UNC-Asheville coach blames start time, gets testy with reporter

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A #16 seed has never beaten a #1. It’s rare to even see David have a second half lead over Goliath. And the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs did just that, putting the #1 seed Syracuse Orange, and all of America on notice, just for a little while.

The inevitable correction came, and the literal “underdogs” lost 72-65, even though most of America was rooting against Syracuse. UNCA coach Ed Biedenbach was defensive and testy with the media afterward, and it made for some good dialogue.

He blamed the first game running late for the loss, and told a reporter he’d learn what happened from his article.

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Reggie Miller: “Big 10 is the best conference in the nation”

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The Big Ten was hands down the best conference in college basketball this year. It’s the strongest the league has been in some time, and all the signs show it: owning the challenge with the ACC, having the most ranked teams, and now the best chance to win the whole thing.

Turner Sports analyst Reggie Miller, a UCLA and Indiana Pacers legend agrees. Here’s what Miller said on conference call yesterday.

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Northwestern severely decrease their NCAA Tournament chances by losing in OT

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NU dealt themselves a serious blow to their own NCAA Tournament hopes tonight. They were right on the cusp, that “last 4 in” line, but probably not so much anymore. Granted they still need four teams to play their way above them, but Championship week is long and those types of things develop quite quickly.

“Hopefully I won’t be disappointed on Sunday. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll be playing next week, and we like to compete no matter who we’re playing against,” John Shurna said after the game.

Northwestern is a different looking team with JerShon Cobb (but it still wasn’t enough).

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Final Four Posts Best TV Ratings in Six Years

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People said this tournament final would put up bad television numbers because it was the first to feature two mid-major programs. Media experts said those small schools, and the fact that no true big markets are prominently featured among the final four universities would be ratings death.

They were wrong.

CBS coverage of this Final Four on Saturday, April 2 earned an average national household rating/share of 8.9/17, which ties with 2010 as the highest rated Final Four since 2005.

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Is it time for NCAA Player Compensation? (Video)

cecil newton

Many people are up in arms about the NCAA. They say it’s unfair that student athletes are denied a share of the $700 million in tournament revenue they generate. Players also want to retain rights over their likenesses, which are used in video games without compensation. But are players really being mistreated? They get accepted to universities they wouldn’t normally be able to get into. Athletes receive yearly scholarships, while other students sink into debt. USA Today estimates the average player receives an annual $120K in aid and perks.

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This Kentucky (and Calipari) Team is Different

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There is one huge thing missing from Kentucky coach John Calipari’s coaching resume: a national championship.

Kentucky Wildcat fans have seen this similar storyline- a freshman point guard leading a John Calipari team deep into the tournament and falling short at the end. It happened at Memphis with superstars Derrick Rose (he’s only the NBA MVP this year) and Tyreke Evans (vastly underrated and underappreciated in Sacramento). It happened last year in Coach Cal’s first year at Kentucky with an Elite 8 run and last year’s first overall pick John Wall. Fans hope there isn’t a repeat ending this year.

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VOTE NOW! Anti-Bracket Final 4: Ines Sainz vs. People Who Didn’t Watch Friday Night Lights

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Here we go! Vote early, vote often! Polls are open until Thursday March 31st, 10 PM CT

Winner (announced Friday morning) advances to the Anti-Bracket National Title Game

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Greatest Jimmer Fredette Photograph/Magazine Cover Ever

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I guess this means the BYU Cougars will be eliminated in a few hours at the hands of the Florida Gators. That is if you believe in the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. Isn’t this the greatest college basketball picture ever? If you need to sum up “Jimmer-mania” in one piece this is it. Jimmer Fredette at work, doing his thing.

He appears to be flying, the ball fits perfectly into the o in the word sports.

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Kansas Jayhawks Look to Rock-Chalk Their Way to Houston

kansas jayhawks cheerleaders

Choke artists. If there were two words to describe the Kansas Jayhawks under coach Bill Self those two may be it. The Jayhawks have ruined many brackets through the years from their first round losses to Bucknell and Bradley to their did-that-really-just-happen second round exit to Northern Iowa last year.

That’s why, when Kansas only led by four at halftime against 16th-seeded Boston University, people everywhere held their breath. KU, with the exception of the 2008 national title, has been known to choke in tourney time and what’s scary for those Jayhawk fans is that the Regional matchups look like the perfect trap games.

Starting with their Friday night game against Atlantic-10 postseason champion Richmond, Kansas could get to Houston by playing two Regional games against double-digit seeds. No number one seed has anything close to that easy but that’s not to say that Richmond is totally incapable.

By Zachary Wadley

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Butler Bulldogs Prepare for Wisconsin Badgers in NCAA Sweet Sixteen

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If college basketball has an Alexander the Great, it’s probably Butler Bulldogs head Coach Brad Stevens. Like the ancient ruler who conquered half the known world before his 20th birthday, Stevens has accomplished a lot at a very young age. He graduated from college in 1999, but he’s already taken a team to within three points of a national title, and three sweet sixteens.

Only five coaches in NCAA men’s basketball history have reached 100 wins faster than Stevens and none has done it in the last three decades. Butler will make its fourth “Sweet 16” appearance in nine years when they meet the No. 4 seed Wisconsin in the Southeast Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The game between the two Midwest (and very, very white) teams is scheduled for a 8:57 p.m. (CT) tip and will be televised on TBS.

By Paul M. Banks

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Jimmer-Mania Hits New Orleans NCAA Regional: BYU vs. Florida Preview

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He started out as an unknown his freshman and sophomore year. People began to recognize his name after a clutch performance in the NCAA first round last season and now he’s the hottest topic in college basketball.

Jimmer Fredette, the 6’2″ shooting guard for Brigham Young University, has wowed the crowds all year long with his 30-foot three pointers and night in, night out he makes plays that leave opposing players shaking their heads in disbelief.

Now, he leads BYU into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1981 where they will meet the Florida Gators, a team they defeated last year in a classic first round double overtime contest.

By Zach Wadley

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Head NCAA Referee Explains Bizarre Ending of Butler-Pittsburgh Game

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It was the most talked about college basketball game of the weekend; and not just because it featured a big upset. it had one of the weirdest endings to march madness that we’ve seen in awhile.

Minutes after the ending of No. 8-seeded Butler’s bizarre, 71-70, win over No.1-seeded Pittsburgh in the Southeast Region’s third round game, both the Atlanta (Matt Winer, Steve Smith, Seth Davis and Phil Martelli) and New York (Ernie Johnson, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Rick Pitino) NCAA Tournament studio shows aired interviews with John Adams, National Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating.

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On the crucial calls between Butler and Pittsburgh at the end of the game:

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