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The Morning Mix

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Marshall Henderson. Get familiar with that name because you will be seeing it a lot in the coming months. Well, if you’re a daily reader to the site, then you’ve already seen it a lot, because College Basketball Talk has been driving the Marshall Henderson bandwagon all season long.

Now, lets hit the links.

Tuesday’s Top Games:
7:00 p.m. – Richmond @ No. 13 Butler
7:00 p.m. – No. 14 North Carolina State @ Maryland
7:00 p.m. – No. 18 Michigan State @ Penn State
7:00 p.m. – Pittsburgh @ Villanova
7:00 p.m. – Dayton @ La Salle
8:00 p.m. – Xavier @ St. Bonaventure’s
8:00 p.m. – Illinois State @ Wichita State
8:00 p.m. – Georgia @ No. 17 Missouri
9:00 p.m. – No. 18 New Mexico @ Boise State
9:00 p.m. – Seton Hall @ No. 25 Marquette
9:00 p.m. – No. 16 Kansas State @ TCU
9:00 p.m. – Air Force @ Colorado State
9:00 p.m. – West Virginia @ Iowa State
10:00 p.m. – UNLV at No. 15 San Diego State
10:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ Fresno State
11:00 p.m. – Saint Mary’s @ BYU
11:30 p.m. – Colorado @ Washington
 
 
Read of the Day:
A great story about how an increase in the number of court cases the NCAA deals with could impact their image. It’s wordy, but worth your read. (Associated Press)

Read of the Day:
Andy Glockner’s “Bubble Watch” is the only “Bubble Watch” you need to read. Read it. (Sports Illustrated)
 
 
Top Stories:
Marshall Henderson hits 35-footer to force OT in Ole Miss’ comeback win over Vandy: The Rebels avoided an ugly loss to Vanderbilt thanks to a 35-foot buzzer-beater from sharpshooter Marshall Henderson which sent the game in to overtime. Ole Miss gained momentum in the extra frame and never looked back.

Wisconsin knocks off No. 2 Indiana, so why did we question Bo Ryan? For the 11th consecutive time, Wisconsin has beaten Indiana, with Tuesday’s win coming as the unranked Badgers went into Assembly Hall and knocked off No. 2 Indiana, 64-59. All of a sudden, in the loaded Big Ten, the Badgers are sitting alone atop the league standings at 4-0.

Kyle Wiltjer helps Kentucky outlast Tennessee to get bounce-back win: The Wildcats avoided back-to-back home losses by gutting out a tough victory over Tennessee thanks in large part to the play of sophomore Kyle Wiltjer.

St. John’s beat No. 20 Notre Dame while Jack Cooley watches? The Irish lost their second straight game to an unranked opponent on Tuesday night, and they did so with their best player watching a good portion of it from the bench. But why?

Coach K bashes realignment again, calls it an ‘assault on tradition’: Coach K has been an outspoken critic of realignment, and on his Sirius XM radio show this week he specifically criticized realignment for breaking the bonds of geographical rivalries and eliminating one of the unique competitive advantages of the sport.

If Duke loses on the road, you can bet fans are storming the court: An analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that Duke has lost 31 true road games over the past 10 seasons. Of those 31 losses, 25 times the fans of the opposing team stormed the court in celebration (80.6 percent of the time), most recently Saturday against NC State.

Report: Luke Martinez kicked an unconscious man in the head: Luke Martinez, the Wyoming forward that was suspended for his involvement in a bar fight that resulted in a broken hand, was arraigned on Tuesday.He was charged with aggravated assault and battery, and the details of the brawl were also made public. The details are pretty ugly.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping
– Bill Self has been selected as a member of this newest class of inductees for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. (KUSports.com)

– Cal head coach Mike Montgomery expects guard Brandon Smith to return to the lineup this weekend after being sidelined for fives games due to a concussion. (Bear Talk)

– Kansas guard Ben McLemore has a sore ankle but isn’t expected to miss any games after injuring it in the closing minutes of the Jayhawks’s win over Baylor on Monday (KUsports.com)

– UMass junior guard Jesse Morgan will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL injury he suffered during the Minutemen’s 70-62 loss at Saint Louis on Monday. (ESPN Boston)

– Alabama’s Trevor Releford may miss the Crimson tide’s game tonight at Mississippi State because of an ankle injury. (The Sporting News)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– Ole Miss and Vanderbilt put on arguably the best ending to regulation that we’ve seen all year. (USA Today)

– This isn’t necessarily surprising, but seeing it in writing is always kinda interesting: Division I schools spend more on athletics than education. (USA Today)

– We really shouldn’t be too surprised that Wisconsin beat Indiana last night. This is kinda their thing. They get down early in the season, people forget about them, and BOOM, they rally off a couple of top-25 wins in a row and make the tournament. That’s Bo Ryan for ya. (ESPN)

– Doug Gottlieb provides five reasons why Wisconsin still has Indiana’s number (CBS Sports)

– Ryan Evans is in one heckuva shooting slump. Those of you who watched the Wisconsin/Indiana game last night saw it first-hand. Ken Pomeroy provides the gory statistics. (KenPom Blog)

– Illinois State is 0-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Nobody saw this coming. Not us and not them. They are hoping they can fix it. (Omaha World-Herald)

– San Diego State has never really had a true rival on the hardwood. But their recent series with UNLV could change that. So could conference realignment. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

– Doug McDermott scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half as the Creighton Bluejays extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 79-68 win over Northern Iowa (Fox Sports)

– Butler will have to re-tool some of its offense to make up for the absence of Rotnei Clarke for the next two games. (Indianapolis Star)

– Is there such a thing as “an encouraging loss”? If there is, James Madison had one last night against George Mason (JMU Sports Blog)

– As expected, Texas A&M’s Elston Turner was named as the Oscar Robertson Player of the Week. That’s what happens when you score 41 points at Rupp Arena. (USBWA)

– Here’s some interesting discussion on whether or not Oklahoma State sophomore Le’Bryan Nash is a “spectacular athlete”. (Pistols Firing)
 
 
Picture of the Night:
We have to commend this Tennessee student, who somehow got himself a ticket to Rupp Arena and a spot in the Kentucky student section. This kid has some serious brass. (H/T @Vols_Photos)


 
 
Video of the Night:
Marshall Henderson drills a 30-footer to force overtime against Vanderbilt.

Henderson wasn’t the only one jacked up about the Rebels’ huge road win. (The Mock Session)

source:
 
 
Dunk: of the Day:
Victor Oladipo is usually the one doing the posterizing. But this time around, it was Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren posterizing Oladipo.


 
 
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You Make The Call: Did Tyler Roberson set an illegal screen?

SYRACUSE, NY - JANUARY 28:  Tyler Roberson #21 of the Syracuse Orange dunks the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at the Carrier Dome on January 28, 2017 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
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Syracuse was unable to cap off a thrilling comeback on Sunday night due, in large part, to the fact that Tyler Roberson was called for an illegal screen with 16 seconds left in the game and the Orange down just two points.

They had gone on a 20-9 run in the previous four minutes to close the deficit, and had gotten a stop in order to get the ball on that possession.

But here’s the thing: The call was, to put it politely, controversial. I don’t think that Tyler Roberson committed a foul here.

You make the call:

The loss put the Orange in a bad spot with just two weeks left before the end of the regular season. We go all the way through their at-large profile here.

Bubble Banter: Let’s talk about Syracuse, Georgetown and Georgia Tech

CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 16:  Tyus Battle #25 of the Syracuse Orange during their game at the Dean Smith Center on January 16, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here. This is where the seeds you see listed below come from.

This post will be updated throughout the night. 

LOSERS

Georgetown (RPI: 61, KenPom: 53, first four out): The Hoyas missed a golden opportunity to add an elite road win to their profile, losing at Creighton by 17 points, and now I think we’re just about to a point where we can write the Hoyas off. They’re sitting at 14-13 on the season and 5-9 in the Big East. The win over Oregon on a neutral, at Butler and over Creighton at home got them back into the picture, but three losses in their last four games will probably be too much to overcome.

That said, I’m going to keep listing them here because I think that if they can win out – DePaul, at St. John’s, at Seton Hall, Villanova – they’ll have an argument. In the early bracket reveal, the committee made clear that they value good wins over anything, which is why Gonzaga was rated as the fourth No. 1 seed despite having fewer losses than any of the other No. 1 seeds. There aren’t many teams that would be able to match Georgetown win for win in they win out.

Syracuse (RPI: 77, KenPom: 46, No. 10 seed): The Orange lost to Georgia Tech on Sunday, so let’s talk about Syracuse, because they are on track to enter Selection Sunday with one of the weirder profiles. The bad first: they lost to a bad, injury-depleted UConn team at the Garden. They were blown out at Boston College. They were blown out by St. John’s at home by 33 points. There is no high-major team with that collection of awful losses to their name, and it doesn’t help that Jim Boeheim’s club has nine more losses to add to the mix.

They also have some good wins – Virginia, Florida State, Wake Forest, Miami – but they’ve only won two games away from the Carrier Dome: at Clemson, who is 4-10 in the ACC, and at N.C. State, who fired their coach three days ago. With FSU and UVA careening – combined, they’ve lost five straight games – neither of those games look at good as they did two weeks ago. So after today, for my money, Syracuse is out. That can change, however. They get Duke at home this week and Louisville on the road this weekend. Those are season-changers.

WINNERS

Georgia Tech (RPI: 79, KenPom: 78, first four out): The Yellow Jackets have a very similar profile to that of Syracuse, who they beat at home on Sunday. They have wins over North Carolina, Florida State and Notre Dame, but they also won at VCU – which is now a top 30 road win – and their worst loss came against an Ohio team that looked like they could win the MAC before their best player went down with a season-ending injury. Their problem? Their non-conference strength of schedule is 244th, and that RPI is dreadfully low for an at-large contender.

Michigan (RPI: 52, KenPom: 27, No. 10 seed): The Wolverines lost an overtime game on the road to Minnesota, which is not the kind of loss that is really going to hurt their profile beyond the opportunity cost of it. The Wolverines are still in a good spot.

Valparaiso (RPI: 74, KenPom: 97, No. 12 seed): Valpo is in as a No. 12 seed in our bracket, but they are in as an automatic bid, meaning that there are no at-large teams rated below them. Being the best automatic bid does not guarantee that they’ll be in as an at-large, not when their best win is a Rhode Island team that is fading and they’ve lost four games to sub-100 competition. Win that auto-bid.

Illinois State (RPI: 35, KenPom: 49, No. 12 seed): Illinois State beat Loyola (IL) on Sunday to keep themselves alive for a potential at-large bid should they lose in the Missouri Valley tournament. Their profile, however, is quite different than that of Wichita State. Their only top 50 win is a Wichita State team whose only top 50 win is … Illinois State. They have also lost to San Francisco, Tulsa and Murray State, who is 239th in the RPI. Pro-tip: Don’t risk it, even with the weak bubble. The committee is going to value wins over a lack of losses.

 

VIDEO: Valparaiso’s Micah Bradford makes 3/4 court shot off the shot clock

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Valparaiso freshman Micah Bradford made one of the most ridiculous shots we’ll see all season on Sunday against Detroit.

With time winding down in the first half, Bradford hoisted a 3/4 court buzzer-beater and watched as it hit the shot clock, flew high in the air, hit the rim and dropped through the hoop to the disbelief of everyone in attendance.

Unfortunately, Bradford’s wacky three-pointer did not count as he finished with five points in a 20-point Valpo win.

(H/t: Eric Fawcett)

Michigan State senior Eron Harris to have season-ending knee surgery

Michigan State's Eron Harris (14) shoots against Wisconsin's Jordan Hill (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
(AP Photo/Andy Manis)
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Michigan State senior guard Eron Harris will undergo season-ending surgery on his knee after leaving Saturday’s loss at Purdue on a stretcher, the school announced on Sunday.

The 6-foot-3 fifth-year senior suffered the right knee injury during Michigan State’s loss at Purdue on Saturday as the unsettling injury resulted in some Michigan State players being brought to tears. Harris is a native of Indianapolis and received a standing ovation from the road crowd at Purdue as he was taken off the floor.

“We all feel absolutely awful for Eron,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in the release. “As I said last night, I couldn’t ask for more than what Eron has given me and this program. Over the last month he’s grown even more as a leader and been an example to his young teammates. And maybe I didn’t even fully grasp it until I walked on the court and saw the admiration his teammates had for him and the tears in their eyes. There’s no faking the respect they have for Eron as a man, as a player, and most importantly a teammate.

“It’s cruel to see a senior’s career end this way. If there is a silver lining, it’s that we expect Eron to be able to make a full recovery and pursue a basketball career after graduation. He’s always worked for everything he’s accomplished on the court, and that same passion and mindset will serve him well in his recovery. Basketball is important to all players, but for Eron it was a way of life. Very few have spent more time in this facility or worked harder than Eron has. That’s why I’m confident his best basketball is still in front of him.”

Although Harris was never able to recreate his awesome sophomore season at West Virginia after his transfer to Michigan State, losing him still hurts this Spartans team because he’s one of the team’s veterans and, at times, a capable scorer. Harris averaged 10.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game as a senior while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three-point range.

The injury bug has hit Michigan State pretty hard this season as they’ve also lost Ben Carter and Gavin Schilling to season-ending injuries.

No. 11 Wisconsin takes down No. 23 Maryland

MADISON, WI - FEBRUARY 19:  Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers works against Michal Cekovsky #15 of the Maryland Terrapins during the first half of a game at the Kohl Center on February 19, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Wisconsin snapped a two-game losing streak with a 71-60 Big Ten home win over No. 23 Maryland on Sunday. With senior guard Bronson Koenig returning to the rotation after missing the Michigan loss with injury, the No. 11 Badgers looked more like themselves for the first time in the last few games.

Here are some takeaways from this one.

1. This was an ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly game (just the way Wisconsin wanted)

Sorry to make you read the word “ugly” four times but I felt it was completely necessary to hammer home the point that this basketball game was not a pleasant viewing experience (and this has nothing to do with pace or style of play).

Wisconsin only shot 41 percent from the field, 16 percent from three-point range and 54 percent from the free-throw line and still won by double digits because they were the older and more physical team. While the Terps were able to hang in the game until the final five minutes or so because of junior guard Melo Trimble’s scoring punch, a younger Maryland team was physically dominated by Wisconsin for most of the game.

The Badgers owned the glass (44 to 27), got to the free-throw line 37 times and did a nice job of getting Maryland’s bigs into foul trouble.

Even though Wisconsin couldn’t generate a lot of consistent offense, they had enough from guys like Nigel Hayes (19 points) and Ethan Happ (20 points) to feel comfortable once they built a bit of a cushion. Wisconsin winning ugly isn’t any sort of new phenomenon, but it does bode well for the Badgers that they handled Maryland this easily despite such a poor shooting game.

2. Maryland needs even more help for Melo to be elite

Maryland has been able to stay in the top 25 this season because junior Melo Trimble has had a lot of help from a talented freshman class. Anthony Cowan has given the Terps another attacking guard, Kevin Huerter is one of the Big Ten’s better all-around freshmen and Justin Jackson has given Maryland a nice dose of athleticism.

Those three freshmen had a game to forget in Madison on Sunday. While Trimble went for 27 points, those three freshmen went a combined 3-for-15 from the field as they just didn’t show up to play during a very important game for conference implications.

Freshmen are going to have off games but this was the biggest game of Maryland’s season and they didn’t look ready to play.

Looking to fire up his team in the second half, head coach Mark Turgeon even went on the floor during a Wisconsin possession and basically forced the officials to whistle him for a technical foul. Even after trying to rally his team with that tech, the Terps didn’t fair much better.

It is also concerning that center Michael Cekovsky went down with an ankle injury in the second half. Cekovsky grabbed his ankle and left the game — looking noticeably frustrated on the bench — and that could be something to watch for Maryland in these final few weeks. Although Cekovsky is only a reserve big man, his 10-point showing on Sunday was one of his best games since returning from injury as he was just starting to look more comfortable.

Losing Cekovsky could hurt, but thankfully for Maryland, the remaining schedule isn’t too daunting. Three of four games come at home and the only road game comes at Rutgers. Even with Sunday’s lackluster effort, Maryland can stay in the Big Ten race if they continue to win.