- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger5 hrs ago
The most damaging part of the NCAA's punishment of Syracuse isn't the suspension of Jim Boeheim, the elimination of more than 100 of his wins or the meaningless postseason ban during a year when the Orange weren't going to make the NCAA tournament anyway.
Taking away so many scholarships is the wound that will actually bleed.
The NCAA will reduce the number of scholarships Syracuse can use by three for four consecutive seasons beginning either for the 2015-16 year or the year after depending on the school's preference. That means Syracuse will have a maximum of 10 scholarship players on its roster each of those seasons.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger9 hrs ago
A mere behind-the-back pass didn't provide the wow factor Arizona State's Shaquielle McKissic sought on Thursday night.
The senior forward instead pulled off a behind-the-back layup during the Sun Devils' 67-62 victory over Stanford.
Upon drawing contact from Stanford's Anthony Brown while chasing down a transition bounce pass from teammate Tra Holder, McKissic tossed up a shot behind his head just to make sure he got to the foul line. Improbably, the shot banked in, giving McKissic a three-point play opportunity and one of SportsCenter's top 10 plays Thursday night.
The layup was the highlight of an outstanding performance from McKissic. The Seattle native torched Stanford for 23 points, seven rebounds and four steals, propelling Arizona State to a victory that gives it realistic hope of earning the No. 5 seed in the Pac-12 tournament despite an 0-4 start to conference play.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger19 hrs ago
Davidson coach Bob McKillop is giving Dayton's Archie Miller a run for his money when it comes to the best coaching job of the season in the A-10.
The award is likely to go to Miller, who had to overcome losing his two best big men, but McKillop deserves some consideration with the remarkable job he has done guiding the Wildcats to within one win of at least a share of the A-10 regular season title in their first season in the conference.
Davidson dominated VCU, the team expected to win the conference back in the preseason, on Thursday with hot shooting and strong guard play handling VCU's havoc in a 82-55 win.
The Wildcats are once again looking like that mid-major team no one is going to want to see in the postseason.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger19 hrs ago
The headline on Delaware State's athletics site labeled Kendall Gray's performance Thursday night a "monster game."
Even that isn't doing it justice.
The 6-foot-10 senior became only the fourth Division I player since 1980 to tally 30 or more rebounds in a single game. He played all 40 minutes and finished with 33 points and 30 rebounds in Delaware State's 104-92 victory over Coppin State.
The last player to pull down 30 or more rebounds in the same game is Arkansas-Little Rock forward Rashad Jones-Jennings, who had 30 in a victory against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Dec. 2005. Fresno State's Larry Abney had 35 in a Feb. 2000 loss to SMU and Southern's Jervaughn Scales had 32 in a Feb. 1994 victory over Grambling State.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger21 hrs ago
Bernard Thompson's college career ended Thursday night in the cruelest fashion imaginable.
The Florida Gulf Coast senior missed the potential game-tying free throw with 1.4 seconds left in the Atlantic Sun semifinals, condemning the second-seeded Eagles to a heartbreaking 63-62 loss to third-seeded South Carolina Upstate.
FGCU trailed by three points in the dying seconds of regulation when Thompson zoomed up court and drew a foul attempting a top of the key 3-pointer. Thompson calmly made the first two foul shots for his 24th and 25th points of the night, but his third attempt was inches long and caromed off the back rim as time expired.
The missed free throw sent South Carolina Upstate to the Atlantic Sun title game to face top-seeded North Florida. It also ensured FGCU will not have a chance to reenact its swashbuckling 2013 NCAA tournament run when it upset Georgetown and San Diego State, earned the moniker 'Dunk City' and became the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
If March doesn't truly become March until the first postseason buzzer beater drops, then consider this the official start of college basketball's most beloved month.
Third-seeded Bryant trailed sixth-seeded Sacred Heart by three points in the dying seconds of Wednesday night's Northeast Conference quarterfinal when Dan Garvin corralled the rebound of a Dyami Starks missed 3-pointer and saved it to Joe O'Shea. In desperation, the 6-foot-4 senior sank an off-balance 3-pointer from the left of the top of the key as the buzzer sounded, forcing overtime and enabling Bryant to escape with a 91-85 victory after the second extra session.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
With less than two 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.
LSU's latest loss to a lesser-talented team damaged more than its chances of securing an at-large bid.
By falling 78-63 at home against rebuilding Tennessee on Wednesday night, the Tigers also may have torpedoed the hopes of an SEC rival.
The only RPI top 75 victories Texas A&M (20-9, 11-6) has this season came via a pair of victories over LSU during SEC play. That sweep could have been meaningful for the Aggies except the underachieving Tigers have fallen back to the bubble with bad league losses against Missouri, Auburn, Mississippi State and now Tennessee.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger1 day ago
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was blamed by many Duke basketball fans last year for jinxing the Blue Devils, who lost to 14th-seeded Mercer in the NCAA tournament.
Romo had visited Duke weeks before the tournament and some believed his habit of early exits from the NFL playoffs rubbed off on the Blue Devils.
But there was Romo Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium amongst the Cameron Crazies cheering on the Blue Devils as they annhilated Wake Forest 94-51. The third-ranked Blue Devils won their 27th game with Romo looking on and look to be on their way to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 days ago
At the end of a star-crossed season in which it has lost 10 conference games by nine or fewer points, Penn State received another ill-timed dose of misfortune Wednesday night.
The Nittany Lions were the victim of one of the most baffling foul calls of the season early in their 77-67 loss to Ohio State.
As senior forward Ross Travis was preparing to finish a fast break with an uncontested dunk, teammate D.J. Newbill was trailing the play. Somehow Newbill was whistled for an offensive foul negating the dunk even though, if anything, Ohio State forward Amir Williams shoved him out of the way.
That the call went against Newbill on senior night was especially cruel. The Penn State guard is already one of the nation's most unappreciated stars because he averages 20.4 points per game on a below-the-radar team that's 3-13 in the Big Ten and has no other double-digit scorers.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 days ago
Picture Hank Gathers on the basketball court, and one of the first things you'll inevitably remember is how strong he was.
The chiseled 6-foot-7 former Loyola Marymount star was a scoring and rebounding machine around the rim. He was the self-proclaimed strongest man in America, a scorer so automatic he earned the nickname "Hank the Bank," a future NBA star whose coach referred to him as a "walking thunderbolt."
Those qualities were part of the reason Gathers' death 25 years ago today was so sad and so shocking. On March 4, 1990, a 23-year-old man who was outwardly invincible slammed home a long lob pass during a game against Portland, then stumbled, collapsed and tragically never got up.
The death of Gathers still evokes strong feelings from the six-year-old son who barely got to know his dad and from the teammates who famously honored him with a stunning Elite Eight run that began just days after his death. They spoke to Yahoo Sports last year for the above video about Gathers' legacy and the 1990 NCAA tournament run.
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