Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Indiana impresses, No. 4 Duke survives

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Game of the Day: UIC 88, Youngstown State 83 (3OT)

One day after Louisville and Notre Dame went five overtimes the Flames and Penguins went three extra periods in Youngstown. Gary Talton led the way for UIC with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and five Flames reached double figures in the win. Kendrick Perry scored 29 points to lead Youngstown State, and his three pointer late in the first overtime session tied the score at 63. UIC’s Hayden Humes hit a three-pointer to send the game into the third overtime, with Talton and Daniel Barnes making the plays needed to seal the victory.

Important Outcomes

1. No. 1 Indiana 81, No. 10 Ohio State 68 

The Hoosiers, fresh off of a loss at Illinois on Thursday night, went to Columbus and took control of things almost from the start. The Buckeyes would make a few runs but their lack of offensive weapons proved to be Ohio State’s downfall against Indiana. Victor Oladipo scored a career-high 26 points with Cody Zeller (24 points) and Christian Watford (20) also reaching the 20-point mark. The key for Ohio State in the weeks leading up to the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments: they need guys to step up offensively alongside Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft.

2. No. 4 Duke 62, Boston College 

With Indiana losing this week who will the voters pick to lead the way this week? One option is Duke, and that nearly wasn’t the case as they needed a Mason Plumlee free throw to escape Chestnut Hill win a one-point victory. Plumlee finished with 19 points and ten rebounds and Seth Curry added 18 to lead the Blue Devils, who didn’t arrive in Boston until Sunday morning due to Winter Storm Nemo. Olivier Hanlan (20 points) and Ryan Anderson (17) led the way for the Eagles, who have now lost to both Duke and Miami by one-point margins at home.

3. No. 9 Syracuse 77, St. John’s 58

A routine victory for the Orange, but the big news was the return of senior forward James Southerland. Syracuse’s best perimeter shooter, Southerland’s return gives the Orange a potent offensive weapon that gives point guard Michael Carter-Williams more room in which to operate. Southerland scored 13 in his return and four Syracuse players reached double figures. St. John’s, playing without head coach Steve Lavin due to the passing of his father, was led offensively by JaKarr Sampson (21 points).

Starred

1. G Colt Ryan (Evansville) 

Ryan finished with 33 points (14-of-15 FT), seven steals, four rebounds and four assists in the Purple Aces’ 84-78 overtime win over Drake. In the victory Ryan became the third player in Evansville history to score reach the 2,000-point mark in his career.

2. G Allen Crabbe (California) 

Crabbe was red-hot for the Golden Bears in their 77-69 win at No. 7 Arizona, shooting 12-of-15 from the field and scoring 31 points. Crabbe also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

3. G Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado)

Dinwiddie was the biggest reason why the Buffaloes escaped Corvallis with a 72-68 win over Oregon State, scoring 24 points without missing a shot from the field (6-of-6 FG with four three-pointers) or the foul line (8-of-8). Dinwiddie also tallied four assists and three rebounds.

Struggled

1. G Askia Booker (Colorado) 

On the flip side of Dinwiddie’s night was that of Booker, who shot 2-of-14 from the field (0-of-5 3PT) and finished with nine points. To Booker’s credit however, he did grab six rebounds and hand out three assists.

2. James Madison in the first half

The Dukes had a rough go of it in the first half of their 60-48 loss at Drexel, shooting 5-of-18 from the field and 1-of-7 from the foul line on their way to scoring 12 points.

3. G Marvin Jordan and G Ameen Tanksley (Niagara)

With leading scorer Antoine Mason out due to an ankle injury the Purple Eagles really needed these two to step up against rival Canisius. Jordan and Tanksley combined to shoot 2-of-19 (with Jordan going scoreless on 0-of-7 shooting) in the 77-70 loss to the Golden Griffins.

Three Happenings

1. With Seth Curry scoring 18 points in the Blue Devils’ win over Boston College, he and older brother Stephen are now the highest-scoring siblings in NCAA history. The Curry, who have scored 4,493 points, passed the Hansbrough (Tyler and Ben) brothers atop the list.

2. James Southerland wasn’t the only key player to return to the court on Sunday. N.C. State point guard Lorenzo Brown came off the bench to score 15 points, and his pass led to a Scott Wood three-pointer with one second remaining to give the Wolfpack a 58-57 win at Clemson.

3. Minnesota played without senior forward Rodney Williams on Sunday, who injured his shoulder in a collision in practice on Saturday. Illinois would hit 11 three-pointers and limit Minnesota to 38% shooting in the 57-53 victory.

Top 25 Scores

No. 1 Indiana 81, No. 10 Ohio State 68

No. 4 Duke 62, Boston College 61

California 77, No. 7 Arizona 69

No. 9 Syracuse 77, St. John’s 68

Illinois 57, No. 18 Minnesota 53

Other Notable Scores 

Virginia 80, Maryland 69 

Columbia 78, Harvard 63

Marist 69, Loyola (MD) 64

Hartford 60, Stony Brook 55

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej

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.