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Saturday’s Things to Know: Indiana, UNC get huge road wins; Chris Clemons climbs the NCAA record book

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PLAYERS OF THE DAY: Chris Clemons, Campbell

Dropping 39 points in a Campbell win (for the second time this week), Clemons continued his torrid hot streak against Longwood. Going 10-for-18 from three-point range, Clemons had it going from the perimeter on Saturday.

But most importantly, Clemons is continuing to climb the college basketball all-time scoring board at a rapid rate. Thanks to the back-to-back 39-point performances this week the 5-foot-9 senior guard passed Larry Bird and Tyler Hansbrough on Saturday. He’s up to 2,875 career points. Elvin Hayes is in striking distance now — as are a number of high-profile college legends.

Clemons doesn’t play for a high-major program on a lot of nationally-televised games. But the nation’s leading scorer is having a special senior season. He’s now given himself a legitimate chance to chase more legends as the Fighting Camels attempt to make the NCAA tournament out of the Big South.

TEAM OF THE DAY: Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana might have saved its season following an overtime road win over No. 6 Michigan State. With senior forward Juwan Morgan going down with a shoulder injury midway through the first half, things weren’t looking very good for the Hoosiers to end their seven-game losing streak.

But a balanced offense, 20 offensive rebounds, and some incredible toughness, helped lead Indiana to a huge win. While the Hoosiers still have work to do to get themselves off of the bubble and into the NCAA tournament’s Field of 68, they now own top-notch wins over Louisville, Marquette and on the road at Michigan State.

The Big Ten is brutally deep and Indiana has plenty of teams to beat before they can feel comfortable. But this is the type of win that could completely change everything as Indiana had the look of a team that continued to fight despite everything going wrong.

ONIONS OF THE DAY: Antonio Williams, Kent State

Desperation heaves rarely end up working out but it ended up going well for Kent State junior guard Antonio Williams. On a blown play with time winding down, trailing Ball State on the road in overtime, Williams worked his pivot foot so he faced the basket and chucked a ball off the backboard. Then Williams worked his way through traffic to catch the ball himself and finish for the game-winning bucket.

Kent State ended up with the 83-80 MAC road win as Williams will be remembered for his unique go-ahead score.

SATURDAY WAS A GOOD DAY FOR …

North Carolina: Earning the day’s second biggest win was No. 9 North Carolina in a tough and solid revenge road win at No. 15 Louisville. After falling to the Cardinals earlier this season in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels turned things around in the second game thanks to its defensive intensity and offensive rebounding.

North Carolina didn’t shoot the ball well from three-point range (just like the first loss) but overcame the perimeter woes thanks to pounding the offensive glass, hard-nosed defense and balanced scoring from four spots. If North Carolina can continue to defend at that level over 40 minutes while getting normal offense then they’ll be a fascinating team to follow in the ACC race.

Kansas: After a two-game losing streak and a week full of questions about the Big 12 race, the Jayhawks responded on Saturday with a convincing blowout home win over No. 16 Texas Tech. The No. 11 Jayhawks received another stellar performance from All-American candidate and forward Dedric Lawson (25 points, 10 rebounds) while Devon Dotson (20 points) made plays on both ends of the floor. Saturday’s win was a reminder of why Kansas is still the Big 12 front runner until another gaffe.

Duke’s Zion Williamson: Continuing a recent hot streak, the freshman and Player of the Year frontrunner had some more highlight-reel plays to go along with 29 points, six rebounds, five steals and two blocks as No. 2 Duke cruised past St. John’s for a non-conference win. Williamson continued a six-game streak of at least 22 points as he’s been looking more dominant as the ACC schedule has gone along.

UTSA’s Keaton Wallace: Remember the name of this sophomore guard. Dropping 45 points in an overtime win over Marshall, Wallace became the second straight UTSA player to score at least 45 points in a game. Teammate Jhivvan Jackson dropped 46 points in a loss to Western Kentucky. As for Wallace, he’s compiled some impressive performances in recent games as the Roadrunners have one of the best one-two scoring punches in all of college hoops.

SATURDAY WAS A BAD DAY FOR …

Big East bubble teams: It was a tough day for bubble teams in general, but especially in the Big East, as multiple teams went down with a loss. In a battle of bubble teams between Butler and Seton Hall, the Bulldogs came out on top with a two-point win — while also being the only Big East bubble team to have a positive day. The Pirates certainly didn’t benefit from the loss to Butler while St. John’s lost to No. 1 Duke on the road and Providence fell at DePaul. Overall, not the kind of day the Big East was looking for, as many of their bubble teams are starting to lose momentum.

N.C. State’s offense: The Wolfpack had a day to forget on Saturday afternoon as they only mustered 24 points (!!!) in a blowout loss to No. 12 Virginia Tech. It wasn’t the lowest point total for a top-25 team in the shot-clock era. Shooting only 9-for-54 from the floor (16 percent) and 2-for-28 (seven percent) from three-point range, N.C. State started an abysmal 1-for-17 to set the tone from the start. A week after knocking down the game-winning buzzer-beater against Clemson, sophomore guard Braxton Beverly was 0-for-12 from the floor and 0-for-9 from the three-point line. Certainly one to forget for the Wolfpack.

Michigan State free throws: Credit certainly goes to Indiana for the huge win in East Lansing. But Michigan State did the Hoosiers plenty of favors by only going 8-for-22 from the free-throw line. Nick Ward was particularly brutal from the line, going 1-for-9 in the game, as the Spartans could have closed this game out with a few more makes at the charity stripe.

Nebraska: Losing for the fifth consecutive time, Nebraska fell to Illinois for an ugly Big Ten road loss. The Huskers are in a freefall after a promising start to the season as they’re not faring well following the loss of Isaac Copeland for the season. Things don’t get much easier for Nebraska as they have to face Maryland and Nebraska over the next two games.

Three Things To Know: Memphis embarrassed; Luka Garza shows out again

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The story of the night in hoops was Zion Williamson’s return to the basketball court.

But there was plenty of action in the college ranks that is worthy of talking about.

Here are the three things that you need to know:

1. No. 20 MEMPHIS LOST BY 40 TO TULSA

That is not a typo.

The 20th-ranked team in the country went into Tulsa, Okla., and lost to the Golden Hurricane, 80-40. Tulsa was up 40-17 at halftime. This was a butt-whooping that was so bad that all Tulsa needed to do was score a single point in the second half and they would have been able to get the win.

Memphis shot 28 percent from the floor. They were 2-for-21 from three. They finished the night with more turnovers (20) and fouls (22) than field goals (16). This was the worst loss that a top 25 team has suffered against a ranked team in 27 years, since UConn beat then-No. 12 Virginia by 41 points.

For Tulsa, this is a massive, massive win. They are currently sitting all alone in first place in the American standings, a half-game up on Houston.

So good for Frank Haith.

But the story here is Memphis, because the Tigers, considered title contenders before the season began, look anything-but right now.

“We let our defense dictate our offense,” head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters after the game. “We didn’t play any defense today. I think today was the first day we’ve done that ll year. I don’t know if guys overlooked Tulsa because of the name. We did our due diligence as a coaching staff to let them know what was going to happen with the matchup zone and how hard they play.

“It’s pretty embarrassing.”

2. LUKA GARZA WENT NUTS AGAIN

If it seems like Garza is putting up monster numbers every games, it’s because he is.

On Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes welcomed newly-ranked Rutgers to campus and sent them home with an entertaining, hard-fought, 85-80 win. And Garza was the star of the show. He finished with 28 points, 13 boards, four blocks and two steals in the win, anchoring the paint as Iowa out-scored Rutgers 47-37 in the second half.

The big fella is now averaging 23 points and 10.5 boards.

Iowa has now won four straight games to move into a tie for third in the Big Ten standings — with Rutgers, among others — and they have won eight straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They are a third of the way through a three-game homestand as well.

3. VIRGINIA TECH TAKES DOWN NORTH CAROLINA

Virginia Tech kept up their push to finish as the fourth-best team in the ACC with a 79-77 double-overtime win over North Carolina.

The Hokies are now 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC, but the more interesting story might actually be the Tar Heels.

They are 8-10 on the season and 1-6 in the ACC. They have been a disaster for the last month, but there may be some reinforcements on the way in the shape of Cole Anthony. If he returns and the Tar Heels, who are 2-7 in his absence but have wins over Alabama and Oregon with him, get things back on the right track, they are likely going to find themselves in an incredibly awkward situation on Selection Sunday.

Big 12 hands down Kansas-Kansas State fight suspensions

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The Big 12 handed down suspensions to four Kansas and Kansas State players for their role in the fight that occurred in Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Silvio De Sousa, who tried to fight three different Kansas State players and picked up a stool during the melee, received a 12 game suspension from the conference. David McCormack, who went into the stands to confront James Love III, received a two game suspension. Love was given eight games for part in the fight, while Antonio Gordon, the freshman that turned a messy situation into a fight, was hit with a three game suspension.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

In the final seconds on Tuesday night, after DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from him at halfcourt, De Sousa blocked Gordon’s shot and towered over him. That sparked an incident that turned into a full-fledged brawl, as De Sousa threw punches at three different players on Kansas State before picking up a stool as the fight spilled into the handicapped section of Kansas seating.

Self called the fight “an embarrassment” after the game, adding on Wednesday that “we are disappointed in [De Sousa’s] actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

McCormack will be eligible to return for Kansas on Feb. 1st when they play Texas Tech at home. De Sousa will be available to play in the final game of the regular season at Texas Tech. Gordon can return on Feb. 3rd, when the Wildcats host Baylor, while Love will be out until late February. But he has played just one game and two minutes on the season, so there is no clear indication of when he will actually put on a Kansas State jersey again.

The four most important questions after Kansas-Kansas State fight

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Very other sport can treat brawls like comedy, and I think it’s about time that we did the same for basketball.

So let’s take a look at the four funniest moments from last night’s Kansas-Kansas State fight. Shouts to Jomboy:

1. IS THE KANSAS MASCOT OK?

Throughout the entire fight, the mascot is just in utter disbelief. He cannot believe what he just saw, and he certainly cannot be consoled:

2. CAN JEREMY CASE START AT LINEBACKER FOR KU’S FOOTBALL TEAM?

Case is the video coordinator for Kansas. He’s also a former Kansas point guard. He knows what this rivalry is all about, and he also is not going to be afraid to get in the middle of it.

Case starts out on the wrong side of the melee:

But when he sees De Sousa and Love squaring up and throwing punches, he intervenes by throwing himself into a player six inches taller than him:

3. WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES LOVE III’S SHOE?

James Love the third has played in exactly one game this season. He has spent more time on the court fighting that he has actually playing, but he still found a way to get into the middle of this fight and, in the process, lost his shoe:

He’s not dressed for the game.

Did he bring an extra pair of shoes? Did he have to head back onto the bus without a shoe on this right foot? So many questions, so few answers.

4. WHO IS THE MAN IN THE ORANGE HAT?

He’s some kind of photographer.

He got his shot, that’s for sure:

Kansas-Kansas State fight: Nuance, context the key in Silvio De Sousa discussion

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So I wanted to elaborate on a point that I made on twitter this morning because 280 characters just is not enough to be able to parse through the nuance of this situation.

If you missed it, the thread is here.

First and foremost, everyone involved in this needs to be punished. Silvio De Sousa needs to be suspended. Antonio Gordon needs to be suspended. James Love III needs to be suspended. David McCormack, and potentially Marcus Garrett, probably need to be suspended, although I’m not sure either of them actually through a punch. Point being, anyone else that threw a punch needs to be suspended.

Full stop.

I am not saying otherwise.

But I think that it is important to add some context to the conversation, and I also think that it is important to say this: This doesn’t make any of the young men involved in this fight bad people. Silvio De Sousa is not inherently a bad person because he picked up a stool, and the faux-trage of people calling for him to get booted out of school, arrested or even deported are, at best, completely over-reacting and, at worst, showing off a bit of their racial bias.

Before I get into this, one more thing: I am not condoning any of it. Fights like this should not happen.

But the reality of hyper-competitive athletics is that in emotionally charged situations, fights are going to happen. And if you’ve ever been in a fight like this, you know that things happen incredibly quickly. You’re not thinking, you’re reacting. You can’t call a 20 second time out to come up with a way to defend yourself when someone is throwing haymakers, you just do what you can in the moment.

So let’s talk about the moment, shall we?

De Sousa is the guy that set this entire thing in motion with the way that he reacted to DaJuan Gordon’s steal and layup attempt. The reason the Kansas State bench rushes over to the scene is because De Sousa is towering over one of their freshman teammates, and the reason the Kansas sideline runs over is because the Kansas State sideline does. What turned this incident into a full-fledged brawl was Antonio Gordon flying in and shoving De Sousa over the back of the basket stanchion. De Sousa reacts by throwing punches at two different Kansas State players when a third player — James Love III, in the black polo — comes flying in and squares up with him. They both throw a few punches at each other, knocking De Sousa back over the stanchion again as Kansas staffer Jeremy Case comes flying in to break them up.

Put yourself in De Sousa’s shoes here. In the span of 10 seconds, he’s fought three different Kansas State players, sees nothing but purple in front of him and just got knocked to the ground. Is he getting jumped? Does he have to fight them 1-on-3? That’s when he grabs the stool, to defend himself, and when he sees that no one is coming after him anymore, he drops it:

Context.

He should be suspended for 8-10 games.

He set this entire thing in motion.

But maybe, just maybe, tone down the rhetoric.

Women’s Wednesday: A new column dedicated to the women of college basketball

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Welcome to CBT’s first ever weekly women’s basketball column. I’m here to help provide you with some insight into the world of women’s college hoops.

Women’s sports are reaching new heights, especially in basketball. The WNBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement starting in the 2020 season that includes a 53 percent raise, maternity benefits, a base salary and performance-based bonuses. This year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be broadcasted in its entirety on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship game premiering in primetime.

Female athletes are beginning to garner the attention they deserve. Sabrina Ionescu is drawing national attention for a historic senior season, as she has 22 career triple-doubles and became Oregon’s all-time leading basketball scorer in her career-high 37-point performance against Stanford last week. In the WNBA, women such as Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more are shattering gender stereotypes and proving that women can play basketball at a high level, just as men can.

While women’s sports have made a push into the public eye, there is still quite a way to go. It’s important to place an emphasis on the women who excel in their sport and give them the spotlight they deserve. Too many times women are only given credit through a masculine lens, whether that’s only getting attention after receiving praise from men, being compared to a male counterpart, or being a footnote in a male athlete’s story. Female athletes deserve to be their own story.

That’s what I’m hoping to do with this column over the rest of the season — give women a place to shine. I’d like to use this space to highlight some of the amazing women that play in the NCAA and hear from them about their experiences, the records they’re setting and their basketball journey. While I won’t even begin to make a dent in the breadth of talent available in women’s college basketball, I hope to use this column each week to take a deeper dive into some incredible women, as well as give you an idea of what’s happening around the country that week.

WEDNESDAY’S NEWS AND NOTES

South Carolina sits atop the world of college hoops, earning 22 first-place votes from the AP panel to nab the No. 1 spot. The Gamecocks have an 18-1 record with wins over ranked opponents such as Maryland, Baylor, Kentucky and most recently Mississippi State.

Baylor — the reigning national champs —- sits in the No. 2 spot in the rankings after dethroning UConn and ending its dominant 98-game winning streak at home. The Lady Bears received six of the first-place votes from the AP committee.

The rest of the top five is filled out by UConn at No. 3, Oregon at No. 4 after beating then-No. 3 Stanford, and Louisville rounds it out at fifth, receiving the last two first-place votes.

In a monster performance against Stanford, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu had a career-high 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. She has four triple-doubles on the season and has a chance to become the NCAA’s first player to eclipse 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists. As of Jan. 18, she has 2,265 points, 904 rebounds and 928 assists.

DePaul remains unbeaten in the Big East, with Chante Stonewall leading the team with 17.9 ppg while Kelly Campbell has 102 assists on the season, ranking No. 8 in the country.

Baylor’s 40-point victory over then-No. 17 West Virginia is their 45th consecutive Big 12 win.

Mississippi State’s JaMya Mingo-Young and Aliyah Matharu combined for 24 points and four steals off the bench in a close 79-81 loss to South Carolina on Monday.

Star freshman and No. 1 recruit Haley Jones suffered an apparent right knee injury and left Stanford’s Sunday win over Oregon State. She is scheduled to have an MRI but the team has given no further updates.

North Carolina State’s Elissa Cunane has 20+ points in four of her last six games and 10 double-doubles on the season, helping the Wolfpack to a dominant win over Florida State last week.

UCLA became the last undefeated team to fall with a double overtime loss to USC — who hadn’t yet won a Pac-12 matchup —  on Friday.

Northwestern made its debut this season in the Top-25, coming in at No. 22 — its first ranking since the 2015-2016 season.

No. 3 Oregon faces rival No. 7 Oregon State on Friday in a crucial Pac-12 matchup.

Stanford freshman Fran Belini threw down a one-handed dunk in pregame warmup before facing Oregon that you HAVE to see: