Update on the latest sports
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Baylor faces Houston, UCLA takes on Gonzaga in Final Four
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Somebody will be doing a joyful Texas two-step after Baylor and Houston meet in the first Final Four involving two programs from the Lone Star State. The winner of Saturday’s game will get a shot at its first national championship.
It’s been 71 years since the Bears got this far. The Cougars are in their first Final Four since 1984.
UCLA has more national championships than any other program in men’s basketball history. But the Bruins are the underdog in Saturday night’s Final Four game against top-seeded Gonzaga. They are listed as 14-point underdogs, the biggest spread in the Final Four in 25 years.
UCLA coach Mick Cronin says he is simply trying to tell his team it will be a challenge to beat the Bulldogs. The Bruins have already beaten a bunch of other teams that were favored against them.
Oklahoma hires Loyola Chicago’s Moser as basketball coach
UNDATED (AP) — Oklahoma has hired Loyola Chicago’s Porter Moser as its basketball coach following Lon Kruger’s retirement. Moser led Loyola to two deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and takes over a program accustomed to success.
Kruger led the Sooners for 10 years and reached seven of the past eight NCAA Tournaments. Oklahoma reached the Final Four in 2016 with Buddy Hield (heeld) leading the way. In Kruger’s final season, the Sooners went 16-11 and finished with a loss to top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round.
Moser lauded the “standards that the programs at Oklahoma have set” and the opportunity to coach in the Big 12.
In other college basketball news:
— Michigan senior Isaiah Livers has had surgery on his right foot. The school says the operation was performed Friday by Dr. David Porter at Methodist Sports Medicine Center in Carmel, Indiana. Recovery time is expected to be a minimum of six months. Michigan announced during the Big Ten Tournament that Livers had a stress injury in his foot, and he did not play in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines made it to the Elite Eight before losing to UCLA. Livers averaged 13.1 points a game this season.
USA Basketball picks Grant Hill as Colangelo’s replacement
UNDATED (AP) — USA Basketball has announced that Grant Hill will take over as managing director of the men’s national team following the Tokyo Olympics. He will succeed the retiring Jerry Colangelo, replacing one Basketball Hall of Famer with another in the critical role of assembling teams that will compete for gold.
Hill helped the U.S. win Olympic gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games and was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
The managing director role was created for Colangelo in 2005, after the Americans won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Colangelo has led a program that has won three Olympic gold medals and gone 97-4 in major competitions since.
USA Basketball Board of Directors chair and retired Gen. Martin Dempsey said Saturday that Hill “is a proven leader of consequence and character.”