Maryland Terrapins Layman works to shoot around Duke Blue Devils Kelly during ACC Championship game in Greensboro

Hate to break it to you, but there were no bubble snubs this year


Don’t do it.

Don’t even try.

Because I really don’t want to hear it.

There were no bubble snubs this season. Not a single one. Not Kentucky. Not Tennessee. Not Alabama or Maryland or Virginia or UMass.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a valid argument to make for any of those six teams over one or more of the last four teams into the field — Boise State, La Salle, St. Mary’s and Middle Tennessee State. Because there is.

Maryland has two wins over Duke. Virginia beat Duke and won at Wisconsin. Kentucky and Tennessee both have wins over Florida and played well late in the season. There are plenty of top 100 wins and solid RPIs and tough non-conference schedules to throw into that conversation as well. There’s a reason that so many of the nation’s bracketologists had a different perspective on who got in and why they did in the hours before the bracket was announced.

At the end of the day, the difference between these teams was so miniscule that it simply came down to the negatives.

Virginia went 0-3 against the CAA, including a loss to Old Dominion, and picked up some ugly losses in ACC play. Maryland didn’t do a thing in the non-conference portion of their schedule and went 8-10 in a weak ACC. Kentucky’s best wins were over Missouri and Florida at home, which sandwiched losses at Georgia and Arkansas and came before a loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament. Alabama lost to Mercer, Dayton, Tulane and Auburn.

Every single one of those teams had the chance to keep themselves off of the bubble. Every single one of them had a chance to play their way into the tournament during the championship week. They didn’t do it.

So go ahead. Argue away. Explain to me why your favorite team was on the wrong side of the cutline. And I’ll simply point out the repeated losses to teams outside the RPI top 100. Or the non-conference schedule that included half the SWAC and three middle school JV teams. Or the early exit during championship week.

I have a tough time feeling pity for teams that get left out of the dance when they don’t schedule anyone and lose games a good team wins over and over again.

You wanna make the tournament?

Don’t get beat at Boston College.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Syracuse wins, Miami loses, Valentine is nation’s best?

Denzel Valentine
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
Leave a comment

(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: Not only did the Shockers drop their second straight at the AdvoCare Invitational, but they also saw Anton Grady leave the game on a stretcher after being involved in a scary second-half collision. He was awake and alert shortly after leaving the court. 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.


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.


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.


  • 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.

Good luck Goodluck: UNLV’s Okonoboh to transfer

Goodluck Okonoboh
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
Leave a comment

UNLV sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh is transferring out of the program, a source told

The 6-foot-10 center was the No. 31 recruit in the Class of 2014, but he never was able to find a place in the UNLV rotation. He averaged 2.9 blocks as a freshman, but is a career 34 percent free throw shooter that never proved he could be more than just an athlete.

With Ben Carter getting eligible and UNLV landing Stephen Zimmerman this season, Okonoboh’s minutes dried up. He played just 19 minutes total against UCLA and Indiana.