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.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Top-ranked Gonzaga had an undefeated regular season in its sights, facing a 20-point underdog in the final game at The Kennel.
Instead of racing toward history, the Zags fell flat, losing 79-71 to Brigham Young on Saturday night. The undefeated season is history. So is Gonzaga’s No. 1 ranking, possibly its No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, too.
Now the Zags face the same question every other previously undefeated team gets asked after its first loss: Will this help them in the long run?
“I don’t know,” Gonzaga senior center Przemek Karnowski said after his final home game. “We’ll have to see what happens.”
Fresh off winning the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association boys’ basketball championship Saturday evening with his Westtown (PA) teammates, Mohamed Bamba will take his final official visit to Duke Feb. 28-March 1 for the Florida State game.
Bamba, who will play in the McDonald’s All-American Game on March 29, is considering Duke along with Texas, Kentucky and Michigan. He has taken official visits to the other three schools.
Texas coach Shaka Smart watched the 6-foot-11 big man last week.
“I’ve actually enjoyed it,” he told papreplive.com of the recruiting process. “It’s given me a chance to bond with my family as we try to come to a consensus for what’s best for me.
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — One year after missing the NCAA Tournament, Monmouth will head into March as one of the hottest teams in the nation.
The Hawks won their 16th straight game on Sunday with a 79-73 victory over rival Iona on Senior Day at the Hynes Athletic Center. Monmouth (26-5, 18-2 MAAC) beat Iona (19-12, 12-8) for the second time this season and hasn’t lost since Jan. 2 at Saint Peter’s.
Only Vermont’s 18-game winning streak is longer than Monmouth’s. Princeton has won 15 straight.
When the Hawks open the MAAC Tournament on Friday night as the No. 1 seed in their quarterfinal at the Times Union Center in Albany, they will not have lost in more than two months.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Top-ranked Gonzaga’s quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU’s Eric Mika on Saturday night.
Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars’ first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs’ perfect record in their last regular season game.
The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute left in the game.
Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and then Corbin Kaufusi had a putback and Mika hit two free throws to put the game out of reach.