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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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Saturday / March 2.
  • PISCATAWAY, N.J.Tony Ciaravino’s 42-yard field goal attempt sailed toward the uprights with plenty of distance despite a slight breeze blowing in the kicker’s face.

    If it went through, Rutgers would have trailed UConn by one point with only about a minute to go. Another loss, a sixth in seven games, seemed entirely possible.

    “I’m thinking about [how] we got one timeout and what we’re going to do on offense,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “I can’t do anything about that kick, all we can do is be prepared.”

    As it turned out, Rutgers didn’t have to be prepared for anything other than running the clock out. The ball clanked off the right upright and ricocheted away, preserving Rutgers’ 12-10 Homecoming Day victory over Big East rival UConn before 42,491 on a beautiful sunny fall day at Rutgers Stadium.

    When Isaiah Epps of Plainfield (NJ) High and Taran Buie of Bishop Maginn (N.Y.), two of the top guards in the Class of 2010, visited Maryland Friday night for Midnight Madness, they were greeted by enthusiastic fans.

    One held up a sign that read “Epps + Buie = National Championship.”

    Roscoe Smith, a 6-7 small forward from Baltimore (MD) Walbrook, was also on hand.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    In the final 2007-08 ESPN/USA Today poll, seven Big East teams were ranked in the Top 25. No other conference had more than three. Eight teams made the NCAA Tournament, including Big East regular-season champ Georgetown and tournament winner Pittsburgh.

    BY THE NUMBERS

    The conference returns 23 of its top 30 scorers, 15 of the top 20 rebounders and 9 of the top 10 assists leaders.

    WHAT’S DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?

    All 16 teams will make the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden, meaning Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John’s are automatically in, unlike last year, when only Seton Hall made it.

    Arsalan Kazemi, a 6-foot-7 combo forward from The Patterson (N.C.) School, has set his schedule of visits.

    Kazemi, who took the SAT recently and expects his test results Oct. 23, will visit Seton Hall next weekend (Oct. 24), Rice (Oct. 31) and Maryland for a scrimmage against Northwood University Nov. 8.

    “The scores are going to come out on the 23rd. The next day we’ll take a trip to Seton Hall,” said Anthony Ibrahim, Kazemi’s adviser. “Rice on Halloween and after that Maryland for a scrimmage.”

    Kazemi, a native of Iran hoping to become the first man from his country to play American college basketball, had originally hoped to visit Maryland for tonight’s Midnight Madness, but his test score did not come in time.

    It’s the end of the week and Jordan Williams is still deciding where to go to college.

    The 6-foot-10, 245-pound center from Torrington (Conn.) High is thought to be down to St. John’s and Maryland.

    “His father said he would be making a decision by the end of the week, and if not by the end of this week then early next week,” Torrington head coach Tony Turina said Friday.

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