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Thursday’s Pregame Shootaround: UConn visits Cincy

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 22 UConn at No. 7 Cincinnati, 7:00 p.m.

Cincinnati has played like one of the best teams in the country over the last month and change, taking firm control of the AAC race in the process. Their strength is on the defensive end of the floor and their ability to get to the offensive glass. UConn doesn’t have much size inside, but they do have Shabazz Napier and on the nights where Deandre Daniels and Ryan Boatright play well, they’re dangerous.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Oregon at No. 2 Arizona, 9:00 p.m.

Arizona’s first game without Brandon Ashley. How will the Wildcats respond without him in the lineup? How will they react to playing an Oregon team in desperate need of a win? The Ducks have the talent to pull off the upset, but they are also the most disappointing team in the Pac-12. Which Oregon shows up?

MID-MAJOR MATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: Murray State at Belmont, 9:00 p.m.

The two powers that be in the Ohio Valley will square off tonight in what is becoming a delightful little rivalry between in-state, mid-major rivals. Isaiah Cannon and Ian Clark may be off to the professional ranks, but Belmont’s brought enough back to win at North Carolina while Murray State is relying on a trio of newcomers to try to lead them back to the NCAA tournament.


1) Adreian Payne will be making his return to the court as Penn State visits No. 9 Michigan State. While we’re here, read the profile that Jason King wrote about him.

2) Is LSU an NCAA tournament team? They looked like it in a pair of wins last week. But how will they handle the road in the SEC? They’re at Georgia tonight.

3) VCU has looked like Saint Louis’ biggest contender in the A-10 the last couple of weeks. They’ll host URI tonight.

4) SMU has looked like an NCAA tournament team in recent weeks. They get a visit from Temple tonight in a game that could do serious their bubble dreams.

5) You want a sneaky mid-major to watch come March? How about Georgia State, with R.J. Hunter and Kentucky transfer Ryan Harrow. They’ll visit Arkansas-Little Rock tonight.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew:

Tulsa rallies to hand No. 16 SMU 1st home loss 82-77

Tulsa guard James Woodard (10) shoots a free throw during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against SMU Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Dallas.  Tulsa won 82-77. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
(AP Photo/LM Otero)
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DALLAS (AP) Shaquille Harrison had 21 points, Pat Birt hit a crucial 3-pointer and scored 12 of his 17 points after halftime and Tulsa rallied from eight points down in the second half to beat No. 16 SMU 82-77 on Wednesday night.

Nic Moore scored 27 to lead the Mustangs (20-3, 9-3 American Athletic). They lost for the first time in 13 home games and dropped to 2-3 since their 18-0 start to a season that won’t include postseason play because of NCAA sanctions.

Moore twice hit 3-pointers to pull SMU within a point in the final minute, but Birt answered the first with a 3 and James Woodard followed the second with two of his six free throws in the final 1:04.

The Golden Hurricane (16-8, 8-4) ended a four-game losing streak against SMU with their eighth win in 10 games since an 0-2 conference start.