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Miami’s Bruce Brown declares for draft without an agent

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Bruce Brown wants to hear what the NBA has to say.

The Miami sophomore has declared for the draft but will not hire an agent, the school announced Thursday.

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during his second season with the Hurricanes. He did, though, see his shooting numbers take a tumble compared to his freshman season with his field goal percentage down from 45.9 to 41.5 percent and his 3-point shoot go from 34.7 to 26.7 percent. There’s also the matter of a foot injury that required surgery and kept him off the floor for the ‘Canes’ last 12 games.

By declaring for the draft, Brown can get in front of NBA teams, who will likely take a very close look at his shooting mechanics after that sophomore season downturn. It will also be an opportunity for him to build up his reputation in the professional ranks after spending much of his sophomore season injured.

Jim Larranaga believes he’s ‘Coach-3’ in FBI investigation

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Despite losing key contributors Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy from last season’s NCAA tournament team, the Miami Hurricanes are expected to be a player both within the ACC and nationally this season. But instead of having the focus solely on the likes of JaQuan Newton, Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker, Jim Larrañaga’s program is also having to deal with the impact of the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption and fraud in college basketball.

While no one connected to the Miami men’s basketball program was arrested last month, the program is referenced in the FBI report. On Monday, Larrañaga stated during a press conference that he believes that he is “Coach-3” in the FBI report. Larrañaga also maintained his innocence, saying that he had done nothing wrong while also being thankful that none of his assistant coaches were involved.

“It’s been a strain, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Larrañaga said according to the Palm Beach Post. “It’s something that’s there. I have to deal with it. I have the support of my wife and a wonderful family. I have the support of the university, my staff and players.”

According to the FBI report, “Coach-3” requested that payments totaling $150,000 be funneled to “Player-12” in order to ensure his commitment to their university. It has been reported that “Player-12” was 2018 five-star prospect Nassir Little, who has also stated that he had done nothing wrong. Two of the schools recruiting Little at the time, Arizona and Miami, have been entangled in the FBI investigation to varying degrees.

While Miami has not had anyone connected to its program arrested, Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel “Book” Richardson was one of the four Division I coaches were were indicted. As a result Little removed both Arizona and Miami from consideration before ultimately committing to North Carolina earlier this month.

There’s no telling what the FBI investigation will ultimately uncover, which for the schools involved could take a heavy toll not only for the 2017-18 season but for future years as well. The FBI case has been comparatively quiet since the first set of indictments, with future moves likely to be influenced by what authorities learn from the ten individuals named in the first announcement.

No. 4 Virginia beats No. 11 Miami to reach ACC title game

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WASHINGTON (AP) Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points and No. 4 Virginia beat 11th-ranked Miami 73-68 Friday night to set up a showdown with North Carolina in the conference title game.

Virginia (26-6) and No. 7 UNC could each become NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds after impressive showings this week. Against Miami (25-7), the Cavaliers led wire-to-wire to the delight of the crowd that made Verizon Center feel like a home game.

Ja’Quan Newton had 19 points off the bench to lead Miami.

Beginning with Brogdon’s 3-pointer 48 seconds in, Virginia led the entire first half. The Cavaliers went up by as many as 11 as eight different players scored but watched as Miami went on a 6-0 run to end the half and cut the margin to five.

Facing the same kind of hostile environment as Thursday night against Virginia Tech, Miami cut it as close as three points. A series of turnovers stunted the comeback bid, and Brogdon went to work scoring and playmaking.

With help from Marial Shayok (10 points) and London Perrantes (11 points), Virginia pulled away to lead by 13 with 3:10 left. The Hurricanes must now turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament, where they’re expected to be a high seed.

UNC routed Notre Dame Friday to make it to the title game. Virginia won the teams’ only meeting Feb. 27 in Charlottesville. The game features the top two seeds after the top four reached the semifinals.

“The ACC is a great conference,” UNC forward Justin Jackson said. “So at the end of the day, that’s what you expect in the championship game: to have two really good teams.”

TIP-INS

Miami: Ivan Cruz Uceda did not play in the quarterfinal victory because of Virginia Tech’s speed, according to coach Jim Larranaga, who said the big forward would be a “major player” against Virginia. Cruz Uceda scored all eight of his points in the first half. … Senior guard Sheldon McClellan fouled out with 46.2 seconds left. He finished with 15 points on 5 of 11 shooting.

Virginia: Brogdon went 10 of 11 from the free throw line. … Virginia reached the ACC final for the sixth time in school history. … Last won the conference tournament in 2014. … The last time Virginia played in a game where each team shot over 50 percent was Dec. 7, 2013, against Green Bay.

UP NEXT

Virginiai: Faces seventh-ranked North Carolina for the conference title Saturday.

Miami: NCAA Tournament.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 2 Michigan State, No. 7 Miami roll on the road

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: St. Bonaventure 98, Saint Joseph’s 90

This was a big game for both teams, but especially for the Bonnies as they still have work to do if they’re to lock up an NCAA tournament bid. Marcus Posley made sure Mark Schmidt’s team picked up the quality win, as he scored a career-high 47 points on 15-for-19 shooting from the field. Dion Wright added 22 points and six rebounds for the Bonnies, while Shavar Newkirk and Isaiah Miles led a balanced effort for the Hawks with 19 points apiece. The two teams combined to score 119 points in the second half.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 7 Miami 68, Notre Dame 50: The Hurricanes and Fighting Irish are headed in opposite directions at this point. Miami jumped out to a 21-3 lead, and while Notre Dame made a couple runs to trim the margin to single digits the hole was too deep to climb out of. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan combined to score 36 points, with Rodriguez also dishing out five assists, and Tonye Jekiri added 14 along with nine rebounds. Miami, which has won eight of its last nine games, can still win the ACC outright. As for Notre Dame, they’ve lost three of their last four.

Butler 85, Seton Hall 78: The Bulldogs completed a season sweep of the Pirates, picking up a much-needed win as they look to earn an NCAA tournament berth. Kellen Dunham scored 22 points and Roosevelt Jones added 20 along with five rebounds and five assists to lead the way for Butler, which shot 51 percent from the field. Isaiah Whitehead scored a game-high 27 for the Pirates, but he did so on 9-for-23 shooting from the field.

No. 9 Oregon 76, UCLA 68: Dillon Brooks hit a dagger of a three in the final minute to seal the win for the Ducks, who clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 title and the top seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament. Brooks finished with 15 points and freshman Tyler Dorsey scored 20 points to lead the way for the Ducks. Isaac Hamilton scored 19 points and Tony Parker added 18 for the Bruins, who are now locked into the ten-seed.

Wednesday’s Bubble Banter

STARRED

Marcus Posley, St. Bonaventure: Posley was incredible in the Bonnies’ critical 98-90 win over Saint Joseph’s. 15-for-19 from the field (6-for-7 3PT) and 11-for-12 from the foul line, scoring 47 points.

Andrew Andrews, Washington: Andrews scored 47 points, collected six rebounds and dished out four assists in the Huskies’ 99-91 home win over Washington State.

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State: Forbes set a Big Ten record with 11 three-pointers in the Spartans’ blowout victory at Rutgers.

Chris Horton, Austin Peay: 37 points and 21 rebounds in the Governors’ OVC tournament win over Tennessee Tech.

Stefan Moody, Ole Miss: Moody scored 43 points (11-for-24 FG) and dished out six assists in the Rebels’ 86-78 win over Mississippi State.

STRUGGLED

Demetrius Jackson and V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame: Jackson and Beachem combined to score 12 points, shooting 5-for-20 from the field in a 68-50 home loss to No. 7 Miami.

Ahmad Gilbert, Minnesota: Gilbert scored two points, shooting 1-for-8 from the field, as the shorthanded Golden Gophers lost to Wisconsin.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 2 Michigan State has now won nine of its last ten games, as they whipped Rutgers 97-66 in Piscataway. Bryn Forbes, as mentioned above, set a Big Ten record with 11 made three-pointers on the night. Eron Harris scored 15 points, Denzel Valentine finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Matt Costello added ten points and 15 boards.
  • No. 10 West Virginia rolled to a 90-68 home win over Texas Tech, locking up no worse than the three-seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament. Daxter Miles and Jaysean Paige scored 15 points apiece for the Mountaineers, who forced 18 Texas Tech turnovers on the night. With the loss Texas Tech is locked into the seven-seed next week, meaning that they’ll have to play Wednesday night.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Albany’s quest for a fourth straight America East tournament title came to an end Wednesday night, as they lost to seven-seed Hartford 68-59 in an America East quarterfinal. Next up for the Hawks is top seed Stony Brook, which pulled away late to beat UMBC 86-76. Three-seed Vermont will host four-seed New Hampshire in the other semifinal Monday.
  • In the Northeast quarterfinals six-seed LIU Brooklyn eliminated three-seed Sacred Heart, 84-76. Also advancing to Sunday’s semifinals were one-seed Wagner, two-seed Fairleigh Dickinson and five-seed Mount St. Mary’s. Wagner will host LIU Brooklyn in one semi, with Mount St. Mary’s visiting FDU in the other.
  • VCU clinched at least a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a 70-60 win over Davidson. Mo Alie-Cox and Melvin Johnson led the way for the Rams, with Alie-Cox finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Johnson adding 16, five rebounds and four assists.
  • Austin Peay advanced to the quarterfinals of the OVC tournament with a 92-72 win over Tennessee Tech. Also advancing was Murray State, which beat Eastern Illinois 78-62.
  • Just three days removed from their home win over Duke, Pittsburgh did themselves no favors with a 65-61 loss at Virginia Tech. Zach LeDay led the Hokies with 20 points and ten rebounds.
  • Providence picked up a second straight victory, holding off Creighton by the final score of 70-66. Ben Bentil finished with 27 points and ten rebounds, and Kris Dunn added 17, six boards and six assists for the Friars.
  • Alabama suffered a damaging loss, as they fell 62-61 at home to Arkansas. The Razorbacks went to a box-and-1 to slow down Retin Obasohan down the stretch, and the move worked out well for Mike Anderson’s team. Obasohan finished with 32 points, but no other Alabama player scored more than ten.
  • Wisconsin continued its roll with a 62-49 win at Minnesota. Bronson Koenig accounted for 14 points and six assists with Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes adding 12 apiece for the Badgers, who have won 11 of their last 12 games.
  • Boston College is one loss away from going winless in ACC play, as they lost 73-72 at NC State on a Maverick Rowan layup as time expired. The Eagles also went winless in ACC play in football last season.
  • A Justin Bibbins coast-to-coast drive and finish gave Long Beach State a 75-73 win at Cal-State Fullerton. Nick Faust finished the game with 30 points and eight rebounds for the 49ers.
  • USC snapped a stretch of five losses in six games with an 81-70 win over Oregon State. The Beavers played without freshman Tres Tinkle, who injured his foot in practice Tuesday.

Rodriguez scores 19, No. 7 Miami beats Notre Dame 68-50

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Angel Rodriguez matched his season high with 19 points, Sheldon McClellan added 17 and No. 7 Miami jumped to an early 18-point lead and beat Notre Dame 68-50 victory Wednesday night to move back into a tie with North Carolina for first-place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Hurricanes (24-5, 13-4) held the Fighting Irish (19-10, 10-7) to a season-low 34 percent shooting as Notre Dame struggled offensively for the fourth straight game, losing three of those. The Hurricanes also had an 39-16 advantage in rebounds and a 32-24 edge in points in the paint.

Zach Auguste led the Irish with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Bonzie Colson add 11 points.

The Hurricanes jumped to a 21-3 lead early and never let the Irish get any closer than seven points. The Irish cut to the lead to nine points with 12 minutes to go, but Miami quickly stretched the lead back out to 15. Notre Dame made one last gasp with a 6-0 spurt with to cut the lead to 59-50 with a jumper by V.J. Beachem with 3:03 left. The Hurricanes ended the streak with a 6-0 run of its own, capped by a pair of free throws by Rodriguez.

Tonye Jekiri added 14 points for the Hurricanes and Davon Reed had 10.

The game was more lopsided than their first meeting, when the Hurricanes led by 12 at halftime and by 20 midway through the second half en route to the 79-70 victory. On Wednesday, the Irish made just 1 of their first 10 shots while the Hurricanes made 7 of 10 to jump to a 21-3 lead eight minutes in.

After Tonye Jekiri missed Miami’s opening shot, the Hurricanes made five straight. It started when Rodriguez drove inside on back-to-back possessions for easy layups, then made a bounce pass to McClellan, who turned it into a three-point play when he was fouled by V.J. Beachem. After a layup by Reed, Rex Plueger finally ended Notre Dame’s scoreless streak when he hit a 3-pointer.

The Irish used a 7-0 run to close to 29-22 when Jackson drove inside and the ball bounced twice off the rim before falling in. The Hurricanes ended the half with a 6-0 spurt to lead 35-22 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Miami: The Hurricanes have won eight of their last nine. … Miami evened the all-time series at 10-10. … McClellan has scored 10 or more points in 17 straight games. …. McClellan has scored 10 or more points in 17 straight games. … Anthony Lawrence Jr., who made all four 3-pointers he attempted and scored a season-high 18 points in Miami’s 79-70 victory over Notre Dame on Feb. 3,

Notre Dame: The Irish lost back-to-back games for the first time since the end of the 2013-14 season. … Auguste has scored 10 or more points in nine straight games. … Notre Dame had seven field goals in the first half and made six free throws. … Senior captain Austin Burgett started for the third time this season. … Football coach Brian Kelly and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford sat courtside.

UP NEXT

Miami is at Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Notre Dame hosts North Carolina State on Saturday.

NEW PODCAST: Court storming, Villanova/Xavier and a weekend preview

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It’s Friday, which means time for another edition of the NBC Sports College Basketball Talk podcast. Today’s episode touches on a number of topics from the last couple of days in college basketball, beginning with Duke’s Grayson Allen and the events within the Blue Devils’ win over Florida State Thursday night.

Was the trip intentional? How’s he dealing with the attention that comes with being a player of his caliber at a school like Duke? Rob Dauster, Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips all provide their thoughts on this situation.

Also discussed in the podcast are Sean Miller’s comments on court storming following No. 9 Arizona’s loss at Colorado Wednesday night, the Big East “Game of the Year” between No. 1 Villanova and No. 5 Xavier, the controversial finish between Washington and Oregon State, and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher. Or if you prefer, just click “play” in the embedded player below. Thanks for listening!