Miami v North Carolina State

No. 14 Miami outlasts No. 19 NC State with a tip-in at the buzzer

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Reggie Johnson tipped-in a missed runner from Shane Larkin with 0.8 seconds left to give No. 14 Miami a 78-77 win over No. 19 NC State in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon.

Johnson finished with 15 points and eight boards as five Hurricanes played their way into double-figures, led by 18 points from Durand Scott.

NC State had control for much of the early part of the second half, but Miami used an 11-0 run to take a 67-62 lead with about six minutes left in the game, but the Wolfpack answered with a 12-2 run of their own, taking a five point lead with just three minutes left.

But that’s when bad NC State showed back up. On their last five possessions, NC State managed two turnovers, a missed front-end from CJ Leslie and a questionable pull-up jumper from Tyler Lewis with a 78-77 lead and just 20 seconds left on the clock.

Leslie led the way for the Wolfpack with 18 points and 12 boards. NC State was playing without Lorenzo Brown, who had an injured ankle.

And that injury to Brown is the reason why it’s risky to put too much stock into the outcome of this game.

NC State played great for 37 minutes, but struggled to execute down the stretch. Could that have changed with Brown on the floor?

Miami’s vaunted defense against the Wolfpack, but how much of that was a product of playing one of the most potent offenses in the country on the road?

Was this Tyler Lewis — 16 points, five assists, just a single turnover — performance a fluke because Miami hadn’t had a chance to scout him properly?

The difference in this game was a single-point; a basket scored on a tip-in with 0.8 seconds left on the clock. Can we really define either team on a game that was that tightly contested?

The only lasting opinion that can be made is that the Wolfpack now have essentially no chance of winning the ACC regular season title. That tip-in by Johnson? It game kept Miami undefeated in the ACC, two games in front of Virginia and Duke and three games ahead of North Carolina.

The Wolfpack?

They’re all the way back in fifth place, four games behind the Hurricanes in the loss column. A win — which was as close as a simple box out — and they would have been two games back of the Hurricanes.

That’s a two game swing. Keep that in mind come March.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Nigel Hayes’ comment on basketball brands hits on greater point

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) drives on Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Hayes had a team-high 21 points in Wisconsin's 79-68 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis
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Much is made about the ball when it comes to how the sport of basketball is played and rightfully so, as the ball is the most important piece of equipment. Different brands have different characteristics, and with college basketball programs being able to pick the ball they use for home games there are adjustments to be made during the season.

Wisconsin will play at No. 2 Maryland Saturday, meaning that in the days leading up to the game the Badgers needed to get used to the Under Armour basketball. The brand became a conversation point in the aftermath of Maryland’s win over No. 4 Iowa last month, with the Hawkeyes (while not blaming the ball for their loss) made note of the differences between the Under Armour ball and the Nike ball they use for their home games.

Thursday Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes offered up his observations on the basketball while also pointing out (albeit sarcastically) the goal of intercollegiate athletics.

“It’s definitely different,” Hayes said. “Personally, we don’t like it too much. I don’t like the Under Armour ball whatsoever. But that’s the way this amateur sports league is set up. We’re supposed to be having fun, but all the money is in these basketballs that colleges play with. But it’s an amateur sport, we’re just here for fun. It’s not really that serious. So I guess any ball should be OK.

“Maybe we should have a universal ball like the NBA. You don’t go to the Clippers’ stadium and play with a Nike and then go to Golden State and play with a Rawlings. But in this amateur sport of college, where money isn’t the goal — it’s the student education and experience that you get — we play with a million different basketballs.”

Hayes makes a good point here, and in regards to the NBA all hell would break loose under similar circumstances (remember the leather vs. microfiber composite controversy in 2006?). If these games are solely about fun and the college experience, wouldn’t having one ball used by all schools better fit that mission? This isn’t the biggest of deals when it comes to “amateur” athletics, as different basketball brands have been used for years.

But Hayes was able to take this situation and work it into the discussion of the goals of intercollegiate athletics. Is it about the experience? Or does the ability to profit, be it through a minor move such as using a particular ball or the more impactful step of moving from one conference to another, take precedence? Given the shifts that have occurred in college sports in recent years, it’s quite apparent that the search for additional revenue streams has won out.

Hayes did note that neither he nor his teammates would make excuses, saying that the team would simple “have to get used to” the unfamiliar basketball according to the Wisconsin State Journal. In the end, this was a good use of sarcasm by Hayes to make a greater point about the collegiate athletics machine he and his teammates are but minor parts of.

Marquette fan sends Providence money for missed free throw

Providence's Kris Dunn reacts to his shot during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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It goes without saying that sports can inspire some interesting promises, from players and coaches guaranteeing victory to fans making statements that hinge on the outcome of a particular game or play (see: tattoos celebrating a team’s triumphs before they’ve even won the game in question). For one Marquette fan, the need for Providence’s Kris Dunn to miss a free throw during Wednesday night’s game (which Marquette won in overtime) inspired him to make a promise that he intended to keep.

Jamey Schilling took the approach of yelling that he’d pay Dunn $10 if he missed the free throw. Sure enough Dunn missed the shot, and Schilling made good on his promise. But with players themselves unable to receive such funds due to NCAA rules, Schilling sent the check to the Providence athletic department.

Schilling’s gesture did not go unnoticed by Marquette either, as the school sent him a gift card to use in the Marquette Spirit Shop.

H/T For The Win