- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

A look around the sights and sounds of the NCAA Tournament from reporters at the games and surrounding events:

IOWA STATE CHEERLEADER OK

Things went from bad to worse for Iowa State late in its Sweet 16 game against Virginia.

With 2:14 remaining in the Cyclones’ 84-71 loss, the ball came off Iowa State guard Matt Thomas’ foot and hit a cheerleader seated on the baseline directly in the face. The young woman was crying as she walked away from the area.

But team officials and the cheer squad say she’s fine.

The cheerleading team said on Twitter: “Our cheerleader is ok after the ball that went out of bounds. Thanks everyone! #CyclONEnation”

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CHRISTIE BACK WATCHING HOOPS

True to his word, New Jersey governor Chris Christie followed Notre Dame and his friend, Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey, to the Sweet 16.

Christie attended Friday’s Notre Dame-Wisconsin game in Philadelphia.

Brey previously coached at Delaware, Christie’s alma mater, and Christie said the two have been friends for 21 years. Christie also said his daughter is a student manager for the Notre Dame men’s team.

Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, watched at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday when Notre Dame edged Stephen F. Austin. Christie that day that he would follow the Fighting Irish when they advanced to the next round.

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VIRGINIA BESTING BRACKETEERS

Virginia didn’t get much love for a No. 1 seed.

It’s time to take another look at the Cavaliers.

Virginia rolled past Iowa State 84-71 on Friday night to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995. Only 22.5 percent of ESPN brackets and 19.4 percent of Yahoo’s had the Cavaliers advancing that far.

Virginia will face Gonzaga or Syracuse on Sunday in the Midwest Regional final for a slot in the Final Four, and if the Cavaliers win, they will have overcome even larger odds. Just 9.8 percent of ESPN brackets and 8.6 percent of Yahoo brackets had the Cavaliers making it to the final weekend.

Most fans were on the Michigan State bandwagon, and understandably so, given Spartans coach Tom Izzo’s history in March. But Michigan State, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, lost to Middle Tennessee State in the first round. In all, 61.8 percent of ESPN brackets had Michigan State in the Elite Eight, 38.6 in the Final Four and 22.3 in the national title game. For Yahoo, the numbers were even higher — 70.5 percent had Michigan State in the Elite Eight, 47.9 percent in the Final Four and 27.3 percent in the national final.

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PAIGE PASSES JORDAN

Marcus Paige has scored more points than Michael Jordan at North Carolina.

Paige, a senior guard, entered Friday’s Sweet 16 game against Indiana at 13th on the school’s career scoring list with 1,776 points. Jordan scored 1,788 points from 1981-84. Paige scored 14 points in the first half to move up.

It’s hard to say what’s more impressive - that Paige passed Jordan, or that Jordan was just 12th in the first place. It says a lot about the school’s tradition that arguably the best player in basketball history is so far down the list.

Here’s a look at the players ahead of Jordan and Paige on the list:

1. Tyler Hansbrough, 2,872 points, 2005-09

2. Phil Ford, 2,290, 1974-78

3. Sam Perkins, 2,145, 1980-84

4. Lennie Rosenbluth, 2,045, 1954-57

5. Al Wood, 2,015, 1977-81

6. Charles Scott, 2,007, 1967-70

7. Larry Miller, 1,982, 1965-68

8. Antawn Jamison, 1,974, 1995-98

9. Brad Daugherty, 1,912, 1982-86

10. Walter Davis, 1,863, 1973-77

11. Bobby Lewis, 1,836, 1964-67

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For more AP Inside the Madness coverage of the NCAA Tournament, with embeddable photos, video and social media posts, go to: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/blog/ap-now-inside-madness

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