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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Sweet 16 Preview: Thursday’s picks, predictions, betting lines and channels

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The Sweet 16 kicks off on Thursday night, and the games are going to be terrific.

Oregon-Michigan should be thrilling, Gonzaga-West Virginia is a fascinating contrast of styles and Kansas-Purdue features arguably the two best players in college basketball.

Oh, and then there’s Arizona-Xavier, with Sean Miller and Chris Mack doing battle.

For an in-depth look at each region, check these out:

SWEET 16 PREVIEW: Midwest | West | South | East

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 7 Michigan (-1.5), 7:09 p.m. (CBS): So this run that Michigan on, is it a fluke?

Frankly, I don’t think that it is. Derrick Walton has been awesome for the better part of two months while Michigan’s perimeter shooters have always been shooters and the duo of D.J. Wilson and Mo Wagner are legit. I honestly do not believe that the Wolverines are a team of destiny after the plane crash. They are just really good and a perfect roster for John Beilein to tinker with.

That’s why they’re favored on Thursday night. But here’s the thing … Oregon is pretty good themselves. Dillon Brooks is going to be guarded by a big man, which should be a matchup that Brooks can take advantage of, and Tyler Dorsey has been playing terrific basketball since the start of the Pac-12 tournament.

If you like small-ball, spread-the-court basketball, you’ll love this game.

PREDICTION: Michigan (-1.5)

No. 1 Gonzaga (-3) vs. No. 4 West Virginia, 7:39 p.m. (TBS): On paper, I think Gonzaga should win this game. They have a good back court in Nigel Williams-Goss and Josh Perkins, a pair of talented point guards that have won a lot of games in their career. Gonzaga is also the best defensive team in the country. So if they don’t turn the ball over against West Virginia’s press and they make it difficult for West Virginia to score in the half court and get into their press, they should be able to win this thing, right?

Well, maybe not.

My concern with Gonzaga is game-pressure. They didn’t handle it well down the stretch against BYU in their one loss of the season, and I’m not convinced that they win that second round game against Northwestern if the officials don’t blow the goaltending call. How are they going to handle an endless wave of Mountaineers in their face?

PREDICTION: Gonzaga (-3)

No. 1 Kansas (-5) vs. No. 4 Purdue, 9:39 p.m. (CBS): More than any other game this weekend, I’m fascinated to see how these two teams decide to try and play each other. Kansas has, essentially, one big man that Bill Self can trust, and he’s going up against a Player of the Year candidate in Caleb Swanigan and one of the best big men in the country at drawing fouls in Isaac Haas. Will Self double-team Swanigan knowing that Purdue may be more effective offensively when Swanigan can find shooters out of the double-team, or will he risk Lucas getting in foul trouble by trying to guard Swanigan one-on-one?

Then, at the other end of the floor, how will Purdue deal with the Kansas back court? Frank Mason III, the NBC Sports National Player of the Year, and Devonte’ Graham are a nightmare for anyone to deal with, let alone a team that struggles against penetrating guards and that lacks rim protection. It should be a fascinating coaching battle.

PREDICTION: Kansas (-5)

No. 2 Arizona (-7.5) vs. No. 11 Xavier, 10:09 p.m. (TBS): On paper, Arizona should be able to handle a Xavier team that doesn’t have Edmond Sumner or Myles Davis. That said, as we all know, Chris Mack and Sean Miller are very close and used to work together. Mack knows everything that Miller is going to do and vice versa. I think this game will be a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair that comes down to the final minutes.

PREDICTION: Xavier (+7.5)

Shayok and Reuter transferring from Virginia

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Virginia announced the departure of two players Wednesday.

Marial Shayok and Jerred Shayok will both transfer out of the program, the school said.

“Marial and Jarred informed me today that they are leaving the Virginia basketball program and are looking to transfer to other schools,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said in a statement released by the school. “I thank Marial and Jarred for their hard work and contributions to our program, and wish them success in the future.”

Shayok, a a 6-foot-5 junior, played 20.9 minutes per game last season for the Cavaliers, averaging 8.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the floor. The Ottawa native started 23 games in three seasons with Virginia.

Reuter played a minimal role for the Cavaliers, averaging just 10.8 minutes and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Wake’s Collins declares for NBA draft without hiring agent

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Wake Forest’s John Collins is entering the NBA draft but will not hire an agent and is keeping open the option of returning to school for his junior season.

In a statement Wednesday announcing the decision, Collins said he wants “to make an informed decision about what is best for my future.”

Collins is a 6-foot-10 forward who as a sophomore blossomed into one of the best big men in the Atlantic Coast Conference and was voted to the Associated Press all-ACC team.

He averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds, putting together a string of 12 consecutive 20-point games late in the season.

His progression was a big reason why the Demon Deacons earned their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2010. Kansas State beat Wake Forest in the First Four.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org

Porter, Jr. will ask for Washington release

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There may be an overwhelming assumption on where Michael Porter, Jr. – and his father – will ultimately end up, but the five-star recruit is said publicly that he see his re-recruitment process through.

Porter, Jr. said in a teleconference Wednesday that he will ask for his release from Washington, and his father, a former Huskies assistant, has been offered a job at Missouri by new Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin.

“Right now I’m just trying to take it slow with my family and weigh my options,” Porter Jr. said, according to the Kansas City Star. “I plan to get my (national letter of intent) from Washington back and just go from there, not saying that I’m not going to Washington anymore, but I just want to get it back and weigh my options.”

The prevailing thought has been that the Porters will ultimately land in Columbia, where they have significant history.

Still, it would appear at least publicly that Porter, Jr., a potential No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft, will weigh his options in at least the short-term.

Calipari signs two-year extension with Kentucky

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Kentucky continues to take care of John Calipari.

The Wildcats coach has received a two-year extension, keeping him under contract in Lexington through the 2024 season, the school announced Wednesday.

The contract will pay Calipari $7.75 million next season and increase to $8 million per season thereafter.

“John has achieved consistent championship-level performance at Kentucky,” Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “No one in America is better suited for everything that comes with being the coach here. Not only has he attained incredible success on the court, he is also a leader in our community and in college basketball.

“We have been blessed to have him and Ellen here for the last eight years and we are blessed they will continue to call Kentucky home.”

Not only does the deal extend Calipari, but it continues to keep Kentucky competitive with the NBA, which would seem to be the only outlet that would even potentially tempt Calipari away from Kentucky. An NBA franchise would have to make him among the highest-paid coaches in the league to even match Kentucky financially.

Of course, given that Calipari has spurned interest from the league since returning to college in 2000, it seems unlikely that financial considerations would be the lone or heaviest variable in making a decision to move on.

Certainly, Calipari has an excellent thing going at Kentucky as the premier recruiting program in the country that has enjoyed serious success on the court, culminating in a 2012 national title and a 38-0 start to the 2015 season before a loss in the Final Four.

“The last eight years at the University of Kentucky have been a terrific ride,” Calipari said in a statement. “This extension shows our full commitment to each other. I believe this school is the gold standard and I’m so thankful and blessed that this university has given me this opportunity at this point in my career.”

The Wildcats face UCLA in the Sweet 16 on Friday.