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Three Things to Know: Stephen F. Austin stuns Duke at buzzer; Michigan State outlasts Anthony Edwards

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A full day of college basketball continued on Tuesday night with the Maui Invitational and Legends Classic among the marquee attractions.

But it was a massive upset in dramatic fashion that had the sports world talking as No. 1 Duke was stunned with its first home loss to a non-conference team since 2000.

1. Stephen F. Austin stuns No. 1 Duke on buzzer-beating layup

The play, the upset, the loss we’ll all be talking about for quite some time. The Lumberjacks stunned the No. 1 Blue Devils with an overtime win on Tuesday night as Nathan Bain raced down Cameron Indoor Stadium and released his uncontested layup just before time expired.

This is the third time the No. 1 team has lost this season — the second time that No. 1 has fallen to an unranked mid-major at home. More on this one here as Bain’s moment and Stephen F. Austin’s win is one of the biggest upsets in college basketball in the past 20 years.

2. No. 3 Michigan State outlasts Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Afternoon consolation hoops at the Maui Invitational saw No. 3 Michigan State build a 28 point lead before Anthony Edwards nearly single-handedly brought Georgia back with his second-half performance. Edwards scored 33 of his 37 points in the second half, putting on one of the more memorable stretches of play at the Maui Invitational.

Despite all of that, the Spartans held on for the win as Cassius Winston had another outstanding game. I have more on this game, with some of Edwards’ ridiculous highlights.

3. No. 4 Kansas, Dayton advance to Maui Invitational finals with wins

The championship of the Maui Invitational is set for Wednesday night as No. 4 Kansas and Dayton both won in the semifinals to set up the unexpected clash.

Continuing their impressive national showcase, the Flyers ousted Virginia Tech with an impressive 89-62 win. Sophomore forward Obi Toppin paced Dayton with 24 points as he continues to draw national attention.

Toppin and the Flyers get a major test in the No. 4 Jayhawks after they took down BYU. Kansas and Dayton is the unlikely Maui final that could deliver some interesting subplots.

Toppin is drawing considerable NBA buzz this week. Seeing him battle the Jayhawks’ massive frontline of Udoka Azubuike and David McCormack should be a lot of fun.

No. 3 Michigan State withstands Georgia despite monster Anthony Edwards second half

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Following a disappointing first-round exit from Maui to Virginia Tech the night before, No. 3 Michigan State withstood a ridiculous second-half performance from Georgia’s Anthony Edwards to claim a 93-85 consolation win at Maui.

The Spartans bounced back from the upset to the Hokies with a dominating first-half effort — putting together a 21-point halftime lead as senior point guard Cassius Winston did whatever he wanted.

Then, following a slow first half, Edwards showed why many consider him the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The freshman shooting guard pumped in 33 points in the second half — finishing with 37 overall. Edwards put up deep three-pointers, tough fadeaway jumpers (which made Bill Walton compare Edwards to Mitch Richmond on the broadcast) and generally looked like a 10-year NBA all-star for 20 blistering minutes. The Spartans lead also went from 28 down to two.

 

It looked like Maui could turn into a potential disaster for the former preseason No. 1 team.

But Michigan State deserves credit for showing resilience and taking the very best punch from perhaps the best pure scorer in college basketball and turning things around to win. Winston poured in 28 points and added eight assists while only turning the ball over twice. And although Edwards’ run was a frightening thing to deal with if you support the Spartans, Michigan State had enough responses to avoid the dreaded “1-2 — W over Chaminade” finish at Maui.

In all likelihood, Michigan State will see UCLA in the consolation title tomorrow with a chance to finish the event 2-1. Although the competition won’t be what the Spartans were hoping for, they have enough brutal games on the schedule where it’s not like they need additional Q1 games. They just need to improve closing out games if they want to remain Big Ten champions as a hunted top-five team.

Georgia’s comeback was fun. Edwards now firmly feels like the most compelling individual player to watch from a casual fan perspective in college hoops this season. But there’s still a glaring lack of consistent play from a team featuring 10 new players and relying on many younger guys.

Edwards had a hot/cold game in which he was virtually non-existent in the first half. At one point, Walton even mentioned Markelle Fultz’s name in a sentence speaking about Edwards — implying that the No. 1 hype wasn’t warranted. Then Edwards had one of the greatest stretches in the history of a storied tournament. The highs and lows within even one game need to slow down if the Bulldogs want to be a factor in the SEC.

A high-scoring game with a top player in college hoops single-handedly trying to take down a top-five team is about as good as you can ask for when it comes to afternoon consolation college hoops.

Georgia lands four-star point guard Sahvir Wheeler

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Georgia’s already high-powered 2019 recruiting class got a big boost Monday.

Sahvir Wheeler, a four-star point guard from Houston, committed to Tom Crean and the Bulldogs, giving them a class of four four-star recruits and one five-star headliner in Anthony Edwards.

The 5-foot-8 Wheeler picked the Dawgs over Iowa State after visiting both schools. He previously had been committed to Texas A&M, but decided to look in another direction after the school parted ways with coach Billy Kennedy in March.

Wheeler’s commitment gives Georgia its point guard of the future as Crean looks to ramp up quickly in Athens after a debut season that saw the former Marquette and Indiana coach go 11-21 overall and 2-16 in the SEC. GIven the strength of this recruiting class, which also features top-100 recruits Christian Brown, Jaykwon Walton and Toumani Camara, allows for a quick rebuild, even if it means a youthful roster in 2019-20.

WATCH: Georgia loses when fan throws stuffed animal on floor with .5 seconds left

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Controversy abounds in Athens!

With their season essentially over and their head coach trashing the players that are currently on the roster, Georgia still found a way to make an enormous comeback at home against Mississippi State, tying the game at 67 with less than 10 seconds left in the game.

That’s when the controversy hit.

It started with a controversial foul call, as Jordan Harris did not appear to hit Quinndary Weatherspoon on a jumper with 0.5 seconds left on the clock, but a foul was called anyway. That sent Weatherspoon to the line where, with the entire arena still booing the officials, a fan threw a stuffed animal at Weatherspoon as he missed the first of two free throws.

A technical foul was called, giving Weatherspoon an extra free throw attempt. He made it, then intentionally missed the second. Georgia was unable to even get a shot off, and that was it.

Mississippi State won.

All thanks to a stuffed animal.

Waters, Smart lead No. 19 LSU over Georgia, 83-79

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ATHENS, Ga. — Tremont Waters scored 20 points, Ja’vonte Smart added 19 and No. 19 LSU won its fourth straight game, holding off Georgia for an 83-79 victory Saturday night.

The Tigers (21-4, 11-1 Southeastern Conference) are off to their best start in league play since the 1981 Final Four team was 11-0. They never trailed after Smart’s 3-pointer midway through the second half, but Georgia stayed close and didn’t allow LSU to lead by more than eight the rest of the way.

LSU was down six midway through the first half, but went on a 17-2 run to take a 31-22 lead on Skylar Mays’ layup. Georgia remained in the game, thanks in part to a sixth straight sellout crowd at Stegeman Coliseum making it tough on the Tigers.

Nicolas Claxton finished with 17 points and Rayshaun Hammonds had 13 for Georgia (10-15, 1-11). The Bulldogs have lost six straight in their first season under coach Tom Crean.

TIP-INS

LSU: The Tigers keep finding ways to win on the road. They sneaked out of Rupp Arena this week with an upset victory on Kavel Bigby-Williams’ last-second tip-in against Kentucky, and they’ve won three times in overtime. It’s a big turnaround after LSU lost its final seven SEC road games last season and dropped nine in a row away from Baton Rouge before starting league play this year. The Tigers are 7-0 on the road in the SEC for the first time since 1981.

Georgia: In 24 SEC halves played this season, the Bulldogs have been outscored 20 times. … Crean went with a three-guard starting lineup, sitting forward Derek Ogbeide and guard Teshaun Hightower in favor of Turtle Jackson, Jordan Harris and walk-on redshirt senior Christian Harrison. … The Bulldogs have struggled all season off the dribble and in giving help, so Crean mostly used a 2/3 zone in hopes to jump-starting the defense. It didn’t help much as LSU, the SEC’s best free-throw shooting team, still made it to the rim to draw fouls and score 18 points from the foul line.

Anthony Edwards, No. 1 prospect in 2019, commits to Georgia over Kentucky

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Georgia has beaten out Kentucky for the commitment of the No. 1 player in the Class of 2019.

Anthony Edwards, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Atlanta, announced on Monday morning that he will be playing for Tom Crean and the Bulldogs.

“I chose Georgia because two of my favorite players, Victor Oladipo and Dwyane Wade, played for Tom Crean,” Edwards said.

Originally a member of the Class of 2020, Edwards is considered the favorite to end up at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He has the size, the frame and the athleticism to play two-guard in the NBA, but what makes him the best off-guard prospect in years is that he has all of the physical tools and the game to be an impact player at the highest level.

Offensively, Edwards is very well-rounded. He’s a good enough shooter that defenders have to crowd him, which is not something that players at the high school level can do with his ability to penetrate. He’s an above-the-rim finisher, but he’s also a willing and capable passer. In an era where basketball at the highest level tends to be isolation-heavy with shooters spacing the floor to allow the stars to make a play, Edwards could not be a more perfect fit.

Edwards joins a pair of top 100 prospects — wings Jaykwon Walton and Toumani Camara — in Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class.

This is a massive pickup for the Bulldogs, but it will be interesting to see how Edwards’ game fits in on a Georgia team that has not been good this year. The Bulldogs won’t have a ton of spacing, and the way things stand, their best players project to be big men.

“He’s one of the best scorers that I’ve seen in 20 years of covering basketball in Georgia,” said Justin Young, founder of HoopSeen.com and a longtime scout in the state. “The only guy I can think of that can is similar is Louis Williams. He’s tremendous as a bucket-getter. He can lead the SEC in scoring as a freshman, and Tom will give him the ball. He told him from Day 1, I want you to be Dwyane Wade, and I think Anthony has that sort of dog in him. He’s one of the best second half scorers I’ve ever seen, he’s really dominated the second half of games he’s played, but that hasn’t translated into wins. That will be the biggest challenge. The talent is there. It’s how does Crean channel all that and get the most out of him for his program.”

But what is clear is that Edwards will be their No. 1 option from the second that he sets foot on campus in Athens, and there is a chance that he could end up being the best scorer in the SEC.