Wednesday’s Morning Shootaround: What a crazy night

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No. 5 Duke 79, No. 21 UNC 73: We got three posts on the Duke-UNC game from last night for you — here, here, and here.

No. 11 Georgetown 64, NO. 13 Syracuse 56: See here.

One last note on this game — Georgetown is slowly but surely reconvincing me that they are an elite basketball team this season. Its tough to give my full trust to a team that has betrayed that trust so many time the past two seasons, but with each impressive road win, I’m closer to becoming a believer. Again.

As for Syracuse? Well, this team appears to be flawed. They are not the same team on the defensive end of the floor that they were last year. The Hoyas may have only scored 64 points last night, but they were impressively effective against the Orange zone. They shot 45.3% from the floor and 9-21 from three. They grabbed 10 offensive rebounds. Most impressive? They had 20 assists on 24 field goals. The Hoyas did all of that with Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, and Jason Clark combining to go 12-34 from the field.

Does that sound like great defense to you?

Rutgers 77, No. 10 Villanova 76: Possibly the best finish you will see all season long. As far as Villanova goes, this loss drops them a game behind Notre Dame for second place in the Big East standings.

Idaho 64, No. 17 Utah State 56: See here.

Notre Dame 89, Louisville 79 OT: Don’t let the final fool you, this was a terrific, exciting, high-scoring basketball game. In the first half, it was the Kyle Kuric show, as he scored 18 of his 28 points, two of which came on this vicious throw down over Scott Martin to end the half. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis combined to score 48 points, but Louisville was still the team with the chance at the end of regulation to win it. They missed twice, and it cost them. In overtime, Carleton Scott, who had been struggling, scored nine of his 16 points and Notre Dame opened with a 14-0 run to put the game away.

Tough loss for the Cards, but road losses in conference to top ten teams are no where near as disastrous as they are disappointing. The Irish, however, are putting together an impressive resume. They are now in sole possession of second place in the Big East standings, two games behind Pitt, who they own the tiebreaker with. They play for of their last six on the road, including trips to West Virginia and UConn, so we shall see where they end up, but right now this team has a legitimate argument for a spot on the No. 1 seed line.

No. 14 Wisconsin 62, Iowa 59 OT: The Badgers, like so many teams this season, are not the same on the road as they are at home. Maybe Saturday’s date with Ohio State was on their mind, but the Badgers struggled in the first half (6-33 shooting!) and needed all of Jon Leuer’s 19 points and 15 boards and Jordan Taylor’s 16 points and eight assists to pull this out.

No. 22 Texas A&M 73, Colorado 70 OT: The Aggies needed a 25 footer from BJ Holmes with 1.9 seconds left just to get this thing to overtime, but once they were in the extra frame, the Aggies scored the first six points to grab control. This was an enormous bounce back win for A&M, and the loss may have cost Colorado any chance at the NCAA Tournament.

No. 19 Florida 79, South Carolina 60: Chandler Parsons scored 14 points and added 12 boards and eight assists while Erving Walker went for 25 as the Gators shot 55% from the floor and cruised to a win on the road. Florida is now a full two games in front of the rest of the SEC East pack.

No. 3 Texas 68, Oklahoma 52: Just another 20 points and nine boards for Jordan Hamilton as the Longhorns cruised to their first 9-0 start in conference play since 1978.

No. 8 BYU 90, Air Force 52: Air Force got physical with Fredette, even banged up his knee a bit, but he still had 25 points while Brandon Davies finished with 13 points, eight boards, and six assists.

VCU 84, Delaware 74 2OT: The Rams got 32 points and 11 boards from Jamie Skeen as they were able to hang on in double overtime to knock off the Blue Hens. With the win, VCU moves into first place in the CAA standings.

Marquette 59, South Florida 58: This was a hideous game. USF blew a 40-24 second half lead, but couldn’t capitalize on seven straight missed free throws by Marquette to finish the game.

Baylor 74, Nebraska 70: The Bears look they are starting to find a rhythm. Lace Dunn had 24 points to lead the way tonight, but the Bears need to notch another big win or two if they want to end up dancing.

Richmond 69, GW 65: Justin Harper scored 20 points, including the go ahead bucket with 43.5 seconds left, as the Spiders remained a game behind Xavier and Duquesne in the loss column.

Memphis 63, UCF 62: The Tigers avoid a disastrous loss at UCF thanks to this three from Antonio Barton:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJlbUioMXro]

The Golden Knights have now lost eight straight games after winning their first 14 of the season.

UNLV 94, TCU 79: Yup, that gym was packed. Good thing TCU is joining the Big East next season!

Rhode Island 67, Dayton 53: At one point, Dayton was up 27-17 late in the first half.

Michigan 75, Northwestern 66: Can Michigan be a spoiler late in the Big Ten race? They’ve own four out of five, tonight thanks to 27 points from Jordan Morgan.

Bucknell 66, American 60: Mike Muscala scored 21 points and grabbed 10 boards as the Bison built a two game cushion in the Patriot League standings.

Indiana State 56, Illinois State 46: With 9:36 left in the game, Illinois State was up 45-37. They scored one point the rest of the way.

Other Notable Games:

  • Maryland 106, Longwood 52
  • New Mexico 68, Wyoming 57
  • Temple 77, Fordham 66
  • Miami 74, Wake Forest 73
  • UAB 74, Marshall 48
  • James Madison 68, Drexel 54
  • Hofstra 79, Georgia State 68
  • Old Dominion 69, William & Mary 53
  • Long Island 87, St. Francis 76
  • Vermont 80, UMBC 67
  • Charleston 85, Elon 67
  • Davidson 67, Wofford 58
  • Missouri State 77, Bradley 69

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

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.