Skip to main contentSkip to main content

    SEATTLE — The farmer woke early and worked late. He understood that growth was gradual; success took time. For nearly seven years, he operated a hog farm in northwest Iowa. He utilized the rugged physicality formed through college football, playing multiple positions — fullback, tailback, stand-up tight end — for the nearby Buena Vista Beavers. After graduating with a business administration ...

    Caitlin Clark had another sensational game with 41 points to help Iowa spoil South Carolina’s perfect season with a 77-73 victory in the Final Four. The spectacular junior guard set a record for the highest-scoring semifinal game and became the first women’s player to post back-to-back 40-point games in the NCAA Tournament. She now has the Hawkeyes in a spot they’ve never been in before — one victory away from a national championship. 

    HOUSTON — Among the thousand-odd texts filling Miami coach Jim Larrañaga’s phone in the moments after making the Final Four last Sunday, one stood out for its uniqueness. “Congrats, see you in Houston!” Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball coach Dusty May wrote. Larrañaga texted back, “Looking forward to it!” Here they were Friday, too. Practicing in the 70,000-seat NRG Stadium where ...

    The saying goes that defense wins championships. But it's largely been top-tier offenses winning the NCAA championship in March Madness. This weekend's Final Four in Houston features two highly rated offenses in Connecticut and Miami. It also features a defensive-heavy approach in San Diego State. According to KenPom data, 17 of the past 20 national champions have ranked in the top 10 for offensive efficiency. And 14 have ranked better at offense than defense.

    Weeks before a violent crash rocked the University of Georgia’s football program, a team official learned that a staff member had an extensive record of speeding and intervened to minimize her latest citation. Nevertheless, the football program allowed recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy to continue driving prospective recruits around Athens in university vehicles after she received her fourth ...

    One short year ago, college basketball was getting ready for the game of a lifetime: North Carolina vs. Duke at the Final Four. And this year? Well, to put it kindly, who the heck are these guys? The NCAA Tournament, the annual event that has made marketing gold out of the story of underdogs and an anyone-can-win-it free-for-all, has produced an extreme rendition of what happens when all that cherished unpredictability plays itself out to the end. In one Final Four meeting, it will be San Diego State against Florida Atlantic. In the other, it will be Miami vs. UConn. Of the four teams descending on Houston, only one has ever sniffed a Final Four before. It's the first time since 1970 that has happened.


    All this buzz about how a wildly unpredictable March Madness led to a Final Four nobody could've possibly seen coming overlooked one small detail. That detail is UConn. When Connecticut tips off against Miami in the semifinal, it will be two wins away from the school's fifth national title since 1999. No other school has won more over that span. When the name "UConn" came up with a "4" next to its name three weekends ago on Selection Sunday, nobody raised too much of a stink. Four wins later it's becoming apparent this is a team that might have been underestimated.

    Florida Atlantic and San Diego State are giving the Final Four a mid-major flavor. Their national semifinal marks the second time two mid-majors will meet in the Final Four since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The Owls qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time and have made it a memorable one, rolling all the way into their first Final Four. San Diego State also is in its first Final Four, riding one of the nation's best defenses through the bracket.

    Getting a team through to the Final Four is a major boost for mid-major conferences financially, promotionally and for visibility on a national scale. The deeper a team goes in the bracket, the more money goes to their conference. The conferences use the money to upgrade league tournaments and on bolder promotion. Schools often use the windfall on athletic facilities and on-campus video production. The extra money is also a huge boon for better TV deals and exposure that allows them competitive opportunities previously out of reach.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s Michigan. Providence Day 5-star quarterback Jadyn Davis made his college football decision official Friday on national television. Davis, a rising senior, named his five finalists last week via a social media post. They were Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, North Carolina and Tennessee. Davis said he didn’t make the decision on coach Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines until ...

    Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


    Breaking News