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Nike Hoop Summit: Andrew Wiggins leads World over Shabazz Muhammad, USA

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In a spring full of all-star games, the rosters in Saturday night’s Nike Hoop Summit may have looked like one, but the stakes were a lot higher than any post-season walk-through.

Native Canadian and 2014 Huntington Prep (WV) forward Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the World Select Team to an 84-75 win over Team USA at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

Undeclared senior Shabazz Muhammad, who is currently considering Kentucky, UCLA, and Duke, scored 35 points on 12-for-27 shooting, setting the Nike Hoop Summit single-game scoring record.

The United States got off to a slow start in the first half, falling behind by as many 18 points, but battled back to take a 75-74 lead with 3:20 to play in the 4th quarter.

The World Select Team then went on a 10-0 to close the game, including a rainbow three-pointer by Findlay Prep (Nev.) forward Anthony Bennett that proved to be the dagger. Bennett is a Top 10 prospect in the class of 2012

As is many times the criticism of American competition playing in international games, the United States struggled early with chemistry and settled into a one-on-one style game with poor shot selection and a lack of offensive rebounding.

The US was outrebounded 57-34 on the game and allowed 21 offensive boards.

Seven-foot center Wang Zhelin of China was the most impressive interior force for the World team, scoring 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and grabbing eight rebounds.

The World used a steady gameplan of a match-up zone on the defensive end, which neutralized the stockpile of American athleticism and forced the US to shoot from the outside.

In other statlines of note, UCLA-bound guard Kyle Anderson had 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, while Michigan State-bound guard Gary Harris had eight points and four rebounds.

This is the fourth loss ever by the United States in the Nike Hoop Summit in 15 years of competition.

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

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: