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Liberty coach Dale Layer instructs his players in practice Monday for today’s NCAA first-round game against North Carolina A&T.
Monday, March 18, 2013
DAYTON, Ohio — Liberty’s players and coaches woke up at 4:30 a.m. Monday for their charter flight. Instead of departing the airport at 7 in the morning, plane trouble kept them grounded for several hours.
Not even that could ruin coach Dale Layer’s mood.
“On 2 ½ hours of sleep, an 8-hour plane delay — hey, it’s great to be in Dayton!” Layer said with a wide smile.
After where the Flames have been this season, what’s a few more hours? It’s amazing they needed aircraft to fly to the NCAA tournament.
Despite losing their first eight games and having a 10-20 record late in the season, they won their final five games including the Big South title to reserve a spot opposite North Carolina A&T in the NCAA First Four on Tuesday night at the University of Dayton Arena.
The game pits two of the most unlikely of teams in any NCAA tournament. After all, the Aggies (18-16) were nearing a 16th consecutive losing season just two weeks ago — before they surged to take the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title.
Yet the journey of Liberty, an evangelical Christian school in Lynchburg, Va., surpasses just about any other stone-casting David in the tournament’s history. Only one other team has ever made the NCAA field with 20 losses — Coppin State in 2008.
JMU’s Goins suspended for half of NCAA opener
HARRISONBURG, Va. — James Madison has suspended scoring and rebounding leader Rayshawn Goins for the first half of the Dukes’ First Four NCAA tournament game against LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
The Daily News-Record of Harrisonburg says Goins was arrested Sunday night on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing justice.
Harrisonburg police did not returned several phone messages left by The Associated Press.
The newspaper says police were called to a party Saturday night to help disperse about 200 people. The paper says Goins was shouting obscenities and “enticing the crowd” before he was taken away by acquaintances.
Police say they did not arrest him then for fear the crowd would “turn riotous.”
Goins averages 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds this season.
Harris, Green on coaches’ All-ACC first team
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Virginia’s Joe Harris and Duke’s Mason Plumlee were unanimously selected to the coaches’ all-Atlantic Coast Conference team.
The league on Monday announced the all-conference teams selected by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.
Also on the first team were Miami’s Shane Larkin, Virginia Tech’s Erick Green and Duke’s Seth Curry.
Virginia’s Akil Mitchell was selected to the third team, while the Cavaliers’ Jontel Evans was named to the coaches’ all-defensive team.
Harris and Plumlee each received 33 voting points and were the only players to appear on the first-team ballots of the 11 coaches who could vote for them.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Gonzaga No. 1 in final AP men’s poll
Gonzaga’s first stint on top of The Associated Press’ college basketball poll lasted through the final Top 25 of the season.
The Bulldogs (31-2), the fourth of the four top seeds in the NCAA tournament, were a runaway No. 1 for a third straight week on Monday, receiving 45 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. They become the first school from a non-BCS conference to finish No. 1 in the final poll since Massachusetts of the Atlantic 10 in 1996.
Louisville, the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, is second and got the other first-place votes. Kansas and Indiana — the other No. 1 seeds — are third and fourth followed by Miami, Duke, Ohio State, Georgetown, Michigan State and Michigan.
Baylor women No. 1 for 2nd straight year
Baylor finished No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the second straight year.
The Lady Bears (32-1) were the top choice for the final 11 weeks of the season and received all 40 first-place votes for the fourth straight week.
The Lady Bears were followed by Notre Dame, Connecticut, Stanford and Duke. The Irish edged UConn last Tuesday to win their first Big East tournament title. Notre Dame’s only loss this season came to Baylor.
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