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LIU-Brooklyn’s Julian Boyd granted sixth year of eligibility

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Julian Boyd will be back at LIU-Brooklyn next season after the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility.

The school released a statement Tuesday afternoon confirming the news.

“I am thrilled with the news of Julian being awarded a sixth year of eligibility,” head men’s basketball coach Jack Perri said in the release. “He has been through more adversity due to circumstances that were out of control than anyone I have been around, and it would have been a shame to have his collegiate career end prematurely.”

Boyd, 6-7, 230 pounds, was on pace to possibly take home a second-straight Northeast Conference Player of the Year award, but tore his ACL in a 97-70 victory over Rice, the eighth game of the season for the Blackbirds. There were some questions as to whether Boyd had played too many games to be eligible for the medical hardship. The NCAA sided with Boyd, fortunately.

Through those eight games, Boyd was averaging 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per games. He missed the 2010-11 season with a heart condition.

A San Antonio, Texas native, Boyd averaged 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds during the 2011-12 season, helping LIU-Brooklyn to their second straight NEC tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. The program still reached the NCAA Tournament without Boyd last season and has made three straight overall by way of three straight NEC tournament titles.

Boyd will be the focal point of the roster next season, with 2012-13 NEC Player of the Year Jamal Olasewere (18.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 51.5-percent shooting) and C.J. Garner (16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 44.3-percent from three) exhausting their eligibility. Players like point guard Jason Brickman (9.5 points, 8.5 assists per game), and Brandon Thompson (8.1 points, 3.1 rebounds) return.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: