Rob Dauster

Bo Ryan
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Wisconsin clears retired Bo Ryan over affair allegations

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) The University of Wisconsin has cleared former basketball coach Bo Ryan of allegations that he had misused school resources while having an “improper personal relationship” with a woman, the school said.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a statement Friday that Ryan was cleared in May following an investigation by athletics and the Office of Legal Affairs. The investigation was trigged by allegations the school received in February 2015 from the woman.

Ryan, who is married, retired abruptly following a game on Dec. 15, 2015. His departure “was entirely his decision,” Blank said.

The investigation was first reported by Deadspin on Saturday.

“The university determined on May 13, 2015 that Ryan did not utilize university resources during the course of the relationship in question,” said the statement from Blank provided to The Associated Press on Saturday. “The university concluded the issue was a private matter.”

An email sent by the AP to Ryan’s attorney seeking comment from the retired coach was not immediately returned on Saturday evening.

In a statement to the Wisconsin State Journal sent from the attorney, Ryan said that his wife “Kelly and I believed that the University’s findings concluded this matter.”

“To be clear, this matter was absolutely unrelated to my retirement many months later,” Ryan said. “In fact, I timed my retirement intentionally to assure that (interim coach) Greg Gard got his hard-earned opportunity to coach the University of Wisconsin basketball team.”

According to the university’s response to the woman in May, Ryan disclosed the relationship to the school in December 2014. The woman, in outlining allegations to athletic department officials, said she had ended her relationship with Ryan a couple months earlier.

A copy of the email sent by the woman in February 2015, with her name redacted, was released by the school. She said that she accompanied Ryan on recruiting trips to Kansas City, Las Vegas and other cities.

“I had a relationship with a woman who had no connection to the University of Wisconsin,” Ryan said in his statement. “That relationship ended nearly 1 1/2 years ago. I revealed this issue openly to the University, and encouraged them to review any activity to assure them that no University resources were misused.”

The school said its investigation included interviews with Ryan and the woman, along with a review of expense reports and email messages since 2009. Voicemails and text messages that may have been exchanged could not be reviewed because they no longer existed, the school said.

Allegations did not involve anyone on campus except Ryan, Blank said.

The basketball team plays Purdue on Sunday night in the regular season finale. Under Gard, the Badgers have won 11 of 12 games to get over a slow start in nonconference play with Ryan on the sideline.

VIDEO: Jamari Traylor’s emotional Senior Night speech

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If you aren’t aware of Jamari Traylor’s back story, it’s amazing that he was even able to get into college, let alone graduate from Kansas.

Bill Self has developed a strong relationship with Traylor as a result, so strong, in fact, that Traylor’s Senior Night speech brought his head coach to tears. Jump ahead to the 6:05 mark to hear it.

York sinks 9 3s in McKale farewell, Wildcats rout Stanford

Arizona guard Gabe York (1) walks off the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford , Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Gabe York, a senior playing in his final home game, made nine 3-pointers to tie the school and McKale Center record and scored a career-high 32 points in No. 18 Arizona’s 94-62 rout of Stanford on Saturday.

The shooting masterpiece capped a big final week of play at home for York, who made three straight 3-pointers, including the game-winner with 19 seconds to go, late in Thursday night’s 64-61 over No. 25 California.

The Wildcats also set a school record by making 18 3s on Saturday in 36 attempts.

Arizona’s victory clinched at least the No. 4 seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, meaning the Wildcats (24-7, 12-6 Pac-12) will get a first-round bye.

Roscoe Allen and Marcus Allen scored 16 apiece for Stanford (15-14, 8-10).

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski – both seniors – added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for Arizona.

But it was York’s show.

The guard from West Covina, California, made his first four 3s – running his streak to seven counting the Cal game – and finished the game 9 for 14 from long-range. The nine 3s tied the record set by Salim Stoudemire against Oregon State on Feb. 20, 2005.

During a remarkable 54-second span, York made three 3-pointers. The last, to thunderous cheers from the capacity crowd, put Arizona up 62-33 with 13:15 to play.

York trampled his previous bests of six 3-pointers and 24 points.

The 18 3s broke the team record of 16 set against USC on Feb. 16, 2002. Twelve of the 3s on Saturday came in the second half, also a school record.

Fourth-year walk-on Jacob Hazzard made three late 3s in seven minutes on the court to help push the Wildcats past the team mark.

Arizona led from the opening basket.

York’s fourth 3-pointer without a miss gave the Wildcats a 30-15 lead with 6:41 to play.

The basket started a 6-2 spurt that gave Arizona its biggest lead of the half, 36-17, when Tarczewski made one of two free throws with 2:49 to play. York finally missed one in the final seconds of the first half and the Wildcats led 40-24 at the break.

The lead reached 39 in the second half.

TIP INS

Stanford: Cardinal starting point guard Christian Simmons missed his second straight game. He has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. … Stanford sophomore starters, Dorian Pickens and Michael Humphrey grew up in Phoenix.

Arizona: Six different Wildcats sank at least one 3. … After the game, the Wildcats honored five senior players and five managers. Two of the players, York and Tarczewski, played all four seasons for the Wildcats. … Arizona was 17-1 at home. A loss to Oregon on Jan. 28 ended the Wildcats’ 49-game winning streak.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Plays in Pac-12 tournament Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Arizona: Plays in Pac-12 tournament Thursday.

No. 8 UNC wins ACC title on No. 17 Duke’s home floor in hideous fashion

North Carolina's Justin Jackson (44) dunks against Duke during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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The last time North Carolina and Duke got together changed the narrative of this Tar Heels team.

Instead of being thought of as one of the nation’s best teams, a sleeping giant just waiting to be woken up, the Tar Heels were suddenly the team that couldn’t handle the moment. They were soft, physically. They didn’t have the mental fortitude to be able to win big games and execute in the clutch. Their guards were too shot happy and unwilling to pound the ball inside to what may be the nation’s best front line.

And while we won’t know whether UNC has shaken their bad habit of losing big games until their season comes to an end, what we can say is that the Tar Heels have figured out that they need to embrace the fact that they’re a team that plays inside-out. Brice Johnson had 18 points and 21 boards and Kennedy Meeks added 12 points and 14 boards as the No. 8 Tar Heels absolutely abused No. 17 Duke in the paint on Saturday en route to a 76-72 win in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

It was the first win in that building for anyone on UNC’s roster, and it happened to come on a night where the Tar Heels sealed up the outright ACC regular season title.

“With three losses in a row here, with a chance to win the outright ACC championship, we couldn’t be more proud of this,” Marcus Paige said on the broadcast after the game.

“We finally won one,” Johnson added.

North Carolina made it interesting, probably more interesting that the final score should have been. The Tar Heels outrebounded Duke 64-29. 64-29!!! That’s a 35-board advantage, and while I know that rebounding margin is not all that valuable of a stat … 35!!! North Carolina had 27 offensive rebounds. Duke had 21 defensive rebounds. The problem was that those 27 offensive rebounds only led to 20 second chance points, as Duke was able to make their run in the second half because the Tar Heels couldn’t actually finish anything around the rim.

It wasn’t pretty.

UNC shot 35.6 percent from the floor, and Paige, who has been mired in a brutal shooting slump, shot 3-for-10 from the floor and 1-for-8 from three.

But they get the win they needed and they closed their season with a league title that they earn on Duke’s home floor.

There haven’t been many days better than this in Chapel Hill. in recent years.

Virginia Tech lands second top ten win, mollywhopping No. 7 Miami

Miami's Angel Rodriguez drives against Virginia Tech's Zach LeDay during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
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Justin Bibbs had 19 points and Zach LeDay chipped in with 16 points as Virginia Tech picked off No. 7 Miami in Blacksburg on Saturday, 77-62.

The loss cost the Hurricanes a shot at winning the outright ACC regular season title. They entered the afternoon tied with North Carolina atop the conference standings. A UNC loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium would give Jim Larrañaga’s club a share of the regular season title.

Miami entered the game having won eight of their last nine and three in a row, but for the second time in the last three weeks, they took an embarrassing loss on the road. That doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t know about this group. They can be inconsistent, which is what tends to happen when you rely so heavily on a kid that is as inconsistent as Angel Rodriguez. That said, this is still a group to watch out for in March. They have quality guard play, they have athleticism on the wings and they have good, veteran bigs that can battle and know their role. They’re dangerous.

As long as they don’t have to play on the road.

The bigger story here, however, is Virginia Tech. The Hokies have been one of the nation’s biggest surprises this season, and that’s a very strong argument to make for Buzz Williams as the ACC Coach of the Year.

Tech entered the season without much expectation whatsoever and backed up the lack of hype by losing to Alcorn State in the first game of the season. But after today’s win, they’re now 18-13 on the year, 10-8 in the ACC and can claim wins over a pair of top ten teams, Miami and Virginia.

It was only going to be a matter of time before Buzz got things rolling in Blacksburg, and it is certainly going to be fascinating to see how he is able to build on what has unequivocally been a successful season for him.

BUBBLE BANTER: Wichita State is going to be Selection Sunday’s most interesting test

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This post will be updated throughout the day.

And now it gets really interesting for Wichita State (KenPom: 10, RPI: 41, CBT Bracketology Seed: 8).

The Shockers lost in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley tournament on Saturday afternoon to a Northern Iowa team that beat North Carolina, Iowa State and won at Wichita State earlier this season. That’s not a bad team that just picked off Gregg Marshall’s club, but it’s not a loss that the Shockers could afford.

Because they unequivocally do not have a profile that’s deserving of an at-large bid. Entering the day, they had just a single top 85 RPI win this season with three losses to sub-85 RPI teams. That’s never going to be enough to get a bid. Ever.

But there’s two factors at play here. For starters, Wichita State’s chances to land elite wins during non-conference play were lost when their star point guard Fred VanVleet went down with a hamstring injury in November. How does the Selection Committee account for that?

The other part of it is that Wichita State, prior to Saturday’s loss, sat at No. 10 in KenPom’s efficiency ratings. KenPom’s numbers, for those that are unaware, are widely regarded as the most accurate rating system when it comes to college basketball teams, and it’s also worth noting that there has never been a team ranked in KenPom’s top 15 that has missed out on the NCAA tournament.

There has been a pushback against the RPI in recent years, as new and better and more accurate metrics have begun to pop up all over the place, and the Selection Committee has said that they are going to be putting more of an emphasis on those metrics when bracketing. Wichita State will likely end up being the perfect test case.

Personally, I want the committee to let Wichita State in. I’ve loved watching VanVleet and Ron Baker turn Wichita State into a nationally-relevant program. The Gonzaga of the Plains, if you will. But winning and losing matters, and the Shockers just haven’t won enough.

WINNERS

  • Providence (KP: 35, RPI: 38, CBT: 8): The Friars avoided losing at St. John’s today, which means that they’re going to the NCAA tournament. More importantly, a team that was struggling now has won three straight to close the regular season. Will that right the ship as we head into March?
  • Butler (KP: 56, RPI: 47, CBT: 10): The Bulldogs beat the breaks off of Marquette on Saturday, putting them in a position where they can probably feel pretty comfortable about getting into the NCAA tournament. I still think they want to beat Providence in their Big East tournament opener, but that wouldn’t be a bad loss. My guess is they can survive it.
  • St. Bonaventure (KP: 74, RPI: 29, CBT: Play-in Game): The Bonnies avoided a loss to Saint Louis on Saturday, which was not a loss they would have been able to overcome. I think they’ll be fine as long as they avoid losing to one of the landmines that they’ll run into in the Atlantic 10 tournament.
  • Oregon State (KP: 61, RPI: 31, CBT: 10): The Beavers did themselves a favor by winning at UCLA on a night where so many other bubble teams lost. One win in the Pac-12 tournament should lock them into the field.
  • Tulsa (KP: 42, RPI: 45, CBT: Play-in Game): The Golden Hurricane are super-bubbly right now, meaning that they certainly could not afford a loss to South Florida on Saturday. They did not lose to South Florida on Saturday, and they got an added bonus of seemingly every bubble team losing. Tulsa needs to win a game or two in the AAC tournament to really feel comfortable.
  • South Carolina (KP: 57, RPI: 52, CBT: 10): South Carolina won at Arkansas on Saturday, putting them in a position where they should probably feel pretty comfortable about their tournament standing. I think they can probably withstand a loss early in the SEC tournament, but as always, I’d strongly recommend not doing that.
  • Florida (KP: 46, RPI: 54, CBT: First Four Out): Florida beat Missouri on Saturday, which is not going to help their profile but certainly means that the Gators won’t have another landmine to their name. Florida, unfortunately, does not currently have enough good wins on the résumé. They need to win one or two games in the SEC tournament to have a real chance at this thing.
  • Saint Mary’s (KP: 34, RPI: 39, CBT: 10): I’m going to go ahead and assume that they only reason I’m seeing Saint Mary’s in brackets is because they are the top seed in the WCC tournament. I have no idea how they can be a projected at-large team. They beat LMU tonight.

LOSERS

  • Vanderbilt (KenPom: 24, RPI: 46, CBT Bracketology Seed: 9): The Commodores had a chance to win a share of the SEC regular season title and all-but lock up a tournament bid with a win at No. 20 Texas A&M today. They lost, and while that is not the kind of loss that is going to drop them to the wrong side of the cut-line, it does affect their margin for error in the SEC tournament. They need to win at least one to feel comfortable, I believe.
  • Pitt (KP: 41, RPI: 44, CBT: 9): After knocking off Duke last Saturday, all the Panthers had to do to avoid becoming bubble fodder again was win one of their last two games. They couldn’t manage that, and as a result, here we are. On Saturday, Pitt lost at Georgia Tech, just a couple of days after they lost at Virginia Tech. Wins over Duke and at Notre Dame are nice, but the Panthers are not quite as safe as that No. 9 seed might indicate. I’d recommend winning a game or two in the ACC tournament.
  • VCU (KP: 38, RPI: 42, CBT: 11): VCU had a great chance to win at Dayton on Saturday night, a win that would have locked up their at-large status and given them the outright Atlantic 10 regular season title. The Rams lost, however, and while that’s not going to be a killer for their profile, it’s a step in the wrong direction. They’re on the right side of the bubble as of today, but it would be nice to see them add a win or two in the A-10 tournament to avoid the stress.
  • USC (KP: 51, RPI: 35, CBT: 10): The Trojans are probably still safe after losing to Oregon at home on Saturday, but they certainly didn’t do themselves any favors from a seeding standpoint by losing six of their last eight games. Four top 50 wins, an 11-11 record against the top 100 and no sub-100 losses should allow them to avoid the play-in game at minimum.
  • Michigan (KP: 49, RPI: 59, CBT: Play-in Game): Michigan lost to No. 16 Iowa at home on Saturday, which is the loss that I think relegates them to the NIT. Without Caris LeVert, this Michigan team just hasn’t been that good.
  • George Washington (KP: 69, RPI: 60, CBT: Next Four Out): The Colonials lost at Davidson on Saturday, putting them in a position where they probably need to earn the Atlantic 10’s automatic bid to go dancing.
  • Alabama (KP: 88, RPI: 63, CBT: First Four Out): The Crimson Tide lost at Georgia on Saturday, meaning they’ve now dropped four of their last five games. I think they need to get to at least the SEC finals to really have a chance at an at-large.
  • Ohio State (KP: 64, RPI: 76, CBT: Next Four Out): The Buckeyes needed to win at Michigan State today to really have a chance at an at-large. They lost.
  • LSU (KP: 77, RPI: 85, CBT: Next Four Out): The Tigers lost at Kentucky. They’re going to need to get that automatic bid if they want to dance.