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No. 18 Kansas State still in Big 12 lead after 64-52 win at TCU

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Barry Brown had 16 points to lead four Kansas State players in double figures and the 18th-ranked Wildcats beat TCU 64-52 on Monday night to maintain a share of the Big 12 lead with one game remaining in the regular season.

Kansas State (23-7, 13-4 Big 12) went ahead to stay with a tiebreaking 13-4 run to end the first half, then scored the first 10 points after halftime.

Kamau Stokes added 15 points for the Wildcats, who remained tied with No. 8 Texas Tech (25-5, 13-4) atop the Big 12 standings. The Red Raiders, who won by 15 at slumping TCU on Saturday, finished a 70-51 home win over Texas only minutes after the K-State game ended.

Kevin Samuel had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead TCU (18-12, 6-11), while RJ Nembhard scored 12 points.

After TCU’s Desmond Bane made a second-chance 3-pointer with 4:47 left in the first half to tie the game at 23, the Wildcats started their game-turning run.

Dean Wade, who scored all of his nine points before halftime, assisted on a 3-pointer by Stokes before the 6-foot-10 senior who was the preseason All-Big 12 player of the year had a steal. Wade and Brown then traded passes down the court before Wade slammed the ball home.

Stokes hit a 3 that beat the shot clock just before halftime for a 36-27 lead at the break.

K-State led by as many as 21 points before TCU reeled off 10 points in a row, a streak that finally ended when Mike McGuirl stopped underneath and passed out to Makol Mawien for a 13-foot jumper in the lane.

Xavier Sneed had 11 points and Mawien 10.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas St.: The Wildcats have a chance to win their second Big 12 title. They were co-champions in 2012-13, coach Bruce Weber’s first season, when they shared the title with Kansas — the 14-time defending champion that won the last five titles outright. K-State started 0-2 in the Big 12 when Wade was out with a foot injury, but is 13-2 in conference play since.

TCU: The Horned Frogs lost for the sixth time in seven games, a stretch that has taken them to the NCAA Tournament bubble. Before that, they seemed to be well on their way to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament after ending a two-decade drought last year.

SENIOR NIGHT

TCU seniors Alex Robinson and JD Miller were recognized before the game. Robinson, who is from Fort Worth but played his first college season for Texas A&M, is TCU’s career assist leader at 628. Miller has played in all 133 games since he got on campus, three short of Brandon Parrish’s school record of 136.

UP NEXT

Kansas State wraps up the regular season Saturday at home against Oklahoma, on senior day for starters Wade, Brown and Stokes.

TCU plays its regular-season finale Saturday at Texas, another NCAA Tournament bubble team.

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.