A look at your college hoops weekend


Friday night not only brings with it the weekend — and who doesn’t love the weekend — it brings with it the first games that aren’t associated with the first real day of games. There are 134 in all. 16 ranked teams play. 34 games are against opponents that are not D-I. We have tip-offs at 1:00 pm EST, 2:30 am EST, and everywhere in between. Should I mention that 103 more games tip of on Saturday and Sunday?

College basketball is back. This time in full force.

Here is your guide to the season’s first real day of college basketball. Rejoice!



Fri. 7:00pm: No. 21 Georgetown @ Old Dominion: To be perfectly honest, calling an Old Dominion win in this game an upset is probably doing a disservice to the Monarchs. Georgetown may have a loaded back court headlined by Big East preseason player of the year Austin Freeman, but ODU is a big, physical, defensive-minded team that beat Notre Dame in the tournament last season.

Watch for a kid by the name of Kent Bazemore on ODU. He’s a terrific defender that should give Freeman fits. The last three times these two teams have played, the road team has won, including two ODU victories at McDonough Arena on the Georgetown campus. Will it be four?


Fri. 7:00 pm: William & Mary @ Virginia: The Cavaliers certainly shouldn’t be considered a powerhouse program these days, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are in the ACC. And William & Mary is in the CAA. UVa is still adjusting to head coach Tony Bennett, but they have a decent combination of freshmen and seniors, including KT Harrell and Mike Scott. But the Tribe proved last season they were capable of being the big boys with wins over Maryland and Wake Forest. Could this be the trifetca?

Fri. 7:00 pm: Lipscomb @ No. 9 North Carolina: Hear me out on this, I have a valid point, I swear. UNC is a young team that will be relying on a number of freshmen and unproven sophomores, namely Harrison Barnes and John Henson, and are very thin inside. Lipscomb has Adnan Hodzic on their roster, a 6’9″ bruiser that is the NCAA’s leading returning scorer. Also, this would double as a chance to see freshman Harrison Barnes play his first career game. So there’s that, too.

Fri. 8:00 pm: Wofford @ Minnesota: With Trevor Mbakwe now legally cleared to participate, the Gophers are a team that a lot of people are picking to be a sleeper in the Big Ten. But Wofford, the same Wofford that nearly beat Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament last season. The Terriers are led by Minnesota native Noah Dahlmann, who is one of the best mid-major players in the country.

Fri. 9:00 pm: James Madison @ No. 3 Kansas State: Kansas State may be the best team in the Big XII, but the Dukes of JMU have one of the best 1-2 punches in all of mid-major basketball in Denzel Bowles and Julius Wells.

Fri. 9:00 pm: Oakland @ West Virginia: Oakland center Keith Benson needs to prove to scouts that he is stronger is he wants to be an NBA lottery pick. Playing against West Virginia’s front line is a great opportunity to do that.


Fri. 7:30 pm: Seton Hall @ No. 22 Temple: Temple has one of the stingiest defenses in the country. Seton Hall — at least the Seton Hall that played for Bobby Gonzalez last season — loved to score. Seton Hall is trying to earn a tournament berth this season. Beating the Owls on the road is a great way to start. There are a number of neat story lines involving the Hall: Herb Pope’s recovery, Jeremy Hazell’s maturation, Kevin Willard’s first game coming against a terrific defense, the Pirate’s being underrated.

Fri. 9:00 pm: Fresno State @ BYU: Everyone knows about Jimmer Fredette. But does anyone know about Greg Smith? The Bulldog big man has a chance to be the best player in the WAC this season.

Fri. 10:00 pm: Morgan State @ Loyola Marymount: LMU has a chance to be a good team this year. How good? They should compete for the second spot in the WCC. Morgan State lost Reggie Holmes, they still return big man and MEAC preseason player of the year Kevin Thompson.

Sat. 9:05 pm: Weber State @ Utah State: Rivals in the state of Utah, this could actually turn out to be the best game of the weekend, and not just because USU has an awesome home court. The Aggies are the favorite to win the WAC — and by a good margin, this is one of the better teams Stew Morrill has had. And while Weber State lost three starters, they return Damian Lillard, who may be the best guard you’ve never seen play.



  • 7:00 pm: North Carolina A&T @ No. 5 Ohio State: Is Jared Sullinger for real?
  • 7:00 pm: East Tennessee State @ No. 10 Kentucky: How will the ‘Cats handle the news that Enes Kanter is ineligible?
  • 7:00 pm: Stony Brook @ UConn: Jim Calhoun kicks off a season under the veil of potential NCAA sanctions.
  • 7:00 pm: Northern Iowa @ No. 13 Syracuse: The Panthers kick off the post Ali Farokhmanesh era while dealing with the fact that their program is at risk of being cut by the school.
  • 7:30 pm: Mississippi Valley State @ Georgia: How long will an ankle injury keep out Trey Thompkins?
  • 8:00 pm: Longwood @ No. 7 Kansas: Josh Selby anyone?
  • 9:00 pm: Chattanooga @ No. 20 Tennessee: How long is Bruce Pearl going to have a job in Knoxville?
  • 9:00 pm: Centenary @ No. 19 Memphis: This is the kick off to Centenary’s last season at the D-I level.
  • 9:00 pm: Northwestern @ Northern Illinois: The Wildcats begin their march to their first NCAA Tournament. Ever.
  • 9:30 pm: Grambling State @ No. 14 Baylor: When will LaceDarius Dunn be eligible?


  • 5:05 pm: Montana @ Nevada: Nevada is leaving the WAC. The WAC tried to get Montana to replace them. Montana said no.
  • 8:00 pm: Hendrix College @ Central Arkansas: The Big Nasty aka Corliss Williamson is the head coach at Central Arkansas.


  • 5:00 pm: Princeton @ No. 1 Duke: No. 1 finally takes the floor!
  • 5:00 pm: Howard @ No. 8 Purdue: We get our first glimpse of the Hummel-less Boilermakers against a team that lost a key freshman to a torn acl last week.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

NCAA tweaks rules on block/charge calls in men’s basketball

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INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA is tweaking how block/charge calls are made in men’s basketball.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rule changes on Thursday that require a defender to be in position to draw a charge at the time the offensive player plants a foot to go airborne for a shot. If the defender arrives after the player has planted a foot, officials have been instructed to call a block when there’s contact.

Defenders had to be in position to draw a charge before the offensive player went airborne under previous rules.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee members made the proposal after NCAA members complained that too many charges were being called on those types of plays.

The panel also approved reviews of basket interference calls during the next media timeout – if the official called it on the floor – a shot clock reset to 20 seconds on an offensive rebound that hits the rim, and players being allowed to wear any number between 0 and 99.

A timeout also will be granted to an airborne player with possession of the ball, and non-student bench personnel will be allowed to serve as peacekeepers on the floor if an altercation occurs.

Charlotte head coach Ron Sanchez resigns after winning CBI title

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ron Sanchez resigned as head coach of the Charlotte 49ers.

Sanchez took over the 49ers on March 19, 2018, inheriting a team coming off a 6-23 campaign. In five years Charlotte went 72-78 under Sanchez, highlighted by winning the College Basketball Invitational championship this past season, the Niners’ first post-season tournament title in school history.

The 22 wins this past season are the most for Charlotte since 2001.

“Ron took over a proud but struggling program and carefully rebuilt it into a 22-game winner. He has led with class, dignity and devotion to our young men,” Charlotte director of athletics Mike Hill said. “His decision to step down from Charlotte was a difficult one for him and everyone associated with our program. We wish him and his family every happiness.”

Hill said the team has already begun a national search for a replacement.

“This is a bittersweet day for me and my family as I step down to pursue other opportunities,” said Sanchez, who came the 49ers after working as an assistant coach at Virginia under Tony Bennett. “It has been a tremendous privilege to lead the 49ers basketball program over the past five years and I want to thank Niner Nation for its support. I will be forever grateful to my staff, players and the university.”

Marquette extends Shaka Smart’s contract through 2029-30 season

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MILWAUKEE — Marquette coach Shaka Smart has received a contract extension after leading the Golden Eagles to their first outright regular-season championship and tournament title in the Big East.

Smart’s contract now runs through the 2029-30 season. This is the first extension Smart has received since signing a six-year deal when he took over as Marquette’s coach in 2021.

Marquette didn’t release financial terms of Smart’s deal.

“In a very short period of time, Shaka and his staff have done a tremendous job of establishing a winning culture, both on and off the court,” athletic director Bill Scholl said in a statement. “Shaka’s vision for the program is focused on extended, sustainable success. The individuals who interact with the team on a daily basis are able to observe frequent examples of growth and the excitement around the program is contagious.”

Marquette has gone 48-20 in Smart’s two seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament each of those years.

The Golden Eagles went 29-7 and won the Big East’s regular-season and tournament championships last season after the league’s coaches had picked them to finish ninth out of 11 teams. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

Purdue’s Edey returning to school at NBA draft deadline; Kentucky’s Tshiebwe stays in

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Purdue’s Zach Edey decided it was the right call to go back to school instead of staying in the NBA draft. His predecessor as national player of the year, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, is sticking with his pro pursuit.

And Connecticut’s reign as NCAA champion will begin with multiple starters having left for the NBA draft and one returning after flirting with doing the same.

The 7-foot-4 Edey and UConn guard Tristen Newton were among the notable names to announce that they were withdrawing from the draft, the NCAA’s deadline for players who declared as early entrants to pull out and retain their college eligibility.

Edey’s decision came in social media posts from both the center and the Boilermakers program that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Edey, The Associated Press men’s national player of the year.

But Tshiebwe announced late in the afternoon that he would remain in the draft after a college career that included being named the AP national player of the year in 2022.

For the current champions, Newton (10.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds) is returning after being one of four Huskies to declare for the draft after a run to UConn’s fifth national championship in early April. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds in the victory over San Diego State in the title game.

The others were Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo, wing Jordan Hawkins and versatile guard Andre Jackson Jr. Sanogo (17.8 points) and Hawkins (16.3) have made it clear they have closed the door on their college careers, while team spokesman Phil Chardis said that Jackson (6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) would remain in the draft.

The Huskies have 247sports’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class for next year to restock the roster, led by McDonald’s All-American point guard Stephon Castle.

The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12, but is moot when it comes to college players returning to school due to the NCAA’s earlier timeline to retain playing eligibility.


TREY ALEXANDER: Creighton gets back a 6-4 guard who averaged 13.6 points and shot 41% from 3-point range in his first full season as a starter.

ADEM BONA: The 6-foot-10 forward and Pac-12 freshman of the year is returning to UCLA after starting 32 games as a rookie and averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – with coach Mick Cronin praising his toughness for “competing through multiple injuries for as long as he could” in a statement Wednesday.

EDEY: He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.7% from the field. His presence alone helps Purdue be a factor in the Big Ten race.

JOSIAH-JORDAN JAMES: The 6-6 guard went through the NBA G League Combine and had workouts with multiple teams before opting to return to Tennessee for a fifth season alongside teammate Santiago Vescovi.

JUDAH MINTZ: The 6-3 freshman averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Syracuse, ranking third among Division I freshmen in scoring behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Lamar’s Nate Calmese.

OWLS’ RETURNEES: Florida Atlantic got good news after its surprise Final Four run with the return leading scorers Johnell Davis (13.8) and Alijah Martin (13.4). ESPN first reported their decisions, while Martin later posted a social media statement.

TERRENCE SHANNON JR.: Illinois got a big boost with Shannon announcing his night in a social media post. The 6-6 guard is returning for a fifth college season after averaging 17.2 points.

SPARTANS’ RETURNEES: Michigan State announced that guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard have withdrawn from the NBA draft. Standout guard Tyson Walker had previously withdrawn in April, setting up Tom Izzo to have five of his top scorers back.


KOBE BROWN: Missouri’s 6-8 swingman opted against returning for a fifth college season after being an AP first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick averaging 15.8 points last season.

JAYLEN CLARK: The third-year UCLA guard averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 with 2.6 steals en route to being named Naismith national defensive player of the year. Cronin called him a winner with strong intangibles who made UCLA “a better program because he chose to be a Bruin.”

BRICE SENSABAUGH: The Ohio State freshman averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games before missing his final two in the Big Ten Tournament due to a knee injury. He’s a potential first-round prospect.

TSHIEBWE: The 6-9, 260-pound forward is a tough interior presence who led the country in rebounds for two straight seasons (15.1 in 2022, 13.7 in 2023) while racking up 48 double-doubles. But he faces an uncertain next stop and is projected at best as a second-round prospect.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

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Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.