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Evans leads Texas Tech to 73-69 win over Texas in Big 12s

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — It was after Texas Tech lost to Texas in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, ending the Red Raiders’ season, that Chris Beard defied his team to avoid a similar fate the next year.

They’ve certainly risen to the challenge.

Keenan Evans scored 25 points, including a pretty fadeaway jumper in the closing minutes, and the No. 14 Red Raiders held off hot-shooting Jacob Young and the Longhorns for a 73-69 victory on Thursday night that ushered them into the semifinal round for the first time since 2005.

“We said we were going to do everything we could the next 364 days to put ourselves in a better position,” Beard recalled, “and I think we’ve done that.”

Jarrett Culver added 13 points for the deep and talented Red Raiders (24-8), who had lost four of their last five in the regular season but appeared to recapture their mojo in Kansas City.

They’ll play No. 18 West Virginia or Baylor on Friday night for a spot in the title game.

Young had a career-high 29 points for the Longhorns (19-14), going 11 of 17 from the field and 6 of 7 from beyond the arc. But he missed a wide open layup with 36 seconds left that would have gotten the Longhorns within 70-67, and Evans made a free throw at the other end to help seal it.

Matt Coleman added 20 points for No. 7 seed Texas, which got star freshman Mo Bamba back from a toe sprain that had caused him to miss three games. The 6-foot-11 center was still a step slower than normal, and he wound up with 10 points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.

“We just lost a tight game and you never feel good after a loss,” Longhorns coach Shaka Smart said. “Texas Tech played a great game but there’s a lot of things, when we look at the tape, if we could have done this a little harder or a little better we could have won.”

It was the No. 2 seed Red Raiders’ first quarterfinal win since 2005, when they advanced all the way to the Big 12 title game. They have never won the league’s postseason tournament.

“There’s still a long road but we have another one tomorrow,” Evans said. “We just have to not get too high or too low and get ready for the next one.”

The Longhorns, who survived a tough game against Iowa State in the opening round, misfired on their first nine shots, went nearly 6 minutes without a point and allowed the Red Raiders to roar to an early double-digit lead that they maintained much of the first half.

Their lead was still 32-19 with 2 minutes left when Young buried a 3-pointer. Bamba followed with a nice putback, Coleman added a couple of foul shots, and Bamba hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the wing to draw the Longhorns within 35-28 at the break.

“We got off to a rough start,” Coleman said, “but as the game got going, we got more comfortable and shots started to fall in our favor.”

Texas Tech extended its lead to 12 early in the second half before Young heated up.

The sophomore guard, who averaged 5.2 points coming in, buried a pair of 3-pointers a minute apart to start his onslaught. He added two more 3s in succession a few minutes later, getting fouled on the second and making the free throw to pull the Longhorns within 53-39 with 10:58 to go.

By that point Young had shattered his career high of 14 points, set coincidentally against the Red Raiders last year and matched against Kansas just last month.

“My teammates pushing me to be who I am and do what I do,” he said. “Being a fighter.”

Texas was still fighting down the stretch, getting within 70-65 after Dylan Osetkowski’s basket with just under a minute to play. But when they got the ball back off a turnover, Young missed his open layup, and that allowed the Red Raiders to put the game away from the foul line.


Texas felt good about its NCAA Tournament hopes after knocking off the Cyclones, but a win over the Red Raiders would have gone a long way toward making Sunday just a little bit more comfortable.

Texas Tech led the regular-season conference race until the final weeks, when Kansas caught up and passed the Red Raiders. They’re one step closer to a potential showdown with the Jayhawks in the title game after Kansas advanced to a semifinal against Kansas State.


Texas heads back to Austin to await its NCAA Tournament fate.

Texas Tech gets ready for Friday night’s semifinal.

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)