College hoops had some intriguing tournaments happening on Tuesday night as events like the Maui Invitational, Cayman Islands Classic and the Hall of Fame Classic continued. A top-25 team also fell to a team who had never defeated a ranked opponent as Tuesday saw a sizable upset.
1. Duke and Gonzaga advance to the Maui Invitational finals
The Maui Invitational continued on Tuesday as the semifinals commenced with some entertaining affairs.
In the opening contest, No. 1 Duke outlasted No. 8 Auburn despite some stretches of sluggish play. Freshmen R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish paced the Blue Devils with 18 points each while fellow freshman Zion Williamson chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds.
CBT’s Travis Hines is in Maui and covered this one, as he goes much more in-depth here.
The second game featured a second-half comeback from No. 3 Gonzaga as they heated up to pull away for an 91-74 victory. The Bulldogs found themselves down at the half, and trailing 50-37 in the second half, before turning on the jets and having a great second half.
Rui Hachimura paced the Gonzaga offense with 24 points while Zach Norvell Jr. heated up after a horrible first half to finish with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Duke and Gonzaga will play on Wednesday night in the Maui title game as that will be one of the must-see non-conference games of this season.
2. TCU played with fire (again) and finally got burned
TCU has been banged up at the start of the season. The No. 18 Horned Frogs are playing without guard Jaylen Fisher while forward Kouat Noi made his regular-season debut on Tuesday after missing the first three games of the season.
So it makes sense why TCU has struggled to put away buy-game opponents at home to start the season. Cal State-Bakersfield almost stunned TCU to open the season. Fresno State was beating the Horned Frogs at halftime. The Horned Frogs rallied to win both games.
The sluggish early play finally caught up to Jamie Dixon’s ballclub on Tuesday night as the Horned Frogs fell to Lipscomb, 73-64. Although TCU is banged up to start the season, they start the season with six straight home games against winnable opponents. Even though they’re not yet at 100 percent, this is still not the type of loss that the Horned Frogs are looking for at this point in the season. Noi will undoubtedly give TCU a boost when he’s back up to speed. He didn’t look like himself on Tuesday. But this kind of loss still shouldn’t happen for a top-25-caliber team.
TCU’s first major opponent of this season is a road game at SMU on Dec. 5. They host USC right after that. The Horned Frogs have some work to do before then if they want to get those non-conference wins before Big 12 play.
3. Texas Tech dismantles Nebraska in front of Patrick Mahomes Jr.
Earning an impressive neutral-court win in Kansas City, Texas Tech used its stifling defensive effort to take down Nebraska, 70-52, in the final game of the Hall of Fame Classic.
Playing in front of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes Jr. (a Red Raider alum), Texas Tech was able to hold Nebraska’s offense to 35 percent shooting as a veteran Huskers team never sustained a rhythm after a strong start.
From there, Jarrett Culver (26 points) and Matt Mooney (15 points) heated up and carried Texas Tech’s offense in the second half. Even though the Red Raiders sustained some significant losses from this offseason, it looks like Chris Beard’s trademark toughness and defensive attitude is resonating with this year’s group. Not a lot of people counted on Texas Tech to be any sort of major threat in the Big 12, but I wouldn’t want to face them based on the way they’ve started this season.