Shabazz Napier, Austin Nichols

UConn learns about Duke’s loss in press conference on Friday

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When you’re taking part in March Madness, often times it’s difficult to keep track of what is going on at the other sites around the country. When it’s your off day, you’re meeting with the media, running through shootarounds and taking part in practices while teams are being eliminated.

Case in point: UConn.

At their media availability on Friday afternoon, UConn players Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey were asked a question about some of the higher-ranked teams across the country that have struggled this season. The reporter that asked the question casually mentioned that Duke had lost to Mercer earlier in the day.

Neither Napier or Giffey were aware of that fact.

And their reaction was great:

Question: “Shabazz, I know you’re a fan of the tournament. Just what are your thoughts, you general impressions so far as the first few days of this tournament? Louisville struggled, Duke lost. What are your thoughts as a fan of this?”

Niels Giffey: “Duke lost?”

Shabazz Napier: “Duke lost?”

Moderator: “Duke lost, yeah. To Mercer.”

SN: “Oh, wow!”

Mod: “I like your focus, you haven’t been paying attention.

NG: “No, I haven’t.”

SN: “Wow! That’s just how the tournament is. Just on any given day, Duke can lose. Louisville could have lost. Who did they play? Mercer?”

Mod: “Mercer.”

SN: “That’s a good team. Any given day, it doesn’t matter. All it takes is a good 40-minute game from one team, and you’re on to the next level. That’s why it’s called March Madness. So much madness in this tournament. You’ve got to take the best of your opportunities. Some teams don’t take the best of their opportunities that they seed, I’m a 2 seed, I’m a 1 seed and it’s a 16 seed, we’re going to blow by them.


Thoughout the whole season, you’ve seen teams losing to, you know, less than power conference teams. It’s just part of basketball. The only thing that sums it up is, what it’s called? It’s called March Madness for a reason.”

NG: “That was great.”

Yes it was, Shabazz. Yes it was.

(h/t Josh Verlin)

Iowa State, Miami part of 2016 AdvoCare Invitational field

Jim Larranaga
Associated Press
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Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.

Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.

Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.

Field for 2016 DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced

Steve Alford
Associated Press
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Another in-season tournament field for next season was revealed, as the DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced the eight teams that will make the trip to Fullerton, California.

UCLA, which was led to ten national titles by the event’s namesake, will take part as well CSUN, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Six of the eight teams have made prior appearances in the event, with Dayton and Nebraska being the two programs who will make their DirecTV Wooden Legacy debuts next season.

Portland and Virginia Tech reached the title game in their prior appearances, with the Pilots losing to West Virginia in 2009 and the Hokies falling to UNLV in 2010.