Mike Jensen: Is Villanova a Final Four team? When you win 2 NCAA titles, that’s always the question.
PHILADELPHIA — You convince yourself … no Final Four, no chance, no way. Then Villanova faces a team that had earlier made Jay Wright’s look not just bad, but ordinary, and the Wildcats completely dismiss St. John’s in a rematch. Maybe this can still be a long run for the Wildcats in March? Slow down. Five years ago, it would have been framed differently. Can the Wildcats get past the second round? Now … Can they get to the Final Four? Could they win it all again? “It’s a new challenge to deal with, for the coaches and the players,” Villanova’s coach said earlier this week, that difference in ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Michigan State gets huge win in upset over No. 5 Illinois
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The road is a brutal one, but Michigan State certainly is off to a good start. Desperate to string some victories together in a brutal stretch of six games in 13 days against some of the best teams in the country, Michigan State had its second consecutive impressive performance on Tuesday night, knocking off No. 5 Illinois, 81-72, at the Breslin Center. Aaron Henry scored 20 to lead Michigan State (12-9, 6-9 Big Ten), which gets a quick break before hosting No. 4 Ohio State on Thursday in its quest to reach the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd straight season. Joshua Langford...
The Detroit News
KU Jayhawks’ Self lauds fans after victory over Texas Tech: ‘It seems loud in here’
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self credited 2,500 enthusiastic fans for helping his No. 23-ranked Jayhawks trip No. 15 Texas Tech, 67-61, on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. The 2,500 spectators — maximum allowed during the pandemic — included a large group of KU students in the bleachers behind both goals. “I’m happy about everything. I thought the crowd was great. I told our guys at the last TV timeout, at 3:41, I said ‘Gosh dang it seems loud in here today’ and they felt it,” Self said after the Jayhawks (17-7, 11-5) claimed their second victory over the Red Raiders (14-7...
The Kansas City Star
San Diego State extends winning streak to eight with another rout
FRESNO, Calif. — Navigating the Mountain West basketball season involves trips into altitude, into different time zones, into snow and ice and wind, into the barren desert and the fertile Central Valley. You must try to win your share against the conference’s best teams, but maybe the most perilous part, given the arduous travel and elevation, is not losing to teams you shouldn’t. Not stepping on a landmine. Not stepping in it. Mission accomplished, then, for No. 25 San Diego State after a 75-57 win Saturday at Fresno State made it 8-0 against the bottom half of the Mountain West. Only a showd...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
NCAA Tournament will allow fans for men's games in Indiana, including Final Four
A limited number of fans — arenas at 25% capacity — will be able to attend the men's NCAA Tournament, including the Final Four. The NCAA made the announcement on Friday. All tournament games will be played in Indiana, mostly in Indianapolis. The limited capacity will apply to all venues and include participants, essential staff and family members of each team. Plus a reduced number of fans will be in the stands. Every fan will be required to wear a face covering and physically distance during the games. The decision for limited attendance because of COVID-19 was made after consulting with loca...
The Kansas City Star
Dan Mullen focused on Florida, not NFL despite college football’s uncertain future
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Dan Mullen said his focus following last season was the 2021 Gators, despite reports he was interested in an NFL job. “A lot of rumors out there,” he said. “But I didn’t speak to anybody.” But would he, Mullen was asked. The answer then became a little more complicated. The ever-changing landscape of college football is a concern for many top college coaches, Mullen said. “What is college football going to look like in three or four years?” Mullen asked. “I think there’s a lot of uncertainty that we’re trying to figure out right now to see what our futures are...
What's up with Michigan basketball's schedule? No one seems to know for certain.
Michigan basketball's current schedule features a six-day gap between Sunday's game at Ohio State and next Saturday's game at Indiana. Given the five games that the No. 3 Wolverines missed due to a two-week shutdown of the university's athletic department, logic would suggest that perhaps one — or more — of those postponed contests would slot into next week's six-day break. “There have been different scenarios thrown around," said coach Juwan Howard on Wednesday. "But I’m not in a position right now to share any information with you guys." Due to the two-week pause, the Wolverines (14-1, 9-1 B...
Detroit Free Press
Ayo Dosunmu comes to the rescue again with 2 late 3-pointers that lift Illinois to a 73-66 victory against Northwestern
Northwestern showed it had a pulse, but Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu showed again he can jolt his team to life. The Illini star supplied the late-game daggers, scoring eight points in the final 4:14 to separate No. 5 Illinois from the charging and desperate Wildcats for a 73-66 victory Tuesday night in Champaign. The win helps keep Illinois (15-5, 11-3) in the race for the Big Ten title and in the hunt for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Northwestern (6-13, 3-12) missed an upset opportunity, losing its 12th straight. Dosunmu had scored only five points as Northwestern crept to a 60-59 defic...
Ben Frederickson: March Madness would be far less magical if conference tourneys are scrapped or watered down
Imagine, for a moment, if the NCAA Tournament bracket didn’t have to include conference tourney winners. Bombastic broadcaster Dick Vitale would not have had to follow through on his promise to stand on his head after Austin Peay stunned Illinois. Jim Valvano’s “Cardiac Pack” probably would have missed the NCAA Tournament altogether in 1983, robbing the sport of one of its most inspiring national champions. Am I laying it on thick enough? Someone has to defend one of the best parts of the entire college basketball season, because it appears to be under attack. If you love the annual intensity ...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mark Bradley: College hoops amid COVID: Clarity is in short supply
Perhaps you’re disappointed in the season Georgia Tech has had. This was supposed to be Josh Pastner’s best team, and it probably is. But it’s 10-8 overall, 6-6 in ACC play, still trying to patch the damage done in those Thanksgiving week home losses to Georgia State and Mercer. If the NCAA tournament began today, the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t make it. This observer still believes Tech can fashion a finish that results in its first NCAA bid under this coach. That said, last week’s near-misses against Virginia (again) and Clemson (on a banked 3-pointer) have thrust the Jackets – who have six game...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution