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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: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20130207/cal-state-fullerton-coach-fiance-killed-ex-cop-suspected.ap/#ixzz2KBsrsMro

– 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. (MLive.com)

– 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.

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Arizona lands first commitment in 2017 class

Alex Barcello (Jon Lopez/Nike)
(Jon Lopez/Nike)
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Arizona landed their first commitment in the Class of 2017 on Friday night as point guard Alex Barcello pledged to Sean Miller and the Wildcats.

Barcello is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Tempe who plays his high school ball for Corona del Sol. He committed to the Wildcats on an official visit to the Tucson campus.

Barcello is a borderline top 100 prospect who sits at No. 123 in the Rivals top 150. He’s known for his ability to shoot, and he’s more of a combo-guard — i.e. shoot-first — than a point guard at times, but he’s a nice pickup and projects as a solid four-year player for the Wildcats.

Virginia, Indiana, Stanford and Butler were the other four schools on Barcello’s list.

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.