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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.

VIDEO: Fairfield knocks off Canisius on Tyler Nelson buzzer-beating three

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Fairfield captured a buzzer-beating win over Canisius on Friday night as junior guard Tyler Nelson hit a pull-up three-pointer for the win.

With the game tied at 55 with under a minute left, Canisius worked the clock to try and get a shot close to the final horn. After a Jermaine Crumpton missed jumper, Fairfield’s Matija Milin corralled the rebound and got the outlet pass to Nelson, who pulled up and made the game-winning three.

Nelson led the Stags with 17 points as Fairfield improved to 15-13 (10-9 in the MAAC) with the road win.

 

VIDEO: Half-court buzzer-beater lifts DIII Ramapo College to conference title

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The Division III ranks had one of the best buzzer-beaters of the season on Friday night as Ramapo College clinched a conference championship in memorable fashion.

Ramapo College was facing New Jersey City University in the title game of the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament on Friday night when the game became tied at 64 after a NJCU free throw with 3.1 seconds left.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Ramapo had to go the full length of the floor. Josh Ford caught the Ramapo inbounds pass near mid-court and found a trailing Thomas Bonacum, who launched a half-court shot and nailed it for the win.

Bonacum finished with 20 points and nine rebounds on the night as he was mobbed by fans for helping the Roadrunners clinch its sixth automatic NCAA tournament berth under head coach Chuck McBreen.

Here’s another angle of Bonacum’s ridiculous shot

 

De’Aaron Fox a ‘game-time decision’ for Saturday showdown

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 23:  De'Aaron Fox #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the game against the Cleveland State Vikings at Rupp Arena on November 23, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Kentucky star guard De’Aaron Fox is a game-time decision when the No. 11 Wildcats take on No. 13 Florida on Saturday afternoon.

He didn’t practice on Thursday and was limited on Friday due to a knee contusion he suffered on Wednesday night against Missouri.

“He hit his knee,” head coach John Calipari said, according to SEC Country. “It’s not sprained or anything like that. It’s a bruise.”

Fox is averaging 15.5 points and 5.3 assists on the season. He missed one game earlier in the year due to an illness.

Kentucky’s game against the Gators in Rupp Arema will be for first place in the SEC and, in all likelihood, the SEC regular season title.

Kansas star Josh Jackson charged with misdemeanor property damage

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 10: Josh Jackson #11 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks he ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second half at Allen Field House on December 10, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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Kansas forward Josh Jackson has been charged with one count of misdemeanor property damage after allegedly damaging a car outside a Lawrence bar in December.

The incident happened on Dec. 9th, according to a statement released by the Douglas County district attorney, outside a bar called the Yacht Club. When Jackson left the Yacht Club, a man that he was with had a drink thrown in his face by a woman. Jackson proceeded to get into an argument with the woman, according to the statement, and witnesses claimed to see Jackson kick the driver’s side door and a real taillight, doing $1,127.45 worth of damage to the car.

Witnesses were not able to identify the other people involved, as there was more than $3,000 in damage done to the woman’s vehicle.

According to the Kansas City Star, the woman whose vehicle was damaged is the same woman that a Kansas University investigation determined was “likely” to have been hit “multiple times” by Vick, including kicking her in the face. Vick was also investigated

Weekend Preview: Here are the five story lines that you need to know about

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats  reacts during a semifinal game of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament against the Oregon Ducks at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 11, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oregon won 95-89 in overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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1. The Pac-12 title probably will be as well, but that’s not the most interesting part of UCLA-Arizona: Yes, if Arizona wins they are probably going to win the outright Pac-12 regular season title. If they lose, they are probably going to win a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. That race got significantly less exciting when Oregon ended up losing to UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.

But there still is a race in the Pac-12 that will have significant NCAA title implications: Who is going to be the highest-valued team from the conference by the Selection Committee?

Without getting into the nitty-gritty details too much, there is only going to be one team from that league that can be placed into the West Region due to some of the committee’s bracketing principles, and being in the west is a significant advantage for those Pac-12 teams. They’ll likely play in Sacramento and San Jose before heading to Phoenix, which means more fans, less travel and a friendly time zone. UCLA right now probably has the third-best résumé of the three teams at the top of the Pac-12, but that could change with a win at Arizona.

2. The SEC title is on the line on Saturday afternoon: We all thought Kentucky was going to roll through the SEC this season unchallenged, and man, did that not happen.

The Wildcats are still sitting in a tie for first place, but barely. They snuck past a bad Missouri team. They needed Yante Maten to get injured to be able to survive Georgia. It feels like this group hasn’t played well for somewhere in the neighborhood of six weeks.

And yet, if they can find a way to beat a Florida team that beat them by 22 points in Gainesville a month ago, they’ll very likely be able to call themselves the outright SEC regular season champions.

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3. Six bubble teams will have a chance to land huge wins over ranked teams at home: This is the time of year where teams that are sitting on or near the bubble’s cut line play the games that, in a way, seem to matter the most to their at-large profile. Why? Because adding a last-minute, quality win is the kind of difference-maker that can set one résumé apart from the rest of the hodge-podge that makes up the bubble every year.

This weekend, there are five teams that are squarely in the middle of that mess that host a top 25 opponent in a game that could be the make-or-break result in their quest to get to the NCAA tournament. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these six teams play a role in who will end up getting into the tournament:

No. 19 Florida State at Clemson, Sat. 12:00 p.m. (ACCN)
No. 8 North Carolina at Pitt, Sat. 12:00 p.m. (ACCN)
No. 12 West Virginia at TCU, Sat. 2:00 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 14 Purdue at Michigan, Sat. 4:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 10 Duke at Miami, Sat. 4:00 p.m. (CBS)
No. 16 Wisconsin at Michigan, Sun. 4:00 p.m. (CBS)

4. There are 17 ranked teams playing on the road, period. This weekend will get weird: Playing on the road is not an easy thing to do in college basketball, and this week alone, there are 17 ranked teams that will be leaving home to play.

What’s that mean?

Don’t be surprised when this weekend gets wild.

5. Most of the mid-major conferences come to a close this weekend: For the most part, mid-major regular season basketball is going to come to an end this weekend, and as of next week, we will officially have our first conference tournament action kicking off. This year will be the first year that the Ivy League will have a conference tournament to determine their automatic bid, which also officially means that next week will be the first week that mid-major basketball actually means something.

Yes, they played for seeding. Yes, there are leagues where home-court is awarded for the league tournament. And yes, there is pride that comes with a conference regular season title. But pride does not equal an automatic bid. That comes with a tournament championship.

If the NCAA tournament ever does expand, I hope that instead of widening increasing the number of mediocre power conference schools that can get at-large bids, the NCAA will start rewarding the teams that win regular season league titles. We don’t even have to get rid of the conference tournament automatic bids. If there are two teams from, say, the MAAC in the NCAA tournament, all that means is that Monmouth was actually able to get in after dominating their league as opposed to letting in someone like Clemson, who, as of today, is on the bubble at 4-11 in the ACC.