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Rowdies, Tampa Bay United announce milestone partnership

The two largest soccer presences in Tampa Bay have become one.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Tampa Bay United have announced a partnership.

Tampa Bay United, the largest youth soccer team in Tampa Bay, will rebrand as the TBU Rowdies beginning this season. The TBU Rowdies’ highest-level teams will wear the Rowdies’ familiar green and gold hooped jerseys on the field, expanding the visibility of the Rowdies throughout the region.

 The partnership brings into focus the Rowdies’ goal of being the backbone of soccer in the Tampa Bay community and developing elite players both through the US Soccer Development Academy on the boys’ side and the Elite Clubs National League on the girls’ side.

 “Over the last several years, the Rowdies’ focus has been to create a successful business model for both the first team players on the field and the stadium experience for the fans,” Rowdies COO Lee Cohen said. “We feel as if we are now prepared to focus on the next steps of our soccer evolution in the Tampa Bay Area. Partnering with TBU and making that club part of our family as the TBU Rowdies was, in our minds, the most logical next step.”

 The TBU Rowdies are sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as an official Boys Development Academy club, meaning TBU Rowdies teams compete at the highest level for their age groups. The Boys Development Academy clubs receive direction directly from the United States Soccer Federation on training regimens and environments to ensure the highest quality.

 “We are honored to be working with such a highly esteemed team,” said Tampa Bay United CEO Charlie Slagle. “The value they bring in terms of expertise and opportunities supports our mission of developing youth talent as a long-term goal. It is not about winning one game, it is about developing what you need each year to continue for the long haul. Last year, we had a record number of TBU players sign on to play at the collegiate level, and this affiliation enhances our ability to be the top level club for youth soccer in the state of Florida.”

 Heading the collaboration between the Rowdies and TBU is Keith Fulk, a pillar of the Tampa Bay soccer community. Fulk has been a part of three national championship teams at the University of Tampa, as a player in 1981, as an assistant coach in 1994 and as head coach in 2001. He spent the last six seasons as head coach at St. Leo University, leading the Lions to two Sunshine State Conference championships. He previously spent eight years as an assistant coach for the United States Under-17 national team, including four FIFA Youth World Cups.

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Tampa Bay Rays extend center fielder Kevin Kiermaier’s contract

Kevin Kiermaier was always one of the most popular Tampa Bay Rays.

Now, he’ll be popular with his banker, too.

Kiermaker, the Rays’ center fielder, signed a six-year, $53.5 million extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through 2023.

The agreement with Kiermaier marks the fourth time that Stuart Sternberg’s ownership group has guaranteed at least six years in a contract with a Rays player. Right-handed pitcher Chris Archer signed for a guaranteed six years (plus two club options) on April 2, 2014. Third baseman Evan Longoria signed for six years guaranteed (plus three club options) on April 18, 2008, then on November 26, 2012, extended that deal an additional six years with a club option for 2023.

“Kevin has established himself as one of the most dynamic and exciting players in baseball, and he also sets a tremendous example off the field with his work ethic, dedication and leadership,” said Rays President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman. “We’re thrilled that he’ll be patrolling center field for the Rays for years to come.”

Kiermaier, 26, won the AL Gold Glove Award for center field in 2016 for the second consecutive season, joining Longoria (2009, 2010) as the only players to win multiple Gold Glove Awards in franchise history. He also became the second AL outfielder since the awards were first presented in 1957 to claim the Gold Glove in each of his first two full seasons in the majors, joining Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001-02.

Last season, Kiermaier led major league center fielders with 25 Defensive Runs Saved despite missing 48 games due to injury. Defensive Runs Saved attempts to calculate how many runs a player saved or cost his team in the field compared to the average player at his position. His 25 DRS ranked second overall in the majors (regardless of position), behind Boston’s Mookie Betts (32), despite playing 509.1 fewer innings.

Kiermaier beat the odds. He simply outworked his teammates. He made the front office notice him.

The Rays were hunting for outfielders in the 2010 draft. They picked Josh Sale first. Bust. They picked Drew Vettleson third. Bust. They picked Michael Lorenzen 10th. Bust. They picked Deshun Dixon 13th. Bust. They picked Chris Winder 27th. Bust.

Finally, they picked Kiermaier. But not until they picked a third baseman named Nicholas Schwaner and a catcher named Matt Koch and a first baseman named Phillip Wunderlich. In all, it was the greatest collection of nobodies ever picked in front of a somebody.

And that’s a key thing with Kiermaier. Think of all the bonus babies who went in front of him. Think of all the high-priced free agents who disappointed. Kiermaier simply wouldn’t settle for being less than an impact player. He kicked down the doors to this franchise. He made himself a bargain.

For Kiermaier, it turns out that more things are gold than just his baseball glove.

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After NCAA berth, Florida St. top scorers weigh decisions

Florida State made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years, but whether the Seminoles (26-9) can return next season will depend on the decisions of their three leading scorers.

Dwayne Bacon, Jonathan Isaac and Xavier Rathan-Mayes said after Saturday’s 91-66 loss to Xavier in the second round that they had not reached a decision and had no timetable. All three though are expected to put their names into consideration for the NBA draft.

Isaac, a 6-foot-10 freshman forward, averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds. He is the most likely of the trio not to return as many have projected him to be a lottery pick.

Bacon was the team’s leading scorer for the second straight season, averaging 17.2 points. The 6-7 sophomore guard worked on his shooting during the offseason last year and has developed a better range of shots instead of merely attacking the rim. Draft projections have him anywhere from a late first- to second-round pick.

Rathan-Mayes has developed into a solid point guard. The 6-4 junior led the Atlantic Coast Conference in assist/turnover ratio while averaging 10.6 points. He could return for his senior season to improve his draft chances.

If all three depart, sophomore Terance Mann would be the leading returning scorer (8.4 points). Even with Bacon and Isaac, coach Leonard Hamilton extolled his team’s depth throughout the year as he used 12 players per game. Freshmen guards Trent Forrest and CJ Walker each averaged over 12 minutes per game and will be counted on more next season.

Florida State was the second tallest team in Division I but lose two 7-footers with the graduations of Michael Ojo and Jarquez Smith. Christ Koumadje, who is the tallest player in program history at 7-4, could move into the starting lineup after finishing second on the team in blocked shots with 40.

With Smith and Ojo’s departures, Hamilton added some size in the incoming class with 7-1 center Ike Obiagu, who is considered one of the top shot blockers in the country.

The Seminoles got off to a fast start. After going 5-1 during a stretch where they faced six straight ranked opponents, they were 18-2 and ranked sixth, which was their highest ranking since 1993. They barely played over .500 ball after that, going 9-8. All but two of the losses were by double figures.

Hamilton went to more of an up-tempo, transition offense this season since he had more versatile and athletic players. Florida State averaged 82.1 points, which is the most in Hamilton’s 15 seasons at the school, but they struggled late in the season from the perimeter and when forced to play more of a half-court style when teams played zone defense.

Even though the 26 wins are the most that Florida State has had in Hamilton’s tenure, the finish is considered a bit of a disappointment since many considered this to be Hamilton’s most talented team. Hamilton has led Florida State to the Sweet 16 only once (2011).

“I thought we learned a lot,” Hamilton said after Saturday’s game. “There were times I thought they were growing with the relationships, and I think it makes you feel that the future is very bright for these guys that are returning.

“To look back at the season, to see what we’ve been able to accomplish, I’m very proud of these guys and how they’ve hung in against some extremely good competition.”

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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Team USA tells Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer that he isn’t needed

Thanks. But no thanks.

Pretty much, that was the message delivered to Tampa Bay Rays‘ pitcher Chris Archer, who has been told by the USA Team in the World Baseball Classic that won’t be using him in the semifinals or potentially in the finals.

Archer threw four innings of hitless baseball in his first game, and he has said he was looking forward to pitching again. But the USA team will go in a different direction.

“I don’t know what happened other than maybe they think there’s a better option,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times. “I don’t disagree, I think everybody there is capable of doing something special. But I was definitely looking forward to pitching.”

Team USA plans to start Nats pitcher Tanner Roark Tuesday, and has Marcus Stroman lined up if it gets to the final Wednesday.

Archer was the starting pitcher in Team USA’s WBC opener March 10 against Colombia, but he has not pitched since in the tournament. The right-hander returned to the Rays this past week and pitched Thursday in a minor league game as part of a plan to keep him on track to potentially pitch again for the U.S.

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Eight more spots open Sunday for Sweet 16

A look at some interesting things as we head into Sunday, when the NCAA Tournament will finalize its Sweet 16:

SOMETIMES …

Southern Cal‘s De’Anthony Melton got as philosophical as a basketball player can get. When asked about the Trojans’ second-round game with Baylor, he answered: “It doesn’t matter who’s better because sometimes the better team wins, the better team loses. So it just depends on who can play harder and who can get stops at the end of the game.”

CATCHING UP

The Trojans lead the nation in winning games in which they trailed by at least 10 points, including the Trojans’ two wins in the NCAA Tournament.

Coach Andy Enfield has started to approach big deficits differently as the season has gone along.

“Early in the season we used to get really mad at our players for falling behind, especially with teams we thought we were equally talented or had more talent than,” he said. “But now, at halftime the other night, we said, ‘Hey, this is great, we’re only down 8. We were down 15 the other night. This is great.’ And our players started laughing.”

OVERRATED SLEEP

With quick turnarounds between games and long travel, sleep becomes a rarity especially for coaches and their staff.

“Sleep is overrated this time of year and this is what you work so hard for,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “So to get to this point, college coaches, we’re all – we were all the kind of guys that probably had to cram anyway back in our college days. We probably weren’t the best, most prepared students. So cramming is something I think we probably practice.”

STRANGE COINCIDENCE?

Kentucky and Wichita State face each other Sunday for the first time since they met in the NCAA Tournament since 2014. In that game Wichita State was the unbeaten No. 1 seed while the Wildcats were a No. 8 seed, a placing many said was well under what they should have been.

On Sunday, the 10th-seeded Shockers, a team many feel is underseeded, face third-seeded Kentucky, a team with national championship consideration.

“The bottom line is the only two guys that remember that game, other than you media people, are Coach Cal and I. Everyone else is new,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said of Kentucky’s John Calipari. “What I thought was really ironic that year is we were such a polarizing team. We deserve a 1 seed. We don’t deserve a 1 seed. And you’re either on one side of the fence or the other. Then we get the 1 seed, but we get Kentucky as an 8. I think they hedged their bet a little bit.

“But in the end, it took a loss to validate our team, which I think is really ironic and sad.”

30/30

Sunday’s game will be only the second time in NCAA Tournament history that 30-win teams have played against one another in the second round. Wichita State is 31-4, Kentucky is 30-5.

In 2008, No. 2 Tennessee (30-4) beat No. 7 Butler (30-3) in overtime, 76-71.

FAN FAVORITES

Few teams receive negative reaction from fans as Duke does. The old bumper sticker says: “My favorite team is Carolina. My second-favorite team is whoever’s playing Duke.”

On Sunday, when the Blue Devils play South Carolina, not only is the arena in Greenville, South Carolina, but there will also be a strong contingent of North Carolina faithful.

“We were playing in the ACC Tournament where we were playing a game and not only are the opposing fans there but Carolina’s fans are also there waiting to boo us, too. So we’ve played in games that are supposed to be neutral where it felt like an away game. There’s not much difference,” Duke’s Grayson Allen said.

NO No. 1

It isn’t easy being the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova was the latest to find out, losing 65-62 to eighth-seeded Wisconsin in the second round.

For the 11th time in the past 14 years, the No. 1 overall seed won’t win the NCAA title and yet another reigning national champion fails to get past the Sweet 16. Florida was the last to do so when it repeated in 2007.

Besides this year, the No. 1 seeds to lose in the round of 32 are Kansas in 2010, Pittsburgh in 2011, Gonzaga in 2013, Wichita State in 2014 and Villanova in 2015.

“There should be nothing negative about this tournament. This is the greatest, I think, sporting event in our country,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “Just being in it … we can’t take it for granted. It’s so special to be a part of it. Every time you win and you get a chance to advance, cherish it. You’re playing the best teams in the country. You’re going to come down to games like this. We had a game like this against Kansas last year and we came out of the good side of it. We had a game like this against N.C. State two years ago, and we had a shot to win it and we missed it.”

Republished with permission from the Associated Press.

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Overpowering performance shows Gators belong in Sweet 16

If the Florida Gators play like they did on Saturday, they have a chance to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Florida smothered the beleaguered Virginia Cavaliers, 65-39 in a second round game at the Amway Center in Orlando.

This game was expected to be a defensive-oriented contest since neither team was known as offensive juggernauts. Florida has shown the ability to post big wins when they shoot around 50 percent. Three straight 30-point blowouts and a 22-point smashing of Kentucky are good examples.

Saturday’s game looked a lot like those four. The Gators hit 46 percent of their shots, including 38 percent of their three-point attempts. ,Devin Robinson, who had an outstanding two days in Orlando, and Justin Leon posted double-doubles.

The Cavaliers, even on the few occasions they were open, struggled mightily. They clanked 70 percent of their shots, 14 of their 15 three-point attempts.

Holding any major college team to 39 points isn’t easy, let alone the big stage of the Big Dance. It was a performance worthy of a Sweet 16 team – Florida’s next destination – or maybe even a Final Four participant.

“We’ve played really well at times this year,” said Florida Coach Mike White. “We’ve added a couple of wrinkles and got rid of a couple of wrinkles.”

Going into Saturday, the Gators thought that a victory over Virginia would give them a crack at the tournament’s top seed, defending champion Villanova. Instead, they will face eighth-seeded (the selection committee made a big mistake) Wisconsin in the East Region semi-finals in New York.

The Badgers are similar to Virginia in preferring a deliberate style of play, but the Wisconsin offense is better than Virginia’s. It promises to be hand-to-hand combat.

Whatever the style of play, White is just happy his team will still be practicing this week.

“We’re not done playing,” he said. “We’re excited about next weekend.”

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Lightning lose second straight as Capital’s T.J. Oshie gets a hat trick

And suddenly, the Tampa Bay Lightning is going in the wrong direction.

The Lightning, which entered the week on a hot streak, lost its second straight key matchup Saturday night in a 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. The Caps clinched the playoffs with the victory.

Tampa Bay, which has 11 games to play, is certain to finish with its worst record in four years.

Saturday night, the Bolts gave up the game’s first two goals and its last three. Along the way, T.J. Oshie had a hat trick. Oshie has played 14 games aginst Tampa Bay and has 10 goals and 19 points.

Nikita Kucherov scored twice for the Bolts. Alex Killorn scored the other goal.

“They’re a really good team,” said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. “You sit here and say, tie game going into the third. We were going to take our chances. That was tough. We take the penalty and we get through it and then we just stopped playing. Our defensive awareness, it was, we can’t let that happen. They’re changing, coming off the bench. To give up that chance, that’s a tough one. It’s a one goal game, but you can’t give up that fourth one. Killer.”

 Cooper thought the Lightning scored enough to at least get a point.

“We got three,” Cooper said. “When you get three, you’ve got to get points. Yes, you want guys to come out of their goal droughts and stuff like that, which they did. We scored three. You can’t give up five. You can’t give up four. It’s too tough to win in this league. I’m not as concerned about the amount of goals we’re scoring. It’s what we’ve given up. They’re battling. You’ve got to feel for them because they’re laying everything on the line. As I said, if you had told me we were going to score three against Washington, I was hoping we could get some points out of it.”

Tampa Bay is home Tuesday night against Arizona.

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FSU no match for Xavier’s excellence

Florida State’s outstanding season is over. It didn’t just end, it came crashing down with a thud on Saturday. The Xavier Musketeers, losers of 13 games this season, bludgeoned the Seminoles 91-66 in the NCAA Tournament second round at the Amway Center in Orlando.

Those who might not have seen the game might make the assumption that Florida State did not show up to play. That would be an unfair assumption to both Florida State and Xavier.

The Musketeers, who at one time lost six games in a row in February, got their act together late in the season and came into the tournament as winners of four of their last five. One of those victories against Butler, the South Region’s fourth seed. They beat a very good Maryland team in the first round.

Florida State, on the other hand, was never able to regain the magic after a 12-game winning streak ended. Five double-digit losses came as the result of poor shooting (especially free throws), poor defense, turnovers, and lack of preparation.

Only one of those factors, poor shooting, came into play in the FSU’s largest loss of the season. Xavier, superbly coached by Chris Mack, was that good.

The Seminoles committed only nine turnovers, a respectable amount against an aggressive defense. They made 14 of 19 free throws, a respectable 74 percent.

They pressured the Xavier ball handlers. FSU’s best player, Dwayne Bacon was aggressive, but also shared the ball.

So how on earth did FSU get swamped by 25 points? The Musketeers, who jumped on the Seminoles early and never let up, deserve all of the credit.

“They were just all over the place,” said Bacon. “We would nip at the lead, then they kept making big shots. They made big shots all night.”

Xavier passed the ball (20 assists on 30 made shots) and got inside, but also shot exceptionally well from the outside, making 11 of 17 three-point attempts. MTSU shot 57 percent from the game.

The Seminoles, quite simply, shot miserably. They only made 40 percent of their shots, and made only four of 21 three-point attempts.

Firing up so many bricks prevented the Seminoles from setting up their defense after made baskets. Xavier had no such difficulties.

For those who think the Seminoles, blew it, you are close, but not in the way you think. While several Musketeers played extremely well, guard Trevon Bluiett was simply sensational.

He scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half. Bluiett made three-pointers, layups, jumpers and 10 of 14 free throws. He also had six rebounds and three assists.

Bacon, in what may be his last game in a Seminole uniform, had 20 points while Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 16. Jonathan Isaac, who will almost certainly depart for the NBA, had eight.

In the end, Leonard Hamilton’s best team finished on a huge downer. It’s a safe prediction the “fire Leonard Hamilton” crowd is already organizing.

For the rest of Seminole fans, it was a fun year.

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Rowdies lose final exhibition game to Miami; season opener next week

It was hardly the way that Tampa Bay Rowdies’ head coach Stuart Campbell wanted his team’s final tuneup to go.

The Rowdies lost a 3-0 decision to Miami FC in an exhibition game Saturday, when “two crazy minutes” led to their downfall.

Tampa Bay gave up two goals in two minutes, then another seven minutes later, in losing their final game before next week’s season open against Orlando B.

“It’s a very flattering score for Miami,” Campbell said. “For 88 minutes, it was a good performance by us. We dominated a really good team and created more than enough chances, but then there were two crazy minutes.”

In the 67th minute, Miami’s Stefano Pinho pounced on a loose touch in the Rowdies’ defensive ranks to bear down one-on-one against goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald. A minute later, Kwadwo Poku picked off another soft pass in the Rowdies’ end and fed Pinho for his second goal in two minutes.

Enzo Rennella scored Miami’s third goal.

“The first goal was a big deflection that ended up with one of our players basically assisting their goal, which can happen from time to time,” Campbell said. “But the biggest disappointment is to go on and concede a second right away. That’s a sucker punch. We fell behind against the run of play when we were the team in the ascendency. We have to be more disciplined in that situation.”

“It was a very good performance, yet we lost 3-0,” Campbell said. “It’s preseason and I got more than what I wanted from the team because they really played a good game apart from those two minutes. But preseason or not, you still want to win and we didn’t do that so it wasn’t enough. It may not be such a bad thing in the end because there will be no complacency from the team going into the season opener.”

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Look for comedic parents in NCAA Tournament crowd on Saturday

A look at some interesting things as we head into Saturday, the first day of the second round of the NCAA Tournament:

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

There will be plenty of parent shots during two games Saturday.

No. 12 seed Xavier and assistant coach Luke Murray, son of actor-comedian Bill Murray, faces third-seeded Florida State in Orlando, Florida.

Meanwhile, Charlie Hall, son of former SNLers Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall, plays for eighth-seeded Northwestern, which faces top-seeded Gonzaga in Salt Lake City.

TURNING IT OVER

How’s this for a matchup? Fifth-seeded Notre Dame, tied for fifth in Division I in fewest turnovers, faces fourth-seeded West Virginia, which is No. 1 in forcing turnovers.

“They don’t let us pick (who we play),” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “I mean, if you’re asking me, would we have picked them? Absolutely not. … I guess that’s why you play.”

Notre Dame point guard Matt Farrell will be the focus of West Virginia’s defense, one game after facing Florida State.

“Being in the passing lanes, contesting full-court pressure. I think there’s a little more difference, a little more havoc, I would say, or reckless, you got guys everywhere,” he said. “So, we just need to stay poised with the ball. We need guys to be receivers.”

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Seems the Irish holiday means something to college coaches as well.

“There’s always a little buzz around our university and our place on St. Patrick’s Day. There’s no question about it,” Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey said. “St. Patrick’s Day is great when you’re still alive in the NCAA Tournament. It sucks when you’re not.”

OVERSEEDING

Overall No. 1 seed Villanova continues its defense of its national championship by facing No. 8 seed Wisconsin in the second round on Saturday. The Badgers have won more tournament games than any other team in the last four years (11 entering this tournament). Wildcats coach Jay Wright couldn’t have answered the question enough about whether the Badgers were under-seeded.

“I agree with you exactly. I agree with you 100 percent,” Wright said. “They are a great 8 seed. … We just look at it like next game. We love playing great teams, we really do, and we look forward to it.”

HEIGHT ADVANTAGE

Iowa State‘s tallest starter is 6-foot-8 and Purdue will counter with its impressive front line featuring 6-9, 250-pound double-double machine Caleb Swanigan and 7-2 reserve Isaac Haas. One of the Cyclones was able to steal some information via cable TV.

“With their size and their height and their ability, no one person can do that,” Iowa State forward Naz Mitrou-Long said of stopping the Boilermakers. “They’ve been a force down there all year long. We’ve been watching them, especially with the Big Ten Network, we were able the see a bunch of their games.”

VIDEO GEEK

Xavier players and coaches were giving their video coordinator plenty of praise – and coach Chris Mack even confessed about his own abilities.

“Our video coordinator, Ty Sampson, he’s incredible at what he does,” Mack said. “Not only is he good at getting instant film, he’s that type of guy, when your computer goes out and you’re offline, he can get it back. He hits Control X, Z, F1 and it’s back up and running. He’s special. He does a great job.

“I’m not that bad, though, with technology. I’m not going to sit up here like a dinosaur and act like I don’t know technology, but when things go offline, I usually get frazzled.”

NERVES & JITTERS

Virginia‘s London Perrantes, who has advanced to the round of 32 each of the last four years with the Cavaliers, explained the difference of how players feel from the first-round game to the second round.

“First game, obviously, nerves come into play,” he said. “… It’s always those first-game jitters of a big tournament like this. We got those out of the way now.”

CENTURY MARK

North Carolina and Kansas are the kings of the 100-plus teams. The Tar Heels’ 103-64 win over Texas Southern on Friday was their fifth game scoring more than 100 points. Kansas got its fifth with a 100-62 victory over UC Davis on Friday night.

Kentucky is next with three.

The record for points is 117 by Arkansas in a 41-point win over Georgia State in 1991.

DAVID SPEAKS

Northwestern won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game and the Wildcats’ second-round reward is top-seeded Gonzaga. One of the Wildcats used an old tale to explain their feelings.

“They’re one of the best teams in the country, so you kind of understand that narrative that people are trying to give off. I would be OK with being the David in this situation, just from my upbringing, I understand the backstory of that one. That would mean a lot to everybody in the program and I think it would be a great story for the country,” Bryant McIntosh said.

“It’s going to be tough. It’s not going to just be one stone that we have to throw in order to beat them. We’re going to have to play a really great 40 minutes and try and keep them out of transition, try and limit their paint touches and keep them off the boards. So it’s going to be really a tough task.”

AUSSIE, AUSSIE

Team meetings are a little different at Saint Mary’s. Seems the natives of Australia outnumber the Americans.

“It’s the best,” Australia Joe Rahon said. “We outnumber them eight to seven. So we’ll hold court.”

Aussie Calvin Hermanson jokingly agrees with Rahon.

“It’s important that we hold down the majority in the locker room,” he said. “We keep them in their place.”

Republished with permission from the Associated Press.

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