RALEIGH, N.C. — Sidney Lowe had big moments at North Carolina State, from roaming the sideline in a striking red blazer for rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina to a pair of surprising ACC tournament runs.
He just never figured out how to sustain that momentum or make it to the NCAA Tournament. Ultimately, it led to his resignation Tuesday as the Wolfpack's coach.
Lowe was 86-78 in five seasons but just 25-55 in conference play. N.C. State reached the ACC tournament final in his first year and semifinals in 2010 but managed little else.
He inherited a program coming off five straight NCAA trips under Herb Sendek. But Lowe never finished higher than ninth in the ACC and lost 13 of 16 to archrivals Duke and North Carolina.
In a statement from the school, Lowe, 51, said he had been "truly blessed" by the opportunity to coach the program he led to a national championship as a player in 1983.
"I am thankful for this experience," said Lowe, the starting point guard for the "Cardiac Pack" team that upset Houston on a last-play dunk to win the 1983 title under Jim Valvano.
His resignation came less than a week after N.C. State (15-16) closed with a loss to Maryland in the first round of the ACC tournament.
DUKE: Injured point guard Kyrie Irving (right big toe) could return for the Blue Devils' NCAA Tournament opener Friday against Hampton, Mike Krzyzewski said. The coach said Irving practiced "a little bit" Tuesday.
PURDUE: Sophomore guard Kelsey Barlow was suspended for the rest of the season for conduct detrimental to the team, the school announced.
NEBRASKA: Coach Doc Sadler signed a two-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season.
NIT: Tony Mitchell, Charvez Davis and Trevor Releford scored 12 each as host Alabama (22-11) defeated Coastal Carolina 68-44. … Marshall Moses had 18 points and eight rebounds in host Oklahoma State's 71-54 victory over Harvard. The Cowboys (20-13) scored a season-high 41 points in the first half. … Andrew Goudelock had a career-high 39 points as host College of Charleston beat defending champion Dayton 94-84.
UCF IN POSTSEASON: The Knights (19-11) host St. Bonaventure (16-14) at 8 tonight in the third-tier College Basketball Invitational tournament. The 16-team tournament got underway Tuesday.
Study: Women's teams have edge in classroom
ORLANDO — A study released Tuesday found women's teams in this year's NCAA Tournament graduated their players at a higher rate than their male counterparts.
An annual report by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics shows all the women's teams graduated at least 50 percent of their players compared with 76 percent of the men's teams. For the women, 91 percent of the teams graduated at least 70 percent, compared to 48 percent of men's tourney teams.
"I think for women athletes and basketball players the emphasis is on balancing academic and athletic performance," said institute director Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study.
FLORIDA: The Gators (18-14) will host a WNIT opener against Maryland-Baltimore County (20-11) at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5 and are available at the ticket office at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, at gatorzone.com or toll-free at 1-800-344-2867, extension 6800.
SEC HONORS: Kentucky senior forward Victoria Dunlap was named AP's SEC player of the year for the second straight season. Tennessee's Pat Summit was named SEC coach of the year.