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SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Butler, Louisville, North Carolina earn wins over top-15 teams

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SATURDAY’S THINGS TO KNOW

The struggles continued for No. 7 Duke as they had another game to forget in a road loss at No. 14 Louisville. Anas Mahmoud had the best game of his career for the Cardinals and Duke struggled to defend ball screens. CBT’s Rob Dauster has four takeaways from this one including one on Duke being a total mess.

Two more of the ACC’s best teams also did battle on Saturday as No. 11 North Carolina handed No. 9 Florida State its first loss in conference play. Three more takeaways from Dauster on this one as he goes more into detail on Joel Berry’s outstanding game.

The Big East also had a big game on Saturday afternoon that saw No. 12 Butler hold on to beat No. 15 Xavier for a home win. Kelan Martin continued his sluggish Big East start, but a freshman guard is continuing to emerge for the Bulldogs. Here’s more on the Bulldogs and their very strong NCAA tournament profile.

Coming off of a blowout loss at the hands of West Virginia, No. 1 Baylor managed to go into Manhattan and knock off No. 25 Kansas State, 77-68. At the same time Baylor was winning that game, the No. 10 Mountaineers had to come back to knock off a Texas team that was playing without their best player.

No. 19 Virginia was able to outlast Clemson for an ACC road win as senior London Perrantes buried the key go-ahead three in the final two minutes. While this was a solid win for the ‘Hoos, this loss is potentially devastating for Clemson’s tourney hopes.

STARRED

Lonzo Ball, UCLA: The Bruins struggled as their legs gave out on them, but Ball still managed to post 15 points, eight assists, six boards and five steals in an 83-82 win at Utah. The Bruins swept the Mountain school.

Alec PetersValparaiso: The senior scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half to help the Crusaders beat Cleveland State. Peters also added nine rebounds on the day as he’s now over 2,100 career points.

Jack Gibbs, Davidson: The senior guard poured in 30 points and added seven rebounds in Davidson’s big Atlantic 10 win over VCU. Gibbs played all 40 minutes of Saturday’s game and was 9-for-19 from the floor with four three-pointers.

Tucker Haymond, Western Michigan: It was a career afternoon for the senior guard as Haymond had 35 points to lead the Broncos over Kent State for a MAC win. The career-high effort came on 12-for-18 shooting for Haymond.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • It didn’t come easy, but No. 2 Kansas overcame an off-shooting night to get past Oklahoma State as Frank Mason had 22 points.
  • No. 3 Villanova had a strong outing from guard Donte DiVincenzo (19 points) as the Wildcats won on the road at St. John’s.
  • Some hot shooting sparked No. 6 Kentucky past Auburn as freshman Malik Monk tallied 24 points.
  • Marcus Foster had 21 points to lead No. 8 Creighton to a rout over Truman State.
  • No. 10 West Virginia survived with a two-point road win over Texas in the Big 12. Teyvon Myers led with 16 points.
  • It took another close win but No. 20 Notre Dame was able to hold on for a road win at Virginia Tech. Steve Vasturia paced the Irish with 20 points.
  • This one needed overtime, but No. 23 Florida outlasted Georgia as Canyon Barry finished with 27 points and seven rebounds.
  • Penn State used a big second-half run to push past No. 24 Minnesota. This is the type of loss that could come back to haunt the Gophers as they held a 10-point halftime lead. Mike Watkins had 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Nittany Lions.

NOTABLE

  • Miami cruised past Pitt for an easy ACC win. The Hurricanes were led by Davon Reed as he finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. The win was also a milestone for Jim Larrañaga as he notched his 600th career victory.
  • Dayton stayed in the Atlantic 10 race with a road win at Duquesne. Charles Cooke led the way for the Flyers with 19 points.
  • Providence handed Seton Hall another bad loss for its NCAA tournament resume in Big East play. Kyron Cartwright led the Friars with 20 points and eight rebounds.
  • Georgetown held off UConn in an old-school rivalry game. The Hoyas trailed by six at half before rallying as L.J. Peak had 21 points and eight rebounds.
  • After the bad road loss at Illinois, Michigan bounced back with a Big Ten win over Nebraska as Moe Wagner led with 23 points.

Miami picks up Florida Gulf Coast transfer

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The transfer train continues to run to Miami this spring.

The U picked up their third commitment from a transfer Thursday when Zach Johnson, formerly of Florida Gulf Coast, pledged to coach Jim Larranaga and the ‘Canes.

“I would like to thank my FGCU family for everything during my time there. The relationships I have built will never be forgotten,” Johnson wrote on social media. “With that being said I am proud and happy to announce that I will be attending the University of Miami for my grad year.”

Johnson joins Kameron McGusty (Oklahoma) and Anthony Mack (Wyoming) as players from other programs joining Miami. Unlike the other two, who will sit out under NCAA transfer rules, Johnson will be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 16.1 points on 46.9 percent shooting overall and 39.2 percent from distance. He averaged career highs in scoring, rebounds, 3-point percentage and steals during his junior campaign with the Eagles.

Johnson will help ease the transition for the Hurricanes with Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker gone to the pros, Dewan Huell testing the waters and Ja’Quan Newton gone to graduation.

Big Ten releases matchups for new 20-game league slate

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The Big Ten’s 14-team structure has made for some unwieldy scheduling with unbalanced schedules and long-time rivalries relegated to a single matchup in some seasons.

The conference’s move to a 20-game league schedule is being made in part to alleviate those issues. Teams will play seven opponents home-and-away and the remaining six in one-off meetings – half on the road and half at home.

“The new schedules ensure that all three of the Big Ten’s in-state rivals – Illinois/Northwestern, Indiana/Purdue, and Michigan/Michigan State-will play twice on an annual basis,” Big Ten assistant commissioner Kerry Kenny said in a statement. “Additionally, there will be regional rotations in both the east and in the west. Rather than protecting a single opponent on a yearly basis for the remaining eight teams, annual rotations involving the four eastern teams (Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers) and the four western teams (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin) have been strategically developed to optimize travel, academic and recovery impacts while encouraging increased competition among institutions that are near each other geographically.

“Increasing the frequency of conference competition allows the Big Ten to compete across a larger footprint, while respecting history and balancing the needs of our students, coaches and fans.”

The Big Ten released the scheduling matrix Thursday (see below) while the full schedule will be released at a later date.

 

2018-19 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Opponents

ILLINOIS

Home: Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers

Away: Iowa, Maryland, Purdue

Home/Away: Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin

INDIANA

Home: Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Away: Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State

Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers

IOWA

Home: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan

Away: Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue

Home/Away: Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rutgers, Wisconsin

MARYLAND

Home: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern

Away: Iowa, Michigan State, Rutgers

Home/Away: Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

MICHIGAN

Home: Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue

Away: Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers

Home/Away: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin

MICHIGAN STATE

Home: Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern

Away: Illinois, Penn State, Wisconsin

Home/Away: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers

MINNESOTA

Home: Indiana, Iowa, Penn State

Away: Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State

Home/Away: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

NEBRASKA

Home: Northwestern, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Away: Indiana, Michigan, Rutgers

Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue

NORTHWESTERN

Home: Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue

Away: Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska

Home/Away: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, Wisconsin

OHIO STATE

Home: Minnesota, Penn State, Wisconsin

Away: Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska

Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers

PENN STATE

Home: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State

Away: Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State

Home/Away: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

PURDUE

Home: Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers

Away: Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin

Home/Away: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State

RUTGERS

Home: Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska

Away: Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin

Home/Away: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State

WISCONSIN

Home: Michigan State, Purdue, Rutgers

Away: Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio State

Home/Away: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State

New Mexico’s Chris McNeal transferring

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Chris McNeal is heading to his fourth school in four years.

The New Mexico guard has asked for and received his release from the school to transfer, the Lobos announced Thursday.

“Chris has truly been a great person to have in our program,” head coach Paul Weir said in a statement. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future.”

McNeal began his career in 2015 at Western Kentucky, where he played one season and set the freshman assist record, before heading to Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Ia., becoming a junior-college All-American on his way to New Mexico.

In his one season with the Lobos, McNeal started 19 games and averaged 9.5 points per game.He shot 37.2 percent from the floor and 31.5 percent from 3-point range. He had three games of at least 20 points, including 29 against Tennessee Tech in which he connected on 7 of 11 3-pointers.

New Mexico went 19-15 and finished third in the Mountain West.

McNeal will have one year remaining of eligibility and also has a redshirt year still available to him after his stop at Indian Hills.

Syracuse transfer Matthew Moyer headed to Vanderbilt

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Bryce Drew’s already sterling group of 2018 newcomers got even better Thursday.

Matthew Moyer, a former top-100 recruit, committed to transfer from Syracuse to Vanderbilt to add to an impressive haul of talent Drew has brought to Nashville.

“I am so blessed to announce that the next step in my academic and athletic journey is to Vanderbilt to play for Coach Drew!!” Moyer wrote on social media.

Moyer was a four-star recruit in 2016 and redshirted his first season with the Orange. Last year, his first on the court, he played just 16.8 minutes per game, averaging 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 Ohio native chose Vanderbilt over the likes of Texas and Xavier.

While Moyer will be expected to sit out the upcoming season under transfer rules, he’ll still be part of a major transfer infusion for the Commodores. Drew already has two five-star recruits in top-15 prospects Simisola Shittu and Darius Garland, plus four-star recruit Aaron Nesmith, a top-60 prospect. They’re also still in the running for Romeo Langford, a top-10 player in 2018.

Vanderbilt took a significant dip last year in Drew’s second season after an NCAA tournament appearance in Year 1, but their work on the recruiting trail looks to be ensuring that’ll be a momentary drop in performance. Vanderbilt moved on from Kevin Stallings to Drew in large part because of languishing results, but Drew looks to be reinvigorating the program in the best way possible – with serious success on the recruiting trail that seems likely to be followed by wins on the floor.

Report: Pilot involved in last year’s Michigan crash went against protocol, saved lives doing so

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The pilot of the plane that was scheduled to carry the Michigan basketball team from Detroit to Washington D.C. for the 2017 Big Ten tournament broke protocol by aborting takeoff and, in the process, potentially saved the lives of everyone on board the plane.

Here’s what happened, according to a transcript of the cockpit recorder that was obtained by The Detroit News: The mechanism that an airplane uses to take-off is called an elevator, and one of the two elevators on the plane that the Michigan team was on was stuck in a position that would not have allowed the plane to get into the air the way it needed to.

By the time the pilot of the plane realized this, the plane was already past the speed that would have allowed them to abort the takeoff without damaging the plane. Generally speaking, when that happens, the protocol is to get into the air and then find a way to land safely. The pilot on this flight slammed on the brakes, reverse-thrusted the engines and hoped for the best.

What eventually happened was that the plane skidded to a stop off of the back-end of the runway, leaving the people on board with bumps, bruises, scratches and, in the case of Derrick Walton Jr., stitches in his leg.

The alternative?

Well, we don’t have to think about that.

Because the pilot of that plane, Mark Radloff, went against what he was taught to do.

I’d suggest you read the entire story here. It’s wild and frightening.