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Saturday Recap: Duke goes down, Kansas loses at home, Texas beats Trae Young

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PLAYERS OF THE DAY

Trae Young is the name everyone knew as No. 12 Oklahoma head to Austin to take on Texas, but it was another freshman point guard — Matt Coleman — who left as the star of the show.

Coleman finished with 22 points and a pair of assists, doing quite a bit of the work defensively on Young, who finished with 19 points and 14 assists but shot 7-for-22 from the floor and 2-for-14 from three.

It’s great to see Coleman playing well. Texas is trying to cope with the fact that one of the players on the roster (sophomore Andrew Jones) is in a battle with leukemia, and that means that more of the load has been hoisted upon Coleman. He’s answered the call.

So has Kerwin Roach, who finished with 19 points, four boards and four assists. He’s become arguably the best perimeter player for the Longhorns in recent weeks, scoring at least 16 points in five of the six games since returning from injury.

RELATED: All of Saturday’s Bubble Banter in one place

THE REST OF SATURDAY’S STARS

  • SHAMORIE PONDS, St. John’s: Ponds finished with 33 points — including a pair of massive shots in the final 75 seconds — as the Johnnies knocked off No. 4 Duke at home.
  • COLLIN SEXTON, Alabama: Sexton finished with 17 points, eight boards, six assists, two steals and a block as the Crimson Tide went into Gainesville and knocked off No. 23 Florida by 18 points.
  • JEROD HARPER, Auburn: 14 points and 14 assists isn’t a bad night. That’s what Harper did as Auburn whipped up on Vanderbilt.
  • JOCK LANDALE, Saint Mary’s: Landale was terrific, finishing with 34 points, 18 boards and four assists as No. 13 Saint Mary’s won at San Diego.
  • TREVON BLUIETT, Xavier: Bluiett finished with 31 points on 9-for-16 shooting on Saturday as the Musketeers held off Georgetown. He made this shot to force the overtime.

TEAM OF THE DAY

Oklahoma State desperately needed to win at No. 7 Kansas on Saturday if they wanted any chance of getting back to the NCAA tournament this season, and they did just that.

The Pokes were up by as many as 18 points in the first half, as the Jayhawks spent 40 minutes playing like they thought all they had to do to win at home was to show up. Kendall Smith led the way with 24 points, five boards and five assists for OSU while Cameron McGriff chipped in with 20 points.

This is the third game that Kansas has lost in Phog Allen this year. Bill Self entered the season having lost just 11 times in that building in his tenure with Kansas.

Kansas, on the other hand, is now tied with Texas Tech for first place in the Big 12.

GAME OF THE DAY

(UPDATE: Actually, it was this game.)

I don’t know how Indiana did it, but somehow they shot 28.8 percent from the floor and 4-for-19 from three and still managed to have a potential game-tying heave at the buzzer bounce off the back of the rim.

The Spartans got up double-figures early and seemed to throw this thing into cruise control. The Hoosiers slowly but surely chipped away, creating another mind-bending stat: Michigan State, with the biggest front line in college basketball, finished with 29 total rebounds and just three offensive boards on Saturday while Indiana had 25 offensive rebounds despite starting a front line that stands 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8.

The final score ended up being 63-60 despite Michigan State’s best efforts to give this one away.

WTF???? OF THE DAY

St. John’s entered Saturday having lost 11 straight games.

It is February, and the Red Storm do not own a single win in the Big East. It’s been something of a disaster for Chris Mullin, one that has him fully on the hot seat.

So obviously, with No. 4 Duke coming to town, the Johnnies … played their best game of the year?

Shamorie Ponds popped off for 33 points while Bashir Ahem added 19 points and Tariq Owens chipped in with 17 as St. John’s erased a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the Blue Devils. Duke was absolutely torched by Mike Krzyzewski after the game — and deservedly so — which has me asking: How is a team as talented as Duke is so reliant on Marvin Bagley III?

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Remember when we thought that No. 21 Kentucky making that thrilling comeback and winning at West Virginia would be the turning point in their season? LOL. After needing overtime to beat Vanderbilt at home during the week, the Wildcats lost at Missouri in a game were the Tigers were more or less in control throughout. Kentucky was a trainwreck in the first half, digging themselves too big of a hole to dig out of. Kassius Robertson had 16 points and four assists to lead the way for Mizzou.

Whatever funk No. 10 Texas Tech was in earlier this year, they are out of it now. The Red Raiders won their fourth straight game on Saturday, knocking off TCU at TCU. The final score was 83-71, but it really wasn’t that close.

Whatever funk No. 15 West Virginia was in the last three weeks, they look to be out of it now. The Mountaineers beat Kansas State by 38 points.

The two best teams in the SEC continue to be No. 18 Tennessee and No. 11 Auburn. The Volunteers absolutely smashed Ole Miss on Saturday, eventually winning by 33 points, while the Tigers held off Vanderbilt at home. It’s a shame these two teams already played this season. It didn’t get near the fan fare it deserved.

Deandre Hunter had 15 points and six assists off the bench for No. 2 Virginia as they knocked off Syracuse, 59-44.

Corey Sanders went for 31 points, seven boards and three assists, but it wasn’t enough as No. 3 Purdue beat Rutgers in Piscataway, 78-76.

No. 19 North Carolina got back to their winning ways, snapping a three-game losing streak against Pitt. The most noteworthy part? Theo Pinson was healthy, finished with 13 points and eight assists and played as the back-up point guard.

Jacob Evans had 19 points as No. 8 Cincinnati knocked off UConn in Hartford.

Isaiah Washington did everything he could — 26 points in total — to get Minnesota a win in Ann Arbor, but it was not meant to be. No. 24 Michigan won 76-73 in overtime.

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

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

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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.