AUBURN — Make sure to set your alarm clock and have coffee ready, it’s going to be a late night for Auburn basketball.Bruce Pearl is hoping to take the Tigers to the mountain top in the SEC, but before he can do that the first-year Auburn coach has to face a brutal first road test – at Colorado for a midnight CT start Tuesday as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.Agreeing to take on the challenge of taking on Colorado, which would be ranked No. 27 in the Associated Press poll this week, at such a late hour is all part of Pearl’s plan of building the Auburn program.“I want our basketball program part of ESPN’s marathon,” Pearl said in a statement. “I want our basketball program to eventually become a part of some of the better holiday tournaments. You have to start somewhere.”The challenges begin off the court, as the Tigers arrived on Sunday in order to get acclimated to the altitude in Boulder, Colorado.“Road trips do bring you together. I love to travel with the team,” Pearl said. “Part of the college experience and being a student-athlete is seeing the country and even seeing the world. That Rocky Mountain high is going to be beautiful and and it’s going to be snow-capped. For our kids to have that different experience, it’s part of the college experience.”On the court, the Buffaloes present a very difficult matchup for the undersized Tigers, who are expected to be without starting guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen (separated shoulder) and have guard Antoine Mason recovering from an ankle sprain.Colorado big man Josh Scott had 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in a season-opening win over Drexel on Friday. The 6-foot-10 Scott will be a more difficult challenge for Cinmeon Bowers than the Milwaukee team he was able to perform well against inside, with 18 points and 17 rebounds en route to SEC Player of the Week honors.“I’m really proud of my basketball team for showing a great deal of character and heart in coming back and winning our first game. It was special.” Auburn has lost five straight non-conference games away from Auburn Arena, with the last win coming against the College of Charleston (55-51) on Nov. 16, 2012.Pearl said he was “really proud” of his team for coming back to win its season opener thanks to a 24-6 run in the second half.He knows getting the first road win of the season won’t be easy against a Colorado squad that’s won 19 straight non-conference games and is 32-1 in non-league play under coach Tad Boyle.“It’s going to be a great challenge playing against a top-25 program and a team that is really well coached by Tad Boyle,” Pearl said. “Colorado’s size will be a factor. We love to run, they love to run.”—WHEN: Midnight todayWHERE: Coors Events Center, Boulder, Colo.RECORDS: Auburn (1-0), Colorado (1-0)ON THE AIR: TV — ESPN2; Radio — WMSP-AM 740, WLWI-FM 92.3AUBURN LINEUP: G K.C. Ross-Miller (6-0, GS) 13 ppg.; G Antoine Mason (6-1, GS) 19.0 ppg.; G K.T. Harrell, (6-4, Sr.) 20.0 ppg.; F Jordon Granger (6-5, Jr.) 8.0 ppg.; F Cinmeon Bowers (6-7, Jr.) 18.0 ppg.; 17.0 rpg.COLORADO LINEUP: G Askia Bokker (6-2, Sr.) 7.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg.; G Xavier Talton (6-2, Jr.) 8.0 ppg.; G Xavier Johnson (6-7, Jr.) 8.0 ppg.; F Wesley Gordon (6-9, So.) 9.0 ppg.; F Josh Scott (6-10, Jr.) 21.0 ppg., 11.0 rpg.NOTEWORTHY: This game is part of the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon and the first time both Colorado and Auburn are playing in the seventh year of the event. In all, 22 games are being played over 29 straight hours on ESPN networks. … Auburn has lost five straight non-conference games away from home. … Colorado has won 19 straight non-conference games following a season-opening win over Drexel on Friday. The Buffaloes are 32-1 in non-conference play under fifth-year coach Tad Boyle. … Auburn and Colorado have met just once before, a 78-72 overtime win by Colorado, as part of the 1996 Big Island Invitational at Hilo, Hawaii.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, CMC – Reigning World champions West Indies have slipped to ninth in the new expanded ICC Twenty20 team rankings. In the latest release yesterday which reflects changes following the annual update, the Caribbean side found themselves only above Bangladesh of the long-standing Test-playing nations.After results from 2015-16 were removed and those between 2016-18 weighed at 50 per cent, West Indies were overtaken by minnows Afghanistan who moved up one place to seven and Sri Lanka who also climbed one spot into eighth.The ranking represents the lowest for the Windies since they won their second T20 World Cup title in 2016, when they beat England in a dramatic final in Kolkata. Since that conquest, however, the Windies form has dropped off considerably, losing 13 of 17 T20 Internationals over the last 17 months.They will defend their title in Australia next year when the T20 World Cup bowls off from October 18 to November 15, 2020.Pakistan have meanwhile strengthened their position at the top of the rankings on 286 points but only four points separate the next four teams in the table. South Africa lie second on 262, England are third on 261 while Australia sit in fourth spot, also on 261 points. India (260) are fifth, six clear of New Zealand who boast a considerable 13-point gap on Afghanistan.For the first time the ICC has expanded the rankings to include all 80 members, with the likes of European nations like Austria and Luxembourg, along with African sides like Botswana and Mozambique comprising the new table.