 7.4 points and 26.1 minutes per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA roundup: No. 13 seed UC Irvine stuns Kansas State
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 23, 2019

    Max Hazzard and Evan Leonard each scored 19 points as No. 13 seed UC Irvine upset short-handed Kansas State 70-64 Friday in the first round of the South Region in San Jose, Calif.

    • Hazzard made 5 of 11 3-point shots, including a trey with 1:25 left for a five-point lead. Leonard, who added six rebounds, four assists and four steals, hit two key free throws with 17.4 seconds left for a 68-64 lead.

      UC Irvine (31-5) won its first NCAA Tournament game in program history. The Anteaters have won 17 consecutive games and will play in Sunday's second round against 12th-seeded Oregon, which pulled away to beat Wisconsin 72-54 later Friday.

      Fourth-seeded Kansas State (25-9) was without Dean Wade because of a foot injury, while Barry Brown Jr. -- a fellow first-team all-Big 12 performer -- managed just five points, all in the second half. Brown sat for the final 14:15 of the first half after picking up two fouls. He shot 2-for-9 from the field.

      SOUTH REGION

      No. 1 Virginia 71, No. 16 Gardner-Webb 56

      The Cavaliers used a dominant second half to cruise by the Runnin' Bulldogs in the first round at Columbia, S.C.

      De'Andre Hunter scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as Virginia rallied and allowed just 20 points in the game's final 20 minutes. The Cavaliers (30-3) flexed their muscles early in the second half and used a 25-5 run to put the game away after trailing by six at halftime. Virginia will play Oklahoma on Sunday.

      Mamadi Diakite scored 17 points while Ty Jerome added 13 to complement Hunter on the offensive end. Jose Perez led three Bulldogs (23-12) in double figures with 19 points.

      No. 2 Tennessee 77, No. 15 Colgate 70

      Admiral Schofield sank consecutive corner 3-pointers in the final two minutes, enabling the Volunteers to avoid a major upset at the hands of the Raiders in Columbia.

      Schofield's first 3-pointer with 1:34 left upped the Volunteers' lead to 70-64, and he drained his second with 45.8 seconds on the clock to make it a nine-point game. That finally provided them the separation they needed to hold off the underdog, short-handed Raiders.

      Schofield paced the balanced Tennessee (30-5) attack with 19 points, while Jordan Bone hit for 16. Jordan Burns starred in defeat for Colgate (24-11), canning 8 of 12 3-point attempts and scoring a game-high 32 points. Tennessee will take on second-seed Iowa on Sunday

      No. 9 Oklahoma 95, No. 8 Ole Miss 72

      Rashard Odomes and Christian James scored 20 points each as the Sooners turned up the offense from the start in a blowout over the Rebels at Columbia.

      The Sooners (20-13) advance to play Sunday against top-seeded Virginia. It was Oklahoma's most points in an NCAA Tournament game since 1989 and the most the Sooners had scored in any game this season. The win was the fourth-largest in NCAA Tournament history for a No. 9 seed over a No. 8.

      Terence Davis led Ole Miss, which dropped five of its last six games, with 17 points. It was Oklahoma's first NCAA Tournament victory since its Final Four run of 2016.

      No. 10 Iowa 79, No. 7 Cincinnati 72

      Luke Garza scored 20 points and the Hawkeyes used an 18-5 run late in the second half to rally in a victory over the Bearcats in Columbia.

      Garza's layup with 3:44 remaining gave Iowa (23-11) a 64-62 lead that it would not relinquish. Iowa advances to the second round to play second-seeded Tennessee. Garza finished 8 for 11 from the floor and hit two 3-pointers to go with seven rebounds. Wieskamp finished with 19.

      Justin Jenifer led Cincinnati (28-11) with 19 points, leading scorer Jarron Cumberland finished with 18 points, 14 of those in the second half.

      No.12 Oregon 72, No. 5 Wisconsin 54

      Ducks Payton Pritchard had 19 points and eight assists, and Kenny Wooten dominated the paint with four blocks as underdog Oregon won its ninth consecutive game by beating the Badgers in San Jose.

      Louis King scored 17 and Paul White added 14 -- all in the second half -- as Oregon (24-12) pulled away from the No. 5-seed Badgers (23-11) after a 25-25 tie at halftime. Wooten, a springy 6-foot-9 forward, dunked three times and was key to slowing down Wisconsin star Ethan Happ.

      Happ, facing constant double teams from a lengthy Oregon defense, ended his career with 12 points, eight rebounds and no assists -- off his season averages of 17.5, 10.1 and 4.6, respectively. He made 5 of 10 shots and committed five turnovers.

      EAST REGION

      No. 1 Duke 85, No. 16 North Dakota State 62

      RJ Barrett pumped in 26 points and Zion Williamson scored 25 points in their NCAA Tournament debuts, and the Blue Devils relied on a huge second half to dispatch the Bison in Columbia.

      Williamson, competing in a college game in his home state for the first time, didn't play in the final nine minutes after making 12 of 16 shots from the field. Barrett collected 14 rebounds for Duke (30-5), which is in the tournament for the 24th consecutive year

      Vinnie Shahid scored 20 and reserve Jordan Horn added 11 for North Dakota State (19-16), which had never previously faced Duke. The Blue Devils improved to 14-0 against No. 16 seeds.

      No. 4 Virginia Tech 66, No. 13 Saint Louis 52

      Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 20 points, Justin Robinson made a successful return from injury and the Hokies withstood a second-half charge to beat the Billikens in San Jose.

      The 13th-seeded Billikens (23-13) trimmed a 22-point halftime deficit to 10 halfway through the period but failed to get closer, going about six minutes without a basket. Javon Bess scored 14 points to lead three Saint Louis players in double figures.

      Robinson, the school's career assists leader who has been out since Jan. 30 because of a foot injury, came off the bench and helped spark the Hokies (25-8) with nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 27 minutes. The Hokies won their first NCAA Tournament game since 2007.

      No. 9 UCF 73, No. 8 VCU 58

      Tacko Fall delivered a double-double and spearheaded a dominant defensive performance as the Knights won their first NCAA Tournament game in school history, dumping the Rams in Columbia.

      The 7-foot-6 Fall finished with 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Knights (24-8), who advanced to a second-round East Region matchup with top-seeded Duke on Sunday. It will set up a coaching matchup of former Blue Devils star Johnny Dawkins against his college coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

      Malik Crowfield came off the bench to score 11 points for the Rams (25-8) and De'Riante Jenkins added 10, but went only 4 of 16 from the field. That was a theme for VCU. It converted only 19 of 61 shots from the field, including just 6 of 26 from beyond the 3-point line.

      No. 12 Liberty 80, No. 5 Mississippi State 76

      Caleb Homesley scored 14 points in the final seven minutes en route to a career-high 30 as the Flames roared back to upset the Bulldogs in San Jose.

      Homesley led the comeback from a 10-point deficit, then Liberty's Lovell Cabbil Jr. hit a 3-point shot for a late lead and went 4-for-4 from the line in the final 14.2 seconds to help Liberty (29-6) earn the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history.

      Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 27 points for Mississippi State (23-11) and backcourt mate Lamar Peters added 21. Weatherspoon, a senior, hit 2,000 points in his career with a 3-pointer in the first minute of the second half.

      MIDWEST REGION

      No. 1 North Carolina 88, No. 16 Iona 73

      Cameron Johnson hit for 21 points, while Nassir Little scored 19 points in his NCAA Tournament debut as the top-seeded Tar Heels picked it up in the second half in beating the Gaels in Columbus, Ohio.

      It was a huge turnaround after a miserable first half of shooting for the Tar Heels (28-6), who have never lost an NCAA Tournament first-round game under coach Roy Williams. Little, a reserve, shot 9-for-13 from the field and the Tar Heels held a 52-26 rebounding advantage. The Tar Heels draw ninth-seed Washington on Sunday.

      Rickey McGill made seven 3-point baskets and racked up 26 points for Iona (17-16), while Asante Gist added 17 points, Andrija Ristanovic contributed 11 points and E.J. Crawford had 10 points. The Gaels, who had a 10-game winning streak snapped, were in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row.

      No. 3 Houston 84, No. 14 Georgia State 55

      Corey Davis Jr. scored 15 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, and the Cougars suffocated the Panthers' normally lethal perimeter shooting at Tulsa, Okla.

      Houston (32-3) led 40-31 at the half, and Davis then scored eight consecutive Cougars points in the first 2:50 of the second half to extend the edge to 50-33. Davis did virtually all of his damage from long range. Seventeen of his first 20 shots were 3-pointers, and he made seven of those.

      Georgia State had made an average of 9.5 3-pointers per game this season, but the Panthers went just 6 of 23 (26.1 percent) from long distance against Houston. D'Marcus Simonds kept Georgia State (24-10) within striking distance early with 11 first-half points. Simonds finished with a team-high 18.

      No. 9 Washington 78, No. 8 Utah State 61

      The Huskies married their usually good defense with an unusually proficient performance on offense, scoring a blowout win over the Aggies in Columbus.

      Four players scored in double figures for the Huskies (27-8) with Noah Dickerson leading the way with a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double, the 24th of his career.

      Most importantly, Thybulle and his teammates put the clamps on the best player for Utah State (28-7), Sam Merrill. Entering the game averaging 27.2 points per game in his previous five games, Merrill didn't score until midway through the second half and managed only 10 points.

      No. 11 Ohio State 62, No. 6 Iowa State 59

      Keyshawn Woods scored seven of his 19 points in the final 3:13, including the go-ahead jumper in the lane, to lift the Buckeyes to victory over the Cyclones in Tulsa.

      Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes (20-14) with 21 points, including 15 in the second half, and pulled down 12 rebounds. The Buckeyes advanced to face No. 3 seed Houston in the second round on Sunday.

      Marial Shayok led Iowa State (23-12) with a game-high 23 points, and his 17-foot jumper put the Cyclones (23-12) in front for the last time, 54-53, with 3:40 left.

      WEST REGION

      No. 3 Texas Tech 72, No. 14 Northern Kentucky 57

      Jarrett Culver recorded 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the Red Raiders over the Norse at Tulsa.

      Tariq Owens contributed 12 points and five blocked shots for third-seeded Texas Tech (27-6). Davide Moretti had 10 points and Matt Mooney added nine points, eight assists and five steals. The Red Raiders face six-seed Buffalo on Sunday.

      Tyler Sharpe scored 23 points for the 14th-seeded Norse (26-9). Dantez Walton added 11 points and seven rebounds. Northern Kentucky's Drew McDonald, the Horizon League Player of the Year, had just five points on 2-of-13 shooting.

      No. 6 Buffalo 91, No. 11 Arizona State 74

      Jeremy Harris and Nick Perkins each recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Bulls trounced the Sun Devils at Tulsa.

      CJ Massinburg buried four 3-point baskets while scoring 18 points as the sixth-seeded Bulls (32-3) notched the second NCAA Tournament victory in school history. Buffalo's first NCAA Tournament win occurred last year when the Bulls, as a 13 seed, routed Arizona 89-68 in the first round.

      Zylan Cheatham had 22 points and eight rebounds to pace the 11th-seeded Sun Devils (23-11). Romello White and Luguentz Dort added 12 points apiece.

      --Field Level Media

  • College basketball notebook: Vanderbilt fires Drew
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    Vanderbilt fired basketball coach Bryce Drew after a 9-23 season punctuated by a winless conference record, the school announced Friday.

    • Drew, 44, was halfway into a six-year contract. In three years at the helm of the Commodores, Drew compiled a 40-59 record. His tenure started with a promising season in 2016-17 that ended in a 19-16 record and an NCAA Tournament berth, but it was followed by a pair of sub-.500 seasons.

      This season, the Commodores were 0-18 in Southeastern Conference games, the first team to go without a win in the league in 65 years. Vanderbilt has hired consulting search firm Korn Ferry to lead the search for a new head coach.

      Drew moved to Vanderbilt after five seasons as coach of his alma mater, Valparaiso. There, he compiled a 124-49 record in five seasons (2011-16), with the Crusaders winning four Horizon League regular-season championships and appearing in the NCAA Tournament twice.

      --A loss in the first round of the NIT might have been the end of coach Avery Johnson's run at Alabama. ESPN reported that the university is negotiating a buyout of Johnson's contract after the top-seeded Crimson Tide were stunned 80-79 in overtime at home by Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

      Johnson, who turns 54 on Monday, became Alabama's coach in 2015, but the Crimson Tide have made just one NCAA Tournament in his four seasons at the helm.

      Johnson's current contract runs through 2023 and pays him approximately $3 million annually. It calls for the school to pay him $8 million if he's fired without cause before April 15, but they amount falls to $6 million after that. In his four seasons at Alabama, Johnson is 75-62 with a 34-38 conference record.

      --Wake Forest coach Danny Manning will return next season, despite a second consecutive 20-loss season, the school announced.

      Manning, 52, took over as coach of the Demon Deacons before the 2014-15 season and has posted a 65-93 record in five seasons. During Manning's tenure, Wake Forest is 0-26 against Atlantic Coast Conference foes Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and Virginia.

      Wake Forest has made one NCAA Tournament appearance in that time -- a First Four loss in 2017 -- but three 11-20 seasons have been sandwiched around the lone winning year. The Demon Deacons have just five 20-loss seasons in history, with three of them under Manning's watch.

      --Ja Morant stole the show in Hartford on Thursday, but the Murray State flash opened eyes nationwide with his triple-double performance that led his 12th-seeded Racers into the second round in a blowout of Marquette.

      Among the observers wowed by the sophomore point guard was another former NCAA Tournament darling, one-time Davidson dynamo Steph Curry. "What he did on Thursday, it shows you he's ready for whatever," Curry told Yahoo Sports. "That transition to the NBA isn't going to be difficult at all for him."

      Morant posted 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds, becoming just the eighth player to post a triple-double in an NCAA Tournament game and the first since Draymond Green at Michigan State. Green was paying attention, too, telling Yahoo: "That was my first time watching him play, and he's for real."

      --Texas freshman Jaxson Hayes is expected to make a full recovery after a scary injury to his left knee in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal loss to Kansas last week, the school announced.

      The 6-foot-11 forward, a potential lottery pick in June's NBA Draft, was injured with about two minutes left in the game when a cutting Jayhawks player collided with his leg near the baseline.

      After being checked out by multiple specialists, it was determined Hayes suffered a bone bruise, but no structural damage. His recovery time is reportedly "a matter of weeks." The Big 12 Freshman of the Year averaged 10 points, five rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots in 32 games (21 starts) for the Longhorns.

      --Field Level Media

  • Manning to return as Wake Forest coach
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    Wake Forest coach Danny Manning will return next season, despite a second consecutive 20-loss season, the school announced Friday.

    • Manning took over as coach of the Demon Deacons before the 2014-15 season and has posted a 65-93 record.

      Wake Forest has made one NCAA Tournament appearance in that time - a First Four loss in 2017 - but three 11-20 seasons have been sandwiched around that. The Demon Deacons have just five 20-loss seasons in history, with three of them under Manning's watch.

      "Following the season, Danny and I had an extensive series of meetings to discuss the future of the program," retiring athletic director Ron Wellman said. "We were in agreement that this past season did not approach the expectations either of us has for Wake Forest basketball. Our discussion focused on the steps that are needed to ensure that our team is highly competitive on the court next season.

      "I expect that Danny will take the steps needed to show improvement on the court next season while continuing to lead our student-athletes to represent Wake Forest positively in the classroom and in the community."

      During Manning's tenure, Wake Forest is 0-26 against Atlantic Coast Conference foes Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and Virginia, with a 24-40 record against the rest of the conference.

      Before being hired at Wake Forest, Manning, 52, coached Tulsa for two seasons, leading the Golden Hurricanes to the NCAA Tournament in his second season.

      As a player, Manning led Kansas to an NCAA championship in 1988. Weeks later, he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. He played for seven teams over a 15-year career.

      --Field Level Media

  • Curry on Morant: Ja ready to rule NBA
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    Ja Morant stole the show in Hartford on Thursday, but the Murray State flash opened eyes nationwide with his triple-double performance that led his 12th-seeded Racers into the second round in a blowout of Marquette.

    • Among the observers wowed by the sophomore point guard was another former NCAA Tournament darling, former Davidson dynamo Steph Curry.

      "What he did on Thursday, it shows you he's ready for whatever," Curry told Yahoo Sports. "That transition to the NBA isn't going to be difficult at all for him."

      Morant posted 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds, becoming just the eighth player to post a triple-double in an NCAA Tournament game and the first since Draymond Green at Michigan State. Green was paying attention, too, telling Yahoo: "That was my first time watching him play and he's for real."

      Curry was a sophomore in 2008 when he carried Davidson to the Elite Eight, scoring 30 or more in all four tourney games. He sees stardom in Morant.

      "From what I've seen, he's a beast," Curry told Yahoo Sports. "He's athletic, knows how to play, he's fearless and he shows up for big games even though everybody knows he's coming. That speaks volumes about his game."

      Morant averaged 24.6 points, 10 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game this season at Murray State.

      He's in the discussion to be a top-five draft pick, and Thursday's big show did nothing to raise doubts about his readiness despite the relatively humble college surroundings in the Ohio Valley Conference.

      "I don't know if they played some heavy hitters, but it doesn't even matter. If you can play, you can play," Curry said. "Damian Lillard at Weber State was like that as well.

      "I'm sure the tournament is the first time most people get to see Ja. There's no preparation for it because in the tournament, everybody wants to play in it, but it hits you in the face with the attention and the adrenaline rush. It's a small window where everybody's eyeballs are all on you and you can surprise a lot of people. But the biggest thing for me is I had the confidence going in and it sets you up to be ready for that moment."

      As Marquette, the fifth seed in Hartford, bowed out of the tournament on Thursday, former Duke guard and current Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski had some high praise for Morant.

      "Ja Morant makes a lot of plans look bad. I mean, I've been in this for a while. He's as good as any guard that I've coached against, or played against, and I've coached against and played against some outstanding ones," he said. "... The best thing about that kid is his decision-making. I mean, you're talking about an elite, elite decision-maker, who's got elite athleticism. And, you know, when you're talking about a point guard, you should always start with decision-making. And he made great, great decisions, and he makes everyone around him better."

      --Field Level Media

  • Tests show Texas F Hayes' knee stable
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    Texas freshman Jaxson Hayes is expected to make a full recovery after a scary injury to his left knee in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal loss to Kansas last week, the school announced on Friday.

    • The 6-foot-11 forward, a potential lottery pick in June's NBA Draft, was injured with about two minutes left in the game when a cutting Jayhawks player collided with his leg near the baseline.

      After being checked out by multiple specialists, it was determined Hayes suffered a bone bruise, but no structural damage. His recovery time is reportedly "a matter of weeks."

      The Big 12 Freshman of the Year averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots in 32 games (21 starts) for the Longhorns.

      ESPN has Hayes ranked No. 10 among this year's draft prospects.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Alabama working on buyout of Johnson
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    A loss in the first round of the NIT might have been the end of coach Avery Johnson's run at Alabama.

    • ESPN reported Friday that the university is negotiating a buyout of Johnson's contract after the top-seeded Crimson Tide were stunned 80-79 in overtime at home by Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

      Johnson, who turns 54 on Monday, became Alabama's coach in 2015, but the Crimson Tide have made just one NCAA Tournament in his four seasons at the helm.

      Johnson's current contract runs through 2023 and pays him approximately $3 million annually. It calls for the school to pay him $8 million if he's fired without cause before April 15, but falls to $6 million after that.

      In his four seasons at Alabama, Johnson is 75-62, with a 34-38 conference record.

      As an NBA coach, Johnson has a 254-186 record over stints with the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He was the NBA Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season, when the Mavericks finished 60-22 and won the Western Conference title.

      --Field Level Media

  • Vanderbilt fires Drew after 9-23 season
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    Vanderbilt has fired basketball coach Bryce Drew after a 9-23 season punctuated by a winless conference record, the school announced Friday.

    • Drew was halfway into a six-year contract. In three years at the helm of the Commodores, Drew compiled a 40-59 record.

      His tenure started with a promising season in 2016-17 that ended in a 19-16 record and an NCAA Tournament berth, but it was followed by a pair of sub-.500 seasons.

      According to reports, Vanderbilt hopes to retain Drew in some capacity.

      This season, the Commodores were 0-18 in Southeastern Conference games, the first team to go without a win in the league in 65 years.

      "Vanderbilt is committed to competing at the highest levels on and off the court," athletic director Malcolm Turner said in a statement. "After careful consideration, we've decided to make a change to the leadership of our men's basketball program. Bryce has represented Vanderbilt in exceptional fashion in his time here. I appreciate all of the contributions Bryce has made over the past three seasons to Vanderbilt, and we wish him all the best."

      Vanderbilt has hired consulting search firm Korn Ferry to lead the search for a new head coach.

      Drew, 44, moved to Vanderbilt after five seasons as coach of his alma mater, Valparaiso. There, he compiled a 124-49 record in five seasons (2011-16), with the Crusaders winning four Horizon League regular-season championships and appearing in the NCAA Tournament twice.

      The 2018-19 season started with optimism for Vanderbilt as two five-star recruits - Darius Garland and Simi Shittu - joined the team. Garland's season ended in November with a meniscus injury, however, and he is expected to declare for the NBA draft.

      Drew, who played for his father, Homer, at Valparaiso, is remembered for his game-winning shot to upset Ole Miss in the 1998 NCAA tournament. His brother, Scott, also coached at Valparaiso and has been the head coach at Baylor since 2002.

      --Field Level Media

  • NCAA roundup: No. 12 Murray State stuns No. 5 Marquette
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Star sophomore point guard Ja Morant had 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for the first triple-double in NCAA Tournament play since 2012 to help Murray State roll to a convincing 83-64 victory over Marquette on Thursday in West Regional play at Hartford, Conn.

    • Morant dominated the contest from the outset despite taking just nine shots. He recorded his fourth career triple-double as 12th-seeded Murray State (28-4) roughed up the fifth-seeded Golden Eagles (24-10). The previous triple-double in NCAA play was achieved by Michigan State's Draymond Green, who had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a victory over LIU-Brooklyn.

      Freshman guard Tevin Brown made five 3-point baskets and scored a team-best 19 points as the Racers won their 12th straight game. Freshman forward KJ Williams had 16 points, and senior guard Shaq Buchanan added 14 for Murray State, who will face fourth-seeded Florida State on Saturday in the second round.

      Junior guard Markus Howard scored 26 points for Marquette, which lost for the sixth time in the past seven games. Junior forward Sam Hauser recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds.

      WEST REGION

      No. 1 Gonzaga 87, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 49

      Rui Hachimura scored 21 points, Killian Tillie had a season-high 17 and the top-seeded Bulldogs dominated from the start in a beat-down of the Knights at Salt Lake City. Gonzaga set a school record for margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game.

      Brandon Clarke had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Bulldogs. He combined with fellow frontcourt players Hachimura and Tillie to make 21 of 32 shots. Gonzaga (31-3) will play in Saturday's second round against No. 9 Baylor.

      Fairleigh Dickinson (21-14) got 10 points apiece from Elyjah Williams and Mike Holloway Jr.

      No. 2 Michigan 74, No. 15 Montana 55

      Charles Matthews recorded 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Wolverines past the Grizzlies at Des Moines, Iowa. The game was a rematch of last season's first-round matchup when Michigan beat Montana 61-47.

      Ignas Brazdeikis added 14 points, and Jon Teske had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Wolverines (29-6). Jordan Poole scored 10 points, and junior guard Zavier Simpson registered 10 assists and seven rebounds, helping Michigan advance to face 10th-seeded Florida.

      Sayeed Pridgett scored 17 points for the 15th-seeded Grizzlies (26-9), and Ahmaad Rorie and Timmy Falls added 10 points apiece.

      No. 4 Florida State 76, No. 13 Vermont 69

      Mfiondu Kabengele recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Seminoles to a first-round victory over the Catamounts at Hartford, Conn.

      Terance Mann scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half as the Seminoles (28-7) controlled the final 11 1/2 minutes.

      Anthony Lamb scored 16 points for the Catamounts (27-7), who dropped to 2-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Stef Smith, Ben Shungu and Ernie Duncan all scored 15 points.

      No. 9 Baylor 78, No. 8 Syracuse 69

      Makai Mason scored 22 points, and the Bears hit a season-high 16 3-point shots to beat the Orange in Salt Lake City.

      The teams battled from the 3-point arc for much of the game, combining to hit 28 from long distance, an NCAA Tournament record for a non-overtime game. Baylor (20-13) got 14 points from Jared Butler and 13 from Mario Kegler.

      Syracuse (20-14) saw the end of its streak of first-round victories in its past eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Elijah Hughes scored a career-high 25 points for the Orange, and Tyus Battle had 16.

      No. 10 Florida 70, No. 7 Nevada 61

      Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points to help the Gators produce a victory over the Wolf Pack at Des Moines, Iowa.

      Jalen Hudson added 15 points for Florida (20-15). Keyontae Johnson recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds, and KeVaughn Allen also scored 10 points.

      Cody Martin scored 23 points, and Caleb Martin added 19 points for the Wolf Pack (29-5). Nevada shot just 34.5 percent from the field, including 5 of 24 from 3-point range.

      EAST REGION

      No. 2 Michigan State 76, No. 15 Bradley 65

      Cassius Winston scored 26 points to lead the Spartans to a victory over the Braves in Des Moines, Iowa.

      Winston made all eight of his free throws and the Spartans (29-6) finished 25 of 26 at the stripe. Xavier Tillman had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Matt McQuaid added 10 points. Michigan State will next face No. 10 Minnesota on Saturday.

      Elijah Childs scored 19 to lead Bradley (20-15), the tournament champions from the Missouri Valley Conference who were back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 years. Darrell Brown added 17 points, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 14 and the Braves made nine 3-pointers to keep the game close.

      No. 3 LSU 79, No. 14 Yale 74

      Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams both had double-doubles as the Tigers used their superior size to hold off the Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Fla.

      LSU (27-6), playing without coach Will Wade -- suspended while the school investigates possible NCAA violations -- will play sixth-seeded Maryland in the second round Saturday.

      Reid had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Bigby-Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Skylar Mays added 19 points and Tremont Waters scored 15. Alex Copeland led the Bulldogs (22-8) with 24 points, Jordan Bruner scored 16 and Azar Swain had 12 off the bench.

      No. 6 Maryland 79, No. 11 Northeastern 77

      Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando had double-doubles as the Terrapins edged the Bruins in Jacksonville, Fla.

      Smith had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Fernando added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Darryl Morsell scored 18 and Eric Ayala added 12 as the Terrapins (23-10) prevailed in a back-and-forth game.

      Dylan Windler had 35 points and 11 rebounds and Kevin McClain scored 19 to lead Belmont (27-6), which defeated Temple 81-70 in a play-in game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. The Bruins fell 10 points short of their scoring average of 87.4, which is second to only Gonzaga in Division I.

      No. 10 Minnesota 86, No. 7 Louisville 76

      Gabe Kalscheur scored 24 points to lead the Golden Gophers to a victory over the Cardinals in Des Moines, Iowa. The Gophers (22-13) won their first tournament game since 2013 when they opened with a victory over UCLA.

      Kalscheur was 5 of 11 from 3-point range as Minnesota made 11 triples, its second-highest total all season. Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey scored 18 points each while Daniel Oturu and Dupree McBrayer each scored 13 for the Gophers.

      Louisville (20-14) entered the game having won just two of its last seven games and could never seize the momentum against Minnesota. Christen Cunningham scored 22 to lead the Cardinals while Steven Enoch scored 14. Darius Perry added 12 points while Jordan Nwora scored 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds.

      MIDWEST REGION

      No. 2 Kentucky 79, No. 15 Abilene Christian 44

      Keldon Johnson poured in 25 points, and Kentucky pounded Abilene Christian in a battle of Wildcats at Jacksonville, Fla. Kentucky played without team scoring and rebounding leader PJ Washington, who had his left foot in a cast from an injury sustained in last week's Southeastern Conference tournament.

      Kentucky's Reid Travis, a graduate transfer from Stanford in his first NCAA Tournament game, racked up 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and freshman Tyler Herro added 14 points. Kentucky (28-6) plays seventh-seeded Wofford in the second round.

      Jaren Lewis scored 17 points for Abilene Christian (27-7). Lewis shot 7 of 12 from the field, while the rest of his teammates were a combined 10 of 41.

      No. 5 Auburn 78, No. 12 New Mexico State 77

      Jared Harper scored a game-high 17 points as the Tigers survived potential game-winning free throws by the Aggies to win in Salt Lake City.

      Auburn (27-9) took a 13-point lead with 7:10 left but committed six turnovers after that and was hanging on to a 78-76 lead with 6.0 seconds left after Samir Doughty made the second of two free-throw attempts.

      The Aggies' Terrell Brown missed a 3-point shot but was fouled with 1.7 seconds left. He missed the first, made the second and his third attempt went in and out, with the rebound going out of bounds to New Mexico State (30-5) with 1.1 seconds to go and Auburn up one. Trevelin Queen, off a screen, got an open look from the left corner but shot an airball.

      No. 4 Kansas 87, No. 13 Northeastern 53

      Dedric Lawson recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Jayhawks trounced the Huskies at Salt Lake City.

      The Jayhawks (26-9) extended their streak of first-round wins to 13 while making their 30th consecutive NCAA appearance, a tournament record. Kansas advances to play No. 5 Auburn on Saturday.

      Kansas also was stingy defensively, holding the Huskies (23-11) to 28.1 percent shooting. Northeastern's leading scorer, senior guard Vasa Pusica, was held to seven points (10 below his average) on 2-of-13 shooting. Junior guard Jordan Roland paced Northeastern with 12 points.

      No. 7 Wofford 84, No. 10 Seton Hall 68

      Fletcher Magee scored 24 points and set a record as the Terriers won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time, overcoming the Pirates in Jacksonville, Fla.

      Magee made seven 3-point baskets to become the NCAA all-time leader with 509 treys. Magee, who was 7 of 12 on 3-point attempts, broke the mark of 504 set by Travis Bader of Oakland, who ended his career five years ago.

      Nathan Hoover finished with 18 points for Wofford (30-4), which has a 21-game winning streak. Myles Powell scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half for Seton Hall (20-14).

      SOUTH REGION

      No. 3 Purdue 61, No. 14 Old Dominion 48

      Carsen Edwards scored 26 points as the Boilermakers recorded a victory over the Monarchs at Hartford, Conn.

      Matt Haarms scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half for Purdue (24-9), which advances to face reigning national champion Villanova in a second-round contest on Saturday.

      Purdue guard Nojel Eastern, who started every game for the team this season, turned his ankle in pregame warm-ups. He was replaced in the lineup by Eric Hunter Jr. before entering the contest early in the second half. Ahmad Caver scored 19 points, and B.J. Stith added 14 points for the Monarchs (26-9).

      No. 6 Villanova 61, No. 11 Saint Mary's 57

      Phil Booth scored 20 points as the Wildcats posted a victory over the Gaels at Hartford, Conn.

      Booth shot 7 of 13 from the field and added 14 points for reigning NCAA champion Villanova (26-9).

      Jermaine Samuels finished with 12 points to help Villanova gain a measure of revenge after being bounced by Saint Mary's in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Jordan Ford and Malik Fitts each scored 13 points for the Gaels (22-12).

      --Field Level Media

  • Bolden in, White out for Duke against North Dakota State
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Duke center Marques Bolden, who missed the ACC tournament with a knee injury, will play Friday when Duke opens its NCAA Tournament play against North Dakota State, coach Mike Krzyzewski said Thursday.

    • However, Jack White, a key player off the bench for the Blue Devils, is expected to miss the game with a hamstring injury.

      Bolden, a 6-foot-11 junior, has played in 31 games (21 starts) for the Blue Devils and missed the tournament with a sprained knee. He is averaging 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per game and has blocked 55 shots on the season.

      White, a junior forward, is averaging 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 33 games. He was injured in the ACC tournament championship game.

      Duke, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, is playing in the East Region in Columbia, S.C.

      --Field Level Media

  • FSU's Cofer learns after game his father died
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Florida State senior Phil Cofer learned shortly after his team's NCAA Tournament victory over Vermont on Thursday that his father died after battling what the team called a "long illness."

    • According to ESPN's Myron Medcalf and Jeff Borzello, Cofer received a phone call in the locker room after the Seminoles' 76-69 opening-round win in Hartford, Conn. During that call, Florida State spokesman Chuck Walsh told ESPN, Cofer learned of his father's death.

      According to ESPN, Cofer received the call while the locker room was open to the media, but did not discuss the matter with reporters. When Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton spoke with reporters following the win, he did not yet know the news of Cofer's father.

      Cofer did not play in the game Thursday, instead sitting on the bench in a walking boot on his right foot. Florida State did not officially announce Cofer would miss the game until about an hour before the opening tip. Cofer sustained the injury during the ACC tournament last week.

      Cofer is averaging 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds this season. He has missed 13 games this season because of injuries. There is no report as to whether Cofer will play in the fourth-seeded Seminoles' next game, against the winner of Marquette and Murray State.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: George Washington hiring Siena's Christian as head coach
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    George Washington is expected to hire Jamion Christian as its next head coach, NBC Sports reported Thursday.

    • Christian, 36, went 17-16 in his first season as head coach at Siena in 2018-19.

      Before that, he compiled a 101-95 record in six seasons as the coach at his alma mater Mount St. Mary's (2012-18). He led the Mountaineers to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2017.

      Christian replaces Maurice Joseph, who was fired earlier this month after three seasons and a 44-57 record. The Colonials were 9-24 in 2018-19, including a 4-14 record in the Atlantic 10.

      --Field Level Media

  • Houston moves to lock up Sampson
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Houston coach Kelvin Sampson will be offered a new contract when the Cougars wrap up the season.

    • Sampson is one of four finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award and has third-seeded Houston primed for a run in the NCAA Tournament in what he termed this week as his "dream job."

      The feeling is mutual at Houston for the fifth-year coach. The Cougars (31-3) open the NCAA Tournament on Friday against 14th seed Georgia State in Tulsa, Okla.

      "We want to make sure he finishes his career here at the University of Houston," athletic director Chris Pezman told the Houston Chronicle. "He's done everything we could have hoped for and more."

      --Field Level Media

  • Washington reaches new 6-year deal with Hopkins
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Washington and head coach Mike Hopkins have agreed to a contract extension that will take him through the 2025 season, the school announced Thursday.

    • Financial terms were not disclosed. He made $1.9 million for this season.

      "I've always said 'people, place and potential' matter and Washington is exactly where I want to be," Hopkins said in a statement. "Our program is surrounded by great people and we've made some great strides in our first two years here."

      The announcement comes a day before the Huskies' first-round game against Utah State in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.

      Hopkins led the Huskies to the Pac-12 regular season crown this past season, going 26-8. The ninth-seeded Huskies are a slight underdog to the No. 8 seed Aggies.

      Hopkins is 51-26 in two years at Washington and he has been selected Pac-12 Coach of the Year both years. He will lose senior standouts Matisse Thybulle, Noah Dickerson and David Crisp after this season, but his recruiting class includes five-star center Isaiah Stewart, the No. 6-rated prospect in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Calipari: Washington out for Kentucky’s NCAA opener
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Kentucky head coach John Calipari on Thursday tweeted that leading scorer PJ Washington is out for the Wildcats' first-round game and has been placed in a hard cast due to a sprained foot.

    • Calipari on Wednesday said he expected Washington to play when second-seeded Kentucky tips off against No. 15 seed Abilene Christian Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla.

      "The specialists confirmed our original diagnosis that @PJWashington has a sprained foot and there is no fracture. Once we determined that PJ was not going to play today, they put him in a hard cast for precautionary reasons. He is out for today's game," Calipari tweeted.

      Calipari said Washington sprained his foot in an SEC tournament semifinal loss to Tennessee on Saturday.

      Washington, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, is averaging 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds this season, both tops on the team. He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and is viewed as an NBA first-round draft choice should he decide to leave school.

      He has earned multiple third-team All-America honors this season.

      --Field Level Media