Jeff Eisenberg

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  • Virginia falls after potential tie-breaking layup gets stuck on back rim

    London Perrantes’ potential game-winning layup got stuck on the rim (via ACC Digital Network)

    When Virginia’s London Perrantes knifed into the lane and attempted a tie-breaking layup late in Sunday night’s first overtime period, it seemed certain he was about to give his team the lead.

    Somehow, someway, the ball had other ideas.

    Perrantes’ potential game-winning layup bounced around every part of the basket before getting stuck atop the back rim. Referees then ruled the play a jump ball and awarded possession to Virginia Tech.

    While the Hokies failed to score on their final possession in the game’s first overtime, they took advantage of their new life in the second extra session. Seth Allen scored a short pull-up jumper with just over three seconds left to give Virginia Tech an 80-78 double-overtime victory over the 12th-ranked Cavaliers.

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  • Indiana's fifth loss in six games has its NCAA tournament hopes flickering

    Sixteen minutes into an already tough first half for his team, Indiana coach Tom Crean’s day somehow got even worse.

    Michigan’s Mo Wagner turned to run down court after hitting a 3-pointer and accidentally plowed into Crean, sending him tumbling to the floor. 

    The play was the perfect metaphor for the damage Michigan inflicted on Indiana with its 75-63 road win in Bloomington on Sunday afternoon. The outcome makes it very difficult to envision the Hoosiers picking themselves off the ground and climbing back into NCAA tournament contention this season.

    At 15-11 overall and 5-8 in the Big Ten, Indiana almost certainly wouldn’t be NCAA tournament-bound were the field selected today. The Hoosiers boast a pair of massive non-league victories over Kansas and North Carolina, but they’ve lost to every other KenPom top 50 opponent they’ve faced.

    Four of Indiana’s five remaining games are on the road, where they’re only 1-5 this season. (AP)

    The bubble is weak enough that obituaries for Indiana’s

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  • Gonzaga responds to selection committee's snub with big road win

    Przemek Karnowski led undefeated Gonzaga to a win in its toughest conference game this season. (AP)

    Hours after the NCAA tournament selection committee made it clear that Gonzaga’s No. 1 seed could be in jeopardy if loses even once before Selection Sunday, the Zags delivered a message of their own.

    They have no intention of dropping a game and leaving even a shred of doubt.

    Gonzaga survived its toughest test of West Coast Conference play Saturday night, cruising to a comfortable 74-64 road win at No. 20 Saint Mary’s. The Zags surged to a 15-point lead late in the first half and never allowed the Gaels to pull any closer than within five points the rest of the game.

    Dispatching of Saint Mary’s for the second time this season leaves Gonzaga (26-0, 14-0) with a clear path to its first-ever undefeated regular season. The remaining schedule features visits from San Francisco, Pacific and BYU and a lone road game against a rebuilding San Diego team that the Zags routed by 36 earlier this

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  • North Dakota State guard scores this season's greatest own basket

    On a day when North Dakota State’s Khy Kabellis scored a game-high 17 points, his most impressive shot counted against his own team.

    [Tourney Pick’em is open! Sign up now | Bracket Big Board]

    Kabellis scored one of the greatest own baskets of all time during the Bison’s 81-63 win over visiting Denver on Saturday afternoon.

    When Denver’s Thomas Neff missed a 3-pointer with just over six minutes left in the game, Kabellis scrambled after the rebound, corralled it in his left hand and flipped the ball behind his back as he fell into the opposing bench. Somehow, someway, the ball unintentionally landed in the basket, putting points on the board for Denver and leaving Kabellis with a sheepish grin on his face.

    Credit referees for knowing one of college basketball’s more obscure rules and awarding Denver two points even though Kabellis was behind the 3-point arc when he

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  • Bubble breakdown: Momentum-killing loss shrinks Syracuse's margin for error

    Just when it seemed Syracuse was surging back into NCAA tournament contention, the Orange suffered a damaging loss.

    They fell 80-75 against a Pittsburgh team that entered play having dropped eight of its previous nine games.

    Overpowered on the glass by Pittsburgh forwards Sheldon Jeter and Michael Young, Syracuse fell behind by as many as 12 points midway through the second half. Full-court pressure helped the desperate Orange storm back into striking distance, but their last chance slipped away when a pass from John Gillon bounced off Tyler Lydon’s fingers with the deficit at four and 50 seconds remaining.

    Syracuse’s loss snaps a five-game win streak and adds to the topsy-turvy nature of the Orange’s NCAA tournament résumé.

    Syracuse’s five-game win streak ended abruptly on Saturday with a damaging loss at Pitt (AP).

    On the one hand, Syracuse (16-10, 8-5) owns victories over Virginia, Florida State, Wake Forest and Miami, each of whom are among the KenPom top 40. On the other hand, the

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  • Big Ten fails to land a single team in committee's in-season top 16

    College basketball’s first-ever Selection Saturday wasn’t kind to the Big Ten.

    The NCAA tournament selection committee sent a clear message that it’s not impressed with the league by not including a single one of its teams in its top 16.

    The most prominent snub was Big Ten leader Wisconsin, which is 21-3 overall and ranked seventh in the latest AP poll. The committee likely deemed the Badgers unworthy of a spot on the top four seed lines because they lack the marquee wins that other top teams have.

    [Tourney Pick’em is open! Sign up now | Bracket Big Board]

    Not a single team Wisconsin has beaten received votes in either the AP or Coaches poll this week. The Badgers have no inexcusable losses, but the best teams they’ve beaten are Indiana, Marquette, Syracuse and Tennessee, none of whom are a lock to make the NCAA tournament yet.

    The Big Ten’s exclusion was the biggest talking point to emerge from a bracket reveal that otherwise featured few surprises.

    The selection committee revealed
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  • Four key questions before the selection committee reveals its top 16

    Because of its lack of marquee wins, Wisconsin could be disappointed with its seed on Saturday. (AP)

    At this time last year, Iowa was cruising toward a No. 1 seed and Wisconsin was projected to miss the NCAA tournament altogether.

    By Selection Sunday, the Hawkeyes had faded to a No. 7 and the Badgers had surged to the same seed line.

    The lesson here is that Saturday’s bracket preview show will provide just a snapshot — nothing more. When the selection committee unveils its first-ever in-season top 16 rankings, they’re sure to generate discussion and controversy, yet they’re ultimately not especially meaningful since teams still have a month of games left to play.

    What will at least be somewhat instructive is the glimpse at how the committee assesses the nation’s elite teams to this point. Here’s a look at the four biggest questions entering Saturday’s first in-season bracket preview:

    1. Who will the four No. 1 seeds be?

    Even after two chaotic weeks rife with upsets, the race for a No. 1

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  • How a bold defensive switch fueled UCLA's furious rally past Oregon

    Lonzo Ball scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but it was his defense that propelled UCLA. (AP)

    LOS ANGELES — The most important contribution Lonzo Ball made to UCLA’s dramatic 82-79 victory over fifth-ranked Oregon wasn’t his impossibly deep last-minute 3-pointer or the smooth driving layup that preceded it.

    The Bruins never would have overcome a 15-point second-half deficit were it not for his stifling defense.

    When UCLA coach Steve Alford switched Ball onto Oregon star Dillon Brooks midway through the second half, the 10th-ranked Bruins were in jeopardy of being run off their own floor and in desperate need of a defensive spark. Oregon had carved up the oft-maligned UCLA defense by identifying perimeter mismatches and ruthlessly exploiting them.

    Chief among UCLA’s issues was its inability to find a defender who could stay in front of Brooks. The versatile Oregon forward scorched the Bruins for 19 points in the game’s first 25 minutes, repeatedly blowing past taller, slower T.J.

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  • Arizona can dare to dream big again now that Allonzo Trier is back

    Allonzo Trier was reinstated Friday night in time for Saturday's game at UCLA (AP)
    Allonzo Trier was reinstated Friday night in time for Saturday’s game at UCLA. (AP)

    No longer does Arizona have to temper expectations this college basketball season.

    Now the Wildcats can take aim at capturing the Pac-12 title and even dare to dream of getting coach Sean Miller to his first Final Four.

    Anything is now within reach after Friday night’s news that sophomore guard Allonzo Trier has been reinstated by the NCAA. Trier, the Wildcats’ leading returning scorer, sat out the team’s first 19 games this season while serving a PED-related suspension.

    The NCAA notified Arizona on Friday afternoon that Trier’s most recent drug test was negative, paving the way for his immediate return to the court. Arizona (17-2, 6-0) subsequently released a statement late Friday night announcing that Trier will be available in time for maybe the 14th-ranked Wildcats’ biggest game of the season Saturday at UCLA (19-1).

    Hailed as one of the top prospects in the 2015 class, Trier lived up to his hype as

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  • Myles Davis abruptly leaves Xavier 13 days after return from suspension

    Xavier guard Myles Davis had not scored a basket in three games this season (Getty Images).
    Xavier guard Myles Davis had not scored a basket in three games this season (Getty Images).

    Not even two weeks after expressing excitement about returning from a 15-game suspension, Xavier’s Myles Davis apparently has experienced a change of heart.

    The senior guard announced on Twitter that he’s leaving the Musketeers program even though this season is barely halfway over.

    Davis’ departure is a surprise even though he had not made the immediate impact he expected to in his return from suspension. In Xavier’s back-to-back-to-back losses to Villanova, Butler and Creighton the past two weeks, Davis missed all eight shots he attempted, scored his only two points at the foul line and did not record a single assist.

    That’s a far cry from last season when Davis averaged 10.8 points and 4.1 assists for a Musketeers team that won 28 games. The 6-foot-2 combo guard had been expected to boost a Xavier offense shooting an

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