Wisconsin athletics

Josh Gasser returns, but Wisconsin is still Carleton’s latest victim

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The good news for Wisconsin is that Josh Gasser is back.

He may not be in the best shape of his life, and he may be a bit rusty coming off of a torn ACL, but he’s back on the floor. He started and played 12 minutes in Wisconsin’s exhibition game against Carleton on their trip to Canada.

“It felt great to be out there,” Gasser said. “I’m still a little bit tentative and a bit sluggish, but it felt good to be out there with the guys and get up and down the court a little bit and just play. It’s been a long road, so this was fun.”

That was the end of the good news, however.

Wisconsin became Carleton’s third NCAA victim this month, as they knocked off the Badgers 95-82. They also beat both Towson and TCU by 26 points each. The aptly named Phil Scrubb finished with 30 points and 12 assists, while Tyson Hinz chipped in with 25 points, 10 boards and three blocks.

Now to be fair, this is a tough matchup for Wisconsin considering Carleton’s style of play (full court pressure) and the fact that in Canadian basketball, a shorter shot clock is used. That hurts the Badgers, as did the fact that their first game with three new starters came against a team that threw waves of pressure at them.

But that still doesn’t change the fact that Carleton has now won three straight games against Division I competition by double-figures.

The Ravens take on Syracuse on Friday. If they beat the Orange too, than it may be time to consider expanding conference realignment into Canada.

Mountain West admits official error, won’t change result of Boise State-Colorado State

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After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.

Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.

There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.

On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.

They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”

In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.

Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.

The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.