AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Caupain’s late jumper lifts No. 14 Cincinnati past Tulsa

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Troy Caupain hit a 16-foot jumper with 4.4 seconds left to lift No. 14 Cincinnati to a 59-57 victory over Tulsa on Wednesday night.

Caupain scored on a three-point play with 39 seconds remaining to pull the Bearcats to a 55-all tie after trailing by 11 points with about 6 minutes to go in the second half. Tulsa’s Pat Birt then had his entry pass stolen and Caupain pulled up for the game-winner.

Caupain finished with 15 points for the Bearcats (20-2, 9-0 American Athletic Conference). Kyle Washington and Jacob Evans scored 10 each, and Gary Clark added nine points and 11 rebounds.

Jaleel Wheeler scored 13 points to lead Tulsa (12-9, 6-3). Junior Etou and Martins Igbanu had 10 each and T.K. Edogi added eight points and 13 rebounds.

Tulsa led 55-52 and had one of its top free throw shooters at the line in Sterling Taplin, but he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:19 left.

The Golden Hurricane led the vast majority of the game before collapsing with uncertain offense, bad shots and several of its 16 turnovers in the final minutes.

Trailing 36-32 early in the second half, Tulsa went on a 20-5 run to lead 52-41 with 6:01 left. Washington stopped the run with two free throws and a basket. Evans hit a jumper in traffic and a 3-pointer to pull the Bearcats to 54-50 with 2:47 left.

Tulsa jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first four minutes and led 19-12 after a vicious dunk by Edogi, following which he was called for a technical for taunting. Wheeler blocked a 3-pointer by Kevin Johnson and drove for a layup to give Tulsa a 25-16 edge with 6:29 left.

Caupain made two 3s to fuel a 12-0 Bearcat run that gave Cincinnati its first lead at 28-27 and the teams were knotted at 30 at the half. The Bearcats made four fewer field goals but made 12 of 16 free throws to 6 of 9 for Tulsa.

Tulsa finished with a 38-28 edge in rebounding and outshot the nation’s second-ranked field-goal percentage defense team 40 percent to 35.3 percent.

BIG PICTURE

As much as Cincinnati pulled a rabbit out of its hat over the final two minutes, it was a heartbreaking setback for Tulsa, which didn’t score in the final 1:19 and saw its chances for getting into the AAC race take a huge setback.

UP NEXT

Cincinnati looks to extend its 21-game home winning streak Saturday against UConn.

Tulsa concludes a three-game home stand against second-place SMU on Saturday.

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.