Late Night Snacks: Two buzzer-beaters on Saturday? We got video!!!

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Colorado 75, No. 6 Kansas 72

Yup, that was awesome. We already wrote two columns off of this game. My take on Kansas is here. Raphielle Johnson wrote on Colorado here.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 17 Iowa State 91, Northern Iowa 82 OT

We should just assume that the Cyclones are going to be locked in wild games every night at this rate. On Saturday, Fred Hoiberg’s team dug themselves a 13 point halftime deficit that grew to 49-31 in the second half. They rallied, however, using a 23-2 run to take the lead. But UNI’s Seth Tuttle did this to force overtime:

ISU took control in the extra frame and ended up winning by nine. Melvin Ejim led the way with 22 points, 20 of which came after halftime.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES:

1) Missouri erased an early 13-point deficit, getting 63 points from Jordan Clarkson, Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown as they knocked off No. 18 UCLA at home, 80-71.

2) No. 2 Arizona has played like they best team in the country over the first month of the season, and they will be rewarded on Monday when the polls come out after beating UNLV on Saturday. Brandon Ashley and T.J. McConnell both finished with 13 points in the win.

3) No. 8 Wisconsin has looked like the best team in the Big Ten this season, and that continued on Saturday as they knocked off intra-state rival Marquette 60-54. Sam Dekker finished with 20 points and 10 boards in the win.

STARRED

1) Chaz Williams had 32 points and 15 assists — and just a single turnover — in No. 21 UMass’ 105-96 win over BYU.

2) St. John’s put a whipping on Fordham , winning 104-58. Sir-Dominic Pointer was the star, finishing with 12 points, 11 assists, nine boards, four steals and three blocks.

3) San Jose State’s Jalen James entered Saturday averaging 6.9 points, 4.5 boards and 2.5 assists. He finished with 12 points, 13 boards and 10 assists in a win at Houston.

STRUGGLED

1) In that lost to St. John’s, Fordham’s Jon Severe finished 1-for-21 from the floor. That’s not good.

2) Dalton Pepper made a free throw but was called for a violation with Temple up two in overtime. Javan Felix hit a three at the other end with 6.7 seconds left, and the Owls lost to Texas.

3) No. 25 Dayton lost at Illinois State on Saturday night, 81-75. So much for the Flyers in the top 25.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 4 Syracuse is still undefeated after whipping up on Binghamton.
  • No. 5 Ohio State beat Central Connecticut 74-56. LaQuinton Ross is now averaging 20.0 points and shooting 22-for-35 (62.9%) from the floor and 8-from-15 (53.3%) from three in his last three games.
  • No. 7 Louisville used a massive second half run to put away Louisiana-Lafayette.
  • No. 11 Wichita State beat Oral Roberts 71-58 after overcoming an eight point halftime deficit.
  • Jayvaughn Pinkston went for 27 points as No. 14 Villanova outscored St. Joe’s 59-33 in the second half to notch a 30 point win in the Holy War.
  • No. 16 Memphis got 21 points from Shaq Goodwin in a 96-76 win over Northwestern State.
  • No. 19 Gonzaga got 22 points from Sam Dower in an 80-68 win over New Mexico State.
  • No. 22 Michigan’s offense got going again, sparked by 25 points from Nik Stauskas.
  • No. 23 Iowa beat Drake 83-66.

NOTABLES

  • Cincinnati suffered their first loss of the season, losing at New Mexico 63-54 thanks to 24 points and 13 boards from Cameron Bairstow.
  • North Carolina does not like Spartans. After beating Michigan State, the Tar Heels won after taking a 44-14 lead over UNC-Greensboro.
  • Virginia lost against, going up to Green Bay and losing to the Phoenix 75-72. Kiefer Sykes had 21 points and 10 assists.
  • Utah improved to 7-1 with a 90-77 win over Fresno State. Delon Wright had 23 points, 12 assists and six boards.
  • Indiana knocked off North Florida 89-68.
  • Dwayne Evans had 21 points and 10 boards for St. Louis in a 67-65 win over Valpo.
  • Kellen Dunham had 29 points as Butler knocked off North Dakota 79-64.
  • Michael Qualls scored 17 for Arkansas in a 74-68 win over Clemson.
  • Jarnell Stokes finished with 19 points and 13 boards in a win over Tennessee Tech.
  • Georgetown struggled to a 61-55 win over Colgate.
  • Harvard knocked off BU in overtime.

Gonzaga lands their first post-Final Four commitment

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Gonzaga capitalized on their run to the national title game by landing a commitment from French point guard Joel Ayayi, who announced the news on twitter.

Ayayi is an interesting long-term prospect, according to Draft Express. He has the size and the frame to eventually be a significant contributor in the college game, but he’s raw. His handle needs work, as does his ability to create off the dribble and find teammates off of the bounce.

That said, he’s 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan and the ability to shoot it from the perimeter, and if Gonzaga can do anything, it’s develop players that enter their program.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson, top three prospect in 2018, breaks defender’s ankles

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Zion Williamson, one of the most sought-after recruits in college basketball, had himself a highlight-worthy moment at the Adidas Gauntlet event in Dallas over the weekend, breaking a defender’s ankles before hitting a three.

Illinois lands important commitment from four-star Class of 2017 guard Mark Smith

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Illinois landed a very important Class of 2017 commitment on Wednesday as guard Mark Smith pledged to the Illini.

The 6-foot-4 Smith was previously a Missouri commit for baseball, but some issues with his arm caused him to look back into basketball last summer. A native of Edwardsville, in the St. Louis metro area, Smith came out of nowhere to win the Illinois Mr. Basketball award as a senior this season as he averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds while becoming a consensus national top-100 prospect.

Rivals rates Smith as the No. 52 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 as he could come in and earn immediate minutes at Illinois next season at either guard spot.

This is a very important commitment for head coach Brad Underwood and the Illini as the new head coach was able to hold off some elite programs like Kentucky and Michigan State for Smith’s services.

Northwestern gets commitment from Boston College transfer A.J. Turner

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Northwestern landed a transfer on Wednesday as former Boston College wing A.J. Turner pledged to the Wildcats, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The 6-foot-7 Turner just finished his sophomore season with the Golden Eagles as he averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. A well-rounded wing who also shot 37 percent from three-point range, Turner will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer regulations before getting two more years of eligibility.

With Scottie Lindsay and Vic Law only having limited time left in Evanston, Turner provides a bit of insurance on the wing for the Wildcats for the future as he’s a proven rotation player coming from the ACC.

If you think 137 players declaring for the draft is stupid, you’re probably stupid

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The NBA Draft’s full early entry list came out on Tuesday afternoon, and there were 137 underclassmen listed on it.

137.

For 60 spots in the NBA Draft, only 30 of which guarantee you a contract in the NBA.

And that’s before you factor in the 45 international players that also declared for the NBA Draft, as well as the crop of seniors — Josh Hart, Monte’ Morris, Jaron Blossomgame, Alec Peters — that are going to end up hearing their names called. All told, there are going to be roughly 200 players competing to be one of the 60 people that end up getting drafted on June 22nd, and you don’t have to be any good at math to realize that 200 is a much, much bigger number than 60.

This unleashed a torrent of bad takes on the decision of these players.

And bad may not be doing those takes justice.

Because the bottom-line is this: You cannot paint the decision on whether or not to go pro with a broad brush.

For some players, making money of any kind is something they need to do to support their family, whether it’s what they’ll get with a first round guarantee, the $75-100,000 they’ll get for making a training camp roster to subsidize their time in the D-League while teams develop them or the money they can make in the D-League or overseas. You don’t know what their financial situation is. Maximizing their ability to capitalize on every available dollar they can make off of their athletic gifts may be more important than working towards a degree.

And it’s worth noting here that a guaranteed contract isn’t the only way to make a living in professional basketball. To say nothing of the money that can be made overseas or the number of second round picks and undrafted players that make guaranteed money — which is more than you probably realize — it needs to be noted that D-League salaries are getting a bump this year with the new CBA.

The NBA has also instituted something new called a “two-way contract”. Without getting into the legalese, it’s essentially a retainer worth well into the six figures that they will be able to give to two players that will allow them to retain that player under contract while sending them between the D-League and the NBA roster. In a sense, it creates an extra 60 NBA roster spots for players that have 0-3 years worth of professional basketball on their résumé.

Some players are simply declaring without signing with an agent because they want to get feedback directly from NBA personnel on what their professional prospects. Some will hear that they need to return to school to work on their body, or work on their jumper, or mature as a person to be able to handle everything that comes with being a professional. Others will be told they’re going to make a lot of money by staying in the draft, or that they need to go back to school because, frankly, they are not professional basketball players. Not getting invited to the NBA combine is a pretty good indication of where you stand in the eyes of NBA teams.

Still other players are putting their name into the draft to leave their options open should they be recruited over by the program they are a part of. Take Frank Jackson, for example. If he can return to school and thrive as Duke’s point guard, maybe he turns into a top 20 pick. But what happens if Trevon Duval, the best point guard in the Class of 2017 and a top five pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, picks Duke? Would it be in Jackson’s best interest to come back to Duke when he won’t be playing the position that he needs to learn to play to turn himself into a lasting NBA player?

Jackson, like the roughly 100 underclassmen that have declared without an agent, has until May 24th to make his decision on whether or not he will keep his name in the draft. Until then, he can return to school without damaging his eligibility.

The entire reason that the NCAA changed their rules to allow players to test the waters is so that they can make the most important decision of their lives with as much information as humanly possible. This thing exists for the sole purpose of allowing the kids to have as much knowledge about their options as possible.

And that is exactly what these kids are doing.

So the idea that this rule, or players taking advantage of that rule, however high that number may be, is a bad thing is stupid.