The Morning Mix

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– UCLA is in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. In case you haven’t read it, here is George Dohrmann’s expose on the recent culture of UCLA basketball. Leadership starts at the top, and this “scandal” is a huge indictment of the lack of leadership in the UCLA athletic department. A culture change is needed, but that apparently means that athletic director Dan Guerrero isn’t going anywhere

– Mike DeCourcy doesn’t think that Ben Howland deserves the blame for the program’s drop-off. But there is just too much evidence that indicate that Howland is to blame for many of the problems. A handful of former players responded to this article, including Lorenzo Matta-Real, who had a bevy of opinions on the matter

– Howland believes that “If mistakes were made, they will get fixed”. If? IF? It’s pretty clear that mistakes were made. There are probably better ways to handle the fallout than by questioning the merits of the accusation. Going forward, Ben Howland is going to have to answer a lot of questions. Here is a list of some of the potential inquiries. Amid all the controversy, highly regarded recruit Kevin Anderson reaffirmed his commitment to the university

– Oh, and Reeves Nelson, the villain of the report, is claiming that every single accusation made was “categorically false”

The NCAA has warned schools interested in top-recruit Shabazz Muhammad about potential eligibility issues that may arise in the future.  According to the report, there may be dealings between financial advisers and Muhammad’s family that could compromise the star-prospect’s amateur status. Jeff Borzello provides a list of all the visits taken by Muhammad, and it’s staggering to say the least. This must put UCLA out of the running for his services, right? Myron Medcalf examines how the UCLA controversy will effect future recruiting

OK, we’re all done with UCLA for today. Back to your regularly scheduled programming:

– You really just hate to see a player like John Shurna go out like that on Senior Night

– Nicole Auerbach provides a breakdown of bubble winners and bubble losers from Wednesday night

– Bob Knight took another jab at John Calipari today by not referencing the No.1 team in the country among his list of the best teams in the country on Mike & Mike in the Morning. Gregg Doyel believes that Bob Knight needs to be held accountable for his actions

– A great-read on the different scenarios that could continue “The Border War”

– There was a point in time where it was unsure if Yancy Gates would be part of the Cincinnati program when Senior Day rolled around. But the oft-troubled big man was part of the festivities, and a big part of the Bearcats win over Marquette

– The last thing St. John’s needed right now is an injury to their Mo Harkless. Unfortunately for the Johnnies, the dynamic freshman suffered a right ankle injury last night and his status for the future is unsure

– The Atlantic-10 has a plethora of capable teams, and due to the “down year” in the Big East, the conference is more visible than usual. Did you see the St. Bonaventure’s/St. Joseph’s double overtime game last night? Yeah, the A-10 is legit

– O.D. Anosike, the top rebounder in the country, has had a tremendous season for Siena, but was he good enough to edge out Iona’s Scott Machado for MAAC Player of the Year?

– Your weekly update on the North Dakota nickname controversy: Fighting Sioux not welcomed in NCAA postseason

A listing of possible newspaper headlines for the SoCon Tournament Champions

A solid Q&A with St. Francis head coach Glen Braica

– The Big South couldn’t wait for March to start the madness. No. 2-seed Coastal Carolina and No.3-seed Campbell both go down in the quarterfinals

– EBay is awash of random Kentucky paraphernalia

– This is probably the only “All Walk-On” team you will see all year. From the America East no less!

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)

After blowout of South Carolina, is No. 22 Kentucky a Final Four contender?

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis (3) guards the ball after a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 75-70. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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It only took 2:26 for official Doug Sirmons to plant two technical fouls on Kentucky head coach John Calipari, and that may have been the worst thing that could have happened to South Carolina.

He poked the bear, and the result was that a ticked off No. 22 Wildcat team proceeded to run the Gamecocks out of their own gym, 89-62.

The star of the show was interim head coach Tyler Ulis, who put together as dominating of a performance as you’ll ever see out of a player that stands 5-foot-9. Ulis finished with 27 points and 12 assists, hitting 4-for-8 from three and turning the ball over just once.

Marcus Lee added 11 points and 13 boards, including six on the offensive end, and Jamal Murray had his customary 26 points on 9-for-21 shooting, but the story of this game was Ulis.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seed a player under 6-foot capable of dominating a game the way that Ulis can dominate. Murray can take over with the best of them — we saw it against Florida and Ohio State — but when it comes to the NCAA tournament, this Kentucky team will go as far as Ulis carries them.

And based on the way that he’s played in the last six weeks, that could end up being pretty far. In SEC play, Ulis is averaging 19.4 points and 7.6 assists. He’s scored at least 17 points in 12 of the last 14 games and has notched as least five assists in all 14. He just orchestrated a total mollywhopping of a Frank Martin-coached team that was tied for first place in the SEC while playing without his head coach and on the road.

The issue with Kentucky is the same today as it was a month ago. They’re a two-man team with an inconsistent supporting cast. When their two studs play like this, they can beat anyone in the country. When they don’t, they can struggle against anyone.

But here’s the thing: When Ulis is playing the way that he’s played of late, they don’t really need all that much from their supporting cast. Derek Willis needs to be able to space the floor. Lee and Skal Labissiere need to be able to hold their own against opposing big men.

And when that happens?

Kentucky is clearly the best team in the SEC and good enough to be able to win four straight in the Big Dance and get to a Final Four.