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SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 North Carolina fall on the road

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GAME OF THE DAY: Fresno State 111, UNLV 104 (2OT)

The Bulldogs outlasted the Runnin’ Rebels in Fresno, needing two extra sessions to do so. Marvelle Harris led the way with 37 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover, with Julien Lewis scoring 18 points off the bench and forward Cullen Russo adding 17 points and ten boards. As for UNLV, five of the six players who scored reached double figures with Patrick McCaw (16 rebounds) scoring 28 points and Ike Nwamu 27.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

No. 9 Virginia 64, Pittsburgh 50: Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers won their sixth straight game, and in each of their last three wins Virginia has held their opponent to 50 points or fewer. Pittsburgh shot just 39.1 percent on the day against Virginia’s pack line defense, and on the other end Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes combined to score 35 points.

No. 3 Villanova 72, No. 11 Providence 60: The Wildcats once again played without the injured Daniel Ochefu, and once again they took care of business. Villanova limited the Friars to 19 first half points, and Darryl Reynolds (19 points, ten rebounds), Josh Hart (14 and 13) and Kris Jenkins (ten and ten) all posted double-doubles in leading a dominant effort on the glass. Ben Bentil scored 20 points for the Friars but Kris Dunn struggled, scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and committing six turnovers.

No. 4 Maryland 72, No. 18 Purdue 61: Trailing by four with just under six minutes remaining, the Terrapins went on a 9-0 to take control of the game in College Park. Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points and grabbed ten rebounds and Robert Carter Jr. added 19 and seven caroms for the Terps, who remain a game behind Iowa and Indiana in the Big Ten standings. And they can thank their refocus on the defensive end for the comeback.

No. 14 West Virginia 80, No. 15 Baylor 69: The Mountaineers didn’t force many turnovers, but they managed to win in impressive fashion nonetheless. Daxter Miles Jr. led four WVU players in double figures with 20 points and Jaysean Paige added 17 off the bench for Bob Huggins’ team, which is now in sole possession of first place in the Big 12. King McClure and Ishmail Wainwright scored 11 apiece to lead the way offensively for Baylor.

BUBBLE BANTER: No. 25 South Carolina, George Washington pick up big wins

STARRED

Patricio Garino, George Washington: Garino scored 27 points, shooting 11-for-16 from the field, in a 72-69 win at VCU.

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State: Forbes scored 29 points, shooting 8-for-10 from three, in the Spartans’ 16-point win at Michigan.

Jamal Murray, Kentucky: 35 points on 13-for-21 shooting and six rebounds in the Wildcats’ 80-61 win over Florida.

STRUGGLED

Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn was the focal point of Villanova’s defensive efforts and it showed, as he scored 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and had more turnovers (six) than assists (four) in the 72-60 defeat.

Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen, Florida: Chiozza and Allen combined to shoot 2-for-14 from the field, scoring six points in a 19-point loss at No. 20 Kentucky.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Who wants to be number one? A new team will likely take the top spot Monday, as No. 1 Oklahoma fell 80-69 at Kansas State. Wesley Iwundu led the way with 22 points, seven assists and some good defense on Buddy Hield. Hield scored 23 points but did so on 7-for-16 shooting as the Sooners had issues both offensively and defensively in Manhattan.
  • No. 6 Xavier scored 55 second half points, erasing a four-point halftime deficit to beat Marquette 90-82. Three Musketeers scored at least 20 points on the day, with Trevon Bluiett scoring 23 and Edmond Sumner and J.P. Macura 20 apiece. Henry Ellenson led the Golden Eagles with 22 points and seven rebounds, with Haanif Cheatham adding 21 points.
  • No. 7 Kansas took care of business as expected in Fort Worth, beating TCU 75-56. Perry Ellis led the way with 23 points and ten rebounds, with Devonte’ Graham adding 15 points, and the Jayhawks did a far better job on the glass than they did against Kansas State midweek.
  • No. 8 Texas A&M lost for the third time in the last four games, this time falling at home to No. 25 South Carolina 81-78. Sindarius Thornwell finished with 25 points, six rebounds and nine assists and Michael Carrera added 20 for the Gamecocks, who shot 52.6 percent from the field.
  • Bryn Forbes hit seven first-half three pointers as No. 10 Michigan State took care of Michigan, 89-73. Forbes finished with 29 points and Denzel Valentine added 21, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Spartans.
  • No. 13 Iowa State, playing without the suspended Jameel McKay, rebounded from a slow start to beat Oklahoma State 64-59 in Stillwater. Georges Niang led a balanced scoring effort with 18 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.
  • No. 19 Louisville played its first game since announcing their self-imposed postseason ban, and without the injured Damion Lee (bruised knee) they took care of ACC cellar dweller Boston College 79-47. Trey Lewis scored 16 points and Deng Adel, who replaced Lee in the starting lineup, tallied 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
  • No. 20 Kentucky rebounded from its disappointing collapse at Tennessee with an 80-61 win over Florida in Lexington. Jamal Murray scored 20 of his 35 points in the first half and Tyler Ulis added 18 points and 11 assists.
  • No. 21 Wichita State had two streaks come to an end in its 58-53 loss at Illinois State: their 12-game win streak this season, and a 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games. Paris Lee scored 19 points and Deontae Hawkins added 14 for the Redbirds, who outscored Wichita State 22-9 from the foul line.
  • No. 23 Arizona became the third Pac-12 team to sweep a road trip in league play this season, winning 77-72 at Washington. The Wildcats, who join Oregon and Utah for the road sweep distinction, were led offensively by Ryan Anderson who finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
  • No. 24 Dayton moved into a tie for first in the Atlantic 10 as they blew out George Mason, 98-64. Charles Cooke led five Flyers in double figures with 24 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists, and as a team Dayton shot 62.9 percent from the field.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Memphis rebounded from a disappointing effort against UConn Thursday night, beating Cincinnati 63-59 at home. Shaq Goodwin and Dedric Lawson both posted lines of 20 points and 11 rebounds for the winners.
  • Temple avoided what would have been a damaging loss on the road, holding off UCF 62-60 in Orlando. Mark Williams scored 16 points off the bench and starter Quenton DeCosey added 15 for the Owls.
  • Florida State has now won four straight games, as they won 91-71 at Wake Forest. With the recent Louisville news, the Seminoles could be one bubble team that finds a way to benefit.
  • Stony Brook moved to 11-0 in America East play with a 91-73 win at UMass-Lowell. Jameel Warney finished with 24 points and 14 boards.
  • Duke beat NC State 88-80 in Durham, doing so after the Wolfpack mounted a rally to tie the game in the second half. Grayson Allen scored 28 points and Luke Kennard 26 for the Blue Devils, who welcomed head coach Mike Krzyzewski back to the sidelines after he missed their game at Georgia Tech due to illness.
  • San Diego State remained undefeated in Mountain West play (11-0) with a 78-71 overtime win over New Mexico. A Malik Pope three pointer in the final seconds of regulation forced overtime, and from there the Aztecs took control. Following the game, the conference admitted that the Lobos were victims of a botched call late in regulation.
  • North Dakota handed Weber State its second defeat in Big Sky play, beating the Wildcats 78-71. Geno Crandall led five North Dakota players in double figures with 21 points.
  • Valparaiso moved to 20-4 on the season with a 73-55 win at UIC. Bryce Drew’s Crusaders limited the Flames to 32-8 percent shooting on the day.
  • North Texas scored 50 second-half points, erasing a ten-point halftime deficit to beat Louisiana Tech 80-69. Deckie Johnson scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Mean Green.
  • BYU suffered a loss that won’t help their NCAA tournament hopes, falling at home 77-72 to Pacific.
  • In Colorado State’s 76-67 win over Nevada, forward Emmanuel Omogbo grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds.
  • Chattanooga moved to 10-1 in the SoCon with a 62-54 win over Furman. Matt McCall’s Mocs currently have a two-game lead on both Mercer and East Tennessee State.
  • Antonio Blakeney scored 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench and Keith Hornsby added 25 points as LSU beat Mississippi State 88-77. With Saturday’s results LSU is now in sole possession of first place in the SEC.
  • Wyoming shot an incredible 20-for-38 from three in their 84-65 win over Utah State. The Cowboys are the second team to make 20 three-pointers in a game this season, joining North Florida.
  • Speaking of the Ospreys, they were handed their second conference loss of the season by FGCU. The Eagles won 81-65, dropping UNF (7-2) into a tie for first in the Atlantic Sun with Jacksonville.
  • Seton Hall continued its march towards and NCAA tournament berth, beating Georgetown 69-61. Angel Delgado led the way with 19 points and 13 boards for Seton Hall, which won despite Isaiah Whitehead shooting 3-for-15.
  • Montana moved into first place in the Big Sky with an 82-80 win over Portland State. The Grizzlies are 9-2, with Weber State a half-game back at 8-2.
  • Hawai’i moved into a tie for first place in the Big West by winning 75-60 at Cal Poly. Eran Ganot’s Rainbow Warriors are now 7-1, and they host UC Irvine in a battle for sole possession of first place Thursday night.

Nevada’s Jordan Caroline pulls out of 2018 NBA Draft

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Jordan Caroline has opted to pull his name out of the 2018 NBA Draft as he will return to Nevada for his senior season, he announced on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7 Caroline put together a strong season for the Wolf Pack as he averaged 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as Nevada made the Sweet 16 behind one of the most talented offenses in the country.

Caroline’s return is a huge boost for Nevada as they still await the NBA draft decisions of Caleb and Cody Martin.

Currently ranked No. 17 in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25 (without the Martin twins), the Wolf Pack will still have a ton of talent around Caroline next season. Five-star freshman center Jordan Brown recently committed to Nevada. The program also a number of talented transfers entering the mix, including Tre’Shawn Thomas, Nisre Zouzoua and Ehab Amin.

If the Martin twins return to school (and that is a big if) then Nevada could have a potentially elite offense next season. But even if the Martin twins go pro, Nevada should still be the favorite in the Mountain West and a threat to once again make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Dewan Huell returning to Miami for junior season

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Miami received some positive news on Saturday afternoon as the school announced the return of forward Dewan Huell for his junior season.

After testing the NBA draft waters without an agent, the 6-foot-11 Huell will be back for the Hurricanes. Starting all 32 games for the program last season, Huell averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor.

“After getting feedback from NBA teams and talking it over with my family and coaches, I would like to announce that I will be returning to Miami for my junior season,” Huell said in the release. “I’m really excited to get back to work with my brothers so we can accomplish more than ever during the 2018-19 season.”

A former McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, Huell’s return gives the Hurricanes stability in the front court for next season as he’ll play with other returning players like Sam Waardenburg and Ebuka Izundu. With Miami losing both Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown early to the 2018 NBA Draft, Huell could be expected to provide more offensive production as a junior.

Bruce Weber receives contract extension at Kansas State

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Kansas State and head coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to a release from the school.

After leading the Wildcats to a surprising Elite Eight appearance in March, Weber will be the head coach at Kansas State through the 2022-23 season, which gives him another five seasons to work with. Weber will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and he’ll receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year.

Weber had already signed a two-year extension in August 2017, but this move gives the veteran head coach more job security (and positive recruiting perception) for the next few seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”

With Kansas State returning most of its roster from last season, including the return of guard Barry Brown from the 2018 NBA Draft process, expectations are sky-high for Weber and the Wildcats this season. Currently ranked as the No. 8 team in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25, Kansas State’s veteran club could give Kansas a serious run for a Big 12 regular season title this season.

Northwestern loses incoming freshman point guard

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Northwestern and incoming freshman point guard Jordan Lathon are parting ways. The 6-foot-4 Lathon was viewed as a potential candidate to replace Bryant McIntosh at lead guard for the Wildcats this season, but Northwestern has reportedly revoked his offer of admission and basketball scholarship.

It is unclear why Lathon was unable to be admitted into Northwestern, but the school’s VP for University Relations, Alan Cubbage, gave a statement to Inside NU’s Davis Rich and Caleb Friedman.

“Northwestern University has revoked its offers of admission and an athletic scholarship for Jordan Lathon, a recruit for the Northwestern men’s basketball team,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the student, the University will have no further public comment.”

Lathon later acknowledged the situation in a tweet explaining to fans that he will no longer be attending Northwestern.

While it is unclear why Lathon and Northwestern are parting ways, other high-major programs are already very interested in bringing in Lathon for next season. Oklahoma State immediately jumped in with a scholarship offer. There is also speculation that Lathon, a native of Grandview, Missouri, could also hear from the in-state Tigers as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lathon lands, and how this also affects Northwestern’s point guard situation. The loss of a four-year starter like McIntosh will be tough to fill, especially since Lathon was committed to Northwestern since last June. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins seek out a veteran point guard graduate transfer to try and get some immediate help.

Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr. returning to school

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Nebraska received some important news on Friday night as senior guard James Palmer Jr. will be back for next season.

The 6-foot-6 Palmer had tested the NBA draft waters, but he decided to return to the Cornhuskers. After putting up 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season, Palmer is expected to be an All-Big Ten candidate once again this season. Palmer shot 44 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three-point range last season.

After transferring in from Miami, Palmer became the Huskers’ go-to scorer last season in helping Nebraska to a 22-win season and NIT appearance.

With Palmer back, Nebraska will have some legitimate expectations for the upcoming season, especially if the team’s second-leading scorer, Isaac Copeland Jr., also returns from the NBA draft process.