Sideshow with Dale McKee

Meridian, Miss. (WTOK) –

First, we send prayers to all of our fellow Mississippians who were affected by the deadly storm over the weekend.

The men’s basketball finals are Saturday in Houston with UConn, San Diego State, Florida Atlantic and Miami. The final four women’s teams will meet in Dallas on Friday to determine their champion for the 2022-23 season.

One Cinderella story that has been exciting to watch in the tournament is Conference USA champion Florida Atlantic. The Owls have four Mississippi connections on their team. Former Ole Miss player and assistant coach Todd Abernethy is in his fourth season with the Owls. The three players with Mississippi ties are Pensacola native Aisha Graves, a 6′8″ forward who played at Northwestern Community College. Two former MHSAA products in Aaliyah Martin and Brandon Weatherspoon have contributed significantly to the team’s success. Weatherspoon scored seven points against Kansas State last Saturday. The Canton native is a 6’4″ junior guard and former Holmes CC player. Brandon has two brothers, Quindari and Nick, who played at Mississippi State. Quindari currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. Martin of North Pike High School in McComb, the MVP of the C-USA basketball tournament, scored 30 points in the championship game against UAB. Martin was a standout football and basketball player at Peak Peak, where he was named all-state in both sports. He was also named MVP in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star basketball game. The 6′2″ sophomore guard scored 17 points in the Owls’ win over Kansas State in the Elite 8 as the Owls won the East Regional at Madison Square Garden. The Owls entered the tournament at 300-1 to win the championship and would be the longest shot to win the tournament since seeding began in 1979. The Owls from Boca Raton, Fla., were the winningest Division 1 team this season. 35-3 records. One of the three losses was at Ole Miss on Nov. 11.

C-USA also has North Texas and UAB in the final frame of the NIT. Former Louisville All-American and Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy leads UAB. The Blazers have three former MHSAA products in Meridian’s Ty Brewer and Ledarrius Brewer and Canton’s Javian Davis. The NIT final is scheduled for Thursday night in Las Vegas.

The remarkable run came to an end last Friday night when Ole Miss fell to Louisville 72-62 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Lady Rebels finish the season with an overall record of 25-9 and a program-best 11 SEC wins.


Three more former MSU Bulldogs were inducted into the Ron Polk Ring of Honor this past weekend in Ken Tatum, Tommy Raffo and Mark Gillaspie.

The Ole Miss Rebels (0-6, 15-9) were swept by Florida this weekend. Ole Miss travels to No. 21 Texas A&M this week. Mississippi State (0-6, 14-11) was swept by Vandy and will host No. 11 South Carolina on Thursday night.

Mississippi Southern won its first Sun Belt Conference series by winning two of three over Georgia Southern. The Eagles (3-3, 14-9) travel to Pearl to face Ole Miss on Tuesday before traveling to Troy for the weekend.


MHSAA Class 4-A state champion Yazoo City Indians (30-5) will travel to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 6 to face Utah’s Corner Canyon High School in the first round of the second annual State Champions Challenge. The game will air on ESPN+ at 7:00 p.m

The season of the Meridian CC Eagles (20-9) came to an end last Monday night in Hutchinson, Kansas, in the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament when they fell to Dodge City, 63-43.

The Jones College women’s season marked their seventh consecutive NJCAA Women’s Tournament appearance in Lubbock, Texas. The Lady Bobcats (26-4) defeated Gulf Coast State of Pensacola, 71-69, in their opener before falling to Trinity Valley, 84-61.

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