The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

Monday felt weird, didn’t it? No tournament games to skip work forand no checking your brackets every 15 minutes. It was just like any other Monday.

But fear not, because there was plenty of newsworthy stuff that went down in the world of college basketball. So spend Tuesday work day getting your hoops fix with The Morning Mix.

– Kendall Marshall had surgery on his fractured wrist yesterday.  Roy Williams doesn’t think he will be able to play on Friday. A lot of people, including Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg, are writing off UNC because of Marshall’s injury

– There will be two games played on aircraft carriers next season. UConn and Arizona will face-off in the Carrier Classic off the coast of Charlston, SC on-board the USS York. On the other side of the country, the “Battle on the Midway” will take place in Sn Diego on-board the USS Midway, and it appears that Georgetown and San Diego State could be the two participants

– We had our first random NBA early entrant: South Florida’s Victor Rudd. He has athleticism for days, but averaged just 9.1ppg and is not a prolific shooter. But boy can he dunk

– Has March Madness caused the college basketball landscape to form a giant middle-class?  Jon Gold has some interesting thoughts on the matter

– Duquesne was nowhere near March Madness this year, but their pep band was. The Duke’s band assisted Loyola during their second round game against Ohio State

Illinois’ Brandon Paul and Myers Leonard have also ave submitted their names to the NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee to receive feedback on their draft stock

– Jeff Goodman on how the Crosstown Brawl helped Cincinnati and Xavier forge their paths to the Sweet-16

– Michigan State’s Draymond Green is one of the best people in college basketball. He’s a tremendous player and a tremendous human being. But even he struggled to with the media hype that came with being considered a National Player of the Year candidate. But if you have watched any Michigan State games this season, then you know that “Day-Day” is a special kind of player that we don’t see very often any more

– One of the underappreciated aspects of March madness is it’s ability to spawn hilarious t-shirt ideas. The Ohio Bobcats took a shot at Michigan after upsetting the Wolverines in the second round

– The Indiana-Kentucky rematch is clearly the most anticipated game of the Sweet-16, but the Cincinnati-Ohio State game is not too far behind. The in-state match-up hasn’t happened in the tournament since March 24, 1962

– Scott Sutton’s name is starting to appear among the coaching change talks. The Oral Roberts head coach is on Mississippi State’s radar and is going to interview for the opening at Nebraska

– Illinois is still looking for a new head coach, and it seems like Shaka Smart is the only guy they want. But will Shaka leave VCU? Illinois is a good job, but not an elite job. Smart is the type of coach who would not bolt unless a “dream job” scenario opened up, and this does not seem to be that type of scenario

– Former-Illinois head coach Bruce Weber is expected to interview for the head coaching gig at Southern Illinois. Prior to his hiring at Illinois, he spent five years as head coach at SIU

– Bobby Cremins officially announced his retirement as head coach of College of Charleston yesterday

– It would be very short-sighted of us to judge Frank Haith’s first season at Missouri solely on their upset loss to Norfolk State

A solid review of BYU’s first season as a member of the West Coast Conference

– It looks like  Butler is going to join the Atlantic-10 Conference. The addition would be great for the conference. But the loss would absolutely crush the Horizon League, which had been relying on Butler’s success for the last half decade

– 71-year old Dick Versace is contemplating a return to the coaching ranks and is interested in the opening at Eastern Illinois. He last worked as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, and served as the head coach for the Indiana Pacers and at Bradley University.

– Jason McIntyre called Bob Knight’s cell phone hoping to get some answers about The General’s refusal to use the word “Kentucky”. The only problem is that McIntyre refused to reveal his source, and well, got a very Bob Knight-like response. Jason had to know that was coming.

No. 25 Texas A&M outlasts No. 10 Gonzaga

Billy Kennedy
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
Leave a comment

No. 25 Texas A&M made a statement on Turkey Day, as they knocked off No. 10 Gonzaga 62-61 in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Danuel House led the way with 19 points for the Aggies while Tony Trocha-Morales finished with 14 points as Texas A&M picked up the win despite the fact that they did not score for the final eight minutes of the game.

Billy Kennedy’s club looked the part of an SEC contender, playing tough defense and keeping Gonzaga’s massive and talented front line in check. Perhaps most impressive was that they were able to hang on despite blowing a lead late in the second half, and that they did it with their defense. Gonzaga can score. They have big bodies inside and shooters to surround them, but Domantas Sabonis struggled with foul struggle throughout the game while Kyle Wiltjer did not score in the final 12 minutes.

Kentucky, at this point, is the clear-cut favorite in the SEC, and while Vanderbilt looked really good in Maui this week, A&M looks like they’re going to end up giving the Commodores a run for their money for second-best in the league.

On the other hand, this loss wasn’t a total disaster for the Zags. They had the final possession with a chance to be a good team on a day when Domantas Sabonis was rendered completely ineffective. And, more importantly, point guard Josh Perkins was terrific. He did have a late turnover, but he scored all 15 of his points in the second half as he helped keep the Zags within striking distance.

Texas A&M will play the winner of Syracuse and No. 18 UConn for the title.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.