Saturday’s Snacks: Louisville, Iowa State both earn important wins; Arizona, Gonzaga earn tough victories

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GAME OF THE DAY: VMI 113, Western Carolina 111 (2OT)

This was a wild one, with the two teams combining to score 224 points on the day. Duggar Baucom’s Keydets attempted 46 three-pointers, making 20, and guard Julian Eleby scored 43 points to lead five players in double figures. As for WCU, James Sinclair countered with 40 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in a losing effort. Eleby scored 17 of his 43 points in the two overtime periods for VMI, which moved to within a game of Western (and East Tennessee State) in the SoCon standings.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Xavier 73, No. 19 Butler

Important Big East win for Xavier as they continue to be tough at home while also staying above .500 with the win. Myles Davis had 18 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds. Butler still hasn’t found its way yet since the loss of Andrew Chrabascz as they shot 36 percent from the field and only Roosevelt Jones (14 points) finished above 10 points.

2. No. 12 Louisville 55, Miami 53

It wasn’t pretty — and both teams shot poorly — but Louisville gained control late in the second half to earn an ACC win. The Cardinals trailed much of the game at home and snapped a two-game losing streak by holding Miami point guard Angel Rodriguez to a 1-for-12 outing. Despite only shooting 33 percent from the field, Montrezl Harrell had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

3. No. 14 Iowa State 85, Texas 77

Nice road Big 12 win for the Cyclones, who have won two consecutive road wins in the conference for the first time since 2006. Georges Niang and Matt Thomas each had 17 points to lead Iowa State, who did a great job of containing the Texas interior attack. The Cyclones shot 46 percent (26-for-56) from the field and 57 percent (12-for-21) from 3-point range.

STARRED

1. LSU’s Jarrell Martin

Besides pulling off one of the best in-game dunks of the year — no defender category — Martin had 28 points and 13 rebounds in an important win for the Tigers against Florida.

2. Niagara’s Emile Blackmon

Minor upset in the MAAC as the Purple Eagles ousted heavily-favored Rider on the road. Blackmon had 30 points on 10-for-16 shooting and 6-for-9 3-point shooting.

3. VMI’s Julian Eleby and Western Carolina’s James Sinclair

Both players managed to score at least 40 points, with Eleby going for 43 and Sinclair 40 in VMI’s 113-111 double overtime win over the Catamounts.

STRUGGLED

1. Miami’s Angel Rodriguez

The point guard had a solid floor game, but couldn’t hit a shot of any kind as he went 1-for-12 from the field in a loss to Louisville.

2. Texas’ Javan Felix

A 1-for-9 shooting performance is not what Felix had in mind as the Longhorns fell to Iowa State at home. Felix not being able to hit from distance (0-for-5) also hurt the Texas spacing quite a bit.

3. UCLA’s Tony Parker

While Arizona had some key players struggle in their 57-47 win over the Bruins, UCLA needed from from Parker than the two points and one rebound he provided before fouling out. Combine this effort with the two points he scored in a loss at Arizona State, and this was a rough road trip for the junior big man.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • Player of the Year candidate Frank Kaminsky had 21 points, five rebounds and three assists in a win for No. 5 Wisconsin over Minnesota.
  • North Carolina had six players in double figures, led by Kennedy Meeks’ 18 points, in a win over Georgia Tech. The No. 15 Tar Heels scored on its first offensive possession by using the Four Corners offense.
  • Oklahoma was able to outlast Texas Tech on the road as Isaiah Cousins had 22 points in the overtime win. The No. 17 Sooners also had 17 points from Frank Booker.
  • In the Atlantic 10, Treveon Graham had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help lead No. 25 VCU past UMass.
  • No. 23 West Virginia followed up its win over Kansas with a good performance on the road, beating No. 22 Oklahoma State 73-63 in Stillwater.
  • No. 6 Villanova maintained its grip on first place in the Big East, winning 87-76 at Marquette.
  • No. 11 Northern Iowa once again showed off its stifling defense, limiting Bradley to 39 points in a 56-39 home victory.
  • No. 10 Notre Dame pulled away from Boston College in the second half in Chestnut Hill, winning 87-70 with New Bedford, Massachusetts native Bonzie Colson scoring 16 points to lead the way. Six players scored in double figures for Notre Dame, and Jerian Grant dished out 12 assists.
  • No. 4 Duke did not miss a beat despite the fact that Jahlil Okafor sat out with a sprained ankle, beating Clemson 78-56 in Durham. Quinn Cook scored 27 points and Justise Winslow added 20 and 13 rebounds.
  • No. 1 Kentucky, as expected, steamrolled Auburn 110-75 in Lexington. Karl-Anthony Towns led six Wildcats in double figures with 19 points, and he also tallied 11 rebounds and four blocks.
  • No. 8 Kansas beat TCU 81-72, with Perry Ellis posting 23 points and seven rebounds and freshman guard Devonte’ Graham adding 20 points and three assists.
  • No. 18 Arkansas picked up an SEC road win at Mississippi State as Rashad Madden led four double-figure scorers with 16 points.
  • It wasn’t pretty offensively, and they played sluggish basketball at the start of both halves, but No. 7 Arizona managed to take care of UCLA 57-47. The Wildcats dominated the glass and held the Bruins 27 points below their season average.
  • No. 3 Gonzaga struggled early, trailing by as much as 16, but they turned things around in the second half to win 70-60 at Saint Mary’s. The game was closer than the final margin would indicate, and the Bulldogs scored the game’s final 12 points as they won the outright WCC title.

NOTABLES

  • Pitt had a close effort against Syracuse and game up with a huge ACC road win. The Panthers had 19 from Chris Jones.
  • St. John’s pushed past Seton Hall in a fun Big East contest as Sir’Dominic Pointer had 22 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Red Storm.
  • Texas A&M got past South Carolina as Danuel House had 25 points and six rebounds.
  • Baylor cruised past a free-falling Kansas State as Taurean Prince had 14 points, 5 steals and 5 assists.
  • Caleb White and B.J. Tyson both had 19 points to lead East Carolina past South Florida.
  • Murray State remained unbeaten in the Ohio Valley Conference with a win over Austin Peay. Cameron Payne had 22 points and 8 assists in the win.
  • The MAC remains as wild as ever as Buffalo earned a road win at Bowling Green. Shannon Evans had 19 points while Jarryn Skeete and Justin Moss each had 15 points.
  • In an Atlantic 10 upset, Duquesne held off Dayton as Derrick Colter had 25 points and Micah Mason had 19 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 4 steals to lead the Dukes.
  • The Big Sky race got even more interesting Saturday afternoon, as Northern Arizona beat Eastern Washington 73-69 in Flagstaff. The Eagles now have three conference losses, as do Sacramento State and Montana.
  • Two more teams have clinched an automatic Postseason NIT berth should they need it: St. Francis-Brooklyn (NEC) and North Carolina Central (MEAC). Both clinched their respective conference regular season titles Saturday, joining Murray State (OVC). Of course, all three prefer to play in the NCAA tournament.
  • In a matchup of rivals hoping to play their way into the NCAA tournament, Stanford beat California 72-61 in Palo Alto.
  • Harvard took over sole possession of first place in the Ivy League, erasing a 14-point first half deficit to beat Princeton 63-55. While that was happening, Yale lost at home to Columbia. The Crimson and Bulldogs meet March 6 in Cambridge.
  • New Mexico State managed to lock up a postseason berth, as their 72-55 win at Grand Canyon gives them the outright WAC regular season title.

College basketball broadcaster Billy Packer dies at 82

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Billy Packer, an Emmy award-winning college basketball broadcaster who covered 34 Final Fours for NBC and CBS, died Thursday. He was 82.

Packer’s son, Mark, told The Associated Press that his father had been hospitalized in Charlotte for the past three weeks and had several medical issues, and ultimately succumbed to kidney failure.

Packer’s broadcasting career coincided with the growth of college basketball. He worked as analyst or color commentator on every Final Four from 1975 to 2008. He received a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio and Sports Analyst in 1993.

“He really enjoyed doing the Final Fours,” Mark Packer said. “He timed it right. Everything in life is about timing. The ability to get involved in something that, frankly, he was going to watch anyway, was a joy to him. And then college basketball just sort of took off with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and that became, I think, the catalyst for college basketball fans to just go crazy with March Madness.”

Packer played three seasons at Wake Forest, and helped lead the Demon Deacons to the Final Four in 1962, but it was his work as an analyst that brought him the most acclaim.

He joined NBC in 1974 and called his first Final Four in 1975. UCLA beat Kentucky in the title game that year in what was John Wooden’s final game as coach.

Packer was also part of the broadcast in 1979 with Dick Enberg and Al McGuire when Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad in the title game. That remains highest-rated game in basketball history with a 24.1 Nielsen rating, which is an estimated 35.1 million viewers.

Packer went to CBS in the fall of 1981, when the network acquired the rights to the NCAA Tournament. He remained the network’s main analyst until the 2008 Final Four.

In 1996 at CBS, Packer was involved in controversy when he used the term “tough monkey? to describe then-Georgetown star Allen Iverson during a game. Packer later said he “was not apologizing for what I said, because what I said has no implications in my mind whatsoever to do with Allen Iverson’s race.?

Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said Packer was “synonymous with college basketball for more than three decades and set the standard of excellence as the voice of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.”

“He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport.” McManus said. “In true Billy fashion, he analyzed the game with his own unique style, perspective and opinions, yet always kept the focus on the game. As passionate as he was about basketball, at his heart Billy was a family man. He leaves part of his legacy at CBS Sports, across college basketball and, most importantly, as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all.”

Packer was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale took to Twitter as word of Packer’s death spread. “So sad to learn of the passing of Billy Packer who had such a passion for college basketball,” Vitale tweeted. “My (prayers) go out to Billy’s son Mark & the entire Packer family. Always had great RESPECT for Billy & his partners Dick Enberg & Al McGuire-they were super. May Billy RIP.”

College basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted: “We fell in love (with) college basketball because of you. Your voice will remain in my head forever.”

Packer was viewed as a controversial figure during his broadcasting days, often drawing the ire of college basketball fans, particularly on North Carolina’s “Tobacco Road.”

“As a kid, I was a big NC State fan growing up, and I would watch a game and the next day I’d be like, `Boy you sure have it out for NC State, don’t you?’ And he would just laugh,” Mark Packer said.

The younger Packer, who is the host of ACC PM on the ACC Network, said it didn’t matter what school – most fans felt the same way about his father.

“He would cover North Carolina game and Tar Heels fans would be like, `you hate North Carolina,”‘ Mark Packer said. “Wake (Forest) fans would be like, `you hate us.’ And Billy just sort of got a kick out of that.”

Mark Packer said that while most fans will remember his father as a broadcaster, he’ll remember him even more for his business acumen. He said his father was a big real estate investor, and also owned a vape company, among other ventures.

“Billy was always a bit of a hustler – he was always looking for that next business deal,” Packer said.

Clemson starter Galloway will miss time after surgery

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson starter Brevin Galloway is expected to miss games for the 24th-ranked Tigers after having surgery on his groin area Thursday.

The 6-foot-3 Galloway has started 20 of 21 games after transferring from Boston College this past offseason.

Galloway posted on social media that he’d had the surgery. Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that Galloway had the operation.

Galloway said in his post he will be in uniform soon. He is not expected to play at Florida State on Saturday.

A fifth-year player, Galloway has averaged 10.6 points a game this season. He’s second on the Tigers with 55 assists and 18 steals.

The Tigers (17-4) lead the Atlantic Coast Conference at 9-1 in league play.

Clemson is already down two experienced players due to injury.

Point guard Chase Hunter, who started the team’s first 18 games, has missed the past three with a foot injury.

Guard Alex Hemenway, in his fourth season, has missed the past nine games with a foot injury. Hemenway was the team’s leading 3-point shooter (27 of 54) before getting hurt.

Zach Edey has 19 points, No. 1 Purdue beats Michigan 75-70

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Zach Edey had 15 of his 19 points in the first half and Fletcher Loyer finished with 17 points to help No. 1 Purdue hold off Michigan 75-70 on Thursday night.

The Boilermakers (20-1, 9-1 Big Ten) had a 15-0 run to go ahead 41-28 lead in the first half after there were 10 lead changes and four ties, but they couldn’t pull away.

The Wolverines (11-9, 5-4) were without standout freshman Jett Howard, who missed the game with an ankle injury, and still hung around until the final seconds.

Joey Baker made a 3-pointer – off the glass – with 5.9 seconds left to pull Michigan within three points, but Purdue’s Brandon Newman sealed the victory with two free throws.

Purdue coach Matt Painter said Michigan slowed down Edey in the second half by pushing him away from the basket.

“They got him out a little more, and got him bottled up,” Painter said.

The 7-foot-4 Edey, though, was too tough to stop early in the game.

“He’s one of the best in the country for a reason,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “He’s very effective, especially if he’s 8 feet and in.”

With size and skills such as a hook shot, the junior center from Toronto scored Purdue’s first seven points and finished the first half 7 of 12 from the field and 1 of 2 at the line.

“He did a great job in the first half, going to his right shoulder and using his left hand,” Painter said. “He made four baskets with his left hand which is huge.”

Freshman Braden Smith had 10 points for the Boilermakers.

Purdue’s defense ultimately denied Michigan’s comeback hopes, holding a 22nd straight opponent to 70 or fewer points.

Hunter Dickinson scored 21, Kobe Bufkin had 16 points and Baker added 11 points for the Wolverines, who have lost four of their last six games.

Dickinson, a 7-1 center, matched up with Edey defensively and pulled him out of the lane offensively by making 3 of 7 3-pointers.

“Half his shots were from the 3, and that’s a little different,” Painter said. “His meat and potatoes are on that block. He’s the real deal.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Boilermakers got the top spot in the AP Top 25 this week after winning six games, a stretch that followed a loss to Rutgers on Jan. 3 that dropped them from No. 1 in the poll. Purdue improved to 7-2 as the top-ranked team.

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: Edey can’t beat teams by himself and he’s surrounded by a lot of role players and a potential standout in Loyer. The 6-4 guard was the Big Ten player of the week earlier this month, become the first Boilermaker freshman to win the award since Robbie Hummel in 2008.

“Fletcher is somebody who has played better in the second half, and on the road,” Painter said.

Michigan: Jett Howard’s health is a critical factor for the Wolverines, who will have some work to do over the second half of the Big Ten season to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. Howard averages 14.6 points and is the most dynamic player on his father’s team.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Boilermakers were away from home for 12 of 23 days, winning all five of their road games. They won at Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan for the first time since the 1997-98 season and beat the Spartans and Wolverines on their home court in the same season for the first time in 12 years.

UP NEXT

Purdue: Hosts Michigan State on Sunday, nearly two weeks after the Boilermakers beat the Spartans by a point on Edey’s shot with 2.2 seconds left.

Michigan: Plays at Penn State on Sunday.

Miller scores 23, No. 10 Maryland tops No. 13 Michigan 72-64

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Diamond Miller scored 23 points, and No. 10 Maryland closed the first quarter with a 13-2 run and led the rest of the way in a 72-64 victory over No. 13 Michigan on Thursday night.

Abby Meyers contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (17-4, 8-2), who won for the 10th time in 11 games. Lavender Briggs scored 14 points and Shyanne Sellers added 13.

Maryland gained a measure of revenge after losing twice to Michigan last season – including a 20-point rout in College Park.

Leigha Brown led the Wolverines with 16 points.

Michigan (16-5, 6-4) led 13-9 in the first quarter before a three-point play by Miller started Maryland’s big run. Briggs and Faith Masonius made 3-pointers during that stretch.

The Terps pushed the lead to 16 in the third quarter before the Wolverines were able to chip away. Miller sat for a bit with four fouls, and Michigan cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines still wasted too many possessions with turnovers to mount much of a comeback.

Michigan ended up with 24 turnovers, and Maryland had a 25-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Miller fouled out with 2:19 remaining, but even after those two free throws, the Terps led 65-57 and had little trouble holding on.

Michigan lost for the second time in four days against a top-10 opponent. No. 6 Indiana beat the Wolverines 92-83 on Monday.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: Whether it was against Maryland’s press or in their half-court offense, the Wolverines turned the ball over too much to score consistently. This was a lower-scoring game than the loss to Indiana, but the margin ended up being similar.

Maryland: While Miller clearly led the way, the Terps had plenty of offensive contributors. They also held Michigan to 13 points below its season average entering the game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Wolverines have appeared in 48 straight AP polls, and although a two-loss week could certainly drop them, the quality of their opponents could save them from a substantial plunge.

Maryland is tied for 10th with an Iowa team that beat No. 2 Ohio State on Monday night. Now the Terps can boast an impressive victory of their own.

UP NEXT

Michigan: The Wolverines play their third game of the week when they visit Minnesota on Sunday.

Maryland: The Terps host Penn State on Monday night.

 

Boum, Jones lead No. 13 Xavier over No. 19 UConn, 82-79

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STORRS, Conn. – Souley Boum scored 21 points, Colby Jones added 20 and No. 13 Xavier went on the road and held off No. 19 Connecticut 82-79 Wednesday night.

The win was the 13th in 14 games for the Musketeers (17-4, 9-1 Big East) and it gave them a season sweep over the struggling Huskies (16-6, 5-6).

Jack Nunge had 12 points and Jerome Hunter added 11 for Xavier, which led by 17 in the first half and 39-24 at halftime.

Jordan Hawkins scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half for UConn, leading a comeback that fell just short.

Tristen Newton added 23 points for the Huskies, who won their first 14 games this season but have dropped six of eight since.

The Musketeers never trailed but had to withstand UConn runs that cut the lead to a single point four times in the second half.

A three-point play from Hawkins made it 78-77 with 2:40 left. But a second-chance layup from Nunge put the lead at 80-77 just over a minute later.

Newton was fouled with two seconds left by Desmond Claude, but his apparent attempt to miss his second free throw went into the basket.

Boum then hit two free throws at the other end, and Newton’s final attempt from just beyond halfcourt was well short.

Xavier jumped out to a 9-0 lead as UConn missed its first nine shots.

A 3-pointer from Zach Freemantle gave the Musketeers their first double-digit lead at 20-9, and another from Jones pushed it to 35-18.

BIG PICTURE

Xavier: The Musketeers lead the Big East, and the win over UConn was their ninth conference victory this season, eclipsing their total from last season.

UConn: The Huskies came in with a 17-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion dating to February 2021. They fell to 1-4 against the four teams in front of them in the Big East standings. The lone win came at Gampel against Creighton.

UP NEXT

Xavier: The Musketeers continue their road trip with a visit to Creighton on Saturday.

UConn: Doesn’t play again until next Tuesday, when the Huskies visit DePaul.