SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Kansas among the winners


GAME OF THE DAY: No. 11 Michigan State 74, No. 7 Maryland 65 

Denzel Valentine accounted for 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Bryn Forbes scored a game-high 25 points, but just as important were the contributions of Matt Costello. Costello provided an emotional spark for Michigan State, and he also produced 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.


No. 1 Oklahoma 82, No. 13 Baylor 72: The Sooners completely outplayed Baylor for an important Big 12 road win. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on why this was a big statement for Oklahoma to make.

No. 20 Duke 88, NC State 78: Grayson Allen scored 28 points and Brandon Ingram added 25 as the Blue Devils ended their three-game losing streak. What was important in this win was the fact that Duke held its own on the defensive glass, something that did not happen in those losses to Clemson, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

Oregon 86, UCLA 72: The question of who the best team in the Pac-12 is may not be resolved for quite some time, but after this week there’s no doubt that the Ducks deserve to be in the mix. Oregon moved to 5-3 in conference play with their win over UCLA, completing a sweep of the L.A. schools in the process. They’ve got scoring options at each position, and in Chris Boucher and Jordan Bell the Ducks have two rim protectors to call upon defensively. Dillon Brooks led the way Saturday with 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Wichita State 88, Bradley 54: The Shockers are healthy and rolling. They’re 8-0 in the Missouri Valley and already have a win at Northern Iowa under their belt. I’m not sure if they’re going to be able to land an at-large, but I do know this: you don’t want to see them in the NCAA tournament.


Kevin Punter, Tennessee: Scoring a career-high 36 points was the senior who was 6-for-11 from 3-point range in an upset win over No. 24 South Carolina. Punter was also 14-for-15 from the free-throw line and helped the Volunteers close out a tight win.

Grayson Allen, Duke: It’s easy to snap a three-game losing streak when you’re all-american pops off for 28 points, seven assists and seven boards.

Jahmal McMurray, USF: McMurray played all 40 minutes Saturday, scoring 30 points to lead the Bulls to a 71-62 win at Houston.

Elijah Brown, New Mexico: Brown came off the bench to score 33 points on 15 shots as the Lobos picked up a win at San Jose State.


Butler’s Supporting Cast: Bulldogs not named Roosevelt Jones, Kellen Dunham and Kelan Martin were 2-for-14 from the floor with just 11 points as Butler lost at Creighton to fall to 2-5 in the Big East.

Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt: Baldwin shot just 1-for-9 from the field, scoring seven points in the Commodores’ 19-point loss at No. 23 Kentucky.

Baylor: The Bears put together one of the ugliest defensive performances we’ve seen this season. Details here.

Cinmeon Bowers, Auburn: Bowers was 2-for-13 from the floor with three turnovers as the Tigers lost by 32 points at Florida.

Boston College: Notre Dame entered the day ranked 224th in defensive efficiency on KenPom. They lost star point guard Demetrius Jackson midway through the first half. And Boston College managed just 49 points on 28.6 percent shooting against them. That’s not good.


  • No. 3 Kansas rebounded from its disappointing loss at Oklahoma State by coming back to beat Texas 76-67. Perry Ellis scored 26 points and Wayne Selden Jr. 19 for the Jayhawks.
  • James Farr was outstanding off the bench, racking up 24 points and 15 rebounds, as No. 5 Xavier beat Seton Hall 84-76. The senior forward also had four assists and three blocked shots.
  • Another Big 12 team that rebounded from a loss earlier in the week was No. 6 West Virginia, which won 80-76 at Texas Tech. Jaysean Paige scored 22 points off the bench and Tarik Phillip added 20 for the Mountaineers.
  • Despite only shooting 36 percent from the field, No. 15 Miami beat Wake Forest at home for an ACC win. Ja’Quan Newton had 18 points for the Hurricanes.
  • No. 17 Louisville made the plays it needed to make down the stretch as they beat Georgia Tech 75-71 in Atlanta. Damion Lee led five Cardinals in double figures with 17 points, and Anas Mahmoud scored a career-high 15 in the win.
  • Maurice Watson Jr. scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half as Creighton beat No. 18 Butler 72-64. The win is a big one for the Bluejays, who are looking to return to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season.
  • No. 19 Iowa State followed up their win over No. 1 Oklahoma with a 73-60 win at TCU. Monte Morris led the way offensively with 18 points for the Cyclones, who limited TCU to 39.1 percent shooting.
  • No. 20 Duke ended its losing streak with an 88-78 win at NC State, a place where they’d lost the last three meetings. Grayson Allen scored 28 points and Brandon Ingram 25 to lead the way for the Blue Devils.
  • No. 23 Kentucky won its 31st consecutive home game, beating Vanderbilt 76-57. Tyler Ulis scored 21 points and dished out five assists and Jamal Murray added 18 points and seven boards.
  • No. 24 South Carolina suffered its second loss of the season, as they fell at Tennessee 78-69. Kevin Punter led all scorers with 36 points, while Michael Carrera led the Gamecocks with 22 points and eight boards.
  • No. 25 Indiana started the game on a 10-0 run and never looked back as they throttled Northwestern at home. The Hoosiers moved to 7-0 in the Big Ten, but how good are they?


  • Notre Dame blew out Boston College in the ACC despite a hamstring injury from guard Demetrius Jackson. Head coach Mike Brey said Jackson was day-to-day after the game as Bonzie Colson and Steve Vasturia stepped up for 16 points each.
  • Ben Simmons finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Tim Quarterman had the game-winning bucket as LSU beat Alabama on the road in the SEC.
  • UConn beat Georgetown at home for a non-conference win as Rodney Purvis had 17 points and Sterling Gibbs added 16 points.
  • Fresno State got a late bucket from Torren Jones (14 points, eight rebounds) to beat Air Force on the road in the Mountain West.
  • Saint Louis beat UMass for an Atlantic 10 road win as Marcus Bartley had 17 points.
  • UNLV shot 14-for-28 from the free throw line as they lost their first game in the Todd Simon era, 65-63, to rival Nevada.
  • Marshall remained a game behind UAB in the loss column in Conference USA thanks to their 78-75 win at Old Dominion. James Kelly led the way with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
  • Duncan Robinson scored 21 points and Derrick Walton Jr. added 19, 12 rebounds and six assists as Michigan won at Nebraska, 81-68.
  • Playing without the injured Stefan Moody (hamstring), Ole Miss lost 83-77 at rival Mississippi State.
  • Wichita State won again, whipping Bradley 88-54 at home. The Shockers have won nine straight and 12 of their last 13 games.
  • Pittsburgh rebounded from its disappointing loss to NC State with a 74-72 win over Florida State. Jamel Artis and Sterling Smith scored 16 apiece to lead the way.
  • Kyle Wiltjer scored 23 points and Eric McClellan 19 as Gonzaga rebounded from a slow start to win 71-61 at Pacific.

Purdue’s Edey returning to school at NBA draft deadline; Kentucky’s Tshiebwe stays in

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

Purdue’s Zach Edey decided it was the right call to go back to school instead of staying in the NBA draft. His predecessor as national player of the year, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, is sticking with his pro pursuit.

And Connecticut’s reign as NCAA champion will begin with multiple starters having left for the NBA draft and one returning after flirting with doing the same.

The 7-foot-4 Edey and UConn guard Tristen Newton were among the notable names to announce that they were withdrawing from the draft, the NCAA’s deadline for players who declared as early entrants to pull out and retain their college eligibility.

Edey’s decision came in social media posts from both the center and the Boilermakers program that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Edey, The Associated Press men’s national player of the year.

But Tshiebwe announced late in the afternoon that he would remain in the draft after a college career that included being named the AP national player of the year in 2022.

For the current champions, Newton (10.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds) is returning after being one of four Huskies to declare for the draft after a run to UConn’s fifth national championship in early April. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with 10 rebounds in the victory over San Diego State in the title game.

The others were Final Four Most Outstanding Player Adama Sanogo, wing Jordan Hawkins and versatile guard Andre Jackson Jr. Sanogo (17.8 points) and Hawkins (16.3) have made it clear they have closed the door on their college careers, while team spokesman Phil Chardis said that Jackson (6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists) would remain in the draft.

The Huskies have 247sports’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class for next year to restock the roster, led by McDonald’s All-American point guard Stephon Castle.

The NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12, but is moot when it comes to college players returning to school due to the NCAA’s earlier timeline to retain playing eligibility.


TREY ALEXANDER: Creighton gets back a 6-4 guard who averaged 13.6 points and shot 41% from 3-point range in his first full season as a starter.

ADEM BONA: The 6-foot-10 forward and Pac-12 freshman of the year is returning to UCLA after starting 32 games as a rookie and averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – with coach Mick Cronin praising his toughness for “competing through multiple injuries for as long as he could” in a statement Wednesday.

EDEY: He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.7% from the field. His presence alone helps Purdue be a factor in the Big Ten race.

JOSIAH-JORDAN JAMES: The 6-6 guard went through the NBA G League Combine and had workouts with multiple teams before opting to return to Tennessee for a fifth season alongside teammate Santiago Vescovi.

JUDAH MINTZ: The 6-3 freshman averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Syracuse, ranking third among Division I freshmen in scoring behind only Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Lamar’s Nate Calmese.

OWLS’ RETURNEES: Florida Atlantic got good news after its surprise Final Four run with the return leading scorers Johnell Davis (13.8) and Alijah Martin (13.4). ESPN first reported their decisions, while Martin later posted a social media statement.

TERRENCE SHANNON JR.: Illinois got a big boost with Shannon announcing his night in a social media post. The 6-6 guard is returning for a fifth college season after averaging 17.2 points.

SPARTANS’ RETURNEES: Michigan State announced that guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard have withdrawn from the NBA draft. Standout guard Tyson Walker had previously withdrawn in April, setting up Tom Izzo to have five of his top scorers back.


KOBE BROWN: Missouri’s 6-8 swingman opted against returning for a fifth college season after being an AP first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick averaging 15.8 points last season.

JAYLEN CLARK: The third-year UCLA guard averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while leading the Pac-12 with 2.6 steals en route to being named Naismith national defensive player of the year. Cronin called him a winner with strong intangibles who made UCLA “a better program because he chose to be a Bruin.”

BRICE SENSABAUGH: The Ohio State freshman averaged 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31 games before missing his final two in the Big Ten Tournament due to a knee injury. He’s a potential first-round prospect.

TSHIEBWE: The 6-9, 260-pound forward is a tough interior presence who led the country in rebounds for two straight seasons (15.1 in 2022, 13.7 in 2023) while racking up 48 double-doubles. But he faces an uncertain next stop and is projected at best as a second-round prospect.

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love commits to Arizona

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

Caleb Love is now headed to Arizona.

The North Carolina transfer tweeted, less than a month after decommitting from Michigan, that he will play next season with the Wildcats.

“Caleb is a tremendously talented guard who has significant experience playing college basketball at a high level,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a statement. “We look forward to helping Caleb grow his game at Arizona. And as we near the completion of the roster for the upcoming season, we feel great about how everything has come together. Now it’s time for the real work to start.”

A 6-foot-4 guard, Love averaged 14.6 points and 3.3 assists in three seasons at North Carolina. He averaged 17.6 points in seven NCAA Tournament games, helping lead the Tar Heels to the 2022 national championship game.

Love entered the transfer portal after leading North Carolina with 73 3-pointers as a junior and initially committed to Michigan. He decommitted from the Wolverines earlier this month, reportedly due to an admissions issue involving academic credits.

Love narrowed his transfer targets to three schools before choosing to play at Arizona over Gonzaga and Texas.

Love will likely start on a team that will have dynamic perimeter players, including Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley.

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

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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
Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports

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.”