Sunday, March 31, 2013

Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffers gruesome compound fracture

The first half of Sunday's Midwest Regional final ended with Louisville holding a 35-32 lead on Duke. The game changed irrevocably, though, midway through the period, when Cardinals guard Kevin Ware suffered a compound fracture in his right leg that left his right tibia exposed.

Ware jumped to defend a Tyler Thornton 3-pointer and collapsed in a heap. Lying on his back right in front of the Louisville bench, his right tibia was sticking through his skin. The reaction by his teammates and coaches was immediate.

Many of the assistants and support staff ran to the side. Chane Behanan dropped to the floor and rolled around, sobbing. Peyton Siva and Wayne Blackshear dropped to the floor as well. Russ Smith sobbed as well. Rick Pitino wiped tears from his eyes but stayed near Ware the entire time.

Players from both teams were visibly shaken. The medical staff ran onto the court, and Louisville assistants held up towels to block Ware’s exposed tibia from view. Ware left the court on a stretcher, with a medical device protecting his shin, protruding from his leg, covered by a towel. The crowd, including Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke bench, stood and applauded as Ware was wheeled off.

A Louisville spokesman released a statement saying Ware had been taken to nearby Methodist Hospital for treatment.

-- Laura Keeley

Coach K thinking about ACC's future

AP Sports Writer Michael Marot reports from Indianapolis that Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is thinking about more than just Sunday's regional final against future Atlantic Coast Conference member Louisville.

"For all these schools that have joined, it makes (the ACC) the most powerful basketball conference, I think ever," Krzyzewski said Saturday of the latest round of conference realignment. "I hope our league is able to understand the assets that we've accumulated and what it does to the assets we already have. I think if positioned properly, it sets us apart from anybody, and we should look at where football is or whatever."

Next year, the league will add Syracuse - which beat Marquette in a Big East matchup for the East Regional title Saturday - along with Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. The Cardinals are scheduled to join in 2014 when Maryland bolts for the Big Ten.

Krzyzewski is already urging ACC officials to start contemplating what they need to do to avoid other leagues from poaching ACC schools. He said the best way is to rethink how the ACC does business - down to developing its own TV network or where it holds its tournament.

"In other words, to take a real close look at our league with the new members and say: Why are we different, why are we better and how can we be the top league?" Krzyzewski said. "If we don't do that, then we're negligent, to be quite frank with you."

- Associated Press

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Video: Duke Blue Devils ready for Louisville Cardinals

Second-seeded Duke will play top-seeded Louisville on Sunday (5:05 p.m., CBS) in Indianapolis with a berth in the 2013 Final Four at stake. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski and star guard Seth Curry spoke to the media on Saturday.

Video: Seth Curry shoots Duke into Elite 8

Duke knocked off Michigan St. 71-61 to advance to the Elite 8. Seth Curry led the way with 29 points. Mike Krzyzewski is one win away from tying John Wooden with his 12th Final Four appearance.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Game preview: Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans

Duke vs. Michigan State
When: 9:45 p.m.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Ryan Kelly's body stretches the floor -- his shot could stretch the difference on the scoreboard.
Soon-to-be Northwestern head coach Chris Collins feels a bit like a senior now

Scouting Michigan State (27-8)

RPI: 8

How they got here: At-large bid; finished the regular season tied for second in the Big 10

Keep an eye on: Gary Harris

The Big 10 freshman of the year, the first-ever for the Spartans, has the athleticism to give Duke fits if he drives off the dribble. With Quinn Cook guarding on the ball and Rasheed Sulaimon taking on 6-foot-6 Brandon Dawson, that leaves Seth Curry to match up with Harris. Curry had success limiting Temple's Khalif Wyatt earlier this year, holding him to six points on 3-of-15 shooting.

A few of the Spartans, Tom Izzo included, compared Harris to Sulaimon.

"Their game is very similar, aggressive," Dawson said. "He's not really as athletic as Gary, but he can shoot it."

Key mismatch:

There really isn't one. The Spartans are most concerned with containing Duke's perimeter. Curry has scored at least 15 points in every postseason game, and Sulaimon added 21 against Creighton. If the shooters--Ryan Kelly included--are hitting from downtown, the Blue Devils are tough to beat.

Number to know:

Second-chance points the Spartans are averaging in the NCAA Tournament.

Pulse check:

No one could be faulted for picking either team to win this matchup. It's a tough call--even for Tom Izzo's 13-year-old son, Steven.

"He had his whole bracket filled out, and I get a big enlarged one," Izzo said. "In our bracket, the only one that wasn't filled out to the end, I said, You haven't finished this one. He said, I'm having trouble with a game. I said, What game? He said, I got you getting to Duke, Dad. I said, That's good. I said, Where are we going from there? I don't know, you know. I don't know, Dad. I don't know.

"So I just kind of -- I tried to be a real parent, you know, not push your kid. Help him make intelligent decisions, like all of us do. And I said, Steven, I love you, man. Do it with your head, not your heart. Don't worry about Mom or Dad. The damn kid didn't do it. He didn't worry about us at all. He picked Duke and we move on.

"So as I told a lot of people, I love my kid. He's a skinny little guy that won't be eating for a month if we lose this game. That's the way it works. That's the way it goes."

Projected Starters

Michigan State
G Keith Appling, Jr., 13.3 ppg, 3.4 apg
G Gary Harris, Fr., 13.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
F Branden Dawson, So., 9.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg
F Adreian Payne, Jr., 10.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg
F Derrick Nix, Sr., 10.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg

G Quinn Cook, So., 12.0 ppg, 5.4 apg
G Seth Curry, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Fr., 11.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Ryan Kelly, Sr., 13.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg
F Mason Plumlee, Sr., 17.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

N.C. State stars Lorenzo Brown, T.J. Warren still undecided on NBA future

N.C. State could lose as many as three starters early to the NBA draft. The Wolfpack could also get C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown or T.J. Warren back for another season.

The parents of Brown and Warren said Tuesday that no decision has been made about their sons' respective futures. reported Tuesday that both Brown and Leslie, both juniors, were expected to leave for the NBA.

Back in October, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said he expected to lose both juniors after the season. N.C. State went 24-11 this season and lost to Temple in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Brown, a 6-5 point guard, led the ACC in assists, with 7.2 per game, and Leslie, a 6-8 forward, led the Wolfpack in scoring (15.1 points per game) for the second straight season.

Kim Banks, Brown's mom, said she would be in Raleigh this week to talk to her son about his future. She also refuted the CBS report.

"I've seen the rumors," Banks said. "I don't know where they get that from. He hasn't made a decision yet."

Leslie, who almost left for the NBA last April, also seemed to deny the report on his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.

"Who said I was leaving," Leslie tweeted.

Gottfried has previously said he expects to lose both Leslie and Brown, and has recruited accordingly, but Warren's departure would be a surprise.

The 6-8 forward from Durham averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds as a freshman and led the ACC in field goal percentage (62.2). ranks Warren, who started the final 10 games of the season and improved his draft stock in the process, as the best prospect of the three Wolfpack underclassmen.

Warren's dad, Tony, said he has paid attention to the draft projections but that he hasn't talked to his son about the decision.

"If he's a first-round pick, I think it would be a good decision," said Warren, a former Wolfpack player who was an eighth-round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1979.

But Warren also said he felt his son could be a lottery pick next year after a big sophomore season as the centerpiece of N.C. State's offense.

"It's too early to tell," Warren said. "I want to see what he wants to do. It's up to him but he knows he can play at the next level."

-- Joe Giglio

Monday, March 25, 2013

2013 Sweet 16 matchups

Here's a glance at the Round of 16 in the 2013 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Thursday, Washington

Miami (29-6) vs. Marquette (25-8), 7:15 p.m.

Indiana (29-6) vs. Syracuse (28-9), 30 minutes following

Thursday, Los Angeles

Arizona (27-7) vs. Ohio State (28-7), 7:47 p.m.

Wichita State (28-8) vs. La Salle (24-9), 30 minutes following

Friday, Arlington, Texas

Kansas (31-5) vs. Michigan (28-7), 7:37 p.m.

Florida Gulf Coast (26-10) vs. Florida (28-7), 30 minutes following

Friday, Indianapolis

Louisville (31-5) vs. Oregon (28-8), 7:15 p.m.

Duke (29-5) vs. Michigan State (27-8) , 30 minutes following

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Video: Roy Williams, UNC set for rematch with Kansas Jayhawks

In last year's NCAA Tournament, Kansas defeated North Carolina, 80-67 in the Elite 8. Roy Williams talks about last season's loss and the keys to defeating the Jayhawks on Sunday.

Video: Duke Blue Devils ready for Creighton Bluejays

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke glowingly about Creighton's offense and its star player, Doug McDermott. The Blue Devils and Bluejays tip on Sunday night with a Sweet 16 berth on the line.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Video: Coach K, Seth Curry discuss Duke win over Albany

Seth Curry scored 26 points and Mason Plumlee added 23 to help Duke get by Albany 73-61. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski and Seth Curry discussed the win over the Great Danes in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Video: Andrew Carter analyzes UNC loss in ACC title game

North Carolina lost to Miami for the third time this season, falling 87-77 in the ACC Championship on Sunday in Greensboro. The News and Observer's Andrew Carter reports.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

UNC coach Roy Williams disappointed in NCAA tournament selection committee

North Carolina coach Roy Williams voiced his displeasure earlier Sunday with the NCAA tournament selection committee, which awarded three ACC teams with at-large bids for the NCAA tournament.

Miami, which defeated North Carolina 87-77 in the ACC tournament championship game on Sunday, earned the ACC's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Hurricanes became the first team in history not to receive a No. 1 seed after winning both the ACC regular season outright and winning the conference tournament.

Duke, which finished second to Miami in the regular season, received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels and N.C. State are both No. 8 seeds.

"I am somewhat surprised and disappointed that only four ACC teams are in the field and that the league only received two No. 2 and two No. 8 seeds," Williams said in a statement UNC released on Sunday night. "I think the ACC deserved better than that."

While Williams expressed frustration that only four ACC teams made the field, he kept private his thoughts about a potential matchup against Kansas in the round of 32. If UNC, seeded eighth in the South Region, beats Villanova on Friday, the Tar Heels would likely advance to play against Williams' old team.

The possibility of that is likely to come up a time or two this week.

- Andrew Carter

UNC gets No. 8 seed in NCAA tournament

North Carolina coach Roy Williams could coach against his old team in the third round of the NCAA tournament. First, though, the Tar Heels will need to beat Villanova.

UNC is a No. 8 seed in the South Region of tournament, and will play on Friday in Kansas City against eighth-seeded Villanova. The winner would likely advance to play against Kansas, which is the top seed in the region.

Williams spent 15 seasons as Kansas' head coach.

The Tar Heels on Sunday suffered an 87-77 defeat against Miami in the ACC tournament championship game. Stay tuned for much more analysis and thoughts about UNC's tournament draw ...

- Andrew Carter

N.C. State on NCAA bubble alert after ACC loss

Durand Scott scored 32 points to help lift Miami over N.C. State in Saturday's ACC tournament semifinals. The Charlotte Observer's Joe Giglio breaks down the Wolfpack's loss and their shot at an NCAA tournament bid.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Instant analyses: N.C. State finding skills, chemistry in ACC tournament

It’s all falling into place now for N.C. State. C.J. Leslie is replicating his postseason form of a year ago. Lorenzo Brown is rounding into health. Scott Wood is making shots. Richard Howell is Richard Howell.

Virginia posed little opposition Friday N.C. State took control early as Leslie scored eight of N.C. State’s first 17 points, then pulled away when Wood hit 3-pointers on back-to-back-to-back possessions early in the second half for a 75-56 win.

Just as he was in Atlanta last year, Leslie was dominant. He took the ball to the rim. He made (most of) his free throws. He rebounded. He blocked shots. He even hit a few jump shots. He displayed the full array of his game, as he has at times this season, but without consistency.

After scoring 15 points and pulling down seven rebounds in Thursday’s win over Virginia Tech and 17 points with 11 rebounds on Friday, Leslie has 84 points in his past five ACC tournament games, going back to last season.

Wood, meanwhile, went 7-for-12 from 3-point range -- his most 3-pointers since the Florida State game his freshman year, when he went 7-for-11 -- and finished with 23 points.

Not that there weren’t some of the same warning signs for State -- Howell left the game for a little while with a thigh injury and T.J. Warren picked up a second-half technical foul that gave Virginia some life at a time when the Cavaliers were otherwise finished.

The injury didn’t seem to slow Howell, even if he was grabbing at his right leg while trotting down the court, but it’ll be interesting to see how it responds overnight before facing Miami on Saturday.

With the surging Wolfpack facing the top-seeded Hurricanes in the first semifinal and the potential for a third Duke-Carolina meeting, Saturday is shaping up awfully well. So, at the moment, is the Wolfpack.

-- Luke DeCock

Wolfpack rise to the challenge

N.C. State players wore red long-sleeved T-shirts inscribed with white letters: "Rise to the occasion."

The Wolfpack rose. They allowed Virginia to linger in the first half at Greensboro Coliseum Friday. The Cavaliers could have competed if they had hit some easy and open shots. But they didn’t. The longer the game wore on, the more difficult Virginia’s shots became.

N.C. State looked like the team many of us anticipated before the season began. The Wolfpack imposed their talent on a lesser Virginia team. The Cavaliers had nobody who could match up with C.J. Leslie, and Leslie knew it.

When Virginia adjusted inside, Scott Wood hammered the Cavaliers outside.

Wood took 12 shots from the field, all 3-pointers, and hit seven for a game-high 23 points. Leslie added 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

N.C. State won easily, beating the Cavaliers 75-56.

The Wolfpack was unselfish and entertaining and really good.

If they can sustain it there’s nobody in the conference, or in the country, with which they can’t compete.

-- Tom Sorensen

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ex-Tar Heel Kenny Smith remembers UNC's NCAA tournament runs

Turner Sports' Kenny Smith, a two-time NBA champ and UNC All-American, joins CineSport's Noah Coslov to discuss how he preps for a game as a commentator & his memories of playing in the tourney.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Duke leads UNC 42-24 at halftime

CHAPEL HILL -- North Carolina has been on a upward trajectory since the middle of February, when it began using a four-guard starting lineup. The Tar Heels entered their game against Duke here on Saturday night on a six-game winning streak, their longest of the season.

UNC, though, is struggling like it did months ago. And the Blue Devils are in the midst of one of their best games.

Duke scored the first 14 points of game and leads UNC 42-24 at halftime here at the Smith Center. After the Blue Devils' initial surge, the Heels never cut Duke's lead into single digits. The Devils made 13 of their first 16 shots from the field, while UNC made just four of its first 16.

Seth Curry, Duke's senior guard, did the most damage. He made his first eight shots of the game - including one while he was falling backwards. Overall, he made eight of his 10 attempts from the field and finished the half with 18 points.

Quinn Cook and Mason Plumlee added eight apiece for the Blue Devils, who shot 69.2 percent from the field. Duke also made five of its nine 3-point attempts.

The Tar Heels defended the perimeter well when these teams played last month in Durham. But that has been an issue for UNC tonight. Both Cook and Curry made two 3s for Duke. UNC, meanwhile, missed all eight of its 3-point attempts during the first half.

The Tar Heels made just nine of their 33 shots from the field (27.3 percent). UNC forced eight turnovers and has nine offensive rebounds, but due its poor shooting it hasn't capitalized on those opportunities.

Duke senior forward Ryan Kelly, who sat out the first game between these teams while he recovered from a broken foot, picked up his third foul just before halftime and hasn't been much of a factor. He played 11 minutes and finished the half with two points.

James Michael McAdoo led UNC with nine points in the first half. None of his teammates scored more than five points.

- Andrew Carter

Friday, March 1, 2013

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski speaks on Virginia fans' storming the court

Following the Duke Blue Devils' 73-68 loss to Virginia on Thursday, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski expressed concern for his players' safety after the Virginia students rushed the court at Charlottesville, Va.

Video: Catholic 7 to expand, keep 'Big East' name

The seven Catholic schools departing the Big East will begin play next season, instead of 2014. The league will reportedly add Xavier and Butler with Creighton also a candidate to join.