Late Night Snacks: No. 18 Arkansas falls and Creighton picks up a quality road win

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GAME OF THE DAY: Ole Miss 79, Oregon 73

The Rebels were one of two SEC teams to pick up solid wins on Sunday, with Georgia (a home win over Colorado) being the other. Andy Kennedy’s team got the job done in Eugene, with entertaining guard Stefan Moody scoring 22 points and the bench scoring 35 points. Ole Miss, which rebounded from a disappointing home loss to TCU, won despite getting just one point from senior guard Jarvis Summers.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Creighton 65, Nebraska 55

The Big East gets another quality non-conference victory, as the Bluejays took care of the Cornhuskers in Lincoln. Senior point guard Austin Chatman led the way for Creighton with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Creighton reserves contributed 30 points. Terran Petteway scored a game-high 21 for Nebraska but needed 20 shots to do so, and no other Husker finished the game in double figures.

2. Clemson 68, No. 18 Arkansas 65 (OT) 

The chances of Arkansas winning at No. 20 Iowa State on Thursday were slim, so it wasn’t all that shocking that Mike Anderson’s Hogs fell 95-77. However, they were expected to leave Clemson with a win and led by six with 1:17 remaining in regulation. Then the Razorbacks got careless with the basketball, and Clemson’s Rod Hall took advantage. Hall scored 11 of his 19 points in the final six minutes of the game, leading the Tigers to a three-point overtime win.

3. Washington 49, No. 13 San Diego State 36

San Diego State’s had some offensive issues to deal with all season long, but they may have hit their low point Sunday night in Seattle. The Aztecs shot 20.4% from the field, scoring just 36 points with no player scoring more than seven (Winston Shepard III). Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies didn’t exactly light it up either, but some timely shooting from Nigel Williams-Goss (15 points) and Andrew Andrews (13) and multiple defensive looks proved to be the difference.

STARRED

1. Tyrone Wallace (California)

29 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the Golden Bears’ 63-56 win at Nevada.

2. Brice Johnson (North Carolina)

19 points and 17 rebounds in No. 12 North Carolina’s 108-64 whipping of East Carolina.

3. David Collette (Utah State) 

32 points (12-for-16 FG) and 14 rebounds in the Aggies’ 89-84 loss at USC.

STRUGGLED

1. Cazmon Hayes and Devonne Pinkard (Delaware)

Hayes and Pinkard combined to shoot 4-for-26 from the field in the Blue Hens’ 66-53 loss to Delaware State.

2. Tayler Persons and Tyler White (Northern Kentucky)

Persons and White shot a combined 0-for-15 from the field in the Norse’s 67-42 loss to No. 16 West Virginia.

3. No. 13 San Diego State

Steve Fisher’s Aztecs struggled mightily in their 49-36 loss at Washington, shooting 20.4% from the field and 2-for-15 from beyond the arc.

NOTABLES

  • No. 12 North Carolina rebounded from its loss to Iowa in good fashion, beating East Carolina 108-64 in Chapel Hill. Brice Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the way.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds as No. 1 Kentucky beat Eastern Kentucky 82-49.
  • Brett Comer dished out 14 assists with just one turnover as FGCU beat UMass 84-75 in Springfield.
  • Manhattan played its first home game of the season and made the most of it, beating Marist 60-38 to move to 1-1 in MAAC play.
  • Two MAAC teams moved to 2-0 in league play on Sunday. Fairfield picked up a 56-52 overtime win at Quinnipiac, and Monmouth knocked off defending regular season champion Iona 92-89.
  • Bryce Alford scored 22 points and Kevon Looney (18 points, 11 rebounds) added yet another double-double to lead UCLA to a 75-68 win over San Diego. The Bruins trailed by two at the half.
  • Patricio Garino scored 21 points to lead four starters in double figures as George Washington beat Charlotte, 78-70. Georgetown comfortably won the first game of the BB&T Classic doubleheader, beating Towson 78-46.

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

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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.