UConn proud of Big East’s basketball pedigree even as football money upends college sports

BOSTON (AP) — Alabama and the rest of the football fans in the Southeastern Conference are about to find out what Big East basketball is all about. The Crimson Tide have won 18 NCAA football championships but have never been to a men’s basketball Final Four. They will meet top-seeded UConn in the national semifinals on April 6. The Huskies have a chance to win back-to-back NCAA titles. That would make it six in 13 years for the Big East, the league that takes pride in its basketball pedigree even as football money upended the rest of college sports.

March Madness masterpiece: All-Americans Edey of Purdue and Tennessee’s Knecht face off in Elite 8

DETROIT (AP) — Zach Edey and Dalton Knecht are perhaps college basketball’s biggest stars this side of Caitlin Clark and they will be on the same court Sunday, each with a chance to lift their school to an elusive trip to the Final Four. The top two vote-getters on the men’s AP All-America team will face off when top-seeded Purdue plays second-seeded Tennessee in the only regional final pitting the top two seeds. The Boilermakers and Volunteers met four months ago and Edey had 23 points and 10 rebounds in a four-point win.

It’s a Tobacco Road showdown in Big D between Duke and N.C. State for a spot in the Final Four

DALLAS (AP) — Duke coach Jon Scheyer was so impressed by North Carolina State’s five wins in as many days in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament that he reached out to Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts. That run included a win over the Blue Devils. The Wolfpack had to win that ACC tourney just to get into the 68-team NCAA Tournament field. Now, only two weekends later, the Wolfpack are playing the Blue Devisl again. This time it’s for a spot in the Final Four in the South Region final in Dallas, about 1,200 miles from Tobacco Road. The teams have split their two meetings this season.

South Carolina and Oregon State meet again in NCAA Tournament with trip to Final Four on the line

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — South Carolina is three wins away from completing the 10th undefeated season in women’s NCAA Tournament history. Next up is Oregon State, which advanced this far for the first time since 2018. The Beavers know they have a tall task in front of them. They’ve faced South Carolina three times over the last decade in the NCAA Tournament. Each time they’ve come away with a loss.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese are a major part of the rise of women’s college basketball

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese have been catalysts for the rapid rise of women’s college basketball because of their play on the court that has drawn millions of new fans to the sport and their success off of it. They will meet in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in two seasons when Iowa faces LSU in the Albany 2 Regional Final on Monday night. Last season’s national championship game drew a record 9.9 million viewers. The pair has brought comparisons to what Magic Johnson and Larry Bird did for men’s college basketball when they played for the national championship in 1979 and then in the NBA for the decade after.

Alabama rides tidal wave of 3-pointers to beat Clemson 89-82 and reach 1st Final Four ever

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mark Sears hit seven 3-pointers and Alabama recovered from its early long-distance shooting woes to beat Clemson 89-82 and reach the Final Four for the first time. The Tide will face defending champion UConn in Glendale, Arizona. Sears finished with 23 points. Alabama made 10 of its 16 3-pointers in the second half to pull away. Clemson was led by Joseph Girard III with 19 points and Ian Schieffelin added 18 points nand 11 rebounds. The Tigers were trying to make the Final Four for the first time, too. They had allowed just 14 3-pointers in their first three NCAA Tournament victories.

Donovan Clingan, UConn power back into Final Four behind 30-0 run in 77-52 rout of Illinois

BOSTON (AP) — Defending national champion UConn powered its way back into the Final Four behind a 30-0 run led by Donovan Clingan, who finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Huskies crushed Illinois 77-52. It was a March Madness record 10th straight double-digit victory for the Huskies, who cruised to their fifth national title last year and seem inexorably headed for a sixth. Their NCAA Tournament wins this year have come by 39, 17, 30 and 25 points. The top-seeded Huskies will face Alabama in the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona. Marcus Domask scored 17 points for third-seeded Illinois.

Caitlin Clark leads Iowa to 89-68 win over Colorado and rematch with defending NCAA champion LSU

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Caitlin Clark had 29 points and 15 assists to lead top-seeded Iowa to an 89-68 win over fifth-seeded Colorado in the women’s NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes advanced to the Albany 2 Regional Final and a rematch of last year’s national title game against LSU. The Tigers, who beat the Hawkeyes in last year’s championship game, topped UCLA in Saturday’s earlier regional semifinal. Clark got the Hawkeyes going early, driving to the basket for easy layups or throwing fantastic passes. Aaronette Vonleh scored 13 points and Frida Formann had 12 for the Buffaloes, who trailed by double digits for the entire second half.

Johnson, Reese lead defending champion LSU past UCLA 78-69 to reach Elite Eight

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Flau’jae Johnson had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Angel Reese put up her 26th double-double of the season and LSU beat UCLA 78-69 in the Sweet 16 to continue its quest for a second straight national title. Reese had 16 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the game for the Tigers, who closed the game on a 14-2 run. Aneesah Morrow scored 17 points and Mikaylah Williams added 12. Lauren Betts had 14 points and 17 rebounds for UCLA. Londynn Jones and Gabriela Jaquez also had 14 points apiece. Jaquez hit a jumper that gave the Bruins a 67-64 lead with 2:46 left. But LSU responded with its run, sparked when Reese blocked a shot by Betts, leading to a drive by Johnson that fouled out Rice.

Kim Mulkey says she likely won’t read her Post profile, defends LSU team against media portrayals

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — LSU coach Kim Mulkey says she probably won’t read the newspaper article over which she has threatened to file a defamation lawsuit, but she did question the timing of its release. Mulkey was the subject of a profile in The Washington Post in which family members and former players are quoted about her personality and how she runs her programs. It was published about an hour before LSU played UCLA in the Sweet 16. Mulkey did defend her players against portrayals in the media, referring to a column published Friday by the Los Angeles Times in which her players were called “villains” and “dirty debutantes.” She said, “How dare people attack kids like that?”

Brought to you by www.srnnews.com