Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Kentucky remains perfect, Virginia and Duke both lose



1. No. 24 Davidson 67, La Salle 66

While the Wildcats won the Atlantic 10 regular season title and are nationally ranked, in some circles Bob McKillop’s team wasn’t seen as a lock to go to the NCAA tournament. That’s what makes Tyler Kalinoski’s layup as time expired so big, as Davidson will take on VCU in the Atlantic 10 semis on Saturday. The Wildcats trailed by as much as 18 before coming back in the second half, making eight three-pointers while La Salle didn’t score over the final 4:45.

2. No. 1 Kentucky 64, Florida 49

The top-ranked Wildcats are now 32-0, as they held Florida without a point for more than five minutes in the second half in Nashville. Aaron Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 13 points apiece to lead the way offensively for Kentucky, which outscored Florida by ten from the foul line in the second half. The Gators trailed by just four at the half, but they didn’t have enough to take down the Wildcats.

3. No. 19 North Carolina 71, No. 3 Virginia 67

Freshman forward Justin Jackson dropped 22 points off 8-of-10 shooting, lifting the Tar Heels into the ACC Tournament title game. This gives UNC two wins over top-15 in as many days as it will get a crack at Notre Dame or Duke on Saturday. Virginia had its struggles offensively, and Friday night’s outcome may have cost the Cavaliers a No. 1 seed.

4. No. 11 Notre Dame 74, Duke 64

The Fighting Irish defeat Duke for the second time this year, potentially knocking the Blue Devils off the top line. Notre Dame.

5. No. 4 Villanova 63, Providence 61

Villanova holds on to its hopes of being a No. 1 seed. But with the events down in Greensboro, could the Wildcats be in line for the top seed in the East Region?


1. Purdue’s A.J. Hammons

23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in the Boilermakers’ win over Penn State.

2. Justin Jackson, North Carolina

The freshman has scored in double figures in each of the last eight games, going for a career-high 22 points off 8-of-10 (4-of-5) shooting.

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: The Sparty wing flirted with a triple-double, putting forth a 23-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist performance against Ohio State.


1. Florida’s Dorian Finney-Smith

Scored four points on 2-for-10 shooting in the Gators’ loss to No. 1 Kentucky.

2. Ryan Spangler:


  • ACC semis: Two teams who entered with No. 1 seed aspirations in next week’s NCAA tournament both went down. Virginia’s offense sputtered against North Carolina and Notre Dame took down Duke for the second time this season.
  • American quarters: No. 20 SMU survived an afternoon in which East Carolina hit 13 three-pointers, beating the Pirates 74-68. They’ll take on Temple in Saturday’s semifinals, as the Owls beat Memphis 80-76. The Temple duo of Will Cummings and Obi Enechionyia held off Memphis in the last minute. Tulsa’s hops of a bid remain alive with a 59-51 victory over Houston. And like every March it seems, a UConn guard hit a clutch shot.
  • Atlantic 10 quarters: No. 24 Davidson beat La Salle as time expired, and VCU avenged its two defeats to Richmond with a 70-67 win over the Spiders. Rhode Island is still a potential bid stealer, advancing to the semis after a win over George Washington. Dayton held off Dion Wright and St. Bonaventure.
  • Big East: The Big East Co-Players of the Year each scored in the final moments. Kris Dunn tied the score with a layup for Providence. Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono was fouled on the ensuing possession, sinking the decisive free throws. Villanova will play Xavier, which survived a second half comeback.
  • Big Ten quarters: No. 6 Wisconsin took a little while to get going but they managed to take care of Michigan 71-60 with Sam Dekker leading a balanced effort with 17 points. Also advancing was Purdue, which held off Penn State 64-59. Indiana came up short against No. 8 Maryland and are bound to have a stressful Sunday. Michigan State capped off the quarterfinals with a 76-67 win over Ohio State.
  • Big Sky semis: Tyler Harvey and Eastern Washington are still in contention for an NCAA tournament berth. The Eagles will take on Montana, which advanced with a last-second win (a must-watch video).
  • Big West semis: Top-seeded UC Davis was upset by Hawaii, 65-58. Alan Williams missed a final second floater  in regulation for UC Santa Barbara. He re-aggravated his shoulder early in overtime and UC Irvine took advantage of his absence in route to a 72-63 win.
  • Big 12 semis: Kansas, the regular season champ, will take on Iowa State in Saturday’s final. Scroll up to see how Iowa State got past Oklahoma.
  • Conference USA semis: Kermit Davis’ Middle Tennessee squad has now won three games in three days, as they beat UTEP 53-50 with DeVante Jones scoring 17 points off the bench. UAB upset top-seeded Louisiana Tech 72-62, in overtime.
  • MAC: Central Michigan (75-66 win over Toledo) and Buffalo (68-59 win over Akron) will meet in the MAC final.
  • MEAC semis: North Carolina Central lost a conference game for the first time in 37 tries in a 63-57 loss to Delaware. The Eagles will not be back in the field of 68. Delaware State will take on 15-17 Hampton.
  • Mountain West semis: Larry Nance and the Cowboys are eyeing a bid as Wyoming knocked off top-ranked Boise State, 71-66.
  • Pac-12 semis: Arizona held off UCLA, 70-64 while Joe Young sunk a game-winner in the final second to send Oregon to the title game.
  • SEC quarters: In addition to Kentucky, Auburn continued its surprising run with a 73-70 overtime win over LSU. KT Harrell’s three-pointer with four tenths of a second remaining in regulation forced overtime. Bobby Portis went for 26 points and 11 boards in Arkansas’ 80-72 over Tennessee.
  • Sun Belt second round: Louisiana Lafayette advances to face top-seeded Georgia State. Louisiana Monroe gets Georgia Southern in the conference semifinals.
  • SWAC semifinals: Texas Southern punched its ticket for the Big Dance with a win over Prairie View A&M. Southern beat Alabama State 68-66 in the first semifinal of the day. Southern is ineligible for postseason play, meaning regardless of outcome, Mike Davis will led his program into the field of 68.
  • WAC: New Mexico State is one step close to a fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance.

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.”

Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

clemson pj hall
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.

George Washington adopts new name ‘Revolutionaries’ to replace ‘Colonials’

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WASHINGTON — George Washington University’s sports teams will now be known as the Revolutionaries, the school announced.

Revolutionaries replaces Colonials, which had been GW’s name since 1926. Officials made the decision last year to drop the old name after determining it no longer unified the community.

GW said 8,000 different names were suggested and 47,000 points of feedback made during the 12-month process. Revolutionaries won out over the other final choices of Ambassadors, Blue Fog and Sentinels.

“I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker,” president Mark S. Wrighton said. “This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community – and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit.”

George the mascot will stay and a new logo developed soon for the Revolutionaries name that takes effect for the 2023-24 school year. The university is part of the Atlantic 10 Conference.