College Basketball

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Duke plays the role of top seed against Robert Morris

Duke plays the role of top seed against Robert Morris

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As the Virginia band members packed up their instruments near the Time Warner Cable Arena tunnel exit following the school’s NCAA Tournament win over Belmont, they stepped aside to make room for the Robert Morris band. They waited as the Colonials’ band...

Michigan State beats Georgia with weaknesses

Michigan State beats Georgia with weaknesses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They lack talent, their bench is short and they can’t make free throws. That’s what they say, anyway. All three of those stumbling blocks thwarted Michigan State’s basketball consistency this year, but it’s a long season. Extensive enough for Tom Izzo to...

Michigan State boasts complete hoop package

Michigan State boasts complete hoop package

There may not be a more tightly packaged example of mentor and protégé in college basketball than Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo.Consider that Bob Knight groomed Mike Krzyzewski as a player at Army and assistant at Indiana, but he became Coach K at Duke. Also, Knight and...

Jud for the defense on best Mark Few team

Jud for the defense on best Mark Few team

Jud Heathcote, whose second team has been Gonzaga since he retired to Spokane 20 years ago, enjoyed another year of Bulldogs basketball with his courtside seats at the McCarthey Athletic Center, although he didn’t make it to Las Vegas to follow the No. 7-ranked Bulldogs’ most...

The night Adolph Rupp met Johnny Green

The night Adolph Rupp met Johnny Green

Michigan State’s Johnny Green brought out the best in just about everyone during the 1956-57 basketball season. Upon joining a 4-7 lineup in January, he sparked a 10-game winning streak that captured the Spartans’ first Big Ten hoop title. And “just about everyone” included...

Old Michigan State NCAA memories

Old Michigan State NCAA memories

Thanks to Mike Klocke, an old friend from our State News days, for this nostalgic photo he posted on Twitter looking back when we covered Michigan State in the first round of the 1978 NCAA basketball tournament at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Mike is on the right; in the...

Okafor takes team game from Chicago to Duke

Okafor takes team game from Chicago to Duke

Jahlil Okafor’s basketball identity grows nationally with each televised game the Duke freshman plays, but it is still basically this simple: He’s the big kid projected as the first pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. Similarly, Okafor arrived at Chicago’s Whitney Young High four...

Colangelo points to Dean assist for USA Basketball turnaround

Colangelo points to Dean assist for USA Basketball turnaround

One constant throughout tributes to Dean Smith focused on words of a great man with humble deeds rather than a great coach that won games and titles. That was true in the initial comments from players, colleagues and media retrospectives following the legendary North...

Captain Mannie elected despite Chicago style voting

Captain Mannie elected despite Chicago style voting

A treasure trove of untold sports stories clearing a path to integration throughout society can be still uncovered a half-century later. The reason is the media avoided racial issues in the mid-20th century, including athletic milestones. This was demonstrated once again in...

Dean and Duffy shared MLK Dream

Dean and Duffy shared MLK Dream

I was researching and writing “Raye of Light” when North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith was named to receive the Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony with President Obama in 2013. I learned Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty and Smith shared much in...