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Miles leads No. 7 West Virginia over TCU 82-70

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) No. 7 West Virginia got lazy on defense and kept letting TCU come back.

The up-and-down effort changed for the Mountaineers when the Horned Frogs threatened to take the lead midway through the second half.

Jevon Carter scored nine of his 13 points during a decisive 16-4 run that sent West Virginia to an 82-70 victory on Saturday.

“I think we picked our energy level up,” said West Virginia’s Daxter Miles, who tied a season high with 22 points. “The Big 12 is a tough league. Every night is going to be a good game. (You’ve) just got to do what you can do to try to get the best outcome.”

West Virginia (13-2, 2-1) bounced back from an overtime loss at Texas Tech and improved to 10-0 against TCU since the schools joined the Big 12 in 2012.

“We came out with no enthusiasm (at Texas Tech),” Miles said. “We’ve got to play with energy. And when we play with a lot of energy, good things happen for us.”

Miles had his third 20-point effort of the season. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said he received a text message from Miles on Friday night from the hotel where he put the players to allow them to rest up for the game.

“He’s texting me saying `I got to go get shots, I got to go get shots, I got to go get shots’ when usually he’s saying `Why is practice so long?”‘ Huggins said.

Still, the coach said Miles’ has shown an improved work ethic, “so I thought he’d have a great game.”

TCU didn’t have much trouble moving up court against West Virginia’s relentless pressure defense, but the Horned Frogs were sloppy and hesitant with their ball movement and tied a season high with 18 turnovers.

“We came here expecting to win,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “You have to finish against (the press). We need to do a better job of it.”

The Mountaineers scored 28 points off turnovers and never trailed. But TCU overcame a 13-point deficit and tied it at 57-57 on a three-point play by Desmond Bane midway through the second half.

TCU then went the next 5 minutes without a basket. Carter, who missed six of his first eight shots, hit three 3-pointers in the decisive run. Miles’ 3-pointer with 2:08 left capped the run to put the Mountaineers ahead 80-65.

Esa Ahmad added 16 points for West Virginia, while freshman Sagaba Konate scored 13.

Alex Robinson led TCU (12-3, 1-2) with 17 points and Vladimir Brodziansky added 14.

BIG PICTURE

TCU: The Horned Frogs had just two Big 12 wins all last season and already have a win over Oklahoma and a close loss to Kansas . … With a new starting lineup, TCU had tied its third-best start in program history but fell flat down the stretch against the Mountaineers in only its third road game of the season.

“I don’t know if it’s the environment or not,” Dixon said. “This is the Big 12. You’re going to play tough people on the road. It’s what you signed up for. This can be good for us. We’ll see how we respond going forward.”

WEST VIRGINIA: Free throw shooting is a problem for the Mountaineers, who are making 65 percent for the season. They made 9 of 14 against TCU after going 13 of 24 against Texas Tech.

OLD FRIENDS

Dixon coached 13 seasons at Pittsburgh before taking over at his alma mater this season. He is 12-8 all-time against the Mountaineers, including 7-5 against Huggins.

Dixon traded friendly slaps on the shoulder with Huggins before the game. The WVU student section shouted a PG-rated reference to Dixon’s former school and the Mountaineers’ ex-Big East rival.

“The fans are great, passionate,” Dixon said. “That’s what you love about it.”

UP NEXT

TCU plays at Texas on Wednesday.

West Virginia hosts No. 2 Baylor on Tuesday.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Louisville challenges NCAA over recruiting allegations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has refuted NCAA allegations against its men’s basketball program in the wake of a federal corruption scandal, requesting that the highest-level violation be reclassified.

The university also is challenging that former coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program.

Louisville filed a 104-page response last week to the Notice Of Allegations sent to the school in May. The document stated that college sports’ governing body seeks to ignore wire fraud convictions against several people involved in the scheme – including a former Adidas executive – by suggesting they were representing its athletic interests. Louisville’s contract with the apparel maker was a standard sponsorship agreement rather than a promotional deal, the response added.

“This argument is as novel as it is wrong,” the school wrote in its response. “Even if an institution has some responsibility for the conduct of its suppliers, that responsibility plainly does not extend to acts of fraud perpetrated against the institution itself.”

Louisville also seeks to have several second-tier violations reclassified even lower. The NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond with the school responding 15 days after before a decision is made whether the case will proceed through the traditional Committee on Infractions or Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations states that Louisville committed a Level I violation, considered the most severe, with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits along with several lesser violations. Those lesser violations also include Pitino failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The NCAA notice completed a two-year investigation following a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II. Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville also dismissed the NCAA’s contention that former Adidas executive James Gatto and amateur league director Merl Code represented the school while funneling illegal payments to recruits at several schools.

“The enforcement staff’s remaining allegations lack factual support and overread the relevant Bylaws,” the response stated, “and rest on the erroneous contention that the conspirators were representatives of the University’s athletics interests.

“For these reasons and others set forth, the panel should reject the enforcement staff’s dramatically overbroad theory, and classify this case as involving a Level II-Mitigated violation.”

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.