The Morning Mix

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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.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.