SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Sean Miller had just been named Xavier's head basketball coach when he began meeting with athletic director Dawn Rogers about filling out his staff. Rogers had previously worked with Chris Mack, then on Skip Prosser's staff at Wake Forest, and suggested Miller consider him with the Musketeers. Miller knew nothing about Mack, but during the meticulous process of finding assistants, the Xavier alum's name kept coming up.
The NCAA Tournament's first weekend closed with a flourish, a Sunday full of scintillating games after three days of good-not-always-great basketball. That put the madness back in March and should carry over into a regional round filled with great matchups and big-name programs. Here's a rundown of the top games, players, coaches and interesting story lines for the Sweet 16: ___ TOP GAMES UCLA vs. Kentucky, South Region; Friday, Memphis. Blue bloods in Bluff City.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's win over defending national champion and overall No. 1 seed Villanova shook up office pools around the country, though the tested Badgers aren't a typical No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Eleventh-seeded Xavier might be a surprise team in the regional semifinals, but with their 3-point prowess, the Musketeers are capable of shooting their way past any opponent.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- The Atlantic Coast Conference's strong regular season only stood to set up a first-weekend flameout in the NCAA Tournament. The league had a record nine bids, but North Carolina is the only one alive in the Sweet 16. And the South Region's No. 1 seed was fortunate to survive a second-round game against Arkansas to get there.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Arizona and Saint Mary's are no strangers after scrimmaging during the preseason three times in the last four years. So, the Wildcats weren't surprised when the Gaels punched them in the mouth early. Lauri Markkanen and Allonzo Trier shined and No. 2-seeded Arizona rallied to defeat No. 7 Saint Mary's 69-60 on Saturday night and advance to the West Regional's Sweet 16.
Results from the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday: ___ EAST REGION WISCONSIN 65, VILLANOVA 62 BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the NCAA Tournament by eighth-seeded Wisconsin, which overcame foul trouble for two of its stars in the second half Saturday to upset the defending champions 65-62 in the East region. Nigel Hayes scored 19 points, dropping a layup in traffic with 11.
NCAA TOURNAMENT Wisconsin ousts Villanova UNDATED (AP) -- There will be a new champion crowned in NCAA men's basketball on April 3. Wisconsin made sure of that by knocking off Villanova. Nigel Hayes hit a tiebreaking layup with 11.4 seconds left as the eighth-seeded Badgers beat the No. 1 overall seed, 65-62.
The Latest on Day 3 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): 12:05 p.m. It took three days for the NCAA Tournament to produce a major upset. It was a stunner that busted a ton of brackets. Villanova, the defending national champion and the top overall seed, was upended by eighth-seeded Wisconsin 65-62. Fellow No.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Arizona's freshman combination of Lauri Markkanen and Rawle Alkins didn't act their age Thursday night in their NCAA Tournament debut. The pair combined for 40 points as the Wildcats began what's expected to be a deep postseason run. Markkanen scored 20 points as second-seeded Arizona cruised to a 100-82 victory over No. 15 North Dakota in the first round of the NCAA's West Regional.
Results from the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday: ___ WEST REGION NORTHWESTERN 68, VANDERBILT 66 SALT LAKE CITY -- Northwestern got its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, 68-66 over Vanderbilt, after Commodores guard Matthew Fisher-Davis inexplicably grabbed Wildcats guard Bryant McIntosh on purpose, sending McIntosh to the free throw line for the go-ahead points with 15 seconds left.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- No. 2 seed Arizona (30-4) vs No. 14 seed North Dakota (22-9) First round, West region; Salt Lake City; 9:50 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Arizona is one of the hottest teams in the country after winning the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles. The Wildcats have advanced to the Elite Eight three times under coach Sean Miller, but have not reached the Final Four since 2001.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The West Region of the NCAA Tournament has a decidedly Western feel for a change. Led by West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga and Pac-12 tournament winner Arizona, the top two teams in the West Region are actually from the Western part of the United States for the first time in 26 years. "I think that's smart to be honest with you," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Arizona stayed resilient while its best player was suspended, fought through injuries, kept finding ways to win. That composure helped the Wildcats share the Pac-12 regular-season crown with Oregon and withstand a furious rally by the Ducks in the conference title game. Now they're Pac-12 Tournament champions and have a decent shot to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. Led by ever-calm sophomore guard Allonzo Trier, No.
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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A spot in the championship game secure, Arizona coach Sean Miller called a timeout with 0.9 seconds left against UCLA, threw the ball onto the floor and began shouting in the face of Kadeem Allen. Miller said it was to give the senior guard his due and make sure his team was poised at the end the game.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Josh Hart scored 19 points, including the game-winning basket with 9.6 seconds to play, and No. 2 Villanova beat Seton Hall 55-53 on Friday night in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. Hart's three-point play on a rebound was the fifth lead change of the final 4 minutes and there were two ties.
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Arizona allowed Colorado to hang around for a half. Once the Wildcats got rolling, there was no stopping them on the way to the Pac-12 semifinals. Lauri Markkanen scored 20 points, Allonzo Trier added 19 and No. 7 Arizona pulled away in the second half for a 92-78 victory over Colorado on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the conference tourney. "They were offensive juggernauts tonight," Colorado coach Tad Boyle said.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Desmond Bane had 16 points, hitting three free throws with 2.5 seconds left, to help TCU stun top-ranked Kansas 85-82 in the Big 12 quarterfinals Thursday. The eighth-seeded Horned Frogs (19-14) blew an 11-point halftime lead, and still trailed 80-76 with just over a minute remaining.
UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball has been named player and newcomer of the year, while Arizona coach Sean Miller has been named coach of the year on the All-Pac-12 Conference men's basketball team announced Tuesday by The Associated Press. Ball arrived at UCLA with plenty of hype and lived up to this season, leading the nation in assists with 7.8 per game. The 6-foot-6 guard also averaged 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds for the third-ranked Bruins.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Joel Berry II scored 28 points -- including a critical late-game burst of seven straight for his team -- to help No. 5 North Carolina hold off No. 17 Duke 90-83 on Saturday night. Isaiah Hicks added 21 points for the Tar Heels, who battled through a nearly shot-for-shot fight with their fiercest rival to finish unbeaten at home.