The Morning Mix

Leave a comment

The theme of the weekend was “Overtime”. Ten of the 160 games this weekend went into overtime. Tennessee and Texas A&M went to quadruple overtime. Alabama and LSU went to triple overtime. Milwaukee and IUPUI went into double overtime. Seven other games featured an extra session. In all, we got 80 minutes of free basketball this weekend.

Let’s hit the links.

Monday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. – No. 8 Syracuse @ No. 17 Marquette
7:00 p.m. – Texas Tech @ No. 13 Kansas State
9:00 p.m. – Villanova @ Seton Hall
9:00 p.m. – No. 9 Kansas @ Iowa State
 
 
Top Stories:
Georgetown exacts their Big East revenge by exposing Syracuse: John Thompson III used the 2-3 zone against Syracuse to perfection on Saturday and Otto Porter did the rest, as the Hoyas ended their rivals’ 28-game home win streak.

Kendall Williams’ 46 points lead New Mexico to huge win at Colorado State: Williams’ put on one of the best individual performances of the season against a ranked Colorado State team. Oh yeah, he was 10-13 from beyond the arc.

Will Miami’s loss to Wake Forest be a wake-up call or a sign of trouble?We all knew this was coming. The ‘Canes looked vulnerable in their three previous games, and they spotted the Demon Deacons 19 points early on, a deficit Miami was unable to close.

Stony Brook clinches third America East title in last four years: Steve Pikiell is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. He took over a Stony Brook program that was an utter mess in 2005. He turned them around quickly and has led them to three America East championships in the past four seasons.

Aaron Craft’s offensive explosion keys Ohio State win over MSU: Aaron Craft makes his living as one of the top defenders in the country. But on Sunday it was his offense that fueled the Buckeyes marquee victory over Michigan State.

Oregon State freshman gets technical for dunking pregame, Beavers lose by 1 to Cal: The headline says it all.

In you had forgotten, Trey Burke is still in the Player of the Year race: Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter have stolen the Player of the Year spotlight as of late, but we shouldn’t forget about what Trey Burke is accomplishing.

Small ball gets North Carolina their third-straight win: Roy Williams changed things up last week, deciding to go with a four-guard lineup that better fit his team, and so far it seems to be working.

 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Seton Hall recruit Aquille Carr is keeping his options open and may spurn college in favor of playing overseas. (New York Post)

– Montana’s postseason hopes took a big hit this weekend when Will Cherry re-broke his foot. The Grizzlies are already without Mathias Ward, their leading scorer. (Big Sky Bball)
 
 
Observations & Insight:
– The New York Times rips Duke and “Krzyzewskiville”, citing that the university is for education, not sleeping in tents. This is ripe. (New York Times)

– Nebraska head coach Tim Miles did not a make single substitution in the second half against Iowa on Saturday. It worked. The Huskers won 64-60 after trailing by as many as 19 points. He didn’t like the look of his eight-man rotation, so he shortened it up to just five. (Lincoln Journal Star)

– The City-6, also known the Big-5 plus Drexel, has three teams trying to get off the bubble and in to the big dance as the season comes to an end. (Penn Live)

– The Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry has had a lot of mediocre players. Wait, what? (Deadspin)

– Ryan Fagan takes a look at the teams on the bubble that improved their odds this weekend and those who did not. (Sporting News)

– Some NIT-ology for you because we can never have enough NIT-ology. (Big Apple Buckets)
 
 
Odds & Ends
– The ESPN Game Day bus is the ultimate road trip vehicle. But did you know that it’s unnocupied during the week? (USA Today)

– Mike Bruesewitz got a new haircut, and it’s awesome. (The Dagger)

– Right after Kansas lost to TCU, I tackled the “Top 10 upsets” of the season. CHD does a good job rehashing the bizarre 18-point home loss Villanova suffered to Columbia, and fills you in on two that just nearly missed my list. (College Hoops Digest)
 
 
Dunk of the Day:
There is no player in the country better at in-bounds ally-oops than Sam Thompson.


 
 
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 (@Tro

UCF’s Tacko Fall to miss the rest of the season with shoulder injury

(Dan Forcella/UCF Athletics)
Leave a comment

UCF junior big man Tacko Fall will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, it was announced on Saturday.

College basketball’s tallest athlete at 7-foot-6, Fall is UCF’s leading scorer and shot blocker while being second in the nation in field goal percentage at 76 percent. Putting up 11.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in only 21.3 minutes per contest, Fall is the most unique weapon on both ends of the floor in the college basketball.

Fall is expected to have surgery on his ailing shoulder later this week as he suffered an injury over the summer that never fully recovered. Fall has also dealt with a hip injury that forced him to miss time during the season.

The Knights have been crushed with injuries this season. Aubrey Dawkins suffered a season-ending shoulder injury before the season started and promising point guard B.J. Taylor missed over two months with a foot injury suffered during the season opener against Mercer.

UCF is still having a solid season at 12-6 and 3-3 in the American but they’ll need to forge on without its big man. They’ve also lost two consecutive games and need to figure things out in a hurry to earn a spot in the postseason.

WATCH LIVE: Atlantic 10 basketball tripleheader Saturday on NBCSN

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

The Atlantic 10 comes to NBCSN and the NBC Sports app on Saturday with three games that will air as part of a tripleheader.

It starts with George Washington at VCU at 12:30 p.m., continues with La Salle playing at Richmond at 2:30 p.m. and concludes with George Mason traveling to Duquesne at 4:30 p.m.

CLICK HERE to watch the Atlantic 10 on NBCSN

Sexual assault investigation involving Saint Louis basketball players becoming public

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

A messy situation could be unfolding at Saint Louis University as a sexual assault investigation involving the men’s basketball team is coming more into public focus.

Saint Louis is a private school who is going through a Title IX investigation and there hasn’t been a lot of publicity surrounding the case. Back in September, three women told police they were sexually assaulted by four members of the Saint Louis men’s basketball team at an on-campus apartment.

A lawyer for three of the four accused players is claiming that his clients committed no crime. Lawyer Scott Rosenblum spoke to Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, giving the players’ account of what happened that night in graphic detail. Rosenblum said his clients have received suspensions ranging from 18 months to two years and a fourth player was expelled.

According to Rosenblum, his clients don’t intend to stay silent as they are considering an appeal. Legal action against Saint Louis University has also been discussed.

“At the end of the day, on every college campus, unfortunately, both genders make decisions that after they walk away from that decision, they regret,” Rosenblum said to Frederickson. “They think, this maybe wasn’t the best decision. But it wasn’t a crime. And it wasn’t actionable.”

Rosenblum also claimed that Saint Louis has, “overly prosecuted with an agenda from the beginning,” as he posed several questions about the case.

One of the accused players had been allowed to play at Saint Louis while three others were held out, according to Rosenblum. The three players held out of games were also allowed to practice and travel with the team. Players were also told to move off campus, eventually welcomed back, then forced to move off campus once again. Suspensions were also handed out weeks into the new semester instead of the break between semesters.

Rosenblum’s remarks about the investigation are the most public details to come out about this investigation as Saint Louis University officials have remained silent throughout the process.

Government shutdown forces Air Force to cancel all athletic events

(AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)
Leave a comment

The Air Force Academy has been forced to cancel all home and away games due to the government shutdown, the school announced on Saturday.

Announcing on the official Air Force Academy Twitter page, the school will attempt to reschedule as many missed events as possible.

Canceled games include a home men’s basketball game against Fresno State on Saturday and a home hockey game against Sacred Heart. According to a report from the Colorado Springs Gazette, the women’s basketball team is in Fresno, Calif., for a road game against Fresno State, but that game will also not be played.

This is an unprecedented measure for the Air Force Academy as they’ve been able to play through government shutdowns before. In 2013, the USAA gave a $230,000 check to help Air Force football travel to Navy for its game. Government shutdowns in the 1990s also never forced the cancellation of any major Air Force games in the past.

A source told NBC Sports that Army’s athletic department has not been affected as it is privately funded. Navy’s athletic department should also be able to operate and continue under the government shutdown since they are privately funded.

Without private sponsors helping, it looks like Air Force won’t be playing until the government shutdown is over. The Gazette also reported on Saturday that Air Force athletic officials knew that this could be a possibility and said it would be an “11th hour decision.”

Air Force men’s basketball is 8-10 with a 2-4 record in the Mountain West this season. While the Falcons haven’t been a major contender, they had the momentum of a small two-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s home game against Fresno State.

The Falcons are also scheduled to play on the road at Utah State on Wednesday and host Boise State next Saturday.

Bosnian professional team announces they have signed Billy Preston

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Billy Preston has signed with BC Igokea, a Bosnian professional team, according to a release put out by the club on Saturday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Billy Preston to our club,” the statement read. “We were watching his situation closely and reached out to his family to show interest and ultimately reached an agreement with the family attorney in California on a contract for the rest of the season. We know Billy is an NBA prospect so we will do our best to continue his development to help him excel for our club and fulfill his goal which is to be an NBA star in the near future.”

“Billy Preston is foregoing his eligibility to play at Kansas and has signed with a professional team in Bosnia,” head coach Bill Self said in a statement provided to NBC Sports. “Billy’s family has been very upfront telling us that his first choice was to stay at Kansas, but with the uncertainty of the situation they needed to look at other potential options. This opportunity in Bosnia came with a deadline for a decision, and the family reached that decision Friday afternoon.”

“We are all disappointed that Billy never had the opportunity to experience college basketball competition but we certainly support him and wish him the best. Although he has been frustrated with the situation, Billy’s attitude has been tremendous and he has developed as a person and as a player. I’m sure that will continue as he prepares for his professional career.”

Igokea’s roster also includes former UCLA guard Malcolm Lee, former Oregon and UTEP guard Dominic Artis and Katin Reinhardt, who played at UNLV, USC and Marquette.

Preston had enrolled at Kansas as a freshman this season, but he was involved in a car accident prior to the start of the season. He was held out from competition as the school attempted to find out who was paying for the vehicle.