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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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Tuesday / April 23.
  • NEW YORK — Villanova’s stunning 64-63 loss to Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals likely means the end of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

    Entering the day, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had Villanova as the No. 1 seed in the East, where they were poised to face No. 2 Duke in the East final back here at Madison Square Garden.

    “This was not about 1 seeds, 2 seeds,” said Villanova’s Jay Wright , the Big East Coach of the year. “This was about we wanted to come to Madison Square Garden and win the Big East Tournament. Winning the Big East Tournament would have meant more to us than being a No. 1 seed.

    Coach Kevin Boyle and defending champion Montverde (Fla.) Academy lead the eight-team field for the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament to be played April 3-5 in New York City.

    Boyle’s club — led by Ohio State commit D’Angelo Russell and LSU-bound Ben Simmonswon’t have played since a Feb. 19 victory over Kentucky signee Karl-Anthony Towns in Boyle’s home state of New Jersey.

    The first two days of the event will be played at Christ the King, with the final set for April 5 at Madison Square Garden.

    Seven of the top eight teams in the USA Today Super 25 poll are in the event — but none with New York or New Jersey ties. The governing bodies of both states do not allow their teams to compete in the event.

    Billy GarrettBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – Georgetown came to Madison Square Garden this week for the Big East Tournament in need of two things, wins and help from across the country, in an effort to find its way into the NCAA Tournament.

    The Hoyas didn’t even get the chance to see if it could get some help. On Wednesday night in the first-round, their bubble burst.

    Winless in the Big East Tournament since 2009, Billy Garrett Jr. and DePaul took out Georgetown, 60-56, in the first-round nightcap. The newly-minted Big East Rookie of the Year finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line. Garrett Jr. iced the win by going for 4-for-4 from the charity stripe over the final 22 seconds.

    “In shootaround and practice, coach (Oliver Purnell) preached free throws,” Garrett Jr. said. “He said every one counts and it was going to come down to free throws, and it did. We listened to that, we paid attention in practice and we worked on them. When it came down the stretch and it came down to free throws and we were able to knock them down.”


    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    TOMS RIVER, N.J. — In a surprising 47-36 upset over Point Pleasant Beach in the New Jersey Group I state semifinal, ranked 10th in The Star Ledger’s Top 20, Villanova commit Tim Delaney and his Pitman Panthers team showed they will be a tough out in the remaining games of the state tournament.

    Pitman will now play Bloomfield Tech in the Group I final at Rutgers University on Saturday.

    A 6-foot-9 junior power forward, Delaney committed this summer to play at Villanova for coach Jay Wright, the newly minted Big East Coach of the Year. Delaney finished with 11 points and eight rebounds while being double-teamed in the post quite frequently.

    IsaiahSeton Hall pledge Isaiah Whitehead has been named Mr. New York Basketball.

    “It feels great to be Mr. Basketball as a senior,” Whitehead, who averaged 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, told “It feels like I’m going out on top even without a [city] championship.”

    Former Lincoln greats Lance Stephenson (2009), Sebastian Telfair (2004) and Stephon Marbury (1995) all won the same award.

    “It’s great,” Lincoln coach Tiny Morton said by phone. “All the great ones or good ones got it, so he was in line to get it this year because he was playing so well.”

    The 6-foot-4 Whitehead was also selected to the McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic games next month.

    Whitehead is part of a five-man recruiting class for Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard that includes Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo and Angel Delgado.

    Karl Towns MVABy JOHN PAVIA

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    EDISON, N.J. — For Kentucky commit Karl-Anthony Towns, the accolades have only just begun to pile up.

    On Tuesday he celebrated his nomination to the McDonald’s All-American Game April 2 in Chicago at a local McDonald’s owned and operated by PJ Fonseca.

    The 7-foot Towns has averaged some staggering numbers on a team with two other players committed to play Division I basketball, Wade Baldwin to Vanderbilt and Raven Owen to Canisius.

    Towns has averaged 21.4 points, 14 rebounds, 6.5 blocks and 4.6 assists per game this season for the 26-2 Falcons, who will play Paul VI for the Non-Public A South championship Wednesday night as they look to return to the Tournament of Champions.

    “I feel real confident [about this game against Paul VI],” Towns told “The team is playing well right now. We’ve gelled really well this whole season, especially in the showcase games we’ve had. So I feel real confident in this team not just for tomorrow, but for a TOC run. Right now, we’re playing so well and we just need to keep it up.”

    WiggyCeltics owner Wyc Grousbeck joked that he wants Andrew Wiggins in this year’s NBA Draft.

    “NBA commish Adam Silver, speaking at BC event, notes two Canadians on Celtics roster. C’s owner Wyc Grousbeck shouts, ‘Wiggins next year,'” Kevin Armstrong of the Daily News Tweeted.

    In the Tankathon standings, the Celtics currently are tied with the Lakers and Kings for the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Boston has two first-round picks.

    Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Orlando have the three worst records.

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