The Latest: M-Tenn's Giddy Potts uses diet to improve game

BY foxsports • March 19, 2016

The Latest on the third full day of the men's NCAA Tournament, including games being played in Raleigh, North Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; Des Moines, Iowa; and Denver (All times EDT):

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4:30 p.m.

The best 3-pointer shooter in the country arrived at Middle Tennessee State as a 6-foot-2, 240-pound bowling ball whose body looked like a linebacker's and whose stamina hardly cut it in college hoops.

So, Blue Raiders coach Kermit Davis put Giddy Potts on a diet.

''We tried to get him to go to only one bowl of ranch with everything he eats, instead of two bowls. So that was a start,'' Davis said with a grin. ''He's just one of those guys that he just, his eating habits were just poor. And he had never really trained. I don't even know much weights he'd ever lifted.''

But Potts was ''country strong,'' Davis said. So when got in better shape, his game improved rapidly. And now weighing about 220, he's the best player on the NCAA Tournament's biggest surprise.

''He saw how much better a player he is,'' Davis said. ''We're still going to work on it in the spring.''

- Dave Skretta reporting from St. Louis.

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4:25 p.m.

The Bulldogs are growling.

Yale staged a 15-0 run to pull to 58-49 in the second half after trailing by 24. Duke has scored only 11 points in the period after scoring 48 in the first.

The crowd in the Dunkin' Donuts Center is hoping for another stunner. Duke's Marshall Plumlee and Matt Jones each have four fouls for the Blue Devils.

Yale has just missed three tries under the Duke basket with 7:47 left.

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3:50 p.m.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim can sympathize with Michigan State's Tom Izzo, whose second-seeded Spartans were upset by Middle Tennessee State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

In 1991, Beoheim's second-seeded Orange lost to No. 15 seed Richmond in Washington, D.C.

''We were the first ones'' to lose a 2-15 game since seeding began in 1985,'' Boeheim said. ''We just didn't play very well and it's not a good feeling, but there's not much you can say about it.''

There had been six more 2-15 upsets before the Blue Raiders, who will face the Orange on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16, took care of the Spartans. Only one of them, Florida Gulf Coast a few years ago, was able to win another game when Dunk City took care of Georgetown and San Diego State.

''You live with that loss for a long time,'' Boeheim said. ''It's what you do when you lose in this tournament. I've lost more than a few games. But I finally realized that everybody loses in this tournament - every coach, every team, every program somewhere along the line.

''It's not easy,'' he said. ''But it's not easy when you lose when you're an underdog, either.''

- Dave Skretta reporting from St. Louis.

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3:45 p.m.

This NCAA Tournament is by far the biggest one ever held at the 11-year-old Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, especially with Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana and UConn winning first round games.

But in retrospect, the Iowa high school basketball championships held here in 2010 turned out to be quite special as well.

Iowa star Jarrod Uthoff and current teammate Adam Woodbury, whose buzzer-beater Friday sent the Hawkeyes into the second round, played their final prep games that year in Des Moines.

So did Northern Iowa standout Wes Washpun, who had 17 points in Friday's stunner over Texas, and fellow Panther Matt Bohannon. North Carolina senior star Marcus Paige, then playing for Linn-Mar High outside of Cedar Rapids, was knocked out in the semifinals.

Even a future football star competed in the event: Cardinals running back David Johnson notched a double-double in his only game in the tournament for Clinton High.

The winning team that year? That was Ames High - which went unbeaten behind future Chicago Bulls star Doug McDermott and future NBA champion Harrison Barnes.

-Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines, Iowa

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2:55 p.m.

Just 48 hours after leading Stony Brook to its first NCAA Tournament appearance, coach Steve Pikiell has a new job.

A person familiar with the decision says Pikiell has been hired as Rutgers' basketball coach. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the university has not announced the decision.

The hiring comes nine days after Eddie Jordan was fired and two days after Stony Brook was beaten by Kentucky in a first-round game.

Pikiell, who led Stony Brook to six 20-win seasons in in the last seven years, takes over a team that had a 7-25 record and won just one Big Ten Conference game last season, and three over the last two.

-Tom Canavan reporting from Piscataway, New Jersey

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2:40 p.m.

Yale coach James Jones will have some heavy-duty family support in the stands as the Bulldogs look to upset defending champion No. 4 Duke in the second round of the West Region.

Joe Jones, Boston University basketball coach and younger brother of James Jones is in attendance. The pair could be mistaken for twins, with similar builds and the same shaved-head look. James Jones is also just 14 months older than Joe.

That family support is in addition to the brothers' father, 76-year-old Herman Jones, who was visible after the Bulldogs' first-round upset of Baylor on Wednesday.

Both brothers spent weekends and summers working alongside their father. He works as a presser at a dry cleaner.

''He's had this great belief in himself, and that's kind of worn off on me,'' James Jones said of his father. ''(Working as a presser) it's kind of the hardest work that you'll ever do. ... It gave me life lessons every day.''

Joe Jones' BU team beat Fordham in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament earlier this week. The Terriers have a few days off before next facing the New Jersey Institute of Technology in that event on Monday.

- Kyle Hightower, reporting from Providence, Rhode Island

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2:15 p.m.

Miami is the first team to punch its ticket to the Sweet 16.

The Hurricanes led big early, before holding on to defeat Wichita State 65-57 to earn their first Sweet 16 berth since 2013.

Miami fans chanted ''Sweet 16! Sweet 16!'' in the closing seconds.

Angel Rodriguez led Miami with 28 points and five assists. Sheldon McClellan added 18 points.

There is some symmetry in the victory for Miami coach Jim Larranaga, who led George Mason to the Final Four a decade ago when he was the Patriots coach. He had to go through Wichita State in the Sweet 16 in Washington, D.C., to do it.

- Kyle Hightower reporting from Providence, Rhode Island

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1:50 p.m.

In just a few dizzying minutes, Wichita State has made it a ballgame.

After trailing by as many 21 in the first half and 13 at halftime, Wichita State has fought back and trimmed Miami's lead to 48-45 with 7:43 to play in the game.

The Shockers came out of the half with a lot of pep and briefly took a 43-42 lead on a 3-pointer by Ron Baker at the 10:24 mark.

Wichita State has found its touch after shooting just 24 percent in the first half, The Shockers are 9 for 16 so far in the second.

Miami had nine turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, but has already committed six in this half.

-Kyle Hightower, reporting from Providence, Rhode Island

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1:40 p.m.

The off day in the women's NCAA Tournament brought a few jokes from Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie.

When asked about his memories of when his TCU team played Dawn Staley's Temple team in the 2004 tournament, Mittie cracked ''I hit a pullup jumper on her with about two to go. I felt that was a big shot.''

Not really, although Mittie's Horned Frogs outlasted the Owls 70-57 in Staley's second-ever NCAA trip as a college coach.

Things might not go as well for Mittie and the Wildcats on Sunday when they face the top-seeded Gamecocks for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Kansas State defeated eighth-seeded George Washington 56-51 on Friday night before South Carolina routed Jacksonville 77-51 in first round games.

The winner will advance to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for regional play.

- Pete Iacobelli reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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1:20 p.m.

What's the musical choice for inspiring teams in the NCAA Tournament? A 1980's song that the players on the court weren't even alive to hear its debut, of course.

Survivor's 1982 ''Eye of the Tiger,'' popularized in ''Rocky III'' was one of the final songs that blared over the Dunkin' Donuts Center public address speakers just before tip-off of the second half of Wichita State and Miami.

Granted, everything is set up to be non-partisan during the NCAA Tournament, from neutral announcers to the NCAA-branded insignia on the court.

But with the Shockers trailing the Hurricanes 32-19 at the half, you have to wonder if maybe someone on the sideline could be a Wichita State fan.

- Kyle Hightower reporting from Providence, Rhode Island

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1 p.m.

Miami came out fast, then weathered a late surge by Wichita State to take a 32-19 lead into the half in the second round of South Region matchup.

The third-seeded Hurricanes led 27-6 early after connecting on 8 of its first 9 field goal attempts, before an 11-0 run by the No. 11 seed Shockers made things a little more interesting.

The Hurricanes got their footing and the momentum back, though, thanks to 16 first-half points for point guard Angel Rodriguez. He has been unflappable throughout and has connected on all seven of his field goal attempts.

The Shockers were a blur offensively in their first-round win over Arizona, but aside from their one spurt haven't been able to match Miami's quickness at the guard spot.

Wichita State had 10 turnovers and is shooting a paltry 24 percent (7 for 29).

Coach Gregg Marshall is known for his halftime speeches. He will need a good one to help get his team back into the game.

- Kyle Hightower, reporting from Providence, Rhode Island

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12:35 p.m.

The Miami Hurricanes have almost completely silenced the electricity that the Wichita State brought to the Dunkin Donuts' Center this week.

The third-seeded Hurricanes lead the 11th seed Shockers 27-6 with 8:26 to go in the first half of their South Region second round matchup.

Miami is shooting a blustery 80 percent from the field (12 of 15) and are much quicker to the attack so far against a Wichita State team that won a First Four game against Vanderbilt before upsetting sixth seed Arizona 65-55. The Shockers are just 1 for 14 from the field with nine turnovers.

Miami was a slight underdog against the Shockers entering Saturday's matchup for a berth in the Sweet 16.

- Kyle Hightower, reporting from Providence, Rhode Island

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12:25 p.m.

Miami was a slight underdog against Wichita State entering the matchup for a berth in the Sweet 16.

In a game featuring two stellar backcourts, Miami's Angel Rodriguez has the edge. He scored the first seven points for Miami. Fred VanVleet has two as the Hurricanes lead 9-4 early.

- John Kekis reporting in Providence, Rhode Island


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