John Beilein

Late Night Snacks: No. 4 Michigan rebounds, Virginia falls at Boston College

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Game of the Day: No. 4 Michigan 58, No. 4 Michigan State 57 

Trey Burke added another performance to his national (and Big Ten) Player of the Year resume on Sunday afternoon, accounting for 21 points, eight assists and five steals in Michigan’s win over their in-state rival. Up ten with 4:36 remaining (52-42) Michigan very nearly handed over a game they looked to be in control of, but two steals by Burke in the final 22 seconds (and a breakaway dunk following the first) proved to be the difference.

The Wolverines won despite failing to make a single three-pointer and being out-rebounded by the Spartans 44-29. But Michigan State turned the ball over 18 times, which allowed Michigan to make up the possessions they essentially lost on the defensive glass. Adreian Payne scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the way for Michigan State.

Important Outcomes

1. Boston College 53, Virginia 52

Virginia has a collection of quality wins that few bubble teams can match. But they also have seven losses against sub-100 (RPI) teams, with the seventh coming in Chestnut Hill on Sunday. Joe Rahon hit a three-pointer and was fouled with 8.2 seconds remaining, and that proved to be the difference for a Boston College team that has taken both Duke and Miami to the wire at home. With games against Florida State and Maryland next week the Cavaliers have more work to do if they’re to return to the NCAA tournament.

2. Purdue 69, No. 17 Wisconsin 56 

With losses by Michigan State and Wisconsin, Indiana can clinch the outright Big Ten title on Tuesday night against Ohio State. As for the Badgers, they had a tough afternoon at home against a Purdue team that arrived in Madison having lost six of eight. D.J. Byrd hit six three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the way for the Boilermakers, and the second-half contribution of Sandi Marcius should not be overlooked either. Wisconsin, a team that scores 34.2% of its points from beyond the arc, shot just 6-of-28 from three.

3.  No. 23 Pittsburgh 73, Villanova 64 (OT) 

Six days after having a win at Seton Hall slip away the Wildcats lost in overtime at Pittsburgh. James Robinson’s three-pointer in the final minute tied the score at 57, and the Panthers outscored Villanova 16-7 in the extra session. The loss makes Villanova’s regular season finale against No. 7 Georgetown on Wednesday even more important, and Jay Wright’s team has work to do at the Big East tournament as well. That was likely the case regardless of Sunday’s result, but a win certainly would have looked good on Villanova’s resume.

Starred 

1. G Trey Burke (Michigan) 

21 points, eight assists and five steals in the Wolverines’ 58-57 win over No. 9 Michigan State. Two of Burke’s steals came in the final 22 seconds of the game.

2. G Reggie Bullock (North Carolina) 

20 points, ten rebounds and five assists in the Tar Heels’ 79-58 win over Florida State.

3. F Erik Etherly (Loyola (MD))

30 points (11-of-18 FG), four rebounds and two steals in the Greyhounds’ 63-61 win over Manhattan.

Struggled

1. G Michael Snaer (Florida State) 

Given the youth of Florida State’s backcourt there’s a lot on Snaer’s shoulders offensively. He shot 5-of-18 from the field and turned the ball over five times in the Seminoles’ 79-58 loss at North Carolina.

2. G Derek Needham (Fairfield) 

Needham shot 1-of-9 from the field, scoring six points and committing four turnovers in the Stags’ 73-60 loss at Marist.

3. G Darrun Hilliard (Villanova) 

Hilliard shot 1-of-8 from the field, finishing with six points in the Wildcats’ 73-64 overtime loss at No. 23 Pittsburgh.

Three Facts

1. While Stony Brook had already claimed the top seed in next weekend’s America East tournament (.pdf file) some seeds were still to be determined. Hartford’s 61-58 win at Vermont combined with Albany’s 75-70 loss to Stony Brook pushed the Hawks into the 3-seed and dropped the Great Danes to the four.

2. There were also seeds to be determined in the MAAC, with multiple scenarios possible depending on the outcomes of the three games played. Loyola wrapped up the 3-seed with a 63-61 win over Manhattan and Iona grabbed the four with an 80-61 win over Marist. Manhattan didn’t get the win but they do avoid playing in the first round as a result of Fairfield’s 73-60 loss at Marist.

3. Richard Howell scored 18 points and T.J. Warren added 14 to help lead N.C. State past Georgia Tech, 70-57. With their win and Virginia’s loss the Wolfpack are now tied for fourth in the ACC, with the top four teams getting a bye in the first round of the ACC tournament.

Top 25 Scores 

No. 4 Michigan 58, No. 9 Michigan State 57
Purdue 69, No. 17 Wisconsin 56
No. 23 Pittsburgh 73, Villanova 64 (OT)

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

UT-Arlington dominates, upsets No. 12 St. Mary’s

Texas-Arlington's Kevin Hervey, left, reacts to a 73-68 NCAA college basketball game win as Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate looks on  in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
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UT-Arlington made a statement on Thursday night, completely dominating No. 12 Saint Mary’s in a 65-51 upset win in a true road game in Moraga.

Back in October, I ranked both the Gaels and the Mavericks in the top-5 of my Mid-Major Power Rankings. Saint Mary’s was the obvious top choice, one of the nation’s most efficient offenses that returned Emmett Naar and Jock Landale. UT-Arlington, ranked fifth, served as a dangerous opponent. The Mavs had defeated Ohio State and Memphis in 2015, but their season was derailed once Kevin Hervey, a player with serious pro potential, tore his ACL.

With five starters back, including Hervey, who is just now getting back to 100 percent, UT-Arlington looks every bit the part of a March Cinderella.

The Mavericks jumped out to an early lead and forced the Gaels to play out of character. Saint Mary’s had only committed a season-high 14 turnovers before the midway point of the second half. The Gaels, who entered shooting 40 percent from three as a team, was held to 8-of-27 (30 percent) from beyond the arc.

UT-Arlington did an incredible job of closing out on shooters. And it didn’t matter the matchup, at times we saw Hervey, a 6-foot-9 junior, come out and run a guard off the 3-point line. While those statistics mentioned above show up in the box score, the amount of deflections don’t. The Mavericks used its length and athleticism to get their hands everywhere on the defensive end of the floor, making it difficult to find good looks.

In the first half, UT-Arlington controlled the glass. Saint Mary’s found more success in that department after halftime, as Kevin Clark’s offensive putback capped an 11-2 run, which cut the deficit to 52-41. However, the Mavs were able to counter each time the Gaels threatened, never letting the lead get to single digits.

Aside from the struggles the typically-efficient Saint Mary’s offense had, the Gaels struggled to keep UT-Arlington guards Erick Neal and Kaelon Wilson out of the lane, whether it be on a high ball screen or a handoff. Saint Mary’s never seemed to have a help-side defender there to protect the rim. Neal had 13 points and eight assists (five turnovers), while Wilson had 10 points off the bench. Hervey had a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds.

UT-Arlington is winners of eight straight after losing three straight. One of those wins includes a double-digit win over Texas in Austin. The Mavericks are the clear-cut favorite to win the Sun Belt. Come Selection Sunday, I’d say plenty of at-large teams would not like to be paired up with Scott Cross’ team.

Iowa cruises past No. 25 Iowa State

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20:  Head coach Fran McCaffery of the Iowa Hawkeyes reacts in the first half against the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 20, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Iowa picked up a major win on Thursday night, defeating in-state rival No. 25 Iowa State, 78-64, in a contest the Hawkeyes thoroughly dominated.

Let’s put it this way: the Hawkeyes have played four top-100 teams, according to kenpom. In those games, all losses by the way, their defense has surrendered 91 points to Seton Hall, 74 points to a Virginia team that plays at the slowest tempo in the country, 100 points to Memphis and 92 points to Notre Dame.

On Saturday, on the same floor Iowa demolished the Cyclones, its defense allowed 98 points in a loss to Nebraska Omaha.

This is exactly the sort of win Fran McCaffery and Co. needed to right the ship as we inch closer and closer to conference play.

When the Cyclones went to their bench in the first half, Nick Baer sparked a 10-0 run which helped set the tone for the remainder of the half. Iowa State went without a field goal for more than six minutes during that span.

Iowa kept Iowa State from getting out and running, holding the Cyclones to zero fast break points through the first 20 minutes and limiting them to only 36 percent from the floor as a team. Iowa, on the other hand, shot 47 percent, including 59 percent in the first half, which led to a 15-point halftime lead.

Peter Jok torched Iowa State to the tune of 23 points (4-of-7 from distance).

Monte Morris was held in check with 10 points, while Naz Mitrou-Long and Matt Thomas shot a combined 4-of-13 from three (they each hit a three with less than three minutes to play and the outcome all but decided).

Iowa State’s offense is becoming a bigger concern. Just like against Gonzaga, the Cyclones dug a first-half hole they could shoot out their way of. And like last week’s overtime loss to Cincinnati, they struggled from beyond the arc.

Iowa landed a marquee win it needed, while its rival headed home with questions to answer after losing three of four.

 

Alabama wing sidelined due to weight loss

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Head coach Avery Johnson of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at HP Field House on November 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Alabama junior wing Nick King will not be with the team for Sunday evening’s matchup against No. 24 Oregon in Eugene.

According to Rainer Sabin of the AL.com, Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said King undergoing a series of tests after losing more than 10 pounds in less than a week and a half.

Johnson told reporters that he is “very concerned” and estimates that as of now King will be sidelined for “a week or two.”

King, who played his first two seasons at Memphis, has appeared in all seven games for the Crimson Tide, averaging 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game.

Damonte Dodd out with MCL sprain

COLLEGE PARK, MD - FEBRUARY 13: Melo Trimble #2 and Damonte Dodd #35 of the Maryland Terrapins react to a call as Alex Illikainen #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on in the second half at Xfinity Center on February 13, 2016 in College Park, Maryland. Wisconsin won 70-57.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Maryland could be without the services of starting center Damonte Dodd for the remainder of the non-conference slate, the team announced on Wednesday.

Dodd suffered a MCL sprain in his left knee during practice earlier this week. The injury caused him to miss Wednesday’s 76-56 win over Howard. He will not be available for matchups with St. Peter’s and Jacksonville State. The Terrapins then close out the non-conference slate at Charlotte on Dec. 20 before opening up Big Ten play a week later.

Dodd has started in six of seven games he’s appeared in this season. He’s averaging 5.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Michael Cekovsky started in place of Dodd on Wednesday night. Ivan Bender, who returned to the lineup against Howard after missing the previous contest, should also see an increase in minutes with Dodd sidelined.

Federico Mussini goes coast-to-coast, beats buzzer with and-1

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Chris Mullin the head coach of the St. John's Red Storm gives instructions to Federico Mussini #4 during the game against the  Xavier Musketeersat Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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St. John’s capped the first half with a 6-0 run.

Sophomore guard Federico Mussini went coast-to-coast to beat the buzzer, and draw the foul, as the Johnnies went into the break up 42-33 on city rival Fordham.

The 6-foot-4 guard had gone cold during a five-game stretch, but since Thanksgiving he’s scored in double figures in four consecutive games, including on Thursday night.