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Boston College stuns No. 1 Duke

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So much for that Duke undefeated season.

Boston College stunned the previously-unbeaten No. 1 Blue Devils on Saturday as the Eagles used a huge outing from their backcourt in an 89-84 ACC home win.

Playing in only its second true road game of the season, Duke struggled mightily to contain Boston College’s dynamic backcourt trio of Ky Bowman (30 points), Jerome Robinson (24 points) and Jordan Chatman (22 points). The Eagles shot 57 percent from three-point range (15-for-26) as they snapped a 23-game losing streak against top-25 teams.

Here’s three takeaways from this one.

1. THIS IS THE MOST SHOCKING LOSS OF THIS YOUNG COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON

Duke was the No. 1 team in the country entering Saturday. The Blue Devils were undefeated and featured a lineup that includes the potential No. 1 pick, Marvin Bagley III, and multiple other first-round talents.

And Boston College has only two ACC wins the past two seasons and just lost graduate transfer forward Deontae Hawkins for the season with a knee injury earlier this week.

In other words, this is the craziest loss of this young college basketball season.

Yes, Duke is a young team playing in only its second true road game of the season. We already know the Blue Devils have a penchant for slow starts. But losing to Boston College, a team picked to finish last in the ACC by many this preseason, is an alarming defeat for a national title contender.

The Eagles have some talented guards (more on them in a moment) but this is going to be a loss that could haunt Duke’s NCAA tournament resume when they try to secure the No. 1 overall seed.

2. BOSTON COLLEGE’S GUARDS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY

Ky Bowman might have just played the best game we see from an individual player all season. It’s been noted before that the 6-foot-1 sophomore from North Carolina was passed over by the in-state juggernauts. Every time Bowman faces one of those schools from Tobacco Road it provides an extra chip on his shoulder.

But Bowman was completely out of his mind on Saturday. Not only did Bowman finish with 30 points but he also added 10 rebounds and nine assists. Facing a team full of future pros, Bowman was the undisputed best player in this game.

While Bowman did have some turnover issues with six on the afternoon, he had to do so much to create for himself and others that it really didn’t matter. Even battling foul trouble in the second half, Bowman stayed in attack mode as he was relentless in helping on the glass for an undermanned frontcourt.

It also helped that Bowman had big-time performances from Robinson and Chatman. Robinson was 5-for-5 from three-point range on Saturday while Chatman was 5-for-9 from distance. Having three red-hot guards is the reason Boston College won this game.

I doubt that we’ll see the Eagles shoot this well from three-point range again, but this game also put the rest of the ACC on notice that Boston College has one of the league’s best backcourts.

3. DUKE NEEDS TO GET THE FRONTCOURT MORE INVOLVED

Again, Boston College was missing third-leading scorer and leading rebounder Deontae Hawkins for this game (and the rest of the season) after an unfortunate knee injury during the week. That meant that an already thin frontcourt for the Eagles had virtually no depth on Saturday.

Boston College only played seven total players and reserve forwards Vin Baker Jr. and Johncarlos Reyes barely played.

So why wasn’t Duke force-feeding their ultra-talented frontcourt duo of Marvin Bagley III (15 points and 12 rebounds) and Wendell Carter (10 points)? Not only was Boston College completely overmatched on the interior but they didn’t have bodies if they got into foul trouble.

During a game in which most of Duke’s roster was cold from the outside (26 percent from three on 8-for-30 shooting), Bagley and Carter only combined for 17 field goal attempts. When Grayson Allen (14 points) is going 5-for-20 and two talented big men only shoot 17 times combined, that’s never a good sign. Bagley played the full 40 minutes and only attempted 11 shots. For a potential Player of the Year, that’s outrageous. How do you not get those guys more touches in a game like this?

Credit Boston College’s defense and rebounding for a scrappy effort but Duke should never get outrebounded against a team like the Eagles with the kind of talent that they have. That’s embarrassing. Obviously, there are many things Duke needs to address following a loss like this but getting Bagley and Carter more involved would be a start.

Elite Class of 2020 point guard to reclassify

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Nico Mannion, a five-star point guard from Arizona, announced on Friday that he will be reclassifying into the Class of 2019.

Mannion was a top 20 player in 2020 but, according to 247 Sports, he will be ranked No. 11 in 2019. The athletic, 6-foot-3 Mannion was long-rumored to be considering a move up a class because of his age. He’ll turn 18 in March of next year, meaning that he’ll arrive on campus the same age as a typical college freshman.

Mannion cut his list to ten schools in June — Duke, Arizona, Villanova, Kansas, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Marquette and Utah — but Duke and Arizona appear to be the favorites at this point.

Mannion plays his high school ball for Pinnacle High School in Phoenix and with West Coast Elite on the Under Armour Association circuit. He played for Team USA’s youth ranks, but his mother is Italian and, in June, he was called up to the Italian men’s senior national team, scoring nine points in 29 minutes of a FIBA World Cup Qualifier.

Nebraska to lose junior big man to transfer

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Nebraska’s frontcourt depth took a blow on Thursday as junior big man Jordy Tshimanga informed the program that he will be transferring.

“Jordy called me tonight and asked for his release,” head coach Tim Miles said in a statement that was given to the Lincoln Journal-Star. “The University of Nebraska and our program wish Jordy and his family the best.”

Tshimanga averaged 4.0 points and 4.6 boards in 13 minutes this past season, and a source close to the program told NBC Sports he wasn’t expected to play much more than that this season.

Miles’ has spent the better part of the last two seasons on the hot seat, and this certainly doesn’t make his job easier, but with the talent the Cornhuskers have on their roster, they look like an NCAA tournament team already. They bring back their top four scorers, including former five-star prospect Isaac Copeland and potential first-team all-Big Ten wing James Palmer. With or without Tshimanga, Nebraska has a shot to finish top four in the Big Ten.

North Carolina, UCLA, Michigan State part of Las Vegas event

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — North Carolina, UCLA, Michigan State and Texas will play in an early season basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Invitational will include games at campus sites, then the final two rounds on Nov. 22-23 in Las Vegas. North Carolina takes on Texas in one semifinal, and Michigan State faces UCLA in the other.

UNC, UCLA and Michigan State are all top 20 teams in the NBC Sports preseason top 25.

The championship is Nov. 23, and the semifinal losers also play each other that day.

NCAA to study possible effects of widespread legal wagering

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA plans to study how the expansion of legalized betting could affect college athletics and member schools.

The NCAA announced Thursday it will create a working group of “subject matter experts” to assess areas such as officiating, NCAA rules, federal and state laws, and the use of integrity services. NCAA leadership has already called for federal regulation on sports betting. NCAA rules prohibit sports wagering by athletes and athletic department employees.

The Supreme Court opened the door for states to have legal wagering on sporting events when it struck down a federal ban in May. Schools in some states such as West Virginia, Mississippi and New Jersey are already exploring the possibility of collecting integrity fees in anticipation of legal sports books opening in their states.

“While we certainly respect the Supreme Court’s decision, our position on sports wagering remains,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer. “With this new landscape, we must evolve and expand our long-standing efforts to protect both the integrity of competitions and the well-being of student-athletes.”

The NCAA Board of Governors has already suspended the association’s ban on holding championships in states with legalized sports betting, a policy that only affected Nevada.

“Legalized sports gambling across the country is rather new, but the NCAA and its members have committed significant resources over the years to policy, research and education around sports wagering,” said Joni Comstock, senior vice president of championships and alliances. “With student-athlete well-being as the centerpiece, we will continue to build upon these efforts to assist members as they adapt to legalized sports wagering in their states and regions.”

Arizona releases non-conference schedule

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A trip to Maui, a home date against Baylor and trips to UConn and Alabama highlight Arizona’s non-conference schedule, which the school released Thursday, this season.

Despite losing nearly the entirety of last year’s talented-but-troubled group, Sean Miller still scheduled aggressively. The first test will come the week of Thanksgiving in Hawaii at the Maui Invitational. It’s an extremely competitive field with Duke, Auburn, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Illinois, San Diego State and Xavier. The bracket for the event has yet to be released.

The Wildcats travel to Storrs to face UConn in Dan Hurley’s first season on Dec. 2, and then a week later visit Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

The marquee home game will be Saturday, Dec. 16, when Scott Drew and Baylor come to Tucson.

Here’s the full schedule:

Day Date Opponent Location

Sunday Nov. 11 Cal Poly Tucson, Ariz.

Wednesday Nov. 14 UTEP Tucson, Ariz.

Monday Nov. 19 vs. TBA Lahaina, Hawai’i

Tuesday Nov. 20 vs. TBA Lahaina, Hawai’i

Wednesday Nov. 21 vs. TBA Lahaina, Hawai’i

Wednesday Nov. 28 Texas Southern Tucson, Ariz.

Sunday Dec. 2 at UConn Hartford, Conn.

Thursday Dec. 6 Utah Valley Tucson, Ariz.

Sunday Dec. 9 at Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Saturday Dec. 15 Baylor Tucson, Ariz.

Wednesday Dec. 19 Montana Tucson, Ariz.

Saturday Dec. 22 UC Davis Tucson, Ariz.