The NCAA tournament isn’t the only college hoops postseason event happening this week. Here’s a roundup of the smaller dances:
SMU 80, LSU 67: Nic Moore and Nick Russell both went for 16 points and combined for 10 boards and nine assists and No. 1 seed SMU overcame a ten point first half deficit as the Mustangs knocked off the Tigers, 80-67. They’ll advance to take on No. 2 seed Cal at home on Wednesday. The Tigers, on the other hand, enter a crossroads. They were a disappointment this season, and Monday might have been the last time that this group takes the court together. Johnny O’Bryant, Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin are all going to be draft picks whenever they decide to leave school. Will that be after this season?
Florida State 101, Georgetown 90: Florida State shot 68.2% from the floor and hit 11 threes as they knocked off Georgetown in Tallahassee to advance to the Elite 8 of the NIT. They’ll host Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, with the winner headed to Madison Square Garden for the NIT semifinals. Aaron Thomas led the way with 26 points and Devin Bookert added 21 points and nine assists.
Cal 75, Arkansas 64: Jabari Bird led three players in double figures with 19 points as the Bears jumped out to a 31-8 and never looked back, knocking off Arkansas and advancing to the NIT’s Elite 8. They’ll be paying a visit to Dallas to take on SMU for the right to play in the Garden next week.
CBI Roundup: The semifinals for the CBI are set. On Wednesday, Siena will take on Illinois State to start off the night and Old Dominion will square off with Fresno State in the nightcap.
Siena advanced on a game-winner from Evan Hymes with 3.9 seconds left, knocking off Penn State 54-52. Illinois State advanced thanks to 17 points and nine boards from Daishon Knight as they held Texas A&M to just 34.0% shooting from the floor. Richard Ross had 23 points and 10 boards to lead five players in double figures as Old Dominion knocked off Radford, while Fresno State got 23 points, eight boards and four assists from Tyler Johnson in a win over Princeton.
CIT Roundup: The only CIT game of the night featured Murray State knocking off Omaha in the second round of the event.
Carlton Bragg Jr.’s battery case took an interesting twist Saturday morning.
On Friday afternoon, a 19-year old woman was arrested at the same address that Bragg was arrested. She was charged with suspicion of battery at 4:42 p.m., after Bragg’s appearance in court, and it was filed under the same case number as Bragg’s. The Kansas City Star is reporting that the woman is Bragg’s girlfriend.
According to Douglas County Sheriff’s records, the woman is still in custody.
NBC Sports is not identifying the woman as she has not yet been charged with a crime.
Bragg was charged with battery, a misdemeanor, Friday afternoon after an early morning arrest. He was accused of striking his girlfriend and pushing her down stairs. He has been suspended indefinitely by Kansas head coach Bill Self and will not play in Saturday afternoon’s game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse against Nebraska.
Oklahoma State added an important commitment from one of the best available Class of 2017 guards on Friday as Amauri Hardy pledged to the Cowboys.
The 6-foot-2 Hardy is regarded by some recruiting services as a top-100 player as he gives head coach Brad Underwood a key commitment for Oklahoma State. A quick scoring guard who plays with a lot of energy, Hardy had a solid summer with The Family as the Michigan native offers up some insurance for Oklahoma State at guard.
Since Phil Forte is exhausting his eligibility after this season and sophomore point guard Jawun Evans is having a monster year and could go pro, having Hardy’s commitment is a good backup plan. If Evans does return for his junior season, Hardy can provide valuable backup minutes while also being able to play a bit off the ball alongside Evans.
Hardy joins four-star guard Zach Dawson and three-star forward Latravian Glover in Oklahoma State’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.
Taylor University celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Silent Night Game on Friday night.
The Division III school in Upland, Indiana has one of the best traditions in college sports as Taylor has its fanbase stay completely silent until the team scores its 10th point of the game. Upon scoring the team’s 10th point, the Taylor students go ballistic as they storm the court and temporarily stop the game. Dressing up in all sorts of group costumes, the Taylor students bring out some of the best ideas you’ll see from any college fanbase in the country.
As for the game, Taylor jumped out to a 37-9 lead on Lincoln Christian University and never looked back as they won 99-68. The win moves Taylor’s record to 20-0 all-time in Silent Night games.
Jake Heggeland was the game’s high scorer with 18 points for Taylor while Evan Crowe broke the Taylor silence for the second consecutive year.
Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. was charged today with one count of battery.
According to a press release sent out by the Douglas County district attorney’s office, police received a call around 1 a.m. from a woman who said that “her boyfriend had struck her and pushed her down stairs during an argument.”
The DA also included a note in the statement that, essentially, said the only reason Bragg wasn’t charged with domestic violence – he was initially arrested on suspicion of domestic battery – was due to a technicality. Since the couple is only dating and not married, under Kansas law, the assault does not constitute domestic violence.
Battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.
Bragg, who was still in custody until an appearance in court on Friday afternoon, was held on bond of $500. Bragg plead not guilty.
“We are still trying to gather information,” head coach Bill Self told The Star. “But it is a charge which we take very seriously.”
Bragg is a 6-foot-8 sophomore that lost his spot in the starting lineup earlier this year. He is averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 boards in 16 minutes. No. 3 Kansas hosts Nebraska on Saturday.
Yankuba Sima will transfer out of the St. John’s program, the school announced on Friday.
“I want to thank the coaching staff and the administration for all of their support since I arrived at St. John’s,” said Sima. “I enjoyed my experience at St. John’s, but right now I feel it is best for me to explore options that will be a better fit for me as I work toward my goals.”
“We wish Yankuba the best of luck,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him, but we respect and understand it. He’s a good basketball player and a good person with a bright future ahead.”
Sima started 26 of the 34 games he played with the Johnnies, including eight starts this season. He was averaging 6.0 points and 3.5 boards this year.