Saturday Snacks: Kansas, Michigan State and Pitt earn big home wins

source: AP

GAME OF THE DAY: Montana 83, Northern Colorado 81 (3OT)

The Grizzlies won a wild one in Greeley, with Jordan Gregory making two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining in triple overtime. Gregory scored 20 points and Brandon Gfeller, whose three-pointer with two tenths of a second remaining sent the game into triple overtime, scored 21 to lead the way for Montana. Tevin Svihovec led three Bears in double figures with 23 points. As a result of their win and Eastern Washington’s loss to Portland State, Montana is back to within a game of first place (in the loss column) in the Big Sky.


1. Michigan State 59, No. 23 Ohio State 56

The Spartans needed a home win against a ranked opponent and Denzel Valentine delivered the game-winner on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s game-high 17 points was a huge lift for Michigan State and a win puts them among the 4-loss logjam in the Big Ten.

2. Pitt 89, No. 12 North Carolina 76

Pitt has had an up-and-down season, but they’ve won four straight games at home, including wins against Notre Dame and the Tar Heels. Sheldon Jeter led the Panthers with 22 points and he led Pitt with six double-figure scorers. Many people wrote the Panthers out of the NCAA Tournament conversation, but if they keep picking up big conference wins, they’ll be a team to track going forward. As for North Carolina, Marcus Paige struggled to a 3-for-11 performance and 8 points as the Tar Heels were led by 19 from Brice Johnson and 15 from Kennedy Meeks.

3. No. 8 Kansas 74, No. 16 Baylor 64

The Jayhawks held many Baylor stars in check and did a great job of closing in the final minutes of a Big 12 home win. Perry Ellis and Kelly Oubre Jr. each had 18 points and Frank Mason chipped in 15 points to help with the scoring for Kansas. Baylor had 3-for-17 shooting from Royce O’Neale, Johnathan Motley and Lester Medford certainly didn’t help. Rico Gathers had 18 and Kenny Chery had 17, but it wasn’t enough for the Bears. Kansas trailed by 13 in this one early but patiently stayed the course and made a comeback over time.

4. NC State 74, No. 9 Louisville 65

The Wolfpack, who already have a home win over No. 4 Duke on their resume, picked up a huge road win Saturday afternoon. Cat Barber scored a season-high 21 points and dished out four assists with just two turnovers, and Trevor Lacey added 14 with BeeJay Anya and Caleb Martin grabbing ten rebounds apiece. The best number for NC State on Saturday: eight, as in the number of turnovers they committed against a Louisville team known for its pressure defense. Louisville shot 32.8% from the field, and without the live-ball turnovers that help them make up for their offensive deficiencies Rick Pitino’s team struggled.

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1. Robert Morris forward Aaron Tate

Tate only had four points and six rebounds, but he made a game-winning, tip-in at the buzzer for the win over Central Connecticut State.

2. Dayton’s Jordan Sibert

The guard played a tremendous floor game for the Flyers and was everywhere as he went for 24 points, seven steals, five rebounds, three assists and a block in a win over St. Bonaventure. Sibert was 6-for-13 from the floor, 3-for-8 from 3-point range and 9-for-11 from the free-throw line.

3. St. John’s Sir’Dominic Pointer

The do-it-all wing was efficient and outstanding in multiple facets of the game in a big Red Storm win over Xavier. Pointer had 24 points on 9-for-10 shooting with five rebounds, four steals and two blocks. St. John’s had an important Big East road game and Pointer came to play.

4. Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard

Hilliard hit eight three-pointers and scored 31 points in the Wildcats’ 68-65 win at No. 18 Butler. His final three-pointer, made with 1.5 seconds remaining, was the game-winner.


1. Baylor’s Lest3r Medford

Plenty struggled on Baylor’s offense on Saturday, but Medford had five points on 1-for-5 shooting and five fouls in the loss to Kansas.

2. South Carolina

The Gamecocks haven’t shot well in either of their losses to No. 1 Kentucky. Saturday they shot 23.6% from the field, and that percentage was an improvement on where their numbers were at the under-4 media timeout (18.8% FG).

3. UConn’s Rodney Purvis and Terrence Samuel

Purvis and Samuel combined to score six points on 2-for-13 shooting in the Huskies’ 73-55 loss at SMU.

4. Tennessee’s Willie Carmichael III, Robert Hubbs and Kevin Punter

While Josh Richardson and Armani Moore combined to score 31 points, the Volunteers’ other three starters combined to score five points on 2-for-11 shooting in a 73-55 loss to LSU.


  • No. 1 Kentucky moved to 25-0 with their 77-43 win over South Carolina. The Gamecocks shot 23.6% from the field on the afternoon.
  • No. 20 VCU ended its two-game losing streak, winning 79-66 at George Washington. Treveon Graham (ankle) made his return for the Rams, who are tied atop the Atlantic 10 with Dayton and Rhode Island.
  • Monte Morris scored 19 points and Abdel Nader added 16 off the bench as No. 14 Iowa State took care of No. 21 West Virginia, 79-59.
  • No. 2 Virginia survived, holding on to beat Wake Forest 61-60 in Charlottesville. Kostantinos Mitoglou proved to be a matchup problem for Virginia, hitting five three-pointers, but the tandem of Anthony Gill and Malcolm Brogdon was able to do enough to lead the Cavaliers to the win.
  • No. 6 Villanova beat No. 18 Butler 68-65 on a Darrun Hilliard three-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining.
  • No. 4 Duke didn’t get off to the best start at Syracuse, but the rebounded in the second half to win 80-72. Jahlil Okafor scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and former Blue Devil Michael Gbinije scored 27 for Syracuse.
  • No. 15 Wichita State won 68-62 at Illinois State, with Ron Baker leading the way offensively with 19 points.
  • After racking up three straight wins over ranked teams, No. 21 Oklahoma State fell 70-55 at TCU.
  • No. 3 Gonzaga has now won 40 straight home games, as they beat Pepperdine 56-48.
  • No. 25 SMU is now in sole possession of first place in the American after the whipped UConn 73-55 in Dallas. Outside of the chance to get closer to the top of the league standings nothing changes for the reigning national champions, who will need to win the conference tournament to go dancing.
  • Marcus Foster beat No. 17 Oklahoma for the second time this season, hitting a three-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats the 59-56 victory.
  • Dez Wells scored 22 points and Melo Trimble added 20 as No. 19 Maryland held on to beat Penn State 76-73 in Happy Valley.
  • A Manuale Watkins basket with 6.4 seconds remaining gave No. 24 Arkansas a 71-70 win at Ole Miss. As a result, the Razorbacks are now in sole possession of second place in the SEC.


  • Memphis picked up an easy American road win at South Florida as Shaq Goodwin had 18 points and nine rebounds and the Tiger bench scored 35 points.
  • Clemson jumped out to a 19-4 lead on Virginia Tech and never looked back. Jordan Roper was 5-for-6 from 3-point range and had 21 points in the Tiger ACC victory.
  • Georgia State was without Sun Belt leading scorer Ryan Harrow, who missed due to concussion-like symptoms, but R.J. Hunter stepped up with 17 points as the Panthers won 53-41 against Texas State.
  • Winthrop guard Keon Moore had 27 points on 6-for-10 shooting to lift the Eagles over Gardner-Webb.
  • Stephen F. Austin’s 33-game win streak in Southland games came to an end Saturday, as they lost 71-63 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Lumberjacks are now tied with Sam Houston State atop the Southland standings (10-1).
  • Temple won its seventh straight game, beating East Carolina 66-53 in Philadelphia. Next up for the Owls are games against No. 25 SMU and Tulsa.
  • UCLA won for the fifth time in its last six games, beating Oregon 72-63 in Los Angeles. The Bruins still have a lot of work to do when it comes to getting an NCAA tournament bid, but they have the talent to do it.
  • Saint Mary’s avoided a loss that would not have looked good on their resume, winning 69-62 at San Diego in overtime. The Gaels host No. 3 Gonzaga next Saturday.
  • There are no more winless teams in college basketball, as Florida A&M beat North Carolina A&T 57-50. The Rattlers lost their first 23 games of the season.
  • Murray State has clinched the regular season OVC title, meaning that at the very least Steve Prohm’s team has wrapped up a Postseason NIT berth. The Racers beat Southeast Missouri State 94-92 in overtime, winning their 21st consecutive game.
  • UTEP is now alone atop the Conference USA standings after they beat Old Dominion 62-47 in El Paso. The Miners are 10-3, with Western Kentucky dropping to 9-3 as a result of their loss at Marshall.
  • UC Davis (9-1 Big West) was off, but their lead in the Big West is up to two games as UC Irvine (7-3) lost at UC Riverside 70-63.
  • San Diego State is now a game ahead of Boise State in the loss column atop the Mountain West, as the Aztecs took care of Colorado State 72-63 and the Broncos lost 70-64 at Fresno State.

George Mason Final Four star Tony Skinn hired as hoops coach

Doral Chenoweth/Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

FAIRFAX, Va. – Tony Skinn, who helped lead 11th-seeded George Mason to the Final Four during March Madness as a player in 2006, was hired Thursday to coach men’s basketball at the school.

Skinn replaces Kim English, who left George Mason for Providence after Ed Cooley departed Providence for Georgetown.

“Tony Skinn is the right man for this moment in Mason’s basketball program,” university President Gregory Washington said in the news release announcing the hiring. “His coaching style will galvanize our student-athletes and his connection to our finest hour on the court is sure to electrify our alumni and fans.”

Skinn was a starting guard for the Patriots 17 years ago when they picked up a series of surprising wins – including against UConn in the regional final in Washington, about 20 miles from campus – to make the semifinals at the NCAA Tournament.

George Mason’s coach at the time, Jim Larrañaga, is now at Miami and has the Hurricanes in this year’s Final Four.

Skinn was most recently an assistant coach at Maryland. He also has worked at Ohio State, Seton Hall and Louisiana Tech.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to step back on campus,” Skinn said. “I’ve had some of my greatest memories here and I’m looking forward to making new ones with our fans and our community.”

Gonzaga’s Timme among five finalists for men’s Wooden Award

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES – Drew Timme of Gonzaga is one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award as the men’s college basketball player of the year.

He’s joined by Zach Edey of Purdue, Trayce Jackson-Davis of Indiana, Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Jalen Wilson of Kansas.

Timme took his team farthest in the upset-riddled NCAA Tournament with Gonzaga losing in the Elite Eight. Sasser helped Houston reach the Sweet 16. Purdue lost in the first round, while Indiana and Kansas were beaten in the second round.

The winner will be announced April 4 on ESPN. All five players have been invited to Los Angeles for the 47th annual presentation on April 7.

Also among the top 10 vote getters were: Jaime Jaquez Jr. of UCLA, Brandon Miller of Alabama, Penn State’s Jalen Pickett, Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky and Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis.

Voting took place from March 13-20.

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley will receive the Legends of Coaching Award during the ceremony at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Indiana’s Teri Moren wins AP Coach of the Year

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

DALLAS – Teri Moren has led Indiana to some unprecedented heights this season.

The team won its first Big Ten regular season championship in 40 years, rose to No. 2 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll and earned the school’s first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Moren was honored Thursday as the AP women’s basketball Coach of the Year, the first time she has won the award. She received 12 votes from the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week. South Carolina’s Dawn Staley was second with eight votes. Utah’s Lynne Roberts received five and Virginia Tech’s Kenny Brooks three.

Voting was done before the NCAA Tournament.

“I think a lot of people were like this is going to be a year where Indiana is reloading, rebuilding, they won’t be as good as they had been the year prior. We were picked third in the Big Ten,” Moren said.

Moren was surprised by her team, who told her she won in an elaborate ruse.

“Anytime you can share it with people that made it happen. the staff, the players, the most important people who have been instrumental in the season and this award is special. I was speechless.”

Moren accepted the award at the Final Four, sharing the stage with AP Player of the Year Caitlin Clark to complete a Big Ten sweep.

The team has come a long way from when Moren was a young girl growing up in southern Indiana. She was a diehard fan of the Indiana basketball team. The men’s one that is.

She would attend men’s games with her family when she was a kid and was a big fan of coach Bob Knight. She has a constant reminder of the Hall of Fame coach in her office as a picture of his infamous chair-throwing incident hangs by the door. Moren said it’s the last thing she sees before heading to practice.

As far as the women’s team, they just weren’t very good. Times have changed, as Moren has built the program into a blue-collar team that focuses on defense and is a consistent Top 25 team the last few seasons, appearing in the poll for 75 consecutive weeks starting with the preseason one in 2019-2020. That’s the fourth-longest active streak.

Before that, the Hoosiers had been ranked for a total of six times.

“People still talk to me about living in Bloomington and they couldn’t afford a ticket to the men’s game. Not that they settled, but became women’s basketball fans. At that moment, you could walk in and find any seat you wanted and watch women’s basketball,” Moren said.

“There were 300-400 people in the stands, now to what it is today, it’s an unbelievable thing to watch it grow. Things you dream about to see fans and bodies up in the rafters.”

The Hoosiers had six of the school’s top 10 most attended games this season, including crowds of over 13,000 fans for the first round of the NCAA Tournament and 14,000 for the second round game – a shocking loss to Miami.

“It stings right now, but that last game doesn’t define our season,” Moren said.

AP source: Alabama’s Brandon Miller declares for NBA draft

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Alabama All-American forward Brandon Miller is heading to the NBA after displaying versatile talent and athleticism in a lone season of college ball that was blemished by revelations he was present at a fatal shooting in January near campus.

ESPN first reported on Miller’s decision, and a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the report to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Miller hadn’t yet made an official declaration for the draft.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound freshman, who was one of the nation’s top high school recruits, is projected as a potential top 5 draft pick.

Miller displayed his accurate 3-point shooting and athleticism in the most productive season of any freshman in Alabama history. He led the Tide to their first No. 1 ranking in 20 years and first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed.

Miller averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds while hitting 38% from 3-point range. But he was scoreless in his first March Madness game, and went 3 of 19 and scored just nine points in a Sweet 16 loss to San Diego State.

Miller was described as a cooperating witness after the Jan. 15 shooting and was never charged with a crime.

But he and the Tide were dogged by off-court questions for the final two months of the season. Former Alabama player Darius Miles and another man were charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Harris, who was killed in early on Jan. 15.

Miller and fellow freshman Jaden Bradley were placed at the scene as well. According to police testimony, Miller brought Miles his gun. Miller’s attorney said the Tide forward was on his way to pick Miles up when Miles texted asking him to bring the weapon, but that Miller never handled the gun and didn’t know any criminal activity was intended.

Miller received threats after the news came out, and was accompanied by a university-provided security guard. “It doesn’t bother me,” Miller said of the threats at the NCAA regional in Birmingham, Alabama, “I send it to the right people and they handle it.”

Alabama finished the season 31-6 and won the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark wins AP Player of the Year

caitlin clark
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
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DALLAS — Caitlin Clark has put together one of the greatest individual seasons in NCAA history with eye-popping offensive numbers.

Iowa’s junior guard, though, saved her best performance for the game’s biggest stage, recording the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA history to get Iowa to the Final Four for the first time in 30 years.

Clark was honored Thursday as The Associated Press women’s basketball Player of the Year. She received 20 votes from the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25 each week. Voting was done before March Madness began.

“It’s a huge honor,” Clark said. “I picked a place that I perfectly fit into and that’s allowed me to show my skill set. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t mean something. It’s not the reason you play basketball, it’s just something that comes along with getting to do what you love.”

The Iowa coaching staff surprised Clark by sharing that she won the award while they were visiting the Iowa Children’s Hospital – a place near and dear to her. It also has huge ties to the Hawkeyes athletic department.

They put together a video of some of the children in the hospital congratulating Clark on an outstanding season, and in the middle of it, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder popped on the screen to tell her she won.

“I’m there for inspiring the next generation and being there for the people that you know are going through a hard time,” said Clark, who grew up in Iowa. “Being able to give joy to people that watch you play and watch your team play is amazing.”

She averaged 27.0 points, 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds during the season to help Iowa go 26-6. Clark has 984 points, the sixth-most in a season by any player in Division I women’s history. She also has over 300 assists.

“She is spectacular. I don’t know how else to describe what she does on the basketball court,” Bluder said.

Next up for the Hawkeyes is undefeated South Carolina in the national semifinals. The Gamecocks are led by Aliyah Boston, last season’s winner of the award. She garnered the other eight votes this season.

“There’s so many great players, more than just me and (Aliyah),” Clark told the AP. “You can go on and on and list the tremendous players. I think that’s really good for our game when there’s a lot of great players. That’s what is going to help this game grow more than anything else.”

Whether it’s hitting deep 3s from the Hawkeye logo at home games, hitting off-balance game-winning shots or throwing pinpoint passes to teammates for easy baskets, Clark has excelled on the court this year to get Iowa to a place it hasn’t been in a long time.

“It’s funny, because the better the opponent, almost the better she plays,” Bluder said. “It’s like she locks in on those, when we’re playing against Top 25 teams. That’s when her statistics even go up even more, against great opponents.”

Clark is the second Iowa player to win the AP award in the past few seasons, joining Megan Gustafson who won it in 2019.