Referee Bert Smith collapsed on the court just a few minutes into Tuesday’s Elite Eight game between Gonzaga and USC.
Just over four minutes into the game, USC was bringing the ball down the court as they were losing 11-4. One of the officials blew his whistle to stop play after seeing his partner down on the ground.
Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd spotted Smith on the ground and immediately went over to check on him. A stretcher came out for Smith, who was taken off the court.
Smith later woke up and was sitting up after being taken away on the stretcher at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
A video shows that Smith showed signs of issues on the possession prior to his collapse.
William Henderson, an alternate official, replaced Smith in the game.
Here is an update provided on the status of Smith.
Kim Mulkey wants the NCAA to stop COVID-19 testing so that it doesn’t interfere with the Final Four.
Mulkey’s Baylor Bears lost 69-67 to UConn in the Elite Eight on Monday. On the same night, Baylor’s men’s basketball team reached the Final Four with a win over Arkansas.
Mulkey expressed her opinion after the game.
“I don’t think my words will matter, but after the games today and tomorrow, there are four teams left on the men’s side and the women’s side. They need to dump the COVID testing. Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that end up testing positive or something, and then they don’t get to play in the Final Four? So, you need to just forget the COVID test and let the four teams that are playing in each Final Four go battle it out,” Mulkey said.
On the men’s side, VCU didn’t even get to play in the NCAA Tournament due to a sudden COVID-19 outbreak within their program. All the members of the program never got a chance to finish what they started. Mulkey doesn’t want to see that happen in the Final Four.
Houston and Baylor have reached the Final Four in the men’s NCAA Tournament. On the women’s side, UConn and Arizona have made it.
Photo: Caesarscott/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 3.0
There is an interesting aspect of Chris Beard’s contract buyout from Texas Tech that could be of particular interest to Texas.
The Longhorns reportedly have Beard at the top of their list in their search for a new head men’s basketball coach.
The Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton noted on Friday that Beard’s buyout if he leaves for another Big 12 team drops from $5 million to $4 million on April 1.
That’s not an April Fools’ joke, either. Beard becomes $1 million cheaper for Texas to hire come Thursday.
Texas Tech has kept things silent regarding Beard for the time being.
None of this means that Beard is leaving for Texas. But what we do know is that if there is any movement on that front, it might not happen until after Beard’s buyout drops on Thursday.
Beard, 48, attended Texas and was a student manager for the basketball program while in school. He has been at Texas Tech for five seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament championship game in his third season.
UCLA escaped against Alabama on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament with an 88-78 win in overtime and overcame a “March Madness” shot.
UCLA was leading 65-62 with under five seconds left and Alabama had the ball. The Bruins did not foul and allowed the Crimson Tide to attempt a three-pointer. Naturally, Alex Reese made the 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game and send it to overtime.
So why didn’t UCLA foul instead of giving Alabama a chance to make the 3-pointer to tie the game? Head coach Mick Cronin explained after the game. He said that Alabama’s coach knew he wanted to foul, so they wanted to be careful about not fouling while someone was shooting. The result was allowing Alabama the shot because the Tide escaped a double team.
Cronin acknowledged his players bailed him out and thanked them for doing so.
Now UCLA will face Michigan in the finals of the East Regional with a spot in the Final Four on the line. USC and Oregon State are also representing the Pac-12 in the Elite Eight.
Alabama and UCLA put together the game of the day in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Sunday. The teams traded leads and runs, and Alabama needed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to send the game to overtime. The Bruins dominated in the extra period and won 88-78 to advance to the Elite Eight, where they will take on Michigan.
The Crimson Tide were the No. 2 seed in the region and favored in the game, but they stumbled. So where did they go wrong? They couldn’t make a free throw to save their lives.
The Tide went 11-for-25 (44 percent) at the free throw line in the game. According to ESPN’s Stats and Information, that is the worst mark since Kansas shot 12-for-30 (40 percent) in the championship game against Syracuse in 2003.
That’s really bad.
Perhaps no free throw misses stung more than Herbert Jones missing consecutive free throws with six seconds left and Alabama down 63-62. Had he made his free throws, it would have put pressure on UCLA to deliver a winning basket in regulation. As it was, Jones’ 2-for-7 performance on free throws really hurt Bama.
Now UCLA is on to the Elite Eight, which will give the Pac-12 three of the final eight.
Alabama lost a critical possession in the final minutes of regulation in their game against UCLA in the Sweet 16 on Sunday due to an odd reason.
The Crimson Tide were leading the Bruins 61-60 in their East Regional semifinal game of the NCAA Tournament with just under two minutes left. Bama had possession and they were trying to add to their lead.
John Petty Jr. had the ball and was trying to make a move, but the ball went off Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s foot and out of bounds. However, a replay showed the ball tipped Petty’s shorts before going out of bounds.
The officials broke down the instant replay and decided to give the ball to UCLA.
Even if a replay showed it barely trickled off Petty’s shorts, to me, that is not within the spirit of replay. The ball didn’t change direction. It was really changed by Jaquez. This is an overuse of replay, similar to in baseball when they call a baserunner out whose foot comes off the base for a millisecond as they pop up after a slide.
Alabama ended up needing a miracle 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 65 and send it to overtime (video here).
Maybe this will lead Nate Oats to enforce a rule among his players where they wear tighter-fitting clothing.
Alabama senior Alex Reese came up with one of the shots of March so far to force overtime against UCLA.
The Crimson Tide found themselves trailing by 3 with 4.2 seconds left against the Bruins, and needed something remarkable to happen just to tie it. Enter Reese, a reserve forward who shot just 27.9 percent from three-point range during the season.
Reese’s effort tied the game at 65 and set up overtime. It looked like Alabama was on its way out of the tournament thanks to some extremely poor free throw shooting.
The made three was Reese’s first made shot of the entire game. Sometimes you come up big when it counts the most.
Bill Walton has been one of the big winners of the NCAA Tournament thus far because of his knowledge of and confidence in Pac-12 basketball, and the Hall of Famer remains on fire.
Walton, who known as much for his eccentric personality as his basketball and broadcasting career, appeared on ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Sunday to discuss the success of the Pac-12 in Indianapolis. He repeatedly referred to the Pac-12 by the “Conference of Champions” nickname he has popularized. But the best parts of the interview were when he got Jay Bilas’ name wrong.
As he has done in the past, Walton referred to Bilas as “Jake” three times in a 10-minute period. The first was when Bilas asked Walton if he thinks the Pac-12 teams can channel the spirit of legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, who was from Indiana. Walton took a swipe at Bilas over playing for Duke.
“It’s not about channeling yesterday, it’s about channeling now,” Walton said. “This is about the poise, the confidence and the competitive greatness, Jake. Remember, you tried to get into UCLA and they sent you away. They said go over there to North Carolina, or whatever that state is called that you live in.”
Bilas and his colleagues immediately burst into laughter, but Walton just kept on going. He later called Bilas “Jake” again when talking about the success UCLA has had this season and as a program.
“One of the remarkable things about UCLA is that in 14 months, this team has gone from nothing to being on the cusp of winning another championship,” Walton said. “And never forget, Jake, that UCLA has the most championships of all the programs out there — three ahead of Kentucky, and then who knows who’s behind them?”
Walton pulled out the “Jake” one more time toward the end of the segment. You can see the video below, with the best parts coming at around 2:43 and 5:08:
Walton, who calls games for ESPN’s Pac-12 Network, hilariously put all five Pac-12 teams that made the tournament — USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and Colorado — in his Final Four. Most people thought he was being a homer, but the Pac-12 has shined in the tournament thus far. Four of the five teams remain alive, with 12-seed Oregon State already in the Elite 8.
If we know anything from his stories like the one about a high bike ride, it’s that Walton is often on his own planet. We’re not surprised he needles Bilas by calling him the wrong name.
Photo: JAYZWELLING/Wikimedia via CC-BY 3.0
Paul Mills got emotional when talking about his team after Oral Roberts was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles made a run in March Madness and were leading Arkansas most of the game until losing at the very end. They were trying to become the first 15-seed to make the Elite Eight but fell short, losing 72-20.
After the game, Mills reflected on his team and got emotional while calling them his favorite team ever.
“I’ll try to say this without crying … my favorite team ever. They mean a lot to me,” Mills said.
Mills was upset with himself for picking up a technical foul late in the game. Knowing they lost by two, he feels the tech was even more detrimental.
“Losing is totally my fault … when you get a technical and lose by two, it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Mills said.
They had a fantastic season, but it’s hard seeing it come to an end, especially when you think you could have done even better.
Arkansas is headed to the Elite Eight after making a big comeback against Oral Roberts on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Davonte Davis got credit for the winning shot.
The Razorbacks came back from down by seven at the half and 12 in the second half to win 72-70.
With just over three seconds left, Davis made a shot from just outside the key to take the lead.
Oral Roberts got the ball after Davis’ basket and missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Davis had 16 points in the win and eight rebounds — not bad for a freshman.
The victory sent Arkansas back to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995, when they made the championship game.