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Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Syracuse falls on most entertaining weeknight of the season

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Boston College 62, No. 1 Syracuse 59 (OT)

With a game at No. 5 Duke on Saturday night, many expected No. 1 Syracuse to take care of a struggling Boston College squad and move to 26-0. But the Eagles had other ideas, shooting 11-for-22 from three on their way to a stunning win at the Carrier Dome. The issue for Syracuse was their shooting, as they shot just 32% from the field for the game. Also of note is the fact that Syracuse and Virginia are tied in the loss column atop the ACC as result of the Orange’s first loss.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 4 Arizona 67, Utah 63 (OT)

Utah needed a resume-building victory but they were unable to get it, losing by four in overtime with foul shooting and turnovers being the biggest reasons why. Utah shot 13-for-22 from the foul line and committed 16 turnovers, which were converted into 16 second-chance points by the Wildcats. Add in Jordan Loveridge shooting 1-for-12 and Delon Wright turning the ball over six times, and the end result is Arizona bouncing back from its loss at Arizona State on Friday night.

2) No. 3 Wichita State 88, Loyola (Ill.) 74

With Syracuse losing there’s just one remaining undefeated team in college basketball: Wichita State. The Shockers moved to 28-0 with Fred Van Vleet accounting for 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Wichita State plays two of its final three regular season games at home, with Missouri State being the strongest of the three.

3) No. 2 Florida 71, Auburn 66

Like Syracuse the Gators struggled at home against a team they were expected to beat. Unlike the Orange, Florida took care of business in the end with a little help from the visiting Tigers. Auburn committed a critical turnover late in regulation, and those mistakes cost Tony Barbee a win that would have done wonders for his program. Patric Young led the Gators with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

STARRED

1) D.J. Covington (VMI)

Covington scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Keydets’ 84-81 win over Campbell.

2) Jordan Adams (UCLA) 

28 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals in the 23rd-ranked Bruins’ 86-66 wins at California.

3) Javon McCrea (Buffalo) 

McCrea finished the Bulls’ 96-90 home win over Akron two assists short of a triple-double, finishing the game with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

STRUGGLED

1) Jordan Loveridge (Utah)

Shot 1-for-12 from the field in the Utes’ 67-63 overtime loss to No. 4 Arizona.

2) Tyrone Wallace (California) 

Five points on 1-for-9 shooting in Cal’s 86-66 loss to UCLA.

3) Malik Smith (Minnesota) 

Went scoreless in Minnesota’s 62-49 loss to Illinois, shooting 0-for-7 from the field.

NOTABLES

  • No. 11 Creighton retained sole possession of first place in the Big East, beating Marquette 85-70. Doug McDermott scored 25 points and Ethan Wragge added 22 for the Bluejays.
  • Boston University extended its lead in the Patriot League to two games with a 71-62 win over American in Boston.
  • Davon Usher and Devon Saddler combined to score 51 points in Delaware’s 81-77 win at Hofstra, moving the Blue Hens to 12-1 in the CAA.
  • Langston Galloway shot 2-for-12 from the field but Ronald Roberts Jr. scored 17 points to lead Saint Joseph’s to a 57-54 win at Rhode Island.
  • Jordan Clarkson led Missouri to a 67-64 win over Vanderbilt with 21 points and five assists.
  • Kendall Williams scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds in New Mexico’s 68-56 win at UNLV, avenging a loss to the Runnin’ Rebels last month.
  • Jordair Jett scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures as No. 10 Saint Louis beat George Mason in overtime, 89-85.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 7 Cincinnati 77, UCF 49
  • No. 23 UCLA 86, California 66
  • No. 24 Ohio State 76, Northwestern 60

Indiana lands four-star Class of 2017 wing Justin Smith

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Indiana landed an athletic wing commitment on Monday night as four-star small forward Justin Smith pledged to the Hoosiers on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Smith is a native of Lincolnshire, Illinois and comes from Stevenson High School as he’s regarded as the No. 105 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings.

A high-flying wing who is great in the open floor, Smith should fit the Hoosiers’ uptempo system perfectly and if he’s able to get a more consistent perimeter jumper then he has a chance to be a really nice piece for Indiana.

Smith joins three-star guard Al Durham in Indiana’s recruiting Class of 2017.

Michigan State addingTom Izzo Hall of History wing in remodeled Breslin Center

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has already been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this fall and the longtime Spartans head coach is receiving another unique honor in the remodeled Breslin Center.

The school announced over the weekend that the Tom Izzo Hall of History will be added to the Breslin Center renovations as the building is supposed to be completed by the fall of 2017.

“The Tom Izzo Hall of History will become a great gathering place on our campus where together we can celebrate the excellence of Spartan Basketball and MSU Athletics,” athletic director Mark Hollis said in a release. “When this facility project is complete it will be the finest college basketball facility in the country, so it’s only fitting that Tom’s name will be a permanent part of it.”

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Breslin Center, especially since Izzo and Michigan State basketball will forever be associated with one another. It should be cool for fans to go through it and re-live great moments in Michigan State history and the wing is another nice recruiting tool that can help point out all of Izzo’s biggest accomplishments.

 

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament moving to Orlando amid Zika concerns

Lon Kruger
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
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Amid concerns over the Zika virus, the annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off announced a change in venue on Monday. Rather than staying on the island, the tournament will move to Orlando and all games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

The dates and teams will remain the same for the event as it will be played Thursday, Nov. 17, Friday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 20. The field for the event includes Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier.

“We enjoy the beauty and accommodations that are afforded in Puerto Rico and wanted to make every effort in playing the event in San Juan, but the concern for student-athlete and spectator welfare became the primary driver in the decision,” Pete Derzis, senior vice president of ESPN Events said in the official release.  “We intend to return to Puerto Rico in the future.”

Puerto Rico is currently under a Level 2 alert for Zika according to the CDC. Since there have been cases of Zika on the island with native mosquitoes, it’s probably a smart move to eliminate all concerns over the virus if they can easily move the tournament elsewhere. It probably isn’t ideal for fans who purchased travel packages to Puerto Rico to watch the event, but it’s a small price to pay for the safety of everyone involved.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is also upset with the decision as Executive Director Ingrid Rivera Rocafort released a statement on Monday night.

“We are disappointed about this decision that we believe has been based on fear not the facts about Puerto Rico,” the statement read.

“There is no public health reason to cancel the Puerto Rico Tip Off or any sporting event in Puerto Rico. There is no doubt that our strong fan base and local spectators would have turned out to support their teams. Less than one percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population has contracted Zika, a far cry from projections. The hype and misinformation is fostering irrational decisions.”

PHOTO: Purdue unveils statue of John Wooden outside Mackey Arena

John Wooden (Purdue Athletics)
Purdue Athletics
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John Wooden will forever be associated with the UCLA program for what he did while coaching there.

10 national titles in 12 years, including seven in a row. Not bad, right?

What some people may forget is that before he got into coaching, Wooden was one of the best basketball players in the world. He played his collegiate ball at Purdue, where he was a three-time all-american and the 1932 National Player of the Year.

To honor Wooden’s legacy as one of the greatest Boilermakers ever, Purdue built a statue of Wooden and unveiled it in front of Mackey Arena this weekend:

“Not many people think of Johnny Wooden as a Boilermaker, but when I got here in 1957, some of the old-timers still remembered him as a player,” Jim Hicks, the alumnus that donated the statue, said. “I’m so delighted that people will see this statue and read his Pyramid of Success because I think the pyramid was his most important contribution.”

One of the neat touches of the statue: Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is right there for all to see.

North Carolina lands third commitment in 2017 class

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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North Carolina picked up their third commitment in the Class of 2017 on Monday in big man Brandon Huffman.

A four-star prospect who will play his final season of high school ball at Word of God Academy in North Carolina, Huffman’s strength at this point in his development is as a defensive presence around the basket. He stands 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and should be able to help replace Kennedy Meeks, who graduates this spring.

Huffman’s development on the offensive end of the floor isn’t quite there yet. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Huffman is still learning how to be more influential on that end.

Huffman joins Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek in UNC’s 2017 class.