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Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Arizona survives, No. 22 Gonzaga not as fortunate

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: DePaul 99, Butler 94 (2OT)

This wasn’t one of the games on the “marquee” for Thursday night, but the Blue Demons and Bulldogs combined to play an entertaining contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse. DePaul erased an 11-point deficit in the final 3:46 of regulation to force overtime, only to see Jackson Aldridge force a second overtime with a follow of a Kellen Dunham miss as time expired. But freshman Billy Garrett Jr. (22 points, five assists) and Tommy Hamilton IV (17 points, 12 rebounds) performed well for DePaul, as did forward Cleveland Melvin who scored 30 points. Dunham led five Butler players in double figures with 30 points.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

1) No. 1 Arizona 79, UCLA 75

The top-ranked Wildcats looked to be well on their way to a 16th win of the season, but turnovers and missed free throws left the door open for the home-standing Bruins. Ultimately Sean Miller’s team was able to make the plays needed to remain undefeated, with USC standing between the Wildcats and the best start in school history.

2) No. 24 Memphis 73, No. 12 Louisville 67

After nearly forgetting that their big men needed to get touches in a loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, Memphis did a much better job of getting the ball to Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols (and sharing in general) in a six-point win at Louisville. While the Tigers now have a second win over a ranked team this season Louisville is still without a “signature” victory, which could impact their NCAA tournament seeding come Selection Sunday.

3) California 96, No. 17 Oregon 83

Jordan Mathews scored 20 of his career-high 32 points in the first half and Justin Cobbs added 20 points and 11 assists as the Golden Bears beat the Ducks for the 12th consecutive time. Cal’s now 2-0 in Pac-12 play, and keep in mind that this group is still without Jabari Bird and Ricky Kreklow.

STARRED

1) Karvel Anderson (Robert Morris)

Anderson scored 36 points in the Colonials’ 79-70 win at Sacred Heart, shooting 15-for-19 from the field (6-for-7 3PT).

2) Tevin Calhoun (Troy)

35 points on 11-for-15 shooting (7-for-9 3PT) and six rebounds in the Trojans’ 98-84 win over Arkansas State.

3) Josh Williams (Lipscomb) 

34 points (13-for-17 FG), four rebounds and three assists in the Bisons’ 82-80 win at East Tennessee State.

STRUGGLED

1) Clemson

The Tigers shot 30% from the field and finished with more turnovers (18) than made field goals (15) in their 56-41 home loss to Florida State.

2) Chris Jones (Louisville) 

Jones couldn’t find his groove in the Cardinals’ 73-67 loss to Memphis, scoring just two points on 1-for-9 shooting.

3) C.J. Cooper (UTEP) 

Cooper shot 2-for-13 from the field (2-for-11 3PT) in UTEP’s 73-68 loss to Charlotte.

NOTABLES

  • Derrick Walton Jr.’s layup with 21.8 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Michigan’s 71-70 win at Nebraska, moving the Wolverines to 3-0 in Big Ten play. Nebraska missed two shots at the win before time expired.
  • Manhattan’s 81-76 loss at Quinnipiac could prove even costlier for the Jaspers, as leading scorer George Beamon left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. According to the school he’ll be reevaluated on Friday.
  • Stanford dropped to 0-2 in Pac-12 play with an 81-72 loss at Oregon State, with Roberto Nelson scoring 21 points and Eric Moreland adding 17 to go along with 15 rebounds.
  • Semaj Christon scored 28 points to lead Xavier to an 86-79 win over Marquette, setting up a showdown for a share of first place in the Big East with Creighton this weekend.
  • Without the suspended Fran McCaffery No. 22 Iowa had little trouble with Northwestern, beating the Wildcats 93-67 with Aaron White leading the way with 18 points, ten rebounds and five assists.
  • Portland ended its 20-game losing streak to Gonzaga, beating the Bulldogs 82-73 in Portland. Bryce Pressley led the way with 16 points and nine assists.
  • Another WCC result that won’t help the conference earn multiple NCAA tournament bids was Santa Clara’s 57-55 win at Saint Mary’s. Jared Brownridge’s three-pointer with two seconds remaining proved to be the difference.
  • UC Irvine held on to beat Long Beach State 46-44 in a matchup of two of the teams expected to contend in the wide-open Big West.
  • While Montana and Weber State have been the standard in the Big Sky in recent years, keep an eye on Northern Colorado. B.J. Hill’s Bears whipped Weber State 70-51 thanks in part to a 21-point, 13-rebound performance from Derrick Barden.
  • Sam Mills scored 17 points to lead three La Salle players in double figures as the Explorers held off George Washington, 76-72.

Maryland big man Michal Cekovsky out for the season

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Michal Cekovsky #15 of the Maryland Terrapins is defended by Zedric Sadler #2 of the Rider Broncs during the first half at Xfinity Center on November 20, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Maryland big man Michal Cekovsky will be out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle, the school announced on Monday.

The 7-foot-1 junior went down with the injury late in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin. He had recently rejoined the Terps’ rotation and had started to get more comfortable, scoring 10 points against the Badgers before leaving the game.

Cekovsky appeared in 17 games this season and averaged 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game

“I feel badly for Ceko as he has endured a number of injuries throughout the season,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said in the release. “It felt like he was really starting to turn the corner and his best basketball was ahead of him. We anticipate a full recovery for next season and we will be there to support him through the rehabilitation process.”

Without Cekovsky in the lineup, more pressure will be put on Damonte Dodd to stay out of foul trouble while staying productive. Sophomore Ivan Bender also figures to see more minutes now as he has already seen double-figure minutes off the bench for the Terps the last three games.

This loss will hurt Maryland’s frontcourt depth but they should still be able to withstand this injury with the firepower they have on the perimeter. Junior Melo Trimble is still playing fantastic ball while the team’s freshmen have also been solid for most of the season.

Maryland finishes the regular season with three out of four games at home as the one road game comes at Rutgers.

VIDEO: Jim Boeheim isn’t pleased when asked by reporter if Syracuse is ‘impatient’

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 02:  Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at NRG Stadium on April 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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Jim Boeheim has never been a man that’s shied away from saying what he feels, even if that results in him going after a reporter during a press conference.

On Sunday night, Boeheim did just that, when he was clearly unhappy about being asked whether or not his team was ‘impatient’:

Boeheim had reason to be upset beyond that particular line of questioning: Not only did his team lose a tough road game thanks to a pretty bad call in the final 20 seconds, but that loss might be what costs them a spot in the NCAA tournament.

With Demarcus Cousins in New Orleans, it’s time for John Calipari-to-the-NBA to heat up

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With Demarcus Cousins ending up on New Orleans – I hesitate to call that fleecing a “trade” – to join forces with another former Kentucky Wildcat, it only makes sense for the dots to get connected: John Calipari to the Pelicans!

Dan Patrick didn’t waste any time diving right in on Monday morning, opening his interview with Coach Cal with: “Can I have permission to start a rumor about you?”

Before Patrick even had a chance to define said rumor, Cal hit him with a, “Not. Happening.” He doubled down on his denials later on that morning by telling a teleconference of reporters, “that’s not going to happen.”

This is what Cal has to say. When you’re the head coach at Kentucky, an incredibly high-paying job and arguably the best in the college basketball business, you cannot be publicly campaigning for another position, even if it is an NBA gig with two of the league’s top 12 players. And while Cal isn’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to what he reveals in the media – his name gets mentioned with an NBA job roughly every six months, and he has the same answer every time – I think I believe him here.

Why?

Because I don’t think he gives up his lucrative seat as the celebrity overlord of college basketball for anything less than the perfect job: One where he can win immediately, avoiding the indignity of another NBA flameout like the one he had with the Nets 17 years ago, and one where he is given total and complete roster control. He wants to be the coach and the GM, and I’m not sure New Orleans is in a position where they would get rid of GM Dell Demps, who orchestrated The Fleecing Of Sacramento, or head coach Alvin Gentry, who was hired prior to the start of last season and could feasibly get this group back to the Playoffs this year, for a guy that last coached in the NBA in 1999 after getting fired 20 games into a season.

And all of that is before you consider that Cousins still needs to ink a long-term deal with New Orleans at some point for this theory to truly be viable, although finding a way to bring in Cal could certainly help Cousins make this decision.

I also get it.

Cal, better than anyone else since Cousins first touched a basketball, found a way to channel Cousins’ immense talents. If anyone can find a way to get Boogie to shed his baggage, it’s probably Cal. Then factor in the chance that he would find a way to be able to reel in, say, John Wall, and those are dots that are just screaming to be connected.

A Kentucky reunion in the Big Easy. Big Blue Nation would buy every ticket available at the Smoothie King Center. Who wouldn’t love that?

Maybe it happens. But at this point, I have a hard time seeing Coach Cal giving up his throne atop Lexington.

Coaches Poll: Gonzaga remains atop the top 25, Baylor and Virginia tumble

SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 10:  Head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts to a call in the second half of the game against the Akron Zips at McCarthey Athletic Center on December 10, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  Gonzaga defeated Akron 61-43.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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Once again, undefeated Gonzaga finds themselves sitting al alone atop the Coaches Poll. The Zags are also No. 1 in the NBC Sports top 25 and the AP Poll.

Villanova and Kansas are two and three again, while Arizona and UCLA round out the top five.

Here is the full poll:

1. Gonzaga
2. Villanva
3. Kansas
4. Arizona
5. UCLA
6. Louisville
7. Oregon
8. North Carolina
9. Baylor
10. Kentucky
11. Duke
12. Florida
13. West Virginia
14. Purdue
15. Wisconsin
16. Cincinnati
17.Notre Dame
18. Saint Mary’s
19. Virginia
20. Florida State
21. SMU
22. Butler
23. Creighton
24. Maryland
25. Wichita State

AP Poll: Gonzaga remains No. 1, Baylor falls to No. 9

Baylor forward Johnathan Motley (5) reacts to a play against Texas in first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 74-64. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)
Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP
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The Zags remained alone atop the AP Poll on Monday morning, amassing 59 of a possible 65 first-place votes.

Villanova remained at No. 2 and Kansas stayed steadfast at No. 3. Baylor dropped from fourth to ninth after a pair of losses, while Virginia went from 14th to 18th after losing to Duke and North Carolina in the same week.

Here is the entire poll:

1. Gonzaga (59 first-place votes)
2. Villanva (5)
3. Kansas (1)
4. Arizona
5. UCLA
6. Oregon
7. Louisville
8. North Carolina
9. Baylor
10. Duke
11. Kentucky
12. West Virginia
13. Florida
14. Purdue
15. Cincinnati
16. Wisconsin
17. SMU
18. Virginia
19. Florida State
20. Saint Mary’s
21. Notre Dame
22. Butler
23. Creighton
24. Maryland
25. Wichita State