(Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

VIDEO: Chris Clarke tip-in helps Virginia Tech score upset over No. 5 Duke

3 Comments

Virginia Tech secured another huge ACC victory on Monday night as the Hokies rallied to score a 64-63 win over No. 5 Duke.

Chris Clarke tipped in a Nickeil Alexander-Walker missed jumper with a little over 4 seconds left to claim the win for the Hokies as Marvin Bagley III’s tip-in to win on the ensuing possession came too late. The Hokies ended this game on a 13-3 run as Duke didn’t score a field goal for the final 7:08 of the game. Alexander-Walker led four Hokies in double-figures with 17 points.

Now with ACC wins over Virginia, Duke and North Carolina, the Hokies (21-9, 10-7) have three really strong wins as they try to make a push for a better seed. Many bracketologists currently have Virginia Tech in the double-digit seed range, but this win could really help. Virginia Tech still has its ACC finale against Miami as well before the conference tournament begins next week. There’s still plenty of time of the Hokies to secure more quality wins and they’re going to be a dangerous team.

Duke (24-6, 12-5) had the lead for most of Monday’s game but they couldn’t close this one out in a hostile road environment. Senior guard Grayson Allen (22 points, 6-for-18 shooting) was aggressive as a scorer but he didn’t have his shot falling for a lot of the night. Playing in only his second game back from a knee injury, Bagley finished with 12 points and seven rebounds as it still looks like he’s getting his timing down.

It should also be noted that Duke used a new starting lineup on Monday as Trevon Duval came off the bench in favor of a bigger lineup that featured Javin DeLaurier at forward. With Wendell Carter, Bagley, DeLaurier, Gary Trent Jr. and Allen, Duke’s zone had even more size than usual as the group did a decent job of contesting Virginia Tech shots.

But Duke couldn’t get in any kind of rhythm offensively and Duval had a tough time getting into the game off the bench. The Blue Devils going without a field goal for that long to end a game is disturbing, especially when you consider how much talent this team has.

Duke’s cold perimeter shooting continued with an 8-for-28 effort from distance — including Trent going 1-for-7. After only going 2-for-18 from three in the win over Syracuse, Duke’s perimeter shooting will need to get better now that Bagley is back in the lineup.

Although the cold offensive stretch isn’t a good look from Duke, they continue to play better overall defense than they were earlier this season, so that’s a positive sign going forward.

The thing to watch for Duke right now is what kind of starting lineup they’ll choose to stick with and how that affects the overall gameplan. Duval coming off the bench didn’t seem to help the Blue Devil offense on Monday as they’re still working on a rotation now that Bagley is back.

Elite Class of 2020 point guard to reclassify

Leave a comment

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

Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Al Bello/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.