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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / September 21.
  • PK80 Invitational finals to feature Duke-Florida and North Carolina-Michigan State

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    The PK80 Invitational has more than lived up to the hype.

    On Sunday, the two championship brackets will feature a Who’s Who of heavyweight teams when No. 1 Duke faces No. 7 Florida in the Motion bracket (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) and No. 4 Michigan State takes on No. 9 North Carolina in the Victory bracket (8:30 p.m. ESPN).

    Jalen Hudson had a career-high 35 points, including eight three-pointers, as No. 7 Florida downed No. 17 Gonzaga 111-105 in double overtime in an instant classic on Friday night.

    Chris Chiozza added a career-high 26 points and 10 assists for the Gators (5-0), who will face No. 1 Duke in the bracket championship on Sunday. The Blue Devils rallied to defeat Texas 85-78 in overtime earlier in the day.

    Hudson hit a three-pointer with 1:41 left in the second overtime that put the Gators up 106-99. Gonzaga closed within 106-102 on Johnathan Williams‘ layup, then within 109-105 on Corey Kispert’s three-pointer with 11 seconds to go but couldn’t get closer.

    Williams finished with a career-high 39 points and 12 rebounds for Gonzaga (4-1).

    Florida has scored a combined 211 points in its last two games and looks like the best team in the SEC.

     

    MICHIGAN STATE TO FACE NORTH CAROLINA IN MOTION BRACKET

    (AP) — Tom Izzo wasn’t pleased with much about No. 4 Michigan State’s offensive performance, except for Cassius Winston.

    Winston scored 12 of his career-high 28 points during a 4-minute span late in the second half to help the Spartans pull away for a 77-57 victory over Connecticut on Friday night to reach the championship game of the PK80 Invitational.

    Winston was sensational in the closing minutes as the Spartans advanced to a matchup with No. 9 North Carolina in the “Victory Bracket” title game on Sunday. Winston was responsible for 14 of the 16 points during the spurt where Michigan State hit eight straight shots and took a 14-point lead. Winston started the run with a 3-pointer and scored on pull-up jumpers and driving layups as the Spartans finally shook the Huskies.

    And while Izzo praised how well Michigan State played defensively against UConn, he was less than satisfied with the offensive execution outside of Winston.

    “I think I’ll be pleased with the win, pleased with the progress we’re making defensively, pleased with the progress we’re making with our turnovers and figure that I, the head coach, has to do a better job getting us in an offense and getting us moving,” Izzo said.

     

    Photo: AP

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.