Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:04 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:10 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Voter drops IU after two wins

By Gary Parrish

Tom Crean cost himself an AP vote by beating Michigan State and Purdue.

I know that sounds crazy.

But it's true and the focus of the Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: I've been on this Indiana thing for a few weeks because I don't understand how presumed intelligent reporters could watch basketball and/or look at bodies of work of basketball teams and conclude the Hoosiers didn't deserve to be ranked. I had to jump the 15 voters who didn't rank IU two Mondays ago, and that number dwindled to seven last week. It was better, obviously. But seven voters were still wrong.

Now?

Now only one voter is still wrong.

It's Jason Franchuk from the Provo Daily Herald.

He somehow decided to omit Indiana from his ballot even though the Hoosiers are:
  • 24-7 overall.
  • on a four-game winning streak.
  • the owners of wins over No. 1 Kentucky, No. 7 Ohio State and No. 8 Michigan State.
  • ranked 10th at KenPom.com and 12th at CollegeRPI.com.
  • 8-4 against the Top 50 and 11-5 against the Top 100.

I don't care if you hate Tom Crean, cream and crimson, John Cougar Mellencamp and Norman Dale -- I don't even care if you're a Purdue fan -- there's no reasonable way to keep Indiana off a Top 25 ballot. It stupid. It makes no sense.

But you know what makes less sense?

The fact that Jason had Indiana ranked 22nd last week.

Seriously.

Jason had Indiana ranked 22nd last week. Then he watched Indiana beat Michigan State and Purdue to move from 22-7 to 24-7. Then he dropped the Hoosiers straight off his ballot. I'm just gonna assume that's an oversight. Has to be, right? Otherwise, man, I don't know.

Coaches poll: It's clearly just a coach throwing an off-the-radar program a bone, so I don't really mind it much. Honestly, I don't mind it all. But Montana getting a vote in the coaches poll is a little silly. Yes, the Grizzlies are the Big Sky's regular-season champions, and their 10-game winning streak has moved their record to 23-6. But they're 2-3 against the Top 100 with three losses outside the Top 130, and that's just not a rankable resume. Again, it neither matters much nor bothers me much. But that doesn't make it any less wrong.

Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:35 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: MEAC

Savannah State didn't waste any time making its presence felt in the MEAC. The Tigers went 14-2 in the league and earned the regular-season title, meaning they're the No. 1 seed in this week's tournament and thus the favorite to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Yes, that'll probably lead to an appearance in a play-in game and then, if the Tigers are a lucky, a 30-point loss to a No. 1 seed in the Round of 64. But it would still be a nice accomplshment for Horace Broadnax, the former Georgetown guard now in his seventh season at Savannah State.

Broadnax went 2-28 in his first season.

Now he's a few wins away from the NCAA Tournament.

Savannah State is taking a 13-game winning streak into the event.

In an unrelated note, North Carolina Central's Dominique Sutton is a name below who might register with you. He is indeed that Dominique Sutton -- the one who used to play at Kansas State. He averaged 16.6 points and 7.4 rebounds this season for the Eagles.

****

Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Title game: Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN2

BEST PLAYERS  

  • Tony Gallo (Coppin State)
  • Kyle O'Quinn (Norfolk State)
  • Darrion Pellum (Hampton)
  • Dominique Sutton (North Carolina Central)
  • Jay Threat (Delaware State)

Conference RPI: 30

KenPom.com rating: 30

Sagarin rating: 30

NCAA tournament locks: None

NCAA tournament bubble teams: None

Last NCAA tournament appearances

  • Bethune-Cookman: Never
  • Coppin State: 2008
  • Delaware State: 2005
  • Florida A&M: 2007
  • Hampton: 2011
  • Howard: 1992
  • Maryland-Eastern Shore: Never
  • Morgan State: 2010
  • North Carolina A&T: 1995
  • North Carolina Central
  • Norfolk State: Never
  • Savannah State: Never
  • South Carolina State: 2003
-- Gary Parrish
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:15 pm
 

Updated Top 25 (and one)

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

The Top 25 (and one) will be updated on the college basketball page shortly.

Here's how it will look ...
  1. Kentucky (30-1)
  2. Syracuse (30-1)
  3. North Carolina (27-4)
  4. Kansas (26-5)
  5. Duke (26-5)
  6. Missouri (27-4)
  7. Ohio State (25-6)
  8. Michigan State (24-7)
  9. Marquette (25-6)
  10. Baylor (25-6)
  11. Georgetown (22-7)
  12. Michigan (23-8)
  13. Wisconsin (23-8)
  14. Murray State (30-1)
  15. Indiana (24-7)
  16. Florida State (21-9)
  17. UNLV (25-7)
  18. Notre Dame (21-10)
  19. Wichita State (27-5)
  20. San Diego State (24-6)
  21. Creighton (28-5)
  22. Louisville (22-9)
  23. Florida (22-9)
  24. Iowa State (22-9)
  25. Temple (24-6)
  26. *Saint Mary's (26-5)/Gonzaga (25-5)

* We will let Monday night's WCC Tournament title game decide No. 26.

In this week: Creighton, Saint Mary's/Gonzaga

Out this week: Virginia, Vanderbilt

Click this link to see last week's Top 25 (and one) and compare it to this week's Top 25 (and one).

Posted on: March 4, 2012 6:06 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 6:22 pm
 

Tiny Dancers: Creighton Bluejays

ST. LOUIS -- It would've been a shame to have an NCAA Tournament without Doug McDermott.

Now we know we won't.

Truth is, the Bluejays did enough in the regular season to secure an at-large bid. So nobody was sweating Sunday's MVC Tournament title game. But Creighton earned the league's automatic bid with an 83-79 victory over Illinois State and thus positioned itself to receive the type of seed that should give Greg McDermott's team a real shot to advance in the Field of 68.

The Bluejays are now 28-5 with a Top 25 RPI.

They could get a five seed but will probably get a six or seven.

Either way, the good news is this: Creighton's performance here in St. Louis will allow it to avoid the eight-nine game and, by extension, avoid a game against a No. 1 seed in the Round of 32. So the folks in Omaha can dream big. These Bluejays have the star power (Doug McDermott) and shooting ability (42.6 percent as a team from 3-point range) to cause problems. A Sweet 16 is a reasonable goal, a Final Four is a realistic dream. Sure, they'll need to guard a little better in spots to chase those things. But if you can score in March you can win in March, and there's no denying the Bluejays can score. They have one of the nation's best offenses. When they make shots, they're a tough out.

Player to know -- Doug McDermott. Remember what Steph Curry did for Davidson a few years back? This sophomore forward could do the same for Creighton. McDermott is averaging 23 points and eight rebounds this season, and he had 33 points in the MVC title game. He's a big-time talent at the right kind of school to be a big-time player, and there's no perfect way to guard him at the collegiate level. McDermott can beat you on the perimeter or in the post. He's not just a coach's son. He's a coach's dream (and an opposing coach's nightmare).

The Vitals:
  • Record: 28-5, 14-4 in the MVC
  • Most recent tournament appearance: 2007
  • We’re thinking: Six seed
  • KenPom ranking: 35
  • Sagarin ranking: 25
  • RPI: 23
  • Best wins: Wichita State, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Northwestern
  • Worst losses: Missouri State, Evansville
  • Notable stat: Creighton has an effective field goal percentage of 58.5 percent. That ranks first nationally.
-- Gary Parrish

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:39 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 8:40 pm
 

MVC title game preview: Redbirds stealing a bid?

ST. LOUIS -- I came here to see a championship game between Wichita State and Creighton.

Those are the MVC's two nationally ranked teams.

Those are the MVC's two best teams.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the title game everybody expected to watch Sunday. The 15th-ranked Shockers that handled Illinois State twice during the regular season lost to Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinals. So now it's the Redbirds vs. the 25th-ranked Bluejays for the title here at the Scottrade Center, and if Illinois State pulls one more upset the MVC will be a three-bid league.

"I could not possibly be more proud of these guys," Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich said after Saturday's 65-64 victory. "It was one of the toughest, hardest-fought performances of any team I've ever been around."

Illinois State is 0-2 against Creighton this season.

That should be noted.

But, remember, the Redbirds were 0-2 against Wichita State, too.

-- Gary Parrish
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:19 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 12:25 am
 

Night Court: Sully did work at Northwestern

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

Game of the day: Northwestern didn't need to beat Ohio State to position itself for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, but it sure would've helped. And the Wildcats almost did it. But Jared Sullinger ruined their plans by scoring with 3.1 seconds remaining and lifting the 10th-ranked Buckeyes to a 75-73 victory that prevented OSU from losing consecutive games for the first time this season. Sullinger had 22 points and 18 rebounds, by the way. So let's not give that Big Ten Player of the Year award to Michigan State's Draymond Green just yet.

Win to brag about: The Selection Committee just isn't gonna be able to keep USF out of the NCAA Tournament -- mostly because the Bulls won't stop winning. The latest addition to a constantly improving resume is a 58-51 victory at No. 19 Louisville that should finally put Stan Heath's team in everybody's projected Field of 68. They're now 19-11 overall, 12-5 in the Big East. Their RPI is in the Top 30. They're 3-2 against the Top 50 and 7-3 against the Top 100, and they haven't lost to a currently unranked opponent since Dec. 28. Honestly, I think USF is now in no matter what. Or at least I think the Bulls should now be in no matter what. But I'm not on the committee. So closing the regular season with a victory over West Virginia would be wise.

Loss to hide from: Coastal Carolina entered the Big South Tournament as the No. 2 seed and on an eight-game winning streak against seventh-seeded VMI, which is why the Chanticleers' 85-68 loss to VMI in the quarterfinals was disappointing ... for everybody except VMI and top-seeded UNC-Asheville.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Arnett Moultrie scored five points in the final minute of regulation to force overtime, then helped Mississippi State snap its five-game losing streak in the extra period at South Carolina. The final score was 69-67. Moultrie, an All-American candidate, finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Now the Bulldogs need a victory over Arkansas on Saturday to finish .500 in the SEC.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Terrell Stoglin took 18 shots and missed 14 of them in Maryland's 88-64 loss at No. 6 North Carolina. He shot 22 percent from the field, 25 percent from 3-point range and turned the ball over two times. But I'm OK with all that because the performance ensured North Carolina and Duke will enter the regular-season finale with identical ACC records, meaning Saturday's winner will be the outright league champion, meaning Cameron Indoor Stadium is the place to be this weekend.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 15: That's how many points Colorado State trailed UNLV by at halftime. Still, the Rams managed a 65-59 victory over the 17th-ranked Rebels that probably punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
  • 18: That's the number of points Jarnell Stokes had in Tennessee's 74-69 overtime victory at LSU. The 6-foot-8 forward was 9-of-10 from the field. He added seven rebounds and two steals. Not bad for a kid who's supposed to be a high school senior.
  • 19: That's the number of transition points Cincinnati scored in its 72-61 victory over No. 8 Marquette. According to Marquette coach Buzz Williams, that's the most transition points the Golden Eagles have allowed in four years.
Three other notable results
  1. Temple's 90-88 overtime win over UMass ensured that the 23rd-ranked Owls will be the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The No. 2 seed, if you care, will be Saint Louis.
  2. Belmont's 76-62 victory over Jacksonville kept the Bruins' NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They'll now play either East Tennessee State or North Florida in Friday's semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
  3. Missouri's 78-72 victory over Iowa State represented the seventh-ranked Tigers' 13th win in the Big 12 this season. That's a school-record, and it will forever be a school-record considering Missouri will start playing in the SEC next season.
Notes
  • My colleague Jeff Goodman and I reported Wednesday that Class of 2012 star Shabazz Muhammad's connection to two financial advisers could compromise his amateur status. UCLA, Kansas, UNLV, Duke, USC and Kentucky are among the schools still pursuing Muhammad.
  • Memphis guard Antonio Barton had an MRI on his injured foot early Wednesday that revealed no fracture. The official diagnosis is a bone bruise. According to coach Josh Pastner, Barton will likely miss this weekend's game at Tulsa but be available for next week's Conference USA Tournament. Adonis Thomas is expected to return for the C-USA Tournament, too.
  • Robbie Hummel had the type of Senior Night his career deserved. The Purdue forward -- who twice tore an ACL while in college -- got 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists in an 80-56 win over Penn State. Even the Michigan State athletic director was impressed, proud.
On tap: It's March. So March Madness is officially here -- and the first day of the month gives us top-ranked Kentucky vs. Georgia. Meantime, the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament gets started in St. Louis. That's always a fun event.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 2:54 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: MVC

The Missouri Valley Conference breaks down like this: Wichita State, Creighton ... and everybody else.

The Shockers and Bluejays went a combined 30-6 in the league.

The next five teams in the standings were a combined 45-45.

So anything other than a Sunday showdown between No. 15 Wichita State and No. 25 Creighton will be a surprise. But this event has surprised us before -- most recently last March when Indiana State won the MVC's automatic bid despite going 12-6 in the league and finishing third. That sent regular-season champion Missouri State -- and its former coach, Cuonzo Martin -- to the NIT, and the MVC was a one-bid league. Again. Which was frustrating for Doug Elgin, who is one of the nation's most likable conference commissioners.

Elgin won't have to worry about a similar situation this season.

Wichita State is a lock.

Creighton is, too.

Dough McDermott could be setting up for an epic March. (AP)
So the MVC will place two schools in the NCAA Tournament at worst, and three if somebody besides Wichita State or Creighton spends Sunday cutting nets. Either way, it's all good for this consistently under-valued league. Good coaches. Good fans. Good teams. Good times. There's a reason why I'm traveling to St. Louis this week and it's not to visit the Arch. It's for Arch Madness. Should be fun.

****

TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday in St. Louis

Title game: Sunday

BEST PLAYERS  

  • Doug McDermott, Creighton
  • Joe Ragland, Wichita State
  • Colt Ryan, Evansville
  • Garrett Stutz, Wichita State
  • Kyle Weems, Missouri State

Conference RPI: 8

KenPom.com rating: 8

Sagarin rating: 9

NCAA Tournament Locks: Wichita State, Creighton

NCAA Tournament Bubble Teams: None

Last NCAA Tournament Appearance

  • Bradley: 2006
  • Creighton: 2007
  • Drake: 2008
  • Evansville: 1999
  • Illinois State: 1998
  • Indiana State: 2011
  • Missouri State: 1999
  • Northern Iowa: 2010
  • Southern Illinois: 2007
  • Wichita State: 2008

-- Gary Parrish

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gary Parrish, MVC
 
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:13 am
Edited on: February 28, 2012 9:24 am
 

What-to-know conference previews: Atlantic Sun

Belmont was the Atlantic Sun's overwhelming favorite in the preseason, and the Bruins won the league title by three games. That's good. But they just didn't get enough done in the non-league part of their schedule to ensure an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins lost to Duke, Memphis and Marshall, and they split with Middle Tennessee State to finish 1-3 against the Top 50 and 2-4 against the Top 100.

So they'd better win the Atlantic Sun Tournament that starts Wednesday.

Otherwise, they're likely headed to the NIT.

The only Atlantic Sun schools to beat Belmont this season were USC-Upstate and Lipscomb. Both are on the other side of the bracket here, meaning the Bruins won't deal with either until a presumed title game. Still, Mercer is the No. 2 seed. The Bears are led by Langston Hall, who had 13 points in Saturday's 62-61 loss to Belmont. Put another way, Mercer nearly clipped Belmont three days ago. So while the Bruins are the favorite, they're clearly vulnerable and need Kerron Johnson to play big this week to avoid an upset that'll have Rick Byrd sweating on Selection Sunday.

****

TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Schedule: Feb. 29-March 3
Title game:
Saturday

BEST PLAYERS

  1. Ian Clark, Belmont
  2. Torrey Craig, USC-Upstate
  3. Langston Hall, Mercer
  4. Drew Hanien, Belmont
  5. Kerron Johnson, Belmont

KenPom.com rating: 16

Sagarin rating: 17

NCAA Tournament Locks: None

NCAA Tournament Bubble Teams: Belmont

Last NCAA Tournament Appearances

  • Belmont: 2011
  • Campbell: 1992
  • ETSU: 2010
  • Florida Gulf Coast: Never
  • Jacksonville: 1986
  • Kennesaw State: Never
  • Lipscomb: Never
  • Mercer: 1985
  • North Florida: Never
  • Stetson: Never
  • UC-Upstate: Never

-- Gary Parrish

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
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