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


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.

CBT Podcast: Recapping the first weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament

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Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic joined Rob Dauster for an epic, two-hour podcast on the first weekend of the tournament. It was so good that we had to split the podcast into two parts. On this show, the two go through everything that happened in the South and West Regions, from Sister Jean to UMBC to Nevada’s comebacks to Kentucky’s chances at a Final Four.

On this show, the two go through everything that happened in the East and Midwest Regions, from Villanova and Duke steamrolling to Michigan State collapsing to Syracuse and Clemson and Texas Tech and Purdue. It’s all in there.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Eight viral heroes from first weekend of March Madness

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One of my favorite parts of the NCAA tournament is seeing who comes out of nowhere to turn into a viral celebrity during this month of madness.

By my estimation, we had eight true candidates for the award of March Madness Viral Celebrity of the Year. Here they are:


He was more fired up for Houston’s success in the tournament than any Houston fan in the history of basketball in the city of Houston.


Jordan Poole is spelled a lot like Jordan Peele, which inevitably led to people tweeting at Peele instead of Poole. Peele’s thank you tweet was a highlight of the first weekend.


Having to answer questions from a bunch of reporters after suffering the most humiliating moment of your life is not an easy thing to do. Having to answer ridiculous and stupid questions could be intolerable, which is why I loved Ty Jerome’s response to a stupid question he was asked:


I loved seeing Robert Williams’ teammate do a panotmine windmill in the background while Williams was throwing down a windmill in real time on Providence:


Nevada head coach Eric Musselman has led his team to the Sweet 16, cussed on live television and gone shirtless to celebrate with his team, but the star of the Musselman family is his daughter Mariah:


He really does have great hair:

2. @UMBCAthletics

This dude lived the dream of every twitter user out there. When your shot is there, you have to take it.


Mic drop:

VIDEO: Eric Musselman celebrates Nevada win without a shirt

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Nevada head coach Eric Musselman went shirtless to celebrate his team’s come-from-behind win over No. 2 seed Cincinnati on Sunday.

I guess this is better than dropping F-bombs live on national TV. Maybe that’s why they had Steve Lappas talking over him …

Penny Hardaway to be named next Memphis head coach

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The worst-kept secret in college basketball no longer appears to be a secret: Penny Hardaway is going to be the next coaching at the University of Memphis.

ESPN is reporting that a deal has been agreed upon. The Memphis Commercial-Appeal is reporting that Penny was waiting for his season to end with East High School before he made anything official. NBC Sports can confirm that an announcement is expected to be made early this week, likely as soon as Tuesday, to introduce the former Memphis and NBA star as Tubby Smith’s replacement.

The truth, however, is that we all knew this was what would be happening the second that Memphis formally fired Tubby Smith. Hell, we knew it a month before that decision was made final. This was always how it was going to play out.

What’s interesting to me is now the discussion of whether or not Penny will be able to handle being a Division I head coach, because it’s been hit or miss with basketball programs hiring legends of their past. Chris Mullin and St. John’s hasn’t exactly gone to plan but Fred Hoiberg was quite successful at Iowa State. Kevin Ollie won a title with UConn then fell off a cliff. Patrick Ewing’s start wasn’t great, but he was better than expected.

Where does Penny fall on this scale?

Well, let me just drop this section of a column from Geoff Calkins in here:

Hardaway isn’t a guy who woke up one morning and decided he’d like to be a Division I head coach. He’s not a former player who got bored with retirement and decided he’d like to do something other than play golf.

Hardaway started coaching at middle school. Middle school! Because an old friend needed some help.

Then he built one of the best AAU programs in the country. Then he spent years coaching a high school team.

Does that sound like someone who doesn’t want to roll up his sleeves and do the work? Does that sound like someone who is just in it for the glory and the glitz?

The truth is, if it weren’t for Hardaway’s iconic stature, he might be characterized as a grinder, as a guy who worked his way up from the lowest levels of basketball on the strength of his relationship with the kids.

I think that this is going to work out for both Penny and Memphis, especially if Penny hires a staff that can help him with the intricacies of running a college basketball program.

2018 NCAA Tournament: All-First Weekend Team

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PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND: Jevon Carter, West Virginia

So Carter’s numbers themselves were ridiculous this weekend. He had 21 points, eight assists, six steals and five boards in a first round win over Murray State. He followed that up with 28 points, five assists, five steals and four boards in a win over in-state rival Marshall to advance to the Sweet 16. For the weekend, he shot 54 percent from the floor and 63 percent from three.

But perhaps the more telling state in regards to what Carter did this weekend are the numbers that the Murray State and Marshall stars put up this weekend. Jon Elmore — whose averages of 23 points, seven assists and six boards matched what Markelle Fultz averaged a season ago — was 4-for-12 from the floor with eight turnovers in Marshall’s second round loss. Jonathan Stark, who entered the tournament averaging 22 points, had nine points on 1-for-12 shooting in Murray State’s first round loss.

On Friday night, we get Jalen Brunson squaring off with Carter.

Buckle up.


  • ROB GRAY, Houston: Gray is the only guy on this list that didn’t reach the Sweet 16 — blame Jordan Poole for that — but he did put together one of the most memorable and impressive first round NCAA tournament performances I can ever remember when he dropped 39 points and a game-winner on San Diego State.
  • KEENAN EVANS, Texas Tech: Evans averaged 22.5 points in this weekend’s two games, but what got him on this list was that he averaged 16.5 points in the second half of those two games, closing out a come-from-behind win against Stephen F. Austin with drive after drive and hitting the go-ahead three in the win over Florida.
  • ZACH NORVELL, Gonzaga: Not only did the Zags freshman averaged 21.5 points in two games — including a career-high 28 points, a career-high 12 boards, a career-high six threes and his first career double-double against Ohio State — but he hit the dagger in both of those games; a game-winner in the final minutes against UNCG and a three to put the Zags up six in the final two minutes against Ohio State.
  • SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER, Kentucky: We spent the entire season talking about how Kentucky didn’t have a star this year. That may not be true anymore. SGA averaged 23 points, 7.0 boards, 6.5 assists and 3.5 steals as the Wildcats reached the Sweet 16 as the highest remaining seed in the South Region.
  • THE MARTIN TWINS, Nevada: Caleb was the hero in the come-from-behind win over Texas, doing bonkers in overtime, while Cody had 25 points, seven assists and six boards in the come-from-behind win over Cincinnati. But mostly they were both awesome all weekend.