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Kansas State hires Bruce Weber as coach

| Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bruce Weber knows that Kansas State fans may not accept him right away. That much became clear when a small rally for another coaching candidate turned into a protest of his hiring.

The former Illinois coach doesn't have a problem with that, though.

Weber is up for any challenge that's presented to him.

The former Illinois coach was hired by Kansas State on Saturday to replace Frank Martin, whose departure for South Carolina earlier in the week sent shockwaves through the program. The school moved quickly on the hiring, reaching out to Weber in the last few days and finalizing a deal late Friday.

Weber agreed to a five-year, $8.5 million contract that will pay him $1.5 million next season and an additional $100,000 each remaining year. There are also several benefits.

"It's been a whirlwind, to be honest. Just a few hours ago I was in New Orleans thinking I was going to have gumbo," Weber said.

Weber was let go after compiling 210-101 record over nine seasons, which included six trips to the NCAA Tournament and a national runner-up finish in 2005. The Illini went 17-15 and 6-12 in the Big Ten this season, prompting the administration let Weber go with three years left on his contract.

Davis wins Wooden

Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis won the Wooden Award, the latest honor in his accolade-filled season.

Davis becomes the second freshman to win the Wooden Award after Kevin Durant also accomplished the feat in 2007. Hall of Fame coach John Wooden's grandson, Greg, presented the award on behalf of the Los Angeles Athletic club.

Davis won AP Player of the Year on Friday. He averaged 14.3 points and 10.1 rebounds this season.

Baylor sweeps awards

Whether emphatically blocking shots or throwing down dunks on the other the end of the floor, Brittney Griner has been the most dominant player in women's basketball this season.

The 6-foot-8 junior phenom has led Baylor to a perfect record and the Lady Bears stand two wins away from becoming the first team in NCAA history to win 40 games in a season. Now she is The Associated Press Player of the Year. Her coach, Kim Mulkey, completed a Baylor sweep of the awards, being selected Coach of the Year.

The two-time All-American got 36 of the votes from the 40-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Delaware's Elena Delle Donne received two votes, while Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins and Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike got the other ones.

Mulkey, who won the award for the first time, received 19 votes. Tina Martin of Delaware was second with 14.

Oklahoma St. wins WNIT

In Stillwater, Okla., Toni Young scored 25 points, Tiffany Bias added 17 points and 11 assists, and Oklahoma State defeated James Madison, 75-68, to win the program's first WNIT championship.

Liz Donohoe notched her fifth straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and the Cowgirls (22-12) and made it through the tournament without trailing in the second half despite a late charge by the Dukes.

Tarik Hislop scored all 16 of her points in the second half to lead James Madison (29-8), but it wasn't enough to overcome a 17-point deficit.

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