Done City: FGCU’s run ends at the hands of Florida

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Florida Gulf Coast, the story of the 2013 NCAA tournament and the Cinderella by which all future Cinderellas will be compared, had one last thrill ride left in them.

After Brett Comer hit two free throws to kick off the scoring on Friday night, the Eagles of Dunk City, USA, reeled off five buckets in a row — three threes, a fast-break layup and, you guessed it, an alley-oop — all off of assists from Comer, and before the Gators knew what hit them, they were down 15-4 less than six minutes into the game?

Was this really happening again?

Was Florida Gulf Coast seriously about to give the Gators a run for their money?

Dunk City certainly didn’t roll over and die, but as Billy Donovan’s crew slowly but surely asserted control over the game, the truth became painfully obvious: there was a reason that FGCU finished in second place in the Atlantic Sun. The Gators outscored the Eagles 58-35 over the next 34 minutes, using an 16-0 run near the end of the first half to take a lead that they would never relinquish.

The final score was 62-50, sending FGCU headed home, where they will go back to their relative anonymity while their head coach, in all likelihood, uses this run as a cash grab at a bigger job, supermodel wide in tow.

But it was fun while it lasted. (Unless, of course, you’re a Georgetown or San Diego State fan.)

And it’s the kind of run that we’ll likely never see repeated.

Everything about this FGCU team was a perfect storm of social media buzz, hot wives, wall street millionaires, and an eminently palatable brand of basketball. FGCU was fun because they had a swagger about them, on and off the court, that allowed them to thrive in the spotlight. They danced and they dunked their way into the Sweet 16, and while their run had to end at some point, I’m not sure there is anyone that didn’t enjoy it while it lasted.

Eventually, another No. 15 seed will reach the Sweet 16.

But I doubt there will ever be another team that captivates the nation’s attention the way that FGCU did for the last eight days.

RIP Dunk City: 3/22/13-3/29/13

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Vandy in NIT Tip-Off

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NEW YORK (AP) — Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in one semifinal of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day at Barclays Center.

Rhode Island and Seton Hall face off in the other semifinal with the winners meeting on Friday, Nov. 24.

This is the third straight year the Tip-Off has been held at Barclays Center. Eventual NCAA champion Villanova won the event in 2015. All games will be televised on ESPNU.

Non-bracketed teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off who will play games at campus sites are: Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.

Miles Bridges explain why he returned to Michigan State

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Miles Bridges changed the landscape of the 2017-18 college basketball season on April 13.

The Michigan State forward spurned the NBA for another year in East Lansing. The decision not only meant that Bridges was a frontrunner for national player of the year, but solidified the Spartans as a national title contender.

But Bridges’ choice to return was still puzzling to many. The 6-foot-7 forward was projected as a lottery pick. Bridges explained his decision to Mike Decourcy of Sporting News in a story published on Thursday.

“He says, ‘You know what, Coach? I want to get better. I don’t want to be in the D-League. I’ve got buddies that are, and I just want to make sure when I go, I’m ready,’ ” Izzo recalled to Sporting News. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Done deal.’ For me, that was a done deal. It was a reasonable, sensible argument.”

Agents, friends, reporters, scouts, acquaintances, fans, strangers and family members — oh and, as we said, coaches — all had one opinion about how Bridges should spend the next year of his life. Miles had another, opposing, viewpoint.

Bridges told Decourcy that support came from his teammates, many of whom were returning to the team as well. Assuming the backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford make a leap forward, as well as incoming freshman Jaren Jackson providing an immediate impact, the Spartans’ title hopes could become a reality.

Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Michigan State. He’s rated as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.