Pregame Shootaround 12.10.12: Finals Week makes for a quiet night

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It’s Finals Week, so you know what that means: college hoops takes a massive hit. There are seven games on the docket tonight.

Seven.

Seriously.

So did ya’ll see that episode of Homeland last night?

Game of the Day: Bryant at Navy, 7:00 p.m.: Yeah, it’s that kind of night. This is the only game on the night that features two teams with more than two wins on the season, and one of those two (Navy) still has a losing record at 5-6. Bryant has won five of their last six games, which includes a two-point win at Boston College. Can the Bulldogs go into Annapolis and steal a win?

Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 15 Georgetown: The Hoyas have won two games at the Verizon Center in the last two weeks while scoring 46 points (against Towson) and 37 points (against Tennessee). They also “blew up” for 62 points in a win over Texas at Madison Square Garden. So there’s that, too.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Hoyas are going to lose. They’ve given up 117 points in their last three games. Longwood is averaging 55.7 points in their three road games and gave up 112 to Arkansas and 103 to Creighton. This should be a good chance for Georgetown to start finding a rhythm offensively.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Night: Seattle at Eastern Washington, 9:05 p.m.: Because they both have won at least one game.

Two things to watch for:

– Virginia Tech looks to bounce back against Mississippi Valley State at 7:00 p.m. back in Blacksburg. The Hokies lost their first game of the season on Saturday when Juwan Staten hit a driving layup with five seconds left on the clock at West Virginia.

– Detroit is just 2-4 on the season against Division I teams, and while Alabama State is about as low as it gets in Division I, this is still a chance for the Titans to try and work out some of the kinks of their slow start. Detroit was expected to compete with Valparaiso for the Horizon League title this season.

Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Vandy in NIT Tip-Off

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NEW YORK (AP) — Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in one semifinal of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day at Barclays Center.

Rhode Island and Seton Hall face off in the other semifinal with the winners meeting on Friday, Nov. 24.

This is the third straight year the Tip-Off has been held at Barclays Center. Eventual NCAA champion Villanova won the event in 2015. All games will be televised on ESPNU.

Non-bracketed teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off who will play games at campus sites are: Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.

Miles Bridges explain why he returned to Michigan State

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Miles Bridges changed the landscape of the 2017-18 college basketball season on April 13.

The Michigan State forward spurned the NBA for another year in East Lansing. The decision not only meant that Bridges was a frontrunner for national player of the year, but solidified the Spartans as a national title contender.

But Bridges’ choice to return was still puzzling to many. The 6-foot-7 forward was projected as a lottery pick. Bridges explained his decision to Mike Decourcy of Sporting News in a story published on Thursday.

“He says, ‘You know what, Coach? I want to get better. I don’t want to be in the D-League. I’ve got buddies that are, and I just want to make sure when I go, I’m ready,’ ” Izzo recalled to Sporting News. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Done deal.’ For me, that was a done deal. It was a reasonable, sensible argument.”

Agents, friends, reporters, scouts, acquaintances, fans, strangers and family members — oh and, as we said, coaches — all had one opinion about how Bridges should spend the next year of his life. Miles had another, opposing, viewpoint.

Bridges told Decourcy that support came from his teammates, many of whom were returning to the team as well. Assuming the backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford make a leap forward, as well as incoming freshman Jaren Jackson providing an immediate impact, the Spartans’ title hopes could become a reality.

Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Michigan State. He’s rated as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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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.