- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger42 mins ago
What happened next defied imagination.
Seventh-ranked Villanova forced overtime against all odds and emerged with an 82-77 overtime victory that the Wildcats will talk about for years and the Orange will do their best to forget.
Arcidiacono regained his dribble and spotted a wide-open Josh Hart spotted up on the left wing. Hart buried a 3-pointer to trim the lead to two. Michael Gbinije couldn't find a teammate to inbound the ball to and threw it away trying to get it to Rakeem Christmas. And in the scramble for the ball, Arcidiacono recovered it and fed JayVaugh Pinkston for a layup that forced overtime.
Whatever hope Syracuse had of salvaging a win in overtime vanished quickly when the Orange fell behind. Eleven of Villanova's 13 points in overtime came at the foul line as the Wildcats improved to 11-0 and avenged a loss at the Carrier Dome last season to their former Big East rivals.
Villanova's comeback from a 15-point deficit further cemented that the Wildcats are one of the nation's better teams. They've now beaten Illinois, VCU, Michigan and Syracuse to take an unbeaten record into the start of Big East play next week.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 hr ago
Zak Irvin did more than just cut Michigan's deficit to one Saturday afternoon against SMU when he sank a corner 3-pointer late in the first half.
The sophomore wing also coaxed a smile out his teary-eyed younger sister
TV cameras caught eighth grader Tayah Irvin bawling in the stands after her older brother was undercut by SMU's Keith Frazier as he rose for a layup off a nice backdoor feed from Ricky Doyle. Zak Irvin crashed hard to the ground back-first and pounded his fist on the court in pain for several seconds before rising gingerly to his feet.
Scary as the fall looked when it happened, Irvin proved he was OK when he chased down the long rebound of his missed free throw. Eventually the ball came back to him in the corner, enabling him to bury a 3-pointer and singlehandedly deliver a five-point possession.
Seeing Zak go from flat on his back to knocking down a 3-pointer left Tayah Irvin an emotional wreck. The seventh grader buried her face in her hands and then her shirt out of relief that her older brother was OK.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger2 hrs ago
Montrezl Harrell was well on his way to another dominant performance Saturday late in the first half during a 76-67 win at Western Kentucky before losing his temper in the skirmish for a loose ball and making a potentially costly mistake.
Harrell went to the floor trying to force a tie-up with WKU sophomore guard Brandon Price. While both players were vying for the ball, Hilltoppers’ freshman Avery Patterson grabbed at Harrell from above angering the junior All-American candidate.
Harrell stood and threw a punch at Patterson and inadvertently hit official Pat Adams in the chest with an elbow. Adams doubled over in pain as the combatants were separated.
The No. 4 Cardinals were leading 28-22 with 38.2 seconds remaining in the first half when the altercation occurred. Harrell had scored half of his team’s points to that point. After officials reviewed the play, Harrell was ejected for throwing a punch and WKU guard DJ Clayton was assessed a technical foul.
Western Kentucky coach Ray Harper and Louisville coach Rick Pitino exchanged words and were issued technical fouls during the discussion with officials after the replay review and tempers continued to flare throughout the game.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger5 hrs ago
Mick Cronin wasn't in his usual spot on the bench Saturday afternoon against VCU.
The Cincinnati coach missed his team's ugly 68-47 loss after doctors discovered he has an unruptured aneurysm. Cronin had asked for a routine check-up because he had been experiencing lingering headaches.
"Thank you to everyone for your concern, prayers, and support. I am ok. I am very fortunate to have such great friends and family," Cronin tweeted just before tip-off. "I want everyone to know I am going to be ok!! I just can't coach for precautionary reasons with my medical condition.
"Obviously not coaching was a tough pill to swallow, but as a teacher I ask my players to be smart and make the right decisions. To listen to the people that know what's best for you. It is time for me to listen now, to my Doctors and follow their game plan. I hope to be back ASAP but that will not be my call. As I love to say "I am always day to day." so that really applies now."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger7 hrs ago
The outcome of Friday night's game between Miami and Eastern Kentucky was certainly a major surprise.
The margin of victory was even more eye-popping.
The 18th-ranked Hurricanes suffered their most lopsided home loss since 1997 when the Colonels came into Coral Gables and rolled to a 72-44 rout. Eastern Kentucky outscored Miami 45-19 in the second half and limited the Hurricanes to 29.3 percent shooting for the game.
How could Miami lose by that many points at home against a Colonels team that entered with a 5-4 record, zero noteworthy wins and losses to East Tennessee State and Valparaiso? Well, it didn't help that star point guard Angel Rodriguez was ill entering the game, per ESPN's broadcast.
Rodriguez scored only one point on 0-for-6 shooting and had as many assists as turnovers. In Miami's two losses this season against Green Bay and Eastern Kentucky, Rodriguez has played his worst two games and has shot a combined 2 of 21 from the field.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger8 hrs ago
When Wisconsin's Duje Dukan took a close look at the latest gear Adidas sent on Friday, the senior forward noticed the shoe-apparel giant had made a slight mistake.
Wisconsin's familiar colors and "W" were there, but someone had mistakenly stitched a Cincinnati Bearcats logo on the sleeve.
Of course Wisconsin's mascot is the Badgers, not the Bearcats, but Dukan can look on the bright side. Now he has a one-of-a-kind collector's item.
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- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Basketball coach Pat Geil has removed many players from practice for lackluster effort or shoddy performance.
Only once has he yanked a kid off the court for doing too well .
When Robert Upshaw enrolled at San Joaquin Memorial High School four years ago, the highly touted 6-foot-11 junior initially could only practice with his new team because of California transfer rules. Geil put Upshaw on the scout team in practice until the center's knack for swatting away shots in the paint created an unusual problem.
"He was blocking so many shots and making it so difficult to score that our starting big guys began losing confidence," Geil said. "When they got in games, they were hesitant to shoot. Eventually, we had to tell Rob, 'Why don't you sit out for a while.' Our big guys couldn't get up any shots against him in practice and it was killing us."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Each time Kevin Ollie answered a question about NC State transfer Rodney Purvis during last season's national title run, the UConn coach referred to the former McDonald's All-American as "a Ferrari sitting in the garage that I can't drive."
The Ferrari finally emerged from the garage this November, but so far Ollie hasn't gotten enough mileage out of it.
In the six games Purvis has played so far this season, he is scoring a modest 7.2 points per game, shooting only 35.1 percent from the field and averaging more turnovers than assists. He also was suspended for UConn's season opener against Bryant and sat out against Texas as a result of a lingering sprained ankle that was hampering his ability to attack the rim.
Purvis was healthy for UConn's 66-56 loss to Duke on Thursday night, but the sophomore wing still wasn't very effective. On a night when the Huskies desperately needed other scorers to emerge in support of star guard Ryan Boatright, Purvis played 30 minutes but sank only 4 of 11 shots and finished with eight points and three turnovers.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Considering the pain Branden Dawson appeared to be in after his hard fall Wednesday night against Eastern Michigan, the diagnosis doesn't seem as dire as it could have been.
Tests revealed the Michigan State senior suffered a stable, non-displaced fracture to his left wrist, the school announced Thursday night. He will miss at least the Spartans' next two games against Texas Southern and the Citadel but could return in time for Michigan State's Big Ten opener against Maryland on Dec. 30.
"I feel bad for Branden, as he's been practicing so well over the last few weeks," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in a school-released statement. "But we also feel a bit fortunate when you look at the video from the game; it certainly could have been worse."
Dawson suffered the injury when he fell hard to the floor attempting a tip dunk and braced the impact to his tailbone with his left wrist. He stood up wincing and shaking his wrist before retreating to the locker room where trainers wrapped the injury in ice.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 days ago
Lauren Hill's playing career is complete as a result of her deteriorating health, but the cancer-stricken Mount St. Joseph University freshman still isn't ready to leave basketball behind.
She will remain part of the Mount St. Joseph team as an honorary coach, head coach Dan Benjamin wrote in an email to various media outlets.
Hill has been as an inspiration to many nationwide because of her courage after receiving a dire diagnosis. Doctors discovered an inoperable tumor growing at the base of Hill's brain stem last year and told her she wouldn't live through December, yet she has refused to give up on her dream of playing college basketball.