Rob Dauster

Oakland guard Max Hooper’s father, Chip, passes away

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One of the most beautiful moments of the college basketball season ended in tragedy on Saturday.

Oakland guard Max Hooper’s father lost his battle with cancer, head coach Greg Kampe announced on twitter early Sunday.

The story of Hooper and his father went viral on Oakland’s senior night, when Chip Hooper made it from California to Michigan to watch his son play for the first time as a Grizzly. Chip has been battling cancer for four years and, in October, suffered a stroke that limited his mobility. He watched the game from a hospital bed.

“This is a very sad day for the Oakland Basketball family,” Kampe said in a statement. “Max is traveling to California to spend a day with his family. We ask that you offer your prayers to his family. Please wait to reach out to him.”

Oakland next plays on Monday night in the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament.

INTRODUCING CINDERELLA: Meet the Yale Bulldogs

Yale's Justin Sears (22) and Thomas Ryan (34) celebrate the team's 71=55 win over Columbia in an  NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
(AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
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Conference: Ivy League

Coach: James Jones

Record: 22-6, 13-1

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 40
RPI: 55
AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: The Elis have just a single top 100 win this season — which is Princeton, who is 37th in the RPI — but every one of their losses came in true road games. Combined with their RPI, which will hover around 50, and they’re looking at a 12 or 13 seed, in all likelihood.

Names you need to know: Justin Sears (16.2 points, 7.5 boards) is the name that everyone is going to know, but Yale also has another talented big man in Brandon Sherrod. Guard Makai Mason will be their x-factor.

Stats you need to know: From a statistical perspective, Yale might be the best rebounding team in the country; they’re the only team in the sport that ranks in the top ten in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. The problem? Their rebounders — Sears and Sherrod — are 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-6 respectively. They need to draw a team that doesn’t have a ton of size inside if they’re going to have a shot at winning a game in the tournament.

Big wins, bad losses: The only good win on Yale’s profile is Princeton, but they don’t have any bad losses. The only sub-50 RPI losses they suffered came at Albany and at Illinois.

How’d they get here?: The Bulldogs won the Ivy League outright on Saturday night against Columbia, the first time since 1962 that they’re heading for the NCAA tournament. Think about that for a second. It’s been 54 years since Yale won the Ivy League. JFK was still in office at that time, and the first Super Bowl wouldn’t be played for another four years. That’s a long time.

Outlook: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the cloud currently hanging over the Yale program. Last month, starting point guard Jack Montague left the team and withdrew from school. He was a senior and a caption. After the Yale team wore t-shirts in support of their teammate — and, curiously, with Yale written backwards on the front — posters started showing up on the campus that claimed the basketball team was “supporting a rapist“. This story is going to become a major, major deal, and it will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs handle it. These are not the ideal circumstances for a historic season.

How do I know you?: Yale is in New Haven, which is the home of the world’s best pizza. Go to Sally’s. It’s where the locals eat. Pepe’s, while delicious, is for tourists.

Wisconsin clears retired Bo Ryan over affair allegations

Bo Ryan
(AP Photo/Andy Manis)
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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.