De’Aaron Fox won the personal point guard battle against Lonzo Ball in convincing fashion, and by doing so led No. 2 seed Kentucky to the Elite Eight with an 86-75 win over No. 3 seed UCLA on Friday night at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. Fox, in a rematch from a loss to the Bruins on Dec. 3, had 39 points, the highest of any player in the NCAA Tournament so far this season, to go along with four assists, three rebounds, and two steals. His counterpart, Ball, settled for 10 points off 4-of-10 shooting (1-of-6 from three) with eight assists and four turnovers. “Well, honestly since the postseason started, I’ve been in attack mode,” Fox told reporters after the game. “My teammates just kept going
For the record, Jake Butt shouldn’t “be paid” in the strictest sense of the term — to receive a paycheck for services rendered. Rather, the former Michigan tight end believes players should be able to profit from their statuses as college athletes when the NCAA, its conferences and member schools are already doing the same. (Having an extremely marketable last name probably contributed to the forming of this opinion.) “Something needs to change,” Butt told ESPN.com at Michigan’s pro day. “I don’t want a check from the NCAA. I don’t know if that’s something that’s likely. But the big thing is they say you can’t use your name to benefit. I can’t go into my favorite breakfast spot, Benny’s, I can’t
It took 18 long years, but after Gonzaga exploded onto the national scene with a Cinderella run that came one possession short of the Final Four in 1999, after the program followed up that run with back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16 as a double-digit seed, after 19 straight trips to the NCAA tournament marred by moments of unfathomable heartbreak, the nation’s preeminent mid-major success story is finally headed to the Final Four. What will the ‘Gonzaga is overrated’ crowd say now? Armed with a roster that included a pair of blue-chip guards in their back court, a trio of high-major transfers and a McDonald’s All-American and future first round pick coming off the bench, Mark Few knocked off No. 11 seed Xavier, 83-59, on Saturday night to win the West Region and punch his first ticket to the final weekend of the college basketball season. Nigel Williams-Goss led the way with 23 points, eight boards and four assists and Johnathan Williams III, who was named the region’s Most Outstanding Player, added 19 points and nine boards as Gonzaga buried 12 threes and jumped out to an early lead they would never relinquish in a game that never felt like it was in doubt.