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Kennard’s 25 points save No. 18 Duke from an upset at the hands of Clemson

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Luke Kennard scored 25 points and was the only Blue Devil in double-figures as No. 18 Duke survived a scrappy Clemson team, 64-62, in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Devils hit eight first half threes and took a 29-18 lead into the break, but their offense bogged down in the final 20 minutes as the Tigers made a run to make this thing a game.

Grayson Allen and Jayson Tatum combined for just 17 points on 5-for-18 shooting two days after scoring 46 points in Thursday night’s win over No. 8 North Carolina.

Saturday’s performance exposed what may the biggest concern with this Duke team moving forward: they really do not have all that much depth. Frank Jackson scored 10 points in 14 minutes off the bench while Harry Giles III and Marques Bolden spelled Amile Jefferson for a combined 12 minutes, but that is all the time that Duke’s backups played on Saturday. In the second half, every Duke starter played at least 17 minutes, with Tatum and Matt Jones playing all 20 minutes. Jefferson, at 29 minutes, was the only Duke starter that didn’t crack 30 minutes, and Allen, who missed a good chunk of the first half after rolling his ankle, was the only perimeter player that didn’t see at least 36 minutes.

Generally speaking, that wouldn’t be an issue, but with Saturday’s tip-off coming less than 39 hours after Duke closed out their win over the Tar Heels on Thursday, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they were wiped out by the end of the game.

This is an issue for Duke because, as you may know, the NCAA tournament is played in a Thursday-Saturday format as well. Granted, there will be an extra eight hours worth of rest for Duke – teams that play at night in the first round play at night in the second round – but this is going to be something to monitor moving forward.

This problem could be solved by Giles getting healthy or Bolden getting a blue about how to defend at this level, but it doesn’t seem likely that either of those things are going to happen.

It makes you wonder.

The Blue Devils are hurting badly for depth, and they have three McDonald’s All-American big men that aren’t good enough to play at this level.

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.