Michigan State loses wing Branden Dawson to torn ACL

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Michigan State’s had better days.

Just hours after losing its regular-season finale to No. 10 Ohio State – and its chance for an outright Big Ten title – the No. 5 Spartans learned wing Branden Dawson tore the ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season.

Dawson, a 6-5 freshman who is Michigan State’s third-leading scorer (8.5 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (4.6), was injured early in the first half and didn’t play again. An MRI confirmed the injury.

The Spartans (24-7, 13-5 in Big Ten) will miss Dawson’s athleticism – he’s great on the break and the offensive glass – and alleviating the defensive responsibilities for senior Draymond Green. MSU doesn’t have any other players with Dawson’s mix of size and athletic ability. He’s an efficient scorer, too, mostly because unlike many freshmen, he doesn’t force shots.

Michigan State could boost playing time for forwards Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix and go big to counteract Dawson’s loss, but I doubt coach Tom Izzo will settle on just one look. He’ll likely use the Big Ten tournament as a way to test the Spartans’ depth and make lineup tweaks and  before the NCAA tournament starts.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: