Syracuse v Louisville

Michael Carter-Williams giveth and taketh away

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Plenty of praise will be heaped on Syracuse’s non-traditional point guard Michael Carter-Williams after the way he played down the stretch against Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

In just his fourth true road game as a collegian (we’ll go ahead and discount his freshman season that consisted of garbage time), the 6-foot-6 MCW scored 11 of the last 13 points for the Orange in their 70-68 win over No. 1 Louisville at the Yum! Center. The only bucket he didn’t score came off of a dazzling assist from MCW to Jerami Grant. In the final minute, he had two steals, one of which led to the game-winning dunk at the other end of the floor and the other clinched the win for the Orange.

All in all, it was an incredible way to close out the game.

But it also ignores a bigger point: MCW played a major role in the fact that Syracuse had to dig themselves out of a hole.

In the first half, MCW had six turnovers, which doesn’t include the shot clock violation that came when he didn’t realize how much time was left on the clock. By the time that Gorgui Dieng tipped in a missed Russ Smith jumper with 16:25 left in the game, Louisville was up 48-40 despite Brandon Triche playing like a lottery pick. MCW was 1-5 from the floor with five points and seven turnovers. Even while he was in the midst of winning the game down the stretch for the Orange, MCW still managed to find a way to go 1-2 from the free throw line twice in the last minute.

The thing that is concerning about MCW is that this was not an atypical performance from him. Blessed with the kind of length and athleticism that makes NBA scouts drool and the passing ability to justify comparisons to Jason Kidd, MCW is on the radar of every team drafting in the lottery. But he still shoots far too often for a players that, frankly, cannot shoot, he has a tendency to dominate possession of the ball in the half court, and there are times where he seems more concerned with making the sensational happen instead of simply making the right play.

It reminds this scribe of Russ Smith from last season. You could see the ability, if not the decision-making, was there last season, and once Smith became slightly less “Russdiculous”, he morphed into a first-team all-american this season.

Despite displaying every single concerning aspect how his game on Saturday in Louisville, MCW still managed to put the team on his back down the stretch and, quite literally, steal a victory from the Cardinals.

It begs the question: how good can MCW be if he can follow the same path as Smith and eliminate those negative parts of his game?

Mountain West admits official error, won’t change result of Boise State-Colorado State

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After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.

Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.

There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.

On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.

They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”

In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.

Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.

The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.