The Morning Mix

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–  Harvard’s recruiting efforts might become a bit easier now that “Linsanity” is taking over the nation

– Of course we need to know what Jim Boeheim thinks of “Linsanity”!

– Jim Calhoun will miss UConn’s next two games as he remains sidelined with lingering back issues. Associate Head Coach George Blaney gave some solid quotes following the Huskie’s 26-point win over DePaul last night

– Are the Temple Owls as good as their 20-5 record indicates?

– SMU and UAB provided what may end up being the worst basketball game of the 2011-2012 season

Nick Baumgardner breaks down the four most important players on each of the Big Ten title contenders

– Apparently Jim Larranaga studied the art of Zen in preparation for the Hurricane’s game against North Carolina. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, as the Hurricanes fell 73-64

– NCAA Selection Committee Chair Jeff Hathaway (Former-UConn Athletic Director) discusses the consideration process for at-large teams

– Robert Burke, the head coach at Mount Saint Mary’s, has been placed on administrative leave by the university. The Mountaineers are currently 6-19 and 4-10 in NEC play

– St. John’s Athletic Director has been fired due to a misappropriation of tickets. The news of a possible ticket scandal was mentioned as early as last Friday

– A solid diary entry from VCU assistant coach Will Wade on preparing for BracketBusters and the stretch run

– Even if Kansas doesn’t end up winning the National Championship, the Jayhawks could walk away with a handful of end-of-the-year hardware

– Gerardo Suero, the Albany Danes’ leading scorer, did not play on Wednesday night due to shingles. Don’t know what shingles is? It’s like chickenpox, only more painful

– Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin has suspended high-flying forward Kenny Hall for “conduct detrimental to the team

– Regardless of what Penn State’s final record ends up being, this season has been a success for first-year head coach Pat Chambers. The on-court improvements will come, but he has dominated the off-court proceedings. First-off, he’s an earnest, hardworking class-act. He performed a classy-yet-entertaining salute to “JoePa”, and now, there’s video of him handing out Big Macs at McDonald’s. As the kids would say “He’s ‘Linning’ ”

– Oral Roberts became the second team in the country to clinch a regular season championship thus far. The Golden Eagles defeated IPFW 75-71 to win the Summit League for their final time. They will join the Southland Conference starting in 2012-2013

– More MWC2USA Alliance updates: Charlotte and Appalachian State could become potential additions for the new super-alliance

– This is certainly an interesting take: Does North Carolina lack the ability to close-out games?

It’s anybody’s guess as to what the final standings in the Atlantic-10 will look like

– While this might not be as awesome as “TyBrady MorningReed“, it’s still pretty good (Could I suggest, maybe, “D’Adreian PayneNix” ?)

– The recent trend of massive Non-D1 #POSTERIZED dunks continues on with Northwest Florida JuCo’s Trency Johnson

– Kentucky held an open practice and ONLY 2,000 people showed up….For a practice….in the early afternoon….on a work day….Not a game….Not a game….Not a game….We talkin’ about practice

A sure-fire winner for “Best photo of the 2011-2012 season”

Illinois dismisses Kendrick Nunn

Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn (25) tries to go up for a basket against Indiana center Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at in Champaign, Ill., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Heather Coit)
(AP Photo/Heather Coit)
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Illinois announced on Tuesday that they have dismissed Kendrick Nunn from the basketball program.

Nunn was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to a battery charge that stemmed from a domestic violence incident. He was alleged to have hit a woman in the head and pushed her to the ground before pouring water on her.

“We have made the decision to dismiss Kendrick Nunn from the men’s basketball team, effective immediately,” a statement put out by head coach John Groce and athletic director Josh Whitman read. “After extensive deliberation, we think it best for our program to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior.”

Nunn averaged 15.5 points as a junior last season.

Delaware hires Martin Inglesby as head coach

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Joe Raymond, AP
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Delaware has finally hired a head coach, a little more than two months after Monte’ Ross was fired.

The man that earned the right of taking over a program with just four returning scholarship players is Martin Inglesby, a Notre Dame assistant that has been under Mike Brey’s tutelage for more than a decade. A source confirmed the news with NBCSports.com. Brey spent his first six seasons as a Division I head coach in Newark.

The reason that the search for a new basketball coach took so long is that the university was in the midst of looking for a new athletic director. Chrissi Rawak was hired as AD on May 13th, and one of her first orders of business was finding a replacement for Ross.

CBS Sports was the first to report Inglesby’s hiring.

Report: UCLA signs record apparel deal with Under Armour

(Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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The latest arms race in the collegiate ranks centers around apparel deals, and UCLA has reportedly signed the largest in the history of amateur athletics.

Under Armour will pay the university $280 million over the next 15 years, according to ESPN.com, in exchange for their athletes to work as unpaid models, turning Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl into a runway for the athletic apparel company to hawk their wares.

Here are the details from ESPN:

At those numbers, the deal would be the largest in college football history. In January, Ohio State said its 15-year deal with Nike was worth $252 million. Texas signed a 15-year deal with Nike worth $250 million in October, and Michigan signed an 11-year deal, with a four-year option, that could be worth up to $173.8 million.

Landing UCLA only furthers Under Armour’s presence on the west coast. Their most famous client is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Kentucky-Kansas headlines the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

Reuters
Reuters
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The Big 12 and the SEC announced the matchups for the 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Tuesday, and the highlight is, of course, Kansas and Kentucky.

The two schools, who played an instant classic in Phog Allen Fieldhouse last season, will square off in Lexington this season. If that wasn’t enough, Kentucky and Kansas are currently sitting second and third, respectively, in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25.

So that should be fun.

The game will be played on January 28th along with the rest of the matchups in the series. Those matchups are:

Texas at Georgia
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Florida at Oklahoma
Baylor at Ole Miss
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
LSU at Texas Tech

To be frank, the rest of that schedule is not all that enticing. West Virginia should be a top 25 team, and they host a Texas A&M team that is talented but young. Florida and Georgia are arguably the two best non-Kentucky teams in the league, but they face off with a rebuilding Oklahoma and a young Texas squad, neither of whom are guaranteed to make the tournament.

The problem here?

Both the SEC and the Big 12 are likely going to be down this season, which puts a damper on just how excited we can get about this challenge.

Purdue forward to return to school, withdraw from NBA Draft

Purdue center A.J. Hammons (20) celebrates with forward Vince Edwards (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Purdue defeated Michigan State 82-81 in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Purdue announced on Tuesday that forward Vince Edwards will be returning to school for his junior season.

Edwards declared for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent and went through the process to gauge his value at the next level.

“After getting the NBA experience and going through the evaluation process, I have talked with my family and Coach Painter and decided it is best for me to return for my junior year,” Edwards said in a statement. “Although the NBA is still a dream for me one day, I am coming back to Purdue to make next year a special one. Thank you to all the organizations who gave me the chance to not only showcase my talents, but also the chance to know me as a young man and not just an athlete.”

Edwards averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 boards last season.

Purdue now has to wait to hear from Caleb Swanigan, a rising sophomore that was a top 20 recruit in the Class of 2015. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Wednesday.