LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Denzel Valentine, Tyler Ulis star in Champions Classic

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 13 Michigan State 79, No. 4 Kansas 73

The nightcap of the Champions Classic was the best game of the event, as Denzel Valentine popped off for 29 points, 12 assists and 11 boards as the Spartans rallied back from a double-digit second half deficit to knock off the Jayhawks. We have a column on that performance posted right here.


No. 3 Maryland 75, Georgetown 71: The Champions Classic is the event that garnered all the hype and the headlines, but the end of college basketball’s 24-Hour Tip-Off Marathon was also highlighted by a battle between two programs located all of ten miles apart. Melo Trimble led Maryland with 24 points as the Fighting SVPs erased a late deficit. More on that game here.

No. 2 Kentucky 74, No. 5 Duke 63: Kentucky’s guards swallowed up Duke’s guards and … hey, I wrote an entire column on this from Chicago! Go read that!

Tulsa 77, No. 9 Wichita State 67: The Shockers went into Tulsa and got … shocked. Ugh. Yeah, that was bad, I know. Should we be worried about Wichita State? Was this a result of Fred Van Vleet being less than 100 percent, or is Tulsa really this good?


Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: 29 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists in the Spartans’ 79-73 win over No. 4 Kansas.

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: Hield went off on Tuesday afternoon, finishing with 30 points, eight boards, three assists and three steals. He looked every bit the all-american that he was in the preseason, and No. 8 Oklahoma needed him to be because …

Dedric Lawson, Memphis: … Lawson was awesome. Check out this line: 22 points, 15 boards (10 offensive), three blocks, two assists and two steals. But he missed three free throws with Memphis down four in the final seconds, and the Tigers lost to Oklahoma, 84-78.


Grayson Allen, Duke: After standout performances in wins over Siena and Bryant, Allen struggled mightily against Kentucky. Six points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field.

Tommy McCarthy and Corey Johnson, Harvard: In the Crimson’s 69-63 loss to UMass, McCarthy and Johnson combined to shoot 1-for-18 from the field.


  • Josh Hart led the way with 19 points as No. 11 Villanova handled Nebraska easily, 87-63.
  • No. 18 Notre Dame got 20 points and seven assists from Demetrius Jackson, putting five players in double-figures as they hung on to beat Milwaukee, 86-78.
  • Rodney Purvis and Sterling Gibbs combined for 41 points while shooting 10-for-19 from three as No. 19 UConn beat New Hampshire 85-66.


  • Matt Bohannon and Paul Jesperson scored 15 points apiece to lead Northern Iowa to a 70-60 win over Stephen F. Austin, rebounding from a season-opening home loss to Colorado State.
  • Two Four McGlynn three-point attempts in the final seconds missed the mark as Rhode Island fell to Valparaiso, 58-55. Keith Carter scored 12 points for the 2-0 Crusaders.
  • Charles Cooke III scored 21 points to lead Dayton to an 80-48 win over Alabama. Four Flyers scored in double figures.
  • George King and Josh Scott combined to score 51 points as Colorado won 91-84 at Auburn. King, who redshirted last season, is off to a good start this season for the Buffaloes.
  • Michael Gbinije scored 23 points and Trevor Cooney 17 as Syracuse rebounded from a slow start to beat St. Bonaventure 79-66 on Jim Boeheim’s birthday. The game was closer than the final margin would indicate.
  • UMass moved to 2-0 on the season with a six-point win at Harvard, 69-63.
  • Wisconsin won its second straight game Tuesday night, beating North Dakota 78-64 in Madison. Ethan Happ tallied 17 points and seven rebounds for the Badgers.
  • Freshmen Dwayne Bacon (27 points, nine rebounds) and Malik Beasley (21 points) made some history in Florida State’s 98-79 win over Jacksonville, becoming the first FSU freshmen since 1985 to score 20 points or more in each of their first two games.
  • Two Lionheart Leslie layups in the final 26 seconds gave Cal-State Fullerton a 77-76 win at Pacific. Not sure there’s been a better name in college basketball since Chief Kickingstallionsims swatting shots was at Alabama State.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

kansas mccullar
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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”

Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

clemson pj hall
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.

George Washington adopts new name ‘Revolutionaries’ to replace ‘Colonials’

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WASHINGTON — George Washington University’s sports teams will now be known as the Revolutionaries, the school announced.

Revolutionaries replaces Colonials, which had been GW’s name since 1926. Officials made the decision last year to drop the old name after determining it no longer unified the community.

GW said 8,000 different names were suggested and 47,000 points of feedback made during the 12-month process. Revolutionaries won out over the other final choices of Ambassadors, Blue Fog and Sentinels.

“I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker,” president Mark S. Wrighton said. “This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community – and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit.”

George the mascot will stay and a new logo developed soon for the Revolutionaries name that takes effect for the 2023-24 school year. The university is part of the Atlantic 10 Conference.