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Wisconsin’s non-conference slate doesn’t lack for quality matchups

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With Ben Brust being the lone departure from a team that won 30 games and reached the Final Four last season, the Wisconsin Badgers are one of the teams expected to contend for a national title in 2014-15. Friday afternoon the school released the non-conference schedule for the upcoming season, and it’s safe to say that the Badgers will be tested once they begin Big Ten play when the calendar flips over to 2015.

Among the games in front of Wisconsin is a home game against Duke on December 3 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and that will be their first game following the Battle 4 Atlantis. Wisconsin begins that eight-team event, regarded by many as the premier in-season tournament of the 2014-15 season, with a game against UAB on November 26 and things will only get tougher from there.

Wisconsin will play either Florida or Georgetown on the 27th, with Butler, North Carolina, Oklahoma and UCLA being on the other side of the Battle 4 Atlantis Bracket. The Tar Heels, Sooners and Bruins are all expected to return to the NCAA tournament in 2014-15, and the same can be said of a Florida squad that was the tournament’s top overall seed last year.

Other non-conference games for Wisconsin include road games at Marquette and Cal, and they’ll have two tough home games against Green Bay (which took them to overtime last season) and Boise State.

“Every year it’s our goal to put together a difficult non-conference schedule that will get us ready for Big Ten play,” head coach Bo Ryan said in the release. “Last season we played five teams in the non-con that ended up winning their conference. I think this year’s slate will be another challenging one.”

Wisconsin will play twice within the span of five days in Milwaukee, with their game at Marquette (December 6) preceding a game at Milwaukee on December 10. While Green Bay won the Horizon League’s regular season title in 2013-14 it was Milwaukee that won the conference tournament, earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

With forwards Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky back the Badgers will be regarded as the favorite to win the Big Ten, and under Ryan the program has finished in the top four of the Big Ten standings every year that he’s been in charge (since 2001).

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:

Tulsa rallies to hand No. 16 SMU 1st home loss 82-77

Tulsa guard James Woodard (10) shoots a free throw during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against SMU Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Dallas.  Tulsa won 82-77. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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DALLAS (AP) Shaquille Harrison had 21 points, Pat Birt hit a crucial 3-pointer and scored 12 of his 17 points after halftime and Tulsa rallied from eight points down in the second half to beat No. 16 SMU 82-77 on Wednesday night.

Nic Moore scored 27 to lead the Mustangs (20-3, 9-3 American Athletic). They lost for the first time in 13 home games and dropped to 2-3 since their 18-0 start to a season that won’t include postseason play because of NCAA sanctions.

Moore twice hit 3-pointers to pull SMU within a point in the final minute, but Birt answered the first with a 3 and James Woodard followed the second with two of his six free throws in the final 1:04.

The Golden Hurricane (16-8, 8-4) ended a four-game losing streak against SMU with their eighth win in 10 games since an 0-2 conference start.