Coronavirus doesn’t care that it’s the NCAA Tournament
The Indiana Farmers Coliseum scoreboard goes dark after a first round NCAA college basketball tournament game between Iowa and Grand Canyon Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)If you didn’t pay attention to college basketball until the NCAA Tournament, the good news is you didn’t miss much. The loss marked the second time in the Cavaliers’ last three NCAA tournament appearances — this time as a No. “He kind of got his legs under him and he was really, really good in the second half,” Self said afterward. “I mean really, really good.”___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Dressed down; Alabama rolls over Pitino, Iona 68-55
This time, Pitino had his worst seed ever and second-seeded Alabama (25-6) was too much. Ad“I thought their kids came ready to play,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. Iona forced 14 turnovers, and Alabama had trouble getting an open look for most of the first 30 minutes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough weapons to beat Alabama.”Iona also got dominated 42-26 in rebounds, a stat Pitino said surprised him. Alabama is in the tournament with its best seeding in history, on the strength of its first SEC Tournament title in 30 years.
6 officials out of NCAA Tournament after 1 tests positive
The coliseum is one of six venues hosting NCAA Tournament games later this week. One referee tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him and five others who went out to dinner with him, out of the tournament. Though the NCAA brought plenty of backup referees, the mass departure served up yet another illustration of how things can go wrong. “It's not ever going to be perfect in a pandemic,” NCAA vice president Dan Gavitt said. Iona took its two tests in the same day, and Gavitt said the change had been OK'd by the NCAA medical advisory group and the local health department.
March Madness: 68 teams punch ticket; the hard part awaits
"Testing, practice, getting on the bus in Philadelphia, waiting for that reply, that response time to say, ‘We’re all negative here. In the biggest adjustment to a normal March Madness, all the games will be played in and around Indianapolis over 19 days. More about that bracket: A few bubble teams are coming from unexpected places, namely UCLA and Michigan State. Teams like Louisville, Saint Louis, Colorado State and Mississippi would gladly trade places with them. In one of many first-of-its-kind moves made to accommodate a one-of-a-kind tournament, the NCAA put team Nos.
Life on the bubble: Brackets set for return of March Madness
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)The biggest unknown leading into a March Madness bracket reveal more than a year in the making had nothing to do with bubble teams or top seeds. It was a signal that both teams believe they’ll have enough healthy players to be ready for their tip-offs next weekend. “The one thing I’ve found out through this, probably as much as anybody, is expect the unexpected,” said Kansas coach Bill Self. Like Virginia and Kansas, Duke pulled out of its conference tournament last week because of COVID-19., marking the end of a 13-11 season that never got on track. All par for the course and part of the plan for March Madness during a pandemic.
The Latest on Selection Sunday: NCAAs start with SWAC vs NEC
Virginia was forced to withdraw from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Saturday because of a single COVID-19 case. They were already missing David McCormack and Tristan Enaruna, who both tested positive before the conference tournament. Pitino is the fifth coach to lead five teams to the NCAA Tournament, joining Lon Kruger and Tuby Smith. The Cougars routed Cincinnati in the AAC final, ending the Bearcats hope of slipping into the NCAA Tournament field of 68 as an automatic qualifier. 7 Houston and Cincinnati, which needs to win to get in the NCAA field.
Pitino back in the NCAA Tournament with MAAC champs Iona
Asante Gist scored 18 points and Pitino took his record-tying fifth school to the NCAA Tournament with Iona’s 60-51 victory over Fairfield on Saturday in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament championship. Next stop, the all-Indiana NCAA Tournament. Gist’s absence was short-lived and he hit a 3 in his return to send the Gaels on their way to their fifth straight NCAA Tournament. Iona had completed a good run under Tim Cluess, who made six NCAA Tournament appearances and won five MAAC Tournament titles in nine seasons before stepping down for health reasons, when it hired Pitino. BIG PICTUREIona: Pitino joined Lon Kruger and Tubby Smith as the only coaches to take five programs to the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness? Pitino's whole 1st season at Iona maddening
Forced to pause four times this season because of the virus, once for nearly two months, the Gaels need to win their conference tournament this week to make the NCAA Tournament. When Iona hired the Hall of Fame coach last March 14, there was no celebration for the new biggest man on campus. We’re trying to make the best of it in very difficult times,” Pitino said. Perhaps things could’ve been different if the NCAA went with Pitino’s May Madness concept. Basketball-wise we’ll get through it and hopefully have a normal basketball season next year.”___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
The Latest: Pitino calls for delayed start to basketball
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Iona coach Rick Pitino is calling for a delayed start to the college basketball season as COVID-19 cases rise across the country. Many schools are still trying to fill out schedules with the season set to start on Nov. 25. Saturday's game in Leipzig had been in doubt after four Ukraine players and one staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. ___AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli has tested positive for the coronavirus. ___The Croatian soccer federation says midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Evansville stuns No. 1 Kentucky at Rupp Arena, 67-64
(AP Photo/James Crisp)LEXINGTON, KY – Evansville showed no fear either of Kentucky or venerable Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats had been perfect at ruining visitors' dreams of pulling off the seemingly impossible. Not only did the Purple Aces deal No. 1 Kentucky a stunning 67-64 upset, they beat the bigger, stronger Wildcats at their own game. "Walter and their team deserved to win," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. The Purple Aces raised their hands and ran around a silent Rupp Arena after the final horn as the Wildcats slowly walked off.