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The Secondary Break: Thursday’s Links

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The McBucket List and his path to 3,000 points (Sports Illustrated)
Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott will play his first Big East Tournament game on Thursday night as the Bluejays face DePaul. Thus begins the quest to accomplish another goal, which is to win the event. But prior to that, here’s a look at some of the points McDermott scored on his way past the 3,000-point mark.

30 for 30 Shorts: “Untucked” (Grantland)
The 1977 Marquette basketball team had some incredibly unique uniforms, as they were designed to not be tucked in. The look was controversial, but Al McGuire’s team rose above that to ultimately win the program’s first (and to this point, only) national title.

Season complete, time for Hokies’ new AD to decide James Johnson’s fate (Hampton Roads Daily Press)
Virginia Tech’s tough season, one in which they were overmatched on most nights in the depth and talent categories, came to an end Wednesday afternoon as they fell to Miami in the first round of the ACC tournament. With that comes the time for new athletic director Whit Babcock to take a look at James Johnson’s program, and he’ll need to decide whether or not Johnson is the right man for the job.

College basketball’s conference tournaments? Here’s why I hate them (The Sporting News)
Conference tournaments are a hot-button topic of sorts for some, with upset losses suffered by favorites in smaller leagues triggering the argument that these games are more risk than reward. Another argument that gets made is the fact that three (or more) days are lent more credence than a solid two months in conference play.

Kansas basketball coaching tree flourishing (Lawrence Journal-World)
Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks have once again put together a very good season, winning a tenth consecutive Big 12 title. But the good times have also been experienced by members of the Kansas coaching tree, with Danny Manning (Tulsa), Barry Hinson (Southern Illinois), Larry Brown (SMU) and Jerod Haase (UAB) all putting together solid campaigns.

Villanova benefitting from Arcidiacono’s evolution (CSN Philly)
As a freshman Villanova point guard Ryan Arcidiacono was sked to be the leading offensive option for the Wildcats, which led to more shot attempts and points for the New Jersey native. But as the team has grown stronger Arcidiacono’s game as evolved, becoming a better distributor and a more efficient scorer as well.

Ted Bancroft walking off after walking on at Providence College (South Coast Today)
Providence senior guard Ted Bancroft may not receive the playing time or accolades that have been given to classmates Kadeem Batts and Bryce Cotton, but the senior’s proven to be more valuable than many expected the walk-on to be when he arrived. Bancroft has played in 27 games this season, and when the Friars have lacked depth he’s answered the call.

SLU’s freshmen learning all they can from seniors (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Jim Crews’ Atlantic 10 champion Saint Louis Billikens are a senior-led squad, with guard Jordair Jett and forward Dwayne Evans II being two of the headliners. And with that class out of eligibility at the end of this season, the Billikens’ young players have looked to absorb as much as they can from the savvy veterans.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons.¬†Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.