Posted on: November 2, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 10:18 pm

Ranking the BCS leagues in strength of schedule

By Matt Norlander

I know, the season is almost here. Hope you've enjoyed a lot of what we've cooked up for you here at the blog and on the site. Now, here we have something I had blast doing, even if it took about a month to slowly boil to. I put more than 20 hours into the writing and research of the non-conference schedule piece that you can read about it right here. That chart is daunting -- yet, oh, so pretty -- in some ways, but easy to maneuver and systematize to your liking. I think you'll like it. I hope you do, at the very least.

Might I suggest you toss on some fun-loving background music and get to clicking. There's a lot to explore. Look at your favorite team and compare it with the rest of the BCS, or just within its conference. Feel free to link and share it, too. I hope to do something like that in some statistical arena of the game a couple of times each month throughout the season.

Season tips Nov. 7
There is one over-arching statistical database that didn't get into the chart, though. I wanted to showcase it to you here. It's the collective look at each major conference, and how each has prepared its dockets. The feature deals with schools and how they contrast with their brethren. This blog post is about the leagues as a whole.

Below, I've assembled and calculated the median conference ranking for the major stat categories in the aforementioned linked feature. The only omission is the 20-win teams total, as that factors well into the overall average win total, ranked first below.

All things considered, if I had to rank each conference's scheduling best to worst -- taking all statistical information at face value -- I’d say it goes:
  1. ACC
  2. SEC
  3. Pac-12
  4. Big East
  5. Big Ten
  6. Big 12
First, which league did the best job calling teams with the best record from 2010-11? The SEC.

Average Win Total Last Year
1) SEC: 17.6
2) Pac-12: 17.3
3) Big 12: 16.8
4) ACC: 16.6
5) Big Ten: 16.4
6) Big East: 15.7

With semi- and full-blown unpredictable factors in many non-conference schedules (read: early season tournaments with an assortment of possible opponents), the best, undeniable metric of a team's guts and gumption can be found in the true road game. Which league is bucking up and hitting opponents' gyms the most? The ACC. The Big 12 is a bunch of fraidy cats, I'm sorry to report.

True Road Games
1) ACC: 31
1) SEC: 31
3) Big East: 30
4) Pac-12: 27
5) Big Ten: 21
6) Big 12: 15

The inverse order the better here; the lower the number the lesser the cupcakes. Plenty of bad teams won 12 games last year, but to see which conference stockpiled on truly pitiful competition, look no further than the Big East and Big Ten.

Single-Digit-Win Opponents
1) Pac-12: 12
2) Big 12: 15
3) ACC: 16
3) SEC: 16
5) Big Ten: 22
6) Big East: 33

BCS opponents is a tricky barometer. You can have really good ones, and really bad ones. Over a conference's choosings, though, I think you get a fair estimation of what the league's doing. With 16 teams, no reason for the Big East not to be leading the way here. Huge contrast between two 12-team leagues, when you look at the SEC taking on 25 more Big Six teams than the Pac-12.

BCS Opponents
1) SEC: 43
2) ACC: 38
3) Big East: 37
4) Big Ten: 31
5) Big 12: 27
6) Pac-12: 18

Finally, which league scheduled the most teams that were in college basketball's premier event? The Big East steps up here.

2011 Tournament Teams
1) Big East: 37
1) SEC: 37
3) ACC: 36
4) Big Ten: 28
5) Pac-12: 24
6) Big 12: 22

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: October 31, 2011 9:43 am

Arizona's Miller realistic after D-II loss

By Jeff Goodman

The place not to be this weekend? McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona.

That's where Arizona coach Sean Miller crushed his players after a loss to Division 2 Seattle Pacific on Thursday night.

However, a few days after the somewhat embarrassing setback, Miller gained some perspective. 

"No one wanted to lose, but in a funny way I think it'll help us," Miller said on Sunday night. "We've got to earn it all over."

"Guys are in different roles," he added.

Without Derrick Williams, this is a completely different team - and while the Wildcats did welcome in a stellar freshman class, it'll likely take time for most of them to adjust. Despite their preseason ranking, this is not a Top 25 team right now. Not this early - and not without Kevin Parrom. 

The only one who stood out in his debut was athletic guard Nick Johnson.

"He was the bright spot," Miller said of Johnson.

Fellow freshman guard Josiah Turner - the most highly touted of the frosh - struggled. Miller said that could be the case early because Turner had a rough senior season in high school in which he switched schools.

"He didn't come off a good situation, but did the best he could," Miller said. "Don't be surprised if Josiah struggles early in the season and plays his best basketball later in the year."

Not only is Arizona without Williams, but the Wildcats are also without Parrom - who is recovering from being shot in the leg.

"I'd be surprised if Kevin's back in November," Miller said. "It's probably realistic that he returns in December. He's getting more and more movement and has been doing as well as anyone could expect after the loss of his mother."

Miller said that fans will need to be patient with other two freshmen - big men Sikidi Johnson and Angelo Chol. Veteran big man Alex Jacobson, who would likely play minutes right now due to the inexperience of Johnson and Chol, is also out with an injury.

Photo: AP

Posted on: October 20, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 1:50 pm

J.T. Terrell goes from Wake Forest to USC

By Jeff Borzello

USC has found an interesting pipeline for new players: Wake Forest.

First, it was former Demon Deacons forward Ari Stewart deciding to transfer to the Trojans. Now, it’s J.T. Terrell.

“4 everyone that wants 2 kno my nxt move…I’m now officially a USC Trojan!” Terrell tweeted on Wednesday night.

Terrell, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, averaged 11.1 points per game last season, starting 18 games and knocking down nearly 36 percent from 3-point land. He has tremendous range on his jumper, and will join an experienced Trojans team next season.

Wake Forest announced on September 5 that Terrell was leaving the school after being arrested for DWI.

“Due to circumstances surrounding his arrest, along with other recent indicators, it is obvious to J.T. and his family that J.T. suffers from a serious medical condition which requires immediate attention,” Mike Grace, Terrell’s attorney, said in a statement at the time.

With Stewart, Terrell and starting point guard Jio Fontan all sitting out the upcoming season, expect USC to make a move towards the top of the Pac-12 standings in 2012-13.

Photo:  US Presswire
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:42 pm

Kevin Parrom loses his mother to cancer

By Matt Norlander

Kevin Parrom, the Arizona junior forward who was shot in New York City earlier this month, lost his mother to cancer, the school confirmed Sunday night.

Lisa Williams had battled the disease for more than two years. She was the reason Parrom was on the East Coast recently, as he was paying her a visit. It was in his father's apartment in the Bronx where Parrom took on bullet wounds to his right leg and left hand.

Parrom tweetedlate Sunday night, "I Love You Momma! You Dont Have To Deal With No More Pain And Now You Can Watch Ya Baby Boy Make You Proud From Up Above. Love You Ma ! RIP" It doesn't get much more devastating than that, even if Parrom's putting a positive public persona in the wake of his mother's death. He also lost his grandmother this summer. The really devastating thing that came from Parrom was this tweet from Saturday: "Whats the cure for cancer ? If anyone in this world can help me out ill give u my life !"

"Today, Lisa Williams, Kevin Parrom's mom, passed away," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin and his family at this most difficult time. I have never been around a young person who has dealt with more hardship in such a short period of time than Kevin. I ask all Arizona Wildcat fans to join us on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. at our annual Red-Blue Game to be there when we introduce Kevin Parrom as a part of our 2011-12 team. He will rely on all of us here in Tucson for support in moving forward."

No telling what Parrom is going through right now, and all we here at the blog have to say is that are thoughts are with him, his family and those close to them. There is still no timetable on Parrom's return to the team, as his injuries still have to heal. Those are physical. The mental and emotional ones will undoubtedly linger throughout this season.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 6:11 pm

Kansas takes hardest hit with busy day of news

By Jeff Goodman

Midnight Madness is here.

So is the college hoops news.

- Kansas took the hardest hit of the day when it was announced that freshman Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor are ineligible this season and have been deemed "partial qualifiers."

This is a significant blow to a Kansas team that has already been questioned for its lack of "Kansas talent."

There's Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and a bunch of unproven guys.

- A source told CBSSports.com that Arizona State's heralded freshman point guard Jahii Carson won't be in uniform for the Sun Devils first practice - as he waits for an NCAA ruling.

- Ole Miss received the word - per a source - that South Carolina transfer Murphy Holloway has been cleared to play this season by the NCAA.

- DePaul's Macari Brooks won't be eligible to play this season due to academics, per a source.

- Xavier announced that Chris Mack has suspended senior big man Kenny Frease for "not handling his daily responsibilities on and off the playing floor that we expect from every one of our players here at Xavier."

- Washington's Scott Suggs will miss 2-3 months due to a broken foot. The Huskies have enough to sustain the loss, but it will certainly hurt Lorenzo Romar's depth.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:36 pm

USC's Dedmon out short-term with fractured hand

By Matt Norlander

Southern Cal has taken on as much injury and roster depletion as anyone heading into the season.

Wednesday the school announced sophomore forward Dewayne Dedmon "suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right hand, second metacarpal neck (just above the knuckle of his index finder) during unofficial practice yesterday (Oct. 11)."

That means it was most likely broken during a team scrimmage or pickup game of sorts, since coaches cannot, by rule, oversee their players during practice until Friday, Oct. 14. Dedmon's expected to be out for at least two to three weeks, meaning USC will start its season without any clear vision on who is going to supply the offense. Jio Fontan's ACL injury two months ago was the biggest blow to the team this offseason.

"The treatment for Dedmon's injury will consist of immobilizing the finger for two to three weeks," the school said. "Dedmon will be fitted with a cast tomorrow which will allow him to practice defensive and non-contract drills without re-injury due to accidental contact."

Dedmon is a junior college transfer from Antelope Valley College who came to USC last winter.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 12, 2011 4:18 pm

Parrom's status remains unclear for season

By Jeff Goodman

Kevin Parrom's status for this season remains up in the air.

Arizona's junior wing, expected to be one of the Wildcats top players this season following the departure of Derrick Williams to the NBA, was shot while back home in New York last month.

Miller said there is no timetable for his return.

Not yet.

"We are cautiously optimistic based on his progress," Miller told CBSSports.com on Wednesday. "But we don't know when he'll be back - if at all this season."

Miller said that Parrom returned to Tucson with no feeling below his right knee.

"He's going to run under water this weekend," Miller said.

Miller reiterated that the plan is to continue to monitor Parrom's progress before making a decision.

He also said that he won't place Parrom and his long-term future in jeopardy.

"We've already talked about the possibility of redshirting," Miller said. "But it depends on the progress he continues to make."

"Again, we're optimistic he'll be able to play this season," he added. "But we honestly don't know right now. He could be back for the first game, for league play or not at all."
Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 9:52 am

The 2011-12 CBS college hoops TV schedule

By Matt Norlander

Our television overlords released today the terrific slate of games we've got assembled for the upcoming season. Bookmark/print out this page so you know what's coming when.

CBS Sports 2011 College Basketball Schedule
Date Time (ET) Game
Saturday, Dec. 3 12:00-2:30 p.m. North Carolina @ Kentucky
Saturday, Dec. 10 12:00-2:00 p.m. Duke vs. Washington
Saturday, Dec. 17 2:00-4:00 p.m Butler vs. Purdue
4:00-6:00 p.m Memphis @ Louisville
4:00-6:00 p.m Gonzaga vs. Arizona
Saturday, Dec. 31 12:00-2:00 p.m. Louisville @ Kentucky
Saturday, Jan. 7 2:00-4:00 p.m Michigan State @ Penn State (Women's)
4:00-6:00 p.m. UConn @ Notre Dame (Women's)
Sunday, Jan. 8 1:30-4:00 p.m. or 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wisconsin @ Michigan
Saturday, Jan. 14 3:30-6:00 p.m. or 1:00-3:30 p.m. Oregon @ Arizona
Sunday, Jan. 15 4:30-6:30 p.m. or 1:30-4:00 p.m. Indiana @ Ohio State
Saturday, Jan. 21 12:00-2:00 p.m. Alabama @ Kentucky
2:00-4:00 p.m. Michigan @ Arkansas
4:00-6:00 p.m. Kansas @ Texas
4:00-6:00 p.m. UConn @ Tennessee
Sunday, Jan. 28 1:00-3:00 p.m. Texas @ Baylor
Sunday, Jan. 29 12:00-2:00 p.m. Michigan @ Ohio State
Saturday, Feb. 4 1:00-3:00 p.m. Marquette @ Notre Dame
Sunday, Jan. 29 1:00-3:00 p.m. Vanderbilt @ Florida
Sunday, Feb. 5 1:00-3:00 p.m. Michigan @ Michigan State
Saturday, Feb. 11 1:00-3:00 p.m. UConn @ Syracuse
Sunday, Feb. 12 1:00-3:00 p.m. Illinois @ Michigan
Saturday, Feb. 18 1:00-3:00 p.m. UCLA @ St. John's
1:00-3:00 p.m. UNLV @ New Mexico

Sunday, Feb. 19

1:00-3:00 p.m. Big Ten Wildcard

Michigan State @ Purdue
Indiana @ Iowa
Penn State @ Wisconsin

Saturday, Feb. 25 12:00-2:00 p.m. Vanderbilt @ Kentucky
2:00-4:00 p.m. UCLA @ Arizona
2:00-4:00 p.m. Villanova @ Georgetown
4:00-6:00 p.m. Missouri @ Kansas

Sunday, Feb. 26

1:00-3:00 p.m. Big Ten Wildcard

Wisconsin @ Ohio State
Indiana @ Minnesota
Purdue @ Michigan

Saturday, Mar. 3

12:00-2:00 p.m. Memphis @ Tulsa
2:00-4:00 p.m. LSU @ Auburn
2:00-4:00 p.m. Pac-12 Wildcard

Washington @ UCLA
Utah @ Oregon
Colorado @ Oregon State
Washington State @ USC

4:00-6:00 p.m. Louisville @ Syracuse
Sunday, Mar. 4 12:00-2:00 p.m. Kentucky @ Florida
2:00-4:00 p.m. Missouri Valley Championship
4:00-6:00 p.m. Big Ten Wildcard
  Ohio State @ Michigan State
Michigan @ Penn State
Illinois @ Wisconsin
Saturday, Mar. 10 11:30-1:40 p.m. Conf USA Championship
1:40-3:40 p.m. Big Ten Semifinal #1
4:00-6:00 p.m. Big Ten Semifinal #2
6:00-8:00 p.m. Pac-12 Championship
Sunday, Mar. 11 1:00-3:30 p.m. Atlantic 10 Championship
3:30-6:00 p.m. Big Ten Championship
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com