Gonzaga and Baylor spent most of the men’s basketball season holding down the top two spots in the Top 25.
Makes sense they would also hold down a bunch of spots on The Associated Press All-America teams.
Corey Kispert of the Zags and Baylor’s Jared Butler got first-team nods Tuesday from the national panel of 63 media members that vote each week in the AP Top 25 poll. They were joined by unanimous pick Luka Garza of Iowa, a two-time selection, along with Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois and Cade Cunningham of Oklahoma State.
Gonzaga also landed big man Drew Timme and freshman sensation Jalen Suggs on the second team while Joel Ayayi was an honorable-mention pick. The Bears had Davion Mitchell on the third team and MaCio Teague as an honorable mention.
Kispert, who helped the Zags (26-0) earn the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, joins Dan Dickau, Adam Morrison and Kelly Olynyk as first-team AP All-Americans from Gonzaga.
“He’s the epitome of a college athlete. He’s a poster child for the term student-athlete, great student, great ambassador for the program, our school and college athletics in general,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of Kispert. “It’s all been because of the work, the time he’s put in, and his growth physically and mentally. He’s just an unbelievable guy.”
Utah men’s coach Krystkowiak is fired
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has let go of men’s coach Larry Krystkowiak after 10 seasons and a 183-139 record.
Utah director of athletics Mark Harlan announced the decision, saying in a release that “ultimately, our program needs a new voice, a new vision and a new leader who can build upon Larry’s foundation and lead us to greater heights in the years ahead.”
Utah finished 12-13 this season.
Lobos hire Pitino as men’s coach
Richard Pitino was hired as men’s coach at New Mexico, hours after Minnesota finalized his firing following eight seasons with the Golden Gophers.
Pitino, 38, was 54-96 in Big Ten games at Minnesota, with a mere three regular-season finishes higher than 10th place in the conference. He replaces Paul Weir, who went 58-63 in four seasons.
“I love Minnesota. It was eight awesome years, but I’ve landed in a spot where I know we can win big,” Pitino said.
• Parts of the NCAA’s plan for playing the men’s tournament this week amid the pandemic came into question as a referee tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him and five others who went out to dinner with him out of the tournament.
Their excursion ran counter to a protocol that called on players and staff to eat at their NCAA hotels in Indiana, but because the refs’ rooms weren’t ready and there was no food available, they went out.
• A diversity report found a significant graduation gap continues to exist between white and Black players for the teams in this year’s NCAA tournaments, particularly on the men’s side.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida examined the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for the teams and found white male student-athletes graduated at a rate 13.5 percentage points higher than Black male student-athletes.
White players had a GSR of 93.8%, compared with 80.3% for Black players.
The gap was slightly lower on the women’s side, with white players recording a graduation rate of 97.9%, compared with 91.8% for Black players.