Trey Burke

Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Michigan rolls, Notre Dame, Oklahoma earn big conference wins

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Game of the Day

Oklahoma 74, Baylor 71

Brady Heslip’s shot fell off the rim as Oklahoma held on to a 74-71 win. The Sooners were up by as many as 16, but the Bears chipped away at the lead, twice getting it to a single point. Oklahoma is now second in Big 12 standings with the win, aided by 20 points from both Amath M’Baye and Steven Pledger. Isaiah Austin had 21 points and 21 rebounds as the freshman continues to shine for Baylor

Xavier 66, Dayton 61

Matt Derenbecker’s last-game three rimmed out as Dayton’s came up short in a 66-61 loss to Xavier. The two rivals swapped leads four times in the final two minutes. The Musketeers held a 30-16 advantage on the glass. The Musketeers continue its streak of 28 straight wins over the Flyers in Cincinnati. Dayton has won in Cincy in 33 years.

Also of Note: New Mexico tops Wyoming by four 63-59 on the road.

Important Outcomes

Florida State 73, Maryland 71

Michael Snaer hit a game-winning shot to give the Seminoles a big conference win over Maryland. The win keeps Florida State above .500 in conference play at 4-3. The Seminoles are a game out of a share of second place in ACC standings. Maryland, has lost three of four, and is now on the wrong end of the bubble.

Notre Dame 65, Villanova 60

Villanova, after two home wins against top-5 teams, lost on the road to the Notre Dame, after the Irish had dropped two of three in South Bend. The Irish shot 9-of-21 from the three, thanks in large part to freshman Cameron Biedscheid’s five 3-pointers. The win gives Notre Dame in a tie for third place in the Big East. Villanova have lost four of six, albeit the two wins come against Louisville and Syracuse in a five-day span. The Wildcats have three winnable games before a road game against No. 24 Cincinnati.

Stanford 76, Oregon 54

Oregon suffered its first conference loss as Stanford rolled past the tenth-ranked Ducks late Wednesday night. Oregon is without freshman guard Dominic Artis, who is sidelined with a foot injury. Stanford uses the win to climb back to .500 in the Pac-12 play.

Also of Note: Indiana rolls past Purdue 97-60. All five starters score in double figures. Indiana hosts No. 1 Michigan on Saturday.

Starred

Player of the Year candidates

Mason Plumlee, Duke: 32 points, nine rebounds, two blocks in a 75-70 win against Wake Forest. Doug McDermott, Creighton: 29 points, 10 rebounds, four assists in a 91-77 win against Missouri State. Trey Burke, Michigan:  18 points, eight assists, zero turnovers in a 68-49 win against Northwestern for No. 1 Michigan.

Anthony Hickey, LSU

The nation’s leader in steals caused problems all night for Missouri’s offense. In the second half, he did his damage on the offensive end with 14 of his 20 points after halftime to go along with four assists and two steals. Oregon had only one scorer in double figures, Carlos Emory with 12. Stanford shot 52 percent from the field (57 from three) in a home win.

Florida

The Gators are rolling in SEC play, winning all seven games by a minimum of 17 points. Florida rolled past South Carolina 75-36. Saturday Florida hosts Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss, with Florida looking for its 10 consecutive win.

Also of Note: Jack Cooley (17 points, 16 rebounds)Isaiah Austin (21 points, 21 rebounds)

Struggled

Philadelphia schools

Villanova beat Louisville and Syracuse in back-to-back games — the first unranked team to be consecutive top-5 teams since 2001 — but lost on the road to Notre Dame. La Salle welcomed Butler and VCU to the A-10 by beating both of them in a five day span. The Explorers lost by one at home to UMass.

UCLA

The Bruins have lost two of three after winning 10 straight, including a overtime loss to USC on Wednesday. UCLA shot 38 percent from the field (2-of-19 from three).

Alex LenMaryland

Only four points, five rebounds for the Terrapins sophomore star. Len was limited to only 17 minutes in what could be a devastating loss to Maryland’s resume. Maryland is now 3-5 in the ACC following a loss to Michael Snaer and Florida State.

Indiana lands four-star Class of 2017 wing Justin Smith

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Indiana landed an athletic wing commitment on Monday night as four-star small forward Justin Smith pledged to the Hoosiers on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Smith is a native of Lincolnshire, Illinois and comes from Stevenson High School as he’s regarded as the No. 105 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings.

A high-flying wing who is great in the open floor, Smith should fit the Hoosiers’ uptempo system perfectly and if he’s able to get a more consistent perimeter jumper then he has a chance to be a really nice piece for Indiana.

Smith joins three-star guard Al Durham in Indiana’s recruiting Class of 2017.

Michigan State addingTom Izzo Hall of History wing in remodeled Breslin Center

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has already been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this fall and the longtime Spartans head coach is receiving another unique honor in the remodeled Breslin Center.

The school announced over the weekend that the Tom Izzo Hall of History will be added to the Breslin Center renovations as the building is supposed to be completed by the fall of 2017.

“The Tom Izzo Hall of History will become a great gathering place on our campus where together we can celebrate the excellence of Spartan Basketball and MSU Athletics,” athletic director Mark Hollis said in a release. “When this facility project is complete it will be the finest college basketball facility in the country, so it’s only fitting that Tom’s name will be a permanent part of it.”

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Breslin Center, especially since Izzo and Michigan State basketball will forever be associated with one another. It should be cool for fans to go through it and re-live great moments in Michigan State history and the wing is another nice recruiting tool that can help point out all of Izzo’s biggest accomplishments.

 

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament moving to Orlando amid Zika concerns

Lon Kruger
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
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Amid concerns over the Zika virus, the annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off announced a change in venue on Monday. Rather than staying on the island, the tournament will move to Orlando and all games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

The dates and teams will remain the same for the event as it will be played Thursday, Nov. 17, Friday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 20. The field for the event includes Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier.

“We enjoy the beauty and accommodations that are afforded in Puerto Rico and wanted to make every effort in playing the event in San Juan, but the concern for student-athlete and spectator welfare became the primary driver in the decision,” Pete Derzis, senior vice president of ESPN Events said in the official release.  “We intend to return to Puerto Rico in the future.”

Puerto Rico is currently under a Level 2 alert for Zika according to the CDC. Since there have been cases of Zika on the island with native mosquitoes, it’s probably a smart move to eliminate all concerns over the virus if they can easily move the tournament elsewhere. It probably isn’t ideal for fans who purchased travel packages to Puerto Rico to watch the event, but it’s a small price to pay for the safety of everyone involved.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is also upset with the decision as Executive Director Ingrid Rivera Rocafort released a statement on Monday night.

“We are disappointed about this decision that we believe has been based on fear not the facts about Puerto Rico,” the statement read.

“There is no public health reason to cancel the Puerto Rico Tip Off or any sporting event in Puerto Rico. There is no doubt that our strong fan base and local spectators would have turned out to support their teams. Less than one percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population has contracted Zika, a far cry from projections. The hype and misinformation is fostering irrational decisions.”

PHOTO: Purdue unveils statue of John Wooden outside Mackey Arena

John Wooden (Purdue Athletics)
Purdue Athletics
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John Wooden will forever be associated with the UCLA program for what he did while coaching there.

10 national titles in 12 years, including seven in a row. Not bad, right?

What some people may forget is that before he got into coaching, Wooden was one of the best basketball players in the world. He played his collegiate ball at Purdue, where he was a three-time all-american and the 1932 National Player of the Year.

To honor Wooden’s legacy as one of the greatest Boilermakers ever, Purdue built a statue of Wooden and unveiled it in front of Mackey Arena this weekend:

“Not many people think of Johnny Wooden as a Boilermaker, but when I got here in 1957, some of the old-timers still remembered him as a player,” Jim Hicks, the alumnus that donated the statue, said. “I’m so delighted that people will see this statue and read his Pyramid of Success because I think the pyramid was his most important contribution.”

One of the neat touches of the statue: Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is right there for all to see.

North Carolina lands third commitment in 2017 class

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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North Carolina picked up their third commitment in the Class of 2017 on Monday in big man Brandon Huffman.

A four-star prospect who will play his final season of high school ball at Word of God Academy in North Carolina, Huffman’s strength at this point in his development is as a defensive presence around the basket. He stands 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and should be able to help replace Kennedy Meeks, who graduates this spring.

Huffman’s development on the offensive end of the floor isn’t quite there yet. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Huffman is still learning how to be more influential on that end.

Huffman joins Jalek Felton and Andrew Platek in UNC’s 2017 class.