The Morning Mix welcomes you to a brand new season

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Today is a new day for the Morning Mix. Everybody’s favorite morning round-up has been in need of a face lift for a long time, and today is the day it finally happens. It’s nothing too big, and there might be a tiny bit of tinkering over the next few days. But we feel that the new Morning Mix will serve as a much better canvas for the daily palate of college basketball news.
 
 
#ReadoftheDay: Tremendous story from Jeff Eisenberg about the hard work and patience put in by Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick. Read It. (The Dagger)

Top Stories:
NCAA cracks down on hardship waivers for transfer players: The NCAA has put a bunch of restrictions on hardship waivers which should help curb the number of players seek immediate eligibility due to family-related hardships. In the past few years, the hardship waiver has been abused repeatedly by players who don’t like their current situation and want to play somewhere else without having to sit out a season. The NCAA got this one right.

Trevor Mbakwe will pay back scholarship if the Gophers don’t make NCAA tournament: The Minnesota senior forward has vowed to repay his final year of his scholarship if he can’t lead his team to the NCAA tournament. The Gophers enter the season likely to gain an at-large bid, but will largely depend on the health of Mbakwe, who missed nearly all of last season with a torn MCL.

Something peculiar is going on at Detroit: Last Wednesday, Titan’s assistant coach Derek Thomas, along with Athletic Director Keri Gaither, resigned effective immediately. On Friday, Carlos Briggs, another member of the Titan’s coaching staff, resigned. No one knows why and neither of the sides have commented. Peculiar.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– After being denied eligibility by the NCAA in September, Former Indiana signee Ron Patterson has committed to Syracuse. The 6-foot-2 guard left Indiana and enrolled at Brewster Academy and is now set to join the Orange next fall. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

– Two Indiana big-men, Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin, are still waiting to be cleared to play by the NCAA. (Inside The Hall)

– Texas A&M freshman guard Shawn Smith was ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA. He will remain on scholarship and will be able to practice, but will not be able to play in games (Sporting News)
 
 
Observations & Analysis:
– Oakland is expecting big things from Providence transfer Duke Mondy (CollegeBasketballTalk)

– Gonzaga was once again selected as the preseason favorites to win the West Coast Conference (Spokesman-Review)

– Expectations are high for the Kentuecky Wildcats. What can we expect from Kentucky freshman this year? (Kentucky Sports Radio)

– A quick recap of exhibition games involving Big East teams (Syracuse Post-Standard)

– While the Big East is hemmoraging basketball programs, the Atlantic-10 seems to be stockpiling them. Championship Week in the NYC-metro area is sure to be interesting (New York Daily News)

– Season preview for the Rider Broncs (Keepin’ Track of the MAAC)

– An excellent Q&A session with NJIT head coach Jim Engles, who has the Highlanders headed in the right direction (College Chalktalk)

– The top-15 most intriguing non-conference games featuring Big East teams (The Dagger)
 
 
Odds & Ends:
– Michigan State unveiled the camoflauge uniforms they will wear for the Friday season opener. The Spartans will face the UConn Huskies at the Ramstein Air Base as part of the Armed Forces Classic. (MLive.com)

– Creativity at it’s best: The “Under 6-foot All American Team”. (Run The Floor)

– Stan Van Gundy to call Navy-Marine Corps Classic on NBC Sports Network, will contribute to NBC Sports Radio Network.  (ProBasketballTalk)

– Every wondered how you go about building a NBA D-League roster? This infographic breaks it down (NBA.com)
 
 
Video(s) of the Day:
There is no denying that the 2012 NCAA Tournament came up short in providing its usual assortment of last second heroics. But No.6 on the list of reasons “Why We Love College Basketball” reminds us of one of the few true shining moments. (Rush The Court)


 
 
 
 
Best.Technical Foul. Ever. (Yahoo Sports, The Dagger)

Do you like the new Morning Mix? Hate it? Have a suggestion or wanted something featured? Troy Machir will take all your praise, insults and inquiries via Twitter (@TroyMachir)

How did Gary Clark catch that alley-oop?

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 24:  Gary Clark #11 of the Cincinnati Bearcats shoots the ball against the Tulane Green Wave at Fifth Third Arena on January 24, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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No. 15 Cincinnati pounced on Memphis from the start, taking a 51-32 lead into halftime.

Then, Gary Clark decided to add insult to injury to start the second half. Seriously, how did he catch that?

Mick Cronin’s team is much better offensively than in previous seasons. I’m sure fans in the Fifth Third Arena can get used to seeing more plays like this.

Cassius Winston ends half with half-court 3-pointer

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans talks with Cassius Winston #5 in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Michigan State freshman guard Cassius Winston had just one field goal in the first half. And it was a half-court buzzer-beater as the Spartans capped a sizable run to take a 49-31 lead over Nebraska going into the break.

The Spartans ended the half on a 21-5 run.

Winston provided a serious boost off the bench during that stanza. Moments earlier, he helped the Breslin Center erupt when he lobbed a pass off the backboard to teammate Miles Bridges.

Michigan State opened the day projected as one of the final at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. The margin for error is thing and it appears the Spartans are playing with a sense of urgency.

 

CBT Podcast: Mark Titus recaps Wednesday’s games

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 22: Frank Mason III #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks lays the ball up against JD Miller #15 and Jaylen Fisher #0 of the TCU Horned Frogs in the first half at Allen Fieldhouse on February 22, 2017 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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Wednesday’s slate of games had several wild results.

Former Ohio State walk-on turned blogger turned author Mark Titus, who is currently writing for The Ringer, joined Rob Dauster on the latest episode of the CBT Podcast to go over last night’s games. The two also discussed who is the best team in the nation at the moment, as well Frank Mason III’s rap single from several years ago #BIFM

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Audioboom

Roy Williams apologizes to Rick Pitino, hopes that never happens at UNC again

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrates after his 800th career victory with a 85-68 win over the Syracuse Orange at the Dean Smith Center on January 16, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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North Carolina’s Roy Williams called fellow Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino to apologize for a fan’s behavior during Wednesday night’s game in Chapel Hill.

While leaving the floor at halftime, Pitino had to be restrained by members of the Louisville coaching staff and he and a UNC fan exchanged words as he made his way to the locker rom. There’s video of Pitino pointing and shouting at a fan, who reportedly said, “Pitino, you suck!”

“I don’t like that,” Williams said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”

“I hope that never happens at North Carolina ever again.”

No. 8 North Carolina defeated No. 7 Louisville, 74-63.

Bubble Banter: It’s a quiet night on the bubble

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  Miles Bridges #22 reacts after being taken out of the game by head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans against the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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STILL TO PLAY

Georgia at Alabama (RPI: 68, KenPom: 61, next four teams), 7:00 p.m.

Nebraska at Michigan State (RPI: 43, KenPom: 55, No. 10 seed), 7:00 p.m.

Towson at UNC Wilmington (RPI: 41, KenPom: 57, No. 12 seed), 7:00 p.m.