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Weekend Preview: No. 16 Creighton should be on Upset Alert vs. Cal

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Who’s Getting Upset?: No. 16 Creighton

I like the Bluejays this year. I think they are one of the most fun teams in the country to watch run offense. They spread the floor, they shoot a lot of threes and they don’t turn the ball over. Plus, they have this kid named Doug McDermott, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him. There’s a reason this group is ranked 16th.

But …

The one loss Creighton has this year came against a Boise State team with a strong back court of playmakers that shot the ball very well from three. Sounds a lot like Cal, doesn’t it? That’s who Creighton will be playing — on the road — on Saturday night. With Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe on the roster, the Bears are going to have a chance to play with anyone in the country if they get hot. Throw in the fact that the Bears desperately need this win after losing to Wisconsin and UNLV in their last two games, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous road trip. Can the Bluejays keep a duo that’s averaging a combined 39.7 points from the floor in check?

Who else is on upset alert?

No. 11 Cincinnati: The Bearcats head to Huntington, WV, on Saturday afternoon to take on Marshall at 2:00 p.m. ET. Marshall has been somewhat disappointing early on this season, but they do matchup well with Cincinnati. Deandre Kane has morphed into one of the nation’s most productive playmakers (even if he is shooting 14.3% from three) while DD Scarver is a lightening-in-a-bottle wing scorer and Nigel Spikes and Dennis Tinnon anchor a big, physical front line. This will be a nice road test for the Bearcats.

Miami FL: The Hurricanes will play host to still-undefeated Charlotte, who went into Davidson and knocked off the Wildcats last week. The Canes haven’t played in 13 days, since they went on a three-game run by beating Detroit, Michigan State and UMass. Will Jim Larranaga’s boys be rusty?

No. 4 Syracuse: This is probably crazy, but Canisius a pair of talented back court players, led by talented URI transfer Billy Baron. Will those two be enough to shoot the Golden Griffins to an upset?

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

VIDEO: Shane Richards’ shot lifts shorthanded Manhattan

Shane Richards
Associated Press
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Thanks to injuries and the departure of Jermaine Lawrence, the beginning of the season has been difficult for Steve Masiello’s Manhattan Jaspers. Entering Wednesday’s game against George Mason, which was coming off of a surprising run to the Charleston Classic title game, with just six available players the Jaspers looked to pick up their first win of the season.

And Manhattan was successful, with a Shane Richards three-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining being the difference in their 69-67 win at Draddy Gymnasium. Below is video of the game-winning play, courtesy of Manhattan Athletics.

Richards (13 points) was one of three Jaspers to reach double figures, with Rich Williams leading the way with 26 points and nine rebounds and Thomas Capuano adding 14 points. What also helped the Jaspers was the fact that they forced 25 George Mason, converting those opportunities into 24 points.

Not sure if Manhattan and George Mason are due to play again next season, but the last two meetings have produced dramatic outcomes. The Patriots won last year’s game in Fairfax on a Jalen Jenkins’ 75-footer as time expired.

Video credit: Manhattan Athletics

UNLV hangs on for 72-69 win over No. 13 Indiana

Tom Crean
AP Photo
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LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) UNLV answered every run by Indiana, and the Runnin’ Rebels were able to hang through the frantic final seconds for a 72-69 victory over the 13th-ranked Hoosiers on Wednesday.

The game had the intensity of a February conference matchup and just enough mistakes to make sure it was November.

“One of the reasons we came to Maui, other than it was exciting for our fans, was to play against the best,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “See how we match up. See where we’re good. See where our deficiencies are, and now we’ll have all next week to practice.”

Patrick McCaw had 20 points for the Runnin’ Rebels (5-1), who bounced back from their opening loss to UCLA with wins over Chaminade and the Hoosiers (4-2), who leave Hawaii with just one win in three games.

“This is a test,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “The eight teams walking out of here, no matter what, in three days are getting tested. All right? Even if the champion tonight blows through it, whoever the champion is, they’re still getting tested because you’re playing three games in three days against very high level competition.”

Indiana trailed by 15 points in the first half and turned on some solid defense to get back in the game. The Hoosiers closed to 55-53 with 8:20 to play. The Runnin’ Rebels then went on a 12-1 spurt, with McCaw scoring seven of the points, including a run-closing 3.

“Coming in, we knew since Indiana is a great offensive team, we really had to lock down and play defense,” Ike Nwamu said. “It was really paramount for us to execute defensively.”

The Hoosiers weren’t done. They got within three points twice in the final 30 seconds. The first time was on a dunk by Thomas Bryant off a tremendous pass from a flying Yogi Ferrell. UNLV’s Jerome Seagears made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds left to make it 72-67.

Max Bielfeldt’s drive for Indiana with 7.5 seconds remaining provided the final margin, but the game was far from over.

Nwamu missed two free throws with 7.1 seconds left, and Indiana gave the ball back to UNLV on a 5-second count on the inbounds. UNLV then threw the ball away on an inbounds pass. Nick Zeisloft’s 3-point attempt was partially blocked by Ben Carter, and Nwamu was fouled on the rebound. He missed both free throws with .8 seconds left, but all Indiana could get off was a heave that was well short.

“I knew my man set the screen. I knew they were looking for a 3,” Carter said of the blocked shot. “I saw Pat was trailing his man a little bit, so I knew I had to help. Luckily I was able to get the tip on the ball and it was a pivotal play.”

Crean said he wouldn’t change the play.

“That was excellent. They made an athletic play. But he did a good job taking the shot,” Crean said.

Carter and Nwamu had 16 points apiece for UNLV, and Seagears added 12.

“These kind of games, it’s so much about momentum,” Rice said. “It’s about a big stop here, a big basket here. We always focus on what happens at the end of the game. And that’s obviously critically important. … It’s an entire game. That’s why we focus on it’s every play throughout the course of 40 minutes.”

Zeisloft led the Hoosiers, who lost to Wake Forest in the final seconds in their opener, with 17 points, and James Blackmon Jr. had 13. Indiana had 21 turnovers that led to 22 points for the Runnin’ Rebels.

“We got ourselves in a hole at the beginning with our turnovers, and you’re not going to beat any type of team, let alone one as talented as UNLV, when you’re giving them 22 points,” Crean said. “It’s unacceptable with the guys that have the ball in their hands for us to be giving the ball that way, and we’ve got to get that fixed. We really do, or we’ve got to fix the lineup.”