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Sick Thornwell misses Gamecocks practice

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Latest on preparations for the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

South Carolina star Sindarius Thornwell is dealing with an illness two days before the Final Four.


Arizona F Markannen declares for draft

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona freshman forward Lauri Markkanen is leaving early for the NBA and is expected to hire an agent.

Markkanen made the announcement Thursday during a news conference at the school attended by his father, Pekka, and Wildcats coach Sean Miller.


"Bathroom bill" repealed by N.C. House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Basketball-mad North Carolina is hoping that its move to roll back its "bathroom bill" will help it avoid another costly hit as the NCAA selects four years of championship sites for a variety of sports.

College athletics' governing body said that it is deciding this week on locations for tournaments through the spring of 2022 and that it wouldn't award any to North Carolina if the law known as House Bill 2 was still on the books.


Indiana F Hartman returning next season

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Collin Hartman made up his mind on Thursday: He's playing one more season at Indiana.

In a statement issued by the athletic department, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward and last link to the Hoosiers' highly touted 2013 recruiting class announced he would return to school and the court after missing all of last season with an injured left knee.


No. Iowa extends Jacobson through 2027

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson has been given a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Panthers through 2027.

Jacobson just completed his 11th season at Northern Iowa. He has a school-record 234 wins and has led Northern Iowa to eight consecutive top-four finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference.


Maryland star G Trimble turning pro

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Maryland junior guard Melo Trimble is forgoing his final year of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA draft and will sign with an agent.

The school announced Trimble's decision on Wednesday.


Ref gets death threats by Kentucky fans

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Referee John Higgins of Omaha reported he received death threats after Kentucky's loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, a Nebraska law enforcement official said Wednesday.

Higgins' roofing company received about 3,000 harassing emails and an unknown number of phone calls, some including death threats, said Capt. Kevin Griger, investigations commander for the Sarpy County Sheriff's Department.


UMass tabs Chattanooga's McCall as coach

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) UMass has hired Matt McCall as its next basketball coach.

The 35-year-old McCall spent the previous two seasons in Chattanooga, where he led the school to the NCAA Tournament in 2016.


Nebraska F Morrow to transfer

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Nebraska forward Ed Morrow Jr. has announced he intends to transfer to another school after the spring semester.

Morrow said in a statement Wednesday night that he's leaving to "pursue dreams and aspirations." He said it was a hard decision because his parents are Nebraska graduates and he spent much of his childhood in Lincoln. Morrow was rated as high as a four-star prospect coming out of Simeon High School in Chicago in 2015.


Cavs' James in crybaby ad for Final Four

CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James is having a laugh at his reputation for being a "crybaby."

The Cavaliers' megastar is featured in a new Intel commercial in which he breaks down and cries after making a game-winning shot. As James hugs a teammate in celebration, and the camera circles in slow motion, the face of a crying baby is super-imposed over his own.

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