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LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Recapping a wild Friday in college basketball

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 5 UConn 104, No. 4 Cincinnati 97 4OT

This is as wild as March games can get. The excitement really started with the second overtime, when UConn and Cincinnati traded buckets in the final 30 seconds to keep the score tied and get us to a third overtime. And in that third overtime, the Bearcats buried a three with 0.8 seconds left to take an 88-85 lead, setting the stage of the shot of the season:

The Huskies finally took control in the fourth overtime, advancing to face Temple in the semifinals of the AAC tournament on Saturday.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 2 West Virginia 69, No. 3 Oklahoma 67

West Virginia forced 21 turnovers and held Buddy Hield to 1-for-8 shooting and just six points, but the Mountaineers still found a way to nearly lose that game. On the final possession of the game, with the ball under their own basket and needing to go 94 feet to win the game, the Sooners put the ball in the hands of their all-american, and he came through with a 50-foot prayer that banked in — a split second after the buzzer:

West Virginia advanced to take on Kansas in the Big 12 title game.

OH, AND WE CAN’T FORGET ABOUT: No. 8 Michigan 72, No. 1 Indiana 69

Kameron Chatman, though:

The bigger question coming out of this game: Is Indiana a different team away from Bloomington than they are when they play in Assembly Hall?

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 1 Kansas 70, No. 5 Baylor 66: The Jayhawks reached the finals of the Big 12 tournament as they rolled over the Bears thanks to 20 points from Perry Ellis.

No. 2 Michigan State 81, No. 7 Ohio State 54: Denzel Valentine paced the Spartans with 19 points, nine boards and eight assists in an easy win.

No. 1 Oregon 95, No. 4 Arizona 89 OT: The Wildcats somehow erased a 15-point halftime deficit to force overtime on a brain fart from Chris Boucher, but the Ducks were able to pull away in the extra frame. Should we be worried about how Oregon closed that game?

STARRED

Lorenzo Bonam, Utah: Jakob Poeltl had 29 points to lead the way for the Utes, but it was Bonam, who finished with 18 points, who sent the game to overtime with this driving layup at the buzzer.

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia: In a win over Miami, Brogdon had a cool 24 points and four assists. Eventually people are going to realize how good this kid is.

Khadeen Carrington and Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall: The New York natives finished with a combined 43 point and 11 assists as the Pirates knocked off Xavier in the Big East semifinals.

STRUGGLED

Ben Bentil, Providence: A day after he had 38 points in a win over Butler, Bentil finished with just three points on 1-for-6 shooting while committing five turnovers and fouling out midway through the second half.

Jaylen Brown, Cal: He finished with 12 points and a key three-point play late, but Brown was 3-for-17 from the floor in an overtime loss to Utah.

Notre Dame: The Irish scored 47 points in a 31-point loss to No. 1 North Carolina on Friday night, although much of that blame (credit?) must be given to the Tar Heels for the way that they were able to defend.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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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

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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

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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.