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Missouri Valley invites Valparaiso to replace Wichita State

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The Missouri Valley Conference announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Presidents Council had unanimously voted to extend a membership invitation to Valparaiso.

Valpo has not yet announced whether they will be accepting the invitation, but the decision had reportedly been down to Murray State and Valparaiso, and Murray State announced earlier on Tuesday that they had not been accepted as a member of the MVC. According to a report from Paul Oren of the Northwest Indiana Times, Valpo’s beat writer, the Horizon League believes that Valpo will be headed out of the conference.

The Crusaders would be replacing Wichita State in the Valley. The Shockers, earlier this spring, accepted an invitation into the American Athletic Conference.

The Valley is expected to remain at just ten teams, according to a report from CBS Sports. There was speculation that the conference could expand to 11 or 12 teams, but that would seem to make it more difficult to reach the NCAA tournament, particularly if the second team to be added was a basketball program as strong as Murray State’s.

Valpo has a long and storied basketball tradition and is one of the better mid-major programs in the midwest. They’re reached the NCAA tournament twice in the last five years and won five of the last six Horizon League regular season titles. The Crusaders will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode, however, as Alec Peters, arguably the best player in the history of the program, graduates this spring, a year after Bryce Drew, a former Valpo star, left the program to take over at Vanderbilt.

But as good as Valpo has been, it does not replace the loss of Wichita State, and they still are struggling to deal with the weight of losing Creighton to the Big East. The Valley is going to need a program like Northern Iowa or Illinois State to step up into that void.

As far as the Horizon League is concerned, that conference has also been mined for the best basketball programs. Remember, Butler, when they reached back-to-back national title games under Brad Stevens, did so as a member of the Horizon.

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.