PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jay Wright patted his chest in appreciation of the cheering crowd before he threw a first pitch to Phillies manager Joe Girardi.
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Jay Wright attended mass — as one does working at the only Augustinian Catholic university in the nation — and often found himself on his smartphone more than he was listening to the sermon.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jay Wright shocked college basketball Wednesday night with his immediate resignation at Villanova, the Big East program he led to two national championships and four Final Fours in a Hall of Fame career.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An enduring image of the NCAA Final Four will be Villanova coach Jay Wright sitting on the bench with his arm around injured starting guard Justin Moore shortly before tip-off of the Wildcats' semifinal matchup against Kansas.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Villanova needed Justin Moore on offense, to add another scoring threat and spread the floor against Kansas' swarming interior defense. The Wildcats could have used him on defense, to rotate out on the Jayhawks' shooters and help dig down into the post.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ochai Agbaji followed a celebrating stream of Kansas players off the floor at the Final Four, their shouts of “One more!” echoing all the way up the tunnel of the Superdome and right to the door of their locker room.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — North Carolina has won six national championships and reached more Final Fours than any program in college basketball. Duke has claimed five titles under retiring coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kansas just surpassed Kentucky for the most wins in the history of the game on its way to the Final Four.
March Madness has taken a power turn as it turns to the Final Four. No more plucky underdogs, much as we enjoyed the run by Saint Peter's. No more double-digit seeds looking for upsets.
This year's Final Four is Duke and Carolina, Kansas and Villanova, four powerhouses looking to add another national championship to their formidable resumes.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bill Self was wading through old video of Villanova this week, trying to scout a specific action that the Wildcats use on the offensive end of the floor, when the Hall of Fame Kansas coach did something he's avoided the past four years.
This year's Final Four includes quite a collection of big-name programs — but this hasn't been a particularly dominant group this season.
In fact, the top three teams — and five of the top six — in the current Pomeroy rankings are absent.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The post origination story, as Villanova coach Jay Wright recalls, began with Ryan Arcidiacono.
The 6-foot-3 point guard had a knack for posting up defenders, even bigger ones, so Wright started calling plays for him in the paint.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A bunch of one-and-done phenoms brought together by Kentucky coach John Calipari stepped onto the floor into the spotlight of the cavernous Superdome 10 years ago, oozing with the kind of NBA potential that made it clear their college basketball careers were about to end at the Final Four.
1938 — Joe Louis knocks out Harry Thomas in the fifth round in Chicago to retain his world heavyweight title.
1940 — Governor Herbert Lehman of New York signs the Dunnigal bill, which legalizes pari-mutuel wagering and outlaws bookmakers at the state’s racetracks.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — At long last, some of the cold, hard cash in the billion-dollar world of college sports is hitting the wallets of the players themselves by legitimate means. One expert estimates by the time next year's Final Four rolls around, every men's basketball and football player on a major Division I roster could be making $100,000 or more.
This year's Final Four is either unprecedented or pretty close.
In one corner, North Carolina is making a record 21st appearance in the Final Four. Its semifinal opponent, Duke, is waiting with the sport's winningest coach.
There’s no room for a surprise team at this Final Four.
Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Villanova have combined for 17 national championships. Each of the schools has won at least three titles, making this the first Final Four in which each of the teams already had won multiple championships.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Christian Braun's eyes opened wide when he learned that after Kansas had beaten Miami to return to the Final Four such a raging party had broken out back in Lawrence that authorities had to shut down Massachusetts Street, the popular bar and restaurant district near campus.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski refused to let his players ponder the possibility of facing North Carolina for the first time in the NCAA Tournament after the Blue Devils had punched their Final Four ticket with a win over Arkansas.
Coach K's final chapter will have a distinctly blue tint.
Two weeks of upsets and underdogs in the books, the Final Four is down to four blue blood programs: Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Villanova.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jermaine Samuels and Collin Gillespie were both on the floor for the final seconds of Villanova’s national championship game victory four years ago. They were true freshmen on a title team with five NBA-bound players.
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Villanova guard and second-leading scorer Justin Moore will undergo surgery this week for a torn Achilles tendon, a brutal blow for the Wildcats ahead of their Final Four game with Kansas.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell tour is headed to his record-setting 13th Final Four after Duke overwhelmed Arkansas 78-69 on Saturday night in the Blue Devils’ most complete performance of this NCAA Tournament run.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Villanova coach Jay Wright has won national championships with well-balanced and fundamentally sound teams, yet even he knew staying in contention for another title was going to take a rugged and exhaustive effort.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Taze Moore was a player Houston coach Kelvin Sampson didn't even know. Jamal Shead was too young and inexperienced to be expected to make such an impact.
Now they are part of a completely revamped starting lineup that is trying to get the Cougars (32-5) into consecutive Final Fours for the first time since 1982-84 in the Phi Slama Jama era, long before any of the current players were born.
A look at what’s happening in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday:
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Villanova began the season among the figurative favorites to reach the Final Four.
The Wildcats were ranked No. 4 and boasted a veteran roster that reached all the way back to the 2018 national championship season.
Duke keeps winning games in the NCAA Tournament and Mike Krzyzewski keeps telling anyone who will listen, “It’s not the coaching.”
There’s some evidence to suggest he’s right.
For one thing, Duke relies almost entirely on freshmen and sophomores, which means his core group of players have only had so much time to soak up Coach K's decades of gathered wisdom.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Houston coach Kelvin Sampson gritted his teeth and raised his arms before emphatically pounding his right fist into his left hand 11 times while celebrating with ecstatic Cougars fans who were not too far from home.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — JD Notae scored 21 points despite missing 20 shots and fourth-seeded Arkansas made Gonzaga miserable on both ends of the floor, bouncing the top overall seed from the NCAA Tournament with a 74-68 win on Thursday night.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Villanova Wildcats have made quite a second home for themselves in the Alamo City, where they won a national championship in 2018 and are carving a path toward another.
Jermaine Samuels scored 22 points, Collin Gillespie scored 12 and made a key 3-pointer late, and Villanova controlled Michigan in a 63-55 Sweet 16 victory on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament.
A look at what's happening in the NCAA Tournament as the Sweet 16 begins today:
A look at what's happening in the NCAA Tournament as the Sweet 16 begins Thursday:
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels and Villanova are back in the city of the Alamo for the first time since winning the national championship there four years ago. Even the opponent is the same, though in a different arena for this somewhat unexpected Sweet 16 matchup against Michigan.
The second week of the NCAA Tournament is when the Sweet 16 gets reduced to the Final Four.
But those aren’t the only numbers to know heading into this week’s regional semifinals and finals.
To get a better understanding of the final 16 teams competing for the national title, here’s at least one statistic worth remembering about each of them (grouped by region):
Duke survived a tense finish against Michigan State and extended Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament run, beating Tom Izzo’s Spartans 85-76 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame coaches’ bittersweet last tussle.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Collin Gillespie saw Eric Dixon out of the corner of his eye and sent a cross-court pass that doubled as permission to let it fly.
So Dixon did, knocking down the biggest shot of his team's season, one that sent the second-seeded Wildcats back to familiar territory against a familiar opponent on a familiar stage.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Duke began retiring Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament with minimal stress, beating Cal State Fullerton 78-61 on Friday night.
Freshman Paolo Banchero scored 17 points to lead the Blue Devils (29-6), who jumped to a double-digit lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes and remained in control throughout.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Villanova's hangover from another Big East title lasted maybe 10 minutes. Once the Wildcats found their footing, they ran away from scrappy Delaware.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The packaging is still there. On the surface anyway. Don't be fooled. The whole “Cinderella” thing surrounding Loyola Chicago no longer applies.
Yes, the enduring symbol for the Jesuit school located hard against Lake Michigan in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood remains Sister Jean, the centenarian nun and team chaplain who became a folk hero during the school's stunning run to the Final Four in 2018.
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Jay and Patty Wright held hands as they weaved their way around the Madison Square Garden court, trying —- if only for a second or two — to thank the crowd that stuck around after the Big East Tournament title game until ushers blocked anyone from approaching the couple.
NO. 1 ARIZONA
Tucson, Arizona 31-3
The second-ranked Wildcats won the Pac-12 Conference Tournament championship in Tommy Lloyd’s first season as coach after taking over for the fired Sean Miller in the aftermath of a federal corruption investigation of college basketball.
Last season's NCAA Tournament ultimately unfolded in familiar fashion.
Upsets early — hi, Oral Roberts! — before the powerhouses eventually took over.
By the time the championship game rolled around, undefeated Gonzaga and twice-beaten Baylor — two No.
Tommy Lloyd has quickly returned Arizona to national prominence after a tumultuous stretch that included NCAA charges tied to a federal corruption investigation into college basketball, the firing of its men's coach and no postseason play.
NEW YORK (AP) — Hunter Cattoor scored a career-high 31 points and seventh-seeded Virginia Tech won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament for the first time, beating Duke 82-67 on Saturday night to deny Mike Krzyzewski a league title in his final season.
NEW YORK (AP) — While Collin Gillespie waited to twirl the souvenir net from atop a ladder he could not have climbed a year ago, he was spotted by another former Villanova star who knows how to win a championship game in crunch time.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tyrece Radford scored 19 points and Quenton Jackson made five throws in the final minute Friday as Texas A&M beat fourth-ranked Auburn 67-62 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, a loss that could wind up costing the Tigers a No.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jermaine Samuels tossed up off-balance shots that fluttered through the net and 3s that had Villanova rocking. Brandon Slater may as well had his name in lights on the marquee with a block that will live in Big East lore.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Christian Koloko scored 24 points, Bennedict Mathurin added 20 and No. 2 Arizona held off Stanford 84-80 on Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals.
The top-seeded Wildcats (29-3) had a hard time shaking the Cardinal in a win late in the regular season and faced a similar issue to open the tournament.
NEW YORK (AP) — After falling way behind, Villanova fought back and showed its championship pedigree.
St. John's reverted to form, too, coming up short in a close game.
That's why the Wildcats are still playing for prizes and the Red Storm are thinking NIT.
NEW YORK (AP) — Collin Gillespie came back to Villanova and filled up his trophy case.
The senior guard won his second consecutive Big East player of the year award Wednesday, and Ed Cooley was selected coach of the year after guiding Providence to its first regular-season championship.