Leonard Hamilton

Leonard Hamilton inks a rich contract extension through 2017

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Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton has signed a contract extension that will keep him in Tallahassee until 2017, the school announced on Wednesday.

“I am extremely thankful to President Eric Barron and our administration for allowing us to continue to build upon the foundation that we have worked so hard to put into place in my first 11 years at Florida State,” Hamilton said in a release.  “We are excited for our university and our basketball program as we enter a new era in the Atlantic Coast Conference which is now the best league in the history of college basketball.”

“We are excited to have Coach Hamilton continue to lead our basketball program at Florida State through the 2016-17 season,” said Barron. “Coach Hamilton has led this program to unprecedented success including the first ACC Championship in school history and eight straight postseason appearances.  He is the second-longest tenured coach in the conference and under his leadership FSU is in excellent position entering the new ACC, which is the strongest basketball conference in the nation.”

Ham has won two ACC Coach of the Year awards with the ‘Noles, in 2009 and 2012, and the program has reached heights that they haven’t seen since the days of Bobby Sura, Sam Cassell and Charlie Ward. FSU had reached the NCAA tournament the past four seasons prior to 2013; they had only made the tournament one since 1993 prior to that streak.

With Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame and, eventually, Louisville joining the ACC, the Seminoles needed to make a move to ensure recruits that Ham would be around for the long term. Consistently challenging for the ACC title is going to be a difficult thing to do in the ACC, so ensuring longevity was important.

According to the twitter feeds of local beat writer Corey Clark, Hamilton’s deal looks to be for $8.5 million over the next four years, but he also has some valuable incentives: $150,000 for an ACC title, $200,000 for an NCAA tournament appearance, $275,000 for a Final Four appearance. In total, Ham would get $1.4 million if Florida State wins a national title, which is unlikely but quite valuable.

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: