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No. 1 Virginia avoids 2nd straight huge NCAA tourney upset

No. 1 Virginia avoids 2nd straight huge NCAA tourney upset

No. 1 seed Virginia this year avoided the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history. The Cavaliers rallied from 14 points down Friday to beat No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb 71-56 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Virginia was the top overall seed last year but lost 74-54 to 16th seeded UMBC. It was the first — and still the only — time in 35 years one of the top four teams in the tournament has fallen in their opening game. The Cavaliers trailed 30-16 with 6:42 left in the first half but rallied and cut the Runnin' Bulldogs lead to six at halftime. Virginia then opened the second half with a 25-5 run that ended any ideas of another 1-and-done. The Cavaliers used their trademark stifling defense to force 11 Gardner-Webb turnovers in the first 12 minutes after the break. Virginia coach Tony Bennett told his team all season they needed to turn last year's disaster into something positive. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/MarchMadness and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Georgia football podcast: Deandre Baker’s confidence should be model for UGA program

Georgia football podcast: Deandre Baker’s confidence should be model for UGA program

Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episodes No. 908 (March 22, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about some recent comments from UGA cornerback Deandre Baker that have gotten national attention. Georgia football podcast: Deandre Baker’s confidence should be model for UGA program Beginning of the show: Some recent comments from former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker have gotten a lot of attention. Baker called himself the best cornerback in the upcoming NFL draft. I’ll explain on today’s show why Baker’s confidence in himself should be an example the rest of UGA’s players should attempt to follow. 10-minute mark: I’ll discuss in more detail why UGA fans that hope for changes from UGA’s offense might not get what they want. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… An update on 5-star running back Kendall Milton Reaction to Jeff’s piece comparing UGA linebacker Nakobe Dean to former Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith The latest news involving 4-star wide receiver — and UGA commit — Justin Robinson New details on former UGA commit Warren Brinson — who’s apparently visiting Georgia this weekend And reaction to two elite receivers’ recent suggestion they could play together in college 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including an update on the NCAA Tournament, some interesting questions for Florida coach Dan Mullen regarding his quarterback situation and some candid comments from South Carolina coach Will Muschamp about the Gamecocks’ need to produce more NFL talent. 35-minute mark: I share audio of UGA coach Kirby Smart discussing running back Zamir White’s injury recovery. End of show: I reveal the leaders in our DawgNation Daily bracket contest after day 1 and share the latest Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Deandre Baker’s confidence should be model for UGA program appeared first on DawgNation.

Culver scores 29, leads Texas Tech over Northern Kentucky

Culver scores 29, leads Texas Tech over Northern Kentucky

Texas Tech had won nine straight games, tied for the Big 12's regular-season championship and was flying high before a deflating loss in the conference tournament to lowly West Virginia. The Red Raiders hadn't played in eight days, desperate to put the disappointment behind them. They finally did on Friday. Jarrett Culver had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, leading the No. 3 seed in the West Region to a 72-57 victory over Northern Kentucky in the first round of the nCAA Tournament. 'We just wanted to focus on us and put that behind us, learned and burned,' said Culver, the Big 12 Player of the Year. 'We just focused on us, details, how we got so far and how we made a run in the Big 12 and how we got to the March Madness tournament.' Tariq Owens added 12 points and Davide Moretti had 10 for Texas Tech (27-6), which is trying to reach the Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons for the first time. 'The first game of the tournament is always the toughest,' said Red Raiders coach Chris Beard. 'Just really proud of our guys tonight and our team effort. I thought we won this game as a team.' Tyler Sharpe scored 23 points and Dantez Walton had 11 points and seven rebounds for Northern Kentucky (26-9), the champions of the Horizon League. 'They're everything they're contracted up to be in terms of defensively,' Northern Kentucky coach John Brannen said. 'I did have concerns on our ability to score and that showed up today. 'Their physicality, I was hoping we'd get to the foul line more in terms of driving the basketball,' Brannen said. 'We weren't able to do that at all. Their physicality just kind of put us in situations that we weren't comfortable with.' Norse leading scorer Drew McDonald, the Horizon League's Player of the Year, was held to just five points on 2-of-13 shooting. He also had six rebounds and blocked two shots. 'We rely on Drew a lot. He's led us this whole season,' Sharpe said. 'I didn't feel like I had to necessarily take his role because we trust him. Even if he's missed every shot, we trust he's going to make the next one. I took what the defense gave me.' Limiting McDonald's effectiveness was a key to the Red Raiders' game plan. 'He was definitely one of the main focal points,' Beard said. 'He has the ability to score inside and out, and he's a great passer.' Northern Kentucky kept the game close throughout the first half and early in the second, pulling within 34-31 on Sharpe's three free throws with 18:06 remaining. But the Red Raiders responded with a 13-3 run over the next four minutes to open up a double-digit lead for the first time. Texas Tech managed to keep its advantage over 10 points for the rest of the contest. 'In the second half, more than any big adjustment, we just want to stay aggressive,' Beard said. 'In the first half we played well offensively, and we had too many turnovers. Really kind of staying consistent with our original game plan with just an emphasis of getting a little bit more aggressive.' BIG PICTURE Northern Kentucky had another impressive season in just its third as an active member of Division I. The Norse lost to No. 2 seed Kentucky in the 2017 tournament. 'You know, I couldn't be more proud of our young men and for what they've accomplished,' Brannen said. Texas Tech continued its strong defensive play, holding Northern Kentucky to 37.1 percent (23 for 62) from the field. The Norse entered the tournament averaging 79.1 points per game and ranking 24th in the nation at 48.1 percent shooting. TIP INS Northern Kentucky had a 39-31 edge in rebounding. ... Texas Tech missed its first six free-throw attempts and ended the first half 1 of 8 from the line. The Red Raiders then connected on all nine in the second half to finish 10 of 17 overall. HE SAID IT 'We won't define our season by one game. We're 26-9,' Brannen said. 'What they've accomplished the last three years has never been done in the history of basketball. Couldn't be more proud of them, and we'll get better from this and we'll continue to put ourselves in position to be sitting up here answering questions in the NCAA Tournament.' UP NEXT Texas Tech will play the Buffalo-Arizona State winner on Sunday.