Jerian Grant,Wayne Blackshear

Five OTs and 205 points later, No. 25 Notre Dame defeats No. 11 Louisville

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Thelonious Monk wrote a tune called “Ugly Beauty”.

You’d have to watch a Louisville-Notre Dame game go to five overtimes to understand the concept.

The fact that Notre Dame won this one, 104-101, is absolutely stunning, and therein lies the tale. The very long tale that I’m not going to retell. You had to be there.

In a game like this, you have to ask yourself, what’s the takeaway? What did we learn about these two teams?

We learned that Russ Smith is more than just a player, he’s an avatar of a very specific, undefinable state of being, like fahrvergnugen or satori. Russdiculous will, forever hereafter, refer to something that is both sublimely wonderful and sublimely terrible. Everyone watching this game felt simultaneously excited and nauseous every time Smith touched the ball in the final seconds of any of the six decisive moments this game had to offer. In the annals of Big East lore, “Russdiculous” will have to go next to “Devendorfing”.

We learned that Notre Dame can win without Jack Cooley, who fouled out with nearly seven minutes left in that charming era of yesteryear we like to call “the second half.” The Irish also lost forwards Tom Knight and Zach Auguste to foul trouble, and Jerian Grant, who single-handedly sent the game to that quaint, adorable little first overtime, missed nearly a full second game’s worth of action after his fifth foul as well.

We learned that Chane Behanan should probably get more touches with the game on the line, and that Luke Hancock actually can be a difference-maker for the Cards. We learned how to spell Biedscheid. Or at least I did.

Overall, the main thing we learned – and it was something we all knew already – is that the imminent end of the Big East is going to haunt us for the rest of our lives. This is the thing that will push us all, one at a time, into the “back in my day…” reveries that our grandparents tortured us with.

And who do we have to thank for that forceful reminder of how much realignment sucks? Two teams that helped drive a stake into the league by agreeing to join the ACC.

Oh, the irony. It’s enough to make a guy want to go to bed, already.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: