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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Duke’s Bolden undergoes surgery to repair nasal bone

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Duke sophomore Marques Bolden underwent surgery Thursday to repair a fractured nasal bone, the school announced.

Bolden is not expected to miss any time for the Blue Devils, who host Syracuse on Saturday.

The 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per night. Bolden has already missed time this season with a knee injury and has recently been playing through the pain of his fractured nose.

A five-star prospect coming out of Texas in the Class of 2016, Bolden hasn’t been a major presence for the Blue Devils the last two years, but has given Blue Devils good minutes since returning from that knee injury over the last month.

After hosting Syracuse this weekend, Duke, which is 23-5 overall and 11-4 in the ACC, plays at Virginia Tech and then welcomes North Carolina to Durham to finish off the regular season.

Report: Michael Porter, Jr. cleared to return to basketball activities

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Missouri may be adding a lottery pick to its roster for the stretch run.

Michael Porter, Jr., who began the year projected as a potential No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, has been medically cleared to return to basketball activities after missing the entire season with a back injury, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

The 6-foot-11 freshman played the opening minutes of the Tigers’ opening game against Iowa State to start the year, but has been sidelined ever since.

It seemed unlikely that Porter would ever play college basketball because of the injury, but throughout the season he has never ruled out the possibility. Now that he has reportedly been cleared to play, the question undoubtedly will become should he?

Even without playing another second of college hoops, Porter will be a top pick in June’s draft. Some teams may even consider him for the top pick, if his health screenings check out, just based on workouts and the track record of his dominating play on the AAU circuit for years.

Still, if he’s healthy enough to play and wants to play, it’s unquestionable that it is a decision that is completely his. And it would make Missouri one heck of an interesting team.

The Tigers are 18-10 overall and 8-7 and appeared poised to make the NCAA tournament in coach Cuonzo Martin’s first year in Columbia. For their next game, they play – of course they do – Kentucky on Saturday. Talk about added intrigue for that game.

Bubble Banter: It is a massive night for teams on the bubble

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Saturday.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.

UPDATED FOR SUSPENDED GAME

SETON HALL (RPI: 27, KenPom: 40, NBC seed: 9): The Pirates landed their fourth Quadrant 1 win of the season on Thursday afternoon, picking off Providence in a game that had to be replayed after condensation on the floor made it unsafe to play on; leading scorer Desi Rodriguez sprained his ankle in the game. The tough part for the Pirates is that they have a tough finish to the regular season — at St. John’s, Villanova, Butler — and they may have to play it without Rodriguez.

PROVIDENCE (RPI: 37, KenPom: 69, NBC seed: 8): The Friars dropped to 17-11 on the season on Wednesday after they finished up their suspended game against Seton Hall. The Friars should be alright based on the wins they’ve put together — five in Quadrant 1, including wins over both Xavier and Villanova at home. The problem is that they have two Quadrant 3 and a Quadrant 4 loss. Their remaining schedule isn’t easy, either: at Georgetown, at Xavier, St. John’s. I think the Friars are in a more difficult spot that some are letting on.

WINNERS

KANSAS STATE (RPI: , KenPom: 46, NBC seed: 11): The Wildcats won their third straight game on Wednesday, beating Texas at home. They’re now 20-8 on the season and 9-6 in the Big 12 with three Quadrant 1 wins and a 9-7 record against the top two Quadrants. They have just one non-Quadrant 1 loss. The sticking points here: KSU has an atrocious non-conference SOS and their best wins are TCU, Oklahoma, at Baylor and at Texas. Their remaining schedule: at Oklahoma, at TCU, Baylor.

VIRGINIA TECH (RPI: 49, KenPom: 31, NBC seed: 9): The Hokies added their fifth Quadrant 1 win of the season on Wednesday night as they knocked off Clemson at home. The Tigers have been sliding a little bit and were playing without Shelton Mitchell, but that is not going to factor in in the eyes of the Selection Committee. At this point, with a 20-8 record, I think we can move the Hokies out of the Bubble Banter discussion for the time being.

MARQUETTE (RPI: 58, KenPom: 47, NBC seed: First four out): The Golden Eagles won their second straight game and their third game in the last four. They are 4-8 against Quadrant 1 and 8-11 against the top two Quadrants. Three of their four Quadrant 1 wins went on the road — Providence, Seton Hall, Creighton — but the Golden Eagles can’t really improve themselves during the regular season. Their last three games: at DePaul, at Georgetown, Creighton. Frankly, I think Marquette needs to win four or five in a row to have a real chance at getting a bid.

TCU (RPI: 21, KenPom: 23, NBC seed: 10): For a team that plays in the Big 12, it’s weird that TCU’s two best wins this season came over Nevada (13) and Saint Bonaventure (25) on neutral courts. All told, the Horned Frogs have four Quadrant 1 wins and a 7-9 record against the top two Quadrants after winning at Iowa State on Wednesday. They’re in a good spot, but with home games against Baylor and Kansas State left before a trip to Texas Tech and the Big 12 tournament, I still think that they to win two more games this season.

USC (RPI: 36, KenPom: 54, NBC seed: Next four out): The Trojans won their third straight game, picking off Colorado in Boulder. With just two Quadrant 1 wins and a loss to Princeton (216) at home, I think they need to win their last two games — at Utah, UCLA — if they want to get into the tournament.

ST. BONAVENTURE (RPI: 26, KenPom: 68, NBC seed: Play-in game): There is no margin for error for the Bonnies. With two bad losses on their résumé right now and just three Quadrant 1 wins, they’re right on the cusp of being in the tournament. If they win out during the regular season and lose to Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tournament, I think they will get a bid. If they lose to anyone else, it’ll be close. No matter what happens, it is not going to be a fun Selection Sunday for Mark Schmidt and company.

LOSERS

LOUISVILLE (RPI: 52, KenPom: 37, NBC seed: First four out): The Cardinals are not a tournament team as of today, and losing at Duke is not the reason why. They have three Quadrant 1 and 2 wins combined. The Quadrant 1 wins? At Florida State and at Notre Dame. The Quadrant 2 win? Virginia Tech at home. The good news is their “worst” losses are Florida State and Syracuse at home, and they have three Quadrant 1 games remaining: at Virginia Tech, Virginia, at N.C. State. I think they’ll want to win two of those.

FLORIDA (RPI: 64, KenPom: 29, NBC seed: 9): Suddenly, the Florida Gators are 17-11 on the season and 8-7 in the SEC. They’ve lost three in a row. They’ve lost five of their last seven and six of their last nine. And they have their toughest stretch of the season coming up: Auburn, at Alabama, Kentucky. The good news is that they have some really good wins. They’ve beaten Gonzaga on a neutral. They beat Cincinnati on a neutral. They won at Texas A&M, at Missouri and at Kentucky. But 11 losses is a lot of losses, especially when it would be very, very easy for them to lose two of their last three games. Who had the Gators on the bubble after PK-80?

TEXAS (RPI: 54, KenPom: 41, NBC seed: 11): The Longhorns are in a tough spot after losing at Kansas State on Wednesday. Texas has lost four of their last five and five of their last seven. They’re 16-12 overall and 6-9 in the Big 12. But they also have five Quadrant 1 wins and an 8-12 record against the top two Quadrants. They also have some pretty impressive wins. They beat Texas Tech, they beat TCU, they won at Alabama, they swept Oklahoma. They need to win at least two of their next three: Oklahoma State, at Kansas, West Virginia. That still might not actually be enough.

SYRACUSE (RPI: 46, KenPom: 45, NBC seed: Play-in game): The Orange lost at home to North Carolina on Wednesday night. They entered this week having to win two of their last four games to feel good about where they stood heading into the ACC tournament. They’re at Duke on Saturday and then at BC and home against Clemson. The last two were always the two games they were most likely to win.

PENN STATE (RPI: 76, KenPom: 25, NBC seed: Out): The Nittany Lions had a chance to get this thing done. Losing by three at Purdue was a killer; they were up by nine in the first half of a game that would have been one of college basketball’s 10-15 best wins this season. Then, on Wednesday, the lost to Michigan at home. A win at Nebraska would help — that’s a Quadrant 1 game — but it probably won’t be enough. The Nittany Lions are going to have work to do in the Big Ten tournament regardless.

 

Gregg Marshall: Wichita State, Michigan should play non-con game called ‘2013 national title game’

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Now that Louisville’s 2013 national title is officially no longer in existence, the teams that the Cardinals beat on their way to the top are trying to figure out just what they can do to, possibly, pick up that award.

At a press conference this week, Gregg Marshall — who coached the Wichita State team that Louisville dispatched in the Final Four — brought up the idea of potentially playing a game against John Beilein’s Michigan team, who lost in the title game to the Cardinals.

“I was with Coach Beilein in Maui and he and I had a conversation and I jokingly brought up that we should play a game and dub in the 2013 national title game,” Marshall said.

That would be fun!

But it doesn’t sound like Beilein would actually be open to it.

“We didn’t win it all. We lost to a great team. If someone else wants to come and say ‘hey, you won it all, you’re the champion.’ We’ll take it,” Beilein said Tuesday. “But I’m not going to declare that. I’m declaring that we played our tail off that entire year and got every bit out of what was, remember, a really young team. Freshmen and sophomores all over the place.

“That was a great basketball team.”

Womp womp.

Desi Rodriguez to miss Seton Hall-Providence replay with injury suffered on wet floor

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Providence and Seton Hall postponed the final 13:03 of a pivotal Big East bubble battle on Wednesday night due to the condition of the court being too treacherous to continue play.

There was something of a heat wave in the northeast this week, with temperatures in New England reaching into the 70s. In February.

That’s unheard of, which is why it was so difficult for the Dunkin Donuts Center to control the temperature in their building. The result? The warmer than expected arena created condensation on the court due to the ice underneath; the building is also home to a minor league hockey team. When a basketball court gets slippery, it gets dangerous, and the Pirates suffered a casualty as a result.

Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall’s leading scorer this season, slipped on the wet court in the first half and fell in a way that caused him to suffer a minor sprain of his left ankle. It’s far from a disastrous injury — he’s listed as day-to-day, so it could have been worse — but Rodriguez will not play when the game is resumed at noon on Thursday. And he may miss out when Seton Hall plays at St. John’s on Saturday.

That’s relevant because winning at Providence and at St. John’s would give the Pirates two more Quadrant 1 wins. That would assuredly help them with seeding in the NCAA tournament. They’re not exactly in danger of missing the NCAA tournament at this point, but with an 18-9 record and a 7-7 mark in the Big East, stumbling through these two road games with a Wednesday date with Villanova still on the books, suddenly the prospect of a three-game losing streak in the last weeks of the regular season is staring them straight in the face.

That would be an unfortunate way for their regular season to come to a close.