Late Night Snacks: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisville all win


GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 21 Oklahoma 71, No. 15 West Virginia 52

The best game of the night on paper ended up being a dud when it played out. Oklahoma jumped out to a 27-11 leaded early in the first half, cruising to the 19-point win behind 21 points from Buddy Hield. West Virginia was never able to get their press going, and when they struggle to force turnovers, they’re really going to struggle to win games. The Sooners committed just 13 turnovers and ended the evening shooting 61.4 percent from the floor.

We’re going to find out just how ‘real’ West Virginia is in their next nine games. They’re now just 2-3 against Big 12 teams not named TCU or Texas Tech, and their next nine games are all against potential tournament teams. Bob Huggins is going to have to find a way to get his teams to play more consistently on the road; they lost by 27 at Texas earlier this year.


1. No. 5 Wisconsin 92, Indiana 78

All five starters scored in double-figures — led by 23 points and nine boards from Frank Kaminsky — as the Badgers steamrolled Indiana in the Kohl Center. The Hoosiers were down by as much as 31 points in the second half. More on this below.

2. No. 22 Butler 85, St. John’s 62

In a game that the Johnnies really needed to win, they were run out of Hinkle Fieldhouse. Kellen Dunham led four players in double figures with 21 points as the Bulldogs improved to 17-6 overall and 7-3 in the Big East. There is still a long way to go this season, but Chris Holtmann has to be on the short list for National Coach of the Year for the job that he has been able to do with this team after Brandon Miller left the program in October. As far as St. John’s is concerned, this is just another troubling loss for a team that looked so promising entering league play. They’re 3-6 in the league and in danger of ending up on the wrong side of the bubble.

3. Vanderbilt 67, Florida 61

Florida’s already-slim NCAA tournament hopes took a major hit with a loss at Vanderbilt.


1. Andrew Harrison, Kentucky

Harrison played his best game of the season on Tuesday night, finishing with 23 points and seven assists — with just one turnover — and the Wildcats needed every last play. Kentucky was up 63-58 on Georgia with two minutes left.

2. Michael Gbinije, Syracuse

Gbinije finished with 18 points and seven assists in a come-from-behind win over Virginia Tech, hitting the game-tying free throws and this game-winning jumper:

3. Terran Petteway, Nebraska

Petteway had 28 points, seven boards and four assists in a 76-60 win over Northwestern that the Huskers desperately needed.

4. Craig Sword, Mississippi State

Sword scored 28 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the floor as the Bulldogs handed Tennessee a deflating, 71-66 lose in Knoxville.

5. Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

The head coach for the Chanticleers won his 150th game at the school, becoming the first coach to win 150 games at four different programs. He accomplished the feat at Auburn, Clemson and South Alabama as well.


1. Indiana’s defense

Want to know just how bad Indiana’s defense was on Tuesday night? Indiana shot 49.2 percent from the floor and 13-for-24 from three and needed to make an impressive second half run just to avoid losing by more than 20. That’s hard to do.

2. Louisville’s supporting cast

Terry Rozier, Chris Jones and Montrezl Harrell combined for 56 points in a 63-55 win at Miami. The rest of the Cards took just eight shots, and Wayne Blackshear scored the other seven points.


  • DePaul completed the sweep of Seton Hall this season, knocking off the Pirates in Chicago.
  • No. 14 Northern Iowa avoided a letdown game at Indiana State as Seth Tuttle led the way with 15 points, eight boards and five assists in a 61-51 win.
  • Wake Forest got 23 points from Codi Miller-McIntyre as they handed N.C. State an 88-84 loss, a brutal outcome for the Wolfpack’s NCAA tournament resume.
  • Bobby Portis had 18 points, 13 boards, three blocks, two steals and two assists in a win over South Carolina.

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.