No. 23 Iowa St trounces TCU 84-63 to reach Big 12 title game

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Deonte Burton scored 22 points, Monte Morris had 15 and No. 23 Iowa State routed TCU 84-63 on Friday night to reach its third Big 12 Tournament title game in the past four seasons.

The fourth-seeded Cyclones (22-10) clearly weren’t impressed – or intimidated – by the Horned Frogs’ victory against top-ranked Kansas in the quarterfinals. Iowa State used two big first-half runs to assume control, and then stretched its advantage to 26 points midway through the second.

That gave coach Steve Prohm’s group, which has won eight of its last nine, plenty of time to rest for Saturday night’s title game against No. 11 West Virginia or Kansas State.

Vladimir Brodziansky and Jaylen Fisher had 10 points apiece for the No. 8 seed Horned Frogs (19-15), but nobody seemed to have much pep in their step after their heart-stopping win over the Jayhawks.

The great irony of the 85-82 upset is it turned TCU’s semifinal into a road game.

Thousands of Iowa State fans hopped on I-35 and headed south when the Cyclones beat Oklahoma State and the Jayhawks were eliminated, snapping up extra tickets from despondent Kansas fans.

The result? TCU might as well have been playing at Hilton Coliseum.

Early on, the Horned Frogs matched the Cyclones basket-for-basket, trying their best to take the crowd out of the game. They even led in the opening minutes, before Iowa State started to pull away.

Burton got things going with his versatile inside-outside scoring ability, and Morris began to build on his near-triple-double in Thursday’s win over the Cowboys. And by the time they spearheaded runs of 10-0 and 10-2, they had given the Cyclones a comfortable lead.

Burton capped his big first half with a nifty wraparound pass to Solomon Young, whose easy lay-in at the buzzer gave the 2014 and ’15 tournament champs a 44-27 halftime advantage.

Burton added three more baskets out of the locker room, his second 3-pointer of the game pushing the lead past 20, as Iowa State fans began to rise from their seats whenever he touched the ball.

The Horned Frogs’ heavy legs began to show by that point, the toll of an opening-round win over Oklahoma and their upset of Kansas leaving them weary by their third game in three days.

Iowa State merely had to coast down the stretch into the tournament title game.

BIG PICTURE

TCU’s win over Kansas got it into NCAA Tournament discussion, but it probably wasn’t enough to overcome seven straight losses to close the regular season. The Horned Frogs last made the field in 1998 and last won a game there in 1987, when coach Jamie Dixon was a player.

Iowa State has turned the Big 12 Tournament into a personal party, going 9-2 over the past four seasons. That includes former coach Fred Hoiberg’s last two seasons and Prohm’s first two.

UP NEXT

TCU waits to see what postseason tournament invitation rolls its way.

Iowa State gets ready for Saturday night’s title game.

More college basketball coverage: http://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.