OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- The messages were flying in the Kansas locker room at halftime.
Elijah Johnson told his team to stop second-guessing itself. Tyshawn Taylor reminded the Jayhawks that they'd been in trouble before. Coach Bill Self finally stood up and told his team that it would take sheer toughness to rally past Purdue.
"When things don't go well and you get behind and you play uphill the whole way, it takes some energy and it takes some toughness," said Self, whose team fell behind by double-digits early and still trailed by six at the break. "My message to the whole team was trust each other."
All those messages came through loud and clear.
Johnson finished with 18 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final minute, and No. 2 seed Kansas held off Robbie Hummel and the No. 10 seed Boilermakers 63-60 on Sunday night in a dramatic third-round game in the NCAA tournament.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- It's been a long time since North Carolina State was mentioned in the same breath with the elite programs in the nation - let alone its own state.
Now, a new coach and a new attitude have the Wolfpack faithful harkening back to the glory days of David Thompson and Jim Valvano.
Lorenzo Brown hit three free throws in the final 10.6 seconds and North Carolina State returned to the round of 16 with a 66-63 upset of third-seeded Georgetown in the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Jim Calhoun and Connecticut didn't expect their season to end this way.
Their future is equally unpredictable.
"We're talking about tonight's game. We're not talking about me," Calhoun said after Iowa State stunned the defending national champions 77-64 in the NCAA tournament Thursday night. "I'm going to get on the plane tomorrow, go home and do what I usually do and meet up with the team on Monday. My own personal thing, I don't think it has any relevance, to be honest with you."
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Shaka Smart and Co. pulled off the first major surprise of the NCAA tournament.
Yep, VCU is back again.
Bradford Burgess hit a key 3-pointer with 1:33 left and the 12th-seeded Rams held off Wichita State 62-59 on Thursday night.
Smart was one of the tournament's biggest stars last year when he coached VCU to victories over Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas, making the Rams just the third No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four. The run ended when they lost to Butler in Houston.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Syracuse was missing its starting center. North Carolina-Asheville thought the Orange got help from three men in striped shirts.
With Syracuse facing the kind of NCAA tournament history no team wants to make, the top-seeded Orange rallied for a 72-65 victory Thursday in the second round of the East Regional.
Two calls by the officials had the sellout crowd of 18,927 at Consol Energy Center - except for those wearing orange - booing throughout the final minute but it didn't matter.
Syracuse made it 109-0 for No. 1 seeds against No. 16s since the NCAA went to a field of 64 in 1985.
By Sam Amick
Orlando center Dwight Howard has agreed to return to the Magic next season, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
After reversing course numerous times in recent days and refusing to sign the necessary paperwork on Wednesday afternoon, Howard signed a waiver on the early termination option of his contract Thursday afternoon, thereby guaranteeing he will return for the final year of his deal (worth $19.5 million).
By Sam Amick, SI.com
Mike D'Antoni is out as coach of the New York Knicks, sources confirmed to SI.com.
"He didn't resign," one source close to him said. "Mutual decision."
Sources say assistant coach Mike Woodson will take over on an interim basis for the Knicks, while assistants Phil Weber and Dan D'Antoni, Mike's brother, are no longer part of the staff.