LAS VEGAS — Armaan Franklin scored a career-high 26 points as Virginia No. 16 used a big streak in the second half to knock out No. 5 Baylor 86-79 Friday night in the team’s first game after three Cavaliers players were killed. during a shooting on campus.
Virginia players wore sweatshirts during warm-ups in honor of Sunday’s shooting victims, leading to the Cavaliers’ scheduled home game being canceled a day later. The former Virginia football player has been charged with the murders of Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Shawn Perry.
The Cavaliers (3-0) will play the winner of Friday’s game between the No. 19 Illinois and No. 8 UCLA in Sunday’s Continental Tire Main Event Championship. Baylor (3-1) faces the underdog in a consolation game.
In the second half, Virginia went 21-2 and took a 22-point lead twice. Franklin scored 10 points during this run and finished 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from three-point range.
Keyonte George scored 20 points for Baylor and LJ Cryer scored 19.
Trailing 62-40 midway through the second half, Baylor responded with an 8-0 run. The Bears used all-court pressure and continued to fight back, getting close to six points twice, but Virginia held on.
Kadin Shedrik added 17 points for the Cavaliers, Ben Vander Plas added 14 and Reece Beekman added 10.
It was the first meeting between the teams since December 28, 1968, when Baylor won 79-61. … They have won two of the last three national championships, Virginia in 2019 and Baylor in 2021. There was no title match in 2020 due to COVID-19. … The Bears lost 5-2 in games in Las Vegas. … Baylor’s Scott Drew on Monday became one of 10 current coaches with at least 400 wins at his current school. … Virginia has won seven of the last eight tournaments played in November.
THE BIG PICTURE
Baylor: The Bears have won consecutive Big 12 Conference wins, the first team outside of Kansas to do so since Iowa State in 2000-01. With a balanced offense that includes four players averaging double figures, the Bears have high hopes of going far in the NCAA Tournament.
Virginia: All five members returned from last season’s team that made it to the NIT quarterfinals. The Cavaliers are counting on the experience of the senior team to win the NCAA Tournament. Until last year, Coach Tony Bennett’s team played in seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
The teams are waiting to get to know their Sunday rivals.
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia. Eric Stevenson scored 17 of 21 points in the first half and West Virginia used a quick start to beat Penn 92-58 on Friday night, giving coach Bob Huggins another landmark win.
Huggins, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September, scored his 920th career win, tying Jim Calhoun third all-time among Division I coaches, behind only Syracuse’s Jim Boheim (999) and the recently retired coach Duke Mike Krzyzewski (1202).
Tre Mitchell, Kedrian Johnson and Joe Toussaint added 11 points to the Mountaineers (4:0).
Clark Slychert was Penn’s 1-4 Ivy League preseason favorite with 20 points.
Mitchell scored nine points in the first nine minutes, Stevenson scored seven, and the Mountaineers took a 28–9 lead. West Virginia used 13 players in the first half alone.
By the break, the advantage had grown to 52-31.
West Virginia scored 64% (18 of 28) before halftime and 55.6% (30 of 54) per game. Stevenson made his first eight field goals and missed most of the second half.
The teams have not met since 1981. Huggins first encountered an Ivy League school.
THE BIG PICTURE
Penn: The Quakers played their fifth game in 12 days, including four on the road. Penn’s top scorer Jordan Dingle missed the game with a leg injury sustained in a victory over Drexel on Tuesday.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers hit four three-pointers in the previous game against Morehead State. West Virginia scored five points in the first eight minutes against the Quakers and finished 12 of 23 (52%). But at times, Huggins didn’t seem happy with his team’s defense. West Virginia lost on rebounds 38–29.
Penn plays Lafayette on Tuesday.
West Virginia meets Purdue in Portland, Oregon on Thanksgiving night.
INDIANAPOLIS. According to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee, for the foreseeable future, the women’s Final Four will continue to be played on the same weekend as the men’s Final Four.
The autumn meeting of the committee ended on Friday.
The eight-month review of the Women’s Basketball Championship included consideration of moving semi-final and championship games to another weekend from the men’s Final Four.
The women’s semi-finals are traditionally played on Friday and the championship game on Sunday, the men’s semi-finals on Saturday and the title match on Monday on the first weekend in April.
“In its current position on the sports calendar, men’s and women’s college basketball are the focus of the entire sports world in March and early April,” said Lisa Peterson, Committee Chair and Pac-12 Senior Deputy Commissioner of Sports Management. Conference. “Continuing to use college basketball as a core business provides the greatest opportunity for further growth in terms of exposure, fan engagement and access, and brand value.”
Next year’s tournament will be the first to implement some of the changes made in response to the gender parity report, which highlighted numerous instances where the NCAA has failed to provide equal experience and competition for men’s and women’s teams.
The women’s field will expand to 68 teams, just like the men’s. The women’s tournament will also use two venues instead of the traditional four for regional games – rounds 16 and 8.
CORAL GABLES, Florida. It’s like Miami coach Jim Larranaga wrote the script. Playing against his alma mater, one win before a milestone few have reached.
This is a scenario.
Larranaga and Miami will take on Providence in the first round of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut with a Hurricanes coach and 1971 Providence alumnus with 699 career wins.
“People talk about milestones,” Larranaga said. “I’ve been in this for a long time. I enjoy coaching. If I get my 700th win, I hope it will be this season. I hope I don’t have to train for another year to achieve this. Only got one more to get; I guess I’ll get there at some point. But to be honest, it has more to do with the fact that this team is trying to show their best basketball on Saturday at 4 o’clock against a very good opponent.”
When Larranaga, who is ranked 39th of the season as a head coach, gets there, he will be the 34th Division I men’s coach with 700 wins on his official NCAA resume and the ninth current coach on that list. Iona’s Rick Pitino is likely to be next; he needs 15 more to officially reach 700.
At 73, Larranaga has no intention of slowing down. Miami won 26 games last season to advance to the Elite Eight, behind eventual national champion Kansas, Larranaga’s highest postseason scoring since George Mason made the Final Four in 2006. The Miami team opened this season with three double-digit wins, and a victory over Providence will take the Hurricanes 4-0 for the first time in four years.
“Coach L has obviously been doing this for years,” Miami Heat guard Bensley Joseph said. “I feel like he was just indoctrinated into what he preaches, what he wants from us players, and his message to us is very precise, very clear. No matter how old it is, Coach L. just doesn’t want to stop. Basketball is inspired by him. He loves the game. He loves us players. He wants us to be great in life and on the court.”
Larranaga’s career began when he was 27 years old when he was recruited by Division II American International. He won his first game 84-66 over UMass-Boston.
Since then, the game has changed a lot. Not in Larranaga.
Guests at training are greeted with handshakes from each player. The practice begins with inspirational words, which Larranaga doesn’t always say either. The principles of Miami basketball—the “10 Habits,” as he calls them—repeated. This sets the tone, and the Hurricanes get to work.
“We do this every day,” Joseph said. “Coach L is like a teacher to us. I like learning from him.”
It turns out that Larranaga was like that from the very beginning.
Major Jennings is the principal of Buzz Aldrin High School in Montclair, New Jersey. He was a long-time high school basketball and volleyball coach, and some of the lessons he taught those teams came from Larranaga, his coach at American International. Jennings led Larranaga’s first team in scoring.
“You could tell he knew the game,” Jennings said. “He was not a screamer. He was more of an instructor. He is an excellent teacher. He always had a detailed account of the opponents, their strengths and weaknesses, what we needed to do in order to succeed.”
When Larranaga went to the Final Four in 2006, Jennings also had to leave to pay his respects.
“It really means so much to see a really good guy start at the Division II level and work his way up,” Jennings said. “He has always strived to be better, to be better and to be part of his legacy in a very small way from a small school in New England, which makes me feel incredibly happy.”
Larranaga continues to rank among Providence’s career scoring leaders. Short shorts, replete with the era’s metal belt buckle, send his grandchildren into hysterics at the sight of the photographs. But his game was no joke; he had a triple-double with 20 points, 15 assists, 12 rebounds when he was there, although some details of that game eluded him until he reminded him of it…