The Morning Mix

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Last night we witnessed the single most shocking upset of the entire season. TCU got their first Big-XII conference win in program history, knocking off No. 5 Kansas. This upset leap-frogs Cal-Poly/UCLA and is a top contender for “Upset of the Year” along with Old Dominion’s victory over Virginia early in the year.

Let’s hit the links.

Thursday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – No. 1 Indiana @ Illinois
7:00 p.m. – Clemson @ Virginia
7:00 p.m. – Jacksonville @ Mercer
8:00 p.m. – Belmont @ Murray State
8:00 p.m. – Arkansas State @ Middle Tennessee
8:30 p.m. – Oral Roberts @ Northwestern State
9:00 p.m. – North Carolina State No. 4 Duke
9:00 p.m. – No. 21 Missouri @ Texas A&M
9:00 p.m. – Washington @ UCLA
9:30 p.m. – Cal @ Arizona State
10:00 p.m. – Colorado @ No. 19 Oregon
11:00 p.m. – Pepperdine @ No. 6 Gonzaga
11:00 p.m. – Saint Mary’s @ Santa Clara
12:00 a.m. – Long Beach State @ Hawaii
Read of the Day:
Luke Winn’s Power Rankings feature a pictures of what looks to Bill Walton on a nature hike in the 1970’s. Read it. (Sports Illustrated)
Top Stories:
No. 5 Kansas loses to TCU, has their fatal flaw exposed: All of the offensive issues we’ve talked about when discussing Kansas finally came to a head last night. It is difficult to have faith in a team that struggles to score high percentage shots on a consistent basis.

Toledo’s Nathan Boothe downs Miami (OH) with buzzer-beating three (VIDEO): Freshman center Nathan Boothe is an unlikely candidate to take the game-winning shot for Toledo. But as fate would have it, the ball landed in the hands of the 6-foot-9 center, and he sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to propel the Rockets over the Redhawks last night.

No. 22 Oklahoma State wins another thriller, this time in OT vs. Baylor: Michael Cobbins blocked an A.J. Walton shot in the paint, and Markel Brown raced coast-to-coast, scoring on a driving lay up in overtime to propel the Cowboys to another dramatic victory. This team isn’t always consistent, but they’ve proven that they can come up big in crunch time.

Indiana State blows out No. 16 Creighton, tied for 2nd in Missouri Valley: This is exactly why the Missouri Valley Conference is one of the most entertaining leagues in the country. one day after a lowly Southern Illinois beat Wichita State, the Shockers third in a row, Indiana State dominated No. 16 Creighton, on its way to a 76-57 victory. The Sycamores now find themselves in second place in the conference and added another good win to their tournament resume.

Keith Appling injures shoulder as No. 8 Michigan State beats No. 18 Minnesota: Freshman guard Gary Harris fought through back pain, and Keith Appling injured his shoulder, but the Spartans were able to hang on to defeat the Gophers 61-50. With guard Travis trice missing the game due to a concussion, backcourt depth could be an issue for Sparty down the road.

No. 17 Cincy learns hard way Providence isn’t a pushover: The Friars are not a tournament team. Not NCAA, NIT or CIT. But they certainly aren’t a team you can sleep-walk against on their home court. Mic Cronin’s Bearcats learned that the hard way last night.

Dickie V to call Indiana-Michigan State with Magic Johnson: Just a day after news comes out that Dick Vitale will be broadcasting his first Final Four for ESPN International, it was announced that Dickie-V will work the Indiana-Michigan State game on February 19th alongside Mike Tirico and Spartan legend Magic Johnson.
Hoops Housekeeping:
– It was announced yesterday that South Carolina State head coach Tim Carter had resigned effective immediately. No reason was given for his resignation. Carter was in his fifth season as head coach but the Bulldogs are 4-17 this season, with two of those wins coming against non-Division-I programs. (Times and Democrat)

– The Los Angeles Police Department is looking for a a former LAPD officer suspected in the shootings of a Cal State Fullerton womens assistant coach and her fiance. (Sports Illustrated)

Read More:

– As mentioned, a bunch of Spartans got banged up last night against Minnesota. Ketih Appling felt his shoulder pop. Branden Dawson may have suffered an ankle injury and Adreian Payne may have suffered a broken nose. (

– Duke freshman Josh Hairston has been diagnosed with an arm infection following a cut he sustained during the Wake Forest game and is doubtful for the Blue Devil’s pivotal showdown against NC-State. (Duke Hoop Blog)

– New Mexico State senior forward Tyrone Watson was arrested and charged for allegedly attacking another student during a January party. (Las Cruces Sun-Times)

– It was announced yesterday that Iowa State junior guard Maurice Jones is not eligible to play for the Cyclones this season. Jones arrived on campus in October after transferring out of Southern Cal. But he left the school in poor academic standing and was denied eligibility. (Ames Tribune)

– Albany’s leading scorer Mike Black sprained his ankle last night in the Danes’ blowout win over UMBC. His status for Saturday’s game against Maine is uncertain. (Albany Times-Union)
Observations & Insight:
– What should we make of Indiana State? They have wins over Miami, Ole Miss, Wichita State and now Creighton, yet have still found a way to lose eight games. (The Dagger)

– We won’t know about the status of Syracuse’s Jams Southerland until Friday, but it’s unlikely that he returns this season. If that’s the case, can the Orange still win the Big East? (Rush The Court)

– Mike DeCourcy provides some good words on Belmont guard Ian Johnson, one of the most underrated and unheralded guards in the country. (Sporting News)

– Rebounding margins are a statistic that’s commonly thrown around on telecasts without properly breaking down the percentages. After all, offensive and defensive rebounds are not made equal. (KenPom Blog)

– Murray State and Belmont face off tonight in the marquee game of the OVC season. But Belmont fans aren’t too happy that this is the biggest game of the season. They were hoping to get Creighton in BracketBusters. They didn’t. (Belmont Byrd Cage)

– Duke and NC-State face off tonight in a rematch of their early January game in which the Wolfpack knocked off the No. 1 Blue Devils in Raliegh, 84-76. The two teams are approaching the rematch with different mindsets. (Fayetteville Observer)

– Here’s a lengthy-but-good-read on Gonzaga’s National Championship hopes. If you have 5-10 minutes to spare, this article explains why a seasoned Elias Harris might be able to take the Zags further than ever before. (College Hoops Journal)

– St. John’s bounced back from a tough road loss at Georgetown to defeat UConn in the Huskies’ final regular season game at Madison Square Garden. With St. John’s leaving the Big East with the Catholic-7, this was the Huskies final Big East regular season game at The Mecca. (Rumble in the Garden)

Odds & Ends:
– Bill Walton was at Arizona last night to call the Arizona-Stanford game. Before the game, in typical Walton fashion, he spoke to Arizona students about life, hoops, war and Bob Dylan. (Arizona Daily Star)

– The Michigan Wolverines are going to don special 1968 throwback uniforms against Penn State on February 16th, when the Chrisler Center rededication ceremonies take place. (UM Hoops)

– Well this is just awkward: Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard was ejected from his son’s high school game for heckling referees from the stands. (USA Today)

– A video, picture and .GIF of Russ Smith’s russdiculous dunk against Rutgers last night. (Card Chronicle)

– For those of you interested in celebrity gossip: It looks like ESPN analyst Jay Williams is dating ESPN Sports Nation host Charissa Thompson. (The Big Lead)
Video of the Day:
I don’t even know what to say about this. I’m speechless. This is phenomenal. +10000.

Video of the Day:
Derrick Nix, all 270-pounds of him, fell on top of two Michigan State cheerleaders while going for a lose ball. (Big Ten Network)

Dunk of the Day:
Markel Brown goes reverse ally-oop in traffic. Impressive.

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)

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.