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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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Big Ten releases conference schedule

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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The Big Ten released its 2016-17 conference schedule on Thursday as the conference season begins on Dec. 27 with a four-game set.

Conference play will conclude on March 5th before the 20th annual Big Ten Tournament is played at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. from March 8-12.

Some notable games include Penn State hosting Michigan State at the Palestra on Jan. 7.

You can view the full Big Ten schedule here.

Arizona’s Talbott Denny injures knee, out for season

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona senior forward Talbott Denny will miss the season after tearing the ACL and medial meniscus in his left knee.

The school said Wednesday that the 6-foot-5 graduate transfer from Lipscomb will have surgery.

Denny, from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School, missed all of last season at Lipscomb because of a shoulder injury.

Roy Williams: ‘There’s no question’ more ACC games equal no Kentucky in non-conference

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 23: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the third round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament against the Iowa State Cyclones at the AT&T Center on March 23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Back in June, when the ACC officially announced that they would be expanding the league schedule to 20 games in 2019, I tried to warn you that it was going to put a dent into the non-conference schedule and the amount of quality, on-campus games that we’ll get prior to January.

Roy Williams essentially confirmed this as fact this week.

The North Carolina head coach hopped on a podcast with ESPN and more or less said that the bigger league schedule is going to lead to an end of some of UNC’s marquee home-and-home series.

“My feeling right now, and it could change by ’19, heck I could be fired by ’19, but my feeling right now is to play our conference schedule, play one exempt event where you have really good teams, and other than that play home games to help out your revenue and help out your budget,” Williams said. “We have the ACC/Big Ten and that’s not going to go away. So it’s 21 games already scheduled.”

When asked specifically if this would put an end to UNC’s series with Kentucky, Williams said, “Oh yeah, there’s no question. Why would I need to do that?”

There’s two reasons this makes sense. On the one hand, North Carolina needs to fill their home arena a certain number of times to help with the bottom line of the athletic department. They make enough off of ticket sales, merchandise sales, parking fees and food and beverage that they can afford to pay out more than $50,000 to bring a smaller opponent into their arena. More than that, playing a series of weaklings early in the year allows players to gain confidence, it allows Williams to figure out what his rotation will be and who can handle playing at this level, and it gives newcomers a chance to assimilate into his team against players that just aren’t that good.

And when a larger ACC schedule severely limits the number of non-conference games that UNC will be able to play, what’s going to get cut are the contracts that require the Tar Heels to play on the road when they don’t have to.

So buh-bye, Kentucky, it is.

John Calipari helping to raise money for Louisiana flood victims

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It’s easy to be critical of John Calipari.

You don’t have to be a Louisville fan to know all the jokes by now. He cheated at UMass. He cheated at Memphis. He’s had two Final Fours vacated. Teflon John. Yada yada yada.

I get it. Negativity comes with success, particularly for someone who is as brash about his success as Coach Cal is.

But even Cal’s harshest critics cannot begrudge the work he does — can get his players to do — for charity and how well he can harness the power of Big Blue Nation to make a tangible difference. Remember the ‘Hoops for Haiti’ telethon that raised more than $1 million to help earthquake victims back in 2010? Or the hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised for Hurricane Sandy relief? Or when his fantasy camps generated more than $1 million in charitable donations?

And should I mention the amount of times that stories of Kentucky players befriending sick kids or visiting children’s hospitals?

The cynic in me could say that all of this is for branding, helping ensure his players are image-conscious and aware of the sponsorship opportunities that come with being a likable, relatable and humble athlete. There’s probably some truth to that.

But do you think the kids that get visits from their Big Blue heroes care? Do you think it matters to the charities that get seven-figure checks to help with disaster relief?

I say all that to say this: During a press conference on Thursday morning, Cal had this to say, via SEC Country:

Calipari said former UK star Anthony Davis (currently of the New Orleans Pelicans) told Calipari, “Coach, you gotta do something” for Baton Rouge flood victims. Davis is out of the country but will try to get back for Sunday’s softball game to help. His 2012 title teammates, Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, were not previously on the celeb list for Sunday but will be there.

Calipari has decided to donate all proceeds from Sunday’s alumni/celebrity softball game will go to the Baton Rouge flood-relief fund, through Red Cross. “So what I’m asking you to do is buy these tickets.” They’re $5 apiece. The previously raised funds will still go to the other designated charities, like each year.

For those so inclined, you can donate to the flooding fund by texting “GIVE” to 859-955-8173.

Vermont women cancels game in North Carolina over HB2

DURHAM, NC - MAY 10:  A unisex sign and the "We Are Not This" slogan are outside a bathroom at Bull McCabes Irish Pub on May 10, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina.  Debate over transgender bathroom access spreads nationwide as the U.S. Department of Justice countersues North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2 that dictate what bathrooms transgender individuals can use.  (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
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The University of Vermont is the latest in a ever-growing line of organizations canceling events in North Carolina due to the controversial HB2 law.

The Catamounts will not be traveling to play the Tar Heels on Dec. 28th as previously scheduled.

“We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued,” the school wrote in a statement. “It would be hard to fulfill these obligations while competing in a state with this law, which is contrary to our values as an athletic department and university.”

“This decision was made in consultation with our coaches, the women’s basketball team, and key university officials. We fully understand and sympathize with the impact that this decision may have on the North Carolina women’s basketball schedule. However, we believe this decision is consistent with our values and the conversations with our coaches and student team members. These were the most important considerations.”

Known as the “bathroom bill”, HB2 is the law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom of the sex that they were born not the sex they identify with.

Earlier this year, Albany was forced to cancel a trip to Duke due to legislation in New York regarding visits to North Carolina. The NBA has taken the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte, and the NCAA is heavily considering pulling NCAA tournament games from the state.

Interestingly, ACC commissioner John Swofford was very non-committal on the subject when asked yesterday.