O'Neal, the 18-year-old son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, announced his intent to decommit from the school on Saturday in the wake of the FBI scandal plaguing the Wildcats and coach Sean Miller.
"At this time I'm am opening up my recruitment due to the current events with the UofA Bball team," O'Neal tweeted. "I would like to thank all the coaches for recruiting me. At the time my family and I think it's in my best interest to look at other options to assure my play in the NCAA next year.
O'Neal had committed to play at Arizona last April, but did not sign a binding letter of intent.
On Friday, ESPN.com reported that FBI wiretaps revealed phone conversations in which Miller was overheard discussing a $100,000 payment to prized recruit Deandre Ayton with Christian Dawkins, a representative of agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports.
The explosive report led Miller not to coach Saturday's game against Oregon, although Ayton still played.
Ranked as the 29th best prospect in ESPN's 2018 recruiting class, O'Neal is a 6-foot-9 power forward out of Crossroads School in California. He averaged 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in a Nike EYBL circuit with California Supreme AAU this past spring and summer.
--Field Level Media
Miller did not attend the Wildcats' shootaround, but the school did not reveal his status for the game in Eugene, Oregon. Afterward, word surfaced Miller informed his players that he would not coach in the game.
The school later announced associate head coach Lorenzo Romar would run the team.
ESPN.com reported Friday that Miller was heard on FBI wiretaps discussing a $100,000 payment to Deandre Ayton. The conversations were with Christian Dawkins, an employee for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller.
The school said Ayton would suit up for Saturday's contest. He was present for the shootaround.
When asked earlier in the day about ESPN's report on Arizona, NCAA President Mark Emmert said it was up to the school to decide whether to hold out Miller or Ayton, the 7-foot-1 center from the Bahamas who is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds.
"First and foremost, that's a decision the school has to make," Emmert said in a CBS interview.
Emmert said the NCAA had been in touch with every school that had a player identified as being involved in the FBI investigation into the sport.
--Field Level Media
"The University of Kentucky immediately reviewed the matter and, based on the available information, determined that there were no eligibility issues or rules violations for any current student-athletes or staff to Friday's report," the school said in a statement. "Kentucky will continue to work diligently with both the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference."
The names of freshman forward and leading scorer Kevin Knox and former Wildcats Bam Adebayo and Nerlens Noel appeared in documents obtained by Yahoo Sports showing potential improper financial relationships involving former NBA agent Andy Miller.
Knox, who is averaging 15.4 points and 5.6 rebounds, was on a list of players who met with or had meals with Christian Dawkins, an associate of Miller. Knox's father has said that no dinner meeting took place.
Knox, who averaged 18 points in wins over Alabama and Arkansas in the past two games, was expected to play Saturday night against Missouri in an SEC game at Rupp Arena.
The FBI has been investigating college basketball bribes and corruption for at least two years.
--Field Level Media
The 6-foot-11, 234-pound forward has been recovering since suffering the injury in the first half of Duke's 82-78 loss to North Carolina on Feb. 8.
Bagley, who is expected to be a top-five pick in June's NBA draft, leads Duke and the Atlantic Coast Conference with 21.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game this season.
Duke defeated Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Louisville without Bagley. Senior guard Grayson Allen averaged 23.8 points per game during the Blue Devils' four-game winning streak.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said this week that Bagley's injury was a "day-to-day thing."
Fifth-ranked Duke (23-5, 11-4 ACC) hosts Syracuse (18-10, 7-8) at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the 6:15 p.m. ET tipoff.
--Field Level Media
Brown is scheduled to have his injured left foot re-evaluated by doctors on March 12, the school said Friday. His availability for the start of the ACC tournament on March 13 is unlikely.
Brown underwent surgery on Feb. 1. The 6-foot-5 sophomore is averaging 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season.
The Hurricanes are 4-3 without Brown, and 19-8 overall and 8-7 in the ACC heading into Saturday's home game against Boston College.
--Field Level Media
The 6-foot-3 sophomore will undergo surgery Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined six to eight months, Memphis coach Tubby Smith announced Friday. Martin was injured during Memphis' 91-85 victory over No. 23 Houston on Thursday.
"Jeremiah has been an integral part of our program," Smith said in a statement. "We are concerned for him and hope and pray surgery goes well. As for playing without him, we have faith in our players. We have faith they will step up like they did (Thursday) night and raise their level of play."
Martin was averaging 18.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a league-best 2.3 steals per game.
"I've had a good year. I have to give thanks to God and Coach Smith as well for everything he's done for me," Martin said in a statement released by the school. "Everything we talked about in the preseason, it kind of went the way he planned. They wanted me to be one of the top guards in the conference and to lead the team and just play well. I definitely have to thank him for that, for giving me that opportunity and for the opportunity to be a better leader."
Memphis (17-11, 8-7 AAC) has three regular-season games remaining.
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Miller allegedly is recorded speaking with Christian Dawkins, who worked for ASM Sports agent Andy Miller. The recordings reportedly stem from more than 3,000 hours of conversations taken from Dawkins' phone. When Dawkins asked whether he should coordinate payments with an assistant, Sean Miller allegedly said that he would handle conversations about money.
Ayton, a 7-foot-1 center who is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds a game, is considered to be a likely lottery pick in this summer's NBA draft. He has helped Arizona to a 22-6 record and a No. 14 ranking as it seeks its first trip to the NCAA Final Four since 2001.
Miller is in his ninth year with the Wildcats and has a record of 242-72 at the school. He has been named Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year three times, and Arizona's Board of Regents approved his contract extension last February that pays him at least $2.9 million a year through 2022.
Arizona is not the only program to become embroiled in controversy in the past few days. A Yahoo! Sports report claims that Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC and Kansas all have been linked to potential NCAA rules violations through the recent FBI investigation.
--Field Level Media
"Everybody knows everybody's getting paid," Ball told reporters Friday. "Might as well make it legal."
The 20-year-old added that he did not receive money from agents during his one season at UCLA last year.
"My dad wasn't big on that," he said. "We just focused on going there and getting out."
Thus far, UCLA is not among the teams that reportedly appear in the FBI's investigation findings. Yahoo Sports reported Friday that prominent programs including Duke, Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina, and many of their players are identified in the ongoing investigation.
The report also details impermissible benefits received by prominent players such as 2017 NBA No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, 2017 No. 9 pick Dennis Smith, and current college stars Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Collin Sexton (Alabama) and Wendell Carter (Duke).
Ball spoke to the media as he prepares for Friday night's game against the Mavericks, his first action since suffering a knee injury Jan. 13. Ball will be on a minutes restriction and won't play games on back-to-back days in the immediate future.
--Field Level Media
The report also details players who allegedly received impermissible benefits, including the 2017 NBA Draft No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Alabama's Collin Sexton and Duke's Wendell Carter. Dennis Smith Jr., a lottery pick by the Dallas Mavericks in 2017, is also identified.
The report focuses on the work of former NBA agent Andy Miller and ASM Sports, his agency. Yahoo reports the discovery of documents detailing cash advances and entertainment and travel expenses paid for multiple college prospects and their families.
A two-year federal investigation could encircle more than 40 college programs and "elite" coaches, according to ESPN. The investigation used wiretaps, emails, bank records and records seized from offices at ASM, Miller's home and college campuses.
NCAA president Mark Emmert issued a statement Friday in response to the report.
"These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America," NCAA president Mark Emmert said. "Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules."
San Diego State suspended senior forward Malik Pope on Friday after he was named in the Yahoo report. Documents indicated a $1,400 payment listed next to Pope's name, reportedly made during his sophomore season.
Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher is unsure whether Pope will be reinstated for next month's Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas.
"We're going to do an internal investigation and where that leads, and how quickly it leads, will be based on what the athletic department discovers and how quickly they act on it," Dutcher told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Per Yahoo, six players are alleged to have received payments exceeding $10,000. They include Smith, the Mavericks' point guard who received $73,500 in loans from ASM before he played for NC State; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead, who received more than $37,000 around the time he was a freshman at Seton Hall; and Fultz, who received $10,000.
Louisville fired head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich for allegedly funneling money from Adidas executives James Gatto and Merl Code to a five-star recruit.
In addition to the powerhouse programs, Louisville also appears in the Yahoo report for potential violations, a list that also includes South Carolina, Texas, USC, Clemson, Utah, Xavier, North Carolina State and Alabama, among others.
"With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever," Emmert said.
--Field Level Media
Edwards became the first Purdue player to reach the 40-point mark since Glenn Robinson scorched Kansas for 44 points on March 24, 1994, in the NCAA Tournament. Edwards canned 11 of 19 shots from the field and 14 of 16 at the line.
Dakota Mathias scored 13 of his 18 points during the first half as the Boilermakers (25-5, 14-3 Big Ten) remained in the hunt for a share of the conference title.
Leron Black led the Illini (13-17, 3-14) with 28 points.
Memphis 91, No. 23 Houston 85
Raynere Thornton scored a career-high 21 points as the Tigers shocked the Cougars in Memphis, Tenn.
A 52.5 percent shooter from the free-throw line, Thornton hit 9 of 9 at the charity stripe while also drilling 4 of 5 3-point attempts in the upset. Jimario Rivers added 21 points and nine rebounds for Memphis (17-11, 8-7 American Athletic Conference), which has won three consecutive games since adopting a zone defense.
The Cougars (21-6, 11-4) had their five-game winning streak snapped and fell off the pace in the league. Rob Gray led Houston with 30 points while Corey Davis Jr. and Armoni Brooks scored 15 apiece.
No. 6 Gonzaga 77, San Diego 72
Killian Tillie scored 17 points as the Bulldogs averted an upset against the Toreros in San Diego.
Rui Hachimura scored 12 of his 16 points in the final 6:35 to help Gonzaga (26-4, 16-1 West Coast Conference) clinch at least a share of the conference's regular-season crown.
Johnathan Williams scored 11 points, and Josh Perkins and Corey Kispert added 10 points apiece as the Bulldogs won their 10th consecutive game. Olin Carter III scored 21 points for San Diego (17-12, 8-9).
No. 11 Cincinnati 77, Connecticut 52
Gary Clark helped the Bearcats snap out of their funk, scoring a game-high 17 points in a victory over the Huskies in Highland Heights, Ky.
Cincinnati (24-4, 13-2 Atlantic Athletic Conference) had lost back-to-back games against Houston and then-No. 19 Wichita State. Cane Broome had 13 points, Trevor Moore added 12 and Tre Scott totaled nine points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Bearcats.
Christian Vital finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Terry Larrier had 14 points and nine boards for Connecticut (13-15, 6-9). The Huskies have dropped eight of their past 11.
No. 14 Arizona 75, Oregon State 65
Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Wildcats overcame the loss of star Allonzo Trier to earn an overtime victory against the Beavers in Corvallis, Ore.
Rawle Alkins contributed 16 points and eight rebounds for Arizona (22-6, 12-3 Pac-12), and he sank two 3-pointers in overtime. The Wildcats announced three hours before the game that Trier had been suspended by the NCAA after testing positive for a banned substance.
Ethan Thompson tied a season high with 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Tres Tinkle had 14 points for Oregon State (13-14, 5-10).
No. 22 Saint Mary's 75, Pepperdine 61
Jordan Ford had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as the Gaels dumped the Waves in Moraga, Calif.
Calvin Hermanson added 14 points for Saint Mary's (26-4, 15-2 WCC), which remains a game behind Gonzaga in the league race going into the teams' final regular-season games on Saturday. Saint Mary's hosts Santa Clara, and the Bulldogs must visit 21-win BYU.
Trae Berhow and reserve Knox Hellums each scored 13 points to pace Pepperdine (4-25, 1-16).
--Field Level Media
Arizona is appealing the ruling.
The school released a statement Thursday that said an NCAA student-athlete drug screening in late January "revealed the reappearance of a trace amount of a banned substance" that Trier tested positive for before the 2016-17 season. He missed the first 19 games of that season as a result of the test.
"The amount detected was miniscule by scientific standards and appears to be a remnant of a substance, which the NCAA agreed, Allonzo had unknowingly ingested in 2016," the school said.
Trier's scoring average of 19.6 points per game this season is just behind teammate Deandre Ayton's 19.7 that leads the Pac-12. The Wildcats are 21-6 and lead the conference with an 11-3 record.
Arizona plays Oregon State on Thursday night.
--Field Level Media
The freshman has been sidelined three-plus months after undergoing back surgery. He was slated to visit his spinal surgeon in Dallas on Thursday.
Missouri didn't confirm the report and told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday: "Coach (Cuonzo) Martin has media availability tomorrow at noon."
Porter, a 6-foot-10 forward, was billed as a possible No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft when the season began.
Porter played just two minutes in the season opener and has since been sidelined with a spinal injury.
Porter was injured in the Nov. 10 opener against Iowa State and departed the contest after scoring on a put-back and feeling discomfort in his leg and hip.
He underwent a microdiscectomy of two spinal discs with the recovery timetable estimate being three to four months. Porter said recently that he hopes to play prior to the end of the season.
--Field Level Media
The Mountaineers lost 77-69, and the Jayhawks made 26 of their 35 attempts.
On Thursday, Big 12 officials responded with a reprimand.
"There are proper channels within the Conference structure to handle officiating concerns," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "Coach Huggins' public comments are contrary to the Conference's Sportsmanship standards."
Kansas trailed 66-58 with 3:47 left in the game.
Huggins was ejected from the game in the waning moments of the second half. Huggins decried the disparity, adding Kansas doesn't need the help at home. WVU is 0-6 at Allen Fieldhouse.
"I've been doing this 40 years. I don't think I've ever been in a game where we shot two free throws," Huggins said. "I don't think I've ever been in a game where the disparity is 35-2. I've never been in a game like that.
"Officials want to be part of the game, but they don't want to be the part to the game that has to answer. Why aren't they in here answering your questions?"
--Field Level Media
The Cavaliers clinched the No. 1 seed for next month's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in New York.
Virginia (25-2, 14-1 ACC) overcame a slow first half and held Georgia Tech (11-17, 4-11) to 24 second-half points, including keeping the Yellow Jackets scoreless for the final 3:26 of the game.
Joining Jerome, five players for the Cavaliers scored at least seven points. De'Andre Hunter and Mamadi Diakite scored nine points apiece off of the bench while Kyle Guy added eight. Ben Lammers had a game-high 22 points for the Yellow Jackets.
No. 3 Villanova 93, DePaul 62
Mikal Bridges scored 27 points, Eric Paschall added 16 and the Wildcats had little trouble defeating the Blue Demons in Philadelphia.
Phil Booth contributed 14 for Villanova (25-3, 12-3 Big East). Booth had the cast removed from his injured right hand last Friday and was impressive after missing the previous seven games. Jalen Brunson chipped in with 11 and Omari Spellman had 10 points for Villanova.
Max Strus led DePaul (10-17, 3-12) with 21 points while Marin Maric added 12.
No. 4 Xavier 89, Georgetown 77
Naji Marshall had 21 points and J.P. Macura scored 20 as the visiting Musketeers completed a season sweep of the Hoyas, winning at Washington.
Xavier (25-4, 13-3 Big East) had won nine consecutive games before falling to Villanova 95-79 on Saturday. As a result, the Musketeers no longer control their own destiny for the Big East regular-season title.
Nonetheless, Xavier bounced back with the victory over the Hoyas (15-11, 5-10) and is in position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Georgetown got 21 points from Jamorko Pickett.
No. 5 Duke 82, Louisville 56
Grayson Allen poured in 28 points as the Blue Devils throttled the Cardinals in Durham, N.C.
Wendell Carter Jr. added 18 points and Gary Trent Jr. posted 11 points for second-place Duke (23-5, 11-4 ACC). The Blue Devils have won four games in a row since falling at rival North Carolina.
Ray Spalding supplied 17 points and 10 rebounds, and V.J. King and Deng Adel both racked up 10 points for Louisville (18-10, 8-7). The Cardinals lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Oklahoma State 79, No. 6 Texas Tech 71
Kendall Smith scored 21 points, including seven free throws over the final 1:34, as the Cowboys soared past the Red Raiders in Stillwater, Okla.
Mitchell Solomon made a free throw and Kendall Smith hit a pair from the charity stripe to push the Cowboys' advantage to 73-66 with 1:34 remaining. Oklahoma State (16-12, 6-9 Big 12) made enough free throws in the final minute to hold off the Red Raiders.
The loss was the second in a row for Texas Tech (22-6, 10-5), dropping the Red Raiders a game behind Kansas for first place in the conference with three games to play. Texas Tech's Zhaire Smith scored 18 points.
No. 10 North Carolina 78, Syracuse 74
Theo Pinson scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed a key rebound late in the game as the Tar Heels continued their late-season surge with a narrow victory over the Orange in Syracuse, N.Y.
The Tar Heels (22-7, 11-5 ACC) have won six consecutive games, the best current streak in the conference. North Carolina has also won six consecutive games against the Orange.
Syracuse (18-10, 7-8) remains on the edge of the NCAA Tournament bubble, as it is still looking for its first win against a nationally ranked team. Tyus Battle scored 26 points for the Orange against North Carolina.
No. 12 Auburn 90, Alabama 71
The Tigers moved another step closer to the Southeastern Conference's regular-season title by blitzing the Crimson Tide in the second half for a victory in Auburn, Ala.
Auburn sophomore Jared Harper and Alabama freshman Collin Sexton, former teammates at Pebblebrook High in Mableton, Ga., put on a show. Harper led the Tigers (24-4, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) with 21 points, and Sexton scored a game-high 25 for the Crimson Tide (17-11, 8-7).
Bryce Brown scored 18 and Chuma Okeke added a career-high 16 points for Clemson.
No. 13 Wichita State 93, Tulane 86
Shaquille Morris tied his career high with 25 points as the Shockers defeated the Green Wave in Wichita, Kan.
The Shockers played without star guard Landry Shamet for the first time in two years. Shamet, who had played 61 consecutive games, was on the sideline, but he was too ill to play, perhaps due to food poisoning. He leads the AAC in assists (5.2 per game) and tops the Shockers in points (14.7 per game).
Wichita State senior guard Conner Frankamp, who started in place of Shamet, tied a career high with 18 points. Austin Reaves added 10 points for the Shockers (22-5, 12-3 AAC). Tulane (13-14, 4-11), which has lost six consecutive games, was led by Melvin Frazier's 22 points and Samir Sehic's 16 points.
Virginia Tech 65, No. 15 Clemson 58
Justin Robinson and Kerry Blackshear Jr. each scored 14 points as the Hokies defeated the Tigers in Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-6 ACC) moved into a fourth-place tie in the league standings with Clemson and N.C. State, enhancing its chances of advancing to the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year.
Clemson (20-7, 9-6) lost a third straight game for the first time this season. The Tigers were playing their second consecutive game without starting point guard Shelton Mitchell, who sustained a concussion in a loss at Florida State on Feb. 14. He is expected to return to action Saturday when Clemson plays host to Georgia Tech.
No. 17 Michigan 72, Penn State 63
Duncan Robinson scored 19 points off the bench, and the Wolverines recorded their fourth straight victory, downing the Nittany Lions in University Park, Pa.
Moritz Wagner had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Jordan Poole tossed in 13 points for the Wolverines (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten). Zavier Simpson chipped in nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals while Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added nine points for Michigan.
Tony Carr led the Nittany Lions (19-11, 9-8) with 21 points and six assists. Lamar Stevens supplied 19 points and eight rebounds.
No. 19 Tennessee 62, Florida 57
Grant Williams bounced back from public criticism by coach Rick Barnes to score 23 points and help the Volunteers post a victory over the Gators at Knoxville, Tenn.
Admiral Schofield contributed 16 points and eight rebounds as Tennessee (20-7, 10-5 SEC) remained two games behind first-place Auburn in the conference race. The Volunteers improved to 12-2 at home.
Jalen Hudson scored 13 points to lead the Gators, who lost their third straight game and fifth in the last seven. Keith Stone and Chris Chiozza (nine assists) scored 11 points apiece for Florida (17-11, 8-7).
No. 20 Nevada 80, San Jose State 67
Kendall Stephens scored a career-high 30 points and matched his career best of seven 3-pointers to lead the Wolf Pack past the Spartans in Mountain West play at Reno, Nev.
Hallice Cooke added 15 points on a career-best five 3-pointers for Nevada (24-5, 13-2 MW). Jordan Caroline also had 15 points as Nevada won its fourth straight game and maintained its 1 1/2-game lead over second-place Boise State.
Ryan Welage had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans (3-23, 0-15), who lost their 15th consecutive contest. Oumar Barry scored 12 points and Jalen James had 11.
--Field Level Media
Miles Bridges scored 19 points to lead No. 2 Michigan State to an 81-61 win over Illinois in the home finale for the Spartans on Tuesday in East Lansing, Mich.
Michigan State (27-3, 15-2) clinched a share of its first Big 10 title since 2012 and can win its first outright league crown since 2009 with a win at Wisconsin on Sunday.
Leron Black scored 20 points to lead Illinois (13-16, 3-13).
No. 16 Ohio State 79, Rutgers 52
C.J. Jackson had 18 points off the bench and Kaleb Wesson added 14 points to lead the 16th-ranked Buckeyes to a win over the Scarlet Knights in Columbus, Ohio.
The Buckeyes (23-7, 14-3 Big Ten) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Corey Sanders had 12 points to lead Rutgers (13-17, 3-14). The Scarlet Knights lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
No. 18 Rhode Island 95, La Salle 93 (OT)
Jeff Dowtin came up with a key steal and hit several clutch free throws late to lift the Rams over the Explorers in Atlantic 10 action at Philadelphia.
Dowtin finished with a career-high 25 points after sinking four free throws in the final five seconds of overtime. La Salle had a chance to take the lead down 91-90 before Dowtin came up with his clutch steal and got fouled. Rhode Island (22-4, 14-1) clinched at least a share of its first-ever Atlantic 10 regular-season championship.
B.J. Johnson led all scorers with 31 points and grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds to lead La Salle (11-17, 5-10). Johnson is the first Explorers player with a 20-rebound game since Rasual Butler had 20 on Nov. 8, 2001.
No. 21 West Virginia 71, Baylor 60
Esa Ahmad ended a slump with 15 points and Sagaba Konate had nine blocks as the Mountaineers rolled over the Bears in Waco, Texas.
Jevon Carter added 15 points as West Virginia (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) shook off a crushing loss at Kansas on Saturday in which it blew a late 12-point lead. Konate finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Frigid 32.8 percent shooting doomed Baylor (17-11, 7-8), which saw its five-game winning streak snapped and its NCAA Tournament bubble case dinged.
--Field Level Media
A formal appeal of NCAA penalties levied against Louisville on June 15 was denied, costing the Cardinal victories from several seasons and most notably the program's 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance.
"I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong," Louisville interim president Greg Postel said Tuesday. "We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case -- based on NCAA precedent -- that supported our argument."
The initial ruling came as the result of an investigation launched when an escort accused a former Louisville staff member of arranging for strippers to entertain players and recruits during parties at an on-campus dormitory from 2011-15.
Former coach Rick Pitino, who was fired amidst the ongoing investigation into payments facilitated by the school from adidas to a prominent recruit, denied knowledge of the on-campus misgivings.
Pitino had been the only coach to lead two Division I teams to a national championship. He coached Kentucky during the Wildcats' title run in 1996.
"We'll remove the official recognition, but it won't remove it from our hearts and minds," Louisville interim athletics director Vince Tyra said Tuesday moments after the NCAA's announcement at noon ET. "It brings closure to one of these situations. It's not going to bring closure to the successes and memories our teams had. I'm sad for our players and certainly our staff members."
Louisville appealed the NCAA punishment in August, submitting a 68-page letter that charged the NCAA with "draconian" enforcement without precedent.
Allegations made by Katina Powell, the former escort, were made in a book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen."
The NCAA announced not long after that it would begin looking into whether former Louisville staffer Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for a total of 22 shows at a university dormitory from 2010-14.
McGee, who was an assistant coach at UMKC when the book was released and storm clouds formed over the UL program, refused to speak to NCAA investigators.
Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were fired in October after the FBI informed Louisville of a federal investigation alleging the university ordered a payment of $100,000 to five-star recruit Brian Bowen's father.
--Field Level Media
Michigan State remained at No. 2, garnering 19 of 42 first place votes. Villanova earned the four other first-place votes while holding its spot at No. 3 thanks to a win over No. 4 Xavier. Duke jumped seven spots to No. 5 with wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech.
Middle Tennessee moved to No. 24 in the poll, earning the first top 25 ranking in program history.
--Purdue senior Vincent Edwards could miss the remainder of the regular season with a left ankle injury.
Edwards sustained the injury in practice Saturday, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, and missed Sunday's game against Penn State.
The senior forward is averaging 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. he is officially listed as questionable for the Boilermakers' final two regular-season games, against Illinois and Minnesota.
--East Tennessee State announced a contract extension for coach Steve Forbes.
The deal runs through the 2022-23 season and increases Forbes' annual pay to $650,000, up from $450,000.
East Tennessee State is 23-5 this season and 74-25 overall in Forbes' three seasons at the school. The Buccaneers are looking for a second straight NCAA Tournament berth after going 27-8 last before losing to Florida in the first round of the NCAAs.
--Field Level Media
Coach Tony Bennett's Cavaliers strengthened their hold at the top, receiving 42 of 65 first-place votes from the national media panel in the latest AP poll released Monday.
Virginia (24-2) climbed to No. 1 last week for the first time since December 1982 -- the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson -- when the AP poll only ranked 20 teams. The Cavaliers earned 12 more first-place votes this week.
No. 2 Michigan State (26-3) received 19 first-place votes after rallying from 27 down to beat Northwestern 65-60 on Saturday as the top four teams in the poll remained unchanged. Third-ranked Villanova (24-3) got the other four first-place votes after winning 95-79 at Xavier (24-4), which stayed at No. 4.
Duke (22-5) jumped seven spots to No. 5 after beating Virginia Tech on Wednesday and Clemson on Sunday despite playing without injured top freshman Marvin Bagley III.
Gonzaga (25-4) and Texas Tech (22-5) are tied at No. 6, followed by Kansas (21-6), Purdue (24-5) and North Carolina (21-7) to round out the Top 10.
Middle Tennessee (22-5) is No. 24 to mark its first AP Top 25 appearance in program history.
--Field Level Media
According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the injury suffered in practice Saturday that caused Edwards to miss Sunday's game against Penn State might require several days of rest.
Edwards, averaging 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, is officially listed as questionable for games against Illinois and Minnesota this week, coach Matt Painter said. Edwards and teammate Carsen Edwards are among the 20 finalists for the Wooden National Player of the Year Award.
The Boilermakers (24-5) have dropped three of their past four games, ending a three-game losing streak Sunday by knocking off Penn State.
The Big Ten Tournament begins Feb. 28 at Madison Square Garden.
--Field Level Media
The Blue Devils improved to 22-5 overall and 10-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, snapping a tie with the Tigers (20-6, 9-5) for sole possession of second place in the ACC standings with four regular-season games remaining.
Clemson entered the game unbeaten in 13 home games this season. The Blue Devils have won nine of their past 11 games.
Wendell Carter Jr. had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Duke. Elijah Thomas led Clemson with his seventh double-double of the season, 13 points and 15 rebounds.
No. 19 Wichita State 76, No. 5 Cincinnati 72
Landry Shamet scored 19 points as the Shockers snapped the Bearcats' 39-game home winning streak with a victory in Highland Heights, Ky.
Shamet scored 16 of his points in the first half and shot 6 of 13 in the first meeting between the schools since 1981. He also handed out five assists. Shaquille Morris added 13 points as Wichita State (21-5, 11-3 American Athletic Conference) posted its fourth straight win.
Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points for the Bearcats (23-4, 12-2), who lost their second straight game and first home game since falling to Temple on Dec. 29, 2015.
No. 6 Purdue 76, Penn State 73
Carsen Edwards scored 27 points and notched three steals to help the Boilermakers end a three-game losing streak by posting a victory over the Nittany Lions in West Lafayette, Ind.
Dakota Mathias added 18 points as Purdue (24-5, 13-3 Big Ten) moved into a tie for second place with Ohio State. Isaac Haas scored 12 points as Purdue defeated Penn State for the sixth consecutive time.
Tony Carr scored 19 points for the Nittany Lions, who had a four-game winning streak halted. Shep Garner added 17 points and sophomore forward Lamar Stevens had 13 as Penn State (19-10, 9-7) lost for the 11th straight time at Mackey Arena.
No. 22 Michigan 74, No. 8 Ohio State 62
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had scored 17 points to lead the Wolverines to a win over the Buckeyes at Ann Arbor, Mich., in a Big Ten result that did Michigan State a huge favor.
With the loss, Ohio State (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten) fell one game behind the Spartans for first place in the league standings with two games to play.
Despite being out of the race for the conference title, Michigan (22-7, 11-5) enhanced its NCAA Tournament resume and stayed on Nebraska's heels for fourth place in the league standings. Jae'Sean Tate had 20 points and 15 rebounds and Keita Bates-Diop scored 15 points for Ohio State.
--Field Level Media
Kennedy, the winningest basketball coach in school history, had announced last week that he would depart at the conclusion of the season.
"We all know that ‘clean breaks' are always best, and I should have realized this last Monday. My apologies," Kennedy said in a statement announcing the decision.
Kennedy, a two-time Southeastern Conference coach of the year, was 245-156 record in 12 seasons. His finale was a 79-62 loss Saturday at Kentucky, the team's seventh consecutive setback.
"Andy and I spoke this morning, and I fully support his decision to step away today," Ross Bjork, the Ole Miss vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, said in the school's announcement. "While we had hoped to relieve some pressure with last week's announcement, it simply did not work out that way.
"Our student-athletes are the most important aspect of our athletics program, and we must always put them in the best position for success, no matter what. Coach Kennedy will always be remembered as an Ole Miss Rebel, and we wish him the best."
-- Field Level Media
Hatch played in five games as a Michigan freshman and took a medical hardship scholarship at the end of the 2015 season. He has served as a student assistant to coach John Beilein since.
Hatch was placed into a medically induced coma after a June 2011 crash just days after he committed to play for Michigan. His father and stepmother died in the plane crash.
Eight years earlier, Hatch's mother and his siblings died in a crash that he survived when his father threw him from the wreckage.
Hatch suited up, went through warm-ups and was introduced during the senior day ceremony as an honorary captain before Sunday's game.
"I just love what he's brought to this team," Beilein said in a video during the ceremony. "Hopefully in some way we've brought a similar substance to him -- a sense of belonging."
Hatch told the Detroit Free Press that he valued his time at the Ann Arbor, Mich., school.
"I don't think it's an accident I ended up at a place like Michigan. I don't think there was any better place I could've been in the country given the circumstances," Hatch said Friday. "I don't think there's a better man that I could have played for. He's taught me more about life and that's the ultimate measure of a coach."
Hatch is scheduled to graduate at the end of the spring semester.
-- Field Level Media
Nick Ward supplied 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who won their 10th straight and took sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, a half-game over idle Ohio State. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 11 points for Michigan State (26-3, 14-2 Big Ten), which scored 24 unanswered points during the second half to take the lead.
Vic Law led the Wildcats (15-13, 6-9) with 21 points and five assists but he scored only three points after halftime. Gavin Skelly tossed in 11 points and Scottie Lindsey chipped in 10 points with four assists for Northwestern, which went more than 11 1/2 minutes without scoring during the Spartans' rally.
The Wildcats played without second-leading scorer Bryant McIntosh, who suffered a right shoulder injury in an overtime loss to Rutgers on Tuesday. Northwestern had only eight scholarship players available.
No. 3 Villanova 95, No. 4 Xavier 79
Mikal Bridges scored 25 points, Donte DiVincenzo added 21 and the Wildcats picked up a huge road victory over the Musketeers in the first matchup featuring two top-five teams in the conference since 2009.
Jalen Brunson, Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall each had 11 points for Villanova, which improved to 24-3 overall and 11-3 in the Big East. Collin Gillespie also chipped in with 10. The Wildcats had dropped two of three but still haven't lost consecutive games in five seasons.
Trevon Bluiett led Xavier with 26 points while J.P. Macura added 14. Naji Marshall contributed 11 and Quentin Goodin had 10 for the Musketeers, who had their nine-game winning streak snapped. Xavier is 24-4 overall and 12-3 in the conference.
Baylor 59, No. 7 Texas Tech 57
The Bears swung and knocked down a top-10 opponent at home for the second straight weekend as they edged the visiting Red Raiders in the closing minutes.
A week after Baylor felled then-No. 10 Kansas, forward Terry Maston nailed a jumper to push the Bears in front 58-57 with 1:26 remaining. That was the Bears' first lead since the first two minutes of the second half. Maston scored 24 to lead Baylor (17-10, 7-7 Big 12) and guard Manu Lecomte added 10.
Texas Tech guards Jarrett Culver and Brandone Francis each missed 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds. Guard Zhaire Smith led the team with 15 and forward Justin Gray added 13 for the Red Raiders (22-5, 10-4).
No. 9 Gonzaga 81, Pepperdine 67
Senior forward Johnathan Williams recorded 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for his sixth straight double-double as the Bulldogs slipped past the pesky Waves in Spokane, Wash.
Junior guard Josh Perkins contributed 15 points and seven assists as the Bulldogs (25-4, 15-1 WCC) won their ninth consecutive game. Sophomore forward Killian Tillie also scored 15 points and freshman guard Zach Norvell Jr. added 13 as Gonzaga defeated Pepperdine for the 35th consecutive time.
Freshman guard Colbey Ross had 21 points and six assists for the Waves (4-24, 1-15), who have lost seven straight games and 18 of their past 19. Pepperdine is 0-13 on the road this season and has dropped 27 of its last 28 away games dating back to late in the 2015-16 campaign.
South Carolina 84, No. 10 Auburn 75
Frank Booker's 19 points led a balanced attack as the Gamecocks upset the Tigers in Columbia, S.C.
Chris Silva chipped in a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Wesley Myers came off the bench to add 13 points for South Carolina (14-13, 5-10 SEC) before fouling out. It marked the third time this year that the Gamecocks have clipped a ranked SEC opponent.
Mustapha Heron paced the Tigers (23-4, 11-3), who remain in the SEC lead, with 16 points. Jared Harper added 13, Chuma Okeke scored 11 points and Bryce Brown netted 10 but made just 3 of 15 shots from the field.
No. 13 Kansas 77, No. 20 West Virginia 69
Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike went 7-for-8 from the field and also managed to go 7-for-10 from the foul line to score 21 points as the Jayhawks rallied from a 12-point deficit to down the Mountaineers at Lawrence, Kan.
The victory was the second in as many years at home against West Virginia for Kansas when it rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Mountaineers (19-8, 8-6 Big 12).
The Jayhawks used a string of 16 unanswered points down the stretch to climb to 21-6, while improving to 10-4 in the Big 12 in pursuit of their 14th consecutive league title.
No. 14 North Carolina 93, Louisville 76
Joel Berry II scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half and made a key defensive play late in the game as the Tar Heels remained one of the hottest teams in the country by defeating the Cardinals in Louisville, Ky.
Theo Pinson and Luke Maye each provided 19 points, Cameron Johnson had 12 and Kenny Williams chipped in 11 for North Carolina, which has a five-game winning streak. Maye also grabbed 13 rebounds, producing his 14th double-double of the season.
The Tar Heels (21-7, 10-5 ACC) have won four games in a 10-day period and carry the longest active winning streak in the conference. Deng Adel scored 20 points off the bench to pace Louisville (18-9, 8-6).
No. 15 Saint Mary's 73, Portland 61
Senior center Jock Landale recorded 23 points and 10 rebounds to help the Gaels beat the Pilots in Portland, Ore.
Sophomore guard Tanner Krebs added 16 points and eight rebounds as the Gaels (25-4, 14-2 WCC) ended a two-game slide. Saint Mary's defeated Portland for the 16th time in the past 17 meetings and remained one game behind first-place Gonzaga in the WCC race.
Freshman guard Marcus Shaver Jr. scored 15 points for the Pilots (10-19, 4-12), who dropped their fourth straight game. Freshman guard Malcolm Porter had 11 points for Portland.
Georgia 73, No. 18 Tennessee 62
Senior forward Yante Maten once again carried the Bulldogs to an upset in Southeastern Conference play as they knocked off the Volunteers in Athens, Ga.
After scoring 23 points in an overtime win at Florida his previous game, Maten came back with 19, as Georgia (15-11, 6-8 SEC) knocked off the conference's second-place team for a second straight outing. Forward Derek Ogbeide added a season-high 16 off the bench.
Guard Lamonte Turner scored 14 points and forward Kyle Alexander had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Vols (19-7, 9-5).
Arkansas 94, No. 21 Texas A&M 75
The Razorbacks got big games out of senior guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon and freshman forward Daniel Gafford in whipping the Aggies in Fayetteville, Ark..
Barford scored 21 points, Macon 20, and Gafford 18 as the Razorbacks (19-8, 8-6 SEC) stretched their winning streak to four games, all by double digits. It was the most points the Aggies (17-10, 6-8) have given up this season.
After leading by 11 points at the half, the Hogs led by double digits for most of the second period with the final margin marking their largest lead of the game.
Texas 77, No. 23 Oklahoma 66
Dylan Osetkowski scored 21 points to lead the visiting Longhorns over the Sooners, snapping a three-game losing streak and sending their Red River rivals to a fifth consecutive loss.
Kerwin Roach II added 12 for Texas (16-11, 6-8 Big 12), though his primary assignment was slowing down Trae Young, who finished with 26 points and seven assists but struggled again from the floor.
Oklahoma's freshman duo of Young and Brady Manek have carried the Sooners (16-10, 6-8) through much of the season, but both continued their recent struggles Saturday. Young was just 7-of-21 from the floor and made just 3-of-10 from behind the 3-point line.
No. 24 Nevada 93, Utah State 87
Cody Martin poured in a career-high 30 points and twin brother Caleb added 23 as the Wolf Pack held off the Aggies in Logan, Utah.
The win completed a season-series sweep for Nevada, who thumped Utah State 83-57, holding the Aggies to a season-low in points, in their January meeting in Reno, Nev.
The Wolf Pack (23-5, 12- MW) were playing for the first time since Lindsey Drew, their leader in assists, was lost for the season after rupturing his Achilles in Wednesday's 77-72 win at Boise State. Nevada overcome a season-best 32 points from Utah State sophomore Koby McEwan, who had three 3-pointers among his 10 field goals for the Aggies (14-14, 7-8).
--Field Level Media
McLemore said on his Twitter account that he will be sidelined from four to six months after dislocating his ankle and fracturing his tibia.
"Thank you Auburn Family for all the love and support! Doctors said I dislocated my ankle, fractured my tibia, and will need surgery for some torn ligaments. Not to worry, I'll be back in 4-6 months. War Eagle everybody," McLemore said.
McLeomore is scheduled to undergo surgery on Sunday morning.
"Anfernee is a huge part of this team and this family," Tigers coach Bruce Pearl said after the contest. "He is one of the most unique athletes in college basketball. He's a 6-foot-7, shot-blocking, 3-point-shooting warrior.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with him. The injury was gruesome and we do not have him for the rest of the season. But I promise you, Anfernee McLemore will not be held down. He will be back."
McLemore was injured late in the first half on a play in which South Carolina's Wesley Myers drove toward the basket. Myers and Auburn's Desean Murray made contact and then Murray collided with McLemore's leg.
McLemore's lower leg twisted in a gruesome manner and he immediately screamed out in pain. The leg was placed in an air cast and he was wheeled off the court via stretcher and taken to a hospital in Columbia, S.C.
The 6-foot-7 McLemore is averaging 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots in 27 games (21 starts) for the No. 10 Tigers, who lost 84-75 to the Gamecocks.
--Field Level Media
Bagley, who is recovering from a sprained right knee, was ruled out on Saturday. He was injured in a game against North Carolina on Feb. 8.
Bagley is averaging 21.2 points and 11.4 rebounds. He is regarded as a probable top-five selection should he opt to enter the 2018 NBA Draft.
Duke defeated Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech without Bagley.
Clemson is expected to be without starting guard Shelton Mitchell, who suffered a concussion during Wednesday's loss to Florida State. Mitchell averages 11.8 points and 3.8 assists.
--Field Level Media