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Tag:Minnesota
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:30 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:40 am
 

Poppin' Bubbles: Avoiding bad losses is key

Wyoming saw its bubble burst with an overtime loss at San Diego State. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Tuesday was a prove-it day for bubble teams, as seven of them played ranked teams and another two had to pass road tests. Only three teams out of that group came out victorious. Wednesday is another huge night for bubblers, but in a different ways. Only a few have a chance to get statement wins, but nearly a dozen teams have to avoid bad losses. With so many different things at stake, we’ve expanded our categories too. 

Note: This page will be updated throughout the night, with bubble discussion and analysis. 

Status quo

Purdue: The Boilermakers didn’t suffer the same fate as Illinois over the weekend, throttling Nebraska out of the gate en route to an 83-65 win. The win moves the Boilermakers to 8-7 in the Big Ten heading into their final stretch against Michigan, Penn State and Indiana. If Purdue can get one of the two road games (Michigan, Indiana), it will feel awfully comfortable heading into the conference tournament.

Memphis: The Tigers suffered a really bad loss at home over the weekend to UTEP, so they could not afford to lose another questionable game. That wasn't a problem, as Memphis handled East Carolina with ease in the second half. The Tigers also took over first place in the league standings after Southern Miss' loss, but their Selection Sunday fate will be decided down the stretch. They have road trips to Marshall and Tulsa sandwiched around a home against UCF. The Tigers need to prove themselves in those three games.

Iowa State: Heading into a very difficult three-game stretch to finish the season, the Cyclones needed to beat Texas Tech on Wednesday to get to 10 wins in the Big 12. It wasn't as easy as expected, but they still dominated the final 10 minutes en route to an 18-point win. With road games at Kansas State and Missouri and a home date with Baylor still on the docket, Iowa State will have chances to seal its bid. One win would make the Cyclones feel pretty good.

Hurt itself

West Virginia
: The Mountaineers hung with Notre Dame for a half, but the Fighting Irish came out of the break with a bang and simply ran away with the game. The loss is West Virginia's sixth defeat in eight games, and drops them to 7-8 in the conference. On Friday, Marquette comes to Morgantown in a game that would really solidify the Mountaineers' at-large hopes. If they drop that one, they need to win the final two games of the regular season and then do some damage in the league tourney.

Southern Miss: Things are getting dicey for the Golden Eagles. They survived a loss to Houston over the weekend and remained in pretty good shape, but Wednesday's double-overtime loss to UTEP (by the way, when did the Miners become such a giant-killer?) moves them into suspect territory. They are now tied for second-place with Tulsa in the standings and have three sub-100 losses. Southern Miss has to survive its next two games -- Rice and SMU -- before the season finale against Marshall. The Golden Eagles are still in, but nowhere near as safe. 

South Florida: Despite a gaudy Big East record, the biggest knock on the Bulls is their lack of good wins and their soft conference schedule. They jumped out to a double-digit lead at Syracuse, but couldn't make plays late in the game and fell short. They are now 10-5 in the league with three games left. They have Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia remaining -- two of them coming at home -- so there are still chances. Right now, though, one good win over Seton Hall isn't getting it done.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks were one of the final teams out of the bracket this week, but that will change next week after their loss at home to Richmond, which came into Wednesday with an RPI nearing 150. Unless the Hawks beat Temple and St. Bonaventure to finish the season and then get a couple quality wins in the Atlantic 10 tournament, Phil Martelli's club won't have a happy Selection Sunday.

Minnesota: Farewell, at-large hopes. The Golden Gophers have now lost four in a row and six of their last eight, and suffering a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State. Tubby Smith's troops had the game in their grasp, but completely malfunctioned in the last three and a half minutes and will now be relegated to the NIT. Barring a crazy run the rest of the season, Minnesota is done. 

UCF: The talk of the Knights as an at-large team seemed to be jumping the gun a little bit in the past couple weeks, and Wednesday's horrible second-half loss to Rice pushes them further out of the field. They now drop to a fourth-place tie in the league standings, and still have to go to Memphis in next-to-last game of the season. 14 of their 17 wins are sub-100. 

Still alive

Dayton:
The Flyers made it into several brackets this week on the basis of their seven top-100 wins and victories over Temple and Saint Louis. However, they are only one questionable loss from falling from the picture. They survived on Wednesday, going on the road and beating Duquesne. They still probably need to win their final three regular-season games.

Marshall:
The Thundering Herd shook off a double-digit first half deficit to dominate Houston in the second half. It is their third straight win, and with chances sitll remaining against Memphis and Southern Miss, Marshall has the opportunity to play itself into the league title -- and at-large -- race.

Drexel: The Dragons still have plenty of work to do to move into consideration for an at-large berth, but the Dragons stayed alive with a win over James Madison. An outright regular-season title could really help their profile, so they need to win at Old Dominion on Saturday and also hope George Mason drops one to VCU.

VCU: Like Drexel, VCU just needs to keep winning and hope quantity of wins is enough for the Selection Committee. The Rams survived a trip to UNC-Wilmington on Wednesday night, and now get a shot at co-league leader George Mason this weekend. A win there and a Drexel loss to Old Dominion would give the Rams a share of the regular-season title.

LSU: The Tigers popped on the radar in the past week, and they kept their winning ways going with a victory over Georgia on Wednesday. That's now four straight victories for the Tigers, leaving them 7-6 in the SEC -- good enough for fourth in the conference standings. If they can win out in the regular season, LSU will have an interesting at-large case. It owns wins over Marquette, Alabama and Mississippi State.

Bubble Popped

Wyoming:
The Cowboys looked like they were about to revive their at-large hopes by leading at San Diego State for most of the game. However, the Aztecs tied it late and then dominated the overtime period. Wyoming is now 4-7 in the Mountain West and in sixth place. Their at-large hopes are likely gone. 

Ole Miss:
The Rebels have completely fallen off since getting some serious consideration a couple weeks back. Their 13-point loss at Tennessee on Wednesday night was their third in a row, and fifth in their last six games. Barring an amazing run to -- at least -- the SEC title game, no NCAA for them. 

La Salle: If the Explorers could have won out and then done damage in the conference tournament, they had a chance. Their overtime loss to Temple on Wednesday ends their at-large hopes.  

George Mason: The Patriots can still win a share of the CAA title with a win over VCU this weekend and a Drexel loss, but their loss at Northeastern on Wednesday night ruins their at-large hopes. Despite their 14 CAA wins, they have just two top-100 wins and four sub-100 losses. 

Posted on: February 18, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 1:11 am
 

Poppin' Bubbles: Winners and Losers

Kansas State might have been the biggest winner of the day, getting a marquee road win at Baylor. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

While BracketBusters is getting most of the attention this weekend, it’s also a BubbleBurster type of weekend. According to most projected brackets, there are still 10-12 spots that could go to any number of teams. Of course, most of those teams are in action today. There are bubble battles and chances for marquee wins across the board, so keep it locked here for all your bubble action.

Note: This page will be updated all day, with bubble discussion and analysis.

WINNERS:

New Mexico:
The win at San Diego State might have vaulted the Lobos into a more comfortable position -- but Saturday's victory over UNLV locks it up. Moreover, New Mexico has the inside track to a regular-season title in the Mountain West after knocking off the SDSU and UNLV in a matter of days. This is a team that can do some damage in March. The Lobos have Drew Gordon on the inside, plenty of shooters on the perimeter, a 10-deep rotation and they play really good defense. 

Kansas State: I wrote last week that Kansas State needed to get one its "big three" games: Kansas, Baylor and Missouri. On Saturday, the Wildcats went into Waco and came out with a huge resume-boosting win over Baylor. They now own wins over Missouri and Baylor, along with decent scalps against Alabama, Texas and Long Beach State. Moreover, today's win will likely vault Kansas State into the top 50 of the RPI, where it's a lot more comfortable. At 7-7 in the Big 12, the Wildcats are in much better shape than they were this morning. Really, really good win.

Miami: The Hurricanes were one of the last teams in the bracket this week, and they couldn't afford to lose to Wake Forest at home. They obliged, pulling away in the second half for a 74-56 win. At 7-5 in the ACC, they continue to inch ahead of North Carolina State in the ACC argument, despite losing to the Wolfpack. The win over Duke remains the only top 50 win for the Hurricanes, but it's not a bad trump card come Selection Sunday. They need to beat Maryland on the road next week, then comes two tough ones vs. Florida State and at NC State. 

Alabama ended its two-game losing streak and stayed in the field by beating Tennessee. (US Presswire)

Alabama: The Crimson Tide will remain an interesting case as long as they're not at full strength. With that said, though, they stayed in relatively comfortable position even without their studs. On Saturday, they welcomed in a hot Tennessee team and dominated the second half to win, 62-50. Alabama only has one marquee win -- over Wichita State -- but its victory over Purdue helps in bubble comparisons. If the Crimson Tide can go 3-1 down the stretch, they will finish above .500 in the SEC and be in pretty good shape. 

Iowa State: It wasn't of the same caliber as Kansas State, but the Cyclones handled their business on Saturday in a 80-69 win over Oklahoma at home. Interestingly, with the win and Baylor's loss, the two teams are now tied for third-place in the Big 12 at 9-5. The win over Kansas a few weeks ago really helps matters, although only three top-100 wins and the lack of road victories remain trouble spots. The three-game stretch to finish the season -- at Kansas State, at Missouri, vs. Baylor -- will decide their fate. 

Washington: What the Pac-12 has been looking for all season is some separation at the top of the league standings. Washington's win over Arizona on Saturday provides some. If California wins this weekend, both teams will have a two-game lead on the rest of the conference -- exactly what the conference needs. In terms of the Huskies' at-large hopes, the victory now gives them a season sweep of Arizona, which is basically the only thing boosting up Washington's resume at this point. Washington now has three road games to finish the season, but the Huskies needed this one. 

Cincinnati: Despite the Bearcats' horrendous computer profile, they're still in at-large consideration thanks to their quality wins. They picked up a monster bubble victory on Saturday, getting off to a hot start against Seton Hall and holding off the Pirates down the stretch. Cincinnati had already beaten Georgetown, Notre Dame and Connecticut, and Saturday's win puts them at 5-5 against teams ranked in the top 100. The bad losses are certainly bringing the profile down, but 9-5 in the Big East keeps the Bearcats in the mix for now. Big chance at home against Louisville next week.

Saint Louis: Isn't it about time we consider the Billikens a step ahead of the bubble? The win over Fordham wasn't profile-boosting by any stretch, but Saint Louis is now 10-3 in the Atlantic-10, with a top-25 RPI. They only have one top-50 win, over Saint Joseph's, but they've also beaten fellow bubblers Washington, Xavier and Dayton. They're 6-5 against the top 100 and have zero bad losses. Barring a collapse, the Billikens will make the Dance.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks kept their at-large hopes alive by going into Washington D.C. and beating George Washington, 73-66. They don't have an eye-popping at-large profile, but they do own a win over Creighton and also defeated Dayton (and a rapidly-improving Drexel team). For now, the Hawks are on the outside looking in, but 8-5 in the A-10 looks solid. Next Saturday's home game against Temple will be huge for their Selection Sunday chances.

Northwestern: The Wildcats had a couple of road losses heading into the weekend, but they bounced back nicely with a double-digit victory over Minnesota. The win separates them somewhat from Illinois and Minnesota, putting them at 6-8 in the Big Ten. There is still plenty of work to be done, though, as Northwestern sits at 2-8 vs. the top 50. The Wildcats get both Michigan and Ohio State at home down the stretch, so there are chances to add to their marquee win category, which currently includes Michigan State. 

BYU:
With Saturday's win over Santa Clara, the Cougars have now won five in a row and improved to 11-3 in the West Coast Conference. As other bubble teams around BYU start to lose, the Cougars' profile looks better and better. They are 10-3 away from home, and they have a top-20 RPI win over Gonzaga. On Thursday, BYU heads to Spokane in a huge game against Gonzaga -- the Bulldogs could be playing for a chance to share the league title, while BYU would lock up a bid with a win. If the Cougars lose that one, we will reassess. 

UCF: Despite their loss to Southern Miss during the week, the Knights have quietly played themselves back into the at-large picture. They kept those hopes alive with a 64-55 win over East Carolina on Saturday. UCF still sits at just fourth in Conference-USA, so it needs to break into the top three to have a better chance, but wins over fellow bubblers Memphis and Connecticut are decent. Two sub-100 losses do hurt, though. A road game at Memphis on Feb. 28 could be a make-or-break contest.

Xavier: This was a must-win for Xavier, which could have dropped to fifth in the A-10 pecking order with a loss at home to Dayton. However, Tu Holloway came through in the clutch and the Musketeers got an overtime win over the Flyers. The Musketeers are third in the Atlantic-10, and it gives them another nice bubble win, to add to Saint Joseph's, Cincinnati and Purdue. Throw in a victory over Vanderbilt, and Xavier could be in decent shape right now. Road games at Massachusetts and Saint Louis in the final four games make things interesting.

Colorado State: In what boiled down to a Mountain West elimination game, the Rams knocked off Wyoming, avenging a 16-point loss earlier this season. They get back to .500 in the conference and win for only the third time in their last eight games. However, the upcoming three-game stretch will decide their fate: vs. New Mexico, at San Diego State, vs. UNLV. If they can get wins in two of those three, the Rams could be an interesting case heading into the conference tournament. 

California: The Golden Bears kept pace with Washington in the Pac-12 standings, rolling in the second half over Oregon State. Cal still has the best overall profile in the conference, with good computer numbers and a 7-4 record against the top-100. They do face three road games to finish the season, though, and getting separation at the top of the league is important to getting an at-large bid. 

Connecticut is in serious bubble trouble after losing nine of its last 13 contests. (US Presswire)


LOSERS:

Connecticut: The Huskies dominated DePaul during the week, but missed out on a chance to solidify their at-large standing against Marquette. The Huskies got down early and never got closer than four in the second half en route to a 79-64 loss. They now drop to 6-8 in the Big East and 5-6 against teams ranked in the top 50. However, there’s no one marquee win that puts the Huskies over the top. Florida State, Notre Dame and Harvard are good – but Marquette would have been a huge profile-booster. UConn is in serious trouble heading into the final four games – they might need to beat Syracuse next weekend.

Illinois: The Fighting Illini have officially packed it in. After not pulling a win out earlier in the week against Purdue, Illinois went into Nebraska and just got destroyed. The Cornhuskers went on a 31-4 run that ended up being a 52-12 stretch. The final was 80-57, and that wasn't even indicative of how bad Illinois played in the final 20 minutes. Bruce Weber sounded defeated after the loss to Purdue; one can only imagine how he feels now. The Fighting Illini still have really good wins over Michigan State, Ohio State and Gonzaga, but they are now 5-9 in the Big Ten and have lost eight of their last nine games. Barring a 3-1 finish with games against Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan, Illinois is finished.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs have officially entered a danger zone. A week and a half ago, it looked like Mississippi State was primed to rattle off some victories and cement itself into the dance -- now, it has lost three in a row after the latest setback to Auburn on Saturday. After being considered in good shape for much of the season, a closer look reveals that the Bulldogs are in serious trouble. There's the win at Vanderbilt, a couple of nice wins against West Virginia and Alabama, but not much else. They're now 6-6 in the SEC, 4-6 away from home and have two sub-100 losses. This week is enormous: home vs. Kentucky, and at Alabama. 

North Carolina State: After blowing a 20-point lead to Duke on Thursday, the Wolfpack were one of the last teams considered for projected brackets on Friday. They needed to bounce back and get a quality win against Florida State on Saturday. That didn't happen. Florida State took command early in the first half and never looked back, hammering NC State, 76-62. The Wolfpack's resume doesn't have too many good wins, with Texas and Miami (Fl.) leading the way. A win today (or Thursday) would have boosted the profile. Now, this week's game at home against North Carolina amounts to a must-win.

Memphis: Despite not having an overwhelming resume, the Tigers avoided the "real" bubble by beating the teams they were supposed to beat and not suffering bad losses. Well, they suffered a bad loss on Saturday, falling 60-58 to UTEP at home. It was the Miners' first road victory of the season. Taking a closer look at Memphis' resume, and the loss could be trouble. UTEP was ranked No. 183 in the RPI heading into Saturday, and gives Memphis its first true bad loss of the season. Combine it with a 2-6 record vs. the top 50, and Memphis is far from a lock at this point.  

Arizona: The Wildcats had plenty of at-large momentum in recent weeks, moving past Washington in the bubble pecking order. However, they needed to knock off the Huskies on the road on Saturday -- but they fell short, 79-70. Arizona drops to fourth-place in the Pac-12 at this point, and its resume is still based off one win: at California. The Wildcats need more beef to the profile, meaning a trip to the Pac-12 championship game might be necessary. 

Seton Hall: Even though the Pirates' had a six-game losing streak earlier in the Big East season, their resume was still better than many bubblers. In a huge bubble battle against Cincinnati on Saturday, though, they fell short. Seton Hall drops to 7-8 in the Big East, heading into next week's game against Georgetown. If the Pirates beat the Hoyas, they're back in good shape. However, the four good wins -- Connecticut, West Virginia, Saint Joseph's, Dayton -- aren't exactly "marquee." 

Minnesota couldn't get past Northwestern, and now faces a difficult path to an NCAA bid. (AP)

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers had a golden opportunity to boost their at-large profile on Saturday, but they couldn't stop Northwestern's outside shooting and lost, 64-53. It was Minnesota's third straight loss and dropped the Gophers to 5-9 in Big Ten play. What makes it worse is the next three games: vs. Michigan State, vs. Indiana, at Wisconsin. Minnesota might need to sweep those three -- or at least nab two of three -- to have a chance again. They're 2-6 vs. the top-50, with a road win at Indiana highlighting the resume. 

Texas:
With Kansas State and Iowa State winning today, the last thing Texas needed was a loss to Oklahoma State. So the Longhorns went to Stillwater and lost to Oklahoma State, 90-78, as Keiton Page dropped 40 points for the Cowboys. The loss drops Texas to 7-7 in the Big 12, with some separation between itself and the two teams tied for third place. Texas is only 3-8 against the top-100, but wins over Temple, Kansas State and Iowa State are pretty good. The Longhorns face Baylor at home next week; that has become a must-win for Rick Barnes' troops.

Ole Miss: The Rebels needed to bounce back from getting destroyed by Vanderbilt earlier in the week. Playing Kentucky wasn't the answer. They hung with the top-ranked Wildcats for a half, but Kentucky just steamrolled in the second half en route to a 77-62 win. Ole Miss is now just 1-7 against top-50 teams, with the best wins coming over Miami (Fl.) and Mississippi State. The Rebels are ninth place in the SEC and 3-10 vs. the top 100. That doesn't get it done. 

Arkansas: The Razorbacks' homecourt dominance was enough to keep them in the at-large conversation, but that's no longer the case. Florida absolutely annihilated Arkansas today in a 98-68 victory, despite freshman B.J. Young going for 31 points in the loss. The Razorbacks drop to 5-7 in the SEC and are still 0-8 away from home. With losses in five of their last seven games, and four sub-100 losses, Arkansas has a long way to go to get back in the at-large hunt. It was fun while it lasted. 

Wyoming: If the Cowboys could have swept Colorado State, they would still be in the mix for a fourth at-large coming out of the Mountain West. However, they lost by eight, and now sit at 4-6 in the conference. Moreover, they still have road games at San Diego and UNLV remaining. Anything short of an unbeaten run to the league title game won't be enough. 

Dayton:
The Flyers' plethora of decent wins had kept them hanging around the last few spots in the bracket for a couple of weeks now. A win at Xavier would have certainly boosted their profile heading down the stretch. Kevin Dillard and co. couldn't pull it out in overtime, though, and now are in big trouble. Saint Joseph's might have passed them in the pecking order, and they certainly did in the standings. Dayton is now eighth in the league table, and the bad computer numbers don't help. Wins over Temple, Saint Louis and Alabama only get you so far.

Southern Miss:
 This was a bad day for Conference-USA. Southern Miss could have taken control of the conference, as Memphis lost at home to UTEP earlier in the day. So the Golden Eagles went out and lost to Houston. Going into the weekend, Southern Miss should have felt pretty confident about its at-large hopes. It has a great RPI and wins over Memphis and Colorado State. Looking closer, though, the wins aren't great and losses to Houston and UAB are bringing the resume down. They need a regular-season title. 

Long Beach State: If the 49ers lose in the Big West conference tournament, their loss late to Creighton could be the game that keeps them out. To be clear, they do deserve a bid. But what will the Selection Committee see? The team that dominated the Big West? Or the one that missed out on several chances in the non-conference season? There's really only one good win on the resume, Xavier, as the victory over Pittsburgh doesn't look as good as it used to. With the way the 49ers are handling their league, though, this will be a moot point. 

Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:57 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 2:21 pm
 

Tuesday poll, here we go

By Matt Norlander

You know what to do. Here we are again, voting on the outcomes of games. The results will air on "Courtside with Seth Davis" Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET, as well as "Inside College Basketball," which goes live at 11 p.m. ET later that night. Both shows, of course, are on the CBS Sports Network.



Want more of us? Or more interaction with hoops fans? We suggest you like the Eye On College Basketball Facebook page. And if that's not enough, CBSSports.com has your roundball fix tended to thanks to our daily newsletter.
Posted on: February 5, 2012 3:10 pm
 

Afternoon quick-hits before Super Bowl XLVI

If not for Truck Bryant, center, WVU would have lost its fourth straight game Sunday. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


I always love Super Bowl Sunday for the obvious reasons -- the food and friends and bloated American nature of it all -- but also because we now get at least one or two decent hoops games before the pigskin takes over. This afternoon, a few tilts of weight took place. Let's do a quick rundown on what happened and what it means.

1) West Virginia went into Providence and needed 45 minutes to get a win (87-84). It was a stop-the-bleeding W for WVU. Truck Bryant hit a layup to send the game into OT, then hit the game-winning 3 with no timeouts left and 3.3 remaining. Providence's Vincent Council missed a game-tying 3 to send it another five. The Mountaineers should be a tournament team; it was just two weeks ago, when WVU beat Cincy, that people thought his team could possibly be the Big East's second best. I never bought into that, but I have come around on this team getting to the bracket that matters.

Beating Providence was paramount to that journey. The Friars are dangerous yet not that good. (What I mean by that: Provy is growing and getting better, will probably steal a game at the Big East tournament, but this team isn't formidable just yet.) Now WVU has home game it has to win against Notre Dame and Louisville ahead. It's not out of the woods yet in the Big East. At 6-5, it's still totally possible this team finished 9-9 in the Big East. I don't think WVU is as good as everyone wants to make it -- a lot of that is due to the fact Kevin Jones is ridiculously valuable and talented -- but I'm going to enjoy watching what this team does/does not do in February.

2) On CBS, Draymond Green showed no effects of his bum knee. Michigan State handled Michigan at the Breslin Center, winning 64-54, splitting the season series. Green out-rebounded U of M, 15-14. Tom Izzo's group shook off that horrifying 42-41 L at Illinois and will remain a top-five KenPom team. Now, here's what to target. On Saturday, MSU goes to Ohio State. That's going to be a lot of fun -- and I think Michigan State stands a good chance at winning.

As for the Wolverines, the team is still very good. I love Trey Burke's game more and more. Here's the issue: it's stop and go with them. The past seven games have alternated wins and losses, which is better than streaks of consecutive losses, but February's when teams need to know how to reel off four and five straight. Overall, it looks like Michigan's not as aggressive as it should be, but part of that is Beilein's slow-boil approach.

3) The other game of note also came from the Big Ten and was very big for Tubby Smith. Nebraska's not too good, but Minnesota improved to 17-7 by winning on the road against the Cornhuskers, 69-61. The Big Ten can possibly send eight teams to the NCAAs because Minnesota's incredibly getting by without Trevor Mbakwe, but boy does the road ahead look scary. Gotta steal at least two games, for sure.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:05 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 1:06 am
 

Night Court: Home losses are the common theme

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Looks like the MAAC is not going to be a cakewalk for Iona this season. The Gaels welcomed Manhattan into town and dominated for the first 32 minutes or so, leading by 17 with 7:58 remaining. Then the Jaspers turned on a switch and outscored Iona by 20 in the final eight minutes – capped by Emmy Andjuar’s banked-in 3 at the buzzer to give Manhattan a 75-72 victory. Go check out the video above.

Win to brag about: Wisconsin needed a win badly against Purdue – and the Badgers held off the Boilermakers for a 67-62 win. It was Purdue’s first home loss since Feb. 28, 2010. Wisconsin jumped out to a 22-4 lead on the strength of five 3-pointers, but Purdue slowly came back in the game, spurred by a nice offensive game from guard Terone Johnson. For a team that has struggled to provide secondary options to Jordan Taylor, getting five guys in double-figures was key for Wisconsin.

Win to brag about, Vol. 2: Saint Mary's continues to send a message to the rest of the WCC. After dominating BYU two weeks ago, the Gaels handled Gonzaga on Thursday night, 83-62. Potential league player of the year Rob Jones didn't score until there was 1:39 left in the game, although he grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out eight assists. Matthew Dellavedova was an absolute stud, hit several clutch 3-pointers and finishing with 26 points. The hero might have been freshman Brad Waldow, who came out of nowhere to rack up 17 points and nine rebounds. Will Gonzaga and BYU protect their respective homecourts the way Saint Mary's has done in Moraga? 

Loss to hide from: Minnesota isn’t a bad team by any stretch, but the Golden Gophers were 0-4 in the Big Ten going into Thursday night. On the other hand, Indiana had already beaten Kentucky and Ohio State at home so far this season. So what happened? Minnesota grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and forced 15 turnovers en route to a 77-74 victory. Indiana couldn’t get its shooting going, knocking down just 4-of-22 from 3-point range.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In a battle for first place in the Big South, UNC-Asheville overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Campbell. The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 in the conference behind a tremendous all-around performance from guard Matt Dickey. The senior had 19 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals for UNCA.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: George Mason’s Ryan Pearson came into Thursday averaging 18.2 points per game. Against Drexel, Pearson shot just 1-for-9 from the field and finished with two points as George Mason suffered its first conference loss of the season. Pearson did grab 11 rebounds, but the Patriots needed his offense – and didn’t get it. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 6: Since Wes Miller took over as interim head coach for UNC-Greensboro, he had suffered six straight losses. He picked up his first win on Thursday at Charleston.
  • 47: That’s the combined number of free throws Robert Morris and Quinnipaic made on Thursday. Quinnipiac won, 78-76.
  • 6-for-26: That’s what Stanford and Utah shot from the free-throw line -- the worst combined percentage in a decade.
  • 16: That’s the number of assists Scott Machado dished out for Iona in its last-second loss to Manhattan.

Three other notable results:

  1. Virginia went 0-for-11 from 3-point range in the second half against Duke, but still had a chance to send the game into overtime. But Mike Scott and Jontel Evans both missed, giving Duke a 61-58 win. Despite the loss, Virginia is for real.
  2. Dee Bost stole the ball from Trae Golden in the final seconds and went the other way for a dunk to clinch Mississippi State’s 62-58 win over Tennessee.
  3. Murray State stayed undefeated by beating Jacksonville State, 66-55. 

Notes:

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Minnesota star Mbakwe suffers torn ACL



By Jeff Goodman


First Tim Abromaitis and now Trevor Mbakwe.

We've lost a pair of the top forwards in the country to season-ending injuries in the past week - and in the process, potentially a couple of potential NCAA tournament teams.

Abromaitis went down with a season-ending knee injury in practice last Friday, putting Notre Dame's NCAA tourney hopes in serious jeopardy.

Mbakwe suffered a knee injury early in the second half against Dayton in the title game of the Old Spice Classic. An MRI on Monday confirmed that Mbakwe tore his ACL, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The loss of Mbakwe likely makes Minnesota a team that won't be playing in the Big Dance this season.

The Gophers still have a terrific coach in Tubby Smith - and some decent pieces. However, Mbakwe averaged a double-double last season, is a relentless rebounder and a guy who finds a way to get things done with his athleticism and determination.

Now it'll be up to Ralph Sampson III, who has struggled thus far this season, to step up his play. Rodney Williams has been a tease and has underachieved thus far in his career. In order for the Gophers to be a tourney team, Sampson and Williams will need to produce. Consistently.

Big man Maurice Walker is slow to recover from his season-ending knee injury he sustained a year ago - and hasn't practiced yet. Colton Iverson transferred out of the program.

The backcourt of sophomore Austin Hollins and freshman Andre Hollins has been solid and Julian Welch has given the Gophers depth.

Just a week ago, these were two programs with realistic aspirations of getting to the NCAA tournament. 

How quickly it can change.

Photo: US Presswire 
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:33 pm
 

Minnesota's Mbkawe injures knee; MRI Monday

By Jeff Goodman

Minnesota star forward Trevor Mbakwe suffered what could potentially be a serious injury to his right knee against Dayton, according to a source close to the situation.

Minnesota spokesman Matt Slieter said that Mbakwe will have an MRI on Monday morning.

"It doesn't look good," the source said. "It could be a torn ACL."

The injury occurred early in the second half of the championship game of the Old Spice Classic when Mbakwe went up for a rebound.

The 6-foot-8 Mbakwe is one of the top rebounders in the country and is a potential All-American. He was averaging 14.8 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 12:13 pm
 

Big Ten Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

Big Ten Offseason Report

Illinois – The Illini will go to Italy from Aug. 10-20 and will play in the Cancun Challenge on Nov. 23-24. Bruce Weber’s team will also play a non-league slate that includes games at Maryland (11-29), vs. Gonzaga (12-3), against UNLV (12-17 in Chicago) at against Missouri (12-22 in St. Louis). Illinois also added Bradley transfer Sam Maniscalco as a one-year transfer who is eligible this season.

Indiana – The Hoosiers added former IU star Calbert Cheaney as the director of basketball operations, replacing Drew Adams (New Mexico). Tom Crean & Co. will play in the Crossroad Classic against Notre Dame on Dec. 17 and the Hoosiers have non-conference games at N.C. State (11-30), vs. Butler (11-27) and against Kentucky (12-10). Bobby Capobianco transferred to Valparaiso.

Iowa – The Hawkeyes will play in the Dale Howard Classic in Des Moines, an event that also includes Creighton, Campbell, Chicago State and N.C. A&T. Fran McCaffrey’s non-league slate includes games against Clemson (11-29), at Northern Iowa (12-6) and at Iowa State (12-9). Cully Payne (Loyola) and Anthony Hubbard both transferred out of the program.

Michigan – The Wolverines will play in the Maui Invitational and also have non-league games at Virginia (11-29), against Iowa State (12-3) and at Arkansas (1-21).

Michigan State – Mark Montgomery left to become the head coach at Northern Illinois and was replaced by Dane Fife, who was previously the head coach at IPFW. The Spartans will play North Carolina in the Carrier Classic in San Diego on Nov. 11 and will also face Duke on Nov. 15 in the Champions Classic. They also have non-league games against Florida State (11-30) and at Gonzaga (12-10). Brandon Wood transferred in from Valparaiso and is eligible to play this season while Garrick Sherman (Notre Dame) and Korie Lucious (Iowa State) both left.

Minnesota – The Golden Gophers will play in the Old Spice Classic down in Orlando and also have non-league games scheduled against Virginia Tech (11-30) and vs. USC (12-3). Dominique Dawson (Kentucky Wesleyan) and Colton Iverson (Colorado State) both transferred out.

Nebraska – Jeremy Cox replaces Tracy Webster on Doc Sadler’s staff. The Cornhuskers will play Wake Forest (11-30) at home, vs. Creighton (12-4) and at TCU (12-10) in the non-conference slate. Eshaunte Jones transferred out of the program while Bo Spencer is eligible this season after coming in a year ago from LSU.

Northwestern – Former Rutgers head coach Fred Hill replaces Mitch Henderson, who got the head job at Princeton, on the staff. The Wildcats will play in the Charleston Classic (11-17/20) and also have a non-league game at Georgia Tech (11-29). Nikola Cerina transferred to TCU.

Ohio State – Assistant Brandon Miller shockingly resigned and was replaced by Cleveland Cavs assistant and alum Chris Jent. Kevin Kuwik also left for an assistant spot at Dayton and the new video coordinator is former Duke point guard and Syracuse quarterback Greg Paulus, who was at Navy last season. The Buckeyes will play in the Global Sports Shootout, an event that includes Florida, Jackson State, North Florida and Wright State. Ohio State will play Florida at home on Nov. 15 and also have non-conference games against Duke (11-29), at Kansas (12-10) and at South Carolina (12-17). BC transfer Evan Ravenel is eligible this season.

Penn State – Pat Chambers brought Brian Daly with him from Boston University, added Eugene Burroughs (Navy), Keith Urgo (Villanova) and also brought Ross Condon as his director of basketball operations. The Nittany Lions will play at Boston College (11-30) and vs. Mississippi (12-4). Taran Buie transferred to Hofstra.

Purdue – Paul Lusk left to take the head job at Missouri State and Mike Jackson was forced to leave after a DUI. They were replaced by Greg Gary (Duquesne) and Micah Shrewsberry (Butler). The Boilermakers will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and also against Butler on Dec. 17 in the Crossroad Classic in Indy. Matt Painter’s team also has non-league games against Miami (11-29) and at Xavier (12-3).

Wisconsin – The Badgers will play in the Chicago Invitational (11-25/26) and also have non-league games at North Carolina (11-30), vs. UNLV (12-10) and vs. Marquette (12-3). Zach Bohannan transferred into the program from Air Force.

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12

Photo: AP
 
 
 
 
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