John Calipari’s Dominican National Team one win away from Olympics

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John Calipari has a chance to add another notch to his belt in 2012.

He already won a national championship and saw six of his players get selected in the NBA draft, but he has been focused on Olympic qualifying, where he has the Dominican National Basketball Team one win away from its first ever berth in the Olympics.

The Dominican Republic erased a 20-point first-half deficit to beat Macedonia, 86-76, in the Olympic qualifying quarterfinal Friday night.

Calipari’s team now faces the winner of the last quarterfinal game, Lithuania, in the semifinal. Russia and Nigeria meet in the other semifinal.

A win in the semifinal or the consolation game Sunday would place the Dominican Republic in the London field.

The Dominican team features Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford, who had 14 points in the win over Macedonia, along with former Louisville guard Edgar Sosa.

Sacramento Kings guard Francisco Garcia led the way with 28 points Friday night.

Ronald Ramon, formerly of the University of Pittsburgh, added 13 points.

Calipari and the Dominican National Team grabbed the headlines before the qualifying tournament after it was announced that rising high school sophomore Karl Towns would be part of 2012 roster.

Towns, rated by many as the top player in the Class of 2015, has played sparingly in this tournament, but the team as a whole is proving that they might have what it takes to punch a ticket to London.

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

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: