DeAndre Kane

Late Night Snacks: Iowa State outlasts Oklahoma State in 3OT; Cooney shines for Cuse

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 16 Iowa State 98, No. 19 Oklahoma State 97, 3 OT

Like there was any doubt? The Big 12 continues to produce some of the best games of the season and this triple-overtime thriller in Stillwater on Monday night was no different.

In the end, No. 16 Iowa State outlasted No. 19 Oklahoma State as Naz Long buried a critical game-tying three-pointer in the second overtime and the Cyclones got two stops on the final Oklahoma State possession to preserve the one-point win.

Rob Dauster has more on what this win means for Iowa State going forward while I look into Oklahoma State and its stagnant offense.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 1 Syracuse 61, Notre Dame 55

C.J. Fair had his worst game of the season — only scoring six points — but sophomore guard Trevor Cooney erupted for 33 points and tied a Syracuse record with nine three-pointers to help the Orange remain unbeaten on the year at 22-0. Syracuse’s offense was sluggish at times, but their defense remained as good as it has all season as the Orange held Notre Dame to 18 first-half points and held off a late push from the Irish.

I wrote more on Syracuse’s win here.

2) No. 6 Villanova 81, Xavier 58

The Wildcats led wire-to-wire in this one as James Bell had a solid outing with 27 points and eight rebounds to pace Big East leader Villanova. Jay Wright’s ballclub shot 49 percent from the field for the game and had a very impressive 25 assists on 32 field goals. Villanova had eight players with two or more assists in the win.

Rob Dauster has more on Villanova’s win.

3) Georgetown 71, DePaul 59

After Georgetown’s huge win at Madison Square Garden over Michigan State on Saturday, the Hoyas couldn’t afford a let down on the road against DePaul. Georgetown actually trailed at the half in this one before their guard-play took over in the second half. Markel Starks finished with 26 points while D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (17 points) and Jabril Trawick (15 points) both regularly found the scoring column as well.

Are the Hoyas building momentum for a Big East run?

STARRED

1) Trevor Cooney’s nine made three-pointers tied a Syracuse record set by Gerry McNamara, Andy Rautins and James Southerland. After so-so shooting earlier in the ACC season, is Cooney out of his slump?

2) Devon Saddler broke Delaware’s school record for points at 2,031 — surpassing Mike Pegues — with 21 points in the Blue Hens’ win over Northeastern. Delaware is 9-0 in the CAA and the Blue Hens have won 11 straight games.

3) Georgia State won its 13th consecutive game on Monday as R.J. Hunter had 24 points to lead the Panthers to an 85-65 Sun Belt win over South Alabama. Manny Atkins and Ryan Harrow also added 20 points each for Georgia State.

STRUGGLED

1) Oklahoma State couldn’t find its perimeter touch on Monday as they Cowboys went 4-for-15 from three-point range in its three-overtime loss to Iowa State.

2) Eric Atkins and Pat Connaughton both had a tough time making shots for Notre Dame against Syracuse’s zone as both played 40 minutes each while finishing with identical 3-for-10 marks from the field and 2-for-7 from three-point range.

3) Texas Southern blew a 12-point halftime lead to Alabama State, as the Hornets came back for a 79-72 overtime win on Monday to remain in sole possession of second place in the SWAC standings at 7-2. The Hornets sit one game behind SWAC leader Southern (8-1) while Texas Southern missed a golden opportunity to make a move in the SWAC standings.

VIDEO: Fairfield knocks off Canisius on Tyler Nelson buzzer-beating three

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Fairfield captured a buzzer-beating win over Canisius on Friday night as junior guard Tyler Nelson hit a pull-up three-pointer for the win.

With the game tied at 55 with under a minute left, Canisius worked the clock to try and get a shot close to the final horn. After a Jermaine Crumpton missed jumper, Fairfield’s Matija Milin corralled the rebound and got the outlet pass to Nelson, who pulled up and made the game-winning three.

Nelson led the Stags with 17 points as Fairfield improved to 15-13 (10-9 in the MAAC) with the road win.

 

VIDEO: Half-court buzzer-beater lifts DIII Ramapo College to conference title

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The Division III ranks had one of the best buzzer-beaters of the season on Friday night as Ramapo College clinched a conference championship in memorable fashion.

Ramapo College was facing New Jersey City University in the title game of the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament on Friday night when the game became tied at 64 after a NJCU free throw with 3.1 seconds left.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Ramapo had to go the full length of the floor. Josh Ford caught the Ramapo inbounds pass near mid-court and found a trailing Thomas Bonacum, who launched a half-court shot and nailed it for the win.

Bonacum finished with 20 points and nine rebounds on the night as he was mobbed by fans for helping the Roadrunners clinch its sixth automatic NCAA tournament berth under head coach Chuck McBreen.

Here’s another angle of Bonacum’s ridiculous shot

 

De’Aaron Fox a ‘game-time decision’ for Saturday showdown

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 23:  De'Aaron Fox #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the game against the Cleveland State Vikings at Rupp Arena on November 23, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Kentucky star guard De’Aaron Fox is a game-time decision when the No. 11 Wildcats take on No. 13 Florida on Saturday afternoon.

He didn’t practice on Thursday and was limited on Friday due to a knee contusion he suffered on Wednesday night against Missouri.

“He hit his knee,” head coach John Calipari said, according to SEC Country. “It’s not sprained or anything like that. It’s a bruise.”

Fox is averaging 15.5 points and 5.3 assists on the season. He missed one game earlier in the year due to an illness.

Kentucky’s game against the Gators in Rupp Arema will be for first place in the SEC and, in all likelihood, the SEC regular season title.

Kansas star Josh Jackson charged with misdemeanor property damage

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 10: Josh Jackson #11 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks he ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second half at Allen Field House on December 10, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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Kansas forward Josh Jackson has been charged with one count of misdemeanor property damage after allegedly damaging a car outside a Lawrence bar in December.

The incident happened on Dec. 9th, according to a statement released by the Douglas County district attorney, outside a bar called the Yacht Club. When Jackson left the Yacht Club, a man that he was with had a drink thrown in his face by a woman. Jackson proceeded to get into an argument with the woman, according to the statement, and witnesses claimed to see Jackson kick the driver’s side door and a real taillight, doing $1,127.45 worth of damage to the car.

Witnesses were not able to identify the other people involved, as there was more than $3,000 in damage done to the woman’s vehicle.

According to the Kansas City Star, the woman whose vehicle was damaged is the same woman that a Kansas University investigation determined was “likely” to have been hit “multiple times” by Vick, including kicking her in the face. Vick was also investigated

Weekend Preview: Here are the five story lines that you need to know about

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats  reacts during a semifinal game of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament against the Oregon Ducks at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 11, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oregon won 95-89 in overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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1. The Pac-12 title probably will be as well, but that’s not the most interesting part of UCLA-Arizona: Yes, if Arizona wins they are probably going to win the outright Pac-12 regular season title. If they lose, they are probably going to win a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. That race got significantly less exciting when Oregon ended up losing to UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.

But there still is a race in the Pac-12 that will have significant NCAA title implications: Who is going to be the highest-valued team from the conference by the Selection Committee?

Without getting into the nitty-gritty details too much, there is only going to be one team from that league that can be placed into the West Region due to some of the committee’s bracketing principles, and being in the west is a significant advantage for those Pac-12 teams. They’ll likely play in Sacramento and San Jose before heading to Phoenix, which means more fans, less travel and a friendly time zone. UCLA right now probably has the third-best résumé of the three teams at the top of the Pac-12, but that could change with a win at Arizona.

2. The SEC title is on the line on Saturday afternoon: We all thought Kentucky was going to roll through the SEC this season unchallenged, and man, did that not happen.

The Wildcats are still sitting in a tie for first place, but barely. They snuck past a bad Missouri team. They needed Yante Maten to get injured to be able to survive Georgia. It feels like this group hasn’t played well for somewhere in the neighborhood of six weeks.

And yet, if they can find a way to beat a Florida team that beat them by 22 points in Gainesville a month ago, they’ll very likely be able to call themselves the outright SEC regular season champions.

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3. Six bubble teams will have a chance to land huge wins over ranked teams at home: This is the time of year where teams that are sitting on or near the bubble’s cut line play the games that, in a way, seem to matter the most to their at-large profile. Why? Because adding a last-minute, quality win is the kind of difference-maker that can set one résumé apart from the rest of the hodge-podge that makes up the bubble every year.

This weekend, there are five teams that are squarely in the middle of that mess that host a top 25 opponent in a game that could be the make-or-break result in their quest to get to the NCAA tournament. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these six teams play a role in who will end up getting into the tournament:

No. 19 Florida State at Clemson, Sat. 12:00 p.m. (ACCN)
No. 8 North Carolina at Pitt, Sat. 12:00 p.m. (ACCN)
No. 12 West Virginia at TCU, Sat. 2:00 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 14 Purdue at Michigan, Sat. 4:00 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 10 Duke at Miami, Sat. 4:00 p.m. (CBS)
No. 16 Wisconsin at Michigan, Sun. 4:00 p.m. (CBS)

4. There are 17 ranked teams playing on the road, period. This weekend will get weird: Playing on the road is not an easy thing to do in college basketball, and this week alone, there are 17 ranked teams that will be leaving home to play.

What’s that mean?

Don’t be surprised when this weekend gets wild.

5. Most of the mid-major conferences come to a close this weekend: For the most part, mid-major regular season basketball is going to come to an end this weekend, and as of next week, we will officially have our first conference tournament action kicking off. This year will be the first year that the Ivy League will have a conference tournament to determine their automatic bid, which also officially means that next week will be the first week that mid-major basketball actually means something.

Yes, they played for seeding. Yes, there are leagues where home-court is awarded for the league tournament. And yes, there is pride that comes with a conference regular season title. But pride does not equal an automatic bid. That comes with a tournament championship.

If the NCAA tournament ever does expand, I hope that instead of widening increasing the number of mediocre power conference schools that can get at-large bids, the NCAA will start rewarding the teams that win regular season league titles. We don’t even have to get rid of the conference tournament automatic bids. If there are two teams from, say, the MAAC in the NCAA tournament, all that means is that Monmouth was actually able to get in after dominating their league as opposed to letting in someone like Clemson, who, as of today, is on the bubble at 4-11 in the ACC.