The Latest: Appleby cleared to play for Florida
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)The Latest on the second round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):___7:45 p.m.Florida guard Tyree Appleby has been cleared to play and was in the starting lineup for No. 1 seed in the second round for a third time, joining the 2000 team against Arizona and the 2017 squad against Villanova. Sister Jean Delores Schmidt gave an inspirational pregame prayer to her Loyola Chicago team before the eighth-seeded Ramblers met top-seeded Illinois in Sunday’s second round. UCLA and Abilene Christian face off Monday, assuring that at least one double-digit seed will reach the Sweet 16. This is the first time four teams seeded 13th or worse made it to the second round.
Not NCAA Property: Players push for reform on social media
The National College Players Association, an advocacy group for college athletes, said in a statement Wednesday night that player from at least 15 teams competing in the men's basketball tournament tweeted in support of #NotNCAAProperty. — Meetings with state and federal lawmakers and Biden administration officials to advocate for laws that give college athletes physical, academic and financial protections. The group said it also hoping for a Supreme Court ruling in support of the plaintiffs in Alston v. NCAA. Earlier this year he was among several college athletes in Iowa to publicly back the state legislature's NIL bill. Football players from the Pac-12 threatened boycotts over concerns about COVID-19 protocols, social justice issues and economic rights for college athletes.
Pick Six: Veterans to watch as NCAA Tournament begins
(AP Photo/Chase Stevens)INDIANAPOLIS – There has never been a better time to have senior leadership in the NCAA Tournament than this season. AdVirginia intends to play after withdrawing from the ACC Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols, which means fans will get to say Sam Hauser running the show. Dru Smith is their leading scorer and Jeremiah Tilmon finally reached his potential this season, and both aim to help Missouri snap a four-game NCAA Tournament skid. Herb Jones is an All-American candidate and Jaden Shackelford is Alabama's leading scorer, but John Petty Jr. makes the SEC Tournament champs go. Then there's Tennessee forward John Fulkerson, who sustained facial fractures in an SEC Tournament win over Florida and underwent surgery Sunday.
No. 3 Illinois gets past No. 5 Iowa, into Big Ten title game
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS – Illinois center Kofi Cockburn learned some hard lessons dueling with Luka Garza as a freshman. The victory sends the Illini to the Big Ten Tournament championship game. They made themselves at home, cheering loudly each time Cockburn made a play, while booing the foul calls against Illinois. A 9-0 run midway through the first half gave Illinois a 22-14 lead that it never surrendered. BIG PICTUREIowa: The Hawkeyes won't go away quietly in the NCAA Tournament, as Illinois found out Saturday.
Garza gets 21 points, No. 5 Iowa tops No. 25 Wisconsin 77-73
Iowa center Luka Garza walks off the court after an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin, Sunday, March 7, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. All rights reservedIOWA CITY, Iowa – It was Senior Day, but Luka Garza didn’t know he was going to have to give a speech. Minutes after the 6-foot-11 star scored 21 points and had 16 rebounds to lead the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes over No. 25 Wisconsin 77-73 Sunday, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta announced Garza’s jersey No. “Those two guys (Garza and Bohannon) were going to make sure we didn’t lose the game,” McCaffery said.
Dickinson impresses as No. 3 Michigan routs No. 9 Iowa 79-57
Dickinson gave Garza fits around the basket, and Franz Wagner scored 21 points to lead No. Michigan answered that with a 14-2 run that took place mostly while Dickinson was on the bench. The 7-foot-1 Dickinson, who like Garza went to high school in the Washington area, blocked Garza's first shot attempt of the game. “I know I’ve got to be better for my team,” Garza said. Michigan: The Wolverines have only one day off before playing at Indiana on Saturday.
Franklin's late shot sends Indiana past No. 8 Iowa 67-65
Indiana guard Armaan Franklin (2) shoots the winning basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Bloomington, Ind. Franklin sank a 15-foot, tiebreaking jumper with 1.8 seconds left to cap off a late rally that gave the Hoosiers a 67-65 victory over No. “If you’re going to take the last shot, that’s the guy we wanted to get the ball," Miller said. Iowa has lost two straight overall, four of its last five and both games this season to Indiana. Indiana improved to 2-5 against ranked opponents this season — both against Iowa.
Garza scores 33, No. 5 Iowa beats No. 16 Minnesota 86-71
Iowa center Luka Garza (55) celebrates with teammate Jordan Bohannon (3) after making a 3-point basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Minnesota, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. All rights reservedIOWA CITY, Iowa – Luka Garza scored 33 points and Joe Wieskamp added 20 as No. Iowa, which led 39-37 at halftime, opened the second half with a 22-6 run. Minnesota (10-4, 3-4) rallied from a 63-45 deficit to get to within five points twice late in the second half. The 1,000th point came on a free throw with 17:48 left in the second half.
No. 10 Iowa wins 77-75 as free throws cost No. 14 Rutgers
Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon (3) shoots against Rutgers during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. 10 Iowa, but otherwise, 14th-ranked Rutgers managed to stifle the Big Ten's top offense. Garza scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half and Iowa took advantage of Rutgers' abysmal free-throw shooting for a 77-75 victory Saturday. Rutgers (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) has struggled at the foul line this season, hitting just 62%. “Wins and losses happen, but what we took away from today is we got to hit foul shots,” Rutgers guard Ron Harper Jr. said.
No. 1 Zags: Gonzaga begins season atop Top 25 for first time
FILE - Gonzaga players celebrate after defeating Saint Mary's in an NCAA college basketball game in the final of the West Coast Conference men's tournament in Las Vegas, in this Tuesday, March 10, 2020, file photo. Gonzaga will begin the college basketball season No. 1 for the first time after coach Mark Few's bunch earned 28 first-place votes in the preseason AP Top 25 poll released Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
No. 1 Zags: Gonzaga begins season atop Top 25 for first time
Iowa was picked fifth behind national player of the year front-runner Luka Garza, its highest preseason ranking in school history. The Bears, who also have their highest preseason ranking, spent five weeks at No. THE REST OF THE POLLCreighton lost Ty-Shon Alexander to the NBA and Davion Mintz to Kentucky but still landed the highest preseason ranking in school history at No. 17, its highest preseason ranking since the final Phi Slama Jama team of Hakeem Olajuwon began the 1983-84 season at No. 6 in the final poll last season but losing Mountain West player of the year Malachi Flynn and two other elite producers.