Top seeds Notre Dame, Tennessee advance in women’s NCAA Tournament

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2014 Women’s NCAA tournament bracket

Throughout the 2013-14 season two teams separated themselves from the competition in women’s college basketball: UConn and Notre Dame. Both teams entered the 2014 NCAA tournament undefeated, with the defending national champion Huskies boasting a 34-0 mark and Muffet McGraw’s Fighting Irish winning all 32 of their games.

In seasons past there would be at least two meetings between the programs (they met four times last season), as both were members of the Big East. But thanks to conference realignment there wasn’t a regular season meeting this year, with Notre Dame asserting its dominance in the ACC and UConn doing so in the American Athletic Conference.

With the teams on opposite sides of the NCAA tournament bracket the hope is that they’ll meet in the national title game, and Notre Dame took its first step towards the game by beating No. 16 Robert Morris 93-42 in Toledo. Freshman guard Michaela Mabrey led five Fighting Irish in double figures with 16 points off the bench, and as a team Notre Dame shot 59.4% from the field and 10-for-18 from beyond the arc.

Next up for Notre Dame, top seed in the Notre Dame Region, is No. 9 Arizona State, which beat No. 8 Vanderbilt 69-61. The Sun Devils were one of three lower-seeded teams to win on Saturday, with No. 12 BYU beating No. 5 NC State 72-57 in the Lincoln regional and No. 10 Florida State beating No. 7 Iowa State 55-44 in the Stanford regional.

Tennessee, the top seed in the Louisville regional, was also in action Saturday and the Lady Vols eliminated No. 16 Northwestern State by the final score of 70-46. After leading 22-20 at the half Holly Warlick’s team scored 48 points in the second half to remove any doubt.

All three two-seeds in action Saturday advanced, with Lincoln Region No. 2 Duke (87-45 over Winthrop), Notre Dame Region No. 2 Baylor (87-74 over Western Kentucky) and Stanford Region No. 2 Stanford (81-62 over South Dakota) moving on to the second round.

And in the wildest game of the day Lincoln Region No. 7 DePaul beat No. 10 Oklahoma 104-100, with the Blue Demons winning despite allowing 66 points in the second half. Megan Rogowski’s three-pointer with 40.5 seconds remaining gave DePaul the lead for good in a game that set an NCAA tournament record for the most points scored in a game that did not go to overtime.

VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.