Thursday’s Morning Shootaround: ‘Twas the night of bad losses

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No. 17 Syracuse 66, No. 7 UConn 58: See here.

No. 5 Duke 80, Maryland 62: See here.

No. 6 San Diego State 56, Colorado State 54: See here.

The Ugly Losses:

Oklahoma State 76, No. 15 Missouri 70: The Tigers dropped to 0-4 on the road in Big XII play on Wednesday night as Oklahoma State attacked the Tiger’s vaunted press. The Cowboys got 19 points from both Keiton Page and Jean-Paul Olukemi and jumped out to a 10 point first half lead and a cushion that grew as big as 15 in the second half. Mizzou made a run, getting to within 73-70 with 43 seconds left, but the Pokes hit their free throws down the stretch. Missouri’s slow start was too much to overcome, but it is tough to blame them. They left for Stillwater early Monday and didn’t arrive until 2:00 pm Wednesday for an 8:00 pm tip.

Indiana 60, No. 20 Minnesota 57: The Hoosiers got 12 points from both Tom Pritchard and Verdell Jones as IU was able to open a 33-21 halftime lead and hold on down the stretch as the Gophers made a furious comeback on the backs of Blake Hoffarber and Austin Hollins. The two combined for 28 points, but the Gophers missed two chances to tie the game late — once when Hollins missed a free throw and again when Hoffarber left a game-tying three at the buzzer a bit short. Its the second time in the span of a week that IU has beaten a ranked opponent at home.

Charlotte 66, Xavier 62: Charlotte got 19 points from Derrio Green — including four free throws in the final 35 seconds — and hit their last ten attempts from the charity stripe as they overcame a 16-4 deficit early in the game to hand the Muskies their first loss of the A-10 season. Xavier, fresh off of a 23 point win at Richmond, got just 12 points on 3-17 shooting (0-8 from three) from Tu Holloway. Mark Lyons had 25 for Xavier, who fell a game behind Duquesne — Duquesne — at the top of the Atlantic 10 standings.

Iowa 72, Michigan State 52: Never did I think that this season we would be talking about Michigan State missing the NCAA Tournament but, well, its about that time. The Spartans look as if they have simply given up on this season. Iowa is not a very good team, and the Hawkeyes jumped out to leads of 15-2 and 30-8 on Sparty. Matt Gatens led the way for Iowa with 19 points.

Evansville 77, Missouri State 65: Does anyone want an at-large bid this season? Certainly no one at the mid-major level does, as the Bears dropped a full game behind Wichita State in the MVC standings. MSU was down 14 early in the second half, but responded with an 18-1 run to retake the lead. But Troy Taylor, who led five Evansville players in double figures with 12 points, hit a three that game the Purple Aces the lead for good at 54-52.

Northeastern 91, VCU 80: The Rams did have sole possession of first place in the CAA coming into tonight, just like they headed into the second half of basketball with a 43-36 lead tonight. But Northeastern scored 55 second half points, and thanks to 26 from Chaisson Allen, VCU drops back into a first place tie with George Mason.

Tulsa 68, Memphis 65: Steven Idlet had 17 points to lead four players in double figures as the Golden Hurricane erased a ten point second half deficit to knock off the Tigers and move into a five-way tie in second place in the C-USA, just a half game behind UTEP. Memphis had two chances to tie in the last eight seconds, but missed both. C-USA may not be brimming with great teams this season, but it is as balanced as any league in the country and will be a fun race to watch down the stretch.

Oklahoma 73, Baylor 66: In a game that was rescheduled due to yesterday’s storm, Cameron Clark scored 25 points and Carl Blair added 19 as the Sooners used a 24-3 second half run to take control of the game 67-53. Baylor made it interesting down the stretch, cutting the lead to 69-66, but Blair hit four free throws to seal the win.


No. 9 BYU 69, Wyoming 62: Jimmer Fredette struggled — 7-21 from the floor, 2-11 from three — but he finished with 26 points and a crucial three-point play late in the game as the Cougars held on to by the Cowboys. Brandon Davies added 20 points and nine boards.

No. 12 Villanova 75, Marquette 70: Antonio Pena and Mouph Yarou combined for 32 points as the Wildcats held on after nearly blowing a 14 point lead to the Golden Eagles. Corey Fisher had 17 points and six assists.

No. 21 Utah State 67, Nevada 45: The Aggies used a 21-6 second half run sparked by their defense to turn a one point halftime game into a rout down the stretch. And yes, we did get a winning team, losing team chant.

Alabama 75, Mississippi State 61: Tony Mitchell had 23 points as the Crimson Tide defended their home court and moved to 6-1 in the SEC.

Georgia 60, Arkansas 59: Trey Thompkins scored all 12 of his points in the second half, including a free throw with just over a second left on the clock to give the Bulldogs a much needed win on the road.

Virginia 49, Clemson 47: The game was about as ugly as basketball can get, but the ‘Hoos proved that their win over Florida State was not fluke.

St. John’s 58, Rutgers 56: The Scarlett Knights overcame 23 turnovers to come back and tie the game with 6.4 seconds left, but a driving lefty layup by Justin Brownlee (who has a fracture in his left thumb) with 3.2 seconds left gave the Johnnies a tough win to even up their record at 5-5 in the Big East.

Other Notable Scores:

  • Virginia Tech 77, NC State 69
  • Richmond 62, St. Joe’s 52
  • Old Dominion 67, Delaware 59
  • West Virginia 56, Seton Hall 44
  • Duquesne 84, Georgetown Washington 59
  • George Mason 87, Hofstra 68
  • Temple 71, La Salle 67
  • South Carolina 64, LSU 56
  • Southern Miss 75, UAB 71
  • Kansas State 69, Nebraska 53
  • Northern Iowa 53, Southern Illinois 51
  • Dayton 63, St. Bonaventure 61
  • UNLV 67, Utah 54
  • UCLA 64, USC 50

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

Three Things To Know: Memphis embarrassed; Luka Garza shows out again

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The story of the night in hoops was Zion Williamson’s return to the basketball court.

But there was plenty of action in the college ranks that is worthy of talking about.

Here are the three things that you need to know:


That is not a typo.

The 20th-ranked team in the country went into Tulsa, Okla., and lost to the Golden Hurricane, 80-40. Tulsa was up 40-17 at halftime. This was a butt-whooping that was so bad that all Tulsa needed to do was score a single point in the second half and they would have been able to get the win.

Memphis shot 28 percent from the floor. They were 2-for-21 from three. They finished the night with more turnovers (20) and fouls (22) than field goals (16). This was the worst loss that a top 25 team has suffered against a ranked team in 27 years, since UConn beat then-No. 12 Virginia by 41 points.

For Tulsa, this is a massive, massive win. They are currently sitting all alone in first place in the American standings, a half-game up on Houston.

So good for Frank Haith.

But the story here is Memphis, because the Tigers, considered title contenders before the season began, look anything-but right now.

“We let our defense dictate our offense,” head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters after the game. “We didn’t play any defense today. I think today was the first day we’ve done that ll year. I don’t know if guys overlooked Tulsa because of the name. We did our due diligence as a coaching staff to let them know what was going to happen with the matchup zone and how hard they play.

“It’s pretty embarrassing.”


If it seems like Garza is putting up monster numbers every games, it’s because he is.

On Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes welcomed newly-ranked Rutgers to campus and sent them home with an entertaining, hard-fought, 85-80 win. And Garza was the star of the show. He finished with 28 points, 13 boards, four blocks and two steals in the win, anchoring the paint as Iowa out-scored Rutgers 47-37 in the second half.

The big fella is now averaging 23 points and 10.5 boards.

Iowa has now won four straight games to move into a tie for third in the Big Ten standings — with Rutgers, among others — and they have won eight straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They are a third of the way through a three-game homestand as well.


Virginia Tech kept up their push to finish as the fourth-best team in the ACC with a 79-77 double-overtime win over North Carolina.

The Hokies are now 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC, but the more interesting story might actually be the Tar Heels.

They are 8-10 on the season and 1-6 in the ACC. They have been a disaster for the last month, but there may be some reinforcements on the way in the shape of Cole Anthony. If he returns and the Tar Heels, who are 2-7 in his absence but have wins over Alabama and Oregon with him, get things back on the right track, they are likely going to find themselves in an incredibly awkward situation on Selection Sunday.

Big 12 hands down Kansas-Kansas State fight suspensions

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The Big 12 handed down suspensions to four Kansas and Kansas State players for their role in the fight that occurred in Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Silvio De Sousa, who tried to fight three different Kansas State players and picked up a stool during the melee, received a 12 game suspension from the conference. David McCormack, who went into the stands to confront James Love III, received a two game suspension. Love was given eight games for part in the fight, while Antonio Gordon, the freshman that turned a messy situation into a fight, was hit with a three game suspension.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

In the final seconds on Tuesday night, after DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from him at halfcourt, De Sousa blocked Gordon’s shot and towered over him. That sparked an incident that turned into a full-fledged brawl, as De Sousa threw punches at three different players on Kansas State before picking up a stool as the fight spilled into the handicapped section of Kansas seating.

Self called the fight “an embarrassment” after the game, adding on Wednesday that “we are disappointed in [De Sousa’s] actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

McCormack will be eligible to return for Kansas on Feb. 1st when they play Texas Tech at home. De Sousa will be available to play in the final game of the regular season at Texas Tech. Gordon can return on Feb. 3rd, when the Wildcats host Baylor, while Love will be out until late February. But he has played just one game and two minutes on the season, so there is no clear indication of when he will actually put on a Kansas State jersey again.

The four most important questions after Kansas-Kansas State fight

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Very other sport can treat brawls like comedy, and I think it’s about time that we did the same for basketball.

So let’s take a look at the four funniest moments from last night’s Kansas-Kansas State fight. Shouts to Jomboy:


Throughout the entire fight, the mascot is just in utter disbelief. He cannot believe what he just saw, and he certainly cannot be consoled:


Case is the video coordinator for Kansas. He’s also a former Kansas point guard. He knows what this rivalry is all about, and he also is not going to be afraid to get in the middle of it.

Case starts out on the wrong side of the melee:

But when he sees De Sousa and Love squaring up and throwing punches, he intervenes by throwing himself into a player six inches taller than him:


James Love the third has played in exactly one game this season. He has spent more time on the court fighting that he has actually playing, but he still found a way to get into the middle of this fight and, in the process, lost his shoe:

He’s not dressed for the game.

Did he bring an extra pair of shoes? Did he have to head back onto the bus without a shoe on this right foot? So many questions, so few answers.


He’s some kind of photographer.

He got his shot, that’s for sure:

Kansas-Kansas State fight: Nuance, context the key in Silvio De Sousa discussion

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So I wanted to elaborate on a point that I made on twitter this morning because 280 characters just is not enough to be able to parse through the nuance of this situation.

If you missed it, the thread is here.

First and foremost, everyone involved in this needs to be punished. Silvio De Sousa needs to be suspended. Antonio Gordon needs to be suspended. James Love III needs to be suspended. David McCormack, and potentially Marcus Garrett, probably need to be suspended, although I’m not sure either of them actually through a punch. Point being, anyone else that threw a punch needs to be suspended.

Full stop.

I am not saying otherwise.

But I think that it is important to add some context to the conversation, and I also think that it is important to say this: This doesn’t make any of the young men involved in this fight bad people. Silvio De Sousa is not inherently a bad person because he picked up a stool, and the faux-trage of people calling for him to get booted out of school, arrested or even deported are, at best, completely over-reacting and, at worst, showing off a bit of their racial bias.

Before I get into this, one more thing: I am not condoning any of it. Fights like this should not happen.

But the reality of hyper-competitive athletics is that in emotionally charged situations, fights are going to happen. And if you’ve ever been in a fight like this, you know that things happen incredibly quickly. You’re not thinking, you’re reacting. You can’t call a 20 second time out to come up with a way to defend yourself when someone is throwing haymakers, you just do what you can in the moment.

So let’s talk about the moment, shall we?

De Sousa is the guy that set this entire thing in motion with the way that he reacted to DaJuan Gordon’s steal and layup attempt. The reason the Kansas State bench rushes over to the scene is because De Sousa is towering over one of their freshman teammates, and the reason the Kansas sideline runs over is because the Kansas State sideline does. What turned this incident into a full-fledged brawl was Antonio Gordon flying in and shoving De Sousa over the back of the basket stanchion. De Sousa reacts by throwing punches at two different Kansas State players when a third player — James Love III, in the black polo — comes flying in and squares up with him. They both throw a few punches at each other, knocking De Sousa back over the stanchion again as Kansas staffer Jeremy Case comes flying in to break them up.

Put yourself in De Sousa’s shoes here. In the span of 10 seconds, he’s fought three different Kansas State players, sees nothing but purple in front of him and just got knocked to the ground. Is he getting jumped? Does he have to fight them 1-on-3? That’s when he grabs the stool, to defend himself, and when he sees that no one is coming after him anymore, he drops it:


He should be suspended for 8-10 games.

He set this entire thing in motion.

But maybe, just maybe, tone down the rhetoric.

Women’s Wednesday: A new column dedicated to the women of college basketball

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Welcome to CBT’s first ever weekly women’s basketball column. I’m here to help provide you with some insight into the world of women’s college hoops.

Women’s sports are reaching new heights, especially in basketball. The WNBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement starting in the 2020 season that includes a 53 percent raise, maternity benefits, a base salary and performance-based bonuses. This year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be broadcasted in its entirety on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship game premiering in primetime.

Female athletes are beginning to garner the attention they deserve. Sabrina Ionescu is drawing national attention for a historic senior season, as she has 22 career triple-doubles and became Oregon’s all-time leading basketball scorer in her career-high 37-point performance against Stanford last week. In the WNBA, women such as Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more are shattering gender stereotypes and proving that women can play basketball at a high level, just as men can.

While women’s sports have made a push into the public eye, there is still quite a way to go. It’s important to place an emphasis on the women who excel in their sport and give them the spotlight they deserve. Too many times women are only given credit through a masculine lens, whether that’s only getting attention after receiving praise from men, being compared to a male counterpart, or being a footnote in a male athlete’s story. Female athletes deserve to be their own story.

That’s what I’m hoping to do with this column over the rest of the season — give women a place to shine. I’d like to use this space to highlight some of the amazing women that play in the NCAA and hear from them about their experiences, the records they’re setting and their basketball journey. While I won’t even begin to make a dent in the breadth of talent available in women’s college basketball, I hope to use this column each week to take a deeper dive into some incredible women, as well as give you an idea of what’s happening around the country that week.


South Carolina sits atop the world of college hoops, earning 22 first-place votes from the AP panel to nab the No. 1 spot. The Gamecocks have an 18-1 record with wins over ranked opponents such as Maryland, Baylor, Kentucky and most recently Mississippi State.

Baylor — the reigning national champs —- sits in the No. 2 spot in the rankings after dethroning UConn and ending its dominant 98-game winning streak at home. The Lady Bears received six of the first-place votes from the AP committee.

The rest of the top five is filled out by UConn at No. 3, Oregon at No. 4 after beating then-No. 3 Stanford, and Louisville rounds it out at fifth, receiving the last two first-place votes.

In a monster performance against Stanford, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu had a career-high 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. She has four triple-doubles on the season and has a chance to become the NCAA’s first player to eclipse 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists. As of Jan. 18, she has 2,265 points, 904 rebounds and 928 assists.

DePaul remains unbeaten in the Big East, with Chante Stonewall leading the team with 17.9 ppg while Kelly Campbell has 102 assists on the season, ranking No. 8 in the country.

Baylor’s 40-point victory over then-No. 17 West Virginia is their 45th consecutive Big 12 win.

Mississippi State’s JaMya Mingo-Young and Aliyah Matharu combined for 24 points and four steals off the bench in a close 79-81 loss to South Carolina on Monday.

Star freshman and No. 1 recruit Haley Jones suffered an apparent right knee injury and left Stanford’s Sunday win over Oregon State. She is scheduled to have an MRI but the team has given no further updates.

North Carolina State’s Elissa Cunane has 20+ points in four of her last six games and 10 double-doubles on the season, helping the Wolfpack to a dominant win over Florida State last week.

UCLA became the last undefeated team to fall with a double overtime loss to USC — who hadn’t yet won a Pac-12 matchup —  on Friday.

Northwestern made its debut this season in the Top-25, coming in at No. 22 — its first ranking since the 2015-2016 season.

No. 3 Oregon faces rival No. 7 Oregon State on Friday in a crucial Pac-12 matchup.

Stanford freshman Fran Belini threw down a one-handed dunk in pregame warmup before facing Oregon that you HAVE to see: