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No. 16 Vols beat Georgia 66-61, win share of SEC title

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee won a share of the Southeastern Conference title and then showed off the chip it has worn on its shoulder all season.

“Not bad for a team picked 13th,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said to a raucous sellout crowd Saturday as the 16th-ranked Volunteers prepared to cut down the nets after their 66-61 victory over Georgia.

The SEC’s preseason media poll had Tennessee finishing 13th out of 14 teams in the conference. Tennessee (23-7, 13-5 SEC) instead shares the league championship with No. 14 Auburn, which was picked to finish ninth.

Admiral Schofield scored 23 points as the Vols came from behind and closed the game on a 9-0 run. The Vols said those gloomy preseason forecasts made this championship particularly sweet.

“It’s always fun to have the last laugh,” Schofield said.

Because Auburn won 94-84 at Tennessee on Jan. 2 in their lone regular-season matchup, the Tigers (25-6, 13-5) get the No. 1 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament that starts Wednesday in St. Louis.

Tennessee still was in a jubilant mood after grabbing a piece of its first league title since 2008 and tossed cups of water on Barnes as he entered the locker room after the game.

Vols forward Grant Williams said Tennessee always knew it could win a league title, even when nobody else considered it a realistic possibility.

“We didn’t really pay attention to any of those (preseason) rankings,” Williams said. “We might have used it now and again for motivation, but throughout the year we knew it was a different type of environment, a different team that we were playing with.”

The Vols have won four straight and 11 of their last 13. Tennessee’s latest victory ended Georgia’s five-game winning streak in this series.

It didn’t come easily.

After trailing by as many as 11, Tennessee pulled ahead for good at 62-61 when Jordan Bowden sank two free throws with 1:01 left.

Georgia’s Tyree Crump tried passing in the paint to SEC scoring leader Yante Maten on the Bulldogs’ next possession, but Tennessee’s Kyle Alexander stole it. Schofield then hit a jumper with 18 seconds left to make it 64-61.

William Jackson II missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Schofield made two free throws with 0.4 seconds left to close the scoring.

“That was a great college basketball game,” Barnes said. “It’s sad that somebody had to lose. I love the way our guys fought there at the end and got it done.”

Williams scored 22 points for Tennessee, which went on its 9-0 run after he fouled out. Maten scored 18, Rayshaun Hammonds had 12 and Jackson had 10 for Georgia (16-14, 7-11).

Maten shot 1 of 9 and had just six points in the second half. Georgia coach Mark Fox noted the SEC player of the year candidate wasn’t as effective after taking a hit to the jaw area in the second half.

“He’s with the doctor now, so I think it probably obviously had some impact,” Fox said, “but I don’t want to take anything away from Tennessee’s team.”


Georgia: The Bulldogs grabbed a double-digit lead by shooting 7 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half, but they went just 1 of 6 from beyond the arc in the second half. Georgia entered the night having made just 31.8 percent of its 3-pointers to rank 13th in the SEC.

Tennessee: Lamonte’ Turner was scoreless for the first 29 1/2 minutes but made three huge shots down the stretch. Turner’s first 3-pointer tied the game at 49-all. His second one put Tennessee ahead with 6:23 left for the Vols’ first lead since a 5-0 run to open the game. His third and final 3-pointer started the 9-0 spurt that closed the game.


The sellout crowd was unhappy with the officiating all night. A water bottle was even tossed onto the court after Williams fouled out with 3:33 left, causing Barnes to grab a microphone and remind the crowd to avoid that type of behavior.


NFL offensive rookie of the year and former Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints was in the crowd and drew a standing ovation when he was introduced during a first-half timeout.


Tennessee’s late-season surge should enable the Vols to move into the top 15.


Georgia: The Bulldogs are the 12th seed in the SEC Tournament that starts Wednesday in St. Louis.

Tennessee: The Vols are the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament and won’t play until Friday’s quarterfinals. They will face either No. 7 seed Mississippi State or No. 10 seed LSU.

Trae Jefferson to transfer out of Texas Southern

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Texas Southern guard and NCAA tournament darling Trae Jefferson announced on Saturday that he’s leaving the school.

The 5-foot-7 Jefferson was sensational at times during his sophomore season with the Tigers as he put up 23.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, helping lead Texas Southern to a victory in the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s First Four in Dayton over North Carolina Central. One of the most entertaining talents in college basketball, Jefferson is leaving Texas Southern in-part because former head coach Mike Davis took the job at Detroit this offseason.

While Detroit is going to be the favorite to land Jefferson, because of his connection to Davis, it’ll be interesting to see what his transfer market looks like. Jefferson also made it clear on his Twitter page that he would like to be closer to his hometown of Milwaukee so that he can be closer to his ailing grandfather.

Given NCAA transfer rules, Jefferson would likely have to sit out next season before getting two more years of eligibility. But he could be applying for a waiver if he’s trying to be closer to home to deal with his family situation.

Nevada’s Josh Hall transfers to Missouri State

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Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.

Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.

Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.

Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.

Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.

Chris Webber accepts Jim Harbaugh’s invitation to be honorary Michigan football captain


The frosty relationship between Chris Webber and the University of Michigan could be thawing — thanks to an invitation from football head coach Jim Harbaugh.

On Friday, Harbaugh called in to WTKA’s “The M Zone” as show host Jamie Morris had Webber on the show. Harbaugh offered Webber the opportunity to be an honorary captain for the Michigan football team next season, to which Webber replied that he would love the opportunity.

Webber, a former member of the “Fab Five” who helped the Wolverines to two consecutive NCAA tournament title-game appearances in 1992 and 1993, has not associated directly with the school, or with other members of the Fab Five, for many years.

The NCAA mandated that Webber and Michigan not associate with one another for 10 years after the Ed Martin booster scandal. Webber has always been reluctant to participate in anything Michigan or Fab Five related. When the famous Fab Five documentary was made a few years ago, Webber was the only member of the quintet not to participate in the making of the film. Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson all have a solid relationship with the University of Michigan at this point.

Webber later criticized the film during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, as King and Rose fired back with responses to reignite the feud. In the past, Rose has also been vocal in his belief that Webber should apologize for what happened at Michigan, as the group is hoping to move forward.

Although Webber still isn’t mending fences with the other Fab Five members, or the basketball program, returning to Michigan in some kind of official capacity is a big deal considering his past with the school.

Harbaugh and Webber haven’t decided on a game for next season yet as that will be something to watch for over the next several months.

Akoy Agau returning to Louisville as graduate transfer

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Louisville received a boost to its frontcourt rotation on Friday as former big man Akoy Agau will return to the Cardinals as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau originally committed and enrolled at Louisville for a season and a half to begin his college hoops career before transferring to Georgetown. After leaving the Hoyas to play at SMU last season, Agau received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after battling injury for much of his career.

Agau gives Louisville an experienced forward who should earn some solid minutes next season. With the Mustangs during the 2017-18 season, Agau averaged 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 16.1 minutes per contest.

While this isn’t the biggest splash for the Cardinals, they have plenty of scholarships to use for next season as new head coach Chris Mack tries to find a stable rotation. Getting a graduate transfer like Agau, who should be familiar with the school and the conference at the very least, is a nice step for a one-year placeholder.

NCAA President Mark Emmert got a $500,000 raise in 2016

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NCAA president Mark Emmert, the man in charge of a non-profit association that doesn’t have enough money to pay its laborers, received a $500,000 raise for the 2016 calendar year, bringing his total income to more than $2.4 million, according to an NCAA tax return that was obtained by USA Today.

That number actually pales in comparison to the salaries that are received by the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences.

But there’s not enough money to pay the players.


Everyone is broke.

Carry on with your day, and pray for the well-being of NCAA administrators like Mark Emmert, whose salary is in no way whatsoever inflated by amateurism, which allows the schools and the NCAA to bank all of the advertising revenue that college basketball and football brings in and bars the players themselves from accessing that money.