SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Latest on the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament (all times local):
Virginia coach Tony Bennett and his players have moved past the shock of their improbable loss to UMBC. Now it’s about building off lessons learned.
Bennett was named The Associated Press men’s college basketball coach of the year on Thursday. He attended a news conference in the Alamodome and was presented with the trophy, then fielded questions about a 31-win season that included a dominating run through the Atlantic Coast Conference but ended with the first 16-vs-1 upset in NCAA Tournament history.
Bennett says he still appreciates the full year of success that the Cavaliers had before the UMBC loss. He also says noted that guard Ty Jerome recently sent a text message with a simple message: “Coach, this is now part of our story. And we get to respond to it the way we want.”
The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers know they will not keep advancing simply because they’re a nice story.
Center Cameron Krutwig says the team is wary of falling into what he calls “The Cinderella Trap.”
“I don’t think we’re going to fall into the Cinderella Trap, where we just walk out there and something magical is going to happen, and we’re going to win,” he says. “We’re going to have to go out and play well and execute.”
Loyola-Chicago is the fourth 11 seed in the history of the tournament to advance to the Final Four. The previous three — LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and VCU (2011) have all lost in the national semifinal.
The Ramblers play third-seeded Michigan on Saturday night.
CBS Sports is bringing in some famous faces tied to each of the Final Four schools for its team-specific telecasts of the games.
NFL kicker Jay Feely and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will do analysis and reporting for their alma mater, Michigan.
The broadcast teams announced Thursday go with broadcasts of the Final Four that are geared toward fans and alumni interested in each team. They’ll be broadcast on TNT and TruTV while the main games will air on TBS.
Loyola-Chicago has Jerry Harkness, the captain of the school’s 1963 title team.
Kansas is bringing in alum Rob Riggle, the actor and comedian known for playing a Las Vegas cop in “The Hangover.” Also serving as an analyst is Scott Pollard, who played for the Jayhawks and won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2018.
Randy Foye will do analysis for the Villanova telecast, 12 years after being selected as an AP All-American. He played in the NBA for 12 years.
The Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago might not feel like such underdogs at the Final Four while they’re rolling around in their custom-painted bus. The 11th-seeded upstarts got a red-carpet arrival in Texas alongside powerhouses Kansas, Villanova and Michigan.
The teams still contending for the NCAA championship are practicing at the Alamodome on Thursday, while players and coaches from each team hold court with reporters.
NCAA President Mark Emmert will also hold his state of the association news conference. He has promised that changes are coming to a sport that has been enveloped in a corruption scandal all season.
The Associated Press also plans to announce the winners of player and coach of the year for both men’s and women’s hoops.
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