The Morning Mix

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Your must-read of the day comes from Mike Vaccaro, who wrote a magnificent article about St. Bonaventure’s making it back to the NCAA Tournament

– St. Bonaventure’s got “a hero’s welcome” upon returning to school from the Atlantic-10 Tournament……at 2:30AM

– The gap between graduation rates for white and black players at schools in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament has shrunk for the first time since 2009

– If North Carolina and Creighton meet in the third round, it will be a battle of former-high school teammates in Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott

– A fantastic-read from John Ezekowitz on the importance of rebounding and turnovers in NCAA Tournament upsets

– A manager for the Georgia Tech basketball team has been dismissed for his involvement in a shooting incident prior to the ACC Tournament

68 interesting tidbits about the coaches representing the NCAA Tournament teams

– South Carolina’s two-sport star Bruce Ellington has decided to hang up the football cleats and focus specifically on basketball

– Mike DeCourcy ranks the Tournament teams based on their National Championship chances

– West Virginia freshman Tommy McCune has decided to leave the program. The Mountaineers are left with JUST seven freshman on the roster. That’s obscene.

– Georgetown has lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years. That fourth year? They didn’t make the tournament. They also have not a single player on their roster with tournament experience. That being said, is an upset loss to Belmont likely to happen?

– Virginia will need to find scoring production from somebody other than Mike Scott if they want any chance to advance

Is Iona going to be this season’s VCU? Not if they can’t learn to defend the basketball better

– Speaking of VCU, the Rams took out an ad in the newspaper telling us that they are “back to bust your brackets”

– A nice-read on the senior class at Southern Mississippi

– This is arguably the most logical reasoning as to why it’s a good thing that Vermont is playing in the Play-In Game

Another great-read on Loyola (Md.) head coach Jimmy Patsos, one of the most entertaining coaches in the country

– Rick Pitino believes that Davidson is the toughest first round opponent he’s ever faced. Clearly he’s unaware that a) Steph Curry is long gone and b) they play in the second round, not the first

– The Morehead State program took some time off from basketball in order to help out tornado victims in Kentucky

–  We shouldn’t complain about tournament snubs because the number of legitimate snubs is declining every year

– Yeah, I’m with Jason Lisk on this one: Stop bragging about projecting bracket selections

the Busted Mug Tournament is one of the most under-appreciated bracket-style challenges out there. It’s also wildly hilarious

– Speaking of wildly hilarious, you just can’t go wrong with a Mascot Madness bracket

– Is Scoop Jardine dating the daughter of Michael Jordan?

I don’t think this is the change that President Obama was talking about

– This is just the most bizarre and disgusting basketball-related story we’ve seen in a long time: Middle school coach bites off ear of opposing coach after a loss

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Kansas lands second commitment in the Class of 2018

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Kansas landed their second big man in the Class of 2018 on Sunday, as David McCormack, a top 50 prospect, announced that he will be a Jayhawk when he plays his college ball.

The 6-foot-10 center picked Kansas over Xavier, NC State, Oklahoma State and Duke.

A product of the famed Oak Hill Academy, McCormack averaged 15 points and 10 boards on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit this spring. He joins fellow four-star big man Silvio de Sousa in the 2018 class for Bill Self, although the Jayhawks will get three players eligible after they sit out the 2017-18 season as transfers: Dedric and K.J. Lawson, who transferred in from Memphis, as well as Charlie Moore, a point guard from California.

Report: North Carolina won’t attend White House

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After capturing a national championship earlier this year, the North Carolina men’s basketball team will not be visiting the White House, a North Carolina spokesman said to Andrew Carter of the The Charlotte Observer.

Although the Tar Heels were invited to go to the White House from the staff of President Donald Trump, the team couldn’t figure out a date that worked.

“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” North Carolina team spokesman Steve Kirschner said to Carter. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”

According to Carter’s report, Kirschner also said that North Carolina players, “were fine with going.”

With Trump’s recent comments towards NFL players and the national anthem and his Saturday morning tweet at Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the President with regards to athletes over the past 24 hours.

Although the timing of this may seem like North Carolina is making some sort of political statement, the school is downplaying any sort of politics by focusing on the bad timing.

Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer

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Xavier freshman forward Jared Ridder will transfer from the program to move closer to home, according to a release from the school.

The 6-foot-7 Ridder hails from Springfield, Missouri as he was regarded as a top-150 prospect by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

“After much consideration and talking with my family, I have decided that it is in my best interest to move home,” Ridder said in the release.

“Jared has indicated to the coaching staff that he has a desire to be closer to home,” Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. “While we are disappointed, we all want Jared to be happy moving forward. We wish him nothing but the best.”

A potent scorer and noted perimeter shooter at the high school level, Ridder helped MoKan win the Nike Peach Jam during the summer of 2016 playing alongside talented players like Missouri’s Michael and Jontay Porter and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. With a desire to move closer to home, could Ridder potentially land at a spot where one of his talented former teammates is playing?

Ridder averaged 24.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season of high school ball at Kickapoo as he was a first-team, All-State selection in Missouri.

Four-star 2018 forward Ian Steere decommits from Creighton

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Creighton took a big hit to its recruiting efforts late this week as Class of 2018 forward Ian Steere is decommitting from the Bluejays, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Steere’s decommitment was first reported by Julius Kim of Elevate Hoops.

The 6-foot-8 Steere is considered a four-star prospect by Rivals as he is coming off of a very solid spring and summer playing with Team Charlotte in the Under Armour Association. A plus athlete who isn’t afraid to bang on the interior, Steere showing an improving skill level throughout the spring and summer as he could see his recruiting soar after opening things up.

According to a report from Jon Nyatawa of the World-Herald, one of the reasons that Steere is opening up his recruitment is his desire to be closer to his native North Carolina. With so many top programs looking for quality help on the interior, it’ll be interesting to see which programs jump in and try to recruit Steere the second time around.

John Wall emotional in Kentucky Hall of Fame induction speech

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John Wall was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night as he delivered an emotional speech while talking to his mother.

The first inductee into the Hall of Fame to play for current Wildcat head coach John Calipari, Wall only spent the 2009-10 season in Lexington but he became the first national player of the year to play at Kentucky before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Thanking his mother, Calipari, his family, friends and Big Blue Nation, the Washington Wizards guard gave a very moving speech, including an emotional part directed to his mother at around 4:35.