Championship Week Total Recap


After 14 hectic days, Championship Week is finally over. 31 tickets to the Big Dance were automatically punched in a two-week span which featured some monumental upsets, brilliant individual performances and classic battles. Before you fill out your brackets, take a look back at who did what over the past 14 days.

News and Notes:
– Of the 30 conference tournament champions, eleven were No.1-seeds, ten were No.2-seeds, five were No.3-seeds and two were No.7-seeds. One No.4-seed and one No.6-seed won as well.

– The two No.7-seed champions, Western Kentucky (Sun Belt) and Louisville (Big East), and the only No.6-seed champion Colorado were the only teams to win four games in four days en route to a conference tournament championship.

– Michigan State was the only No.1-seed in a BCS-conference to win the tournament championship.

– Missouri had the highest scoring average of any championship-winning team. They scored 259 points in three games, for an average of  86.3ppg.

– Four No.1-seeds did not win a single game in their conference tournaments. No.1 Temple lost to No.8 UMass, No.1 Middle Tennessee lost to No.9 Arkansas State, No.1 Savannah State lost to No.8 Bethune-Cookman and No.1 Washington lost to No.9 Oregon State.

– Four NCAA Tournament teams did not win a single conference tournament game. As mentioned, Temple lost to UMass, No.3 Iowa State lost to No.6 Texas, No.5 Kansas State lost to No.4 Baylor, and No.8 West Virginia lost to No.9 UConn.

– Three teams lost championship games on their home floor. No.1 Stony Brook lost to No.2 Vermont in the America East finals, No.1 Valaparaiso lost to No.3 Detroit in the Horizon League finals, and No.1 Bucknell lost to No.2 Lehigh in the Patriot League finals.

Player of the Week: C/F – Andrew Nicholson – St. Bonaventure’s
The 6-foot-8 native of Ontario was the primary reason the No.4-seed Bonnies won the Atlantic-10 Tournament. He scored 26 points in the championship game against Xavier, and on the week he averaged 23.3ppg, 10.0rpg, 5.3bpg and 1.3apg. The versatile big-man shot 55 percent from the field (21-of-38) including 50 percent (4-of-8) from beyond the arc. He was also shot a staggering 89 percent (24-of-27) from the foul line. Nicholson is projected as a late-first round selection in the 2012 NBA draft and will be a difficult match-up for Bernard James of Florida State, who the Bonnies play in the second round of the NCAA Tournament

All-Championship Week Team:
– G – C.J. McCollum – Lehigh:
The sharpshooting guard scored 71 points in three games to lead the No.2-seed Mountain Hawks to the Patriot League Tournament Championship. As good as McCollum was during the regular season, he was named Patriot League PoY, he was even better in the postseason. He averaged 23.6ppg, 6.0rpg, 5.0apg, 4.0spg, and 1.0bpg, and recorded a season-high seven steals against Colgate in the quarterfinals

– G – Casper Ware – Long Beach State:
The diminutive point guard scored 66 points in three games, leading the 49ers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. The senior scored 33 points in the championship game against UC-Santa Barbara, the team that bounced the 49ers out of the past two Big West tournaments. He finished

– G – Mike James – Lamar: His 26 points in the Southland Tournament finals propelled the No.3-seed Cardinals to an unexpected birth in the NCAA Tournament. He finished the week averaging 20.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 2,7apg and 1.3spg.

– F – Doug McDermott – Creighton:
McDermott followed up his All-American caliber season with an equally impressive showing in the MVC Tournament. He scored 33 points in the championship game, which the Bluejays defeated Illinois State 83-79 in overtime. He averaged 24.3ppg during Championship Week, and shot 65 percent (24-of-37) from the field and 78 percent (18-of-23) from the foul line.

– F – Kim English – Missouri:
The senior swing-man was the driving force behind the Tigers’ dominant championship run in the Big-XII Tournament, the school’s final Big-XII tournament before jumping ship to the SEC. Coming off of a 27-point performance against Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals, English scored 23 points against Texas despite suffering a deep thigh contusion. He fought through the injury and led Tigers to a 90-75 victory over Baylor in the championship game, scoring 19 points, 15 of which came from behind the arc. English was also responsible for the photo of the week.

Team of the Week: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

The No.7-seed Hilltoppers went through a mid-season coaching change amidst a five-game losing streak. Despite this, they won four games in four days en route to the Sun Belt Tournament Championship. All four of their games were won by less than five points, and they defeated the No.2, No.3 and No.5 seeds in their tournament. Forward George Fant was the only freshman in the country to be named as a Tournament MVP. He lead the team in scoring over the four game stretch, averaging 14.9ppg.

Game of the Week: Marshall 105, Tulsa 100 3OT
Marshall’s DeAndre Kane scored a career-high 40 points as the Thundering Herd outlasted the Golden Hurricanes in the first triple-overtime game in Conference-USA tournament history. Neither team led by more than seven points, and the game featured 21 ties and 19 lead changes.

Championship Results:

America East Conference: (MVP: Brian Voelkel, Vermont)
#2 Vermont 51, #1 Stony Brook 43

Atlantic Coast Conference: (Michael Snaer, Florida State)
#3 Florida State 85, #1 North Carolina 82

Atlantic Sun Conference: (Kerron Johnson, Belmont)
#1 Belmont 83, #6 Florida Gulf Coast 69

Atlantic-10 Conference: (Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure’s)
#4 St. Bonaventure’s 67, #3 Xavier 56

Big East Conference: (Peyton Siva, Louisville)
#7 Louisville 50, #4 Cincinnati 44

Big Sky Conference: (Kareem Jamar, Montana)
#1 Montana 85, #2 Weber State 66

Big South Conference: (J.P. Primm, UNC-Asheville)
#1 UNC-Asheville 80, #7 VMI 64

Big-Ten Conference: (Draymond Green, Michigan State)
#1 Michigan State 68, #2 Ohio State 64

Big-XII Conference: (Kim English, Missouri)
#2 Missouri 90, #4 Baylor 75

Big West Conference : (Casper Ware, Long Beach State)
#1 Long Beach State 77, #3 Santa Barbara 64

Colonial Athletic Association: (Darius Theus, VCU)
#2 VCU 59, #1 Drexel 56

Conference-USA: (Joe Jackson, Memphis)
#1 Memphis 83, #5 Marshall 57

Horizon League: (Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit)
#3 Detroit 68, #1 Valparaiso 50

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: (Erik Etherly, Loyola)
#2 Loyola (Md.) 48, #4 Fairfield 44

Mid-American Conference: (D.J. Cooper, Ohio)
#3 Ohio 64, #1 Akron 63

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: (Kyle O’Quinn, Norfolk State)
#2 Norfolk State 73, #4 Bethune-Cookman 70

Missouri Valley Conference : (Doug McDermott, Creighton)
#2 Creighton 83, #4 Illinois State 79 OT

Mountain West Conference: (Drew Gordon, New Mexico)
#2 New Mexico 68, #1 San Diego State 59

Northeast Conference: (Julian Boyd, Long Island)
#1 Long Island 90, #3 Robert Morris 73

Ohio Valley Conference: (Donte Poole, Murrary State)
#1 Murray State 54, #2 Tennessee State 52

Pac-12 Conference: (Carlon Brown, Colorado)
#6 Colorado 53 #4 Arizona 51

Patriot League: (C.J. McCollum, Lehigh)
#2 Lehigh 82 #1 Bucknell 77

Southeastern Conference: (John Jenkins, Vanderbilt)
#3 Vanderbilt 71, #1 Kentucky 64

Southern Conference: (De’Mon Brooks, Davidson)
#1S Davidson 93, #3N Western Carolina 91 2OT

Southland Conference: (Mike James, Lamar)
#3 Lamar 70, #4 McNeese State 49

Southwestern Athletic Conference: (Cor-J Cox, Mississippi Valley State)
#1 Mississippi Valley State 71, #2 Texas Southern 69

Summit League: (Nate Wolters, South Dakota State)
#2 South Dakota State 52, #4 Western Illinois 50

Sun Belt Conference: (George Fant, Western Kentucky)
#7 Western Kentucky 74 #5 North Texas 70

Western Athletic Conference: (Wendell McKines, New Mexico State)
#2 New Mexico State 82, #5 Louisiana Tech 57

West Coast Conference: (Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s)
#1 Saint Mary’s 78, #2 Gonzaga 74 OT


Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Purdue’s Edey returning to school at NBA draft deadline; Kentucky’s Tshiebwe stays in

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Purdue’s Zach Edey decided it was the right call to go back to school instead of staying in the NBA draft. His predecessor as national player of the year, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, is sticking with his pro pursuit.

And Connecticut’s reign as NCAA champion will begin with multiple starters having left for the NBA draft and one returning after flirting with doing the same.

The 7-foot-4 Edey and UConn guard Tristen Newton were among the notable names to announce that they were withdrawing from the draft, the NCAA’s deadline for players who declared as early entrants to pull out and retain their college eligibility.

Edey’s decision came in social media posts from both the center and the Boilermakers program that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Edey, The Associated Press men’s national player of the year.

But Tshiebwe announced late in the afternoon that he would remain in the draft after a college career that included being named the AP national player of the year in 2022.

For the current champions, Newton (10.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds) is returning after being one of four Huskies to declare for the draft after a run to UConn’s fifth national championship in early April. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds in the victory over San Diego State in the title game.

The others were Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo, wing Jordan Hawkins and versatile guard Andre Jackson Jr. Sanogo (17.8 points) and Hawkins (16.3) have made it clear they have closed the door on their college careers, while team spokesman Phil Chardis said that Jackson (6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) would remain in the draft.

The Huskies have 247sports’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class for next year to restock the roster, led by McDonald’s All-American point guard Stephon Castle.

The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12, but is moot when it comes to college players returning to school due to the NCAA’s earlier timeline to retain playing eligibility.


TREY ALEXANDER: Creighton gets back a 6-4 guard who averaged 13.6 points and shot 41% from 3-point range in his first full season as a starter.

ADEM BONA: The 6-foot-10 forward and Pac-12 freshman of the year is returning to UCLA after starting 32 games as a rookie and averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – with coach Mick Cronin praising his toughness for “competing through multiple injuries for as long as he could” in a statement Wednesday.

EDEY: He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.7% from the field. His presence alone helps Purdue be a factor in the Big Ten race.

JOSIAH-JORDAN JAMES: The 6-6 guard went through the NBA G League Combine and had workouts with multiple teams before opting to return to Tennessee for a fifth season alongside teammate Santiago Vescovi.

JUDAH MINTZ: The 6-3 freshman averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Syracuse, ranking third among Division I freshmen in scoring behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Lamar’s Nate Calmese.

OWLS’ RETURNEES: Florida Atlantic got good news after its surprise Final Four run with the return leading scorers Johnell Davis (13.8) and Alijah Martin (13.4). ESPN first reported their decisions, while Martin later posted a social media statement.

TERRENCE SHANNON JR.: Illinois got a big boost with Shannon announcing his night in a social media post. The 6-6 guard is returning for a fifth college season after averaging 17.2 points.

SPARTANS’ RETURNEES: Michigan State announced that guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard have withdrawn from the NBA draft. Standout guard Tyson Walker had previously withdrawn in April, setting up Tom Izzo to have five of his top scorers back.


KOBE BROWN: Missouri’s 6-8 swingman opted against returning for a fifth college season after being an AP first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick averaging 15.8 points last season.

JAYLEN CLARK: The third-year UCLA guard averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 with 2.6 steals en route to being named Naismith national defensive player of the year. Cronin called him a winner with strong intangibles who made UCLA “a better program because he chose to be a Bruin.”

BRICE SENSABAUGH: The Ohio State freshman averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games before missing his final two in the Big Ten Tournament due to a knee injury. He’s a potential first-round prospect.

TSHIEBWE: The 6-9, 260-pound forward is a tough interior presence who led the country in rebounds for two straight seasons (15.1 in 2022, 13.7 in 2023) while racking up 48 double-doubles. But he faces an uncertain next stop and is projected at best as a second-round prospect.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

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Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

kansas mccullar
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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”