Saturday’s Snacks: Three ranked teams lose to unranked foes, No. 1 Kentucky now 23-0

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 1 Kentucky 68, Florida 61

John Calipari’s Wildcats didn’t play their best game, but they were able to do enough to move to 23-0 on the season. The differences in Gainesville: foul shooting and the front court tandem of Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein. While Kentucky shot 21-for-22 from the charity stripe, Florida made just seven of its 14 attempts. As for Towns and Cauley-Stein, they combined to score 32 points and grab 13 rebounds against a Gator front line that outside of Dorian Finney-Smith was overmatched. Add in 23 points from Aaron Harrison, and Kentucky was able to take care of business on the road.


1. No. 4 Duke 90, No. 10 Notre Dame 60

For the first time in ACC history there are two matchups of Top 10 teams on the same day, and the first of those games wasn’t close at all. The Blue Devils, who lost in South Bend just over two weeks ago, rolled in Durham in the rematch. Duke shot 60.8% from the field, and both Jahlil Okafor (20 points, ten rebounds) and Justise Winslow (19 points, 11 rebounds) posted double-doubles.

2. No. 3 Virginia 52, No. 9 Louisville 47

Taking on one of the tougher pressure defenses in the country, Virginia committed just two turnovers in their five-point win in Charlottesville. Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 points and senior forward Darion Atkins gave the Cavaliers, who are now two games up in the loss column on second place in the ACC, some really good minutes in the front court. Terry Rozier scored 16 points and dished out six assists for the Cardinals, who got all their scoring from four players. The one issue for Virginia: a broken finger on his shooting hand means that Justin Anderson will miss anywhere from four to six weeks.

3. Oklahoma State 67, No. 8 Kansas 62

On a day that the 1995 Final Four team was being honored, Travis Ford’s Cowboys picked up a valuable win for their NCAA tournament resume. After struggling defensively and on the glass in the first half Oklahoma State turned things around in the second, limiting the Jayhawks to 26.7% shooting and an offensive rebounding rate of 26.1%. Kansas shot 56.5% and rebounded more than half of its misses in the first half, building a 41-30 lead as a result. Le’Bryan Nash scored 18 and Anthony Hickey 15 for the Cowboys, who also received solid minutes from reserve Mitchell Solomon (four points, four rebounds).

4. Arizona State 81, No. 6 Arizona 78

Bo Barnes led four Sun Devils in double figures with 18 points as Arizona State beat the Wildcats in Tempe for the second consecutive season. Arizona State shot 50 percent from the field and 7-for-15 from beyond the arc, numbers that few teams can get away with allowing and Arizona paid the price. T.J. McConnell scored 25 points on 11-for-19 shooting to lead the way for Arizona.


1. Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State

Alexander scored 31 points on 11-for-14 shooting (8-for-11 3PT) in the Bison’s 71-47 win over South Dakota.

2. Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, Duke

Okafor accounted for 20 points and ten rebounds, and Winslow added 19 and 11 as the Blue Devils beat No. 10 Notre Dame 90-60.

3. Kyle Collinsworth, BYU

Collinsworth posted his fifth triple-double of the season in BYU’s 87-68 win at Loyola Marymount, finishing with 23 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists.

4. Brett Comer, FGCU

21 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds and no turnovers in the Eagles’ 67-51 win at Stetson.


1. Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall

Whitehead shot 1-for-11 from the field in the Pirates’ 57-54 home loss to Marquette.

2. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown

Two points on 1-for-7 shooting in the Hoyas’ 69-53 loss at No. 7 Villanova.

3. Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona

Tarczewski did grab nine rebounds in the Wildcats’ 81-78 loss at Arizona State, but they’re going to need more from him than two points on 1-for-6 shooting if they’re to get to the Final Four.

4. Austin Ruder, Missouri State

With Marcus Marshall no longer with the team, Ruder is their leading scorer at 8.1 points per game. In the Bears’ 78-35 loss at No. 16 Wichita State, Ruder scored four points on 1-for-9 shooting.


  • No. 19 Baylor rolled past No. 15 West Virginia, 75-57 in Morgantown. Despite committing 20 turnovers the Bears won big, shooting nearly 55 percent from the field and limiting WVU to 34.6% shooting.
  • No. 18 VCU fell 73-71 at St. Bonaventure, with Marcus Posley’s layup as time expired being the difference. That was Posley’s second buzzer-beater of the week, as he beat Davidson on Wednesday.
  • Like Duke No. 7 Villanova avenged an earlier defeat in impressive fashion, beating No. 24 Georgetown 69-53 in Philadelphia.
  • No. 11 Iowa State joined in on the “payback” fun, beating Texas Tech 75-38. The Red Raiders beat the Cyclones in Lubbock last month.
  • Ryan Spangler scored 21 points and blocked four shots at No. 21 Oklahoma won 68-56 at TCU.
  • No. 12 North Carolina shot nearly 57 percent from the field in its 79-68 win at Boston College. Olivier Hanlan scored a game-high 30 for the Eagles.
  • Kellen Dunham scored 24 points and Roosevelt Jones added 20 as No. 22 Butler beat DePaul 83-73 in Indianapolis. Chris Holtmann should be the favorite (at this point in the season) for Big East Coach of the Year.
  • Isaiah Taylor scored 23 points as No. 25 Texas ended its four-game losing streak with a 61-57 win at Kansas State.
  • No. 5 Wisconsin took care of business, beating Northwestern 65-50 in Madison. Sam Dekker led the way with 16 points.
  • No. 23 SMU handed Tulsa its first conference loss, winning 68-57 with Nic Moore leading the way. The Mustangs trail the Golden Hurricane by a game in the American Athletic Conference standings.
  • Fred Van Vleet (ten points, ten rebounds, 11 assists and four steals) posted his first triple-double in No. 16 Wichita State’s 78-35 win over Missouri State.
  • No. 14 Northern Iowa took care of Drake, 69-53, with Seth Tuttle scoring 16 and Matt Bohannon adding 14 for the Panthers.
  • Brandon Taylor shot 6-for-9 from three, scoring 18 points, to help lead No. 13 Utah to a 79-51 win at Colorado.
  • No. 2 Gonzaga moved to 24-1 with an 81-70 win at San Francisco. Kyle Wiltjer tallied 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Kevin Pangos added 17 and four assists.


  • Josh Brown’s 12-footer with two seconds remaining gave Temple a 61-60 win over Memphis. Also of note for the Tigers is that starting big man Austin Nichols left the game in the second half with what was declared to be a sprained ankle by head coach Josh Pastner.
  • Playing without Larry Nance Jr. and Alan Herndon, Wyoming lost 73-50 at Air Force. Both players are dealing with cases of mononucleosis.
  • Seton Hall suffered a loss that won’t look good on its resume, losing 57-54 to Marquette in Newark. The Golden Eagles were without leading scorer Matt Carlino (concussion) but found a way to win anyway.
  • Xavier took control of things in the second half of their 78-69 win over Providence. Providence head coach Ed Cooley left the game in the second half and is being evaluated at a Cincinnati hospital.
  • Malcolm Hill scored 19 points as Illinois won 59-54 at Michigan State. The Fighting Illini were once again without the suspended Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby.
  • Harvard pulled into a tie for first in the Ivy League with a 52-50 win at Yale. The score at halftime: 16-11, Harvard.
  • Central Arkansas picked up its first win of the season, 70-67 over New Orleans. UCA was 0-19 on the season prior to Saturday.
  • Colorado State moved to 7-4 in the Mountain West with an 83-82 win over UNLV, surviving a 30-point effort from UNLV’s Rashad Vaughn.
  • Once again playing without the injured Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington moved to 9-1 in the Big Sky with a 61-51 win at Montana State. They remain a half-game behind Sacramento State (10-1) in the race for first place.
  • LSU rebounded from a bad loss to Auburn to beat Alabama, 71-60. Next up for the Tigers: top-ranked Kentucky Tuesday night in Baton Rouge.
  • North Carolina Central limited North Carolina A&T to 18 second half points in their 58-44 win. LeVelle Moton’s Eagles are 10-0 in the MEAC, with Norfolk State a game back at 9-1.
  • A Jaron Martin layup with 1.4 seconds remaining gave UC Irvine a 56-55 win at Long Beach State, keeping the Anteaters within a game of first-place UC Davis in the Big West.
  • Stephen F. Austin is now 9-0 in the Southland after beating Houston Baptist 95-59. Thomas Walkup went off for 34 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
  • Murray State has now won 19 straight, as they beat Austin Peay 82-72.

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

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.