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 NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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.

Washington State coach begins game on opponent’s bench

Ernie Kent
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In September, during the Coaches vs. Cancer Gala in Spokane, Washington, there was a live auction, which included the chance to be Idaho’s honorary coach for a regular season during the 2016-17 season.

Washington State head coach Ernie Kent’s $2,000 bid more than tripled the next highest bid, according to the Spokesman Review.

On Wednesday night, during Washington State’s game against the Vandals, Kent sat next to his counterpart on the Idaho bench.

Kent returned to his side of the court following the game’s first possession.

Behind 16 points from Ike Iiroegbu, the Cougars defeated the Vandals, 61-48.