baylor oklahoma state

Bubble Banter: Welcome to the tournament, Baylor

Leave a comment

There are 12 days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. 

You can see’s latest bracket here.


Georgetown: The Hoyas landed a huge win over No. 13 Creighton on Tuesday night, one that gets them to within striking distance of the NCAA tournament. I still think they need to beat Villanova in Philly on Saturday, however. A loss there and a loss in the Big East tournament gives them 14 losses on the season. They have six top 50 wins, but those three sub 100 losses — including No. 221 Northeastern — hurt.

Baylor: Baylor was probably on the right side of the bubble entering Tuesday night, and a win over No. 16 Iowa State certainly helped. At this point, the Bears are probably safe now that they’ve won six of their last seven games. They probably want to pick up at least one more win just to be safe. A losing record in Big 12 play isn’t exactly flattering, but they have wins over Colorado and Kentucky that aren’t going anywhere.

Providence: The Friars sit squarely on the bubble, and after a thrilling, come-from-behind double-overtime win over Marquette, that won’t change. The Friars lack great wins, as Creighton and Xavier are their only top 50 wins, but they’re 8-9 against the top 100 and 7-7 away from The Dunk. Saturday is huge: they visit the Bluejays. A loss doesn’t hurt them, but a win would get them in.

Florida State: The Seminoles are somehow still in the conversation, and will remain that way after a close win over Boston College. Top 25 wins over VCU and UMass are nice, but their 5-10 record against the top 100 isn’t. They play Syracuse this weekend. The Orange are struggling and would be a great win. That would give Leonard Hamilton’s club a chance with a win or two in the ACC tournament.

Oregon: The Ducks likely locked up a tournament bid by knocking off Arizona State at home. That’s their third top 50 win and tenth top 100 win. with just two of their eight losses coming to teams outside the top 50. With the only game left on their regular season schedule coming against Arizona, Oregon should be OK even if they lose out, although a win in their first Pac-12 tournament game wouldn’t hurt.


Arizona State: After sweeping the Bay Area schools last week, the Sun Devils should be alright even with a road loss to Oregon as long as they don’t lose out. They have six top 50 wins and an 8-7 record against the top 100.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
Leave a comment

Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.