Murray State player's mom is killed in a car crash

There's been a lot of sadness surrounding the NCAA tournament this year. We detailed the story of Evan Fjeld losing his mother to breast cancer, which happened a week ago Tuesday, and Morgan State has played its season while one of its members has been in the hospital, battling leukemia.

Unfortunately, we have some more horrible, horrible news to pass on, as Murray State junior Picasso Simmons lost his mother Monday after she was killed in an auto accident.

His mother, Freeda, was a track star at Murray State in the 1980s, and the rest of his family attended the university as well; his sister also participated in track and his father was a member of the football team.

Picasso told the team he will travel with them (they leave Tuesday) for the tournament, at least for the first game. Murray State spokesman Dave Winder spoke briefly on the team tragedy to the Associated Press.

"His mom was real, real happy that he was getting a chance to go," Winder said. "He just feels that she would want him to go, and he wants to honor her in that way."

Murray State, a 13-seed in the West, plays against Vanderbilt in San Jose, Calif., Thursday around 2:30 p.m.

Simmons is a walk-on player with the Racers and has seen playing time in seven games this season.