LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Chalk at the ACC, Big East and Pac-12 tournaments

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 6 Oklahoma 79, No. 21 Iowa State 76

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Iowa State’s Georges Niang staged quite the duel in the Big 12 quarterfinals, with Hield scoring 39 points and Niang countering with 31. Two things to take from this game: Oklahoma managed to win despite shooting 4-for-21 from three, and Iowa State needs banged-up point guard Monté Morris (right shoulder) to get back to full strength.


Notre Dame 84, No. 19 Duke 79 (OT): The Fighting Irish advanced to the semifinals of the ACC tournament with a five-point overtime victory. Notre Dame trailed by as much as 16 in the second half before coming back to force overtime, going on to outlast the undermanned Blue Devils in the extra session. Zach Auguste finished with 19 points and 22 boards for Notre Dame, who play No. 7 North Carolina Friday night. Duke gets some extra rest ahead of the NCAA tournament, which they’ll need given their shortened rotation.

No. 22 Baylor 75, No. 23 Texas 61: Scott Drew’s Bears advanced to the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament with a comfortable win over the Longhorns. Taurean Prince led the way with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, and Rico Gathers Sr. added 13 and nine boards. Next up for Baylor is top-ranked Kansas, which won both meetings during the regular season.

Illinois 68, No. 20 Iowa 66: Illinois lives for another day at the Big Ten tournament, as they knocked off the Hawkeyes in a second round matchup in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes have lost five of their last six games, and since beating Purdue January 24 Fran McCaffery’s team is 2-8 with the wins coming over Minnesota and Michigan. That’s not a good way to head into the NCAA tournament, and they need more from players other than Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok if they’re to have a shot at picking up a win next week. Uthoff and Jok combined to score 50 of their 66 points.


Buddy Hield, Oklahoma and Georges Niang, Iowa State: Hield scored 39 points, shooting 14-for-21 from the field, in the Sooners’ 79-76 win over No. 21 Iowa State. Niang countered with 31 points for the Cyclones.

Zach Auguste, Notre Dame: Auguste scored 19 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in the Fighting Irish’s 84-79 overtime win over No. 19 Duke.

Drick Bernstine, North Dakota: Idaho State missed a lot of shots, shooting 26.8 percent in the 83-49 loss, and many of those misses landed in Bernstine’s hands. In addition to scoring 14 points, Bernstine corralled a Big Sky tournament-record 21 rebounds.


Anthony Clemmons, Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury, Iowa: Iowa’s other three starters combined to score five points on 2-for-20 shooting in a two-point loss to Illinois.

Dayon Griffin, Louisiana Tech: Griffin shot 1-for-10 from the field, scoring four points, in the Bulldogs’ 68-52 loss to Old Dominion.

Rasheed Brooks, Ole Miss: Brooks scored eight points on 3-for-13 shooting in the Rebels’ 81-73 loss to Alabama.


  • Both lower seeded teams advanced in the first round of the American tournament, with No. 9 seed USF beating No. 8 seed East Carolina 71-66 and No. 10 Tulane holding off No. 7 UCF 65-63. Friday’s quarterfinal match-ups: USF/Temple, Connecticut/Cincinnati, Tulane/Houston and Memphis/Tulsa. And UCF is now in the market for a new head coach.
  • The top four seeds advanced at the ACC tournament, beginning with No. 1 seed North Carolina whipping Pittsburgh 88-71. The Tar Heels will play No. 4 seed Notre Dame in one semifinal, with No. 2 Virginia facing No. 3 Miami in the other. The Cavaliers beat Georgia Tech 72-52, and the Hurricanes beat a Virginia Tech program that’s on the upswing 88-82.
  • The Atlantic 10 quarterfinals are now set, as No. 9 seed Richmond, No. 5 seed George Washington, No. 10 Massachusetts and No. 6 Davidson all advanced. Friday’s quarterfinals kick off with top seed Dayton facing Richmond, followed by No. 4 seed Saint Joseph’s/George Washington, No. 2 seed VCU/UMass and No. 3 seed St. Bonaventure/Davidson. And a job opened as well, with Saint Louis announcing the firing of Jim Crews.
  • No. 1 seed Kansas advanced to the Big 12 semifinals comfortably, as they beat No. 8 seed Kansas State 85-63. The Jayhawks will play No. 5 seed Baylor in one semifinal, with No. 2 seed West Virginia playing No. 3 seed Oklahoma in the other. The Mountaineers beat No. 10 seed TCU 86-66.
  • The top four seeds all advanced at the Big East tournament, beginning with No. 1 seed Villanova’s 81-67 win over No. 8 seed Georgetown. Next up for the Wildcats is No. 4 seed Providence, which beat No. 5 seed Butler 74-60. The second semifinal will match No. 2 seed Xavier, which whipped No. 7 seed Marquette 90-72, and No. 3 seed Seton Hall. Led by Isaiah Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington, the Pirates beat No. 6 seed Creighton 81-73.
  • The top two seeds in the Big Sky tournament advanced to the semifinals, with No. 1 seed Weber State eking out a 78-74 win over Portland State and No. 2 seed Montana beating Sacramento State 70-53. Also winning was No. 5 seed North Dakota, which blew out No. 4 seed Idaho State 83-49.
  • No. 8 seed Michigan kept its NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 72-70 overtime win over No. 9 Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. Also advancing were No. 11 seed Nebraska (70-58 win over No. 6 seed Wisconsin), No. 12 seed Illinois (68-66 win over No. 5 seed Iowa) and No. 7 seed Ohio State (79-75 win over No. 10 seed Penn State). Friday’s quarterfinal match-ups: Michigan/Indiana, Illinois/Purdue, Ohio State/Michigan State and Nebraska/Maryland.
  • Top seed Hawai’i got rolling in the second half of their Big West quarterfinal matchup, as they beat No. 8 seed Cal State Fullerton 75-44. Also advancing were No. 2 seed UC Irvine (84-64 over No. 7 seed Cal Poly), No. 3 seed Long Beach State (82-74 over No. 4 seed UC Riverside) and No. 4 seed UCSB (87-61 over No. 5 seed UC Davis).
  • Another top seed in a one-bid league fell Thursday, as No. 8 seed Western Kentucky beat No. 1 seed UAB 88-77 in the Conference USA quarterfinals. Also advancing in Birmingham were No. 5 seed Old Dominion (68-52 over No. 4 seed Louisiana Tech), No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee (79-61 over No. 7 seed Charlotte) and No. 3 seed Marshall (87-85 over No. 6 seed UTEP). Friday’s semifinals: WKU/Old Dominion and Middle Tennessee/Marshall.
  • Three higher-seeded teams advanced to the Mid-American semifinals, led by top seed Akron which beat No. 8 seed Eastern Michigan 65-63. Next up for the Zips is No. 12 seed Bowling Green, which knocked off No. 4 seed Central Michigan 62-59. On the other side of the bracket No. 2 seed Ohio (79-62 over No. 7 seed Northern Illinois) and No. 3 seed Buffalo (94-81 over No. 11 Miami University) picked up wins in Cleveland.
  • No. 5 seed Savannah State and No. 3 seed South Carolina State advanced to the semifinals of the MEAC tournament, with the Tigers beating No. 4 seed Bethune Cookman 57-50 and SCSU beating No. 11 seed Coppin State 90-80. Next up for Savannah State is top seed Hampton, with South Carolina State getting No. 2 seed Norfolk State.
  • Top seed San Diego State survived in the Mountain West quarters, as they beat No. 9 seed Utah State 71-65. Also advancing were No. 5 seed Nevada, No. 2 seed Fresno State and No. 6 seed Colorado State.
  • The top four seeds all advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. No. 1 seed Oregon pulled away from No. 8 seed Washington in the second half of their 83-77 victory, with No. 4 seed Arizona hanging on to beat No. 5 Colorado, No. 2 seed Utah beating No. 7 seed USC and No. 3 seed California holding off No. 6 seed Oregon State.
  • No. 5 seed Vanderbilt suffered a damaging loss at the SEC tournament, where they fell by two to No. 12 seed Tennessee. No. 8 seed Florida, No. 10 seed Alabama and No. 6 seed Georgia all advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal round. Friday’s games: Florida/No. 1 seed Texas A&M, Tennessee/No. 4 seed LSU, Alabama/No. 2 seed Kentucky and Georgia/No. 3 seed South Carolina.
  • No. 3 seed Jackson State and No. 4 seed Southern advanced to the semifinals of the SWAC tournament with wins Thursday. In Friday’s semifinals Jackson State will face No. 7 seed Mississippi Valley State, and Southern will take on top seed Texas Southern.
  • No. 3 seed Sam Houston State and No. 4 seed Houston Baptist moved on to the semifinals of the Southland tournament, with the Bearkats beating Nicholls 60-59 and the Huskies taking care of Southeastern Louisiana 73-68. Sam Houston State will play two seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in one semifinal, with HBU playing top seed Stephen F. Austin in the other.
  • South Alabama and Texas State advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament with wins over Georgia Southern and Georgia State, respectively. Next up for South Alabama is four-seed UL Lafayette, with Texas State drawing three-seed UT Arlington in the other quarterfinal.
  • No. 2 seed CSU Bakersfield and No. 3 seed Seattle advanced to the semifinals of the WAC tournament with wins over Chicago State and UT-Rio Grande Valley, respectively. Also advancing was No. 5 seed UMKC, which beat Utah Valley and will face top seed New Mexico State in Friday’s semifinal round.

Clark, Iowa end perfect South Carolina season in Final Four

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS – Caitlin Clark overwhelmed the reigning champions with another sensational game, scoring 41 points to help Iowa spoil South Carolina’s perfect season with a 77-73 victory on Friday night in the Final Four.

The spectacular junior guard set a record for the highest-scoring semifinal game and became the first women’s player to post back-to-back 40-point games in the NCAA Tournament. She now has the Hawkeyes in a spot they’ve never been in before – one victory away from a national championship.

They’ll have to beat another SEC team to do that as Iowa (31-6) will face LSU in the title game on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers beat Virginia Tech in the other national semifinal.

It’s the Tigers’ first appearance in the title game as Kim Mulkey became the second coach to take two different teams to the championship game.

Thanks to the spectacular play of Clark and the historic year by South Carolina, this was one of the most talked about and highly anticipated matchups in women’s Final Four history,

The game lived up to the hype surrounding it- the best player vs. the best team – much to the delight of the sellout crowd of over 19,000 fans.

Coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina (36-1) had won 42 in a row, including last year’s championship game.

This was Iowa’s first appearance in the Final Four in 30 years. The last time the Hawkeyes advanced this far was 1993 and C. Vivian Stringer was the coach of that team that lost to Ohio State in overtime.

Clark wowed the crowd that included Harper Stribe, a young fan of the team who has been battling cancer. She was featured in a surprise video that informed the Hawkeyes’ star that she was the AP Player of the Year.

Trailing 59-55 entering the fourth quarter, South Carolina scored the first five points to take the lead. Clark answered right back with two deep 3-pointers and an assist to Monika Czinano to give the Hawkeyes a 67-62 lead.

South Carolina got within 69-68 on Raven Johnson’s 3-pointer before Clark got a steal for a layup with 3:32 left. Neither team scored again until star Aliyah Boston was fouled with 1:37 left. She made the second of two free throws.

Clark then scored another layup on the other end out of a timeout to make it a four-point game. After a layup by Zia Cooke made it a two-point game with 58 seconds left, the Hawkeyes ran the clock down with McKenna Warnock grabbing a huge offensive rebound off a Clark miss with 18 seconds remaining.

Clark hit two free throws after South Carolina fouled her with 13.5 seconds left. They were her 38th and 39th point, moving her past Nneka Ogwumike for the most points scored in a Final Four semifinal game.

After a putback by Johnson with 9.9 seconds left got the Gamecocks within 75-73, Clark sealed the game with two more free throws.

As the final seconds went off the clock Clark threw the ball high in the air and galloped around the court.

The loss ended a spectacular season for the defending champion Gamecocks, who were trying to become the 10th team to go through a season unbeaten.

Cooke led the Gamecocks with 24 points. Slowed by foul trouble, Boston had just eight points and 10 rebounds as the Hawkeyes packed the paint, daring South Carolina to shoot from the outside.

The Gamecocks finished 4-for-20 from behind the 3-point line and couldn’t take advantage of their 49-25 advantage on the boards that included 26 offensive rebounds.

Mulkey, LSU women rally in Final Four, reach first title game

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS – Kim Mulkey is back in another national championship game, this time taking the flagship university from her home state there for the first time.

It took LSU only two seasons to get there with the feisty and flamboyantly dressed coach, and a big comeback in the national semifinal game that was quite an undercard Friday night.

Alexis Morris scored 27 points and had two of her misses in the fourth quarter turned into putback baskets by Angel Reese in a big run as LSU rallied to beat top-seeded Virginia Tech 79-72 in the first semifinal game.

“I’m never satisfied. I’m super-excited that we won, but I’m hungry,” said Morris, who jumped on a courtside table and fired up LSU fans after the game. “Like, I’m greedy. I want to win it all so I can complete the story.”

Reese finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds for LSU (33-2), which will play in the national title game Sunday against the winner of the highly anticipated matchup between Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina or Iowa in the other semifinal.

“It’s like a dream. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m at the Final Four,” said Reese, the transfer from Maryland who carries the nickname, ”Bayou Barbie.” “I’m just not even believing this right now. It’s crazy how much my life has changed in one year.”

Mulkey – in a carnation pink top this time – won three national titles in four Final Four appearances over her 21 seasons at Baylor. She is only the second coach to take two different teams to the national championship game. The other is C. Vivian Stringer, who did it with Cheyney in the inaugural 1982 women’s tournament and Rutgers in 2007.

“I came home for lots of reasons,” Mulkey said. “One, to some day hang a championship banner in the PMAC (Pete Maravich Assembly Center). Never, ever do you think you’re going to do something like this in two years.”

LSU made five national semifinal games in a row from 2004-08 – the only times the Tigers had made it this far. They lost each of those years.

The Tigers had to dig deep for this one, with neither team backing down.

Trailing 59-50 after three quarters, LSU went ahead with a 15-0 run over a five-minute span. The Tigers led for the first time since late in the first half when Falu’jae Johnson had a steal and drove for a layup to make it 64-62.

Reese had six points in that game-turning spurt, including a basket after Morris’ attempted 3-pointer clanked off the front rim. Reese had a second-effort follow of her own miss after rebounding another shot by Morris.

Elizabeth Kitley, the 6-foot-6 senior, had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia Tech (31-5), the Atlantic Coast Conference champion that was in the Final Four for the first time. Georgia Amoore and Kayana Traylor each had 17 points, while Cayla King had 14.

Amoore set a record for the most 3-pointers in a single NCAA Tournament with 24, though she had a tough night shooting – 4 of 17 overall, including 4 of 15 from beyond the arc. She passed Kia Nurse’s record 22 set in the 2017 tourney for UConn, which lost in the national semifinals on the same court. Arizona’s Aari McDonald had 22 in six NCAA tourney games two years ago.

The big run for LSU came right after Amoore made her last 3-pointer with 7:52 left for a 62-57 lead. The Hokies didn’t make another basket until King’s 3 with 1:19 left.

“I think we had a few crucial turnovers as well as missed box-outs where they scored on second-chance opportunities,” Traylor said. “I think that’s just what it came down to really.”

Morris had opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for LSU, then had a driving layup before Reese had a layup after a steal by Johnson. That quick 7-0 run prompted a timeout by Hokies coach Kenny Brooks.

“They hit a couple of shots, gave them a little bit of momentum. They hit a 3 right off the bat … kind of changed the momentum,” Brooks said. “They were aggressive in the passing lanes. But they also were a little bit more aggressive down low.”

Virginia Tech had ended the first half with its own 11-0 run to lead for the first time, at 34-32 on Traylor’s driving layup with 53 seconds left.

But it was the Tigers who led for 17:55 of the first half with the Hokies getting off to a slow start shooting – they missed eight of their first nine shots – that an LSU cheerleader had an assist even before they officially had a shot.

King was charged with a turnover on a ball that hit the rim and bounced over the top of the backboard and got stuck there. With encouragement from officials and others at that end, a male cheerleader lifted up a female cheerleader, who knocked the ball down.

Gradey Dick to leave Kansas for NBA draft after one season

Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sharpshooter Gradey Dick is entering the NBA draft after one season with the Jayhawks.

The 6-foot-8 guard announced his decision in a social media post Friday.

Dick started all 36 games for the Jayhawks and averaged 14.1 points while shooting better than 40% from 3-point range. He made 83 3-pointers, a program record for a freshman.

Kansas lost to Arkansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, with Dick scoring just seven points in his finale.

Marquette’s Shaka Smart voted men’s AP coach of the year

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Shaka Smart has packed an entire career’s worth of experiences into 14 years as a college head coach. He led VCU to an improbable Final Four as a 30-something wunderkind in 2011, guided mighty Texas to a Big 12 Tournament title during six otherwise tepid years in Austin, and now has turned Marquette into a Big East beast.

It’s sometimes easy to forget he’s still just 45 years old.

Yet his work with the Golden Eagles this season might have been his best: Picked ninth in the 11-team league by its coaches, they won the regular-season title going away, then beat Xavier to win their first Big East Tournament championship.

That earned Smart the AP coach of the year award Friday. He garnered 24 of 58 votes from a national media panel to edge Kansas State’s Jerome Tang, who received 13 votes before guiding the Wildcats to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, and Houston’s Kelvin Sampson, who earned 10 before taking the Cougars to the Sweet 16.

Voting opened after the regular season and closed at the start of the NCAA Tournament, where the No. 2 seed Golden Eagles were knocked out in the second round by Michigan State and Smart’s longtime mentor, Tom Izzo.

“I’m very grateful to win this award,” said Smart, the second Marquette coach to take it home after Hall of Famer Al McGuire in 1971, “but obviously it always comes back to the guys you have on your team.

“Early on,” Smart said, “we had a real sense the guys had genuine care and concern for one another, and we had a very good foundation for relationships that we could continue to build on. And over the course of seasons, you go through so many different experiences as a team. And those experiences either bring you closer together or further apart. Our guys did a great job, even through adverse experiences, even through challenges, becoming closer together.”

It’s hardly surprising such cohesion is what Smart would choose to remember most from a most memorable season.

The native of Madison, Wisconsin, who holds a master’s degree in social science from California University of Pennsylvania, long ago earned a reputation for building close bonds with players and a tight-knit camaraderie within his teams.

No matter how high or low the Golden Eagles were this season, those traits carried them through.

“Everything that we go through, whether it be the retreat that we went on before the season, all the workouts in the summer, he’s preaching his culture,” said Tyler Kolek, a third-team All-American. “And he’s showing his leadership every single day, and just trying to impart that on us, and kind of put it in our DNA. Because it’s definitely in his DNA.”

That’s reflected in the way Smart, who accepted the Marquette job two years ago after an often bumpy tenure at Texas, has rebuilt the Golden Eagles program after it had begun to languish under Steve Wojciechowski.

Sure, Smart landed his share of transfers – Kolek among them – in an era in which the portal has become so prevalent. But he largely built a team that finished 29-7 this season around high school recruits, eschewing a quick fix in the hopes of long-term stability. Among those prospects were Kam Jones, their leading scorer, and do-everything forward David Joplin.

“He teaches us lots of things about the importance of each other,” Joplin said. “He lets us know, time and time again, that we can’t do anything without each other, but together we can do anything.”

That sounds like a decidedly old-school approach to building a college basketball program.

One embraced by a still-youthful head coach.

“I think being a head coach has never been more complicated, never been more nuanced, and never more all-encompassing,” Smart told the AP in a wide-ranging interview last week. “Does that mean it’s harder? You could say that.

“What makes your job less hard,” Smart said, “is having a captive audience in your players, and guys that truly understand and own what goes into winning, and that’s what we had this past year. But those things just don’t happen. There are a lot of steps that have to occur on the part of a lot of people, not just the coach, to get to where you have a winning environment.”

Purdue’s Zach Edey named AP men’s player of the year

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Zach Edey spent the days following Purdue’s historic NCAA Tournament loss lying low, his phone turned off, along with the rest of the outside world.

The disappointing finish did little to diminish the season the Boilermakers big man had.

Dominating at both ends of the floor during the regular season, Edey was a near-unanimous choice as The Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year. Edey received all but one vote from a 58-person media panel, with Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis getting the other.

“The season ended in disappointment, which really sucks, but it’s always nice to win individual accolades,” Edey said. “It kind of validates your work a little bit. The last three years I’ve played here, I’ve seen my game grow every year. AP player of the year is a great feeling, it just kind of stinks the way the season ended.”

That ending came in the NCAA Tournament’s first round, when Purdue lost to Fairleigh Dickinson, joining Virginia in 2018 as the only No. 1 seeds to lose to a No. 16.

Before that, Edey dominated.

The 7-foot-4 Canadian was named a unanimous AP All-American and the Big Ten player of the year after finishing sixth nationally in scoring (22.3), second in rebounding (12.8) and first in double-doubles (26).

Edey also shot 62% from the floor and averaged 2.1 blocked shots per game while leading Purdue to its first outright Big Ten regular-season title since 2017. He is the first player since Navy’s David Robinson in 1985-86 to have at least 750 points, 450 rebounds and 50 blocked shots in a season.

“He’s kind of a one of a kind,” Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. said. “I’ve never played with someone like him, probably never will again.”

And to think, Edey didn’t want to play basketball when he was younger.

A hockey and baseball player growing up in Toronto, Edey resisted basketball at first. He was 6-2 by the sixth grade and the natural inclination by the adults was to push him toward basketball, where his size would be a massive advantage.

“It was something I kind avoided all my life.,” Edey said. “I didn’t like people telling me what I should be doing with my life and it felt like that’s what people were doing with basketball. When I started playing competitively, that’s when I really fell in love with the sport.”

Edey developed his game quickly. He played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and proved himself against some of the nation’s best high school players, drawing attention from college coaches. He ended up at Purdue, where coach Matt Painter had a proven track record of developing big men.

Edey had a limited role as a freshman, then averaged 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds last season on a team that had talented big man Trevion Williams and future NBA lottery pick Jaden Ivey.

Already a tireless worker, Edey put in even more time during the offseason, spending extra time after practice and taking better care of his body. His already solid footwork got better, he added quickness and developed more patience with the constant double teams he faced – not to mention the barrage of physical play teams tried to employ against him.

“There’s not really any kind of cool, sexy answer,” Edey said. “I came in every day, I worked hard, I stayed after practice – stayed a long time after practice. I took care of my body and was able to steadily improve. There was nothing revolutionary I did. I just worked hard.”

It certainly paid off, even if the season ended with a huge disappointment.