The Morning Mix

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– You will want to keep a running tab on the following link. It’s the “Circle of March” from Rush The Court. It’s pretty self-explanatory. But it’s also also pretty awesome

– When court-storming goes wrong: Technical foul assessed to fans costs Delaware State the game. Since February 1st, six of the Hornet’s games have been won in the final minute or in overtime. They had won four of the previous five.

– Former-Jayhawk Marcus Morris was cited for misdemeanor battery while in Lawrence for the Kansas/Missouri game over the weekend

– Keiton Page doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves. But Tyshawn Taylor is trying to change that

– Speaking of Tyshawn Taylor, can we stop doubting him already? C.J. Moore explains why Taylor feeds off of doubt

– Missouri head coach Frank Haith is cooperating with the NCAA on Miami’s latest violation probe. The most recent turbulance centers around big man Reggie Johnson, who was declared ineligible prior to Miami’s game against Florida State on Sunday because his family received improper benefits. Haith spent seven years at Miami before taking the job at Missouri this past offseason. Can the Hurricanes still earn a bid if Johnson isn’t able to suit up again?

– It’s official: Kansas has won it’s eight consecutive Big-XII title. Something like that is just unheard of in the current state of college athletics

– What’s the opposite of a Bubble Watch? A breakdown of the one-bid leagues

– Notre Dame looked pretty bad against Georgetown last year. But not everyone is sold on them yet

– In his latest edition of “Hoop Thoughts”, Seth Davis explains why Marquette is deserving of the “elite” billing

– For some bizarre reason, North Carolina’s athletic director is in favor of expanding the NCAA Tournament to 128 teams. His argument is that not a large enough percentage of the college basketball landscape gets a chance to compete in the postseason. How many teams don’t make it out of the N.I.T’s first round? You want all those teams in March Madness?

Wake Forest’s athletic director has a ton of faith in head coach Jeff Bzdelik, and is excited for a bright future

– Gregg Doyel does not believe that John Calipari’s greatness can be measured by just National Championships

– Speaking of Kentucky, John Calipari doesn’t think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist needs another season in college

– Gary Parrish explains why no mid-major team (Except Murray State) can think that a tournament bid is guaranteed

– The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament begins this week. CBS provides a succinct preview of the events

– Bruce Weber has the hottest seat in the country. But there are a few other Big Ten coaches that might start to feel the heat this postseason

The big game out west tonight is between Weber State and Montana for the Big Sky regular season championship

The definitive case for Seth Greenberg as head coach of Virginia Tech

– Duke’s Josh Hairston will miss tonight’s game against Wake Forest because of an injury  after suffering a laceration below his right eye against Virginia Tech this past weekend

Jason Lisk provides the ideal kind of bracket analysis: light on numbers, heavy on information

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.