The Secondary Break: Tuesday’s Links

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Arizona’s Sean Miller: Being ranked No. 1 a ‘great compliment’ (Sporting News)
On Monday Arizona reached the top spot in the national polls for the first time since 2003, and while it’s only December this is still an important achievement for Sean Miller’s team. When he took over the program wasn’t in the best shape, but that certainly has changed under the former Xavier head coach. And instead of running from the top ranking and the pressure that comes with it, Arizona’s going to embrace it’s position.

Michigan’s John Beilein remains split on college basketball rules changes (MLive.com)
While the loudest opinions regarding the rules “changes” in college basketball tend to be either for or against them, there are a number of coaches who sit in the middle so to speak. One of those coaches is Michigan’s John Beilein, who likes the new hand-checking initiative but remains a bit skeptical of the block/charge initiative.

Iowa State men, women sitting atop college basketball world (Des Moines Register)
There are now just two schools in the country whose men’s and women’s basketball teams are currently undefeated: UConn and Iowa State. And for the Cyclones that’s quite the achievement for the programs currently run by Fred Hoiberg and Bill Fennelly.

High Point forward Allan Chaney’s career ends due to heart concerns (CBS Sports)
High Point forward Allan Chaney was one of the sport’s greatest comeback stories last season, returning to the floor after a heart ailment nearly ended his career to lead the Panthers to a 12-4 conference record while earning first team All-Big South honors. But due to a mid-game incident involving his internal defibrillator during a game last month Chaney’s been forced to retire.

CCSU/Hartford basketball rivalry is blooming once again (Hartford Courant)
After struggling for much of the early portion of the season both Central Connecticut State and Hartford are in good spirits entering their meeting tonight. The Hawks dealt with a tough travel schedule while also being without the services of forward Nate Sikma, whose return should benefit Mark Nwakamma inside. Meanwhile CCSU has begun to give the effort on the defensive end that head coach Howie Dickenman didn’t think they were giving earlier in the year.

Real Basketball Moms of Kentucky (New York Times)
The way in which parents support their sports-playing children has been a point of conversation in recent years, with there being both positives and negatives to that. In Kentucky six parents whose sons play basketball have signed deals with a production company that specializes in reality television shows.

K-State basketball shows signs of progress (Topeka Capital Journal)
Bruce Weber’s Wildcats will be looking for their fourth straight win on Tuesday night when they host South Dakota, but despite the recent run of success there are still areas in which the Wildcats are looking to improve. Those areas include turnovers (16.5 per game over their last four contests) and free throw shooting.

Purdue’s Sterling Carter – student-athlete, father and not necessarily in that order (Indianapolis Journal)
Purdue fifth-year senior Sterling Carter has a lot on his plate these days with the birth of his daughter last month.

2017 NCAA Tournament Final Four schedule, tip times, and announcer pairings

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1

6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

VIDEO: The insane final 10 seconds of North Carolina’s win over Kentucky

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.

After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.

These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.

No. 1 seed North Carolina outlasts No. 2 seed Kentucky to advance to the Final Four

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.

Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.

The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.

Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.

Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.

Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.

With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.

North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.

VIDEO: South Carolina celebrates Final Four trip by dousing Frank Martin in water

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South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.

The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.

https://twitter.com/marchmadness/status/846124174259118080/video/1

VIDEO: Darius Rucker tears up as South Carolina advances to the Final Four

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Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.

This isn’t really a secret.

Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:

You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:

Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.