Late Night Snacks: Mountain West battles highlighted Wednesday’s CBB action

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Games of the Day: 

St. Mary’s 70, BYU 69

The college basketball gods made us wait until the conclusion of the night to get the evening’s best ending. After Tyler Haws hit a fall-away floater in the lane to put BYU ahead by two with five seconds to go, Saint Mary’s guard Matthew Dellavedova threw up a half-court shot and sank it at the buzzer to give the Gaels a shocking road victory in the WCC.

Maryland 51, No. 14 NC State 50

Before Dellavedova’s huge shot to beat BYU, this looked like the undisputed Game of the Night. Pe’Shon Howard missed a floater falling away from the basket, but big man Alex Len was there for the putback with 0.9 seconds left. Maryland fans stormed the floor in celebration and the Terrapins now have a signature win on their resume over a Top 25 team.

Also of Note: Iowa State 69, West Virginia 67

Important Outcomes 

1. UNLV 82, No. 15 San Diego State 75

In the battle for Mountain West supremacy, UNLV coach Dave Rice went with a smaller lineup down the stretch to counter San Diego State and it worked out perfectly. Guard Anthony Marshall carried the Rebels with 20 points and UNLV proves how versatile a lineup it can put on the floor at any one time.

2. No. 19 New Mexico 79, Boise State 74 (OT)

Boise State is proving to be a legitimate threat in the Mountain West, despite ultimately falling in overtime to New Mexico. For the Lobos, the win Wednesday was done without much production from center Alex Kirk until the final minutes, which should be a good sign of versatility moving forward.

3. Towson 69, Delaware 66

Pat Skerry and the Towson Tigers went 1-31 overall last season. With a win Wednesday, Towson pulled to an even 9-9 and tied for second in the CAA with a 4-1 mark in the conference.

Starred

1. Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s (18 points, 8 assists, half-court buzzer-beater to beat BYU)

See above for the link to Dellavedova’s heroics Wednesday, but it is worth noting that he went head-to-head with BYU’s Tyler Haws, even down to the final sequence of possessions. He turned in a big performance in a big spot for the Gaels.

2. Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State (27 points, 7 rebounds)

Despite the loss, Franklin had another All-Conference outing vs. UNLV. He was San Diego State’s No. 1 scoring option and for good reason. Even when defenders were cutting off his drive to the basket, he found a way to power through and score.

3. Majok Majok, Ball State (26 points, 13 rebounds)

The double-double man does it again for Ball State, though in a loss.

Also of Note: Derrick Marks, Boise State (27 points, 6 rebounds)

Struggled

1. Tony Watson II, Buffalo (5 points, 1-of-12 FG)

Javon McCrea was able to carry the offensive load for Buffalo Wednesday night with his 33 points, compensating for others who struggled from the field, including Watson II. Buffalo fell to Kent State, 80-68.

2. Charles Mann, Georgia (3 points, 1-of-4 FG, 6 turnovers)

The Bulldogs turned the ball over 18 times in their double-digit loss to Missouri Wednesday night. Mann couldn’t get it going from the field and contributed to that turnover number with six of his own.

3. Scottie Haralson, Tulsa (0 points, 0-of-8 FG)

Tulsa got the win over UTEP Wednesday night, 45-42, but it wasn’t pretty. The Golden Hurricane shot 40 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 16 times.

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

Kentucky fans flood Facebook page of official John Higgins’ company with negative reviews

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Unhappy with how John Higgins performed at his part-time job, Kentucky fans did their best trash him at his full-time gig.

The Facebook page of the referee’s Omaha-based roofing company was flooded by Big Blue Nation with negative comments and reviews after they were displeased with the official’s work in the Wildcats’ Elite Eight loss to North Carolina.

Not only did fans leave obviously fake and vulgar comments on the page, they also deluged it with one-star reviews to drive down its average significantly.

Once again, the Internet is struck by its proportionality problem. What could be considered a silly bit of online pranking by a small minority suddenly turns into an avalanche of nastiness that could do real damage to someone’s life, business and family, given the importance of social media for companies in 2017. It becomes cruel when it reaches a level like this.

When there’s so many general complaints about the state of officiating in college basketball, it’s also not helpful to do something like this to one of the referees generally considered to be one of the country’s best. It’s not exactly a glowing endorsement for prospective future officials to follow the career path if it brings this level of negative attention to you off the court.

Report: North Carolina to miss out on NCAA events through 2022 if HB2 not addressed by Thursday

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North Carolina is in danger of losing out on hosting NCAA events through 2022 if the state does not make changes to HB2, the controversial so-called “bathroom bill” by Thursday afternoon, according to the leader of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

“I have confirmed with a contact very close to the NCAA that its deadline for HB2 is 48 hours from now,” Scott Dupree, the head of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “If HB2 has not been resolved by that time, the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids.”

“The NCAA has already delayed the bid review process once and has waited as long as it possibly can, and now it must finalize all championship site selections through spring of 2022.”

The NCAA, as it reminded North Carolina last week, is making its determinations on hosts for events from 2018-2022 this week. There was movement last week at the North Carolina statehouse for a compromise on the bill, but that apparently stalled out, the News & Observer reported, though there remain efforts to make progress on a pact.

Should lawmakers not reach an agreement in time, the state’s flagship basketball programs will be without an NCAA tournament home-court advantage that they have often enjoyed. HB2 just this past year moved the first and second rounds out of the state and to South Carolina, where No. 2 seed Duke lost to the seventh-seeded Gamecocks in their home state.

Clearly, there’s much more to consider here than NCAA tournament implications, but it’s another reminder of the economic impact the bill has made in North Carolina. This week, The Associated Press estimated it will cost the state $3.76 billion over a 12-year period.

Baylor’s Freeman to graduate and transfer

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Baylor is losing one of its contributors over the past three seasons.

Al Freeman, a 6-foot-3 guard, will graduate and transfer to another school, the Bears announced Tuesday.

“Al has been a tremendous student-athlete and made great contributions to our program over the last four years, and we’re thrilled that he’s going to complete his degree at Baylor,” Bears coach Scott Drew said in a statement. “He’ll always be part of the Baylor family, and we’ll be rooting for him as he continues his career.”

Freeman, who redshirted his freshman year due to a broken wrist, started 57 games during his career in Waco and averaged 8.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He was a full-time starter as a sophomore, but made just 22 this past season and saw his minutes slashed.

As a graduate transfer, the Charlotte native will be immediately eligible at his next program for his final collegiate season.

Xavier sophomore Edmond Sumner declares for NBA Draft

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Xavier sophomore Edmond Sumner has declared for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent.

“First let me start by saying these three years at Xavier have been the best of my life,” Sumner said in a statement. “I have certainly been presented with some ups and downs but they have only served to make me a stronger person. This decision was very hard for me because of the love I have for X. After weighing my options with my family, I have decided to enter the 2017 NBA Draft, fulfilling a lifelong dream. I want to thank Coach Mack and the rest of the staff for believing in me and giving me a chance when no one did! I’ll always be grateful for that. Xavier Nation I will always love you!”

Sumner, a 6-foot-6 point guard with dynamic athleticism and first round potential that averaged 15.0 points, but he is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered in January. He’s likely to be a second round pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

This is a big loss for the Musketeers, but it’s one that they planned for. After his eruption last season, most expected him to put his name in the draft this season.

Duke freshman Harry Giles III declares for NBA Draft

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Harry Giles III has declared for the NBA Draft after playing just one season at Duke.

“Playing in the NBA has been my goal for as long as I can remember, and I’m so excited to take the next step in that journey,” Giles said. “My time at Duke has been a dream come true. I’ve built so many strong relationships here and I have so many people to thank, from my teammates and coaches to our medical staff and strength coach. I can’t understate how proud I am to be part of the Duke Basketball program forever.”

Giles played in 26 games for the Blue Devils. He started six games and averaged 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story with Giles. At one point considered to be the best player in the loaded Class of 2016, Giles has dealt with a pair of devastating knee injuries already. He underwent a third surgery right before the start of the season and never seemed like he was fully able to get back to being the player he was when he was in high school.

This is the right decision for Giles to make, as there is still some uncertainty regarding the health of his knees. Were his struggles due to the fact that he was tossed right into the middle of a college basketball season after having sat out for 14 straight months, or was this simply a result of knees that no longer allow him to be the player that he used to be?

He might still end up being a first round pick this year. At the very least, he’s make some guaranteed money if he can get into a camp. Maybe returning to school could have helped vault him into the lottery in 2018, but another year like this year would’ve firebombed his draft stock.

“With his uplifting personality and love for the game, Harry Giles has been a joy to coach,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He is only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be on the basketball court. Harry has an exciting NBA future ahead of him and we are here to fully support him as a member of our brotherhood.”

I know I’m not alone when I say I hope that Giles gets healthy and succeeds in the NBA.