Saturday’s Snacks: No. 18 West Virginia, Georgetown win absolute thrillers

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 18 West Virginia 86, TCU 85 OT

The end of this game was absolutely bonkers. Combining overtime and regulation, it totaled four either game-tying or go-ahead shots, two horrid no-calls, one game-deciding foul and two game-winning foul shots, all in the last ten seconds.

All the requisite videos can be seen here.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: Georgetown 95, Marquette 85 OT

Josh Smith finished with 18 points and 15 boards and Isaac Copeland continued his terrific play of late — adding 17 points, six boards, four assists and two steals off the bench — as the Hoyas went into Milwaukee and knocked off a feisty Marquette team. Matt Carlino and Duane Wilson combined for 52 points — hitting 11-for-16 from three — as the Golden Eagles came within an inch — literally — of winning this in regulation.

Down 81-79 in the waning seconds, Carlino hit a pull-up jumper with his left toe on the three-point line. Instead of winning the game, it forced overtime. And in the extra frame, the Hoyas were just too much.

Oh, and Derrick Wilson did this:

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 11 Kansas 75, No. 17 Texas 62

Many doubted Kansas to win the Big 12, myself included, but the Jayhawks once again look like the conference’s favorite after a huge road win at Texas. Cliff Alexander had a nice outing with 15 points and nine rebounds and Perry Ellis did a nice job handling the length of Texas to score 14 points. Brannen Greene also stepped up with four 3-pointers and 14 points to give a big lift from the perimeter. The Jayhawk offense only turned the ball over three times and their defense held Texas to 3-for-18 shooting from 3-point range. Outside of Isaiah Taylor (23 points) and Johnathan Holmes (14 points), the Longhorns couldn’t find much additional offense.

2. Texas Tech 78, No. 9 Iowa State 73

For the second time this season, the Cyclones laid an egg against an overmatched opponent. ISU was down by as much as 19 in the first half, and while they valiantly fought back — Monte’ Morris missed a three with 10 seconds left that could have tied the game — the hole was just too big.

3. Purdue 67, No. 25 Iowa 63

A bad week for Iowa became even worse with a road loss at Purdue. Senior forward Aaron White missed much of the game with a “stinger” and Purdue had a big game from junior guard Rapheal Davis. Davis finished with 24 points and sophomore forward Basil Smotherman stepped up and had 13 points and six rebounds after only scoring one point in six previous Big Ten games this season. Junior guard Mike Gesell (18 points) did everything he could to keep Iowa in the game in the second half but the Hawkeyes didn’t have another double-figure scorer.

4. No. 21 Baylor 69, No. 19 Oklahoma 58

Scott Drew’s Bears picked up an important win in Waco, using a 10-0 run late in the second half to take care of Oklahoma. Lester Medford led four Bears in double figures with 17 points while also dishing out five assists, and forwards Rico Gathers (eight) and Taurean Waller-Prince (seven) combined to grab 15 of Baylor’s 35 rebounds. Buddy Hield and Jordan Woodard scored 12 apiece for Oklahoma, but Hield shot 6-for-17 from the field (0-for-7 3PT) and as a team the Sooners shot 6-for-24 from beyond the arc.

5. Wyoming 63, New Mexico 62 OT

A couple of big mistakes by New Mexico’s star, Hugh Greenwood, hurt the Lobos on the road. First, he fouled Josh Adams while he was shooting a three with 10 seconds left up by three at the end of regulation. And then, up by one in overtime, he did this:

Credit Larry Nance Jr., who had the steal and the game-winning layup, for bouncing back from missing a would-be game-tying free throw.

STARRED

1. Georgia’s J.J. Frazier

How about this for a stat line: 37 points, seven boards and three assists while shooting 12-for-14 from the floor and 7-for-7 from three. Oh, and Georgia won their fourth straight.

2. Kansas State’s Nino Williams

The senior continued a recent stretch of great play as he had 20 points and seven rebounds in a Wildcat win over Oklahoma State. Over his last three games, Williams is averaging 20 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as Kansas State is now 5-2 in Big 12 play.

3. Xavier’s Myles Davis

The 3-pointers weren’t falling for the sophomore guard, but Davis got it done in other ways as he scored 25 points and added eight rebounds in a big second-half comeback win for Xavier over DePaul.

4. Minnesota’s Andre Hollins

Hollins had 28 points and five assists as the Gophers picked up their second Big Ten win, knocking off Illinois 79-71.

5. Nebraska’s Terran Petteway

Petteway finished with 32 points, and Shavon Shields added 21, as the Huskers picked up a big win over Michigan State at home on #AveryStrong night.

STRUGGLED

1. South Carolina’s offense

In a home loss to No. 1 Kentucky, the Gamecock offense couldn’t do much of anything as they shot 22 percent (12-for-53) from the field and 30 percent (3-for-10) from 3-point range.

2. Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff and Gabe Olaseni

With Aaron White injured, Iowa’s two best players … combined to go 4-for-24 from the floor. That’s not going to get it done on the road in the Big Ten.

3. Harvard

The Crimson allowed Dartmouth to go on a 26-2 run in the second half to turn a 43-29 deficit into a 55-45 lead as the Big Green picked up a huge win in the Ivy race, beating Harvard at Harvard.

4. Missouri’s Wes Clark

Clark missed a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left that allowed Arkansas to escape a trip to Missouri with a win.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Marcus Paige had 19 points and Brice Johnson added 18 points and 14 boards as No. 15 North Carolina overcame a 35-point performance from Xavier Rathan-Mayes in beating Florida State, 78-74.
  • No. 6 Wisconsin managed to avoid the upset in Ann Arbor, beating Michigan 69-64 in overtime with Frank Kaminsky finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds. Derrick Walton Jr., who finished with 17 to lead Michigan, hit a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining to force overtime.
  • No. 3 Gonzaga rolled to a 91-60 win over Pacific, and Mark Few’s team was incredibly good on offense. The Bulldogs shot 60 percent from the field, and seven players scored between nine and 13 points. Przemek Karnowski and Gary Bell Jr. scored 13 apiece.
  • Stanley Johnson finished with 18 points and Dusan Ristic added 12 points off the bench as No. 7 Arizona grinded out a 23 point win over Cal.

NOTABLES

  • Angel Rodriguez was just 2-for-11 from the floor, but he finished with 12 points, eight assists and four steals as Miami went into the Carrier Dome and knocked off Syracuse.
  • Johnny Dee had 18 points as San Diego handed BYU a crushing loss to their NCAA tournament hopes, 77-74.
  • The hottest team in the SEC outside of Kentucky is Texas A&M. The Aggies have won four straight with a road win at Tennessee as Jalen Jones had 18 points.
  • Oregon shot 62.6 percent from the floor as they blew out UCLA at home, 82-64.
  • Josh Smith’s tip-in with .5 seconds remaining lifted Clemson over Wake Forest for a home ACC win.
  • Not to be outdone by Smith, Ohio senior Maurice Ndour had a two-handed dunk off of a full-court inbound pass to give Ohio a home win over Buffalo.
  • Penn State senior guard D.J. Newbill had 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting as the Nittany Lions finally notched a Big Ten win in a victory over Rutgers.
  • Tulsa trailed East Carolina at the half, but rallied to win and improve to 7-0 in the American. James Woodard led the Golden Hurricane with 17 points.
  • Drexel prevailed in a close win over College of Charleston as Damion Lee had 21 points for the Dragons.
  • UTEP dropped to 4-3 in Conference USA as Marshall won their first game in league play.
  • A Jordan Parks put-back with 11 seconds remaining gave North Carolina Central a 79-77 win over Coppin State, moving the Eagles to 7-0 in the MEAC.
  • LSU avoided a loss that would not have helped their NCAA tournament resume, winning 79-75 in overtime at Vanderbilt.
  • Also in the SEC, Florida dropped its third straight game as Jarvis Summers hit a pair of free throws to give Ole Miss the 72-71 win in Oxford.
  • J.J. Avila scored 29 points to lead Colorado State to a 79-73 win over San Diego State. If there’s a silver lining for the Aztecs it’t the play of freshman Malik Pope, who accounted for 22 points and seven rebounds. If Pope can use this game as a springboard, that would be huge for SDSU moving forward.

NCAA steering farther and farther away from harsh penalties

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The days of postseason bans and crippling scholarship reductions to punish schools for breaking NCAA rules appear to be winding down.

Memphis was placed on three years of probation earlier this week with a public reprimand and fined for NCAA violations related to the recruitment and short college career of James Wiseman, who is about to start his third season with the Golden State Warriors. The NCAA also wrapped up an investigation of Air Force football for breaking the COVID-19 recruiting quiet period.

No postseason bans or scholarship reductions in either case. The Independent Accountability Review Panel, the NCAA’s outside arm of enforcement, said in its decision in the Memphis case that it did not want to punish current athletes.

That sentiment is widespread in college athletics these days, even with millions of dollars suddenly flowing to athletes from various sources for their celebrity endorsements amid concerns over improper inducements. In fact, it is on the way to being codified: Last month, the Division I Board of Directors adopted three proposals to change the infractions process.

The board also committed to “identifying appropriate types of penalties and modifying current penalty ranges, including identifying potential alternative penalties to postseason bans.”

Trying to predict what those alternatives will be is difficult, but if the goal is to avoid harming athletes and others who were not involved in the violations the options are limited.

“I emphatically believe it’s the wrong direction to go,” said Nebraska law professor Jo Potuto, who spent nine years on the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“If you’re going to deter, the punishment has to fit the offense, right?” Potuto added. “You’re not going to deter serious violations with penalties that are not perceived to be really serious.”

Since January 2020, there have been at least 45 major infractions cases decided by the NCAA. Of those, at least 15 involved Level I allegations, the most serious and those carrying the most severe penalties; six cases resulted in some kind of postseason ban, with four of them self-imposed.

The Memphis case went through the IARP, which was created in response to the FBI’s investigation of college basketball corruption but is now being discontinued. Sunsetting the IARP was among several recommendations put forth by the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee earlier this year and recently adopted by the board.

As college sports moves toward less centralized governance by the NCAA and deregulation in general, the hope is to create a more streamlined enforcement process.

If justice is swift, the thinking goes, it is more likely to be applied fairly.

“The reality is the current system is broken,” said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips, a member of the transformation committee. “I think everyone in the association, in the enterprise, understands it. When (an investigation) takes the amount of time that it does now and you start to penalize young men and women that were high school, if not middle school-age (when the violation occurred), it’s not an effective process.”

The IARP is still handling cases stemming from the FBI probe involving Louisville, Arizona, Kansas and LSU. Those have been in the NCAA enforcement pipeline for years. A related case against Oklahoma State did not go through IARP and the Cowboys did end up with a postseason ban.

David Ridpath, a professor at Ohio University and former compliance director for several schools, said even though the IARP failed, NCAA enforcement would be best handled by an independent organization.

“No system is perfect, but if you’re going to have an enforcement system at the end of the day you need to provide basic due-process protections and then you have to be able to consistently punish people,” he said.

In the Memphis case, Wiseman received $11,500 from Hardaway in 2017 while Hardaway was coach at a local high school. Hardaway was hired as Memphis’ coach in March 2018, and Wiseman committed to the Tigers in November 2018.

The NCAA accused Memphis of four Level I and two Level II violations, including lack of institutional control, head coach responsibility and failure to monitor. In the past, those types of allegations could strike fear into athletic directors but probation and fines seem much more likely to be the outcome now instead of the sweeping scholarship sanctions, vacated victories and postseason ban that Southern California received in 2010 for the Reggie Bush improper benefits case. Those penalties set USC football back years.

In the end, the IARP essentially reduced the charges against Memphis and cleared Hardaway of wrongdoing.

While the NCAA is losing sway in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling, with more power being shifted to its member conferences, it also remains clear the schools still want the association to handle enforcement.

But what exactly is being enforced?

Athletes can now be paid for endorsement and sponsorship deals and college sports is still waiting on and hoping for help from federal lawmakers to regulate name, image and likeness compensation.

Plus, as revenue skyrockets for schools at the top of major college sports, the NCAA is trending toward fewer restrictions on what financial benefits can be provided to athletes.

“Until we have clarity and certainty on what schools and boosters and athletes can and can’t do, I think many recognize that it’s dangerous to hand down significant punishments when it’s not clear what you can and can’t do,” said Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane. “And I think unless you have clear rules, it’s hard to harsh punishment.”

Still, punishments directed at schools (fines) and coaches (suspensions) could become steeper and longer, Feldman said.

Potuto said with so much money flowing into the top of college athletics, it is doubtful fines could be large enough to be a true deterrent. While she understands the desire to not have current athletes pay for the sins of previous regimes, loosened transfer rules could mitigate the potential harm.

“I will make one prediction: If there is a move to impose penalties much less frequently in five years there is going to be a move to put them back in,” Potuto said.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.