Missouri State v Louisville

Chane Behanan dismissed from Louisville, Kevin Ware likely to redshirt

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It started with a pair of cryptic tweets on Monday morning. Minutes later can the announcement that Rick Pitino will be addressing the media, and by then we were only waiting for the news to become official.

Chane Behanan has been kicked off of the Louisville basketball team.

“Unfortunately, [2013] is ending on a bad note for us personally,” head coach Rick Pitino said. “Chane Behanan has been dismissed by the university from our basketball team.”

Behanan has been in-and-out of trouble during his time as a Cardinal. He was suspended indefinitely earlier this season due to his off-the-court behavior.

“Away from the lines, he just did not do the right things over and over and over,” Pitino said. “The university has gone to bat for him, in giving him every opportunity to make it here. It’s come to a difficult detour in his road.”

It goes without saying that this is a massive loss for the Cardinals. “This has set our basketball team back immensely,” Pitino said. “A lot of changes have to be made and they have to be made on the fly as we just found out about this last night.” One of the biggest issues that the Louisville has had this season has been that they don’t have enough balance on the offensive end of the floor. Luke Hancock and Wayne Blackshear have been struggling shooting the ball from the perimeter, and the Cardinals have yet to establish a post presence.

Behanan was Louisville’s best low-post scorer. As good as Montrezl Harrell is, he’s not a guy that’s going to score with his back to the basket. Behanan was also one of their best rebounders at the power forward spot. This is a major blow, one that is more painful that just losing the 7.6 points and 6.3 boards he was averaging. Stephen Van Treese and Mangok Mathiang will see more minutes, as will freshman Akoy Agau.

Pitino also dropped another bombshell in this news conference, announcing that Kevin Ware was likely to redshirt this season. “I think he could be shut down, but I wouldn’t say that 100 percent,” Pitino said. “Ware is not a factor on our basketball team. We’ve been playing without him.”

Ware broke his leg in gruesome fashion in last season’s Elite 8, becoming one of the nation’s feel-good stories as he worked his way back during the offseason.

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: