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Introducing Cinderella: Dangerous Bucknell is headed back to the Big Dance

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Conference: Patriot League

Coach: Nathan Davis

Record: 25-9, 16-2 (First in the Patriot League)

Rankings and Ratings:

Kenpom: 107
RPI: 85
AP/USA TODAY: Not ranked

Seeding: Bucknell likely finds itself in the 13-14 seed range since they were clearly the best team in the Patriot League this season. Although the Bison come from a one-bid league, they own a top-100 RPI thanks to an impressive final few months.

Names you need to know: A trio of senior double-figure scorers forms the backbone of this Bucknell roster. Senior forward Zach Thomas is putting up monster numbers (20.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg) as he earned Patriot League Player of the Year. Senior center Nana Foulland (15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and senior guard Stephen Brown (14.7 ppg, 4.3 apg) were also first-team all-league selections with Thomas.

Stats you need to know: Bucknell won’t be afraid to play an uptempo opponent if it comes to that in the tournament. Rating at No. 35 in adjusted tempo nationally, according to KenPom, the Bison like to get up and down the floor with their veteran team and three senior scorers.

Big wins, bad losses: Bucknell only has one top-100 win this season when they beat Vermont at home by four points. The Bison don’t have a lot of quality wins in general. In terms of losses, Bucknell lost road games at Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland and VCU during the non-conference portion of the schedule as the last two losses were very close games.

How’d they get here?: Winning 18 of their last 19 games, the Bison will be one of the hottest teams in the field. Bucknell held off Loyola (MD) in the Patriot League quarterfinals before taking down Boston and Colgate to claim the title.

Outlook: Bucknell is going to be one of the more dangerous double-digit seeds in the field. With the top four players all returning from a team that gave No. 4 seed West Virginia a scare last season, Bucknell is a team nobody wants to face in the first round.

How do I know you?: Since 2011, Bucknell has played in either the NIT or the NCAA tournament in every season except for one — a truly impressive streak for a team in a one-bid league. The Bison lost by only six points to No. 4 seed West Virginia last season in the NCAA tournament. Bucknell also won NCAA tournament games in back-to-back seasons when they defeated Kansas and Arkansas in the first round in 2005 and 2006.

Police: Thief steals electronics from UNC basketball program

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Police say someone stole thousands of dollars in electronics from the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team locker room and office while they were away for the ACC tournament.

UNC-Chapel Hill campus police said on Twitter that the break-in happened at the Dean Smith Center on March 9, and they released images of a man they believe may have been involved.

A police report says the thief managed to get into the team locker room and basketball office without forced entry, according to The Herald-Sun.

The report says the thief stole a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and clothing worth $2,900 that belonged to the athletic department. Police say the thief also stole a laptop worth $1,200 and a financial document worth about $3,000 belonging to one of the players.

No upsets over here: No. 1 seed UConn women set scoring records in first round game

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The No. 1 overall seed on the men’s side of the NCAA tournament made history on Friday night.

They because the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament, as Virginia lost to UMBC, if you were still unaware.

Over on the women’s side, the bracket is nowhere near as broken, because UConn’s women made history, too. They set NCAA tournament records for … well, almost everything it seems like.

The Huskies were up 55-19 at the end of the first quarter of their first round game against St. Francis (PA). Those 55 points are an NCAA tournament record. They held a 94-31 lead at the half, another NCAA tournament record, and held on to win 140-52.

The 140 points that Geno Auriemma’s team scored was an NCAA tournament record. The 88 points that they won by was one point short of an NCAA tournament record 89 points that was set by Baylor in a win over Texas Southern last season.

Oh, and the Huskies set the record for more assists in an NCAA tournament game — 38 — for good measure.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say that the fans in Storrs had a better weekend than the fans in Charlottesville. Hopefully, that will allow them to forget the fact that the men’s basketball program has become a laughing stock.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Maryland Governor calls UMBC upset, so does NBC Sports’ writer son

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Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament as a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed.

That was until Friday night, when UMBC sent the No. 1 overall seed Virginia packing.

And if you thought no one had picked that upset, you were wrong.

Let’s start with the Maryland Governor, who was clearly a homer in picking UMBC to not only beat Virginia, but to win a national title:

Never say never, but … that’s never going to happen bud.

But how about this: My son, who is two years old and based his picks on his hard and fast rule of “all the doggies”, called this upset!

He also called Penn over Kansas, Fullerton over Purdue and Butler winning a national title, but whatever.

That bracket is actually pretty good!

VIDEO: Virginia’s Ty Jerome does not appreciate dumb question after UMBC loss

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You have to give Virginia some credit.

After losing to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the players on that roster faced the music. They went up to the dais and answered question from reporters on national television.

There is no way they enjoyed that.

And you can tell because Ty Jerome had absolutely no interest in answering dumb questions from reporters:

He was not amused.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Saturday’s betting lines, point spreads, over-unders

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Here is the full TV schedule, with spreads, over-unders and betting lines, for every game for the first four days of the NCAA tournament.

(Lines are updated for Saturday morning.)

Pittsburgh: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson

  • 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Villanova (-11.5) vs. No. 9 Alabama, CBS (149.5)
  • 2:40 p.m.: No. 2 Duke (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Rhode Island, CBS (149)

Boise: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington

  • 5:15 p.m.: No. 5 Kentucky (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Buffalo, CBS (155)
  • 7:45 p.m.: No. 4 Gonzaga (-4) vs. No. 5 Ohio State, CBS (141.5)

Dallas: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude

  • 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Tennessee (-5) vs. No. 11 Loyola (Chicago), TNT (131.5)
  • 8:40: No. 3 Texas Tech (-1.5) vs. No. 6 Florida, TNT (133.5)

Wichita: Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn

  • 7:10 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas (-4.5) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall, TBS (154.5)
  • 9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan (-3) vs. No. 6 Houston, TBS (135)