Kansas State gets 1st NCAA tournament win since 2012

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Kansas State second-year coach Jeff Mittie entered the year hoping to move the program forward. He and the Wildcats took a big step in that direction Friday with their first NCAA Tournament in four years.

Megan Deines had 14 points, 11 in the second half, to help No. 9 seed Kanas State rally past eighth-seeded George Washington 56-51. The Wildcats will face top-seeded host South Carolina on Sunday night for the chance to reach the Sweet 16.

“This is very rewarding,” Mittie said. “You don’t take these for granted because these things are hard to get. We’re excited about that.”

Mittie took over a program two seasons ago that had not been the NCAAs since 2012. He had won five NCAA games with TCU before taking over the Wildcats and sweated out his latest tournament victory after his team’s sluggish start had them trailing 31-22 at the half.

“We knew we only had 20 minutes to play,” Deines said. “We knew we had to get rebounds and let our defense create our offense.”

That’s what Kansas State (19-12) did. It started with a 9-0 burst to tie the game, before adding a 14-5 run in the third and fourth quarters to grab control of a game they looked certain to lose. Deines scored all her second-half points in those stretches, including a foul shot that put the Wildcats up for the first time all game, 39-38, with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.

George Washington (26-7) kept things tight, trailing 52-51 on Jonquel Jones foul shot with 20.1 seconds left.

But the Wildcats made four of six free throws down the stretch to open the NCAA Tournament with a victory for the eighth time in their last nine appearances.

Jones had 20 points, 13 rebound and six blocks for the Colonials.

George Washington lost an opening NCAA game for just the fourth time in 17 appearances.

The Colonials had several chances to bail themselves out and move on. After the Wildcats’ Brianna Craig missed both foul shots with 20.1 seconds left, she got her own rebound and was sent to the foul line once more – this time making both.

Jones took a long 3-pointer on George Washington’s next trip down with 7 seconds left that was off the mark.

“You only get the door open so many times,” George Washington coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

Breanna Lewis had 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks for the Wildcats.

NIL and NCAA: What to know about the new policy and how NBC Sports can help

NCAA College World Series
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As of July 1, 2021, a new NCAA policy has been in effect allowing student-athletes from all three divisions to monetize their name, image, and likeness (often referred to as NIL). As long as the activities are “consistent with the law of the state where the school is located,” athletes now have the opportunity to accept endorsements from brands, monetize their social media presences, and work with professional firms to coordinate deals.

Click here for additional information and guidelines regarding NCAA NIL policies and keep reading to find answers to questions such as how NIL works as well as how NBC Sports can help.

What is NIL and NBC Sports Athlete Direct?

NBC Sports Athlete Direct is coming to a school near you. The program enables college student-athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) through a unique marketplace that connects athletes with advertisers. NBC Sports Athlete Direct will work to provide equal opportunities to all student-athletes, regardless of which team you play on or any statistical performance.

How will the NIL Marketplace work?

Advertisers will use NBC Sports Athlete Direct to make NIL offers available to college student-athletes. College student-athletes will then have the option to participate in the NIL offer. Those who decide to participate and complete the advertiser’s campaign requirements will be compensated based on a predetermined rate.

How much money can athletes make participating in NBC Sports Athlete Direct?

Compensation will vary by advertiser campaign.

When will NBC Sports Athlete Direct launch and how can I sign up?

NBC Sports Athlete Direct will officially launch in the Fall of 2022 but prior to that, we will be launching a pilot program soon, exclusively for Temple and Vanderbilt student-athletes.

In the meantime, click here to fill out a student-athlete interest form and once it is available at your school, we will notify you and provide you with additional information on how to sign up.

If I participate in NIL offers from NBC Sports Athlete Direct, do I still have the freedom to do other NIL deals that are not related to NBC Sports Athlete Direct?

Yes, this program is non-exclusive so our student-athletes will have the freedom to participate in other NIL deals that are not related to NBC Sports Athlete Direct.

What are the rules or restrictions for participating in this program?

Unfortunately, international students and students under the age of 18 are not eligible to participate in the pilot program at this time.

Kentucky to allow college athletes to earn off likeness

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Thursday allowing the state’s college athletes – including players on the nationally renowned Kentucky and Louisville men’s basketball teams – to make money through the use of their name, image or likeness.

The Democratic governor said he took the action as a matter of fairness for college athletes. It will spare Kentucky’s colleges from being at a competitive disadvantage with rivals in other states that will have laws enabling athletes to profit off their name, image or likeness, he said.

“This is important to our student-athletes, who for decades, others – whether it’s companies or institutions – have profited on,” Beshear told reporters. “These athletes deserve to be a part of that.”

Beshear said his executive order takes effect July 1, when similar legislation passed in several other states will become law. His office said he was the first governor to make the change by executive order.

The governor’s action won praise from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. UK plays in the Southeastern Conference and UofL competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Bringing the state of Kentucky into competitive balance with other states across the country and, more specifically, the Atlantic Coast Conference is critical,” Vince Tyra, U of L’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics, said in a release issued by the governor’s office.

UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said the governor’s action “provides us the flexibility we need at this time to further develop policies around name, image and likeness.”

“We are appreciative of that support, as it is a bridge until such time as state and/or federal laws are enacted,” Barnhart said in the same release from Beshear’s office. “The landscape of college sports is now in the midst of dramatic and historic change – perhaps the biggest set of shifts and changes since scholarships were first awarded decades ago.”

In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, laws go into effect July 1 that make it impermissible for the NCAA and members schools to prevent athletes from being paid by third parties for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

The NCAA had hoped for a national law from Congress that has not come, and its own rule-making has been bogged down for months. College sports leaders are instead moving toward the type of patchwork regulation they have been warning against for months.