Keith Appling

Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: Michigan State vs. Michigan with first place on the line

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 13 Michigan State vs. No. 20 Michigan, noon (CBS)

The rivalry has some added incentive beside bragging rights on Sunday afternoon. First place in the Big Ten is on the line with Michigan State clinging to a half game lead over Michigan, which already handed the Spartans a loss earlier this season.

Sparty got Keith Appling back in the lineup but they suffered their worst of the year to Nebraska before defeating Purdue. The Wolverines dropped their last game to Wisconsin, at home by double digits. Michigan’s leading scorer Nik Stauskas is averaging only 10.2 points per game over the last five games.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? SMU vs. No. 21 UConn, 2 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

The Mustangs handed UConn its second consecutive straight loss back in January. The rematch will be tougher, getting the Huskies inside Gampel Pavilion.

SMU hasn’t been great on the road (see losses to South Florida and Temple) but crazier things have happened in the American this season. The Mustangs have a difficult slate to end conference play with games against Louisville and at Memphis still remaining. A win today would be huge.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAYDrexel vs. Delaware, 3 p.m.

Two top four teams in the Colonial Athletic Association square off in Newark, Del. on Sunday afternoon. Delaware controlled the first meeting, 90-77, back on Jan. 20. The Fightin Blue Hens can extend its lead atop the CAA to two games ahead of Towson.


1) Doug McDermott, he national player of the year favorite, is in action as Creighton hosts Seton Hall in Big East play.

2) You can catch Yale at Columbia on the NBC Sports Network. Yale is tied with Harvard in the Ivy League standings with a win.

3) Iona can go ahead two games in the MAAC standings with a win over Marist.

4) After Florida Gulf Coast breezed past Mercer on Friday night, the top two teams in the Atlantic Sun are back in action on Sunday. Dunk City is at home against last-place Kennesaw State. Mercer is on the road at Stetson.

5) Sunday’s bubble games

  • Purdue at Nebraska, Sun 4:15 p.m.
  • Florida State at Pittsburgh, Sun. 6 p.m.
  • Providence at Butler, Sun 6 p.m.
  • Arizona State at Utah, Sun 8 p.m.
  • USC at Cal, Sun 8 p.m.
  • Washington State at Oregon, Sun p.m.


  • Seton Hall vs. No. 11 Creighton, 5 p.m.


  • Bucknell vs. Boston University, noon (CBS Sports Network)
  • Iona vs. Marist, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Hartford vs. Vermont, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Stony Brook vs. Maine, 2 p.m.
  • Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro, 2 p.m.
  • Eastern Michigan vs. Western Michigan, 2 p.m.
  • Purdue vs. Nebraska, 4:15 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • Florida State vs. Pitt, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Providence vs. Butler, 6 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
  • Ball State vs. Toledo, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Arizona State vs. Utah, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • USC vs. Cal, 8 p.m (Fox Sports 1)
  • Washington State vs. Oregon, 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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Rick Pitino: Louisville ‘just ignored’ in top 25 due of scandal

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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Louisville beatdown Saint Louis at the Barclays Center on Sunday night, a 77-57 win that was much closer at halftime than the final score might indicate.

The win moved the Cardinals to 5-0 on the season, and that, in turn, got Louisville into the back end of both top 25 polls.

They’re 24th in the AP Poll and 22nd in the Coaches Poll, but that happened on Monday morning. On Sunday night, Pitino made sure to get a rant in about how this team is viewed and why pundits and voters should overlook the scandal currently plaguing his program.

“I think people are looking at that and they’re not really studying the team,” he said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, adding that he thinks the team is “just ignored” because of the accusations leveled by self-described madam Katina Powell in the book she published back in October.

And here’s the thing: he is 100 percent correct. Louisville was overlooked in the preseason because the scandal, when combined with the fact that the Cardinals are integrating so many new pieces into their rotation, made it tough to see how they would be able to compete at a level that we’ve come to expect out of Louisville teams.

I know that because it’s why my colleagues at, against my wishes, refused to allow me to rank Louisville in the preseason top 25. In other words, I’ve had first-hand interactions with the haters. But if we’re going to be honest here, scandal or no scandal, Louisville probably wasn’t going to find their way into the preseason top 25, not when they had to replace Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell.

And scandal or no scandal, no team from outside the top 25 is going to play their way into the top 25 by beating the likes of North Florida and St. Francis (NY) without some shenanigans — like Fred VanVleet getting hurt, like Indiana collapsing, like Arizona and Cal and Notre Dame playing their way out of the top 20 — happening around the country.

So Pitino is right: the scandal probably did have an impact on how his team was viewed in the preseason.

But Pitino the scandal isn’t what kept them out of the top 25 until Monday.

That weak non-conference schedule and roster turnover was why.

And if we’re going to be honest here, it probably should have kept them out for another week.