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Kansas, KSU game ends in massive brawl after late block

Westlake Legal Group AP20022079990136 Kansas, KSU game ends in massive brawl after late block Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/sports/ncaa/kansas-state-wildcats fox-news/sports/ncaa/kansas-jayhawks fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox news fnc/sports fnc article 96f51329-df53-561c-87e9-ba7f74418a4e

A violent brawl broke out between in-state rivals Kansas and Kansas State toward the end of their game Tuesday — a fight seemingly sparked by a late block.

Players from both teams threw punches as onlookers at Allen Fieldhouse looked in amazement following the Jayhawks 81-59 win.

The chaos started when Kansas State guard DaJuan Gordon was blocked and Kansas forward Silvio DeSousa stood over him barking. Players from both benches ran onto the floor as the clock ran out.

Seconds earlier, DeSousa was stripped by Gordon near midcourt and Gordon tried to go in for a layup when his shot was rejected.

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Both coaching staffs and arena security separated the teams. In a bizarre finish, the players were summoned back from the locker rooms by the officials and one-tenth of a second was put on the clock as Kansas State shot free throws to a chorus of boos from the few thousand fans who were still in the arena.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group AP20022079990136 Kansas, KSU game ends in massive brawl after late block Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/sports/ncaa/kansas-state-wildcats fox-news/sports/ncaa/kansas-jayhawks fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox news fnc/sports fnc article 96f51329-df53-561c-87e9-ba7f74418a4e   Westlake Legal Group AP20022079990136 Kansas, KSU game ends in massive brawl after late block Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/kansas fox-news/sports/ncaa/kansas-state-wildcats fox-news/sports/ncaa/kansas-jayhawks fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox news fnc/sports fnc article 96f51329-df53-561c-87e9-ba7f74418a4e

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No. 4 SDSU chasing 20-0 start of Leonard’s 2010-11 team

Westlake Legal Group Yanni-Wetzell2 No. 4 SDSU chasing 20-0 start of Leonard's 2010-11 team fox-news/sports/ncaa/san-diego-state-aztecs fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox-news/person/kawhi-leonard fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article a32ca88c-fafe-5b71-bbc5-5b14cb9d8405

As much as the undefeated and fourth-ranked San Diego State Aztecs want to establish their own identity, there’s simply no escaping comparisons with the team Kawhi Leonard helped thrust into national prominence nine seasons ago.

That’s a good thing, of course, because Leonard led SDSU to a No. 4 ranking and a 20-0 start, the best in school history, in 2010-11. That team reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history before finishing 34-3.

On Monday, the Aztecs moved up three spots in The Associated Press Top 25, matching the No. 4 ranking from 2010-11. SDSU (19-0, 8-0 Mountain West) is the nation’s last undefeated Division I team.

On Tuesday night, it can equal that 20-0 start if it beats Wyoming at sold-out Viejas Arena, which is back to being as raucous as it was when Leonard was the big star.

Yanni Wetzell, one of three transfers who have brought the Aztecs back to relevance, didn’t watch much college basketball while growing up in Auckland, New Zealand. But he had heard of Leonard and Steve Fisher, who won a national championship as coach of Michigan before reviving a sad-sack SDSU program.

“I knew, even back in New Zealand growing up, that he had played at San Diego State, and the whole Steve Fisher Era, and watching the Fab Five documentary; I’ve watched it a couple of times now,” Wetzell said Monday. “It’s just awesome to be a part of a program that such legends have been through.

“We’re chasing that similar streak, so hopefully we can be talked about in a similar manner,” said Wetzell, a graduate transfer from Vanderbilt.

The 20-0 streak in 2010-11 ended with a 71-58 loss at No. 9 BYU, which was led by Jimmer Fredette. SDSU won its next seven games before losing again to BYU, 80-67 at home. SDSU wouldn’t lose again until being defeated by eventual national champion UConn in the Sweet 16.

Wetzell said he’s watched clips from the 2010-11 season.

“They’re kind of popping up now that we’re getting close to that streak, so now you’re seeing them on YouTube,” he said.

His impression? “Defense. Those dudes — physical tools, they were dogs, all over the place. They prided themselves on the defensive end and it often just translated to the offense.”

This SDSU team prides itself on defense, too. It suffocated Nevada during a 17-2 second-half run during a 68-55 win Saturday night. The only Nevada points during that span came when Wetzell accidentally tipped the ball into the Wolf Pack basket.

Because Wetzell and fellow grad transfer KJ Feagin have seen clips of Leonard’s team, they were asked how a theoretical matchup between that team and the current team would go.

Wetzell exhaled and said, “Got to back ourselves.”

Added Feagin: “Got to. It would be a tough one, though, because they just had a lot of length across the board. You had D.J. Gay, Billy White, Tim Shelton, Kawhi, I think Jamaal Franklin was on that team. So you have pros on that team. Hopefully we all can become pros. We don’t know what the future holds for us. But I think I’d have to bet on ourselves right now.”

Leonard is a two-time NBA champion and two-time Finals MVP. The Aztecs will retire his jersey on Feb. 1.

Asked what the score would be, Feagin laughed and said: “There probably wouldn’t be a lot of scoring. Probably like a low-50s game, double bonus at the 10-minute mark.”

Who would guard Leonard? “Wooooo, I think we’re going to have to throw a couple of bodies at him,” Feagin said. “I think Matt Mitchell gets the start, throw AG (Aguek Arop) at him, get him a little tired. A lot of fouls.”

Third-year coach Brian Dutcher helped mentor Leonard as Fisher’s top assistant in 2010-11.

“It’s fun to compare, but we have to win a game tomorrow in order to kind of catch him in the 20-win streak,” Dutcher said. “So that’s kind of a fun little motivator, to catch a team in Aztecs history that’s been so good. Other than that, the comparisons are for fans and coaches to kind of talk about and laugh about.”

If the Aztecs can get to 21 wins, they’ll have their own identity.

“I think it’s important to get to 20 first,” Dutcher said. “I’ll worry about 21 if we can win tomorrow. We’ll have our challenges tomorrow.”

Dutcher raves about the maturity and experience Wetzell, Feagin and junior transfer Malachi Flynn have brought to the Aztecs.

He knows the players talk about Leonard’s team only when asked about it by the media.

“That’s our job as coaches, to keep them grounded. But at the same time, let them embrace and have fun with it,” Dutcher said. “It’s the fine line. We can’t be sitting there and be a downer on everything that’s happened because we’re micromanaging and keeping them over-focused. They’re a good group. Usually they know what has to be done. That’s what makes it easy to coach them.”

Feagin said the players do try to stay focused, but added: “It just feels great to be a part of something special, knowing that we’ll be a part of a lot of memories of people that are coming to games right now, and around campus and around the San Diego area. I know that I’ll be in a lot of people’s hearts; Yanni will be in a lot of people’s hearts for the rest of their lives. I’m just thankful to be a part of something like this.”

Westlake Legal Group Yanni-Wetzell2 No. 4 SDSU chasing 20-0 start of Leonard's 2010-11 team fox-news/sports/ncaa/san-diego-state-aztecs fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox-news/person/kawhi-leonard fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article a32ca88c-fafe-5b71-bbc5-5b14cb9d8405   Westlake Legal Group Yanni-Wetzell2 No. 4 SDSU chasing 20-0 start of Leonard's 2010-11 team fox-news/sports/ncaa/san-diego-state-aztecs fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox-news/person/kawhi-leonard fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article a32ca88c-fafe-5b71-bbc5-5b14cb9d8405

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Lewis, Alabama hand No. 4 Auburn its first loss, 83-64

Westlake Legal Group Raymond-Hawkins Lewis, Alabama hand No. 4 Auburn its first loss, 83-64 fox-news/sports/ncaa/auburn-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa/alabama-crimson-tide fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 066f26e0-4936-5144-84c8-af7de828855b

Nate Oats and Alabama had two achievements to celebrate: a huge win and knocking rival Auburn from the dwindling ranks of the unbeaten.

Kira Lewis Jr. scored 25 points and the Crimson Tide easily handled the fourth-ranked Tigers with an 83-64 rout on Wednesday night.

“We’ve been needing this signature win,” said Oats, the Tide’s first-year coach. “We were close a few times. If we’re going to make a run and try to play in the NCAA Tournament, you’ve got to get these signature wins.

“It’s good to get that monkey off our back.”

All the better when it comes against your much-hyped in-state rival.

The Crimson Tide (9-7, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) led wire-to-wire. The Tigers (15-1, 3-1) had a miserable shooting night and left No. 7 San Diego State (18-0) as the nation’s last unbeaten team.

“To be able to beat a good team in Alabama on their floor you’ve got to be very good, and we didn’t even come close,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said.

It was the Tide’s first win over a Top 5 team since a 79-57 home defeat of then-No. 5 Texas A&M on Dec. 30, 2017. This one was largely one-sided, too.

Lewis scored 17 points in the second half for Alabama. He was 8 of 14 from the field and made 8 of 9 free throws.

Herbert Jones had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Alex Reese scored 13 points and James Bolden had 11 for the Tide.

Auburn, which had won 27 of 28 games dating back to last season’s Final Four run, gave up a season high in points while scoring its season low.

Isaac Okoro led the Tigers with 13 points. Austin Wiley had 10 points and 13 rebounds and Jamal Johnson also scored 10.

Auburn closed within 50-47 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Johnson midway through the second half, but the comeback attempt fizzled from there.

Alabama had some bulletin board material after Auburn’s Anfernee McLemore said before the season that Coleman Coliseum was one of his favorite places to play because “I like seeing all the fans disappointed when we win.”

“Of course we used it as motivation,” Jones said, “an opposing player saying our gym was his favorite place to play.”

Added Oats: “We made sure that quote was on the screen, the last thing they saw before they went out.”

BIG PICTURE

Auburn: Missed its first 10 3-point attempts and finished making just 20 of 63 shots (31.7%). The Tigers shot 25% from 3-point range (7 of 28) and made 17 of 30 foul shots.

“They did a good job contesting shots at the rim,” Wiley said. “We didn’t finish good at all tonight.”

Alabama: Has won seven of its last 10 games after starting 0-2 against ranked teams. The Tide gave the fans a huge reason to cheer in the first season for Oats, who said it might have been his team’s best defensive performance.

SAMIR STRUGGLES

Auburn’s leading scorer, Samir Doughty, failed to score for nearly the first 23 minutes and wound up fouling out. He missed his first seven shots with six turnovers before hitting a basket with 17:10 left. Doughty finished with six points, 10 below his average, on 2-of-11 shooting.

FOUL FESTIVAL

The teams were whistled for a combined 54 fouls. Auburn point guard J’Von McCormick also fouled out. Alabama made the Tigers pay with a 29-of-37 foul shooting performance.

UP NEXT

Auburn visits Florida, which has won three of its first four SEC games, on Saturday.

Alabama hosts Missouri on Saturday.

Westlake Legal Group Raymond-Hawkins Lewis, Alabama hand No. 4 Auburn its first loss, 83-64 fox-news/sports/ncaa/auburn-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa/alabama-crimson-tide fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 066f26e0-4936-5144-84c8-af7de828855b   Westlake Legal Group Raymond-Hawkins Lewis, Alabama hand No. 4 Auburn its first loss, 83-64 fox-news/sports/ncaa/auburn-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa/alabama-crimson-tide fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 066f26e0-4936-5144-84c8-af7de828855b

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Consolation prize: Clemson knocks off No. 3 Duke in hoops

Westlake Legal Group Newman-Hoag Consolation prize: Clemson knocks off No. 3 Duke in hoops fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa/clemson-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article a21d2cf1-92cc-56c2-a2c5-f033f99e631f

What a wild ride the past four days have been for Clemson fans.

The Tigers beat No. 3 Duke 79-72 on Tuesday night to sandwich wins over the Atlantic Coast Conference’s basketball blue bloods around Monday’s loss in the College Football Playoff title game.

Tuesday night’s win over the Blue Devils was the highest-profile upset for the Tigers (9-7, 3-3 ACC) since they beat No. 1 North Carolina on their home court in February 2001. And just like that day, students rushed the court at Littlejohn Coliseum.

On Saturday, Clemson beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the first time in program history, ending a 59-game losing streak on the Tar Heels’ home court and setting off a locker room celebration that looked like the aftermath of an NCAA Tournament win. The Tigers have won three in a row since falling below .500 in a Dec. 31 loss to Miami.

“2020 is starting to feel like our year,” said Aamir Simms, who led Clemson with a career-high 25 points.

The Blue Devils (15-2, 5-1 ) came into the game as 10 1/2-point favorites and were leading the nation with an average margin of victory of 21.5 points. Duke had not lost since a stunning home defeat to Stephen F. Austin in November.

Clemson fans, stung by the football Tigers’ first loss in 30 games — a 42-25 defeat against LSU Monday night at the Superdome in New Orleans — stopped moping less than 24 hours later. Duke never had a bigger lead than 4-0 and Clemson led for more than 28 minutes.

Simms and Tevin Mack, who scored 22 points, kept dragging Duke’s big men around the perimeter.

“We tried to move their guys around a lot. They have a lot of size,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said.

That opened up the lane for Clemson’s offense. Seventeen of the Tigers’ 30 baskets were layups or dunks — including one by John Newman III that was so nasty it got a shout-out on Twitter from Magic Johnson.

“Simms was spectacular tonight in how he controlled the game,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Clemson led 40-33 at halftime and stretched the lead to nine points before Duke rallied. The Blue Devils led 62-59 with 6:40 remaining.

That’s when Clemson took control with a 14-3 run, including eight points from Simms. His three-point play made it 73-65 with 2:16 remaining.

Mack finished 10 of 14 from the field. Simms was almost as efficient, shooting 10 of 15, and he had nine rebounds and five assists.

Vernon Carey Jr. scored 20 points for Duke and Tre Jones had 17.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils’ defense, ball control and free throws betrayed them. Clemson shot 56.6%, far better than anyone else against Duke this season. Duke also turned the ball over 15 times and made just 10 of 20 free throws.

Clemson: The obituaries for the Tigers’ season written after a 73-68 overtime loss to Miami were premature. Clemson has won three in a row, shooting at least 43% in each game. And beating North Carolina and Duke back-to-back is every ACC fan’s dream.

DOMINATING CAROLINA

Clemson has only beaten North Carolina and Duke in back-to-back games once before — in 1990 on the way to the Tigers’ only regular-season title in 67 ACC seasons.

Add the win Jan. 4 over North Carolina State and Clemson has beaten the three ACC teams from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area in consecutive games for the first time since 1967. The Wolfpack win came between victories over the Blue Devils and Tar Heels that year.

DUKE INJURIES

Duke’s Joey Baker missed Tuesday’s game with a sprained right ankle.

Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils missed more from the sophomore than just his seven points a game. He also averages 15 minutes, spelling Jones and and others in key stretches.

“Not having what we have had hurts us. And we’re not going to have it for a little bit,” said Krzyzewski, who isn’t sure if Baker will return for Saturday’s game against No. 11 Louisville.

BROWNELL MILESTONE

Not only did Brownell beat the highest-ranked team in his 10 years at Clemson on Tuesday night, he also became the winngest coach in Tigers history.

It was Brownell’s 178th victory, passing Cliff Ellis.

“I’m honored. There have been a lot of good coaches here,” Brownell said.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Duke got jumped by Baylor in this week’s AP Top 25 to fall to third. The Blue Devils will likely drop further.

UP NEXT

Duke: The Blue Devils host No. 11 Louisville on Saturday with first place in the ACC on the line.

Clemson: The Tigers take on their fourth of five North Carolina-based ACC teams in a row when they head to North Carolina State on Saturday. Clemson has never played five North Carolina teams consecutively in one season.

Westlake Legal Group Newman-Hoag Consolation prize: Clemson knocks off No. 3 Duke in hoops fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa/clemson-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article a21d2cf1-92cc-56c2-a2c5-f033f99e631f   Westlake Legal Group Newman-Hoag Consolation prize: Clemson knocks off No. 3 Duke in hoops fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa/clemson-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article a21d2cf1-92cc-56c2-a2c5-f033f99e631f

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Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2

Westlake Legal Group Lauren-Cox Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2 fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 548132f3-3c07-5e3b-8423-bd36b072a4d8

Baylor has a pair of No. 2s in The Associated Press polls, with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams ranked second.

The Bears and Lady Bears, both 13-1 overall, were also ranked in the top two at the same time in January 2017.

“It says a lot about both of our programs, both our coaches and the kind of players that they bring into the programs,” preseason AP All-America post Lauren Cox said Monday. “We both support each other. … We want to see the best for both teams.”

Baylor’s men moved up two spots in the new poll Monday, two days after the Bears’ first win ever at then-No. 3 Kansas that was their fourth win over a Top 25 team this season. The Bears, in their 17th season with coach Scott Drew, also won last week at then-No. 22 Texas Tech, last season’s national runner-up that had won 15 in a row at home.

The defending national champion Lady Bears jumped four spots in the women’s poll. They won at then-No. 1 UConn on Thursday night, ending the Huskies’ 98-game home winning streak.

Baylor, which has won three national titles in coach Kim Mulkey’s 20 seasons, now has the longest home winning streak at 47 in a row after beating Oklahoma State 94-48 in its Big 12 home opener Sunday.

There were three polls in January 2017 when both Baylor teams were ranked in the top two. The men reached No. 1 for the only time in program history on Jan 9, 2017, when the Lady Bears were No. 2. They were both ranked second in the Jan. 2 and Jan. 30 polls that season.

Westlake Legal Group Lauren-Cox Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2 fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 548132f3-3c07-5e3b-8423-bd36b072a4d8   Westlake Legal Group Lauren-Cox Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2 fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 548132f3-3c07-5e3b-8423-bd36b072a4d8

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UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash

Westlake Legal Group Brandon-Robinson UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 131a6ece-9ef4-5bfa-8f6e-5ad42970f601

North Carolina forward Brandon Robinson was hurt in a weekend car crash and the school says the injuries are not serious.

The other motorist was charged with driving while impaired, according to Carrboro police. An incident report said the driver of the other car early Sunday, drove into the opposite lane and hit Robinson’s car near an intersection.

It was not known when Robinson would be cleared to practice this week or play, the school said Monday. The struggling Tar Heels play at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

This is the latest problem for a team beset by injuries since before the season began.

Five Tar Heels, including Robinson, have been hurt at some point during the season. Robinson rolled his ankle in a preseason game and missed the next four games.

Anthony Harris and Sterling Manley are lost for the season because of knee injuries. Jeremiah Francis has a sore left knee that kept him out of his junior and senior years in high school.

Freshman guard Cole Anthony, who scored 34 points in his debut game against Notre Dame last November, has not played since early December after arthroscopic knee surgery. Anthony was expected to miss up to six weeks.

Westlake Legal Group Brandon-Robinson UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 131a6ece-9ef4-5bfa-8f6e-5ad42970f601   Westlake Legal Group Brandon-Robinson UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 131a6ece-9ef4-5bfa-8f6e-5ad42970f601

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Roy Williams says he should probably be fired after North Carolina’s loss to Clemson

Westlake Legal Group Roy-Williams2 Roy Williams says he should probably be fired after North Carolina's loss to Clemson Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa/clemson-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc d4ac2b47-9957-5d96-adda-94c6ed5b3b00 article

North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams did not downplay how crushing Saturday night’s loss to Clemson was, telling reporters that he should probably be fired after his team’s performance.

Clemson defeated North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the first time in 60 tries. Tigers forward Aamir Simms hit an overtime-forcing three-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Clemson then took care of North Carolina in the overtime frame, wining 79-76.

NO. 14 KENTUCKY TOPS ALABAMA 76-67 FOR 1,000TH SEC VICTORY

Williams took the blame for the loss, saying he forgot to tell his players to foul Simms so he couldn’t launch the game-tying shot.

“I’d tell [athletics director Bubba Cunningham] he should probably fire me, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea,” Williams said. “The coach is supposed to help his kids. I didn’t help them very much.”

FORMER UCONN COACH JIM CALHOUN EARNS 900TH CAREER WIN

Clemson’s winless streak in Chapel Hill began in 1926 and reached 0-59 to give the Tar Heels an NCAA record for the longest home winning streak against one opponent.

Williams remains tied with the late Den Smith for fourth on the Division 1 men’s career coaching wins list with 879 victories.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

The Tar Heels fell to 8-8 with a 1-4 conference record with the loss. Clemson improved to 8-7 with a 2-3 conference record with the win. Both teams are in the lower-half of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Roy-Williams2 Roy Williams says he should probably be fired after North Carolina's loss to Clemson Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa/clemson-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc d4ac2b47-9957-5d96-adda-94c6ed5b3b00 article   Westlake Legal Group Roy-Williams2 Roy Williams says he should probably be fired after North Carolina's loss to Clemson Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa/clemson-tigers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc d4ac2b47-9957-5d96-adda-94c6ed5b3b00 article

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Minnesota pushes sophomore Daniel Oturu as NBA prospect

Westlake Legal Group Daniel-Oturu Minnesota pushes sophomore Daniel Oturu as NBA prospect fox-news/sports/ncaa/minnesota-golden-gophers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc e99fc411-0b98-576e-b49e-4a8ca6f0f477 Associated Press article

Of all the evidence from the past two decades that Minnesota has been mostly a middle-of-the-pack program, the lack of a presence in the NBA has been one of the biggest knocks against the Gophers.

Daniel Oturu could be the next one to turn pro and start that process of catching up. Even if that means losing his 6-foot-10 double-double machine earlier than the exhaustion of his eligibility, well, coach Richard Pitino will be the first one encouraging him on.

Oturu, the sophomore center who is one of three Minnesota natives in the regular rotation, is third in the country in rebounds (12.4 per game), eighth in blocks (3.14 per game) and 14th in field goal percentage (63.3). He’s second in the Big Ten with an average of 19.1 points per game.

NBA teams have already begun to seek insight from Pitino, and the coach and the player have had multiple conversations about the possibility of Oturu declaring for the draft.

“We’re not going to hold you back. Let’s just talk about it, constantly work on it,” Pitino said. “If he’s got that opportunity at the end of the year? I’m all for it. I support it. But the NBA draft is not in January, and that’s for everybody. There are so many good opportunities for Daniel to show he’s one of the best bigs in the country. I believe in him, and I’m excited to continue to work through this and see where we go. It’s a great, great problem to have.”

The Gophers lost guard Amir Coffey one year early, after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Coffey wasn’t drafted, but he signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers and appeared in two recent games after extensive time in the NBA G League. That’s where former Gophers forward Jordan Murphy has been playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ affiliate, after finishing a four-year career as the all-time leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for the Gophers.

Minnesota had only two players appear in the NBA during the 2010s, though, with Kris Humphries the last one drafted in 2004. Joel Przybilla, also a first-rounder in 2000, was the other former Gophers player to play in the league in the just-ended decade. The 1996-97 team that reached the Final Four had four eventual first-round picks: Bobby Jackson, John Thomas, Sam Jacobson and Quincy Lewis.

That’s why Pitino, even though a premature departure by Oturu would take away his best player, has no trouble embracing the topic. When Coffey made his debut with the Clippers two weeks ago, Pitino sent him a text message asking him to send a jersey so the Gophers can display it at their practice facility.

“That’s too long to not have guys in the NBA. You want your guys to feel that. That’s the carrot you dangle in front of guys to motivate them,” Pitino said.

Oturu, who’s listed at 225 pounds, is the son of Nigerian immigrants who grew up in the Twin Cities area and became one of the country’s top recruits out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School. He has a deep appreciation of NBA history, always up for engaging with teammates in a present-past debate about which player was better.

“That’s a dream of his. Nobody’s going to hold him back,” Pitino said.

Oturu has a decent mid-range shot, with the athleticism to move around the court that will be critical in the pros. Developing more post moves and continuing to get stronger will be important next steps. He’s improved his conditioning to the point where he’s playing an average of 33 minutes per game, about a nine-minute increase from his freshman year.

“Whatever stat line I finish with, I feel like I didn’t have that good of a game. Coach ‘P’ also feels like I didn’t have that good of a game. So he’s always pushing me to play the best I can play,” Oturu said, adding: “I feel like I can shoot the ball a little bit better this year. I’m not like lacking confidence in that area. I’m trying to be more physical down low. I feel like overall this year versus my freshman year I’m playing a lot harder in the games, so that’s been a big boost.”

The Gophers (8-6, 2-2) have arrived at a crucial stretch of their season, with the potential for several wins that could boost their NCAA Tournament prospects. Each of their next three games are against teams currently ranked in the top 20 of the Associated Press poll, at No. 8 Michigan State on Thursday and home against No. 19 Michigan on Saturday and against No. 20 Penn State on Jan. 15.

Oturu will undoubtedly go a long way toward whatever success the Gophers are able to attain.

“Whether we’re down or we’re up,” point guard Marcus Carr said, “he’s constantly giving us energy.”

Westlake Legal Group Daniel-Oturu Minnesota pushes sophomore Daniel Oturu as NBA prospect fox-news/sports/ncaa/minnesota-golden-gophers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc e99fc411-0b98-576e-b49e-4a8ca6f0f477 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group Daniel-Oturu Minnesota pushes sophomore Daniel Oturu as NBA prospect fox-news/sports/ncaa/minnesota-golden-gophers fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc e99fc411-0b98-576e-b49e-4a8ca6f0f477 Associated Press article

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UConn women still No. 1; S Dakota, Michigan, Princeton in

Westlake Legal Group Geno-Auriemma3 UConn women still No. 1; S Dakota, Michigan, Princeton in fox-news/sports/ncaa/stanford-cardinal fox-news/sports/ncaa/oregon-ducks fox-news/sports/ncaa/connecticut-huskies fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 31bbb8bd-3cc7-51be-8b87-b96ffa89da20

UConn cruised to two more conference wins and remained No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll to start off 2020.

The Huskies received 19 first-place votes Monday from a 30-member media panel to stay ahead of second-ranked Oregon. The Ducks got seven first-place votes, picking up two from Oregon State, which got three. The Beavers stayed No. 3 and were followed again by South Carolina, Stanford and Baylor.

The Lady Bears will play at Connecticut on Thursday — the first of three marquee matchups for the Huskies over the next month. UConn, which beat Wichita State and SMU last week, also plays Tennessee and Oregon, as well as having an exhibition game against the USA Basketball national team.

Louisville was No. 7, with UCLA jumping two spots to No. 8 after the Bruins beat previously undefeated Arizona on Sunday. North Carolina State was No. 9 and Texas A&M moved up to No. 10.

While the top of the poll was relatively unchanged, South Dakota, Michigan and Princeton entered the rankings at Nos. 22, 23 and 25 while Miami, Minnesota and Texas fell out.

The Tigers entered the poll despite not playing since Dec. 29. Princeton (12-1) plays rival Penn on Saturday and then is off for exams for a few weeks.

“I’m really thrilled to be in the Top 25 and for us to be recognized,” first-year Princeton coach Carla Berube said. “It’s great for our league. Our league is really, really strong this year. Opening up this weekend so we’re excited about that. It’s great to get this national attention. We’ve put together a great nonconference these first couple months. Had some really great wins. I like where our team is at.”

Princeton is the only Ivy team ever to be ranked, reaching the women’s Top 25 for the first time in the final poll of 2012 before having an 11-week run in 2015. The Tigers edged Northwestern by one point for the final spot. The Wildcats had a huge 23-point win over then-No. 12 Maryland before getting blown out by Iowa.

Here are a few other tidbits from the poll:

FALLING SEMINOLES: Florida State dropped three spots to No. 11 after losing its first game of the season on a last-second shot in overtime at Syracuse. The Seminoles bounced back with a nine-point victory over then-No. 23 Miami on Sunday.

WILY COYOTES: South Dakota is back in the poll for the second time this season. The Coyotes (15-2) had a one-week stay in the middle of December. South Dakota plays Omaha on Saturday.

Westlake Legal Group Geno-Auriemma3 UConn women still No. 1; S Dakota, Michigan, Princeton in fox-news/sports/ncaa/stanford-cardinal fox-news/sports/ncaa/oregon-ducks fox-news/sports/ncaa/connecticut-huskies fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 31bbb8bd-3cc7-51be-8b87-b96ffa89da20   Westlake Legal Group Geno-Auriemma3 UConn women still No. 1; S Dakota, Michigan, Princeton in fox-news/sports/ncaa/stanford-cardinal fox-news/sports/ncaa/oregon-ducks fox-news/sports/ncaa/connecticut-huskies fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 31bbb8bd-3cc7-51be-8b87-b96ffa89da20

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Wisconsin rallies late to upset No. 5 Ohio State 61-57

Westlake Legal Group Brad-Davison Wisconsin rallies late to upset No. 5 Ohio State 61-57 fox-news/sports/ncaa/wisconsin-badgers fox-news/sports/ncaa/ohio-state-buckeyes fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 1ad98f11-5cd3-5001-8298-2174218f4dba

Nate Reuver’s jumper finally wrested the lead away from Ohio State with 1:54 left in the game, and the Wisconsin forward hit four free throws in the last 14 seconds to seal a road upset of the No. 5 Buckeyes.

Reuvers scored 17 points and keyed the late rally in a 61-57 win on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd that opened the grueling Big Ten stretch for both teams.

“I think we’ve just gotten a lot better since November,” Reuvers said. “As coach (Greg) Gard has said, we’ve matured a lot more. You can especially see that in the defensive end of the floor. I think we did a really good job hitting the offensive glass, too. That was huge, especially down the stretch.”

Ohio State (11-3, 1-2), a 7 1/2-point favorite, lost a second straight game. The Buckeyes got a terrific performance from Kaleb Wesson, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds. But Wesson missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left that would have tied the score at 57. After that, Ohio State had to start fouling.

“We were looking for the best shot and my teammates found me,” Wesson said of the critical miss. “We thought that was our best shot of that possession.”

Both teams started slowly and struggled from the field throughout. Wisconsin missed its first five shots and finished at 38% from the field, and Ohio State shot 40%.

Wisconsin led by four at halftime of a sloppy, slow game, but Ohio State ripped off back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half to start a 13-2 run. Wisconsin tied it at 47 with 6:51 to play but wouldn’t grab the lead until Reuvers took charge late.

Kobe King, who added 13 points for Wisconsin (9-5, 2-1), said his team would not have been able to stay with Ohio State a month ago in a one- or two-possession game.

“They’re one of the best teams in the country, and we watched their games,” King said. “They came out 7-0 and another run at halftime, and just knowing we could fight back and claw back and make it more of a dogfight rather than let them get into rhythm.”

Ohio State became the second top-5 team in the AP Top 25 to lose this week after No. 4 Oregon fell at Colorado on Thursday night.

BIG PICTURE

Wisconsin: The Badgers stayed in the game despite poor shooting and turnovers and secured a satisfying win to start the long stretch of Big Ten games.

“This was the definition of a team win,” Gard said. “We’ve had to grow and experience some growing pains as we’ve come through November and December. Really proud of the effort. (We) just kept battling and kept finding a way, obviously getting contributions from a lot of different places.”

Ohio State: Playing without 6-foot-9 power forward Kyle Young, who is recovering from appendix surgery, Wesson had to carry the load inside. The Buckeyes missed Young and couldn’t finish off a game they probably should have won.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With two straight losses, Ohio State will slide down the rankings after being as high as No. 2.

QUOTABLE

“Listen, today’s college game right now they can do everything but tackle you across the lane and not get (a foul) called, so we’ve got to figure out how to play better in those situations where they’re chucking and grabbing and holding.” — Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann on Wesson’s treatment in the paint.

WELCOME HOME

The game was a homecoming for Wisconsin’s Micah Potter, who transferred from Ohio State and had sit out until this semester. He entered the game early to a smattering of boos and finished with four points. Potter’s brother, Noah, is a defensive end for the football Buckeyes.

DEEP FREEZE

Wisconsin was 6 for 23 from beyond the 3-point line, and Ohio State was 6 for 20. Only one player on each team hit more than one 3-pointer.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: Hosts Illinois on Wednesday night.

Ohio State: At Maryland on Tuesday night.

Westlake Legal Group Brad-Davison Wisconsin rallies late to upset No. 5 Ohio State 61-57 fox-news/sports/ncaa/wisconsin-badgers fox-news/sports/ncaa/ohio-state-buckeyes fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 1ad98f11-5cd3-5001-8298-2174218f4dba   Westlake Legal Group Brad-Davison Wisconsin rallies late to upset No. 5 Ohio State 61-57 fox-news/sports/ncaa/wisconsin-badgers fox-news/sports/ncaa/ohio-state-buckeyes fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 1ad98f11-5cd3-5001-8298-2174218f4dba

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