Sunday’s Snacks: No. 9 Utah, No. 24 Ohio State suffer road losses

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GAME OF THE DAY: Loyola (MD) 80, Colgate 78 (3OT)

Two Andre Walker baskets, one at the end of the second overtime and one towards the end of the third extra session helped the Greyhounds beat the Raiders in Baltimore. Walker played 50 of a possible 55 minutes, scoring 21 points and grabbing six rebounds to lead the way for Loyola. But the “ironman” in this game was Colgate’s Matt McMullen, who tallied 19 points and 17 rebounds in 51 minutes of action. This is a big win for G.G. Smith’s team, as they’re hoping to avoid having to play in the first round of the Patriot League tournament (the top six seeds get a bye into the quarters).

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

1. Oregon 69, No. 9 Utah 58

Oregon picked up its signature win Sunday afternoon, as Dillon Brooks scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Ducks past the Runnin’ Utes in Eugene. The key for Oregon was their matchup zone defense, which kept Utah out of the paint for most of the day and led to the visitors attempting 29 three-pointers. Delon Wright led all scorers with 20 point, but no other player scored more than seven for Utah, which now trails No. 7 Arizona by a game in the Pac-12 standings.

2. Michigan 64, No. 24 Ohio State 57

The Wolverines led by as much as 20 in the first half, with Spike Albrecht leading the way. The junior point guard accounted for 16 points, five assists, four rebounds and no turnovers, with Zak Irvin adding 15 and seven boards for Michigan. As for Ohio State, their best road victory came at Minnesota, and they need some guys to consistently step up alongside D’Angelo Russell down the stretch.

3. No. 2 Virginia 51, Florida State 41

Virginia has now won 25 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since Ralph Sampson patrolled the paint, but Sunday’s game was not an easy one. The Cavaliers, already playing without Justin Anderson, lost point guard London Perrantes after he collided with teammate Malcolm Brogdon in the second half. Brogdon would also leave the game, but he was able to return. Without two key players (Anderson and Perrantes) the Cavaliers relied on their defense, and they held Florida State without a field goal over the final 10:33.

4. Michigan State 60, Illinois 53

In a matchup of teams looking to add some solid results to their respective NCAA tournament resumes, Michigan State held on for the win in Champaign. Denzel Valentine led all scorers with 20 points (and grabbed nine rebounds) and Travis Trice added 18, five rebounds and four assists off the bench. Following a 59-54 home loss to Illinois 15 days ago, Tom Izzo moved Trice into the sixth man role and the Spartans have won four straight since. Michigan State is now in a three-way tie for second in the Big Ten with Maryland and Purdue. Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 17 points and Rayvonte Rice added 15 off the bench, but as a team the Fighting Illini shot 28.8% from the field.

STARRED

1. Andrew Andrews, Washington

Andrews scored 35 points, the final three coming on a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining, to lead Washington to the 87-84 win over rival Washington State.

2. Kahlil Felder, Oakland 

20 points (8-for-14 FG), 14 assists (two turnovers) and five rebounds in the Golden Grizzlies’ 81-56 win over UIC.

3. Kevin Ferguson, Army 

Ferguson scored 23 points (9-for-11 FG), grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked three shots in the Black Knights’ win over American.

4. Dillon Brooks, Oregon

Brooks scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Ducks’ 69-58 win over No. 9 Utah, scoring 11 straight points in the second half to help Oregon take control of the game.

STRUGGLED

1. Brandon Taylor and Jordan Loveridge, Utah

Taylor and Loveridge combined to shoot 4-for-18 in the Runnin’ Utes’ 69-58 loss at Oregon.

2. Devon Bookert, Florida State

Bookert missed all eight of his field goal attempts and scored just one point in the Seminoles’ 51-41 loss at No. 2 Virginia.

3. Nnanna Egwu and Jaylon Tate, Illinois

Egwu and Tate combined to score five points on 1-for-10 shooting in Illinois’ 60-53 loss to Michigan State.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25 

  • No. 13 Wichita State kept pace with No. 11 Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley, beating Evansville 62-43. The Shockers and Panthers meet in the regular season finale for both next Saturday.

NOTABLES

  • Bucknell wrapped up a share of the Patriot League regular season title with a 78-69 win over Boston University. Dave Paulsen’s Bison can clinch the outright title with a win over Lehigh on Wednesday.
  • An A.J. English four-point play with 34 seconds remaining gave Iona a 69-68 win over Monmouth. The Gaels clinch the MAAC regular season title with the win, their third in the last four seasons.
  • Two Marcus Thornton free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining was the difference as William & Mary won 80-78 at Hofstra. With James Madison beating College of Charleston, there’s a four-way tie atop the CAA standings with Northeastern and UNCW being the other teams.
  • Aaron White accounted for 18 points and 11 rebounds as Iowa blew out Nebraska 74-46 in Lincoln.
  • J.J. Panoske scored 19 points to lead four players in double figures as Milwaukee beat Cleveland State 66-60. The Vikings’ loss means that Valparaiso clinched at least a share of the Horizon League regular season title.
  • Indiana avoided a letdown at Rutgers, steamrolling the Scarlet Knights 84-54.
  • Tulsa picked up a solid win, as they put the clamps on Temple in a 58-39 victory. The Golden Hurricane, who are tied with SMU in the loss column atop the American, have a game in hand on the Mustangs.

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.