Indiana v Purdue

Indiana grabs Big Ten lead, No. 1 seed in newest bracket

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The Super Bowl is behind us.  Selection Sunday is rapidly approaching.  Which means college basketball takes center stage for the next two months.  By beating Michigan on Saturday, the Indiana Hoosiers took center stage, too.  IU vaulted into first place in the Big Ten, grabbed a No. 1 ranking in the polls, and landed atop the Midwest Region as a No. 1 seed in our newest bracket.

Indiana is joined on the top line by Florida, Kansas, and Michigan.  The aforementioned Wolverines have quite a resume, too, and have the No. 1 seed in the West Region.  The IU-UM rematch in Ann Arbor is March 10.  As for Kansas, the Jayhawks still have more Top 50 RPI wins (7) than anyone else, and they also have nine (9) victories over teams which currently project into the Field of 68.  Thus, KU stays as the No. 1 seed in the South.  Florida is steamrolling through the SEC and has been dominant in winning 10 straight games.   For those interested in the top of the s-curve it looks like this: Florida, Kansas, Indiana, and Michigan.  Arizona and Duke are close behind.

While the race for No. 1 seeds is intriguing, the bubble continues to be quite fluid.  La Salle, Temple, Indiana State, St. John’s and Arizona State are among the last few teams in today’s update.  Villanova, St. Mary’s, Charlotte, Illinois, and Boise State are among those just missing.   We also have teams like Virginia – which boasts a resume filled with some quality wins and mind-numbing losses.   It should be quite a race to the finish line.

Enjoy another great week of hoops.

UPDATED: February 5, 2013

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc). Records are for games against Division I teams only.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • St. John’s vs. Indiana State | West Region
  • Arizona State vs. Temple | South Region
  • NORFOLK STATE vs. CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region
  • BRYANT vs. FLORIDA GULF COAST | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTWashington, DC                    SOUTHDallas
Lexington Kansas City
1) FLORIDA 1) KANSAS
16) BRYANT / FLA GULF COAST 16) LONG BEACH
8) VCU 8) UCLA
9) Colorado State 9) Kentucky
Dayton Austin
5) Marquette 5) Minnesota
12) BELMONT 12) La Salle
4) Ohio State 4) Cincinnati
13) LEHIGH 13) AKRON
Philadelphia Auburn Hills
6) Oklahoma State 6) Pittsburgh
11) Alabama 11) Arizona State / Temple
3) SYRACUSE 3) Michigan State
14) HARVARD 14) VALPARAISO
Philadelphia Austin
7) Wichita State 7) UNLV
10) Saint Louis 10) Mississippi
2) Duke 2) MIAMI-FL
15) NORTHEASTERN 15) STONY BROOK
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Indianapolis
Auburn Hills Dayton
1) MICHIGAN 1) INDIANA
16) SOUTHERN 16) NORFOLK ST / CHARLESTON-SO
8) Notre Dame 8) San Diego State
9) North Carolina 9) Iowa State
Kansas City San Jose
5) Kansas State 5) Oregon
12) Indiana State / St. John’s 12) MID TENNESSEE ST
4) BUTLER 4) CREIGHTON
13) SO DAKOTA STATE 13) LOUISIANA TECH
Salt Lake Lexington
6) Georgetown 6) NC State
11) MEMPHIS 11) Colorado
3) NEW MEXICO 3) Louisville
14) MONTANA 14) DAVIDSON
San Jose Salt Lake
7) Wisconsin 7) Missouri
10) Baylor 10) Oklahoma
2) ARIZONA 2) GONZAGA
15) S.F. AUSTIN 15) NIAGARA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Kansas, Indiana, and Michigan.

Last Five teams in (at large): La Salle, Temple, Indiana State, St. John’s, Arizona State

First Five teams out (at large): Villanova, St. Mary’s, Charlotte, Illinois, Boise State

Next Five teams out (at large): Virginia, Maryland, Southern Miss, Massachusetts, Florida State

Breakdown by Conference …

Big East (8): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh, St. John’s

Big Ten (6): Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin

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

Pac 12 (5): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (5): Butler, VCU, Temple, La Salle, Saint Louis

SEC (5): Missouri, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama

Mountain West (4): San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Colorado State

ACC (4): Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Miami-FL

Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Wichita State, Indiana State

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

Conference USA (1): Memphis

Conference Automatic Qualifiers … BELMONT (Ohio Valley), LEHIGH (Patriot), MIDDLE TENNESSE ST (Sunbelt), SOUTH DAKOTA ST (Summit), VALPARAISO (Horizon), DAVIDSON (Southern), LOUISIANA TECH (WAC), NIAGARA (MAAC), STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (Southland), AKRON (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), LONG BEACH (Big West), NORTHEASTERN (Colonial), STONY BROOK (American East), MONTANA (Big Sky), NORFOLK STATE (MEAC), CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN (Big South), BRYANT (NEC), SOUTHERN (SWAC)

White decides to return to Nebraska

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Nebraska’s second-leading scorer from last season will return for his senior season as Andrew White III announced Wednesday he will withdraw his name from the NBA Draft.

“I felt good about the pre-draft process, White said in a statement released by Nebraska. “It was encouraging, and I gained as much ground as anyone throughout the process. I wanted one more year to fine tune my game and put myself in better position for the NBA next summer.  

“I want to thank the teams who invited me their in-house workouts, and Nebraska for supporting me during this process.  It has been very helpful in gathering information in preparation for my future Thank you to everyone who has been following my progress throughout the spring and being understanding and supportive, as I evaluated whether to turn pro or return for my senior year.”

White, a Kansas transfer, tallied 16.6 points per game last season while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. He also pulled down 5.9 rebounds per game.

“We are excited to have Andrew remain with our program,” coach Tim Miles said. “This has been a valuable time for him, as he has tested his skills against some of the best competition and received very important insight from key NBA personnel.  

“We look forward to continuing to help Andrew’s development to improve his NBA profile even more than he already has done through this process.  I believe next year could be our most complete team with a great opportunity for success in the Big Ten and NCAA tournament, I’m happy Andrew will be with us to go out and prove it.”

The news is certainly welcome for the Cornhuskers and Miles, who will be under pressure to show improvement after back-to-back disappointing seasons following an NCAA tournament appearance in 2014. Shavon Shields, last year’s leading scorer, has exhausted his eligibility and the Huskers will need White to help fill the void.

Trimble coming back to Terps

Maryland guard Melo Trimble (AP Photo/Matt Hazlett)
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Melo Trimble is returning to Maryland.

The Terrapin guard will be back to for his junior season in College Park, according to multiple reports.

Trimble went from freshman first-rounder to question mark after a rough end to his sophomore season for Maryland in which his points per game, shooting percentage (both overall and from 3-point range) and rebounding dipped from his first season. Only his assists per game showed any sort of improvement. He waited until the last possible day to announce his intentions to return to school, but really his options were limited after seeing his production drop.

His decision to come back to school gives him a shot to restore his draft stock while Maryland gets its floor general back to help ease the transition from last year’s Sweet 16 squad that lost Diamond Stone, Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman. The Terps might not be a sure-fire top-25 team with Trimble back, but their NCAA tournament chances are now significantly higher.

Nevada lands Martin twins

Caleb Martin, Jordan Roper
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Eric Musselman keeps adding reinforcements to his roster. For the 2017-18 season.

Musselman and Nevada received commitments from N.C. State transfers and twin brothers Caleb and Cody Martin, according to multiple reports.

That brings Nevada’s sit-out transfer count for this upcoming season to four with Hallice Cooke (Iowa State) and Kendall Stephens (Purdue) already in the fold. Under NCAA transfer rules, the quartet will have to sit out the upcoming season before being eligible in 2017-18.

Caleb averaged 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 36 percent from deep while Cody put up 6.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists, shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc.

The timing of having four sit-out transfers works well for the Wolf Pack given that two of the team’s three leading scorers from last year, D.J. Fenner (a senior) and Cameron Oliver (a sophomore), return while senior transfers Marcus Marshall (Missouri State) becomes eligible. Having those four experienced transfers begin playing in 2017-18 while all but two players from this upcoming team slated to return makes Nevada an interesting team, a year from now.

Louisville big man heading to NBA Draft

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After a day of mixed messages, Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku finally made it official.

He’s staying in the NBA Draft.

“After talking to my family and going through the NBA process,” Onuaku wrote in an Instagram post, “me and my family have decided that it would be best for me to keep my name in the draft.”

The day started out with Cardinals coach Rick Pitino telling multiple media outlets that the 6-foot-10 sophomore would remain in the draft after he declared last month without an agent and attended the draft combine. Onuaku, though, appeared to at least mildly refute that with an Instagram post that said his decision wouldn’t come until later Wednesday evening. Which it did, confirming Pitino’s words.

The confusion may have been frustrating for observers, but Onuaku’s social media presence no doubt has benefited from the bizarre day.

Onuaku averaged 9.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.6 assists in 24.6 minutes per game last season, making his per-40 numbers, a metric NBA teams like to take into consideration, nothing short of fantastic. He also shot a not-so-shabby 62.0 percent from the floor. His size, athleticism and ability to score around the basket (he’s taken one 3-pointer in two seasons) make him a potential first-round selection in next month’s draft.

The 19-year-old Onuaku underwent a procedure on his heart last week due to Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. It has been described as a minor procedure that will not affect his ability to play long-term or work out with teams leading up to the draft.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, should be able to absorb Onuaku’s loss seemlessly as they return the bulk of last year’s team that went 23-8 and was ranked 10th in KenPom, but was banned from the postseason as a result of the Katina Powell bombshell. Newcomers Tony Hicks (Penn transfer) and V.J. King (consensus top-30 recruit) will also make for solid additions.

Swanigan staying for sophomore season

Purdue's Vince Edwards (12), Purdue's Caleb Swanigan (50) and Purdue's A.J. Hammons (20) celebrate during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Illinois in the quarterfinals at the Big Ten Conference tournament, Friday, March 11, 2016, in Indianapolis. Purdue won 89-58. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Purdue will once again be rolling out a formidable frontcourt in the 2016-17 season.

Boilermaker big man Caleb Swanigan is withdrawing from the NBA Draft to return to West Lafayette for his sophomore season, the school announced Wednesday.

The NBA is right there and always will be,” Swanigan said in the school’s press release, “but you always have to have patience and do what’s best for you.”

Purdue is losing 7-foot senior A.J. Hammons, but will be once again teaming Swanigan with Isaac Haas (7-2) and Vince Edwards (6-8) that will allow them to roll out a supersized lineup that is sure to be a difficult one to face off against.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Swanigan, who likely would have landed as a second-round pick, averaged 10.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists and was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award for the country’s top freshman.

“We are excited that (Swanigan) has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to Purdue,” head coach said Matt Painter in a statement released by the school. “He has the potential to make a huge jump from his freshman season and will be a big part of what we do next year. He received great experience going through this process and will use the feedback he received to make him a more diverse player.”

Purdue is probably a rung down from Michigan State and Wisconsin at the top of the league, but the return of Swanigan pulls them closer to competing at the top of the league next season.