Headlines Compiled by Jeff Fann
Growing up in Douala, Cameroon, Kenny Kadji's sports dreams were not about slam dunks and the NBA but scoring spectacular goals and playing for the famed French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain.
But nature burst that bubble. By his early teens, Kadji had sprouted to 6-feet-7 and outgrown soccer.
That turned into a pretty good deal for the University of Miami. Thanks in large part to Kadji, a 6-11 senior center, the ninth-ranked Hurricanes (24-6) are enjoying an historic season that continues today when UM, seeded No. 1, faces eighth-seeded Boston College in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.
NC State walked onto the Greensboro Coliseum court Thursday afternoon wearing red Adidas shirts with "Rise to the Occasion" emblazoned on the front.
While it was just the first game, the Wolfpack did exactly that in an 80-63 win over Virginia Tech.
Boston College coach Steve Donahue didn't know it at the time, but he picked the perfect time to take out his star freshman.
Neither of them had encyclopedic knowledge of Atlantic Coast Conference scoring records, so they didn't know Olivier Hanlan's 41 points would break Harrison Barnes and Tyler Hansbrough's freshman single-game record of 40
So while State didn't do everything it could have or even should have during a regular season that was still pretty darn good by recent standards, the past four months could be quickly forgotten depending on what happens during the next two weeks.
Stage One of the Wolfpack's redemption tour was Thursday's tournament opener against 12th-seeded Virginia Tech. Having taken care of business with a convincing 80-63 victory against the Hokies, State can now turn its attention to Stage Two, a quarterfinal matchup this afternoon with No. 4 Virginia.
The Terps usually win when they get to the foul line a lot - a sign they are being aggressive. They shot 29 free throws Thursday night, making 22.
"That was the difference," coach Mark Turgeon said. "Any postseason win is good," Turgeon said of the victory. "I got after our guys a little bit at halftime and talked about energy. We came out with energy to start the second half."
Move over Lennie Rosenbluth and Buzz Wilkinson. Charles Scott and Grady Wallace, you now have company. Randolph Childress, Harrison Barnes and the rest of ACC lore, please make room for a Canadian named Olivier Hanlan.
Hailing from the French Canadian town of Aylmer in the province of Quebec, the Boston College freshman guard etched his name in ACC Tournament history Thursday afternoon in one of the greatest performances ever in this historic event.
Duke is in town on Friday to play in prime time, and the vibe of the 60th ACC tournament changes.
The second-seeded Blue Devils (27-4) take on seventh seed Maryland (21-11) at 7 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum - Duke's first game here since the shocking loss to Lehigh in the first round of last year's NCAA tournament.
No matter. The big building on Lee Street is still Duke's home away from home.
North Carolina's progress hit a speed bump last weekend, but the Tar Heels are viewing it as a slight detour and nothing that should derail their season.
"The good news is we get to play some more," Coach Roy Williams said.
"We've got to take it one game at a time," UVa freshman Justin Anderson said. "You can't get to the NCAA tournament without winning these games. You can't get to the ACC championship without winning these games. We pride ourselves on having a turnaround year.
And I particularly pride myself on wanting to win an ACC championship. We've got to live for the moment. We can't worry about the NCAA tournament. We've got to list this moment. We've got to cherish it."
With two minutes left in Thursday's final opening round ACC tournament game, Florida State had a comfortable 13-point lead and was all but ready to run out the clock and advance to Friday night's quarterfinal against North Carolina.
Then, as Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton put it, "a comedy of errors" took hold for the Seminoles and feisty Clemson nearly pulled off a historic comeback before his team held on for a 73-69 victory.