Rob Dauster

Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) celebrates after a turnover against LSU during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida won 68-62. (Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun via AP)  THE INDEPENDENT FLORIDA ALLIGATOR OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
(Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun via AP)

BUBBLE BANTER: Florida can’t land the win they need over No. 22 Kentucky

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This post will be updated throughout the night.

Just three weeks ago, Florida (KenPom: 44, RPI: 46, CBT Bracketology Seed: Play-in Game) looked close to a lock for the NCAA tournament. Their computer numbers were terrific and they were coming off of a blowout home win over West Virginia that A) gave them a win to put at the top of their profile, and B) made it seem like they would be able to pick up the wins they needed to add to bolster their résumé down the stretch.

But they haven’t done that.

Instead, the Gators have lost their last four games, five of the last six and six of the last eight. They have just one loss outside the top 100, but they’re 2-10 against the top 50, 7-12 against the top 100 and 17-13 overall. Throw in the fact that, as they’ve continued to lose these games, their computer numbers have taken a hit, and what you get is a team that suddenly looks like they’re on the wrong side of the bubble.

WINNERS

  • Vanderbilt (KP: 23, RPI: 48, CBT: 9): The Commodores beat the breaks off of Tennessee on Tuesday night, a win that they needed because they simply couldn’t afford another bad loss. Dave Ommen, our resident bracketologist, has Vanderbilt in as a No. 9 seed, which seems high to me. I think they probably needed to win at Texas A&M or win two games in the SEC tournament, depending on who they draw, to really feel comfortable.
  • George Washington (KP: 72, RPI: 56, CBT: Next Four Out): The dream is still alive for the Colonials after beating George Mason. They probably need to win at least a game or two in the Atlantic 10 tournament to have a reach chance at getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
  • LSU (KP: 73, RPI: 86, CBT: Next Four Out): There are apparently still people that think LSU still has a chance to dance, so I’ll put there here for now. Even with a win over Missouri, I don’t think they still have a shot at this.
  • Saint Mary’s (KP: 35, RPI: 50, CBT: 10): There’s still a glimmer of hope that Saint Mary’s can get in without winning the automatic bid, and that hope is alive after they beat Grand Canyon tonight.

 

Report: Starter for FIU women’s basketball alleges sexual misconduct by head coach

rp_primary_Chinn_2_
FIU Athletic Department
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A player on FIU’s women’s basketball team has accused head coach Marlin Chinn of sexual harassment and pursuing a sexual relationship with her, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

The accusations reportedly center around a loan that was given from Chinn to the player, who is named in the Herald as Destini Feagin, and a violation of team rules committed by Feagin that resulted in her getting suspended for her senior night. The loan is a potential NCAA violation.

Feagin, according to the report, is alleging that Chinn suspended her because she turned down his advances. She provided the paper with proof of those advances, including a text message where he told the player he had “sexual fantasies” about her and a recording of a conversation between the two where he admitted to being attracted to her.

[Miami Herald]

Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Preview and Postseason Awards

Belmont's Evan Bradds tries to shoot with Marquette's Luke Fischer defending during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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The Ohio Valley was one of the most competitive conferences in the country this season, as six teams finished with double-figure league victories, all of whom were within just two games of first place. Parity always leads to a wild tournament.

Right?

Right.

The Bracket 

2016 OVC Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket

When: March 2, 3, 4 and 5

Where: Municipal Auditorium, Nashville

Final: March 5th, 5:00 p.m.

Favorite: Belmont

Not only did the Bruins win the league, but they’ll be playing the OVC tournament in their own backyard in Nashville. And if head coach Rick Byrd has taught us anything about his tenure with the Bruins, it’s that we probably should not be betting against him winning. This year’s squad is typical Belmont: a star guard (Craig Bradshaw) flanked by a myriad of shooters to surround an uber-efficient post presence in Evan Bradds. The Bruins, if they get to the tournament, will even be a threat to win a game there. They have the best offense in the league and own wins at Murray State and over Valparaiso in Nashville.

And if they lose?: Morehead State

The Eagles do three things well that will make them dangerous in tournament situations: they force a lot of turnovers, they get a lot of offensive rebounds and they shoot the three ball well. Extra possessions in a one-and-done tournament setting are huge, especially when a team is playing well and hitting shot from the perimeter. Should I mention that the Eagles won in a row to close out the regular season?

Other Contenders

  • Murray State: There are a lot of new faces on the Racers this season, but there is a reason that this program has had such a sustained run of success.
  • Tennessee State: Dana Ford’s club was the best defensive team in the league and has one of the best 1-2 punches in Keron DeShields and Tahjere McCall.
  • UT-Martin: Winning their division was monumental, as they get a bye to the semifinals.

OVC Player of the Year: Evan Bradds, Belmont

Bradds is one of the most efficient players in college basketball, consistently finishing among the leaders nationally in field goal percentage. He shot better than 70 percent from the floor every year since he arrived at Belmont. His ability as a low-post scorer forces opponents to decide whether they want to double him to get the ball out of his hands, opening up the shooters on Belmont’s perimeter, or let him go one-on-one in the post, where he’s near-unstoppable.

OVC Coach of the Year: Dana Ford, Tennessee State

All due respect to the rest of the conference, there wasn’t much competition for Ford here. The Tigers won five games all season long in 2014-15. This year, Ford brought in a slew of new pieces, turned TSU into the best defensive team in the conference and finished tied for second in the conference standing, a game behind Belmont.

First-Team All-OVC:

  • Evan Bradds, Belmont
  • Chris Horton, Austin Peay
  • Twymond Howard, Tennessee-Martin
  • Craig Bradshaw, Belmont
  • Torrance Rowe, Tennessee Tech

CBT Prediction: Belmont is heading back to the dance.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: We’ve got a new No. 1 in our rankings

Hield (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) and Valentine (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Hield (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) and Valentine (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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We’ve got a new favorite for National Player of the Year around these parts, and the way can be read in the explanation below.

But the long and short of it is this: We’ve reached a point where it feels like Buddy Hield is the pick to win the award because, in the last six weeks, he hasn’t done anything to lose it. Which is true, but which also ignores just how good Denzel Valentine as been all season long.

Who would you vote for? Tell us in the comments.

America East Tournament Preview and Postseason Awards

Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell  congratulates guard Roland Nyama (24) after a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Stony Brook entered the season as the heavy favorite to win the America East, given that they returned all five starters from last season, including now three-time conference Player of the Year, Jameel Warney. Albany and Vermont were expected to make a push for the league title — and they did, each picking off the Seawolves during the last two weeks of the regular season.

The Bracket

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When: March 2, 7 and 12

Where: Campus sites, with highest remaining seed hosting and games getting reseeded after the quarterfinals.

Final: March 12, 11:00 a.m. (ESPN2)

Favorite: Stony Brook

Is this the year that the Seawolves finally break through and get to the NCAA tournament? They’ve won the America East four of the last seven years and haven’t finished worse than second since 2011. But they’ve lost in the America East title game four times in the last five years and still have not made an NCAA tournament. Last year’s run may have been the most excruciating, with the loss coming on a buzzer-beater. This is the last chance for Jameel Warney and company to get to the dance. Can they make it happen?

And if they lose?: Albany

The Great Danes returned the majority of their roster from last year’s dual-title winners and played like it throughout the year. They finished 24-7 overall and 13-3 in the America East, just a game behind Stony Brook. They were one of just two teams to beat the Seawolves in league play this season, and their three league losses all came on the road by a combined nine points.

Other Contenders:

  • Vermont: The Cats were the only team not named Albany to pick off Stony Brook, and while they’re young, they’re also talented enough to win three straight in March.
  • New Hampshire: The Wildcats finished tied for third in the league and have all-league forward Tanner Leissner on the roster.

America East Player of the Year: Jameel Warney, Stony Brook

Warney is an absolute monster at this level, and he may be the best mid-major player in all of college basketball. He’s averaging 18.7 points, 10.2 boards and 3.2 blocks for the best team in the conference. That’s not bad, right?

America East Coach of the Year: Steve Pikiell, Stony Brook

Most of the time, Coach of the Year gets picked based on the team that most outperforms expectations. But sometimes just living up to expectations is as impressive when expectations are as high as they were for Stony Brook, which is why we’re going with Pikiell as the Coach of the Year.

First-Team All-America East:

  • Jameel Warney, Stony Brook
  • Evan Singeltary, Albany
  • Carson Puriefoy, Stony Brook
  • Tanner Leissner, New Hampshire
  • Peter Hooley, Albany

CBT Prediction: Stony Brook gets to their first NCAA tournament.

Michigan guard Caris LeVert is done for the season

Caris LeVert
(AP Photo/Tony Ding)
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Michigan announced on Tuesday that all-american guard Caris LeVert will sit out the rest of the season to try and recover from the “lower left leg injury” that has kept him more or less out of the lineup since Dec. 30th.

“After some prayer and talking it over with my family, Coach Beilein and the medical staff, we all feel it is best for me to concentrate on getting fully healthy,” LeVert said in a release put out by the school. “There is still some discomfort that does not allow me to help this team the way I want.”

“I am so thankful for what Coach Beilein, the assistants and the medical staff have done for me during my collegiate career and in particular while I have dealt with these injuries.”

The Wolverines never provided specifics on what the actual injury was, but twice in the last two years LeVert underwent surgery to repair a break in his left foot.

“This has been a tough two months for Caris,” said Beilein. “He has worked so hard to get back to this point, and Caris’ long-term health is what is most important.”

LeVert was averaging 16.5 points, 5.3 boards and 4.9 assists for the Wolverines this season. He played 11 minutes in a game earlier this month but did not return to the floor in the second half as his foot was not healthy.