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The Morning Mix

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It’s game day folks. We’ve been sitting and waiting all week for some real basketball (Sorry N.I.T.) and it’s finally here. But before the games tip-off we got some pressing news and notes we need to discuss.

Let’s hit the links.

Read of the Day:
More questionable NCAA behavior has been unearth regarding the Nevin Shaprio case. It’s rather quite remarkable how poorly the NCAA has handled the entire investigation. (Miami Herald)

Deadspin dives into the issue of race with Marshall Henderson. I’ve been waiting for an article like this to written. Enjoy. (Deadspin)
Observations & Insight:
– A trip to Washington, D.C. has special meaning for Miami head coach Jim Larranaga, who coached at nearby George Mason and took the Colonials to the Final Four in the same exact building as tonight’s regional semifinal. (Sporting News)

– Thad Matta and Sean Miller are close friends. They’ve been on the same coaching staff together. But on Thursday night, they will compete against each other when Matta’s Buckeyes take on Miller’s Wildcats. (New York Times)

– A relentless defensive effort is one of the hallmarks of a Ric Pitino-coached team. There is one statistic that coach Pitino uses to measure defensive effort, and he has carried it with him from each of his many coaching stops. (Yahoo Sports)
Hoops Housekeeping:
– Shaka Smart turned down the UCLA job and will reportedly sign a contract extension with VCU. (The Dagger)

– Ken Bone has been retained as Washington State’s head coach for at least one more season. (All Coug’d Up)

– Texas sophomore Sheldon McClellan has announced his intentions to transfer out of Austin. (ESPN)

– It looks like sophomore guard Chase Fischer is transferring out of Wake Forest. He would become the ninth player to transfer of be dismissed from the program since Jeff Bzdelik took over in 2010. (Blogger So Dear)

– Dwayne Morgan, a top-50 recruit in the class of 2014, committed to UNLV yesterday. (Baltimore Sun)

– Keith Frazier, a McDonald’s All-American guard out of Dallas, alerted Texas Tech officials about his desire to play for the Red Raiders. He i set to make his announcement today at 4 p.m. EST. (

– Robert Morris is willing to do anything to keep current head coach Andy Toole. The Colonials made headlines last week when they beat Kentucky in the first round of the N.I.T. (Times Online)
Odds & Ends
– Getting to know a mascot: Wichita State’s WuShock. (New York Times)

– I swear this happens every time Wichita State makes the tournament: Current WWE wrestler “The Big Show” played for center for the Shockers back in the early ninties. (Fox Sports)

– Watch Syracuse’s Russ DeRemer eat four bananas in one minute. (Washington Post)

– Butler’s Blue II is officially retiring as school mascot at the end of the school year. But before Blue III takes over, the elder bulldog fills us in on what he’s learned. (Blue II Blog)
Picture of the Day:
This is by far the best use for Peeps I’ve ever seen. (h/t @PeepsBracket)


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No. 24 Cincinnati beats George Washington 61-56

Troy Caupain
AP Photo
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NEW YORK (AP) Troy Caupain scored 16 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 1:38 to play, and No. 24 Cincinnati beat George Washington 61-56 on Saturday in the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic.

The fact the game came down to a three-point play was ironic as both teams took 22 3-point attempts and there were times it seemed a 3-point shooting broke out.

Caupain’s traditional three-point play gave the Bearcats (7-0) a 55-54 lead. After a missed 3 by the Colonials (6-1) Octavius Ellis, who chosen the tournament MVP, scored on a tip-in. Patricio Garino scored on a drive for George Washington with 29 seconds left.

The Colonials let the Bearcats pass the ball around and they finally fouled when Ellis touched the ball with 14 seconds to play. Ellis, a 56 percent free throw shooter, clinched his MVP award by making both for a 59-56 lead. Two free throws by Caupain with 6.1 seconds left capped the scoring.

Farad Cobb and Kevin Johnson both had 11 points for the Bearcats while Ellis had nine points and seven rebounds.

Garino had 15 points for George Washington, Tyler Cavanaugh had 13 and Joe McDonald 11.

The Colonials finished 11 of 22 from 3-point range, not bad for a team that came in shooting 27.9 percent (29 of 104) from there. The 50 percent doesn’t look so good when you consider the Colonials made five of their first six 3-point attempts and were 8 of 11 from beyond the arc in the first half. They went 16:42 between 2-point field goals but led 30-27 at halftime.

The Bearcats were 7 of 22 from 3-point range but their advantage came at the free throw line where they were 10 of 12 compared to George Washington’s 3 of 4.


George Washington: The Colonials beat Tennessee in the opening round and they were 3 of 15 on 3s. … George Washington was off to its best start since it was8-0 in 2005-06. … The Colonials finished 10 for 34 from 2-point range.

Cincinnati: The win gives the Bearcats a 13-1 all-time record against George Washington and this was their sixth straight. The last win came on Jan. 31, 1976. … Cincinnati is 7-0 for the fourth time in the last six seasons. … The Bearcats are 51-8 in and have won 24 of 25 in November under coach Mick Cronin. They have won 49 straight games when scoring over 60 points. The 60th point against the Colonials came with 6.1 seconds to play.


George Washington hosts Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Cincinnati hosts Butler on Wednesday.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
AP Photo
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.