Late Night Snacks: Villanova, Kansas, Kentucky all go down

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Marquette 74, No. 1 Villanova 72

The Golden Eagles were down by 15 at half to the nation’s top team, but closed out the game on a 19-4 run led by Duane Wilson and Katin Reinhardt. If I told you that duo was going to lead Marquette to a win over Villanova, would you have believed me? … Didn’t think so. We need to stop sleeping on this team.

In less than five days, Marquette has played its way into the NCAA Tournament field with a pair of signature wins.


No. 18 West Virginia 85, No. 2 Kansas 69:  After back-to-back losses, the Mountaineers responded in a big way with a double-digit win over the Jayhawks. This didn’t follow the typical ‘Press Virginia’ blueprint, but that’s what made it all the more impressive. Frank Mason III was held to a 12 points, needing a 15 shots to score his dozen.

Tennessee 82, No. 4 Kentucky 80: Tennessee snapped Kentucky’s seven-game win streak. The Wildcats were held in check in transition, while the Volunteers’ bench outscored Kentucky’s, 37-4. Robert Hubbs III and Malik Monk both led their teams with 25 points apiece.

Well this is one way to set up Saturday’s matchup with Kansas.

No. 12 Virginia 71, No. 12 Notre Dame 54: Shots didn’t fall early for Notre Dame, as the pack-line defense held the league’s best 3-point shooting team to 18 percent shooting from deep. London Perrantes scored 22 points and once again came up with timely shots.

No. 20 Purdue 84, Michigan State 73: Hot shooting couldn’t be sustained and Purdue’s frontline became too much for Michigan State’s shorthanded front court. Caleb Swanigan finished with another monster stat line: 25 points and 17 rebounds. Miles Bridges had a season-high 33 points.


  • Katin Reinhardt, Marquette: The grad transfer scored 18 of his 19 points after halftime. Playing the role of point forward was even more important after Markus Howard struggled all night.
  • Donovan Mitchell, Louisville: The sophomore guard had 16 points at half. Pitt had 18 as a team. Mitchell’s career-best of 27 points included 6-of-8 from three.
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue: The 6-foot-9 sophomore recorded his 17th double-double of the season. The Boilermakers have played 21 games.


  • Pitt: Louisville throttled the Panthers, 106-51. It was the worst loss for the program in more than a century.
  • Deadspin: You made Ted Cruz likable. Enough said.

TOP 25

  • Bronson Koenig’s 20 points led No. 15 Wisconsin to an 82-55 win over Penn State. The Badgers are still the co-leaders in the Big Ten.
  • Behind 15 3-pointers, No. 23 South Carolina routed Auburn, 98-69. The Gamecocks, coming off a loss to Kentucky, is 6-1 in the SEC.
  • No. 22 Maryland was led by Melo Trimble’s 17 points in a 67-55 win over Rutgers. The Terrapins still share the top spot in the Big Ten standings with No. 15 Wisconsin.


  • Akron (7-0 MAC) remained unbeaten in conference play with a 90-80 win over Western Michigan
  • The nation’s leading scorer, Marcus Keene, had 28 points in Central Michigan’s 82-76 win over Bowling Green.
  • St. Bonaventure came back from down 18 to defeat St. Joe’s, 67-63
  • Wichita State has won three in a row after an 87-45 victory over Southern Illinois
  • It’s fitting that on the day the school honored Steph Curry that Jack Gibbs recorded a 32-point outing. Davidson beat Duquesne 74-60
  • Syracuse is back to .500 in ACC play by beating Wake Forest, 81-76
  • Daryl Macon’s last second free throws capped a 15-point comeback as Arkansas topped Vanderbilt, 71-70
  • Matt Thomas hit seven 3-pointers en route to 25 points as Iowa State held off Kansas State, 70-65

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.