Late Night Snacks: No. 10 Texas wins the 2K Classic without Isaiah Taylor

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 23 Syracuse 66, Iowa 63

The Orange bounced back from a bad outing on Thursday night against unranked Cal to pick up a win on a familiar floor. Syracuse’s freshmen played well with Chris McCullough scoring a team-high 20 points and Kaleb Joseph with eight assists. Syracuse led by as many as 15 in the second half but thanks to Aaron White, Jarred Uthoff and Adam Woodbury, the Hawkeyes came storming back to cut it within one. But McCullough came up with a crucial steal with 10 seconds to play.


No. 10 Texas 71, Cal 55

The Longhorns won the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden with a comfortable win over Cal on Friday night. Texas won the game without starting point guard Isaiah Taylor, who is expected to be out for weeks.

West Virginia 70, Boston College 66

Juwan Staten fouled out with 3:49 left in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off semifinal, leaving the door open for Olivier Hanlan and BC to punch a ticket in the title game to play New England rival UConn. Instead guards Gary Brown, Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. helped close out the win. The Mountaineers have a chance to bolster their resume against reigning champion UConn on Sunday afternoon.

No. 9 Virginia 59, George Washington 42

Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Anderson combined for 33 points turing a four-point halftime deficit into a 59-42 win over a good George Washington team. The GW perimeter of Kethan Savage, Patricio Garino and Joe McDonald shot 10-of-27 for 25 points. Virginia dominated inside with 13 more rebounds and the Colonials while rejecting nine shots.

Colorado State 80, Georgia State 70

The Rams were down 12 at one point, and ended up beating one of the top mid-majors in the country. Good win for a team picked by some to finish second to San Diego State in the Mountain West.


1) Jonathan Holmes, Texas: The senior forward went for 21 points and 13 rebounds in the 2K Classic title game, winning tournament MVP honors. Our own Rob Dauster wrote about him more here.

2) Ryan Boatright, UConn: Embracing the leadership role, Boatright scored 20 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished four assists, recorded three steals and blocked a shot, lifting the Huskies to a hard-fought win over Dayton on Friday afternoon, advancing to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship game.

3) Damion Lee, Drexel: Went for 32 points, six rebounds and three assists, although it was not enough to keep USC from getting its first win of the season.


1) UNLV: Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown and Stanford stomped UNLV 89-60. It hasn’t been a good few days for Mountain West teams looking to chase San Diego State. Yesterday, New Mexico lost to Boston College, weakening the Lobos already soft non-conference schedule as they slide into the losers’ bracket of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

2) Clemson: In the span of a week the Tigers have lost to two Big South teams with the second of those two defeats being decided by a technical foul. You can watch the Clemsoning unfold here.

3) LSU: It was another uninspired evening for the SEC. Top-ranked Kentucky led BU by only five at half. Louisiana-Monroe was up on No. 8 Florida, but both those teams ended up winning; Kentucky by more than 20. It was not the same for LSU, a team looking to be the third bid in the SEC. The Tigers lost to Old Dominion, giving up an early 12-point lead due to foul trouble. Conversely, the Monarchs are putting together a nice resume with wins over LSU and Richmond.

TOP 25

  • No. 1 Kentucky 89, Boston University 65
  • No. 4 Duke 74, Temple 54
  • No. 7 Louisville 85, Marshall 67
  • No. 8 Florida 61, Louisiana-Monroe 56 (OT)
  • No. 9 Virginia 59, George Washington 42
  • No. 10 Texas 71, Cal 55
  • No. 17 UConn 75, Dayton 64
  • No. 19 Michigan State 87, Loyola (IL) 52
  • No. 23 Syracuse 66, Iowa 63
  • No. 25 Utah 88, UC Riverside 42


    • Coach K and Johnny Dawkins will reunite in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Saturday.
    • Miami and Charlotte advance to the final of the Charleston Classic
    • Juan’ya Green scored 22 points in a one-point win for Hofstra over Stony Brook
    • Iona defeated Wake Forest. For the record: this is not an upset
    • Stephen F. Austin had a 12-game road winning streak snapped by Xavier
    • Long Beach State beat Big 12 darkhorse Kansas State, 69-60. The 49ers needed a non-conference victory in a ridiculously tough slate
    • Hawaii 74, Pitt 70: If you’re going to put forth a weak non-conference schedule you shouldn’t be dropping these games.
    • All five starters scored in double figures for No. 7 Louisville in an 85-67 win over Marshall
    • Justin Anderson threw down two must-watch dunks
    • Sheldon McClellan threw down this for Miami:

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

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

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.