Florida

Late Night Snacks: Florida beats Memphis inside Madison Square Garden

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Florida 77, No. 15 Memphis 75

The Gators looked like they would cruise in the final minutes of second half, but the Tigers charged back. Joe Jackson had a chance to tie, but could not convert Florida, finally healthy and still getting players back, are showing how impressive it can be. In back-to-back games the Gators have defeated Kansas and Memphis.

OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: South Florida 68, Florida Gulf Coast 66, 2 OT

It took two overtimes, and almost a third but South Florida escaped with a win over its in-state foe. Chase Fieler caught a full-court inbound pass from Jamail Jones, and scored what would of been a tying bucket. However, he caught the ball with 0.3 seconds remaining, too much time to catch and shoot.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Cincinnati 44, Pittsburgh 43:  Titus Rubles put in the game-winning bucket with four seconds remaining. Pitt was 10-0, and after a weak non-conference schedule, the Panthers lost their first game.

No. 11 Wichita State 72, Alabama 67: The Shockers went into to Tuscaloosa and took the marquee win the Crimson Tide were looking for. Wichita State improves to 11-0 for the first time in school history.

New Mexico State 67, New Mexico 61: Big win for the Aggies, on the road against its arch-rival. The Lobos have lost two straight.

No 13 Oregon 91, UC-Irvine 63: Blowout win for the Ducks, but it was the first time they had sophomores Dominic Artis and Ben Carter, who each served a nine-game suspension, in the lineup. Artis ended with five points, eight rebounds and three assists while Carter ended with four points, four rebounds and three assists.

STARRED

Cleanthony Early, Wichita State: The senior forward scored 26 points and shot 11-of-11 from the free throw line in a win.

Cameron Clark, Oklahoma: Clark went for 31 points and six boards in the Sooners’ 91-89 win over UT-Arlington. He sunk two free throws with 9.7 seconds left for the win.

Shawn Long, Louisiana-Layfayette: Long scored 30 points off a perfect 12-for-12 shooting from the field in a lopsided 103-69 win over Centenary. Long added seven rebounds and had two blocks. He could of had 34 points, but missed four free throws.

STRUGGLED

Pittsburgh: Panthers lost their first game of the season and shot 34 percent (15 percent from three) from the field. Pitt made 19 free throws (missed 10), and only connected on 11 field goals.

Charlotte: The 49ers gave up 106 points (to their 62) committed 19 turnovers and shot 35 percent in a blowout loss to Florida State. Charlotte won last month’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the same event Florida State was in.

New Mexico’s first half: The Lobo’s shot 27 percent, which dug them into a 13-point hole heading into halftime. New Mexico’s late-game comeback came up short against rival New Mexico State.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 5 Michigan State 78, North Florida 48
  • No. 6 Louisville 90, Missouri State 60
  • No. 7 Oklahoma State 75, Delaware State 43

NOTABLES

  • Manhattan 86, South Carolina 68
  • Georgetown 85, Elon 76
  • Providence 76, Yale 74
  • VCU 72, Wofford 57
  • Toledo 78, Arkansas State 65
  • Creighton 88, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 51
  • Marquette 91, Ball State 53
  • Denver 90, Belmont 62

Nigel Hayes’ comment on basketball brands hits on greater point

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) drives on Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Hayes had a team-high 21 points in Wisconsin's 79-68 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis
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Much is made about the ball when it comes to how the sport of basketball is played and rightfully so, as the ball is the most important piece of equipment. Different brands have different characteristics, and with college basketball programs being able to pick the ball they use for home games there are adjustments to be made during the season.

Wisconsin will play at No. 2 Maryland Saturday, meaning that in the days leading up to the game the Badgers needed to get used to the Under Armour basketball. The brand became a conversation point in the aftermath of Maryland’s win over No. 4 Iowa last month, with the Hawkeyes (while not blaming the ball for their loss) made note of the differences between the Under Armour ball and the Nike ball they use for their home games.

Thursday Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes offered up his observations on the basketball while also pointing out (albeit sarcastically) the goal of intercollegiate athletics.

“It’s definitely different,” Hayes said. “Personally, we don’t like it too much. I don’t like the Under Armour ball whatsoever. But that’s the way this amateur sports league is set up. We’re supposed to be having fun, but all the money is in these basketballs that colleges play with. But it’s an amateur sport, we’re just here for fun. It’s not really that serious. So I guess any ball should be OK.

“Maybe we should have a universal ball like the NBA. You don’t go to the Clippers’ stadium and play with a Nike and then go to Golden State and play with a Rawlings. But in this amateur sport of college, where money isn’t the goal — it’s the student education and experience that you get — we play with a million different basketballs.”

Hayes makes a good point here, and in regards to the NBA all hell would break loose under similar circumstances (remember the leather vs. microfiber composite controversy in 2006?). If these games are solely about fun and the college experience, wouldn’t having one ball used by all schools better fit that mission? This isn’t the biggest of deals when it comes to “amateur” athletics, as different basketball brands have been used for years.

But Hayes was able to take this situation and work it into the discussion of the goals of intercollegiate athletics. Is it about the experience? Or does the ability to profit, be it through a minor move such as using a particular ball or the more impactful step of moving from one conference to another, take precedence? Given the shifts that have occurred in college sports in recent years, it’s quite apparent that the search for additional revenue streams has won out.

Hayes did note that neither he nor his teammates would make excuses, saying that the team would simple “have to get used to” the unfamiliar basketball according to the Wisconsin State Journal. In the end, this was a good use of sarcasm by Hayes to make a greater point about the collegiate athletics machine he and his teammates are but minor parts of.

Marquette fan sends Providence money for missed free throw

Providence's Kris Dunn reacts to his shot during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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It goes without saying that sports can inspire some interesting promises, from players and coaches guaranteeing victory to fans making statements that hinge on the outcome of a particular game or play (see: tattoos celebrating a team’s triumphs before they’ve even won the game in question). For one Marquette fan, the need for Providence’s Kris Dunn to miss a free throw during Wednesday night’s game (which Marquette won in overtime) inspired him to make a promise that he intended to keep.

Jamey Schilling took the approach of yelling that he’d pay Dunn $10 if he missed the free throw. Sure enough Dunn missed the shot, and Schilling made good on his promise. But with players themselves unable to receive such funds due to NCAA rules, Schilling sent the check to the Providence athletic department.

Schilling’s gesture did not go unnoticed by Marquette either, as the school sent him a gift card to use in the Marquette Spirit Shop.

H/T For The Win