Late Night Snacks: No. 6 Arizona survives a tough road trip

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 6 Arizona 69, San Diego State 60

Aaron Gordon finished with 16 points, eight boards, three blocks and two steals and had a couple of highlight reel plays in the process. He shot threes with the confidence of Jerry West, and there was one move in the second half crossed up a defender, came off of a ball-screen and made a ridiculous no-look pass to Kaleb Tarczewski for a dunk.

Gordon can really, really play, and he should probably be in the same conversation as the other Big Three freshmen. But Arizona needs more from him. They need him to develop into a go-to scorer in crunchtime, because that’s currently the player they are missing from what appears to be a legitimate national title contender at the moment.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES: 

1) Boston College lost (again), this time getting upset at home by MAC favorite Toledo despite leading by double-figures in the second half. That’s not a good start to the year for the 0-3 Eagles.

2) Stanford looked much better than they did in a loss to BYU during the Tip-Off Marathon as they knocked off visiting Northwestern. The Cardinal shot 51.1% from the floor and 5-for-10 from three.

3) Michael Dixon made his return to the basketball court on Thursday, as No. 13 Memphis ran through Austin Peay. Dixon finished with 15 points, four boards and four assists.

STARRED:

1) Rion Brown had 13 points, 11 boards, nine assists and three steals as Miami (FL) picked up an 84-69 win over Texas Southern.

2) Niels Giffey had 15 points and shot 3-for-4 from three, which actually hurt his percentage. Giffey is now 11-for-13 on the year from beyond the arc.

3) 23 points, 12 boards, eight assists, 8-for-14 shooting and a win over South Dakota State. Not a bad night for Kareem Jamar of Montana.

STRUGGLED:

1) Indiana State’s defense gave up 63 second half points to Belmont on Thursday, allowing the Bruins to erase a 16 point halftime deficit in a 96-95 win. Belmont was up 10 with a couple of minutes left, but they almost returned the favor to the Sycamores. J.J. Mann had 23 points to lead Belmont.

2) Yale had Rutgers on the ropes, up by six with just a couple of minutes left, but made some crucial mistakes down the stretch, including a devastating turnover in the final minute that allowed Rutgers to take the lead. The Scarlet Knights eventually won 72-71 when the Elis missed an open look from three feet away off of a baseline out of bounds. The Bulldogs, are aggressive rebounding team, got just a single board from Justin Sears.

3) Washington. They got worked by UC-Irvine. Absolutely worked.

NOTABLES:

  • Jerrelle Benimon led Towson with 32 points and nine boards in a 75-69 win over Temple.
  • St. Mary’s picked up their third straight solid win, beating North Dakota State.
  • Aaron White led seven players in double figures with 22 points as Iowa beat UMES 109-63.
  • Trevor Releford had 29 points to lead Alabama to a 76-64 win over Texas Tech.
  • Fred VanVleet had 18 points and eight assists in a 79-62 win for No. 16 Wichita State over William & Mary.

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.