The Mountaineers have forced a combined 40 turnovers in their first two tournament games.
The top-seeded Badgers (33-3) take on fourth-seeded North Carolina (26-11) in a regional semifinal on Thursday night at Staples Center. The teams are meeting in the NCAA Tournament for the second time and the first since 2006. The Tar Heels won both games.
Mack is still the grateful, upbeat friend who replaced him — and who just can't resist a good jab at his old boss before their schools face off for the first time Thursday night in the West Regional semifinal.
The second-seeded Vols (29-5) play No. 11 seed Gonzaga (26-7) in a Spokane Region semifinal Saturday at the Spokane Arena, located less than 2 miles from Gonzaga's campus.
Howland replaces Rick Ray, who was fired on Saturday after a 37-60 record over three seasons.
Bob Huggins is 8-2 in games against his close friend John Calipari.
The university will buy out both coaches, paying women's coach Ty Margenthaler $29,500. Men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt, who agreed to a new contract through the 2016-2017 season last April, will receive $93,636.
Fifth-seeded West Virginia might be Kentucky's stiffest challenge so far, with the Mountaineers expected to try and use their defensive pressure and physicality to derail the Wildcats.
As the use of defensive shifts by major league clubs has increased in the last five years, college teams have taken notice.
Everyone is talking about a potential rematch with overall No. 1 seed Kentucky, the same team that ruined the Shockers' perfect season in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Behind another steady performance from Fred VanVleet and the hot shooting of Evan Wessel, the No. 7 seed Shockers rolled past the second-seeded Jayhawks and earned a trip to the Sweet 16 — at the expense of the school that has caused them so much chagrin.
Duke — holding a No. 1 seed for the 11th time in 18 seasons but its first since 2011 — advanced to face fifth-seeded Utah in Houston's South Region semifinals.
The Spartans advance to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in the last eight seasons under coach Tom Izzo.
It is a matchup of the blue-bloods and the blue-collared, college basketball royalty against the common man. The Jayhawks have national championship banners hanging from the rafters in their arena; the Shockers a chip perpetually hanging from their shoulders.
Kentucky didn't flinch and eventually built a double-digit lead by physically imposing their will on the Bearcats. Kentucky's reward was college basketball's first 36-0 start, a 64-51 win and a return visit to the Sweet 16. The Wildcats cleared an important step in their quest to become the first unbeaten champion since Indiana in 1976.
The Blazers (20-16) missed out on their first regional semifinal since 2004 coming off their big upset of No. 3 seed Iowa State on Thursday. Robert Brown led the Blazers with 25 points and William Lee added 10.
The Cougars won the first game 8-7 Friday. In Game 2, Amber Boehme survived two situations where the bases were loaded. After the bases were loaded for a third time, though, Boehme was thwarted.
A high-octane offense from Our Lady of the Lake (25-5) bounced the Cougars, the 15 seed in the NAIA tournament, 74-68.
William Lee scored the last four points for 14th-seeded UAB, and the Blazers knocked off third-seeded Iowa State 60-59 on Thursday in their opening game in the NCAA Tournament. It's the third straight year a 14 seed has upset a No. 3 seed, and Georgia State followed up by joining the list within an hour with a 57-56 win over Baylor.
R.J. Hunter's 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining capped a comeback from a 12-point deficit and lifted the Panthers to a 57-56 opening-game victory over the Bears in the NCAA tournament on Thursday.