The Morning Mix

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No intro today.

Just straight news, homey.

Let’s hit the links.

Tuesday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – No. 1 Indiana @ No. 4 Michigan State
7:00 p.m. – Duquesne @ No. 15 Butler
7:00 p.m. – No. 17 Marquette @ Seton Hall
7:00 p.m. – Florida State @ North Carolina State
7:00 p.m. – Wichita State @ Indiana State
7:00 p.m. – LSU @ Tennessee
9:00 p.m. – Virginia @ No. 2 Miami
9:00 p.m. – No. 5 Florida @ Missouri
9:00 p.m. – No.24 VCU @ Saint Louis
9:00 p.m. – North Carolina @ Georgia Tech
9:00 p.m. – Utah State @ BYU
10:00 p.m. – Wyoming @ San Diego State

Read of the Day:
The NCAA released a public report about their improper handling of the Nevin Shapiro case. John Infante is one of the foremost experts in NCAA administration and bylaws. His takeaways from this issue are as good as you will find. (AthleticScholarships.net)

Read of the Day:
Gary Parrish’s Poll Attacks. You know what to do. (Eye on College Basketball)
 
 
Top Stories:
VIDEO: Andre Nation’s lob dunk with 00.2 left beats Delaware: This is what happens when you combine a buzzer-beater with an ally-oop slam dunk. It’s glorious.

The NCAA ‘did not violate a specific bylaw’ in their investigation into Miami? Yeah, I’m confused too. This is a messy situation. Blame the NCAA.
 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Victor Oladipo is expected to play tonight despite injuring his ankle over the weekend. (Inside the Hall)

– Cal head coach Mike Montgomery was reprimanded by the Pac-12 Conference for his physical actions towards Cal player Allen Crabbe. (Cal Golden Blogs)

– The Missouri Valley Conference has disciplined the referees from Sunday’s Wichita State-Illinois State game for incorrectly issuing technical fouls in the waning moments of the game. (Sports Illustrated)

– Southern Utah junior Wade Collie was arrested on drug charges. (Mid-Major Madness)

– Minnesota fans want to fire Tubby Smith. Again. (From the Barn)

– Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard has been reinstated following his indefinite suspension on Friday. He was not on the bench for the Terrapins upset victory over Duke on Saturday. (Testudo Times)

– Former-North Carolina State head coach Sidney Lowe was arrested on Monday for not paying his state taxes. (WRAL-TV)

– Mississippi State has suspended yet another player, bringing their total of available scholarship players to five. (Clarion Ledger)

– The Mountain West Conference Tournament will continue to be held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas through 2016. (Mountain West Connection)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– Deadspin examine whether it is ever OK for a coach to put his/her hands on a player and if so, when? (Deadspin)

– Some pretty neat stuff about just how bad a “bad loss” is for a team’s resume. (Eye on College Basketball)

– Last week Michigan State thrashed Michigan in what was billed as “The Biggest Game in Breslin Center History”. So what does that make tonight’s game against No. 1 Indiana? (Detroit Free-Press)

– What makes a team great? Are there pillars or principles than need to be adhered to? Here is a pretty solid answer, with a Purdue Boilermakers tint to it. (Boiled Sports)

– According to advanced statistics, a lot of players this year have better numbers than Michael Jordan. (Alligator Army)

– Is Kelly Olynyk the most efficiently elite player in the country? Or is he the most elite efficient player? Does it matter? (Run the Floor)

– Did Bruce Weber give up on the Illini last year? This post certainly entertains that notion. (Champaign Room)

– I really enjoy reading Jason Lisk’s work leading up to March Madness. His analysis of statistics is of the “easy-to-read” variety. Which is good for anti-math people like myself. (The Big Lead)

– It doesn’t matter when BYU and Utah State play each other. It’s always a heated rivalry. The two teams square off tonight in a game that was postponed when BYU guard Danny Berger collapsed in advance of the game. (Salt Lake Tribune)

– Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart is having a great year. But did you know he’s having the best statistical year in the past 20 season of Oklahoma State basketball? (Pistols Firing)

– A look at the various hot seats in the MAC. With conference tournaments starting up in three weeks, the coaching carousel will be here sooner than we think. (Hustle Belt)
 
 
Odds & Ends:
– Miami released a statement proclaiming that they have been wronged by the NCAA. Stop it already Donna. (Deadspin)

– Andy Kennedy is embracing Marshall Henderson hysteria. (ESPN)

– When conference expansion took over, and people complained about the loss of rivalries, the people in charge told us that new rivalries would be born. Arkansas vs. Missouri is a prime example of this. (Sporting Life Arkansas)

– Bob Knight’s ESPN contract is up at the end of the year. It’s not likely that he will be re-signed. (The Big Lead)
 
 
Picture of the Day:
I understand that yesterday was Presidents Day. nonetheless, this should never happen. EVER.(The Mock Session)

source:
 
 
Video of the Day:
Marshall Henderson finally joined the “Harlem Shake” craze and did so in the most Marshall Henderson-way possible. (Busted Coverage)

Video of the Day:
Illinois’ student section, “The Orange Krush” showed why they are consistently one of the best student sections in the country. This isn’t the first time they’ve infiltrated an opposing arena, but this is arguably their best effort. (Champaign Room)

Video of the Day:
Appalachian State’s Brian Okam has been vindicated. No longer will he be remembered as shooting “the worst foul shot ever”. Nope, this unlucky lady has stolen the title from him.

 
 
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Indiana hires Dayton head coach Archie Miller

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Indiana is expected to hire Dayton head coach Archie Miller, the school announced.

The deal will be for seven years, according to The Vertical. Miller had spent the last six seasons as the head coach at Dayton, getting to four straight NCAA tournaments, including the Elite 8 in 2014, while winning the last two Atlantic 10 regular season titles.

Miller had been targeted by seemingly every high major program with an opening since he reached the Elite 8, but similar to Shaka Smart when he left VCU, Miller simply waited for the right job to come long.

Indiana is the right job.

There had been some speculation that Miller wouldn’t want to take Indiana, that his dream job is Ohio State and that the idea of coaching in a fishbowl like Bloomington is not something that would be all that appealing to him. But Indiana is an elite job. It’s the kind of opening that happens once every four or five years, and if Miller had said no to the Hoosiers now, it’s very possible that an opportunity like this wouldn’t come along for years, if ever.

Elite 8 Preview: Saturday’s picks, predictions, betting lines and channels

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So Friday got good.

If Zak Showalter’s game-tying three and subsequent discount double-check wasn’t enough, we had Canyon Barry’s chasedown block and, well, this game-winner from Chris Chiozza.

And all that came after De’Aaron Fox took out what felt like a season’s worth of frustration out on Lonzo Ball.

What is on tap for tonight?

No. 1 GONZAGA (-8) vs. No. 11 XAVIER, 6:09 p.m., TBS: Someone is going to be making their way to the Final Four for the first time on Saturday night, as Xavier’s Chris Mack and Gonzaga’s Mark Few square off for the right to play on the final weekend of the season.

And in a way, this is the perfect Final Four game. Both the Zags and the Musketeers are basketball schools in basketball leagues. They come from outside the power structure and have head coaches that have spurned jobs from within the power structure to remain there. They are built for a run like this, even if they were both overlooked on the way here.

Xavier was obvious. Playing without Edmond Sumner and Myles Davis, the Musketeers just haven’t been the team that they were supposed to be this season. That’s why they lost six straight games in February, but things have turned around in March, as Trevon Bluiett has put the program on his back and willed them to the Elite 8. Gonzaga is the opposite. They went 29-0 to start the season, but they have yet to be accepted as a legitimate title contender by most of the people that watch the games.

My guess on Saturday night is that the Zags make their statement and emphatically get into the Final Four.

PREDICTION: Gonzaga (-8)

No. 1 KANSAS (-7) vs.  No. 3 OREGON, 8:49 p.m., TBS: This matchup is a lot tastier on paper than it is likely going to end up being on the floor. As good as Oregon has been this season, they are, essentially, Kansas light. They play two lead guards together and they play small-ball, with a natural wing lined up at the four.

The problem?

The Kansas guys are just better. Josh Jackson is a better player than Dillon Brooks. His length and athleticism should give the Oregon star fits. Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham are better than whatever combination of Payton Pritchard, Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis the Ducks opt to use.

And, for that matter, no team is playing better right now that they Jayhawks, who beat Michigan State by 20, Purdue by 32 and became the first team to score 90 points in their first three NCAA tournament games since 1995. I think that trend continues on Saturday night.

PREDICTION: Kansas (-7)

Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight schedule, tip times, and announcer pairings

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Regional Finals – Sunday, March 26

2:20 p.m.,CBS, New York
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Florida (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

5:05 p.m., CBS, Memphis
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

Steve Alford: ‘I’m very happy at UCLA’

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UCLA head coach Steve Alford was still processing an 86-75 season-ending loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Friday night when he had to answer questions about another blueblood program.

Sine the dismal of Tom Crean at Indiana, Alford has been one of the names rumored to be in the mix for the coaching vacancy. A reporter in the press conference in Memphis didn’t even get a chance to finish his question before Alford cut him off and a publicly state that he was happy in Westwood.

“I said it last week, and I’ll reiterate it again even more so, I guess, that I love Los Angeles,” Alford said. “To begin with, it’s a beautiful place, and our family has fallen in love with it. I’ve got two sons now, Kory first and now Bryce, that have graduated. Bryce is done, so he’s graduating from UCLA, so I’ve got two sons that are graduates from there, a daughter that loves the school she’s going to in Thousand Oaks. I’m very happy. I’m at UCLA. I don’t know of a lot of people that are out there wanting to leave UCLA.

“This is a pretty special place. We’ve worked awfully hard. Our staff has worked hard. We’ve got the No. 2 recruiting class coming in next year. We’re opening a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 60-plus million practice facility, Mo Ostin Center, that is going to be spectacular that we’ve worked awfully hard to be a part of that, and I want to see that through, and we’ve got some special kids that are coming to join us.

“I’m very, very happy where I’m at, and hopefully, that’ll continue.”

Alford won a national championship with the Hoosiers in 1987, scoring more than 2,400 points in his career under head coach Bob Knight. He has been with UCLA since 2013, reaching the Sweet 16 in three of his four seasons with the Bruins.

Crean was fired on March 16 after nine season in Bloomington.

Lonzo Ball has officially declared for the 2017 NBA Draft

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Following a season-ending loss in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, UCLA freshman point guard unsurprisingly announced that he will enter the NBA Draft.

“That was my final game for UCLA. I appreciate the fans,” Ball told reporters.

The 6-foot-6 point guard has a strong case to be the No. 1 overall pick. It could be almost too enticing for the Los Angeles Lakers to pass on a Southern Cal product if the ping pong balls fall in their favor. New Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were in Memphis for Friday night’s Sweet 16 matchup with Kentucky.

Ball, in an All-American freshman season with the Bruins, averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and a nation’s best 7.6 assists per game, while shooting 56 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.

He ended his college career with an 86-75 loss to the Wildcats, scoring 10 points, off 4-of-10 shooting, with eight assists.