Jeff Eisenberg

  • Report: Sexual assault allegations preceded Rasheed Sulaimon's dismissal

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 8 hrs ago

    A bombshell report from Duke's student newspaper Monday shed light on the school's mysterious decision to dismiss guard Rasheed Sulaimon five weeks ago.

    Two female Duke students had accused Sulaimon of sexual assault during the 2013-14 school year, the Duke Chronicle reported.

    Both students spoke with their peers about the alleged sexual assaults during a pair of off-campus retreats designed to promote open discussion of social issues, but neither formally reported them to the police nor to Duke's Office of Student Conduct. The fear of backlash from the Duke fan base was a factor in the decision the two female students made to not pursue the allegations, according to the Chronicle.

    The allegations were brought to the attention of a team psychologist in March 2014, the Chronicle reported. High-ranking Duke officials, including the coaching staff and athletic director Kevin White, learned of the allegations later that month.

    - - - - - - -

  • Ranking the seven contenders for the last three No. 1 seeds

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    The race for the NCAA tournament's final No. 1 seeds takes on greater importance than usual this season for one simple reason.

    All the other contenders want to be spared the possibility of having to face top-ranked Kentucky until at least the Final Four. 

    While the unbeaten Wildcats have all but locked up the NCAA tournament's No. 1 overall seed, the three remaining No. 1 seeds are still up for grabs entering the final week of the regular season. Below is a look at the seven contenders for those three spots in order of most likely to least likely to get one.  

    - - - - - - -

    Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

    Follow @JeffEisenberg

  • BYU could be one of March's most hotly debated bubble teams

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Before BYU snapped third-ranked Gonzaga's 41-game home winning streak on Saturday night, the Cougars were an NCAA tournament-caliber team without an NCAA tournament-caliber résumé.

    They had zero victories against RPI top 50 opponents. They had a pair of sub-100 RPI losses to Pepperdine and a third at San Diego. The most notable wins they had attained all season were at home against fellow bubble team Stanford and at home against likely NIT teams UMass and Saint Mary's.

    One monumental road win in Spokane isn't a quick fix for those flaws in BYU's résumé, but it will force the selection committee to take a closer look at the Cougars. What they'll find is a profile that will test their philosophies and a team the eye test and computer numbers agree is probably better than its lack of notable victories suggests.

    BYU is No. 26 in the KenPom rankings mostly because the use of margin of victory as a tool to determine a team's strength favors the Cougars.

    If bubble teams like Temple or Tulsa get in over BYU, however, thats where the Cougars would be justified in complaining.

    If that happens, let the great BYU debate begin.

    - - - - - - -

  • Gonzaga's loss to BYU will likely cost it a No. 1 seed

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Gonzaga found one way to settle the debate over whether it deserves a No. 1 seed despite playing in a weaker league than the other contenders.

    The Zags suffered a 73-70 home loss to BYU on Saturday night that likely removes them from consideration barring a flurry of setbacks from other top teams.

    Though Gonzaga boasts a 29-2 record and quality non-league victories over SMU, St. John's, Georgia and UCLA, the Zags' eight top 100 RPI wins are the fewest among the nation's elite teams. That's not Gonzaga's fault since it did its best to assemble a formidable non-conference schedule, but it's a byproduct of playing in the RPI's ninth strongest league.

    Whereas it was easier to overlook the flaws in Gonzaga's resumé when its lone loss was in overtime at Pac-12-leading Arizona in December, a loss at home to a BYU team that was on the fringes of the bubble picture prior to Saturday changes that. The Zags can still get a No. 2 seed if they win the WCC tournament in Las Vegas, perhaps in the West if Arizona either ascends to the No. 1 line or suffers another loss or two and drops below Gonzaga in the pecking order.

    - - - - - - -

  • Defense propels Arizona to a win that could have big ramifications

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Three times in the final 75 seconds of the Pac-12's game of the year, Utah had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.

    Seventh-ranked Arizona emerged with an enormous 63-57 road win and clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 title because each time its defense held. 

    Utah had to settle for an errant Brandon Taylor 3-pointer on its first chance since star Delon Wright gave up the ball early in the possession and was content to be a spectator. Wright did not make the same mistake on the Utes' second chance, but when the All-American candidate shed T.J. McConnell via a ball screen and attacked Kaleb Tarczewski off the dribble, the Arizona center was able to recover quickly enough to contest his potential go-ahead layup at the rim.

    Arizona's victory gives it a two-game lead over the 13th-ranked Utes with two games to play, meaning the Wildcats (26-3, 14-2) can clinch an outright league title with a single win against either Cal or Stanford next week in Tucson. They're already guaranteed the No. 1 seed in next month's Pac-12 tournament by virtue of their season sweep of the Utes (22-6, 12-4).

    - - - - - - -

  • Dunk of the year nominee: Shaq Goodwin's off-glass alley-oop slam

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 1 day ago

    At the end of disappointing season in which his team isn't even in contention for the NCAA tournament, Memphis big man Shaq Goodwin is still running the floor hard. His reward Saturday night was to be on the receiving end of a SportsCenter-worthy alley-oop pass. Instead of attempting a contested layup late in the first half against Tulsa, Memphis guard Trahson Burrell spotted a trailing Goodwin out of the corner of his eye and lobbed a pass off the glass. The 6-foot-9 junior showed excellent recognition and finished the play with a two-handed flush. One of the reasons Memphis is only 17-12 is that Goodwin hasn't performed to his potential, but he enjoyed one of his better games of the season against Tulsa. He scored 17 points and pulled down six rebounds, but the Tigers blew a late lead in regulation and lost 74-72 in overtime.

    [Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick 'Em: Enter for a chance to win $50K]

    Previous Dunk of the Year nominees:

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @JeffEisenberg

  • Wichita State clinches second straight Valley title in style

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    Eyes pointed down court and right arm cocked behind his head, Fred VanVleet looked like a quarterback who had just spotted a receiver breaking free down field.

    The Wichita State point guard lobbed a length-of-the-floor pass to Tekele Cotton, who caught it, took one dribble and unleashed a powerful windmill slam that served as an ideal exclamation point for the Shockers' biggest victory of the season.

    By defeating Valley co-leader Northern Iowa 74-60 on Saturday afternoon at Koch Arena, Wichita State secured its second consecutive league championship and avenged its only conference loss of the season. The Panthers had throttled the Shockers last month in Cedar Falls to move into a first-place tie and set up a winner-take-all showdown in Saturday's regular season finale. 

    Transition buckets, unselfish passing and deadly perimeter shooting enabled Wichita State to become only the second Valley team to score more than 60 points against Northern Iowa this season. Baker led five players in double figures with 17 points as the Shockers shot 49.1 percent from the field and finished with 19 assists compared to only three turnovers.

    - - - - - - -

  • Bubble breakdown: NC State tumbles back to the bubble

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 2 days ago

    With less than three weeks remaining until Selection Sunday, the NCAA tournament bubble is beginning to take shape. Bubble Breakdown is the Dagger's daily look at the results that impact who's in and who's out.

    Maybe NC State only plays well when its backs are against the wall. Maybe NC State really enjoys visiting Dayton in mid-March.

    Whatever the reason, the Wolfpack seem to be drawn to the bubble like a magnet to steel.

    Only four days after a victory at rival North Carolina appeared to solidify NC State as an NCAA tournament team, the Wolfpack tumbled back toward the cutline with a humbling 79-63 loss at last-place Boston College. They never led the entire game and fell behind by as many as 23 points against an Eagles team that entered play with only one ACC victory and hadn't won a game in over a month.

    If NC State wins both those games and avoids a bad opening-round loss in the ACC tournament, it will likely wrap up a bid no matter how it fares in the ACC quarterfinals. If the Wolfpack suffer a loss in their next two games, merely making the ACC quarterfinals may not be enough to leave them feeling safe on Selection Sunday.

    BUBBLE TEAMS WHOSE STOCK ROSE SATURDAY

  • What to watch this weekend: Can Utah avenge its loss at Arizona?

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    The most action-packed day of the college basketball regular season could be Saturday if the most highly anticipated matchups live up to the hype.

    Arizona visits Utah with first place in the Pac-12 on the line. Northern Iowa and Wichita State square off in a winner-take-all Valley showdown. And unbeaten Kentucky faces maybe its toughest test in SEC play when 18th-ranked Arkansas puts its seven-game win streak on the line.

    Below is a look at those three games and some of the other noteworthy games from this weekend's slate:

    Other noteworthy games:

    North Carolina at Miami (Saturday, 2 p.m. EST): Having already dropped five of their last seven games to fall out of contention in the ACC, the Tar Heels head to Coral Gables to face a Miami team desperate for a big win to get it on the right side of the bubble. The Hurricanes desperately need the Angel Rodriguez who scored 25 points on Florida State on Wednesday night rather than the one shooting 21.4 percent over his previous 11 games.

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @JeffEisenberg

  • Northern Iowa's Ben Jacobson rescued a stranded driver

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger 3 days ago

    Twenty minutes after her car slid off the road and into a snow bank on her way home from school Wednesday afternoon, Abby Young admits she was starting to become concerned.

    Her car was stuck. Her phone was dead. And the few drivers who passed her whizzed by without stopping.

    "I tried to shovel my car out of the snow, but I couldn't get it out," the senior at Cedar Falls High School said. "I was starting to get worried I was going to be there a very long time."

    Young indeed might have spent the whole afternoon by the side of the road had a man with a familiar face not driven up and asked if she needed help. When the man got out of his car, Young thought he looked a lot like Northern Iowa basketball coach Ben Jacobson. Once she noticed his pants had a UNI basketball logo on them, she was even more certain.

    A spokesman for Northern Iowa athletics confirmed Friday that Young's savior actually was Jacobson. The coach of the nation's 10th-ranked college basketball team alternated between shoveling snow away from the tires and trying to drive Young's car to freedom until he had successfully dislodged it.

    - - - - - - -