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Delaware State loses after hitting a buzzer-beater … wait, what?

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Believe it or not, Delaware State — a team that has now had six of their last seven games either come down to the final possession or go to overtime, with five of them resulting in a win — has managed to find a new and unique way to lose a game in the final minutes.

After finding themselves down 41-24 to lowly Morgan State at the half, the Hornet’s dynamic back court duo of Tahj Tate and Jay Threat led DSU all the way back, tying the game on a driving layup from Threat with 23 seconds left in the game. But on the other end of the floor, Ian Chiles drew a foul and hit 1-2 from the line with 7.8 seconds left, setting up a wild finish that was equal parts memorable and controversial.

Threat drives the lane and misses a layup off the back of the rim, but Tate is there to slam home a two-handed tip-dunk on what appeared to be a buzzer-beating play. The student section stormed the floor while members of the DSU bench rushed Tate.

It was a wild scene.

“The fans all ran onto the floor. Not the whole crowd, but I would say, from my perspective, about 50 kids were on the floor,” Scott Klatzkin, who calls Delaware State games for 1290 am The Ticket, said Monday night. “I don’t know if they reacted to the fans or what, but our bench got up and mobbed Tahj, too. The fans are on the floor, security’s on the floor, the entire DSU staff is on the floor trying to get people out of there.”

The problem? There were still 0.4 seconds left showing on the clock, so after huddling up for a couple of minutes, the refs decide to whistle the Hornets for a technical foul and put 1.1 seconds on the game clock. Morgan State his both to win the game, 73-72.

“I feel like we was cheated,” Tate told USA Today. “They said the tech was for our bench for rushing the floor, but I didn’t see it.”

By the book, the refs probably made the correct decision. When a home team’s fans and bench all run onto the court with time left on the clock, the rule says that a technical foul should be called. And while I don’t necessarily believe that a game needs to be called differently down the stretch — a foul is a foul regardless of when it is committed, but on the last possession of the game, I think you let the ticky-tack stuff go — I do believe that the referees should have shown more discretion in this instance.

According to Klatzkin, there was some confusion with the clock on the final possession. Not only did it appear to start early on the in-bounds, there was a apparently some speculation that the clock may have stopped early on Tate’s dunk attempt. Even in the time was managed correctly, the students that did run onto the court clearly believed that the game was over and the final buzzer had sounded. These weren’t fans throwing things onto the court because they disagreed with a call. This was a case of college kids participating in a time-honored and fully accepted tradition of storming the court after what they thought was a big win.

There was no intent. It was an honest mistake. And the refs allowed that honest mistake to not only cost DSU a win in a thrilling comeback, but to eliminate them from contention for the MEAC regular season title and to clinch the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. The seeding is big. Not only is Delaware State going to be forced into a tougher first-round matchup, they will have to play games on three straight days instead of getting a day off in-between.

For the record, in Creighton’s 81-79 win over Long Beach State on BracketBusters Weekend, the Bluejay faithful stormed the floor with 0.3 seconds left in the game. No technical foul was given in that game.

And none should have been given to DSU.

You may disagree, but having the outcome of such an incredible game determined by a pre-mature court-storm seems unnecessary and unfair.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

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Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

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The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.