Shining moments could result in a windfall for players in NCAA Tournament

Allen scored 37 points on Thursday as he fumed at fifth-place UConn, bending, dancing and waving goodbye to the Huskies fans.

T-shirts and hoodies featuring a graphic of Allen, the words “BYE BYE” and the score and date of the 12th-ranked Aggies’ first NCAA tournament win since 1993 were available for purchase online through Friday night.

“Everyone understands the importance of really seizing the moment, in the moment. while this is happening. Because it’s the talk of the town. As is trending on Twitter. This is the time to really make a strong contribution,” he said Hunter PomerantzCo-founded The Players Trunk, an online merchandise store for college athletes to sell their gear and memorabilia.

Pomerantz, a former student manager for the Syracuse basketball team, said The Players Trunk is reaching out to athletes and offering them a contract to cut sales of the apparel. He declined to say what percentage goes to the players.

The shirts cost $29.99 and the sweatshirts range from $49.99 to $59.99. Pomerantz said the contract only covers the sale of the gear and all they ask athletes to do is promote the goods on their social media accounts.

Even before the tournament started, The Players Trunk started making money with March Madness.

The company produced shirts and hoodies for the Wisconsin Guard Chucky Hepburnwhose dying bank shot against Purdue sealed the Badgers’ regular-season Big Ten title, and Chattanooga’s David Jean-Baptistewho sent the Mocs to the NCAA tournament with a long buzzer beater in the Southern Conference championship game.

Selling merch is just the tip of the earning potential for March’s rising stars.

Jim CavaleCEO of INFLCR, a company that works with thousands of collegiate teams and athletes on a range of NIL programs, said there is a potentially lucrative market for March Madness-related NFTs and digital collectibles.

But that takes planning and coordination, and the current state of the NIL market is not designed for athletes to efficiently reap the benefits.

The NCAA does not have a consistent, detailed rule for NIL compensation. The association has instructed its member schools to follow state laws where appropriate, or to establish their own rules in states without legislation.

Many athletes are not permitted to use their schools’ marks and logos in their NIL activities. In some cases, they cannot work on zero deals while representing the school.

The Players Trunk gear with Allen’s image is not related to the state of New Mexico, but uses the colors of the Aggies basketball uniforms.

Also, licensing agreements between the NCAA and media rights holders CBS and Turner limit what athletes can use to create content.

While the content may face legal hurdles, capitalizing on newfound fame requires quick work and insight.

“You still need to be knowledgeable enough and take enough initiative, or have help to be knowledgeable and take enough initiative, to make the most of this new value,” Cavale said.

This first March madness with NIL will likely provide a blueprint for schools and athletes to better position themselves for sudden stardom in years to come.

“This will be the last year the kids aren’t fully ready for it,” BlakeLawrencethe CEO of Opendorse, another company that works with schools and athletes to manage NIL activities.

Lawrence said the convoluted nature of current NIL rules and regulations is holding the market back.

He said a national brand wants to promote athletes whose teams advanced from round one to round two in both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

So a player like Allen could have appeared in an ad on Saturday after his top game on Thursday. However, there were questions about whether athletes would be allowed to participate in NIL activities on road trips and represent their schools.

“When they started figuring out this stuff, they decided it was too difficult and decided not to spend anything with student athletes at all,” he said.

T-shirts and hoodies will have to do for now.

No. 1 Kansas survives Creighton

Remy Martin scored 20 points, Ochai Agbaji gave Kansas the definitive lead with his first basket early in the second half, and the Jayhawks held off Creighton (79-72) in a second-round matchup at the Midwest Region in Fort Worth to advance into the Sweet 16.

Martin hadn’t led Kansas (30-6) in scoring all season when the fifth-year senior, who transferred from Arizona State, struggled with a sore knee, but he did it in both NCAA Tournament play done.

The undermanned Bluejays (23-12) were without a 7-footer Ryan Kalkbrenner who injured his knee late in overtime in a 72-69 win over San Diego State on Thursday. Nonetheless, ninth-seeded Creighton stayed close with an unusually hot 3-point performance. Creighton, one of the country’s worst teams from across the arc, finished 12 out of 28.

The biggest came from freshman Trey Alexanderwho hoisted off balance from well behind the line just as the shot clock was about to expire. Keyshawn Feazells Buckets soon afterward got Creighton within one in the final two minutes.

The Bluejays had a chance to take the lead in the last minute but Alexander’s wrong pass went wide Alex O’Connells hands, resulting in a breakaway dunk for Agbaji, who scored 13 of his 15 second-half points.

Hall of Fame Matchup

Michigan State Tom Izzo and dukes Mike Krzyzewski, Hall-of-Famer coaches who have been the faces of March for decades meet at the NCAA tournament, making it the most common coaching matchup in tournament history. Coach K and Duke are 3-2 and 12-3 overall against Izzo and his Spartans in these games.

“I like the game,” Izzo said. “I just don’t like the record in this matchup over the years.”

Will Izzo, 67, retire his longtime friend and bring Michigan State’s seventh-place finish back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2019?

Or will 75-year-old Coach K’s farewell tour continue to San Francisco, the venue for the West Region semi-finals?

The No. 2-seeded Duke barely broke a sweat in his 78-61 first-round win over Cal State Fullerton. The Spartans were pushed to their limits before beating Davidson 74-73.

And now the meeting of the titans in Greenville, SC

Coach K’s 98 NCAA tournament wins are the most in history, as is his 36 tournament appearances. His 12 Final Four appearances are tied on points John Wood For most, his five national titles are second only to the Wizard of Westwood’s 10, and his tournament win ratio of .766 is the best among active coaches.

With 54 tournament wins and eight Final Four appearances, Izzo ranks fifth all-time and his .707 tournament win percentage is third behind Krzyzewski and Kentucky John Calipari (.746).

Villanova hardened

Villanova assistant Dwayne Andersoninjured himself while trying to hold in Friday’s 80-60 win over 15th seed Delaware Jermaine Samuels from an out-of-bounds fall, is expected to be back on the bench for the Wildcats’ game against No. 7 Ohio State.

Samuel’s elbow caught Anderson’s nose and the coach had to be helped off. The team’s medical staff monitored Anderson for symptoms of a concussion.

“We’re checking him out but we think he’s pretty good,” said the Villanova coach Jay Wrightadding that Anderson’s nose “doesn’t look good”.

Wildcats Star Collin Gillespie and the team’s Director of Basketball Operations, Joey FlanneryShe took care of Anderson, who had a bloody nose. Anderson played on the Villanova team that reached the Final Four in 2009.

“He’s a tough guy,” Gillespie said. “He said he played in the old Big East, so he’s fine.”

No hard feelings

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey was content to bid his time Cormac Ryanwho preferred Stanford to Irish while at Milton Academy in 2018.

Ryan left Stanford after his freshman season and Brey was happy to offer him another chance to join the Irish.

Ryan has averaged 9 points per game for two years, but he goes into Notre Dame’s game against Texas Tech with a career-best 29 points and seven 3-pointers against Alabama.

Brey said he never blamed Ryan for passing on his initial offer.

“If that guy can help us win, man, my feelings aren’t hurt. i will go out with you again And I’ll pay for everything, baby,” Brey said. “Even if you break up with me, I might still come back.”

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