Illinois’ Cockburn Targeted In Racist Post After NCAA Loss

Illinois’ Cockburn Targeted In Racist Post After NCAA Loss

INDIANAPOLIS: Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn is the second player to face racist comments on social media following a loss in the NCAA Tournament.

Cockburn shared on Instagram a racist social media post directed at him after the top-seeded Illini lost to No. 8 Loyola Chicago on Sunday.

Cockburn, who was born in Jamaica but later moved to New York, posted a screenshot of the post and responded by writing: I blame his parents.

Cockburn’s post came a day after Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell received threatening and insulting social media messages following the second-seeded Buckeyes’ loss to No. 15 seed Oral Roberts. He posted images of the messages, including one that said I hope you die I really do. Other messages included racist insults.

Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? Liddell posted on Twitter. Im human.

Ohio State has contacted police about the language directed at Liddell.

CONFERENCE SHUFFLE

The Big Ten and Big 12 were supposed to be the power conferences of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Most of their teams didn’t make it past the second round.

The Big Ten, which led all conferences with nine teams in the bracket, started losing early and never really stopped.

Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue all lost their initial games. Wisconsin, Rutgers, Iowa and Illinois lost after winning their openers. The Illini became the first No. 1 seed to be eliminated when they fell to Loyola Chicago.

Michigan and Maryland were the only Big Ten teams left before Monday’s late games.

The Big 12, which had seven teams make the bracket, has fared slightly better.

Baylor, the No. 1 seed in the South Region, has looked strong and is headed to the Sweet 16. Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia each won their first games, but were gone after the second round.

Kansas played late Monday.

By far the best conference through the first two rounds was the Pac-12.

Picked on for supposedly being weak, Pac-12 teams have been kings of the bracket so far. Oregon beat Iowa on Monday to reach the Sweet 16, improving the league to 9-0. That includes the Ducks’ first-round walkover against VCU, which couldn’t play because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Oregon State, the surprising Pac-12 Tournament winner, and UCLA also are through to the Sweet 16, with Colorado, UCLA and Southern Cal playing later Monday.

I feel like we dont get the respect that we deserve. It looks good on our conference, Oregon guard Chris Duarte said. It tells you guys that our conference, we have talent, and we are really good.

GOODBYE, GARZA

The NCAA Tournament lost one of its biggest names and best players with Iowa’s loss.

Two-time All-American Luka Garza closed out his stellar career with the Hawkeyes in impressive fashion, tying the school NCAA Tournament record with 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting. He is the first player since Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin in 2009 to hit 70% of his shots with at least 20 attempts in an NCAA Tournament game.

Garza is a front-runner to win all the major postseason awards and moves on to preparing for an NBA career. He leaves Iowa as the seventh-leading scorer in Big Ten history at 2,306 points.

The 6-foot-11 senior got emotional after he left the floor in Indianapolis after his final game, wiping tears as he hugged teammates and coach Fran McCaffery on his way to the bench for the last time.

I have been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to have Luka be on our basketball team for the last four years, McCaffery said. His leadership, his work ethic, his determination, his example for the young players, his consistency of effort and performance we may never see another one like him.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and updated bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket