Dwayne Bacon

2018 NCAA tournament: Previewing Tuesday’s First Four games

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(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)   —   Tuesday’s First Four games in Dayton:

No. 16 LIU-Brooklyn (18-16) vs. No. 16 Radford (22-12)

East Region

Time, TV: 6:40 p.m. ET, truTV

Why LIU-Brooklyn will win: The Blackbirds are led by a pair of big-time scorers. Joel Hernandez (20.9 ppg) is more of a threat from the three-point arc, and Raiquan Clark (17.4 ppg) likes to take it to the rim. A fast tempo would help them both find a rhythm.

Why Radford will win: The Highlanders will look to keep the pace under control with strong defense and sound half-court sets with the ball. If they can get their share of rebounds, they’ll prevent LIU from building a cushion.

ANALYSIS:  East Region | South Region | Midwest Region | West Region

No. 11 St. Bonaventure (25-7) vs. No. 11 UCLA (21-11)

East Region

Time, TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, truTV

Why St. Bonaventure will win: The Bonnies’ back-court duo of Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley can score in a variety of ways. The Bruins aren’t exactly a lock-down defensive club, so if a track meet breaks out, St. Bonaventure should be in a good position.

Why UCLA will win: Of course, UCLA also likes high-scoring affairs, and the Bruins have more weapons. They’ll enjoy a considerable size advantage inside with Thomas Welsh and Gyorgy Goloman. In addition, the Bonnies might be shorthanded if third-leading scorer Courtney Stockard, who missed the semifinal loss to Davidson in the A-10 tournament with a hamstring injury, remains unavailable.


USA TODAY Sports examines the field of 68 and pinpoints the teams with 1.) the best winning streak or momentum from championship week, and/or 2.) the best path — matchup-wise — to stage a deep run and go way further than their seeding line suggests.

Side note: No. 1 seeds are excluded.

Kentucky Wildcats

Coach John Calipari’s freshmen-laden teams always evolve interestingly over the course of four months. While it’s not always clockwork, that evolution of McDonald’s All-American teenagers usually looks something like this: In November, they buy in and try to toss their egos aside. In December, they come together more through growing pains. In January, they figure out how hard major conference basketball can be. In February, they weather more storms and come together — developing a team chemistry that is necessary for March. And this year’s group, adversity and all, followed suit to peak in March by winning seven of eight.

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Kentucky (24-10) drew a No. 5 seed in the South Region — a dangerous area for any power conference team when a really good No. 12 seed (in this case Davidson) is ready to shock the world. But don’t count the Wildcats out because the talent isn’t as jaw-dropping as it has been in the past and UK didn’t win the SEC regular season. Calipari’s mastery is creating a team and sometimes teams can do more with less. NBA-caliber freshmen Kevin Knox (15.6 ppg) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (13.9 ppg, 5.0 apg) have helped UK hit its stride late, including an impressive three-win showing to capture the SEC tournament title.

Final Four potential

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan (28-7), winners of nine consecutive games, has perfected the peaking-in-March magic over the last two seasons, winning back-to-back Big Ten Conference tournament titles. What will be interesting this year is how that momentum carries over following a week-long break since the Big Ten had its tourney a week early. That’s lots of practice time to get better for coach John Beilein’s best defensive team he’s ever had (yes the Wolverines are that good on D). It’s enough lag time to lose some momentum and swagger necessary for March success. This is a well-balanced offense this year, and Mo Wagner (14.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg) anchors the team with his motor and clutch shooting. Don’t be surprised to see Michigan come out of the West Region as a red-hot No. 3 seed.

► National champion potential 

Gonzaga Bulldogs

This isn’t a the same caliber of team that reached the Final Four last season, but it’s still a darn good one. The Bulldogs (30-4) are the No. 4 seed in the West Region and are good enough to knock off top-seeded Xavier if that matchup unfolds. Coach Mark Few has an extremely balanced and potent offense with six players averaging over nine points a game and spearheaded by 6-9 forward Johnathan Williams (13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg), a key cog from last year’s Final Four squad. The ‘Zags have a top-10 offense, averaging 85 points a game and 50% from the field. The defense, which used to be a glaring weakness for this program, has come a long way. West Coast Conference play didn’t exactly prep this team for the tournament well, but it did help in one area: Guarding the perimeter. Gonzaga’s backcourt players are athletic and can stop lethal guards on the other end.

► Elite Eight potential 

Cincinnati Bearcats

Mick Cronin’s Bearcats are good enough to be a No. 1 seed, but the American Athletic Conference’s No. 7 RPI probably limited that from happening. Still, this is a team that shouldn’t be slept on for going to San Antonio. Cincinnati has won seven in a row, but more importantly has pulled off huge victories in close-game situations — first a one-point win in the regular-season finale over Wichita State and second a one-point win over Houston in the AAC tourney final. Streaking is one thing, but winning in a way that shows pressure and late-game anxiety can be handled well speaks volumes for deep-run capabilities. Outside of UVa, Cincy has the best defense in the country. As a No. 2 in the South, how nice it would be to see these two defensive-minded teams in an Elite Eight rock fight.

► Final Four potential 

Arizona Wildcats

Arizona (27-7) has clearly dealt with adversity (that’s what we’ll call the FBI probe and Allonzo Trier’s eligibility issues), and seems to have come out stronger because of it. The Wildcats have won eight of nine and their only loss came when coach Sean Miller wasn’t coaching in the wake of an ESPN report that implicated him in the FBI investigation into illegal recruiting. One critical major reason Arizona is hot and a team to circle on the bracket: 7-foot freshman sensation Deandre Ayton (20.3, 11.5 ppg) has been on a tear and might just be the best player in the tournament. He had back-to-back 32-point outings in Pac-12 tournament victories over USC and UCLA.

► National champion potential 

Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers (25-8) narrowly lost int the SEC tournament title game to Kentucky but have been rolling in late February and early March. They’ve won six of seven and are a dangerous No. 3 seed in the South Region. Coach Rick Barnes has reinvigorated the program with an SEC regular-season title, but more could be in store for this group, led by sophomore Grant Williams. The 6-7 forward averages 15.3 points a game and could be a matchup nightmare on the south side of the bracket.

► Elite Eight champion potential 

Providence Friars

The Friars (21-13) aren’t exactly hot when it comes to winning streaks, but it’s undeniable that Ed Cooley’s team is playing it’s best brand of basketball here in March. That was evidenced by two overtime victories over Creighton and No. 1 seed Xavier in the Big East tourney before succumbing to another No. 1 seed, Villanova, in the conference tournament championship. Providence might be the scariest double-digit seed (No. 10) around, and don’t be surprised if the Friars make it to the second weekend by bouncing better seeds out in the West Region.

► Sweet 16 potential 

Murray State Racers

Hello, Cinderella of the East Region. The 12th-seeded Racers have won 13 in a row and did so in convincing fashion en route to claiming the Ohio Valley’s auto bid by beating the likes of a really good Belmont team. If Murray State can manage against No. 5 West Virginia’s press and top-notch defense, there’s a deep run in store for this mid-major. Jonathan Stark (21.8 ppg, 3.9 apg) will need to show his takeover abilities against All-American defender Jevon Carter in this dynamite 5-12 first-round clash.

► Sweet 16 potential 

Honorable Mention: No. 12 seed South Dakota State, which faces No. 5 in the West Region, has won 19 of 20 while drubbing Summit League opponents behind must-watch big man Mike Daum (23.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg).

NCAA tournament bracketology: Big East set to win top seeds, bubble battles on Selection Sunday

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(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)   —    It’s surprising and rare for a bubble team to go toe-to-toe with a projected No. 1 seed — forcing overtime — as Providence did on Saturday against Villanova in the Big East final.

But that captures how the Big East is poised to win in multiple ways on Selection Sunday.

The Wildcats claimed the conference tournament title and are a lock for a No. 1 seed. Their conference foe Xavier, which won the regular season but lost in overtime to upstart Providence, will grab the last No. 1 — as the closest No. 2, North Carolina, just has too many losses (10).

Providence, meanwhile, shot up to a No. 9 seed after entering the league tournament as a projected No. 12 — in a play-in game. Seton Hall, a projected No. 7 seed, and Butler, another No. 9 seed, are in the safety zone as well.

On the unsafe area of the bubble, it’s the Big East that’s benefiting from ‘Nova and Xavier’s prowess — as well as the Friars’ late surge in the conference tourney. Fringe teams Marquette and Creighton are both two of the last four teams in the projected field — as No. 11 seeds slated to play in Dayton for play-in competition. They’re set to beat out ACC bubble teams Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

As a whole, the Big East is sending seven of 10 teams — tied with the Big 12 for the best overall percentage of teams dancing and just one back from the ACC and SEC’s eight projected teams. That’s eye-raising considering the season-long story line about the strength of the Big 12 (with nine of 10 teams in the NCAA tourney equation). Yet two of the Big 12’s bubble teams, Oklahoma State and Baylor, will likely be left out of the field.


► No. 1 seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier

► Last four in: Oklahoma, Creighton, Marquette, Arizona State

► First Four out: Middle Tennessee State, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame

  • Other bubble teams considered: Saint Mary’s, Syracuse, Baylor, Western Kentucky, Utah, Georgia, Oregon, Nebraska
  • On life support: Temple, Washington, Boise State, Penn State, LSU

With Selection Sunday on the horizon, USA TODAY Sports tracks how bubble teams fared in their ever-crucial championship weekend showings.

Outcomes are based on games from Thursday, Friday and Saturday in major conference tournament action. Teams that are sweating and lost earlier in the week  — including Saint Mary’s (first four out), Syracuse (next four out), No. 11 seed Arizona State (last four in), No. 11 seed Oklahoma (last four in) — are not included. Same goes for teams that are relatively safe but lost early in their league tourneys — including No. 11 seed Florida State and No. 10 N.C. State.

BRACKETOLOGY: A look at the full field of 68

POSTSEASON LINEUP: College basketball conference tournament schedule


► Kansas State (No. 8 seed, lock): The Wildcats defeated TCU 66-64 on Thursday in the Big 12 quarterfinals before bowing out to Kansas 83-67 on Friday in the semifinals.

► Rhode Island (No. 8 seed, lock): The Rams defeated VCU 76-67 on Friday in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals and then beat Saint Joseph’s 90-87 on Saturday in the semifinals to reach the tournament title game for the second year in a row. ⇒ [still playing]

Providence (No. 9 seed, safe): The Friars lost to Villanova 76-66 in overtime on Saturday night in the Big East tournament championship after upsetting Xavier 75-72 on Friday in the semifinals and defeating Creighton 72-68 on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

► Butler (No. 9 seed, safe): The Bulldogs beat Seton Hall 75-74 on Thursday in the Big East quarterfinals before bowing out to Villanova 87-68 on Friday in the semifinals.

► Alabama (No. 9 seed, safe): The Crimson Tide knocked off Texas A&M 71-70 on Thursday in the SEC tournament second-round, then upset Auburn 81-63 on Friday in the quarterfinals before bowing out to Kentucky 86-63 on Saturday in the semifinals.

► UCLA (No. 10 seed, safe): The Bruins defeated Stanford 88-77 on Thursday in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals before bowing out to Arizona 78-67 on Friday in the semifinals.

► USC (No. 10 seed, safe): The Trojans defeated Oregon State 61-48 on Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals, then routed Oregon 74-54 on Friday in the semifinals to reach the Pac-12 tourney title game, where they fell 75-61 to Arizona.


St. Bonaventure (No. 9 seed, safe): The Bonnies lost to possible bid thief Davidson 82-70 on Saturday in the Atlantic 10 semifinals — snapping a 13-game winning streak — after beating Richmond 83-77 in the quarterfinals.

Texas (No. 10 seed, relatively safe): The Longhorns lost to Texas Tech 73-69 on Thursday in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals but escaped Iowa State 68-64 in the first round to avoid the résumé stain.

Creighton (No. 11 seed, unsafe and sweating): The Bluejays lost to Providence 72-68 on Thursday in the Big East quarterfinals.

Marquette (No. 11 play-in seed, unsafe and sweating): The Golden Eagles lost to Villanova 84-70 on Thursday in the Big East quarterfinals.

Middle Tennessee State (First four out): The Blue Raiders lost to Southern Mississippi on Thursday in the Conference USA quarterfinals.

Notre Dame (First four out): The Irish lost to Duke 88-70 on Thursday in the ACC quarterfinals after previously beating Virginia Tech 71-65 in the second round and Pittsburgh 67-64 in the first round.

► Louisville (First four out): The Cardinals lost to Virginia 75-58 on Thursday in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. They beat Florida State 82-74 in the second round.

Oklahoma State (First four out): The Cowboys lost to Kansas 82-68 on Thursday in the Big 12 quarterfinals. They beat Oklahoma 71-60 in the first round.

► Baylor (Out of the projected field): The Bears lost to West Virginia 78-65 on Thursday in the Big 12 quarterfinals.

► Georgia (Out of the projected field): The Bulldogs lost to Kentucky 62-49 on Friday in the SEC tournament quarterfinals. They defeated Missouri 62-60 on Thursday in the second round.

► Oregon (Out of the projected field): The Ducks lost to USC 74-54 on Friday in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals. They beat Utah 68-66 on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

► LSU (On life support): The Tigers lost 80-77 on Thursday in the SEC tournament second round.


CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 1 Virginia tops UNC, finishes historic run through ACC

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)    —   NEW YORK – Kyle Guy, Devon Hall and No. 1 Virginia completed one of the most successful seasons in the storied history of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball, beating No. 12 North Carolina 71-63 in the tournament championship game Saturday night to finish 20-1 against league competition.

The top-seeded Cavaliers (31-2) set a school record for victories and won the ACC Tournament for the second time in five seasons under coach Tony Bennett, and third time overall. With plenty of their fans packing Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Cavaliers beat sixth-seeded North Carolina (25-10) for the second time this season and snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Tar Heels in ACC Tournament play.

Guy, the tournament MVP, scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half and Hall added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Ty Jerome had 12 points, six assists and six rebounds for Virginia, which will certainly enter the NCAA Tournament as the top overall seed.

Not bad for a bunch that started the season unranked and was picked to finish sixth in the ACC.

Luke Maye led North Carolina with 20 points.

(2) Villanova 76, Providence 66

NEW YORK – Mikal Bridges scored 25 points and hit two 3-pointers in overtime to lift Villanova over Providence in the Big East Tournament championship game.

The Wildcats (30-4) won their second straight Big East Tournament and third in four years (losing in the 2016 final). They put the bow on a fantastic season that should have them earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Villanova had rolled to a pair of dominant victories in the tourney and held off a pesky Providence team that played its third straight overtime game.

The fifth-seeded Friars (21-13) rallied in the second half from yet another double-digit hole and seemed set to pull off one more upset and earn the automatic NCAA berth. Providence erased a 17-point hole in the second half to beat top-seeded Xavier to reach the final. With one stunning rally on its resume, Providence nearly made it two. But the Friars ran out of gas in OT.

(8) Cincinnati 70, Memphis 60

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points and Gary Clark had 17 points and 12 rebounds to rally Cincinnati past Memphis in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

Kyle Washington added 11 for the Bearcats (29-4), who advanced to meet No. 21 Houston in Sunday’s final.

Jamal Johnson led Memphis with 17 points but didn’t score in the second half, when the Tigers squandered a 13-point lead. Kyvon Davenport had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis (21-13), which is hoping for an invitation to the NIT.

(9) Kansas 81, (18) West Virginia 70

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Devonte Graham piled up 18 points and 13 assists, Silvio De Sousa came up big in place of Udoka Azubuike and Kansas proved its toughness down the stretch to beat West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament title game.

De Sousa had 16 points on 8 of 8 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds, and Malik Newman added 20 points to cap a phenomenal tournament, lifting the Jayhawks (27-7) to their 11th tournament title and a likely No. 1 seed when the NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed Sunday.

It was the second time in three years they’ve beaten West Virginia (24-10) in the title game.

Svi Mykhailiuk also had 16 points for the Jayhawks, who scrapped their way through three games in three days without their 7-foot anchor. Azubuike hurt a ligament in his left knee in practice early in the week and spent the weekend on the bench, though he’s expected to return next week.

Daxter Miles Jr. finished with 25 points, and Jevon Carter had 17 points and nine assists for the Mountaineers, who have lost three straight Big 12 Tournament championship games.

(21) Houston 77, (11) Wichita State 74

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rob Gray had a key steal and scored 33 points, including two free throws with 5 seconds remaining, as Houston held off Wichita State in an American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal.

Corey Davis Jr. scored 19 points for the Cougars (26-6), who advanced to play No. 8 Cincinnati in the championship game.

Houston led by as many as nine points in the first half before the lead changed hands or was tied eight times in the final seven minutes.

With the Cougars trailing 74-73, Gray intercepted a pass near midcourt and drove to the basket, handing off to Galen Robinson for a layup with 1:27 remaining. Houston sealed the victory when Robinson intercepted an in-bounds pass with 5 seconds left and a foul by the Shockers sent Gray to the free-throw line.

Landry Shamet led Wichita State (25-7) with 19 points while Shaquille Morris had 12, including 10 in the final seven minutes to keep the game close.

(13) Tennessee 84, Arkansas 66

ST. LOUIS – Jordan Bone scored 19 points to help spark a hot-shooting first half for Tennessee, which beat Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.

The win is the sixth straight and 13th in the last 15 games for the second-seeded Volunteers (25-7), who will try to win their first SEC Tournament championship in almost 40 years when they face Kentucky on Sunday.

Bone scored 17 of his points in the first half, hitting 7 of 7 from the field and all three of his 3-point attempts. Admiral Schofield added 16 points for Tennessee, while Grant Williams, Kyle Alexander and James Daniel III finished with 12 points apiece.

Daryl Macon scored 19 points to lead the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-11), who had won eight of their previous 10 games.

(15) Arizona 76, Southern California 61

LAS VEGAS – Deandre Ayton had 32 points and 18 rebounds in one of the most dominating performances in Pac-12 Tournament history, leading Arizona to its second straight title.

Ayton put on a show along The Strip, bouncing back from a nervous Pac-12 opener with two dominating games.

The Bahamian big man had 32 points and 14 rebounds in a semifinal win over UCLA and knocked the Trojans (23-11) around like bowling pins in the championship game. Ayton made 14 of 20 shots from the floor and all four of his free throws to lead Arizona (27-8) to its ninth Pac-12 title.

Nick Rakocevic led USC with 13 points.

Both teams fought through adversity to reach the title game.

Arizona was twice entangled in a federal investigation into shady recruiting practices. USC was named in the probe as well, leading to sophomore De’Anthony Melton to be ruled ineligible this season.

(25) Rhode Island 80, Saint Joseph’s 87

WASHINGTON – Andre Berry scored 18 points, Fatts Russell made two crucial 3-pointers in the final six minutes and Rhode Island rallied past Saint Joseph’s in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament semifinals.

The Rams (25-6) are the first No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 to reach the conference championship game since Saint Louis in 2013.

Jeff Dowtin added 16 points and 10 assists for Rhode Island, Russell scored 14 points and E.C. Matthews had 11 of his 14 points in the second half for the defending tournament champions.

Shavar Newkirk had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the fourth-seeded Hawks (16-16), who drubbed Rhode Island 78-48 last week. Saint Joseph’s appeared poised to deliver another upset while trying to extend its season, building an 11-point lead early in the second half.

CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: Virginia tops Clemson to advance to ACC final

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(PhatzRadio Sports /AP)    —   NEW YORK – Kyle Guy scored 15 points and No. 1 Virginia advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a 64-58 victory over No. 19 Clemson on Friday night.

The top-seeded Cavaliers (30-2) got several crucial plays from role player Jack Salt down the stretch and will face fifth-ranked and second-seeded Duke or 12th-ranked and sixth-seeded North Carolina for the tournament title Saturday night in Brooklyn.

Virginia’s only ACC Tournament crowns came in 1976 and 2014.

Shelton Mitchell had 18 points and Elijah Thomas added 15 for the fourth-seeded Tigers (23-9), who remain the lone original member of the ACC that hasn’t won the conference tournament. Clemson was trying to reach the finals for only the third time.

Tigers leading scorer Marcquise Reed, who was averaging better than 16 points, was held to six on 2-for-14 shooting by the nation’s most suffocating defense. He missed nine of 10 tries from 3-point range.

No. 2 Villanova 87, Butler 68

NEW YORK – Mikal Bridges had 18 points and Villanova scored the first 19 points and cruised toward its fourth straight trip in the Big East Tournament championship game in a win over Butler.

About 30 minutes after top-seeded Xavier was upset by Providence in overtime, the Wildcats (29-4) hit the court and showed how a favorite should play in a tournament semifinal.

The Wildcats scored five seconds into the game and used near-perfect execution on a 16-0 run before Butler coach LaVall Jordan finally called a timeout at the 15:37 mark. He could have waved a white flag to signal for the TO.

Omari Spellman buried a 3 to make it 19-0 and the Wildcats proved why the Big East tournament title always goes through the Main Line and straight to MSG. Butler finally scored and heard some mock cheers for the jumper.

Hey, at least the Bulldogs (20-13) were only down 17.

Providence 75, No. 3 Xavier 72, OT

NEW YORK – Alpha Diallo hit a go-ahead jumper with 2:22 left in overtime and fifth-seeded Providence rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit and stunned top-seeded Xavierin the semifinals of the Big East Tournament.

Kyron Cartwright hit a clutch jumper with 55 seconds to go and took an offensive foul on a layup attempt by J.P. Macura with eight seconds to play as the Friars (21-12) beat the Musketeers (28-5) for the second time in three games this season.

This one was totally unexpected after the opening 25 minutes at Madison Square Garden. The win sent Providence in the title game against the winner of the second semifinal between second-seeded and No. 2 Villanova and sixth-seeded Butler.

No. 12 North Carolina 74, No. 5 Duke 69

NEW YORK – Luke Maye scored 17 points, including North Carolina’s last field goal with 5:33 remaining, and North Carolina held off a late rally by Duke to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship game.

The sixth-seeded Tar Heels (25-9) will face top-seeded and top-ranked Virginia on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a rematch of the 2016 ACC championship, won by North Carolina.

North Carolina led by 15 when Maye hit a jumper with 5:33 left and it looked as if it would cruise into the title game. But the Tar Heels went cold and second-seeded Duke went on a 13-0 run, drawing within three on Gray Trent Jr.’s 3 with 50 seconds left.

The Tar Heels turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, but an offensive foul by Grayson Allen and then a missed 3 by Allen, trying to draw contact on Maye, stymied Duke (26-7).

Theo Pinson made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to seal it and the Tar Heels snapped a six-game losing streak in the ACC Tournament to their most heated Tobacco Road rivals.

No. 8 Cincinnati 61, SMU 51

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kyle Washington scored 15 points and Gary Clark added 12 points and 11 rebounds Friday to help Cincinnati beat SMU in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Bearcats also got 13 points from Cane Broome and rallied from a six-point second-half deficit to move on to the semifinals against the winner of the Tulsa-Memphis game.

Jahmal McMurray led SMU with 17 points and Ben Emelogu had 11 points and seven rebounds. The Mustangs got eight points and six rebounds from their best big man, Akoy Agau. But Agau reinjured a severely sprained ankle on the first possession of the game and wasn’t much of a factor in his 24 minutes.

No. 9 Kansas 83, Kansas State 67

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Malik Newman poured in 22 points, Silvio De Sousa filled in admirably for ailing big man Udoka Azubuike and Kansas beat short-handed Kansas State to reach the Big 12 Tournament title game.

Devonte Graham added 15 points and Svi Mykhailiuk had 12 for the top-seeded Jayhawks (26-7), who will play No. 14 Texas Tech or No. 18 West Virginia for the championship on Saturday night.

The fourth-seeded Wildcats (23-10) learned Friday morning they’d be without All-Big 12 forward Dean Wade, who hurt his foot in their quarterfinal win over TCU. Then they lost starting guard Barry Brown early against the Jayhawks when he was accidentally poked in the eye.

They still put up a fight, thanks primarily to Makol Mawien, the unheralded forward who scored a career-high 29 points.

No. 11 Wichita State 89, Temple 81

ORLANDO, Fla. – Landry Shamet scored 24 points, Rashard Kelly had 16 and Wichita State beat Temple in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

The Shockers (25-6) also got a strong performance from their reserves, including 13 points from Austin Reaves. Next up is the winner of the Houston-Central Florida game.

Quinton Rose led Temple (17-14) with 25 points. Shizz Alston and Josh Brown each had 15 points for the Owls, who didn’t have enough depth to keep pace with Wichita State in the final minutes.

No. 13 Tennessee 62, Mississippi State 59

ST. LOUIS – Lamonte turner scored 15 points and Tennessee locked down on defense to beat Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The second-seeded Volunteers (24-7) led nearly the entire game, but the Bulldogs (22-11) had an opportunity to take the lead in the final 10 seconds. Down 61-59, Xavian Stapleton missed a 3-pointer that would have put the Bulldogs ahead.

Tennessee struggled to put away Mississippi State at the end, missing a slew of free throws. The Volunteers finished 17 for 28 from the free-throw line, but outrebounded the Bulldogs 50-33 and notched 22 defensive boards.

Admiral Schofield scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Grant Williams finished with a double-double, notching 10 points and 11 boards.

Lamar Peters led the Bulldogs with 22 points and Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 17 points.

No. 18 West Virginia 66, No. 14 Texas Tech 63

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Daxter Miles Jr. had 22 points for West Virginia, and Niem Stevenson’s half-court heave at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the iron, giving the Mountaineers a win over Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals.

Jevon Carter added 17 points and Sagaba Konate had 11 for the third-seeded Mountaineers (24-9), who advance to their third straight title game. They’ll face No. 9 Kansas on Saturday night.

Miles had a chance to clinch the game from the foul line with 6 seconds left, but he only made the first of two free throws. Texas Tech (24-9) corralled the rebound but struggled to get the ball up court, and Stevenson resorted to a half-court shot that would have tied the game.

Jarrett Culver had 16 points for the Red Raiders.

No. 15 Arizona 78, UCLA 67, OT

LAS VEGAS – Deandre Ayton scored seven of his 32 points in overtime and grabbed 14 rebounds, lifting Arizona to a victory over UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.

Arizona (26-7) labored offensively before Ayton sparked the Wildcats in the second half. UCLA (21-11) matched Arizona nearly shot for shot, tying the game with about 5 minutes to go.

UCLA’s Jaylen Hands tied it at 67 on a drive with 8 seconds left in regulation and teammate Aaron Holiday’s runner at the buzzer was off the mark after an Arizona turnover.

Ayton dominated overtime and made 13 of 16 shots overall after struggling in the quarterfinals against Colorado.

The Wildcats get a chance to defend their Pac-12 tournament title against the Oregon-Southern California winner on Saturday.

Thomas Welsh had 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Bruins.

Alabama 81, No. 16 Auburn 63

ST. LOUIS – Collin Sexton scored 31 points and Alabama used a strong second half to defeat Auburn in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Crimson Tide trailed 41-31 at halftime but started the second half on a 28-3 run. The stretch was keyed by three consecutive 3s by Sexton. Alabama’s surge put the Tigers away early in the half, and the Crimson Tide (19-14) outscored Auburn 50-22 after the break.

Mustapha Heron led Auburn (25-7) with 18 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Desean Murray scored 15 points, all in the first half. The Tigers moved the ball well on offense and drilled seven 3s in the first half.

No. 21 Houston 84, UCF 56

ORLANDO, Fla. – Galen Robinson scored 18 points, Rob Gray had 17 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Houston beat UCF in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

The third-seeded Cougars will face 11th-ranked and second-seeded Wichita State on Saturday in the semifinal round.

The Cougars led almost the entire game, smothering the Knights defensively and outhustling them at the other end. The Knights never got closer than eight points in the second half.

Devin Davis had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars, who held a 37-28 edge in rebounds and scored 20 points off the Knights’ 11 turnovers.

B.J. Taylor scored 20 points for UCF, and Ceasar DeJesus had 10.

San Diego State 90, No. 22 Nevada 73

LAS VEGAS – Devin Watson scored 20 points to lead San Diego State to a blowout victory over Nevada in the Mountain West Conference semifinals.

The Aztecs, who haven’t won a tournament championship since 2011, will play in the title game for the fourth time in five years, and eighth time in 10 seasons.

Jalen McDaniels had his ninth double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

San Diego State, which trailed for only 42 seconds in the game, faces the winner of Friday’s late semifinal between New Mexico and Utah State.

The Wolf Pack was led by Jordan Caroline, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before fouling out. Caleb Martin added 13 for Nevada, while Elijah Cooke had 10.

Arkansas 80, No. 23 Florida 72

ST. LOUIS – Jaylen Barford scored 27 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds to help send Arkansas to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament with a win over Florida.

The win ends an eight-game losing streak to the Gators for the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-10), who are now 5-1 against ranked opponents this season and advance to face No. 13 Tennessee on Saturday.

Barford was 9 of 17 from the field, hitting four 3-pointers, for Arkansas – which led by as many as 14 points in the second half before holding on in the closing minutes. Freshman Daniel Gafford added 16 points and also matched his career-best with 12 rebounds, keying an effort that saw the Razorbacks outrebound the Gators 43-28.

No. 25 Rhode Island 76, VCU 67

WASHINGTON – Jeff Dowtin scored 18 points, Jared Terrell added 16 points and Rhode Island survived a challenge from VCU in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Rhode Island (24-6) snapped a two-game slide as it began its tournament defense.

Justin Tillman had 23 points and 15 rebounds for eighth-seeded VCU (18-15), which lost to Rhode Island in the conference tournament for the second consecutive season.

It wasn’t an easy afternoon for Rhode Island, which won its first 13 Atlantic 10 games before dropping three of its last five regular-season contests. After building a 9-point lead in the first 11 minutes, Rhode Island held a 36-33 edge at the break.

NCAA tournament bracketology: Major shakeups on the bubble with Selection Sunday nearing

This gallery contains 2 photos.

(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)   —-   For some teams, all it takes is one March win to put on those dancing shoes. For others, all it takes is one loss to take them away.

In the latter category, Cinderella favorite Middle Tennessee will likely be the frowning snubbed team on Selection Sunday after bowing out of the Conference USA tourney with an overtime loss to Southern Mississippi. The Blue Raiders, first-round bracket busters in 2016 and 2017, have both a great tournament track record and a nice at-large profile (including a top-10 non-conference strength of schedule) but Southern Mississippi (16-17 on the season) is an exact example of a résumé stain a mid-major bubble team just cannot have. It drops MTSU’s RPI to 32, which is just enough for the selection committee to nitpick at — along with no eye candy wins.

On the bright side of March, Alabama snapped a disastrous five-game losing streak that put them on the bubble by clipping Texas A&M off a buzzer-beater in the SEC tournament. With two days left of action, that victory likely secures the Crimson Tide’s at-large bid and puts them on the bubble safety zone, although their projected No. 11 seed could take a slide if other bubble teams come on strong in these next two days.

Similar to Alabama, Butler likely secured its at-large bid by knocking off Seton Hall in the Big East tourney. On the Big 12 bubble line, Oklahoma State fell short against Kansas (after beating the Jayhawks twice in the regular season) and Baylor fell to West Virginia. As good as the Big 12 has been this year — with the nation’s best RPI and nine of 10 teams contending for the NCAAS — both the Cowboys and Bears might be NIT-bound now. Big wins are nice, but both of their overall credentials are significantly lacking.

Unfortunately for the likes of on-the-outside-looking-in bubble teams Louisville and Notre Dame, they bowed out of the ACC tourney a game too early and came up short in their résumé-lifting opportunities against kingpins Virginia and Duke, respectively. It’s the same story for Marquette as far as coming up short against a top-tier team (Villanova) to build the profile, but the Golden Eagles are hanging on for dear life with a projected No. 12 seed in the play-in game in this round of bracketology.

With other bubble teams still playing, there’s no telling how long Marquette or fellow No. 12 seed Saint Mary’s stay on the right side of the bubble. Both Oregon and Georgia are their worst enemies right now, as the Ducks (beat Utah in the Pac-12 tourney) and Bulldogs (beat Missouri in the SEC tourney) are still alive in conference championship play and can shoot into the field with another key victory.


► No. 1 seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas

► Last four in: Providence, Arizona State, Saint Mary’s, Marquette

► First Four out: Louisville, Middle Tennessee State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State



Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order): Oregon, Syracuse, Georgia, Utah, Baylor, Nebraska.

On life support: Temple, Washington, Boise State, Penn State.

Multi-bid conferences: ACC (8), SEC (8), Big 12 (7), Big East (7), Big Ten (4), Pac 12 (4), AAC (3), Atlantic 10 (2), WCC (2).

Leaders or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences — (23 total): America East (Vermont), Atlantic Sun (Lipscomb), Big Sky (Montana), Big South (Radford), Big West (UC Davis), CAA (Charleston), Conference USA Western Kentucky), Horizon League (Wright State), Ivy League (Penn), MAAC (Iona), MAC (Buffalo), MEAC (Hampton), Missouri Valley (Loyola-Chicago), Mountain West (Nevada), Northeast (Long Island), Ohio Valley (Murray State), Patriot (Bucknell), Southern (UNC-Greensboro), Southland (Southeast Louisiana), SWAC (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Summit (South Dakota State), Sun Belt (Louisiana), WAC (New Mexico State).

  • Banned from participating: Alabama A&M, Grambling, Southeast Missouri State.


Note:  All RPI and statistical data is used from WarrenNolan.com.

About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 on his website, Bracket W.A.G. He joined USA TODAY in 2014. In his fifth season as our national bracketologist, Mast has finished as one of the top three bracketologists in the past four March Madnesses. He’s also predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.

March Madness: Coaches on the hot seat entering conference tournaments

(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)    —    Mark Fox might need an improbable run through the Southeastern Conference tournament to save his coaching job.

He’s hardly alone on the college basketball hot seat.

From Georgia’s Fox to Pittsburgh’s Kevin Stallings to UConn’s Kevin Ollie, numerous coaches went into conference tournaments knowing their jobs could be in jeopardy without a few more wins.

Excluding employment decisions that might be affected by myriad off-the-court issues, such as Auburn (Bruce Pearl) and Arizona (Sean Miller), here are some schools that might soon be looking for a new coach, if they haven’t already started the process:


In a year where Kentucky and Florida ceded their dominance at the top of the Southeastern Conference standings, the Bulldogs squandered an opportunity for a breakthrough.

It could mark the end of Fox’s nine-year tenure , which has featured only two NCAA Tournament appearances (both of which were one-and-done).

While hardly a traditional powerhouse, Georgia certainly expected better from a team that featured Associated Press SEC player of the year Yante Maten. The Bulldogs are just 16-14 (7-11 SEC) heading into Wednesday’s first-round matchup against Vanderbilt in the conference tournament.

After weather issues delayed his team’s arrival in St. Louis by four hours, Fox said on a hastily assembled teleconference that there have been no discussions with athletic director Greg McGarity about his job status.

“I have not been told that we have to win a certain number of games to advance through the tournament,” Fox said. “I’d really like this tournament, like every game we’ve played the last nine years, to be about our team and these kids and trying to find them some success. It should not be about the coach.”

Ten years ago, in an SEC tournament remembered for a tornado striking the Georgia Dome, the Bulldogs pulled off a stunning SEC triumph after finishing last during the regular season. That performance saved Dennis Felton’s job for the moment, but he didn’t even make it through another full season.

Fox appears to be in a similar situation, requiring five wins in five days to even get a shot at Year 10.


The Panthers capped a historically awful season with a 67-64 loss to Notre Dame in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Tuesday night .

Now the question is: Will Stallings return for a third year?

While it would be unusual to fire a coach after such a short tenure, these are dark times in Pittsburgh. Stallings’ team lost all 19 games against ACC opponents this season and is just 24-41 overall since he arrived from Vanderbilt.

Also working against Stallings: He wasn’t a popular choice from the outset, and the current athletic director, Heather Lyke, isn’t the one who hired him.

“We knew this was going to be a little bit of a tough season,” Stallings said. “We didn’t know it was going to be this tough.”


Ollie has the 2014 national championship on his resume, as well as an American Athletic Conference title from just two seasons ago. But the Huskies have taken a significant fall since then.

After slipping to 16-17 last season, UConn is just 14-17 — and 7-11 in the league — heading into its AAC tournament opener against SMU on Thursday.

Athletic director David Benedict plans to evaluate Ollie after the season , and it’s clear the boss isn’t happy with the state of the program, which is also facing an NCAA investigation. On the other hand, Ollie’s lucrative contract would require a buyout of some $10 million.

“When you come to a place like UConn, you don’t expect to hope to get to the tournament. You expect that it’s a foregone conclusion,” Benedict told the Hartford Courant. “It’s important we get that figured out because we need to be a tournament team.”


Fran McCaffery brushed off questions about his job security , despite an unexpectedly dismal season that ended last week with an overtime loss to Michigan in the earlier-than-usual Big Ten Tournament.

While the overall body of work and a contract extension may give McCaffery some extra security, there’s no doubt the Hawkeyes faithful is on edge after a 14-19 campaign that included just five wins in 20 games against conference opponents. More troubling, Iowa wasn’t even competitive at times, losing eight Big Ten games by double-digit margins and finishing last in the league in scoring defense.

“The season did not go as we hoped,” McCaffery said. “No question.”

The Hawkeyes could be headed for another long season if sophomore star Tyler Cook decides to leave.


One of college basketball’s most prestigious jobs could be opening up unless the Cardinals decide to remove the interim from David Padgett’s title.

Padgett took over as coach after the firing of Rick Pitino, and any hope of keeping the job likely depends on at least making the NCAA Tournament.

Even then, there are other issues to consider.

All the uncertainty swirling around the NCAA coaching ranks because of an ongoing FBI probe could actually work in Padgett’s favor, since some of the top potential candidates have been linked to the scandal. But being a former Pitino assistant could be a major strike against Padgett, especially if Louisville’s new administration wants a totally clean reboot to the post-Pitino era.

The Cardinals’ NCAA hopes took a blow last week when they lost to No. 1 Virginia on a buzzer-beating shot , so they’ve got some work to do in the ACC Tournament. Louisville (19-12, 9-9) faces Florida State (20-10, 9-9) in the first of four games Wednesday, a contest that will likely determine which school remains in the NCAA mix for at least one more day.


A complete rundown of the postseason schedule for every men’s college basketball conference tournament this season.

The winners in each league receive automatic invitations to the NCAA tournament. The rest of the available spots in the 68-team field will be filled by at-large berths.

Selection Sunday will take place on March 11.

America East Conference

All games at higher-seeded schools

First round
Saturday, March 3

Maryland-Baltimore County 89, Massachusetts-Lowell 77
Hartford 71, New Hampshire 60
Vermont 75, Maine 60
Stony Brook 69, Albany 60

Tuesday, March 6
Vermont 70, Stony Brook 51
Maryland-Baltimore County 75, Hartford 60

Saturday, March 10
Maryland-Baltimore County at Vermont, 11 a.m.

Atlantic Coast Conference

At The Barclays Center, New York

First round
Tuesday, March 6

Boston College 87, Georgia Tech 77
Notre Dame 67, Pittsburgh 64
Syracuse 73, Wake Forest 64

Second round
Wednesday, March 7

Florida State vs. Louisville, noon
North Carolina vs. Boston College, 2:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech vs. Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
N.C. State vs. Syracuse, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

Virginia vs. Florida State-Louisville winner, noon
Clemson vs. North Carolina–Boston College winner, 2:30 p.m.
Duke vs. Virginia Tech–Notre Dame winner, 7 p.m.
Miami vs. N.C. State–Syracuse winner, 9:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Virginia–Florida State-Louisville winner vs. Clemson–North Carolina–Boston College winner, 7 p.m.
Duke–Virginia Tech–Notre Dame winner vs. Miami–N.C. State–Syracuse winner, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 8:30 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference

All games at higher-seeded schools

First round
Monday, Feb. 26

Florida Gulf Coast 96, South Carolina Upstate 76
Jacksonville 87, Kennesaw State 68
North Florida 80, NJIT 76
Lipscomb 89, Stetson 73

Thursday, March 1
Florida Gulf Coast 95, North Florida 72
Lipscomb 77, Jacksonville 62

Sunday, March 4
Lipscomb 108, Florida Gulf Coast 96

Atlantic 10 Conference

At Capitol One Arena, Washington

First round
Wednesday, March 7

La Salle vs. Massachusetts, 6 p.m.
George Washington vs. Fordham, 8:30 p.m.

Second round
Thursday, March 8

VCU vs. Dayton, noon
George Mason vs. La Salle-Massachusetts winner, 2:30 p.m.
Richmond vs. Duquesne, 6 p.m.
St. Louis vs. George Washington-Fordham winner, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Rhode Island vs. VCU-Dayton winner, noon
Saint Joseph’s vs. George Mason–La Salle-Massachusetts winner, 2:30 p.m.
St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond-Duquesne winner, 6 p.m.
Davidson vs. Saint Louis–George Washington-Fordham winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Rhode Island–VCU-Dayton winner vs. Saint Joseph’s-George Mason–La Salle-Massachusetts winner, 1 p.m.
St. Bonaventure–Richmond-Duquesne winner vs. Davidson–Saint Louis–George Washington-Fordham winner, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 11

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Big East Conference

At Madison Square Garden, New York

First round
Wednesday, March 7

Georgetown vs. St. John’s, 7 p.m.
Marquette vs. DePaul, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

Xavier vs. Georgetown-St. John’s winner, noon
Creighton vs. Providence, 2:30 p.m.
Villanova vs. Marquette-DePaul winner, 7 p.m.
Seton Hall vs. Butler, 9:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Xavier–Georgetown-St. John’s winner vs. Creighton-Providence winner, 6:30 p.m.
Villanova–Marquette-DePaul winner vs. Seton Hall-Butler winner, 9 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m.

Big Sky Conference

At The Reno Events Center, Reno, Nev.

First round
Tuesday, March 6

North Dakota 76, Montana State 74
Northern Colorado 82, Northern Arizona 59
Southern Utah 76, Idaho State 68
Portland State 71, Sacramento State 67

Thursday, March 8

Montana vs. North Dakota, 3:05 p.m.
Weber State vs. Northern Colorado, 5:35 p.m.
Idaho vs. Southern Utah, 8:35 p.m.
Eastern Washington vs. Portland State, 11:05 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Montana–North Dakota winner vs. Weber State–Northern Colorado winner, 8:35 p.m.
Idaho-Southern Utah winner vs. Eastern Washington–Portland State winner, 11:05 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 8:05 p.m.

Big South Conference

First round
Tuesday Feb. 27

Longwood 68, High Point 55
Charleston Southern 68, Presbyterian 51

At Kimmel Arena, Asheville, N.C.
Thursday, March 1

Radford 59, Longwood 53
Winthrop 72, Gardner-Webb 68
UNC Asheville 71, Charleston Southern 66
Liberty 73, Campbell 59

At Kimmel Arena, Asheville, N.C.
Friday, March 2

Radford 61, Winthrop 52
Liberty 69, UNC Asheville 64

At higher-seeded school
Sunday, March 4

Radford 55, Liberty 52

Big Ten Conference

At Madison Square Garden, New York

First round
Wednesday, Feb. 28

Iowa 96, Illinois 87
Rutgers 65, Minnesota 54

Second round
Thursday, March 1

Wisconsin 59, Maryland 54
Michigan 77, Iowa 71, OT
Penn State 67, Northwestern 57
Rutgers 76, Indiana 69

Friday, March 2

Michigan State 63, Wisconsin 60
Michigan 77, Nebraska 58
Penn State 69, Ohio State 68
Purdue 82, Rutgers 75

Saturday, March 3

Michigan 75, Michigan State 64
Purdue 78, Penn State 70

Sunday, March 4

Michigan 75, Purdue 66

Big 12 Conference

At The Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.

First round
Wednesday, March 7

Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Texas vs. Iowa State, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

Kansas State vs. TCU, 12:30 p.m.
Kansas vs. Oklahoma State-Oklahoma winner, 3 p.m.
Texas Tech vs. Texas-Iowa State winner, 7 p.m.
West Virginia vs. Baylor, 9:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Kansas State-TCU winner vs. Kansas–Oklahoma State-Oklahoma winner, 7 p.m.
Texas Tech–Texas-Iowa State winner vs. West Virginia-Baylor winner, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Big West Conference

At The Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.

First round
Thursday, March 8

UC Davis vs. UC Riverside, 3 p.m.
Cal State Fullerton vs. Long Beach State, 5:30 p.m.
UC Irvine vs. Hawaii, 9 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly, 11:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Highest remaining seed vs. lowest remaining seed, 9:30 p.m.
Middle remaining seeds, Midnight

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 11:30 p.m.

Colonial Athletic Association

At North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, S.C.

First round
Saturday, March 3

Drexel 70, James Madison 62
Delaware 86, Elon 79

Sunday, March 4

College of Charleston 66, Drexel 59
William & Mary 80, Towson 66
Northeastern 74, Delaware 50
UNC Wilmington 93, Hofstra 88

Monday, March 5

College of Charleston 83, William & Mary 73
Northeastern 79, UNC Wilmington 52

Tuesday, March 6

College of Charleston 83, Northeastern 76

Conference USA

At The Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas

First round
Wednesday, March 7

Florida International vs. Southern Miss., 7 p.m.
Texas-San Antonio vs. Texas-El Paso, 7:30 p.m.
North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech, 9:30 p.m.
Alabama-Birmingham vs. Florida Atlantic, 10 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

Middle Tennessee vs. Florida International-Southern Miss. winner, 7 p.m.
Marshall vs. Texas-San Antonio-Texas-El Paso winner, 7:30 p.m.
Old Dominion vs. North Texas-Louisiana Tech winner, 9:30 p.m.
Western Kentucky vs. Alabama-Birmingham-Florida Atlantic winner, 10 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Middle Tennessee–Florida International-Southern Miss. winner vs. Marshall–Texas-San Antonio-Texas-El Paso winner, 1:30 p.m.
Old Dominion–North Texas-Louisiana Tech winner vs. Western Kentucky–Alabama-Birmingham-Florida Atlantic winner, 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 8:30 p.m.

Horizon League

At Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

First round
Friday, March 2

Green Bay 93, Detroit 81
Cleveland State 72, Youngstown State 71

Second round
Saturday, March 3

Wright State 87, Green Bay 72
Cleveland State 89, Northern Kentucky 80

Third round
Sunday, March 4

Milwaukee 80, Illinois-Chicago 75
Oakland 62, IUPUI 55

Monday, March 5

Cleveland State 44, Oakland 43
Wright State 59, Milwaukee 53

Tuesday, March 6

Wright State 74, Cleveland State 57

Ivy League

At The Palestra, Philadelphia

First round
Saturday, March 10

Harvard vs. Cornell, 12:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania vs. Yale, 3 p.m.

Sunday, March 11

Semifinal winners, noon

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

At The Times Union Center, Albany, N.Y.

First round
Thursday, March 1

Saint Peter’s 60, Monmouth 58
Quinnipiac 67, Siena 58
Fairfield 71, Marist 57

Friday, March 2

St. Peter’s 66, Rider 55
Quinnipiac 72, Canisius 69

Saturday, March 3
Fairfield 90, Niagara 71
Iona 72, Manhattan 60

Sunday, March 4

Iona 65, Saint Peter’s 62
Fairfield 74, Quinnipiac 64

Monday, March 5

Iona 83, Fairfield 71

Mid-American Conference

First round
Monday, March 5

Central Michigan 81, Bowling Green 77 (OT)
Kent State 61, Northern Illinois 59
Miami (Ohio) 68, Ohio 55
Akron 79, Western Michigan 78

At Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Thursday, March 8

Buffalo vs. Central Michigan, noon
Ball State vs. Kent State, 2:30 p.m.
Toledo vs. Miami (Ohio), 6:30 p.m.
Eastern Michigan vs. Akron winner, 9 p.m.

At Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Friday, March 9

Buffalo–Central Michigan winner vs. Ball State–Kent State winner, 6:30 p.m.
Toledo–Miami (Ohio) winner vs. Eastern Michigan-Akron winner, 9 p.m.

At Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

At Scope Arena, Norfolk, Va.

First round
Monday, March 5

N.C. A&T 62, Delaware State 61 (OT)
Norfolk State 78, Maryland-Eastern Shore 68

Tuesday, March 6
Florida A&M 88, Howard 78
North Carolina Central 60, Coppin State 48
Morgan State 83, South Carolina State 80

Wednesday, March 7

Hampton vs. Florida A&M, 6 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman vs. Morgan State, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 8
Savannah State vs. North Carolina Central, 6 p.m.
North Carolina A&T vs. Norfolk State, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Hampton–Florida A&M winner vs. N.C. A&T–Norfolk State winner, 6 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman–Morgan State winner vs. Savannah State–N.C. Central winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Missouri Valley Conference

At Scottrade Center, St. Louis

First round
Thursday, March 1

Northern Iowa 60, Evansville 50
Missouri State 83, Valparaiso 79

Friday, March 2

Loyola (Ill.) 54, Northern Iowa 50
Bradley 63, Drake 61
Southern Illinois 67, Missouri State 63
Illinois State 77, Indiana State 70

Saturday, March 3

Loyola (Ill.) 62, Bradley 54
Illinois State 76, Southern Illinois 69, OT

Sunday, March 4

Loyola (Ill.) 65, Illinois State 49

Mountain West Conference

At The Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas

First round
Wednesday, March 7

UNLV vs. Air Force, 2 p.m.
Utah State vs. Colorado State, 4:30 p.m.
Wyoming vs. San Jose State, 7 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

Nevada vs. UNLV-Air Force winner, 3 p.m.
Fresno State vs. San Diego State, 5:30 p.m.
Boise State vs. Utah State-Colorado State winner, 9 p.m.
New Mexico vs. Wyoming-San Jose State winner, 11:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Nevada–UNLV-Air Force winner vs. Fresno State-San Diego State winner, 9 p.m.
Boise State–Utah State-Colorado State winner vs. New Mexico–Wyoming-San Jose State winner, 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Northeast Conference

At higher-seeded schools

First round
Wednesday, Feb. 28

Wagner 73, Central Connecticut State 61
Robert Morris 60, Mount St. Mary’s 56
Fairleigh Dickinson 84, St. Francis (Pa.) 75
LIU Brooklyn 73, St. Francis (N.Y.) 50

Saturday, March 3

LIU Brooklyn 78, Fairleigh Dickinson 77
Wagner 75, Robert Morris 64

Tuesday, March 6

LIU Brooklyn 71, Wagner 61

Ohio Valley Conference

At The Ford Center, Evansville, Ind.

First round
Wednesday, Feb. 28

Tennessee Tech 60, SIU Edwardsville 51
Tennessee State 73, Eastern Illinois 71

Second round
Thursday, March 1

Jacksonville State 73, Tennessee Tech 70
Austin Peay 73, Tennessee State 66

Friday, March 2

Murray State 70, Jacksonville State 63
Belmont 94, Austin Peay 79

Saturday, March 3

Murray State 68, Belmont 51

Pacific-12 Conference

At T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

First round
Wednesday, March 7

Colorado vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m.
Stanford vs. California, 5:30 p.m.
Washington vs. Oregon State, 9 p.m.
Oregon vs. Washington State, 11:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 8

Arizona vs. Colorado-Arizona State winner, 3 p.m.
UCLA vs. Stanford-California winner, 5:30 p.m.
Southern Cal vs. Washington-Oregon State winner, 9 p.m.
Utah vs. Oregon-Washington State winner, 11:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Arizona–Colorado-Arizona State winner vs. UCLA–Stanford-California winner, 9 p.m.
Southern Cal–Washington-Oregon State winner vs. Utah–Oregon-Washington State winner, 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 10 p.m.

Patriot League

At higher-seeded schools

First round
Tuesday, Feb. 27

Loyola (Md.) 82, Army 79
Lafayette 93, American 86

Thursday, March 1

Bucknell 81, Loyola (Md.) 78
Colgate 76, Lafayette 54
Holy Cross 81, Navy 65
Boston University 88, Lehigh 82

Sunday, March 4

Colgate 62, Holy Cross 55
Bucknell 90, Boston University 59

Wednesday, March 7

Colgate vs. Bucknell, 7:30 p.m.

Southeastern Conference

At Scottrade Center, St. Louis

First round
Wednesday, March 7

Georgia vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.
South Carolina vs. Mississippi, 9:30 p.m.

Second round
Thursday, March 8

Texas A&M vs. Alabama, 1 p.m.
Missouri vs. Georgia-Vanderbilt winner, 3:30 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. LSU, 7 p.m.
Arkansas vs. South Carolina-Mississippi winner, 9:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Auburn vs. Texas A&M-Alabama winner, 1 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Missouri–Georgia-Vanderbilt winner, 3:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State-LSU winner, 7 p.m.
Florida vs. Arkansas–South Carolina-Mississippi winner, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Auburn–Texas A&M-Alabama winner vs. Kentucky–Missouri–Georgia-Vanderbilt winner, 1 p.m.
Tennessee–Mississippi State-LSU winner vs. Florida–Arkansas–South Carolina-Mississippi winner, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 11

Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Southern Conference

At U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville, N.C.

First round
Friday, March 2

The Citadel 78, VMI 70
Chattanooga 89, Samford 79

Saturday, March 3

UNC Greensboro 72, The Citadel 58
Wofford 73, Mercer 53
East Tennessee State 77, Chattanooga 59
Furman 97, Western Carolina 73

Sunday, March 4

UNC Greensboro 56, Wofford 55
East Tennessee State 63, Furman 52

Monday, March 5

UNC Greensboro 62, East Tennessee State 47

Southland Conference

At The Leonard E. Merrell Center, Katy, Texas

First round
Wednesday, March 7

New Orleans vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 6 p.m.
Lamar vs. Central Arkansas, 8:30 p.m.

Second round
Thursday, March 8

Sam Houston State vs. New Orleans-Texas A&M-Corpus Christi winner, 6 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin vs. Lamar-Central Arkansas winner, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Southeastern Louisiana vs. Sam Houston State–New Orleans-Texas A&M-Corpus Christi winner, 6 p.m.
Nicholls vs. Stephen F. Austin–Lamar-Central Arkansas winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

First round
Tuesday, March 6

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 77, Mississippi Valley State 73
Southern 62, Jackson State 60
Texas Southern 90, Alabama State 76
Prairie View A&M 87, Alcorn State 71

At The Delmar Center, Houston

Friday, March 9
Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Southern, 3:30 p.m.
Prairie View A&M vs. Texas Southern, 9:30 p.m.

At The Delmar Center, Houston
Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Summit League

At Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

First round
Saturday, March 3
South Dakota State 66, Western Illinois 60
South Dakota 87, Omaha 73

Sunday, March 4
North Dakota State 86, Fort Wayne 82
Denver 90, Oral Roberts 88

Monday, March 5

South Dakota State 78, North Dakota State 57
South Dakota 76, Denver 58

Tuesday, March 6

South Dakota State 97, South Dakota 87

Sun Belt Conference

At Lakefront Arena, New Orleans

First round
Wednesday, March 7

Coastal Carolina vs. Texas State, 12:30 p.m.
Appalachian State vs. Little Rock, 3 p.m.
Troy vs. South Alabama, 6 p.m.
Louisiana-Monroe vs. Arkansas State, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Coastal Carolina-Texas State winner, 12:30 p.m.
Texas-Arlington vs. Appalachian State-Little Rock winner, 3 p.m.
Georgia State vs. Troy-South Alabama winner, 6 p.m.
Georgia Southern vs. Louisiana-Monroe-Arkansas State winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Louisiana-Lafayette–Coastal Carolina-Texas State winner vs. Texas-Arlington–Appalachian State-Little Rock winner, 12:30 p.m.
Georgia State–Troy-South Alabama winner vs. Georgia Southern–Louisiana-Monroe-Arkansas State winner, 3 p.m.

Sunday, March 11

Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

West Coast Conference

At Orleans Arena, Las Vegas

First round
Friday, March 2

Loyola Marymount 78, Portland 72
Pepperdine 85, Santa Clara 69

Saturday, March 3

BYU 85, San Diego 79
San Francisco 71, Pacific 70 (OT)
Gonzaga 83, Loyola Marymount 69
Saint Mary’s 69, Pepperdine 66

Monday, March 5

Gonzaga 88, San Francisco 60
BYU 85, Saint Mary’s 72

Tuesday, March 6

Gonzaga 74, BYU 54

Western Athletic Conference

At Orleans Arena, Las Vegas

First round
Thursday, March 8

Grand Canyon vs. Missouri-Kansas City, 3 p.m.
Utah Valley vs. CSU Bakersfield, 5:30 p.m.
New Mexico State vs. Chicago State, 9 p.m.
Seattle vs. UT Rio Grande Valley, 11:30 p.m.

Friday, March 9

Grand Canyon-UMKC winner vs. Utah Valley-CSU Bakersfield winner, 9 p.m.
New Mexico State-Chicago State winner vs. Seattle-UT Rio Grande Valley winner, 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 10

Semifinal winners, 10 p.m.

NCAA tournament bracketology: Can the ACC notch 10 bids this March?

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(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports)   —   The conference record for the most teams to ever reach the NCAA tournament goes to the old Big East when it sent 11 of its 16 members in 2011. That garnered the since-restructured league nearly 70% of its teams dancing.

This year, the ACC, like plenty of years in recent memory, is positioned to challenge that record for most teams. Currently, 11 of the ACC’s 15 teams have a shot at making the NCAAs. Nine of those 11 are in the latest USA TODAY Sports bracket projection, with N.C. State one of the first teams in, Syracuse one of the first four teams out and Notre Dame on life support.

Should the Wolfpack and Orange play their way off the tournament bubble, and/or the Irish (starter Matt Farrell is back from injury and preseason All-American Bonzie Colson could be back next month) make a late push, there’s a chance 10 ACC teams put on their dancing shoes come March. Notre Dame had a chance to play itself back on the bubble on Monday night at North Carolina, but succumbed to an 83-66 loss at Chapel Hill.

While the Big 12 features nine of its 10 teams in the mix to make the tournament (that’d easily be a percentage record for teams in the Dance), the ACC has an opportunity to notch 11 bids.

Also on the bubble Monday night, Baylor got a huge double-overtime victory over Texas to springboard into the field and push the Longhorns to a No. 11 seed.


► No. 1 seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue.

► Last four in: Houston, Providence, North Carolina State, Baylor

► First Four out: Saint Bonaventure, Syracuse, Temple, UCLA.

Exactly one month away from Selection Sunday, the NCAA tournament committee revealed its top 16 seeds during the season.

The No. 1 seeds are: Virginia (top overall seed, projected in the South Region), Villanova (projected in the East Region), Xavier (projected in the Midwest Region)and Purdue (projected in the West Region).

The No. 2 seeds are as follows: Auburn, Kansas, Duke and Cincinnati. The No. 3 seeds are Clemson, Texas Tech, Michigan State and North Carolina. And the No. 4 seeds are Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona and Oklahoma.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has the most teams among the top 16 with four. The Big 12 and Big Ten have three, the SEC and Big East each have two and the American and Pac-12 both have one.

The breakdown by region with overall seed in parenthesis:

No. 1 Virginia (1)
No. 2 Cincinnati (8)
No. 3 Michigan State (11)
No. 4 Tennessee (13)

No. 1 Villanova (2)
No. 2 Duke (7)
No. 3 Texas Tech (10)
No. 4 Ohio State (14)

No. 1 Purdue (4)
No. 2 Kansas (6)
No. 3 North Carolina (12)
No. 4 Arizona (15)

No. 1 Xavier (3)
No. 2 Auburn (5)
No. 3 Clemson (9)
No. 4 Oklahoma (16)


CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: Virginia atop AP men’s hoops poll for first time since 1982

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina beat its two biggest rivals, then pulled away late to beat Notre Dame to cap a demanding stretch.

The 14th-ranked Tar Heels are tired. They also might have found a groove.

Theo Pinson scored 14 of his 16 points after halftime to go with 10 rebounds, helping UNC pull away late to beat Notre Dame 83-66 on Monday night for its third win in five days.

Things certainly look different from 10 days ago for the Tar Heels (20-7, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were coming off their first three-game losing streak in four years and a win against a winless-in-the-ACC Pittsburgh team before the stretch. But they beat Duke at home on Thursday then won Saturday at North Carolina State in a pair of emotional rivalry games.

Martinas Geben and John Mooney each scored 18 points for the Fighting Irish (15-11, 5-8), with Mooney going 6 of 6 from 3-point range. But UNC — which shot 57 percent — later used its clinching run to turn a 67-63 margin into a 17-point bulge near the 2-minute mark.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Teddy Allen scored 16 points, giving No. 20 West Virginia a needed spark off the bench.

James “Beetle” Bolden added 14 points, Daxter Miles Jr. scored 13 and Wes Harris had 11 points for West Virginia (19-7, 8-5 Big 12). The Mountaineers’ 38 bench points were its most in a Big 12 game this season.

Desmond Bane had 16 points, Vlad Brodziansky added 15 and Kouat Noi scored 12 for TCU (17-9, 5-8).

West Virginia has had trouble holding onto leads throughout the Big 12 season but didn’t let the Horned Frogs come back from a 38-27 halftime deficit.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A loss didn’t prevent Virginia from climbing to No. 1 in AP men’s basketball poll for the first time in more than 35 years after all.

The Cavaliers rose a slot to sit atop Monday’s AP Top 25 despite an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech, part of an upset-filled week that allowed for plenty of uncertainty in the poll. The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned 30 of 65 first-place votes to outdistance No. 2 Michigan State and rise above the turmoil that included last week’s top three teams all losing.

Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers had been at No. 2 before this season, but this is the first time the program has reached No. 1 since December 1982 — the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson — back when the poll ranked only 20 teams. And that team fell out of that spot after its improbable upset loss to Chaminade in Hawaii, regarded by many as the biggest upset in the history of college sports.

Virginia looked set to reach the No. 1 spot after Villanova’s home loss to St. John’s before losing to the Hokies . Still, the Cavaliers ended up there a day after the NCAA selection committee had them as the No. 1 overall seed in its reveal of the top 16 seeds to date.

The Cavaliers — whose 12 previous weeks at No. 1 all came during the Sampson era — play with the top ranking for the first time since the Chaminade loss on Tuesday at Miami.

“I do not get too carried away with where we are,” Bennett said after the loss to the Hokies. “I always say ‘thus far,’ and now we have to prove it again. … Now we are going to get a chance to do it again and we are going to have to fight like crazy every game. Everybody is capable of beating everybody in this league and that is reality. If you are little off it is not enough.”


Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) climbed two spots after a weekend win against Purdue in a top-5 matchup. The Spartans, who reached No. 1 for a week in January, earned 21 first-place votes.

Next came Villanova (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who fell to third after a five-week stay at No. 1 and earned nine first-place votes. Xavier (23-3, 11-2 Big East) inched up a spot to fourth and earned five first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati (23-2, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) at No. 5.

This is Xavier’s highest ranking in its history, while Cincinnati is in the top 5 for the first time since spending a good chunk of the 2001-02 season there.


Purdue (23-4, 12-2 Big East) fell from third to sixth after losing to Ohio State and Michigan State last week. Those losses snapped the nation’s longest winning streak at 19 games, marking Purdue’s first losses since falling to Tennessee and Western Kentucky on consecutive November days in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

Texas Tech was next at No. 7, followed by Ohio State, Gonzaga and Auburn to round out the top 10.


Rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina State helped North Carolina climb seven spots to No. 14 for the week’s biggest jump. It continued the Tar Heels’ wild swings in poll positioning, including a nine-slot drop last month and two other slides of eight slots.

Ohio State rose six spots to No. 8 after the Purdue win, while No. 11 Clemson was up five spots.


Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young had the biggest fall of the week, down six spots to No. 23. The Sooners have lost three straight and six of eight after Saturday’s loss at Iowa State .

St. Mary’s (15th) and Arizona (17th) both fell four spots.


The newcomers aren’t entirely new this week. Both No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arizona State have been ranked multiple weeks this season and appeared in the top 10, with the Sun Devils reaching No. 3 on Christmas Day.


Kentucky fell out of the rankings for the second time this season — It hadn’t happened since March 2014 before this year — from No. 24 after three straight losses. Miami fell out from No. 25 after losing at Boston College.


CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 1 Villanova holds on to beat Marquette 85-82

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 31 points despite leaving briefly with a left ankle injury, Donte DiVincenzo added 23 and top-ranked Villanova beat Marquette 85-82 on Sunday.

Last year, Marquette upset then-No. 1 Villanova in Milwaukee.

DiVincenzo’s putback off a missed 3 with 15 seconds to go gave Villanova (20-1, 7-1 Big East) a five-point lead. Andrew Rowsey led Marquette (13-8, 4-5) with 27 points, including a deep 3 from the wing that pulled the Golden Eagles to 83-80 with 1:30 left.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Isaac Haas matched his career high with 26 points, Vincent Edwards added 19 and Purdue held off Indiana for its school-record 17th consecutive victory.

The Boilermakers (21-2, 10-0 Big Ten) extended the nation’s longest active winning streak with their 12th straight conference victory, also a school record. Purdue hasn’t lost since Nov. 23.

Juwan Morgan had 24 points and seven rebounds, and Robert Johnson finished with 21 points and six assists to lead Indiana (12-10, 5-5).


COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Joshua Langford scored 19 points and Michigan State beat Maryland for coach coach Tom Izzo’s straight 20-win season.

Down by 13 at halftime, Michigan State (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten) outscoreed the Terrapins 20-4 in the opening 5 1/2 minutes and held on for its fourth straight victory. Izzo has 18 20-win seasons at Michigan State, missing the plateau only once since 2003-04.

Kevin Huerter led Maryland (15-8, 4-6) with 17 points.


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Austin Reaves hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and scored all of his career-high 23 points before halftime to lead Wichita State.

Reaves made his first seven 3-point attempts. He finished 7 of 11 from outside the arc.

Shaquille Morris scored 20 points for Wichita State (17-4, 7-2 American Athletic Conference).

Corey Henderson, a transfer from Wichita State, scored 28 points for Tulsa (11-10, 4-5).


ATLANTA (AP) — Gabe DeVoe scored a career-high 25 points, Marcquise Reed hit a decisive layup in the closing seconds and Clemson held off Georgia Tech.

The Tigers (17-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a three-game road losing streak. They took their first lead on Elijah Thomas’ three-point play early in the second half and didn’t trail again even though Georgia Tech tied it at 70-all on two free throws by Josh Okogie with 41.2 seconds remaining.

Okogie finished with 26 points for Georgia Tech (10-11, 3-5).


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — James Daniel has had his share of memorable moments in a basketball career filled with success, but ask the Tennessee guard, a graduate transfer from Howard, if he can pinpoint when he realized that Power Five basketball was different from mid-major hoops, and he just starts laughing.

“Did I have a ‘What did I get myself into?’ moment? Of course I did!” Daniel told USA TODAY Sports. “You know, everybody tells you that all the great coaches have a little crazy in them but man, coach (Rick) Barnes, he can be tough.”

The Vols, ranked No. 21 in the latest USA TODAY Coaches Poll, had been going hard for a couple of hours in a preseason practice and thought they were about to wrap up. Then Barnes ordered them to the sideline and called out “17!” a sideline-to-sideline sprint they repeated 17 times. When they were done, he yelled the number again.

“Coach Barnes and his intensity, that was my welcome to the Power Five moment,” Daniel laughed.

But it’s what he came here for: to be pushed outside his comfort zone and held to a higher standard. The hope is that his sacrifice comes with deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

Though Daniel is a graduate transfer — which means he received his undergraduate degree at a previous university and was therefore immediately eligible to play instead of sitting out a year — he is one of the dozens of transfers in college men’s basketball, a growing trend that has drawn criticism from pundits and mid-major coaches alike. Some call it an epidemic.

Critics say it’s unfair that players can suddenly abandon the small mid-major that was loyal to them initially and helped developed his skills. Why should a Power Five reap the benefits of someone else’s work?  Mid-majors aren’t supposed to serve as farm systems, after all. It can destroy a mid-major’s depth, and throw off its recruiting plan. On the flip side, transfers usually are willing to sacrifice personal glory to help a (different) team — and isn’t that what coaches always preach?

“If you transfer to a perennial top 30 program … it’s just going to be a lot harder, and guys know that,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “Yeah, there are perks — you’re playing on ESPN, flying on charters, playing in front of packed arenas … But they’re signing on for more work and harder work, and you admire the kid who wants to challenge himself.”

Regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong in the debate — and players who spoke with USA TODAY Sports point out that coaches aren’t typically held in contempt when they move up for a bigger and better opportunities — the transition from Big Man On Campus to Guy Just Trying To Contribute takes time.

At Howard, Daniel led the NCAA in scoring during the 2015-16 season, averaging 27.1 points. He arrived in Knoxville as the NCAA’s No. 2 active scorer, totaling 1,933 points in three years at Howard (he’s currently at 2,052). A 6-foot, 172-pound guard, Daniel got a ball screen almost every possession at Howard, and was often left to create his own shot. At Tennessee, he’s not a starter. For the first time in Daniel’s career, he has more assists (67) than made field goals (35).

“You never really know what you’re getting yourself into when you transfer,” Daniel said. “Of course I thought I’d be scoring more, but my role has been being more of a defensive presence, or handing out assists.”

Barnes said he anticipated Daniel could come in and add instant leadership — he’s the only senior on the Vols’ roster — while he felt out the SEC.

“At Howard it was, ‘If in doubt, shoot,’ ” Barnes said. “So, from that standpoint he’s still learning when he’s really open and when he’s not. When he takes good shots, he’s very effective … and when he wants to get engaged defensively, he can be a difference maker.”

So how big of a hit did his ego take in transferring to Tennessee? Daniel laughed at that question, too.

“I’ve already scored the ball,” he explained. “It’s not like I haven’t been able to that. I’m just ready to win.”

Daniel always believed he was good enough to play at the Power Five. He played AAU ball with guys such as Frank Mason (Kansas) and Andrew Rowsey (Marquette) and, “I’m thinking to myself the whole time, ‘I’m just as good or better than these guys.’ But we had a loaded (AAU) team, so nobody really got to shine if you weren’t going to those big camps.”

Though VCU came after him late, Daniel decided he’d stick with the school that had shown interest right away, and signed with Howard. A few years later, he wondered if there was something bigger for him.

Getting an opportunity

Auburn’s Desean Murray can relate. A Stanley, N.C., native, Murray grew up a Tar Heels fan, dreaming of the day he’d get a call from Roy Williams with an offer to wear Carolina blue.

But that never happened. Worried he might not have any offers come the spring of his senior year, Murray signed with Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., in the fall.

A forward who plays much bigger than his listed height of 6-3, Murray led the Big South in scoring as a sophomore, averaging 20.2 points. He doesn’t think it’s accurate to call him a late bloomer. “I was just given an opportunity to be dominant at Presbyterian,” he said. “In high school, most the five-star guys got the attention.”

And while he doesn’t blame college coaches, Murray does think they in general put pressure on players to sign early. That means players who didn’t get much exposure — and could benefit from being seen their senior high school season — commit to a smaller school when maybe they could play at a higher level if they waited.

“Coaches are looking at a bunch of other people, too, so if you wait they (on you) they might lose their backup option, too,” Murray said.

In some ways, Murray thinks that makes it more fun. There are so many kids trying to play college basketball, proving you’re wanted by someone early is a sign of success.

Murray felt comfortable the first time he played pick up with his new teammates, and has been surprised at all the space he’s had: At Presbyterian, Murray got double and triple-teamed every time he touched the ball. But at Auburn, because so many other players are a scoring threat, opposing teams have to guard everybody, which gives Murray more room to work. As a starter for the No. 19 Tigers, Murray averages 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in about 23 minutes per game. Being “the man” is fun, he said — but winning is better.

Taking the next step

Some players transfer knowing they will need to score for their new team.

Oregon’s Elijah Brown, a graduate transfer from New Mexico who started his career at Butler, went to Eugene with the understanding that he needed to put the ball in the basket. Brown, the son of Warriors assistant Mike Brown, led New Mexico in scoring both his sophomore (21.7 points) and junior (18.9) years.

The Ducks lost their five top scorers from last year’s Final Four team, and restocked their roster with a mix of freshmen and transfers.

Besides Brown, they welcomed Mikyle McIntosh, a 6-7 forward from Illinois State. In his last three games, McIntosh has averaged 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, surprising numbers considering he averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds for the 28-7 Redbirds last season.

McIntosh said Oregon coaches told him in the recruiting process they envisioned him playing mostly in the paint but wanted him to stretch bigger defenders out the perimeter, too. At Illinois State, McIntosh came off his share of ball screens. At Oregon, he’s rarely isolated.

Playing in the Pac-12 has allowed McIntosh the chance to check items off his hoops-themed bucket list, like attending a game in the McKale Center, where Arizona fans create one of the rowdiest environments in the country. Except instead of just attending, he played there, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds in a 90-83 loss.

“I don’t want people to think I hated my old school or despised my old coaching staff or anything,” McIntosh said. “This transfer was nothing about them, those are my guys. I just felt like personally, I needed to challenge myself and take the next step.”

Eyeing the NCAA tournament

Cane Broome has no regrets about how he found his way to Cincinnati. It was a circuitous path, and included stops at high school, prep school and Sacred Heart before finally settling on the Bearcats. And yes, he’d absolutely do it all over again.

“Sacred Heart, that was a big part of me finding myself as a basketball, player,” said Broome, who comes off the bench for No. 8 Cincinnati and averages 8.6 points and 3.4 assists.

A 6-foot guard from East Hartford, Conn., Broome said he had interest from a handful of schools — Boston College, San Francisco, Providence and St. Bonaventure, to name a few — coming out of high school, but didn’t have the grades. A year at Saint Thomas More prep fixed that, and when college hoops finally rolled around, Broome knew he wanted to go somewhere and play right away. Sacred Heart of the Northeast Conference gave him that opportunity.

And he didn’t just play — he played, and scored, a lot. Broome averaged 23.1 points a game for the Pioneers, earning the 2016 conference player of the year honors. And while he enjoyed Sacred Heart — and especially loved being close to his family — he noticed that in the locker room, no one ever talked about NBA aspirations or deep NCAA tournament runs. He craved both those things.

“At the end of the day, basketball is still basketball, but here, everyone expects you to win — coaches, teammates, alums, fans, people you walk by on campus,” Broome said. “The pressure, that’s the big difference.”

Broome likes that at Cincinnati, he doesn’t have to score the ball to feel like he’s contributing. If the team needed him to go out and get 20 one night, he believes he could do it. But he doesn’t feel the need to prove that to anyone.

“Whether it’s a different level or not, I already got 1,000 points. I achieved that,” he said. “I’d rather come here and be just a contributor but be on a team that has a chance to go far and win a national championship.”

For transfers, that’s a common desire — one they hope isn’t held against them.

CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 3 Purdue beats No. 25 Michigan for 16th straight win

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Vincent Edwards scored 30 points, Isaac Haas added 24 and No. 3 Purdue matched a school record with its 16 straight victory, using a late charge to finally get past No. 25 Michigan 92-88 on Thursday night.

The Boilermakers (20-2, 9-0 Big Ten) have won 20 consecutive games at Mackey Arena and are off to their best start in conference play since the NCAA Tournament began. It’s the fourth time Purdue has won 16 in a row, most recently 30 years ago.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had career-high 26 points and Zavier Simpson added 16 for Michigan (17-6, 6-4). The Wolverines were swept by Purdue in the regular season for the first time since 2007-08.


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Allonzo Trier scored 23 points, Deandre Ayton added 20 and Arizona avenged its lone loss of the Pac-12 season.

The 7-foot-1 Ayton, expected to be at or near the top of the NBA draft this year, was 12 of 12 at the foul line as the Buffaloes tried to get physical with the big rookie, without much success.

Dusan Ristic added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting for the Wildcats (17-4, 7-1 Pac-12). George King scored 22 points for Colorado (12-9, 4-5).


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tony Carr hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Penn State an upset victory over Ohio State, handing the Buckeyes their first Big Ten loss.

Carr had 28 points and was 4 for 5 from 3-point range for the Nittany Lions (14-8, 4-5 Big Ten). They were 11 for 14 from beyond the arc in beating a Top 25 team for the first time this season.

Keita Bates-Diop led Ohio State (18-5, 9-1) with 25 points. He had three 3-pointers in the last 2:07, tying it with the last with 5 seconds left.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Killian Tillie had 27 points and seven rebounds, and Gonzaga cruised to a victory over Portland.

Corey Kispert added a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (18-4, 8-1 West Coast Conference), who won their 20th straight conference road game.

It was Gonzaga’s 10th straight win over the Pilots (8-14, 2-7). The Bulldogs are 27-2 against Portland under coach Mark Few.

Freshman Marcus Shaver Jr. had 16 points for the Pilots (8-14, 2-7), who trailed by as many as 28 points in the second half.

No. 16 SAINT MARY’S 75, BYU 62

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Jock Landale had 32 points and 14 rebounds and Saint Mary’s pulled away in the second half to beat BYU, extending the Gaels’ winning streak to 15 .

The 15-game winning streak matches the longest in Saint Mary’s history. The Gaels also won 15 straight in 2008-09.

Emmett Naar added 13 points and 12 assists and Evan Fitzner made a key 3-pointer late to help the Gaels (20-2, 9-0 West Coast Conference) hold on for their fifth consecutive win over the Cougars (17-5, 6-3).


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Shaquille Morris scored 19 points to lead Wichita State.

Morris, demoted from his starting spot, was 8 of 10 from the floor in 21 minutes. Darral Willis had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Shockers (16-4, 6-2 American Athletic Conference).

Dayon Griffin scored 15 points for Central Florida (13-7, 4-4).


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Sedrick Barefield scored 17 points and hit the tying 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left in regulation, helping Utah knock off Arizona State in overtime.

Utah (13-7, 5-4 Pac-12) led 79-77 late in overtime and had a chance to stretch it, but David Collette missed two free throws with 20.9 seconds left.

Arizona State (15-5, 3-5) missed two shots on the next possession and Barefield hit 1 of 2 free throws. The Sun Devils’ final shot, a running 3-pointer by Tra Holder at the buzzer, was nowhere close.

Holder led Arizona State with 23 points.

CBB Men’s and Women’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 1 Villanova cruises to 89-69 win against Providence

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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)    —    PHILADELPHIA – Eric Paschall scored 17 points to lead No. 1 Villanova to an 89-69 victory against Providence on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (19-1, 6-1 Big East) placed six players in double figures in their sixth straight win. Omari Spellman scored 16 points and Jalen Brunson finished with 15 on 5-for-15 shooting.

Villanova grabbed control with a 22-2 run on its way to a 39-30 halftime lead.

Rodney Bullock led Providence with 16 points. Jalen Lindsey had 14 points, and Kyron Cartwright had 12 points and six assists.

The Friars (14-7, 5-3) dropped to 1-3 against Top 25 teams this season.

No. 2 Virginia 61, No. 18 Clemson 36

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Devon Hall scored 14 points, Kyle Guy had 12 and Virginia broke open a close game with a 22-2 run in the second half.

The Cavaliers (19-1, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) allowed their fewest points of the season. They lead the nation in scoring defense.

Gabe DeVoe scored 11 points, all in the first 12 minutes, and was the only player in double figures for the Tigers (16-4, 5-3). They managed just 13 points in the second half.

No. 4 Duke 84, Wake Forest 70

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wendell Carter Jr. had 23 points and 12 rebounds, powering Duke to the road win.

Marvin Bagley III had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (18-2, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who built a 20-point lead with their defense and kept Wake Forest at arm’s length the rest of the way.

Duke matched a season high by forcing 21 turnovers – 15 in the first half – and turned them into 34 points.

Doral Moore had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Wake Forest (8-12, 1-7), which has lost six in a row and eight of nine. Brandon Childress scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half.

No. 12 Oklahoma 85, No. 5 Kansas 80

NORMAN, Okla. – Trae Young had 26 points and nine assists, helping Oklahoma rally for the win.

Young, the nation’s leader in scoring and assists, struggled in losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma State last week. Against Kansas, the freshman point guard made 7 of 9 field goals and 10 of 12 free throws.

Christian James scored 15 points and Brady Manek added 14 for the Sooners (15-4, 5-3 Big 12), who won their 13th straight at home.

Svi Mykhailiuk scored 24 points and Malik Newman added 20 for Kansas (16-4, 6-2), which had won five straight. Devonte’ Graham, Kansas’ leading scorer, finished with 11 points on 4-of-19 shooting.

No. 14 Texas Tech 75, Oklahoma State 70

LUBBOCK, Texas – Keenan Evans scored 26 points, and Texas Tech rallied from a 15-point deficit.

Evans hit a 3-pointer with 3:52 left that put the Red Raiders ahead to stay. That came only 40 seconds after his rebound and assist to Jarrett Culver, whose breakaway dunk gave Texas Tech (16-4, 5-3 Big 12) its first lead since the first half.

Culver finished with 25 points, including four 3-pointers. The Red Raiders had lost two in a row.

Jeffrey Carroll had 16 points for Oklahoma State (13-7, 3-5), which was coming off an overtime win over then-No. 4 Oklahoma.

No. 22 Tennessee 67, Vanderbilt 62

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jordan Bowden scored 19 points, Lamonte’ Turner hit a huge 3-pointer and Tennessee held on for its fifth win in six games.

Tennessee (14-5, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) withstood a brilliant performance from Vanderbilt’s Riley LaChance, who scored each of his 25 points in the second half.

After trailing 41-21 with 14 1/2 minutes left, Vanderbilt (7-13, 2-6) cut Tennessee’s lead to 60-58 when Jeff Roberson made one of two free throws with 1:19 remaining. Turner answered by sinking a 3-pointer with 1:03 left.

Grant Williams had 19 points for Tennessee, two weeks after scoring 37 points in a 92-84 triumph at Vanderbilt. Roberson had 21 points for the Commodores.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Katelynn Flaherty had 26 points with four 3-pointers and six assists and No. 16 Michigan beat short-handed Michigan State 74-48 on Tuesday night to snap a four-game skid in the series.

The 26-point margin of victory was Michigan’s largest in the series, topping 16 on Jan. 18, 1998.

Flaherty, ranked sixth in the country at 23.1 points per game, entered needing just six points to move into sixth on the Big Ten’s career scoring list. She passed Maggie Lucas of Penn State (2010-14). Flaherty’s 3-point play with 5:25 left in the third quarter put her at 20-plus for the 12th straight game.

Nicole Munger added 13 points and Hallie Thome grabbed 11 rebounds for Michigan (18-4, 7-2), which has its highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since coming in at No. 12 on Dec. 24, 2001.

Sidney Cooks scored 17 points for Michigan State (14-7, 4-4), which entered having won seven of the last nine in the series. The Spartans only dressed eight players due to a handful of injuries to their perimeter players, including starting point guard Taryn McCutcheon.

CBB Men’s TOP 25 REWIND: No. 7 Shockers stumble for 1st time in AAC

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wichita State has hit its first bump in its new American Athletic Conference home. Coach Gregg Marshall now gets a chance to see how his seventh-ranked Shockers handle it.

The Shockers were one of five AP Top 25 teams to lose twice this week, joining No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 8 Texas Tech as top-10 teams in that group. First came an 83-78 home loss to SMU on Wednesday — snapping a 27-game home winning streak and giving Wichita its first lost in AAC play — followed by Saturday’s 73-59 loss at Houston.

This is part of the Shockers’ first go-around through the American after moving from their 72-year home in the Missouri Valley Conference, where they won four straight regular-season titles with a 68-4 record from 2013-17.

Wichita State (15-4, 5-2) had not lost consecutive conference games since the 2012-13 season before this week.

The problems hit both sides of the court. SMU shot nearly 64 percent in its win. Against Houston, though, Wichita State’s most glaring troubles came in a 33-percent, 18-turnover offensive showing.

Wichita State had won its first four AAC games by double-figure margins, but things have been tougher starting with a 72-69 win at Tulsa on Jan. 13.

“We have to work on everything,” Marshall said after the Houston loss, adding: “I have to coach better. We have to play better.”


The Big 12’s teams keep beating each other up.

The Sooners and freshman star Trae Young lost twice on the road, first at Kansas State on Tuesday and then in overtime at Oklahoma State on Saturday despite Young’s 48 points.

Then there were the Red Raiders with their own set of road league losses. They fell at Texas on Wednesday and at Iowa State on Saturday.

“We’re going to have to fight and get back up,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “This is life in the Big 12.”


Speaking of the Big 12, No. 10 Kansas had the week’s best win by beating sixth-ranked West Virginia 71-66 on the road.


No. 18 Kentucky and No. 19 Seton Hall were the other ranked teams to lose twice this week.

Both of the Wildcats’ losses came to unranked teams, first at South Carolina and then at home to Florida to snap a 30-game home winning streak against Southeastern Conference foes. It raises the question of whether the Wildcats could slide out of Monday’s new poll.

“As a team, there is no lack of confidence,” Wildcats sophomore Sacha Killeya-Jones said. “We understand that we have work to do. We can’t go out there and mess around. We have to go out there and fight.”

As for the Pirates, they lost at Creighton — which has been ranked in four polls this season — and then at home to No. 11 Xavier in the Big East.


No. 3 Purdue (19-2, 8-0 Big Ten) has won 15 straight games and has won three straight Big Ten games by at least 23 points for the first time in school history. The Boilermakers beat Wisconsin by 28 points and Iowa by 23 this week.


St. Mary’s (19-2, 8-0 West Coast Conference) is rolling and could go from “Others Receiving Votes” to ranked by Monday.

The Gaels won at No. 13 Gonzaga on Thursday, then won at Pacific for a 14th straight victory — the second longest streak in school history — behind 32 points from Jock Landale, who stands as one of college basketball’s top performers with Selection Sunday less than two months away.

Then there’s Kansas State (14-5, 4-3 Big 12), which followed its win against Oklahoma by beating No. 24 TCU . The Wildcats rank 24th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency rankings (115.7 points per 100 possessions), but held both opponents to 42 percent shooting while forcing the Sooners into 20 turnovers.

“They’ve grown up,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said after the TCU win. “We have good leadership. And they’re guarding.”



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Guy scored 17 points, and No. 2 Virginia beat Wake Forest 59-49 on Sunday night for its 10th straight win.

De’Andre Hunter added 16 points to help the first-place Cavaliers (18-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extend their longest winning streak since 2015-16 and open league play with seven victories for the second time in four years. Virginia shot nearly 46 percent in the second half while holding Wake Forest to 30 percent shooting after halftime.

Bryant Crawford scored 11 points, and Mitchell Wilbekin and Brandon Childress added 10 apiece for the Demon Deacons (8-11, 1-6), who kept it close against a highly-ranked Virginia team for the second time in three years but still managed to lose their fifth straight.

Devon Hall added 12 points to help the Cavaliers win a tight one in which there were nine lead changes and five ties.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Moe Wagner scored 16 points and Duncan Robinson added 12 to lift Michigan over Rutgers.

The Wolverines (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) rebounded from a 20-point loss at Nebraska on Thursday, taking the lead for good with a 13-0 run in the first half. Both teams shot well under 50 percent from the field, but this Michigan team is more capable of winning with defense than in the past.

Corey Sanders scored 12 points for Rutgers (12-9, 2-6), and Deshawn Freeman added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Freeman also had the only assist of the game for Rutgers, which finished with 13 turnovers.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Bruce Brown Jr. scored 19 points and Miami shot 58 percent from the field.

Anthony Lawrence II and Ebuka Izundu each had 15 points for the Hurricanes (14-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Miami led the entire second half but struggled to put the Wolfpack away in a game that came down to the final seconds.

Miami came into Raleigh as one the ACC’s worst 3-point shooting teams, but made 10 of 19 tries from behind the arc for its best output in a league game.

Omer Yurtseven had 28 points for the Wolfpack (13-7, 3-4), who shot 63 percent after halftime and 54 percent for the game.

CBB Women’s and Men’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 18 Oregon State women down No. 7 Oregon 85-79 in OT

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Kat Tudor made seven 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 34 points, and No. 18 Oregon State snapped No. 7 Oregon’s nine-game winning streak with an 85-79 overtime victory Friday night.

Marie Gulich added 28 points and 15 rebounds for the Beavers (14-4, 5-2 Pac-12), who extended their Civil War rivalry winning streak over the Ducks to 14 games.

Sabrina Ionescu had a career-high 35 points for the Ducks (17-3, 6-1), including a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left at the end of regulation that sent the game into overtime.

Gulich’s turnaround jumper with 1:42 left in the extra period gave the Beavers an 80-77 lead. She made one free throw to extend the lead.

Ionescu made two of three foul shots to close the Ducks within 81-79, but Katie McWilliams made a 3-pointer and free throw with 15 seconds left to put it out of reach.

Hebard finished with 24 points for the Ducks.

No. 13 UCLA 60, No. 21 CALIFORNIA 52

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jordin Canada scored 11 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, Monique Billings had 14 points and 18 rebounds, and UCLA held off California.

Canada scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to blunt a comeback by Cal, which played without their leading scorer and the Pac-12’s top rebounder, Kristine Anigwe, for nearly six minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters after she picked up her fourth foul.

Cal (13-5, 4-3) put together an 8-0 run with four points from Kianna Smith to get within four, 51-47, with two minutes left, but Kennedy Burke had a tip-in and Canada made a lunging 3-pointer as she was falling that banked in for a 56-47 lead with 37 seconds left. UCLA (14-4, 5-2) added four free throws before Anigwe got Cal’s last bucket with 13 seconds left.

UTAH 58, No. 22 ARIZONA ST. 56

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Utah rallied from an 11-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and handed Arizona State its first home loss of the season.

It was the third straight loss for the Sun Devils (13-6, 4-3 Pac-12).

Megan Huff had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Utes (13-5, 4-3), who outscored the Sun Devils 26-13 in the final quarter. Torri Williams added 10 points, including four free throws in the final 18.4 seconds.

Robbi Ryan scored 16 for Arizona State but missed what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds. Williams’ two free throws with 2.6 seconds left sealed the victory.



EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Miles Bridges made a 3-pointer and bounced on his toes with joy, enjoying a game he and Michigan State desperately needed.

Bridges scored 22 points to help the ninth-ranked Spartans respond to adversity with an 85-57 win over Indiana on Friday night.

The Spartans (17-3, 5-2 Big Ten) had a confidence-boosting performance after going from a top-ranked team to a reeling one. They were slumping after a 16-point loss at Ohio State, an overtime win over Rutgers and an 82-72 setback to Michigan at home.

“I was just trying to prove that we weren’t soft and that we can compete with any team,” Bridges said. “We were trying to prove a point.”

Michigan State took control with an 18-0 run midway through the first half, led by as much as 23 and was ahead 42-23 at halftime.

“We were aggressive and played our game,” Bridges said. “We had a great sense of urgency.”

Nick Ward had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Cassius Winston had 10 points, eight assists and only one turnover and Jaren Jackson had 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks and for the Spartans.

The Hoosiers (11-8, 4-3) lost for the first time in four games, falling into a fourth-place tie with the Wolverines and Nebraska.

Indiana’s Robert Johnson had 21 points and the rest of his teammates struggled offensively. Josh Newkirk scored 14, but missed 12 of 17 shots.

“If those two guys can continue to play well, I think we’ll be OK,” coach Archie Miller said.

The Hoosiers were held to 34 percent shooting.

“It wasn’t a good offensive showing and they had a lot to do with it,” Miller said.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — He scores, he rebounds, he leads the press break at 6 feet, 10 inches tall.

Not an everyday combination for a post player, but Ethan Happ doesn’t want you to forget he played point guard early in his high school career before he shot up.

It all added up Friday to 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as Happ as Wisconsin broke out of an offensive slump to beat Illinois 75-50.

“The biggest thing was we played as a unit tonight,” Happ said. “There wasn’t one guy trying to do it himself.”

On paper, Illinois (10-10, 0-7 Big Ten) should have given Wisconsin (10-10, 3-4) fits. The Illini like to pressure the perimeter, the Badgers’ backcourt has been thinned by injury and starting point guard Brad Davison went to the bench midway through the first half with his second foul.

But the Badgers didn’t miss a beat.

Up 24-18 about two minutes after Davison went out, Wisconsin went on a 16-6 run over the next five minutes to take control.

Suddenly, a team that had lost its first six Big Ten games by an average of 3.5 points was in a double-digit hole from which it would not recover despite trying to press the Badgers and switching to a zone defense for spurts.

Illinois coach Brad Underwood said the Badgers “just picked us apart” by being patient and taking advantage of poor defensive rotations. He also said it was the first time this season his team lacked effort.

“The team that gets you deep in the shot clock, they’re just going to wait until you make mistakes, and we made mistakes,” he said.

Leron Black scored 16 to lead Illinois, while Trent Frazier added 11.

The Badgers snapped a streak of three straight conference losses in which they failed to score more than 60 points. But they cracked that mark with more than 11 minutes to go, and their 43 points to open the contest was their best mark for a half in Big Ten play this season.

Four Badgers scored in double figures, led by Brad Davison’s 18. Brevin Pritzl scored 16 shooting 3 for 6 from the 3-point line, including one that banked in as the shot clock expired.

“It was ugly. But sometimes it bounces your way,” he said.

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 24 Oklahoma State women beat No. 17 West Virginia 79-73

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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Loryn Goodwin scored 14 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter to help No. 24 Oklahoma State pull away and beat No. 17 West Virginia 79-73 on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma State (13-4, 4-2 Big 12 Conference) rebounded from a 16-point loss at Kansas State on Saturday and improved to 2-3 against Top 25 opponents. West Virginia (15-4, 3-4) has lost consecutive games and four of its last six.

Goodwin now has three 30-point games, the most since Toni Young had three for the Cowgirls in the 2010-11 season. Braxtin Miller added 23 points, and Kaylee Jensen had 17 points and 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.

Miller and Goodwin made back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 21-12 surge that stretched the Cowgirls’ two-point lead to 74-63 with 2:46 left. West Virginia pulled within six points with 40 seconds left before Miller and Jensen combined for 5-of-6 shooting at the line to seal it.

Naomi Davenport scored 25 points and Teana Muldrow had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead West Virginia.


AMES, Iowa (AP) — Just 20 seconds into her first career start, Baylor freshman Didi Richards scored on a putback.

That would be as close as Iowa State would ever get.

Kalani Brown scored 25 points, Lauren Cox had 21 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high nine blocks, and No. 4 Baylor beat Iowa State 79-50 on Wednesday for its 13th straight win.

Kristy Wallace scored 16 points for the Lady Bears (16-1, 6-0 Big 12), who never trailed in picking up their sixth straight league win by at least 22 points.

“Our defense is pretty good. I thought we helped each other a lot,” said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, whose team held the Cyclones to 24.6 percent shooting. “It’s a road win. Road wins are tough to come by.”

Baylor outscored the Cyclones (8-10, 2-5) by 38 in the first half two weeks ago in Waco, and it was nearly as dominant early on in the rematch. The Lady Bears stormed out to a 19-2 lead after a quarter — with Iowa State missing 19 of its first 20 shots — and pushed their lead to 26-4 less than 13 minutes into play.

It was all keyed by Brown and Cox, whose interior play suffocated the Cyclones.

“Just good defense. Coach (Mulkey) puts emphasis on that all the time, and I tried to move my feet. I had to play inside and out,” Cox said.

Though the outcome was never really in doubt, Baylor let Iowa State climb back to 45-30 in the third quarter. But Wallace drilled a corner 3 to put the Lady Bears back ahead by 20.

Bridget Carelton had 24 points for the Cyclones, who’ve lost five of six.

“They’re a monster,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “I guess the only good thing about tonight is that we don’t have to play them again.”

Baylor rested senior Dekeiya Cohen after she played 36 minutes against Oklahoma. Cohen, a co-captain, is averaging 10.8 points and 7.4 rebounds a game.


WNBA player Layshia Clarendon sues California alleging sexual assault

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Former California women’s basketball player and current WNBA All-Star guard Layshia Clarendon has filed a lawsuit against Cal claiming she was sexually assaulted by a longtime member of the athletic department

The school acknowledged the lawsuit Wednesday night and said the staff member, Mohamed Muqtar, had recently been placed on paid leave. The assistant director of student services, Muqtar has been working for the university for just more than 25 years, the school said. An e-mail to Muqtar’s Cal email account was not immediately returned.

Cal said in a statement “the University is aware of the complaint, but has not received a copy of the lawsuit nor had the benefit of reviewing the allegations.”

Clarendon, who plays for the Atlanta Dream and was at Cal from 2009-13, posted on Twitter her thoughts about the lawsuit.

She said in three separate tweets:

— “Regarding the news today: I want the shame to not be my own anymore, because it’s not my shame to carry, but it’s something that I’ve had to carry. It’s a horrible thing to live in silence, to carry that pain and that weight and the guilt.”

— “My biggest hope is that he never does this to anyone else. That no one else has to suffer under his hand, or him violating their bodies again. That this would be the end of him assaulting people. #TimesUp.”

— “It feels there is a big level of responsibility there for me, to make sure this doesn’t continue. And he doesn’t continue to harm other people.”

Cal explained in its statement that this case goes beyond the athletic department for investigation.

The statement reads: “Our department policy states that once anyone in Cal Athletics is made aware of any instance or allegation of a violation of University policy involving a coach, staff member or student-athlete, those matters are referred to the appropriate departments on campus responsible for investigating them. Athletics does not have its own specific conduct process nor does it investigate allegations or cases on its own, but follows the University’s policy and works in concert with campus professionals who are responsible for those areas. All university staff are also required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training, and those programs have increased in recent years. Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. We encourage anyone who is feeling distressed or troubled to contact the PATH to Care Center and other campus resources.

“Layshia holds a special place in our history for her contributions to Cal women’s basketball both on and off the court and we are saddened to hear of the allegations that are coming to light today.”

CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: Joel Berry’s free throws lift No. 18 North Carolina over No. 25 Notre Dame

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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Keenan Evans scored 20 points, Brandone Francis had a career-high 17 and No. 8 Texas Tech won the first Top 10 matchup on its home court, beating second-ranked West Virginia 72-71 on Saturday.

Evans hit a lean-in jumper to give the Red Raiders (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) a four-point lead in the final minute and send the first sellout crowd of the season into a frenzy. The Mountaineers had their nation-leading 15-game winning streak stopped.

Jevon Carter scored 28 points — one off his career high — for West Virginia (15-2, 4-1). Esa Ahmad added 18 in his season debut following an NCAA academic suspension.


EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Moritz Wagner scored a career-high 27 points for Michigan.

The Wolverines (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten) have won eight of nine games overall and two straight against their rivals.

The Spartans (16-3, 4-2) have lost two of three games with an overtime win over Rutgers in between the setbacks.

Michigan State’s Miles Bridges had 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.


NEW YORK (AP) — Donte DiVincenzo hit six 3-pointers and scored 25 points to help Villanova silence a rowdy crowd and hold off upset-minded St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.

Shamorie Ponds came close to leading the Red Storm (10-8, 0-6 Big East) to their first win over a No. 1 team in 33 years. Ponds scored a career-high 37 points in front of 17,123 fans.

The Wildcats (16-1, 4-1) were flawless from the free-throw line over the final minute to avoid the startling upset. Mikal Bridges had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Villanova. The Wildcats went 13-for-30 on 3-point range.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Vincent Edwards scored 25 points in 29 minutes on 9-for-14 shooting for Purdue in its 13th consecutive victory.

Isaac Haas pitched in 14 points and five rebounds for Purdue (17-2, 6-0), which produced its best Big Ten start since going 8-0 to begin conference play in the 1989-90 season.

Jordan Murphy had 10 points and four rebounds for the Gophers (13-6, 2-4), who have lost all three games since center Reggie Lynch was suspended and small forward Amir Coffey was sidelined by a shoulder injury. This was the second-largest margin of defeat at home in program history, behind only a 90-51 loss to No. 1 UCLA on Dec. 20, 1968.


TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Landry Shamet and backcourt mate Conner Frankamp each scored 16 points and Wichita State held off Tulsa.

Shamet made the first of two free throws with 8 seconds left for a three-point edge. After Shamet missed his second shot, the Shockers fouled Sterling Taplin. He missed the front end of a one-and-one with 4.9 seconds left, Junior Etou rebounded and passed back to Taplin, whose 3-point try rimmed out.

Taplin scored 26 points. Markis McDuffie added 10 points and nine rebounds for Wichita State (15-2, 5-0 American Athletic Conference). Henderson had 14 points for Tulsa (10-8, 3-3).


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Marvin Bagley III had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Duke, which was without Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski due to a virus.

With longtime assistant Jeff Capel in charge, the short-handed and illness-ravaged Blue Devils (15-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their second straight and moved their conference record over .500 for the first time this season.

Bryant Crawford scored 21 points and Keyshawn Woods had 15 to lead Wake Forest (8-9, 1-4), which hasn’t won at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 21 years.

No. 9 OKLAHOMA 102, No. 16 TCU 97, OT

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Trae Young scored 29 of his 43 points after halftime for Oklahoma, which won in overtime.

Young, the freshman who leads the nation in scoring and assists, also had 11 rebounds and seven assists. Brady Manek added 22 points for the Sooners (14-2, 4-1 Big 12), who made a school-record 19 3-pointers.

Jaylen Fisher had a career-high 22 points and Vlad Brodziansky added 21 for TCU (13-4, 1-4), which lost its second overtime game of the week.

No. 10 XAVIER 92, No. 25 CREIGHTON 70

CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett emerged from his shooting slump with 24 pointsa and Kaiser Gates responded to getting dropped from the starting lineup by scoring 16, as Xavier recovered from back-to-back road losses.

The Musketeers (16-3, 4-2 Big East) shook up their starting lineup and got back in form after losses to Providence and No. 1 Villanova. They pulled ahead by 27 points midway through the second half.

The Bluejays (14-3, 4-2) gave up a season high in points and took their most lopsided loss.

No. 11 Arizona State 77, Oregon State 75

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Shannon Evans scored seven of his 22 points in a late 10-0 run for Arizona State.

Cody Justice added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Sun Devils (14-3, 2-3 Pac-12), who were coming off an upset home loss to Oregon on Thursday night.

Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 21 for the Beavers (10-7, 2-3), including five 3s (in 10 attempts).

Arizona State prevailed despite an off night from point guard Tra Holder. The Pac-12’s leading scorer at 20.9 points per game made 1 of 9 shots for four points.

Tres Tinkle scored 18 for Oregon State but missed a 3-pointer that would have won the game at the buzzer.


LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Devonte Graham had 23 points, and Malik Newman hit the go-ahead foul shots with 15 seconds left for Kansas.

Udoka Azubuike added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks (14-3, 4-1 Big 12), who beat their Interstate 70 rival for the sixth straight time and 12th in a row at Allen Fieldhouse.

Dean Wade had 22 points to lead Kansas State (12-5, 2-3).


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Desi Rodriguez and Myles Powell each scored 19 points to lead Seton Hall.

The Pirates (15-3, 4-1 Big East), who remained undefeated at home (11-0), received 11 points and 13 rebounds from Angel Delgado.

The Hoyas (12-5, 2-4) were led by Marcus Derrickson, who scored 18 points while Jahvon Blair and Jessie Govan scored 11 points each.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points and Cincinnati shrugged off a slow start.

Jacob Evans III had 16 points and Kyle Washington added 14 to help the Bearcats (15-2, 4-0) remain unbeaten in American Athletic Conference play. The victory was the eighth straight for Cincinnati, which shot 70 percent while outscoring the Bulls 43-22 in the second half.

USF (7-11, 0-5) has lost six in a row, remaining winless in the AAC, where it has been beaten by an average of nearly 25 points per game. Payton Banks led the Bulls with 22 points.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Johnathan Williams scored 17 points and Josh Perkins added 16 to lead Gonzaga to 18th straight road victory in the West Coast Conference.

The Bulldogs (16-3, 6-0) got a rare test in conference play after winning their first five games by at least 29 points. But they were up to the task with help from two key blocked shots late by Rei Hachimura.

Souley Boum scored 22 points and Frankie Ferrari added 18 for the Dons (10-9, 2-4). San Francisco has lost 14 straight games against ranked opponents since beating Gonzaga at home 66-65 on Feb. 12, 2012.

No. 17 ARIZONA 90, OREGON 83

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Allonzo Trier scored 25 points and Deandre Ayton added 24 for Arizona.

Arizona (14-4, 4-1 Pac-12) scored eight straight points to go up 84-77 with 72 seconds left. The Wildcats shot 53 percent from the field.

Elijah Brown scored 25 points and MiKyle McIntosh had 20 for the Ducks (12-6, 2-3).

No. 19 CLEMSON 72, No. 18 MIAMI 63

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Donte Grantham had 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Mark Donnal had 12 points, including two critical second-half 3s, for Clemson.

The Tigers (15-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) continued their best start in nine seasons and bounced back from their first ACC defeat that snapped a 10-game win streak at North Carolina State on Thursday night.

Clemson made a season-high 12 3-pointers.

Anthony Lawrence II and Lonnie Walker IV had 16 points each for Miami (13-3, 2-2).


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Joel Berry II hit two free throws with 7.1 seconds left as North Carolina earned its first Atlantic Coast Conference road victory of the season.

Berry finished with 15 points while Luke Maye had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (14-4, 3-2). Sophomore point guard T.J. Gibbs got a game-high 19 points and six assists for the Irish (13-5, 3-2).

Gibbs dribbled downcourt and got off an errant shot but got a rebound which spun out at the buzzer.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kevin Knox scored five straight points to put Kentucky ahead to stay.

With the score tied at 59, Knox hit a jumper with 3:48 left and hit the free throw that put Kentucky ahead for good. He added a layup on the next possession for the Wildcats (14-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference). Wenyon Gabriel added a tip-in, and Hamadou Diallo knocked down a 3-pointer for a 10-2 run clinching the victory.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Kentucky with 22 points. Knox finished with 17.

Jeff Roberson led Vanderbilt (6-11, 1-4) with 20 points.


STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Bryce Brown scored 23 points and Mustapha Heron and Desean Murray both added 14 for Auburn.

Auburn (16-1, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) won its 14th straight game despite trailing by 13 points early in the second half. It’s the program’s longest winning streak since the 1999-2000 season, when the Tigers also won 14 in a row.

Quinndary Weatherspoon had 14 points for Mississippi State (13-4, 1-3).


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Briain Angola scored 24 points, including five in the second overtime, and Christ Koumadje added a career-high 23 for Florida State.

Tied at 82 at the end of the first overtime, the Seminoles scored the first six points of the second extra session to take control. Two free throws by Tyus Battle cut FSU’s lead to 88-84 but it scored nine of the next 11 points to put it out of reach.

Phil Cofer added 16 points for Florida State (13-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which played without leading scorer and rebounder Terance Mann, who missed the game due to a concussion.

Battle, who had five points at halftime, led the Orange (12-6, 1-4) with 37 points,


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jordan Bowden scored 15 points as Tennessee handed Texas A&M its fifth consecutive loss.

Kyle Alexander had 14 points, Admiral Schofield scored 12 and Jordan Bone added 10 as Tennessee (12-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) won its third straight in Volunteers coach Rick Barnes’ 1,000th career game. Barnes improved his head coaching record to 647-353.

After being ranked fifth in the nation at the start of SEC play, Texas A&M (11-6, 0-5) hasn’t won since.

CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: Booth scores 21, No. 1 Villanova routs No. 10 Xavier 89-65

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phil Booth hit five 3s and scored 21 points and Jalen Brunson had 17 to lead No. 1 Villanova to an 89-65 win over Xavier on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (15-1, 3-1 Big East) returned to the top spot of the poll on Monday.

The Wildcats raced to a 22-9 lead. Booth hit three 3s in the first half and Brunson was solid both from long range and in attacking the basket to make it 40-28 at the break.

Naji Marshall had 13 points for Xavier (15-3, 3-2),


EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Miles Bridges ended his scoreless start with 7:43 left in regulation and finished with just 11 points for Michigan State.

The Spartans (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) were coming off a lopsided loss at Ohio State and the setback seemed to have lingering effects for the team and their sophomore star.

The Scarlet Knights (11-7, 1-4) took a one-point lead on Corey Sanders’ step-back jumper with 1 minute left. Sanders missed a long jumper with 16 seconds left.

Bridges was fouled with 8 seconds left, but made only the second free throw to tie the game.

With a chance to win, Sanders missed a shot near the top of the key with a second left in regulation. Sanders made a game-tying floater with 1:21 left in overtime. He made a layup to pull Rutgers within two with 9 seconds left, but Cassius Winston sealed the win with two free throws to put the Spartans ahead by six.

Sanders scored 22 points for the Scarlet Knights.

Michigan State’s Nick Ward had 17 points.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marvin Bagley III scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Duke.

Bagley recorded his 13th double-double of the season, one shy of the Duke freshman record shared by Jabari Parker and Gene Banks.

The Blue Devils (14-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) never trailed and needed less than 17 minutes to build a 30-point lead.

Jared Wilson-Frame led the Panthers (8-9, 04) with 17 points.

TEXAS 99, No. 16 TCU 98, 2OT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jericho Sims made a free throw with 5 seconds left, then Texas watched as TCU’s Jaylen Fisher missed a layup off the rim at the final buzzer in the second overtime.

Sims had missed his second free throw and the Horned Frogs got the play they wanted with Fisher driving the lane for a point-blank layup that somehow bounced out.

Texas got it biggest win of the season hours after the school announced that sophomore guard Andrew Jones has been diagnosed with leukemia and has started treatment. Further details on his diagnosis and condition have not been released.

TCU had rallied from 13 down in the second half and led 94-90 in the second overtime. The game was tied at 98 when Desmond Bane of TCU missed a shot and Kenrich Williams fouled Sims on the rebound.

Eric Davis scored 22 points to lead Texas (11-5, 2-2 Big 12). Williams scored 26 for TCU (13-3, 1-3), which made 15 3-pointers but none in the second overtime.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Deng Adel scored 16 points and Louisville rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat to snap Florida State’s 28-game home winning streak.

Ray Spalding added 15 points for the Cardinals (12-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who made six 3-pointers in the second half. Ryan McMahon, who scored 11 points, had three 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes, including one that gave the Cardinals the lead and another with 59 seconds remaining that pushed the lead to 71-66.

Terance Mann tied a career high with 25 points and Braian Angola added 18 for Florida State (12-4, 1-3).

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: TCU women upset No. 7 Texas 79-77 on Kianna Ray’s late FTs

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Ae’Rianna Harris scored 13 points and Purdue held Rutgers to 10 points in the first half en route to a 47-33 win on Wednesday night that ended the No. 21 Scarlet Knights’ 11-game winning streak.

Andreona Keys added 10 points for the Boilermakers (11-7, 2-2 Big Ten Conference), who spoiled Rutgers’ first appearance in the Top 25 since March of 2015.

The Scarlet Knights made the first and last basket of the first period and missed 10 to trail 10-4 after one quarter. Their shooting in the second quarter was 3 for 12 and the Boilermakers scored the last seven to lead 25-10. Rutgers’ shooting was 5 of 24 (21 percent), including 0 for 9 from 3-point range.

The highlight of the night for Rutgers (16-3, 4-1) was their last basket of the first half, scored by Tyler Scaife at the 4:36 mark that pushed the fifth-year senior into the exclusive 2,000-point club.

The Scarlet Knights made five field goals in each of the last two quarters. Ciani Cryor made a long shot that made it 41-33 with 1:01 to play but Purdue scored the last six points of the game. Rutgers’ second-half totals were 1 of 11 from distance, 10 of 32 overall (31 percent) for final 1 of 20 behind the arc and 15 of 56 overall (27 percent).

Both teams had 20 turnovers and Purdue shot just 24 percent in the second half and 33 percent (16 of 48) overall.



LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Naomi Davenport hit four 3-pointers and finished with 22 points and Teana Muldrow had 19 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals to help the No. 15 West Virginia women defeat Kansas 74-54 on Wednesday night.

Katrina Pardee added 15 points and senior Chania Ray had 12 points and a season-high tying 10 assists for West Virginia (15-2, 3-2 Big 12). The Mountaineers have won five in a row against Kansas (11-5, 2-3).

Davenport hit two 3s, while Muldrow and Pardee scored five points apiece, during a 16-1 run that gave West Virginia a 52-33 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter. Kylee Kopatich sandwiched a 3-point play and a layup around two free throws by Tyler Johnson as the Jayhawks scored the first seven fourth-quarter points to trim their deficit to 55-44. Muldrow had nine points from there as the Mountaineers pulled away.

Kopatich had 17 points and Austin Richardson scored 10 on 4-of-16 shooting for Kansas. The Jayhawks shot just 35 percent (19 of 54) from the field, including 3 of 12 from 3-point range.

West Virginia scored 24 points off 17 Kansas turnovers.


TCU 79, No.7  TEXAS 77

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU guard Kianna Ray stood at the free throw line with 6 seconds left and a chance to beat her hometown team.

Ray made both free throws, giving the Horned Frogs a huge upset, 79-77 over No. 7 Texas on Wednesday night for their first win over a Top 10 team in more than eight years.

“I really wasn’t,” said Ray, the sophomore from Austin, when asked what she was thinking then. “We shoot those every day. … Just take deep breaths and shoot it like I do every time.”

Ray was fouled by Ariel Atkins on a drive to the basket. That came after Atkins tied the game, and the second time in the final 38 seconds the two traded baskets. Atkins had made a short runner in the lane before Ray’s open 3-pointer put Frogs up 77-75.

TCU (11-5, 2-3 Big 12) had lost its last 13 games against ranked teams, and hadn’t beaten a Top 10 team since a 56-54 home victory over No. 10 Texas A&M on Dec. 12, 2009.

“It’s just a fun win. It’s a fun win, and I don’t really know how you can define a signature victory in the moment,” fourth-year TCU coach Raegan Pebley said. “I think you have to see what happens after it. So we’re just going to love on it right now and go to work.”

Atkins had 25 points to lead Texas (13-2, 4-1), which had won six in a row since its only loss at Tennessee a month earlier. Lashann Higgs had 18 points, though her desperation 3 at the buzzer was way off the mark, and Audrey-Ann Cardon-Goudreaux had 11.

“I’m not shocked at all, actually,” Higgs said. “We didn’t come to play. We didn’t play defense like we know how to play.”

The Longhorns had a 10-point lead late in the first quarter, and then trailed by 12 before halftime. They led 69-64 with 4 1/2 minutes left after consecutive jumpers by Atkins.

“They played with more urgency and a lot more passion to win,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “We played in spurts. … Really good in some spurts and disinterested in some spurts.”


Durr’s offense helps spark record start for No. 3 Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr credits her Louisville women’s basketball teammates for creating opportunities that have allowed the junior guard to score from all over the court.

Durr is putting up career-best offensive numbers while making sure other Cardinals are involved. Their unselfish philosophy is one reason they’re unbeaten and enjoying the best start in school history — and have an eye on winning the national championship.

Louisville’s chances begin with Durr, who’s showing growth on the defensive end as well.

“I don’t want to be one-dimensional, just a pure scorer,” Durr said. “I want to be a player who passes the ball well, who can rebound the ball well and can guard. I’m trying to become a player who can do more than one thing.”

The Douglasville, Georgia, native is succeeding in many areas for Louisville (18-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which seeks its third Final Four appearance under coach Jeff Walz and first since 2013. Durr began the week tied for 31st nationally in scoring at 20.2 points per game, an average jump-started by her school-record 47-point performance in the Cardinals’ 95-90 overtime win at then-No. 5 Ohio State on Nov. 12.

Durr shot 9 of 15 from long range against the Buckeyes and offered a hint that this season could be different for her and Louisville. The first team all-ACC selection has remained accurate from behind the arc and ranks seventh nationally in 3-point shooting at nearly 48 percent, with her 56 baskets on 118 attempts tying for 10th.

“I really worked on my shot,” said Durr, who is currently 13th in career scoring at Louisville with 1,378 points. “My teammates are doing a really great job of finding me on the court and the staff is doing a great job of putting together a great game plan to give my teammates a chance to find me on the court.”

Durr’s 47-percent shooting is more than five points better than last season and her solid defensive numbers have held steady. Her approach to defense is what pleases Walz most.

“She has taken pride in that, but defensively is where I’ve been impressed,” the coach said of Durr, who averaged a team-best 12.7 points playing under him last summer on the U.S. Under-23 squad. She also participated in the National Team camp with teammate and senior forward Myisha Hines-Allen.

Walz added, “She is rebounding the ball better. All of the things that you might not look at first on the stat sheet, she’s really focusing on.”

Good as Durr has been, the Cardinals’ depth and selflessness means she doesn’t have to do everything.

Hines-Allen, a two-time All-ACC selection, is having another strong season at 13.2 points per game. Louisville’s three other starters — forwards Sam Fuerhing and Jazmine Jones and junior point guard Arica Carter — average from 6.5 to 8.9 points per contest. Freshman reserve guard Dana Evans has a team-high 71 assists.

The Cardinals’ rotation can go 10 deep, flexibility they’ll need in Thursday night’s ACC showdown against No. 2 Notre Dame (15-1, 4-0). The Irish’s lone loss came against top-ranked UConn, which Louisville visits on Feb. 12.

Louisville has lost its last 11 to the Irish and is 4-14 lifetime against them. As Walz tries to focus on big-picture goals for his team, he acknowledges this meeting’s importance towards the Cardinals’ hopes of winning its first ACC title.

Then again, wins against Top 25 opponents this season — Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon and Duke — have Louisville believing it can beat powerhouse programs and establish itself as a title contender.

Durr sets the tone for the Cardinals.

She has combined for 30 first-quarter points the past two contests, demonstrating the green light Walz has given her.

“Sometimes he has to tell me to stop shooting,” Durr said, laughing. “But it’s a good thing when he has to tell a player to stop because that means you’re being very aggressive.”

Louisville is hoping all those good things happening for Durr — and the Cardinals — continue.

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: Rutgers back in AP women’s hoops poll; UConn still No. 1

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NEW YORK (AP) — After a two-year hiatus, C. Vivian Stringer has Rutgers back in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll.

The Scarlet Knights jumped into the AP Top 25 on Monday at No. 21, riding an 11-game winning streak. Rutgers was last ranked on March 2, 2015.

There was a time not so long ago when Rutgers was a staple in the Top 25, but the team went through some lean years before returning to the rankings. Rutgers is in the midst of a remarkable turnaround after going 6-24 last season.

“To go to the low depths we did and to show that perseverance and fight we have is great,” Stringer said. “We had to build everything from scratch. It showed me a lot about myself. I never gave up. We had more resolve to fight.”

The Scarlet Knights visit Purdue on Wednesday.

UConn remained a unanimous choice from the 32-member national media panel after cruising to two victories last week. The Huskies were followed in the rankings by Notre Dame, Louisville, Mississippi State and Baylor. Louisville hosts the Irish on Thursday.

South Carolina dropped from fourth to ninth after losing at Missouri on Sunday while the Tigers moved up three spots to 12th. It’s the Gamecocks’ worst ranking since Jan. 20, 2014.

Tennessee, Texas and Oregon are in front of the Gamecocks while Ohio State rounds out the top 10.

Green Bay also re-entered the poll this week at No. 25. Stanford and Villanova dropped out.

Other tidbits from the poll:

BIG TEN REVIVAL: With Rutgers’ return, the Big Ten has five teams in the Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 23, 2015. Ohio State is 10th, Maryland 11th, Iowa tied for 18th, Rutgers 21st and Michigan 23rd.

“It’s huge,” Stringer said of having so many ranked teams. “I try to treat this as I would the Big East with Notre Dame, Louisville, Connecticut, Rutgers. We had a monster there. If we can continue to play well, the NCAA would consider us to be a strong conference and we’ll get all five schools in.”

MIGHTY DUCKS: After sweeping Southern California and UCLA, Oregon has moved up a spot to eighth, which is the Ducks’ highest ranking ever. The Ducks had been as high as ninth in 1982 and again this season.

“That’s neat,” coach Kelly Graves said. “We don’t talk about it as a team, but it means we had a hell of a weekend.”

Oregon swept the Los Angeles schools for the first time in school history. It is 15-2 on the season, with the losses coming against Louisville and Mississippi State.

“I wouldn’t have guessed we’d be 15-2 against the 13th-toughest schedule in the country at this point with the youngest team in the Top 25. … We’re better right now than I thought we’d be. I got some gritty kids and they’re tough mentally.”


AP Women’s Basketball Poll Week 10



1 UConn 13-0 800 32 32 1
2 Notre Dame 15-1 747 0 32 2
3 Louisville 18-0 741 0 32 3
4 Mississippi State 17-0 702 0 32 5
5 Baylor 14-1 661 0 32 6
6 Tennessee 15-0 641 0 32 7
7 Texas 13-1 617 0 32 8
8 Oregon 15-2 559 0 32 9
9 South Carolina 13-2 557 0 32 4
10 Ohio State 15-2 520 0 32 10
11 Maryland 15-2 476 0 32 13
12 Missouri 14-2 426 0 32 15
13 Florida State 14-2 373 0 32 11
14 UCLA 11-4 367 0 32 14
15 West Virginia 14-2 320 0 31 12
16 Duke 12-4 280 0 31 17
17 Texas A&M 13-4 275 0 31 19
18 Arizona State 13-3 227 0 32 25
18 Iowa 15-2 227 0 30 18
20 Oklahoma State 12-3 224 0 30 20
21 Rutgers 16-2 139 0 27 NR
22 Oregon State 11-4 136 0 27 16
23 Michigan 13-4 115 0 27 22
24 California 11-4 67 0 18 23
25 Green Bay 12-2 51 0 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Villanova 49, Stanford 30, South Florida 24, Syracuse 22, Georgia 10, Marquette 5, LSU 4, Utah 3, Brown 2, Ball State 1, Belmont 1, Mercer 1

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: Cunningham leads No. 15 Missouri to upset of No. 4 Gamecocks

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sophie Cunningham was too much for South Carolina to handle for the second straight year, scoring 27 points to lead No. 15 Missouri to an 83-74 victory over the fourth-ranked Gamecocks on Sunday.

Cunningham, who suffered a right knee sprain last week and sat out Missouri’s loss to LSU on Thursday, returned with a knee brace but showed no ill effects. She made 9 of 10 shots from the field and had seven assists and six rebounds.

Last year, Cunningham scored 26 points and hit the winning shot in Missouri’s home victory over the eventual national champions.

The Tigers (14-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) shot 56.3 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range. Amber Smith had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Bianca Jackson and Tyasha Harris led the Gamecocks (13-2, 2-1) with 14 points each.


ATLANTA (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 25 points, Jackie Young added 14 and Notre Dame had no trouble winning its eighth straight game with a victory over Georgia Tech.

Despite injuries reducing their roster to seven scholarship players and three walk-ons, the Fighting Irish (15-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a dominant inside game to put Georgia Tech away early with a 30-point halftime lead.

Kaylan Pugh had 17 points and Francesca Pan scored 11, but they were the only Yellow Jackets to finish in double figures. Georgia Tech (12-5, 1-3) gave itself no chance, missing 22 of their first 27 shots from the field and looking nothing like the team that played No. 3 Louisville tough in a narrow home loss Dec. 28.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr scored 21 points to lead Louisville to a victory over Virginia Tech.

The Cardinals (18-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) made their first seven shots to jump out to a 16-2 lead midway through the first quarter. Durr made her first five shots and scored 16 in the first period.

Regan Magarity scored 14 points to lead the Hokies (12-4, 1-2).


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Teaira McCowan had 31 points and 20 rebounds to help Mississippi State stay unbeaten with a victory against LSU.

McCowan scored Mississippi State’s first nine points after halftime to extend a nine-point lead to 15 after being held to eight in the first half on 3-for-10 shooting. LSU got no closer than 10 points the rest of the game. It’s the second time this season McCowan has had at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game.

Morgan William scored 13 points and Chloe Bibby had 10 for Mississippi State (17-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference), whose bench outscored LSU’s 16-2.

Chloe Jackson led LSU (10-4, 2-1) with 25 points and Raigyne Louis had 20 despite being limited by foul trouble.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mercedes Russell scored a career-high 33 points as Tennessee came from behind in the second half to outlast Vanderbilt and remain unbeaten.

Vanderbilt (4-13, 0-3 SEC) has never beaten the Lady Vols (15-0, 3-0) at Knoxville in 33 attempts. Tennessee capitalized on its superior size to go on an 11-0 run midway through the second half and withstand an unexpected challenge from the Commodores.

Russell already had outscored her previous career high of 26 points by the end of the third quarter and ended up shooting 14 of 20 and pulling down eight rebounds. Cheridene Green shot 7 of 8 and scored 17 points — also a career high — and Jaime Nared added 15 points.


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Lashann Higgs scored 26 points and Texas used a big run to start the second half to beat Kansas State.

Even with leading scorer Brooke McCarty having a rough shooting day as she scored just nine points, the Longhorns (13-1, 4-0 Big 12) had enough to beat the Wildcats.

Kayla Goth scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats (1-3).

No. 9 OREGON 70, No. 14 UCLA 61

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ruthy Hebard scored 19 points, Sabrina Ionescu had 18 and Maite Cazorla 17 in Oregon’s victory over UCLA.

The Ducks (15-2, 4-0) won for the seventh consecutive game and remained perfect in conference play.

Oregon senior Lexi Bando hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 58 seconds left to give the Ducks a 63-59 lead and iced the game with a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left. Bando has the best active career 3-point shooting percentage in the NCAA at 45.7.

The Bruins (11-4, 2-2) had won a school-record 20 consecutive home Pac-12 games.

Monqiue Billings led UCLA with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Jordin Canada added 19 points.

No. 10 OHIO STATE 78, No. 22 MICHIGAN 71, OT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Kelsey Mitchell scored 37 points, carrying Ohio State through the final minutes of regulation and leading the Buckeyes to a victory over Michigan.

Mitchell scored Ohio State’s final nine points of the fourth quarter, then added nine more in the extra session, outdueling Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty in a matchup of two of the nation’s best scorers. Flaherty had 22 points and eight assists, and Hallie Thome added 27 points and eight rebounds for the Wolverines (13-4, 2-2 Big Ten).


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Miranda Drummond scored a career-high 38 points, including 11 straight late in the fourth quarter that lifted Syracuse to a win over Florida State.

Drummonod’s 3-point play put the Orange (14-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) on top 58-56, the 13th lead change, with 7½ minutes to go. She followed that with a layup and then hit a pair of 3-pointers for a 66-56 lead at the 2:42 mark.

The Seminoles (14-3, 2-1), who had won four straight, got four quick points but Drummond nailed her seventh 3-pointer and the Orange made 7 of 10 free throws in the last 69 seconds to finish the upset.


MORGANTOWN, Va. (AP) — Naomi Davenport scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and West Virginia beat Iowa State.

Along with Davenport’s fourth double-double this season, Chania Ray added 13 points and eight rebounds and Teana Muldlrow had 14 boards to go with nine points. The Mountaineers (14-2, 2-2 Big-12) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Bridget Carleton scored 14 points for Iowa State (7-8, 1-3), which swept the Mountaineers last season before West Virginia went on to win the Big 12 Tournament.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Kristen Confroy, Kaila Charles and Eleanna Christinaki combined for 22 points in the first half when Maryland took a 19-point lead on its way to a victory over Wisconsin for the Terrapins’ 13th straight victory.

Maryland is only team in the country that came in with seven players averaging double figures and that balance was evident Sunday. Christinaki finished with 14 points, Confroy 12 on four 3-pointers and Charles 10 with Ieshia Small adding 13, 10 in the second half for the Terps (15-2, 4-0 Big Ten). Maryland shot 46 percent and made 9 of 21 3-point attempts while outrebounding Wisconsin 42-25.

Courtney Fredrickson scored 12 points and Marsha Howard had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Badgers (7-10, 0-4).


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kristen Simon scored 21 points as USC rallied to beat Oregon State for its first Pac-12 Conference win of the season.

USC (11-4, 1-3) snapped a three-game losing streak after rallying from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter. Simon made an open basket inside to give the Trojans a 62-61 lead with 54 seconds left.

Oregon State (11-4, 2-2 Pac-12) was down by two but a Katie McWilliams turnover — her only one of the game — against pressure by USC with eight seconds left ensured there would be no last-second heroics for the Beavers.

No. 17 DUKE 69, N.C. STATE 56

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Lexie Brown hit a season-high seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 34 points to lead Duke to a win over North Carolina State.

Haley Gorecki added 13 points, making 3 of 4 3-pointers, for the Blue Devils (11-5, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had started 0-2 in the conference for the first time since going 0-9 in 1992-93. Brown made 7 of 13 behind the arc and 10 of 21 overall and was 7 of 9 at the foul line, bouncing back from having her 23-game double-figure scoring streak end.

Kiara Leslie and Chelsea Nelson both had 15 points for NC State (12-5, 1-3), which missed its first 11 shots.

No. 18 IOWA 84, ILLINOIS 71

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Megan Gustafson scored 34 points with 12 rebounds for her 43rd career double-double, Kathleen Doyle had her second double-double and Iowa turned back Illinois.

Alexis Sevillian matched her career-high with 21 points, hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers, for the Hawkeyes (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and Doyle had 15 points and 10 assists.

Doyle had her first double-double of 13 and 11 on Thursday when Iowa lost at No. 13 Maryland 80-64. In that game, the Hawkeyes had 23 turnovers but against the Illini, they had a season-low seven turnovers and 24 assists on 29 baskets.

Alex Wittinger had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Illinois (9-9, 0-4), which has lost five straight.

No. 19 TEXAS A&M 82, AUBURN 73

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Khaalia Hillsman scored a career-high 31 points and Chennedy Carter added 22, combining for 19 points in the fourth quarter, and Texas A&M turned back Auburn.

Danni Williams had 16 points for the Aggies (13-4, 3-0 Southeastern Conference), who handed the Tigers (10-5, 1-2) their first home loss of the 2017-18 athletic year in women’s and men’s basketball and football combined.

McKay was 11 of 11 from the foul line and had 25 points for Auburn, which set a school record by making 16 of 16 free throws. Unique Thompson added 22 points.


STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Loryn Goodwin scored 31 points with eight rebounds and five assists to help lead Oklahoma State to a victory over rival Oklahoma.

It was the eighth straight game that Goodwin topped 20 points and her second 30-point outing of the season. Kaylee Jensen added 27 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma State (12-3, 3-1 Big 12), which snapped a three-game losing streak in the intrastate series known as ‘Bedlam.’

Maddie Manning scored 25 points and added eight rebounds, while Vionise Pierre-Louis had 19 points – 15 in the second half – and six rebounds for Oklahoma (7-8, 2-2).


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Mikayla Cowling hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points to help California beat Arizona.

Cowling’s final 3-pointer, with 4:09 left in the game, gave the Golden Bears (11-4, 2-2 Pac-12) a 53-45 lead. But it was also their last basket as they missed their only other shot and had four turnovers down the stretch.

The Wildcats (4-11, 0-3), who have lost five straight, only made 2 of 10 shots after Cowling’s basket, but closed within two on two free throws from Sam Thomas with 41 seconds left. Thomas had a steal with 12 seconds left but a final shot wouldn’t fall for Sammy Fatkin.

Thomas and JaLea Bennett both had 13 points for Arizona.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Charnea Johnson-Chapman scored a career-high 16 points and Arizona State beat Stanford.

Reili Richardson added 11 points for the Sun Devils (13-3, 4-0 Pac-12), who won their sixth straight.

Billed as “Snow Day” with fans invited to play in trucked-in snow before the game, frigid shooting doomed the Cardinals. Brittany McPhee and Kiana Williams scored on consecutive possessions early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 50. After that, the Cardinal went 3 of 18 until making their last three shots in the final 24 seconds.

Williams had 14 points, DiJonai Carrington had 13 and McPhee 12 for the Cardinal (9-7, 3-1), who were outrebounded 47-24.

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: Collier has 25 points, No. 1 UConn women beat USF 100-49

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Napheesa Collier had 25 points and 11 rebounds and No. 1 Connecticut remained unbeaten with a 100-49 rout of South Florida on Saturday night.

The Huskies (13-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) never trailed, shooting 54 percent from the field and hitting the century mark for the fourth time this season while playing stifling defense in holding USF sta, Kitija Laksa scoreless.

Collier made 12 of 15 shots en route to her fourth double of the season and 21st overall. Katie Lou Samuelson sat out much of the first half with three fouls, but finished with 15 points in 22 minutes. Azura Stevens added 15 points off the bench.

Laksa entered the game ranked second in the AAC in scoring at 21.5 points per game. She missed all 11 shots she attempted, including eight 3-pointers.

Laura Ferreira also had a tough night shooting for USF (12-4, 2-1), missing all nine of her 3-points attempts and finishing 1 for 16 for two points. Overall, the Bulls shot 27.8 percent (20 of 72) from the field, including 7 of 31 (22.6 percent) from 3-point range.

No. 6 BAYLOR 83, KANSAS 48

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kalani Brown scored 22 points and Dekeiya Cohen had 15 to help Baylor rout Kansas for its 11th straight victory.

The Lady Bears’ Big 12-best defense smothered the Jayhawks, limiting them to 28.6 percent shooting.

Lauren Cox added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Cohen had eight rebounds for Baylor (14-1, 4-0).

Christalah Lyons led Kansas (11-4, 2-2) with 14 points, and Brianna Osorio had 12. Scoring leader Kylee Kopatich was held to seven.

CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 12 North Carolina at No. 8 Virginia ACC’s top matchup

(PhatzRadio Sports / AP)   —   A look at the upcoming week around the Atlantic Coast Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 12 North Carolina at No. 8 Virginia. One of two matchups of ranked teams this weekend has the defending national champion Tar Heels (12-3, 1-1) looking to bounce back from their first conference loss of the season, a 81-80 defeat at No. 24 Florida State on Wednesday night. That attempt comes at the site of perhaps their most humiliating defeat from a year ago — a 53-43 loss in Charlottesville, Virginia, that marked the lowest-scoring game in coach Roy Williams’ tenure at his alma mater. The Cavaliers (13-1, 2-0) have won five in a row and, true to form under coach Tony Bennett, have held each opponent in that stretch to 60 or fewer points.

LOOKING AHEAD: No. 25 Clemson is off to a surprisingly strong start, earning its first national ranking since 2010, and the Tigers will look to keep it going next Thursday night when they look to complete a season sweep of North Carolina State. The Wolfpack have been tough to beat at home under new coach Kevin Keatts, winning nine of their first 10 home games before Sunday’s visit from No. 2 Duke. Clemson won its debut as a ranked team Wednesday night by beating Boston College 74-70.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Notre Dame freshman D.J. Harvey might be asked to mature in a hurry, with forward Bonzie Colson out for about eight weeks with a broken left foot. Harvey figures to be Colson’s replacement until the All-American is healthy again. He had a season-best 17 points in his first start in place of Colson, a rout of N.C. State, and will be counted upon to replace at least some of the 21.4 points and 10.4 rebounds that Colson averaged for the Irish.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Marvin Bagley III has wasted no time making history during his first — and only? — season at Duke. In Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski’s nearly four decades with the Blue Devils, only four times has a played had 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game. Three of those performances belong to Bagley, who had 32 points and 21 rebounds in last week’s victory over Florida State. Bagley leads the league in both scoring (21.9 ppg) and rebounding (11.6 rpg) and his rebounding total in that game was a program record for freshmen.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Third-ranked Louisville (16-0, 2-0) is off to the best start in school history, and after winning a pair of road games to begin ACC play, the Cardinals look to keep pace with perennial league champion Notre Dame at the top of the standings with home games against No. 17 Duke and Virginia Tech. Louisville held N.C. State without a field goal for the first 14-plus minutes of a win last week, and the Cardinals’ average margin of victory of 24.8 points ranks second in the league to No. 11 Florida State.


What I am watching this weekend in college basketball:

No. 10 Kansas at No. 15 TCU

Saturday, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2

The Jayhawks are coming off another loss at home, and they look vulnerable in the Big 12. Still time to fix things, however.

No. 11 North Carolina at No. 8 Virginia

Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN

The defending champs, who average 85.2 points per game, vs. one of the best defensive programs  (36.4 field goal percentage defense) in the country? Yes, please. Theo Pinson’s season stats don’t jump off the page — 9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.5 APG — but he’s the X-factor for the Heels.

LSU at No. 13 Texas A&M

Saturday, 2:15 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Once a favorite to win the SEC, A&M comes limping into this game after two consecutive losses, to Alabama and Florida, respectively. The Aggies are very banged up, and LSU gave Kentucky all it could handle earlier this week. The conference known for football gets tougher for basketball teams every week.

No. 23 Arkansas at Auburn 

Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU

After a few weeks of landing on the “also receiving votes” list, Arkansas finally got into the top 25 this week. Then the Razorbacks promptly lost to unranked Mississippi State. Auburn and Bruce Pearl, meanwhile, are coming off an impressive road win at Tennessee.

No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 5 West Virginia

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2

True freshman point guard Trae Young — who leads the country in both scoring and assists, at 29.6 and 10.7, respectively — has been terrific for the Sooners. But how does he handle going on the road at a school known for suffocating pressure defense? Keep an eye on 6-foot-9 senior forward Khadeem Lattin (7.9 PPT, 7.3 RPG), too.

No. 14 Kentucky at No. 22 Tennessee

Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Kentucky might be young, but Kevin Knox (14.5 points, 5.6 rebounds) and Wildcats are used to being in the spotlight. Tennessee is still feeling out this Top 25 thing, as evidenced by the Vols loss at home to Auburn earlier this week.

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: Cazorla hits big 3, leads No. 9 Oregon women past USC 70-66

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maite Cazorla hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:32 left and had 18 points to lead No. 9 Oregon over Southern California 70-66 on Friday night.

The Ducks (14-2, 3-0 Pac-12) also got 16 points from Sabrina Ionescu, who was 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Cazorla added six assists.

The Trojans (10-4, 0-3) were led by Aliyah Mazyck’s 21 points. USC leading scorer Kristen Simon was scoreless in the first half but finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

It was the lowest-scoring game of the season for the Ducks. They started the night averaging 89.2 points per game, fourth-most in the country.

No. 14 UCLA 84, No. 16 OREGON STATE 49

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Monique Billings scored 19 points and UCLA ended Oregon State’s eight-game winning streak.

Billings was 8 of 12 from the field and had six rebounds and three steals for the Bruins (11-3, 2-1 Pac-12). They have won four of their last five.

Marie Gulich had 16 points for Oregon State (11-3, 2-1).


VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Kelly Jekot scored 10 of her 21 points in the decisive third quarter and Villanova beat Xavier.

Jekot hit three 3-pointers, grabbed five rebounds and had six assists. Megan Quinn had 10 points, and Alex Louin added eight points and a career-high eight assists for Villanova (12-2, 2-2 Big East).

Jada Byrd scored 12 points for Xavier (8-5, 1-2).


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Kianna Ibis scored 26 points and Arizona State beat California.

Jamie Ruden added 14 points, and Robbi Ryan had for 13 for the Sun Devils (12-3, 3-0) in their fifth straight victory.

Asha Thomas had 25 points, and Kristine Anigwe, a junior from Phoenix, added 24 points and seven rebounds for the Golden Bears (10-14, 1-2).


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Alanna Smith and Kiana Williams had 12 points each for Stanford.

DiJonai Carrington added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinal (9-6, 3-0 Pac-12).

Lucia Alonso scored 15 points Arizona (4-10, 0-3).

CBB Men’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 19 Gonzaga overwhelms Pepperdine 89-59

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Miles Bridges had 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two blocks to help No. 1 Michigan State turn a closely contested game into another rout, pulling away to beat Maryland 91-61 on Thursday night.

The Spartans (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) went on a 15-0 run late in the first half to take control and led 44-32 at halftime. They refused to be content with the 12-point lead, building 30-plus point cushions in the second half by diving for loose balls, playing tough defense and finishing with a season-high 16 3-pointers.

Freshman Jaren Jackson had 15 points, three blocks and two steals despite playing just 4 minutes in the first half because he had two fouls.

Anthony Cowman scored 26 points for the Terrapins (13-4, 2-2), who had won seven straight.


BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Namon Wright scored five of his 19 points in overtime, including two crucial free throws at the end, for Colorado.

Down 11-0 to start the game, the Buffaloes (9-6, 1-2 Pac-12) steadily whittled away and opened up a six-point lead with 1:17 remaining in regulation. But the Sun Devils (12-2, 0-2) stormed back, with Mickey Mitchell tying the game at 74 with 5 seconds left on an emphatic dunk.

In overtime, the Buffaloes hit six straight free throws down the stretch. It was the highest-ranked team Colorado has beaten since knocking off No. 3 Texas on Feb. 4, 2003. The Colorado fans stormed the court to celebrate.

McKinley Wright added 19 points and George King chipped in 18 as Colorado snapped a three-game skid, including two straight to start conference play.

Tra Holder had 24 points for Arizona State before fouling out in OT.


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Landry Shamet scored 18 points in just 22 minutes to lead Wichita State.

Wichita State (12-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) made nine of its first 11 3-point shots and led by as many as 25 in the first half. Starting guards Shamet and Conner Frankamp (15 points) were a combined 12 of 15 from the field.

Rob Gray led Houston (12-3, 2-1 American) with 13 points, six below his season average. He was 6 of 14 from the field.


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Deandre Ayton scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Arizona.

The Wildcats (12-3, 2-0 Pac-12) have won nine straight.

Rawle Alkins finished with 22 points for Arizona and Parker Jackson-Cartwright added 19.

Sedrick Barefield led Utah (10-4, 2-1) with 23 points and David Collette added 19.

Utah rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game late, but couldn’t pull off the upset.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jacob Evans III hit the winner with .4 seconds to play for Cincinnati and the Bearcats got a needed assist from a soaring water bottle.

The Bearcats (13-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) rallied down the stretch to win their sixth straight game.

Temple led by two points when a turnover and on offensive foul caused coach Fran Dunphy to angrily smack a water bottle on the scorer’s table and send the plastic container to the court. Dunphy was whistled for the technical. Gary Clark made one of two free throws to cut the Bearcats’ deficit to one.

Kyle Washington put the Bearcats ahead 52-50 on a 3-pointer from the wing and Evans hit the jumper in the final second to win it.

Washington led the Bearcats with 18 points and Evans had 14.

Obi Enechionyia led the Owls (7-7, 0-3) with 14 points. The Owls have lost four straight games.


MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Killian Tillie had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead Gonzaga.

Johnathan Williams scored 13 points and Rui Hachimura had 12 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs (13-3, 3-0 West Coast Conference), who have not lost to Pepperdine since 2002.

Gonzaga outscored Pepperdine 48-14 in the paint and had a 36-13 edge off the bench, with Corey Kispert adding nine points and eight rebounds. Zach Norvell Jr. scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

Eric Cooper Jr. had a season-high 19 points for the Waves (3-12, 0-3).

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: Mabrey, Ogunbowale help No. 2 Notre Dame beat Miami

This gallery contains 1 photo.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Marina Mabrey scored 21 points, Arike Ogunbowale had 20 despite struggling from the field and No. 2 Notre Dame beat Miami 83-76 victory on Thursday night.

Jessica Shepard had 12 points, Jackie Young added 11 and Kathryn Westbeld scored 10 for the Irish (14-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Ogunbowale hit her first shot and then missed her next 12, going 28 minutes without a basket, before scoring on a rebound and hitting a free throw for a 62-57 Irish lead with 7:28 to play.

Erykah Davenport scored 24 points for Miami (11-4, 1-1).

No. 3 LOUISVILLE 66, No. 17 DUKE 60

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr had 22 points and came back from a first-half leg injury to grab a key rebound late that helped Louisville survive Duke’s fourth-quarter rally.

Louisville (17-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) appeared in control with a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter. But the Cardinals made just 7 of 26 shots in the second half, allowing Duke (11-4, 0-2) to and get to 63-60 on Haley Gorecki’s 3-pointer with 2:54 remaining.

Gorecki led Duke with a career-high 25 points.


OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A’ja Wilson had 25 points and 15 rebounds, Alexis Jennings and Doniyah Cliney had 14 points apiece and defending national champion South Carolina beat Mississippi.

The Gamecocks (13-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) had an answer for every Rebel rally and eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter. South Carolina shot 38 percent, including 8 for 27 from 3-point range.

Madinah Muhammad scored 29 points for Rebels (10-5, 0-2).


STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Victoria Vivians scored 29 points, Morgan William added a season-high 18 and Mississippi State beat Arkansas,

Mississippi State (16-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) broke a fairly tight game open in the third quarter by outscoring Arkansas 30-18. Vivians made all seven of her shots during the run.

Jailyn Mason scored 15 points for Arkansas (10-5, 1-1).


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jaime Nared scored 19 points, Evina Westbrook made a tiebreaking basket with 1:43 left and Tennessee outlasted Auburn to remain unbeaten.

Tennessee (14-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) withstood a season-high 28 turnovers and continued its best start since winning its first 18 games in 2005-06

Daisa Alexander scored 16 points for Auburn (10-4, 1-1). The Tigers have won seven in a row.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Stephanie Mavunga scored 25 points and Kelsey Mitchell added 21 for Ohio State.

Mavunga was sensational in hitting 11 of her 15 shots from the floor and grabbing five rebounds before leaving the game with 7:49 left.

Ohio State (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten) won its seventh in a row, including all six games in the month of December. Destiny Pitts led Minnesota (12-4, 1-2) with 28 points.


CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Nausia Woolfolk scored a career-high 18 points and Florida State beat Clemson for the 17th straight time.

The Seminoles (14-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won four straight since their 87-72 loss at No. 8 Texas on Dec. 17. Alexis Carter had 16 points for Clemson (10-5, 0-2).

No. 13 MARYLAND 80, No. 18 IOWA 64

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Kaila Charles scored 12 of her 24 points in the first quarter, and Blair Watson had nine of her 13 in the fourth quarter for Maryland.

Maryland (14-2, 3-0 Big Ten) won its 12th straight and ended Iowa’s winning streak at seven.

Megan Gustafson had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Iowa (14-2, 2-1).

LSU 69, No. 15 MISSOURI 65.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Chloe Jackson scored 22 points, including four free throws in the last 10.4 seconds, and LSU ended Missouri’s 13-game winning streak.

With Amber Smith scoring 16 of her career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, Missouri (13-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) erased most of an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but LSU (10-3, 2-0) made 8 of 10 free throws to hold on.

Jordan Frericks had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Missouri.

No. 19 TEXAS A&M 74, KENTUCKY 70

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Khaalia Hillsman scored 20 points and Danni Williams added 19 in Texas A&M’s victory over Kentucky.

The Aggies (12-4, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) rebounded from a 61-59 loss to No. 4 South Carolina in on Sunday. Maci Morris scored 22 points for Kentucky (8-8, 0-2).


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Katelynn Flaherty scored 20 of her 25 points in the second half, Hallie Thome added 20 points and Michigan gave coach Kim Barnes Arico the most wins in school history.

The Wolverines (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) never trailed en route to giving Barnes Arico her 124th win in six seasons. Barnes Arico had been tied with Sue Guevara.

Courtney Frederickson had 16 points for Wisconsin (7-9, 0-3).

CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 1 UConn women stay perfect, rout ECU 96-35

This gallery contains 1 photo.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points and No. 1 Connecticut routed East Carolina 96-35 on Wednesday.

Gabby Williams added 18 points, Napheesa Collier had 14 points and Azura Stevens matched a season high with 16 rebounds for the Huskies (12-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference).

They shot 53 percent and scored 31 points off the Pirates’ 20 turnovers while extending their Division I record road winning streak to 42 and winning their 142nd in a row against unranked opponents.

Alex Frazier and Destiny Campbell had eight points apiece for East Carolina (8-7, 0-2).


WACO, Texas (AP) — Natalie Chou had 17 points and hit five of Baylor’s 12 3-pointers and the Lady Bears overwhelmed Iowa State.

Dekeiya Cohen and Lauren Cox each scored 14 points, and Kalani Brown had 13 points and 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double this season. Baylor (13-1, 3-0 Big 12) started the game with a 10-0 run and won its 10th straight. The Lady Bears led by 18 points after the first quarter and had their largest halftime lead ever in a Big 12 game at 52-16.

Bridget Carleton led Iowa State (7-7, 1-2) with 15 points and five rebounds.

No. 8 TEXAS 84, No. 20 OKLAHOMA STATE 79

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — LaShann Higgs scored a career-high 30 points and Brooke McCarty added 21 to help Texas rally late to beat Oklahoma State.

Texas (12-1, 3-0) shot 56 percent and went 12 of 13 from the free throw after not getting to the line until there were less than three minutes left in the third quarter.

Braxtin Miller scored 23 points for Oklahoma State (11-3, 2-1 Big 12), and Loryn Goodwin and Kaylee Jensen each had 20 points.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Peyton Williams had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Kaylee Page scored seven of her 12 points in the fourth quarter and Kansas State handed West Virginia its second straight loss.

The Wildcats (9-5, 1-2 Big 12) had lost three straight. Teama Muldrow had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Mountaineers (13-2, 1-2). They had won 10 straight at home.

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