SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 6 Villanova, No. 8 Maryland earn road wins

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Boston University 75, Lehigh 73

The matchup between two teams in the middle of the pack in the Patriot League wasn’t decided until time expired, as BU’s John Papale tossed in a shot after nearly turning the ball over. Cheddi Mosely scored 18 points and Eric Fanning 16 for the Terriers, who had five players in double figures. Lehigh’s Tim Kempton led all scorers with 24 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 8 Maryland 66, Ohio State 61: Melo Trimble scored 20 points and Jake Layman added 16 and ten boards as Maryland completed a season sweep of the Buckeyes. The Terrapins managed to gut out the win in Columbus thanks to some timely shots late from Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon, and a defense that limited Ohio State to 35.6 percent shooting from the field. With the win Maryland remains a game behind No. 3 Iowa and No. 19 Indiana in the Big Ten standings.

No. 6 Villanova 68, St. John’s 53: This game was noteworthy because the Wildcats played without starting center Daniel Ochefu, who didn’t make the trip due to a concussion suffered in practice. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins picked up the slack as both posted double-doubles, with Hart finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jenkins 14 and ten. The Wildcats struggled offensively, shooting less than 37 percent from the field and committing 20 turnovers, but they were still too much for a St. John’s team that has now lost 12 straight.

Colorado 70, California 62: The Golden Bears have won one game away from Berkeley this season: at Wyoming. That remains the case as they lost to the Buffaloes in Boulder. Colorado rebounded from a slow start, as they made just two of their first 20 shots, to move to 6-3 in Pac-12 play. Josh Scott led three Buffs in double figures with 18 points, while Cal’s Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 21 points.

STARRED

Fred VanVleet, Wichita State: VanVleet scored a career-high 32 points in the Shockers’ win at Evansville. He also limited Jaylon Brown, who scored 18 in the first meeting, to seven points and five turnovers.

Chris Boucher, Oregon: 26 points, ten rebounds and seven blocks in the Ducks’ win at Arizona State.

Dion Wright, St. Bonaventure: 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bonnies’ 16-point win over Richmond.

STRUGGLED

A.J. Davis, UCF: Davis made just one of his 11 shot attempts, scoring seven points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Knights’ 67-41 loss to UConn.

Leo Vincent, Southern Illinois: Vincent shot 1-for-7 from the field, scoring three points in the Salukis’ 67-58 loss at Northern Iowa.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 3 Iowa rebounded from its first conference loss by beating Northwestern, 89-71. Peter Jok scored 26 points and Jarrod Uthoff, who failed to reach double figures for the first time this season in Thursday’s loss at Maryland, added 23 for the Hawkeyes. Tre Demps led all scorers with 30.
  • No. 12 Michigan State won its third straight game, this time blowing out Rutgers 96-62. Denzel Valentine scored 20 points and Bryn Forbes 18 for the Spartans, who made 17 three-pointers. Four players scored in double figures for the Spartans and two, Matt Costello (14) and Deyonta Davis (11) reached double digits in rebounds.
  • If anyone in the Valley was going to catch No. 22 Wichita State, Evansville needed to beat the Shockers today. They didn’t as Wichita State won 78-65 with Fred VanVleet scoring a career-high 32 points to lead the way. Wichita State’s now 10-0 in league play, three games ahead of the Purple Aces (who they’ve swept the season series from) and Southern Illinois.
  • Chris Boucher produced the best game of his Oregon career in the 23rd-ranked Ducks’ 91-74 win at Arizona State. The 6-foot-10 senior finished with 26 points, ten rebounds and seven blocked shots. With the win Oregon became the second Pac-12 team to get a road sweep this season, joining Utah.
  • Demetrius Jackson returned to the lineup for No. 25 Notre Dame, which took care of Wake Forest 85-62. Jackson finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and six steals, and Zach Auguste scored a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 boards.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • After winning ten of 11 games, Wright State has now lost two straight after falling 75-68 at Detroit Sunday afternoon. The Raiders now trail Valparaiso, who they beat January 22, by two games in the Horizon League standings.
  • There’s still a four-way tie atop the Summit League standings, as IUPUI beat North Dakota State 73-72 in Indianapolis. Jordan Pickett scored 20 for the Jaguars, who are 7-2 in league play (as are South Dakota State, Omaha and IPFW).
  • George Washington avoided a bad loss, as they got going offensively in the second half of their 76-70 win at George Mason. Having already lost at Saint Louis, the Colonials could not afford to fall in Fairfax as well.
  • Also 5-3 in Atlantic 10 play is St. Bonaventure, which took care of Richmond 84-68 in Olean Sunday afternoon. Marcus Posley scored 26 points and Dion Wright added 19 and 14 boards for the Bonnies.
  • Amida Brimah made his return from a broken finger in UConn’s 67-41 win over UCF. Brimah scored six points and blocked two shots, and Shonn Miller led the way offensively with 11 points.
  • William & Mary erased a 12-point halftime deficit, beating James Madison 68-62. Prior to the defeat the Dukes were undefeated on the road this season.
  • Wisconsin held off Illinois, 63-55, moving their win streak in the series to nine games. Nigel Hayes scored 17 points but the key for Greg Gard’s team was their defense, as Illinois shot just 36 percent from the field.

No. 11 Cincinnati rallies for 82-74 win over Tulsa

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Gary Clark led a 24-4 run that put Cincinnati ahead to stay early in the second half, and the 11th-ranked Bearcats held on for an 82-74 victory over Tulsa on Sunday that preserved their one-game lead in the American Athletic Conference heading into the final week.

Cincinnati (25-4, 14-2) stayed ahead of No. 13 Wichita State (23-5, 13-3) in the race for the regular-season title. The Shockers won on Cincinnati’s home court 76-72 a week ago.

Wichita State plays at UCF on Thursday and hosts Cincinnati next Sunday in a potential showdown game. The Bearcats play at Tulane on Thursday before heading to Wichita State.

The Bearcats struggled defensively, giving up a season-high 14 3-pointers, but made a season-high 15 from beyond the arc. Clark and Jarron Cumberland had 17 points apiece.

Tulsa (17-11, 10-7) led by eight points early in the second before Clark scored during the decisive run. Junior Etou scored 21 for Tulsa, which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Cincinnati completed its season playing at Northern Kentucky University while its on-campus arena is renovated, going 14-1 at BB&T Arena.

BIG PICTURE

Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane is wrapping up a regular season that marks a step up for the program. Tulsa went 15-17 last season and 8-10 in the AAC, finishing seventh. It’s fourth in the league with two games to go.

Cincinnati: Even though the Bearcats rank second nationally in defense, they’d given up a lot of open shots in the previous two games, a concern to coach Mick Cronin. The Golden Hurricane got plenty of those, too, while shooting 59 percent in the first half. The Golden Hurricane led 47-44 at the break, the most points Cincinnati has allowed in a half this season.

UP NEXT

Tulsa: Golden Hurricane plays at East Carolina on Thursday. Tulsa opened AAC play by beating ECU 79-53 on Dec. 28.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats have won four straight and 14 of 15 against Tulane, including a 78-61 victory last season.

Bubble Banter: Sunday Funday on the bubble

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Sunday.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.

YET TO PLAY

TEMPLE
UCLA
PENN STATE
NEBRASKA
N.C. STATE

Georgia’s Mark Fox ‘disgusted’ by investigation into college basketball

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Georgia head coach Mark Fox did not hold back when asked about the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball, calling is “disgusting” and pleading with coaches and the institutions that employ them to do right.

“It starts with our coaches, and then you ask how the NCAA has handled it,” Fox said. “The NCAA is made up of member institutions. How are the institutions handling it? That’d be my first question. How are they handling it? Putting their head in the sand and looking the other way? I’m past anger, sadness. It’s just disgusting, and we’re really hurting the game, and the game has been so good to everybody.”

Fox is in a difficult position. He’s regarded as one of the nicer coaches in the business and is considered to be ‘clean’. He team also appears headed for another NIT, which could end up costing him his job.

“We’ve had some situations where we didn’t get players because of that reason, and other teams have, too,” Fox said.

“I’m disgusted,” he added. “I’m disgusted with how people have treated our game. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

Cuonzo Martin: ‘No timetable’ for a Michael Porter Jr. return

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There still is not clarity on whether or not Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. will return to the court this season.

On Saturday, he participated in Missouri’s shootaround at Kentucky but did not run through warmups and did not play in the game.

“I don’t have a timeline,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said after Saturday’s 87-66 loss. “He wants to play.”

“We have to make sure he’s ready to go.”

Porter has only had one full practice since he underwent surgery on his back in November, and that came on Friday. A source confirmed to NBC Sports that Porter was, in fact, cleared for full contact on Thursday afternoon after a visit with a doctor.

Porter is expected to continue practicing with the team. He told reporters earlier this month that he would like to get a few games prior to the start of tournament play if he happens to take part in any games.

Kentucky, Duke, Arizona comment on player eligibility amidst FBI scandal

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On Saturday night, Kentucky won their third straight game over an opponent that will be in next month’s NCAA tournament. They were led by freshman Kevin Knox, who finished with 21 points just 36 hours after his name appeared in a report by Yahoo Sports in connection with a runner that was tied to disgraced NBA agent Andy Miller.

“I’m not here to talk about that,” Knox said in response to questions regarding the runner, Christian Dawkins, or the story that Yahoo published.

“That was all the university dealing with it,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said, adding that he did not discuss the matter with Knox. “I wasn’t involved in any way. But I felt good about it.”

“I was sure I would be able to play this whole week,” Knox told reporters. “I wasn’t really focused on none of that. I let Kentucky handle it.

“I just focused on me, focused on my game, and let them handle it. I slept well at night knowing I was going to be able to play.”

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski went a step further, detailing precisely how he found out about the report and how Wendell Carter’s parents were involved. Carter’s mother called him while he was walking his dog and told him what was in the story. According to Coach K, Wendell’s parents went to break bread with Dawkins, but Wendell’s father did not like him and left immediately while Wendell’s mother stayed to be polite. She said she did not have anything to eat.

“It wasn’t a distraction because I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Carter told reporters after going for 16 points, 10 boards, four steals, four assists and two blocks in a win over Syracuse. “My family didn’t do anything wrong. No one around me did anything wrong. I knew I was going to play. Once I got out on the court, it was all good. It felt good.”

“We are very comfortable with where we are on this,” Coach K said. “We don’t feel like we are taking any chances with this. We very confident about this particular thing.”

Alabama told ESPN that any connection that Collin Sexton had to Dawkins or the Yahoo story was dealt with during his one-game suspension at the start of the season.

“We reviewed i, and after we reviewed it, we made the decision that Collin was going to be available for us,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “That’s the extent of it.”

Meanwhile, Arizona lost at Oregon after Sean Miller was replaced by Lorenzo Romar as head coach for the night. Romar offered no answers as to whether or not Miller, who was reportedly caught on a fire tap talking about a $100,000 payment to Deandre Ayton, will return to the program anytime soon because, as he put it, “I don’t know.” Romar was unable to even answer if he would be coaching practice on Sunday.