The Morning Mix

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No. 5 Georgetown lost. No. 6 Miami lost. No. 13 Oklahoma State lost. No. 16 Saint Louis lost. No. 23 UCLA lost. Ten ranked teams were in action last night and half of them lost. Oh, and for the second straight night punches were thrown on the hardwood. Yup, just another typical Wednesday night of college basketball.

Let’s hit the links.

Thursday’s Top games:
7 p.m. – Virginia @ Florida State
7 p.m. – Butler @ Massachusetts
9 p.m. – No. 19 Oregon @ Colorado
9 p.m. – No. 22 Wisconsin @ No. 10 Michigan State
9 p.m. – Louisiana Tech @ New Mexico State
9 p.m. – UT-Arlington @ Denver

Read of the Day:
All I have to say about Dana O’Neil’s story about Rick Majerus’ tragic death is this: READ IT! (ESPN)

Top Stories:
Late Night Snacks: Miami takes bad loss, A-10 proves to be wild: Get caught up with all the craziness from Wednesday night.

VIDEO: Georgia Tech beats Miami at the buzzer: Miami was supposed to celebrate a ACC regular season championship tonight. Instead of that, they were on the wrong-end of a buzzer-beating tip-in.

Villanova all but punches ticket to NCAA tournament with win over No. 5 Georgetown: The win moves the Wildcats to 19-12 overall and 10-8 in the Big East with quality wins over Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, and now the Hoyas. Of the teams currently on the bubble, few if any boast the slate of victories that Villanova does.

Georgetown loses, meaning those four No. 1 seeds are even more wide-open: With the Georgetown loss at Villanova last night, all four No.1-seeds will be earned over the next week and a half. We’re ten days from Selection Sunday and all four No.1-seeds are completely up in the air.

Travis Wear re-injures foot in UCLA’s loss to Washington State: UCLA forward Travis Wear was cleared to play Wednesday against Washington State, but played just fifteen minutes in the Bruins’ 73-61 loss, appearing to have re-injured the same foot that has limited his availability in recent weeks.

No. 16 Saint Louis fails to clinch share of A-10 title with overtime loss to Xavier: The Cintas Center is not an easy place to get a road win. Bilikens forward Cody Ellis went 0-15 from the field, including 0-11 from beyond the arc. Ouch.

Iowa State lands huge bubble win over No. 13 Oklahoma State: Iowa State is not yet a lock for the NCAA tournament, not when they have an RPI in the 50s, exactly one road win in the top 200, but a win against a top-15 team certainly helps their case.

CBT Podcast: Debating the B1G Championship and National PoY award: Host Troy Machir (That’s me) is joined by Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, who is also braving the latest meteorological whiff, “Winter Storm Saturn” to discuss the final days of the Big Ten season, as well as the National PoY award. I throw Rob Dauster under the bus too. Everybody has fun.

Observations & Insight:
– Wednesday night was crazy. Six ranked teams lost. Buzzers were beaten. Streaks were ended. Senior nights were ruined. (One and One)

– Four coaches were ejected from the Cal-Stanford game last night because they tried to break up a skirmish. (Business Insider)

– RUMOR ALERT. RUMOR ALERT. Jim Boeheim is being forced to retire. RUMOR ALERT. RUMOR ALERT. (Did You See That?)

– Syracuse has refuted the above claim. (Yahoo Sports)

– Nebraska played their final game inside the Devaney Center last night. They sent the arena out in style. (Lincoln Journal-Star)

– Georgia Tech knew that Miami was planning a championship celebration following the game last night, so the Jackets set out to destroy the plans. They succeeded. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

– Indiana is in danger of losing their spot on the No.1-seed line. You may not think it’s much, but the no.1-seed does matter. (Sporting News)

– Kansas State hasn’t got much attention considering they are currently a top-10 team. But that won’t stop them from making a deep run in March. (Rush The Court)

– North Carolina was in dire straits just a month ago. But Roy Williams reinvented his team and the Tar Heels now look like a team that I would not want to draw in the NCAA tournament. (The Dagger)

– The NCAA lifted their ban on hosting postseason events in New Jersey following the decision to bar sports betting in the state. (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

– The Vegas odds for Player of the Year. I’ll take Otto Porter at 9-2. Straight Cash, homey. (Mid-Major Madness)

– A pretty awesome-read from C.J. Moore on how Ken Pomeroy revolutionized college basketball. (Bleacher Report)

.GIF of the Day:
This flop is what set of the scuffle between Cal and Stanford last night. (The Mock Session)

source:

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Former Western Michigan basketball player cleared of murder

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a former Western Michigan basketball player of murder in the shooting death of a fellow student but convicted him of armed robbery and a weapons charge.

The Kalamazoo County jury deliberated two days before returning the verdict for Joeviair Kennedy. He faces a possible life sentence when he’s sentenced July 16.

Nineteen-year-old Jacob Jones was killed near the campus on Dec. 8, 2016.

Co-defendant Jordan Waire of Muskegon was convicted last month of felony murder, armed robbery and weapons charges.

Prosecutors said it was Waire who shot Jones. Kennedy has said they took marijuana and about $25.

Kennedy’s attorney, Eusebio Solis, said his client agreed to the robbery but not the killing.

Kennedy was arrested in 2016 at the start of his second basketball season.

Kansas, Missouri to play alumni game for charity

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Kansas and Missouri are putting their differences aside for charity.

Kareem Rush, a former Missouri Tiger and the brother of Brandon Rush, a former Kansas Jayhawk, is organizing a game called “Rivarly Renewed“, which will pit alumni from Missouri against alumni from KU.

On July 28th, the two teams will face-off in a game where the proceeds will go towards benefitting the Boys and Girls Club as well as Kareem Rush’s “Rush Forward Foundation”.

It’s also a chance for the Tigers and the Jayhawks to reignite a rivalry that has been dormant since Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC, although they did play a scrimmage prior to the start of last season. There is no lack of hatred between those two fan bases and any chance they get to square off is a good thing.

There should also be some big names involved. According to the Kansas City Star, Mario Chalmers, Cole Aldrich, Drew Gooden, Kim English, Ricky Paulding and Marcus Denmon are among the players that will be participating.

I love it.

Can we make sure that Bill Self is invited so that he can get convinced to play the Tigers in a non-conference game?

Doppelgangers Grayson Allen, Ted Cruz finally meet

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Ever since Grayson Allen burst onto the national scene during the 2015 Final Four, the former Duke star has been called a Ted Cruz lookalike.

That, frankly, is not exactly a compliment, and it is a comparison that Allen initially bristled at, but now that his college career, Allen seems to be embracing the long-running joke.

We know that because Allen met Cruz this weekend as he helped the senator from Texas beat Jimmy Kimmel in a game of one-on-one:

The actually game won’t be broadcast until Monday night so we won’t know exactly how Cruz won or what Allen did to help, but Cruz did beat Kimmel 11-9.

We will get getting our answers this evening.

2018 NBA Draft: What top ten picks are the most likely to be busts?

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The 2018 NBA Draft is loaded with top-end talent and potential future all-stars.

The fascinating thing about this group in the top ten is that you can make a solid case that most of these guys could become stars.

On the flipside, all of them also have some kind of glaring weakness.

Deandre Ayton is likely going No. 1 overall and there is a healthy contingent of draft analysts and skeptics who point to his lack of defensive presence as a 7-footer.

Some of these same detractors also believe the NBA is continually going smaller — meaning giants like Ayton will get played off the floor by certain small-ball lineups like the Golden State Warriors just did to some teams during another title run.

That’s just one example.

Going down the list of top-ten prospects and you can point to a lot of potential flaws that could lead to downfalls. But here are two top-ten prospects who could wind up being busts.

MICHAEL PORTER JR.

Before his freshman season at Missouri, I thought Michael Porter Jr. was going to put up monster numbers and be a Player of the Year candidate. His top-five status in the 2018 NBA Draft appeared to be safe. After a decorated high school career in which he destroyed most challengers and played well on the international stage with USA Basketball, Porter looked like he could be a jumbo scoring wing at the game’s highest level.

Then the back and hip issues began.

Porter only played in three games during his lone season with the Tigers — including two uninspiring postseason efforts in which he couldn’t get his shot to fall while trying to prove that he was healthy. And now it feels like there are a million questions about MPJ and his health.

During the NBA Draft process, Porter has cancelled and rescheduled pro days, kept medical records private for long lengths of time and given plenty of teams pause as to whether or not he is truly healthy. If Porter’s back and hip stay as a lingering issue then it changes who he is as a basketball player. Already a bit rigid, with hips that aren’t particularly fluid, Porter could have trouble moving laterally in an increasingly quick and nimble league that is only getting smaller.

Porter’s jumper also uses his whole body to elevate. It didn’t look nearly the same during those March games where he tried to gut it out. And Porter has been such a gifted scorer during his high school career that he’s never had to worry about passing or making others around him better.

Some have also questioned Porter’s ego and his ability to be a willing teammate — which are legitimate questions in a league that often sees its stars feud with others and move on to new teams.

Again, if Porter is fully healthy and ready to go, he could be a double-double threat on the wing and a 20-point per game scorer. But if Porter isn’t healthy? Some team is taking a big risk on not only taking an injured player but passing on a talented healthy player who could morph into an all-star.

(John Weast/Getty Images)

TRAE YOUNG

Perhaps the most fascinating prospect in the draft because of his insane range and overall offensive ability, Young is going to be one of the names to watch on draft night.

Some mock drafts feel he’s a top-three talent, or even the best prospect overall because of his new-age ability to pull-up and hit threes from 30 feet away. Others feel like he’s a potential defensive liability who doesn’t necessarily play winning basketball all the time because of his shot selection and high number of turnovers.

While Young could be a monster steal for some team hoping to get the next Steph Curry, those comparisons are also going to be dangerous, while likely following Young the rest of this career.

For Young, it could be all about fit and who winds up taking him.

When Young was in high school, he was at his best when he had elite talent around him. Michael Porter Jr. was the go-to scorer on a MoKan team that won the Nike Peach Jam. Young also looked solid during stretches with USA Basketball when he had tons of weapons around him.

Once teams in the Big 12 figured out his individual offensive tendencies after a hot start last season, they forced him into being a playmaker and the Sooners struggled to win games. Of course, the lack of talent around him doesn’t fall on Young, who didn’t recruit his teammates at Oklahoma. But what happens if Young falls to a dysfunctional franchise like the Orlando Magic? He’ll be expected to be a savior right away with minimal help — while also having to overcome glaring deficiencies like perimeter defense and a high number of turnovers.

And how do you think NBA players are going to react to the task of guarding Young? There’s an old Dream Team story about Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen practically fighting so they could defend future Chicago Bulls teammate Toni Kukoc one-on-one during the ’92 Olympics. They had heard about the hype surrounding Kukoc, even though he had never played in an NBA game.

After being a national media darling much of last season, Young is going to get a lot of strong one-on-one defenders who are hungry to slow him down. Game plans will revolve around limiting Young’s touches and ability to launch shots. Teams and veteran players are going to do everything they can to frustrate Young and make life tough.

Young is talented and skilled enough to make all of these questions go away. He’s a unique talent who could very well end up being worthy of all of the hype. But he’s going to need some help reaching his full potential, and some of those things are out of his control.

Middle Tennessee loses four returnees during the week

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Middle Tennessee has been one of the best mid-major programs in the country over the last few years but now the Blue Raiders will be facing a major rebuild.

With former head coach Kermit Davis taking the Ole Miss job and new head coach Nick McDevitt coming over from UNC Asheville, the program experienced some major roster turnover this week as four returnees left the program.

Earlier in the week, junior guard David Simmons opted to transfer out of Middle Tennessee after he averaged 17.9 minutes per game for the Conference USA regular-season champions last season.

On Friday, the losses continued, as three more players left the team. Rising junior point guard Tyrik Dixon announced his intention to transfer while the program dismissed guard Antwain Johnson and forward Davion Thomas. Dixon was a valuable floor leader for Middle Tennessee the past two seasons while Johnson, a rising senior guard, would have been the team’s returning leading scorer after putting up 10.3 points per game last week.

Since so much of the successful core of the past three seasons is now gone from Middle Tennessee, it will be on McDevitt to bring in new talent to sustain the recent great stretch of play. The Blue Raiders made two Round of 32 appearances in a row before missing the NCAA tournament last season after winning C-USA’s regular season crown.

Now, with Western Kentucky making a power play by bringing in five-star big man Charles Bassey, and the power has shifted very quickly in one of the most competitive mid-major conferences in the country.