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The Morning Mix

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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.


 
 
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Villanova beats Duke, Kansas, Indiana for Jermaine Samuels

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Jermaine Samuels, Jr. #23 of Expressions Elite dunks. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
Jon Lopez/Nike
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Villanova landed a commitment from top 50 prospect Jermaine Samuels on Saturday.

Samuels is a tough and athletic 6-foot-5 wing that will remind many Wildcat fans of Josh Hart. He’s got the same kind of versatility and nose for the ball that will let him guard perimeter players as well as work in as a small-ball four. Players like this are a specialty of Jay Wright.

Samuels picked up an offer from Duke recently and also had Indiana, Kansas and Georgetown in his top five. Beating out blue-bloods for a prospect like this is quite the statement for Villanova, one that should tell you the reigning national champs are here to stay as a national power.

Syracuse lands critical piece in Andrew White

LINCOLN, NE - FEBRUARY 3: Andrew White #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers shoots the ball over Rasheed Sulaimon #0 of the Maryland Terrapins during their game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on February 3, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
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Syracuse has found their replacement for Malachi Richardson.

On Sunday, Nebraska transfer Andrew White committed to the Orange, picking Syracuse, in the end, over VCU. White is a graduate transfer who spent last season with Nebraska, where he averaged 16.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from three. A top 50 prospect out of Virginia back in the Class of 2012, White played a limited role for Kansas his first two seasons in college.

This is a significant pickup for the Orange, one that legitimately puts them into the conversation as a Final Four contender and a threat to finish at or near the top of the ACC. Jim Boeheim has put together a roster full of talented, long and athletic front court players, but after Richardson declared for the NBA Draft as a one-and-done freshman, he was left with just two back court players on his roster.

Earlier this offseason, Cuse landed Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon, a 6-foot-1 combo-guard, to reinforce their back court. The addition of White gives them a lights-out shooter and a big-time scorer on the wing, something that would have been a major void on their roster.

With Paschal Chukwu getting eligible at the center spot and Tyler Lydon likely landing on every breakout player list this preseason, the Orange should be a markedly better team than the one that made their way to the Final Four last season.

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.