Jim Boeheim

NCAA investigation of Syracuse has grown to include ‘major and wide-ranging’ violations

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The Syracuse University men’s basketball team is under investigation by the NCAA for “major and wide-ranging” violations, part of an investigation that has been going on for “years,” Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com is reporting.

According to the report, the NCAA’s investigation into possible violations of the drug policy has grown larger in scope, but is not related to the alleged sexual abuse case against former assistant Bernie Fine. Syracuse has acknowledged an NCAA investigation previously and the Fine case has already been dismissed by federal authorities.

It should be noted that the suspension of Syracuse forward James Southerland earlier this season was a result of the NCAA looking into the men’s basketball program. Perhaps the most striking quote in Dodd’s report is from a source with knowledge of the investigation:

“Throw a dart at the [NCAA] Manual [and you would hit a violation by Syracuse].”

The report quotes a source in saying that Syracuse has received a letter of preliminary inquiry from the NCAA and the process will proceed from there.

Syracuse lost to Louisville in the Big East tournament championship game after giving up a 13-point halftime lead and being outscored, 56-26, in the second half. The Orange return to the floor Thursday against Montana in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament.

Find more here from Syracuse.com.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.