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Introducing Cinderella: The Vermont Catamounts are headed to the NCAA tournament

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Conference: American East

Coach: John Becker

Record: 29-5 (16-0 1st)

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 60
RPI: 49
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: The Catamounts have won 21-straight game, but are likely headed for something around a 13-seed.

Names you need to know: Vermont gets it done with a balanced approach, with five players averaging at least eight points and none more than 12.6. Anthony Lamb (12.6), Payton Hansen (11.2) and Trae Bell-Haynes (11.2) are the leading scorers with Lamb and Hansen also the team’s top rebounders.

Stats you need to know: Vermont almost doesn’t miss near the basket. The Catamounts are eighth in the country in 2-point shooting percentage at 56.3 percent. They do it with a methodical offense that ranks 311th in tempo, per KenPom.

Big wins, bad losses: They knocked off American East third-place team Albany three times and second-place Stony Brook twice to go undefeated in conference play and clear the league by four games. A home lost to Northeastern is the only blemish on the resume.

How’d they get here?: Only five games of Vermont’s 21-game winning streak have been decided by single digits. In the American East tournament, the Catamounts blasted Maine by 45 and New Hampshire by 33 before outlasting the Great Danes, 56-53, in the title game.

Outlook: Vermont hasn’t been tested much during its conference season, but the Catamounts’ dominance can’t be totally overlooked. Their lack of 3-point shooting means they’ll need their defense to come up big when matched up with a superior team – they can’t count on a hot shooting night propelling them to an upset. They’ll have to do it by locking down and being efficient on offense.

How do I know you?: The Catamounts’ lone NCAA tournament victory came in 2005 when they knocked off fourth-seeded Syracuse in overtime.

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

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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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.