NCAA Talk

NCAA Hoops: Indiana upends Northwestern

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NCAA Hoops: Indiana upends Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Cody Zeller had 21 points and 13 rebounds to help No. 2 Indiana beat Northwestern 67-59 Sunday.
Jordan Hulls added 15 points. Christian Watford scored 14, and the Hoosiers (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) hung on after things got tense down the stretch.
They led by 17 in the first half and were up 31-17 at intermission, but Northwestern (11-8, 2-4) rattled them with its trap in the second. The Wildcats got within five three times, but the Hoosiers prevailed after seeing a six-game win streak end with a loss to Wisconsin last week.

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ISU finally picks up first conference win at SIU's expense

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) Tyler Brown scored 22 points and Jackie Carmichael had 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Illinois State over Southern Illinois 70-56 Sunday night, snapping a six-game losing streak.

Brown had six 3-pointers to lead the Redbirds (10-9, 1-6) in their first Missouri Valley Conference win of the season. Carmichael, the team's top scorer, was 7 of 12 from the field in reaching his double-double.

Johnny Hill had six assists as the Redbirds shot 45 percent from the field for the game. The Redbirds had 41 rebounds.

The Redbirds took the lead early in the game and were up 47-21 at halftime. Illinois State never looked back.

Jeff Early led Southern Illinois with 16 points and nine rebounds. Kendal Brown-Surles had 13 points, and Desmar Jackson added 11.

Southern Illinois (8-10, 1-6) shot 41.8 percent from the field and had 31 rebounds.

Southern Illinois leads the overall series 75-67.

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Loyola tops Chicago St. in OT

CHICAGO (AP) Ben Averkamp had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Loyola of Chicago over Chicago State 66-63 in overtime Sunday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Averkamp was 7 of 16 from the floor in his double-double performance.

Jordan Hicks scored 13 points, and Christian Thomas had 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds for Loyola of Chicago (11-7, 1-4 Horizon League). Joe Crisman had six assists.

Loyola led 33-22 at halftime, but the teams were tied at 57 at the end of regulation.

The Ramblers shot 44.6 percent from the field for the game, while the Cougars shot 34.8 percent. Loyola outrebounded Chicago State 43-29.

Jeremy Robinson led Chicago State with 16 points. Quinton Pippen scored 14, Jamere Dismukes had 13 and Clarke Rosenberg added 10 for the Cougars (6-15, 0-0 Great West). Robinson, Dismukes and Matt Ross all finished with five rebounds.

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Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."