Rutgers

Rutgers follows Maryland, officially joins Big Ten

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Rutgers will leave the Big East and follow Maryland to the Big Ten Conference in all sports, Rutgers president Robert Barchi officially announced at a press conference Tuesday.

“We’re really very excited and very proud at Rutgers. The Big Ten is really where Rutgers belongs,” Barchi said. “It’s not just a good fit for us athletically, it’s a good fit for us academically and as an institution.”

The Scarlet Knights become the conference’s 14th team, having cleared all procedural hurdles this morning, according to NJ.com.

Rutgers will reportedly seek entry into the league for the start of the 2014-15 season. If that date holds, the school would enter at the same time as Maryland.

As with the precedent set by schools like Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Syracuse who bolted for the ACC, Rutgers will owe the Big East a $10 million exit fee and will be subject to a 27-month waiting period before making the move.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse both negotiated agreements with the Big East that allow them to enter the ACC for the start of the 2013-14, and Notre Dame is reportedly in preliminary negotiations to do the same.

The news itself sets off a chain reaction that raises questions about the future of the Big East, with reports that the ACC may look to Louisville or Connecticut to fill the void left by Maryland.

Stay tuned to NBCSports.com for continuing coverage of realignment.

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: