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Late Night Snacks: No. 17 Ohio State snaps four-game skid

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Portland 114, BYU 110 (3OT)

Portland has now beaten both Gonzaga and BYU at home this season, and their win over the Cougars may stand as one of the best games of the season when we reach early April. Tyler Haws, whose 48 points were the most scored in a WCC game since Loyola Marymount great Bo Kimble scored 50 in a game against San Francisco on February 4, 1990 (interestingly, the late Hank Gathers scored 49 in a game against LSU the day prior), tied the game at 80 with 30 seconds remaining in regulation. And his three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining in the first overtime would force a second extra session, only to have Portland’s Bobby Sharp return the favor and force a third extra session.

Sharp scored 27 points off the bench for the Pilots, who also received a 27-point, 18-rebound performance from Thomas van der Mars. In total nine players reached double figures (five for Portland, four for BYU), and if the Cougars are to look at any aspect of this game it would likely be their 9-for-24 night from beyond the arc. Portland outscored them by 15 points from deep, dropping BYU two games behind Gonzaga two days ahead of their meeting in Spokane.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 17 Ohio State 62, Illinois 55

Both teams entered the game with four-game losing streaks but it was Ohio State who made enough shots in the end. LaQuinton Ross scored 14 of his 18 points after halftime and Lenzelle Smith Jr. snapped out of his six-game slump by hitting four of his eight three-point attempts. As for Illinois they need to get Rayvonte Rice, who missed all eight of his shot attempts and went scoreless, back on track.

2) Washington 80, Oregon 76

A C.J. Wilcox three-pointer in the game’s final minute sealed the deal for Washington, who handed the Ducks their fifth consecutive loss. Wilcox hit five of his six three-point attempts and scored 23 points to lead the Huskies, who shot 57.8% from the field. Joseph Young scored 18 to lead Oregon but the struggles of the other starters combined with more defensive woes resulted in yet another defeat.

3) Mercer 68, FGCU 55

In a matchup of the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun the home standing Bears gained a small measure of revenge for last season’s A-Sun tournament final with a 13-point victory in Macon. Langston Hall led the way with 18 points and 11 assists for Mercer, which limited FGCU to 35% shooting from the field and 1-for-17 from beyond the arc. Bernard Thompson scored 21 to lead the way for the Eagles but needed 18 attempts to do so.

STARRED

1) Tyler Haws (BYU) and Thomas van der Mars (Portland) 

Haws scored 48 points (17-for-34 FG, 10-for-13 FT) for the Cougars, only to fall at Portland in triple overtime with van der Mars putting up 27 points (9-for-14 FG) and 18 rebounds (ten offensive).

2) Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington)

Harvey set a new Big Sky record by going 20-for-20 from the foul line in the Eagles’ 90-83 win over Southern Utah. Harvey finished the game with 36 points and eight rebounds.

3) R.J. Hunter (Georgia State)

Hunter scored 33 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Panthers’ 77-70 win at Louisiana.

STRUGGLED

1) Rayvonte Rice (Illinois)

Rice went scoreless in Illinois’ 62-55 loss at No. 17 Ohio State, shooting 0-for-8 from the field.

2) UCF

In their 69-51 loss at No. 15 Cincinnati the Knights managed to shoot 6-for-17 from the foul line.  

3) Chasson Randle (Stanford) 

While he did finish with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists Randle shot 3-for-16 from the field in the Cardinal’s 91-74 loss at UCLA.

NOTABLES

  • No. 1 Arizona scored 18 of the first 22 points in their 69-57 win over Colorado, with the final margin not being an indication of the difference between the two teams.
  • Also in Pac-12 play Arizona State ended its four-game skid with a 79-75 win over Utah, giving older brother Jordan Bachynski temporary bragging rights over younger brother Dallin. Jahii Carson led the Sun Devils with 23 points and eight rebounds.
  • Neil Watson scored 28 points to lead Southern Miss to a 75-60 win at Old Dominion, handing the Monarchs their first Conference USA defeat.
  • Sir’Dominic Pointer’s defense in the final seconds preserved a 77-76 win over Seton Hall for St. John’s, the Red Storm’s first Big East win this season.
  • First-year head coach Will Wade has Chattanooga rolling right now, as the Mocs moved to 7-0 in SoCon play with an 84-63 win over preseason favorite Elon.
  • Craig Bradshaw scored 24 points in Belmont’s 80-66 win over Morehead State, moving to 6-1 in OVC play as a result.
  • Despite 28 points and 11 rebounds from Javon McCrea, Buffalo was upset 71-68 at Bowling Green with their three-point shooting (1-for-14) being one of the reasons why.
  • Northern Colorado made 11 of its 16 three-pointers in an 87-72 win over Northern Arizona, moving to 6-1 in Big Sky play.
  • Tony Parker scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help lead UCLA to their 91-74 win over Stanford.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

Hayes returning to Wisconsin for senior season

Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin won 67-59. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Wisconsin has cemented itself as one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten for the 2016-17 season.

Forward Nigel Hayes, the Badgers’ leading scorer and assist man, is withdrawing his name from NBA Draft consideration to return to Madison for his senior season, he told the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday evening.

Hayes declared for the draft last month, but did not hire an agent, taking advantage of new NCAA legislation that allowed him to attend the NBA Draft combine and workout for pro franchises. He was largely regarded as a fringe first-round prospect by draft observers.

His decision is a major boon for Greg Gard, who may have the Big Ten’s best team in his first full season at the helm after taking over for Bo Ryan in the middle of last season. Wisconsin had a major turnaround under Gard, which ultimately resulted in him moving from interim to full time. The Badgers were 7-5 when Ryan stepped down, but recovered by going 13-4 to end the season and make the Sweet 16. 

Now, the entirety of that team, headlined by Hayes, is returning for another year and almost assuredly will be a top-15 (or better) preseason pick. Michigan State will welcome in a dynamite recruiting class that features five-stars Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston, and Indiana should remain strong, but the Badgers, with some players having the experience of  playing in two Final Fours, could very well have the best roster on paper with its blend of talent and experience. Whichever team is pegged as the favorite, the top of the Big Ten is shaping up to be a fantastic race.

Illinois dismisses Kendrick Nunn

Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn (25) tries to go up for a basket against Indiana center Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at in Champaign, Ill., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Heather Coit)
(AP Photo/Heather Coit)
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Illinois announced on Tuesday that they have dismissed Kendrick Nunn from the basketball program.

Nunn was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to a battery charge that stemmed from a domestic violence incident. He was alleged to have hit a woman in the head and pushed her to the ground before pouring water on her.

“We have made the decision to dismiss Kendrick Nunn from the men’s basketball team, effective immediately,” a statement put out by head coach John Groce and athletic director Josh Whitman read. “After extensive deliberation, we think it best for our program to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior.”

Nunn averaged 15.5 points as a junior last season.

Delaware hires Martin Inglesby as head coach

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Joe Raymond, AP
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Delaware has finally hired a head coach, a little more than two months after Monte’ Ross was fired.

The man that earned the right of taking over a program with just four returning scholarship players is Martin Inglesby, a Notre Dame assistant that has been under Mike Brey’s tutelage for more than a decade. A source confirmed the news with NBCSports.com. Brey spent his first six seasons as a Division I head coach in Newark.

The reason that the search for a new basketball coach took so long is that the university was in the midst of looking for a new athletic director. Chrissi Rawak was hired as AD on May 13th, and one of her first orders of business was finding a replacement for Ross.

CBS Sports was the first to report Inglesby’s hiring.

Report: UCLA signs record apparel deal with Under Armour

(Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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The latest arms race in the collegiate ranks centers around apparel deals, and UCLA has reportedly signed the largest in the history of amateur athletics.

Under Armour will pay the university $280 million over the next 15 years, according to ESPN.com, in exchange for their athletes to work as unpaid models, turning Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl into a runway for the athletic apparel company to hawk their wares.

Here are the details from ESPN:

At those numbers, the deal would be the largest in college football history. In January, Ohio State said its 15-year deal with Nike was worth $252 million. Texas signed a 15-year deal with Nike worth $250 million in October, and Michigan signed an 11-year deal, with a four-year option, that could be worth up to $173.8 million.

Landing UCLA only furthers Under Armour’s presence on the west coast. Their most famous client is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Kentucky-Kansas headlines the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

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The Big 12 and the SEC announced the matchups for the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Tuesday, and the highlight is, of course, Kansas and Kentucky.

The two schools, who played an instant classic in Phog Allen Fieldhouse last season, will square off in Lexington this season. If that wasn’t enough, Kentucky and Kansas are currently sitting second and third, respectively, in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25.

So that should be fun.

The game will be played on January 28th along with the rest of the matchups in the series. Those matchups are:

Texas at Georgia
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Florida at Oklahoma
Baylor at Ole Miss
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
LSU at Texas Tech

To be frank, the rest of that schedule is not all that enticing. West Virginia should be a top 25 team, and they host a Texas A&M team that is talented but young. Florida and Georgia are arguably the two best non-Kentucky teams in the league, but they face off with a rebuilding Oklahoma and a young Texas squad, neither of whom are guaranteed to make the tournament.

The problem here?

Both the SEC and the Big 12 are likely going to be down this season, which puts a damper on just how excited we can get about this challenge.