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NCAA Basketball

5 Oscar-Type Awards For This College Basketball Season

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5 Oscar-Type Awards For College Basketball

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Oscar Night is reserved to celebrate some of the great performances, scripts and subplots in the movie world -- a celebration of the season in film.

College basketball and the movies have a lot in common. The businesses are great entertainment, both have great actors and there are plenty of compelling storylines with drama that changes every year.

Like the movies, there are surprises every season. Last year, Wichita State made it all the way to the Final Four. This year, the Shockers are not going to sneak up on anyone and no one will be surprised if they make it back. Last year, LaSalle made it all the way to the Sweet 16, and this year the Explorers can be classified as a surprise simply because they’ve underachieved despite having all but one significant player back from that team. Unless LaSalle wins its Atlantic 10 Tournament, the Explorers will not be making their way back to the NCAA Tournament, let alone the Sweet 16.

As far as Drama with a Capital D goes, who can forget past performances like John Chaney of Temple charging then-University of Massachusetts head coach John Calipari in a postgame press conference yelling “I’ll kill you” after Calipari complained about the Owls getting calls from the officials? Or the Christian Laettner of Duke turn-and-shoot shot at the buzzer that won an Eastern Regional Final against Kentucky in Philadelphia?

There will be plenty of drama left in this season, but these are the five top awards for the regular season as it comes to a conclusion.

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5. Best (Bad) Actor in a Supporting Role

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Texas Tech Super Fan Jeff Orr called Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State “a piece of crap” without knowing that Smart would actually almost punch him senseless if he could. Orr then disappeared voluntarily for the rest of the year.

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4. Best Animated Feature

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim's veins bulging out of his neck arguing a charging call in the closing seconds of his team’s game at Duke wins this one. The technical foul and subsequent ejection with 10 seconds left cost his team any chance of winning the game, but it was great theater.

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3. Best Directing

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It's a tough call, but head coach Gregg Marshall leading Wichita State to a 31-0 regular season gets the nod even though a strong case could be made for Villanova head coach Jay Wright leading his team to a 26-3 regular season. Marshall’s team was a Final Four team last year and a lot of this was expected. Villanova came out of nowhere and probably will win the Big East regular-season title.

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2. Best Visual Effects

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

This award goes to any time Duke is on television. Whether it’s because people love the Blue Devils or hate them, three games involving Duke have been among the four highest-rated ESPN games of the season. According to, Duke vs. Syracuse on Feb. 1 averaged 4.9 million viewers. The second game between the teams on Feb. 14 was ranked No. 3 while the Duke vs. Kansas game way back in November was ranked No. 4. The only non-Duke game among the top four was Michigan State vs. Kentucky also in November, which earned the No. 2 spot.

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1. Best Picture

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The looks on the faces of the Boston College players after they upset No. 1 Syracuse on the road on Feb. 18, 62-59, in overtime has to win hands down. The enormity of the upset was simply this: BC came into the game with a 6-19 record; Syracuse was 25-0 and ranked No. 1. Adding to the drama was the fact that the Eagles played one day after attending the funeral for longtime basketball media contact Dick Kelley, who died after a long battle with ALS. BC players wore a “DK” patch on their uniforms in honor of Kelley. If you wrote this plot about a group of guys who could not jump and were slow afoot beating a team of high school All-Americans in their arena, it would be thrown into the trash as not being believable enough.