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Late Night Snacks: No. 7 Cincinnati, No. 10 Michigan fall on the road

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GAME OF THE DAY: Ole Miss 91, Missouri 88 

This was one of the more important games of the day when looking ahead to Selection Sunday, with the SEC needing teams other than Florida and Kentucky to step up. Marshall Henderson hit eight three-pointers and scored 29 points to lead the Rebels offensively, with Jarvis Summers making some key plays late to preserve the victory.

The trio of Earnest Ross (24 points), Jordan Clarkson (23) and Jabari Brown (20) led the way for Missouri, but we’re still left with the question of who the third-best team in the SEC is. Ole Miss? Tennessee, which beat Ole Miss? Someone else? Regardless of the answer, the league needs these teams to step forward and take care of business.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Texas Tech 65, No. 19 Oklahoma State 61 

This one could turn out to be even more important for the Cowboys, who have now lost four straight games, based upon what happens with Marcus Smart. Smart was assessed a technical foul for shoving a fan in the final seconds of the loss, and for a team that has already lost Michael Cobbins (injury) and Stevie Clark (dismissal) losing Smart to a suspension would be a major hit for the Cowboys to take. Lost in the shuffle is how important of a win this is for Tubby Smith’s program, with Jaye Crockett scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Red Raiders.

2) No. 17 Iowa 85, No. 10 Michigan 67

Roy Devyn Marble had it rolling for the Hawkeyes, scoring 26 points to lead Iowa to a win they needed to get. Defensively Iowa did a good job of harassing Nik Stauskas, who scored ten points, attempted just six shots and committed four turnovers. As a result of this outcome Michigan State takes over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

3) SMU 76, No. 7 Cincinnati 55

Larry Brown’s Mustangs added a quality win to its resume, handing the Bearcats their first conference loss in impressive fashion. Nick Russell and Ben Moore scored 15 points apiece to lead four players in double figures, and defensively they limited Sean Kilpatrick (22 points) to 5-for-18 shooting from the field. SMU may very well end up earning its first NCAA tournament berth since 1993.

STARRED

1) Melvin Ejim (Iowa State)

Ejim scored 48 points (20-for-24 FG) and grabbed 18 rebounds in Iowa State’s 84-69 win over TCU.

2) Javon McCrea (Buffalo)

Scored 25 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Bulls’ 79-70 win at Central Michigan.

3) Jabari Parker (Duke) 

Parker scored a career-high 29 points (12-for-17 FG) and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Blue Devils’ 89-68 win at Boston College.

STRUGGLED

1) Glenn Robinson III (Michigan) 

Robinson shot 1-for-7 from the field, scoring two points and committing four turnovers in Michigan’s 85-67 loss at Iowa.

2) Devin Wilson (Virginia Tech) and Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh) 

Both players shot 1-for-9 from the field, with the Panthers winning 62-57 in double overtime. Wilson finished with ten points and Patterson just five, and the two teams combined to shoot 1-for-19 in the two overtime sessions.

3) Jamal Jones (Texas A&M)

Jones shot 5-for-21 from the field (1-for-10 3PT) in the Aggies’ 62-50 loss at Georgia.

NOTABLES

  • No. 3 Florida earned its 15th consecutive win, beating Alabama 78-69 in Gainesville. Scottie Wilbekin led five Gator starters in double figures with 16 points.
  • No. 13 Saint Louis moved its win streak to 16 in a row, with Jordair Jett’s layup with four seconds remaining giving the Billikens the 65-63 win over La Salle.
  • No. 4 Wichita State improved to 25-0 on the season with an 82-73 win at Northern Iowa. Tekele Cotton led five Shockers in double figures with 18 points.
  • Marcus Foster scored 34 points to lead Kansas State to a 74-57 pasting of No. 15 Texas.
  • Jordan Bronner scored 16 points and Chris Pelcher 15 as New Hampshire upset Stony Brook, dropping the Seawolves out of first place in America East.
  • Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points as No. 8 Kansas beat West Virginia 83-69, with Joel Embiid adding 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
  • Jordan Bachynski blocked a Joseph Young layup attempt as time expired to seal Arizona State’s 74-72 win over Oregon. Bachynski finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks.
  • Justin Sears scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Yale’s 74-67 win at Harvard, moving the Bulldogs into a tie for first place in the Ivy League.
  • Saint Joseph’s turned the ball over 12 times against VCU, and that was one of the reasons why the Hawks were able to pick up the 69-62 victory. Langston Galloway scored 24 points to lead the way.
  • Semaj Christon made two key defensive plays in the final minute as Xavier picked up a valuable 59-53 win over Providence to move into third place in the Big East.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

No. 18 Virginia collapses in stunning overtime loss to Miami

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(Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)
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Freshman Bruce Brown knocked down the go-ahead three-pointer with under 30 seconds left on Monday night as Miami captured a key ACC road win over N0. 18 Virginia with a 54-48 overtime win.

Miami used a 9-2 run in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime as they looked dead for most of the game on offense. The Hurricanes only managed to shoot 36 percent from the field and 21 percent from three-point range but they were bailed out by going 20-for-22 from the free-throw line. Brown only had two field goals but finished with a team-high 14 points while Kamari Murphy (10 points, nine rebounds), Dejan Vasiljevic (10 points) and Davon Reed (nine points) also provided offense.

The Hurricanes (19-8, 9-6) entered this game having only two top-50 wins this season so this is a huge NCAA tournament booster for them as it should give Miami a lot more confidence heading into the home stretch. Miami still has a tough schedule the last weeks of the regular season but it also gives them more opportunities to get quality wins and grab a better seed.

For Miami to also win this one — and go 3-0 — without starting point guard Ja’Quan Newton during his suspension is also a testament to how much this team has improved. Newton’s offense should help the Hurricanes quite a bit and they get another test against Duke on Saturday.

Virginia (18-9, 8-7) lost for the fourth consecutive game as they continue a recent freefall that has exposed its offensive issues. For a team that has competed for the ACC regular season title lately, they are now just one game over .500 in the ACC entering the final stretch of the regular season.

Senior point guard London Perrantes (2-for-15, four points) struggled to find his shot on Monday as Devon Hall led Virginia’s offense with 15 points. For awhile it looked like Virginia would be able to win just by holding Miami in the 30s but the Hurricanes generated enough late offense to creep back in.

On a night when Malcolm Brogdon was in the house to get his number retired, this Virginia team once again showed how badly they miss having a go-to scorer like him from last season. They don’t have a closer, and although Perrantes has hit some big shots, he needs help setting them up if he gets crowded by a defender.

This year’s Virginia team can sometimes still manage wins just by slowing things down and trying to get stops. That means they are also susceptible to getting run out of the gym against good offensive teams because this team really struggles to put up points right now. It also means they have a difficult time closing teams out as we saw on Monday night with Miami’s late comeback.

ACC teams might be more familiar with Virginia’s scheme and personnel than normal programs and it will be interesting to see how the Cavaliers look during the quick turnaround of the NCAA tournament.

Maryland big man Michal Cekovsky out for the season

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Michal Cekovsky #15 of the Maryland Terrapins is defended by Zedric Sadler #2 of the Rider Broncs during the first half at Xfinity Center on November 20, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Maryland big man Michal Cekovsky will be out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle, the school announced on Monday.

The 7-foot-1 junior went down with the injury late in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin. He had recently rejoined the Terps’ rotation and had started to get more comfortable, scoring 10 points against the Badgers before leaving the game.

Cekovsky appeared in 17 games this season and averaged 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game

“I feel badly for Ceko as he has endured a number of injuries throughout the season,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said in the release. “It felt like he was really starting to turn the corner and his best basketball was ahead of him. We anticipate a full recovery for next season and we will be there to support him through the rehabilitation process.”

Without Cekovsky in the lineup, more pressure will be put on Damonte Dodd to stay out of foul trouble while staying productive. Sophomore Ivan Bender also figures to see more minutes now as he has already seen double-figure minutes off the bench for the Terps the last three games.

This loss will hurt Maryland’s frontcourt depth but they should still be able to withstand this injury with the firepower they have on the perimeter. Junior Melo Trimble is still playing fantastic ball while the team’s freshmen have also been solid for most of the season.

Maryland finishes the regular season with three out of four games at home as the one road game comes at Rutgers.

VIDEO: Jim Boeheim isn’t pleased when asked by reporter if Syracuse is ‘impatient’

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 02:  Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at NRG Stadium on April 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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Jim Boeheim has never been a man that’s shied away from saying what he feels, even if that results in him going after a reporter during a press conference.

On Sunday night, Boeheim did just that, when he was clearly unhappy about being asked whether or not his team was ‘impatient’:

Boeheim had reason to be upset beyond that particular line of questioning: Not only did his team lose a tough road game thanks to a pretty bad call in the final 20 seconds, but that loss might be what costs them a spot in the NCAA tournament.

With Demarcus Cousins in New Orleans, it’s time for John Calipari-to-the-NBA to heat up

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With Demarcus Cousins ending up on New Orleans – I hesitate to call that fleecing a “trade” – to join forces with another former Kentucky Wildcat, it only makes sense for the dots to get connected: John Calipari to the Pelicans!

Dan Patrick didn’t waste any time diving right in on Monday morning, opening his interview with Coach Cal with: “Can I have permission to start a rumor about you?”

Before Patrick even had a chance to define said rumor, Cal hit him with a, “Not. Happening.” He doubled down on his denials later on that morning by telling a teleconference of reporters, “that’s not going to happen.”

This is what Cal has to say. When you’re the head coach at Kentucky, an incredibly high-paying job and arguably the best in the college basketball business, you cannot be publicly campaigning for another position, even if it is an NBA gig with two of the league’s top 12 players. And while Cal isn’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to what he reveals in the media – his name gets mentioned with an NBA job roughly every six months, and he has the same answer every time – I think I believe him here.

Why?

Because I don’t think he gives up his lucrative seat as the celebrity overlord of college basketball for anything less than the perfect job: One where he can win immediately, avoiding the indignity of another NBA flameout like the one he had with the Nets 17 years ago, and one where he is given total and complete roster control. He wants to be the coach and the GM, and I’m not sure New Orleans is in a position where they would get rid of GM Dell Demps, who orchestrated The Fleecing Of Sacramento, or head coach Alvin Gentry, who was hired prior to the start of last season and could feasibly get this group back to the Playoffs this year, for a guy that last coached in the NBA in 1999 after getting fired 20 games into a season.

And all of that is before you consider that Cousins still needs to ink a long-term deal with New Orleans at some point for this theory to truly be viable, although finding a way to bring in Cal could certainly help Cousins make this decision.

I also get it.

Cal, better than anyone else since Cousins first touched a basketball, found a way to channel Cousins’ immense talents. If anyone can find a way to get Boogie to shed his baggage, it’s probably Cal. Then factor in the chance that he would find a way to be able to reel in, say, John Wall, and those are dots that are just screaming to be connected.

A Kentucky reunion in the Big Easy. Big Blue Nation would buy every ticket available at the Smoothie King Center. Who wouldn’t love that?

Maybe it happens. But at this point, I have a hard time seeing Coach Cal giving up his throne atop Lexington.

Coaches Poll: Gonzaga remains atop the top 25, Baylor and Virginia tumble

SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 10:  Head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts to a call in the second half of the game against the Akron Zips at McCarthey Athletic Center on December 10, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  Gonzaga defeated Akron 61-43.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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Once again, undefeated Gonzaga finds themselves sitting al alone atop the Coaches Poll. The Zags are also No. 1 in the NBC Sports top 25 and the AP Poll.

Villanova and Kansas are two and three again, while Arizona and UCLA round out the top five.

Here is the full poll:

1. Gonzaga
2. Villanva
3. Kansas
4. Arizona
5. UCLA
6. Louisville
7. Oregon
8. North Carolina
9. Baylor
10. Kentucky
11. Duke
12. Florida
13. West Virginia
14. Purdue
15. Wisconsin
16. Cincinnati
17.Notre Dame
18. Saint Mary’s
19. Virginia
20. Florida State
21. SMU
22. Butler
23. Creighton
24. Maryland
25. Wichita State