Chase Tapley

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.


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)


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, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.

LSU loses to Charleston, eliminates at-large bid margin for error

Ben Simmons
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Ben Simmons scored 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, the second time in his six-game career that the LSU freshman has collected that many caroms, but that wasn’t enough for the Tigers to avoid dropping a game on the road to the College of Charleston, 70-58. It was the third straight loss for Simmons’ crew, as they fell to Marquette and N.C. State at the Legends Classic last week.

But here’s the thing: LSU didn’t just lose.

The game really wasn’t close.

LSU was down by as many as 23 points. It was 39-17 at the half, and that was after Charleston had a shot at the buzzer called off upon review. They made a bit of a run in the second half but never got closer than seven. When LSU would cut into the lead, the Cougars would respond with a run of their own, killing LSU’s spirit while keeping them at arm’s length.

[RELATED: Ben Simmons’ one college year a waste?]

Now, there are quite a few things here to discuss. For starters, LSU’s effort was, at best, apathetic, and, at worst, regular old pathetic. The team has a serious lack of leadership that was plainly evident on Monday night; would Fred VanVleet let his team fold against a program picked to finish at the bottom of the SoCon? Would Tyler Ulis? For that matter, would Tom Izzo or Mike Krzyzewski or John Calipari?

Perhaps more importantly, does any of that change when Keith Hornsby and Craig Victor get back?

Simmons did show off his potential — 18 boards, four assists, he even made his first three of the year — but he also showed precisely why there are scouts that are trying to curtail the LeBron James comparisons. Simmons was 4-for-15 from the floor with seven turnovers against a mediocre mid-major team. There are so many things that Simmons does well, but scoring efficiently — particularly in half court setting — and shooting the ball consistently are not on that list.

But here’s the biggest issue: LSU may have put themselves in a situation where they aren’t a tournament team. As of today, they’re 3-3 on the season with losses to a pair of teams that, at best, seem destined to be in the bubble conversation on Selection Sunday in addition to this loss to Charleston. The rest of their non-conference schedule is ugly. The only game worth noting is at home against No. 6 Oklahoma at the end of January.

The NCAA factors in non-conference schedule strength when determining at-large teams. You need to at least try, and LSU didn’t try; they have one of the worst non-conference schedules in the country.

The great thing about being in the SEC — as opposed to, say, the Missouri Valley — is that the Tigers will have plenty of chances to earn marquee wins. Six, by my court: Kentucky twice, Texas A&M twice, Vanderbilt on the road and Oklahoma at home. They probably need to win at least two or three of those games to have a real chance, and that’s assuming they can avoid anymore horrid losses in the process.

The season isn’t over six games in, not by any stretch of the imagination.

But LSU has done a hell of a job eliminating their margin for error.