Late Night Snacks: Top-ranked Kentucky tops No. 6 Texas, No. 11 Kansas erases large halftime deficit

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 11 Kansas 71 Florida 65

Kansas trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half, however, behind an energized crowd and the best offensive outing of the season for sophomore Wayne Selden, the Jayhawks stormed back going on a 17-0 run to take a six-point lead with under 4:30 to play. The win also saw Cliff Alexander’s first career double-double.


No. 1 Kentucky 63, No. 6 Texas 51

The Wildcats didn’t shoot well, were heavily outrebounded to start the first half and wre tied heading into halftime. But the frontline and their defense led the charge against No. 6 Texas. Willie Cauley-Stein was a force on both ends, as he helped spark an 18-2 run that started the second half. Kentucky still has non-conference meetings with No. 12 North Carolina, UCLA and No. 5 Louisville left in the month of December.

Yale 45, UConn 44

Yale led for the first 33 minutes, but almost let the win slip from its hands as UConn stormed back late. Down two, with seconds remaining, Jack Montague hit his only field goal of the night, a baseline three — the same shot Jonathan Holmes connected on in Texas’ win over UConn on Sunday — to hand the Huskies their third straight loss. The Bulldogs are a real threat in the Ivy League, and tonight was further proof. Justin Sears went for 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Boston College 69, Providence 60 

The Friars have been a pleasant surprise this season after reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade a season ago. However, they’ve dropped two straight. One was two the No. 1 team, but Friday PC suffered a tough loss to former conference foe, Boston College. Kris Dunn and Carson Desrosiers accounted for 39 of the team’s 60 points. LaDonate Henton and Tyler Harris were both held to single digits.


Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky: White platoon or blue platoon, Willie Cauley-Stein was staying on the floor for Kentucky. The junior center recorded 21 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and three blocks in top-ranked Kentucky’s win over Texas.

Wayne Selden, Kansas: The sophomore guard scored 27 points (7-of-25 shooting) in three games in the Orlando Classic. On Friday night, Selden scored at the rim and hit from the perimeter, going for a season-high 21 points.

Olivier Hanlan, Boston College: In the biggest win of the year for BC, Hanlan scored a team-high 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds with three assists and three steals.


UConn: The Huskies were beat up on the boards and saw the same shot take them down for the second time this week. It also hasn’t been a good start to the season for the entire American Athletic Conference.

LaDontae Henton, Providence: After scoring a career-high 38 points in a win over Notre Dame, one of the nation’s best scorers has gone cold. The 3 points, off 1-of-8 shooting on Saturday had a lot to do with Kentucky, but on Friday night in a loss to Boston College, Henton was 4-of-16, again being held to single digits.

Florida’s second half: The Gators offense was great in the first half, but that changed in the second half with an improved effort from the Kansas defense. Florida shot 19 percent lower in the second half than it did in the first. The result was an 18-point lead vanishing, as the Gators left with their fourth loss of the season, one more than the entire 2013-14 season.

TOP 25

  • No. 1 Kentucky 63, Texas 51
  • No. 5 Louisville 82, FIU 57
  • No. 11 Kansas 67, Florida 57
  • No. 22 Oklahoma 82, Missouri 63


  • Boston College avenge last season’s loss to Providence with a 69-60 win. Olivier Hanlan went for 24 points and eight rebounds
  • Stephen F. Austin dropped Long Beach State. Good win for the Lumberjacks. The 49ers are now 5-5 and will have a five-game road trip to end out the month. Here are their opponents: No. 13 San Diego State, No. 6 Texas, St. John’s, Syracuse, No. 5 Louisville
  • Montrezl Harrell recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards in Louisville’s win over FIU
  • SMU trailed Wyoming by six in the second half, but turned that into a 13-point win. Nic Moore had 25 points.
  • Fairfield upset Manhattan, 67-54, in the MAAC season-opener
  • Pittsburgh beat crosstown rival Duquesne, 76-62
  • Minnesota topped Western Carolina by 20
  • Coastal Carolina upset Auburn, 58-54. The Bruce Pearl era is under .500
  • Ryan Spangler (18), Buddy Hield (17) and Isaiah Cousins (16) were three Sooners in double figures in No. 22 Oklahoma’s win over Missouri.

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

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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.