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The Morning Mix

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No. 5 Georgetown lost. No. 6 Miami lost. No. 13 Oklahoma State lost. No. 16 Saint Louis lost. No. 23 UCLA lost. Ten ranked teams were in action last night and half of them lost. Oh, and for the second straight night punches were thrown on the hardwood. Yup, just another typical Wednesday night of college basketball.

Let’s hit the links.

Thursday’s Top games:
7 p.m. – Virginia @ Florida State
7 p.m. – Butler @ Massachusetts
9 p.m. – No. 19 Oregon @ Colorado
9 p.m. – No. 22 Wisconsin @ No. 10 Michigan State
9 p.m. – Louisiana Tech @ New Mexico State
9 p.m. – UT-Arlington @ Denver

Read of the Day:
All I have to say about Dana O’Neil’s story about Rick Majerus’ tragic death is this: READ IT! (ESPN)

Top Stories:
Late Night Snacks: Miami takes bad loss, A-10 proves to be wild: Get caught up with all the craziness from Wednesday night.

VIDEO: Georgia Tech beats Miami at the buzzer: Miami was supposed to celebrate a ACC regular season championship tonight. Instead of that, they were on the wrong-end of a buzzer-beating tip-in.

Villanova all but punches ticket to NCAA tournament with win over No. 5 Georgetown: The win moves the Wildcats to 19-12 overall and 10-8 in the Big East with quality wins over Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, and now the Hoyas. Of the teams currently on the bubble, few if any boast the slate of victories that Villanova does.

Georgetown loses, meaning those four No. 1 seeds are even more wide-open: With the Georgetown loss at Villanova last night, all four No.1-seeds will be earned over the next week and a half. We’re ten days from Selection Sunday and all four No.1-seeds are completely up in the air.

Travis Wear re-injures foot in UCLA’s loss to Washington State: UCLA forward Travis Wear was cleared to play Wednesday against Washington State, but played just fifteen minutes in the Bruins’ 73-61 loss, appearing to have re-injured the same foot that has limited his availability in recent weeks.

No. 16 Saint Louis fails to clinch share of A-10 title with overtime loss to Xavier: The Cintas Center is not an easy place to get a road win. Bilikens forward Cody Ellis went 0-15 from the field, including 0-11 from beyond the arc. Ouch.

Iowa State lands huge bubble win over No. 13 Oklahoma State: Iowa State is not yet a lock for the NCAA tournament, not when they have an RPI in the 50s, exactly one road win in the top 200, but a win against a top-15 team certainly helps their case.

CBT Podcast: Debating the B1G Championship and National PoY award: Host Troy Machir (That’s me) is joined by Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, who is also braving the latest meteorological whiff, “Winter Storm Saturn” to discuss the final days of the Big Ten season, as well as the National PoY award. I throw Rob Dauster under the bus too. Everybody has fun.

Observations & Insight:
– Wednesday night was crazy. Six ranked teams lost. Buzzers were beaten. Streaks were ended. Senior nights were ruined. (One and One)

– Four coaches were ejected from the Cal-Stanford game last night because they tried to break up a skirmish. (Business Insider)

– RUMOR ALERT. RUMOR ALERT. Jim Boeheim is being forced to retire. RUMOR ALERT. RUMOR ALERT. (Did You See That?)

– Syracuse has refuted the above claim. (Yahoo Sports)

– Nebraska played their final game inside the Devaney Center last night. They sent the arena out in style. (Lincoln Journal-Star)

– Georgia Tech knew that Miami was planning a championship celebration following the game last night, so the Jackets set out to destroy the plans. They succeeded. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

– Indiana is in danger of losing their spot on the No.1-seed line. You may not think it’s much, but the no.1-seed does matter. (Sporting News)

– Kansas State hasn’t got much attention considering they are currently a top-10 team. But that won’t stop them from making a deep run in March. (Rush The Court)

– North Carolina was in dire straits just a month ago. But Roy Williams reinvented his team and the Tar Heels now look like a team that I would not want to draw in the NCAA tournament. (The Dagger)

– The NCAA lifted their ban on hosting postseason events in New Jersey following the decision to bar sports betting in the state. (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

– The Vegas odds for Player of the Year. I’ll take Otto Porter at 9-2. Straight Cash, homey. (Mid-Major Madness)

– A pretty awesome-read from C.J. Moore on how Ken Pomeroy revolutionized college basketball. (Bleacher Report)

.GIF of the Day:
This flop is what set of the scuffle between Cal and Stanford last night. (The Mock Session)


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 (@TroyMachir

College Basketball Talk’s Top 25: Xavier, Syracuse, Texas A&M are big winners

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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At this point in the season, I think it is still too early to solely base rankings off of on-the-court results. That’s why you’re going to find North Carolina higher in this poll than likely anywhere else on the internet. Until we see what the Tar Heels look like with Marcus Paige — which, mind you, could happen on Tuesday night when they host Maryland — I’m not sure I’m ready to drop them, even for a team that looks as good as Michigan State or Kansas.

The biggest risers of the week: Xavier and Syracuse, who both won big tournaments over the Thanksgiving holiday. They also both happened to knock off rivals in the process, as the Musketeers blew out Dayton while the Orange knocked off UConn.

1. Kentucky (6-0, LW: No. 1): Kentucky got a real scare over the weekend, as Tyler Ulis hyper-extended his elbow against South Florida. He appears to be just fine.

2. Maryland (6-0, LW: No. 2): The Terps have not looked great early on this season, but they’re going to get a real test on Tuesday when they visit UNC.

3. North Carolina (5-1, LW: No. 3): Here’s to hoping Marcus Paige is healthy when Maryland comes to visit this week.

4. Michigan State (7-0, LW: No. 4): Denzel Valentine has been sensational this season, but the most impressive part of Michigan State’s win over Providence on Sunday was that they did it while Valentine was in foul trouble and struggling to shoot the ball.

5. Kansas (4-1, LW: No. 6): The Jayhawks had a pretty good week. They won Maui, they blew out a good Vanderbilt team, Wayne Selden showed up and Cheick Diallo got eligible. I hope Bill Self bought some lottery tickets.

6. Villanova (6-0, LW: No. 5): I really like the Wildcats this year, I do, but I dropped them a spot for two reasons: 1. I thought Kansas was better entering the season and the Jayhawks looked terrific this week in Maui, before Cheick Diallo played, and 2. Villanova hasn’t beaten anyone of note yet. Next Monday they get Oklahoma. We’ll know then.

7. Iowa State (5-0, LW: No. 7): The Cyclones are 5-0 with wins over three high-major programs, but their best win may be the win over Chattanooga. I think we’ll really get a feel for how good this team next month, when, in a 12-day stretch, they get Iowa, Northern Iowa and Cincinnati on the road.

8. Oklahoma (4-0, LW: No. 8): The Sooners put a whooping on Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon, the kind of performance that made it very clear Oklahoma is a contender this season and Wisconsin is not. Buddy Hield has been terrific, but so has big man Ryan Spangler.

9. Duke (6-1, LW: No. 10): The loss to Kentucky continues to look like the aberration in Duke’s early season schedule, as they rolled over Utah State and Yale this week. The big news: Luke Kennard has finally found his rhythm, as he scored 22 points and went 4-for-5 from the floor on Sunday.

10. Virginia (5-1, LW: No. 11): Virginia has won four straight since their loss at GW, scoring at least 80 points in every game and never giving up more than 66. It’s not the stiffest of competition, but it should go to show you (like I said at the time) that the loss at GW said more about GW than Virginia.

11. Xavier (7-0, LW: No. 21)
12. Purdue (6-0, LW: No. 15)
13. Vanderbilt (5-1, LW: No. 16)
14. Miami (5-1, LW: No. 9)
15. Syracuse (6-0, LW: UR)
16. Texas A&M (6-1, LW: UR)
17. Gonzaga (4-1, LW: No. 17)
18. Oregon (5-0, LW: No. 25)
19. Cincinnati (7-0, LW: No. 20)
20. Baylor (4-1, LW: No. 22)
21. Butler (4-1, LW: No. 23)
22. UConn (4-2, LW: No. 18)
23. Providence (6-1, LW: UR)
24. West Virginia (6-0, LW: UR)
25. SMU (4-0, LW: UR)

DROPPED OUT: No. 12 Cal, No. 13 Arizona, No. 14 Indiana, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 24 Wichita State

WEEKLY AWARDS: Denzel Valentine’s big week, Kansas makes a statement

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
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PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

In the title game of the Wooden Legacy, a game that was billed as a matchup between the two best players in college basketball — Valentine and Kris Dunn — Valentine was downright bad …

… by his standards. He finished with “just” 17 points, six assists and five boards. I say “just” because, in the previous two games of the tournament, the Spartan superstar averaged 30.5 points, 10.0 boards and 8.0 assists. He’s been, hands down, the best player in college basketball this season, and that didn’t change this week.


  • Ben Bentil, Providence: Kris Dunn is the guy that is going to get all the national praise, but it was Bentil’s emergence that was critical for the Friars. He averaged 21.7 points and 6.0 boards in three games in the Wooden Legacy, carrying PC when Dunn was battling foul issues.
  • Wayne Selden, Kansas: The highlight of Selden’s week was scoring 25 points on 8-for-11 shooting in the Maui title game win over No. 19 Vanderbilt. For the week, he averaged 19.3 points and shot 12-for-17 from three.
  • Justin Robinson, Monmouth: Robinson averaged 25.7 points in three games for Monmouth at the Advocare Invitational. The Hawks beat No. 17 Notre Dame and USC in the process, only losing to Dayton by three.
  • Justin Jackson, North Carolina: Remember when Justin Jackson was struggling? He averaged 21.5 points, 9.0 boards and 5.0 assists in wins over Northwestern and Kansas State. That came on the heels of a 25-point performance in the loss at Northern Iowa.
  • Henry Ellenson, Marquette: Ellenson notched three straight double-doubles for the Golden Eagles this week, which included 16 points and 11 boards in a win over Ben Simmons and LSU.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas headed out to Maui as a team that many weren’t really sure what to make of. They looked good against Michigan State for 30 minutes, then they blew that game as Denzel Valentine went bananas. They had as much depth as anyone in the country, but Brannen Greene was suspended, Cheick Diallo was ineligible and Wayne Selden was the most notable of a handful of talented players that had been somewhere between inconsistent and ineffective this year.

That all changed in Maui — well, other than Greene’s suspension — as Kansas rolled over Chaminade, UCLA and Vanderbilt to bring home the tournament title. Blowing out Chaminade was to be expected. But beating down a talented UCLA team? Dominating a very good Vanderbilt squad? That’s the Kansas we’ve been hoping to see show up for a few years now. The question is whether or not it’s sustainable, and at least on paper, it appears to be. Selden’s shooting percentages will come back to earth, but his raw numbers are less important than his confidence and aggressiveness. Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham are going to continue to take pressure off of each other in the back court. Perry Ellis isn’t going anywhere.

I questioned whether or not Kansas was truly one of the nation’s elite when the season started. I think they answered that question for me.


  • Xavier: The Musketeers not only won the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, they blew out in-state — and former Atlantic 10 — rival Dayton in the finals.
  • Syracuse: The Orange are going to be a factor in the ACC this season. How much? I don’t know. But after winning the Battle 4 Atlantis by knocking off No. 18 UConn and No. 25 Texas A&M, it’s clear they’re going to be involved all season.
  • Northeastern: The Huskies picked up a road win against No. 15 Miami on this buzzer-beating jumper.
  • Arkansas-Little Rock: The Trojans picked up their second huge road win of the year, going into Tulsa and knocking off the Golden Hurricane. They’re now 5-0 on the season, having also won at SDSU.
  • Tournament winners: West Virginia knocked off Richmond and San Diego State to bring home the Las Vegas Invitational title, No. 24 Cincinnati beat Nebraska and George Washington in the Barclays Center Classic and Marquette knocked off LSU and Arizona State to win the Legends Classic.


Tuesday: No. 2 Maryland at No. 9 North Carolina, 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Butler at No. 24 Cincinnati, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday: Louisville at No. 3 Michigan State, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday: No. 13 Indiana at No. 6 Duke, 9:15 p.m.
Saturday: No. 11 Arizona at No. 10 Gonzaga, 3:15 p.m.