AP photo/Wade Payne

College Basketball AP Poll: Tennessee Remains At No. 1, Ahead Of Duke

1 Comment

The NCAA Division I Basketball Committee slated Duke as the No. 1 overall seed in its initial tournament rankings over the weekend. Voters in the AP Top 25 stuck with Tennessee as their top team.

The Vols received 40 of 64 first-place votes from a media panel in the poll released Monday, remaining ahead of Duke for fourth straight week. The No. 2 Blue Devils had 24 first-place votes.

No. 3 Gonzaga and No. 4 Virginia, the other top seeds in the NCAA’s initial rankings on Saturday, rounded out the top five with Kentucky.

Tennessee (22-1, 10-0 SEC) moved to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll after Duke (21-2, 9-1 ACC) lost to Syracuse on Jan. 14.

The Vols continued winning, stretching their school-record streak to 18 games with wins over Missouri and Florida last week.

Committee chair Bernard Muir said the decision for the top overall seed was close, but Blue Devils edged the Vols based on strength of schedule.

Tennessee was No. 1 in the South Region.

“I want these guys to enjoy what they’re doing and I’m probably not the easiest guy to let that happen because I’m always thinking of ways we can get better, and I want to do it right now,” Vols coach Rick Barnes said. “I appreciate how hard they’re competed and the fact that they want to get better.”

Duke won both of its games last week, rolling over Boston College by 25 before winning a rematch with Virginia 81-71 on Saturday. The Blue Devils needed overtime to beat the Cavaliers the first meeting and shot them out of the gym in the second, making 13 of 21 from the 3-point arc.

“We were just in our zone and it’s great to see when our team is like that,” said Duke’s R.J. Barrett, who had 26 points and was 6 for 10 on 3s.

Virginia dropped one spot from No. 3 after losing to the Blue Devils.

HERE IS THE FULL TOP 25

1. Tennessee (40 first-place votes)
2. Duke (24)
3. Gonzaga
4. Virginia
5. Kentucky
6. Michigan
7. Nevada
8. North Carolina
9. Houston
10. Marquette
11. Michigan State
12. Purdue
13. Villanova
14. Kansas
15. Texas Tech
16. Louisville
17. Florida State
18. Kansas State
19. LSU
20. Wisconsin
21. Iowa
22. Virginia Tech
23. Iowa State
24. Maryland
25. Buffalo

BIG 12 RACE

Kansas State moved back into the poll this week at No. 18.

Perhaps more importantly, the Wildcats are in control of the Big 12 race after knocking off rival Kansas and Baylor last week.

The Wildcats (18-5) are 8-2 in the Big 12, putting them 1 1/2 games ahead of the 14th-ranked Jayhawks, No. 15 Texas Tech and No. 23 Iowa State. Kansas State plays Texas and Iowa State this week.

Kansas will need to make a late-season run for the second straight year if it is going to stretch its record run of conference titles to 15. The Jayhawks play TCU and West Virginia.

ZIGGING ZAGS

Gonzaga moved up a spot in the AP poll this week, was selected as the top overall seed in the West by the NCAA’s selection committee and crushed WCC rival Saint Mary’s 94-46 on Saturday.

It wasn’t all good news for the Zags last week.

Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie did not play against the Gaels and is out indefinitely after suffering a torn ligament in his right foot against San Francisco on Thursday. He missed the first two months of the season due to a foot injury and has played just nine games.

MOVING UP

No. 17 Florida State had the biggest jump in this week’s poll, climbing five spots after beating Syracuse and Louisville, which remained at No. 16 despite the loss.

No. 9 Houston and No. 12 Purdue each moved up three spots.

MOVING DOWN

No. 22 Virginia Tech had a precipitous drop this week, falling 11 spots after losses to Louisville and Clemson.

DROPPING OUT

A week after moving into the poll at No. 25, Cincinnati dropped out beating Memphis and losing to Houston last week.

Nike ‘working to identify issue’ that caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow out

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
3 Comments

Nike released a statement on Thursday saying that they are “working to identify the issue” that caused the left shoe of Duke star Zion Williamson to burst open, leading to the 285 pound freshman to slip and injure his right knee.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

The injury was termed a “mild knee sprain” by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game.

“The knee is stable,” he added. “We don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Nike stock dropped 1% the morning after the incident.

No. 1 Duke lost 88-72 to No. 8 North Carolina at home on Wednesday evening after the injury, which occurred just 30 seconds into the game.

Dan Patrick Show: Should Zion Williamson end Duke career after knee injury?

1 Comment

Duke’s Zion Williamson faces a tough decision following a scary knee injury against North Carolina: try and return for March Madness or rest up for the NBA.

DAUSTER | Zion should do whatever makes him happy

Dan Patrick Show: Nike stock drops after Zion shoe incident

Leave a comment

After Zion Williamson blew out his shoe, Nike stock dropped a full one percent the morning after.

Bracketology: The Zion Williamson factor for Duke

AP Photo/Gerry Broome
Leave a comment

The pertinent question this morning is the health of Zion Williamson.  Foremost, because he’s an exceptional talent and life is bigger than basketball.

The secondary component is how his injury impacts Duke – both on the court and, subsequently, the Blue Devils’ standing on the Seed List.

If last night were the eve of Selection Sunday, the Committee would be forced to make a tough decision: evaluating Duke while Zion’s future availability is unknown.

Since a decision related to today’s bracket had to be made quickly in the wee hours of the morning with little information, Duke stays put, largely because the Blue Devils own a season sweep of Virginia, and two of its losses occurred with less than a full roster.

Once we know more about Zion’s status, further review will ensue.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 21, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION Temple vs. Alabama
MIDWEST REGION UCF vs. Utah State
EAST REGION ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. CANISIUS
WEST REGION NORFOLK ST vs. PRAIRIE VIEW

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                   
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
16) ST. FRANCIS / CANISIUS 16) LEHIGH
8) Ole Miss 8) Auburn
9) Ohio State 9) WOFFORD
Jacksonville Salt Lake City
5) Iowa State 5) Maryland
12) BELMONT 12) Temple / Alabama
4) LSU 4) Texas Tech
13) OLD DOMINION 13) LIBERTY
Hartford Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Villanova
11) Florida 11) VCU
3) MARQUETTE 3) Purdue
14) YALE 14) TEXAS STATE
Des Moines Columbus
7) BUFFALO 7) Cincinnati
10) Texas 10) TCU
2) Michigan 2) Kentucky
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Columbia
1) GONZAGA 1) TENNESSEE
16) PR VIEW / NORFOLK ST 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Baylor 8) St. John’s
9) Minnesota 9) Syracuse
San Jose San Jose
5) Florida State 5) KANSAS STATE
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) UCF / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Wisconsin
13) HOFSTRA 13) VERMONT
Tulsa Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Seton Hall 11) Arizona State
3) Kansas 3) HOUSTON
14) UC-IRVINE 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) WASHINGTON 7) Mississippi State
10) NC State 10) Oklahoma
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina
15) MONTANA 15) RADFORD

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Temple Clemson Nebraska
Seton Hall UCF Georgetown UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State Utah State Butler Lipscomb
Florida Alabama Furman Dayton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Tennessee, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Canisius (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Liberty (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Report: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hits, kills pedestrian on highway

3 Comments

Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian walking outside of his car on I-690 on Wednesday night, just hours after his Syracuse Orange beat No. 18 Louisville at the Carrier Dome.

The man — identified as 51-year old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse — was in a car with four other people that lost control on the highway, struck a guard rail and came to rest in the middle of the road, according to police. At some point, he got out of the car and was walking along the highway, which is when Boeheim hit him as he tried to avoid the disabled vehicle, which was in the road.

“I am heartbroked that a member of our community died as a result of last night’s accident,” Boeheim said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The incident occurred at 11:22 p.m. ET.

Boeheim remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. He was given a field sobriety test at the scene and police determined that he was not impaired at the time. Speeds could not be determined, according to police, but Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told WSYR that Boeheim was driving at the proper speed for a highway.

“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” Syracuse AD Jim Wildhack said. “On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident. Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully. Out of respect for those grieving, there will be no further comment at this time.”