Saint Mary’s lands third straight solid win by beating North Dakota State

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Every year, we expect Saint Mary’s to finally drop off, to come back down to earth. I mean, there’s only so many times that a team can lose their star — their most important player, the guy that the entire team is built around — before the program eventually has to enter rebuilding mode.

It didn’t happen when Omar Samhan graduated. It didn’t happen when Mickey McConnell graduated. Will it happen now that Matthew Dellavedova has graduated?

At this point?

Well, no.

It doesn’t.

The Gaels picked up their third notable win early in the season as they knocked off North Dakota State 78-65 on Thursday night. That came on the heels of wins over Akron and Louisiana Tech. Now I know what you’re thinking: why should I be impressed with wins over North Dakota State, Akron and Louisiana Tech? Is the fact that they are a favorite to win the Summit, the MAC and Conference USA this season enough of a reason?

Big man Brad Waldow continued his terrific start to the year by going for 18 points, 10 boards, five assists and three blocks, while Stephen Holt — who entered the game averaging 16.0 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 boards — went 1-for-7 from the field but notched eight boards and six assists.

The Gaels may not have done anything to capture national attention just yet, but picking up three wins that could all end up being RPI top 100 wins in the first week of the season is pretty impressive.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?