WICHITA – The American Athletic Conference voted unanimously on Friday to add Wichita State to the league starting with the 2017-18 season.
Wichita State announced it accepted the AAC’s invitation and will leave the Missouri Valley Conference. The Shockers have been members of the MVC since 1945.
Wichita State will join the AAC in all its sports — the school does not have a football program — giving the AAC both a 12-team football and basketball league. The AAC has 11 all-sports members (Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and UCF) and Navy is a football-only member.
The Shockers were targeted for the AAC because of their basketball success. Wichita State has been to the NCAA Tournament six consecutive years, winning at least one game in the past five tournaments and reaching the 2013 Final Four.
“We are pleased and proud to welcome Wichita State to The American,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This is a university with a strong athletic and academic heritage which shares our conference’s commitment to excellence, and we look forward to having them as a member. The university has an exceptionally strong tradition of success in men’s basketball and baseball. The addition of Wichita State in basketball and Olympic sports extends our conference’s national footprint, enhances our national profile and strengthens our position as a leader in intercollegiate athletics.”
Wichita State returns most of its key players from coach Gregg Marshall’s team that went 31-5 this past season. The Shockers lost to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last month.
“Wichita State is just a tremendous addition to our league,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “Coach Marshall’s program is all about winning championships. Year in and year out, they are nationally ranked and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. I know next season, they are already being projected as a top 10 team. In men’s basketball, the American Conference just went up a level.
PHOENIX – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – At a news conference during the off-day of the NCAA Final Four event, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced 11 members of the Class of 2017 to be honored September 7-9, 2017 during this year’s Enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Class Announcement was made in Glendale, Arizona the site of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four, and televised live on ESPN2.
This year’s class includes the all-time winningest boys high school coach Robert Hughes, WNBA icon and ESPN Analyst Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, three-time Consensus National College Coach of the Year from Notre Dame Muffet McGraw, and two-time AP College Coach of the Year Bill Self.
Distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game also selected six directly elected members. They include George McGinnis from the Veterans Committee, Nick Galis from the International Committee, Zack Clayton from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, and Mannie Jackson, Tom Jernstedt and Jerry Krause from the Contributor Committee.
“In the Class of 2017, we are recognizing eleven outstanding members of the basketball community who have each uniquely impacted the basketball landscape as we know it today,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “As coaches, players, contributors and role models, we thank them for their contributions to the sport and look forward to honoring them during Enshrinement this September.”
To be elected, North American and Women’s Committee finalists must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Direct elect committees are incorporated into the election process to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting procedures and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.
“To be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible achievement,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board. “The Class of 2017 has shown unwavering perseverance and dedication to the game and we are very pleased to honor them in Springfield this fall.”
The Class of 2017 will be enshrined on Friday, September 8 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball and home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017:
North American Committee:
ROBERT HUGHES [Coach] – Hughes coached high school basketball in Texas for 47 years and ranks first on the all-time wins list for boys’ high school coaches. He has compiled an overall high school coaching record of 1,333-247 (.844) and led his teams to 35 district championships and five state championships. He served as Head coach of the McDonald’s All-America Game West team (2001). Hughes was named the NHSCA National High School Coach of the Year (2003) and recipient of the Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award (2010). He has been inducted into the Texas Basketball Hall of Fame (1993) and High School Basketball Hall of Fame (2003).
TRACY MCGRADY [Player] – McGrady is a seven-time NBA All-Star (2001-2007) and a two-time NBA Scoring Champion (2003, 2004). After being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2001, he was named to the All-NBA First Team in 2002 and 2003. In McGrady’s 15 NBA seasons, he averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists per game and set an Orlando Magic franchise record for most points in a single game (62). He is regarded as one of the first impact players to make the jump from high school to the NBA. Internationally, he earned a FIBA America’s Championship Gold Medal in 2003 and was named a Chinese Basketball Association All-Star in 2013. As a prep star at Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina, McGrady was selected as a McDonald’s All-American and the USA Today High School Player of the Year (1997).
BILL SELF [Coach] – Self is a two-time AP College Coach of the Year (2009, 2016) and seven-time Conference Coach of the Year (WAC: 2000; Big 12: 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017). He was named the Naismith Coach of the Year in 2012 and NABC Coach of the Year and USA Today National Coach of the Year in 2016. Self has compiled an overall coaching record of 623-93 (.763) during his time as the head coach of Oral Roberts (1993-1997), Tulsa (1997-2000), Illinois (2000-2003) and Kansas (2003-present). He is one of six coaches in NCAA history to lead three different teams to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and he guided Tulsa and Kansas to nine 30-win seasons. Self has led Kansas to 13 consecutive Big 12 regular season championships (2005-2016) and 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances, including an NCAA National Championship in 2008. He received the Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award in 2015.
REBECCA LOBO [Contributor] – Lobo, a native of Southwick, Massachusetts, was a member of the undefeated NCAA National Champion Connecticut Huskies (1995). That same year, she earned NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, AP Female Athlete of the Year, the Wade Trophy, the Naismith Award, WBCA National Player of the Year and USBWA National Player of the Year. In 1994 and 1995, she was named Kodak First Team All-America, BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, and GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team. Lobo earned an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta in 1996 and was an iconic player assigned to the New York Liberty when the WNBA formed in 1997. After six years in the WNBA, Lobo became an ESPN analyst for women’s college basketball and the WNBA.
MUFFET MCGRAW [Coach] – McGraw is the only male or female three-time Consensus National College Coach of the Year (2001, 2013, 2014) earning the Naismith Coach of the Year, Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year, WBCA National Coach of the Year and USBWA National Coach of the Year. She is also a seven-time Conference Coach of the Year with the East Coast Conference, North Star Conference, Midwestern Collegiate Conference, BIG EAST and Atlantic Coast Conference (1983,1988, 1991, 2001, 2013, 2014 2016). As the coach of Notre Dame women’s basketball since 1987, she has led her team to 23 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including 13 NCAA Sweet Sixteens, seven NCAA Elite Eights and seven NCAA Final Fours (1997, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) with one National Championship in 2001. McGraw is one of four coaches in NCAA Division I history with 800 wins, seven Final Fours and five NCAA title games.
NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME DIRECT ELECT MEMBERS:
Contributor Direct Election Committee:
MANNIE JACKSON [Contributor] – A former star for the Harlem Globetrotters (1960-1966), Jackson saved the Globetrotters from near extinction in 1993 when he purchased the team and became CEO (1993-2007). In doing so, he became the first African-American owner of a major international sports and entertainment organization. He revived the organization and led the team to record attendance and revenue growth. Jackson served as Chairman of the Board for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2007-2009) and is the namesake of the Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. His biography, Boxcar to Boardrooms, details his rise from humble beginnings to professional athlete and successful businessman.
TOM JERNSTEDT [Contributor] – Tom Jernstedt is a basketball administrator credited with guiding the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship to the elite sporting event it is today. In 38 consecutive years with the NCAA (1972-2010), he held numerous leadership roles including Executive Vice President, while being a liaison to committees focused on officiating and television negotiations, among others. With USA Basketball, he served as President (2001-2004) and Vice President (1997-2000). As one of the most influential figures in college basketball and college sports, he received the Basketball Hall of Fame’s John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award (2001) and USA Basketball’s Edward S. Steitz Award (2009). Jernstedt was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
JERRY KRAUSE [Contributor] – Jerry Krause was a professional basketball scout for several NBA teams, most notably recognized as the General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Chicago Bulls (1985-2003). Under his leadership, the Bulls won six world championships and became one of the most iconic teams in the history of sports. Krause was twice named NBA Executive of the Year (1988, 1996) and several members of the teams he assembled have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman). Krause was the only person in history to be an executive in the NBA and Major League Baseball.
Early African American Pioneers Committee:
ZACK CLAYTON [Player] – Zack Clayton, recognized as one of the all-time great basketball players of the Black Fives Era, played for several all-black teams including his hometown Philadelphia Panthers, the Chicago Crusaders, and the renowned Harlem Globetrotters and New York Rens. He won two World Professional Basketball Tournament championships, the first in 1939 with the Rens and the second in 1953 with the Washington Bears. An enshrine of the Philadelphia Basketball Hall of Fame (1989), Clayton played on some of the era’s greatest teams and was a featured star. He earned All-Tournament honors in 1939 and 1943 for his performances in the World Pro Tournament.
NICK GALIS [Player] – Nick Galis is widely considered the greatest basketball player in Greek history, in addition to being voted Greece’s best all-around athlete in 1986 and 1987. He led ARIS of Thessaloniki to seven straight Greek League championships and eight overall (1983, 1985-91). Galis won a European Championship gold medal and European Championships MVP in 1987, while also taking home silver in 1989. He led the Greece A-1 League in scoring a record 12 straight seasons, averaging 33.4 points per game in his career. Galis was named one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1991, and is a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame (2007). He played collegiately at Seton Hall and was inducted into the Seton Hall Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
GEORGE MCGINNIS [Player] – George McGinnis was a six-time All-Star during his professional career in both the ABA (1971-1975) and the NBA (1975-1982). He averaged 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game in the ABA, winning two ABA championships with the Indiana Pacers (1972, 1973) and co-MVP honors with Hall of Famer Julius Erving (1975). He has since been named to the 30-man ABA All-Time Team. In the NBA, McGinnis averaged 17.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and earned All-NBA First Team in 1976. A native of Indianapolis, McGinnis was a powerful force at the amateur level as well, leading George Washington High School to an undefeated season and state championship in 1969, then going on to University of Indiana where he earned All-American distinction while averaging 29.9 points per game.
SAN JOSE – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points and fed Sean O’Mara for the winning layup with 54 seconds remaining as 11th-seeded Xavier upset second-seeded Arizona 73-71 on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament West Region semifinals at SAP Center.
The Musketeers (24-13) scored the final nine points, including five by Malcolm Bernard and two by Bluiett, to earn an Elite Eight matchup with top-seeded Gonzaga on Saturday. The winner advances to its first Final Four.
The Wildcats’ Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, and Arizona took a 71-64 lead on Kadeem Allen’s driving layup with 2:52 remaining. But the Wildcats (32-5) missed their last six field-goal attempts.
Bernard scored 15 points and J.P Macura added 14 for Xavier, the lowest remaining seed in the tournament. Dusan Ristic scored 17 points for Arizona, which had won six in a row and 11 of 12.
No. 1 Gonzaga 61, No. 4 West Virginia 58
SAN JOSE — Jordan Mathews scored 13 points and made three 3-pointers, the last with 57.3 seconds remaining to help the Bulldogs move one game away from their first Final Four.
Przemek Karnowski and Johnathan Williams also had 13 points for Gonzaga (35-1).
The Mountaineers (28-9) missed two 3-point field goal attempts in the last 20 seconds and could not get off another as the buzzer sounded. West Virginia’s Jevon Carter scored 21 points, but missed the two 3-pointers in the final moments.
No. 3 Oregon 69, No. 7 Michigan 68
KANSAS CITY – The Ducks held the Wolverines scoreless in the final 2:02, surviving Derrick Walton Jr.’s missed jumper at the buzzer to reach the Midwest Region Final.
Tyler Dorsey scored 20 points for Oregon (32-5), which meets Kansas in Saturday’s Region final. Jordan Bell had 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Dillon Brooks had 12 points and Dylan Ennis scored 10.
Walton led Michigan (26-12) with 20 points. He was joined in double figures by Zak Irvin with 19 points and D.J. Wilson with 12.
No. 1 Kansas 98, No. 4 Purdue 66
KANSAS CITY — The Jayhawks got 26 points apiece from Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham to rout Purdue in the Midwest Region semifinals at Sprint Center before 18,475 fans, mostly clad in Kansas’ crimson and blue.
Josh Jackson scored 15 points, Legerald Vick added 12 and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk had 10 for the Jayhawks (31-4), who won their three NCAA Tournament games by 90 points.
The Boilermakers (27-8) were led by Caleb Swanigan with 18 points. P.J. Thompson had 12 points and Isaac Haas 11
By TERRY LYONS
Fifth in a Series
NEW YORK – The challenge of naming the 2017 “DIGGIES” for NCAA College basketball is not finding 64 worthy Twitter accounts, but in weeding through the hundreds of options for each team preparing for the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, otherwise known as “March Madness.”
In general, there are no fewer than two and as many as a dozen or more “feeds” associated with each team and they are most frequently among the following:
- School account
- Athletic Department account
- Men’s Basketball Team account
- Head Coach account (disappointing results to be seen by clicking HERE)
- Student Newspaper account
- Various media and/or beat-writers’ accounts
- Multiple Fan accounts, registering “above the bar” of interest
To compile the 2017 DIGGIES for March Madness, we’ve sifted through hundreds of the Twitter feeds and many lists previously compiled and have selected the following 68 winners. (Feel free to tweet or post your suggestions to our Twitter or Facebook to note possible oversights or to lobby for your favorite Twitter feeds for next March).
Link to this Story is HERE
Twitter List link is HERE
And, here we go…. Drum Roll – PUHLEEZE.
Our “Play-In” accounts:
@marchmadness – Official account for th tournament, run by the NCAA
@marchmadnesstv – Official account for all television information, provided by partners CBS Sports and Turner Sports
@ESPNCBB – Official account for ESPN’s college basketball coverage
@FinalFour – The official account for this year’s “Road to Phoenix,” the destination for March Madness.
Our “First Round” of 32 great accounts:
@OneShiningMoment – Twitter account for composer David Barrett who gets an entire year’s worth of exposure in a few March weeks every year.
@TheACC – Well, because it’s the ACC.
@CBSSportsCBB – A terrific resource for the entire tourney.
@Coach_Collins – Chris Collins is the coach of Northwestern and he’ll have some journalism students following his official account.
@CDortch – Editor of the College Basketball Blue Ribbon guide.
@BasketballTimes – Longtime bible magazine for college hoops and “Old-Skool” coverage. They need to up the twitter campaign.
@TeamCoachBuzz – Coach Buzz Williams does a nice job, on and off the court.
@TurnerSportsEJ – Official account for studio host extraordinaire Ernie Johnson Jr.
@NCAAwbb – Let’s be sure to give the women’s tourney our love and attention. Some serious hoops being played, for sure.
@NovaMBB – If you’re not following the defending (and possibly the repeat) champions Villanova Wildcats, you’re nowhere.
@DavidWorlock – Account for NCAA Director of Media Coordination and Stats, a media coordinator for March Madness.
@EdGraney – Columnists/reporter for the Las VegasReview-Journal and president of the US Basketball writers, the association for college hoops reporters.
@br_cbb – Bleacher Report does a nice job across all of their sports and college hoops is on the high side of that coverage.
@BIGEASTMBB – The BIG EAST sent its magnificent seven teams to the Dance, so let’s see what they have to say?
@NUMensBBall – Northwestern U made the tourney. Worthy of a follow, right?
@richarddeitsch – SI’s Richard Deitsch covers sports business with a relentless Zone Defense that would make Jim Boeheim proud.
@BillWalton – One of the greatest college basketball players of all-time, tweets his thoughts in a calmer, gentler manner than his on-air persona.
@DaggumRoy – Follow Daggum Roy … Trust us. It’ll make you laugh as long as UNC goes down the Road to the Final Four.
@DailyDoseofHoops – A NY-based account following college hoops.
@UCLAMBB – We’re picking and choosing only a few official MBB accounts, and by doing so, tipping our hand as indicator of bracket picks.
@CoachOtz – South Dakota State’s head coach has a twitter persona like no other coach in the tourney. Give him a shot.
@usabasketball – The official account for USA Basketball keeps an eye on all things hoops. It’s a MUST FOLLOW.
@NABC1927 – Official account of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
@YahooSports – The overall account for all of Yahoo Sports but heavy CBB in the next month
@USBWA – Official account for the college basketball writers.
@jasonrmcintyre – Reporter for The Big Lead, a USA Today affiliate.
@ZO2_ – Lonzo Ball is getting lots of attention, as is his father.
@ZonaZooOfficial – Check it out. It’s the official student section for Arizona and a lead to others of its kind.
@LukeWinn – Senior reporter for Sports Illustrated
@Alexander_wolff – If it’s about college hoops, Alex is our lifeline call. He isn’t a heavy tweeter, though, but should be.
@Rivals – Stay on this account for recruiting news in CBB and NCAAF too.
(We’re happy to assist in the planning!)
Our “Sweet 16” accounts:
@DickieV – What would college hoops coverage be without Dick Vitale? C’mon baby? He’s a prime time tweeter.
@SIPeteThamel – Terrific coverage all year long and it shines at this time of year.
@GreggDoyleStar – Gregg Doyle covers sports for the Indianapolis Star where college hoops is king.
@YahooForde – Pat Forde writes for Yahoo and covers college
@SethOnHoops – Former coach Seth Greenberg has become must watch tv for college hoops fans, so you might as well follow too.
@DukeMBB – Love ’em or hate ’em, Duke is college hoop.
@UKCoachCalipari – Coach Cal’s official account has more followers than all the other tourney coaches COMBINED!
@RealJayWilliams – The “real” Jay Williams does a REAL good job.
@ESPNDanaOneil – College hoops reporter for ESPN, a good one at that.
@MarkelleF – Possibly the “No. 1” pick of the upcoming NBA Draft. Follow along.
@VUCoachJWright – Might be the best coach in the shooting match and Villanova has the banner to prove it from last season (maybe this, too?)
@CoachBillSelf – The Kansas head coach is second to Coach Cal in followers, a mere 1.4 million behind his UK rival. (Where’s Pitino?)
@JeffEisenberg – College basketball writer for Yahoo Sports.
@NicoleAuerbach – USA Today reporter for college basketball.
@DanWetzel – Columnist for Yahoo does an extraordinary job at NCAA MBB tourney.
@TSNMike – Account for longtime Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy.
Our “Elite Eight” twitter accounts that deserve special mention:
@adorbalelacey – Lacey’s Legacy – Jay Bilas follows one account. It’s this one and that’s good enough for us. MUST FOLLOW.
@CoachesvsCancer – Official account for the NABC and a truly worthy effort against the terrible disease. MUST FOLLOW.
@JoshHart_3 – The star of the Villanova Wildcats does a nice job with his account.
@GaryParrishCBS – Account of CBS Sports reporter Gary Parrish
@HoopsWeiss – If his nickname is hoops, you better damn well follow his account, right? Let’s just say Dickie Weiss is college basketball and his Philly roots provide reports and perspective for all fans, young and old.
@AdamZagoria – Zags Blog and his reporting for SNY (New York) has provided news and recruiting info to a new generation of college hoops fans.
@si_ncaabb – Sports Illustrated’s official college basketball account.
@SethDavisHoops – TV commentator Seth Davis does a great job of covering college hoops all year for CBS and SI.
Our “Final Four” twitter favorites:
@jaybilas – Official account for former duke player and current tv commentator, for our money, Jay is the best in the business.
@ESPNandykatz – Official account for ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz, who remains in the Final Four if for only getting President Obama to do his “NCAA Brackets” on national television, possibly the coolest bracket selection of all-time.
@GoodmanESPN – Jeff Goodman, the College Basketball Insider for ESPN does as good a job covering collegiate basketball as any reporter covering any sport.
@ESPNLunardi – If you haven’t been following ESPN’s “Bracketologist,” you haven’t been following March Madness.
Honorable mention: @DanMuller Dan Muller of Illinois State, left as a wallflower when the dance cards were issued.
Digital Sports Desk previously has selected our “DIGGIES”
- “Best Sports Twitter Accounts to Follow”
- “Must Follow NFL Twitter Accounts for Super Bowl”
- “Must Attend Sports Business Conferences”
- “Must Follow NBA Twitter Accounts for NBA All-Star”
- This LIST for the ’17 March Madness Must Follow twitter accounts
VILLANOVA – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Eight of the 10 BIG EAST teams are in action Wednesday and each matchup holds critical meaning for postseason tournament seeding and NCAA Tournament aspirations.
No. 2/2 Villanova will try to avenge one of its two losses when it hosts No. 22/22 Butler at The Pavilion at 9 p.m. on FS1. The Wildcats lost to the Bulldogs 66-58 on Jan. 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler ended that game with a 15-6 run. The Bulldogs (21-6, 10-5) have had a balanced scoring attack with eight players averaging between 12.8 and 5.9 points per game in league play. Villanova leads the series 7-1 and has won 48 straight games at The Pavilion. A win gives the Wildcats a record fourth-straight outright league title.
Xavier plays at Seton Hall at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 with both teams looking to bounce back from Saturday losses. The Musketeers (18-9, 8-6 BIG EAST) have lost their two games since Trevon Bluiett has been sidelined with an ankle injury. The Pirates (16-10, 6-8) lost to Villanova on Saturday. Xavier won the first meeting 72-70 at Cintas Center on Feb. 1 when Bluiett scored the winning basket with 4.4 seconds left. In the series, Seton Hall is 6-0 at home against Xavier.
Georgetown’s aim is to stay closer to the middle of the standings when it hosts DePaul at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Hoyas are 14-13 overall and 5-9 in the BIG EAST. DePaul is 8-19 and 1-13. The first meeting went down to the final shot as Georgetown took a 76-73 decision at Allstate Arena on Jan. 31. GU’s Rodney Pryor scored a game-high 26 points, while DePaul’s Billy Garrett Jr. had 25 points.
No. 23/23 Creighton, a half-game behind Butler in the standings at 9-5, hosts Providence (16-11, 6-8) on FSN at 8 p.m. The Bluejays’ Marcus Foster is coming off a 35-point game in Sunday’s 87-70 win against Georgetown. Creighton ranks second nationally in field goal shooting, making 52.2 percent. The Friars are led by Rodney Bullock in scoring (16.7) and rebounding (6.1). Providence has won six of the last eight meetings since the two teams have played as BIG EAST members.
In Tuesday’s lone contest, Marquette (17-10, 8-7) defeated visiting St. John’s 93-71 on the strength of 12-of-24 shooting from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles set the school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 275. Freshman Sam Hauser led MU with 19 points and Matt Heldt posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. For St. John’s (12-16, 6-9), Bashir Ahmed scored a game-high 21 points.
In case you missed this from Tuesday Night’s NCAA lacrosse opener of NAVY at JOHNS HOPKINS:
Villanova 79, Xavier 54
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Where: The Pavilion, Villanova
VILLANOVA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Kris Jenkins hit one of the biggest shots in Villanova history when he connected on the game-winning 3-pointer to defeat North Carolina for last season’s national championship.
Instead of reveling in the moment forever, Jenkins is solely focused on this season. That shot is in the past to him.
Jenkins continued his torrid shooting with 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting and led five players in double figures as third-ranked Villanova defeated No. 15 Xavier, 79-54, Tuesday night at the Pavilion.
The Wildcats improved to 16-1 and 4-1 in the Big East.
“Every shot feels the same,” Jenkins said with a smile. “I think it’s good. I’ve just got to give credit to my teammates who do a great job of finding me.”
Now a senior, Jenkins is a team leader and it shows every day in practice leading up to the games. For a player who lifted his team to a national championship with one of the biggest shots in NCAA Tournament history, you would never know it.
“I’ve been amazed,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “It’s not an act. He’s humble and wants to get better.”
Josh Hart had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists and Jalen Brunson added 11 for the Wildcats, who won their 46th straight game at their on-campus arena on the Main Line. The 46-game winning streak tied a mark also set between 2007-11 at the 6,500-seat arena.
Darryl Reynolds and Donte DiVincenzo had 10 each for the Wildcats.
Villanova’s senior class – Jenkins, Hart and Reynolds – have never lost in this arena.
“I do know this: anybody in this league can beat us,” Wright said. “We’re sure of this. We have a tough battle every night and we know it.”
This was also the 16th matchup featuring two Top 25 teams at this arena in the history of the arena. The last time it happened was also against Xavier on Dec. 31, 2015.
Edmond Sumner led Xavier (13-3, 3-1) with 11 points while J.P. Macura and Trevon Bluiett scored 10 apiece.
The Musketeers, who shot just 29.8 percent (17 of 58), had a six-game winning streak snapped and had been the last remaining unbeaten team in the conference.
“The annual Villanova (butt)-kicking,” said Xavier coach Chris Mack, clearly perturbed. “I’m getting really tired of it.”
When pressed further, Mack said that his team wasn’t up to the challenge.
“Villanova is really good,” he said. “That’s no secret. We have to be better. We didn’t play very well in the second half.”
Xavier featured an upgraded roster with the return of senior guard Myles Davis. He was added to the active roster as of Sunday, following a suspension for two misdemeanor criminal charges reportedly connected with a former girlfriend. Davis, who missed the first 15 games this season, was booed loudly by the Villanova student section every time he touched the ball and finished without a point, going 0 for 5 from the field.
Villanova knocked down it first three shots of the second half to quickly go ahead 41-30. Jenkins hit a long 3-pointer and Reynolds connected on consecutive baskets for the 11-point advantage.
Brunson’s driving layup pushed the lead to 52-38 with 12:45 remaining.
The Wildcats hit nine of their first 12 shots in the second half to surge ahead 58-42 with 10:46 left.
This was more than enough of a cushion to carry Villanova to another home victory, its 46th in a row here.
“We treat each game as our most important game,” Jenkins said.
Xavier actually jumped out to a 24-16 lead with 7:25 remaining in the first half thanks to efficient shooting and tenacious defense.
But the defending national champions responded in a big way. The Wildcats ended the first on an 18-4 run to take a 34-28 lead into the locker room.
During the spurt, the once-hot Musketeers went cold and misfired on 11 straight shots and 13 of 14.
Villanova started 6 of 20 but finished strong to close at 11 of 27 – 40.7 percent.
Brunson’s spinning three-point play in the lane gave the Wildcats a six-point cushion at halftime.
Jenkins led all scorers in the first half with 10 points.
NOTES: Xavier entered the game ranked 18th nationally in rebound margin (8.1). … Villanova G Phil Booth continued to sit out with tendinitis in his left knee. He hasn’t played since Nov. 17 against Western Michigan in the Gildan Charleston Classic. There is no immediate timetable for Booth’s return. … The 70-point mark has been crucial for Xavier all season, going 10-0 when it accomplishes the feat and 3-3 otherwise. … Villanova is off until Saturday when it travels to New York to face St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. … Xavier will remain on the road with another difficult matchup Saturday at Butler.
North American Committee Nominations:
Mark Aguirre (PLA) Geese Ausbie (PLA) Bill Bertka (COA) Muggsy Bogues (PLA)* Junior Bridgeman (PLA) Irv Brown (REF) Maurice Cheeks (PLA) Terry Cummings (PLA) Charles “Lefty” Driesell (COA) Hugh Evans (REF) Bill Fitch (COA) Cotton Fitzsimmons (COA) Tim Hardaway (PLA) Del Harris (COA) Robert Hughes (COA) Kevin Johnson (PLA) Marques Johnson (PLA) Bobby Jones (PLA) Jerry “Tiger” Jones (COA) Gene Keady (COA) Rollie Massimino (COA) Tracy McGrady (PLA)* Gary McKnight (COA) Danny Miles (COA) Sidney Moncrief (PLA) Dick Motta (COA) Swen Nater (PLA) Jake O’Donnell (REF)* Jim Phelan (COA)* Mark Price (PLA) Jere Quinn (COA)* Glenn Robinson (COA) Lee Rose (COA) Bo Ryan (COA) Bob Saulsbury (COA)* Bill Self (COA)* Jack Sikma (PLA) Steve Smith (COA) Fred Snowden (COA) Harry Statham (COA)* Eddie Sutton (COA) Rudy Tomjanovich (COA) Ben Wallace (PLA)* Chris Webber (PLA) Paul Westphal (PLA) Women’s Committee Nominations Leta Andrews (COA) Jennifer Azzi (PLA) Rebecca Lobo (PLA) Muffet McGraw (COA) Susie McConnell (PLA) Pearl Moore (PLA) Kim Mulkey (COA, PLA) Harley Redin (COA) Theresa Shank (PLA) Marianne Stanley (COA) Barbara Stevens (COA) Wayland Baptist (TEA) Therea Weatherspoon (PLA)
DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY Early African-American Pioneers Committee Nominations: Clarence “Puggy” Bell Sonny Boswell Zack Clayton Chuck Cooper Bill Garrett Inman Jackson Clarence “Fats” Jenkins Bucky Lew Davage “Dave” Minor Hudson Oliver Al “Runt” Pullins James “Pappy” Ricks Paul Robeson Eyre Saitch William “Wee Willie” Smith.
DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY International Committee Nominations: Tal Brody Jackie Chazalon Vlade Divac Nick Galis Semen Khalipski Vladimir Kondrashin Toni Kukoc Marcos Leite Aldo Ossola Amaury Pasos Dino Radja Manuel Sainz Togo Soares Ranko Zeravica
DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY Contributor Committee Nominations: Marv Albert Al Attles Dick Baumgartner* Marty Blake Vic Bubas Wayne Duke David Falk* Harry Glickman Marty Glickman Curt Gowdy Tim Grgurich Robert Indiana* Mannie Jackson Tom Jernstedt Johnny “Red” Kerr John Kline Red Klotz Jerry Krause Bobby Lewis* Jack McCloskey Johnny Most Dennis Murphy Joe O’Toole Billy Packer Dee Rowe* Zelda Spoelstra Jim Valvano Donnie Walsh Frank Walsh
DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY – Veterans Committee Nominations: 1936 US Olympic Team (TEA) 1964 State Department Basketball Ambassadors (TEA) Ron Boone (PLA) Sid Borgia (REF)* Carl Braun (PLA) Frank Brian (PLA) Joe Caldwell (PLA) Mack Calvin (PLA) Charles Eckman (REF) Leroy Edwards (PLA) Leo Ferris (CONT) Clarence “Bevo” Francis (PLA) Buck Freeman (COA) Donnie Freeman (PLA) Travis Grant (PLA) Bob Grody (PLA) Robert Harrison (PLA) Flo Harvey (PLA) Dick Hemric (PLA)* Cam Henderson (COA) Robert Hopkins (PLA) Lou Hudson (PLA) Warren Jabali (PLA) Jimmy Jones (PLA) Charles Kenaith (PLA)* Freddie Lewis (PLA) Jim Loscutoff (PLA) Loyola of Chicago (TEA) Billy Markward (CONT)* George McGinnis (PLA) Ray Mears (COA)* Francis Meehan (PLA) Donald “Dudey” Moore (COA) Willie Naulls (PLA) Philadelphia SPHAS (TEA) Mel Riebe (PLA) Glenn Roberts (PLA) Holcombe Rucker (CONT) Kenny Sailors (PLA) Fred Schaus (PLA)* Charlie Scott (PLA) Kenny Sears (PLA) Frank Selvy (PLA) George Senesky (PLA) Paul Seymour (PLA) Charles Siler (CONT) Talvin Skinner (PLA) Ken Suesens (PLA) Tennessee A&I (TEA) Dick Van Arsdale (PLA) Tom Van Arsdale (PLA) Willie Wise (PLA) Max Zaslofsky (PLA)
PLA – Player
REF – Referee
COA – Coach
TEA – Team
CONT – Contributor
INDIANAPOLIS – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – NCAA President Mark Emmert announced a reorganization at the senior staff level of the championships group at the national office for collegiate athletics. The changes will take effect Jan. 1, 2017 and address a need to have a single person focused on basketball issues, strategies and long-term planning.
Current Vice President of Men’s Basketball Dan Gavitt will be elevated to a new position: senior vice president of basketball. In his new role, Gavitt will oversee all basketball issues and planning for both men’s and women’s basketball in all three divisions. Vice President of Women’s Basketball Anucha Browne will report to Gavitt.
A new men’s basketball position will be created with details to be determined later. Gavitt will continue to manage NCAA relationships with Turner and CBS related to the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Before joining the NCAA national office in 2012, Gavitt spent seven years as associate commissioner for men’s basketball at the Big East Conference. He said he looks forward to the challenges of the new position.
“I believe that it is the best structure for the management and benefit of both the men’s and women’s games,” said Gavitt in a statement.
Dan Guerrero, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and athletics director at the University of California, Los Angeles, endorsed Gavitt’s selection.
“Appointing one person to manage all basketball matters for the NCAA is a significant change that will improve the sport,” Guerrero said. “Dan Gavitt’s experience at the national, conference and school level will propel college basketball forward into the future.”
Jean Lenti Ponsetto, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and athletics director at DePaul University, said that with the incredible growth in basketball all over the world, maximizing the talent and experience on the NCAA staff is critical to providing the highest quality experience for college athletes, coaches, fans and university communities.
“Dan Gavitt has proven himself to be a thoughtful leader and is nationally and internationally respected for his basketball intelligence and the collaborative way he communicates and moves the sport forward with all of our constituencies,” Ponsetto said. “I’ve had the good fortune to work closely with Dan during his time at the Big East Conference, and there is no mistaking his passion and love for the game and the student-athletes who benefit from the experience of playing collegiate men’s and women’s basketball.”
Bill Self, men’s basketball coach at the University of Kansas and a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee, also was supportive.
“I fully support the decision to name a single person to oversee basketball for the NCAA. I, along with so many other coaches, know and trust Dan Gavitt, and I believe he will continue to grow the game,” Self said. “His expertise, knowledge and open-minded approach will be invaluable to the sport and all of us who work within it.”
Also in Emmert’s announcement, Joni Comstock, now interim executive vice president of championships and alliances, was named senior vice president of championships. She will oversee all championships except Division I men’s and women’s basketball and will manage playing rules, ticket sales and marketing, and social and media coordination. Comstock said she looks forward to her new position.
“I appreciate the opportunity from President Emmert to begin a new and expanded leadership role in championships,” Comstock said. “My experience in the interim role over the last several months confirmed what I already knew about the talented and dedicated staff we have on our team and in the national office. I am looking forward to engaging with our membership and all of our partners to continue delivering excellent student-athlete experiences and working collaboratively on the goals of the Association.”
In addition to the changes for Gavitt and Comstock, current Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Oliver Luck will now have strategic oversight of corporate and broadcast partnerships. Luck also will oversee football issues, strategy and long-term planning. Ron Prettyman, who currently oversees the College World Series, Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and Divisions II and III football championships, will continue to manage those events. He will continue to report to Comstock.
Luck will retain responsibilities over regulatory affairs. His new title will be executive vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships. The changes will allow the NCAA to benefit from Luck’s experiences as a general manager of a Major League Soccer team, CEO for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, general manager/vice president for the NFL and president of NFL Europe.