Wichita State advances to Elite Eight with commanding victory over La Salle

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La Salle entered Thursday’s contest against Wichita State needing to keep the Shockers off the offensive glass if they were to have any shot of advancing to the Elite Eight.

The Explorers failed to do so, and the combination of Wichita State’s rebounding prowess and solid defense led to a 72-58 Shocker victory that was more lopsided that the margin would indicate.

Gregg Marshall’s team shot 44.8% from the field and out-rebounded La Salle 47-29, managing to rebound nearly 46% of their missed shots and score 40 points in the paint. Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points and Carl Hall added 16 for Wichita State, which opened the game on a 17-3 run.

And despite an early second half La Salle run sparked by forward Jerrell Wright (16 points, five rebounds) there wasn’t much suspense at Staples Center, as the Explorers’ surprising run came to a screeching halt. The pre-game message from Marshall to his players was that they belonged on this stage, and Wichita State showed that his assessment was correct.

In each of their three tournament games the Shockers have limited the opposition to 36% (or less) shooting from the field. La Salle managed to make just 35.7% of its shots, and leading scorer Ramon Galloway (4-of-15 FG) was held in check for much of the night.

Next up for the Shockers is 2-seed Ohio State, which will enter the game as the prohibitive favorite in the eyes of many. But it would be unwise to sell Wichita State short, as the Shockers are a team more than capable of advancing to the Final Four.

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

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?