Rob Dauster

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Canyon Barry #24 of the Florida Gators drives against Anthony Lawrence Jr. #3 of the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes during the game at HP Field House on November 27, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Barry scores 20, No. 24 Florida beats Mississippi 70-63

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Canyon Barry tied a season high with 20 points, KeVaughn Allen added 14 and No. 24 Florida beat Mississippi 70-63 on Tuesday night.

Overcoming a cold shooting start, the Gators built a 19-point lead that the Rebels only managed to get to single digits twice in the second half.

Deandre Burnett’s 3-pointer cut Florida’s big lead to 42-34 with 14:18 remaining. The Gators (11-3, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) responded with an 11-0 spurt that essentially put the game away.

Ole Miss made another run, making it 69-63 on Burnett’s driving layup with 20.1 seconds remaining. But it was too little, too late — even with Kasey Hill missing four consecutive free throws and Chris Chiozza clanging another.

Devin Robinson added 11 points for Florida, which improved to 2-0 at the recently renovated Exactech Arena. Hill chipped in eight points, five rebounds and five assists, but he also had five turnovers.

Mississippi (9-5, 0-2) had even more ball-security issues. The Rebels turned it over 14 times in the first 17 minutes and finished with 21, their most since the season opener against Tennessee-Martin.

The Gators were coming off a big win at Arkansas to open league play, and considering they hadn’t handled success very well earlier this season, controlling this game from start to finish was a big step in coach Mike White’s second season.

Barry shooting well surely helped. The graduate transfer from College of Charleston had missed 19 of his last 24 3-point attempts. He made 3 of 6 from behind the arc Tuesday and finished 8 of 14 from the field.

Ole Miss may have had the toughest start possible in league play. Coming off a lopsided home loss to No. 6 Kentucky, the Rebels traveled to Florida and now are winless in two games.

Burnett led the Rebels with 18 points. Sebastian Saiz added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi: The Rebels have to find a way to limit turnovers. They entered the game with a league-high 196 and then committed 14 in the first 17 minutes of the game at Florida, digging a huge hole they never escaped.

Florida: After a few stumbles in the last two months, the Gators have seemingly figured out who they are and what they do well. They’re solid on defense, able to press in the open court and help in the half court, and unselfish on the other end. Considering Florida is ranked third in RPI and has a strength of schedule that is second in the nation, they have a legitimate chance to be a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT

Coming off arguably the toughest two-game start to SEC play, Mississippi travels to Auburn on Saturday. The Tigers are 6-1 at home this season.

Florida hosts rival Tennessee on Saturday, trying to start 3-0 in league play for the fourth time in the last five years.

VIDEO: Insane Division II dunk causes teammate to faint

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This is Derek Harper of Clark-Atlanta University.

According to Clark’s website, he is 5-foot-11:

That is insane.

Almost as insane as the fact that the player standing in front of the coach appears to faint! If he didn’t faint that’s an all-time great dunk celebration. If he did actually faint, then it is the best ever. It will never be topped.

The dunk came with Clark down 71-69 with three minutes left. They would go on to win 76-73, and Harper had 20 points.

Not a bad day.

VIDEO: Clemson’s Brad Brownell is not happy with Roy Williams after loss

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No. 14 North Carolina and Clemson played an exciting, overtime game on Tuesday night, one that North Carolina won as they pulled away in the extra frame, 89-83.

In the handshake line after the game, Clemson head coach Brad Brownell got into a pretty heated argument with Roy Williams, who appeared to be trying to apologize:

It’s unclear what Brownell was so mad about, but it might have had something to do with Kenny Williams, who scored a layup with six seconds left of a game that appeared to be decided and celebrated the bucket. There have also been multiple reports that Brownell was upset that Meeks was yelling at the Clemson bench late in the game, and that combined with the fact that he team had just lost an overtime they could have won against a team that would be a marquee win on their NCAA tournament résumé was too much.

And frankly, Brownell had every reason to be frustrated.

Clemson is a good team this year. They’re probably good enough to be an NCAA tournament team, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll get the wins that they need to play in March. North Carolina qualifies as one of those wins, and there’s a very real chance that, at the end of the season, we will point to this game and say, “if only Clemson had pulled that one out.”

Brownell is one of the coaches that was put on every hot seat list entering the season. He can’t afford to not pull out games like this.

It needs to be said here as well that Clemson didn’t blow this game. They had some issues with execution late in the game, but they also got to overtime after Joel Berry II missed a layup at the end of regulation.

And it was Berry that eventually made the difference for UNC. He had 31 points, finishing 12-for-19 from the floor and hitting seven threes. He, too, made some questionable plays down the stretch, but that will happen on the road.

This will be one of those wins on Selection Sunday that will look more impressive than you would think it is based on the fact that it’s Clemson.

Like I said, the Tigers are a good team, and this is a nice way for UNC to bounce back after Saturdday’s loss to Georgia Tech.

Player of the Year Power Rankings: Has this become a two-horse race?

St Joseph's v Villanova
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1. Josh Hart, Villanova
2. Frank Mason III, Kansas: At this point, I think that the National Player of the Year award has turned into a two-man race between Hart and Mason. Hart is the leader at this point. Villanova is undefeated, the No. 1 team in the country and, as it stands, looking like a team with a very, very real chance to repeat as national champions. He’s improved on the floor as a player and is putting up numbers on par with anyone else on this list in addition to the fact that he seemingly makes every clutch play for the Wildcats in every big game.

That said, I’m going to keep beating this drum: Frank Mason is not far behind Hart when it comes to his Player of the Year standing. He’s the go-to guy, the leading scorer, one of the most efficient high-usage players in the country and the leader of a top five team. People seem to have forgotten about his performance against Indiana in the season-opener and his game-winner against Duke in Madison Square Garden because they happened so long ago, but they happened.

Mason is every bit a deserving Player of the Year choice, and I expect that he’ll only add to his résumé this season, but as of today, Hart is the more deserving pick.

Bottom-line: This is going to be a fun race to follow.

3. Lonzo Ball, UCLA: Ball has seemingly hit a little bit of a slump here in the last couple of weeks. He was just OK against Ohio State and Western Michigan. Outside of a three-minute stretch in the second half where he banged home three threes he wasn’t all that good in the loss at Oregon. He was terrific in a win at Oregon State, but Oregon State is Oregon State. He’s still clearly a first-team all-american, but as of today, he’s not in the same conversation as Mason and Hart when it comes to Player of the Year.

4. Luke Kennard, Duke: In the one game that Duke played last week, Luke Kennard scored 34 points and shot 11-for-18 from the floor … in a 14-point loss at Virginia Tech that never felt like it was in doubt. It feels really weird to say this, but think about where Duke would be right now if they didn’t have Kennard. Grayson Allen and Coach K would be out – one via suspension, the other via back surgery – and the pressure would be rising on Harry Giles III, Marques Bolden and Frank Jackson to figure it out as Jayson Tatum struggled to find his footing as Duke’s star. They certainly wouldn’t be a top ten team at this point in the season, and I don’t think anyone could have predicted that to be the case.

5. Caleb Swanigan, Purdue: Swanigan’s Boilermakers lost on Sunday afternoon, falling to Minnesota in overtime at home, but Biggie was as good as he’s been at any point this season. He had 28 points and 22 boards against the Gophers, his fourth 20-20 games of the season. He’s had a double-double in 13 of 15 games this season and hasn’t had less than eight boards in any game. He’s currently averaging 18.1 points and 13.0 boards, the latter of which is second-nationally.

6. De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky: Fox is still my pick for the MVP of Kentucky this season. He’s the guy that gets that makes that transition game work and he’s the point man for Kentucky’s defense, which has been a nightmare for the majority of their opponents to deal with. Monk’s been terrific. Fox has been better.

7. Mo Watson, Creighton: Watson was unbelievable in Creighton’s win over Seton Hall in their Big East opener, finishing with 21 points, 10 assists and five boards, but he struggled mightily in their loss to No. 1 Villanova. Watson was 2-for-7 from the floor, finished with six points and five assists and, most importantly, fouled out while trying to slow down Jalen Brunson, who finished with 27 points, five assists and four boards.

8. Malik Monk, Kentucky: Monk shook off a rough night against Louisville last week with a 34-point performance in his first career SEC game, a trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. His ability to score in transition combined with hot he can get shooting the three makes him the most dangerous and explosive scorer in the country.

9. Johnathan Motley, Baylor: The beauty of Baylor this year is that they don’t really have one guy that they totally rely on, which makes it hard to pick out one player as their MVP or Player of the Year candidate. Motley is their leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. And he’s probably the player that can least afford to play without, mainly because he’s really, really good. So he’s the easy choice to make this list.

10. Markelle Fultz, Washington: Fultz’s one season in college can be summed up by what happened in his one game last week. Fultz finished with 26 points, 11 assists, nine boards and two blocks in his first career Pac-12 game, but he shot 11-for-26 from the floor, turned the ball over six times and, most importantly, lost at home to Washington State.

JUST MISSED THE CUT

Joel Berry II, North Carolina
Yante Maten, Georgia
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Kelan Martin, Butler
Amile Jefferson, Duke
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Marcus Foster, Creighton
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
T.J. Leaf, UCLA
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s

USF fires head coach Orlando Antigua

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Orlando Antigua of the South Florida Bulls calls a play during first half action against the Kentucky Wildcats on November 27, 2015 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Kentucky defeated South Florida 84-63. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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USF announced on Tuesday morning that head coach Orlando Antigua had been fired.

Assistant coach Murry Bartow will take over as the interim head coach.

“After a thorough and deliberate review of our men’s basketball program, a decision has been made to make a head coaching change,” athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. “We will continue to provide all the resources and support necessary for our student-athletes and coaching staff to have success. A national search to find our next head coach will commence immediately.”

USF is currently sitting at 6-7 on the season having lost their first two games in AAC play. Leading scorer Jahmal McMurry transferred out of the program last month after playing just three games this season; he was averaging 20.3 points on the year.

Antigua and South Florida were also facing an NCAA investigation into academic fraud issues within the program. Oliver Antigua, Orlando’s brother and a former assistant coach with the program, was fired over the summer in connection to the investigation.

Antigua, a former Kentucky assistant coach, had won just 23 games in two-and-a-half seasons in Tampa.

USF had originally tried to hire Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello to replace Stan Heath, but it was discovered that Masiello had written on his résumé that he had graduated from Kentucky when, in fact, he did not complete his degree.

CBT Podcast: Coach K’s back, the ACC is weird and why isn’t Villanova getting more love?

Villanova head coach Jay Wright celebrates as he cuts down the net after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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The latest College Basketball Talk podcast is now live.

On it, we spend a long time discussing everything that’s going on with the Duke program right now, from Coach K’s surgery to Grayson Allen’s absence to the disaster that drubbing they took at the hands of Virginia Tech on Saturday. We also get into how the ACC has been turned upside-down, how the Big Ten is weird and we get into why Villanova has somehow managed to remain under-the-radar despite appearing to be a favorite to repeat.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom

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