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Vanderbilt’s win over No. 12 Florida makes them a fascinating bubble case-study

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And suddenly, Vanderbilt is the most interesting bubble team in college basketball.

In a must-win game at home against No. 12 Florida, the Commodores erased a late 12-point deficit with a 14-0 run, surviving four missed free throws in the final minute to knock off the Gators, 73-71, and complete the season sweep.

With the win, Vanderbilt is now 17-14 on the season and 10-8 in the SEC, which doesn’t sound like a résumé that is good enough to be in the NCAA tournament until you look at it a bit deeper. Vandy now have five top 30 wins on the season — two of which came on the road — including two top five wins, both over Florida. They have a total of 10 top 100 wins and just one of their losses is what you can call a bad loss; they lost by 20 points at Missouri.

What the committee does with Vandy is going to be fascinating. On the one hand, the Commodores are good. They had Kentucky beaten on the road before giving that game back. They swept Florida, who is a top ten team in every metric. They beat South Carolina. They beat Iowa State. They won at Arkansas. Their record ins’t flattering, but they played the second-toughest schedule in the country, including the No. 2 ranked non-conference schedule. That’s a factor.

They also lost eight times in an SEC that isn’t all that good, including a 20 point loss to an awful Missouri team.

But here is the more distressing part: Vanderbilt has 14 losses. Assuming they need an at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament, they’ll have 15 losses on Selection Sunday. There has never been an at-large team put into the field with 15 losses to their name.

Vanderbilt is going to be the team that tells us a lot about what the Selection Committee valued this year. If they get in, then a strong schedule combined with a couple of great wins and a number of good wins is more important than an impressive record devoid of losses. In other words, Vandy is the anti-Wichita State.

The bottom-line is this: Vanderbilt is right there on the but line. They are going to be one of those dozen or so teams whose at-large candidacy will be determined by just how far they get in their league tournament.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.