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Townes' 3 at 6.3 sends Loyola to Elite 8

(AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA (AP) With Loyola-Chicago clinging to a one-point lead and only 6.3 seconds remaining, Marques Townes sank a 3-pointer from in front of the Ramblers' bench to continue their improbable NCAA Tournament run.

Townes scored 18 points, including the key 3-pointer, to lead Loyola to a 69-68 win over Nevada in Thursday night's NCAA South Regional semifinal.

"I think Marcus Townes is the best player on the court tonight," said Loyola guard Clayton Custer. "I don't even think it was close, either. I am so happy for him. He is such a good basketball player and such a good person, I am just so happy he dominated the game tonight and he led us.


Kansas State leads Kentucky at halftime

The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

10:50 p.m.


Michigan rips Texas A&M, back in Elite 8

LOS ANGELES (AP) This one was easy.

After reaching the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 with an improbable buzzer-beater, Michigan shot 62 percent from the floor and routed Texas A&M 99-72 in the West Region semifinals on Thursday night to reach the Elite Eight for the third time in six years.


UConn hires Hurley from Rhode Island

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Dan Hurley became a hot commodity after coaching Rhode Island to two straight NCAA Tournaments. On Thursday, he left for a bigger name in New England basketball.

Hurley jumped across state lines to join a UConn team that has won four NCAA titles in 20 years but is under NCAA investigation and just finished a second straight losing season. The Huskies fired coach Kevin Ollie this month.


Miami's Brown declares, won't hire agent

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Miami Hurricanes sophomore guard Bruce Brown Jr. has decided to declare for the NBA draft but won't retain an agent, leaving him the option of continuing his college career.

The school announced Brown's decision Thursday. Players have until April 22 to enter the draft and until June 11 to withdraw. The draft is June 21.


Celts asst. McCarty to coach Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) Boston Celtics assistant Walter McCarty is returning to college basketball as Evansville's head coach.

Evansville announced McCarty's selection Thursday as the replacement for Marty Simmons, who was fired this month after going 184-175 over 11 seasons during which the Purple Aces failed to make the NCAA or NIT tournaments. Evansville finished 17-15 this season, losing in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tourney.


Medved back at Colorado St. as new coach

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) Former Colorado State assistant coach Niko Medved is returning to Fort Collins to lead the Rams men's basketball program after spending a year as Drake's head coach.

Medved replaces Larry Eustachy, who stepped down last month, ending a "climate assessment" of the program led by athletic director Joe Parker.


Purdue C Haas still hopeful of playing

BOSTON (AP) Purdue coach Matt Painter has all but ruled out Isaac Haas for the Sweet 16 after the star center fractured his right elbow in the Boilermaker's first-round NCAA Tournament win.

But the Boilermakers' 7-foot-2 senior is holding out hope that a new protective brace will give him a chance to play - even if just a few minutes - in second-seeded Purdue's East Region matchup with third-seeded Texas Tech on Friday night.


Kansas still has tough path in Midwest

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Everything seems to be in place yet again for Kansas. For the second straight year, the Wildcats need just two wins - in a gym its rabid fans can reach in less than half a day's drive - to reach the Final Four.

It didn't work for the Jayhawks a year ago, though, and winning this year's Midwest Region could be an even bigger challenge.


Villanova wary in chalk-dominated East

BOSTON (AP) �� Sporting the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament's chalkiest region doesn't give Villanova coach Jay Wright any special confidence heading into Friday night's game against West Virginia.

The Wildcats were together in a Pittsburgh hotel room last weekend when they watched top overall seed Virginia's unprecedented first-round loss to No. 16 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

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