SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Two more Top 10 teams lose

Associated Press
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 2 Oklahoma 70, No. 11 West Virginia 68

Buddy Hield scored 17 points and Jordan Woodard added 13 points as the Sooners knocked off upset-minded West Virginia to all-but guarantee that they’ll be the No. 1 team in the country come Monday morning. The game was won by Khadeem Lattin, who redeemed himself for missing that free throw at Kansas.

That said … were we the only ones that were more impressed by WVU in this game?


No. 5 North Carolina 67, NC State 55: The Wolfpack were competitive throughout, but North Carolina hit its stride offensively in the second half as the NC State battled foul trouble. Kennedy Meeks played well for the Tar Heels, scoring 23 points on 10-for-16 shooting. UNC managed to win despite Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson combining to score nine points, with the former tallying just three on 1-for-9 shooting.

No. 6 Villanova 55, Georgetown 50: Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono scored 15 points apiece, with Hart also grabbing 11 rebounds, to lead the Wildcats to their 21st consecutive win over Big East competition. Georgetown cut the Villanova lead to three in the second half but were unable to get any closer. The Hoyas shot just 32.7 percent from the field on the day.

Clemson 76, No. 8 Miami 65: The Tigers beat a ranked opponent for the third straight game, this time beating the Hurricanes by 11 in Greenville. Jaron Blossomgame scored 25 points, with Jordan Roper and Donte Grantham adding 18 and 14, respectively. So what’s been the key for Clemson during this streak of five straight wins? It all boils down to one word.

Notre Dame 95, No. 9 Duke 91: The Blue Devils struggled defending ball screens and taking care of the defensive glass against Notre Dame, and it caught up to them down the stretch in a back and forth affair at Cameron. Bonzie Colson came off the bench to score 31 points, a career-high, with Demetrius Jackson scoring 24 and Steve Vasturia 22. Luke Kennard led the Blue Devils with a career-high 30 and Brandon Ingram (25 points) and Grayson Allen (18) were also productive. But does Duke have the pieces needed to address their defensive issues?

Auburn 75, No. 14 Kentucky 70: Kareem Canty scored 26 points to lead the Tigers to a huge win over Kentucky. Here’s the question we need to be asking: Is it time to be worried about Kentucky?


Davidson’s Jack Gibbs: Gibbs passed the 40-point mark for the third time this season, scoring 43 in an 86-74 win over UMass. Gibbs also had eight rebounds and eight assists on the day.

Wyoming’s Josh Adams: Adams went for 38 points as Wyoming picked off New Mexico in Albuquerque, 70-68.

Washington’s Andrew Andrews: Andrews had 30 points and 12 assists as the Huskies knocked off Arizona State in Tempe.

Maryland’s Robert Carter Jr. and Rasheed Sulaimon: The two combined to score 47 points on 19-for-23 shooting in the Terrapins’ win over Ohio State.

Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson: Colson scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, in a win at No. 9 Duke.

Seton Hall’s Khadeen Carrington: Carrington had 22 points off the bench as the Pirates knocked off No. 12 Providence on the road.


Kentucky’s bigs: Skal Labissiere, Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee combined for 13 points, nine boards, eight fouls and just 48 minutes as No. 14 Kentucky lost at Auburn, 75-70.

Ohio State’s Marc Loving: Loving scored three points on 1-for-8 shooting in the Buckeyes’ 35-point loss at No. 3 Maryland.

Wake Forest’s Codi Miller-McIntyre: Six points and four turnovers, shooting 1-for-7 from the field, in the Demon Deacons’ loss to Syracuse.

Miami’s Angel Rodriguez: Three points on 1-for-7 shooting in the Hurricanes’ loss at Clemson.

North Carolina’s Marcus Paige: Paige finished just 1-for-9 from the floor, but No. 5 North Carolina was able to hold off N.C. State.


  • Cheick Diallo had nine points, nine boards and five blocks in 21 minutes as No. 1 Kansas avoided an upset against TCU, winning 70-63.
  • No. 3 Maryland rebounded from its loss at Michigan in a big way, blowing out Ohio State 100-65 in College Park. Robert Carter Jr. scored 25 points and Rasheed Sulaimon 22 for the Terrapins, who shot 62.7 percent from the field. This was the worst loss of the Thad Matta era at Ohio State.
  • Edmond Sumner returned for No. 7 Xavier, finishing with 15 points and five assists in 25 minutes off the bench in a 74-66 win over Marquette.
  • No. 15 Texas A&M made an emphatic statement to the rest of the SEC in their 79-45 win at Georgia. Alex Caruso, Jalen Jones and Danuel House scored 12 points apiece for the Aggies, who limited Georgia to 28.3 percent shooting.
  • Monte’ Morris had 19 points to lead five players in double-figures as No. 17 Iowa State tightened up defensively in a 76-63 win at Kansas State.
  • No. 19 South Carolina rebounded from its first loss of the season with an 81-72 win over Missouri. Sindarius Thornwell led four Gamecocks in double figures with 22 points. Missouri’s Wes Clark racked up 26 points, six rebounds and eight assists in a losing effort.
  • No. 20 Pittsburgh took care of business as expected, beating Boston College 84-61. Jamel Artis scored 22 points and Cameron Johnson 20 for the Panthers, while BC’s Eli Carter scored 31 to lead all scorers.
  • Lester Medford hit a three-pointer as time expired to give No. 22 Baylor a 63-60 win at Texas Tech. Al Freeman scored 14 points and Terry Maston 12 for the Bears.
  • No. 23 Butler rebounded from a slow start to beat St. John’s 78-58. Kellen Dunham scored 24 points and Kelan Martin 22, marking the first time both scored 14 points or more in the same game since December. Prior to the start of the game, the program honored the memory of former player Andrew Smith.


  • Ben Simmons had 16 points and 18 boards but it was Craig Victor’s putback with 3.8 seconds left on the clock that game LSU a 78-76 win over Arkansas.
  • Virginia Tech moved to 4-1 in the ACC with a 78-77 win at Georgia Tech. Zach LeDay scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Hokies in the win.
  • Temple’s been tough to figure out this season, but they picked up another quality win by beating Cincinnati 67-65 in double overtime. Quenton DeCosey scored 22 points and Devin Coleman 15 for the Owls.
  • Derrick Jones had 22 points and 10 boards as UNLV improved to 2-0 with Todd Simon at the helm thanks to a 100-64 win over Air Force.
  • Trevor Cooney scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half and Tyler Roberson added 16 and 13 boards as Syracuse rolled to an 83-55 win at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons shot 32.6 percent and committed 18 turnovers in the loss.
  • Indiana took care of business on the road, beating Minnesota 70-63. Yogi Ferrell accounted for 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the win.
  • Saint Joseph’s equaled its win total from last season, moving to 14-3 with an 80-55 win over Fordham. DeAndre Bembry finished with 26 points and 12 boards for the Hawks.
  • VCU remained undefeated in Atlantic 10 play with a 94-89 overtime win over rival Richmond. JeQuan Lewis and Korey Billbury combined to score 49 points for Rams, who are now 5-0 in the A-10.
  • UNCW picked up a 97-94 overtime win over William & Mary, with Denzel Ingram scoring 30 points and C.J. Bryce 20 for the Seahawks.
  • Kay Felder scored 22 points and dished out nine assists as Oakland won at rival Detroit, 86-82. Paris Bass and Jaleel Hogan scored 20 apiece for the Titans.
  • In a matchup of two expected Sun Belt contenders, Louisiana went to Atlanta and beat Georgia State 87-54. Shawn Long went for 23 points and 18 caroms and Kasey Shepherd added 19 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

NCAA steering farther and farther away from harsh penalties

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The days of postseason bans and crippling scholarship reductions to punish schools for breaking NCAA rules appear to be winding down.

Memphis was placed on three years of probation earlier this week with a public reprimand and fined for NCAA violations related to the recruitment and short college career of James Wiseman, who is about to start his third season with the Golden State Warriors. The NCAA also wrapped up an investigation of Air Force football for breaking the COVID-19 recruiting quiet period.

No postseason bans or scholarship reductions in either case. The Independent Accountability Review Panel, the NCAA’s outside arm of enforcement, said in its decision in the Memphis case that it did not want to punish current athletes.

That sentiment is widespread in college athletics these days, even with millions of dollars suddenly flowing to athletes from various sources for their celebrity endorsements amid concerns over improper inducements. In fact, it is on the way to being codified: Last month, the Division I Board of Directors adopted three proposals to change the infractions process.

The board also committed to “identifying appropriate types of penalties and modifying current penalty ranges, including identifying potential alternative penalties to postseason bans.”

Trying to predict what those alternatives will be is difficult, but if the goal is to avoid harming athletes and others who were not involved in the violations the options are limited.

“I emphatically believe it’s the wrong direction to go,” said Nebraska law professor Jo Potuto, who spent nine years on the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“If you’re going to deter, the punishment has to fit the offense, right?” Potuto added. “You’re not going to deter serious violations with penalties that are not perceived to be really serious.”

Since January 2020, there have been at least 45 major infractions cases decided by the NCAA. Of those, at least 15 involved Level I allegations, the most serious and those carrying the most severe penalties; six cases resulted in some kind of postseason ban, with four of them self-imposed.

The Memphis case went through the IARP, which was created in response to the FBI’s investigation of college basketball corruption but is now being discontinued. Sunsetting the IARP was among several recommendations put forth by the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee earlier this year and recently adopted by the board.

As college sports moves toward less centralized governance by the NCAA and deregulation in general, the hope is to create a more streamlined enforcement process.

If justice is swift, the thinking goes, it is more likely to be applied fairly.

“The reality is the current system is broken,” said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips, a member of the transformation committee. “I think everyone in the association, in the enterprise, understands it. When (an investigation) takes the amount of time that it does now and you start to penalize young men and women that were high school, if not middle school-age (when the violation occurred), it’s not an effective process.”

The IARP is still handling cases stemming from the FBI probe involving Louisville, Arizona, Kansas and LSU. Those have been in the NCAA enforcement pipeline for years. A related case against Oklahoma State did not go through IARP and the Cowboys did end up with a postseason ban.

David Ridpath, a professor at Ohio University and former compliance director for several schools, said even though the IARP failed, NCAA enforcement would be best handled by an independent organization.

“No system is perfect, but if you’re going to have an enforcement system at the end of the day you need to provide basic due-process protections and then you have to be able to consistently punish people,” he said.

In the Memphis case, Wiseman received $11,500 from Hardaway in 2017 while Hardaway was coach at a local high school. Hardaway was hired as Memphis’ coach in March 2018, and Wiseman committed to the Tigers in November 2018.

The NCAA accused Memphis of four Level I and two Level II violations, including lack of institutional control, head coach responsibility and failure to monitor. In the past, those types of allegations could strike fear into athletic directors but probation and fines seem much more likely to be the outcome now instead of the sweeping scholarship sanctions, vacated victories and postseason ban that Southern California received in 2010 for the Reggie Bush improper benefits case. Those penalties set USC football back years.

In the end, the IARP essentially reduced the charges against Memphis and cleared Hardaway of wrongdoing.

While the NCAA is losing sway in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling, with more power being shifted to its member conferences, it also remains clear the schools still want the association to handle enforcement.

But what exactly is being enforced?

Athletes can now be paid for endorsement and sponsorship deals and college sports is still waiting on and hoping for help from federal lawmakers to regulate name, image and likeness compensation.

Plus, as revenue skyrockets for schools at the top of major college sports, the NCAA is trending toward fewer restrictions on what financial benefits can be provided to athletes.

“Until we have clarity and certainty on what schools and boosters and athletes can and can’t do, I think many recognize that it’s dangerous to hand down significant punishments when it’s not clear what you can and can’t do,” said Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane. “And I think unless you have clear rules, it’s hard to harsh punishment.”

Still, punishments directed at schools (fines) and coaches (suspensions) could become steeper and longer, Feldman said.

Potuto said with so much money flowing into the top of college athletics, it is doubtful fines could be large enough to be a true deterrent. While she understands the desire to not have current athletes pay for the sins of previous regimes, loosened transfer rules could mitigate the potential harm.

“I will make one prediction: If there is a move to impose penalties much less frequently in five years there is going to be a move to put them back in,” Potuto said.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies


SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.