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Two exhibition games cause Montana State’s Mohamed Fall his senior year

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In what was a story that went under the radar nationally last week, Montana State center Mohamed Fall was notified by the NCAA that he wouldn’t be able to play his senior season at MSU.

The reason why: Fall played in a pair of showcase exhibition games, and with his turning 21 before enrolling at Montana State those games constitute a season of eligibility.

Fall played two seasons at Cloud County Community College before enrolling at Montana State, and according to the school he will seek playing opportunities at a lower level.

“I really liked playing at Montana State and enjoyed the university and the community,” Fall said, “Everyone treated me so well and I really appreciated the opportunity to be here.

From a playing standpoint I was very excited about next year’s team and from a personal standpoint I needed my second season here to reach my full potential.

But I really feel like I improved as a player and the coaches here really helped me and I will miss them, my teammates, MSU, and Bozeman.”

Is this a case of the NCAA striking again?

That’s indeed the case according to Jonathan Reed of Big Sky Basketball, who notes in his piece that if the NCAA really wants to send a message in a logical manner they should just suspend him for a few games.

And while this isn’t a similar example there could be precedent for how the NCAA should deal with this.

Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis was allowed to play in more exhibition games than he should have been by the school in what would be a redshirt season (2008-09), and the punishment handed down was a four-game suspension last fall.

Fall played in a pair of showcase games in hopes of earning a scholarship and he accomplished that.

Is such an action, especially when the player isn’t aware of what the ramifications could be, worthy of a season-long suspension?

Hopefully there’s an appeal process for Fall because the numbers simply don’t add up here.

And for the players and parents who may take part in showcase games heading into the summer in hopes of earning a scholarship, be sure to check the rules beforehand.

h/t to @bigskybball

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: