Duke v Louisville

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.

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour
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Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

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The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.