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Brooks helps No. 13 Oregon hold off Arizona State 71-70

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Losing two games in a row wasn’t an acceptable option for Dillon Brooks.

Coming off a loss at Colorado, he knew the margin of error for defending Pac-12 champion Oregon was too slim to slip up again.

Brooks scored 27 points, including the last 12 of the game for the 13th-ranked Ducks, as Oregon escaped with a 71-70 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night.

“I really wanted to pull out that win,” Brooks said. “I knew we couldn’t lose this game.”

Brooks hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:32 to play for the Ducks (20-3, 9-1), who trailed 60-59 before their preseason All-America took over in the final 3 minutes.

“The second half our ball movement was better and then we relied on Dillon,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “He made some big-time offensive plays. He was really good late there.

“He likes being in that situation, which is a big part of it.”

Jordan Bell had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Ducks, who outrebounded the Sun Devils 40-30. Oregon made 7 of 13 from 3-point range in the second half.

Shannon Evans II led Arizona State (10-13, 3-7) with 28 points and Tra Holder had 17.

The Sun Devils had possession trailing 71-68 with 18 seconds left, but the best they could get was a rebound basket by Torian Graham. Oregon ran out the final 2.9 seconds for the win.

Brooks, who had 21 points in the second half, said a short bank shot over Graham that put the Ducks ahead 49-41 was the key to his hot finish. He was 9 of 14 overall and 3 of 5 from 3-point range with six rebounds and four assists.

“I’ve seen him take over games like that,” Bell said. “I told him to just keep being aggressive and just keep cooking. I knew No. 4 (Graham) couldn’t guard him, so just keep going.”

Despite a decided height advantage, Oregon struggled to find any rhythm against Arizona State’s four-guard lineup. The Ducks were just 1 of 10 from 3-point range in the first half and trailed 28-25.

It was the fewest points Oregon had scored in a first half since early season losses to Baylor and Georgetown.

The Ducks have less than a 48-hour turnaround before hosting Pac-12 leader Arizona and Allonzo Trier on Saturday.

“He definitely gives them another bullet, another weapon,” Altman said. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us.

“We’ll hope we’re ready to go at 1 o’clock.”

BIG PICTURE

Arizona State dropped to 0-6 against ranked teams this season and is 1-5 in Pac-12 road games

Oregon’s invincibility at home, where it has won 39 games in a row, will be tested by Arizona. The Ducks have five road games in their last seven to finish the regular season.

Losing two games in a row wasn’t an acceptable option for Dillon Brooks.

Coming off a loss at Colorado, he knew the margin of error for defending Pac-12 champion Oregon was too slim to slip up again.

Brooks scored 27 points, including the last 12 of the game for the 13th-ranked Ducks, as Oregon escaped with a 71-70 victory over Arizona State on Thursday night.

“I really wanted to pull out that win,” Brooks said. “I knew we couldn’t lose this game.”

Brooks hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:32 to play for the Ducks (20-3, 9-1), who trailed 60-59 before their preseason All-America took over in the final 3 minutes.

“The second half our ball movement was better and then we relied on Dillon,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “He made some big-time offensive plays. He was really good late there.

“He likes being in that situation, which is a big part of it.”

Jordan Bell had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Ducks, who outrebounded the Sun Devils 40-30. Oregon made 7 of 13 from 3-point range in the second half.

Shannon Evans II led Arizona State (10-13, 3-7) with 28 points and Tra Holder had 17.

The Sun Devils had possession trailing 71-68 with 18 seconds left, but the best they could get was a rebound basket by Torian Graham. Oregon ran out the final 2.9 seconds for the win.

Brooks, who had 21 points in the second half, said a short bank shot over Graham that put the Ducks ahead 49-41 was the key to his hot finish. He was 9 of 14 overall and 3 of 5 from 3-point range with six rebounds and four assists.

“I’ve seen him take over games like that,” Bell said. “I told him to just keep being aggressive and just keep cooking. I knew No. 4 (Graham) couldn’t guard him, so just keep going.”

Despite a decided height advantage, Oregon struggled to find any rhythm against Arizona State’s four-guard lineup. The Ducks were just 1 of 10 from 3-point range in the first half and trailed 28-25.

It was the fewest points Oregon had scored in a first half since early season losses to Baylor and Georgetown.

The Ducks have less than a 48-hour turnaround before hosting Pac-12 leader Arizona and Allonzo Trier on Saturday.

“He definitely gives them another bullet, another weapon,” Altman said. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us.

“We’ll hope we’re ready to go at 1 o’clock.”

BIG PICTURE

Arizona State dropped to 0-6 against ranked teams this season and is 1-5 in Pac-12 road games

Oregon’s invincibility at home, where it has won 39 games in a row, will be tested by Arizona. The Ducks have five road games in their last seven to finish the regular season.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

After escaping Arizona State’s upset bid, Oregon could move into the top 10 for the third time this season with a victory over No. 5 Arizona.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: Oregon is 20-3 for the first time since the 1937-38 season. The last time the Ducks started conference play 9-1, they went on to win the 1939 national championship.

HE SAID IT: No. 5 Arizona will bring a 15-game winning streak to Eugene on Saturday for what will be Oregon’s fifth sellout crowd of the season. The Wildcats have yet to lose a road game.

“We’re going to play with a chip on our shoulder because we’re going to be the underdog,” Brooks said. “We just have to play hard.”

UP NEXT

Arizona State goes for its 13th win in its last 16 games against Oregon State on Saturday in Corvallis.

Oregon plays its third ranked opponent of the season when it hosts No. 5 Arizona on Saturday. The Ducks swept UCLA and Southern California when both were in the Top 25 in late December.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

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.