- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger50 mins ago
His head throbbing, legs wobbly and eyes flickering, Trace Dimeff struggled to stand.
The Central Arizona College guard had just taken a violent knee to the jaw Saturday night while diving for a loose ball, but he refused to remain flat on his back on the floor with his team down five late in overtime. Dimeff instead staggered to his feet, lurched to the left corner and buried maybe the most improbable shot of the college basketball season thus far.
When you lowkey got a mild concussion but ball is still life & you gotta hit the clutch corner three w 5 secs left pic.twitter.com/BqX3v6M70w
"I don't know what my teammate was thinking, but he passed me the ball," Dimeff told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday. "I didn't even see the shot go in honestly. I started falling down right after I shot it, but I heard everyone start yelling. I think it was all muscle memory."
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger16 hrs ago
If the Sun Belt Conference coaches could re-do their preseason poll armed with the information learned in the season's first two weeks, it's a good bet Texas-Arlington would finish higher in the voting than the eighth-place finish the coaches forecast back in the third week of October.
Texas-Arlington pulled off a second consecutive surprising road win Monday night beating Memphis 68-64, just three days after beating Ohio State in similar fashion.
The Mavericks are certainly one of the most surprising teams in the nation at this point in the season not just because of their two most recent wins but because they are succeeding so early after losing their top-four scorers from last season.
Sophomore forward Kevin Hervey figured to be a key piece of this season's team after averaging seven points a game a year ago. He led the Mavericks with 22 points and 11 rebounds Monday for his first double-double of the year.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger17 hrs ago
As Illinois players spilled onto the court in celebration of Jalen Coleman-Lands game-winning 3-pointer on Monday night, embattled Illini coach John Groce could only muster a relieved smile.
Groce knew the Illini never should have needed last-second heroics to eke out an 82-79 victory over lowly Chicago State.
The shrewdly designed, well-executed play to free Coleman-Lands was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal Illinois performance. Inbound passer Malcolm Hill got the ball back via a handoff at the foul line, sped up court and fed a wide-open Coleman-Lands spotted up in the corner for a game-winning shot that beat the buzzer by no more than a couple tenths of a second.
Coleman-Lands' shot ensured Illinois would not start the season 1-4 for the first time since before the Cubs last won the World Series.The Illini (2-3) already lost a tough one-point heartbreaker to Providence and fell at home against North Florida and Chattanooga.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger19 hrs ago
Ben Simmons turned in another head-shaking stat line Monday night. His passing skills dazzled, his defense frustrated and his offense delighted, particularly a running overhead shot that gave LSU its first lead in the final minute.
What the nation's best freshman didn't do in his first 20-20 game was knock down the game-winning shot twice in the final seconds when presented with the opportunity. He passed up both shots in favor of passes to teammates. The first was a good decision as Marquette defenders converged on him near the free throw line. The second decision is one he'll probably want back but also one from which he will learn
Jalyn Patterson missed a deep 3-pointer off of Simmons' pass and Marquette celebrated handing Simmons and his LSU teammates their first loss of the season 81-80 and the first loss of Simmons' oollege career in a semifinal of the Legends Classic.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger20 hrs ago
Any improvement Indiana showed defensively in its first three games may have been a mirage.
The Hoosiers suffered a surprising 82-78 loss in the Maui Invitational quarterfinals on Monday because they couldn't come up with stops when they needed them.
A rebuilding Wake Forest team playing without last season's leading scorer exploited Indiana's defensive shortcomings with alarming ease. The Demon Deacons shot 50.7 percent because the Hoosiers couldn't stop dribble penetration, closed out on shooters too slowly and failed to adequately control the defensive glass or protect the rim.
Especially alarming were the issues prized freshman big man Thomas Bryant experienced moving laterally and defending ball screens. In the first half, perimeter-oriented Konstantinos Mitoglou gave him a ton of problems. In the second half, Wake Forest attacked him relentlessly off the dribble, especially in the final minute as the Demon Deacons clawed their way back from a late nine-point deficit.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Before boarding a flight for Puerto Rico a few days ago, Miami coach Jim Larranaga solidified his program's future by securing commitments from a pair of 2016 Rivals top 50 prospects.
Then the Hurricanes arrived at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and proved their current team is worthy of excitement too.
They annihilated Mississippi State by 26 points in Thursday's opening round. They demolished 16th-ranked Utah by 24 in Friday semifinals. They roared to a 19-point first-half lead over 22nd-ranked Butler in Sunday's championship game before withstanding a late surge from the Bulldogs and emerging with an 85-75 victory.
Three emphatic wins in Puerto Rico suggest that Miami may have been one of the nation's most underrated teams entering the new season. Not only have the unbeaten Hurricanes accomplished enough to deserve a spot in the AP Top 25 when it's released anew Monday morning, it would also be a travesty if they don't debut somewhere in the top 15.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 days ago
Any doubts Grayson Allen experienced after a nightmarish performance against Kentucky on Tuesday night have surely vanished a mere five days later.
The Duke star enjoyed a confidence-replenishing weekend in New York City while leading the Blue Devils to victories over a pair of perennial NCAA tournament teams.
Showcasing a lethal jump shot, a quick first step to the basket and an ability to draw fouls or finish in traffic, Allen propelled Duke to an 86-84 win over Georgetown in Sunday's championship game of the 2K Classic. The sophomore guard finished with 32 points on just 12 shots, none bigger than the fist pump-inducing right-wing 3-pointer he hit with 2:49 remaining to give the Blue Devils the eight-point cushion they would need to close out the Hoyas.
Allen's brilliant performance against the Hoyas (1-3) on Sunday eclipsed the career-high scoring output he put up only two nights earlier in the 2K Classic semis against VCU. On that night, he sliced up the Rams' turnover-inducing, high-pressure defense, scoring 30 points in 37 minutes despite coming off the bench for the only time this season.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 days ago
Buzz Williams found a clever way to honor Frank Beamer hours after the revered Virginia Tech football coach was carried off the field by his players after his final home game.
Williams wore a long-sleeved T-shirt with Beamer's likeness on it during the second half of the Hokies' 76-52 victory over VMI on Saturday evening.
BUZZ rocking the Beamer T for the second half! pic.twitter.com/3xt71BkwBC
The tribute from Williams was touching considering he and Beamer haven't been Virginia Tech colleagues for very long. Whereas Williams is only just beginning his second season in Blacksburg, Beamer served as head coach at his alma mater since 1987 and led his alma mater to seven conference championships.
Virginia Tech fans stayed en masse at Lane Stadium after the Hokies' overtime loss to North Carolina on Saturday to listen to Beamer address the crowd one final time. Many Hokies fans also praised Williams on social media for his touching gesture.
Love Buzz in the Beamer shirt. The way Whit got a guy like that for basketball that "gets it" gives me so much hope for the football search.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger3 days ago
The homecoming game North Carolina coach Roy Williams scheduled for Marcus Paige did not go as either of them planned.
Not only did a broken finger prevent Paige from playing, the Tar Heels also floundered down the stretch in the Iowa native's absence.
Having built a 16-point lead at Northern Iowa three minutes into the second half, top-ranked North Carolina failed to deliver a knockout blow. The Panthers instead made the Tar Heels pay for lackadaisical perimeter defense, careless ball handling and poor shot selection, erasing that deficit with a blistering seven-minute surge and then emerging with a 71-67 upset victory.
Northern Iowa wasn't expected to match the success of last year's 31-win NCAA tournament team without graduated star Seth Tuttle, but a new go-to threat emerged for the Panthers late in Saturday's game. Senior point guard Wes Washpun scorched the Tar Heels off the dribble, scoring the majority of his 21 points via forays to the rim and also dishing out eight assists.
It was Washpun's penetration that sparked the 20-4 Northern Iowa second-half spurt that tied the game and the late push that won it for the Panthers.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger3 days ago
Michigan State dropped Kansas on Tuesday night. Iowa and Indiana routed Big East opponents two nights later. Maryland, Michigan and Purdue each are also unbeaten and ranked in the AP Top 25.
At a time when the Big Ten is performing exceedingly well in non-conference play, one of the few exceptions is the reigning league champions.
A dropoff was inevitable for Wisconsin after losing five of its top seven players from a team that appeared in back-to-back Final Fours, but the way the Badgers have started the new season suggests that fall could be sharper than anticipated. Wisconsin lost for the second time in four games in Friday's first Legends Classic semifinal, falling 71-61 to a Georgetown team that entered the tournament still searching for its first win.
Whereas Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky and the rest of last year's Badgers formed one of the nation's most potent offenses, this year's group appears to be lacking weapons. Leading returning scorer Nigel Hayes had 22 points to keep Wisconsin within striking distance against Georgetown, but the Badgers could never make a sustained run because no other scoring threats emerged.