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No. 3 Michigan St beats Nebraska 86-57 for 6th straight rout

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Jaren Jackson gave himself a chance to show some of his potential because he figured out how to stay out of foul trouble.

The freshman had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks to help No. 3 Michigan State beat Nebraska 86-57 on Sunday.

Jackson was limited to a total of eight points and eight rebounds in the two previous games, wins over No. 5 Notre Dame and then-No. 9 North Carolina, because he had four fouls against the Fighting Irish and three against the Tar Heels. He had four fouls in each of his first two games, overcoming that well enough against top-ranked Duke to score 19 points, and he fouled out in a scoreless game against Stony Brook in his third game.

“Usually, I get four or five of them,” Jackson acknowledged. “I just didn’t want to pick up anything crazy.”

The 6-foot-11 forward is regarded as one of the top prospects for the 2018 NBA draft if he leaves school, and Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles hopes he jumps at the opportunity.

“I can’t wait until he goes pro,” Miles said. “Maybe he can go at semester.”

Michigan State’s Nick Ward, meanwhile, matched his season high with 22 points despite being limited to just 16 minutes because he had a season-high four fouls. Cassius Winston scored 16 points and had seven assists and Miles Bridges had 12 points for the Spartans.

Michigan State (7-1) has won six straight since losing to top-ranked Duke, beating each team by at least 18 points.

Nebraska (6-3) kept the game close for about 10 minutes, unlike the Fighting Irish in an 81-63 loss Thursday night.

The Spartans took control with a 16-4 run that gave it a 34-16 lead with 5 minutes left in the first half and coasted to another lopsided victory.


Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are searching for more players who can score against quality opponents. Their only double-digit scorer was James Palmer, who had 15 points.

“How we create for others and get easy shots for our teammates is something that we’re figuring out, slowly,” Miles said. “That needs to improve.”

Michigan State: Ward has to find a way to stay out of foul trouble. He played just 16 minutes in the Big Ten opener against Nebraska.

“Sometime, he tries to go over guys’ backs,” Izzo said.

When Ward can stay on the court, he’s tough to cover and keep off the boards.

“I’m really impressed with Nick Ward,” Miles said. “He’s improved. He’s running better. He’s not just one-dimensional.”


The Spartans may get more No. 2 votes than Kansas (7-0) due to their strength of schedule, beating the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish and then-No. 9 North Carolina during their dominant run. Michigan State is the only team among the Power Six conference to face three schools in the Top 10 in November.


The Spartans blocked 11 shots, one shy of their season high, and are averaging 7-plus blocks a game.

“You have to drive to pass,” Miles said. “You can’t drive to score on these guys.”


Michigan State had just six turnovers, its lowest total in nearly two years.


Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio attended the game after finding out the Outback Bowl chose unranked Michigan over the No. 18 Spartans . The Wolverines won fewer games and lost to Dantonio this season for the eighth time in 10 years.

“I’ll just continue to concentrate on beating Michigan and let things sort of sort out,” Dantonio told reporters.


Nebraska: Hosts No. 12 Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Michigan State: Plays at Rutgers on Tuesday night.

Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods to transfer or go pro after graduation

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Wake Forest will be down a key player next season as the school announced that guard Keyshawn Woods will either transfer or go pro after graduation.

The 6-foot-3 Woods was the team’s second-leading scorer this season as he put up 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Woods shot 43 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three-point range for the 2017-18 campaign.

Also a key member of last season’s NCAA tournament team for the Demon Deacons, Woods transferred to Wake Forest after spending his first season at Charlotte.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Manning gave me to be a part of this program and to graduate from this great university,” said Woods in the release. “I am proud that I was able to help the coaches change the culture of the program and build a foundation for the future.”

The loss of Woods won’t be easy for Wake Forest, but the team is scheduled to return some talented guards like Bryant Crawford and Brandon Childress next season. Incoming freshmen like Jaime Lewis and Sharone Wright Jr. are also signed to add to the perimeter depth.

David Padgett not retained as Louisville coach

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Louisville announced on Wednesday afternoon that interim head coach David Padgett would not be retained.

Padgett, who is 32 years old, stepped in and took the program over in the wake of a scandal that cost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino his job.

“We all owe a great debt of gratitude to David for his leadership and poise this season,” said U of L Interim Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching. We expect to determine a new head coach in a short period to build upon the great basketball tradition of this university.”

Pitino was fired because an FBI complaint contained an allegation that he and his staff had arranged for a $100,000 payment to be funneled to Brian Bowen from Adidas.

In his one season with the Cardinals, Padgett went 22-14 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Louisville will now conduct a search for their next head coach, and current Xavier coach Chris Mack has long been considered the favorite to take that job.

Kansas State’s injured star hoping to play Thursday

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One of the most surprising parts about Kansas State’s run to the Sweet 16 is that they have done it without the services of their leading scorer, Dean Wade.

Wade injured his foot prior to the Big 12 tournament loss to Kansas. He did not play in that game or in either of Kansas State’s first two tournament games, but it is looking more and more like he’ll be on the floor on Thursday night when they play Kentucky.

“I don’t play percentages very well, but I’m feeling good,” Wade said, via SEC Country. “I’m very positive about it. It’s getting better every day and today I felt great out there, doing a little more than usual. It felt good.”

Wade averaged 16.5 points per game, but the big question is going to be whether or not he is actually healthy when he takes the court. Just because he’s on the floor doesn’t mean he’s at 100 percent.

“Really just trying to get it out of my mind that it’s not hurt,” Wade said. “Just more of a mental thing, just getting out there and running around. I think I got moved past that and it’s feeling better.”

Arizona’s Sean Miller: ‘I am not a candidate’ at Pitt

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With speculation mounting about who Pitt will hire to replace Kevin Stallings as their new head coach, current Arizona head coach Sean Miller released a statement saying that he is not in the running to fill the opening.

“I am not a candidate for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coaching vacancy. I wish them well in their search for a new coach,” the statement read.

Miller is a native of Pittsburgh and an alumni of the school — he’s the guy that had the assist on Jerome Lane’s famous dunk — and with the issues that are currently swirling around him and the Arizona program, there was speculation that he was looking for an escape plan.

Maybe he wasn’t.

Maybe he was and the Pitt administration decided they couldn’t risk hiring someone who had an assistant coach arrested in the FBI’s sweep of college basketball and who himself may be on wiretaps talking about who knows what. Releasing this statement would then be a way for him to save face and say he was never interested.

And then maybe there’s option No. 3: Pitt has won the Dan Hurley sweepstakes.

As it stands, both the Panthers and UConn are in the process of chasing after the Rhode Island head coach, and it’s not uncommon in coaching searches for a coach to announce that he is not a candidate for the job after the job decides they want someone else. Call it a professional courtesy.

But that’s neither here nor there.

What we do know now is that Sean Miller will not be the next head coach at Pitt.

Report: Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson suffers another fracture in foot

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Bonzie Colson rushed back from a broken foot to try and help his Notre Dame team get into the NCAA tournament this season.

They were bumped out of the field when Davidson upset Rhode Island and earned the Atlantic 10’s third bid to the league tournament. The Fighting Irish were NIT bound, and in their second round loss to Penn State late last week, Colson reinjured the left foot that held him out of action for eight weeks.

On Wednesday, Yahoo reported that Colson suffered another fracture in the foot.

“I’m sitting there and he’s limping off and I’m going, ‘You gotta be kidding me,’” coach Mike Brey said after the game. “Everything we’ve been through? I thought we were out of the woods with him.”

There was a poignant moment at the end of the game.

Colson’s injury came during the third quarter. He returned to the bench at Purcell Pavilion with ice on his foot after going into the locker room. With 30 seconds left and a loss imminent, Colson walked right past Mike Brey, said “I’m going in”, and finished his college career on the court.

Colson is a potential second round pick. He was an all-american last year and a preseason selection this year. He was averaging 19.7 points, 10.2 boards and 2.2 blocks when he was injured.