Duke offers detailed look at Kyrie’s toe rehab

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Finally. A foot video that has nothing to do with Rex Ryan.

Duke released a video detailing the status of injured freshman Kyrie Irving, who hasn’t played since injuring the tendons in his right big toe on Dec. 4 vs. Butler. It doesn’t say when or if the star guard will return in time for the NCAA tournament, but does paint a promising picture.

In it, he and Duke physical therapist Nick Potter show what Irving’s doing for rehab and how it’s affecting his toe.

“The overall progress is that he’s doing fairly well,” Potter says. “We knew from the beginning it’s a long, gradual process. He’s actually right where we expected him to be, if not maybe a step ahead.”

A return would give Duke a huge boost heading into March. The Devils have been good without Irving – nice work by Nolan Smith there – but his presence would certainly make them the title favorites.

Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski has said for months that he doubts Irving will play again this season. That’s the smart move for Irving’s NBA prospects, given that a rushed return could cause lingering foot problems.

Iriving doesn’t sound worried.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” Irving says. “Whether I come back this year or somewhere in the future, I’m going to be playing again.” 

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: