Late Night Snacks: Georgetown upsets No. 4 Villanova; Duke, Kansas, Texas earn comfortable wins

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source: AP
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IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 5 Duke 79, Pitt 65

Coach K earned career win No. 999 as the Blue Devils hit outside shots and were able to outlast the Panthers. Tyus Jones had 22 points and Jahlil Okafor added 14 points and five assists.  Duke has now won two straight games after its brief stretch of poor play.

2. No. 17 Texas 66, TCU 48

The Longhorns earned a second straight win after its two-game skid as they never trailed against TCU. Javan Felix had 15 points and Isaiah Taylor added 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

3. No. 11 Kansas 85, No. 17 Oklahoma 78

After leading by 19 at the half, the Jayhawks blew its lead in less than 10 minutes and had to fight until the final minute of the game. Kelly Oubre had 19 points and nine rebounds and Cliff Alexander had 13 points and 13 rebounds as the freshmen came through in a big way for Kansas. Perry Ellis also added 16 minutes.

4. Georgetown 78, No. 4 Villanova 58

The Hoyas blitzed the Wildcats in the first half and had a 22-point halftime lead. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Isaac Copeland each had 17 points in this one. Villanova shot 33 percent (14-for-42) for the game and had 17 turnovers in the game. Huge Big East win for Georgetown, who goes 5-2 in league play.

STARRED

1. Charleston Southern’s Saah Nimley

Huge stretch for the senior guard as he had his third consecutive 30-plus point outing with 31 points in a win over UNC Asheville. The 5-foot-8 Nimley was 10-for-19 from the field and 4-for-11 from 3-point range.

2. South Carolina State’s Edward Stephens

The Bulldogs earned a road win as the freshman had 26 points, including seven in overtime, and the game-winning three in overtime for a one-point win. Stephens was 9-for-19 from the field in the win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.

3. NJIT’s Damon Lynn

The sophomore guard had 27 points, five assists and three rebounds while playing all 40 minutes in a road win over Maine.

STRUGGLED

1. TCU’s Kyan Anderson

The Horned Frogs needed their senior point guard to come through and Anderson was limited to 1-for-5 shooting and two points and three assists in a loss to Texas.

2. Pitt’s James Robinson

While other guards have put up numbers on Duke’s shaky perimeter defense, Robinson struggled to a 1-for-8 shooting night and finished with two points, three assists and three turnovers in a loss to the Blue Devils.

3. Oklahoma’s TaShawn Thomas

The senior had a mediocre outing on the road in a loss to Kansas as he was 1-for-7 from the field for four points and four rebounds. Not only that, but Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander both had nice front-court efforts and soundly outplayed Thomas.

NOTABLES

  • Florida State picked up a nice road win over Clemson as Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 17 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four assists.
  • Really nice road win for Albany in the America East as they knocked off Stony Brook in a rematch of last season’s conference tournament title game. The Great Danes won 64-47 to go 5-0 in the league this season as Evan Singletary had 21 points.
  • In a big game in the MEAC, North Carolina Central earned a road win over Hampton to remain unbeaten in the league at 6-0 as Anthony McDonald had 17 points.
  • Georgia State won on the road at Arkansas State as R.J. Hunter had 23 points and eight rebounds.
  • Two teams that were winless in Division I locked horns and Coppin State came away with a win over Florida A&M.
  • Speaking of winless teams, Central Arkansas fell to 0-16 with a loss to Houston Baptist.
  • UL Monroe improved to 6-1 in the Sun Belt with a 57-55 road win over Lafayette as Tylor Ongwae led the way with 13 points.
  • Nice night for Jacob Parker with 19 points in a Stephen F. Austin win over New Orleans. The Lumberjacks are 5-0 in the Southland.
  • Hartford had 21 points from Corban Wroe in a win over UMBC.
  • Detroit was able to outlast Northeastern in overtime as Paris Bass scored the Titans’ first nine points in overtime to finish with 19 points for the game. The freshman forward also had the game-tying dunk with 28 seconds left in regulation.
  • Delaware State senior center Kendall Gray put together another big rebounding effort with eight rebounds and 17 boards in a win over Savannah State. The 17 rebounds was Gray’s lowest total the last four games as he has recent games of 22, 18 and 23 rebounds.

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.