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Bubble Banter: Houston, California with big chances

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The latest NBC Sports bracketology can be found here. This is where the seeds listed below are from. 

This post will be updated throughout the night.

WINNERS

Middle Tennessee State (RPI: 32, KenPom: 46, No. 10 seed): Somehow the Blue Raiders dug themselves a 19-1 hole against a 6-23 FIU team at home. They also managed to find a way to win that game, meaning that MTSU is not going to have to find a way to explain a loss to a team ranked 343rd in the RPI. That would not have been something the Selection Committee wanted to hear. So this is where we stand with the team that orchestrated arguably the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history last season: They have two top 50 wins (UNC Wilmington and Vanderbilt) and four total top 100 wins. They’re 26-4 on the season and they steam-rolled their way to the outright Conference USA title. They also have three sub-100 losses to their name and, should they lose in the CUSA tournament, they will have a fourth.

To be frank, that’s very similar to the profile that Wichita State had last season, when they were given a spot in a play-in game as an at-large. The difference? The Shockers were ranked in the top 10 in KenPom. MTSU is 46th, which means the bottom-line is simple: Don’t leave this up to the Selection Committee.

LOSERS

Cal (RPI: 51, KenPom: 47, first four out): Cal lost at Utah on Thursday night, meaning that the Golden Bears have now dropped four of their last five games, with the only win in that stretch coming against an abysmal Oregon State team. Cal has just one top 50 win, no top 30 wins and four top 100 wins. They have to be Colorado over the week, and they probably need to win a game over Arizona, UCLA or Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament to truly feel comfortable.

Houston (RPI: 53, KenPom: 39, next four out): The Cougars had a chance to put themselves in the bubble conversation with a win at No. 18 Cincinnati. That didn’t happen.

 

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 Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.