NCAA Basketball Tournament - Lehigh v Duke

Duke is getting their basketball team iPads

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By now, you’ve probably heard: Duke’s basketball team is getting iPads.

You can read all about it in this press release here.

The iPads will be uploaded with game-tapes, scouting reports, personnel breakdowns and offensive and defensive edits for matchups with future opponents, which is an incredible tool for the Duke coaching staff to provide. The players are, quite literally, a four-digit passcode and a couple of strokes of a touch-screen away from having a complete breakdown of their last game (their last practice?) as well as a full scouting report for their next opponent.

This is all information that can be given out in other ways. Scouting reports come in packets. Clips can be made an put onto a DVD or a thumb-drive. Plays can be drawn up on just about anything. The beauty of the iPad in this case is that it can all be put into one, easily manageable tablet that can be used anywhere. It makes the process of pulling a laptop ALL the way out of its carrying case and putting in ALL that effort to turn it on AND find an outlet to keep it charged seem like a chore.

The key: convincing the players to put in the effort to get better outside of the practice gym. As the saying goes, you can give a player an iPad, but you can’t make him do anything other than play Angry Birds with it.

It’s also a heckuva recruiting tool, as the players will be allowed to use the iPad for whatever they want. (It’s technically still the school’s property, although they will have the option to purchase it when they graduate.) If they want to but a subscription to Netflix to catch up on the fifth season of Gossip Girl, they can. If they want to use it to try and set a personal record in Temple Run, they can. If they want to use it to download their reading assignments for class or to purchase textbooks, they can do that, too.

I don’t own an iPad, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want one. I do. Badly. They are really freakin’ cool. But they are also really freakin’ expensive, which is where the beauty here lies: Duke gives these athletes a toy they want and soup it up to be used as a tool to get better, which is a $13,000 luxury that many other programs (Lehigh?) cannot afford.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

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: