Top 10 Unforgettable College Basketball Moments of 2013

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It’s been a long year, and what seems like a longer email thread. But CBT has come up with its top moments in college basketball in 2013. From those I formed a list of the top 10, from the most newsworthy to controversial calls to moments that made us laugh.

Personally, I want to ring in the New Year with your thoughts, so if I missed something you thought was a top moment in 2013 let me know via Twitter: @terrence_payne. OK, let’s get going:

1. Louisville reacts and responds to Kevin Ware’s leg injury, during the Cardinals run to the national championship

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In the Cardinals’ Elite Eight game against Duke, Kevin Ware challenged Tyler Thornton’s shot, but landed awkward on his leg, suffering a gruesome compound fracture. It occurred right in front of the Louisville bench, causing an emotional reaction from Rick Pitino, Russ Smith and the rest of the Louisville team while tweets poured in from across the country. Ware left on a stretcher and underwent surgery on his leg, in what doctors called a freak accident. Louisville went on to win the national championship over Michigan, with Ware serving as an inspiration. Ware was even able to cut down the nets following the Cards’ victory.

2. Florida Gulf Coast is forever known as Dunk City following run to the Sweet Sixteen

Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed team to make the Sweet Sixteen, led by current-USC head coach Andy Enfield. FGCU upset No. 2 Georgetown, then San Diego State before having its magical run come to an end at the hands of Florida. But FGCU will forever been known as Dunk City, thanks to our site’s own Twitter account and the brilliance of Troy Machir:

3. Wichita State beats top-ranked Gonzaga en route to the Final Four

The Shockers did just that, they shocked No. 1 Gonzaga on their way to the Final Four. Wichita State hit 14 3-pointers on the night, led by Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker, who each scored 16 points. Those two are currently leading the undefeated Shockers this season. In one of the best games of the year, Wichita State came close to extending its run into the national title game. But Luke Hancock was on another level in the Final Four.

4. Mike Rice fired by Rutgers after video surfaces of verbal, physical abuse in practice

The coaching carousel turned controversial when Mike Rice was fired after video surfaced of him verbally and physically abusing members of his Rutgers’ basketball team. Despite getting the Scarlet Knights into the Big Ten, athletic director Tim Pernetti resigned two days after Rice was fired.

5. This Marshall Henderson GIF vs. Auburn

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Gold. Pure gold.

Marshall Henderson’s 2013 easily has its own top 10 of unforgettable moments, but this GIF was by far his best.

6. Spike Albrecht ask Kate Upton out through a tweet

Hey, you’re not going to score 17 points in the first half of a national championship game every day. So when you do you need to go big or go home. Good for you, Spike.

7. Trey Burke’s shot against Kansas

Kansas led by 11 with less than four minutes to play. Michigan sophomore guard and National Player of the Year, Trey Burke scored 23 points in the second half, including a 30-footer with seconds to go to tie the game, and force overtime, where the Wolverines would prevail 87-85.

8. Sabatino’s game-winner 3-pointer waved off, as Arizona beats Colorado

This was the best buzzer-beater that never was in 2013. Colorado should have left Tuscon with an 83-80 win over Arizona, but the officials ruled it didn’t count. The Wildcats went into overtime and pulled off a 92-83 win.

9. Andrew Wiggins Phenomenon

Ask my man Grant Traylor of the Herald-Dispatch if this was a big deal. He only gained thousands upon thousands of followers as he sat in a press conference waiting for Andrew Wiggins to announce his college commitment.

Wiggins has been the headlining star of this talented freshman class. While his game has been analyzed and scrutinized, his recruitment was one of the most interesting storylines of 2013.

10. Syracuse and Georgetown end Big East rivalry with a bang

This is one of the best rivalries in all of college basketball. When the Big East began to fall apart when Cuse and Pitt decided to head to the ACC and the Catholic 7 decided to start their own conference, losing these games were tough to deal with. Thank you Orange and Hoyas for ending this on a high note.

The end of the rivalry began with Otto Porter’s career day — 33 points, eight rebounds –– inside the Carrier Dome. Two week later, Porter went off on the Orange again, but Cuse won a 58-55 overtime thriller.

Syracuse got the final laugh in the Big East tournament and while Georgetown exited in the second round by Dunk City, the Orange reached the Final Four.

Washington’s Thybulle returning for senior season

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Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”

Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.

Koby McEwen transferring to Marquette

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Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.

Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.

“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”

McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.

After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.

Minnesota adds Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis

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Minnesota has added some depth for the future.

The Golden Gophers received a pledge from Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis over the weekend, giving him a guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.

Willis will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules.

The 6-foot-4 guard played a limited role in two seasons in Nashville, never averaging more than 18. 5 minutes or 5.2 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games as a sophomore.

Willis was a top-150 prospect in the Class of 2016 coming out of Fayetteville, Ark. with offers from the likes of Tulsa, Rice and Dayton. Vandy and Minnesota were his two high-major offers.

After being ranked in the top-15, Minnesota was beset by injury and suspensions last season as they limped to the finish line in a 15-17 season that featured losses in 12 of its last 13 games.

Richard Pitino still has two available scholarships for the 2018-19 campaign.

Report: Quade Green returning to Kentucky

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John Calipari just landed a critical recruit for 2018-19, and he was already on the roster.

Quade Green, who averaged 25 minutes per game last season, is returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, his mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday.

Given that six Wildcat players have entered the draft (Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hami Diallo are signing with agents), getting the 6-foot point guard back for a second season is a massive deal for Calipari and Co. The Wildcats have always been at their best under Calipari with returning players as the cornerstones of the roster with talented one-and-dones providing the extra boost. Getting one such returner at the point guard position is even more critical.

Green, who came to Kentucky as a five-star recruit last year, averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and a respectable 37.1 percent from 3-point range, an area where Kentucky continually needs help.

With Green back in the fold, Kentucky will now await the decisions of PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt, who are all going through the pre-draft process without hiring agents, which will potentially allow them to return to school and bolster a Kentucky roster has the look of a top-five team.

CBT Podcast: NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline: Winners, losers and who has the most on the line?

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The NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline came and went on Sunday night, meaning there are now roughly 60 college players that have signed with an agent and another 100 or so that have declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Who has the most on the line? Sam Vecenie of the Game Theory podcast joined Rob Dauster to talk through all of it. The rundown:

OPEN: What do NBA teams value in players these days?

10:00: Villanova has more on the line during this testing the water process than anyone

19:00: Just how important was De’Andre Hunter’s decision to return to Virginia

25:25: Gonzaga getting Rui and Killian Tillie back makes them a title favorite

32:10: Nevada has a top ten season on the line with the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline

36:15: #RANTALERT – The decision to turn pro is so much more complicated than “is he a first round pick”

48:30: Rapid fire: Maryland, Kansas, Syracuse, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan. What do they have on the line?