NCAA BK

The Latest: Notre Dame's Pfleuger gets stitches

The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times EST):

12:50 p.m.

Notre Dame guard Rex Pfleuger had to leave the game to get stitches in the first half against Princeton.

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The sophomore went to the locker room after taking an elbow from Princeton's Steven Cook while Cook was driving to the basket in their first round game.

Pfleuger returned to the bench after getting the stitches and having a concussion ruled out. Pfleuger is averaging 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for the Irish.

He didn't seem rattled and asked a team official to take a picture of the stitches that made him look more like a hockey player than a kid in the middle of March Madness. He made it back on the floor with 4:04 left in the half.

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12:36 p.m.

Indiana coach Tom Crean has been fired after nine seasons.

Athletic director Fred Glass announced the decision as the NCAA Tournament was beginning.

Crean won two Big Ten regular-season championships over the last five seasons but went 18-16 in 2016-17 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in nine years. That includes each of his first three seasons after he took over a gutted team following an NCAA scandal.

The 50-year-old Crean went 166-135 in nine seasons at Indiana.

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12:17 p.m.

The NCAA Tournament is underway. One of the day's biggest story lines is top-seeded Villanova starting its quest to become the first repeat national champion since Florida in 2007.

The Wildcats (31-3) open tournament play in Buffalo against Mount St. Mary's (20-15) Thursday night.

Some of the most intriguing games on the tournament's opening day will include 12th-seeded Middle Tennessee State (30-4) against Minnesota (24-9). The Blue Raiders stunned Michigan State last year as a No. 15 seed.

Ivy League champions Princeton (23-6) opened the tournament against fifth-seeded Notre Dame, while 13th-seeded Winthrop faces Butler in early action.

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12:21 p.m.

The Princeton Tigers can boast one edge over the Fighting Irish in their first-round matchup.

The Tigers, seeded 12th in the West Region, beat Notre Dame in their last meeting.

It was an upset, in fact, as Princeton beat the then second-ranked Fighting Irish 76-62 on Jan. 3, 1977.

The schools have only met three times, with Notre Dame winning the other two meetings.

As it turns out, the West Region's other game being played in Buffalo have a connection.

On the same night in 1977, West Virginia defeated Bucknell 112-71 in the last time those two schools met.