Jerry Tarkanian, Bill Walton

Jerry Tarkanian to be honored by Fresno State on New Year’s Day

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The honors are continuing to roll in for Jerry Tarkanian, the former national champion coach who amassed more than 700 victories (more if you include junior colleges) in his 30-year coaching career at Long Beach State, UNLV and Fresno State

The latest recognition comes from the school he played his collegiate ball for (1954-1955) and the final team he coached, Fresno State. The university announced on Tuesday that Tarkanian will be honored on January 1, 2014 at noon. Later that afternoon, the Bulldogs host UNLV, the school Tarkanian led to the 1990 national championship.

“Jerry Tarkanian is one of the true legends in the coaching profession,” Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said in a press release. “He has been successful at so many different levels in college basketball and his induction to the Hall of Fame is yet another accomplishment in Coach Tarkanian’s illustrious career.”

Tarkanian, 83, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April. That became official in September. In October, UNLV unveiled a bronze statue of “Tark the Shark” sitting on the bench, biting on his trademark towel.

The New Year’s Day game between UNLV and Fresno State begins at 3 p.m. The release says that the first 1,000 fans inside the Save Mart Center will get a free Tark Towel.

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: