Florida State senior forward Phil Cofer received a phone call from his family after the team's 76-69 victory over Vermont on Thursday and learned that his father had died.
A Florida State athletic department spokesman said that Mike Cofer, a former Pro Bowl linebacker with the NFL's Detroit Lions, had been suffering from a long illness. He had suffered from a disease that affects organs and tissue.
Phil Cofer received the phone call during the open locker room period and broke down in tears. The senior forward had missed the game with an injured foot.
Mike Cofer played for the Lions from 1983-92. The Lions drafted him in the third round out of Tennessee.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton says Cofer's status is day to day but that he's not likely to miss any more games after experiencing some swelling after the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Brothers make history
Ernie, Everett and Robin Duncan of Vermont became the first trio of brothers to ever play in the same NCAA tournament game.
Ernie, a senior, finished with 15 points in Thursday's loss to Florida State. Everett, a junior, had three, and freshman Robin scored one. Vermont officials said the Duncans are just the fifth trio to play on the same Division I men's team.
"It was a really cool thing and it wasn't a lot of work on my end," coach John Becker said of having the brothers play together this year. "A couple of times I had to break up an argument and send them to their rooms, so to speak. But, for the most part, they were a joy to coach and really easy."
All 7-6 of him
The tallest player in college basketball is finally on the game's grandest stage — 7-6 Tacko Fall.
Fall's ninth-seeded UCF opens East Region play Friday night against No. 8 seed VCU in Columbia, S.C.
"For me, for us, I would say it means everything," said Fall, who's been the tallest player in college since joining UCF in 2016. The native of Senegal entered prep basketball as a project and slowly worked his way into a key performer to help the Knights make the NCAAs for the first time since 2005.
"We just put our heads down and say we have to make it and we made it happen," Fall said with a grin.
Year by year, Fall has increased his skill level from a raw freshman to a much more polished senior.
"He's really improved his skill set," coach Johnny Dawkins said. "He scores around the basket, doesn't need to dunk everything to score" as in the past.
Murray State's Ja Morant on Thursday recorded the ninth triple-double since the NCAA started measuring the statistic in 1987. The other eight were by Michigan's Gary Grant in 1987, LSU's Shaquille O'Neal in 1992, St. John's David Cain in 1993, Utah's Andre Miller in 1998, Marquette's Dwyane Wade in 2003, Kansas' Cole Aldrich in 2009 and Michigan State's Draymond Green in 2011 and 2012.