Mike Aresco

Report: Big East schools may vote to dissolve league

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With all of the football schools joining into ever-larger lumps of meat, it always seemed like a time would com when at least one hoops-only league would flat-out disappear. I thought it would be a mid-major, like the CAA or Horizon, but it’s one of the BCS leagues, gutted by realignment, that may go down first.

According to the Providence Journal, the Big East may be at a tipping point for dissolution after Rutgers left to join the Big Ten.

Representatives of some of those [remaining] seven schools said this week that the tipping point would be reached if either Connecticut or Louisville heads to another league. Such a loss would be infinitely more important to the basketball schools than Rutgers leaving, because it would further erode an already badly damaged basketball core.

Losing a UConn or Louisville would also give the basketball schools the opportunity to engineer an unprecedented power play and vote to dissolve the league. According to the Big East’s bylaws, the conference can be dissolved by a two-thirds vote of all members. The seven basketball schools, which include Providence College, would own that voting advantage over three all-sports members (Cincinnati, South Florida and either UConn or Louisville). That voting edge would disappear in July, when new members Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU come onboard.

Why commit suicide instead of being killed? Because the basketball schools that remain would actually have some power in such a scenario. They could be the driving force in the growing “nationwide hoops league” movement. The Big East basketball schools could take the lead, and to some measure, dictate terms of such an arrangement if they are free of any conference affiliation.

We’ll keep an eye on this situation, and update you throughout the holiday week.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons.¬†Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.