He took the FedEx Forum court Thursday to a lusty mixture of boos and cheers, which is exactly how it should be for John Calipari. Nobody in college basketball produces stronger reactions than Cal, and nowhere are the Cal reactions more conflicted than Memphis. Then he jilted the place for Kentucky
Thus began the game’s canonization as the greatest in the history of college basketball. A quarter century later, that quartet of overachieving Wildcats is as ennobled in defeat as the Blue Devils were celebrated in victory.
1. The Atlantic Coast Conference got nine bids to this tourney, and Syracuse nearly made it 10. The league was awarded a No. 1 seed (North Carolina), two No. 2 seeds (Louisville and Duke) and a No. 3 seed (Florida State). Sifting through the wreckage, North Carolina is the only ACC team still dancing
As the Wichita State band played and the cheerleaders locked arms, facing the team’s cheering section, chins quivered. Two shots had been blocked, a great NCAA tournament game had been lost, 65-62, and the Shockers’ souls were ripped out for the second time in the second round by Kentucky. Facing a
In what has become a tradition during Michigan’s magical March run, the players doused their coach with cups of water after yet another victory – this time an upset of No. 2 seed Louisville, 73-69. “He went out and bought a Super Soaker,” said suitably impressed Michigan big man D.J. Wilson. Beilein
Louisville coach Rick Pitino is in the basketball Hall of Fame. “We’re playing the Golden State Warriors on Sunday,” Pitino said, upgrading an NCAA tournament No. 7 seed to the best basketball team in the world. John Beilein, coach of the Michigan Wolverines and not the Warriors, shook his head at
The Wichita State Simmering Resentment and Cold-Blooded Revenge Tour moves on to play another sold-out show Sunday. “We’re glad we have this opportunity,” said Wichita’s wide-body big man, Shaquille Morris, after the 10th-seeded Shockers won a brass-knuckles brawl with seventh-seeded Dayton, 64-58,
The screen saver on Michigan point guard Derrick Walton Jr.’s iPhone is a picture of Kemba Walker. Walton and Walker are roughly the same size (6-foot-1, around 185-190 pounds) and play the same position – and as of late, they play it similarly. Now Walton is trying to pull a Kemba to close out his
I talked to Tom Crean on Wednesday afternoon. The takeaway from that meeting: “Tom’s fine at Indiana,” the source said. The strong sense was that if Crean wanted to stay as coach of the Hoosiers, he could.
This is the sunken treasure of Indiana high school basketball. New Castle Fieldhouse sits below ground level, a massive artifact from the grandiose glory days when small-town basketball was larger than life. The most celebrated New Castle gym rat was Steve Alford, the archetypal Indiana sharpshooter
Contenders to cut down the nets in San Jose: Gonzaga, Arizona, Florida State, West Virginia, Notre Dame. Fourteenth-seeded Florida Gulf Coast breezed through the Atlantic Sun tournament to earn a second straight NCAA bid, and the experience gained last year could help fuel a run like the Eagles memorably
This is the only region where all the top four seeds rank within Ken Pomeroy’s top 15 (Villanova second, Duke 12th, Baylor 13th and Florida ninth). The top two seeds won the past two national titles, and both won their conference tournaments last week in impressive fashion. There are reasons to question
Sixteen things to know about the South Region, plus who wins. The South features two of Ken Pomeroy’s top four teams (North Carolina and Kentucky) and a third in his top 10 (Wichita State, incomprehensibly seeded 10th in the region with a Pomeroy Rating of No. 8 nationally). Then there is UCLA, which
For melodramatic months on end, preseason No. 1 Duke appeared to be disjointed, distracted, defeated, and destined to underachieve. In a New York minute, Duke has coalesced into a beast in the cauldron of tournament basketball. It has perpetrated two breathtaking second-half rallies in two days, upsetting
Grayson Allen had done it again – escalated tension, brought the arena to an emotional boil, forced everyone in attendance to take a very strong stance for or against the Blue Devil in black. Allen did what only he can do in college basketball. At the end of that run, and with the Barclays Center buzzing
Wednesday, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim ripped the traditional ACC tournament home of Greensboro, N.C., and following it up by saying “I don’t give a [expletive].” Then Duke guard Grayson Allen was assessed a technical foul for bellowing an F-bomb and slamming the ball to the court after being called for
The most combustible player in college basketball also was hit with a technical foul for the second consecutive game – he was T’d at North Carolina on Saturday for a high elbow to the face of Brandon Robinson, and this time he was rung up for yet another outburst of emotion. After slamming the ball
Once again, Jim Boeheim’s stay at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament was brief and inglorious. After watching his Syracuse team flame out in its first ACC tourney game yet again – he’s never won in this event, now 0-3 plus a postseason ban – the caustic crab tried to avoid the subject of whether
The familiar rhythms of March have arrived, with tournament games being played just about constantly from noon ET until nearly midnight PT. The Atlantic Coast Conference tournament will be played this week in Brooklyn (1). The Big Ten tournament will be played in Washington, D.C. (2).
Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies finished with just two conference wins this season despite having No. 1 NBA prospect Markelle Fultz. Washington has decided it will retain Lorenzo Romar, sources have confirmed to Yahoo Sports. Thad Matta will return at Ohio State, sources told Yahoo Sports.