UConn learns about Duke’s loss in press conference on Friday

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When you’re taking part in March Madness, often times it’s difficult to keep track of what is going on at the other sites around the country. When it’s your off day, you’re meeting with the media, running through shootarounds and taking part in practices while teams are being eliminated.

Case in point: UConn.

At their media availability on Friday afternoon, UConn players Shabazz Napier and Niels Giffey were asked a question about some of the higher-ranked teams across the country that have struggled this season. The reporter that asked the question casually mentioned that Duke had lost to Mercer earlier in the day.

Neither Napier or Giffey were aware of that fact.

And their reaction was great:

Question: “Shabazz, I know you’re a fan of the tournament. Just what are your thoughts, you general impressions so far as the first few days of this tournament? Louisville struggled, Duke lost. What are your thoughts as a fan of this?”

Niels Giffey: “Duke lost?”

Shabazz Napier: “Duke lost?”

Moderator: “Duke lost, yeah. To Mercer.”

SN: “Oh, wow!”

Mod: “I like your focus, you haven’t been paying attention.

NG: “No, I haven’t.”

SN: “Wow! That’s just how the tournament is. Just on any given day, Duke can lose. Louisville could have lost. Who did they play? Mercer?”

Mod: “Mercer.”

SN: “That’s a good team. Any given day, it doesn’t matter. All it takes is a good 40-minute game from one team, and you’re on to the next level. That’s why it’s called March Madness. So much madness in this tournament. You’ve got to take the best of your opportunities. Some teams don’t take the best of their opportunities that they seed, I’m a 2 seed, I’m a 1 seed and it’s a 16 seed, we’re going to blow by them.

No.

Thoughout the whole season, you’ve seen teams losing to, you know, less than power conference teams. It’s just part of basketball. The only thing that sums it up is, what it’s called? It’s called March Madness for a reason.”

NG: “That was great.”

Yes it was, Shabazz. Yes it was.

(h/t Josh Verlin)

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?