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The Morning Mix

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“Upset Week” continued last night on the college hardwood. Minnesota lost to Northwestern, Creighton lost to Drake, Butler lost to La Salle and Miami absolute demolished Duke. There were also at least six other games that can be classified as upsets as well.

Oh, and Drexel’s Frantz Massenat hit a 50-foot buzzer-beater to beat Hofstra.

Lets hit the links.

Thursday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – Purdue @ No. 2 Michigan
7:00 p.m. – No. 19 VCU @ Richmond
7:00 p.m. – Tennessee @ No. 23 Ole Miss
7:00 p.m. – Davidson @ Western Carolina
8:00 p.m. – Middle Tennessee North Texas
8:30 p.m. – California @ Utah
9:00 p.m. – UCLA @ No. 6 Arizona
9:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ UNLV
10:00 p.m. – Stanford @ Colorado
10:30 p.m. – USC @ Arizona State
11:00 p.m. – BYU @ Gonzaga
11:00 p.m. – San Diego @ Saint Mary’s

Read of the Day:
A lot of articles were written yesterday about the NCAA’s huge gaffe in the Nevin Shapiro case. Make sure you read Dana O’Neil’s take. It’s as spot-on as spot-on can be. (ESPN)

Read of the Day:
Luke Winn Power Rankings. That is all. (Sports Illustrated)

Top Stories:

What does tonight’s blowout loss mean for No. 1 Duke?: The Blue Devils lost to Miami by 27, and the score doesn’t properly indicate how bad the loss was. With no Ryan Kelly, and a banged up Seth Curry, the Blue Devils may be in an interesting predicament.

Drexel’s Frantz Massenat sinks 50-foot buzzer-beater to defeat Hofstra: Drexel was picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association this season, but as a result of injuries and inconsistent play during the first two months of the year, the Dragons have been a bit of a disappointment. That all changed on Wednesday night thanks to Frantz Massenat, who hit a 50-foot heave at the buzzer to beat Hofstra, 55-52.

Ramon Galloway’s last-second bucket earns La Salle upset of No. 9 Butler: Hinkle Magic doesn’t travel with Butler, as the Bulldogs were on the wrong end of a game-winning shot against La Salle last night. Ramon Galloway had a quiet night with just six points, but with time running out he drove the length of the floor, finishing a layup on the left side of the rim with two seconds left on the clock.

Despite Trevor Mbakwe’s effort, No. 14 Minnesota falls in upset loss to Northwestern: Northwestern’s zone disrupted Minnesota all night, holding coach Tubby Smith’s team to 33 percent shooting, including 5-of-19 from three-point range. That, added to 15 Minnesota turnovers, sunk the Gophers on Wednesday.

Drake holds off second-half run to upset Doug McDermott, No. 17 Creighton: In line with Wednesday’s theme of Top 25 upsets, unranked Drake used 20 points from guard Richard Carter to beat No. 17 Creighton, 74-69. The Bluejays have now lost-straight, although Doug McDermott played the game while battling the flu.

Scott Martin reportedly might never play for Notre Dame again due to injury: Notre Dame senior Scott Martin will be sidelined for two to three weeks as he takes time to rest an aching knee. There is the possibility, though, that the nagging injury will keep him off the court for the remainder of the year, effectively ending his college career.

CBT Podcast: Miami, Ole Miss and Oregon on the rise, Missouri and Notre Dame fall back: Host Troy Machir is joined by College Basketball Talk writer Raphielle Johnson to discuss a litany of different topics, including the teams and players that haven’t gotten the recognition they deserve, for both good and bad reasons. Miami, Butler and Ole Miss are just a few of the teams that deserve some recognition, and that’s exactly why we are here.

NCAA investigating improper conduct in Nevin Shapiro case, good news for Frank Haith: The NCAA may have made a rather large mistake in the Nevin Shapiro case, which could help out Frank Haith’s cause. What’s more, the NCAA may have had Shapiro’s attorney on their payroll, only no one actually approved it. They realized it when the bill showed up and people started asking questions.

Could the NCAA’s latest gaffe create a change to enforcement practices?: On Wednesday it was announced that the NCAA may have botched the air-tight case against Miami booster Nevin Shapiro. You would think that the NCAA would make some changes regarding enforcement policies, but again, this is the NCAA we are talking about.

Observations & Insight:
– Goodman and Parrish updated their Player of the Year rankings, and they have Dougie McBuckets at the top. (Hey wait a minute, I coined that phrase!). (Eye on College Basketball)

– If you thought Miami’s destruction of Duke was bad, check out what Southern Miss did to Marshall. 47-5 first half run. Final score: 102-46. Kyle Ringo provides the gory details. (The Dagger)

– C.J. Moore explains why Russ Smith’s trigger-happy approach will hinder the Cardinals’ chance at winning a National Championship. (Los Angeles Times)

– Believing is half the battle, and the Kansas Jayhawks believe they should win. (KUSports.com)

– Ryan Fagan profiles four teams once thought to be contenders that are now slipping in sliding down the top-25. (Sporting News)

– UCLA heads to the McKale Center to face off against Arizona in the game of the night. As Bruce Pascoe explains, the Bruins are a perfect opponent for the “White Out” event. (Arizona Daily Star)

– There were a lot of shocking surprises on Wednesday night, and Lehigh’s road victory at Bucknell is right up there near the top considering they did it without C.J. McCollum. (The Patriot News)

– Seton Hall’s Brandon Mobley and Brian Oliver returned from injury and scored a combined 23 points in the Pirates’ 55-47 win over South Florida. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Pirates. (New Jersey Hoops Haven)

– Iowa State was another team on the wrong end of an upset last night, as the Cylcones fell to Texas Tech (Ames Tribune)

– Akron center Zeke Marshall had nine blocks last night. No other MAC players has blocked nine shots in one game. Marshall has now done it twice. (Hustle Belt)

– North Carolina won their third straight game last night, defeating Georgia Tech 79-63. During the waning moments of the game, fans could be heard chanting “Go to Hell, Duke”. Classic. (USA Today)

Picture of the Day:
Reggie Johnson made his return last night in Miami’s drubbing of top-ranked Duke. Here he is throwing up “the deuces” with a fan following the 27-point victory and subsequent court-storming. What a swell guy.

source: AP

Video of the Day:
Pierce Hornung should really practice his shot-blocking before he attempts to stand in Tony Snell’s way. Bad idea.

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

WEEKLY AWARDS: West Virginia shines again, but it’s time to pay attention to Oregon

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks (24) drives past Arizona forward Ryan Anderson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Dillon Brooks, Oregon

The Pac-12 may not be as strong at the top as the other power conferences in college basketball, but there may not be a league in the country that is as balanced. There are as many as ten teams that are still in the running for an NCAA tournament bid, and the difference between No. 2 and No. 10 is really not all that drastic.

I say No. 2 because, at this point, I think that the Ducks are the clear-cut best team in the conference. They proved that this week, as they mollywhopped Colorado in Eugene and followed that up with a double-figure win over Utah. Dillon Brooks looked like an All-American on Sunday, putting 30 points and nine assists on the Utes, who had the reputation of being one of the better defensive teams in the conference entering the day.

Brooks’ offensive arsenal is just silly, but his name doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath as some of the other stars in college basketball, probably for the same reason Oregon is flying under the radar. They were injured early and suffered a couple of ugly losses early in the year, to UNLV in Las Vegas and at Boise State. But they’ve won six in a row in the league (how about this run: USC, UCLA, at Arizona, at Arizona State, Colorado, Utah) and nine of their last ten. I think Oregon is Final Four good. Let’s see if anyone else picks up on it.

THE ‘ALL THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM

  • Brandon Sherrod, Yale: Sherrod broke the NCAA record of consecutive field goals made in Friday night’s win over Columbia, when he scored 25 points and grabbed eight boards. He had made 30 straight shots since January 16th.
  • Wesley Iwundu, Kansas State: Iwundu had 15 points, five boards and five assists in a loss at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, but he made this list for the 22 points and seven assists he had in the win over No. 1 Oklahoma, when he also was tasked with guarding Buddy Hield, who he “held” to 23 points.
  • Darryl Reynolds, Villanova: Reynolds had 13 boards in a win over Creighton during the week and followed that up with 19 points and 10 boards in the win at Providence. He entered the week averaging just 2.3 points with a reputation for being little more than the reason that Daniel Ochefu needed to play so many minutes.
  • Ryan Anderson, Arizona: The 31 points and 12 boards at Washington State were nice. The 22 points and 15 boards at Washington were even better. The road sweep that Arizona landed? The best.
  • Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia: Maybe it’s Virginia’s struggles on the road. Maybe it’s because they’re a “boring” team to watch. Maybe it’s because their pace keeps his numbers down a bit. Whatever the case may be, no one is paying near enough attention to how good Brogdon has been this season. Myself included. He was terrific against in wins against Boston College and at Pitt this week.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: West Virginia Mountaineers

Here we are, the morning after the Super Bowl has ended, and none other than West Virginia is leading the Big 12.

Seriously.

It’s West Virginia.

Not Oklahoma. Not Kansas. Not Iowa State. West Virginia.

And I know what your initial reaction is going to be. “A schedule fluke”, right? Well, no. Not really. The Mountaineers beat Kansas at home. They lost to Oklahoma in Norman on a tip-in by Khadeem Lattin at the buzzer. This week alone they won at Iowa State and beat Baylor in impressive fashion in Morgantown. Bobby Huggins has this team playing some great basketball, and when they’re forcing turnovers, crashing the glass and getting Jaysean Paige to play like an all-Big 12 guard, they’re tough to beat.

THEY WERE GOOD, TOO

  • Michigan State: The Spartans are back. After seeing Michigan State go into Ann Arbor and work over the Wolverines, I feel pretty comfortable saying that.
  • Louisville: The Cardinals got rocked by the news of their postseason ban, and responded by blowing out Boston College on Saturday. So good for them. The win over North Carolina was nice, too.
  • Texas: The Longhorns kicked off the week by winning at Baylor and followed that up with a better-than-you-think win over Texas Tech.
  • Oregon: Like we mentioned earlier, no one in the country is playing better ball right now than the Ducks.
  • Maryland: The Terps not only picked up a win at Nebraska during the week, but they also held serve against Purdue at home over the weekend, which gave them their second top 50 win of the season.

SET YOUR DVR

No. 10 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, Tue. 7:00 p.m.
No. 14 West Virginia at No. 7 Kansas, Tue. 7:00 p.m.
No. 5 Iowa at No. 22 Indiana, Thu. 9:00 p.m.
No. 7 Kansas at No. 1 Oklahoma, Sat. 2:30 p.m.
Gonzaga at No. 12 SMU, Sat. 10:00 p.m.
No. 22 Indiana at No. 10 Michigan State, Sun. 1:00 p.m.
USC at No. 23 Arizona, Sun. 9:00 p.m.

NBC SPORTS BRACKETOLOGY: Oklahoma leads final push toward Selection Sunday

Lon Kruger
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
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With the Super Bowl in our rear-view mirror, eyes turn toward Selection Sunday – apologies to the diehard baseball fans who toss in the start of Spring Training ahead of March Madness.  Anyway, we’re a month away from the annual NCAA Tournament Selection Show and few bracket positions have been secured.  If you’re just joining the college hoops landscape, it’s been that type of season.  Welcome, by the way.

Oklahoma continues to lead the Field of 68, but the No. 1 seed line is far from certain.  At this point a year ago, we pretty much knew that Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Duke would be No. 1 seeds.  This year, we can’t lock anyone into place. Positioning along the top three lines is very much in flux, even if we have a good idea about the contenders.  The bubble is no different.  Strap on your seatbelt; it could be a bumpy ride to the finish.

As a reminder, Louisville self-imposed a post-season ban last Friday, which eliminates the Cardinals from bracket consideration.  SMU did the same before the season.  Thus, two at-large teams will be Dancing on Selection Sunday courtesy of the Cards and Mustangs.  Today, those two teams are Clemson and Saint Joseph’s.  In the Tigers’ case, a solid group of ACC wins (mostly at home) is lifting up non-conference schedule ranked No. 341.  Ultimately, that could cost Clemson a month from now – we’ve seen it before.  When a team goes 7-5 against one of the worst non-conference schedules in the nation, it takes an exceptional conference season to overcome the disparity.

Enjoy your week of college hoops.  You can find the complete Seed List at Bracketville.

UPDATED: February 8, 2016

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is first tiebreaker. Notes: To simulate actual bracket conditions, we’ve used current conference leaders to receive the automatic bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Cincinnati vs. Saint Joseph’s | Midwest Region
  • Clemson vs. George Washington | East Region
  • BUCKNELL vs. WAGNER | Midwest Region
  • HAMPTON vs. TEXAS-SOUTHERN | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

SOUTH – Louisville MIDWEST – Chicago                            
Oklahoma City Des Moines
1) OKLAHOMA 1) Kansas
16) TX-SOUTHERN / HAMPTON 16) BUCKNELL / WAGNER
8) WICHITA STATE 8) VCU
9) Colorado 9) Syracuse
Raleigh Denver
5) DAYTON 5) Arizona
12) VALPARAISO 12) MONMOUTH
4) Miami-FL 4) Texas AM
13) AKRON 13) ARK-LITTLE ROCK
Spokane St. Louis
6) Providence 6) Baylor
11) SAINT MARY’S 11) Cincinnati / St. Joseph’s
3) OREGON 3) Michigan State
14) UAB 14) NC-WILMINGTON
Brooklyn St. Louis
7) Duke 7) Pittsburgh
10) Seton Hall 10) Washington
2) Maryland 2) Xavier
15) BELMONT 15) NEW MEXICO ST
EAST – Philadelphia         WEST – Anaheim
Brooklyn Des Moines
1) VILLANOVA 1) IOWA
16) NORTH FLORIDA 16) MONTANA
8) CONNECTICUT 8) Florida State
9) Florida 9) SAN DIEGO ST
Providence Spokane
5) Kentucky 5) USC
12) Clemson / Geo Washington 12) CHATTANOOGA
4) Purdue 4) Texas
13) STONY BROOK 13) UC-IRVINE
Providence Denver
6) Notre Dame 6) Utah
11) LSU 11) Gonzaga
3) WEST VIRGINIA 3) Iowa State
14) YALE 14) SO. DAKOTA ST
Raleigh Raleigh
7) Indiana 7) South Carolina
10) California 10) Michigan
2) Virginia 2) NORTH CAROLINA
15) NC-ASHEVILLE 15) S.F. AUSTIN

NOTES on the BRACKET: Oklahoma is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Iowa, and Villanova.  Next in line: Virginia, North Carolina, Xavier, Maryland

Last Four Byes (at large): California, Seton Hall, Michigan, Gonzaga

Last Four IN (at large): Cincinnati, George Washington, Clemson, Saint Joseph’s

First Four OUT (at large): Oregon State, Butler, UCLA, Wisconsin

Next four teams OUT (at large): Georgia, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Temple

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): NORTH CAROLINA, Virginia, Miami-FL, Notre Dame, Duke, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Syracuse, Clemson

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, USC, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Washington, California

Big 12 (6): WEST VIRGINIA, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor

Big 10 (6): IOWA, Maryland, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan

SEC (5): LSU, Texas AM, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall

Atlantic 10 (4): DAYTON, VCU, George Washington, Saint Joseph’s

American (2): CONNECTICUT, Cincinnati

West Coast (2): SAINT MARY’S, Gonzaga

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

MAAC (1): MONMOUTH

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: UAB (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)