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Wiltjer leads No. 10 Gonzaga past Georgia

Wiltjer scored a career-high 32 points and No. 10 Gonzaga beat Georgia 88-76 on Wednesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals.

''They were playing one-on-one coverage in the post and Kevin (Pangos) did a great job of feeding us down there,'' Wiltjer said. ''Not a lot of my 3s went down, but Kevin was finding me on those pocket passes on open side ball screens. They were having a tough time guarding us down low so we just tried to keep going at it and that's where we got easy points.''

Wiltjer scored 16 of his 32 points in the first half to help Gonzaga take a 46-33 lead.

''Their team was getting nearly 29 points a game from the 3-point line and so we decided we were going to eliminate the 3-point line and then let their post players play one-on-one,'' Georgia coach Mark Fox said. ''He finished a lot of those plays. He's just too good to play one-on-one.''

Georgia's Nemanja Djurisic had the difficult task of guarding Wiltjer on his career night.
''It was hard because we were long on the post most of the times,'' Djurisic said. ''We tried to matchup and we tried to do different things, but often times he found a way to score either on us or the small guys when we switched. He's a great player. We all knew that.''

Pangos added 22 points, six assists and three steals for Gonzaga (5-0). He also had his first turnover of the season through five games.

The Bulldogs will play St. John's in the championship game Friday night. St. John's beat Minnesota 70-61 in the first semifinal.

Charles Mann led Georgia (3-2) with 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

''I just wanted to be aggressive and just help my team win,'' Mann said. ''I was able to attack and I just wanted to keep on attacking and make plays at the rim.''
Gonzaga's Josh Perkins left the game toward the end of the game after being kicked in the face. Coach Few said Perkins was heading to the hospital after the game for tests.


Gonzaga: Gonzaga entered the game leading the nation in assists per game at 22.8. It also ranked fourth in field goal percentage (56.1) and sixth in points per game (94.8).

Georgia: Georgia entered the game ranked 10th in blocked shots per game at 7.5.


Gonzaga: Gonzaga will play St. John's on Friday in the championship game Friday night.

Georgia: Georgia will play Minnesota in the third-place game.

Board to reconsider texting, scouting rules

The Board also will reconsider a new rule prohibiting coaches from scouting future opponents in person. The rule continues to allow coaches to scout upcoming opponents if they are participating in the same tournament or doubleheader event at the same site.

The request to reconsider the recruiting communication rule was not unexpected, as the Board met earlier this week and suspended two other rules related to recruiting one deregulating who can perform recruiting tasks and the other lifting restrictions on what recruiting materials can be sent to prospects. At that time, Board members agreed to let the membership decide the future of the recruiting communication rule adopted in January.

Schools requesting an override of the legislation cited work-life balance for coaches and the possibility that prospects will be overwhelmed with recruiting communication as reasons for the override. Some specifically cited concerns in football.

During the football season, coaches want to concentrate on coaching and interacting with current student-athletes. The proposal will force them to significantly increase the amount of time they spend calling and texting recruits during the season, one school wrote. This rule will create additional distractions for high school student-athletes. Their phones will be inundated with calls and texts at all hours of the day from college coaches and staff.

The Rules Working Group proposed the rule change with the belief that over-communicating with recruits would not prove to be an advantageous strategy. The group also believed the measure acknowledged both the increased use of text-messaging by prospects over the last several years and the growing difficulty of distinguishing between text messages, email and messages sent through social media. The rule also could relieve a significant monitoring burden from the shoulders of compliance administrators.

The prohibition on live scouting, originally proposed because of the vast improvements in video technology and the belief that live scouting could have a direct impact on fair competition, generated some concern because coaches in some sports believe they wont have the same access to quality video. Other schools said they believe the ban is contrary to the deregulation effort.

It is inconsistent with the NCAA deregulation theme and is biased against certain sports, particularly large field sports such as soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, one school wrote. Finally, it would call for added administrative oversight.

The Board of Directors has several options. It can maintain its action on the proposals, which will send them to an online override vote of the entire Division I membership. It can agree with those requesting the override, which would rescind the proposals. The presidents could also amend the proposals in some way, such as suspend them and refer them for further study which would subject the action to another 60-day override period.

The Board meets May 2 in Indianapolis.

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1.Rankings Matter
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4.Margin of Victory
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CINCINNATI BEARCATS (14-4, 4-1 Big East) at CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (14-3, 4-2 Big East)

Tip-Off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT

Line: Connecticut -7, Total: 129.5

No. 13 UConn looks to extend its winning streak to three and remain unbeaten at home when they host Cincinnati on Wednesday night in Storrs.

The Bearcats have bounced back nicely since the well-documented brawl with Xavier on December 10, and are 4-1 ATS on the road this year, including a 68-64 win at Georgetown last Monday. Cincinnati is comfortable playing in close games, with four of its five Big East games decided by four points or less. The Huskies have covered their past two games and look to build off an impressive 67-53 road win over Notre Dame on Saturday. Connecticutís backcourt will be very thin though, as freshman guard Ryan Boatright sits out for the second game in a row due to an ongoing NCAA investigation regarding potential rules violations. Both teams rely heavily on guard play, but UConn holds a significant advantage in the frontcourt with a +6 rebound margin compared to Cincyís minus-0.1 RPG. The Bearcats will hit shots and keep this game close early on, but look for the Huskies to limit second-chance opportunities on the glass and pull away late. CONNECTICUT is the pick to win and cover.

The Bearcats are a veteran team with their top four leading scorers from last season all back in the lineup this year. Physical sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick (16.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG) leads the way for Cincinnati, along with senior guard Dion Dixon (14.1 PPG). Cincy ranks fifth in the Big East from behind the arc, shooting 36.8% from three-point range. The Bearcats will need to hit these jumpers against UConnís poor perimeter defense thatís allowing opponents to convert at a 41.1 percent clip. The Bearcats must get a big game from embattled forward Yancy Gates (12.3 PPG, 8.9 RPG), who will have the unenviable task of guarding UConnís dangerous inside tandem of Alex Oriakhi and Andre Drummond.

UConn looks to be gaining some steam coming off its most impressive win of the season at Notre Dame. The loss of Boatright definitely hurts the Huskiesí backcourt depth, leaving Jeremy Lamb (17.9 PPG) and Shabazz Napier (13.9 PPG, 6.2 APG) as the only formidable guards in the rotation. Napier must stay out of foul trouble, otherwise the Huskies will be without any true point guard. Now more than ever, Jim Calhoun will need his big men to play up to their potential. Freshman phenom Andre Drummond (10.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG) looks more and more comfortable every game and has posted double-doubles in back-to-back games. The enigma that is junior forward Alex Oriakhi (7.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG) continues to be a mystery, but he had a strong performance against Notre Dame with 12 points and seven boards. The sooner Oriakhi and Drummond learn to co-exist down low, the more likely it becomes for the Huskies to make their third Final Four trip in four years.