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McIntosh scores 24, Northwestern beats No. 20 Michigan 61-52

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ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Maybe it was too soon to write off Northwestern.

The Wildcats finally appear to be finding the rhythm that had them dancing all the way to the NCAA tournament for the first time last year.

Bryant McIntosh tied a season high with 24 points, and Northwestern beat No. 20 Michigan 61-52 on Tuesday night.

“I know there’s so much wrong with us and it’s a disastrous season and everybody’s writing our obituaries,” coach Chris Collins said, tongue in cheek. “And it’s a lot of fun. But I’m not sure I’m quite seeing that at 6-6, 15-10.”

The Wildcats (15-10, 6-6 Big Ten) won for the fourth time in five games, suffocating Michigan with their zone defense down the stretch while McIntosh nailed big shot after big shot. He scored 14 in the second half.

Scottie Lindsey added 19 points and seven rebounds in the game, and Northwestern returned the favor after losing at Michigan last week.

Moe Wagner led the Wolverines (19-7, 8-5) with 20 points and nine rebounds. But Michigan hit just 5 of 20 shots in the second half while missing 9 of 10 3-pointers. The Wolverines weren’t great at the foul line, making 13 of 19.

“We didn’t get a lot of stops, so we couldn’t get running,” Wagner said. “We couldn’t get in the flow in transition. We missed a lot of free throws, too, and didn’t make shots (in the field). Yep, that’s how it goes.”

Northwestern shook off a slow start to pull within three at halftime and scored 10 straight early in the second to grab its first lead of the game.

The Wildcats went ahead 35-33 on a 3-pointer by Vic Law, who was just 1 for 8 from long range and shot 2 of 10 overall. Layups by Dererk Pardon and a driving Lindsey finished the run and made it a six-point game.

McIntosh carried Northwestern down the stretch, scoring 14 points in the final nine minutes. He started that onslaught by nailing a 3 to make it 47-41 and never let up the rest of the way.

There was McIntosh pulling up for a floater after Pardon blocked a layup by Jordan Poole, and he hit another 3 and a jumper to bump the lead to 54-44 with 3:43 remaining.

McIntosh also drove for a layup off a crossover to make it 58-52 with 1:25 left after a three-point play by Wagner, and the Wildcats hung on from there.

“We try not to – as best we can – listen to the outside noise, talking about how our season’s over, that we let it slip away and all that, we’re failures,” McIntosh said. “We just try to stay locked in. We know there’s still a lot to play for right now and the things we want to do aren’t out of reach quite yet.”

LIVERS HURT

Michigan F Isaiah Livers played just two minutes before leaving the game with a left ankle injury. Coach John Beilein said it stiffened on him at halftime and he was unable to return.

“We said, ‘Go out and try it, and if you can go, go. But if you’re in a lot of pain, don’t go,'” Beilein said. “That’s all we know right now.”

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: The Wolverines need to find their stroke from long range and the foul line. They are 20 of 79 over the past three games after going 5 of 22 in this one. And on free throws, they’re 25 of 47 over the past two outings.

Northwestern: The Wildcats simply need to keep this up the rest of the way.

UP NEXT

Michigan: The Wolverines visit struggling Wisconsin on Sunday.

Northwestern: The Wildcats play at Maryland on Saturday.

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More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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.