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Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:42 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 3:48 pm

The Poll Attacks: Voter drops KU, just because

By Gary Parrish

Associated Press poll: Fletcher Mackel had Kansas ranked fourth last week.

That was a little high at the time, in my opinion.

But whatever.

I could live with it because after Kentucky and Syracuse the next few spots were up for debate, and KU at No. 4 wasn't unreasonable. So I left Fletcher alone and focused my attention on the 15 AP voters who inexplicably left Indiana off their ballots. But now I have to highlight Fletcher because he's confusing the hell out of me. Again, he had Kansas fourth last week. The Jayhawks then won at Texas A&M and beat Missouri to claim at least a share of the Big 12 title, and now Fletcher has Bill Self's team ranked ... seventh?

Yes, seventh.

So this might be the first time in the history of AP voting that a man has dropped a team three spots after a 2-0 week that featured a win over a Top 10 opponent. Fletcher had Kansas ahead of everybody except Kentucky, Syracuse and Missouri last week. Now he's got Kansas behind Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina and Marquette -- meaning Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina and Marquette all jumped the Jayhawks after the Jayhawks' perfect and impressive week. Following tha logic, my guess is that KU will beat Oklahoma State and Texas this week, win the outright Big 12 title and then fall behind Georgetown, Wisconsin and UNLV on Fletcher's ballot next Monday, at which point Fletcher will also drop Thomas Robinson to Third Team All-American because all this playing well and winning isn't really that impressive.

Coaches poll: Mississippi State has lost five straight games and four of them have come to unranked opponents. So of course the Bulldogs are still getting five points in the coaches poll. That makes sense, right?

Listen, I know coaches are busy this time of the year.

I'm busy this time of the year.

But it's not difficult to click on and realize the Bulldogs are now a 10-loss team with seven losses to unranked schools, and it doesn't take much time to click on and see that Rick Stansbury's team has dropped five straight, including a 67-50 decision on Saturday to a nine-loss Alabama team. I'm talking seconds, not minutes. And yet there are still some men somewhere putting Mississippi State on a Top 25 ballot.

Even Mississippi State fans think that's dumb.

Renardo Sidney has punched teammates for things less stupid.

Posted on: February 26, 2012 8:44 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 (28-1)
  2. Syracuse (29-1)
  3. Duke (25-4)
  4. Michigan State (24-5)
  5. North Carolina (25-4)
  6. Kansas (24-5)
  7. Missouri (25-4)
  8. Baylor (24-5)
  9. Marquette (24-5)
  10. Ohio State (23-6)
  11. Georgetown (21-6)
  12. Michigan (21-8)
  13. Wisconsin (21-8)
  14. Murray State (28-1)
  15. Indiana (22-7)
  16. UNLV (24-6)
  17. Wichita State (26-4)
  18. Notre Dame (20-9)
  19. Louisville (22-7)
  20. Virginia (21-7)
  21. Florida (22-7)
  22. Florida State (19-9)
  23. San Diego State (22-6)
  24. Iowa State (21-8)
  25. Temple (22-6)
  26. Vanderbilt (20-9)
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:07 am

Night Court: KU-Mizzou was classic, right?

By Gary Parrish

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

Game of the day: I went to the first Kansas-Missouri game and didn't think it could get better. But I was wrong. Because I spent Saturday watching Kansas overcome a 19-point halftime deficit and record an 87-86 overtime victory at Allen Fieldhouse that gave the Jayhawks a two-game lead in the Big 12 standings with just two games left to play. That means Kansas has clinched at least a share of its eighth consecutive league title. It also means the Jayhawks are in position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament thanks to 28 points and 12 rebounds from Thomas Robinson.

Win to brag about: Syracuse has dealt with questions off the court and on the court. it's been a wild season. And yet the Orange spent Saturday securing a Big East title with a 71-69 victory at Connecticut. They are 16-1 in the league. They only have one regular-season game left. So they are the Big East champions.

Loss to hide from: Florida was never gonna win the SEC title because Kentucky also plays in the SEC, and there's no way to top the Wildcats this season. But John Calipari's team could now win the SEC by at least four games thanks to the Gators' loss at Georgia. To be clear, nobody likes Georgia's Mark Fox more than me. But you cannot be ranked 12th nationally and lose at Georgia by 14 points. Not this season. That's silly.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis looked like the national Player of the Year in top-ranked Kentucky's 83-74 victory over Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-10 freshman finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. He was 10-of-11 from the field. Unreal.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Mike Scott has the numbers of a legitimate ACC Player of the Year candidate, but you have to be big in big spots to win that award. Against North Carolina, he was not. The 6-foot-8 senior was 3-of-13 from the field in Virginia's 54-51 loss to the Tar Heels. He finished with just six points -- more than 11 lower than his average.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 12: That's the number of 3-pointers Oklahoma shot against Baylor. The Sooners missed all 12 of them and lost 70-60.
  • 17: That's the number of 3-pointers Kansas Stat shot against Iowa State. The Wildcats missed 14 of them and lost 65-61.
  • 31: That's the number of 3-pointers Notre Dame shot against St. John's. The Irish missed 27 of them and lost 61-58.
Three other notable results
  1. Purdue pulled into a tie for fourth in the win column of the Big Ten standings with a 75-61 victory at Michigan. Terone Johnson had a career-high 22 points in the win.
  2. New Mexico lost its second straight game since breaking into the national rankings. The Lobos fell 83-64 at TCU. They only shot 23.5 percent from 3-point range.
  3. Wichita State close the regular season with an 81-58 victory over Drake. The win avenged a loss from January and allowed the Shockers to close the regular season with a 16-2 league mark.
  • Maalik Wayns returned for Villanova's game at Georgetown, but I'm not sure he should've. The junior guard took 10 shots, missed nine and finished with just three points in the Wildcats' 67-46 loss to the Hoyas.
  • The Memphis-Marshall game featured a near-brawl but nothing serious. DeAndre Kane fouled Joe Jackson unnecessarily hard. That led to heated emotions. But no punches were thrown. And the Tigers won 87-67. So they'll enter the final week of the regular season with a one-game lead in Conference USA.
On tap: No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 8 Ohio State highlights Sunday's slate of games. Florida State-Miami and Cincinnati-South Florida are also interesting. Whichever team wins the UC-USF game will have 11 Big East victories.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:32 am
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:19 am

Buzz wins at WVU, dances to Country Roads

By Gary Parrish

Marquette coach Buzz Williams suspended three players for the first half, fell behind by 15 points in the second half and yet he still, somehow, figured out a way to escape West Virginia with a 61-60 victory late Friday.

And then he danced.

Right there in the middle of the court.

To "Country Roads."

"I wasn't trying to be disrespectful," Williams told ESPN's Bill Raftery moments later. "I'm very happy and pleased."

As well he should've been because it's not often a coach can teach a lesson and still win a big game, but that's what Williams managed to do at West Virginia. He suspended Darius Johnson-Odom, Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan for the first half -- and Todd Mayo for the second half -- because of a violation of team rules, which left the 10th-ranked Golden Eagles with just six players available for the opening 20 minutes. Predictably, they fell behind by double-digits. But then Jae Crowder (26 points) got going and Johnson-Odom, Blue and Cadougan combined for 23 second-half points to help Marquette erase the deficit and record its school-record 13th Big East victory.

And then Buzz danced.

Right there in the middle of the court.

To "Country Roads."

And it was hilarious ... especially when some West Virginia fans had to be restrained. Things were close to getting wild, which is not something Williams anticipated. He explained his actions afterward by saying he was  just overly excited and dancing in the moment to a song he heard that reminded him of his childhood in Texas. It didn't register with Williams that "Country Roads" is West Virginia's song until the fans were already irate, and Williams told late Friday that he regretted his celebration and how it came off.

"Emotional response and very unprofessional," Williams texted to "I apologized. I was just excited."

Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:23 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:26 pm

Pat Knight won Press Conference of the Year

By Gary Parrish

Stephen F. Austin won at Lamar earlier this week.

The final score was 62-52.

"It was just a bad game," said Lamar senior Mike James, at which point his coach chimed in.

"OK, let's go," Pat Knight said while basically shooing James from the press conference. "You don't have a clue what it takes to win."

And it only got better from there.

Video: Harsh love

"I'm unhappy with these seniors," Knight said. "We've got the worst group of seniors right now that I've ever been associated with. Their mentality is awful. Their attitude is awful. ... To come into a game like this with no emotion, just flat, is terrible. It's unheard of. And I'm not gonna protect them."

And so he didn't.

"We've had problems with these guys on the court, off the court, classroom, drugs, being late for stuff. ... You can't do all that BS and then just expect to be a good team and win games," Knight added. "And if people have a problem with me being harsh about it, I don't care. I came here to clean something up."

Let me be the first to say I don't have a problem with Knight being harsh about it.

I love it.

I mean, I absolutely love it.

I talk to coaches all the time and lots of them hate their teams. They scout like hell, put in good stuff, then watch their idiot players act like idiots and screw things up. It's maddening. But so few ever publicly hold their players accountable. Tom Izzo will do it. Bob Huggins, too. But Pat Knight just took it to a new level, and if he's spent his entire first year at Lamar struggling to get the attention of the players he inherited I'm guessing he finally has their attention now.

So good for him.

I wish more coaches would follow his lead.

This is not the NBA, after all, where coaches are paid to deal with egotistical professionals. This is college basketball. And if we're gonna spend time talking about the so-called father-son relationship that exists between a college coach and a college player, what's wrong with a college coach holding his college players accountable the same way a father might hold his sons accountable?

Nothing, I say.

Pat Knight just made it clear to his players that he's finished covering for them.

I mess up, it's on me.

You mess up, it's on you.

There's a lesson there to be learned.

And I bet his problematic seniors have finally learned it.

"These kids are stealing money being on scholarship with their approach," Knight said. "They need to grow up."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 23, 2012 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 2:07 pm

JUCO star/Memphis recruit dismissed from school

By Gary Parrish

Junior College standout Geron Johnson has been dismissed from Garden City Community College in Kansas after a reported third legal incident in recent weeks, which makes it unlikely the 6-foot-3 guard will ever play at Memphis.

Johnson committed to Memphis earlier this month.

A source close to the Memphis program told on Thursday that Josh Pastner is aware of the development but that the third-year coach hasn't yet spoken with the Garden City staff or Johnson himself. The source added Memphis is still gathering information and that Johnson's future with the Tigers is uncertain, though it should be noted that even if Memphis honored the commitment it's doubtful Johnson could now qualify academically given that he's been removed from classes.

"I wish him the best," said Garden City athletic director Kris Baumann. "Things just did not work out for the young man within our program."

This is the second junior college to dismiss Johnson. The Dayton native was kicked out of Chipola College in Florida after his freshman season of basketball that followed a similarly troubling high school career during which Johnson was mostly ineligible and arrested for burglary. He is, however, an immensely talented prospect, which is why he's been given chance after chance after chance.

"If he qualifies academically I would still take a chance," Tweeted JUCO recruiting analyst Brad Winton. "Call me crazy, but he's that good."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:35 am
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:46 am

Night Court: Temple remained in first in the A-10

By Gary Parrish

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

Game of the night: Temple needed a win at La Salle to remain in first place in the Atlantic 10 standings, and the 22nd-ranked Owls got that win, but just barely, and despite the fact that they blew a 10-point lead with fewer than three minutes remaining. Temple 80, La Salle 79. That was the final score. In overtime. So that's 11 consecutive victories for Fran Dunphy's team. If they can get that streak to 14, they'll be the outright league champions regardless of what happens elsewhere.

Win to brag about: Kansas' 66-58 win at Texas A&M means the No. 4 Jayhawks avoided an upset on the road and ensured they'll take a one-game lead in the Big 12 standings into Saturday's showdown with No. 3 Missouri. It should be noted that Thomas Robinson missed seven of the 10 shots he took and finished with just 10 points against the Aggies. But the bottom line is the bottom line, and the bottom line is that KU is one step closer to an eighth straight league championship.

Loss to hide from: Everybody who has visited South Bend -- except UConn, oddly -- has lost this season, so there's nothing wrong with losing at Notre Dame. But West Virginia's 71-44 loss at Notre Dame was bad because it was more lopsided than an Adele-vs-Anybody matchup at the Grammys, and that it came at a time when the Mountaineers are on the bubble made it even worse. West Virginia has now dropped six of its past eight. Next up is a game against Marquette, which means Bob Huggins needs to figure out how to slow Jae Crowder. Speaking of ...

Player who deserves improper benefits: Jae Crowder took 14 shots, made 11 and finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks in Marquette's 82-65 win over Rutgers. The senior forward is now averaging 17.1 and 7.1 rebounds for a team ranked 12th nationally and tied for second in the Big East. That's probably enough to get him in the Player of the Year Watch on Thursday.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Christian Watford took eight shots and missed eight shots. It didn't matter because Indiana's opponent was North Carolina Central, and the 23rd-ranked Hoosiers didn't need much from anybody to get a 75-56 win over North Carolina Central. But that's still no way for a man to be shooting the ball in late February.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 1: That's how many field goals Draymond Green had in the second half of No. 7 Michigan State's 66-61 victory at Minnesota. The senior forward still finished with 17 points, though. He's scored at least 17 in three straight games.
  • 13: That's how many points No. 2 Syracuse was down to USF at one point in the first half. But, just like top-ranked Kentucky did 24 hours earlier, the Orange rallied and escaped with a win. The final score was 56-48. It gave Syracuse a 2.5-game lead in the Big East standings.
  • 44: That's the number points Nick Barbour made in High Point's 98-60 win over Campbell. By doing so, the senior guard set a school-record for points in a game and points in a career.
Three other notable results
  1. Wichita State's 68-55 win at Illinois State clinched the Missouri Valley Conference outright regular-season title for the 19th-ranked Shockers. So they'll be the No. 1 seed in Arch Madness next week in St. Louis. I'll be one of the writers there watching them.
  2. UTEP's 76-68 double-overtime win over Southern Miss dropped the Golden Eagles to 9-4 in Conference USA. Consequently, Memphis is now alone atop the league standings thanks to its 70-47 victory over East Carolina in which Will Barton got 25 points and eight rebounds.
  3. Iowa State's 72-54 win over Texas Tech gave the Cyclones their 20th victory of the season. This is the first time ISU has won 20 games in a season in eight years.
  • Connecticut announced Wednesday that Jim Calhoun will have surgery on his back and miss at least the next two games, including Saturday's showdown with Syracuse. My colleague Gregg Doyel has another suggestion.
  • My colleague Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday that Temple is close to joining the Big East as an all-sports member in time for the 2012-13 season. The additions of Memphis and Temple don't make up for the losses of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. But there's no denying that they help on the basketball side of things.

On tap: A share of first place in the ACC will be up for grabs Thursday when No. 5 Duke visits No. 15 Florida State. Both schools are 10-2 in the ACC, just one game back of UNC and its 11-2 league record. Elsewhere, No. 14 Murray State is at Tennessee State. That means the Racers have a chance to avenge their only loss of the season.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 12:45 pm

Our ballots for the top 16 teams of all time

John Wooden's 1973 UCLA team, above, and his '68 squad were in the top three of every ballot. (AP)

By Gary Parrish

In March, the CBS Sports Network will air one big show in four parts, on two nights, on the best 16 college basketball teams in history.

They asked me to submit a ballot.

They asked Jeff Borzello, Jeff Goodman and Matt Norlander to do the same.

After a whole lot research and subsequent debate on Twitter, we finally filed our lists. Lots of you asked to see them. We decided to let you. So take a look and tell us what you think. And don't forget the the best team in this sport doesn't always win the national championship because that fact of life is reflected in our ballots. Teams in italics did not win national titles.

Kentucky in 1995-96 was absolutely ridiculous. (AP)
----- Gary Parrish's Ballot -----
  1. 1968 UCLA
  2. 1996 Kentucky
  3. 1973 UCLA
  4. 1982 North Carolina
  5. 1976 Indiana
  6. 2008 Kansas
  7. 2009 North Carolina
  8. 1991 UNLV
  9. 1999 Duke
  10. 1992 Duke
  11. 2005 North Carolina
  12. 2007 Florida
  13. 1956 San Francisco
  14. 1957 North Carolina
  15. 1974 North Carolina State
  16. 2000 Cincinnati

----- Jeff Goodman's Ballot -----

  1. 1968 UCLA
  2. 1973 UCLA
  3. 1976 Indiana
  4. 1956 San Francisco
  5. 1982 North Carolina
  6. 1996 Kentucky
  7. 1992 Duke
  8. 1990 UNLV
  9. 1974 North Carolina State
  10. 1984 Georgetown
  11. 1979 Michigan State
  12. 1960 Ohio State
  13. 1967 UCLA
  14. 2007 Florida
  15. 2005 North Carolina
  16. 2009 North Carolina
The longer we go without a team going buzzer to buzzer without a loss, the better 1975-76 Indiana looks for being the last team to accomplish the feat. (AP)
----- Jeff Borzello's Ballot -----
  1. 1968 UCLA
  2. 1973 UCLA
  3. 1976 Indiana
  4. 1956 San Francisco
  5. 1996 Kentucky
  6. 1972 UCLA
  7. 1991 UNLV
  8. 1982 North Carolina
  9. 1992 Duke
  10. 1974 North Carolina State
  11. 1990 UNLV
  12. 1967 UCLA
  13. 1954 Kentucky
  14. 1957 North Carolina
  15. 1984 Georgetown
  16. 1960 Ohio State

----- Matt Norlander's Ballot -----

  1. 1973 UCLA
  2. 1996 Kentucky
  3. 1968 UCLA
  4. 1976 Indiana
  5. 1982 North Carolina
  6. 1956 San Francisco
  7. 1992 Duke
  8. 2005 North Carolina
  9. 1974 N.C. State
  10. 1957 North Carolina
  11. 1991 UNLV
  12. 2001 Duke
  13. 2007 Florida
  14. 1984 Georgetown
  15. 1999 Duke
  16. 2008 Kansas

CBS Sports Network will be celebrating the 16 greatest college basketball teams of all time in the upcoming, four-part series, "16." Our CBS Sports panel of experts has voted, and on March 19 and 20, you'll be able to see which teams make up our list. You can help us celebrate your favorite team by sending us your tweets -- use the hashtag #CBS16 -- or leave your comments below. Then, look for your content as we'll work to incorporate the best submissions into the series.

You can also chime in on Facebook: Eye on College Basketball or

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or