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Wednesday’s Things to Know: Duke ‘not competitive’ in loss at N.C. State, and halfcourt buzzer-beater gets waved off

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The biggest news of the night came out of Newark, where Seton Hall got a buzzer-beater to defeat Butler, but that wasn’t the only action across the country. Here’s what else you need to know:

1. Wolfpack pick up huge resume win in blowout of Duke

The headline is going to that Duke lost, because Duke is Duke and the Blue Devils are the sixth-ranked team in the country. And when Duke, being Duke, gets throttled by an unranked team, as the Blue Devils did in an 88-66 loss to NC State, that goes double.

“Sometimes when you’ve eaten a lot, you’re not as hungry,” Mike Krzyzewski said of his Duke team. “Our team obviously tonight didn’t feel like they needed the win. You have to stay hungry while you’re winning at that level because we’re not a team at that level, we’ve just won that many games and tonight we were not competitive.”

Really, though, this is a much bigger result for the Wolfpack than it is for Coach K’s team.

Kevin Keatts and Co. entered a monumental week with a resume that wouldn’t measure up to an NCAA tournament berth with losses to Georgia Tech (twice), Memphis, Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Boston College (on Sunday) outweighing a number of good-but-not-great victories.

They’ve taken the first step in changing that reality with their thumping of the Blue Devils, who had won seven-straight coming into the evening.

Markell Johnson scored 28 points while Devon Daniels had 25 and DJ Funderburk 21. The Wolfpack converted at a 45.1 percent clip overall from the floor and made 8 of 13 from 3-point range (61.5 percent). They had just 10 turnovers and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. Perhaps most impressively they took a couple of big punches from Duke in the early part of the second half that many an ACC foe has been staggered by, but NC State found its footing and punched back to earn a 22-point win.

Wednesday, though, was just half of the Wolfpack’s big week. On Saturday, Florida State will visit PNC Arena in Raleigh, giving Keatts a second shot at another resume-bolstering win. The victory against Duke makes this week a win regardless for NC State, but if the Wolfpack can go 2-0, it’ll be absolutely massive for them. This week is especially important for the Wolfpack because of what comes next – just one more shot at a marquee victory, at Duke to start March. That’s a hard ask. It’s less of a must now because of the way they were able to take care of business on their home car. That goes double if they can do it again Saturday.

Meanwhile, it was a pretty miserable night for Duke if you weren’t Vernon Carey, who had 27 points and 12 rebounds. Tre Jones had 17 points, but was 6 of 18 from the floor, though he did also have nine rebounds. The Blue Devils shot just 37.7 percent from the field, and were 4 of 17 from 3 (23.5 percent). They assisted on just six of their 26 field goals.

It’s far from a catastrophic loss for the Blue Devils, but it does do damage to an already weak argument for a No. 1 seed. With a weak schedule to finish out ACC regular season play, there probably isn’t a whole lot Duke can do other than hold on to a No. 2 seed.

2. Auburn drops second-straight

Auburn hasn’t done much to dissuade the considerable amount of people that aren’t buying the Tigers as among college basketball’s best this week. Even if this past week comes with a considerable asterisk.

Georgia defeated Auburn, 65-55, to give the Tigers their second-straight road defeat after they lost over the weekend to Missouri.

That’s two pretty tough losses to a team that previously only had two losses on the whole season. Auburn shot 31 percent from the field and 15 percent from 3-point range. Of course, their performances against Mizzou and the Bulldogs comes with the pretty notable absence of Isaac Okoro, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. It’s probably not surprising that being down your most efficient offensive player is going to make winning on the road in the SEC pretty tough.

Still, a difficult two games for Bruce Pearl’s group.

3. Cincy’s would-be halfcourt buzzer-beater waived off

Cincinnati is getting well-acquainted with overtime. The Bearcats are also now well-acquainted with some heartbreak.

Down two in double-overtime to UCF, the Bearcats’ Jarron Cumberland let fly a halfcourt heave that that found nothing but net…but was too late.

Maybe the saddest thing about this – unless you’re a UCF fan – is that Cumberland seemed to know the minute the shot fell that it was too late. No celebration. Just dejection.

The Bearcats, who played in three-straight OT games in November, have now played four-straight overtime games, and sport a 2-2 record over that span. There’s a decent chance it stretches to five, with Wichita State coming to the Queen City this weekend.

Georgia hands No. 13 Auburn second-straight loss

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ATHENS, Ga. — Anthony Edwards of Georgia scored 18 points, including a late 3-pointer to slow No. 13 Auburn’s comeback attempt, and the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 65-55 on Wednesday night.

Auburn (22-4, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) suffered its second straight loss to a team with a losing record following seven straight wins. The winning streak ended with Saturday’s 85-73 loss at Missouri.

Georgia led 55-50 when Edwards’ 3-pointer with 2:15 remaining stretched the advantage to eight points.

J’Von McCormick led Auburn with 22 points. Samir Doughty, who had 15 points, cut Georgia’s lead to 58-53 with a three-point play with 1:02 remaining. Toumani Camara sank seven of eight free throws in the final 1:01 to help protect the Bulldogs’ lead.

It was a much-needed win for Georgia (13-13, 3-10), which had lost eight of nine, including four straight under second-year coach Tom Crean. The improbable win over the Tigers came before a sellout crowd.

Freshman forward Isaac Okoro missed his second straight game for Auburn with a hamstring injury. Another freshman, Allen Flanigan, again replaced Okoro in the lineup and scored three points.

Auburn was left with a three-guard lineup and appeared to miss the scoring of Okoro, who averages 13.1 points.

Edwards, who leads the nation’s freshmen with his average of 19 points, scored his first basket on a fancy layup midway through the first half. Edwards followed with a long 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 19-12 lead. A layup by Rayshaun Hammonds stretched the lead to nine points.

With Georgia leading 21-14, Crean gave Edwards and other starters a break with 8:33 remaining, The Tigers immediately launched a 9-0 run — with all the scoring coming from McCormick.

McCormick’s scoring spree gave Auburn a 23-22 advantage. The run ended on Anfernee McLemore’s turnover on an offensive foul. With Edwards and other starters back on the court, the Bulldogs took advantage of the turnover to start their own 9-0 run, including seven points from Sahvir Wheeler, who had 13 points.

Hammonds also had 13 points and Camara had 12.

BIG PICTURE

Auburn: McCormick was the Tigers’ floor leader and he continued to emerge as a go-to scorer. He topped 20 points for the third time in the last four games and only the fifth time this season. He was effective on long-range jumpers, short floaters and drives to the basket.

Georgia: Edwards appeared to have regained some strength after being slowed by flu-like symptoms for the last three games He was held to only six points, matching his season low, in a 74-69 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. Edwards was active on the boards with six rebounds, but some of his season-high seven turnovers came on unforced errors.

UP NEXT

Auburn: Returns home to play Tennessee on Saturday.

Georgia: Visits Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

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.