Danny Berger, Spencer Butterfield

Danny Berger’s heartfelt thank you letter

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Danny Berger put the Utah State program through one of the most terrifying crises imaginable.

During a practice in early December, Berger’s heart-stopped. He got light-headed and passed out on the floor, where trainers first gave him CPR and then used an AED to shock his heart and bring him back to life.

Right there on the court at the Spectrum, Berger’s life was saved, in front of his teammates, his friends, his coaches.

Late last week, Berger wrote a heartfelt and touching letter to thank those that saved his life:

Athletic trainer Mike Williams is the first of these I want to thank. His skill set and quickness to act was pivotal in my survival. Jessie Parker, our team manager, my roommate and friend knew exactly where the AED was at the moment of my collapse. His awareness and clarity of mind made it possible for Mike to do what he did. The coaches who were also trained in CPR need to be thanked. The paramedics who rushed to the Spectrum and doctors and nurses who worked on me and did the necessary things to preserve my life and memory are owed a thank you. My fellow teammates were huge in the whole situation, and I cannot imagine what they were going through. I also thank everyone who thought or prayed for me or sent me a message or a card or anything like that for what they did. I have realized how great the Aggie family really is. Thousands of people pulled together and have made this process a lot easier.

The good news is that Berger seems to be getting back to being healthy and that he should be able to live a long and prosperous life. He’s currently got a defibrillator in his chest, but he’s able to do some work on a stationary bike and said in the blog post that he’s able to do some jogging.

He also said that he plans on getting back out onto the court one day. Here’s to hoping he’s able to make that happen.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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: