James Michael McAdoo

James Michael McAdoo leads way in North Carolina win over Gardner-Webb

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James Michael McAdoo has been pointed to as a possible breakout player in 2012-13 and, if Friday night was any indication, the pundits just might be right.

McAdoo scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead No. 11 North Carolina over Gardner-Webb, 76-59, on Friday night in Chapel Hill.

“We did try to do a lot of things with a lot of different lineups,” head coach Roy Williams said after the game. “Four freshmen, first time they were in there, so I think it was good for them.

“Gardner-Webb had an experienced team, and they made us look bad at times. I am disappointed in how we played, but I’m not disappointed in my team.”

That is one major task that Williams is tabbed with this season, making up for the loss of four NBA first-round draft picks and filling the gaps with an assortment of young players.

Guard Marcus Paige, a freshman who steps in for the NBA-bound Kendall Marshall, had six points and two steals, but also turned the ball over four times.

“I think I can build off this.  It was a decent game,” Paige said. “I got the first game out of the way and first game jitters out of the way.  I think I did alright but there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement.”

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

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: