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SEC releases conference schedule: Bruce Pearl returns to Tennessee on January 31

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The SEC released its conference schedule on Friday evening. The entire schedule can be seen here.

During the 2013-2014 season, the spotlight of the SEC was on Florida and Kentucky. Entering this season, the focus won’t shift from the Gators and the Wildcats. Florida and Kentucky, half of last season’s Final Four, won’t meet until Feb. 7 when the Wildcats visit Gainesville. The two teams will clash again a month later on March 7 in Lexington.

The Gators defeated the Wildcats three times last season, en route to a perfect 18-0 record in conference play. Kentucky dropped three of its last four SEC conference contests in the regular season before going on an NCAA tournament run that ended with a loss in the national championship game. Kentucky should open the 2014-2015 season atop the rankings. Florida will likely be in the top 15.

Auburn finished 12th in the SEC last season, but made major news this offseason when the university hired Bruce Pearl as its new head coach. This is Pearl’s return to coaching after a three year absence. He was fired from Tennessee in 2011 after he lied to NCAA investigators. In six seasons with the Volunteers, Pearl won 145 games. He returns to Tennessee, with a fanbase that still adores him, on Saturday, Jan. 31.

Conference play officially begins Jan. 6 with four games scheduled. One of those games pits Arkansas against Georgia. The Razorbacks were on the bubble last season, though, a loss to South Carolina in the second round of the SEC Tournament dashed their tournament hopes. Georgia finished third in the SEC last season. Both teams could be back on the bubble again this season, along with LSU. The Tigers open its conference schedule on Jan. 8 against Missouri, in what will be Kim Anderson’s SEC debut.

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.