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Davies’ suspension massive hit to BYU’s Final Four hopes

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BYU’s Final Four odds just got worse.

Starting center Brandon Davies won’t play again this season for a violation of the school honor code, the school announced in a press release Tuesday. The 6-9 sophomore center started 26 games this season is their third-leading scorer (11.1) and leading rebounder (6.2) and plays significant minutes as their most reliable and biggest post presence.

By any measure, it’s a significant loss.

The school didn’t give out details of the violation.

“Due to a violation of the BYU Honor Code, Brandon Davies will not represent the university on the men’s basketball team throughout the remainder of the 2010-11 season,” the release said.

Coach Dave Rose will address the situation more after Wednesday’s game against New Mexico.

According to a story by Jason Franchuk of the Provo Daily Herald, the school found out about the violation Monday and may still be deciding if Davies will remain enrolled at BYU.

So what did he do? Hard to say. BYU’s honor code contains numerous details that would technically be violations (no beards or earrings, not to mention the rules about visiting hours), which throws Davies into different territory than someone like Michael Loyd, who left after last season due to various reasons, but none of them involved the honor code.

As for the Cougars, Davies’ absence significantly alters their lineup.

He didn’t post huge numbers in Saturday’s win over San Diego State, but consistently frustrated the Aztecs’ post players. They’re already without sophomore forward Chris Collinsworth, leaving them with three players on the roster taller than 6-6. But only junior Noah Hartsock’s played significant minutes. Expect BYU to be guard heavy often and rely even more on Jimmer Fredette.

However, that 1 seed? It’s still in reach.

Provided BYU (27-2 overall, 13-1 in MWC) beats New Mexico and Wyoming this week and reaches the Mountain West Conference tournament title games, it’s still likely. The NCAA tournament seeding committee won’t automatically drop the Cougars unless they appear to be significantly diminished without Davies. BYU can make up for his loss in the next few games.

But once they hit the Sweet 16? That’s a different story.

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: