Saturday, March 17, 2018

Aspiring coach sudden conqueror of No. 1 Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — All Butler guard Alex Barlow saw Saturday was space and an opportunity to make a play.

So the unlikeliest player on the floor took a chance and made the biggest shot of the game.

When Indiana's defenders failed to converge on the 5-foot-11 walk-on, Barlow drove to the basket and hit a spinning 6-foot jumper with 2.4 seconds left in overtime Saturday to give the Bulldogs another stunning upset — 88-86 over No. 1 Indiana in the Crossroads Classic.

"The floater is a shot I work on a lot, and I happened to get a lucky bounce," Barlow said. "It was a good feeling."

Luckily for the Bulldogs (8-2), Barlow was on the floor.

The kid who spurned scholarship offers to play his best sport, baseball, and opted to come to Butler for only one reason — to learn how to coach basketball from Brad Stevens — showed everyone he can hoop it up, too.

The sophomore who had 12 points in nine games this season — 18 in his college career — finished with a career-high six points. He also came up with a big steal that led to a go-ahead 3-pointer late in overtime and won it with a shot that bounced off the back of the rim, straight into the air and through the net.

Indiana (9-1) called timeout but could only muster Jordan Hulls' missed halfcourt heave as Butler had its first win in five tries over a No. 1 ranked team.

"I thought he just rose up over Hulls and it looked good," Stevens said. "Don't use this as an excuse to get down on Indiana. I still think they're the team to beat in April."

Butler (8-2) has wins over Marquette of the Big East, North Carolina of the ACC and back-to-back victories over Northwestern and Indiana of the Big Ten.

"We cost ourselves at the end of the game defensively," IU coach Tom Crean said. "They made the plays, there's no question about that. But we made the mistakes on how we guarded them."

Cody Zeller led Indiana with 18 points, including a layup to tie the score at 86 with 19.3 seconds left in overtime.

NOD TO HISTORY: Keith Appling matched a career high with 25 points to lead No. 19 Michigan State past Tuskegee 92-56 at Jenison Field House, where the "Game of Change" was held during the 1963 NCAA Tournament. Mississippi State, whose team had only white players in 1963, defied a state prohibition against playing integrated teams to face Loyola of Chicago, which had four black starters, in East Lansing. Loyola won en route to its lone NCAA title. The Spartans celebrated by inviting Tuskegee, a historically black Division II school, and giving Tuskegee Airmen and their families courtside seats for the first game in MSU's former hoops home since 1989.

NO. 3 MICH. 81, W. VIRGINIA 66: Tim Burke had a season-best 27 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. matched his season high with 25 for Michigan at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Wolverines (11-0) last started this well in 1988-89, their lone national championship season.

NO. 4 SYRACUSE 85, CANISIUS 61: Jim Boeheim moved within one victory of 900 as the Orange (9-0) extended its home winning streak to 29, the longest in the nation. James Southerland had 21 points for the Orange. Only Mike Krzyzewski (936) and Bob Knight (902) have more Division I men's victories.

NO. 6 L'VILLE 87, MEMPHIS 78: Chane Behanan scored 22 for the visiting Cardinals (9-1), who rallied after trailing 25-9 in the first half. Five Tigers fouled out, helping Louisville to a huge edge at the free-throw line. The Cardinals were 38-of-46; the Tigers 14-of-20.

NO. 7 OHIO ST. 90, NC-ASHEVILLE 72: Sam Thompson scored a career-high 18 and former Brandon High standout Evan Ravenel tied a career best with 12 points in the first half for the host Buckeyes (8-1). UNC Asheville guard Keith Hornsby, the son of singer and pianist Bruce Horns­by, scored a game-high 26.

NO. 9 KANSAS 89, BELMONT 60: Freshman forward Andrew White came off the bench to score 15 and Ben McLemore and Travis Releford had 17 points each as the Jayhawks (8-1) rolled to their 27th straight home win.

NO. 11 CINCY 72, MARSHALL 56: Cashmere Wright had 14 points, including three 3-pointers during a key second-half run, for the Bearcats (10-0) in Charleston, W.Va. Cincinnati's top scorer Sean Kilpatrick tied a season low with 13 points, seven below his average, and shot 1-for-7 in the first half. "Ugliest first half of my life," Kilpatrick said.

NO. 14 GONZAGA 68, KANSAS ST. 52: Kelly Olynyk dominated inside with 20 points as the Bulldogs (10-1) rebounded from their first loss in their annual trip to Seattle. Olynyk's highlight was a rattling, one-handed slam with about nine minutes left that drew a technical for screaming.

NO. 15 G'TOWN 81, W. CAROLINA 68: Greg Whittington (25 points) and Jabril Trawick (14) scored career highs for the host Hoyas (9-1) in a game overshadowed by the news that Georgetown and six other basketball-centric Big East schools were breaking away from the league's I-A football schools. Western Carolina fell to 0-38 against ranked teams.

NO. 17 NEW MEXICO 73, N.M. ST. 58: Alex Kirk scored seven of his 15 in an early run for the host Lobos (11-0) against their state rival. Kendall Williams added 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for New Mexico.

NO. 18 SAN DIEGO ST. 72, S.D. 56: Chase Tapley scored 15, including consecutive 3-pointers in a decisive 12-0 run, and Jamaal Franklin had 14 for the host Aztecs (8-1) against their crosstown rival.

NO. 21 UNC 93, E. CAROLINA 87: James Michael McAdoo scored 19 and P.J. Hairston added 18 for the host Tar Heels (8-2). North Carolina held on after the Pirates, coached by former UNC guard Jeff Lebo, scored 61 second-half points and twice got within four in the final 30 seconds. "Right now, there's not anything ol' Roy's ecstatic about, let's put it that way," UNC coach Roy Williams said.

NO. 22 NOTRE DAME 81, PURDUE 68: Jack Cooley had 18 points and nine rebounds in Indianapolis to lead the Fighting Irish (9-1) to their seventh straight victory. Former Purdue player Scott Martin chipped in with five points for Notre Dame on 2-for-8 shooting.

NO. 25 N.C. STATE 84, NORFOLK ST. 62: Freshman T.J. Warren had 21 points, Lorenzo Brown scored 16 on 7-of-8 shooting and Richard Howell added a career-high 19 rebounds for the host Wolfpack (7-2).

PITT 89, BETHUNE-COOKMAN 40: Freshman Steven Adams had 16 points and 10 rebounds as the host Panthers rolled to the largest win in Peterson Events Center history. Bethune-Cookman (4-8) was outrebounded 40-11 and had 16 second-half points.

CLEMSON 80, FAMU 57: Freshman Jordan Roper scored 13 of his 16 in the second half, hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point range, for the host Tigers (6-3). Junior guard Reggie Lewis had 26 points, including 6-of-8 on 3-pointers, for the Rattlers (4-7).

ECKERD 73, SHAW 71: Junior guard Josh Snodgrass sank a floater with 4.8 seconds left to lift the host Tritons (3-1). Jerrick Stevenson, Woody Taylor and Darrien Mack led Eckerd with 15 points each.

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