Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: 11 college basketball games before The Big Game

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GAME OF THE DAY: Virginia vs. No. 18 Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

On Saturday afternoon, Duke and Syracuse gave us a classic game with the Orange pulling out an 91-89 overtime victory in front on 35,446 fans — an NCAA on-campus record — inside the Carrier Dome. If you missed it, and I feel for you if you did, you can catch up here:


Valiant in defeat, No. 17 Duke hurt by lack of interior options 

Was Rodney Hood fouled? You make the call (VIDEO)

The Orange and Blue Devils are the two best teams in the ACC. However, Virginia and Pittsburgh are two pretty good teams as well, currently sitting at second and third, respectively, in conference standings. Sunday offers an opportunity for the Cavaliers or Panthers to strengthen their case as a threat in the ACC.

THE OTHER GAME OF THE DAY: No. 10 Michigan vs. Indiana, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Michigan is the hottest team in the nation, rapidly climbing the rankings while riding a 10-game winning streak. The Wolverines are undefeated, sitting atop the Big Ten standings. Indiana is toward the bottom. The Hoosiers have lost three of four and are desperately in need of a marquee win.

Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, Indiana head coach Tom Crean’s brother-in-law John Harbaugh led his Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl title, though, that did come at the expense of Crean’s other brother-in-law Jim Harbaugh.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Mercer vs. USC Upstate, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

Florida Gulf Coast is the fan favorite in the Atlantic Sun. However, Mercer is currently the top team in the conference. The Bears head to South Carolina to face USC Upstate, which is the third-best team in the A-Sun.


1) The Bruins can move within a game of first place in the Pac-12 Conference when they travel to Corvallis, Ore. to take on the Oregon State Beavers, who is looking to go over .500 in conference play.

2) No. 13 Cincinnati can improve to 10-0 in American play as the Bearcats host South Florida on Sunday. It is the first of two straight home games; the second being against UConn on Thursday.

3) Purdue has lost three straight conference games. Penn State is fresh off a one-point win in Columbus over Ohio State. The Boilermakers travel to State College, Pa. for an afternoon matchup with the Nittany Lions.

4) With the win over Bowling Green, Buffalo can make it a three-way tie — with Ohio and Akron — for first place in the MAC East Division with a 6-2 record. Toledo leads the West Division with an identical 6-2 conference record.

5) Robert Morris was upset by Central Connecticut State on Saturday, two days after defeating NEC foe Bryant. The Bulldogs can gain ground on the Colonials with a win over Sacred Heart.


Seahawks 20, Broncos 17

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.