NCAA News Wire
College basketball notebook: Kentucky tops NCAA field
Undefeated, top-ranked Kentucky was selected the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, while Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova received the other No. 1 seeds in the tournament.
The seedings and matchups for the 68-team field were announced Sunday afternoon, with the Final Four set for April 4 and 6 in Indianapolis.
Wisconsin, which beat Michigan State in overtime in the Big Ten title game Sunday, is the No. 1 seed in the West, and selection committee chairman Scott Barnes said the Badgers would have been a No. 1 seed even if they had lost to the Spartans.
Villanova received the top seed in the East, while Virginia, the ACC regular-season champ, is the second seed. The Cavaliers seemed to be in line for a No. 1 seed until they lost to North Carolina in the ACC tournament semifinals.
Duke, which won neither the ACC regular-season nor tournament title, earned the No. 1 seed in the South Region. Virginia and Duke met just once in the regular season, and the Blue Devils won — in Charlottesville — which helped provide separation in the final conversation for the top line. Duke also won at Wisconsin and at Louisville and had a 30-point victory over Notre Dame.
–Alabama fired coach Anthony Grant after six seasons. The Crimson Tide struggled over the final two months of the season, finishing 18-14 and tied for eighth in the Southeastern Conference.
Grant, 48, won at least 20 games three times and made an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012. His Alabama teams went 117-85, including two NIT appearances (2011 and 2013). He came to Alabama from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he went 76-25 and made two NCAA Tournament appearances.
–Former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. is home recovering after undergoing intestinal surgery less than two weeks ago, the school said in a statement.
The 74-year-old Hall of Famer had corrective surgery for a benign twisted intestine.
Thompson, the father of current Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, guided the Hoyas to the NCAA championship in 1984, becoming the first African American head coach to win a major college national title.
Thompson did not attend the Big East tournament for his duties as a color commentator for Westwood One as a radio analyst. The Hoyas lost in the semifinals but were expected to receive an at-
–St. John’s center Chris Obekpa, one of the best shot-blockers in the country, was suspended for two weeks for violating a team rule, coach Steve Lavin announced.
Obekpa will not be available for games prior to March 29, which mean he would miss the Red Storm’s first four games of the NCAA Tournament and will not play again this season unless St. John’s reaches the Final Four.
“All of the young men associated with our program are held to standards consistent with the aims and mission of our university,” Lavin said in a statement. “Accountability is tied to the decision making of our student-athletes. It is our hope Chris will learn from this experience.”
–The joy of reaching the NCAA Tournament had a damaging effect on Georgia State coach Ron Hunter.
While celebrating his team’s 38-36 win over Georgia Southern on Sunday in the Sun Belt Conference championship game, which gave Georgia State an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, Hunter tore his Achilles tendon, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.,
Hunter had to be helped from the court and was on crutches afterward, but was still smiling.
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