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)

source:

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Syracuse’s Tyus Battle to test NBA draft waters

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Syracuse announced on Friday afternoon that sophomore guard Tyus Battle will be declaring for the NBA draft without signing with an agent, giving him until the NCAA’s May 30th deadline to withdraw from contention and return to school.

Battle averaged 19.2 points as a sophomore for the Orange, who made a surprising run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

He is a projected late-first round or early-second round pick given his size, shooting ability and skill with the ball in his hands.

Losing Battle would be a massive blow to a Syracuse team that is already going to be without Matthew Moyer, who transferred out of the program, and Dareus Bazley, who is heading to the G League instead of enrolling in college.

Maryland’s Kevin Huerter declares for NBA draft, won’t hire agent

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Maryland wing Kevin Huerter announced on Friday afternoon that he will be declaring for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, giving him the option of returning to school by May 30th.

“This will be a great experience for Kevin to get honest feedback from NBA teams and executives,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “Taking advantage of this opportunity will allow Kevin and his family to make an informed decision about his future.”

Huerter is a 6-foot-7 wing known for his ability to shoot from the perimeter. He averaged 14.8 points and shot 42 percent from three as a sophomore.

He is also the third player from Maryland to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. Justin Jackson, a borderline first round pick who missed time last season with a shoulder injury, has signed with an agent while Bruno Fernando is testing the waters. Maryland, who has an excellent recruiting class coming in, will be a preseason top 20 team if Huerter and Fernando both return to school.

Huerter is a borderline first round pick.

Michigan’s Charles Matthews to test NBA draft waters

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Michigan guard Charles Matthews announced on Friday that he will be declaring for the NBA draft, but that he does not intend to sign with an agent, meaning he has until May 30th to withdraw from the draft and return to school.

“After careful consideration with my parents and coaching staff, I am excited to announce that I will be declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft without hiring an agent,” said Matthews. “I give thanks to the Lord for this amazing opportunity, as well as the entire University of Michigan for their support. Go Blue!”

Matthews, a redshirt sophomore that averaged 13.0 points and 5.5 boards for the national runners-up, was a four-star prospect coming out of Chicago and spent his freshman season at Kentucky.

Matthews is a likely second round pick with the potential to climb into the first round should he prove to be a more consistent three-point shooter. He shot just 31.8 percent from beyond the arc this past season.

Virginia’s Hunter to return to school for sophomore season

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De’Andre Hunter announced on Friday afternoon that he will not be entering his name into the NBA draft and will return to Virginia for his redshirt sophomore season, a decision that will have as much of an impact on the 2018-19 college basketball season as any that is made this spring.

Hunter, now a potential top ten pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, was one of the breakout stars of the 2017-18 season. A 6-foot-7 combo-forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Hunter averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 boards while shooting 38.2 percent from three in just under 20 minutes a night for a Virginia team whose pace severely limits the kind of numbers a player like him can put up.

Throw in his ability to defend on the perimeter and in the paint, and Hunter is precisely the kind of player that NBA teams are looking to land as basketball becomes more and more built on positional versatility and the ability to space the floor.

And it’s that versatility that will make Hunter so important for the Cavaliers next season.

Let’s go beyond the simple fact that he is going to be the only guy on the Virginia roster that can create his own shot against length and athleticism and that there is a chance that he could end up being an all-american next season if things play out the right way. What makes Hunter so important to Virginia his that his defensive versatility is what allows Virginia to matchup with teams that want to try and play small-ball against them.

That’s precisely what UMBC did in the first round of the NCAA tournament, a game that Hunter missed with a broken wrist. We all know how that played out, and I’m not even dumb enough to pin all the blame of a 20-point loss to a No. 16 seed on a guy that played less than 20 minutes a night.

Virginia choked once they realized that there was a chance this could happen, but I would argue that a major reason they couldn’t ever truly assert their dominance was because they were unable to matchup with UMBC’s four-guard lineup without Hunter.

With Hunter back, Virginia is the No. 6 team in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25. If he had declared for the draft and signed with an agent, I’m not sure I would have had the Wahoos in the top 20.

He takes Tony Bennett’s club from simply being good to once against being a contender for the ACC regular season title.

Vanderbilt the sixth Kentucky player declares for the NBA draft

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Jarred Vanderbilt is now the sixth Kentucky Wildcat to declare for the NBA draft this spring, joining P.J. Washington and Wenyen Gabriel in testing the waters without signing with an agent.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo have all declared for the draft and signed with an agent.

Vanderbilt announced his decision on Friday afternoon.

“This season wasn’t easy for me,” Vanderbilt said. “At the end of the day, my goal has always been to make it to the NBA.”

“I know I have more to my game to show, but now I’ve got to figure out if the time is right for me to do it at the next level or if I would be better to return to school.”

Vanderbilt missed the first 17 games of his freshman season with a left foot injury, a foot that he had injured twice before during his high school career. He then missed all four of Kentucky’s postseason games with a left ankle injury, and there is a chance that he could end up needing surgery to correct this issue this offseason.

All told, the 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt played in 14 games as a freshman, averaging 5.9 points and 7.9 boards in just 17 minutes a night. But issues with his ability to shoot from the perimeter and a lower left leg that has proven to be extremely problematic, there is a good chance that Vanderbilt would go undrafted should he decide to turn pro.