The Morning Mix

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– the 2011-2012 college basketball season in photos (Don’t read any further until you’ve seen these)

– John Calipari says he’s staying at Kentucky. So much for all those NBA rumors. Coach Cal says he’s not interested in any NBA offers, even if they do come, which he says they haven’t. Comparing Calipari rumors to “Dawn of the Dead”, now that’s a first

– Luke Winn provides a way too early 2012-2013 Top-32 ranking

– Robert Griffin III helped the Baylor women’s basketball team cut down the nets in Denver, then challenged Brittney Griner to a dunk contest

An awesome list of all the injuries that have taken place at North Carolina under Roy Williams. There have been a lot. Like, A LOT.

– The SEC has now won the most recent NCAA baseball, football and basketball titles. Things they haven’t won: The NFL Wunderlic Test

A great-read on Iowa State star Royce White, who suffers from anxiety disorder. the freight-train forward is entering this summer’s NBA draft, and he’s aware that his condition might affect his draft stock

– Nerlens Noel is a stud, no doubt about that. But could he step in right away and replace Anthony Davis without having the Wildcats skip a beat? Our very own Dan Martin hypothesizes

– Science is put to the test to determine if the Kentucky Wildcats would in fact beat the Washington Wizards

– Gerard Coleman and Ron Giplaye are officially transferring out of Providence. But Wake Forest’s Carson DeRosiers and Michigan’s Evan Smotrycz are both interested in transferring in to the school

– Alex Oriakhi’s transfer list is as long as Ryan Leaf’s police history. But Oriakhi is only looking at high-profile schools. Unlike Leaf, who only looks for high-profile medicine cabinets

– Sensational Florida freshman Bradley Beal is likely to wait until the last moment possible before making his NBA draft decision

– Pittsburgh redshirt freshman Isaiah Epps is officially transferring from school

Freshman guard Trey Burke is leaving Michigan in order to enter the NBA draft. But wait, maybe he’s not. At least that’s what his dad says. Stay tuned

Junior guard Julysses Nobles is transferring from Arkansas. He becomes the four early exit from the program since Mike Anderson took over during the summer of 2011

Jared Sullinger is leaving Ohio State in order to enter the NBA draft, but did the big-man leave a year too late? Well, sure he probably won’t make as big a rookie contract as he would have last year. But he’s probably going to get drafted by a better team this year, and you know what? He wanted to take another crack at the National Championship, and he was two wins away from cutting down the nets. “So much Kevin Love in Jared Sullinger”? No, not at all

– Some interesting news out of Washington D.C. yesterday. It was originally reported that Howard University was temporarily suspending their entire intercolleigate athletic program due to an internal review of possible NCAA violations. Then it was reported that just some student-athletes were being suspended, and the teams would continue to play. What is all of this about? apparently student-athletes were allowed to spend “book money” on things other than just books

– Danny Manning was officially introduced as the new head coach at Tulsa. But in more serious Tulsa news, center Kodi Maduka collapsed on Wednesday during a pickup game, and is now in stable condition

– Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Eustachy has spoken with Colorado State about the Rams head coaching vacancy. Eustachy led the Golden Eagles to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991

– Indiana assistant Bennie Seltzer has been named as the new head coach at Samford

– Duquesne still hasn’t hired a new head coach, but Kentucky assistant, and former Pittsburgh forward Orlando Antigua, has to be considered the leading candidate (little known fact about Antigua – He was the first hispanic member of the Harlem Globetrotters when they signed him in 1995)

– Akron coach Keith dambrot turned down a seven-year offer to stay on as head coach at Akron and could be a candidate for the Duquesne job as well

– A nice little-read on the potential for basketball success in Oregon

Ben Howland’s future might hinge on landing Shabazz Muhammad. Well, that’s false, because Howland has landed a bevy of recruits before, but he needs all the help he can get right now

– Kentucky fans never cease to amaze us. One member of Big Blue Nation is offering up his wife in order to get Nerlens Noel to come to Kentucky

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

VIDEO: South Carolina celebrates Final Four trip by dousing Frank Martin in water

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South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.

The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.

https://twitter.com/marchmadness/status/846124174259118080/video/1

VIDEO: Darius Rucker tears up as South Carolina advances to the Final Four

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Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.

This isn’t really a secret.

Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:

You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:

Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.

VIDEO: Did South Carolina get away with a blatant travel after risky full-court pass?

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South Carolina is heading to its first Final Four in school history after a 77-70 win over No. 4 seed Florida in the East Region on Sunday.

But the No. 7 seed Gamecocks’ historic win also came with some late controversy.

With South Carolina clinging to a 70-68 lead with 53.7 seconds left, the Gamecocks opted to make an extremely risky full-court pass on an inbounds play. The pass was caught at the other end of the floor by South Carolina’s Duane Notice.

Then Notice took about four or five steps before he was fouled by Florida’s Chris Chiozza to send him to the line.

It looks like Notice had a pretty blatant travel on the play. It’s a ridiculous catch in traffic that has to make South Carolina football fans proud, but Notice is clearly walking after getting the ball. Notice knocked down two free throws after Chiozza’s foul to make it a two-possession game as it became 72-68 with 50 seconds left.

Florida was obviously flat in the second half and didn’t deserve to win on Sunday. But it makes you wonder what might have happened if a travel was called on Notice. The Gators would have had a chance to tie with under a minute left instead of it being a two-possession game.

South Carolina advances to first Final Four in program history with win over Florida

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South Carolina entered this year’s NCAA tournament, their first NCAA tournament since 2004 and their fifth NCAA tournament in the last 43 years, having never won two consecutive tourney games in the history of the program.

On Sunday afternoon in Madison Square Garden, Frank Martin led the Gamecocks to their fourth straight win and their first trip to the Final Four.

Sindarius Thornwell scored 11 of his 26 points in the final 10 minutes, leading No. 7 seed South Carolina back from a 40-33 halftime deficit for a 77-70 win over No. 4 seed Florida. P.J. Dozier added 17 points and Chris Silva finished with a critical 13 points and nine boards, coming up with some huge offensive rebounds and hustle plays defensively in the second half.

After shooting 7-for-12 from three in the first half, Florida missed their all 14 attempts from beyond the arc in the second 20 minutes. South Carolina’s defense, which is second nationally this season, according to KenPom, and which allowed 40 points to the Gators in the first half, buckled down in the final minutes, forcing turnovers and taking the Gators out of what they wanted to do offensively. They shot just 11-for-35, or 31.4 percent, from the floor after halftime and didn’t get a clean look at the rim in the final five minutes of the game.

That’s how South Carolina plays. That’s who they are. It’s physical and it’s ugly and it’s just so effective when they’re able to make shots at the other end of the floor. And that is where this team has changed in March. The Gamecocks lost six of their last nine games heading into the NCAA tournament, failing to score more than 1.00 points-per-possession in five of those six losses.

But the story of this game isn’t how this South Carolina team has changed.

The story is how the program has changed.

The Gamecocks were a 10-win team that went 2-14 in the SEC the year before they Frank Martin away from Kansas State, a hire that was made thanks to a falling out with his athletic director, and boy, does that look like a coup now. He was responsible for leading Kansas State, which isn’t exactly a program known for basketball success, to their only Elite 8 since 1988. He’s now led South Carolina to their first Final Four in the history of the program.

South Carolina will advance to Phoenix to take on No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the Final Four.

A season of highs and lows ends for Kansas in the Elite 8 again

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For the second season in a row, Kansas was one-win shy of a Final Four appearance, falling to Oregon, 74-60, in the Elite Eight on Friday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

This comes a year after Kansas, as the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, fell to eventual national champion Villanova in the Elite 8.

Just as stars such as Perry Ellis struggled in that regional final, so did KU’s freshman phenom Josh Jackson, whose quick two personal fouls that saddled him on the bench and appeared to take him out of the game mentally. Devonte’ Graham, averaging 20.0 points per game in the tournament, was 0-for-7 from the field. Frank Mason III’s first-half performance assured that Oregon would completely run away with the game before halftime.

The loss put an end to a tumultuous season for the Jayhawks.

Kansas entered the 2016-17 season as one of the favorites to win the national championship. The Jayhawks went on to win the Big 12 regular season title for an unprecedented 13th consecutive season. Frank Mason III, in the eyes of many, was the wire-to-wire national player of the year.

However, for all its accomplishments on the court, Kansas faced more than its share of issues off-the-court. Lagerald Vick, who was under university investigation for allegedly striking a female student. Carlton Bragg was arrested — and subsequently suspended — for drug paraphernalia. There was also the affidavit released a day before the start of the NCAA Tournament for the Jayhawks, detailing the incident outside a Lawerence bar from December involving both Vick and Josh Jackson. Even Devonte Graham’s arrest for an unpaid ticket made headlines during this string of non-basketball related news.

The Jayhawks downplayed talks of distraction before the start of the NCAA Tournament and backed it up by dominating opponents through the first three rounds. The average margin of victory was 30.0, and that includes victories over Michigan State and a 32-point beatdown of a Purdue team that held a massive mismatch on the interior.

It looked like Self was destined to add to his Hall of Fame résumé; a third trip to the Final Four — first since 2012 — was in front of essentially a home crowd. Instead, Oregon handed the Jayhawks their worst tournament defeat in the Bill Self era.

Seven times under Self, KU has made the Elite Eight and was sent home.

Perhaps, all would have been forgiven — or at the very least, overshadowed — had KU cut down the nets in Arizona.

Instead, its season ended in an all too familiar place.