Sport The top 25 NCAA men's tournament moments
March Madness bubble watch: Blue bloods Duke, Carolina, Michigan State bring aristocratic feel to scramble for bids
These college basketball bluebloods, for various reasons in this most unusual college basketball season, find themselves fighting for the last few NCAA Tournament bids that will be awarded on Selection Sunday.Yes, green is a shade of blue, so long as there is a Spartans basketball player wearing it.
The NBAfor the non-existent Rising Stars Game this year, and while we won't be able to see LaMelo Ball, , and all on the same team, we can only hope that the league will make up for it in some way next year. The new format that the league adopted in 2015, which went from rookies vs. sophomores, to Team USA vs. Team World, was supposed to highlight all of the international talent the league has seen enter the NBA in recent years.
However, that switch away from fielding a whole team full of rookies meant that there would be some notable snubs left off both rosters, which is exactly what happened this season. Rookies like, , and were all left off the list, and while it's completely understandable given that Team USA is absolutely stacked, it's still unfortunate that some rookies who have been great in the first half of the season won't get that honor.
NCAA claims urology clinic's Vasectomy Mayhem trademark is 'confusingly similar' to March Mayhem
If you saw a urology clinic advertising a "Vasectomy Mayhem" spring special would you get confused and think the NCAA was associated with the promotion in an official capacity? The NCAA sure thinks it's possible. The collegiate governing body filed a trademark cancellation request in February to stop a Virginia urology clinic's use of the "Vasectomy Mayhem" phrase. In its filing, the NCAA argues that the clinic's phrase is "confusingly similar"The collegiate governing body filed a trademark cancellation request in February to stop a Virginia urology clinic's use of the "Vasectomy Mayhem" phrase.
The current format is a great idea, as it shows how global the game of basketball is, but it also limits some of the league's brightest from getting to play on a larger stage. If anything it just shows how much young talent the NBA has as a whole, which shows that the league is in good hands going forward.
Now moving on to this week's rookie rankings. These rankings will reflect a rookie's performance on a week-to-week basis only, not the collective season, so these aren't Rookie of the Year standings. With that straightened out, here is a look at the top rookies this week.
Ball had his second-highest scoring game of the season when he put up 30 points against thein a loss, in a performance where he also dished out eight assists and grabbed four boards. He continues to impress with each game, as his passing game is well beyond what people expected it to be, where he's showing the glimpses of being as creative a passer as his brother Lonzo, and his shooting efficiency from both the field and 3-point range has continued to improve this season.
2021 NCAA Tournament Bracket Advice: Four best strategy tips for winning March Madness pools
Someone is going to win your 2021 NCAA Tournament pool this year -- why can't it be you? The experts from TeamRankings help you dominate March Madness with four key strategy tips for making your bracket picks.Sometimes it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise when it comes to bracket strategy. Still, it pays to know the difference. A lot of conventional wisdom about bracket picking is just plain wrong, and following it will torpedo your chances to win your March Madness pool.
LaMelo Ball dished out a career-high in assists to go with his 4th straight 20-point game.
24 PTS (7/12 FG), 12 AST, 4 REB, 3 TO— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife)
He nabbed Rookie of the Month honors for the second time this season, as he's the clear-cut frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. Inserting him into the starting lineup has given theanother offensive weapon alongside and , making Charlotte one of the most exciting teams to watch this year.
Edwards had another ridiculous dunk this week, but what was more impressive about his three performances were how consistent he was. He had back-to-back 20-point games, and a 19-point performance against Ball and the Hornets. The biggest knock is still his inefficiency, as he's still hovering around the low 30s from deep and below 40 percent from the field. This is the time when Edwards is able to work on his shooting efficiency, so he's expected to experience growing pains, but the Wolves probably hope that he eventually can become a more efficient scorer at some point this season.
Printable NCAA bracket: Download a free, blank 2021 March Madness bracket PDF here
Download Sporting News’ printable 2021 March Madness bracket to use at home, at work, in the car or anywhere else.Fortunately, you've come to the right place. Sporting News has every type of college basketball fan covered with our 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket in printable, PDF form, complete with the full field of 68. Download it, print it, fill it out, trash talk your co-workers.
Anthony Edwards' step back!
3rd straight game with 20 points
24 PTS, 5 REB
21 PTS, 6 REB
21 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife)
Quickley was snubbed from the Rising Stars roster, but when you look at who made the U.S. roster, and remember that it encompasses rookies and second-year players, then it's understandable. There were several rookies who would make the cut in any year, but when Zion Williamson, Ja Morant andare also on the roster, then it makes more sense. That aside, though, Quickley had a big week, capped by a 26-point performance in a loss to the . He finished the game with a plus-minus of -13, which is atypical for him considering he's been so efficient this season, but that was also the second-most minutes he played this season, which is also a factor. As he continues to get more playing time, his efficiency is likely to take a slight dip, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he's still played a key role in the having such a strong start to the season.
March Madness Bubble Watch: Wichita State, Mountain West teams among 'first four out' after Georgetown, Oregon State steal bids
Conference championship week always shakes up the men's NCAA Tournament bubble in unpredictable fashion. This year is no exception.The Blue Devils never got a shot to face Florida State and make a run for an at-large or automatic bid in the ACC Tournament, and while that likely served as good news for any of the bubble teams sitting at home (ahem, Drake), now there's more trouble for chasing bubble teams.
Most 25+ point games among all rookies this season:
Immanuel Quickley: 5
Anthony Edwards: 3
LaMelo Ball: 3
Most FT's made among all rookies this season:
Immanuel Quickley: 98
Ant Edwards: 80
LaMelo Ball: 68
Minutes played this season:
Ant Edwards: 1,015
LaMelo Ball: 984
IQ: 606— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
Lee is making the most of his continued increase in playing time, as evidenced from a 20-point outing in a surprising win over the. His development in the past month has been the best part of the trading away , as Detroit can now assess all of its young talent and allow these young players to grow with more opportunity.
It's only fitting that Lee and Bey are right next to each other in the rankings, as the Pistons have several young players who continue to impress. But while Lee is rising, Bey took a little stumble this week in his 3-point shooting. He's shooting 40 percent on the year and is routinely shooting 50 percent for chunks of the season, but in back-to-back games he shot 20 percent from beyond the arc. He combined to go 3-for-13 in a two-game stretch against the Knicks and Raptors and wasn't able to find other effective ways to contribute on offense. It may just be an outlier, but when his shot isn't falling he'll need to find other ways to impact the game.
Ranking the 2021 men’s NCAA tournament contenders, from 1-68
The Illini will enter the tournament’s first round having lost just once over a span of two months – and having won six consecutive games against tourney teams by an average margin of 11.5. In Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, they have the best guard-big duo in college basketball. But it’s the supporting cast that has elevated them to the top of this second tier. Illinois has very few weaknesses. It has a coach who’s now transformed three different programs. It has as good a shot as anybody on the right half of the bracket to do what it just did on Sunday: win a championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. 3. Baylor (+500 | S1; vs.
Theare 6-3 this season when Pritchard scores 10 or more points off the bench, and his 14 points certainly came in handy in a close game against the this week. His contribution has been up and down all season, and he hasn't been in the weekly rookie rankings since the start of the season, but ever so often he'll have a performance like the one against the Clippers, where he went 4-of-7 from deep, that will show why he's earned his way into the regular rotation for Boston.
Payton Pritchard wasted no time finding ways to make an impact this season.— Boston Celtics (@celtics)
Williams' performance against Zion Williamson was certainly an eye-opener this week. Just look at this:
Watch this one minute stretch of Patrick Williams v Zion— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh)
Williams was thrown into the fire early in the season having to guard guys like Giannis and LeBron, and he was certainly outmatched. But looking at how he was able to body up a tank of a person like Zion in that clip certainly shows some improvement against bigger opponents. Just another reason why Chicago's selection of him grows more brilliant by the day.
Tate has been great on offense for thethis season, except from behind the arc where he's shooting 32 percent on the year. The Rockets attempt the third-highest number of 3s a game (42), but rank dead last in 3-point percentage (33.3 percent). If Houston is going to continue this style of play, where 3-point shooting is heavily relied upon, then guys like Tate are going to need to knock down those shots. In a rebuilding year there isn't a better time for him to get comfortable with shooting that shot.
All the ways the NCAA has failed its Women's March Madness teams
It's not just the weight room. On Thursday afternoon, Ali Kershner, the performance coach at Stanford, posted a jarring image of the workout facilities that the women's NCAA tournament teams had access to compared to the men. The men, who are in Indianapolis, had a giant room equipped to the gills while the women, who are in San Antonio, had one rack of dumbbells and a stack of yoga mats. Kershner’s pictures went viral and, bowing to public pressure, the NCAA released a weak statement blaming the lack of equipment on “limited space.
Bane was put through the ringer in Memphis' game against the Clippers this week, having to check bothand on separate occasions. While that will surely go down as a learning opportunity for him against a dominant L.A. team, Bane continued to work and show small improvements over the course of the game. His one-on-one defense still has a long way to go, but he showed glimpses of being a solid defender, which is all you can really hope for from a rookie.
In an incredibly shocking win over the Sixers, Okoro put up 15 points, eight boards, three assists and three steals. That was his career-high in points and rebounds, and probably closer to the performance thethought they would get from him on a nightly basis when they drafted him fifth overall. It's a positive sign that he has the ability to score at a high level in this league, but now he needs to build on that and become consistent.
March Madness live bracket: Full schedule, scores, how to watch 2021 NCAA Tournament games .
Sporting News has everything you could possibly want to know for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.It's different from previous iterations, surely. It won't not be as grandiose either, with fan attendance limited because of COVID-19. But for the first time in two years, the NCAA will get back to the business of crowning a national champion in the single greatest postseason in American sports.