North Carolina, Kentucky face off again for Final Four berth

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Roy Williams wanted another chance at Kentucky after his North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wildcats in December. John Calipari is certain someone knew he hoped not to see North Carolina in the same bracket. Well, Williams got what he wanted, even if college basketball's most storied programs might've wanted to meet at the Final Four. Instead, top-seeded North Carolina and No.

South Final with Kentucky, North Carolina features most wins

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- No. 2 Kentucky (32-5) vs. No. 1 North Carolina (30-7) South Regional final, 5:05 p.m. EDT BOTTOM LINE: No NCAA Tournament game has ever featured so much history as this regional final. North Carolina and Kentucky have combined for 244 tournament wins with this Kentucky's 56th NCAA berth, ahead of only North Carolina (48) for the most appearances ever. Only North Carolina has earned more No.

Anything can happen, but favorites sure are playing like it

Remember when any ol' team could come from nowhere and make the Final Four? That was so 2016. Though Florida and Wisconsin closed out the Sweet 16 with some long-awaited thrills Friday night, the favorites and a few others among this year's Elite Eight are playing more like powerhouses who want to drain all the drama from March Madness.

Elite Eight-bound: Kentucky tops UCLA 86-75 behind Fox's 39

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- De'Aaron Fox credits some sticky Kentucky defense for the Wildcats' latest berth in a regional final. Coach John Calipari begs to differ. He points at Fox, the freshman guard who outplayed UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball with one of the best scoring nights in Kentucky's vaunted NCAA Tournament history.

NCAA Tournament Capsules

Results from the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Friday: ___ EAST REGION FLORIDA 84, WISCONSIN 83 NEW YORK (AP) -- Chris Chiozza went end to end and made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Florida an 84-83 victory against Wisconsin on Friday night in the first overtime game of this NCAA Tournament. Nigel Hayes had given the Badgers (27-10) a 2-point lead with 4 seconds left on two free throws.

Berry scores 26 points and Carolina defeats Butler 92-80

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- North Carolina expects strong offensive performances from junior leaders Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II, but Luke Maye provided an unexpected bonus. Berry scored 26 points, Jackson had 24, but it was the first career double-double from Maye - 16 points and 12 rebounds - that helped set the tone early and send the top-seeded Tar Heels to a 92-80 victory over Butler in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

The Latest: Chiozza's 3 gives SEC an Elite Eight trio

The Latest on the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Friday (all times Eastern): 1:15 a.m. The Southeastern Conference had a big Friday night. Chris Chiozza's incredible running 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted Florida past Wisconsin in overtime, and it gave the SEC three teams in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1986. Kentucky beat UCLA in the South Region, while South Carolina beat Baylor in the East.

Column: NIT is easy to mock, but can lead to bigger things

ATLANTA (AP) -- It's easy enough to brush off the National Invitation Tournament as nothing more than a lame coronation: crowning a champion of the also-rans. Just don't try pushing that narrative on Josh Pastner and Georgia Tech, or any of the other three teams that will be at Madison Square Garden next week for Final Four Lite. When it comes to building a program, the NIT can be an extremely useful tool.

Florida State freshman Jonathan Isaac entering NBA draft

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Jonathan Isaac is the third Florida State player since the season ended to announce he is entering the NBA draft. The 6-foot-10 forward made his announcement in a video on social media on Friday and also informed the school of his decision. Isaac did not say whether he intends to hire an agent, a move that would prevent him from returning to school. He is projected to be a lottery pick.

Latest North Carolina, South Carolina sports

LGBT RIGHTS-NORTH CAROLINA NCAA set to pick title sites, could leave North Carolina out RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The NCAA will start deciding on locations for its upcoming championships next week and has indicated it will leave North Carolina out of that process if the state hasn't changed a law that limits LGBT rights by that time.

TIPPING OFF: Point guard battle part of Kentucky-UCLA allure

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- UCLA's Lonzo Ball and Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox have spent the season putting up big numbers and highlight-reel plays to power two blueblood programs. Come Friday night, one of those talented freshman point guards will move their teams within a win of the Final Four, too -- at the expense of the other.

Crème de la crème: Hoop royalty meet in Memphis for Sweet 16

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Three of college basketball's blue bloods, along with a blue bulldog from Indiana that has had lots of success of its own, have gathered in Memphis for a marquee showdown in the Sweet 16. North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA are joined by upstart Butler in the South Regional -- the only region where the top four seeds all advanced after the opening weekend.

NCAA dismisses Louisville's response in sex scandal case

The NCAA is standing by its allegations against the Louisville men's basketball program and Rick Pitino, saying the coach failed to notice "red flags" in activities by a former staffer who an escort says hired dancers for sex parties with recruits and players. "If Pitino saw no red flags in connection with (Andre) McGee's interactions with then prospective and current student-athletes," the NCAA wrote, "it was because he was not looking for them.

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes to enter NBA draft

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State point guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes is entering the NBA draft. The 6-foot-4 junior made his announcement on Instagram on Thursday and also informed the school of his decision. He did not say whether he intends to hire an agent, a move that prevent him from returning to school. Rathan-Mayes averaged 10.6 points per game this season and averaged 4.8 assists, which was sixth in the conference.

Coach: Guard Darius Thompson to transfer from Virginia

Virginia guard Darius Thompson is transferring, making him the third player to leave the Cavaliers men's basketball program in two days. Coach Tony Bennett made the announcement Thursday, one day after announcing that guard Marial Shayok and forward Jarred Reuter are also leaving. "Although you never want to see young men transfer, I understand this is part of coaching," Bennett said in a statement.

Butler eager to add North Carolina to list of its upsets

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- No. 4 seed Butler (25-8) vs. No. 1 seed North Carolina (29-7) Third round, South region; Memphis, Tennessee; 7:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Butler is 2-4 against No. 1 seeds in the tournament all-time, reaching the national title game in 2010 and 2011 when they knocked off a No. 1 seed. The Bulldogs also beat defending national champ Villanova not once, but twice this season.

Duke says Chase Jeter to transfer to a school closer to home

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke says backup big man Chase Jeter will transfer at the end of the semester. Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the move Thursday, saying he is in good academic standing. Jeter appeared in just 16 games as a sophomore this season, and didn't play after suffering a herniated disk in his back in mid-January. He averaged 2.1 points and 2.7 rebounds while playing about 15 minutes per game.

AP-NC--North Carolina News Digest, NC

Hello! The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The supervisor is Seanna Adcox. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates.

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HORNETS-MAGIC Hornets rally in the fourth quarter for 109-102 win ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kemba Walker scored 22 points and Marco Belinelli came off the bench to add 20 as the Charlotte Hornets pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the Orlando Magic 109-102 on Wednesday night. Charlotte won its third straight game and keeps its Eastern Conference playoff hopes alive after entering the night three games out of eighth place in the standings.