Malik Newman (Getty Images)

Team effort pushes United States into U17 World Championships final

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After steamrolling China in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U17 World Championships on Thursday, the United States figured to be in for a much tougher battle against Serbia in the semifinals. That proved to be the case, as the Serbians did a good job of controlling tempo and hanging around for the better part of three quarters. However the United States’ depth proved to be too much, resulting in the Americans pulling away to win by the final score of 89-68.

Malik Newman, who along with fellow guard Tyus Battle hit some big shots to help the United States establish separation, led four Americans in double figures with 15 points. Joining him in double figures were big men Diamond Stone (12 points, eight rebounds), Caleb Swanigan (11 points, eight rebounds) and Harry Giles (ten points, 12 rebounds).

Those three bigs and guard Josh Jackson (11 rebounds) led the way on the glass for the United States, which managed to rebound 44 percent of its missed shots on the afternoon. The work on the offensive glass and a 22-point edge in points in the paint (44-22) helped Don Showalter’s team make up for the fact that they were only a plus-4 in fast break points (19-15), a category the Americans had no trouble dominating in previous games against overmatched competition.

Next up for the United States is either Australia, which was the opponent for the U.S. in the last U17 World Championships in 2012, or Spain. Among the players on Australia’s roster is 2016 big man Isaac Humphries, who will attend La Lumiere Prep in Indiana this coming school year.

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)
(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.