Akron Athletics

Basketball community bands together in support of Akron director of basketball ops Dan Peters

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In mid-December Akron director of basketball operations Dan Peters went on leave after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, leaving the Zips without a man who has more than three decades of coaching experience at the college level. With this being Coaches vs. Cancer “Suits and Sneakers” weekend, the event takes on added meaning for Keith Dambrot’s program as a result.

For their game on Wednesday against Ball State, Akron will distribute 3,000 purple T-shirts with the saying “4 Pete’s Sake” emblazoned on them to fans, with purple being the color associated with pancreatic cancer awareness. Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase “4 Pete’s Sake” lapel pins for $5, with the proceeds being donated to pancreatic cancer research.

However Akron won’t be alone in honoring Peters as he fights this disease either, with multiple programs that have a connection to Peters wearing “4 Pete’s Sake” lapel pins on their suit jackets.

Programs showing their support for Peters through lapel pins or patches include Arizona (where his son, Danny, is an assistant director of operations), Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Delta State, Eastern Michigan (men and women), Houghton College, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Ohio State, St. Joseph’s (Ind.) College, Toledo, Walsh College, Western Carolina, Western Michigan and Youngstown State (men and women).

Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde wrote a touching story on Peters and his fight, and it can be read here.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: