MIAMI NCAA VIOLATIONS

Report: Corroborating witness in the Miami booster investigation?

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The NCAA finally has another witness in their case against Miami, but that doesn’t mean that he’s any more credible.

Roberto Torres was the Chief Financial Officer for Nevin Shapiro’s company, a company that ultimately failed and turned into a billion dollar Ponzi Scheme. Shapiro was the booster at the center of the NCAA’s case against Miami. 

Shapiro is in the middle of a 20-year prison sentence. Torres is serving four years in a New Jersey prison where, according to the Miami Herald, he gave a deposition last month that largely supports Shapiro’s claims. 

Asked by a Miami lawyer how he knew Shapiro used his 59-foot Rivera yacht to recruit Canes’ athletes, Torres said: “Because Shapiro told me, because I saw them on the boat, because I saw the pictures of all of them in the boat, because [Shapiro’s sports agency partner] Michael Huyghue mentioned that about the boat, because the captain spoke about the UM athletes. … There were several.”

[…]

Torres, 79, who is serving a four-year prison sentence for securities fraud, also testified that he witnessed and overheard conversations in which Shapiro talked about his “liabilities if the athletes received benefits from Mr. Shapiro because Mr. Shapiro was a booster there.”

Perhaps the most important nugget in that report is that the information provided by Torres can actually be used by the NCAA. If you remember, the NCAA came under intense scrutiny back in January when it became public that they brought Shapiro’s attorney on their payroll in order to get past their lack of subpoena power and question subjects of interest.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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: