Rob Dauster

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No. 1 Kansas completes dominant first weekend run with win over No. 9 Michigan State

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Josh Jackson had 23 points. Frank Mason III went for 20 points and five assists. Devonte’ Graham had 18 points, four assists and four big threes.

And with that, the Jayhawks are headed to the Sweet 16 with an emphatic, statement win over Tom Izzo and the No. 9 seed Michigan State Spartans, 90-70.

Izzo is one of college basketball’s greatest and most brilliant tacticians, proof being his 21-4 record, entering Sunday, in the second game of a weekend in NCAA tournament, and Sparty got blitzed. With the exception of a couple of Michigan State spurts in the second half, Kansas was more or less in control of this thing after a run late in the first half put them up by 11.

The final eight minutes was all Kansas, as the Jayhawks just ran away from Michigan State. Highlight reel dunks, careening drives from Mason, alley-oops, dagger threes from Graham.

No team in college basketball will be heading into the Sweet 16 with a more impressive, more dominant weekend than Kansas.

And it comes at the perfect time, because Kansas is going to have a fight on their hands in the Sweet 16. The Jayhawks will face off with No. 4 seed Purdue and first-team all-american Caleb Swanigan, who is the second-biggest low-post scorer Purdue has. Kansas? They have one big man worth his size in Landen Lucas. It’s going to take quite an effort from Kansas to slow down that group on the interior, and, at the very least, they are going to have to lean heavily on that core of perimeter stars to make Purdue pay for playing big.

That’s a concern for Kansas.

But Purdue has to be concerned, as well.

Because Kansas may be the best team in the country, and I’m not sure they’ve had a better two-game stretch than they did this weekend.

VIDEO: Maryland Women’s player hits 75-foot, over-the-head shot

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The Lady Terps are still alive and rolling in the NCAA tournament, and freshman Destiny Slocum just had her One Shining Moment.

At the end of the first half, Slocum somehow made a 75-foot shot while taking a shot like a soccer throw-in.

With a hand in her face!

This is incredible:

NCAA comments on confederate flag flown near Greenville tournament site

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The NCAA Tournament returned to the state of South Carolina this week for the first time in 15 years with the first and second round action in the Greenville.

Greenville received those games because all NCAA events were pulled from sites in North Carolina due to the discriminatory HB2 law passed in the state. It’s not a coincidence that the games were moved to South Carolina; in 2002, the NCAA pulled events from that state because of a confederate flag that was flown on the statehouse grounds.

On Sunday, prior to the second round NCAA Tournament games, Duke-South Carolina and North Carolina-Arkansas, in Greenville, someone raised a confederate flag at the top of a parking structure across the street from the arena.

“The NCAA is proud and excited to host championships in the state of South Carolina once again,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball, said in a statement released by the NCAA. “We are committed to assuring that our events are safe and accessible to all. No symbols that compromise that commitment will be permitted to be displayed on venue property that the tournament controls. Freedom of speech activities on public property in areas surrounding the arena are managed by the city of Greenville and we are supportive of the city’s efforts.”

Arizona’s Rawle Alkins dislocated, fractured finger, returned to game

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Arizona freshman guard Rawle Alkins suffered a minor fracture when he dislocated his right index finger during the No. 2 Wildcats 69-60 win over No. 7 seed Saint Mary’s in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.

Alkins suffered the injury in a scrum for a rebound when the ball hit his finger. He was immediately taken out of the game and into the locker room for x-rays, but he didn’t miss much time. He returned to the game with the finger, which is on his shooting hand, heavily bandaged. He finished with six points.

“Even with that, I still wanted to play for my team,” Alkins said. “Being that it could potentially be the last game of the year, I didn’t want to go out like this.”

“I’m going to do whatever it takes to get back on the court.”

Alkins is averaging 11.1 points and 5.0 boards this season.

Four Naismith Award finalists announced

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The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the final four Naismith National Player of the Year award finalists:

  • Lonzo Ball, UCLA
  • Josh Hart, Villanova
  • Frank Mason III, Kansas
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

NBC Sports named Mason, the Kansas point guard, the National Player of the Year earlier this month.

POSTERIZED: Dang, Adel just dunked all over D.J. Wilson

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Deng Adel has played really well in recent weeks, and he’s doing so again on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Michigan.

Want proof?

Adel did this to Michigan’s 6-foot-10 D.J. Wilson: