Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis, Kansas in position for No. 1 seed after Duke, Michigan, Georgetown all lose?

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Kansas and Iowa State went to overtime twice this season with both, one very controversial, ended with the Jayhawks pulling out the win. In the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament, Kansas only needed the minimum 40 minutes to top Iowa State, 88-73 in Kansas City to advance to the Big 12 title game. Perry Ellis was the hero for Kansas, leading the way with a game-high 23 points and six boards

Ellis’ performance lifted Kansas into the title game, but also could have provided much more. With the win for the Jayhawks, they may have moved into a No. 1 seed after Duke and Michigan were eliminated in their tournament quarterfinals while Georgetown was taken down by Syracuse in the Big East semifinal.

Duke didn’t win the ACC regular season title and now won’t have a chance to win the conference title. It’s the same story for Michigan. Indiana is in position to win the regular season and conference title, which will help lock up a No. 1 seed to go along with top-ranked Gonzaga. Louisville is still alive in the Big East, rolling with eight straight wins since the five overtime loss to Notre Dame. The Cardinals, if they leave Madison Square Garden with a conference tournament title, there are three No. 1 spots already taken

It’s unclear whether or not Kansas winning the Big 12 tournament is enough to secure a No. 1 seed?

The Jayhawks have played great ball, especially on the offensive end, since the three-game losing streak in the beginning of February, but as Rob Dauster points out, it may not be enough to take the last remaining top spot from Duke. Although Duke was horrible on the defensive end in its second loss to Maryland on the season, it’s still only the Blue Devils first loss with Ryan Kelly in the lineup. The way Duke plays will Kelly will have to be taken into consideration when the four top seeds are decided.

With Kelly on the floor, Duke proved worthy of a No. 1 seed especially in the early part of the season and then reaffirmed it when Kelly returned to the floor for 36 points against Miami on Mar. 2.

Kansas could end up winning the conference title Saturday and still end up as high as a No. 2 seed.

The loser of Saturday’s semifinal, Iowa State has the resume of a tournament team with a pair of top 15 wins, but a third loss to Kansas, albeit that two of them went to overtime (one of them controversial), however, Iowa State hurt its resume with losses to Texas and Texas Tech.

The Cyclones were projected as a a First Four participant in the latest bracket and had a chance to lock up a spot with a win against Kansas on Saturday. Unable to top the Jayhawks for the third time and Iowa State should now  feel uneasy during Selection Sunday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Jaylen Brown throws down hard in transition

Albert Almanza, Jaylen Brown, Jalin Barnes
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Jaylen Brown is a top five player in the Class of 2015 and a kid projected as a top ten pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.


Because he does things like this:

He also did this:

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Denzel Valentine, the nation’s best player?

Denzel Valentine
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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(This will be updated throughout the day.)

GAME OF THE DAY: Syracuse 74, No. 25 Texas A&M 67

The Orange got 20 points from Michael Gbinije and 15 points and five assists from Trevor Cooney as they won the Battle 4 Atlantis title on Friday afternoon. We wrote on this game earlier. Are the Orange for real this year?


Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: 32 points, nine boards, six assists

No. 3 Michigan State beat Boise State 77-67 in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy out in California, but the result of that game is less important than the result of Valentine’s night. A night after notching his second triple-double of the season, Valentine took over another way on Friday, hitting five straight threes in the span of about five minutes to put the Spartans up double-figures in a game they were struggling to take control of.

In three games against high-major competition, Valentine is now averaging 30.0 points, 10.7 boards and 9.3 assists. He has been, unequivocally, the best player in college basketball this season.

No. 10 Gonzaga 73, No. 17 UConn 70: Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis made some big plays down the stretch as the Bulldogs held on to win a game they led by as much as 21 in the second half. Kyle Wiltjer scored a team-best 17 points for Gonzaga, which finished third at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Rob Dauster wrote more about the Bulldogs and their second-half performance here.

Alabama 64, No. 20 Wichita State 60: While the Shockers’ losses to USC and Alabama don’t help them from an NCAA tournament standpoint, the bigger issue is the team’s health.

No. 17 Notre Dame 68, Iowa 62: The Fighting Irish blew a 15-point second half lead, but the comeback gassed the Hawkeyes, as Notre Dame was able to pull away down the stretch. V.J. Beachem led the way with 16 points.


Quincy Ford, Northeastern: Not only did he score 24 points in the upset win over No. 15 Miami, but he hit the game-winning jumper, too. Video here.

Cat Barber, N.C. State: Barber notched a career-high 37 points to go along with eight assists as the Wolfpack fought off a scrappy Winthrop team, 87-79. He wasn’t the best scorer on the floor, though …

Jimmy Gavin, Winthrop: Gavin finished with 38 points. Off the bench. The most incredible part? He was 5-foot-4, 90 pounds as a sophomore due to Crohn’s Disease.

John Egbunu, Florida: Egbunu finished with 17 points, 11 boards and four blocks as the Gators knocked off FGCU, 70-50. Dorian Finney-Smith added 23 points for Florida.


Wichita State’s bigs: Five of them (Anton Grady, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly, Bush Wakumota, Eric Hamilton) finished a combined 3-for-21 from the floor with 14 points and 14 fouls. Wakumota shot one of the worst threes you’ll ever see with Wichita State down 62-60 with 10 seconds left.

Grady suffered a scary neck injury late in the game, but early reports sound positive.


  • Jamal Murray went for 21 points and three assists without a turnover at No. 1 Kentucky rolled over South Florida. The big question: How bad is Tyler Ulis’ elbow injury?
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart both had 13 points as No. 8 Villanova knocked off Georgia Tech to win the Preseason NIT, 69-52.
  • No. 23 Xavier raced out of the gates against USC and led by as much as 32, going on to win 87-77 in Orlando. Trevon Bluiett led four Musketeers in double figures with 16 points and James Farr added 12 to go along with nine rebounds off the bench.
  • Troy Caupain had 17 points and Octavious Ellis added 12 points and nine boards (seven offensive) as No. 24 Cincinnati outlasted Nebraska, 65-61, at the Barclays Center.


  • Stanford finished third at the Preseason NIT with a 69-66 win over Arkansas, closing the game on a stunning 21-1 run. Rosco Allen scored eight of his career-high 25 points during that run, and Marcus Allen’s goal-tended layup with 2.6 seconds remaining gave the Cardinal the lead for good.
  • Taurean Waller-Prince had 25 points to lead Baylor to a win over Arkansas State.
  • Joey King’s 18 points paced five players in double-figures for Minnesota as they knocked off Omaha, 93-90.
  • Caris LeVert had 19 points and Derrick Walton added 13 points and seven assists as the Wolverines beat Texas in the fifth-place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis.