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Buffalo trolls Deandre Ayton with savage tweet

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Today very well could be the best day of Deandre Ayton’s life.

The Arizona product was selected No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Suns in the NBA draft, fulfilling a dream very few basketball players ever realize. It’s a moment that is truly special and demands savoring.

Buffalo, though, took the opportunity to do some grade-A trash talk.

The Bulls tweeted congratulations with an edge to Ayton, reminding him of the Wildcats’ first-round NCAA tournament exit at their hands just a few months ago.

This tweet is great for a couple reasons. First off, it’s legitimately solid trolling. Second, it’s a great way for the Bulls to extract a little more value from one of, if not the, biggest wins in program history.

Great idea. Great execution.

Saturday’s tip times and TV assignments released

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With Day 1 in the books, Saturday’s times and TV assignments have been announced for teams looking to book a trip to the Sweet 16. All times Eastern.

Pittsburgh: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson

  • 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 9 Alabama, CBS
  • 2:40 p.m.: No. 2 Duke vs. No. 7 Rhode Island, CBS

Boise: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington

  • 5:15 p.m.: No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Buffalo, CBS
  • 7:45 p.m.: No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 5 Ohio State, CBS

Dallas: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude

  • 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 11 Loyola (Chicago), TNT
  • 8:40: No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 6 Florida, TNT

Wichita: Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn

  • 7:10 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Seton Hall, TBS
  • 9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 6 Houston, TBS

No. 13 Buffalo embarrasses No. 4 Arizona

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Arizona’s star-crossed season just got trampled by a Buffalo.

The fourth-seeded Wildcats were absolutely manhandled by the No. 13 Bulls, 89-68, in what amounted to a dominating performance for Buffalo and an embarrassment for Arizona.

Buffalo, not the team with the presumptive No. 1 NBA draft pick or the preseason No. 2 ranking, was clearly and completely the better squad from start to finish.

It was a fitting end for the Wildcats, whose season has been defined by its absurdity and failures. The year began with the arrest of an assistant coach as part of a federal investigation and then endured Rawle Alkins’ broken foot, another failed drug test and reinstatement from Allonzo Trier and the allegation that Sean Miller was on a federal wiretap discussing funnelling money to star Deandre Ayton before coming to an end in Idaho with a shellacking courtesy of the MAC champion.

At long last, this season out of its misery.

The Wildcats looked either uninterested or unable to hang with the motivated and focused Bulls, who have been in the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years. Buffalo head coach Nate Oats said he believed his team was the better one on the floor Thursday. Nothing that happened there disproved that theory.

Buffalo was blistering offensively, shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent on 30 shots from 3-point range. Wes Clark scored 25 and Jeremy Harris had 23. CJ Massinburg hit five threes and scored 19 points to help the Bulls to the first NCAA tournament win in program history.

Buffalo’s story is a great one. The team on the other side of the scoreboard can’t say the same.

As brutal as Arizona’s performance was Thursday and as disjointed as their entire season has been, the Wildcats’ future looks bleak.

Things could get a whole lot worse really quickly.

At the most basic level, the roster turnover will be massive. Ayton, Alkins and Trier are going pro while Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright are out of eligibility. For those keeping score at home, that’s the entire starting five.

There are no reinforcements coming, either. The stench of the federal investigation has made their recruiting toxic, and there are no commits for 2018. Arizona has been the premier recruiting on the west coast in recent years, and now they literally have no one in their recruiting class in the middle of March.

Of course, those are short-term concerns. The bigger issue is how bad are the long-term implications of their current situation?

Miller may have coached his last game in Tucson. The federal government might have more to say about the program. Then the NCAA will undoubtedly have questions.

Arizona can’t even really just wait out the allegations. The unknown here is actually probably worse than just getting to whatever the fallout will eventually be. At least then the Wildcats will know what they’re facing and how to deal with it. Right now, it’s a shrug and a hope the program isn’t decimated. Not exactly a winning message on the recruiting trail.

It’s going to get dark in the desert.

The question becomes how long does night last?

The worst part?

The NCAA won’t be able to vacate that loss.

Ingram scores 23, No. 7 Duke beats Buffalo 82-59

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 23 points and No. 7 Duke pulled away to beat Buffalo 82-59 on Saturday night.

Grayson Allen finished with 22 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, and Amile Jefferson had 13 points for the Blue Devils (8-1).

They won their sixth straight despite some offensive struggles: Duke never trailed but shot a season-worst 40.7 percent and matched a season low with five 3-pointers.

CJ Massinburg had 17 points and Lamonte Bearden added 10 for Buffalo (4-4), which shot just 33 percent.

After some early shooting struggles, Duke scored 11 straight points midway through the second half to build its first 20-point lead.

Jarryn Skeete pulled the Bulls to 41-32 with a 3-pointer with 15 minutes left. Jefferson countered with a layup, Ingram hit a corner 3 and the Blue Devils jumped into a 1-3-1 defense that forced consecutive turnovers that led to five easy points. Jefferson then capped the burst with a free throw that made it 52-32 with 12:25 to play.

After Buffalo cut it to 12, Matt Jones answered with a 3-pointer – just Duke’s third to that point – to make it 62-47 with 7 minutes left.

The Blue Devils might have been in big trouble in this one if not for Ingram – who was 8 of 15 in his second straight 20-point performance. He had a season-best 24 points last time out, in a 20-point win over Indiana three nights earlier.

It would have been tough for the Blue Devils as a whole to play much better than they did in that one.

But for a while, it seemed like a pretty drastic regression.

Players not named Ingram combined to miss 16 straight shots over a 15-minute stretch, and Duke had just two assists on its 10 baskets in the first half.

That Duke led by 10 points at halftime was mainly due to Ingram – who had 15 points at the break – and 13-of-17 free throw shooting.

TIP-INS

Buffalo: The Bulls, who visit No. 5 Iowa State on Monday night, are the first Mid-American Conference team to play consecutive games against Top 10 opponents since Eastern Michigan in 2012.

Duke: Seven-foot center Marshall Plumlee finished with a career-high four assists. He entered with a team-best 17 blocks and shared the team lead for the season with 10 steals.

UP NEXT

Buffalo visits No. 5 Iowa State on Monday night.

Duke hosts Georgia Southern on Dec. 15.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Buffalo dismisses Justin Moss, reigning MAC Player of the Year, from team

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Buffalo’s chances of returning to the NCAA tournament took a major blow on Monday afternoon, as forward Justin Moss was dismissed from the team.

Moss, along with teammates Raheem Johnson and Mory Diane, was suspended in June after the three were caught stealing money from the dorm room of two Buffalo football players.

“Justin Moss is not currently enrolled in classes at the University at Buffalo, nor is he participating in university activities,” read a statement released by the university. “Because of federal privacy laws protecting student records, the university cannot comment further on this matter.”

As a junior, Moss was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder at 17.5 points and 9.2 boards per game, en route to MAC Player of the Year honors. He led the Bulls to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.

According to the statement, Johnson and Diane, two reserve players, are both still enrolled in the classes and remain members of the men’s basketball program. Moss had been on probation due to a prior on-campus theft.

Nate Oats’ inherited a terrific team when he was hired to replace the departing Bobby Hurley, but after Moss’ dismissal and Shannon Evans’ decision to follow his coach to Arizona State, the Bulls are down their two top scorers from a season ago.

Report: Three Buffalo players, including MAC Player of the Year Justin Moss, suspended after theft

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MAC Player of the Year Justin Moss is among three Buffalo players who were caught stealing money from members of the football team in June, according to a report from The Buffalo News.

Moss, a senior forward, fellow senior forward Raheem Johnson and sophomore guard Mory Diane took $650 from two victims in a second-degree burglary on June 2nd in which they illegally entered. The players later returned the money after the issue was brought up by members of the Buffalo coaching staff. No charges were filed in the matter, which was handled by University Police.

According to the Buffalo News report, citing the campus police report, all three players have been suspended from the basketball team since June 5.

The fate of the players will be decided by the Student-Wide Judiciary, which conducts hearings on student misconduct matters. The Buffalo News report states that the hearing could happen in the next two weeks. Possible punishment includes expulsion from school, or possibly being deemed ineligible for the first semester of the season.

If Moss were to miss any time for Buffalo, it would be a devastating loss, as he averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last season. Johnson is a reserve forward who played around 11 minutes per game last season, while Diane hardly played during his freshman season.