LEXINGTON, Ky. Davidson athletics director Jim Murphy said the school planned to send two busloads of students on an 800-mile round trip to Rupp Arena for Thursday’s Davidson-Marquette game, which is scheduled for a 3:10 p.m. tipoff. Murphy said the president’s office Davidson would pay for the students’ tickets.
“So they are basically going to get to come for free,” Murphy said. The students will not spend the night, busing the 400 miles to Lexington, Ky., and then leaving to return home immediately after the game.
If the 14th-seeded Wildcats upset the No. 3-seed Marquette, Murphy said the procedure would be repeated Saturday.
Mann update: Sixth man and senior forward Clint Mann was cleared for full-contact practice this week, and he is hopeful that he will be able to play his first game since mid-January on Thursday.
Mann, a 6-foot-7, 229-pounder who averaged 7.3 points and 19.6 minutes per game, has been participating in non-contact drills during the past month, and he even dressed on Senior Night at Davidson in early March. But during the Southern Conference tournament two weeks ago, Mann was in street clothes on the sideline.
“Hopefully (getting cleared) just means I can go into the game,” Mann said. “I just really want to be able to get another game at some point. It looks like I’m going to be able to do that which is really great.”
He suffered a concussion, the third of his career, on Jan. 17 against The Citadel. During Davidson’s open practice Wednesday, Mann participated fully with the Wildcats.
N.Y. Native McKillop: Davidson coach Bob McKillop doesn’t often get to talk to the New York media, but he fielded several questions from papers in that market Wednesday.
Among the questions he got, McKillop was asked about his relationship with the legendary New York high school basketball coach, recently deceased Jack Curran.
McKillop, a guard at Chaminade High, played against Curran’s Archbishop Molloy teams regularly. He was set to walk on at Siena when Curran asked him if he would like a scholarship to East Carolina.
“Within a day, I had a plane ticket and a scholarship offer at East Carolina University,” McKillop said. “Mr. Curran made one phone call and made that happen.”
Uniform watch: As part of the latest recruiting craze to wear new uniforms, Louisville will be wearing jerseys with sleeves for its game against N.C. A&T Thursday.
The Adidas jersey, dubbed adizero short sleeve uniform system, will also be worn by UCLA and Baylor. And though promotional items had the Cardinals in their alternate ‘infrared’ jerseys, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said his team will be wearing home whites.
“We were asked to go infrared again and our (athletics director) said, ‘absolutely not,’ ” Pitino said. “Our AD is a traditionalist.”
No. 14 Davidson (26-7)
vs. No. 3 Marquette (23-8)
3:10 p.m., Rupp Arena, TruTV
Davidson coach Bob McKillop is going for his first NCAA tournament victory without Stephen Curry when his Wildcats take on the Golden Eagles, who are not taking them lightly. Jake Cohen leads Davidson with 14.8 points per game while junior forward De’Mon Brooks has been hot lately. Marquette guard Vander Blue paces Buzz Williams’ squad at 14.3 points per game.
No. 16 N.C. A&T (20-6)
vs. No. 1 Louisville (29-5)
6:50 p.m., Rupp Arena, TBS
Jeremy Underwood played the game of his career, coming off the bench to go 6-for-6 from the field with 19 points in the Aggies’ win over Liberty Tuesday night, but N.C. A&T will need more production from leading scorer Adrian Powell (12.5 points per game) if it wants to compete with the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed. The Cardinals are led by a quick backcourt, Russ Smith and Peyton Siva, and are the favorites to win the national championship.