Report: There’s ‘a chance’ Georgetown will play Maryland

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The Gavitt Tipoff Games became official in the spring when the Big Ten and the Big East announced that they would be holding this annual eight-game series between the two conferences.

The way it works is simple: during the first full week of college basketball’s regular season, there will be two games a night for four nights — Tuesday through Friday — that pit a Big East program against a Big Ten team. It will be done to honor Dave Gavitt, one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Big East back in the late 1970s. Gavitt passed away in 2011.

It’s a really good idea for an event if for no reason other than the fact that we always need more quality early season matchups. But the kicker here is that some of the potential matchups that we are looking at simply ooze intrigue, none more than the chance to get Georgetown and Maryland onto the same court at the same time. According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, there is, as he terms is, “a chance” that those two will meet during the event, which is a big deal.

Let me explain: the Hoyas and the Terps have played just once since 1994, when they locked horns in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2008. The cause for that dispute stems back to the aftermath of the last game these two teams played in the DMV. John Feinstein explains:

The teams did meet at what was then USAir Arena in November 1993 and Maryland, back on the rise under [former Coach Gary Williams], won a wonderful game in overtime. There was supposed to be a return game but [former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.] refused to schedule it, claiming Maryland wouldn’t give his school enough tickets and he had voluntarily given up control of the tickets to the ’93 game to promoter Russ Potts.

The feud runs deeper than that, however. Back in 2012, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said that the Terps and the Hoyas would not play in any sport until the basketball rivalry gets renewed. For what it’s worth, borth schools have top ten soccer programs and will play September 30th.

A record $439 million was bet on basketball in March in Las Vegas

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The month of March was quite friendly to Las Vegas.

According to ESPN, more money was bet on basketball during the month of March than in any month in the state’s regulated sports betting history.

And while the numbers produced by Las Vegas books don’t separate college and professional basketball betting, the money coming in on college hoops is pretty clear: $439 million was bet on basketball in March, more than double the $213 million bet on the sport in February.

It was profitable, too.

Those Vegas books kept more than $40 million dollars of the money that was gambled on basketball, which shattered the previous record of roughly $28 million in winnings.

Gonzaga lands their first post-Final Four commitment

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Gonzaga capitalized on their run to the national title game by landing a commitment from French point guard Joel Ayayi, who announced the news on twitter.

Ayayi is an interesting long-term prospect, according to Draft Express. He has the size and the frame to eventually be a significant contributor in the college game, but he’s raw. His handle needs work, as does his ability to create off the dribble and find teammates off of the bounce.

That said, he’s 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan and the ability to shoot it from the perimeter, and if Gonzaga can do anything, it’s develop players that enter their program.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson, top three prospect in 2018, breaks defender’s ankles

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Zion Williamson, one of the most sought-after recruits in college basketball, had himself a highlight-worthy moment at the Adidas Gauntlet event in Dallas over the weekend, breaking a defender’s ankles before hitting a three.

Illinois lands important commitment from four-star Class of 2017 guard Mark Smith

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Illinois landed a very important Class of 2017 commitment on Wednesday as guard Mark Smith pledged to the Illini.

The 6-foot-4 Smith was previously a Missouri commit for baseball, but some issues with his arm caused him to look back into basketball last summer. A native of Edwardsville, in the St. Louis metro area, Smith came out of nowhere to win the Illinois Mr. Basketball award as a senior this season as he averaged 21.9 points, 8.4 assists and 8.2 rebounds while becoming a consensus national top-100 prospect.

Rivals rates Smith as the No. 52 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 as he could come in and earn immediate minutes at Illinois next season at either guard spot.

This is a very important commitment for head coach Brad Underwood and the Illini as the new head coach was able to hold off some elite programs like Kentucky and Michigan State for Smith’s services.

Northwestern gets commitment from Boston College transfer A.J. Turner

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Northwestern landed a transfer on Wednesday as former Boston College wing A.J. Turner pledged to the Wildcats, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The 6-foot-7 Turner just finished his sophomore season with the Golden Eagles as he averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. A well-rounded wing who also shot 37 percent from three-point range, Turner will have to sit out one season due to NCAA transfer regulations before getting two more years of eligibility.

With Scottie Lindsay and Vic Law only having limited time left in Evanston, Turner provides a bit of insurance on the wing for the Wildcats for the future as he’s a proven rotation player coming from the ACC.