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'Gonzaga Grandma' celebration goes viral

March Madness has only just begun, and already there is an internet sensation: the Gonzaga Grandma.

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Fourth-seeded Gonzaga squeaked past UNC-Greensboro 68-64 Thursday afternoon and did not clinch the victory until freshman guard Zach Norvell Jr. hit a 3-point shot with 20.8 seconds remaining to snap a 64-64 tie.

After the basket, the TNT cameras caught an elderly woman in the Gonzaga cheering section celebrating by pointing her arms to the sky, mouthing the words “Thank you, Father.”

It was a heavenly way for the Bulldogs to avoid an upset. The Gonzaga Grandma’s reaction quickly went viral:

NCAA Tournament: Tennessee ends Wright State’s season

A Wright State team built on defense was done in by a bigger, stronger and faster one Thursday as Tennessee overpowered the Raiders in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Volunteers held WSU to its lowest point total of the season and largest margin of defeat in a 73-47 triumph in a South Region game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

“You can’t play as poorly as we did offensively and win an NCAA tournament game, not against a team like Tennessee,” Raiders coach Scott Nagy said. “We’ve been in some games like this where we’ve played poorly offensively and won, but you’re playing Tennessee, that just isn’t going to happen.”

›› PHOTO GALLERY: See pictures from Wright State-Tennessee game

The loss ends the winningest Division I season in WSU history at 25-10, while the Volunteers (26-8) advance to face the winner of Thursday’s second game between No. 6 Miami and No. 11 Loyola-Chicago.

The Raiders’ first trip to the NCAA tournament in 11 years started poorly and only got worse against one of the top defenses in the country.

With senior guard and leading scorer Grant Benzinger in a shooting funk and freshman center Loudon Love on the bench with trouble for most of the first half, WSU missed 14 of its first 17 shots to fall behind 21-8. And the Raiders recovered.

›› ARCHDEACON: Losing seasons at SDSU made Nagy a better coach, dancer

Benzinger ended his college career with just five points on 2 of 16 shooting, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

The Volunteers held him scoreless over the final 24 minutes.

“You’re going to have games like that,” Nagy said. “Grant has had people sticking to him all year, so I don’t think that was any different. I don’t know what to tell you. He just had a tough game offensively.”

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Everyone in green did as the Raiders made just 19 of 60 shots, including 4 of 21 from 3-point range against a Tennessee defense that also recorded six steals, six blocks and a 44-32 edge in rebounds.

“We felt coming in that Wright State would be as difficult a team as we’ve played all year in terms of the way they move without the ball,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “Defensively we were really pretty good today against a team that’s not a very easy team to guard.”

UT sophomore guard Lamonte Turner, the SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year, came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, while junior forward Admiral Schofield posted 15 with a game-high 12 rebounds. Sophomore forward Grant Williams, the SEC Player of the Year, added 14 points and nine boards while playing a big role in getting Love into foul trouble.

›› Ryan Custer-inspired mantra fits Wright State to a T

The Raiders trailed by 11 at halftime, but the Volunteers opened the second half on a 14-4 run to coast into the second round.

Love led WSU with 12 points and nine rebounds, while freshman forward Everett Winchester added 11 points, eight of which came in the first half to keep the game from turning into a blowout earlier.

“Tennessee is really physical on defense,” Winchester said. “They’re in the lanes. They attack the ball. And they just pressure a lot. I think we had some pretty good looks out there. We just couldn’t knock down shots.”

As disappointing as the loss was, Nagy said it shouldn’t detract from a record- and barrier-breaking season.

›› RELATED: Revitalized WSU women open WNIT play at Toledo

But getting that message through to the players proved to be as tough as fighting through the Tennessee defense.

“I’ve had to give that speech 23 times now because I’ve ended every one of my seasons with a loss,” Nagy said. “It’s hard for the kids to hear right there. It doesn’t matter what you say to try to make them feel better, they don’t feel better at that point.

“I think as time goes on, they’ll be able to look back and see what a special season this was,” he added. “One thing I told them is that I haven’t enjoyed every team that I’ve coached, but I really enjoyed these guys. This team has been a joy to coach, and for as thin as we were and as young as we are, we accomplished so much.”

Wright State to face Tennessee in NCAA Tournament first round

Wright State will be a No. 14 seed in the South Region and face third-seeded Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday in Dallas. The game will tip at 12:40 p.m. on truTV.

A crowd of 750 packed the Student Union on the WSU campus for a watch party with the team as the Raiders (25-9) found out where they will be going and who they will be playing in their first NCAA tournament since 2007.

RELATED: WSU players recall NCAA Tournament memories

ARCHDEACON: WSU legends weigh in on this year’s team

RELATED: Mike Hartsock’s podcast with Wright State’s Loudon Love

“This is great, but this needs to be a habit,” Nagy told the crowd. “I honestly didn’t expect this kind of turnout. It’s a little bit overwhelming, but we’re so pleased that you came.

“As we get ready to see where we go and who we play, our expectations are that we will go and win that basketball game.”

›› RELATED: Mike Hartsock talks to WSU freshman Loudon Love on his podcast

Tennessee (25-8) had won six in a row before losing to Kentucky 77-72 in the SEC championship game Sunday afternoon. This will be the 21st NCAA tournament appearance for the Volunteers, and first since they advanced to the Elite 8 in 2014.

It will be the first meeting between Wright State and Tennessee.

The winner advances to play play the victor of the game between No. 6 Miami, Fla. and No. 11 Loyola-Chicago, a team Wright State played in the season opener in Chicago on Nov. 10. The Ramblers won 84-80.

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The Raiders, who earned the Horizon League automatic bid Tuesday with a 74-57 victory against Cleveland State in the championship game, are in the tournament for just the third time in school history.

“There was an article where Thomas Walkup from Stephen F. Austin said, ‘There are two types of teams in the tournament — teams that are just happy to be there, and teams that are ready to take it by storm,” WSU senior and leading scorer Grant Benzinger said. “We intend to be the latter.”

Selection Sunday -- What to know

March Madness is upon us, and there will be a few new wrinkles when the 68-team field is announced Sunday evening.

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The “March Madness Selection Show” will begin at 6 p.m. ET, and for the first time in many years it will not be broadcast by CBS. TBS will get the honors this year, and also will televise the Final Four for the first time.

Some of the drama will end early. For the first time, teams that made the field will be announced in alphabetical order. That means that if your team is on the bubble and is not announced, then you can skip the rest of the show unless you are interested in the entire bracket and the seedings.

This is a departure from going through every bracket and listing the teams at an agonizingly slow pace.

Bracket seedings will follow, so get out your pens and put on your bracketology caps.

Providence basketball coach splits pants during intense Big East final

During Saturday’s Big East basketball tournament championship game at Madison Square Garden, Providence coach Ed Cooley refused to throw in the towel.

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He needed it because he ripped his pants.

During the second half of the game, eventually won 76-66 by Villanova in overtime, Cooley had a wardrobe malfunction and had to wear a towel around the back of his pants, ESPN reported.

“When I sat down I felt the great breeze in the crack,” Cooley laughed. "My pants ripped."

Villanova coach Jay Wright said he didn’t notice the towel.

“I didn't know until (Big East commissioner) Val Ackerman told me after the game when we were up on the stage,” Wright said. “So I never knew it. I didn't see it.”

Wright confessed that he would be stumped if his clothes ripped during a game, ESPN reported.

“I don't know what I would do, man,” he said. “I think I would try to fake like it didn't happen and hold my coat over it, I think. Thank God I haven't had that yet.”

Cooley wore a sweatsuit for the postgame news conference, ESPN reported. He said he was proud that his team never threw in the towel against Villanova.

“I'm pretty sure some of you are surprised the game was played the way it was, because everybody thought the Friars were going to come in here and lay down,” Cooley said. “No way, man. That team got fight. They've got passion, and we believe.”

LaVar Ball blasts Trump after report says UCLA players were freed before president stepped in

We now have a LaVar Ball vs. Donald Trump Part II.

ESPN released a report on Saturday chronicling UCLA’s China shoplifting incident involving freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley. The three allegedly had stolen sunglasses from Louis Vuitton, a boutique store and a bracelet from H&M.

>> LaVar Ball pulls son LiAngelo out of UCLA after suspension

ESPN’s Arash Markazi wrote that Trump actually had nothing to do with the release of LiAngelo Ball, Hill and Riley.

Upon hearing the news, LaVar Ball doubled down on his stance that Trump had zero to do with getting the three out of harm’s way.

>> See his tweet here

LaVar Ball and Trump previously got into a spat on social media in the days and weeks after the highly-publicized theft. Soon after the LiAngelo Ball, Hill and Riley were released from house arrest, Trump took to Twitter seeking credit.

LaVar Ball dismissed Trump’s request for validation on multiple occasions.

The two had quieted down their tug of war, but Saturday's news has evidently resuscitated the matter.

>> Read more trending news 

LiAngelo Ball has since left UCLA to play professional basketball in Lithuania. Hill and Riley are currently serving a one-year suspension as punishment for the international shoplifting incident but were permitted to practice with the team on Dec. 26.

Jacksonville State center from Lithuania reunited with mother after 5 years 

A college basketball senior from Lithuania was reunited with his mother for the first time in five years, thanks to his coaches at Jacksonville State University, People reported.

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Norbertas Giga, a senior for the Gamecocks, had been invited to watch film with the coaching staff in a hotel conference room Tuesday as the team from Alabama prepared to play in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. 

Giga was told by the coaches that video cameras were present simply to document the team’s postseason run, People reported. Assistant coach Chase Richardson begins the session by asking the 7-footer about his mother’s discipline tactics.

“What did your mom used to tell you about belt whippings? You need them?” Richardson asks Giga. “When’s the last time you had one?”

“Oh man, that was about eight years ago?” Giga said.

Richardson walked to a door near the film screen and told Giga, “I’m tired of belt-whipping you myself. So we got the real thing for you.”

Richardson opened the door and Giga’s mother walked into the room. Giga ran to the opposite side of the room in disbelief, then returns to give his mother a teary embrace.

Giga has been a two-year starter for the Gamecocks since arriving at the school in 2016, CBS Sports reported. Prior to that he spent a season at the junior college level at Midland College and Tallahassee Community College and a year at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey, CBS Sports reported.

A HUGE Thank You to everybody that was involved in this surprise for me. I can’t even explain how much it means and how this moment feels to me,” Giga wrote on Twitter. “THANK YOU! We are Gamecocks!”

The surprise was not enough to help Giga spark Jacksonville to an OVC title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. After defeating Tennessee Tech 73-70 on Thursday, the fourth-seeded Gamecocks lost 70-63 to top-seeded Murray State in the conference semifinals Friday night, ESPN reported.

Louisville basketball team stripped of 2013 NCAA title

The NCAA stripped the University of Louisville of its 2013 national basketball title and mandated that the school must vacate 123 wins between 2011 and 2015, the organization said on its website Tuesday. The decision by an NCAA panel denied the Cardinals' appeals in a sex scandal case.

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The NCAA’s appeals committee also upheld the Division I Committee’s decision in June 2017 to require the university to return money it received through conference revenue sharing for its appearances in NCAA basketball tournaments during 2012 and 2013, when the Cardinals appeared in the Final Four; and tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015.

It is the first time in modern Division I men's basketball history that a championship was vacated. The Louisville-Courier Journal reported.

The decision ended a two-year process that began after a book published by Katina Powell sparked an NCAA probe in October 2015. In “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” Powell alleged that former Louisville basketball staff member Andre McGee paid women thousands of dollars and gave them game tickets to dance for and have sex with players and recruits, the Courier-Journal reported.

Louisville officials imposed a postseason ban for the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA tournaments, and then added recruiting sanctions after confirming Powell’s allegations, the Courier Journal reported. Former coach Rick Pitino was suspended for five conference games and appealed the ruling. Pitino dropped the appeal after he was fired in October 2017 after an FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting practices included allegations against the school, the Courier-Journal reported.

In its appeal, Louisville argued that the penalties were “excessive,” the NCAA said. 

Beloved sports broadcasting legend Dick Enberg dies

Beloved Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, whose exuberant “Oh my!” calls resonated with fans, died Thursday, his wife and daughter confirmed to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

He was 82.

Enberg was a versatile broadcaster, covering 10 Super Bowls, 28 Wimbledon tennis tournaments and eight NCAA basketball title games when he was the play-by-play voice of UCLA during its dynasty in the 1960s and ’70s, the Union Tribune reported.

His last full-time job was as the television voice of baseball’s San Diego Padres. He retired from that position in 2016 after calling games for seven years. He also called games on radio for the California Angels and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.

Enberg worked for NBC, CBS and ESPN, and his “Oh, my!” call became a legendary punctuation mark after a dramatic play.

He won the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award (2015), the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Rozelle Award (1999) and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Gowdy Award (1995).

Enberg's daughter, Nicole, said the family became concerned when he didn't arrive on his flight to Boston on Thursday, ESPN reported. 

Enberg was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood, with his bags packed. The family said it believes he had a heart attack, but is awaiting official word, ESPN reported.

“I’m heartbroken,” former Padres broadcast booth partner Mark Grant told the Union-Tribune. “It’s so sad. I thought Dick was the type of guy who was going to live until he was 100, going on the circuit, talking to everybody about baseball and football and tennis.”

Enberg joined NBC Sports in 1975 and worked for the network for 25 years. He was paired for many years with former Los Angeles Rams football star Merlin Olsen. He is the only person to win Emmy Awards as a sportscaster, a writer and a producer, ESPN reported.

Enberg also was a game show host, working as the emcee for the sports-oriented “Sports Challenge” from 1971 to 1979. The show pitted athletes from different teams in a quiz show format.

Recently, Enberg began hosting a podcast called “Sound of Success,” interviewing stars such as Billie Jean King, Bill Walton, Johnny Bench and Steve Kerr.

He told the Union-Tribune earlier this week that he hoped to lure NBA legend Magic Johnson, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and actor Jack Nicholson to his online show.

“At the very top of the list,” he said, “is Serena Williams.”

Ex-wife of NBA star Lorenzen Wright charged in connection to his murder

The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright was arrested in California and charged with first-degree murder Friday night.

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Sherra Wright-Robinson was arrested in her Riverside, California, home Friday. Jail records show she was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside at 9:28 p.m. PT. No charges are listed.

Wright-Robinson was indicted and arrested for conspiracy, criminal attempted first degree & first degree urder in the death of Wright, police said.

Deborah Marion, Wright's mother, said authorities told her Wright-Robinson would be charged with first-degree murder, the same charge that was filed against Billy Ray Turner, who was arrested on Dec. 5.

Wright starred at the University of Memphis and was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers as the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He played 13 seasons in the NBA with the Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring in 2009.

The former NBA star was last seen alive on July 18, 2010 when he left Wright-Robinson’s home. The next day, police received a phone call from Wright's cell phone, but it was interrupted by gunfire, according to Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

Wright's body was later discovered on July 28, 2010, in a field near Hacks Cross and Winchester. The then 34-year-old was shot multiple times. 

Investigators found the alleged murder weapon in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi, on Nov. 9, 2017.

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