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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 / April 20.

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Given everything Seton Hall has been through the past few days, the battle cry heading into Tuesday’s Big East opener at Providence needed little explanation.

    Win it for Eugene Teague.

    “We wanted to do something special for Eugene. When one of your family members goes down … it’s been a crazy couple of days,” said Pirates head coach Kevin Willard following his team’s 81-80 double-OT win. 

    If St. John’s isn’t careful, 0-1 in the Big East could quickly become 0-3.

    The Johnnies lost their Big East opener to Xavier, 70-60, on Tuesday and must now visit Georgetown (8-3) on Saturday before hosting No. 11 Villanova (11-1) the following Saturday.

    That’s a brutal start to league play for a team that has high hopes for a March Madness run.

    Against the Musketeers, St. John’s committed just six turnovers, shot 50 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-14) and led by as many as nine points midway through the first half, but shot a season-low 30.9 percent (21-of-68) from the floor and surrendered the first 13 points of the second half.

    Chane Behanan’s career at Louisville appears to be over.

    Two days after Louisville lost to arch-rival Kentucky, the school announced that Behanan had been dismissed from the Cardinals’ basketball team for a violation of university policy

    “We lost a really terrific man in many respects,” head coach Rick Pitino said at a press conference. “Away from the lines, he just did not do the right things, over and over and over. The university has gone to the mat for him, in giving him every opportunity to make it here. It’s come to a difficult detour in his road. It’s set our basketball team back immensely.”

    If I told you before the Louisville-Kentucky game that Julius Randle would miss most of the second half with cramps, how many of you would’ve said Kentucky would win the game?

    Maybe a few diehard Big Blue Nation fans, but it would’ve been a tough bet to take.

    But that’s in fact what happened due in large part to the twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison combining for 28 points, including 11 during a critical second-half stretch, en route to Kentucky’s 73-66 win on Saturday.

    In the final season of the “old” Big East Conference, the league sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament and two to the Final Four in Atlanta.

    Rick Pitino and Louisville ended up cutting down the nets to give the Big East its second NCAA championship in three years, and fifth since 1999.

    But as the new-look Big East gets set to tip off on Tuesday with all 10 teams in action, those five NCAA championship-winning programs will be long gone.

    Donovan Mitchell, a 6-foot-3 2015 combo guard from Brewster (N.H.) Academy, took in the UConn game on Saturday and watched as the No. 15 Huskies routed Eastern Washington, 82-65, in Bridgeport, Conn.

    “UConn was great, the game was great,” he told “The atmosphere was great. A lot of people who were sitting around me were telling me I should go to UConn.”

    Mitchell said former UConn big man Jake Voskuhl pitched him.

    “Jake Voskuhl was talking about UConn,” Mitchell said. “He was saying one thing he did learn was [former] Coach [Jim] Calhoun said if you want to get to the NBA this is the place to be.”

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