Tag Archives: NCAA

Miley Cyrus Rocks Out In Black Crop Top For Epic Performance At NCAA March Madness — Watch

Miley Cyrus performed a mix of classic rock covers and her own music for her energetic performance at NCAA March Madness Live!

Miley Cyrus[1], 28, knows how to deliver on a live performance. The Plastic Hearts singer[2] slayed as she took the stage for NCAA’s March Madness[3] Live on Saturday, April 3. She performed a mix covers by Queen, Joan Jett and Fleetwood Mac — including the iconic “We Will Rock You.” The live show started backstage as Miley — clad in a cropped mini-vest, black skinny pants and a sultry pair of red-bottomed Christian Louboutin boots — sashayed her way onto the stage to “We Are The Champions.” She accessorized with a layered gold chain necklaces, sunglasses and gloves.

At one point during the energetic performance, Miley brought all the vibes as she belted out “American Woman” by Grand Funk Railroad (later covered by Lenny Kravitz) while crawling on the stage. Her vocals sounded absolutely incredible as she sang “Don’t Stop Me Now” before transitioning to her own classic hit, “We Can’t Stop.” The stage set-up added to the vibe also, as sponsor AT&T’s signature blue lit up the ground in disco-style squares. A digital screen with green flames was also behind her, along with bright orange lights.

The audience was filled with frontline workers who have been actively working to keep Americans safe during the COVID-19 pandemic[4]. The performance — part of a special Tribute to Frontline Heroes concert — aired between the two men’s basketball Final Four games on CBS. The concert also included Indiana University Health system staff. To date, over 500,000 Americans have died as a result of the deadly COVID-19 virus, which forced shutdowns around the globe in March 2020. According to the CDC, more than 100 million Americans — or about 30% of the population — have received at least one dose of the available vaccines[5] (most require two doses).

Earlier in the day, the Tennessee native tease the performance with a sexy black outfit[6]! She sported a crop top by One More Chance Vintage and a flirty pair of pants by Stockholm held together with clips along the sides “MY TYPE… swipe for full fantasy,” she joked in her caption, including several bathroom selfies. In a hysterical video, Miley — who declared she was “single” back in February — even pretended to ask herself out. She also referenced the performance in a post shared late on Friday, April 2.

“MILEY MADNESS… @FinalFour #MarchMadness,” she wrote alongside a video of her stepping off a bus. The stylish star once again stunned in an all-red ensemble with leopard print pants and a blue-striped jacket. The blonde kept her hair in styled in her throwback ’80s mullet, just like at the NFL’s TikTok Tailgate[7]! “Mother, I’ve arrived,” Miley declared in the video as she slid the jacket off her shoulders then made her way into a building. “Yo that jacket is tight son!!!” one fan wrote, while another added, “The outfit” with several fire emojis.


  1. ^ Miley Cyrus (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ Plastic Hearts singer (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ March Madness (hollywoodlife.com)
  4. ^ COVID-19 pandemic (hollywoodlife.com)
  5. ^ one dose of the available vaccines (hollywoodlife.com)
  6. ^ a sexy black outfit (hollywoodlife.com)
  7. ^ NFL’s TikTok Tailgate (hollywoodlife.com)

Cassie Gill

Baylor faces Gonzaga in NCAA National Championship

Baylor faces Gonzaga in NCAA National Championship

Baylor is set to take on Gonzaga for the National Championship of the NCAA Tournament Monday on CBS 8.

INDIANAPOLIS — Editors note: The video in this story is from March 17, 2021, about a High Point man who has made a larger-than-life NCAA tournament bracket.

No. 1 seed Baylor (27-2) will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga (31-0) in the NCAA Tournament National Championship at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Monday. The game starts at 8:20 p.m. and will air on WFMY 2.


Baylor is set to take on Gonzaga for the National Championship of the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga earned a 93-90 overtime win over UCLA in its most recent game, while Baylor won easily 78-59 against Houston in its last outing.


Gonzaga’s Drew Timme has averaged 19.2 points and 7.1 rebounds while Corey Kispert has put up 18.8 points and five rebounds. For the Bears, Jared Butler has averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 assists and two steals while Davion Mitchell has put up 14 points and 5.5 assists.


Mitchell has either made or assisted on 42 percent of all Baylor field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has accounted for 17 field goals and 19 assists in those games.


Gonzaga’s Kispert has attempted 200 3-pointers and connected on 44.5 percent of them, and is 17 of 38 over the last five games.


The Bulldogs have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Bears. Gonzaga has an assist on 69 of 104 field goals (66.3 percent) over its past three games while Baylor has assists on 49 of 85 field goals (57.6 percent) during its past three games.


Baylor has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 24.8 percent of all possessions this year, the eighth-highest rate among all Division I teams.

Ball in their court: Justices take on NCAA restrictions

The players associations of the NFL, NBA and WNBA are all urging the justices to side with the former athletes, as is the Biden administration.

WASHINGTON — Editor’s Note: The video above is from February 2020.

The NCAA and former college athletes are getting ready to play ball at the Supreme Court.
With the March Madness basketball tournament ongoing, the high court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case about how colleges can reward athletes who play Division I basketball and football. The NCAA says if the former college students who brought the case win, it could erase the distinction between professional and college sports.
Under current NCAA rules, students can’t be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA defends its rules as necessary to preserving the amateur nature of college sports.
But if the Supreme Court sides with the former students, those caps on educational benefits could go away. If individual athletic conferences agree, schools could offer tens of thousands of dollars in education benefits for things such as postgraduate scholarships, tutoring, study abroad opportunities, vocational school payments. That could create a bidding war for the best players.
RELATED: Men’s, Women’s Final Four set: How and when to watch
RELATED: Supreme Court case could change the nature of college sports
The former athletes who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, say the NCAA’s current rules deprive students of the ability to be rewarded for their athletic talents and hard work because most of them will never play professional sports. So far, the former players have won every round of the case. Lower courts agreed that the NCAA’s rules capping the education-related benefits schools can offer violate a federal antitrust law.
Whatever happens at the high court, how college athletes are compensated is already likely changing. The NCAA is in the process of trying to amend its longstanding rules to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses. That would allow athletes to earn money for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsement and personal appearances. For the top athletes, those amounts could dwarf any education-related benefits.
The former college athletes have some big-time supporters. The players associations of the NFL, NBA and WNBA are all urging the justices to side with the former athletes, as is the Biden administration.
The justices are hearing arguments by phone in the case as they have been doing for almost a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. They will almost certainly issue a decision in the case before they leave for their summer break at the end of June.
The NCAA wasn’t happy with the outcome the last time its rules were before the Supreme Court. In 1984, the high court rejected NCAA rules restricting the broadcast of college football. The justices’ ruling transformed college sports, helping it become the multibillion-dollar business it is today.

Gonzaga on cruise control in men’s NCAA Tournament

There’s still a lot of March Madness to come, but it seems basketball fans may get a second chance this year at seeing Gonzaga vs. Baylor face-off.

There is no doubt that this season of men’s college basketball was anything but normal. So when Gonzaga went a perfect 28-0 heading into the NCAA Tournament, some overlooked the Bulldogs. We were all robbed of the regular season matchup between Gonzaga and Baylor; however, Gonzaga did have some big-time wins before March Madness. 

During the regular season, Gonzaga racked up impressive wins over Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa and Virginia. None of those teams remain in the NCAA Tournament, but Gonzaga has been on cruise control so far. 
The No. 1 seed in the West region beat Norfolk St., 98-55, in the first round. Then, they took on No. 8 Oklahoma and won 87-71. Up next, they meet Creighton in the Sweet 16. 
“You have to probably look deeper into the bracket than the next couple of rounds,” Bo Brack, host on the Locked On Podcast Network said while explaining why there won’t be any speed bumps for Gonzaga in the next couple rounds. 
“You look at their starting five, and each one of these guys would be the star of any other program,” Bo Brack said about the depth for this Gonzaga team. During the latest episode of Locked On Today, he explained how head coach Mark Few gets them to seamlessly work together. 
“I hope we don’t get robbed at the second chance at seeing Baylor vs. the Zags,” Brack said. The matchup was expected to be one of the biggest of the regular season, before COVID-19 protocols got in the way and kept the Bears and Bulldogs from meeting.
With Baylor and Gonzaga on different sides of the March Madness bracket, there’s a chance we could get a do-over of that matchup in the NCAA Championship on April 5. 
RELATED: ‘Embarrassing’: No March Madness branding on Women’s NCAA tournament courts
RELATED: And then there were none: All March Madness perfect brackets busted

NCAA president agrees to meet protesting players after March Madness

The players are pushing for the NCAA to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for sponsorships, online endorsements and appearances.

The National College Players Association said Tuesday that NCAA President Mark Emmert has informed a group of basketball players who started a social media campaign to protest inequities in college sports that he will meet with them after March Madness.

NCPA executive director Ramogi Huma said in a statement he received a letter from Emmert in response to the advocacy group’s request for a meeting between the head of the NCAA and three players who led the #NotNCAAProperty protest that started last week.
Through the NCPA, the players had requested to meet with Emmert and one of the NCAA’s top lobbyists on Tuesday morning.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association had no comment Tuesday.
RELATED: ‘Embarrassing’: No March Madness branding on Women’s NCAA tournament courts
RELATED: March Madness upsets tracker: No. 7 Oregon upsets No. 2 Iowa
Michigan’s Isaiah Livers, Rutgers’ Geo Baker and Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon are pushing for the NCAA to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for personal sponsorship deals, online endorsements and appearances.
The NCAA has committed to changing its rules regarding name, image and likeness rights, but the process has bogged down amid warnings from the Department of Justice about possible antitrust violations in the association’s proposal.
An NCAA case involving an antitrust ruling is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next week.
The NCAA has asked for help from federal lawmakers in the form of a national NIL law that would preempt dozens of state laws under consideration that would create different rules for competing schools.

'Embarrassing': No March Madness branding on Women's NCAA tournament courts

Following last week’s viral images of the weight rooms, it’s another disparity between the women’s and men’s tournaments.

Looking around the basketball facilities hosting women’s NCAA Tournament games there are no signs of March Madness. At least not the iconic trademark “March Madness” that the NCAA uses to promote games this month.

It’s not on the courts, which say “NCAA Women’s Basketball” or feature the names and logos of the host teams.
“I didn’t realize that was an NCAA thing, but I certainly think that’s something that needs to be discussed and changed,” UConn’s acting head coach Chris Dailey said Monday when asked about March Madness.
“I think it looks a little embarrassing on the court when you see ‘Women’s Basketball’ and nothing connected to March Madness. There are women playing, so clearly it’s women’s basketball. I think everyone can get that. So, I think that certainly it’s something that needs to be discussed.”
When asked about the absent trademark, the NCAA said in a statement it will continue listening to the expectations of members and women’s basketball leadership while considering relations with “valued broadcast partners.”
“We are committed to working with all constituents to determine the best way forward for women’s basketball including the use of March Madness logos if desired,” the NCAA added in its statement.
It is another in a list of differences between the tournaments and became a topic of discussion after the Wall Street Journal reported Monday the NCAA’s trademark registrations for the phrase “March Madness” allow the organization to use it for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
But NCAA doesn’t use them for both, at least not in same way. The attention being given the growing list of differences has caught the attention of administrators outside NCAA headquarters.
“There is a general concern among commissioners we need to do better by women’s basketball,” said Rich Ensor, commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and chair of the college commissioners association, which makes recommendations to the NCAA on various topics. “We’ll be discussing it further with the NCAA leadership team in the very near future.”
RELATED: NCAA apologizes to women’s tournament teams for weight room inequities
RELATED: Oregon basketball player calls out NCAA’s double standard at women’s tournament
The NCAA apologized last week after inequities between the men’s and women’s tournament went viral on social media and vowed to do better. Photos and videos showed the difference between the weight rooms at the two tournaments — the men getting a plethora of equipment while the women got a set of dumbbells and yoga mats.
Other differences: There are 68 teams in the men’s field, 64 in the women; and the NCAA pays for the men’s National Invitation Tournament, but not the women’s NIT. 
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said everyone must keep speaking up about the disparities and that the NCAA needs to investigate itself regarding the differences.
“Somebody needs to be held responsible, I don’t know who,” Staley said. “But the investigative work needs to be done to see where things have fallen short.”
Tennessee coach Kellie Harper just uses the term March Madness because she said that’s what this is for women — just like it is for the men.
“We’re in the middle of March Madness and to watch the games being played today and in the next couple weeks, you have to use that term,” Harper said. “It’s what we’re doing right now. It just makes sense.”
Travis Pittman contributed to this report.

Freshmen show no signs of jitters in women's NCAA Tournament

Several freshmen put on impressive performances in their women’s NCAA Tournament debuts.

SAN ANTONIO — Several freshmen showed no jitters on the opening day of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

In fact, they embraced the bright lights of the Big Dance.
It came as no surprise that Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, the nation’s leading scorer during the regular season, began a run of impressive performances in the first game of the tournament. UConn’s Paige Bueckers showed why she’s All-American as a freshman, while teammate Aaliyah Edwards started with a double-double.
There were others, including Anaya Boyd, who averages only eight minutes a game for Georgia Tech but made major contributions down the stretch to help the Yellow Jackets avoid being upset in the first round.
Clark, a second-team All-American, said she was a little nervous before tipoff. She said playing the first game of the day and not sitting around all day waiting to play or watching games on TV was a benefit.
“And more than anything,” Clark said, “it’s just a dream come true to be out there playing in the NCAA Tournament.”
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said his talented freshman is used to playing on big stages.
“She’s always played up, you know?” Bluder said. “She won a national championship with her AAU team. She’s played for USA Basketball. So having those experiences have helped her.”
A look at some of the freshmen who made an impact in their women’s NCAA Tournament debuts:


Clark didn’t match her 26.7-point a game scoring average, but she finished with 23 points, seven rebounds seven assists playing a team-high 36 minutes. She also had two steals to go with three turnovers.
She had one of the highlight plays of the day with a behind-the-back pass to Monika Czinano in the paint late in Iowa’s win over Central Michigan.


The guard nicknamed Buckets turned in one of the best tournament debuts by a freshman in UConn history. She scored 24 points as the top-seeded Huskies routed High Point and wasn’t far from a triple-double with nine rebounds and six assists. Edwards showed serious efficiency in 25 minutes, making 8 of her 10 shots for 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the double-double.
“This has been like an ongoing thing all year where us freshmen need to perform in order for us to win, so we just try to do that each and every day,” Bueckers said.


Georgia Tech Nell Fortner had no problem calling freshman Anaya Boyd’s number in crunch time. Boyd played 10 of her 12 minutes in the Yellow Jackets’ win against Stephen F. Austin in the fourth quarter and overtime.
She showed no signs of being tight. The 44.4% free throw shooter during the season made two with 1:12 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 48, then Boyd blocked a layup by Avery Brittingtham with 55 seconds left to force overtime.
That helped overcome another strong debut by Stephen F. Austin’s talented freshman.
Brittingham hit all six of her free throws and finished with a double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds in her tournament debut.


Syracuse freshman center Kamilla Cardoso, who hails from Montes Claros, Brazil, showed no signs of nerves in her first tournament game, a 72-55 win over South Dakota State. The 6-foot-7 ACC freshman of the year blocked South Dakota State’s first shot attempt, grabbed Syracuse’s first rebound and scored the first point of the game on a free throw.
She finished with six blocks and diverted countless other shots with her long arms in the paint. She scored 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 shooting from the line. Teammate Emily Engstler said Cardoso’s growth has been better than hers as a freshman.
“She can actually shoot the basketball too,” Engstler said. “She’s strong down low, and I say this. A lot of 6-7 girls don’t know how to control their body too well. Kamilla does. That’s a skillset that will get her into the WNBA.”
RELATED: Longtime friends Paige Bueckers and Jalen Suggs represent MN on March Madness stage
RELATED: NCAA officials: Gender disparity issues in women’s tourney ‘not the responsibility of the City of San Antonio’
RELATED: ‘We must do better,’ UofL women’s coach Jeff Walz calls out NCAA for tournament disparities


Sasha Goforth came to Oregon State from Fayetteville, Arkansas, as a McDonald’s All-American. She added a start in her first tournament game to every other game this season for the Beavers. Goforth didn’t come close to her season-high, but she knocked down 5 of her 7 shots for 14 points and grabbed three rebounds.
Teammate Talia von Oelhoffen could still be in high school but chose to arrive at Oregon State early. She played 27 minutes, scoring seven points and handed out four assists in an 83-59 rout of Florida State.


Freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker had 18 points but it wasn’t enough for Washington State, which fell to South Florida 57-53 in an opening round game on Sunday night.
The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year also had five rebounds and four assists, and was 8 for 8 from the line. But her memorable moment came in the fourth quarter, with a perfectly executed behind-the-back pass to teammate Bella Murekatete for the basket.
Leger-Walker, who is from New Zealand, joined older sister Krystal this season with the Cougars, who were picked to finish last in the Pac-12 but wound up making their first tournament field since 1991.
“It’s awesome to prove people wrong. Just going in with a chip on your shoulder, doing things that no one expected you to do or expect you to do, even when you do prove yourself. We started well this season, and even a couple games in people didn’t think we were a competitive team. We had to keep proving it over and over throughout the season,” she said.
AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson contributed to this report.

SDSU Aztecs fall to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament

The Aztecs fall to Syracuse 78 to 62.

INDIANAPOLIS — The SDSU Aztecs will not be moving on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after falling to Syracuse Orange 78 to 62. The first round of the NCAA Tournament was played Friday night at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


Game Details:

No. 11 seed Syracuse (16-9) vs. No. 6 seed San Diego State (23-4)
NCAA Tournament First Round, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis; Friday, 8:40 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Syracuse is taking on San Diego State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. San Diego State beat Utah State by 11 points in Las Vegas on Saturday, while Syracuse came up short in a 72-69 game to Virginia last week.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Matt Mitchell is averaging 15.4 points and 5.5 rebounds to lead the charge for the Aztecs. Jordan Schakel has paired with Mitchell and is producing 14.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The Orange have been led by Alan Griffin, who is averaging 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds.
ACCURATE ALAN: Griffin has connected on 37.2 percent of the 148 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 8 of 17 over the last three games. He’s also made 89.3 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINNING WHEN: San Diego State is a perfect 19-0 when it scores at least 68 points. The Aztecs are 4-4 when scoring any fewer than that.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Orange have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Aztecs. San Diego State has an assist on 34 of 75 field goals (45.3 percent) over its past three games while Syracuse has assists on 49 of 79 field goals (62 percent) during its past three games.
STINGY STATE: San Diego State has held opposing teams to 60.6 points per game this year, the eighth-lowest figure among all Division I teams.
For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25
This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAA tournament game times: When and how to watch March Madness

COVID-19 changed where the NCAA Tournament will be played and there’s also a big change of when you can catch the games on TV and online.

The 2021 NCAA Tournament will be unlike anything fans have seen in recent memory. The biggest change is that all of the games will be played in and around Indianapolis. But additionally, the usual Thursday – Sunday schedule for the first two weekends is gone.

As usual, all 67 games of the tournament will air on CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV and online through corresponding digital platforms. You can also watch on NCAA.com or using the March Madness Live app. You need a valid television provider, validated using your account login information.
Games will be played on two courts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home of the Final Four. Games will also take place at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, and Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse and Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.
Traditionally, the “First Four” games are played on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Selection Sunday. Now, they’ll all be played on one day — Thursday. That, in turn, will move the dates for the rest of the weekend. 
Here is the schedule and of when and where to watch each round. Scroll below to see a complete breakdown of game times for the First Four and First Round. 
First Four
  • Thursday, March 18
    • Starting at 4 p.m. ET (TBS, TruTV)
First Round
  • Friday and Saturday, March 19-20
    • Starting at noon ET (CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV)
Second Round
  • Sunday and Monday, March 21-22
    • Starting at noon ET (CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV)
Sweet Sixteen
  • Saturday, March 27
    • 2 p.m. ET (CBS) and 7 p.m. ET (TBS)
  • Sunday, March 28
    • 1 p.m. ET (CBS) and 7 p.m. ET (TBS)
Elite Eight
  • Monday, March 29
    • Starting at 7 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Tuesday, March 30
    • Starting at 6 p.m. ET (TBS)
Final Four
  • Saturday, April 3
    • Starting 5 p.m. ET (CBS)
National Championship
  • Monday, April 5
    • 9 p.m. ET (CBS)
According to the NCAA website, here is the TV schedule for the First Four and First Round (All times Eastern): 

First Four TV Schedule

Thursday, March 18 (All times Eastern)
#16 Texas Southern vs. #16 Mount St. Mary’s – 5:10 p.m. – truTV
#11 Drake vs. #11 Wichita State – 6:27 p.m. – TBS
#16 Appalachian State vs. #16 Norfolk State – 8:40 p.m. – truTV
#11 UCLA vs. #11 Michigan State – 9:57 p.m. – TBS 

First Round TV Schedule

Friday, March 19 (All times Eastern) 
#7 Florida vs. #10 Virginia Tech – 12:15 p.m. – CBS
#3 Arkansas vs. #14 Colgate – 12:45 p.m. – truTV
#1 Illinois vs. #16 Drexel – 1:15 p.m. – TBS
#6 Texas Tech vs. #11 Utah State – 1:45 p.m. – TNT 
#2 Ohio State vs. #15 Oral Roberts – 3 p.m. – CBS
#1 Baylor vs. #16 Hartford – 3:30 p.m. – truTV
#8 Loyola Chicago vs. #9 Georgia Tech – 4 p.m. – TBS
#5 Tennessee vs. #12 Oregon State – 4:30 p.m. – TNT
#4 Oklahoma State vs. #13 Liberty – 6:25 p.m. – TBS
#8 North Carolina vs. #9 Wisconsin – 7:10 p.m. – CBS
#2 Houston vs. #15 Cleveland State – 7:15 p.m. – truTV
#4 Purdue vs. #13 North Texas – 7:25 p.m. – TNT
#7 Clemson vs. #10 Rutgers – 9:20 p.m. – TBS 
#6 San Diego State vs. #11 Syracuse – 9:40 p.m. – CBS
#3 West Virginia vs. #14 Morehead State – 9:50 p.m. – truTV
#5 Villanova vs. #12 Winthrop – 9:57 p.m. – TNT
Saturday, March 20 (All times Eastern)              
#5 Colorado vs. #12 Georgetown – 12:15 p.m. – CBS
#4 Florida State vs. #13 UNC Greensboro – 12:45 p.m. – truTV
#3 Kansas vs. #14 Eastern Washington – 1:15 p.m. – TBS
#8 LSU vs. #9 St. Bonaventure – 1:45 p.m. – TNT
#1 Michigan vs. #16 Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern – 3 p.m. – CBS
#5 Creighton vs. #12 UC Santa Barbara – 3:30 p.m. – truTV
#2 Alabama vs. #15 Iona – 4 p.m. – TBS
#6 USC vs. #11 Wichita State/Drake – 4:30 p.m. – TNT
#2 Iowa vs. #15 Grand Canyon – 6:25 p.m. – TBS
#7 UConn vs. #10 Maryland – 7:10 p.m. – CBS
#4 Virginia vs. #13 Ohio – 7:15 p.m. – truTV
#8 Oklahoma vs. #9 Missouri – 7:25 p.m. – TNT
#1 Gonzaga vs. #16 Norfolk State/Appalachian State – 9:20 p.m. – TBS
#6 BYU vs. #11 Michigan State/UCLA – 9:40 p.m. – CBS
#3 Texas vs. #14 Abilene Christian – 9:50 p.m. – truTV
#7 Oregon vs. #10 VCU – 9:57 p.m. – TNT
RELATED: March Madness bracket 2021: Get your printable bracket here
RELATED: Six March Madness referees ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols

Pick Six: Veterans to watch as NCAA Tournament begins

A shadow cast by COVID-19 has threatened to derail the season with even a single positive test.

There has never been a better time to have senior leadership in the NCAA Tournament than this season.

There was no real offseason for young players to improve. No exhibitions and fewer non-conference games for teams to come together. And the shadow cast by COVID-19 that threatened to derail a season with a single positive test.
So while experienced teams always have an edge during March Madness, those with seniors running the show may be at an even bigger advantage this year. Iowa star Luka Garza and Gonzaga counterpart Corey Kispert already are household names worth watching, but there are plenty of other seniors that should threaten to steal the spotlight.


Fan of heavyweight wrestling? Tune into a first-round game between Garza’s second-seeded Hawkeyes and No. 15 seed Grand Canyon. That’s where you’ll find the 6-foot-11, 265-pound All-American banging bodies with fellow senior Asbjorn Midtgaard, the 7-foot, 270-pound Wichita State transfer and leading scorer for the Antelopes.
Virginia intends to play after withdrawing from the ACC Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols, which means fans will get to say Sam Hauser running the show. The transfer from Marquette averages 16 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Alex Barcello has become such a star at BYU the past two seasons that some forget he began his career at Arizona.


The senior leadership of Austin Reaves and Brady Manek helped Oklahoma climb into the top 10 earlier this season, though a rough finish left the eighth-seeded Sooners with a first-round date against No. 9 seed Missouri.
Speaking of the Tigers, they’re also led by a pair of seniors. Dru Smith is their leading scorer and Jeremiah Tilmon finally reached his potential this season, and both aim to help Missouri snap a four-game NCAA Tournament skid.
Squirreled away in a smaller conference on the West Coast, UC Santa Barbara seniors JaQuori McLaughlin and Devearl Ramsey went largely unnoticed. But the No. 12 seed Gauchos should give No. 5 Creighton all it can handle. 


Garza gets the headlines in Iowa City but fifth-year senior Jordan Bohannon is a big reason why the Hawkeyes are a Final Four contender. The consummate floor general averages 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists.
“I don’t know who would underappreciate it. He’s going to be the school’s all-time leader in assists. I don’t know what more you have to do to get appreciated,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “I appreciate it, I can tell you that.”
Baylor guard MaCio Teague isn’t just overlooked around the country, he’s often overlooked on his own team. That’s what happens when you share a backcourt with Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell, despite scoring 16.2 points a game.
Herb Jones is an All-American candidate and Jaden Shackelford is Alabama’s leading scorer, but John Petty Jr. makes the SEC Tournament champs go. He shoots 44% from beyond the arc and is the school’s career leader in 3-pointers.
“You know what’s amazing? Just to see our school do both things in basketball and football just tells about the school itself, the way they recruit, the people we have around our school. It’s amazing,” Petty said. “It’s kind of, like I say, indescribable just because all these things haven’t been done in so long.”


The beauty of the NCAA Tournament is the out-of-nowhere teams and players that set brackets ablaze, and often they’re veterans that have been through the grind. That’s the case with Javion Hamlet, who has No. 13 seed North Texas ready for home-state hope Purdue, and Isaiah Miller, who will lead No. 13 seed UNC Greensboro against Florida State.
One of the trendy upset picks is No. 14 seed Colgate over Arkansas. Both teams get up and down the floor at a breakneck pace, but if the Raiders want to hang around into the second half, they’ll need Jordan Burns to light it up. One of the nation’s prolific shooters averages 17.0 points while shooting 44.4% from the arc.
“We’ve got to contain Burns,” Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said. “They’re an analytics team. They make 3s. They make layups. So, we look forward to the prep over the next few days.”


At least two veterans will have to provide some leadership from the bench: Michigan star Isaiah Livers is out indefinitely after an MRI taken following a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal win over Maryland revealed a stress fracture in his right foot, and Villanova’s Collin Gillespie tore a knee ligament earlier this month to end his season early.
Then there’s Tennessee forward John Fulkerson, who sustained facial fractures in an SEC Tournament win over Florida and underwent surgery Sunday. Fulkerson has not been ruled out, though — his status will be determined later this week.
“I’ve said it before. It’s never going to be about John Fulkerson,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “He wants his teammates to win and wants to be a part of it, and nobody is pulling more for him to do that than his teammates.”
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