Super Bowl Snacks: No. 10 Michigan, No. 18 Pittsburgh fall on Super Sunday

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GAME OF THE DAY: Virginia 48, No. 18 Pittsburgh 45

It wasn’t pretty, and the game lacked the offensive fireworks seen last night at the Carrier Dome, but the Cavaliers and Panthers staged a tough battle in Pittsburgh. The difference was a Malcolm Brogdon three-pointer with less than a second remaining, moving Virginia to 8-1 in ACC play. Brogdon’s been a key figure for Virginia during conference play, as he’s reached double figures in all nine games after going scoreless in that blowout loss at Tennessee. As for Pitt, they need to get Lamar Patterson back on track. In losses to Duke and Virginia this week he shot a combined 7-for-28 from the field, a far cry from the 50% clip he’s been shooting on the season.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Indiana 63, No. 10 Michigan 52

Yogi Ferrell scored 27 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the field, to lead the way offensively for the Hoosiers. However the story for Indiana was their defending of Nik Stauskas, limiting him to six shot attempts (one make) and six points in the loss. Michigan, which is now tied for first in the Big Ten with Michigan State, will be fine. But for Indiana, this was a result they really needed after losing at Nebraska a couple days ago.

2) Oregon State 71, UCLA 67

UCLA entered this game with an opportunity to grab sole possession of second place in the Pac-12, and with Arizona’s Brandon Ashley injuring his foot who knows what could have been possible. But Jordan Adams missed all nine of his shot attempts and Oregon State’s Hallice Cooke led five Beavers in double figures with 20 points, resulting in defeat for the visiting Bruins. Now UCLA’s tied for second with Cal, with five teams (including Oregon State) a game behind in fourth.

3) No. 13 Cincinnati 50, USF 45 

The Bearcats struggled offensively against the Bulls, shooting just 33.3% from the field and 4-for-17 from beyond the arc. But that didn’t matter as Mick Cronin’s team once again made the plays they needed to make in crunch time, moving to 10-0 in American play (21-2 overall) as a result. Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points and Justin Jackson added 15, six rebounds and three blocks to lead the way for the Bearcats.

STARRED

1) Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) 

Ferrell scored 27 points, hitting seven of his eight shots from beyond the arc, to lead the Hoosiers to a 63-52 win over Michigan. He was also the primary defender assigned the task of slowing down Nik Stauskas.

2) Jordan Aaron (Milwaukee)

Aaron scored 23 points to lead five Panthers, who beat Oakland 86-64, in double figures. Teammate Matt Tiby scored ten points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

3) Hallice Cooke (Oregon State) 

Cooke scored 14 of his career-high 20 points in the second half of Oregon State’s 71-67 win over UCLA.

STRUGGLED

1) Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh)

Patterson scored ten points but he did so on 3-for-14 shooting in the Panthers’ 48-45 loss to Virginia. Over his last two games Patterson’s shot 7-for-28 from the field.

2) Nik Stauskas (Michigan) 

Michigan’s leading scorer attempted just six shots on Sunday, making one and scoring six points in a 63-52 loss at Indiana.

3) Langston Hall (Mercer) 

Hall shot 1-for-7 from the field, accounting for four points in the Bears’ 80-61 loss at USC Upstate.

NOTABLES

  • Oakland’s Travis Bader hit six three-pointers, passing J.J. Redick on the NCAA list for made three-pointers in a career. Unfortunately for the Golden Grizzlies, they lost 86-64 at Milwaukee.
  • Torrey Craig scored 25 points and grabbed five rebounds in USC Upstate’s 80-61 win over Mercer. The result means that Mercer and FGCU are tied in the loss column for first place in the Atlantic Sun.
  • D.J. Newbill scored 19 points and Tim Frazier 18 to lead Penn State to a 79-68 win over Purdue, their third consecutive Big Ten win.
  • Marcus Thornton scored 26 points to lead the way for William & Mary, which survived a wild final sequence to win 81-79 at James Madison.
  • Dyami Starks (22 points) Alex Francis and Corey Maynard (20 apiece) scored 62 of Bryant’s 76 points in the Bulldogs’ 76-67 win at Sacred Heart.
  • Spencer Parker and Richaun Holmes combined for 39 points and 17 rebounds to lead Bowling Green to a 74-68 win over Buffalo.

Villanova lands four-star 2018 guard

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Villanova added its first recruit in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night.

Jay Wright and his staff landed a verbal commitment from Paul VI Catholic High School’s Brandon Slater, a four-star guard by Rivals as the No. 42 overall prospect in the rising senior class.

The 6-foot-5 Slater announced his decision via Twitter.

Slater, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, picked the Wildcats over Maryland, Miami, South Carolina, and Virginia.

He is currently playing the Nike EYBL with Team Takeover, the same grassroots program that produced current Villanova guard Phil Booth.

Comic-Con forces Providence to play at Alumni Hall for home opener

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Providence will play its first game at Alumni Hall, the on-campus facility, for the first time in 35 years this fall.

The Friars unveiled their 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Thursday afternoon. The team’s home opener will play either Houston Baptist or Belmont in Mullaney Gym inside Alumni Hall.

According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, the reason for that is a schedule conflict at Providence’s home arena, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, in downtown Providence. A Comic-Con convention is scheduled Nov. 10-12. As McNamara notes, it’s a busy part of the season for The Dunk. The arena also is home to the Providence Bruins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and by mid-November, their season is in full swing.

The Friars haven’t played at Alumni Hall since 1972, the same year the Dunkin’ Donuts Center was opened. In the three decades since Providence last played a regular season game there, the facility has gone under necessary renovations, as you could imagine. Even with added seats, Mullaney Gym can host a maximum of 1,549. That’s a fraction of what The Dunk’s capacity of 12,400.

Providence will return to its downtown home on Nov. 13, hosting Minnesota as part of the Gavitt Games. The Golden Gophers will likely be a top-20 team to open the season. The Friars, who bring back every notable player from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, is a fringe top-25 team.

Jalen Coleman-Lands to transfer out of Illinois

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The already-thin Illinois roster got thinner on Thursday afternoon.

Evan Daniels of Scout.com reported that sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has requested and received his release from the program. He will have to sit out next season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Coleman-Lands was a top-40 recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. He becomes the second player from that recruiting class this month to exit the school. Reserve guard D.J. Williams elected to transfer on May 8. With Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett, two incoming recruits, both previously reopened their recruitments following John Groce’s firing.

Even with the addition of Wright State graduate transfer Mark Alstork, who officially joined the Fighting Illini on Wednesday, Illinois is left with only nine scholarship players as of right now.

Coleman-Lands’ production dipped from his freshman campaign, ending the 2016-17 season averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, shooting 38 percent from three.

One destination that will likely be rumored will be nearby DePaul. Coleman-Lands played for new DePaul assistant coach Shane Heirman at prep school powerhouse La Lumiere School. Heriman quickly tapped into that prep pipeline, helping secure a commitment from La Lumiere from five-star 2019 point guard Tyger Campbell earlier this month.

Coleman-Lands had taken official visits to Notre Dame and UNLV before committing to the Illini in September 2014.

North Carolina releases response to latest NCAA Notice of Allegations

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North Carolina is still trying to convince the NCAA that their investigation into the paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department is not, in fact, an NCAA matter.

On Thursday afternoon, the University released their response to the NCAA’s third iteration of the Notice of Allegations, and the core argument in that response is that the school’s “inadequate academic oversight” does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NCAA’s bylaws. In other words, North Carolina is arguing that a rogue professor creating fake classes is not an NCAA issue. It’s a school issue.

What’s more, North Carolina is also arguing that athletes taking these classes should not be classified as an extra benefit because they were available to the entire student body.

“No special arrangements were made for student-athletes in violation of NCAA extra-benefit legislation,” the response reads. “Student-athletes were not treated differently than other students who took the Courses.”

“The public narrative for the last six years, popularized by media accounts, is that Department of Athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took advantage of ‘fake classes’ in the Department of African and African-American Studies to keep student-athletes eligible. That narrative is wrong and contradicted by the facts in the record.”

The NCAA’s allegations center around the idea that UNC’s athletes, most notably members of the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, were guided to the fake classes within that department in order to keep their GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The classes in question had a disproportionate percentage of athletes.

A hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions is expected to take place at some point this summer.

No indictment for escort, staffer in Louisville sex scandal

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A grand jury declined to indict an escort and former Louisville men’s basketball staffer in a sex scandal that engulfed the program.

The Jefferson County grand jury decided Thursday there wasn’t enough evidence for charges of prostitution and unlawful transactions with a minor against Katina Powell and Andre McGee.

Powell wrote in a book published in 2015 that McGee hired her to provide dancers to perform sex acts for Cardinal recruits and players from 2010-2014.

The announcement by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office comes as the school awaits discipline in early June by the NCAA after an investigation.

Louisville has imposed its own penalties, including a postseason ban in 2015-16 and reductions in scholarships and recruiting visits by coaches.