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Wednesday’s Pregame Shootaround: Bubble battles, good games out west

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 11 Creighton at Marquette, 8:00 p.m.

Marquette paid a visit to Omaha in Creighton’s first game as a member of the Big East, and they got smacked about by the Bluejays. The Golden Eagles have gone on to have a fairly-disappointing 2013-2014 campaign, but a recent hot streak has gotten them back into the NCAA tournament conversation. A win over Creighton would go a long way to ensuring that Buzz Williams’ guys aren’t doomed to the NIT.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 23 UCLA at Cal, 10:30 p.m.

UCLA now looks like they’ve inherited the title of the second best team in the Pac-12, but every time a team takes over that title, they end up struggling. Kyle Anderson is quietly having one of the best seasons of anyone in the country, averaging 15.4 points 8.7 boards and 6.8 assists. How come no one is talking about this guy?

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 4 Arizona at Utah, 10:00 p.m.

Arizona is, quite simply, not the same team without Brandon Ashley. That much is obvious. Utah is a tough out this season, and playing at the altitude is never an easy thing to do. Also worth noting: Delon Wright might be the best player in the country that no one is talking about. He could end up being a first round NBA Draft pick before his career is over.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1) No. 10 Saint Louis will visit George Mason tonight. The Patriots almost beat the Billikens in Saint Louis earlier this season. The game will be on the NBC Sports Network at 7:00 p.m.

2) Arizona State will be at Colorado tonight in a game that features two of the Pac-12’s hopeful tournament teams.

3) New Mexico and UNLV will square off tonight in a battle to determine who the second-best team in the Mountain West is. After a sluggish start, the Rebels have a glimmer of NCAA tournament hope. They can’t afford another loss, however.

4) No. 3 Wichita State will put their undefeated record on the line tonight at Loyola (IL).

5) No. 1 Syracuse will do the same as they host BC

NOTABLES:

  • Auburn at No. 2 Florida, 7:00 p.m.
  • No. 7 Cincinnat at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
  • Northwestern at No. 24 Ohio State, 7:00 p.m.
  • American at Boston U., 7:00 p.m.
  • Houston at SMU, 8:00 p.m.
  • Mississippi State at LSU, 8:00 p.m.
  • Vanderbilt at Missouri, 8:00 p.m.

VIDEO: Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson throws down under-the-legs dunk after making 3-pointer

"CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Terrance Ferguson during the 2015 Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)"
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Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.

Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.

It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.

VIDEO: Manute Bol’s 6’11” son Bol Bol throws down in-game under-the-legs dunk

McPherson's Jacob Loecker attempts to steal the ball form Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege's Bol Bol during the first quarter of the boys' Class 4A Division I state championship basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Salina, Kan. (Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
(Travis Morrise/The Hutchinson News via AP)
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Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.

The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?