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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

College Basketball

Video: Juwan Howard congratulates Jim Harbaugh on field

Juwan Howard congratulates Jim harbaugh

The Michigan Wolverines finally did it and beat their rival Ohio State Buckeyes 42-27 on Saturday to win the Big Ten East and clinch their first appearance in the conference’s championship game.

It was a mad party in Ann Arbor after the win, with fans rushing the field and players celebrating in the middle of Michigan Stadium. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh enjoyed himself after the win and even was met by Wolverines basketball coach Juwan Howard, who congratulated him on the field.

Here is video of the meeting:

That’s very cool and shows just how tight the members of the school’s athletic department are.

The win was absolutely enormous for Michigan. Both teams were 10-1 entering the game. A spot in the conference title game and a shot at making the College Football Playoff was on the line. Michigan was 0-5 against Ohio State under Harbaugh. And they prevailed. Howard knows just how much the win means to the school.

Video: UConn’s Isaiah Whaley passes out on bench at end of game

Isaiah Whaley collapse

The UConn Huskies had a scary moment Wednesday when one of its players appeared to pass out on the bench at the end of their marathon double overtime win.

Cameras caught senior forward Isaiah Whaley on the ground on the bench as time ran out on the Huskies’ 115-109 double overtime win over Auburn. There was immense confusion as to what was happening, though it was obvious that something was wrong and numerous players and staff were gesturing for help. The ESPN broadcast made no reference to what was happening and quickly cut away to join the next scheduled broadcast, leading to significant social media criticism.

Coach Dan Hurley said after the game that Whaley had a fainting episode and was okay. Whaley blamed dehydration for the issue and was in good spirits.

Whaley played 43 minutes in the contest, collecting seven rebounds.

This had some similarities to another scary moment that happened on the court last season. Fortunately, Whaley appears to be fine.

Gonzaga star Chet Holmgren has great answer to question in postgame interview

Chet Holmgren points

No. 1 Gonzaga creamed No. 2 UCLA 83-63 in an intriguing early-season matchup and proved for now that they are a very deserving No. 1 team. Chet Holmgren also showed he is worthy of the hype.

The freshman center scored 15 points with six rebounds and four blocks in his team’s win. He showed off a variety of skills during the game.

In a postgame interview with ESPN’s Sean Farnham, Holmgren was asked about his “unicorn” ability. Rather than tooting his own horn, Holmgren turned the focus to something more important than individual status: being a winner.

He told Farnham he wants to be known for something else with his game.

“Just a winner. Whatever it takes to win, whatever it might be … whether I have to block shots, dribble down and dunk the ball, it doesn’t matter if it’s screen coverages, switches on guards, making the right pass, it doesn’t matter. I’m just trying to win,” Holmgren said.

NBA teams will love hearing that.

Holmgren may be a top recruit and future NBA prospect, but he is a team-first player.

In addition to Holmgren, Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard delivered big games for Gonzaga. Timme had 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Nembhard added 24 points.

Gonzaga once again looks like the real deal.

Photo: Oct 31, 2021; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs center Chet Holmgren (34) points to the guy he was covering during a game against the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers in the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Bulldogs won 115-62. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Dick Vitale crying at start of UCLA-Gonzaga game on ESPN

Dick Vitale crying

Dick Vitale got emotional before the tip off in Tuesday night’s huge game between UCLA and Gonzaga.

Vitale announced in October that he had been diagnosed with cancer again. The 82-year-old began a course of treatment to fight the cancer. He has done well enough that he was cleared to travel and call Tuesday’s game in Las Vegas between the Bruins and Bulldogs.

Reflecting on the support he has received, and how happy he was to be able to call the game, Vitale cried while on air:

“I can’t believe I’m sitting here,” Vitale said. “This is really a big thrill for me.”

Vitale then went on to thank a number of people for supporting him and helping him overcome a difficult time.

For Dickie V, there’s no better medicine or therapy than getting to call a premier college basketball game.

Dick Vitale has very encouraging update in cancer battle

Dick Vitale

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale shared some very good news about the progress of his cancer treatment on Thursday.

ESPN announced that Vitale has received clearance from his doctors to call games again, and will begin doing so on Nov. 23. Vitale will be on the call for the matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA, which is part of the Good Sam Empire Classic.

“My family and I are absolutely jumping with joy,” Vitale said in a statement. “Knowing I’ll be courtside with all my buddies and calling Number 1 versus 2, this is the best medicine I could ask for. To all of you, I simply say ‘thank you from the bottom of my heart’ for your prayers and messages, phone calls and texts.”

The 82-year-old Vitale announced his cancer diagnosis in October. He began a six-month chemotherapy treatment process earlier in November, but his doctors determined it would be safe for him to travel and call games.

Vitale is one of college basketball’s most recognizable voices and his enthusiasm for the game is nothing but genuine. He’s right that this will probably function as great medicine for him as he continues his cancer fight.

Coach K’s grandson, one other Duke player booked on DWI-related charges

Paolo Banchero grabs a rebound

Two Duke basketball players are facing charges related to driving while impaired. One of them is longtime coach Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson.

Michael Savarino, Coach K’s grandson, was arrested for DWI early Sunday morning after he was pulled over by the N.C. Highway Patrol outside Hillsborough. According to court records obtained by Steve Wiseman of the Raleigh News & Observer, police say the 20-year-old was stopped for a sign violation. Officers suspected he was impaired, and he was taken into custody after a breathalyzer showed his blood alcohol content was 0.08. Savarino was charged with DWI, driving after consuming alcohol under the age of 21 and the stop sign violation.

Star freshman Paolo Banchero was in the car with Savarino at the time. He was charged with aiding and abetting DWI and released at the site of the traffic stop.

“We are reviewing a legal matter involving two members of the men’s basketball team,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Any further actions as a result of this situation will ultimately be determined by the Vice President/Director of Athletics and University officials.”

Savarino has a court date of Dec. 9 and Banchero is due in court on Dec. 8.

Savarino is the son of Coach K’s oldest daughter, Debbie Krzyzewski Savarino. He walked on with the Blue Devils in 2019 and was given a scholarship this past offseason. He played four minutes in Duke’s 82-56 win over Army on Friday night and is not a regular contributor.

Banchero, 19, is projected to be an NBA lottery pick. The 6-foot-10 forward was named the ACC’s preseason player of the year and is averaging 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Photo: Nov 12, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero (5) looks to pass during the second half against the Army Black Knights at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA coach has funny quote about his team’s bad defense

Mick Cronin

The UCLA Bruins have started out hot this season, winning each of their first three games. That streak includes a victory over then-No. 4 Villanova on November 12, but don’t expect a positive spin from head coach Mick Cronin.

UCLA has surrendered just over 71 points per game on average this year, including 79 in a victory over Long Beach State on Monday night. Following the win, Cronin shredded the defensive performance with a pretty funny line.

“This game is not gonna ease my pain of horrendous defense, but you’ve got to give those guys credit for scoring,” Cronin said, via Sports Illustrated. “If I had a pair of sneakers, I think I could score on some of our guys tonight and I turned 50 this summer.”

Asked specifically what led to a better defensive performance in the second half, Cronin again pulled no punches.

“I would say they maybe they ran out of gas. Right now, defensively, I don’t like one thing we’re doing on the ball or off the ball or talk in transition,” Cronin added.

On the plus side of things, the Bruins have averaged nearly 94 points per game over their first three. And that’s a good thing, says Cronin, because it’s the only way they’re going to win.

“We better (score). We better,” he said.

If UCLA doesn’t improve defensively, the good vibes generated from beating Villanova will only last so long.

“I mean, I know everybody’s happy we beat Villanova but the game was at home. To me, that game shouldn’t have even come down the way it came down. We’ve got a lot to learn,” Cronin said. “(The defensive play is) completely unsustainable. Completely. You cannot win on the road if you don’t defend. You’ve got no chance on the road if you can’t defend.”

The 3-0 Bruins will get a couple days off before hosting North Florida (0-4) on Wednesday night.

NBA star gave UC Riverside pep talk before upset victory

Chris Paul Suns

UC Riverside’s huge upset of Arizona State on Thursday had an assist from one of the NBA’s leading stars.

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul spoke to the UC Riverside team for 45 minutes on Thursday prior to the Highlanders’ 66-65 upset win over Arizona State. It came about because J.P. Moorman II played on Paul’s grassroots CP3 All-Stars squad in North Carolina, and considers Paul a friend and mentor. With Moorman and the Highlanders in Phoenix to face the Sun Devils, Moorman reached out and asked Paul if he’d be willing to speak to the team before the game.

“It kind of worked out where I hit him up when we landed and asked him what he had going on after his game and he told me he was going to [STK Steakhouse] and asked if I wanted to come,” Moorman said, via Myron Medcalf of ESPN. “I told him to hit me in the morning and maybe you could come by and speak to the team. He said, ‘All right, just let me know where you’re staying.’ The rest is history.”

Paul spoke for 45 minutes about tricks and tools he’s used to find success in his career. The surprise energized the team ahead of what turned out to be an upset win.

Perhaps the best part? It was Moorman who made the dramatic 70-foot shot to seal the upset. Between that and bringing in Paul, he was definitely the MVP of the day.

Video: UC Riverside upsets Arizona State on amazing buzzer-beater

JP Moorman makes a shot

UC Riverside upset Arizona State on Thursday night on one incredible buzzer-beater.

The Sun Devils were leading the Highlanders 65-63 with 1.7 seconds left. UCR was taking the ball out from under their basket and had the length of the court to go for a close shot at the basket.

They ended up heaving a shot from nearly 3/4 court … and making it:

Unbelievable! That was J.P. Moorman II who made the shot.

Moorman had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win. He was also 4-for-8 on three-pointers, with none more impressive than that one.

Here is another look at the play, only this has a great angle that shows the fan reactions:

Video: Villanova’s elevated court had students so fooled

Villanova fans trip floor

Villanova’s odd court setup at Finneran Pavilion had students so fooled on Friday night.

Villanova held its annual “Hoops Mania” basketball kickoff event for students on Friday.

There were player introductions, and a short men’s intrasquad scrimmage followed by a 3-point shooting and dunk contests were planned.

But it wasn’t the scrimmage nor the dunk or 3-point shooting contests that drew attention. Rather, it was a video of students repeatedly tripping over the elevated court while trying to rush the floor that went viral.

Take a look:


Watch the line ##villanova ##hoopsmania ##offset

♬ original sound – spicynachodip1

That’s just cruel.

So few people realized they needed to step up. And nobody was looking at the person in the front of them to see what had gone wrong! What a calamity.