Late Night Snacks: No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 13 Kentucky, No. 25 Oklahoma lose on the road

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GAME OF THE DAY: Indiana 75, No. 3 Wisconsin 72

Indiana needed this win in the worst way. Although we are still in the beginning of conference play, Indiana has been sputtering. It’s never too early to begin analyzing resumes, and the Hoosiers’ one to date was lacking. It still leaves much to be desired, but their big win over previously unbeaten Wisconsin is exactly what they needed. It moves them to 2-2 in the Big Ten, finally gives them a quality victory, and — perhaps more importantly — some much needed confidence going forward. Yogi Ferrell was tremendous down the stretch, after being bench by Tom Crean early in the second half. Make no mistake, there are still plenty of questions for Indiana, but tonight demonstrated they can’t be written off just yet.


1) Arkansas 87, Kentucky 85 OT

Can you say buzzer-beating tip-dunk?

2) George Washington 76, Virginia Commonwealth 66

The Colonials picked up a huge win over VCU on Tuesday night, legitimizing their place in the A-10 pecking order. GW now has wins over the Rams, Maryland and Creighton without a truly bad loss on their resume. They have a lot of wins to pick in in league play, but GW has themselves set up nicely to make a run at an at-large bid.

3) Kansas State 72, No. 25 Oklahoma 66

Kansas State bounced back in a big way following their blowout loss at Kansas this past weekend by beating Oklahoma, a team who just entered into the Top 25 for the first time this season. It was a balanced attack for the Wildcats as five players scored in double-figures, led by Marcus Foster who poured in 18 points. After beginning the season 2-3, Kansas State is now 13-4 with solid wins against Gonzaga, George Washington, Oklahoma State, and now Oklahoma.


1) One of the nation’s best forwards, despite any stigma or status of being a “mid-major,” Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon nearly had a triple-double as he went off for 27 ponts, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. More importantly, Towson defeated Drexel, 80-68. The Tigers now sit atop the CAA, alongside Delaware and William & Mary.

2) If he really wanted to, Doug McDermott could have gone off for 40+ against Butler. McBuckets’ first half points matched Butler’s halftime score — 24. He was “held” to a mere four points in the second half, but the game was all but over as Creighton won going away, 88-60. Creighton’s offense: scary.

3) There was no worrying tonight for Wichita State as they cruised by Bradley at home, 72-50. The No. 5 Shockers were led by Fred VanVleet who dropped in 22 points on an efficient 7-10 shooting from the field. VanVleet has taken over the title of the nation’s most under-appreciated talent.


1) Coming off of back-to-back wins, Georgia struggled against a depleted Florida team, losing to the No. 7 Gators on a night where the Bulldogs shot 33.3% from the floor and mustered all of 16 first half points.

2) It was a second straight rough outing for Cameron Clark who finished just 1-for-9 from the floor with two points in a loss to Kansas State.

3) Deonte Burton was just 1-for-8 from the floor as Nevada lost at home to Boise State, suffering their first loss in Mountain West play this season.


1) DePaul beat St. John’s at home, 77-75. That’s not all that impressive as the Red Storm continue to disappoint as the season progresses, but get this: DePaul has won consecutive Big East games for the first time since the 2007-08 season. One has to go all the way back to January 3rd and January 5th of 2008 when the Blue Demons defeated Villanova and Providence as the last time they had a winning streak of any kind in the Big East. This was during the Jerry Wainwright era.

2) No. 22 Pittsburgh held on against Georgia Tech, 81-74. Many still don’t know what to make of the Panthers. Their 16-1 record is nice, but who have they played? Their best win is at a neutral site against Stanford. Let’s see what Jamie Dixon’s squad is made of this weekend as they travel to the Carrier Dome to play Syracuse.

CBT Podcast: Recapping the first weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament

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Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic joined Rob Dauster for an epic, two-hour podcast on the first weekend of the tournament. It was so good that we had to split the podcast into two parts. On this show, the two go through everything that happened in the South and West Regions, from Sister Jean to UMBC to Nevada’s comebacks to Kentucky’s chances at a Final Four.

On this show, the two go through everything that happened in the East and Midwest Regions, from Villanova and Duke steamrolling to Michigan State collapsing to Syracuse and Clemson and Texas Tech and Purdue. It’s all in there.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Eight viral heroes from first weekend of March Madness

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One of my favorite parts of the NCAA tournament is seeing who comes out of nowhere to turn into a viral celebrity during this month of madness.

By my estimation, we had eight true candidates for the award of March Madness Viral Celebrity of the Year. Here they are:


He was more fired up for Houston’s success in the tournament than any Houston fan in the history of basketball in the city of Houston.


Jordan Poole is spelled a lot like Jordan Peele, which inevitably led to people tweeting at Peele instead of Poole. Peele’s thank you tweet was a highlight of the first weekend.


Having to answer questions from a bunch of reporters after suffering the most humiliating moment of your life is not an easy thing to do. Having to answer ridiculous and stupid questions could be intolerable, which is why I loved Ty Jerome’s response to a stupid question he was asked:


I loved seeing Robert Williams’ teammate do a panotmine windmill in the background while Williams was throwing down a windmill in real time on Providence:


Nevada head coach Eric Musselman has led his team to the Sweet 16, cussed on live television and gone shirtless to celebrate with his team, but the star of the Musselman family is his daughter Mariah:


He really does have great hair:

2. @UMBCAthletics

This dude lived the dream of every twitter user out there. When your shot is there, you have to take it.


Mic drop:

VIDEO: Eric Musselman celebrates Nevada win without a shirt

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Nevada head coach Eric Musselman went shirtless to celebrate his team’s come-from-behind win over No. 2 seed Cincinnati on Sunday.

I guess this is better than dropping F-bombs live on national TV. Maybe that’s why they had Steve Lappas talking over him …

Penny Hardaway to be named next Memphis head coach

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The worst-kept secret in college basketball no longer appears to be a secret: Penny Hardaway is going to be the next coaching at the University of Memphis.

ESPN is reporting that a deal has been agreed upon. The Memphis Commercial-Appeal is reporting that Penny was waiting for his season to end with East High School before he made anything official. NBC Sports can confirm that an announcement is expected to be made early this week, likely as soon as Tuesday, to introduce the former Memphis and NBA star as Tubby Smith’s replacement.

The truth, however, is that we all knew this was what would be happening the second that Memphis formally fired Tubby Smith. Hell, we knew it a month before that decision was made final. This was always how it was going to play out.

What’s interesting to me is now the discussion of whether or not Penny will be able to handle being a Division I head coach, because it’s been hit or miss with basketball programs hiring legends of their past. Chris Mullin and St. John’s hasn’t exactly gone to plan but Fred Hoiberg was quite successful at Iowa State. Kevin Ollie won a title with UConn then fell off a cliff. Patrick Ewing’s start wasn’t great, but he was better than expected.

Where does Penny fall on this scale?

Well, let me just drop this section of a column from Geoff Calkins in here:

Hardaway isn’t a guy who woke up one morning and decided he’d like to be a Division I head coach. He’s not a former player who got bored with retirement and decided he’d like to do something other than play golf.

Hardaway started coaching at middle school. Middle school! Because an old friend needed some help.

Then he built one of the best AAU programs in the country. Then he spent years coaching a high school team.

Does that sound like someone who doesn’t want to roll up his sleeves and do the work? Does that sound like someone who is just in it for the glory and the glitz?

The truth is, if it weren’t for Hardaway’s iconic stature, he might be characterized as a grinder, as a guy who worked his way up from the lowest levels of basketball on the strength of his relationship with the kids.

I think that this is going to work out for both Penny and Memphis, especially if Penny hires a staff that can help him with the intricacies of running a college basketball program.

2018 NCAA Tournament: All-First Weekend Team

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PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND: Jevon Carter, West Virginia

So Carter’s numbers themselves were ridiculous this weekend. He had 21 points, eight assists, six steals and five boards in a first round win over Murray State. He followed that up with 28 points, five assists, five steals and four boards in a win over in-state rival Marshall to advance to the Sweet 16. For the weekend, he shot 54 percent from the floor and 63 percent from three.

But perhaps the more telling state in regards to what Carter did this weekend are the numbers that the Murray State and Marshall stars put up this weekend. Jon Elmore — whose averages of 23 points, seven assists and six boards matched what Markelle Fultz averaged a season ago — was 4-for-12 from the floor with eight turnovers in Marshall’s second round loss. Jonathan Stark, who entered the tournament averaging 22 points, had nine points on 1-for-12 shooting in Murray State’s first round loss.

On Friday night, we get Jalen Brunson squaring off with Carter.

Buckle up.


  • ROB GRAY, Houston: Gray is the only guy on this list that didn’t reach the Sweet 16 — blame Jordan Poole for that — but he did put together one of the most memorable and impressive first round NCAA tournament performances I can ever remember when he dropped 39 points and a game-winner on San Diego State.
  • KEENAN EVANS, Texas Tech: Evans averaged 22.5 points in this weekend’s two games, but what got him on this list was that he averaged 16.5 points in the second half of those two games, closing out a come-from-behind win against Stephen F. Austin with drive after drive and hitting the go-ahead three in the win over Florida.
  • ZACH NORVELL, Gonzaga: Not only did the Zags freshman averaged 21.5 points in two games — including a career-high 28 points, a career-high 12 boards, a career-high six threes and his first career double-double against Ohio State — but he hit the dagger in both of those games; a game-winner in the final minutes against UNCG and a three to put the Zags up six in the final two minutes against Ohio State.
  • SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER, Kentucky: We spent the entire season talking about how Kentucky didn’t have a star this year. That may not be true anymore. SGA averaged 23 points, 7.0 boards, 6.5 assists and 3.5 steals as the Wildcats reached the Sweet 16 as the highest remaining seed in the South Region.
  • THE MARTIN TWINS, Nevada: Caleb was the hero in the come-from-behind win over Texas, doing bonkers in overtime, while Cody had 25 points, seven assists and six boards in the come-from-behind win over Cincinnati. But mostly they were both awesome all weekend.