Recent NCAA Basketball Player News

Kansas punches ticket to Final Four with 85-81 victory over Duke

The Kansas Jayhawks topped the Duke Blue Devils with a 85-81 overtime victory in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

What It Means:

Malik Newman lit up the Blue Devils for a career-high 32 points -- including all 13 of Kansas' points in overtime -- to lead the Jayhawks to their first Final Four since 2012. They will square off with the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday in San Antonio.

The Jayhawks entered the tournament ranked 7th in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings.

Villanova advances to Final Four for second time in three seasons with victory over Texas Tech

The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 71-59 in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

What It Means:

Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 15 points and Eric Paschall pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds as the Wildcats secured their second trip to the Final Four in the past three years. They will face the Kansas Jayhawks in the national semifinals on Saturday in San Antonio.

Villanova entered the tournament ranked 1st overall in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings.

Michigan edges Florida State to earn a trip to the Final Four

The Michigan Wolverines held off the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, winning 58-54 to advance to the Final Four.

What It Means:

The Seminoles made a run at the end of the game, but Michigan won the game behind 17 points from Charles Matthews. They will play Saturday against the NCAA Tournament's Cinderella story, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.

Michigan entered the tournament as the 10th best team in numberFire's power rankings.

Loyola-Chicago continues magical NCAA Tournament run with win over Kansas State to advance to Final Four

The #11 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers continued dancing on Saturday with a 78-62 win over the #9 Kansas State Wildcats to advance to the Final Four.

What It Means:

The Ramblers were led by Ben Richardson, who had 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting, and he was an impressive 6-for-7 from beyond the arc. It was the first blowout of the tournament for the Ramblers, who will meet #3 Michigan in San Antonio on Saturday for the right to play for the National Championship.

The Ramblers entered the tournament ranked 50th in numberFire's NCAA Power Rankings.

11-seed Syracuse knocks off 3-seed Michigan State to advance to Sweet 16

The 11-seed Syracuse Orange advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 55-53 upset over the 3-seed Michigan State Spartans on Sunday afternoon.

What It Means:

Syracuse relied on their vaunted 2-3 zone to limit the Spartans to a 25.8 field goal percentage (8-for-37 from three) -- and just 5 points in the last 5:41 -- while advancing to the Sweet 16 as a double-digit seed for the second time in three seasons. Looking ahead, the Orange will square off with the Duke Blue Devils in a regional semifinal matchup next weekend.

Syracuse entered the tournament ranked 50th in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings.

16-seed UMBC makes history in defeat of 1-seed Virginia

The UMBC Retrievers became the first ever 16 seed to defeat a 1 seed as they defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 74-54 on Friday night.

What It Means:

A lot of brackets were destroyed by the Retrievers' groundbreaking upset. Virginia, at 18.5%, was the most popular pick to win it all in ESPN Tournament Challenge. Meanwhile, UMBC -- the winners of the America East Conference -- were picked to advance at the second-lowest clip (3.4%) of any team.

Heading into the First Round matchup, our models gave UMBC just a 0.8% chance of defeating Virginia.

13-seed Marshall takes out Wichita State in surprise upset

The 13-seed Marshall Thundering Herd moved onto the second round with a 81-75 upset over the 4-seed Wichita State Shockers on Friday.

What It Means:

Marshall became the second 13-seed to advance, with the Buffalo Bulls upsetting the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday. It's just the the fourth time ever that two 13-seeds have won their first-round games. It's Marshall's first NCAA tournament win in program history.

Marshall entered the tournament ranked just 112 in numberFire's NCAA Power Rankings.

Arizona falls to 13-seed Buffalo in stunning upset on Thursday

The 13-seed Buffalo Bulls advanced to the second round with a 89-68 upset over the 4-seed Arizona Wildcats on Thursday.

What It Means:

Perhaps the most surprising part of Buffalo's underdog win was the final score wasn't even close. After the loss, Arizona's Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier officially declared for the NBA draft. Ayton is projected to potentially go number one overall. Buffalo with face the Kentucky Wildcats in next round.

Buffalo entered the tournament ranked just 61st in numberFire's NCAA Power Rankings.

11-seed Loyola Chicago upsets Miami with 28-foot shot at buzzer

The 11-seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers advanced to the second round with a 64-62 upset over the 6-seed Miami Hurricanes on Thursday.

What It Means:

The Ramblers were a popular upset pick and they didn't disappoint on Thursday afternoon, as Donte Ingram drained a 28-foot bomb at the buzzer to upset the Hurricanes in the first round. They will face the 3-seed Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday in the second round.

The Ramblers entered the tournament ranked 50th in numberFire's NCAA Power Rankings.

Kansas takes top seed in Midwest Region

The Kansas Jayhawks have been named the number-one seed in the Midwest Region of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

What It Means:

After sweeping the regular season and conference tournament, the Jayhawks enter the dance as a top seed and will open up action on Thursday versus Penn University.

Kansas is 8th in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings.

Xavier earns one-seed in NCAA Tournament for first time in program history

The Xavier Musketeers earned the 1st seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament.

What It Means:

This is the first time in the school's history that they were named one of the top seeds in the tournament. Xavier will open up play on Friday against the winner of the N.C. Central-Texas Southern matchup.

Despite earning a number-one seed, the Musketeers are 11th in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings.

Villanova named 1st seed in East Region

The Villanova Wildcats earned the top seed in the East Region for the NCAA Tournament.

What It Means:

Villanova will face the winner of the LIU Brooklyn-Radford matchup. The Wildcats defeated Providence in overtime on Saturday to win their second straight Big East conference tournament championship.

numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings have the Wildcats as the top team overall entering the tournament.

University of Virginia earns top overall seed in NCAA Tournament

The Virginia Cavaliers earned the top overall seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

What It Means:

After winning the ACC in the regular season and conference tournament, Virginia will now enter the tournament as the top overall seed. As the top seed in the South Region, the Cavaliers will take on 16-seed UMBC on Friday in the first round.

Virginia is 2nd overall in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings.

Kansas wins Big 12 title over West Virginia 81-70 on Saturday

The Kansas Jayhawks beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 81-70 on Saturday to win the Big 12 championship game.

What It Means:

Kansas had five players in double figures behind Malik Newman's 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting. It was the Jayhawks' third win over West Virginia this season, and they should be looking at a favorable seed once the bracket comes out Sunday evening.

Kansas is the 8th-ranked team in numberFire's power rankings, and our models project them as a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona wins Pac-12 tournament behind Deandre Ayton's 32 points

The Arizona Wildcats won the Pac-12 title on Saturday behind forward Deandre Ayton's 32 points on 14-for-20 shooting. Ayton added 18 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block in the 75-61 win over the USC Trojans.

What It Means:

Ayton is a lock to be taken in the NBA draft lottery after this season, but first he'll see how far he can carry the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament. After a dud in the first round of the Pac-12 tourney, Ayton finished off the win with back-to-back 32-point double-doubles on Friday and Saturday.

The Wildcats are the 19th ranked team in numberFire's power rankings. Our models project them to be a 5-seed in the tournament.

Davidson upsets Rhode Island to win Atlantic 10 title

The Davidson Wildcats beat the Rhode Island Rams 58-57 in the A-10 championship game on Sunday to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

What It Means:

Davidson's upset is a shot to the heart of bubble teams everywhere, because not only will the Wildcats be in the tournament, but Rhode Island will definitely get one of the coveted at-large bids. Despite going scoreless for a stretch of 13 minutes in the second half, Davidson was able to pull off the victory as the 3-seed in the A-10.

Davidson is the 54th ranked team in numberFire's NCAAB power rankings this season.

Kentucky wins fourth straight SEC championship with victory over Tennessee

The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 77-72 on Sunday to win the Southeastern Conference tournament championship.

What It Means:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 29 points (10-of-16 field goals, 7-of-7 free throws) with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 3-pointers to help the Wildcats earn their fourth straight SEC tournament banner. As a team, Kentucky made half of their field goals (25-for-50) and shot 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.

UK is 18th in numberFire's NCAAB Power Rankings and our models project them as a 4-seed in this year's tournament.

Jalen Brunson’s 31 points leads Villanova past Providence in overtime for Big East championship

Villanova Wildcats guard Jalen Brunson scored 31 points on 12-for-23 shooting Saturday, to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in a 76-66 overtime win over the Providence Friars.

What It Means:

Villanova is on a mission this year, and they looked poised to take the top seed in the NCAA Tournament. Brunson has been a big reason why, as he has now scored 31 points four times this season.

Villanova is the number-one team in numberFire's power rankings, and our models project them as a 1-seed in the tournament.

Virginia beats North Carolina to win ACC title on Saturday

The Virginia Cavaliers beat the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday to win the ACC Tournament with a final score of 71-63.

What It Means:

The Cavs had four players in double figures and shot over 50% from the three-point line in the impressive victory. Virginia has been one of college basketball's best teams this season, and this win almost surely cements their spot as a 1-seed in the tournament.

Virginia ranks 2nd in numberFire's power rankings and we expect them to be a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Texas Southern wins SWAC title with 84-69 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff

The Texas Southern Tigers defeated the Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions 84-69 on Saturday to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.

What It Means:

Demontrae Jefferson scored 15 points (2-of-8 field goals, 11-of-11 free throws) with 6 rebounds and 7 assists while Trayvon Reed pitched in with a double-double off the bench to give the Tigers their fourth SWAC title in the past five seasons. According to @ESPNStatsInfo, they are the first team since 1985 to reach the NCAA tournament after starting the year 0-13 or worse.

Texas Southern is 240th in numberFire's power rankings and we expect them to be a 16-seed in the tournament.

Wenyen Gabriel leads Kentucky to SEC Tournament Final

Kentucky Wildcats forward Wenyen Gabriel scored 23 points and hit all 7 of his three-point attempts in Saturday's 86-63 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

What It Means:

Gabriel was on fire from deep en route to tying a career-high in scoring. All but two of his points came from the three-point line as he added three blocks, two rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes. The Wildcats will face the winner of Arkansas and Tennessee in Sunday's SEC Final.

Through 33 games, Gabriel is averaging 6.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.9 threes in his sophomore season. We give his Wildcats an 83.34% chance of making the Tournament, and we project them as a 4 seed at this time.

North Carolina Central takes MEAC, advances to tournament for second straight season

On Saturday, the North Carolina Central Eagles defeated the Hampton Pirates 71-63 to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.

What It Means:

The 19-15 Eagles went 9-7 during conference play before making a run as the 6 seed in the MEAC tournament. They upset the 1 seed Pirates and, in doing so, move on to their second straight tournament appearance. A year ago, the Eagles -- a 16 seed -- lost 67-63 in the First Four.

According to our metrics, this year's team is not nearly as good as last year's squad. The Eagles' -8.86 nERD is far from their mark (-0.01) a year ago and positions them 312th of 351 teams.

UMBC wins American East title, punches tournament ticket

The UMBC Retrievers defeated the Vermont Catamounts 65-62 on Saturday to secure the American East's bid to the NCAA tournament.

What It Means:

The Retrievers capped off their regular season with a 24-10 record and 12 wins in conference. On Saturday, they were led by senior guard Jordan Lyles, who scored 27 points with five three-pointers and three assists. No other UMBC player scored in double-figures.

UMBC's -1.66 nERD ranks 189th among all teams and is the exact same figure they posted a year ago.

Hamidou Diallo withdraws from NBA Draft, returning to Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcats guard Hamidou Diallo has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and is returning to school in the fall.

What It Means:

Diallo performed exceptionally well at the NBA Draft combine, intriguing many NBA scouts with his off-the-chart athleticism. However, without a firm commitment that he would be selected in the first-round, Diallo decided to go back to Kentucky to showcase his talents, increasing the chance he could be a top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Diallo enrolled at Kentucky and was practicing with the team in mid-January but will make his college debut in the fall.

Diallo exploded for a 44.5" vertical, the highest of any player at the NBADraft Cobine.

Justin Jackson will play another season for Maryland

Maryland Terrapins freshman forward Justin Jackson is withdrawing from the 2017 NBA Draft and returning to school for his sophomore season, per Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

What It Means:

Jackson had a successful freshman season at Maryland as the team's leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. With Melo Trimble gone for the NBA, Jackson has the chance to take over the squad as the leader and as the primary scoring option in the fall, boosting his potential draft value for 2018.

Jackson averaged 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 three-pointers in 27.8 minutes per game. He shot 43.8% from three while posting a 108.4 offensive rating.

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