boeheim nose pick

The Morning Mix

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Wednesday was the calm before the storm. Only one ticket was punched last night, and only 12 total games were played. That all changes today, as all the major conferences begin their conference tournaments this afternoon and tonight. College Basketball Talk has Championship Week on lockdown. @RobDauster and @RaphielleJ are holding it down from their “home offices”, (See: couches), and @TroyMachir (Me) and @DanielJMartin_ will be in New York City covering the A-10 and Big East tournaments respectively. @CBTonNBC will have all the bases covered.

Let’s hit the links.
Top Stories:
Late Night Snacks: Bucknell was the lone team to punch a ticket to the Big Dance on Wednesday and only a handful of other games were on the docket. Get caught up on all of last night’s action with Late Night Snacks.

Brandon Triche, No. 19 Syracuse find shooting touch in win over Seton Hall: James Southerland and Brandon Triche sparked the Syracuse offense Wednesday and pulled Syracuse out of its recent slump in the Orange’s 75-63 win over Seton Hall.

Speculation about Jim Boeheim’s retirement isn’t going to go away: If Syracuse prolongs their stay in New York City for the Big East tournament this weekend, you can expect to hear more and more about Jim Boeheim’s potential retirement.

Shane Larkin: “I definitely see myself coming back”: All-ACC guard Shane Larkin helped carry Miami to their best season in school history. While he has strong NBA aspirations, and will likely be in the league some day, he knows that at this point his best option is to return to school next year.

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Bucknell: The Bison are back in the NCAA tournament and have the makeup of a team that can spring an upset or two.
Observations & Insight:
– Grambling State lost last night in the first round of the SWAC tournament, moving their final 2012-2013 record to a perfectly imperfect 0-28. (The Dagger)

– A lot of people are underestimating just how close La Salle is to locking up an at-large bid. A strong showing at the A-10 tournament this weekend could do the trick. The problem for the Explorers is that the deck is stacked against them. (

– Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named as the SEC Player of the Year, and according to coaches within the conference, it was an easy choice. (Eye on College Basketball)

– West Virginia’s first season in the Big 12 ended in horrific fashion, losing on a buzzer-beater to lowly Texas Tech. (Fox Sports)

– An excellent cheat sheet providing everything you need to know about the ACC tournament and its competitors. (Wilmington Star-News)

– What does Iowa need to do to win the Big Ten tournament? Umm, well for starters, they need to play A+ basketball against the best competition in the country. After that, they still have to win games against the best competition in the country. (Rush the Court)

– If, and that’s a big if, Steve Lavin can keep his roster in tact, St. John’s is poised for a bright future. (New York Daily News)

– This continues to be really, really weird: Denver officials don’t like their mascot and think it’s polarizing, but won’t explain why they don’t like it or why it’s polarizing. (Mile High Mids)

– Ranking the conferences based on their names. I’m actually kinda shocked that I never thought of this. Pretty good stuff here. (USA Today)
Hoops Housekeeping:
– VCU reserve center D.J. Haley is leaving the Rams program in order to pursue academic interests. (VCU Rams Nation)

– Colorado State will be without their starting point guard Dorian Green for their MWC semifinal game against UNLV. Green played 127 consecutive games prior to Wednesday’s game against Fresno State, in which he sat out with an ankle injury. (The Dagger)
Picture of the Day:
Jim Boeheim picking his nose. Priceless.

Video(s) of the Day:
A tour of the New York City barber shop owned by the father of Louisville’s Russ Smith. (Courier Journal)

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

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.

The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

WATCH: Duke goes crazy for Chase Jeter’s bottle flip

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on in the second half against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The bottle flip has become an international sensation in recent months.

It’s as simple as it sounds: flipping a water bottle in the air, attempting to have it land upright.

Duke sophomore forward Chase Jeter, in front of 9,300-plus fans, successfully pulled off the bottle flip on Saturday night at Duke’s Craziness.

Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.

Auburn to honor Charles Barkley with a statue

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04:  Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.

The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.

“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”

Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.

His number 34 is retired at Auburn.