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Longtime College Basketball Writer Jim O'Connell Has Passed Away

Two basketballs ahead of the Final Four.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: A detail of NCAA Official Wilson basketballs are seen racked up on the court prior to Oregon playing against Louisville during the Midwest Region Semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The college basketball world is mourning the loss of longtime Associated Press writer Jim O'Connell, who passed away Monday morning. He was 64.

O'Connell, known as "Oc," had been with the AP since 1978. He covered every Final Four from 1979 to 2017.

O'Connell passed away after a series of ailments, according to his son via AP release.

O'Connell was a former president of the United States Basketball Writers Association and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2002. He was the AP's national college basketball writer since 1987 and won the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2002.

From the AP:

“For more than 30 years at The Associated Press, Jim O’Connell represented the very best in sports journalism. His tireless and unparalleled coverage of college basketball elevated our entire sport,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

“We all owe Oc an incredible amount of gratitude for the way he handled himself, the way he covered our game and for the positive impact he had on so many,” he said.

O'Connell is survived by his wife, Anne; sons James and Andrew; and sisters Winnie and Mary. If you look on Twitter today, you will see plenty of Tributes to "Oc" from some of the biggest members in college basketball media.

May he rest in peace.