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Tournament tidbits: Ware moves past gruesome leg break

Associated Press

Kevin Ware shows no queasiness toward that nasty scar running down the front of his right leg. He even rubs it from time to time — a good luck charm, one might say.

He's definitely not worried about another gruesome injury.

As the doctor told him, "I would have to get in a bad car crash or something like that to get my leg broken again," Ware said. "Everybody in the world is more concerned about it than me."

Of course, he did bend over to tap the court with his knuckles while speaking so confidently.

The last time Ware played in the NCAA Tournament two years ago, he left the court on a stretcher, his right leg snapped so grotesquely that some of his Louisville teammates were in tears.

Now, he returns to the Tournament with a different team and looking to leave a much different impression.

Ware plays at Georgia State — a school in downtown Atlanta, not far from where he played his high school ball — and he's a big reason the Panthers made the NCAAs for only the third time in school history.

In the low-scoring championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament, the junior guard scored 18 — nearly half of his team's total.

Dayton is perfect at home, but still wary

The NCAA Tournament has a home team for the first time in 28 years. And the Dayton Flyers aren't exactly revved up about it.

Partly, it's because they'd rather have skipped the First Four. Mostly, it's because a long home-court winning streak can be a burden at this time of the season. And the Flyers are playing a team that has a knack for winning in tough places.

Dayton (25-8) faces Boise State (25-8) tonight, the first time since 1987 that a school has played an NCAA Tournament game on its home court.

Since 1989, teams have been prohibited from doing so, with the First Four the only exception — though it's not unusual for top seeds to play nearby.

Dayton is 16-0 at home this season and has won its last 21 overall at UD Arena, the seventh-longest active streak in Division I.

"When we're playing a home game, we have about as good of a home-court advantage as anyone does in college basketball," coach Archie Miller said. "Anyone billing this as a home game or a walk-through, I just think they're really underappreciating how good Boise State is."

Boise State went 8-5 on the road and had some of its best moments on other teams' courts.

Cyclones buoyed by knack for comebacks

Iowa State's knack for comebacks could come in handy in the Tournament, though the Cyclones would love to avoid dramatic finishes in the days ahead.

Third-seeded Iowa State won last weekend's Big 12 tournament by erasing double-digit deficits in each game, including a 17-point hole in the title game against Kansas.

Iowa State faces Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday focused on getting a better start — while also emboldened by the belief they can win no matter what.

"If we can get hot and keep the confidence; that's the biggest thing," coach Fred Hoiberg said.