Late Night Snacks: LSU hands No. 16 West Virginia its first defeat

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GAME OF THE NIGHTLSU 74, No. 16 West Virginia 73

The Tigers committed 24 turnovers and Jordan Mickey accounted for just four points and six rebounds, but they still found a way to come back from a 14-point second half deficit to win in Morgantown. Josh Gray’s layup with 7.4 seconds remaining was the biggest play in a final minute that featured multiple mind-boggling decisions made by both teams.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 20 Iowa State 95, No. 18 Arkansas 77: The Arkansas press did nothing to slow down Iowa State on Thursday night, as the Cyclones jumped out to an early first half lead and never looked back. The lead ballooned to as much as 23 in the second half. Bryce Dejean-Jones led the way with 27 points, but it was the 26 points and eight assists from Georges Niang that was the most impressive. He can simply do it all.

2. Georgia State 72, Green Bay 48

The Panthers got off to a good start offensively, and the same cannot be said for the Phoenix. End result: a 72-48 triumph for Ron Hunter’s team. R.J. Hunter scored 26 to lead the way for Georgia State, with Ryan Harrow adding 17 and eight assists. Keifer Sykes scored 16 points but he needed 15 shots to do so, and he was also Green Bay’s lone double-digit scorer.

3. TCU 66, Ole Miss 54: Don’t look now, but TCU is 8-0 after going into Oxford and knocking off Ole Miss. Karviar Shepard led the way with 14 points and nine boards while Amric Fields added 10 points and three assists off the bench. TCU is 8-0 for the first time since 1997-98, with that team winning its first nine games and ultimately going to the NCAA tournament.

STARRED:

1. Garret Kerr: Shout out to Kent, who had 27 points and 10 boards in a win over Drexel. He plays for the University of the Sciences, a D-II program in Philly.

2. R.J. Hunter: The Georgia State guard finished with 26 points as the Panthers knocked off Green Bay.

3. Kevin Larsen: Larsen has struggled a bit this season, but he had 14 points, six boards and three assists in a win over UMBC.

4. Royce O’Neale: O’Neale led the way with 22 points as Baylor picked up a win in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge by knocking off Vanderbilt.

STRUGGLED:

1. Drexel: I mean, they lost to a Division II team. That happened one other time this season, and that was when Rice lost at Alaska-Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout.

2. Jordan Mickey: LSU won at West Virginia, but Mickey spent most of the night in foul trouble and didn’t score until there were four minutes left in the game.

NOTABLES

  • No. 13 San Diego State shot 13-for-27 from the foul line, but they limited San Diego to 36.5% shooting in a 57-48 win over their city rivals.
  • A Division II team knocked off a Division I opponent for the second time this season, as Philadelphia University of the Sciences beat Drexel 54-52.
  • Baylor held off Vanderbilt, 66-63 in Nashville with Royce O’Neale scoring 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field. Taurean Waller-Prince added 19 for the Bears, who are now 7-1 on the season.
  • More than 3,000 fans showed up at UAB’s Bartow Arena dressed in black in support of the football team, which found out earlier this week that their program was being shut down. Jerod Haase’s basketball team was able to use that emotion as fuel, ending their three-game losing streak with a 58-48 win over Morehead State.
  • Austin Ruder scored 23 points and Marcus Marshall added 18 as Missouri State beat UALR, 73-68. Marshall’s scored 18 in each of the last two games after sitting out two games at the Great Alaska Shootout due to a knee issue.
  • Alan Williams (16 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) became the all-time leading rebounder in UCSB history in the Gauchos’ 86-47 demolition of Seattle.

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

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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.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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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.