Late Night Snacks: Kansas knocks off Iowa State for key Big 12 road win

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 23 Duke 69, Virginia 65

This one got a lot closer than Duke would have liked. The Blue Devils led for the entire game until Malcolm Brogdon’s free throw with 37 seconds left gave Virginia its first lead of the game at 65-64. From there, Duke scored five consecutive points to close out the game, including an offensive rebound that led to Rasheed Sulaimon’s go-ahead three-pointer. Sulaimon’s resurgence was the overall story in this one though, as the sophomore continues to shake off his early-season slump as he scored 21 points in 24 minutes for a Duke team that regularly made lineup changes and even started freshman guard Matt Jones.

Jabari Parker continued to struggle, only scoring eight points on 3-for-11 shooting, but the Blue Devils earned a much-needed ACC win at home.

You can also read more on this one with Rob Dauster’s take on Duke and my take on Virginia.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) No. 15 Kansas 77, No. 8 Iowa State 70

The Jayhawks have played the toughest schedule in the country and you can tell by the way this young Kansas team was prepared for the Hilton Coliseum and No. 8 Iowa State. Andrew Wiggins (17 points, 19 rebounds) and Joel Embiid (16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks) both had great games, but it was the play of junior point guard Naadir Tharpe that but Kansas over the edge.

Rob and I also alternated angles for this game with Rob looking into Iowa State while I go into more detail about Kansas during its big win.

2) No. 2 Syracuse 69, Boston College 59

For awhile, the Golden Eagles had the unbeaten No. 2 Orange on the ropes in the second half before Syracuse stepped on the gas and got by to earn the ACC road win. Although Trevor Cooney has struggled with his perimeter shooting during ACC play, he stepped up with an 8-for-13 effort from the field, while shooting a respectable 2-for-5 from the three-point line, to lead the Orange with 21 points. Jerami Grant also continued his sound play off the bench as the sophomore forward went for 16 points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes of play, even though he didn’t start the game.

CBT’s own Terrence Payne was in attendance at this one and has more on the Orange’s win.

3) Texas 80, West Virginia 69

The only other power conference matchup of the night belonged to the Longhorns as Texas owned the glass with a 49-30 advantage in the easy road win in Morgantown. Texas held West Virginia to 37 percent shooting as Javan Felix had 19 points and Cameron Ridley registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. After dropping its first two Big 12 games, Texas has rallied to 2-2 in the leagues and is now 13-4 overall.

STARRED

1) One of the nation’s premier scorers, Loyola (Md.) senior Dylon Cormier, went for 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Greyhounds raced to a 77-63 Patriot League win over Lafayette.

2) Kendrick Perry scored Youngstown State’s final 12 points to finish the game with 31 overall in leading the Penguins to a 67-66 home win over Horizon League opponent Cleveland State.

3) Alabama State’s Jamel Waters went the full 40 minutes, scoring 27 points and adding seven assists and four steals in leading the Hornets to a 77-64 home win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a SWAC victory. The game was tied at 58 in the second half before Alabama State went on a 19-6 run to close the game.

STRUGGLED

1) Southern Utah finished with only 36 points, as they allowed Big Sky conference opponent Northern Arizona to score 35 in each half on its way to a 70-36 loss at home. Northern Arizona started the game on a 12-0 run as Southern Utah only mustered 11 first-half points.

2) Delaware State faltered down the stretch during a home loss to Norfolk State as the Spartans escaped with a 58-56 road win. Delaware State had a chance to snap Norfolk State’s 23-game regular season conference winning streak — the longest such streak in the nation — before letting the game slip away in the second half after the game was tied 46-all.

3) Tennessee State allowed Tennessee-Martin to shoot 60 percent from the field and allowed 25 assists on 39 field goals as the Skyhawks pulled off the 100-88 Ohio Valley Conference win. Tennessee State started the game down 16-1 and are now 2-17 on the season after an 18-15 finish last season that included an appearance in the CIT

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

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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

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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.