Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock’s hot first half lifts North Carolina to big win over Maryland

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If you were looking for the Maryland team that beat No. 14 NC State Wednesday, it did not show up in Chapel Hill for much of its matchup with North Carolina on Saturday.

Maryland turned the ball over 22 times and trailed by as many as 23 points on its way to a 62-52 loss to the Tar Heels Saturday afternoon.

North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock came out of the gate hot, scoring 21 points in the first half. He single-handedly outscored Maryland in the first half, 21-20, before cooling down in the second. He finished with 24 points on 7-of-15 from the floor.

Bullock was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, but worked the Maryland defense in other ways by attacking the rim and sparking the North Carolina transition attack.

By scoring in transition and forcing turnovers, North Carolina ground the transition-oriented Maryland offense to a halt in the half court. The Tar Heels double-teamed star sophomore Alex Len in the paint and took away much of his face-up game.

This forced the scoring burden onto guards Dez Wells and Pe’Shon Howard.  Wells excelled with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, but Howard struggled. Howard failed to score or register an assist and turned the ball over seven times.

Maryland came out with more life in the second half with help from Wells and a revamped transition game. The Terrapins ripped off an 8-0 run in the opening minutes of the second half to cut the North Carolina lead to 15 points.

They would trim the lead down to a manageable 12-point deficit with 7:40 remaining, but North Carolina extended the lead back to 17 points with 5:49 to play.

James Michael McAdoo played more physical down low against the Maryland combination of Len and Shaquille Cleare. He tallied 19 points and 11 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds.

The win moves North Carolina to 12-5 and 2-2 in the ACC.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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Rick Pitino: Louisville ‘just ignored’ in top 25 due of scandal

Rick Pitino
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Louisville beatdown Saint Louis at the Barclays Center on Sunday night, a 77-57 win that was much closer at halftime than the final score might indicate.

The win moved the Cardinals to 5-0 on the season, and that, in turn, got Louisville into the back end of both top 25 polls.

They’re 24th in the AP Poll and 22nd in the Coaches Poll, but that happened on Monday morning. On Sunday night, Pitino made sure to get a rant in about how this team is viewed and why pundits and voters should overlook the scandal currently plaguing his program.

“I think people are looking at that and they’re not really studying the team,” he said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, adding that he thinks the team is “just ignored” because of the accusations leveled by self-described madam Katina Powell in the book she published back in October.

And here’s the thing: he is 100 percent correct. Louisville was overlooked in the preseason because the scandal, when combined with the fact that the Cardinals are integrating so many new pieces into their rotation, made it tough to see how they would be able to compete at a level that we’ve come to expect out of Louisville teams.

I know that because it’s why my colleagues at, against my wishes, refused to allow me to rank Louisville in the preseason top 25. In other words, I’ve had first-hand interactions with the haters. But if we’re going to be honest here, scandal or no scandal, Louisville probably wasn’t going to find their way into the preseason top 25, not when they had to replace Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell.

And scandal or no scandal, no team from outside the top 25 is going to play their way into the top 25 by beating the likes of North Florida and St. Francis (NY) without some shenanigans — like Fred VanVleet getting hurt, like Indiana collapsing, like Arizona and Cal and Notre Dame playing their way out of the top 20 — happening around the country.

So Pitino is right: the scandal probably did have an impact on how his team was viewed in the preseason.

But Pitino the scandal isn’t what kept them out of the top 25 until Monday.

That weak non-conference schedule and roster turnover was why.

And if we’re going to be honest here, it probably should have kept them out for another week.