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College Basketball Talk Top 25: Gonzaga moves into the No. 1 spot

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At this point, it doesn’t really make sense to have anyone other than Gonzaga sitting in the top spot in the top 25.

Part of it is because they’ve earned it. We’re sitting here the day after the Super Bowl and Gonzaga has yet to lose a game. Yes, they play in the WCC, but they also played a tough non-conference schedule, one that includes wins over Arizona, the Florida team that just beat Kentucky by 22 points, the Iowa State team that just won at Kansas, the Tennessee team that beat Kentucky and, while I know it doesn’t work this way, they beat Washington who beat the Colorado team that has wins over Xavier and Oregon.

Should I mention that 23-point win over Saint Mary’s or no?

Perhaps the most telling part of Gonzaga’s season is that they’ve yet to throw out an awful performance. Kansas blew a 15-point lead at home on Saturday and lost by 16 at West Virginia. Baylor dug themselves a 19-point hole at home against Kansas State and lost by 21 points at West Virginia. Louisville got smoked by Virginia at home. Wisconsin needed a miracle to avoid losing to Rutgers. Villanova blew a 13-point lead to Marquette.

The list goes on and on and on.

Granted, much of that has to do with the fact that the Zags do play in a weaker league. It’s easier to avoid losing to Pacific and Pepperdine than it is Kansas State and Marquette.

If it was going to happen, Thursday night was the prime candidate, as the Zags faced off with a talented BYU team in a building that holds 19,000 fans. And every time BYU made a run, Nigel Williams-Goss, who finished with 33 points, had an answer. That was the other concern about Gonzaga, by the way. Do they have a go-to guy? Do they have a player that can end a run or take over at the end of a game?

The answer seems to be yes.

So while it’s hardly going to be a consensus that Gonzaga is the best team in the country – hell, I’m not even sure that I can buy that – at this point there really is no reason to have them ranked anywhere other than No. 1.

They have just as much right to that spot as anyone.

Onto the rankings …

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1. Gonzaga (24-0, Last Week: No. 2)
2. Villanova (22-2, 3)
3. Kansas (20-3, 1)
4. Louisville (19-4, 5)
5. Baylor (20-3, 4)
6. Oregon (21-3, 12)
7. North Carolina (21-4, 7)
8. Wisconsin (21-3, 10)
9. Arizona (21-3, 6)
10. UCLA (21-3, 11)
11. West Virginia (18-5, 8)
12. Kentucky (18-5, 9)
13. Virginia (17-5, 13)
14. Florida State (20-4, 14)
15. Cincinnati (21-2, 15)
16. Purdue (19-5, 16)
17. Duke (18-5, 17)
18. Saint Mary’s (21-2, 19)
19. South Carolina (19-4, 20)
20. Florida (18-5, 23)
21. Maryland (20-3, 21)
22. SMU (20-4, 25)
23. Notre Dame (17-7, 18)
24. Iowa State (14-8, NR)
t25. Butler, Creighton and Xavier

DROPPED OUT: No. 24 Northwestern
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 24 Iowa State

Buffalo sophomore arrested, charged with strangulation, witness intimidation

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Buffalo sophomore Quate McKinzie is facing a litany of charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attempted to strangle a female acquaintance.

McKinzie, who is 20 years old, was later handed more charges after he made threatening phone calls to his accuser from jail.
From the Buffalo News:

The original charges placed against the UB sophomore were second-degree strangulation, a D-felony; misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, menacing, harassment; and stealing the victim’s vehicle.

The latest charges are third-degree witness intimidation and first-degree criminal contempt, both E-felonies; and two misdemeanors, aggravated harassment and disobeying a court mandate, according to Tonawanda Police Patrol Capt. Fredric Foels.

“University Athletics is aware of the alleged incident and is in communication with university and local authorities,” Buffalo released in a statement. “Quate McKinzie is currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo and is suspended indefinitely from the university’s basketball team. Due to the ongoing investigation and federal protections on student information, we will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

McKinzie is a 6-foot-8, 195 pound forward that played in 17 games last season. He averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 boards.

Auburn’s Austin Wiley suffers stress fracture

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Auburn center Austin Wiley has a stress fracture in his left leg and will be out 4-6 weeks, the school announced Monday.

No surgery is required, but Wiley, who played with Team USA’s U19 team in Egypt earlier this month, will miss Auburn’s trip to Italy.

“You know how tough and committed a young man is when he plays through the pain of a stress fracture,” said Pearl. “He was receiving treatment while in Egypt, but had no way of knowing the extent of his injury. Doctors say it is in a good spot for healing, and he will be fine.”

Wiley averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.1 minutes this past season. He started 21 of the Tigers’ 22 games after he enrolled in school midseason.

Virginia Tech loses key shooter to torn ACL

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Virginia Tech suffered a brutal blow earlier this month when Ty Outlaw went down with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Outlaw is one of the best shooters on Virginia Tech’s roster, banging home 48 percent of his three-balls last season, and he was expected to be a major part of the rotation following a season where he scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games, including four games of better than 16 points in that stretch.

This is a blow to Virginia Tech’s depth, but it is also a tough break for Outlaw, who transferred to Virginia Tech from a Junior College and had to sit out the 2015-16 season due to a heart issue. The redshirt senior will likely be eligible to receive a medical redshirt should he decide to apply for one.

Report: Miller brothers schedule Indiana-Arizona series

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The Miller family does not appear to be worried about sibling rivalry.

According to a report from FanRag Sports, Archie, the head coach at Indiana, and Sean, the head coach at Arizona, have agreed to a three-year deal to have the two programs face-off against each other. They’ll start in 2019-20, playing in Arizona, then face-off in Bloomington the following season before finally heading up to Madison Square Garden in 2021-22.

If you can get past the fact that we are now scheduling games for 2022 (!!!), this is actually going to be a pretty neat and unique thing. How often do two brothers end up coaching at the Division I level? The Drew brothers — Bryce at Vanderbilt and Scott at Baylor — are one pair, but they cancelled a series that would have seen the two programs square off last season. James and Joe Jones at Yale and Boston University are another pair. They were league rivals for eight yeas when Joe was the head coach at Columbia. When Sean Sutton was the head coach at Oklahoma State, his brother, Scott, beat them was the head coach at Oral Roberts.

So it’s not typical for this to happen, mainly because it’s not easy to compete at something so important against someone you care about so much.

Think about it.

Imagine working in a profession where your success comes at the expense of your brother? It’s one of the major reasons — beyond the obvious — that no one believed Sean Miller would actually consider taking the Ohio State job when it opened. Facing off against your brother in a non-conference game you choose to play is one thing. Competing for league titles against him for the foreseeable future is something totally different.

Which is a long way of saying that this should be an enticing matchup, however it plays out.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)