College basketball: No 3 Iowa routs Western Illinois; No. 7 Kansas, No. 16 Virginia Tech win

Luka Garza scored 35 points, 30 in the first half, and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 3 Iowa stayed unbeaten with a 99-58 win over Western Illinois on Thursday night.

Jack Nunge, playing his first game this season following the death of his father, matched his career high with 18 points for Iowa (3-0). Joe Wieskamp added 11 points and Patrick McCaffery scored 10 for the Hawkeyes.

Garza reached 30 points in the first half for the second consecutive game. He had 36 by halftime of last Friday’s 103-76 victory over Southern.

It was the 19th straight game of 20 points or more for Garza, the lone unanimous selection on The Associated Press preseason All-America team.

No. 7 Kansas 89, Washburn 54

David McCormack scored 17 points, Ochai Agbaji added 16 and Jalen Wilson had 12, helping seventh-ranked Kansas cruise past Washburn in the Jayhawks’ long-delayed home opener.

Kansas (3-1) had opened with a pair of games in Florida and beat Kentucky in Indianapolis before returning to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse. Players sat apart from each other, much like they have at other venues, and the recent surge in positive coronavirus cases forced school officials to limit attendance to a couple hundred staff and family members.

Washburn (3-1), coached by former Jayhawks guard and Bill Self assistant Brett Ballard, wasn’t rattled in the opening minutes. Levi Braun hit a trio of early 3s, Jonny Clausing bulled his way to a couple easy baskets, and the Ichabods managed to hang within 27-22 at the under-8 timeout of the first half.

McCormack and Wilson began to be too much, though.

Braun and Tyler Geiman led the Ichabods with nine points apiece. Clausing finished with eight.

No. 16 Virginia Tech 64, VMI 57

Keve Aluma had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Virginia Tech won its 34th consecutive nonconference game at home.

Tyrece Radford added 13 points and Justyn Mutts had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hokies (4-0). They led 30-23 at halftime and used a 9-0 run in the second half to take control. Radford had five points in the burst, including a three-point play to finish it.

Myles Lewis had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead VMI (2-2). Greg Parham added 12 points.

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Kansas’ ugly win over Kentucky reflect college hoops’ unsettling start

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INDIANAPOLIS — When this execrable basketball game was over, Bankers Life Fieldhouse shut down immediately. The Kansas Jayhawks waved at the Kentucky Wildcats, who waved back, and both went their separate ways to the locker rooms. The music was turned off, and since there were no fans the arena went silent in a matter of seconds.

The quiet provided a window to reflect on a stunningly ugly matchup of bluebloods, and the unsettling season that lies ahead.

Kansas won, 65-62, in a rock fight that saw the two teams combined to make 8 of 42 three-point shots (19%). At one point they were 3 of 30 before, ahem, heating up. The Jayhawks won while shooting 30% from the field, which shouldn’t be possible. Kansas coach Bill Self said the newly remodeled arena had “the tightest rims I’ve ever seen in my life,” but still termed his team’s first-half offensive performance “inept.”

But that aesthetic struggle was the least troubling part of the night. There were reports before the game that Kansas defensive specialist Marcus Garrett would not play because he was ill—which immediately prompted COVID-19 concerns. The Jayhawks were coming off a game last Friday against Saint Joseph’s, which on Sunday paused its season after a positive test in the program.

Then Garrett did decide to play, something Self said he did not know would happen until he got on the bus to go to the arena. Self said Garrett first began feeling ill last Friday, then tested negative Saturday and again Tuesday via a PCR test. But the coach’s description of Garrett’s symptoms only escalated concerns.

“He was having a real problem with headaches and bright lights,” Self said. “His stomach was messed up. He said he couldn’t get his wind.” Shortness of breath, headaches and nausea are all among the laundry list of COVID symptoms.

While the ESPN broadcast crew, and later Self, were praising Garrett for his toughness, a lot of other people were wondering how responsible it was for him to play. It’s entirely possible he was ill with something unrelated to the virus, and the test results would back that, but the average American workplace would have sent him home no matter whether he tested negative. College athletic programs have thrown around the “abundance of caution” phrase a lot in the last few months, and playing Garrett would seem closer to an absence of caution.

These are the gray areas college basketball will try to navigate while keeping its season on a shaky course from now until March. Dozens of games already have been canceled, moved and rearranged on the fly, lending an unmistakable AAU feel of impermanence to the proceedings. Many more will follow.

The very fact that this game was being played in this fashion underscored that the season was off to a wobbly start. For the previous nine years, the Champions Classic was a splashy November ESPN doubleheader matching the same four teams—Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State—and

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What to look for when betting on college basketball games, like Kansas vs. Kentucky, early in the season

Hey, welcome to your Tuesday afternoon. Before we get into today’s news and picks, I’d like to publicly thank the man who writes the morning version of this newsletter, Pete Blackburn. Pete led off this morning’s newsletter with the sentence, “welcome to December!”

Reading that sentence this morning was the moment when I realized it was December. Where does the time go? I swear, it feels like it was only yesterday when I could go outside and be amongst other people without the crippling fear that they were all capable of killing me just by saying “hello” a little too closely.

Anyway, hi! It’s December! I hope you’re enjoying your first day of the final month of this disaster of a year. I have been. I’ve been watching Champions League soccer on CBS All Access, and not just because I get it for free as a CBS employee. Tonight, I’ll be watching college basketball as there are a couple of substantial top 20 matchups for us on tap, and I have picks for both below. What I won’t be watching tonight is the Steelers and Ravens because, as you no doubt know by now, that game was postponed for roughly the tenth time in the last few days and will now be played on Wednesday afternoon.

I do not have a play for that game for you. I’m sorry, but I have no idea who is even playing in it, making it extremely difficult to handicap. If you absolutely have to bet on something, do what I do when I’m bored and just take the under. It’s not an awful strategy, honestly.

Anyway, before we get to the bets I sincerely recommend we catch up on today’s proceedings.

OK, let’s make some money.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

No. 7 Kansas vs. No. 20 Kentucky, 9:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 143 (-110)
: As I’ve been telling you in this newsletter, I don’t like betting college basketball early in the season as much as I do later in the year. We tend to have a better idea of what teams are after a few games. We aren’t there yet, but thankfully, I have some things I do look for early in the year. I want neutral site games because the under tends to be a good play in them, and I think this happens to be one of the better values on the board tonight.

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Have you noticed that while Kentucky continues to send players to the NBA, the Wildcats don’t have as many lottery picks as they used to? There’s a reason for it. In recent seasons, the NBA has become a league of shooting and … Kentucky can’t shoot very well and. Tyler Herro is the one Kentucky player to be taken in the last three drafts to

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College basketball: No. 8 Michigan State outlasts No. 6 Duke; No. 8 Kansas edges No. 20 Kentucky

Rocket Watts scored 20 points and Julius Marble had a career-high 12 to help No. 8 Michigan State beat No. 6 Duke 75-69 on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic.

The Spartans (3-0) trailed by 10 early in the game but closed the first half with a 13-4 surge to take a 37-33 lead at halftime. Michigan State maintained control in the second half, leading by as many as 16.

The Blue Devils (1-1) rallied late and pulled within five in the final minute. Duke shot just 32% from the field and allowed five Spartans to score in double figures.

Joey Hauser had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State. Aaron Henry had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks. Malik Hall added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Matthew Hurt had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Duke. Freshman Jalen Johnson was limited to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, Jaemyn Brakefield added 11 points and Jordan Goldwire had 10.

No. 4 Wisconsin 82, Green Bay 42

Micah Potter scored 14 points, Tyler Wahl had 11 points and 15 rebounds, and Wisconsin breezed past Green Bay in Phoenix coach Will Ryan’s return to Madison.

Ryan is the son of former Badgers head coach Bo Ryan. Will Ryan and current Badgers coach Greg Gard worked together on Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin staff from 2002-07.

Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers each scored 13 points for the Badgers (3-0), and Brad Davison added 10 points.

Josh Jefferson led Green Bay (0-2) with 12 points.

No. 7 Kansas 65, No. 20 Kentucky 62

Jalen Wilson scored 21 of his career-high 23 points in the second half and posted his first double-double to help Kansas get past Kentucky in the Champions Classic.

Wilson grabbed 10 rebounds as the Jayhawks (2-1) won their second straight since losing their opener to top-ranked Gonzaga. Ochai Agbaji had 17 points.

Kentucky (1-2) was led by Brandon Boston Jr. and Davion Mintz, who each scored 12.

Mintz had a chance to tie it with five seconds to go but his 3-pointer was off the mark and Kansas grabbed the rebound.

No. 9 Creighton 94, Omaha 67

Christian Bishop scored 18 points to lead Creighton in the rout of Omaha.

The Bluejays (2-0) shot 61% while bolting to a 50-26 halftime lead.

Denzel Mahoney, who sat out the opener because of COVID-19 issues, finished with 17 points, Antwann Jones scored 12, Marcus Zegarowski had 11 points and 11 assists, Damien Jefferson added 11 points and Ryan Kalkbrenner 10.

Marlon Ruffin scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and Matt Pile had a game-high nine rebounds to lead the Mavericks (1-3).

No. 12 Villanova 87, Hartford 53

Justin Moore led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points and Villanova bounced back from its first loss of the season to rout Hartford.

Eric Dixon had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (3-1), who had six players score in double figures.

The Wildcats, coming off an

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#20 Kentucky vs. #7 Kansas live stream, NCAA college basketball, TV channel, start time, odds, predictions

The Kansas Jayhawks will host the Kentucky Wildcats in the State Farm Champions Classic from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.



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Kentucky comes into this one at 1-1 on the young season, beating Morehead State in their opener and falling to a solid Richmond team on Sunday. This will be one of the biggest games on their schedule this year and they will need to be ready when they take on Kansas this evening. As for Kansas, they come into this at 1-1 on the season, losing to Gonzaga but picking up a nice win over Saint Joseph’s on Friday.

This will be one you won’t want to miss, here is everything you need to know to tune in to tonight’s college basketball action:

#20 Kentucky vs. #7 Kansas

When: Tuesday, December 1 Time: 9:30 p.m. ET TV Channel: ESPN Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free) 

Prediction: I really like Kansas in this spot and think they are the better team this year. Take the Jayhawks to win by at least 5 as this will be a fun one to watch.

Bet: Kansas Jayhawks or -4.5

How to watch NCAA Basketball this season

fuboTV has complete College Basketball coverage from all the major conferences across the country (ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC), plus ACC Network, SEC Network, BigTen Network, Pac-12 Network, and many more.

fuboTV is available on your phone, tablet, desktop, TV, connected TV Devices including Roku. Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV plus many more.

NCAA Basketball Odds and Betting Lines

NCAA Basketball odds courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook. Odds updated Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Kentucky vs. Kansas -4.5

O/U: 143.5

Want some action on College Football? Place your legal sports bets on this game or others in CO, IN, NJ, and WV at BetMGM. 

We recommend interesting sports viewing/streaming and betting opportunities. If you sign up for a service by clicking one of the links, we may earn a referral fee.  Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage.

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Gonzaga fights off Kansas as coach Mark Few gets 600th career win

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Coming into the 2020 Fort Myers Tip-Off, everyone knew the best game of the men’s college tournament would be the first: No. 2 Gonzaga versus No. 5 Kansas.

As expected, it was a competitive matchup. The Zags eventually pulled away and defeated the Jayhawks 102-90 thanks to a dominant shooting performance, with five players reaching double-figures. Drew Timme led the way with 25 points for the Zags, while Miles Garrett had 22 for Kansas.

For Mark Few, it was career win No. 600. Few, 57, has been the coach at Gonzaga since 1999.

“From the first one to this one, it’s never been about me,” Few said. “It’s been about the guys, the unbelievable group I’ve been able to coach throughout these 22 years or whatever it’s been. It’s also been the people I’ve been able to coach with. It’s been an awesome run, and tonight was evident of that.”

Jalen Suggs made his highly anticipated collegiate debut and didn’t disappoint. He had 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting with four rebounds and eight assists. After his first basket, an alley-oop from Joel Ayayi, Suggs received a technical foul for exchanging words with KU’s Marcus Garrett.

“I was playing patient, picking my spots and picking my moments,” Suggs said. “This is my first game in eight months. It’s been a long time coming. It’s been a journey. Transitioning to college has had its ups and downs. When I got out here today, I was looking to play loose and have fun with the game.”

Gonzaga’s transition game was strong, netting 28 points on fast breaks, compared to 15 for Kansas. It was the first time a Bill Self-coached Jayhawks team has surrendered over 100 points since Nov. 11, 2016, when Kansas lost to Indiana. 

“It’s not the happiest Thanksgiving so far,” Self said. “We played a great team that’s full of talent. They have four guards that may be the best four guards we play all year long. I don’t think that us not being able to guard them was a huge surprise, and to hold them under 70 points, I didn’t think we could do that.

“But we can’t let a team like that shoot over 64 percent. The reason they did was because they shot a lot of layups and took advantage in the transition. Those are things I think we can do a much better job of and correct, but I think their speed and how fast they played definitely surprised us early.”

Gonzaga will take on Auburn at 11 a.m. ET on Friday while the Jayhawks face Saint Joseph’s at 2 p.m. ET.

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Gonzaga beats Kansas in season opener, Illinois defeats Chicago State, VCU falls to West Virginia

NO. 1 GONZAGA 102, NO. 6 KANSAS 90

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Drew Timme scored 25 points, Jalen Suggs added 24 and Corey Kispert had 23 to help No. 1 Gonzaga beat No. 6 Kansas 102-90 on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

The Bulldogs built a double-digit lead in the first half at the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off, then saw the Jayhawks tie it twice in the second half before putting them away. Gonzaga went on a 22-7 run to go up 96-78.

Suggs, who got in foul trouble in the first half, scored 17 of his 24 in the second half.

Marcus Garrett led Kansas with 22 points, and Ochai Agbaji added 17 points. Agbai picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half, which hurt the Jayhawks. When he left, Kansas trailed 70-67.

The Jayhawks rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first half to tie it at 57.

On Friday, Gonzaga will play Auburn, and Kansas will face St. Joseph’s.

NO. 8 ILLINOIS 97, CHICAGO STATE 38

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ayo Dosunmu scored 22 points, freshman Andres Curbelo added 18 and Illinois routed Chicago State.

The Illini (2-0) scored the first nine points and led 47-17 at halftime. They will host Ohio in the third round of the multi-team event Friday before facing No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday.

Adam Miller added 15 points and Kofi Cockburn finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois shot 60% from the field.

Xavier Johnson led Chicago State (0-2) with 10 points. Chicago State coach Lance Irvin has opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Assistant Rodell Davis is coaching the team in Irvin’s absence.

NO. 15 WEST VIRGINIA 78, VCU 66

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Derek Culver had 23 points and 15 rebounds to help No. 15 West Virginia beat VCU 78-66 in the Bad Boys Mowers Crossover Classic semifinals.

West Virginia (2-0) will face Western Kentucky in the final Friday.

Culver rebounded from a seven-point game Wednesday night in the Mountaineers’ opening victory over South Dakota State, finishing two shy of his career high. He was 8 of 14 from the field.

Sean McNeil added 16 points, and Oscar Tshiebwe had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Nah’Shon Hyland led the Rams (1-1) with 13 points.

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Safety Marvin Martin Decommits From Boston College, Pledges to Kansas State

Update (11/25/20): Martin announced on Twitter tonight that he has committed to Kansas State. 

Safety Marvin Martin announced on Twitter that he is reopening his commitment and backing from his pledge to Boston College. 

Martin from Trinity Christian Academy in Texas has seen his recruitment blow up over the past few weeks. He has gained an offer from Kansas State, and has seen more interest from local programs. He was a three star recruit according to most recruiting services. He committed to the Eagles in late September.

Martin was an impressive recruit who is currently playing his final season in Texas. His tape certainly pops, he is a very physical safety and it is clear why Boston College pushed for him after losing out on Daymon David. Looking at his play, his play is reminiscent of Patrick Chung, who has put together a long career with the New England Patriots.

Boston College currently has 23 recruits committed to the Eagles. They still are in on a handful of recruits including offensive lineman Drew Kendall (MA), and George Rooks (NJ). With Michigan faltering early in their season, it may be worth watching TJ Guy as well. There are also some recruits like Jaden Williams from Texas who received their offers later that the Eagles are in on. 

BC Bulletin will keep you up to date on any recruiting news on the Class of ’21

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking “Follow” on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:

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Kansas vs. Gonzaga odds, line: 2020 Fort Myers Tip-Off picks, college basketball predictions from proven model

It’s a showdown of two of college basketball’s best teams when the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs face the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks in the 2020 Fort Myers Tip-Off on Thanksgiving. The teams were hit by departures and have not played a competitive game since March, but both have the depth to rebound quickly. The teams finished 1-2 in the final Associated Press poll before last season’s NCAA Tournament was canceled, and the Bulldogs have the NCAA’s best winning percentage of the past decade at .858 (308-51), with KU second at .819 (299-66). 

Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. The Bulldogs are four-point favorites in the latest Kansas vs. Gonzaga odds at William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under for total points scored is 147.5. Before making any Gonzaga vs. Kansas picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,400 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Kansas vs. Gonzaga. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Gonzaga vs. Kansas:

  • Kansas vs. Gonzaga: Bulldogs -4
  • Kansas vs. Gonzaga over-under: 147.5
  • Kansas vs. Gonzaga money line: Jayhawks +156, Bulldogs -191   
  • KAN: G Marcus Garrett averaged 1.8 steals and 4.5 deflections to win Defensive Player of the Year honors. 
  • GONZ: F Drew Timme scored at least 10 points in 15 of the 19 games when he played at least 20  minutes last season.

Why Gonzaga can cover

Gonzaga is 38-29 against the spread as a favorite the past two seasons, and Coach Mark Few has plenty of talent to work with. He expects a lot from Drew Timme, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who started just four games last season but shot 62.1 percent from the field and averaged 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in 20.5 minutes. Five-star prospect Jalen Suggs should run the point for a team that went 31-2 and had the NCAA’s best offense last season (87.4 points per game).      

The Bulldogs are 21-13 ATS in non-conference games since 2018, and Corey Kispert and Joel Ayayi are back after starting last season. Kispert, a preseason All-American, led the team in minutes (33) and was second with a 13.9 scoring average, shooting 43.8 percent from 3-point range. Ayayi scored 10.6 points and brought down 6.3 rebounds per contest. In addition to Suggs, highly-touted freshmen Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther should see playing time.

Why Kansas can cover

Kansas is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games overall, and Coach Bill Self will have his team ready to play some strong defense. That should be key in a game between teams feeling things out with almost no practice time.

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College basketball’s top storylines include COVID, Kansas and intrigue

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There is no shortage of storylines for the 2020-21 college men’s basketball season that begins Wednesday  – two weeks later than its scheduled start date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY Sports examines the 10 biggest storylines heading into one of the most uncertain seasons in recent memory. We examine the national title contenders, the surprises and the major challenges ahead of an anticipated   return to March Madness. And we look at some coaching situations around the sport.

There also will be things fans won’t see this year, starting with the Ivy League, which decided not to play any of its winter sports. There will be fewer games, partly because of the shortened season but also because dozens of teams already have had as many as four games called off for COVID-19 reasons. 

Which brings us to those storylines:

Baylor coach Scott Drew talks with his team during the second half of their 2020 game against Oklahoma State at Ferrell Center. (Photo: Raymond Carlin III, USA TODAY Sports)

Coronavirus pandemic

It was eight long months ago that the NCAA Tournament was canceled. While it is well-documented how much college athletics needs the TV money March Madness makes,  the sport faces a stretch of  uncertainty unlike anything it has seen.

COVID-19 precautions and restrictions will bring a different feel to the game.  Fans or no fans? Reschedule games or cancel them? How do officials stay safe when they travel much more than the players? 

And what to make of the NCAA plan to hold the entire men’s tournament in one location, most likely Indianapolis?

GOOD IDEA?: As college basketball tips off, few believe it’s a good idea

CFP RANKINGS: Alabama out front as intrigue fills initial rankings

Tough choices for NCAA committee

COVID-19 could also make it more difficult to seed the 68-team tournament field. The selection committee typically takes into account injuries when examining a bubble team’s at-large bid profile. How will it assess a team with a borderline résumé that misses games? How will forfeits and cancellations be assessed? Will a mid-major program be given the benefit of the doubt – even if its NET score is not stellar – considering the scheduling of power conference opponents?

Mid-major programs, which earn huge guarantees by playing at power league schools, could be affected the most if the committee does not adjust its procedures.

No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 Gonzaga

The Bears and the Zags return the core of their rosters and have the talent to make a deep March run after seeing their chances as projected No. 1 seeds be nixed.  

That means a Dec. 5 meeting could be an early preview of the national title game. Bears coach Scott Drew has a roster capable of winning a loaded Big 12, although it’ll have to fend off Kansas and a Texas Tech team full of high-impact transfers. 

Gonzaga coach Mark Few has USA TODAY first-team preseason All-American forward Corey

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