Construction On The New Jersey Net's New Home In Brooklyn, The Barclays Center Continues

Barclays Center nets college hoops bonanza

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Brooklynites (Brooklonians? Brookies?) are rightfully excited about the prospect of welcoming the NBA’s Nets to the borough next season. Even in if the team struggles, Brooklyn gets a major dose of glamor from Jay-Z and the celebrities who will no doubt follow him to courtside seats at the Barclays Center.

The windfall for college hoops fans will be excellent, as well, according to Adam Zagoria of “Beginning in November, the new Barclays Center will host some of the most storied programs in college hoops,” he wrote. “including Kentucky, UCLA, Indiana, Maryland, Georgetown, Michigan, St. John’s, Notre Dame and West Virginia.”

The swanky new digs may help Steve Lavin keep local talent at home. While Madison Square Garden is a truly historic building with a funky charm all its own, modern athletic prodigies are more likely to be swayed by a shiny new court and up-to-date facilities than grotty landmarks. Not to mention, the cachet of the name Jay-Z. Jay- Z, people!

Lavin is clearly looking forward to the NYC recruiting coups he can pull off by getting down in front of local recruits:

“To play a local school like St. Francis at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is a natural fit,” said St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin. “Some of St. John’s most-prolific players and loyal fans throughout our storied history have roots that trace back to the borough of Brooklyn. This game and new venue presents a nice way to pay homage to that dimension of our legacy.”

The A-10 tournament will also be played in Brooklyn, with new members VCU and Butler bringing even more flash to the event.

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: