March Madness 2017 buzz: Wichita St. coach’s cursing wife booted; Sweet 16 set
A look around the sights and sounds of the NCAA Tournament from reporters at the games and surrounding events:
COACH’S CURSING WIFE ESCORTED OUT: A security guard asked the wife of Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall to leave the lower bowl of Bankers Life Fieldhouse after she started loudly cursing shortly after Sunday’s 65-62 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. A police officer was eventually called and followed Lynn Marshall up the steps. She later was taken back to the playing level on an elevator so she could attend her husband’s news conference. NCAA spokesman David Worlock says it is standard procedure for the wife of a coach to be escorted to the press conference but it is usually done by school officials.
Lynn Marshall remained in the stands about 10 minutes after the final buzzer. She at first consoled fans and family members of the team’s players. But then she started shouting loudly about the calls made during the game. Eventually, the people around coaxed her to leave and the police officer followed. Team spokesman Bryan Holmgren said the team was unaware of the situation and could not comment.
CONFEDERATE FLAG FLIES NEXT TO ARENA: A small group of protesters flew a large Confederate flag from the top of a parking garage next to the Greenville, South Carolina, arena hosting two men’s NCAA Tournament games. The group arrived Sunday morning, raising the flag from the back of a pickup truck. They planned to stay throughout the games and be on grounds as fans arrived at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Greenville police had the group move the truck about 50 feet away, citing safety concerns if the flag tipped. Protesters said they wanted to make their presence known to the NCAA. The governing body lifted its ban against South Carolina holding championships in 2015. By the early afternoon there were about a dozen protesters, many carrying Confederate flags, across the street from the arena’s main entrance.
NCAA executive Dan Gavitt said in a statement the organization would not permit symbols compromising a safe environment on venue property the tournament controls. Other areas are under the city’s jurisdiction, and the NCAA back the city’s efforts to manage actions concerning freedom of speech. Sunday’s games featured North Carolina against Arkansas and Duke against South Carolina.
BIG 10 ISN’T ANY GOOD? DON’T TELL THAT TO PURDUE: This down year for Big Ten basketball just might end on an up note in the NCAA Tournament. Eighth-seeded Wisconsin took out No. 1 overall seed and defending national champion Villanova in a second-round game Saturday, and No. 7 Michigan ousted No. 2 Louisville on Sunday. In between, No. 4 Purdue defeated No. 5 Iowa State.
None of the Big Ten’s seven tournament teams were seeded higher than a No. 4. Now it has three teams in regional semifinals, matching last year’s total, and would have had a fourth if No. 9 Michigan State had been able to upset No. 1 Kansas. The Pac-12, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 also had three teams in the Sweet 16. The Big Ten went into the tournament No. 4 in conference RPI behind the ACC, Big 12 and Big East.
“You guys seem to get a theme, whether it’s good or bad. Tell them to go play Michigan,” Purdue coach Matt Painter told reporters in Milwaukee after his team’s win over the Cyclones.
“People that don’t think our league is any good, tell them to go play Wisconsin. They’re not an eighth seed. I don’t understand that. You don’t understand basketball if you put Wisconsin as the eighth seed. Wisconsin is one of the toughest teams in the country, period.”
FINAL 16 TEAMS SET: The men’s basketball Sweet 16 is set after a Sunday filled with close games and two huge upsets.
No. 7 seed South Carolina bounced No. 2 seed Duke, a team that opened as the betting favorite in some Las Vegas casinos. Another 2, Louisville, was taken down by Michigan to leave the ACC with only one team in the field. The teams now return home to get ready for the next set of games that begin Thursday. Here’s a look at the Sweet 16 by region:
EAST REGIONAL: Wisconsin, Florida, Baylor, South Carolina.
MIDWEST REGIONAL: Kansas, Purdue, Oregon, Michigan. SOUTH REGIONAL: North Carolina, Butler, UCLA, Kentucky. WEST REGIONAL: Gonzaga, West Virginia, Xavier, Arizona.
A TEAM OF DESTINY: Perhaps the most buzz-worthy field goal Sunday in college basketball happened to be one made in the women’s tournament.
Maryland was already enjoying a heck of a second quarter when Destiny Slocum scrambled in position to take a buzzer-beating shot. Squaring up from just outside the opposite arc, she stretched both arms behind her head and let the ball fly.
Slocum’s 70-foot shot capped a pivotal run, and the Terrapins blew past West Virginia 83-56 Sunday to advance to the women’s Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Here are a couple of videos of the amazing shot:
- ^ @ESPNAndyKatz (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/jnjddY7dTT (t.co)
- ^ March 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ Watch John Beilein break out a water gun in Michigan’s wild locker room celebration (www.mlive.com)
- ^ to advance to the women’s Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. (www.testudotimes.com)
- ^ #NCAAW (twitter.com)
- ^ @umdwbb (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/oHXtDluaCj (t.co)
- ^ March 19, 2017 (twitter.com)
- ^ #Terps (twitter.com)
- ^ pic.twitter.com/RlRADYz5Z4 (t.co)
- ^ March 19, 2017 (twitter.com)