Late Night Snacks: Sunday’s excitement wasn’t just on the gridiron

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 24 North Carolina 93, No. 3 Louisville 84

The Tar Heels got a career-high 32 points out of Marcus Paige and 13 points, 12 boards and seven assists from Kennedy Meeks as they ran over Louisville despite 36 points from Russ Smith. This win would have been impressive regardless of situation, but it was all the more impressive due to the issues that UNC had entering the game. Namely, everyone had written this group off. Guess they proved us wrong, eh?

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 6 Duke 91, Vermont 90

The Catamounts went shot-for-shot with the Blue Devils on Sunday night in Cameron, a thriller that featured about as much defense as you’ll find in the last game of over-30 pickup. Vermont shot 64.9% from the floor and scored 1.424 PPP. That’s not good. The game came to a thrilling end, as the final seconds featured a four-point play for the Cats, a free throw from Rodney Hood and UVM dribbling out the clock to end the game without getting off a shot to win the game.

THE OTHER BUZZER-BEATER: Florida State 62, Northeastern 60

Devon Bookert hit a fadeaway 10-footer with 0.5 seconds left to give the Seminoles the win over the Huskies and a 2-1 record in a tournament where Leonard Hamilton’s club made a statement.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Charlotte came to Puerto Rico as an afterthought, but thanks to Terrence Williams, who tipped in his own miss with 0.4 seconds left, the 49ers left San Juan with a title in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Sunday’s win came over No. 14 Michigan, which should, in theory, be a marquee win come tournament time. The concern here for Michigan isn’t the loss; it’s injuries to Glenn Robinson III (back) and Nik Stauskas (ankle).

2) Georgetown managed to get out of Puerto Rico without a complete disaster as they picked up an 84-80 win over No. 10 VCU to win the fifth-place game. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks combined for 49 points, and while VCU forced 26 turnovers, they had the same issues as they did against Florida State: 35% shooting while allowing Georgetown to shoot 56%.

3) Colorado rallied from a 14 point second half deficit to knock off Harvard, 70-62, and hand the Crimson their first loss of the season. Spencer Dinwiddie led four scorers in double-figures with 17 points.

STARRED

1) Cady Lalanne finished with 20 points and 12 boards to lead UMass to a 62-56 win over Clemson in the final of the Charleston Classic. Chaz Williams is the Minutemen’s superstar, but Lalanne may be their best player to date.

2) Stony Brook’s Jameel Warney finished with 32 points and 21 boards (11 offensive) in a 104-102 win in triple overtime over Detroit. He was 13-for-14 from the floor. Warney scored at the end of the second overtime to tie the game and won the game with five seconds left in triple-overtime.

3) Tyler Harris got a career-high 22 points to go along with nine boards to lead Providence to a win over La Salle in the final of the Paradise Jam.

STRUGGLED

1) Long Beach State shot 11-for-56 from the floor in a loss to Kansas State. That’s 19.6%. The were 4-for-32 in the first half, or 12.5%. Not good.

2) Georgia lost. Again. This time to Nebraska, 73-65. They went 0-3 in the Charleston Classic and now sit at 1-4 on the season. Not a great start to the season for Mark Fox.

3) After scoring 66 points in the first two games of the Charleston Classic, Chester Frazier went 3-for-13 from the floor as UAB lost to Temple, 87-66, in the fifth-place game.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Elgin Cook had 18 points and six boards off the bench to lead No. 17 Oregon to a 100-82 win over San Francisco.
  • No. 19 New Mexico’s Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk continued their strong play with 34 points, 21 boards, eight assists and three blocks in a 79-58 win over Davidson.
  • No. 22 UCLA got 22 points from Jordan Adams and 17 points, 10 boards and seven assists from Kyle Anderso in a 106-65 over Chattanooga.

NOTABLES

  • Troy Huff had 32 points and 10 boards as North Dakota whipped up on their in-state rival North Dakota State, who got 34 points from Taylor Braun.
  • Evan Smotrycz had 20 points and nine boards for Maryland in a win over Northern Iowa.
  • 32 points, 13 assists and 10 steals from Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant will do a lot for a team like Notre Dame.
  • Justin Drummond led four scorers in double-figures with 23 points to lead Toledo to a 6-0 record with a win over Florida Atlantic.
  • D.J. Newbill’s 23 points, nine boards and seven assists led Penn State to a 93-67 win over Longwood.
  • Kerry Carter led St. Mary’s with 15 points in a win over Alcorn State.
  • Amric Fields had 16 points off the bench to lead TCU to a win over Washington State.
  • Mo Watson had 16 points, six assists, four boards and four steals to lead BU to a win over LIU.
  • Trae Golden went for 20 points and seven assists to lead Georgia Tech to a 78-71 win over North Carolina A&T.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

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Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events

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WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”

Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

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Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.