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SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 North Carolina fall on the road

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GAME OF THE DAY: Fresno State 111, UNLV 104 (2OT)

The Bulldogs outlasted the Runnin’ Rebels in Fresno, needing two extra sessions to do so. Marvelle Harris led the way with 37 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover, with Julien Lewis scoring 18 points off the bench and forward Cullen Russo adding 17 points and ten boards. As for UNLV, five of the six players who scored reached double figures with Patrick McCaw (16 rebounds) scoring 28 points and Ike Nwamu 27.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

No. 9 Virginia 64, Pittsburgh 50: Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers won their sixth straight game, and in each of their last three wins Virginia has held their opponent to 50 points or fewer. Pittsburgh shot just 39.1 percent on the day against Virginia’s pack line defense, and on the other end Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes combined to score 35 points.

No. 3 Villanova 72, No. 11 Providence 60: The Wildcats once again played without the injured Daniel Ochefu, and once again they took care of business. Villanova limited the Friars to 19 first half points, and Darryl Reynolds (19 points, ten rebounds), Josh Hart (14 and 13) and Kris Jenkins (ten and ten) all posted double-doubles in leading a dominant effort on the glass. Ben Bentil scored 20 points for the Friars but Kris Dunn struggled, scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and committing six turnovers.

No. 4 Maryland 72, No. 18 Purdue 61: Trailing by four with just under six minutes remaining, the Terrapins went on a 9-0 to take control of the game in College Park. Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points and grabbed ten rebounds and Robert Carter Jr. added 19 and seven caroms for the Terps, who remain a game behind Iowa and Indiana in the Big Ten standings. And they can thank their refocus on the defensive end for the comeback.

No. 14 West Virginia 80, No. 15 Baylor 69: The Mountaineers didn’t force many turnovers, but they managed to win in impressive fashion nonetheless. Daxter Miles Jr. led four WVU players in double figures with 20 points and Jaysean Paige added 17 off the bench for Bob Huggins’ team, which is now in sole possession of first place in the Big 12. King McClure and Ishmail Wainwright scored 11 apiece to lead the way offensively for Baylor.

BUBBLE BANTER: No. 25 South Carolina, George Washington pick up big wins

STARRED

Patricio Garino, George Washington: Garino scored 27 points, shooting 11-for-16 from the field, in a 72-69 win at VCU.

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State: Forbes scored 29 points, shooting 8-for-10 from three, in the Spartans’ 16-point win at Michigan.

Jamal Murray, Kentucky: 35 points on 13-for-21 shooting and six rebounds in the Wildcats’ 80-61 win over Florida.

STRUGGLED

Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn was the focal point of Villanova’s defensive efforts and it showed, as he scored 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and had more turnovers (six) than assists (four) in the 72-60 defeat.

Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen, Florida: Chiozza and Allen combined to shoot 2-for-14 from the field, scoring six points in a 19-point loss at No. 20 Kentucky.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Who wants to be number one? A new team will likely take the top spot Monday, as No. 1 Oklahoma fell 80-69 at Kansas State. Wesley Iwundu led the way with 22 points, seven assists and some good defense on Buddy Hield. Hield scored 23 points but did so on 7-for-16 shooting as the Sooners had issues both offensively and defensively in Manhattan.
  • No. 6 Xavier scored 55 second half points, erasing a four-point halftime deficit to beat Marquette 90-82. Three Musketeers scored at least 20 points on the day, with Trevon Bluiett scoring 23 and Edmond Sumner and J.P. Macura 20 apiece. Henry Ellenson led the Golden Eagles with 22 points and seven rebounds, with Haanif Cheatham adding 21 points.
  • No. 7 Kansas took care of business as expected in Fort Worth, beating TCU 75-56. Perry Ellis led the way with 23 points and ten rebounds, with Devonte’ Graham adding 15 points, and the Jayhawks did a far better job on the glass than they did against Kansas State midweek.
  • No. 8 Texas A&M lost for the third time in the last four games, this time falling at home to No. 25 South Carolina 81-78. Sindarius Thornwell finished with 25 points, six rebounds and nine assists and Michael Carrera added 20 for the Gamecocks, who shot 52.6 percent from the field.
  • Bryn Forbes hit seven first-half three pointers as No. 10 Michigan State took care of Michigan, 89-73. Forbes finished with 29 points and Denzel Valentine added 21, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Spartans.
  • No. 13 Iowa State, playing without the suspended Jameel McKay, rebounded from a slow start to beat Oklahoma State 64-59 in Stillwater. Georges Niang led a balanced scoring effort with 18 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.
  • No. 19 Louisville played its first game since announcing their self-imposed postseason ban, and without the injured Damion Lee (bruised knee) they took care of ACC cellar dweller Boston College 79-47. Trey Lewis scored 16 points and Deng Adel, who replaced Lee in the starting lineup, tallied 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
  • No. 20 Kentucky rebounded from its disappointing collapse at Tennessee with an 80-61 win over Florida in Lexington. Jamal Murray scored 20 of his 35 points in the first half and Tyler Ulis added 18 points and 11 assists.
  • No. 21 Wichita State had two streaks come to an end in its 58-53 loss at Illinois State: their 12-game win streak this season, and a 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games. Paris Lee scored 19 points and Deontae Hawkins added 14 for the Redbirds, who outscored Wichita State 22-9 from the foul line.
  • No. 23 Arizona became the third Pac-12 team to sweep a road trip in league play this season, winning 77-72 at Washington. The Wildcats, who join Oregon and Utah for the road sweep distinction, were led offensively by Ryan Anderson who finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
  • No. 24 Dayton moved into a tie for first in the Atlantic 10 as they blew out George Mason, 98-64. Charles Cooke led five Flyers in double figures with 24 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists, and as a team Dayton shot 62.9 percent from the field.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Memphis rebounded from a disappointing effort against UConn Thursday night, beating Cincinnati 63-59 at home. Shaq Goodwin and Dedric Lawson both posted lines of 20 points and 11 rebounds for the winners.
  • Temple avoided what would have been a damaging loss on the road, holding off UCF 62-60 in Orlando. Mark Williams scored 16 points off the bench and starter Quenton DeCosey added 15 for the Owls.
  • Florida State has now won four straight games, as they won 91-71 at Wake Forest. With the recent Louisville news, the Seminoles could be one bubble team that finds a way to benefit.
  • Stony Brook moved to 11-0 in America East play with a 91-73 win at UMass-Lowell. Jameel Warney finished with 24 points and 14 boards.
  • Duke beat NC State 88-80 in Durham, doing so after the Wolfpack mounted a rally to tie the game in the second half. Grayson Allen scored 28 points and Luke Kennard 26 for the Blue Devils, who welcomed head coach Mike Krzyzewski back to the sidelines after he missed their game at Georgia Tech due to illness.
  • San Diego State remained undefeated in Mountain West play (11-0) with a 78-71 overtime win over New Mexico. A Malik Pope three pointer in the final seconds of regulation forced overtime, and from there the Aztecs took control. Following the game, the conference admitted that the Lobos were victims of a botched call late in regulation.
  • North Dakota handed Weber State its second defeat in Big Sky play, beating the Wildcats 78-71. Geno Crandall led five North Dakota players in double figures with 21 points.
  • Valparaiso moved to 20-4 on the season with a 73-55 win at UIC. Bryce Drew’s Crusaders limited the Flames to 32-8 percent shooting on the day.
  • North Texas scored 50 second-half points, erasing a ten-point halftime deficit to beat Louisiana Tech 80-69. Deckie Johnson scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Mean Green.
  • BYU suffered a loss that won’t help their NCAA tournament hopes, falling at home 77-72 to Pacific.
  • In Colorado State’s 76-67 win over Nevada, forward Emmanuel Omogbo grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds.
  • Chattanooga moved to 10-1 in the SoCon with a 62-54 win over Furman. Matt McCall’s Mocs currently have a two-game lead on both Mercer and East Tennessee State.
  • Antonio Blakeney scored 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench and Keith Hornsby added 25 points as LSU beat Mississippi State 88-77. With Saturday’s results LSU is now in sole possession of first place in the SEC.
  • Wyoming shot an incredible 20-for-38 from three in their 84-65 win over Utah State. The Cowboys are the second team to make 20 three-pointers in a game this season, joining North Florida.
  • Speaking of the Ospreys, they were handed their second conference loss of the season by FGCU. The Eagles won 81-65, dropping UNF (7-2) into a tie for first in the Atlantic Sun with Jacksonville.
  • Seton Hall continued its march towards and NCAA tournament berth, beating Georgetown 69-61. Angel Delgado led the way with 19 points and 13 boards for Seton Hall, which won despite Isaiah Whitehead shooting 3-for-15.
  • Montana moved into first place in the Big Sky with an 82-80 win over Portland State. The Grizzlies are 9-2, with Weber State a half-game back at 8-2.
  • Hawai’i moved into a tie for first place in the Big West by winning 75-60 at Cal Poly. Eran Ganot’s Rainbow Warriors are now 7-1, and they host UC Irvine in a battle for sole possession of first place Thursday night.

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.

Troubled No. 14 Arizona loses 98-93 to Oregon

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EUGENE, Ore. — No. 14 Arizona played without coach Sean Miller and lost 98-93 to Oregon in overtime at the end of a difficult Saturday for the troubled Wildcats program.

Miller sat out a day after ESPN reported he was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to current Wildcats freshman Deandre Ayton. The Wildcats also were without guard Allonzo Trier, who tested positive for the same banned substance that cost him 19 games last season.

“I believe it is in the best interest of our team that I not coach the game tonight,” Miller said in a statement. “I continue to fully support the university’s efforts to fully investigate this matter and am confident that I will be vindicated.”

The school did not specify why Miller didn’t coach against Oregon or if he will sit out any other games.

Ayton had 28 points and 16 rebounds for Arizona (22-7, 12-4 Pac-12), and Rawle Alkins added 24 points.

Oregon (19-10, 9-7) used a stellar performance at the line and a balanced attack to pick up its second straight win. Elijah Brown scored 22 of his season-high 30 points after halftime. MiKyle McIntosh added 20 points, including a key 3-pointer with 1:02 left.

Brown made 15 of 17 free-throw attempts as the Ducks connected on 20 of 24 foul shots overall. The work at the line helped them over a 58.6 shooting percentage and a 35-30 rebounding edge for the Wildcats.

Arizona also committed 17 turnovers.

Dylan Smith’s 3-pointer for the Wildcats tied it at 83 with 22 seconds left. Oregon’s Payton Pritchard missed a driving layup with 2 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona’s immediate future isn’t clear beyond its last two games of the regular season at McKale Center. The Wildcats can clinch a share of the Pac-12 title with one more win.

Oregon push for relevance in the postseason discussion got a boost by beating the Wildcats, though the Ducks’ only route to NCAA Tournament may rest with winning the conference tournament in Las Vegas next month. Oregon closes on the road against the Washington schools.