Best day of the year for sports fans and turkey-eating enthusiasts.
THANKSGIVING DAY LINKS:
— Oregon coach Dana Altman received a three-year extension that extends his contract to the 2019-20 season. He makes $1.8 million annually, which ranks third in the Pac-12 and 20th nationally. Altman is 77-37 in three years. The Ducks have improved in the postseason each year under Altman. They advanced to the College Basketball Invitational in 2011, the National Invitation Tournament in 2012 and the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2013.
— According to Seth Davis at SI.com, “USC coach Andy Enfield and UTEP coach Tim Floyd got into a heated discussion that quickly escalated, with assistants from the respective schools having to be separated.” All of this happened at a Battle 4 Atlantis reception in Nassau, Bahamas. At the center of the argument is former UTEP player Isaac Hamilton, who considered transferring to USC before choosing UCLA. UTEP and USC are not currently scheduled to play each other in the tournament, but they could face off Saturday in a consolation bracket game.
— Arizona State senior Jordan Bachnyski looks like he’s going to be an all-Pac-12 pick. The shot-blocking specialist is averaging 14 points and 11.8 rebounds.
— Freshmen guards Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford have been used as offensive spark plugs off the bench for No. 19 UCLA.
— Washington State is spending Thanksgiving in Orlando, Fla. at the Old Spice Classic.
— No. 4 Arizona overcame a 19-point deficit and rallied in the second half to eke out a 66-62 win over Drexel in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Nick Johnson had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists, Kaleb Tarczewski finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks and Aaron Gordon had 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Wildcats (6-0) face Duke (6-1) on Friday.
— California didn’t put up much of a fight in an 82-64 loss to Dayton n the third-place game of the Maui Invitational. Golden Bears coach Mike Montgomery said: “(Justin Cobbs) was the only guy who could do anything. I thought Dayton was quicker than us at every position.” Cobbs finished with 31 points. Cal was 1-2 in the tournament and fell to 5-2 overall.
— Utah’s 88-69 win over Ball State was a statement game for Delon Wright. The junior-college transfer finished with a career-high 23 points, seven assists, four rebounds and five steals in 23 minutes. The Utes improved to 6-0.
USC (4-1) vs. Villanova (4-0), (Nassau, Bahamas) …………………………….. AXS
Washington State (2-2) vs. Butler (4-0). 11 a.m. (Orlando, Fla.) …………. ESPN2
No. 19 UCLA (5-0) vs. Nevada (3-3), 4:30 p.m. (Las Vegas) ……………….. ESPN3
Arizona State (6-0) vs. No. 20 Creighton (4-0), 8 p.m. ………………………. ESPN2
Picks: Villanova, Butler, UCLA and ASU
Season tally: 45-9