George Mason Final Four star Tony Skinn hired as head 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 to coach 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.”

No. 1 seed Alabama beats Maryland 73-51 in drama-free game

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Before Alabama took the court, two No. 1 seeds had fallen and a third had to rally from a double-digit deficit.

By comparison, the Crimson Tide had a drama-free night.

Jahvon Quinerly scored 22 points, Brandon Miller heated up with 19 and top overall seed Alabama brushed aside Maryland 73-51 behind a dominant second half Saturday.

The second-round romp followed a 21-point blowout of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Tide’s tournament opener.

“I feel like our job’s not done,” Miller said. “We’re here to win a national championship.”

The Crimson Tide (31-5) advanced to their second Sweet 16 in the past three tournaments and ninth overall. Alabama will face fifth-seeded San Diego State in the South Region semifinals Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Before the late-night game, Purdue and defending national champion Kansas had lost, and No. 1 seed Houston trailed Tide rival Auburn by 10 points at halftime earlier at Legacy Arena before pulling away.

“Of course we watched those games and that was crazy,” Quinerly said. “But Coach (Nate Oats) didn’t really address the team.

“We all know anybody can win in March. We just kind of focused on the task at hand.”

Alabama and Miller got off to a slow start, but the All-America freshman and top NBA prospect wound up with a more typical performance after going scoreless in the first-round game. Miller has been nursing a groin injury and missed his first nine shots of the tournament.

“It seems the more he goes, the looser it got,” Oats said. “He didn’t have the same pop. He was 3 of 11 on 2s. A lot of those were at the rim. His finishing has been really good. He definitely wasn’t 100%. He’s a tough kid. He’s playing through some stuff. He doesn’t let people know he’s hurt.”

Quinerly had a big game on the one-year anniversary of his left knee injury early in a second-round loss to Notre Dame, which still limited him early this season. He shot 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

Maryland coach Kevin Willard had offered the New Jersey native a scholarship while at Seton Hall when Quinerly was just a ninth-grader.

Charles Bediako had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Alabama’s starters hit the bench with a couple of minutes left to chants of “Sweet 16” in the friendly crowd.

“It’s been unbelievable to play in front of our hometown fans to have a chance to go to the Sweet 16,” Oats said.

Julian Reese had 14 points for Maryland (22-13) before fouling out. Jahmir Young scored 12.

Reese scored seven quick points but picked up his second foul three minutes into the game and only played four minutes in the first half, picking up a quick third.

“His first foul was a foul. But the second one was mysterious, and the third one was the game,” Willard said. “You can’t call that second foul in a physical game. It was a horrible call. It changed the game.

“I’ll elaborate as much as you want. Do you want me to get in a little bit of trouble or a lot of trouble? But the second call was a terrible foul call. A horrible call. It changed our whole game plan. We were gonna pound it inside, pound it inside.”

The Tide wound up with a 44-32 rebounding advantage.

Alabama had an easy time in the end, unlike the other No. 1 seeds.

No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson toppled top-seeded Purdue 63-58 on Friday night in only the second such upset. Then No. 8 seed Arkansas beat the Jayhawks 72-71 earlier Saturday. Houston ultimately pulled away from Auburn as the Tide waited for their opportunity.

The first half was more to Maryland’s liking – other than the 28-23 deficit – for a team that came in giving up just 63 points a game.


Maryland: The 2002 national champion Terps failed to make their 15th trip to the Sweet 16 in Willard’s first season. They also lost to Alabama in the second round two years ago under former coach Mark Turgeon. Maryland’s defense was on point enough that it kept the lead for much of the first half despite a stretch of nine straight misses.

Alabama: It was the largest win in NCAA Tournament history by a team that shot under 40% overall and under 30% on 3-pointers, according to STATS. … Alabama’s depth has been on display so far. The Tide controlled the game despite not getting much scoring from starters Mark Sears and Noah Clowney or Nick Pringle, the star of the opening game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.


Alabama faces a San Diego State team making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2004, which was also the year of the Tide’s only Elite Eight run. The Crimson Tide have never reached the Final Four.

“I know San Diego State’s defense is elite,” Oats said.

Maryland women cruise to 93-61 win over Holy Cross

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Brinae Alexander scored over 1,100 points in her career before finally having an opportunity to play in an NCAA Tournament.

She made up for lost time.

Alexander scored a game-high 18 points, and second-seeded Maryland rolled to a 93-61 victory over 15th-seeded Holy Cross in the first round Friday. Alexander is one of a handful of transfers who have given the Terrapins a boost this season. She played previously at Vanderbilt, and now she’s part of a highly seeded Maryland team.

“I was really excited to especially be able to play home and have that home-court advantage,” Alexander said. “I think going in, it’s easy to have like the jitters and the nerves, but once you see the ball go in, especially for me, I think that gives me a good boost of confidence.”

Abby Meyers, who reached the second round of March Madness last year while at Princeton, scored 16 points for the Terrapins. Diamond Miller added 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Terps (26-6) scored the game’s first 14 points and advanced to face seventh-seeded Arizona on Sunday.

“Obviously it was a tough beginning of the game,” Holy Cross coach Maureen Magarity said. “Maryland just did a great job with their pressure, which we had been preparing for, but it’s hard to prepare and simulate what they do.”

Maryland was able to give its top players plenty of rest, with Miller, Meyers and Shyanne Sellers each playing a little over half the game. Sellers had 13 points and eight assists.

Holy Cross (24-9) was led by Simone Foreman’s 13 points.

Turnovers were always going to be a concern for the Crusaders against Maryland’s pressure, and that was a problem from the start. Holy Cross give the ball away 11 times in the first quarter alone and trailed 23-4 after one.

“I think in the first half, their press and their pressure really got to us,” guard Addisyn Cross said. “I think in the Patriot League we’re not really used to seeing that – that type of athleticism.”

There wasn’t much suspense after that. The Terrapins led 52-21 at halftime, and the final margin was about the same.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore attended the game.


Holy Cross: The Crusaders were out of this one early, but their season was still a memorable one. They were the lone men’s or women’s basketball team in Division I to represent Massachusetts in the NCAA Tournament.

“Just a really special group,” Magarity said. “Obviously I’m really sad that it’s over, because it’s just one of those years that you just never want it to end.”

Maryland: No sweat for the Terps, who started fast and avoided any threat of an upset. Maryland enjoyed a 37-7 advantage in points off turnovers.

“We’re athletic, we’re long, we’re energetic,” Meyers said. “That also helps motivate us and helps us find our effort and energy, is through that press. We’re going to hopefully continue to hurt teams with it.”


Now Maryland coach Brenda Frese prepares to face Arizona, the school she played for in the early 1990s.

“We’re talking about doing a reunion in the offseason, so I’m going to have to see who they’re rooting for in this game,” Frese said. “College are the best years of your life, so I’m really close to my college teammates that I was able to play with out in Arizona.”


Maryland: Has won all three meetings against Arizona, the most recent coming in 2006.

Maryland survives at March Madness, beats West Virginia 67-65

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In a game that began before lunchtime, Maryland sleepwalked through the first 10 minutes of its NCAA Tournament opener.

Coach Kevin Willard wasn’t concerned.

He knew there was still time for a wake-up call.

Julian Reese and Maryland topped West Virginia 67-65 on Thursday after Kedrian Johnson missed a final heave at the buzzer, sending the eighth-seeded Terrapins into the second round of the South Region.

Maryland (22-12) trailed by 12 early on, but West Virginia didn’t really take advantage of the Terrapins having more turnovers (six) than points (four).

“I look at everything in a positive way,” said Willard, in his first season at Maryland after leading Seton Hall to the Big Dance. “I figured if that’s the best they can do, we’re in pretty good shape.”

Johnson led all scorers with 27 points, only to have his potential winner glance off the rim as the horn sounded.

When the ball was in the air, Johnson thought he was about to become a March Madness hero.

“For sure,” he said. “Every shot I took today, I thought it had a chance to go in.”

Reese had 17 points and nine rebounds for Maryland, which will meet top-seeded Alabama on Saturday. The Crimson Tide cruised past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 96-75.

The 8-9 matchup between Maryland and the Mountaineers (19-15) lived up to its down-to-the-wire billing.

Maryland bounced back from the early 16-4 deficit to take a 32-30 lead at halftime. Neither team could break away over the final 20 minutes.

“It just shows our character,” said Hakim Hart, who had 15 points in Maryland’s balanced offensive effort. “We’re going to keep fighting.”

A traveling call on Jahmir Young gave West Virginia a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer. But the Mountaineers could not find anyone open beyond the arc, forcing Tre Mitchell to bank it in for two under the basket.

Young was fouled after the inbounds and made only one of two free throws. West Virginia got the ball in the hands of the guy it wanted, but Johnson came up short on the buzzer-beater.

“He was terrific, absolutely terrific,” coach Bob Huggins said. “We wouldn’t have been able to stay in the game without him. That last shot, it looked like it grazed the front of the rim. He was an inch away from winning the game for us.”


Maryland capped a wild play with a huge basket in the closing minutes.

With the score tied at 59, the Mountaineers double-teamed and appeared to have forced a turnover when the ball came loose.

At least four West Virginia players had a shot at it, but they couldn’t pull it in. Finally, the ball wound up in the hands of Reese, who spotted Hart alone under the basket for a dunk with 3:44 remaining.

Maryland never relinquished the lead after that.


West Virginia’s Emmitt Matthews went out early in the second half with a stinger in his left shoulder, the result of a hard screen by Reese.

A stalwart all season for the Mountaineers, Matthews finished with two points and three rebounds in 23 minutes of playing time.

”It hurt us,” Huggins said. “He’s five-year guy that knows what we want to get done. He’s our best perimeter defender.”

Compounding the problem, starting forward Jimmy Bell played only 11 minutes before fouling out. He had no points and four rebounds.


Erik Stevenson played at Wichita State, Washington and South Carolina before finally getting a crack at the NCAA Tournament after transferring to West Virginia for his final season.

It wasn’t a storybook ending. Stevenson scored nine points on 4-of-17 shooting.

“It’s over,” Stevenson said, breaking down in tears. “I don’t know what else to say.”


West Virginia: Huggins was one-and-done in his 26th trip to the NCAA Tournament. He’ll turn 70 in September as he approaches 1,000 career wins and conceded there’s some sentiment to turn over the program to a younger coach. “I have people that say I should stay on for quite a while,” the Hall of Famer said, “and people who think I should pack it in and let some young kid come in and screw it up.” Huggins remains at 935 wins, trailing only Mike Krzyzewski (1,202) and Jim Boeheim (1,015) on the career list.

Maryland: The game came down to a final shot, but the Terrapins won this one with a dazzling close to the first half. They wiped out the double-digit deficit by hitting nine of their last 13 shots, including three beyond the arc, to go along with 7-of-7 perfection at the foul line. More important, the Terps turned it over just two times during that span.


In is last NCAA appearance two years ago, Maryland lost to Alabama in the second round.

Zach Edey is AP Big Ten Player of the Year; Painter, Collins honored

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue’s Zach Edey is The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference and the Boilermakers’ Matt Painter and Northwestern’s Chris Collins split coach of the year honors.

Edey received all but one vote for player of the year in balloting by 14 journalists who cover the conference. Maryland’s Jahmir Young beat out Indiana’s Jalen Hood-Schifino for newcomer of the year.

Edey and Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis were unanimous selections to the AP All-Big Ten first team.

The 7-foot-4, 305-pound Edey led the Boilermakers to their first outright Big Ten regular-season championship since 2017. He goes into the conference tournament averaging 21.9 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game and is on track to become 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.

Edey’s nine games of 25 points and 10 rebounds are the most for a major-college player since 2006-07, and he’s on pace to become the first Big Ten player in over 50 years to average 22 points and 13 rebounds per game in a season.

Jackson-Davis averages 20.5 points 11 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game and joins Edey as the only high-major players to average at least 20, 11 and 2. Jackson-Davis is on the first team for the second time in three years. He was on the second team last season.

Joining Edey and Jackson-Davis on the first team are Northwestern’s Boo Buie, Penn State’s Jalen Pickett and Iowa’s Kris Murray.

Young, in his first season at Maryland after playing his first three at Charlotte, leads the Terrapins with 16.3 points per game. He has nine games with at least 20 points, including 30 in a win over Ohio State, and his 37 steals lead the team.

Painter has won at least 25 games in 11 of his 18 seasons at Purdue, which is in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers were the favorites in the preseason media poll, and they spent all but three days of the conference season tied or in sole possession of first place.

Collins shares coach of the year after leading Northwestern to a tie for second place after being picked 13th. With Buie running the point, the Wildcats (21-10, 12-8) have their first overall and conference winning records since Collins’ 2016-17 team won a game in the NCAA Tournament.


Guard – Boo Buie, Northwestern, Sr., 6-2, 180, Albany, New York.

Guard – Jalen Pickett, Penn State, Sr., 6-4, 209, Rochester, New York.

u-Forward – Trayce Jackson-Davis, Sr., 6-9, 245, Greenwood, Indiana.

Forward – Kris Murray, Iowa, Jr., 6-8, 220, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

u-Center – Zach Edey, Purdue, Jr., 7-4, 305, Toronto.

-“u” denotes unanimous selection.


Guard – Jahmir Young, Maryland, Gr., 6-1, 185, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Guard – Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana, Fr., 6-6, 213, Pittsburgh.

Guard – Terrence Shannon, Illinois, Sr., 6-6, 225, Chicago.

Center – Clifford Omoruyi, Rutgers, Jr., 6-11, 240, Benin City, Nigeria.

Center – Hunter Dickinson, Michigan, Jr., 7-1, 260, Alexandria, Virginia.

Coach of the year (tie) – Matt Painter, Purdue, and Chris Collins, Northwestern.

Player of the year – Zach Edey, Purdue.

Newcomer of the year – Jahmir Young, Maryland.

AP All-Big Ten Voting Panel: Nick Bahe, Fox Sports; Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News, Fox Sports; Dave Eanet, WGN Radio, Chicago; Brian Fonseca, New Jersey Advance Media; Marcus Fuller, Minneapolis Star Tribune; Adam Jardy, Columbus Dispatch; Stephen Jones, Penn State Sports Network; Andrew Kahn, (Ann Arbor, Mich.); Ryan McFadden, Baltimore Sun; Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star; Jim Polzin, (Madison, Wis.); Scott Richey, Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette; Dylan Sinn, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette; Kennington Lloyd Smith III, Des Moines (Iowa) Register.

Houston, Alabama top AP Top 25; Marquette climbing, Pitt in

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The top five spots in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll remained the same. The rest of the AP Top 25 was a big jumble.

Houston was No. 1 for the second straight week in the poll released Monday, receiving 49 first-place votes from a 62-person media panel. No. 2 Alabama had five first-place votes and No. 3 Kansas received eight.

UCLA and Purdue rounded out the top five. The Boilermakers held at No. 5 despite losing to No. 15 Indiana.

In the rest of the poll, only No. 20 Providence kept the same position from last week as teams get ready for conference tournaments next week and the start of March Madness.

Alabama held its spot after winning two games despite a challenging week off the court. Brandon Miller had a pair of huge games since police alleged that he brought a gun to former teammate Darius Miles, who is charged with capital murder in a fatal shooting.

Against Arkansas on Saturday, Miller’s regular pregame introduction with a Crimson Tide reserve player giving him a pat down didn’t sit well with coach Nate Oats – or anyone else.

“I can assure you it definitely will not happen again the remainder of this year,” Oats said.

Miller had 24 points in the 86-83 win over the Razorbacks after scoring 41 in a two-point win over South Carolina.


Marquette has made a quick rise under coach Shaka Smart.

The Golden Eagles wrapped up a share of their first Big East regular-season title in a decade with a 90-84 win over DePaul on Saturday and climbed four spots in this week’s poll to No. 6. It is Marquette’s highest ranking hitting No. 1 in 1977-78.


Houston moved into the top spot last week and held onto it after a pair of routs last week. The Cougars’ 76-57 win at East Carolina on Saturday clinched the American Athletic Association regular-season championship, the fourth time in five seasons they’ve at least shared the conference title.

“Our kids know how to win – I say that a lot,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “But we’ve figured out how to play our system, be unselfish.”


Marquette matched No. 14 UConn and No. 18 San Diego State with the week’s biggest jump among teams in the poll, each climbing four spots.

No. 13 Virginia took the biggest tumble, losing seven spots following losses to Boston College and North Carolina last week.


No. 21 Maryland is back in the AP Top 25 after wins over Minnesota and then-No. 21 Northwestern.

No. 23 Kentucky returned to the poll after a seven-week absence. The Wildcats had a rapid fall from being No. 4 in the preseason poll, but reeled off wins over No. 12 Tennessee, Florida and Auburn.

No. 25 Pittsburgh is ranked for the first time since 2016 after beating Georgia Tech and Syracuse last week.

Northwestern’s return to the poll for the first time in two years didn’t last long. The Wildcats dropped out this week after losses to Maryland and Illinois.

Iowa State fell out from No. 23 after three straight losses and consecutive losses knocked out Creighton from No. 19.