Big 12, Missouri Valley refs reminded about new points of emphasis

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Much was made about the new points of emphasis in college basketball during non-conference play, with the move to encourage more freedom of movement for offensive players resulting in not only higher scoring games but higher foul counts as well. But there was a question that lingered during the months of November and December: would officials continue to be sticklers for contact during conference play, or would things revert to the way they used to be?

In a story written by Sean Keeler of Fox Sports Kansas City, the powers that be in the Big 12 and Missouri Valley conferences felt that referees were allowing games to get back to the physical style of play they were aiming to eliminate. And with this being the case memos from NCAA head of officiating John Adams and Curtis Shaw, the coordinator of Big 12 officials, served as a reminder of what rules referees were supposed to enforce.

“Through our first week of conference games, I felt in the Big 12, especially, we were starting to ‘let them play a little,'” Curtis Shaw, coordinator for men’s basketball officials for the Big 12, tells FOXSportsKansasCity.com. “And that’s not what we wanted.

“The NCAA and (head of officials) John Adams said some of the same things; they came out the first weekend of January and (told officials), ‘Do not back off. We will continue to enforce this. The leagues that don’t enforce this won’t be successful in the NCAA tournament.'”

There were certainly some crazy moments early in the season, with games turning into a glorified foul shooting contest as teams became more used to the new style of officiating. But as the season progressed more teams made the adjustments necessary if they wanted their best players to remain on the floor, with some playing more zone defense as a result.

But in order for the changes to take hold and result in better basketball they have to be enforced consistently, even if it does leave players, coaches and fans frustrated. The next question to be answered: will the rules be enforced with the same level of consistency in March? And given the importance of that month (early April, as well), hopefully the answer is “yes.”

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: