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Georgetown Stonewalls plan special tifo for Syracuse game

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With seats in Section 118 of the Verizon Center, the Georgetown Stonewalls have been a highly active alumni support group for the Georgetown basketball program.

The Stonewalls have displayed various tifo (soccer-style banners, for those who aren’t familiar) at Hoya games, whether it’s to pay homage to the seven basketball schools that will assume the Big East name on July 1 or let a departing conference member (before the split, of course) know how they feel about their decision.

With Saturday’s regular season finale against rival Syracuse also being the final meeting between the two programs as conference rivals (barring a meeting in next week’s Big East tournament), the Stonewalls are planning a special tifo to mark the occasion.

According to a release from the Stonewalls, the tifo measures 52 feet by 25 feet and will feature both Jack the Bulldog and Otto the Orange. This will be the fifth tifo the Stonewalls have created this season.

Featuring the two schools’ mascots, Jack the Bulldog and Otto the Orange, the tifo’s message echoes Georgetown coach John Thompson III’s sentiments about the rivalry and Saturday’s game, “Without a doubt, it’ll be emotional… As much as we both plan on continuing to play, it’s going to be different. What has made these games so special, this rivalry so special — and then, in turn, made this league so special — is the Georgetown-Syracuse games.”

In total the Stonewalls plan to display some 15 flags at the game, with one honoring sophomore forward Otto Porter Jr., who is the favorite for Big East Player of the Year and also one of the candidates for national Player of the Year honors.

With the three-plus decades of memories that the Big East and these two storied rivals have given college basketball, it will be interesting to see what the Stonewalls produce during Saturday’s game.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Ellis, Lucas lead No. 6 Kansas past No. 10 West Virginia

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) blocks a shot by West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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In the first meeting between No. 10 West Virginia and No. 6 Kansas, the Mountaineers dominated in their 74-63 win in Morgantown. Bob Huggins’ “Press Virginia” attack forced 22 Kansas turnovers, with the Jayhawks playing far too fast and loose with the basketball while also getting out-toughed by the Mountaineers. In the rematch Kansas (20-4, 8-3 Big 12) looked far better equipped to deal with West Virginia in both of those areas, winning by the final score of 75-65.

Kansas committed 15 turnovers, with Devonte’ Graham responsible for five of them, but they did not allow West Virginia (19-4, 8-3) to use those chances to kickstart their offense. The Mountaineers scored 13 points (one fewer than Kansas, which took advantage of ten WVU miscues) off of those turnovers and did not register a single fast break points. Having to play in the half-court more than they would have liked, West Virginia could not execute at the level they did in beating Baylor Saturday.

As a result Bob Huggins’ team shot 37.3 percent from the field and 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers have shown signs of being able to win games in which they don’t force a high turnover count, but that wasn’t the case at Allen Fieldhouse.

If not for West Virginia grabbing better than 34 percent of their misses and scoring 14 second-chance points, the margin is likely even greater than the ten-point outcome due to the contract in offensive execution. Kansas pushed the ball early, getting out to an 8-0 lead, and as the game wore on the Jayhawks were much better in finding quality shot opportunities. Bill Self’s team shot 56.1 percent from the field with Perry Ellis scoring 21 points to lead five Jayhawks in double figures.

The tandem of Ellis and Landen Lucas, who grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, won the battle against a WVU front court missing the suspended Jonathan Holton. Devin Williams, who went for 17 and 12 in the first meeting, finished the rematch with a respectable 14-point, nine-rebound effort but he didn’t get much help in the post from the likes of Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian.

After having Self question their toughness in a home win over Kansas State six days ago, the Jayhawks have responded with wins over TCU and West Virginia. Obviously it’s tough to read too much into beating the Horned Frogs, because even with that game being in Fort Worth it’s one Kansas was expected to handle with ease. The Mountaineers posed a different, and far more rigorous test, and Kansas got the job done.

As a result the Jayhawks have brought West Virginia back to the pack in the Big 12 title race, making Saturday’s game at No. 3 Oklahoma even bigger than it already was.

VIDEO: North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapses on sideline

Roy Williams
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapsed during the second half of No. 2 North Carolina’s visit to Boston College on Tuesday night:

Roy Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past; it’s not abnormal for him to collapse on the sideline during games, and given that his team is currently losing to Boston College, it’s understandable that he may have screamed himself dizzy.

He had to be helped off the floor:

It does appear that this isn’t something serious, according to a North Carolina release, that said Williams is “doing OK”.