- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger38 mins ago
At the end of a phone conversation with Ben Jacobson earlier this month, the Northern Iowa coach made a plea on behalf of star forward Seth Tuttle.
"He deserves more attention than he's getting," Jacobson said. "Boy, he does a lot for us. He's one of the most versatile guys in the country."
Neither Tuttle nor his team will fly under the radar much longer after what they accomplished Saturday in Northern Iowa's most high-profile game of the season. Tuttle scored a career-high 29 points to lead the Panthers to a decisive 70-54 victory over a Wichita State team that had won 27 consecutive league games prior to its visit to Cedar Rapids.
Northern Iowa's victory served notice that Wichita State won't romp to the Valley title the way it did during last year's undefeated season. The 18th-ranked Panthers (20-2, 9-1) and 12th-ranked Shockers (19-3, 9-1) are now tied atop the Valley standings with a potential winner-take-all return match set to take place in Wichita on the final Saturday of conference play.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 hrs ago
Falling at home against its city rival may not have been the biggest loss 14th-ranked VCU suffered Saturday afternoon.
Much more worrisome is that the Rams may have lost their senior point guard in the process.
Briante Weber suffered a potentially serious injury late in the second half of VCU's 64-55 loss when his right knee buckled as he jump stopped in the lane. The 6-foot-2 senior needed help off the floor and returned from the locker room on crutches for the final few minutes of the game.
VCU coach Shaka Smart declined to speculate on the severity of the injury until Weber undergoes an MRI later this weekend. Smart told reporters in Richmond he was hopeful the injury would not be a season-ending for Weber, but Richmond coach Chris Mooney did not paint an optimistic picture when he described his chat with the VCU senior in the postgame handshake line.
Said Mooney, "I asked him if [the injury was] bad, and he said he thought it might be."
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger3 hrs ago
Florida and Arkansas are tied in the middle of the SEC standings, but they shouldn't be.
The Gators were gifted a victory Saturday on a highly questionable foul call with less than 2 seconds remaining that allowed Florida guard Michael Frazier II to go to the foul line where he made two free throws to win 57-56.
Alandise Harris was called for the foul when it appeared he blocked Frazier's shot cleanly. Frazier had just grabbed an offensive rebound and was taking a potential game winner when his shot was blocked and he fell to the floor and an official blew his whistle.
Frazier on drawing foul with 1.9 seconds left "coach told us to crash the boards hard and that's what I tried to do."
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson made it clear what he thought of the call when asked about it postgame.
Mike Anderson on last-second foul call on Harris block: "All you've got to do is look at the replay. There's no way that was a foul."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger4 hrs ago
Having already dropped three straight including a maddening home loss against Clemson three days earlier, North Carolina State could not afford to stumble once more against another ACC bottom feeder on Sunday afternoon.
The Wolfpack barely avoided that fate thanks to late-game heroics from wing Trevor Lacey.
Two missed free throws from Georgia Tech's Quinton Stephens with 4.9 seconds left in overtime gave NC State life entering its final possession. Lacey then pushed the ball up court, pulled up from behind the top of the key and buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Wolfpack a much-needed 81-80 victory over the ACC's last-place team.
NC State only managed to force overtime when it benefited from a questionable call in the final seconds of regulation. Marcus Georges-Hunt attacked the rim from the left wing and drew contact with the score tied and just a few ticks left on the clock, but referees ruled that NC State's BeeJay Anya had drawn a charge even though he did not appear to have his feet set.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger5 hrs ago
Pittsburgh's résumé still needs quite a bit of work, but the Panthers took a big step in the right direction Saturday in halting a three-game losing streak with an impressive 76-72 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame.
It was the first victory over a top-10 team for the Panthers in two years and it came at a great time. Pitt was reeling entering the game having lost three straight, including, perhaps, the low point of the season, losing in overtime at Virginia Tech.
Prior to Saturday's victory, Pitt's best win probably came way back in November when it got the best of Kansas State in the Maui Invitational. One top-10 win isn't going to be enough to get the Panthers into the NCAA tournament, but if they can build off this one and keep some momentum, maybe they'll look back on this victory as a turning point.
A three-game stretch in mid-February against Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia will tell us if Pitt has a chance of going any further than an NIT bid in March.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger6 hrs ago
On the eve of his first game in Knoxville as the visiting coach, Bruce Pearl offered this prediction to the Knoxville News-Sentinel on how he'd be received by Tennessee fans.
"Some will be booing and some will be Bru-ing,” he said. “I do not know which one it will be."
Turns out Pearl sold himself short because his reception from the Tennessee crowd on Saturday afternoon was almost entirely favorable. Vols fans either chanted "Bruuuuce" or stood and applauded when Pearl was introduced, though those in the building said the cheers current Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall received were louder.
Pearl was businesslike on the sideline during Tennessee's 71-63 win, but it was clear the nostalgia factor affected him beforehand.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger6 hrs ago
University of Virginia sophomore Tyler Lewis drained his fourth attempt from halfcourt Saturday to win $18,000 from State Farm.
Lewis sent John Paul Jones Arena into a frenzy when he found the bottom of the net. He ran around the court for a moment before jumping on the scorer's table. Unbeaten and second-ranked Virginia hosts No. 4 Duke tonight in a huge ACC game.
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- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger8 hrs ago
Only at a college basketball game is mopping the floor an act of bravery.
You either must possess a keen sense of timing or quick enough reflexes to make up for it.
The poor guy in the above video found that out the hard way Friday night when he ventured onto the court to clean up a wet spot and soon found himself in jeopardy of getting trampled. Buffalo guard Rodell Wigginton stole the ball at mid-court from Kent State's Derek Jackson and barreled down court for an uncontested dunk, sending the mop guy scrambling to avoid getting run over.
Thankfully for all involved, a collision was averted. Plus the mop guy got more airtime on ESPNU than he probably had expected.
(Thanks for the video, Hustle Belt)
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- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Football isn't the only thing to watch this weekend. The clash between desperate Duke and unbeaten Virginia highlights a strong slate of college hoops that also includes a first-place showdown in the Valley and another matchup of ACC contenders:
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
The hardest hit of the week may not come on Super Sunday.
UMass guard Trey Davis endured a bone-rattling collision Thursday night rivaling anything the Seahawks or Patriots will unleash on one-another in Arizona.
A Dayton player blindsided Davis with a crushing screen as he was running full speed in pursuit of Flyers point guard Scoochie Smith late in UMass' 66-64 victory. The screen flattened Davis and left him writhing on the ground for several minutes, though it appears he escaped serious injury.
"He's OK," UMass coach Derrick Kellogg told reporters in Amherst after the game. "Well, he says he's OK. We'll see how he is for Saturday."
UMass students were livid that referees did not assess a foul on Dayton, but they probably should have saved their derogatory chants for the four Minutemen on the floor who failed to call out the screen. Replays showed the screener did not move and the pick was hard but legal.LiveToronto0 - 1PhiladelphiaFollow Game