VIDEO: Josh Okogie’s buzzer-beating layup lifts Georgia Tech over No. 14 Notre Dame

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Freshman Josh Okogie made the game-winning layup at the buzzer as Georgia Tech stunned another ranked ACC opponent with a 62-60 home win over No. 14 Notre Dame on Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets (13-8, 5-4) have now picked off North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame at home during ACC play as they’ve become a legitimate NCAA tournament contender in head coach Josh Pastner’s first season.

Okogie struggled to find his rhythm offensively and only finished with eight points, but he came through when Georgia Tech needed him the most as the Yellow Jackets continue to be a really tough out at home.

Georgia Tech was led by 25 points from guard Tadric Jackson while junior big man Ben Lammers added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame (17-5, 6-3) had a strong game from senior V.J. Beachem as he paced the Irish with 25 points — hitting multiple clutch three-pointers to help put Notre Dame back in the game. The Irish also had solid outings from Bonzie Colson (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Matt Farrell (15 points) but the rest of the team struggled to a 2-for-17 performance from the field.

This win will certainly put Georgia Tech in the NCAA tournament conversation now that they’ve earned three quality wins over ranked opponents in ACC play. There is still work to be done for the Yellow Jackets to make the big dance, but Pastner has to be considered the runaway ACC Coach of the Year and a major candidate to be national Coach of the Year.

Three Takeaways from Georgia Tech’s blowout win over No. 6 Florida State

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Georgia Tech pulled off another upset in the ACC on Wednesday night as they jumped out to a huge first-half lead and never looked back in a 78-56 win over No. 6 Florida State.

1. Georgia Tech shouldn’t be taken lightly

Before this season began new head coach Josh Pastner made some statements about how the Yellow Jackets didn’t have a lot to be ready for the ACC this season. Something like that was to be expected. Georgia Tech (12-8, 4-4) is supposed to be rebuilding right now and a lot of their pieces are young.

Except Georgia Tech has accelerated its rebuild by showcasing some really talented young players who are proving to be capable ACC players.

Freshman Josh Okogie has been one of the best freshmen in college basketball in terms of production and he backed that up with 35 points, 13 rebounds and five assists on Wednesday. Nobody has put up numbers like that in an ACC game since 2009. Junior Ben Lammers (18 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks) has improved a ton since last season as he’s now one of the nation’s shot blockers.

Of the four double-figure scorers on the Yellow Jackets only Quinton Stephens (13 points) is a senior while Tadric Jackson is only a junior.

With ACC wins over North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson and Florida State, that is a pretty solid group of wins so far as Georgia Tech sits as the surprising .500 team in the loaded ACC.

2. Florida State’s defense was disappointing 

The Seminoles (18-3, 6-2) losing on the road in the ACC wasn’t the disappointing part of Wednesday. It was how poorly Florida State played coming off of back-to-back ranked wins over Notre Dame and Louisville.

Off-nights on the offensive end are bound to happen — and that was certainly the case for Florida State on Wednesday night. Dwayne Bacon (12 points, 4-for-15) had a rough shooting night and freshman Jonathan Isaac (six points, 3-for-10 shooting) slowed down a bit after a hot recent stretch. Florida State only shot 28 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range. Some nights, the jumper just isn’t going to go.

But Florida State’s defense didn’t show up in a game where they could have stayed in it had they gotten stops. Georgia Tech jumped out to the huge early lead and ended up piling 41 points on the Seminoles in the first half.

3. Florida State needs to bounce back quickly on the road

The next two games for Florida State also come on the road as they still have to play at Syracuse and Miami during this three-game swing. Losing this badly to Georgia Tech to start this three-game trip as the co-leader of the ACC is not a good look for Florida State, especially when teams like Duke and Notre Dame lost on Tuesday night.

Florida State still only has one road win this season, and that win came at Virginia so it was really good, but it also points to the Seminoles being inconsistent away from home. These next two games are going to be more chances for Florida State to prove that they can win on the road and be a factor in the ACC conference race.

Five-star 2017 power forward trims list to eight

AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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One of the top prospects in the Class of 2017 announced on Monday that he’s trimmed his list down to eight schools. 6-foot-10 power forward Wendell Carter Jr., a native of Atlanta, revealed his final list Monday afternoon on Twitter with some of the nation’s best programs making the cut.

The final eight schools in the running for Carter’s commitment are Arizona, California, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The power forward position in the Class of 2017 is loaded, with Carter joining the likes of DeAndre Ayton and Mohamed Bamba at the head of the class. Seeing perennial powers on Carter’s list comes as no surprise given his skill level, with both in-state power conference programs still in the mix as well. The inclusion of Harvard may surprise some, but Carter’s performance in the classroom has opened that door for him should he choose to go that route.

Something else to keep in mind when it comes to Carter’s recruitment: how guard Gary Trent Jr. approaches his recruitment. It’s been reported in the past that the two friends are hoping to attend the same school. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, as recruiting tends to be a fluid situation, but it is something to consider as Carter, Trent and the rest of this class makes its decisions as to where they’ll attend college.

VIDEOS: University of Mary’s Devan Douglas wins college dunk contest
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Thursday night the annual State Farm College Slam and 3-Point Championships were held in Cypress, Texas, with the event serving as a “kickoff” event of sorts to Final Four weekend. The winner of the slam dunk contest came from the Division II ranks, as University of Mary’s Devan Douglas took home the championship belt.

With his first dunk Douglas jumped over IPFW’s Max Landis and threw down a two-handed dunk. Douglas proved to be the most consistent dunker on the night, and there were times when it appeared as if he would hit his head on the rim.

UNLV’s Ike Nwamu finished second in the dunk contest, with two of his better dunks being his opening round between the legs dunk and a Vince Carter-inspired windmill in which he finished with his arm inside of the rim.

The best missed dunk came courtesy of Mississippi State’s Craig Sword, who attempted to jump over the Denny’s pancake mascot. Sword was unsuccessful on three attempts, with the pancake looking better equipped to take a charge than serve as a prop.

And his heels were inside the restricted area, so it would have been a block if we’re being completely serious about this.

The men’s and women’s three-point contests were also held Thursday night, with Georgia Tech’s Adam Smith and Minnesota’s Rachel Banham winning the respective titles. And in the matchup of champions that followed, Banham edged out Smith to take home a second trophy on the night.

Georgia Tech parts ways with head coach Brian Gregory

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia Tech has parted ways with head coach Brian Gregory, the school announced on Friday afternoon.

Gregory coached the Yellow Jackets for five seasons and finished with an overall record of 76-86, including a 27-61 record in the ACC.

Georgia Tech director of athletics Mike Bobinski released a statement about Gregory’s dismissal on Friday.

“This was a difficult decision because of the character and integrity that Brian has demonstrated throughout his time at Georgia Tech. I have great respect for Brian as a person and for the effort he’s put forth on our behalf. He and the student-athletes under his direction have represented Georgia Tech in a first-rate manner and we’re greatly appreciative of the improvements he’s overseen in our program’s academic performance,” said Bobinski in the statement. “However, as we look to the future, we believe a change in leadership is needed for our program to achieve higher and sustained levels of competitive success.”

Before Gregory was at Georgia Tech, he had a successful stint at Dayton, where he was the head coach for eight seasons. But the Yellow Jackets struggled to find success under Gregory as they only made one postseason appearance in five seasons when they made the NIT quarterfinals this season.

In 13 seasons as a Division I head coach, Gregory owns a 248-180 career record with two NCAA tournament appearances.

With the Georgia Tech job opening up, that now makes two positions to fill in the ACC as Pitt is still searching for a new head coach after Jamie Dixon left for TCU.

No. 11 Louisville holds off Georgia Tech 56-53

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Chinanu Onuaku made two free throws with 30.9 seconds remaining and Damion Lee added two more with 10.7 left to help No. 11 Louisville survive Georgia Tech 56-53 on Tuesday night.

Onuanku’s underhanded free throws provided a 54-49 lead and loomed large as the Yellow Jackets stormed back with four straight points over the next 18 seconds. Marcus Georges-Hunt made two free throws after a Flagrant 1 foul on Ray Spalding while Adam Smith followed with a layup to create a tense ending.

Lee then converted the 1-and-1, bouncing the last one through for the edge that left the Yellow Jackets needing three points to force overtime. Smith’s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim, and the horn sounded as Georges-Hunt grabbed the offensive rebound.

Onuaku had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Lee added 14 points as Louisville (23-7, 12-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its home finale.

Charles Mitchell had 15 points for Georgia Tech (17-13, 7-10).