DeAndre Kane

No. 16 Iowa State outlasts No. 19 Oklahoma State in a 3OT thriller

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It took a little bit longer than they expected, but No. 16 Iowa State got the win they needed.

The Cyclones outlasted No. 19 Oklahoma State in a way-too-empty Gallagher-Iba Arena on Monday night, winning 98-97 in a triple-overtime thriller that did well to remind the nation that it is, in fact, basketball season.

DeAndre Kane led five players in double-figures for Iowa State, finishing with 26 points, nine boards and nine assists, while Melvin Ejim and and Dustin Hogue combined to go for 32 points and 26 boards in the win. More impressive? The win came with Georges Niang on the bench with five fouls for the entire overtime, a major blow especially when you consider that Iowa State built their gameplan offensively around him.

The biggest play of the night came at the end of the second overtime. With Iowa State down three, Matt Thomas missed a three pointer, but Kane was able to corral the offensive rebound. Instead of hoisting up a contested triple — which would have been the third terrible shot he had taken in the final minutes — Kane gave the ball up to Naz Long, who buried a three to tie the game:

Long had missed his last nine three pointers on the season.

Iowa State took control at the end of the third overtime, but things got interesting when they turned the ball over with 20 seconds left and a one point lead. But Oklahoma State settled for two fadeaway jumpers, both of which came up short, and that was that.

The enormity of this win for the Cyclones really cannot be overstated.

For starters, the Cyclones actually beat a good team on the road, something that the Cyclones have developed a reputation for being unable to do the past couple of seasons. That’s big for their tournament resume and, quite frankly, for their reputation on a national level. It’s one thing to ride the wave of Hilton Magic. It’s another thing to go on the road in February and beat a team with a first team all-american on it.

This also is a shot in the arm in terms of confidence. Iowa State had lost four of their last five games and three in a row heading into the month of February, but in the last three days, they’ve landed wins over both Big 12 teams from the state of Oklahoma. Not only does get the Cyclones back above .500 — to 5-4 — in league play, it means that they’re now through their schedule’s most brutal stretch. Iowa State had played eight straight games against teams that are ranked now or were ranked when they played them.

Their next six games? TCU, at West Virginia, Texas Tech, Texas, at TCU, West Virginia.

Is this when the Cyclones make their run?

Duke, Cincinnati lead Hall of Fame Tip-Off

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gestures during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Durham, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
(AP Photo/Ben McKeown)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) Duke and Cincinnati, 2016 NCAA Tournament teams, highlight the eight-team field for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

The participants for the Nov. 19-20 event were announced Wednesday.

Also in the field are Rhode Island, Penn State, Grand Canyon, Albany, Marist and Brown.

The teams, split into two four-team brackets, will play two doubleheaders at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Duke, Cincinnati, Penn State and Rhode Island will meet in the Naismith Bracket, while the others will play in the Springfield Bracket.

The teams will play two early round games at campus sites from Nov. 11 through Nov. 16.

Brandone Francis-Ramirez transferring out of Florida

Florida State center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (21) fouls Florida guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. (Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
(Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
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Brandone Francis-Ramirez is transferring out of the Florida program, the school announced on Wednesday.

A former top 40 recruit, Francis-Ramirez had his two seasons in Gainesville ruined by an academic issues and a loss of confidence. He was academically ineligible in 2014-15, practicing with the team during the second semester. He was granted a redshirt for the year, but he struggled to find any kind of a rhythm this past season. There was a two-month stretch in the middle of the year where he shot 6-for-58 from the floor and 2-for-31 from three.

On the season, he shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from three.

“I want it to work out for him,” Gators coach Mike White said in a release. “We really appreciate what Brandone did here and wish him the best.”

One of Villanova’s title game stars undergoes knee surgery

Phil Booth, Jack McVeigh
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The forgotten star of the national title game underwent an arthroscopic on his left knee on Wednesday.

Phil Booth, who scored a season-high 20 points in the 2016 National Title game, will be a junior next season and one of the guys called upon to help replace Ryan Arcidiacono, who graduated. He should be ready to go by the middle of the summer; according to a statement put out by the program, Booth will need 6-to-8 weeks to heal.

“Phil is as mentally tough a young man as we have had at Villanova,” head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “He continually impresses our coaching staff with his outstanding attitude. Phil will attack this recovery challenge with great determination, as he does everything in life.”

Booth averaged 7.0 points and 2.2 assists this past season.

Jennings becomes seventh player to transfer from Kentucky

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell watches his team during the team's regional semifinal in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament against Washington in Lexington, Ky., Friday, March 25, 2016. Washington won 85-72. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
(AP Photo/James Crisp)
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell has announced that sophomore forward Alexis Jennings will transfer, the seventh Wildcat to leave the program since last fall.

Jennings’ departure comes a week after Mitchell publicly addressed the mass exodus of players and assistant coaches and stressed the need for building stability. Jennings figured to be part of that process and the coach said in a release Wednesday night that “it saddens us that Alexis did not see a path for her at Kentucky. … She felt it was in her best interest to finish her career elsewhere and we owe her that opportunity.”

The 6-foot-2 Jennings started 18 of 33 games last season and averaged 10 points and 7.1 rebounds.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.