Pregame Shootaround: Crosstown Shootout highlights huge day in college hoops

Associated Press

GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 23 Cincinnati at No. 12 Xavier, Sat. 5:30 p.m.

From Rob Dauster’s Weekend Preview:

The last time these two teams got together in the Cintas Center, almost four years ago to the day, the Bearcats and the Musketeers got together for what ended up being one of college basketball’s ugliest brawls. Seven players ended up getting suspended, Xavier’s Kenny Frease was left bleeding from a gash on his cheek, Tu Holloway told reporters after the game that “we zipped them up” and one of college basketball’s fiercest rivalries was forced to make a change. The Crosstown Shootout was renamed and moved to a neutral court for two years before the powers that be decided that it would be possible to play this game on campus without having it turn into a fistfight.

Last season, the game was played at Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena. This year, it makes its triumphant return to Xavier’s home floor, and while I doubt that we will see the two sides throwing hands again anytime soon, don’t doubt for a second that there is a healthy dislike between the two programs. What makes this even better is that both Cincinnati and Xavier are as good as they’ve been in recent memory, particularly Xavier, who looks like a legitimate Final Four contender right now. Cincinnati isn’t quite on that level, but they have a big, aggressive and athletic front line that anchors a team that looks like it’ll compete for the American title.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: No. 25 Utah at Wichita State, Sat. 3:30 p.m.

Jakob Poeltl is special, man. Last season, the 7-foot Austrian was a guy that caught some dunks and blocked some shots and had some nifty plays working in ball-screen actions with Delon Wright. This year? He’s a monster, averaging 21.3 points, 9.9 boards and 2.5 blocks as the centerpiece of an offense loaded with shooting and a team that may be the best in the Pac-12. But Wichita State now has a healthy Fred VanVleet back, and a healthy VanVleet makes them a top 15 team. There is some added drama here as well, as Wichita State’s early losses put them into a situation where they may have to win this game to have enough in their non-conference schedule to be seriously considered for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.


  • On Saturday afternoon, Arizona State will pay a visit to No. 5 Kentucky in a game that could end up tripping the Wildcats up. Arizona State is not a super-talented team, but they are a scrappy group of dudes that play like they’ve got something to prove. (A shocker coming from a team coached by a Hurley, right?) Kentucky is still working through some kinks, namely toughness. I think it is fair to say that their biggest issue this season has been that their big men have a tendency to play soft, and Skal Labissiere deserves as much of the blame as anyone.
  • No. 3 North Carolina will be paying a visit to Austin to take on a Texas team that has been playing better of late. In theory, the Longhorns are the kind of team that could give UNC some trouble. They have enough size up front that UNC’s bigs won’t be able to dominate the paint and Shaka Smart’s pressure defense could give the Tar Heels trouble; their question-mark the last couple of years has been at the point guard spot. That said, I can’t see UNC dropping this game … which, of course, means they’ll lose by 25.
  • The rivalry between Marquette and Wisconsin is intense. While Saturday afternoon’s game probably won’t get the national attention it would have if both of these teams looked destined for the Sweet 16, there will still be quite a few bragging rights on the line. This year’s game will be played in the Kohl Center.
  • Florida will be paying No. 1 Michigan State a visit in a rematch of the 2000 national title game. The Gators haven’t quite come around yet this season. They have the pieces to be the fourth-best team in the SEC, if not better. And while John Egbunu and Dorian Finney-Smith have played well, guys like Devin Robinson and Kasey Hill — both of whom were five-star recruits — have yet to come into their own.
  • Oregon stumbled last weekend when they played a de-facto road game against UNLV in Las Vegas, and on Saturday night they’ll pay a visit to another pesky Mountain West team, Boise State. The Broncos are good, but they have a guy named Nick Duncan who is a 6-foot-8, 260 pound Australian dude that runs around off of screens and jacks up threes. He’s my spirit animal. Your’s too, probably.


  • Oregon State at No. 2 Kansas, 8:00 p.m.
  • Maryland-Eastern Shore at No. 6 Maryland, 2:15 p.m.
  • Oral Roberts at No. 7 Oklahoma, 2:00 p.m.
  • Youngstown State at No. 11 Purdue, 2:00 p.m.
  • Bryant at No. 15 Providence, 12:00 p.m.
  • Tennessee at No. 18 Butler, 2:30 p.m.
  • UCLA at No. 20 Gonzaga, 10:00 p.m.
  • Eastern Michigan at No. 22 Louisville, 2:00 p.m.


  • Ohio State at UConn, 12:00 p.m.
  • Delaware State at Michigan, 12:00 p.m.
  • Louisiana Monroe at Penn State, 2:00 p.m.
  • UIC at Illinois, 2:00 p.m.
  • UNC Wilmington at Georgetown, 2:30 p.m.
  • Ole Miss at Southeast Missouri State, 3:00 p.m.
  • Saint Mary’s at Cal, 3:30 p.m.
  • Rutgers at George Washington, 4:30 p.m.
  • IUPUI at Creighton, 4:00 p.m.
  • Mississippi State at UMKC, 5:05 p.m.
  • Kansas State at Texas A&M, 5:30 p.m.
  • Montana at Washington, 6:00 p.m.
  • McNeese State at Indiana, 6:30 p.m.
  • BYU at Colorado, 8:00 p.m.
  • Minnesota at Oklahoma State, 8:30 p.m.
  • Northern Iowa at New Mexico, 9:00 p.m.

Tulane secures 101-94 OT win over Cincinnati

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW ORLEANS – Kevin Cross and Jalen Cook scored 27 points each as Tulane took down Cincinnati 101-94 in overtime on Tuesday night.

Cross added 15 rebounds and six assists for the Green Wave (16-7, 9-3 American Athletic Conference). Cook added 14 assists. Jaylen Forbes scored 24 points and shot 6 for 15 (3 for 6 from 3-point range) and 9 of 9 from the free throw line.

Landers Nolley II finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Bearcats (16-9, 7-5). Ody Oguama added 16 points and 13 rebounds for Cincinnati. In addition, David Dejulius finished with 12 points, eight assists and three steals.

Tulane entered halftime down 37-28. Cross paced the team in scoring in the first half with 10 points. Forbes scored 18 second-half points and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Tulane scored seven unanswered points to break a tie and lead with 42 seconds left in overtime.

No. 16 Oklahoma women take 1st lead in OT, rally past Baylor

Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman

WACO, Texas – Ana Llanusa and Skylar Vann each scored 20 points and No. 16 Oklahoma took its first lead of the game in overtime before rallying past Baylor 98-92 on Tuesday night.

The Sooners trailed for 39 minutes in regulation and were down 75-63 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Baylor turned it over twice on inbounds plays in the closing seconds of regulation and Taylor Robertson tied at 83-all on a wide-open 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.

Llanusa started overtime with a 3-pointer, and she finished with eight points during the extra session. Baylor never led in overtime, shooting 2 of 6.

Robertson, who tied Danielle Robinson’s program record of 140 starts, finished with 14 points and three 3s for Oklahoma (19-4, 9-3 Big 12), which trails Texas (18-6, 9-2) in the hunt for its first conference title since 2009. Nevaeh Tot added 13 points, Liz Scott added 11 points and eight rebounds and Madi Williams had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

The Sooners, the nation’s No. 3 scoring offense at 86.5 points per game, have scored at least 88 points 14 times this season, seven in conference.

Caitlin Bickle scored a career-high 30 points with four 3s and Sarah Andrews added 20 points for Baylor (16-7, 7-4). Freshman Darianna Littlepage-Buggs had 14 points and 17 rebounds and Ja’Mee Asberry scored 11. Jaden Owens had 14 of Baylor’s 25 assists on 32 field goals.

Bickle was 8 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 7 from distance, and Littlepage-Buggs recorded her sixth double-double in the last seven games.

It was the first time in 20 years the Sooners were ranked in game against an unranked Bears squad. Oklahoma continues its road trip at Kansas State on Sunday. Baylor plays at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Newton has triple-double, No. 21 UConn tops No. 10 Marquette

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

HARTFORD, Conn. – UConn appears to have its mojo back.

Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and Tristen Newton recorded his second triple-double of the season as No. 21 Connecticut ran away from No. 10 Marquette 87-72 on Tuesday night.

Newton had 12 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the Huskies (19-6, 8-6 Big East), who won their third straight game after losing six of eight. They started the season 14-0, rising to No. 2 in the AP Top 25.

“Teams go through tough stretches during the course of the season,” coach Dan Hurley said. “The bottom line is we’re 19-6. You know, we beat some of the best teams in the country.”

Adama Sanogo added 18 points, while Alex Karaban and Nahiem Alleyne each chipped in with 13 for Connecticut, which never trailed.

Tyler Kolek had 17 points to lead Marquette (19-6, 11-3), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Ben Gold and Stevie Mitchell each scored 12.

The Huskies outrebounded Marquette 48-24 and used 21 offensive boards to help them get 27 second-chance points. The Huskies also had 20 assists on 31 baskets, while holding Marquette to just seven assists.

UConn opened the game on a 22-6 run, highlighted by a fast-break lob from Newton to Andre Jackson for a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. The Huskies made their first four 3-point shots, three by Hawkins, who had 14 points in the first half.

A hook shot by Sanogo gave UConn its first 20-point lead at 32-12 .

A late first-half run by Marquette cut the margin to 43-29, but Alleyne hit a 3-pointer from almost half court to send UConn into the break with a 17-point cushion.

Another 3-pointer from Alleyne gave the Huskies a 59-38 lead in the second half.

UConn led by 25 before Marquette went on an 8-0 run to pull within 17. But the Golden Eagles never threatened to get back in the game.

“We won two or three games in January,” Hawkins said. “It was definitely a tough stretch, definitely going to shake your confidence. But you just have to stay the course, trust the process and that’s what we did and that’s what we’re going to continue to do during this last stretch.”


Marquette: The Golden Eagles had won nine of 10. They are trying to win a regular-season conference title after being picked ninth in the preseason poll by the league’s coaches.

UConn: Entered 1-5 against the top five teams in the Big East and 1-3 versus ranked opponents. UConn lost 82-76 at Marquette on Jan. 11 after leading by 11 points in the first half.

“The rankings mean nothing,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “It’s amazing the disparity – no disrespect to anyone here – between what the ranking means to media and fans in the middle of a season and what it means to players and coaches. It just doesn’t mean anything.”


Marquette’s Sean Jones, who missed the previous three games with a wrist injury, had 11 points in just over 19 minutes. He came down hard on the wrist in the second half, but appeared to shake it off and continued playing.


Newton’s first triple-double came in November against Buffalo, when he had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He joined Shabazz Napier as the only Huskies players to get more than one.

“My amigos right here, they were going crazy hitting shots,” Newton said. “They were boxing out and I was getting the rebound, so I just had the easy job, just get them the ball.”


Marquette: At last-place Georgetown on Saturday.

UConn: Will visit No. 23 Creighton on Saturday.

Jackson-Davis leads No. 18 Indiana past No. 24 Rutgers 66-60

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The milestone moments keep piling up for Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Only one really mattered Tuesday night.

While he scored 20 points to become the sixth player in Hoosiers’ history with 2,000 and the first among that group with 1,000 career rebounds, the most satisfying celebration came after No. 18 Indiana beat No. 24 Rutgers 66-60 – Jackson-Davis’ first win in the series.

“I think that’s the last team in the Big Ten I hadn’t beaten,” Jackson-Davis said after finishing with 18 rebounds and six assists.

From the moment Jackson-Davis announced he would attend Indiana, the expectations were great even as critics contended the results were underwhelming.

Nobody’s complaining now. Jackson-Davis now has 2,004 points, 1,035 rebounds, a school-record 242 blocks and ranks fourth all-time with 44 double-doubles after breaking a tie with Steve Downing.

After helping the Hoosiers snap a five-year NCAA Tournament drought last season and falling out of the rankings after three straight January losses, Jackson-Davis has almost single-handedly led the Hoosiers (17-7, 8-5 Big Ten) into a second-place tie by winning seven of eight.

And his dominance is starting to open things up for his teammate. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

“I think we’ve gotten a lot better playing around Trayce, giving him space,” Miller Kopp said after scoring 18 points. “It comes down to getting better at what the coaches are asking us to do and we’re all feeling more comfortable with where our looks are coming from.”

It certainly showed against the Scarlet Knights (16-8, 8-5), who had won six straight over Indiana including a 15-point blowout in December.

This time, though, they spent most of the game playing catchup. Clifford Omoruyi had 15 points, Cam Spencer had 14 and nobody else made more than three baskets.

“It’s a one-possession game with three minutes left, but I look at the (free throw) disparity and you can’t defend the foul line,” coach Steve Pikiell said. “Give Indiana credit, they got there. Tracye Jackson-Davis was a problem.”

The Hoosiers started fast and then scored 12 straight points to take a 30-14 lead midway through the first half but even without injured starting forward Mawot Mag, Rutgers charged back. It closed the first half on an 11-2 run, then tied it at 38 when Spencer opened the second half with a 3-pointer.

Kopp broke the tie with his third 3 of the game to start an 11-0 run and Jackson-Davis’ monumental basket, a putback dunk off his own miss, made it 54-44 with 11:13 to go.

The Scarlet Knights could have tied it on Caleb McConnell’s 3 with 3:02 left, but it bounced off the back of the rim and the Hoosiers closed Jackson-Davis’ big win with a 7-2 spurt.

“He’s a man who’s done a lot since he’s been here,” said coach Mike Woodson, who is 57 points ahead of Jackson-Davis on the Hoosiers’ scoring list. “He’s a phenomenal player who does a lot of beautiful things on the court. To get 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds says a lot.”


Rutgers: Mag missed his first game with a torn ACL in his right knee and Rutgers struggled against Indiana’s size and speed. There could be similar challenges over the final eight regular-season games.

Indiana: Woodson’s team is playing, at times, like the conference’s preseason pick to win the league title. When the Hoosiers make perimeter shots and defend well, they’re a difficult matchup for anyone. They just need fewer lulls.


The victory should help solidify Indiana’s top-20 status – at least until it hits the road for their next two games. Losing Mag and Tuesday’s game may make Rutgers’ return to the rankings short-lived regardless of what happens later this week.


Rutgers: Visits Illinois on Saturday

Indiana: Heads to Michigan on Saturday.

Pitt moves into 1st-place ACC tie destroying Louisville

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH – Nike Sibande scored 15 points off the bench, nine Pittsburgh players entered the scoring column and the Panthers demolished Louisville 91-57 on Tuesday night and moved into a first-place tie with Clemson in the ACC.

Entering play Tuesday, the top five teams in the ACC were separated by just a game in the standings. A win by No. 8 Virginia against No. 22 North Carolina State Tuesday would create a three-way tie for first between Clemson, Pitt and the Cavaliers.

Against Louisville, the Panthers (17-7, 10-3) distributed 23 assists on 28-made baskets. Defensively, Pitt held Louisville (3-21, 1-12) to 27.6% (16 for 58) shooting and outrebounded the Cardinals 37-30. Mike James scored 11 points for Louisville.

El Ellis made a pair of foul shots to bring Louisville into a 14-all tie with 13:36 before halftime. Pitt then went on a 16-2 run over nearly the next five minutes. Six-different Panthers scored during the run. Nate Santos’ 3-pointer with 9:38 before the break made it 27-16 and Pitt led by double digits the rest of the way. A 47-27 halftime lead turned into a 58-28 margin just 1:59 into the second half.

With the win, the Panthers reached double digits in conference wins for just the second time in 10 ACC seasons. Pitt went 11-7 in its first year in the ACC following its 12-6 campaign in its final year in the Big East in 2012-13.

Louisville will continue its road trip when it takes on No. 19 Miami on Saturday. Pitt travels to face Florida State on Saturday.