NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice

Report: Waiver expected to be given for teams forced to forfeit games

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It’s always interesting to track back through some of the unintended consequences of conference realignment, and they’re not always positive.

The NCAA has a rule on its books that forbids a Division I program from playing more than four games during a season against teams from outside the Division I ranks. That includes exhibition games and games against transitional Division I programs.

The expansion of some of the nation’s smaller conferences have resulted in the addition of league members that aren’t full Division I programs yet: UMass-Lowell in the America East, Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word in the Southland, and Grand Canyon in the WAC.

This is a problem, because not every program was aware of this rule. That created a situation where Southland schools, like Oral Roberts and Stephen F. Austin, and America East programs, like Vermont and Maine, looked to be headed towards the unfortunate result of having to forfeit games against those new additions.

Annoying, right?

Well, it looks like the NCAA may be on their way to righting those errors. From the Burlington Free-Press:

A temporary waiver to absolve the University of Vermont men’s basketball team, as well as other programs across the country, of a schedule issue is expected to be approved by the NCAA later this week, the Burlington Free Press learned.

Let’s hope this is true.

Forfeiting games for what amounts to nothing more than a clerical error regarding some obscure rule in a confusing time of shifting conferences would do nothing but punish the student-athletes. Does it really matter whether or not UMass-Lowell is a full-fledged member of Division I if they are playing America East conference games?

The whole thing was stupid, so we have to give credit where credit is due. Looks like the NCAA will be getting this one right.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.