Late Night Snacks: Two ranked teams fall at the Battle 4 Atlantis

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GAME OF THE DAY: Georgetown 66, No. 18 Florida 65 (OT)

A D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in the final Battle 4 Atlantis quarterfinal. Georgetown committed 19 turnovers, with their front court players being responsible for the majority of them, but they also shot 49 percent from the field while limiting Florida to 35.9% shooting. Eighteen offensive rebounds helped the Gators hang around throughout the evening, but they fell one stop short of a victory.


1. Butler 74, No. 5 North Carolina 66

The difference between the Bulldogs and Tar Heels can be found in the offensive rebounding numbers, as Butler grabbed 29 offensive boards on the afternoon. As a result interim head coach Chris Holtmann’s squad remains undefeated, and they’ll get another resume-building opportunity Thursday against Oklahoma. As for North Carolina, they’ll take on UCLA in a consolation bracket matchup.

2. No. 3 Arizona 61, No. 15 San Diego State 59

Arizona won the Maui Invitational for the second time Wednesday night, outlasting the Aztecs with foul shooting being one of the deciding factors. Sean Miller’s Wildcats made 20 of their 24 free throw attempts, outscoring San Diego State by seven points in that department as the Aztecs shot 13-for-24. Stanley Johnson, who was named tournament MVP, scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the victors.

3. Pittsburgh 70, Kansas State 47

After struggling mightily against No. 15 San Diego State Tuesday night Jamie Dixon’s Panthers rebounded in a big way, soundly defeating Kansas State to take home third place honors at the Maui Invitational. Pitt outscored Kansas State 40-20 in the second half, with James Robinson accounting for 14 points, six assists and four steals and Michael Young adding 13 points. Also of note was the job Chris Jones did defending Marcus Foster, who scored just seven points on 3-for-9 shooting. With their other Maui Invitational win being over Chaminade, Pitt picked up a win that could prove valuable as the season wears on.


1. G Schadrac Casimir (Iona)

Casimir went off the Gaels’ 126-76 beating of Delaware State, scoring 40 points and dishing out four assists in 28 minutes of action. Casimir shot 11-for-13 from the field (8-for-9 3PT) and 10-for-11 from the foul line.

2. G Jack Gibbs (Davidson)

Gibbs shot the ball incredibly well in the Wildcats’ 95-69 win at UCF, making 15 of his 17 field goal attempts (5-for-7 3PT) and scoring 37 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

3. F Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) 

Wiltjer scored a career-high 32 points while also grabbing four rebounds and blocking two shots in the Bulldogs’ 88-76 win over Georgia.


1. Cleveland State players other than Trey Lewis

Lewis scored 24 points on 9-for-20 shooting from the field. His teammates scored a combined nine points on 4-for-32 shooting. The Vikings lost to No. 6 Louisville 45-33, with Rick Pitino getting his 700th career win.

2. C.J. Washington (UAB)

The Blazers were fighting an uphill battle against No. 2 Wisconsin at the Battle 4 Atlantis in a game they would lose 72-43. Washington, who’s averaging 11.5 points per game, played just 17 minutes and finished with two points (0-for-4 FG) and four turnovers.

3. Andre Hollins (Minnesota)

Hollins finished Minnesota’s 70-61 loss to St. John’s with nine points on 3-for-12 shooting and seven turnovers.


  • Iona scored 126 points in their 50-point win over Delaware State, and they shot 24-for-39 from three. To put that into context the record for made three-pointers in a game by a team is 28, and that team (Troy in 1994) needed 74 attempts to reach that mark.
  • No. 10 Gonzaga took care of Georgia, 88-76, to earn a spot in Friday’s NIT Season Tipoff title game opposite St. John’s. Kyle Wiltjer scored 32 points and Kevin Pangos added 22 for the Bulldogs.
  • Speaking of the Red Storm, a D’Angelo Harrison four-point play proved to be the turning point in their 70-61 win over Minnesota.
  • Jahlil Okafor led four players in double figures with 24 points as No. 4 Duke beat Furman, 93-54.
  • All five starters for no. 16 Ohio State reached double figures, with D’Angelo Russell leading the way with 22, in the Buckeyes’ 91-64 win over Campbell.
  • Jevon Carter scored 28 points in 17 minutes off the bench as No. 21 West Virginia rolled to a 103-72 win over VMI.
  • Buddy Hield scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half, going on a 10-0 run at one point, to lead Oklahoma to a 75-65 win over No. 22 UCLA.
  • Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner combined to score 49 points in NC State’s 84-72 home win over Richmond.
  • Fresno State, a team thought by many to be capable of contending in the Mountain West, dropped to 1-5 with a 68-64 loss to Marist. Chavaughn Lewis led the victorious Red Foxes with 28 points to go along with seven rebounds.
  • Jabarie Hinds scored 14 points off the bench and starter Derrick Gordon added 13 as UMass beat previously undefeated Northeastern 79-54.
  • An A.J. Hammons shot with 1.8 seconds remaining in overtime gave Purdue an 87-85 overtime win over BYU. Matt Painter’s Boilermakers went 2-1 at the Maui Invitational.
  • Lehigh shot 56.9% from the field and finished with four players scoring in double figures as they beat DePaul 86-74 in Chicago.
  • Keifer Sykes scored 19 points and dished out five assists, but the biggest story in Green Bay’s 59-45 win over FGCU is that they limited the Eagles to 27.3% shooting from the field.
  • Northern Iowa took care of business in Cancun, beating Northwestern 61-42 to move to 6-0 on the season.
  • Oklahoma State’s also 6-0, as they beat Tulsa 73-58 in Las Vegas. The Cowboys have started 6-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1935-36.

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

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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.