Late Night Snacks: Nova holds off Michigan, Maryland upsets Iowa State, Arkansas gets big road win

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Villanova held off Michigan at the Legends Classic (Getty Images)

 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 12 Villanova 60, No. 19 Michigan 55

In a tremendous back-and-forth affair over the final few minutes, Villanova held out and won the Legends Classic thanks to a game-saving block from JayVaughn Pinkston. Guard Dylan Ennis led the Wildcats with 15 points and Daniel Ochefu added 10 points while Caris LeVert led all scorers with 16 points for Michigan. Both teams really struggled to make shots from the perimeter, but made up for it with good ball movement down the stretch and big shots from a number of different players.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 25 Arkansas 78, SMU 72

The Razorbacks earned a really nice non-conference road win on Tuesday night as sophomore forward Bobby Portis opened the game with a three-pointer and never slowed down on his way to a game-high 22 points. Arkansas led the entire game and led by as many as 19 points in the second half as they looked every bit like a top-25 team in a tough road environment. SMU dropped to 2-3 on the young season as the team has struggled to find consistency, especially without Markus Kennedy. Yanick Moreira stepped up with 20 points and but Ben Moore and Nic Moore combined to go 2-for-11 from the field on Tuesday.

2. No. 3 Arizona 72, Kansas State 68

This Maui Invitational semifinal went down to the wire as Sean Miller’s team found some new offense from guard Gabe York. Starting in-place of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the second game in a row, York scored a season-high 15 points and jump-started an Arizona lineup that had four double-figure scorers.  Kaleb Tarczewski added 18 points, Stanley Johnson had 14 points and Brandon Ashley added 10 points in a solid win over a good opponent for Arizona.

3. Maryland 72, No. 13 Iowa State 63

Not many people would have predicted this kind of result in the championship game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Terrapins used four double-figure scorers and a big and physical defensive front to knock the high-scoring Cyclones off their game. Maryland held Iowa State to 29 percent shooting from the field and 22 percent three-point shooting as the Cyclones couldn’t get anything going on offense.

STARRED

1. Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State

The redshirt freshman wing is starting to heat up after a slow start and his 26 points on Tuesday night carried a short-handed Seminole team to victory. Playing without Aaron Thomas (illness) and Devin Bookert (screw removed from foot), Rathan-Mayes went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the field on the night. After scoring 22 points against UMass on Sunday, it looks like the freshman is finally getting comfortable as a scorer.

2. Myles Turner, Texas

We finally got the breakout Myles Turner game we’ve been waiting for as the freshman big man went for 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 78-46 win over St. Francis (PA). Turner was 11-for-12 from the field and did all of this damage in only 25 minutes of action for his first college double-double.

3. D.J. Newbill, Penn State

With his team trailing Akron, 45-32, at the half, Newbill put Penn State on his back as he finished with 29 points, five rebounds and five assists to help the Nittany Lions to a 78-72 win. Newbill already owns a buzzer-beating layup as well this season and has come up big for Penn State on a number of occasions in the early season.

STRUGGLED

1. Missouri

The Tigers came out flat and didn’t play very hard against Purdue in an ugly, 82-61 loss a day after falling to Arizona. Missouri trailed 45-20 at the half as Purdue came out aggressive and knocked the Tigers on their back very quickly. In their first year under new head coach Kim Anderson, Missouri has dropped to 2-3 and will earn a Maui win over Chaminade if they beat them on Wednesday.

2. Rutgers

Rutgers hosted 0-4 St. Peter’s on Tuesday as the Peacocks were playing without Desi Washington, one of their most important players. But the Scarlet Knights didn’t come prepared to play as they were blown out, 68-50, on their home floor. Rutgers trailed by double-digits for the final 28 minutes of the game.

3. Pittsburgh

It was San Diego State who played a double-overtime game late the night before while Pitt opened the Maui Invitational with host Chaminade, but it was the Panthers who looked completely flat in a blowout 74-57 loss. The No. 15 Aztecs shot 58 percent from the floor for the game while Pitt was held to 37 percent shooting and 5-for-17 (29 percent) shooting from three-point range. Between the loss at Hawaii and this flat effort, this has not been the road trip that Pitt was looking for.

NOTABLES

  • BYU ran past Chaminade in the loser’s bracket at Maui as junior guard Chase Fischer tied a tournament record with 10 three-points, nine of them coming in the first half, as the Cougars won 121-85.
  • Georiga State topped Western Carolina, 85-70, as junior guard R.J. Hunter finished with 27 points.
  • No. 8 Virginia ran past Tennessee State, 79-36, as Justin Anderson was 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 from three-point range for 20 points.
  • Six Kentucky players finished in double-figures, led by freshman Devin Booker’s 18 points as they cruised past UT-Arlington, 92-44.
  • Horizon League Player of the Year candidate Keifer Sykes had 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead Green Bay in a 64-62 win over Evansville.
  • No. 23 Creighton had 15 points from junior center Geoffrey Groselle in a 75-53 home win over Eastern Illinois.
  • A night after falling to Villanova, No. 14 VCU took down Oregon with a 77-63 win as Treveon Graham led the Rams with 19 points.
  • Gary Clark had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Cincinnati to a 59-50 win over North Carolina Central.
  • Syracuse got past Loyola (MD), 70-37, as Rakeem Christmas had 18 points, nine rebounds and six blocks.
  • A scheduling quirk meant that Miami had to play Charlotte twice in three days, but the Hurricanes were up to the challenge of winning again as Shelden McClellan had 31 points and 11 rebounds in a 77-74 win.
  • Big outing from senior Levi Randolph, as he scored 28 points and had the go-ahead bucket in the final minute to give Alabama a 76-71 consolation win over Arizona State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
  • Fresh off a road win at Marquette, Omaha jumped out to a 23-7 lead at Nebraska before Shavon Shields went for a career-high 35 points to give the Huskers the 80-67 win.
  • Chris Perry hit the game-winning basket with seven seconds left to give South Florida a 71-70 win over Hofstra.
  • Harvard earned a respectable home win over Houston as Wesley Saunders (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Steve Moundou-Missi (14 points, 14 rebounds) each had double-doubles.
  • Colorado used a 25-0 run to run past Air Force as Xavier Johnson had 15 points in a 68-53 win.
  • Boise State rode a monster 31-point outing from senior guard Derrick Marks in a 86-75 win over Idaho.

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.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.