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No. 6 Florida State drops second in a row at Syracuse

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Andrew White III had 24 points and John Gillon hadded 21 points and 11 assists as Syracuse picked up a win over No. 6 Florida State on Saturday afternoon in the Carrier Dome.

The Orange also got 14 points, 11 boards and six blocks from Tyler Lydon, who went toe-to-toe with Jonathan Isaac, Florida State’s lottery pick forward.

The Seminoles, like they did in a loss at Georgia Tech on Wednesday night, really struggled with the Syracuse zone, particularly in the first half, where they dug themselves an 18-point halftime hole. Isaac finished with 19 points and 12 boards and Dwayne Bacon chipped in with 19 as well, but neither of them really showed up until the second half; 16 of Isaac’s 19 came after the break.

One of the knocks on this Florida State team has been their point guard play. Do they have a playmaker that can create shots? Is Xavier Rathan-Mayes a guy that can make his teammates better? That issue was evident in the first half, as the Seminoles were stymied against that Syracuse zone. Rathan-Mayes finished with 16 points and five assists, but much of that damage came in the second half, when the Seminoles offense flowed much better.

All in all, the loss isn’t all that bad. Syracuse is a team coming off of a trip to the Final Four that has massively underperformed this season and was playing at home. On paper, it’s not that bad of a loss. It’s not going to drop them a couple seed lines in the NCAA tournament. It hurts their chances of winning the ACC regular season title, but it doesn’t hurt as much of the loss at Georgia Tech did on Wednesday.

If it does anything, it creates a blueprint for how to beat FSU: Zone them up.

Along those same lines, it will be interesting to see where Syracuse goes from here. The Orange have not had a great season, but they do have some really nice pieces on their roster. Is this the first step to a late-season run? The Orange are not in the NCAA tournament picture as it stands, but in a league with as many quality wins available as the ACC has, no one is ever that far out of it.

Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Vandy in NIT Tip-Off

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NEW YORK (AP) — Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in one semifinal of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day at Barclays Center.

Rhode Island and Seton Hall face off in the other semifinal with the winners meeting on Friday, Nov. 24.

This is the third straight year the Tip-Off has been held at Barclays Center. Eventual NCAA champion Villanova won the event in 2015. All games will be televised on ESPNU.

Non-bracketed teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off who will play games at campus sites are: Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.

Miles Bridges explain why he returned to Michigan State

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Miles Bridges changed the landscape of the 2017-18 college basketball season on April 13.

The Michigan State forward spurned the NBA for another year in East Lansing. The decision not only meant that Bridges was a frontrunner for national player of the year, but solidified the Spartans as a national title contender.

But Bridges’ choice to return was still puzzling to many. The 6-foot-7 forward was projected as a lottery pick. Bridges explained his decision to Mike Decourcy of Sporting News in a story published on Thursday.

“He says, ‘You know what, Coach? I want to get better. I don’t want to be in the D-League. I’ve got buddies that are, and I just want to make sure when I go, I’m ready,’ ” Izzo recalled to Sporting News. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Done deal.’ For me, that was a done deal. It was a reasonable, sensible argument.”

Agents, friends, reporters, scouts, acquaintances, fans, strangers and family members — oh and, as we said, coaches — all had one opinion about how Bridges should spend the next year of his life. Miles had another, opposing, viewpoint.

Bridges told Decourcy that support came from his teammates, many of whom were returning to the team as well. Assuming the backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford make a leap forward, as well as incoming freshman Jaren Jackson providing an immediate impact, the Spartans’ title hopes could become a reality.

Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Michigan State. He’s rated as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.