Johnny Jones

Bubble Banter: Oh, LSU

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There are 38 days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. 

Oh LSU (RPI: 54, KenPom: 59), why must you be so difficult?

For the first time all season, the Tigers actually looked like they were a two with veteran guards and a trio of future NBA players on their front line when they smacked around Kentucky and Arkansas in Baton Rouge last week.

Had they finally turned their season around? Four wins in five games, two of which came against top 50 RPI teams and a third against a top 100 RPI. They had finally figured it out!

Or … they had finally played four home games in a five game stretch.

The Tigers lost on Thursday night. At Georgia. By 13. It’s their third loss to a team outside the RPI top 100 in the last month.

For what it’s worth, LSU has lost their last three road games. Five of their last nine games are on the road. That win over Kentucky is only going to get them so far.


  • Oregon (RPI: 44, KenPom: 34) had a chance to pick off No. 2 Arizona and give themselves their marquee win. Instead, you’re looking at a team that has lost seven of nine and whose only top 50 win is against BYU.
  • Arizona State (RPI: 47, KenPom: 31) picked up a win over Oregon State that probably keeps them on the right side of the bubble for now. The game against Arizona next Friday looms large, however. They need that marquee win.
  • BYU (RPI: 41, KenPom: 49) the Cougars beat up on Santa Clara on Thursday night, which is less a good win than avoiding a bad loss. BYU has already lost four games to teams that have RPIs higher than 100.
  • Saint Mary’s (RPI: 62, KenPom: 68) beat Loyola Marymount, but they have a lot of work to do before they lock up a bid and not many chances to do it.
  • SMU (RPI: 42, KenPom: 26) avoided what would have been a bad loss to Temple at home. They only have three top 100 wins, but they have four games left against to 50 opponents.
  • Belmont (RPI: 68, KenPom: 127) outlasted Murray State, keeping their slim hopes of an at-large bid alive.

Labissiere scores 16 as top-ranked Kentucky beats BU 82-62

Eric Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Freshman center Skal Labissiere scored 16 points to lead top-ranked Kentucky past Boston University 82-62 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (5-0) used a big second half to overcome Boston U. in their season debut at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. One day after taking over the top spot, Kentucky struggled to put away the Terriers early but outscored them 42-29 in the second half.

Labissiere finished 7 of 13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Ulis added 15 points, and Alex Poythress had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his second straight double-double.

Jamal Murray scored 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe had 11. Kentucky, which spent all of last season ranked No. 1, scored 58 points in the paint and closed with a 22-9 run.

Boston University (2-3) got 15 points from John Papale. Nathan Dieudonne and Kyle Foreman scored 11 apiece.

The Wildcats raced out to a 10-0 lead 3 minutes into the game, but Boston University settled down after making its first basket and kept the score close in the first half by hitting five shots from long range.

The Terriers led 34-33 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the last six points of the period to regain the lead.

Labissiere paced the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half, followed by Murray with 10.


Kentucky: The Wildcats improved to 216-28 as the top-ranked team in the country and have won 61 of their last 64 games while holding the top spot. Under coach John Calipari, Kentucky is 63-5 as the top-ranked team in the AP poll.

Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-5 against Kentucky. … Boston University missed its first four shots and didn’t score its first basket until the 16:55 mark of the first half. … Dieudonne, a graduate of Louisville Trinity, was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2012.


Kentucky plays Friday against South Florida at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Boston University plays Saturday at Binghamton.

Division III William Paterson forfeits game to protest coach’s firing

William Paterson Athletics
William Paterson Athletics
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William Paterson, a Division III basketball program in New Jersey, forfeited a game on Tuesday night to protest the firing of their head coach, Jose Rebimbas.

Rebimbas, a player for the 1990 Seton Hall team that reached the national title game, had been with the program for 20 years, amassing nearly 400 wins, winning six league titles and reaching nine NCAA tournaments. He announced his firing earlier this week on FaceBook, and the players on his team responded by boycotting Tuesday night’s matchup with Ramapo.

Dylan Burns, a William Paterson student that does play-by-play for the school’s athletic teams, tweeted that the basketball players came out of the locker room for layups lines, took off their warmups, threw them in a pile on the court and walked off the floor.

The following screengrabs from instagram videos that have since been removed show the players leaving the floor:

Screengrab via Instagram

And the jerseys piled in the middle of the court:

Screengrab via Instagram

The crowd at the game can be heard cheering when it is announced that the game has been forfeited.

Rebimbas wrote the following on FaceBook over the weekend:

“It is with great sadness and extreme frustration that after today I will not be coaching the basketball team at William Paterson University. WP has been my home and family for more than 20 years and yet the University has taken action to remove me from the service I love. People I have trusted and served with have defied logic and are pursing my termination because of a misunderstanding over a facility rental fee for a camp that I run.”

“These actions come despite the University hearing officer determining that termination was not warranted. The University has unfairly and illegally taken my right to coach and mentor the student-athletes I love. I am prepared to fight the actions of William Paterson University and restore my good name and that of the program.”