Late Night Snacks: Temple blows out Kansas, Purdue loses to Gardner-Webb

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 6 Wisconsin 68, Cal 56

Nigel Hayes had 17 points and 13 boards and Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker both chipped in with 14 as the Badgers went into Berkeley and dominated a 10-1 Cal team. The Bears made two runs at Wisconsin, once in the first half to erase a 17-8 lead and once in the second half when the Badgers saw their lead grow to 17, and both times Wisconsin’s answer was the same: deliberate offense, quality shots and an end to the threat.

That’s what makes this Wisconsin team so effective. They don’t get sped up. They execute their offense. They don’t force tough shots. They don’t get rattled in a big moment. Cal’s not a bad basketball team. In fact, if Ty Wallace continues to play the way that he has this season, Jabari Bird comes back healthy and Jordan Mathews and David Kravish actually show up, they should be able to make the NCAA tournament. They’re tough to matchup with given all those guards, and there are fewer coaches that demand more toughness from their team than Cuonzo Martin.

And that team, playing at home in front of a packed house, was systematically taken apart by the Badgers. I’m still not ready to say that the Badgers are in the same conversation as Kentucky and Duke, but it is important to remember that the Blue Devils needed to shoot 65 percent from the floor to beat the Badgers.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Temple 77, No. 10 Kansas 52: This was a total and complete embarrassment for the Jayhawks. They lost by almost as much to Temple, a team that is, at best, the fourth-best team in the American, as they did to Kentucky, the best teams in college basketball. We wrote more about it right here.

2. No. 17 St. John’s 66, Long Beach State 49: Playing without Rysheed Jordan (stomach bug), the Johnnies got 16 points, eight boards, six blocks and two steals from Chris Obekpa as they survived a scrappy LBSU team that led during the second half. I can’t figure this St. John’s team out. I want to like them — they press, they have a ton of athletes, and they use Obekpa as a shot-blocker in the middle, making them wildly entertaining, both good and bad — but I’m not sure they’re consistent enough or make good enough decision.

They play hard as hell, though, and are in line to make the NCAA tournament this season.

3. Providence 76, Miami 62: The Hurricanes are in a rut right now. After getting drubbed at home by Eastern Kentucky, they went up to the Barclays Center and lost by 14 to a Providence team that has had their own ups-and-downs this season. Kris Dunn led the Friars with 15 points and 13 assists.

STARRED

1. Askia Booker, Colorado: Ski finished with 27 points, six boards and six assists as Colorado smacked around DePaul in their Diamond Head Classic opener in Hawaii.

2. Joseph Young, Oregon: Oregon and UC Santa Barbara needed additional time to sort things out but Young helped lead the Ducks to victory with 25 points, 11 assists and four rebounds.

3. Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb: Hill finished with 31 points and nine boards as GWU went into West Lafayette and knocked off Purdue, 89-84.

STRUGGLED

1. Kansas Jayhawks not named Frank Mason: Mason had 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting on Tuesday. The rest of his team was 10-for-41 from the floor with 32 points in a 77-52 loss. Yeah, it was bad.

2. Wofford Terriers: Wofford, who beat N.C. State last week, ran into a buzzsaw in Morgantown, shooting 11-for-41 from the floor and committing 21 turnovers in a 77-44 loss to No. 18 West Virginia. Wofford’s a good, veteran team, mind you, and this was never close. Impressive stuff from the Mountaineers.

3. Luke Fischer, Marquette: Struggled may be the wrong word — Came back down to earth? — but he had six points and three boards as Marquette was given a fight by North Dakota, winning 67-54 in a game that was closer than the final score.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 11 Wichita State made easy work of Loyola Marymount in the Diamond Head Classic with an 80-53 win.
  • No. 13 Washington was locked in a tight battle with Tulane before the Huskies pulled away in he final minutes of a 66-57 win.
  • No. 16 Notre Dame rolled past Northern Illinois, 91-66, as Pat Connaughton had a big second half on his way to 21 points and 10 rebounds.
  • No. 19 Oklahoma jumped out to a 42-4 lead on Weber State on Monday night. It wasn’t pretty. They set a record with a 39-0 run.
  • No. 21 Ohio State put five players in double-figures as the Buckeyes blew out Miami OH.
  • No. 22 Baylor got 19 points, five boards and six blocks from Jonathan Motley and Rico Gathers added a double-double, but Baylor struggled to hold on against Southern, winning 70-66.
  • No. 24 Colorado State ran over a pretty good Charleston Southern team, putting five players in double-figures.
  • No. 25 TCU blew out Grambling. Wake me up when they land a win better than at Ole Miss.

NOTABLES

  • San Diego State easily dispatched UC Riverside, but the real story is that senior foward Dwayne Polee II collapsed in the first half and was taken to the hospital. Hopefully everything turns out okay and Polee will be back on the floor soon.
  • Michigan earning a home win over Coppin State doesn’t mean much, but freshman Austin Hatch scoring his first career college point means everything. Cool moment in Ann Arbor.
  • Ryan Boatright had 20 points and eight assists and Rodney Purvis added 21 as UConn survived Columbia, 80-65, in a game that was much, much closer than the final score.
  • Indiana followed up their win over Butler by blowing out New Orleans. Yogi Ferrell led the way with 17.
  • VCU smocked East Tennessee State, jumping out to a big first half lead and
  • Trevor Cooney had 20 points and four assists, hitting four threes with no turnovers, in a 78-43 win for Syracuse over Colgate.
  • Denzel Valentine had 18 points, six boards and six assists as Michigan State bounced back from their loss to Texas Southern with a 26-point win over The Citadel.
  • Aaron White had 23 points, nine boards and five steals as Iowa beat North Florida, 80-70.
  • Kevin Larsen struggled early on this season, but he had 19 points and 15 boards on Monday as George Washington blew out Ohio in Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic.
  • D.J. Newbill’s great start to the season continues as he goes for 17 in a win over Dartmouth.
  • Butler bounced back from a loss to Indiana by blowing out UT-Martin.
  • UC-Irvine pulled off a mid-major upset with a 72-70 win over Green Bay. A loss like this means Green Bay likely has zero chance at an at-large bid if they fail to win the Horizon League conference tournament.
  • It came against a non-DI opponent in Lewis & Clark State, but Eastern Washington sophomore scorer Tyler Harvey was still an impressive 8-for-10 from three-point range as he finished with 34 points in a big win for the Eagles.
  • Vince Hunter went for 18 points and 16 rebounds as UTEP earned a home win over Kent State.
  • Trey Freeman had 24 points and six boards as Old Dominion won an intrastate battle, knocking off William & Mary.
  • St. Mary’s earned an overtime win over Northeastern as Aaron Bright scored seven of his 16 points in the extra frame.

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
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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.