NCAA Tournament: Florida, Arkansas among early winners as players on their knees | NCAA Competition 2021

Florida is making it to the second round for the eighth straight NCAA tournament appearance and arguably is the best player on the bench as a de facto assistant coach.

Colin Castleton scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Tre Mann hit a three-legged point back with 23 seconds left in overtime and the seventh seed kept the Gators off Virginia Tech’s No. 10 seed 75-70 in game in the first round Friday. .

Key honors Johnson welcomed Florida, who has supported and encouraged his players from the bench since returning from a daunting medical program. Johnson fell on the court at a game in December and was taken to hospital, forcing him to sit out the rest of the season.

Castleton, a move from Michigan, were in control on the inside and Mann looked with a pair of three-late key signals to put the Gators (15-9) into the second round to face the Ohio State winner. -Oral Roberts.

Mann hit three with 2:49 left in control, a bullet that grew huge when Virginia Tech gathered in the closing seconds and put on extra time. The third point Nahiem Alleyne with 1.4 seconds left.

Mann’s second big three-pointer gave the Gators a 74-70 lead and proved enough after the jersey lost Cordell Pemsel with 10 seconds left.

In another early act, Arkansas ’No. 3 won 85-68 over Colgate’s No 14 while Illinois with high seed rolled to a 78-49 victory over No 16 Drexel, making their NCAA tournament after for them to be present 25 years.

Players from several teams took to the knees when they played the national anthem before their games in the first round.

Most players went on the 16th Drexel seed knelt for the hymn before the Dragons fell off at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and several Colgate players did the same at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Several Drexel players knelt during the national anthem before Friday’s game in the first round against Illinois. Photo: Grace Hollars / USA Today Sports

A few players also took to the knee during the hymn before Florida-Virginia Tech started at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

College athletes have not been shy about showing public support for social causes and even pushing back against inequalities perceived by the NCAA. Earlier this week, several well-known male players received the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty in violation of NCAA rules that prohibit athletes from making money off their names, images and looks.

At the women’s tournament in San Antonio, players have revealed how work facilities have far from matched what was given to the men’s players.