Late Night Snacks: Top-ranked Kentucky rolls, Rick Pitino’s Louisville too much for son and Minnesota

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 18 Michigan State 64, Navy 59

In the nightcap of the Quicken Loans Veterans Classic, No. 18 Michigan State needed until the final minute to put away a 64-59 win over the Midshipmen, a team picked to finish last in the Patriot League. Travis Trice went for a career-high 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. Navy lost Worth Smith during the game with a reported dislocated knee.

OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: High Point 100, CSU Bakersfield 99 (4OT)

The Outriggers Hotels Rainbow Classic went four overtimes with the Panthers narrowly defeating the Roadrunners. Devante Wallace led all scorers with 32 points. The only way this game would have been more exciting is if high-flyer John Brown had suited up for High Point.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

No. 8 Louisville 81, Minnesota 68: The Armed Forces Classic held Pitino vs. Pitino II with Rick once again prevailing over his son, Richard. Montrezl Harrell went for 30 points and seven boards.

No. 6 North Carolina 76 North Carolina Central 60: The Tar Heels had their hands full with reigning MEAC champion North Carolina Central leading by only nine at halftime. North Carolina forwards Kennedy Meeks, J.P. Tokoto and Brice Johnson all scored in double figures.

No. 5 Kansas 69, UC Santa Barbara 59Alan Williams and Co. gave the Jayhawks a good fight, but Kansas was able to stretch the lead to 10 and close out the opening night win. The game proved that UC Santa Barbara is going to be a tough mid-major opponent this season, and provided a tune-up for KU as it prepares for to-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night.

STARRED

1) Georges Niang, Iowa State: The All American candidate posted 30 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a 93-82 win over Oakland.

2) Duke freshman: Jahlil Okafor went for 19 points, six boards and four assists. Grayson Allen came off the bench for 18. Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow each went for 15 and connected on this highlight.

3) Kentucky’s platoons: Only 39 more wins from perfection (I kid). But it was a solid debut for Kentucky’s platoons in a 40-point win against an overmatched Grand Canyon. Nine players scored, 10 shots were blocked and the depth was on display with 10 player logging 16 minutes or more.

STRUGGLED

1) SEC schools not named Kentucky or Florida: Ole Miss lost to Charleston Southern on a buzzer-beating dunk. Tennessee was topped by No. 15 VCU. Georgia was topped by in-state rival Georgia Tech and the Kim Anderson era at Missouri began with an upset to UMKC. To be fair, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Mississippi State all won.

2) The defending national champions: It was until under 10 minutes through the second half for No. 17 UConn to recapture the led from Bryant before pulling off a 66-53 win. Senior Ryan Boatright scored 16 of his team-high 24 points after halftime.

3) Marcus Paige, North Carolina: Who some have picked as the player of the year was limited to 2-of-8 shooting for eight points. The Tar Heels, as a team, struggled shooting the ball, going 2-for-11 beyond the 3-point line and missing 1/3 of their attempts from the line.

NOTABLES:

  • Brandon Ashley, back from injury, scored a career-high 21 points for No. 2 Arizona in a 78-55 win over Mount St. Mary’s.
  • Frank Kaminsky (16 points, 11 boards) and Sam Dekker (15 points) led the way for No. 3 Wisconsin in a season-opening win over Northern Colorado.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith, Jon Horford and Michael Frazier led No. 7 Florida to a comfortable win over CAA favorite William & Mary.
  • No. 12 Villanova had its troubles with Lehigh, but came away with a 77-66 win. Dylan Ennis led ‘Nova with 19 and Austin Price scored a game-high 24.
  • No. 13 Gonzaga went for more than 100 in its first win of the season. Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer led with 18.
  • Alan Williams registered his first of many double-doubles this year with 22 points and 13 boards in a loss to No. 5 Kansas.
  • D’Angelo Russell had 16 points for Ohio State. The freshman also set up the first dunk for Slam Thompson this season.
  • Bruce Pearl’s return to coaching didn’t go as smoothly as he’d would have liked it to be. Auburn trailed Milwaukee in the second half, but JuCo transfer Cinmeon Bowers went for 18 points, 17 boards in an 83-73 win.
  • No. 15 VCU topped Tennessee in the first game at the Veterans Classic in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • Aaron White stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, seven boards, six assists in Iowa’s win over Hampton.
  • Jerian Grant’s first game back with Notre Dame ended with 14 points. Pat Connaughton scored his 1,000th point with a 17-point, 10-rebound performance.
  • No. 25 Harvard remains the king of Cambridge with a win over Division III MIT.
  • In a game where both programs were missing starting guards, No. 9 Virginia knocked off James Madison, 79-51
  • The Steve Wojciechowski era at Marquette began with a win over UT-Martin.
  • Life after Doug McDermott included 104 points in Creighton’s 27-point win over Central Arkansas.
  • Behind Delon Wright, Utah kicked off the season with a 90-72 win over Ball State.
  • Rakeem Christmas posted 21 points and nine boards in Syracuse’s win over Kennesaw State. Chris McCullough recorded a double-double of 13 points, 11 boards.
  • Moore led SMU in scoring with 22 points. Not Nic Moore, Ben Moore, as the Mustangs topped Lamar.
  • Trey Davis dropped 28 for UMass in a win over Siena.
  • Rysheed Jordan had 18 points and Chris Obepka (13 points, 13 boards) and Sir’Dominic Pointer (13 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles to lead St. John’s to a 77-58 win over N.J.I.T.
  • Fordham freshman Eric Paschall scored 31 points in his college debut.
  • Ryan Harrow (25 points), R.J. Hunter (24) and Kevin Ware (12) led Sun Belt favorite Georgia State in a lopsided win over Tennessee-Temple.
  • DePaul blew a 21-point lead, barely surviving a 72-71 outcome against UIC.