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.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Getting to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament is nothing new for Gonzaga and Arizona. The task this weekend for the Bulldogs and Wildcats will be trying to make it out of the West Region and take that next step to the Final Four. The process starts Thursday when top-seeded Gonzaga (34-1) faces No. 4 seed West Virginia (28-8) and second-seeded Arizona (32-4) faces No. 11 seed Xavier (23-13).
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- No. 11 seed Xavier (23-13) vs. No. 2 seed Arizona (32-4) Third round, West region; San Jose, California; 10:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Xavier is the lone double-digit seed left in a Sweet 16 filled with power programs. The Musketeers pulled off a pair of upsets to reach the regional semifinals, beating No. 6 seed Maryland and No. 3 Florida State the first weekend of the tournament.
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.
Tyler Dorsey provided a preview of his tournament success in early February when the Ducks hosted then-No. 5 Arizona. The sophomore scored 23 points, including six 3-pointers, and the Ducks routed the Wildcats 85-58. Oregon's 16 total 3-pointers in that game were its most since opening Matthew Knight Arena in 2011. After the victory, Dillon Brooks summed up his teammate: "Tyler's the X-factor on our team." Dorsey is solidifying his reputation in the NCAA Tournament.
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.
It's on to the weekend that many consider the defining mark of a season. Reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and a season is a success. Two wins from the Final Four and all the weekday games are in prime time. "I just told everybody, just wait," Michigan's John Beilein, one of three coaches taking a Big Ten team to the round of 16, said of the conference's early struggles.
The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): 12 a.m. The Sweet 16 is set after a Sunday filled with close games and two huge upsets. No. 7 seed South Carolina bounced No. 2 seed Duke, a team that opened as the betting favorite in some Las Vegas casinos. Another 2, Louisville, was taken down by Michigan to leave the ACC with only one team in the field.
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) -- No. 2 seed Arizona (31-4) vs. No. 7 Saint Mary's (29-4) Second round, West region; Salt Lake City; 7:45 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Saint Mary's brings the No. 2 scoring defense in the nation to face an Arizona team that's averaged 90.25 points in its last five games. The Wildcats have been one of the hottest teams in the country while winning the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Gonzaga got the credit it deserved this year -- in the form of a No. 1 seed -- for making its schedule as challenging as it could. Maybe it shouldn't be so hard, though.
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.
The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times EDT): 12:55 a.m. It's been 20 years since a Pac-12 team won the national championship, and Arizona is out to match what the 1997 Wildcats pulled off. They're off on the right foot, beating North Dakota 100-82 in the final game of a day that saw two teams make their NCAA Tournament debuts. Northwestern's inaugural visit ended in a stunning victory over Vanderbilt.
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.
AP POLL ALERT: Villanova is new No. 1 in men's hoops; Gonzaga 2nd, followed by Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina
NEW YORK (AP) -- AP POLL ALERT: Villanova is new No.
Whittling down 68 candidates and deciding who will be the last one standing is a tedious task. But enough about what seemed like a never-ending presidential election cycle. Take a break, America. It's Bracket Time again.