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2hIan O'Connor

Meet Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns

Since he was in ninth grade, Karl-Anthony Towns has been winning people over with his kind and gentle heart and awe-inspiring game.

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Xavier extends Mack through 2020-21 season

Xavier coach Chris Mack got a one-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season on Wednesday after leading the Musketeers to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament for the third time in his six years.

Final Four Videos

Andy Katz's 3-Point Shot (2:10)

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1dJeff Goodman

Coaches: Duke to end Michigan State's run

Jeff Goodman surveyed roughly a dozen Division I head coaches and assistants on the subject of Saturday's Duke vs. Michigan State contest. That group identified the keys to victory and critical matchups -- and the majority predicted a Blue Devils win.

Looking Ahead To The Final Four

Andy Katz's 3-Point Shot (1:53)

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17hJeff Goodman

Coaches: Badgers have great shot vs. UK

Jeff Goodman surveyed roughly a dozen Division I head coaches and assistants on the subject of Saturday's Kentucky-Wisconsin showdown. That group identified the keys to victory and critical matchups -- and the majority predicted a Badgers win.

Now

Towns' transformation 'incredible'

Karl-Anthony Towns' high-school coach Bob Hurley: "I didn't think he could go from shooting 3s to being this dominant around the basket. I want to write John Calipari a note to say this is the most amazing transformation I've seen."

AP Photo/James Crisp

NIT staying at Madison Square Garden

The National Invitation Tournament will remain in New York City through 2018 after reaching a deal with MSG. "The World's Most Famous Arena" has hosted the tournament since its inception in 1938.

Vitale: Kentucky-Duke in title game

Kentucky's depth and defense will be too much for Wisconsin, and Duke's Jahlil Okafor is a matchup nightmare for Michigan State. At least so says ESPN's Dick Vitale. But who does he have winning it all? Dickie V's predictions

AP Images

Ian O'Connor profiles Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns once attended funeral services for a 25-year-old St. Joe's graduate he'd never met, who was among six Marines killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2012. Towns honored Reinhard by scoring a career-high 25 points in his next game, and told his coach he had no interest in scoring a 26th. 'An off-the-charts sweetheart'

Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS/Getty Images

Nation's top scorer entering draft

Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey, whose 23.1 points per game average led all Div. I players this season, will declare for the NBA draft, sources told ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Jahlil Okafor key in MSU-Duke

ESPN's Seth Greenberg on how to stop Duke: "Everything you do defensively centers around how you're going to defend Okafor. ... As good as Michigan State's team defense is, I just don't think they have an answer for that." (via Mike & Mike)

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10 more years for Panthers' coach

Northern Iowa agreed to an extension through 2024-25 with coach Ben Jacobson, who is 197-104 in nine seasons at the school. He led the Panthers to a school-record 31 wins this past season.

Kelly Oubre Jr. jumping to NBA

The 6-foot-7 guard/forward is leaving Kansas after one season to enter the NBA draft. Oubre, ESPN's Chad Ford's No. 11 overall player, averaged 9.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. Ford's big board (Insider)

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Hey coach, look behind you!

New George Mason basketball coach Dave Paulsen was introduced at the school today. He comes from Bucknell and told reporters: "I've known since I was 10 years old that I wanted to be a college basketball coach. I love what I do."

AP

Seth Greenberg: Badgers can beat UK

"Where Wisconsin can win this game is their frontcourt. They've got three guys up front that are as versatile, big, skilled, talented as any. ... We're going to see how the Kentucky front-court guys can guard away from the basket." (via Mike & Mike)

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Remembering the Flint-Stones

Fifteen years ago, four players from Flint, Michigan, helped lead Michigan State to its first national title since Magic Johnson's team in 1979.

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Myron Medcalf @MedcalfByESPN

Melo Trimble's people should host a town-hall style meeting with all underclassmen titled: "It's OK to come back for another year." Smart.

Andy Katz @ESPNAndyKatz

Good news for the Big Ten and of course Maryland as school announces Melo Trimble will return for sophomore season.

Terps' Melo Trimble to return

The Maryland freshman will come back, coach Mark Turgeon announced today. Trimble led the Terps in scoring (16.2 PPG) and was first team All-Big Ten. "I am excited about spending another year with my teammates and building on what we accomplished this year," Trimble said.

AP Photo

Bo knows Final Fours
Men's College Basketball 

Since the 2009-10 season, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan has seen just one of his players drafted. Yet, Ryan still has made it to two Final Fours. Kentucky coach John Calipari has 18 times as many players drafted in the same time.

Men's College Basketball 

Top football-hoops coaching combos

The best time to be an undergrad is when your teams are excelling in basketball AND football. Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg compiled a list of duos that brought glory to their schools in an overlapping era. Florida's on the list twice, but what state earned top honors? See the schools

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Cauley-Stein to Jordan comparison?

NBA Insider Chad Ford compares Willie Cauley-Stein to DeAndre Jordan: "When you give an NBA [comparison], people look at that player as they are right now in the league and say 'That's ridiculous.' ... We're not talking about that. We're talking about the same age." (via Mike & Mike)

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Ford: Towns more upside than Okafor

NBA Insider Chad Ford on Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Jahlil Okafor: "He's a much better rim protector and shot blocker than Jahlil Okafor is. That's a big, big area NBA teams are looking at. ... Not the same offensive production as Okafor, but much better defensive production." (via Mike & Mike)

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OTD: Villanova plays the perfect game

Villanova celebrated an upset win over the mighty Georgetown Hoyas 30 years ago today in the 1985 NCAA championship. The Wildcats shot 22-for-28 in the game.

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