College hoops fans got a dose of some mid-day hoops this past week. Today, the action really starts to pick up with the annual Maui Invitational kicking off at 2:30 pm ET. But first, here’s what you need to know from a busy Sunday in college basketball:
Florida Takes Down #18 Xavier in Charleston Classic Final
The Gators nearly blew a 17-point lead but held on to beat the Musketeers 70-65 in the Charleston Classic Championship. Keyontae Johnson took home MVP honors with 15 points and five boards in the win, with Kerry Blackshear and Andrew Nembhard combining for 29 points, as well. Travis Steele’s team had trouble scoring and penetrating the Gators’ stout defense, but Paul Scruggs did all he could with a 24-point performance in the defeat. Florida looked like the team we expected to see in the pre-season with wins over St. Joe’s, Miami, and Xavier in the past four days. It was the Musketeers’ first loss of the season, who host Lipscomb next (11/30).
#7 Virginia Escapes Arizona State
If fans love seeing defense and two teams struggling to score the ball, then this was a game to watch. The Cavaliers defeated Arizona State 48-43 in the Hall of Fame Tipoff final behind freshman Casey Morsell’s 19 points. Tony Bennett’s pesky defense is back again this year, and limited to Sun Devils to 26 percent from three-point range.
Remy Martin led Bob Hurley’s team with 21 points in the narrow loss. The Cavs’ lost a lot from last year’s National Championship squad, but with Mamadi Diakite back in the fold, optimism should remain high in Charlottesville. Virginia hosts Maine on Wednesday before traveling to Purdue for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge next week.
#24 Baylor Upsets #17 Villanova in Myrtle Beach Invitational Championship
The Bears upset the Wildcats 87-78 on Sunday to win the Myrtle Beach Invitational Title. Specifically, it was Baylor’s hot shooting that led to the win, going 52% from the field and 58% from downtown as a team. Jared Butler led the way for Scott Drew’s club, leading the team with 22 points and three assists. Villanova’s leader Collin Gillespie had another stellar outing, going 10/18 from the field with 27 points and six assists. With the likes of Jared Butler and Macio Teague, and several other important pieces, the Bears could challenge Kansas and Texas Tech for the Big 12 title this year.
Other Notable Results:
- LSU takes down Rhode Island 96-83
- St John’s defeats UMASS 78-63
- Bowling Green upsets Cincinnati 91-84 in 2OT
- Clemson beats TCU 62-60 OT
- Connecticut routes Miami 80-55