The Dagger

  • Tennessee basketball trolls White House with 'alternative facts' in game notes

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 1 hr ago

    Alternative facts are now officially a thing. Or, more specifically, they’re a burgeoning meme that has already reached well beyond Twitter and social media.

    Long story short, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told numerous lies in his first statement of Donald Trump’s presidency on Saturday. Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking the following day on NBC, disputed the idea that these lies were falsehoods. “Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts,” she said.

    The ridiculousness of the statement has spawned plenty of criticism, but also plenty of jokes. So Tennessee’s sports information department decided to get in on the act. They took a clever dig at Conway and Spicer by including their own set of “alternative facts” (see “falsehoods”) in their game notes ahead of Tuesday’s matchup with Kentucky:

  • Northwestern is 'different,' and a first NCAA Tournament bid is well within reach

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 4 hrs ago

    After the handshake line, and after all the jubilant hugs, Chris Collins had a chance to digest history.

    Northwestern beat Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday for the first time since 1977, and when Collins was pulled aside for a postgame TV interview, he reflected on the meaning behind that achievement.

    “We want to be different,” Collins said after mentioning that the 40 years of road losses to the Buckeyes had been his team’s motivation. “We want to be different,” he repeated.

    Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament, and there’s a narrative to be pushed that these Wildcats are playing for 80 years of Wildcats that have come before them. In reality, they’re doing anything but. The program has fundamentally changed, from an infrastructural level all the way up to the players and the head coach. Those 80 years of teams were what they were. This team is what it is. In many ways, the two are not relatable aside from the colors they wear and the gym they inhabit.

    “We don’t have 80 years to dwell on,” point guard Bryant McIntosh said last Friday. “We didn’t have anything to do with that. … The past is the past. This is a different team.”

    A potent, guard-oriented offense

    Dererk Pardon

  • College basketball weekend winners and losers: Arizona headlines busy Saturday

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 22 hrs ago

    It wasn’t exactly a memorable two days of college basketball. There were no earth-shattering upsets, no crazy buzzer-beaters, and no tripping controversies.

    There were, though, two games between top 20 teams, one of which produced the most consequential result of the weekend. And up and down a crowded Saturday slate, there were plenty of teams that pulled out significant victories or slumped to damaging defeats, and plenty of players who stood out as individuals.

    Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers from the weekend in college hoops:


    Arizona — A whirlwind 24 hours for the Wildcats began when the NCAA notified the program that Allonzo Trier’s latest drug test had come back negative. It ended with Trier on the court for the first time this season, and with Arizona outscoring UCLA, which is about as tough a task as there is in college basketball. The Wildcats are the new Pac-12 favorites.


  • Grayson Allen suffers gruesome finger injury against Miami (Video)

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Duke’s Grayson Allen got beat up pretty good in the first half against Miami. First he got smacked in the face going up for a rebound, and was bleeding from the side of his right eye.

    Then, on the final play of the half, Allen fouled a Miami player going for another rebound. This time, he immediately coiled over in pain, clutching his left hand.

    TV cameras later caught a shot of his left pinky, which was badly dislocated. It’s no wonder Allen had the reaction he did.

    Look away if you’re grossed out by this kind of thing…

    Allen started the second half on the bench with his warmup shirt still on, and did not enter the game after the first timeout of the second half either. Duke trailed Miami by 11 at halftime, but stormed back into the lead without Allen by opening the second half on a 20-1 run.

    Allen then came back into the game with just under 13 minutes remaining, and Duke continued its elongated spurt.

  • Kansas State deals No. 7 West Virginia second-straight worrying loss

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Seventh-ranked West Virginia went into a crazy environment Saturday, but for the second-consecutive game, the Mountaineers couldn’t make the game itself crazy enough.

    Just like it did earlier this month at Texas Tech, and just like it did earlier this week against Oklahoma, West Virginia lost the turnover battle, this time in a 79-75 loss to Kansas State in Manhattan. And while the loss was relatively unsurprising — the Mountaineers were just 3.5-point favorites — it was nonetheless worrying.

    The answers to both are very much up in the air after Saturday’s loss, one in which West Virginia forced 16 turnovers but coughed up a crippling 23. Those 23 included a critical deflected pass with 25 seconds remaining. The Mountaineers had a chance to tie, but didn’t get a shot off. Instead, Barry Brown went the other way for what more or less amounted to a game-sealing slam.

  • Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox injures ankle, but John Calipari says it's 'not serious'

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 1 day ago

    Kentucky freshman De’Aaron Fox, one of the top point guards in college basketball, rolled his right ankle in the first half of Saturday’s game against South Carolina.

    Fox did not return to the game. Instead, he returned to the bench on crutches in the second half with a walking boot on his right foot.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari, however, did not seem too concerned. “I think it was a stinger or something, but they told me it’s not serious,” Calipari said. “It’s not swollen. Something hit his ankle. He’s in a boot, but they said there was no swelling, so I don’t know.”

    Here’s the play on which the injury occurred. Fox drives to his right, and when he attempts to come to a jump stop, his right foot lands awkwardly:

    De'Aaron Fox questionable to return after rolling his ankle on this play. #BBN

    — Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 21, 2017

    De'Aaron Fox on the bench, wearing a protective boot on his right ankle.

  • Arizona takes down UCLA in Allonzo Trier's debut, announces itself as Pac-12 favorite

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 2 days ago

    In the waning moments of the first half Saturday at Pauley Pavilion, Allonzo Trier glided towards his own baseline, reeled in a one-handed rebound, and, 94 feet from where he needed to go, glanced up at the game clock. It showed 6.2 seconds. And, nearly 20 minutes into his long-awaited 2016/17 debut, Trier took off like he hadn’t done in what must have seemed like years.

    Trier zoomed up the floor. He zigged over half court, then zagged into the lane. He dribbled five times, whizzed past five UCLA defenders, and laid in two points.

    It was a coast-to-coast drive 71 days and 19 games in the making, a bucket that put No. 13 Arizona up 11 at halftime, and a symbolic highlight of an impressive all-around team win, 96-85 over the third-ranked Bruins.

    The end-of-half layup wasn’t Trier’s only moment either. He had rained in a three less than a minute earlier, one of Arizona’s seven made triples in the opening 20 minutes.

    In the second half, with UCLA having charged back to within two, Trier punctuated Arizona’s response with a flying one-handed jam in transition:

    AllonzOH MY????????????

    ????: CBS

  • No. 7 Creighton upset by Marquette in first game without Maurice Watson

    Sam Cooper at The Dagger 2 days ago

    Creighton’s first game without Maurice Watson Jr. did not go well.

    Five days after Watson, the nation’s assists leader, was lost for the season with a torn ACL, the seventh-ranked Bluejays (18-2, 5-2 Big East) dropped just their second game of the season in a 102-94 home decision to Marquette. The game was not as close as the final score may indicate.

    Behind 17 first-half points off the bench from graduate transfer Katin Reinhardt, the Golden Eagles (13-6, 4-3) closed the half on a 14-5 run to take a 10-point lead at the break. Marquette continued to pick apart Creighton in the second half, getting good looks inside and out. The lead grew to as large as 19 before the Bluejays made things a bit more interesting in the final minutes, but the deficit was too large to overcome.

    Marquette’s hot shooting marked the first time Creighton allowed more than 100 points since March 2008, a triple overtime win over Bradley back in its Missouri Valley Conference days.

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  • Florida State shows glimpses of being an elite team in win over Louisville

    Henry Bushnell at The Dagger 2 days ago

    The first three minutes were as impressive as three-minute stretches come. They were also outliers.

    Florida State could do no wrong early on in its 73-68 win over No. 12 Louisville. The 10th-ranked Seminoles outshot, outran and overpowered the Cardinals. They harassed and suffocated them anywhere within 35 feet of the basket. They bludgeoned them inside. They hit threes and mid-range jumpers and layups.

    And then they stopped.

    Florida State jumped out to a 14-0 lead; the Tomahawk Chop was rolling around the Tucker Civic Center. Rick Pitino had called a timeout two minutes in, but not much changed, and the Seminoles charged into the under-16 timeout up 16-4.

    Then things did change — or, more specifically, Florida State’s personnel changed, and the early dominance proved to be fleeting. Leonard Hamilton subbed out four of his starters at the under-16, and the fifth 11 seconds later. The second-unit let the Cardinals back into the game, and quelled Florida State’s ascendancy.

  • Clock malfunction helps Texas A&M complete comeback win over Georgia

    Sam Cooper at The Dagger 2 days ago

    Georgia blew a double-digit second half lead on the road Saturday against Texas A&M, but still had a chance to win in the final seconds.

    After a Robert Williams bucket with 20 seconds to go gave the Aggies a 63-62 lead — their first since the 5:48 mark in the first half — the Bulldogs regained possession. UGA guard J.J. Frazier dribbled some time off the clock and fed the post to big man Yante Maten, who was fouled.

    But there was one problem. There was no time left on the clock when Maten, who had a game-high 19 points, was fouled — and nobody in the arena knew it.

    As Frazier worked to create an open look, the clock mistakenly stopped at 5.6 seconds because of an apparent “belt pack malfunction.” Because of this, the officials consulted the replay monitor and used a stopwatch to determine the amount of time that passed between the clock stopping and the foul on Maten.

    From there, the officials ruled that the foul occurred after the final buzzer would have sounded, so there was no foul and A&M won the game.

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