Cleanthony Early

Wichita State continues to show toughness in 72-67 win over Alabama

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No. 11 Wichita State went on the road in Tuscaloosa to take on a quality Alabama program, led by senior point guard Travis Releford. In the first half Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early and Fred VanVleet all sat for much of the first half with foul trouble.

In the second half, Alabama took the lead on several occasions, but time and time again the Shockers quickly countered, and in the end they left with their 11th win in 11 games with a 72-67 victory over the Crimson Tide on Tuesday night.

Cleanthony Early, who started the game by taking the tip towards his own basket, elevating for a slam before realizing and correcting his mistake, led all scorers with 26 points off 11-of-11 from the line.

The Shockers entered this game knowing it was going to be a battle. The Crimson Tide have talent on that roster, their a quality SEC program. Alabama had 21 wins on Selection Sunday last March, but still did not get a bid in the NCAA tournament. What the Crimson Tide needed was a signature win, which they didn’t have. This season, Wichita State looked like a prime candidate for Alabama’s marquee non-conference win and the Tide threw everything it had at Gregg Marshall’s team, only to come up short.

For the Shockers this win continues to show its toughness as a team. The Shockers are sitting at a perfect 11-0 with road wins over both Alabama and Saint Louis, a neutral site win over BYU, in which they held the Cougars to a season-low 62 points, and last week knocked off another SEC program in Tennessee at home.

The Shockers were able to respond every time the Crimson Tide made a run at them, including the offensive rebound and layup by Darius Carter with under 40 seconds to go that put the lead to 69-66. Wichita State reduced the chance of a late-game comeback by connecting on 25-0f-27 from the line for the game.

Tuesday night was another good test for Wichita State, and once again the Shockers showed their talent, toughness and composure. It’s really hard to believe the Shockers will run the table, especially in the Missouri Valley Conference, but when the bracket is released on Selection Sunday, I wouldn’t want to see the Shockers on my side of it.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: