Late Night Snacks: Chase Tapley caps night with last-second shot to beat Boise State (VIDEO)

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Tapley beats Boise

Game of the Day: Wisconsin 74, Iowa 70 (2OT)

Four Badgers scored in double figures, as Iowa dropped another close game to a quality Big Ten opponent. Wisconsin trailed by three, 58-55, with 0:21 to go, but a clutch three-pointer from Traevon Jackson tied the game and sent it into overtime. In the first extra period, the teams scored just one field goal between them, but Jackson came through again with two free throws to tie the game at 62 and force a second overtime.

That’s when the offenses finally opened up.

Important Outcomes 

1. TCU 62, No. 5 Kansas 55

TCU, a winless 0-8 team in Big 12 play, somehow almost inexplicably took it to the nation’s No. 5 team. But how? The Jayhawks shot an awful 29.5 percent from the floor and had just 13 points at halftime. Kansas’ need for a point guard was prominently on display, as Naadir Tharpe and Elijah Johnson shot a combined 5-of-27 from the floor. If there were ever a more appropriate time for a team’s fanbase to storm the floor, it was Wednesday night at TCU.

2. No. 7 Arizona 73, Stanford 66 

Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons were the keys to an Arizona victory, combining for close to 66 percent of the Wildcats’ offensive output Wednesday night. Without the senior leadership of those two, we would likely be talking about a streaking Stanford team with an impressive road upset. But it was not to be.

3. No. 12 Michigan State 61, N0. 18 Minnesota 50

Without much production from its interior presences until the final minutes, guards Gary Harris and Keith Appling needed to carry Michigan State. Appling injured his shoulder late, but he returned to the bench. With an already thin backcourt, Izzo and the Spartans will hope that Appling does not miss any time.

Starred

1. Mark Lyons, Arizona (25 points, 6 assists)

With Aaron Bright putting up big numbers for Stanford Wednesday night, Arizona needed a counter. Alongside Solomon Hill, who also had a big night, Lyons produced when the Wildcats needed it. He was key to a second-half run that gave Arizona its first lead of the night and he helped to seal the deal in the end.

2. Jared Berggren (16 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks)

Wisconsin needed everything it got from Berggren to fend off a pesky Iowa team in double overtime. His eight offensive rebounds helped the Badgers to get second-chance points. Bo Ryan’s team is now 7-3 in a tough Big Ten.

3. Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan (21 points, 13 rebounds) 

As always, it’s important to recognize a big game from a mid-major player. Wednesday night, it was Whittington, whose double-double helped Western Michigan to a win over Kent State.

Also of Note: Devon Moore, James Madison (17 points, 12 assists, 2 TOs) | Dwight Powell, Stanford (24 points, 10 rebounds)

Struggled 

1. Kansas (30% FG, 14% 3pt FG, 29 PF, Loss to TCU team that was previously 0-8 in Big 12 play)

It was a combination of problems that led to Kansas’s loss to TCU, but poor offensive flow was one of the worst. The Jayhawks started 1-of-17 from the floor and never found their groove.

2. Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa (2 points, 1-of-10 FG)

The junior averages over 13 points per game, but was only able to muster two in the Hawkeyes double-overtime loss to Wisconsin. His team did not shoot well either, going just 25-of-74 from the floor. 

3. Doug McDermott, Creighton (8 points, 3-of-10 FG)

McDermott was contained for the most part Wednesday night, leading to an Indiana State blowout victory. The National Player of the Year candidate is the engine of the Creighton offense and without him producing, it was a bad night for the Bluejays.

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

Grand Canyon lands Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson

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Grand Canyon landed an important piece for its NCAA tournament push on Saturday night as Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson pledged to the Antelopes.

The 6-foot-3 Benson will be eligible right away as spent the past three seasons with the Ducks as a key reserve guard, helping Oregon to multiple deep NCAA tournament runs. Benson picked Grand Canyon over Wisconsin for his final season of college basketball as Benson’s brother, T.J., is an assistant coach with the Antelopes.

Benson shot 40 percent from three-point range last season while also being a steady ball handler over the course of his career at Oregon as he has only 81 career turnovers in over 2,600 career minutes with the Ducks. While Benson wasn’t asked to score a lot for a loaded Oregon team that featured multiple bucket-getters, he could be asked to do more at Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time next season as the addition of Benson gives them an experienced guard who should be more of a factor in the WAC. The Antelopes are coming off of a 22-9 season in which they finished 11-3 in conference play.

With great facilities and a quickly-growing fan base, head coach Dan Majerle has the potential makings of a perennial mid-major conference contender if he continues to recruit well to Grand Canyon.

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

Oral Roberts to hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills

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Oral Roberts has found its new head coach as they will hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills, as first reported by NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster.

Mills had been on staff with the Bears since 2003 as he’s been a big factor in why head coach Scott Drew has been able to turn around that program. A graduate of Texas A&M, Mills has been a full-time assistant at Baylor since the 2009 season.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” Mills said in a release. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

Mills will replace former head coach Scott Sutton, who was relieved of his duties this offseason after 18 years at the helm.

 

Iowa commit Connor McCaffery to redshirt in basketball to pursue baseball

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Iowa commit Connor McCaffery is in a unique spot when he starts his freshman year in Iowa City next year.

Not only is the 6-foot-4 guard the son of basketball head coach Fran McCaffery, while being a four-star national basketball prospect, but Connor also has a bright future in baseball.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Connor might do for his future in athletics and he gave more clarification on what he might be looking to do on Friday.

McCaffery has decided to redshirt in basketball next season to focus on the beginnings of his baseball career at Iowa. A walk-on for both sports, the move enables Connor McCaffery to potentially play three years of basketball with his younger brother, Patrick, who is also a heralded basketball recruit for Iowa. This move also gives Connor the best chance to pursue both sports while he’ll also help out a young Iowa basketball team with its tough scholarship scenario.

Butler, Chris Holtmann agree to a contract extension

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Butler has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Chris Holtmann, the school announced on Friday, that will keep him under contract through 2025.

“Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way,” said Holtmann. “Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I’m excited to continue to work alongside them.”

Holtmann was named Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-9 record and a spot in the Sweet 16. In three years with the program, Holtmann has a record of 70-31.

“Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “This commitment – both by our university and by Chris – allows the momentum within our program to continue.”

Holtmann was in the mix for a couple of jobs this spring, including N.C. State and Missouri.