WCC Basketball Tournament - Championship

Late Night Snacks: Five more tickets punched to the NCAAs

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Five more teams took their tickets to the Big Dance and the respective conference tournament titles that came with it on Monday night. Gonzaga fulfilled the prophecy, Western Kentucky came out of nowhere for the second straight season, James Madison knocked off the top seed and a number of others made their way to the NCAA Tournament. It’s Late Night Snacks.

Game of the Night

No. 1 Gonzaga 65, St. Mary’s 51 – The Bulldogs made it a clean sweep of the Gaels this season. Kelly Olynyk owned the paint and Matthew Dellavedova was limited offensively by the stout perimeter defense of Kevin Pangos and David Stockton. Gonzaga shot 52.1-percent overall and held St. Mary’s to 35.7-percent shooting.

Games of Note

Western Kentucky 65, Florida International 63 – Ray Harper does it again. The Hilltoppers came out of nowhere last season with a losing record to win the Sun Belt Conference, and this year they got their 20th win and won their second straight Sun Belt title as a six seed, holding off the Golden Panthers down the stretch.

James Madison 70, Northeastern 57 – A.J. Davis scored a game-high 26 points to help the Dukes get past the Huskies for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 with the CAA Tournament championship.

Iona 60, Manhattan 57 – The Jaspers were looking for a Cinderella story of their own with a 14-17 record, but a big game from Tre Bowman and 14 points from Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones were enough to push the Gaels past Manhattan in the MAAC title game.

Davidson 74, Charleston 55 – It’s a tale we’ve learned to live by. It’s a risk to bet against Bob McKillop and the Wildcats. Four starters finished in double-figures, led by 24 points from De’Mon Brooks, who briefly left the game with an injury.

Starred

Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga – The WCC Player of the Year finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs in the WCC title game win over St. Mary’s.

George Fant, Western Kentucky – The homegrown product from Bowling Green finished with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Hilltoppers win.

Tre Bowman, Iona – The biggest sixth man performance of the night came from Bowman, who scored 20 points to go with five rebounds and three steals off the bench in the MAAC title game for the Gaels.

A.J. Davis, James Madison – Davis was the clutch performer for the Dukes with 26 points in their win over Northeastern.

Struggled

Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary’s – The former WCC Player of the Year keeps struggling against the Zags. He finished with two points on 1-for-8 shooting. He averages 16.2 per game.

Quincy Ford, Northeastern – The Huskies sophomore forward averages 12.8 points per game and was held scoreless in Northeastern’s loss to James Madison.

Stuffing the Stat Sheet

Nate Wolters, South Dakota State – I’ve been waiting to put him here. In the victory over Fort Wayne in the first round of the Summit League Tournament, the do-it-all senior had 18 points, 12 assists and five rebounds in 40 minutes.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

VIDEO: Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson throws down under-the-legs dunk after making 3-pointer

"CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Terrance Ferguson during the 2015 Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)"
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Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.

Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.

It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.

VIDEO: Manute Bol’s 6’11” son Bol Bol throws down in-game under-the-legs dunk

McPherson's Jacob Loecker attempts to steal the ball form Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege's Bol Bol during the first quarter of the boys' Class 4A Division I state championship basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Salina, Kan. (Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
(Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
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Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.

The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?