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Vermont beats Lamar in First Four, moves on to play UNC

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Considering the two thrilling comebacks that ended Tuesday night’s First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, I was hesitant to write this lede too soon.

Luckily, it worked out.

Vermont led for the final 32 minutes of regulation and never allowed Lamar to get back within eight points in the second half, moving on to the Round of 64 with a 71-59 victory on Wednesday night.

Four McGlynn, the only player in Division I to lead his team in scoring without starting a game this season, had 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting to lead the Catamounts.

“It’s unbelievable. Our kids played so well tonight,” Vermont coach John Becker said after the game. “We’ve been really playing well of late and executing on both ends of the floor.”

This contest stands in stark contrast to the First Four game in Dayton on Tuesday night between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State.

Whereas the Hilltoppers moved onto the Round of 64 despite turning the ball over 27 times, Vermont was efficient with the basketball, committing just five turnovers and shooting an even 50% from the floor.

Vermont now moves on to play North Carolina, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region.

The Catamounts sneaked into the NCAA tournament after beating conference favorite Stony Brook on the Seawolves’ home floor in the America East championship game on Sunday.

Wednesday night’s win is the second NCAA tournament victory in the history of the Vermont program and the first since 2005, when the Catamounts upset Syracuse in the first round of the tournament.

Tip against No. 1 North Carolina is set for 4:10 p.m. ET on Friday.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

No. 13 Iowa State suspends Jameel McKay indefinitely

Iowa State forward Georges Niang, forward Jameel McKay, forward Abdel Nader and guard Deonte Burton celebrate after center Stuart Nezlek scored late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Coppin State, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 104-84 (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
AP Photo/Justin Hayworth
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Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.

Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.

McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.

The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.

News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.

UNLV dismisses guard Daquan Cook from team

Illinois v UNLV
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LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.

Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.

Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.

Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.