Bruce Pearl

Auburn, Oklahoma State among teams in November’s MGM Grand Main Event

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The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will be hosting two in-season tournaments during the 2014-15 season, with BD Global announcing six of the eight teams that will participate in the MGM Grand Main Event in late November. The four teams in the main bracket, who will meet in the semifinals on November 24, are Auburn, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Tulsa.

The championship and third place games will be played on November 26.

Each of those four teams will play two home games prior to their two games in Las Vegas, with Louisiana and Milwaukee being the two “travel” teams known at this point in time. The other two “travel” teams will be announced at a later date, and of the four “host” programs only Auburn knows its two pre-Las Vegas match-ups.

The Tigers, now led by head coach Bruce Pearl, will host Milwaukee on November 14 and Louisiana on November 21.

Of the four host schools two, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, reached the NCAA tournament last season and both Milwaukee and Louisiana were members of the 68-team field as well. And of the four programs three will have new head coaches, with Oregon State (Wayne Tinkle) and Tulsa (Frank Haith) joining Auburn as teams playing for leaders who were not in charge a season ago.

This is the first of two in-season events to be played at the MGM Grand Garden Arena next season, with the second annual MGM Grand Showcase scheduled for December 20. Oklahoma vs. Washington and UNLV vs. Utah are the two match-ups in that one-day event.

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: