Ohio v Bowling Green

Is Ohio dumping long-time rival Marshall?

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Realignment has broken up so many successful rivalries over the past several years, as big-time programs choose money over tradition. In the region where West Virginia meets Ohio, however, a long-running non-conference rivalry is also coming to a halt. Definitely temporarily, and possibly forever.

Marshall and Ohio University have been playing each other in football and basketball since 1954, setting aside non-conference dates to renew the rivalry on a yearly basis. Now Ohio wants out of this season’s return trip, and that doesn’t sit well with columnist Chuck Landon, who lambasted the Bobcats in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.

According to sources, the Bobcats offered the lame excuse that they ran out of room for another road game.

I call hogwash on that.

The crux of the matter is Ohio owed Marshall a game in Huntington after beating the Herd, 94-57, in Athens, Ohio, last season. But, now, the Bobcats are bailing on that obligation.

It sounds suspiciously like Ohio is blaming its non-conference schedule for not getting an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. And, of course, the Bobcats see Marshall and its 13-19 record as one of the culprits.

I suppose that makes a certain amount of curmudgeonly sense, though it’s hard to imagine what Ohio could have done to improve their tourney-worthiness short of scheduling some serious heavy hitters from the mega-conferences, and winning at least one. It’s not as if Marshall hasn’t propped up Ohio’s RPI slightly in years when it was the stronger program. In general, however, the only reliable pathway to the Big Dance out of the MAC is an auto-bid, which means non-conference scheduling can help with seeding, but the real work is done in early March.

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t aware this even was a rivalry, but I still hate to hear of regional dustups getting shut down. Regardless of the limelight, the RPI or the NCAA tournament, they’re some of the games that make college basketball so meaningful in every corner of this country every season.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

No. 13 Iowa State suspends Jameel McKay indefinitely

Iowa State forward Georges Niang, forward Jameel McKay, forward Abdel Nader and guard Deonte Burton celebrate after center Stuart Nezlek scored late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Coppin State, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 104-84 (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
AP Photo/Justin Hayworth
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Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.

Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.

McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.

The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.

News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.

UNLV dismisses guard Daquan Cook from team

Illinois v UNLV
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LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.

Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.

Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.

Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.