Miami v Duke

Late Night Snacks: Shabazz on his way to the NBA?

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Game of the Night

No. 3 Duke 79, N0. 5 Miami 76: It’s not often the No. 3 team in the country needs a statement win, but the Blue Devils wanted to bounce back from their loss at Virginia, and Miami had the bad luck to be the next scheduled opponent to come to Cameron Indoor. Ryan Kelly came back from his foot injury and proved his worth. Miami, on the other hand, suffered a loss, but didn’t really much change their standing in the world.

Meaningful Results

UCLA 74, No. 11 Arizona 69: Ben Howland thinks this upset was Shabazz Muhammad’s last game in Pauley Pavilion. Muhammad grabbed the key rebound, got fouled, and hit his free throws to close out the win. Muhammad had 18 points, and his fellow freshman chipped in 17. Defense was the difference, led by (freshman) Jordan Adams’ five steals. This win puts UCLA in a tie with Oregon for the Pac-12 lead.

No. 13 Kansas State 64, Baylor 61: This one seemed headed to overtime, but Baylor’s long pass attempt with one second left sailed the length of the court and out of bounds without being touched by either team, so the second went to K-State instead. Rodney McGruder was left alone on the wing and nailed the game-winner in dramatic fashion, allowing the Wildcats to keep pace with Kansas atop the Big 12.

No. 7 Georgetown 64, Rutgers 51: It’s always important to win the ones you’re supposed to win, especially if you’re in line for a No. 1 seed.

No. 25 Louisiana Tech 88, San Jose State 61: The Bulldogs got to empty the benches in this one, which led them to a 16-0 record with two games to go in the WAC season. The WAC is not a good conference, but unbeaten is unbeaten.

Mississippi State 73, Ole Miss 67: Ole Miss is trying to get into the NCAA tournament, and this is not the way to do it. In fact, it probably won’t happen. A 20-win team should handle a 20-loss team, no matter where the game is played.

Starred

Doug McDermott, Creighton: The Blue Jays have struggled this year, but they rode their main man to a regular-season championship in the Mountain West. McDermott scored 41 points to go with six rebounds and three assists.

Jeff Withey, Kansas: Yes, Ben McLemore had 36 points, and that was huge, but Withey came one block away from his second triple-double of the season, with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocked shots.

Derrick Marks, Boise State: Marks scored 38 points on 72 percent shooting. His Broncos took down the Colorado State Rams, leaving New Mexico alone with the league title.

Struggled

Reggie Johnson, Miami: It’s a measure of how good Miami is as a team that they nearly beat Duke at Cameron on a day when Johnson played just 17 minutes, scored zero points and had four fouls.

Butler: Just Butler. Twenty team turnovers, many of them on the wrong side of the timeline. Just… ouch.

Colorado’s Shooters: The Buffs shot 23 percent from the floor in a loss to Cal, ending up with just 46 points in a big league game.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.