(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Late Night Snacks: Pitt lands a critical win over Cuse

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Pittsburgh 72, Syracuse 71

The Panthers had a late 14-point lead disappear as the Orange found success with their full-court press, but James Robinson’s steal and score put Pitt back up ahead and kept them there as they were able to survive a last-second look by Syracuse.
The win may have sewn up an NCAA tournament spot for Pitt while Jim Boeheim’s group might be on the outside looking in.


No. 19 Duke 92, NC State 89: Brandon Ingram had 22 points seven rebounds and four assists as the Blue Devils were able to overcome a halftime deficit and outlast the Wolfpack in an extremely competitive early-round matchup. Cat Barber had 29 points and seven assists for NC State.

Colorado 80, Washington State 56: Colorado dominated from the outset to stay alive in the Pac-12 tournament and continue to bolster their NCAA tournament resume.

Georgia Tech 88, Clemson 85, OT: The Yellow Jackets trailed by as many as 18 in the second half against the Tigers before pulling out the victory in overtime.

TCU 67, Texas Tech 62: After a week after a debate about Tubby Smith winning conference coach of the year over Bill Self, the Red Raiders drop a game to the hapless Horned Frogs on the opening night of the Big 12 tournament. Tech is likely safely in the tournament field, but this could send them tumbling down the seed lines.

Holy Cross 59, Lehigh 56: Bill Carmody has the Crusaders dancing after failing to get Northwestern into the NCAA tournament during his 13 years in Evanston. And he’s doing it with a team that went 5-13 in the Patriot League.

BUBBLE BANTER: See how Wednesday’s results factored into the bubble


Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech: He scored 28 for Georgia Tech, piling up 22 in the second half. He was 15 of 16 from the free-throw line in the tight game.

Michael Gbinije, Syracuse: The senior played 40 minutes and scored 24 points in a losing effort to Pitt.

Cat Barber, NC State: The guard was 10 of 18 overall and 4 of 7 from deep to score 29 points, albeit in a loss to Duke.

Luke Kennard and Brandon Ingram, Duke: The duo combined for 44 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Blue Devils.

Ike Nwamu, UNLV: Scored 38 points for the Rebels in a three-OT win.

Jacob Van, Air Force: Tallied 37 points for Air Force in its loss to UNLV.


Minnesota: The Gophers defense allowed Illinois to shoot 55.2 percent from the floor and make 14 of 26 3-point attempts.

Austin Price, Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks’ second-leading scorer went 2 of 12 from the floor in Lehigh’s shocking loss to Holy Cross.


  • Kansas State nearly saw a 17-point halftime lead evaporate, but held off Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, 75-71, to officially begin the Travis Ford Watch in Stillwater.
  • Air Force and UNLV needed three overtimes to determine a winner with the Runnin’ Rebels claiming a 108-102 victory.
  • Illinois beat Minnesota, 85-52, to end one of the worst seasons in Golden Gopher history. Richard Pitino’s squad finished 8-23 overall and 2-16 in the Big Ten.
  • It’s been a disappointing season for Georgetown, but the Hoyas are still alive after a 70-53 win over DePaul.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.