When Michigan was slumping earlier in the season, the coach started thinking Super Bowl, not Final Four. John Beilein conjured up the highlight-reel catch that Patriots receiver Julian Edelman made during New England's game-tying drive in the Super Bowl, and said the Wolverines should keep that sort of play -- an outlier, as he called it -- in mind.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- B.J. Taylor scored 17 points, Tacko Fall had a double-double and Central Florida held on to defeat Illinois 68-58 on Wednesday night to advance to the final four of the NIT. A.J. Davis and Matt Williams added 16 points apiece for the Knights (24-11), who play TCU in a semifinal game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Fall had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Two national player of the year front-runners, Frank Mason III of Kansas and Caleb Swanigan of Purdue, will lead their teams against each other in the Midwest Regional semifinals on Thursday night. In many ways, they're a microcosm of their teams.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- No. 7 seed Michigan (26-11) vs. No. 3 seed Oregon (31-5) Third round, Midwest region; Kansas City, Missouri; 7:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Michigan has won seven in a row and 12 of its last 14 after knocking out second-seeded Louisville in the second round. The Wolverines have been a tournament darling since they escaped tragedy during an aborted takeoff on their way to the Big Ten Tournament.
YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A preliminary investigation into the runway accident involving a plane carrying the Michigan men's basketball team cites a mechanical problem. The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday issued an update about the March 8 crash at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township, near the Ann Arbor school. The aborted takeoff caused extensive damage to the aircraft but only one minor injury during evacuation.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- No. 4 seed Purdue (27-4) vs. No. 1 Kansas (30-4) Third round, Midwest region; Kansas City, Missouri; 9:39 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Kansas ran roughshod through UC Davis and Michigan State to reach the Sweet 16, which will be played about 40 miles from its campus in Lawrence.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Nigel Hayes didn't have to say a word to make his loudest statement in the NCAA Tournament. The verbose forward's reverse layup with 12 seconds left to help beat top overall seed Villanova sent a resounding message to any doubters. The Badgers are back in the Sweet 16 again. "We tried to make sure the caravans of fans (were) full to capacity before we started the tournament.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Ask Moe Wagner who he looked up to when he was younger, and suddenly the Michigan big man's fiery demeanor makes a little more sense. "Kevin Garnett was always my biggest idol, even though our play isn't really similar. Just the way he brings intensity and energy to his team," Wagner said. "That always was something that really impressed me.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Coach Matt Painter kept believing in his team even as he watched Purdue fritter away a 19-point lead. He did, after all, recruit these players to excel in tough times. And he did spend two years using the lessons from consecutive overtime losses in the NCAA Tournament to show his team what it took to survive in March.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- This is March Madness on a whole different level. A bet between two Las Vegas casino owners will cost one of them $1 million if Michigan wins the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Derek Stevens, who owns The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate casinos, plunked down $12,500 on the Wolverines at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas, which was offering 80-to-1 odds before the tournament started.
Everything's magnified in March. A player who has been slumping all season can quickly put that behind him with a couple of big performances in the NCAA Tournament. A team that has struggled can suddenly change its reputation by heating up in the postseason. North Carolina's Joel Berry II, Florida's Devin Robinson and South Carolina's entire team are some of those on the annual tournament roller coaster heading into the Sweet 16.
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.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Tracy Abrams scored 18 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Illinois pulled away midway through the second half to beat Boise State 71-56 on Monday night in the second round of the NIT. No. 2 seed Illinois (20-14) will play fourth-seeded Central Florida (23-11) in a quarterfinal. The game was tied at 49 with 10 minutes left before Illinois closed on a 22-7 run.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa won 10 conference games in the Big Ten this season despite starting its youngest team in decades. That's among the many reasons Hawkeyes fans are buzzing about the future. Iowa (19-15) wrapped up its season Sunday with a 94-92 overtime loss to TCU in the second round of the NIT.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Butler and Purdue celebrated their sweet homecomings by getting right back to work Monday. With both teams winning twice in Milwaukee over the weekend, they are now off to different places to face the top seeds in their respective regionals. Butler plays North Carolina on Thursday in Memphis, part of a South Regional that includes Kentucky and UCLA as well.
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Check all the Xs in the office pool and just-for-fun brackets and defending national champion Villanova and Duke are two of the biggest names eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats and Blue Devils would have been a matchup fit for the marquee at Madison Square Garden. But instead of getting the equivalent of Conor McGregor vs.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Brad Underwood is back home. While the 53-year-old was born in McPherson, Kansas, Illinois became home when he served as an assistant coach at Western Illinois from 1992-2003. It was then that he matched wits with Lon Kruger and Bill Self, and he saw what it meant to play against Illinois. He witnessed the support from the community and the students and was hooked.
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.
Results from the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday: ___ EAST REGION SOUTH CAROLINA 88, DUKE 81 GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Sindarius Thornwell had 24 points, Chris Silva scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and seventh-seeded South Carolina stunned No. 2 seed Duke 88-81 on Sunday night to advance to its first Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament's expanded bracket.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- This season was always going to be a rebuilding year for the Hawkeyes. Now that it's over, Iowa can start pushing toward a potentially long run as an NCAA Tournament program. Alex Robinson and Vladimir Brodziansky each scored 19 points and TCU survived 94-92 in overtime against No. 1 seeded Iowa on Sunday to advance to the NIT quarterfinals.