Aaron Craft, Keith Appling

Sunday’s Pregame Shootaround: Michigan State-Ohio State rematch, Wichita State eyes 34-0

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 22 Michigan State vs. Ohio State, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

The Spartans were the top-ranked team in the nation for several weeks earlier this season. Michigan State is now toward the bottom of the top-25 with a rivalry game against Ohio State rounding out its regular season on Sunday. Can Sparty prove its recent slide was just a hiccup in what could be another deep tournament run for Tom Izzo.

It won’t be easy though. Michigan State had to hold off Ohio State in overtime, after blowing a double-digit lead, back on Jan. 7. The Buckeyes have lost back-to-back Big Ten games. A win here could potentially bump Ohio State into a tie for fourth place with Nebraska in the conference standings, depending on how the Cornhuskers fare with No. 9 Wisconsin on Sunday.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET? No. 7 Syracuse vs. Florida State, 2 p.m. (ESPN3)

Previous No. 1 Syracuse has lost four of five games. The Orange are averaging 68.1 points per game this season, but in their last nine games they are under that total. To make matters worse, Cuse faces a tough Florida State defense on the road on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles are fighting to get on the right side of the bubble with a week before Selection Sunday.

MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: No. 2 Wichita State vs. Indiana State, 2:05 p.m. (CBS)

The Shockers are looking to continue their pursuit of perfection, entering the NCAA tournament with a 34-0 record if they can get past Indiana State in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game.

MORE: Our latest bracket projections — is your team in?


1) The Colonial Athletic Association semifinals are on NBC Sports Network:

  • Northeastern vs. Delaware, 2:30 p.m.
  • William & Mary vs. Towson, 5 p.m.

2)  Winthrop and Coastal Carolina battle for a bid to the NCAA tournament in the Big South final at noon.

3) Can Dunk City make a return trip to the Big Dance? We’ll find out this afternoon as Florida Gulf Coast takes on Mercer in the Atlantic Sun championship game.

4) Nebraska has not lost a game at home in its last seven tries. An eighth straight home victory will greatly improve the Cornhuskers tournament chances as they welcome in Wisconsin.

5) The Atlantic 10 tournament is shaping up to be a wild one. Saint Louis and UMass go head-to-head in Amherst with a preview of what’s to come next week in Brooklyn.


  • No. 5 Virginia vs. Maryland, noon (CBS)
  • No. 17 Saint Louis vs. UMass, 2 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)


  • Canisius vs. Iona, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Albany vs. Vermont, 5 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Penn State vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
  • Boston College vs. N.C. State, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Quinnipiac vs. Manhattan, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Hartford vs. Stony Brook, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Georgia Southern vs. Wofford, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Western Illinois vs. South Dakota State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.