Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Michigan rolls, Notre Dame, Oklahoma earn big conference wins

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Game of the Day

Oklahoma 74, Baylor 71

Brady Heslip’s shot fell off the rim as Oklahoma held on to a 74-71 win. The Sooners were up by as many as 16, but the Bears chipped away at the lead, twice getting it to a single point. Oklahoma is now second in Big 12 standings with the win, aided by 20 points from both Amath M’Baye and Steven Pledger. Isaiah Austin had 21 points and 21 rebounds as the freshman continues to shine for Baylor

Xavier 66, Dayton 61

Matt Derenbecker’s last-game three rimmed out as Dayton’s came up short in a 66-61 loss to Xavier. The two rivals swapped leads four times in the final two minutes. The Musketeers held a 30-16 advantage on the glass. The Musketeers continue its streak of 28 straight wins over the Flyers in Cincinnati. Dayton has won in Cincy in 33 years.

Also of Note: New Mexico tops Wyoming by four 63-59 on the road.

Important Outcomes

Florida State 73, Maryland 71

Michael Snaer hit a game-winning shot to give the Seminoles a big conference win over Maryland. The win keeps Florida State above .500 in conference play at 4-3. The Seminoles are a game out of a share of second place in ACC standings. Maryland, has lost three of four, and is now on the wrong end of the bubble.

Notre Dame 65, Villanova 60

Villanova, after two home wins against top-5 teams, lost on the road to the Notre Dame, after the Irish had dropped two of three in South Bend. The Irish shot 9-of-21 from the three, thanks in large part to freshman Cameron Biedscheid’s five 3-pointers. The win gives Notre Dame in a tie for third place in the Big East. Villanova have lost four of six, albeit the two wins come against Louisville and Syracuse in a five-day span. The Wildcats have three winnable games before a road game against No. 24 Cincinnati.

Stanford 76, Oregon 54

Oregon suffered its first conference loss as Stanford rolled past the tenth-ranked Ducks late Wednesday night. Oregon is without freshman guard Dominic Artis, who is sidelined with a foot injury. Stanford uses the win to climb back to .500 in the Pac-12 play.

Also of Note: Indiana rolls past Purdue 97-60. All five starters score in double figures. Indiana hosts No. 1 Michigan on Saturday.

Starred

Player of the Year candidates

Mason Plumlee, Duke: 32 points, nine rebounds, two blocks in a 75-70 win against Wake Forest. Doug McDermott, Creighton: 29 points, 10 rebounds, four assists in a 91-77 win against Missouri State. Trey Burke, Michigan:  18 points, eight assists, zero turnovers in a 68-49 win against Northwestern for No. 1 Michigan.

Anthony Hickey, LSU

The nation’s leader in steals caused problems all night for Missouri’s offense. In the second half, he did his damage on the offensive end with 14 of his 20 points after halftime to go along with four assists and two steals. Oregon had only one scorer in double figures, Carlos Emory with 12. Stanford shot 52 percent from the field (57 from three) in a home win.

Florida

The Gators are rolling in SEC play, winning all seven games by a minimum of 17 points. Florida rolled past South Carolina 75-36. Saturday Florida hosts Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss, with Florida looking for its 10 consecutive win.

Also of Note: Jack Cooley (17 points, 16 rebounds)Isaiah Austin (21 points, 21 rebounds)

Struggled

Philadelphia schools

Villanova beat Louisville and Syracuse in back-to-back games — the first unranked team to be consecutive top-5 teams since 2001 — but lost on the road to Notre Dame. La Salle welcomed Butler and VCU to the A-10 by beating both of them in a five day span. The Explorers lost by one at home to UMass.

UCLA

The Bruins have lost two of three after winning 10 straight, including a overtime loss to USC on Wednesday. UCLA shot 38 percent from the field (2-of-19 from three).

Alex LenMaryland

Only four points, five rebounds for the Terrapins sophomore star. Len was limited to only 17 minutes in what could be a devastating loss to Maryland’s resume. Maryland is now 3-5 in the ACC following a loss to Michael Snaer and Florida State.

Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program in the wake of a federal corruption scandal, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified.

The university also is challenging that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.

Louisville filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. The document stated that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme – including a former Adidas executive – by suggesting they were representing its athletic interests. Louisville’s contract with the apparel maker was a standard sponsorship agreement rather than a promotional deal, the response added.

“This argument is as novel as it is wrong,” the school wrote in its response. “Even if an institution has some responsibility for the conduct of its suppliers, that responsibility plainly does not extend to acts of fraud perpetrated against the institution itself.”

Louisville also seeks to have several second-tier violations reclassified even lower. The NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond with the school responding 15 days after before a decision is made whether the case will proceed through the traditional Committee on Infractions or Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations states that Louisville committed a Level I violation, considered the most severe, with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits along with several lesser violations. Those lesser violations also include Pitino failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The NCAA notice completed a two-year investigation following a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II. Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville also dismissed the NCAA’s contention that former Adidas executive James Gatto and amateur league director Merl Code represented the school while funneling illegal payments to recruits at several schools.

“The enforcement staff’s remaining allegations lack factual support and overread the relevant Bylaws,” the response stated, “and rest on the erroneous contention that the conspirators were representatives of the University’s athletics interests.

“For these reasons and others set forth, the panel should reject the enforcement staff’s dramatically overbroad theory, and classify this case as involving a Level II-Mitigated violation.”

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.