NCAA Basketball Tournament - Xavier v Notre Dame

2013 point guard Demetrius Jackson staying ‘home’ to play at Notre Dame

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Mike Brey has picked up a recruiting victory that the Notre Dame program truly needed as it looks forward to a future in the ACC.

2013 point guard Demetrius Jackson, who hails from nearby Mishawaka, Indiana, has committed to the school as first reported by both Dave Telep of ESPN.com and Paul Klee of the Champaign News-Gazette.

Jackson, heralded as one of the top point guards in the class by all the major scouting services, chose the Fighting Irish over Illinois.

If you’re looking for a comparison to make in Jackson’s recruitment from an importance standpoint for Notre Dame look no further than the centerpiece of Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team.

Senior point guard Skylar Diggins is a South Bend native and while in high school was one of the most sought-after players in the country.

Head coach Muffet McGraw and her staff succeeded in keeping Diggins home and its led the program to back-to-back national title game appearances.

It would be a bit unfair to put national contender expectations on Jackson’s shoulders, but from an importance standpoint he was a player that Brey and his staff could not allow to play his college basketball somewhere else.

Jackson’s commitment pushes the number up to three in the 2013 class for Notre Dame, joining small forwards V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia.

And Notre Dame won’t be lacking for talented options on the perimeter when these three arrive on campus either, as Eric Atkins, Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton and Cameron Biedscheid will all have eligibility remaining.

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

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)

After blowout of South Carolina, is No. 22 Kentucky a Final Four contender?

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis (3) guards the ball after a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 75-70. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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It only took 2:26 for official Doug Sirmons to plant two technical fouls on Kentucky head coach John Calipari, and that may have been the worst thing that could have happened to South Carolina.

He poked the bear, and the result was that a ticked off No. 22 Wildcat team proceeded to run the Gamecocks out of their own gym, 89-62.

The star of the show was interim head coach Tyler Ulis, who put together as dominating of a performance as you’ll ever see out of a player that stands 5-foot-9. Ulis finished with 27 points and 12 assists, hitting 4-for-8 from three and turning the ball over just once.

Marcus Lee added 11 points and 13 boards, including six on the offensive end, and Jamal Murray had his customary 26 points on 9-for-21 shooting, but the story of this game was Ulis.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seed a player under 6-foot capable of dominating a game the way that Ulis can dominate. Murray can take over with the best of them — we saw it against Florida and Ohio State — but when it comes to the NCAA tournament, this Kentucky team will go as far as Ulis carries them.

And based on the way that he’s played in the last six weeks, that could end up being pretty far. In SEC play, Ulis is averaging 19.4 points and 7.6 assists. He’s scored at least 17 points in 12 of the last 14 games and has notched as least five assists in all 14. He just orchestrated a total mollywhopping of a Frank Martin-coached team that was tied for first place in the SEC while playing without his head coach and on the road.

The issue with Kentucky is the same today as it was a month ago. They’re a two-man team with an inconsistent supporting cast. When their two studs play like this, they can beat anyone in the country. When they don’t, they can struggle against anyone.

But here’s the thing: When Ulis is playing the way that he’s played of late, they don’t really need all that much from their supporting cast. Derek Willis needs to be able to space the floor. Lee and Skal Labissiere need to be able to hold their own against opposing big men.

And when that happens?

Kentucky is clearly the best team in the SEC and good enough to be able to win four straight in the Big Dance and get to a Final Four.