Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:02 am

Podcast: Burning down the house

By Matt Norlander

The hump day pod has the normal dynamic duo of Parrish and Goodman on again, but this one's different from others in that, we're not as jump-to-different-topic-minded. The discussion is very conversational, and we sort of get to stretch out on a few big, mainstream points in hoops right now.

Goodman did this from the terminal of an airport, but fortunately the intercom system doesn't interject too much. He also did this on about 13 hours of sleep in four days. Trooper, that guy.

Speaking of troopers, the police -- well, just get to listening to the podcast to find out.

  • From the beginning: Watch out. You might get what you're after ... Gary's house almost burned down. So that's going to take a few minutes.
  • 8:25: Baylor-Kansas, though we're 36 hours removed, gets first dibs on hoops topics. This is an elongated discussion that goes a few different places. "I'm not sold on this Baylor team being a Final Four-caliber team," Goodman says.
  • 20:22: Thought we discussed UNC plenty on the Monday podcast with Borzello, Goodman in particular wanted his chance to address everything regarding "soft" North Carolina right now. Again, we hit a number of tentacles on this beast.
  • 31:41: The conversation shift to Syracuse, who deserves some of our time, no doubt. We get into them. I think they're going to the Final Four, barring something pretty shocking. My confidence is that high.

Continued thanks from me to you for keep coming back and listening. Please: spread the word. Hoops season is ramping up, and I'd love more hate mail. Spread this page and the iTunes subscription link to anyone you'd think would like this sort of think. We post three times per week, with the Wednesday show being a low-rent sitcom wannabe of a half hour, thanks to CBSSports.com national writers Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman Skyping in their opinions. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:02 am
Edited on: January 17, 2012 10:50 am

Wakeup Call: Here's to you, Mr. Robinson

Yes, this photo, via KUGameday, will absolutely be in the best-of January post. Get that framed, Mr. Robinson.
By Matt Norlander

This is an enrapturing first-hand account of a woman who friended her rapist on Facebook. // Surprised it didn't come to this five years ago. Burger King will soon deliver to your home. // Costa Concordia cruiseline shipwreck photos seem fake. Of course, sadly, they are not. // I have just discovered Texts From Bennett. It is a day-maker. // It's 19-year-old Kanye, rapping ...

★ Here's Goodman's column from last night in Lawrence.

★ This flew by my radar but I think it’s important. The NCAA is supporting a freeze extending the length of the basketball season, which is need. In reality, teams should probably be playing no more than 28 games before conference-tournament play begins.

★ And coaches will get the summer school/practice-with-players rule they wanted. As they should have.

★ UNC fans won't like this. Historically, when UNC loses by more than 20 points in a season, NCAA tournament success does not follow.

★ But Roy Williams has masterfully kept the conversation going about getting his players prematurely off the court. Players except the walk-ons, whom he apologized to.

★ In terms of where they are from, not where they play, here are the best players from each state. This is cool!

★ Borzello’s in the background of this video. That's all I got. Insanity workouts don't look like they've kicked in yet, BROSKI.

★ Robert Parrish, you're out.

Seth Davis' Hoop Thoughts is my basketball equivalent to running three miles. I just feel so damn worthwhile after I finish.

★ Our fantasy sports platform appears to be quite a game-changer.

★ Which team lost its leading scorer for the rest of the year yesterday?

★ Crazy to think, fair to ask -- will Louisville make the NCAAs?

More perspective on Jim Boeheim tying Adolph Rupp in all-time wins.

► Came upon this video early yesterday, then a few folks went out and made some posts on the background to it. Check out the story.

♬ It snowed outside my apartment last night. This is one of many tunes that remind me of falling flakes: Modest Mouse's "Bankrupt on Selling."

Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:43 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 11:54 pm

Kansas to be taken seriously after Baylor win

By Jeff Goodman

LAWRENCE, Kansas -- There were those prepared to anoint Baylor as a national championship contender if Scott Drew's Bears could remain undefeated with a victory at Phog Allen. 

This was the ultimate test for a team that had beaten Kansas State in Manhattan and waltzed into Lawrence with a 18-0 mark. Instead, it was Bill Self's Kansas squad, one that was basically written off as a Final Four contender after a loss to Davidson down the road in Kansas City, that showed it may have a shot to do something come March. 

Self has, at the moment, the nation's top player in Thomas Robinson. Unlike earlier in the season when he forced the issue and attempted to do too much in a loss to Kentucky, the 6-foot-9 sophomore was spectacular against a Baylor frontline that is as deep and talented as any that doesn't reside in Lexington, Ky.

But the difference on Monday night was the play of senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor. 

Taylor has been an enigma throughout his entire career, but he was fearless in Monday night's 92-74 victory, knocking down clutch 3-pointers and also attacking the Bears big men with determination. 

Robinson finished with 27. Taylor did him one better, scoring 28 points, while three other Jayhawks -- Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson -- all finished in double-figures. 

There's no shame in losing at Phog Allen. It's a brutal place to play, right there with Cameron and Rupp. It happens to just about everyone -- and fourth-ranked Baylor became the latest victim. 

However, the concern with the Bears is toughness - or lack thereof. And Drew's team didn't show itself all that well in that regard. Kansas imposed its will on Baylor, dominating the Bears on the glass and scoring virtually at will on a porous defense. Perry Jones III, along with most of his teammates, pulled a disappearing act after the first 15 minutes of the game. 

Baylor has fallen and now just two unbeaten teams remain: Syracuse and Murray State. 

Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:29 am

Which program boasts most NBA players?

By Matt Norlander

OK, so take your guess. Which college program do you think has the most representation at the NBA level right now?

What jumps to mind? North Carolina’s superb lineage? You know Ben Howland had all those pros at UCLA in the past seven years. What about UConn? It’s always got a few future millionaires wearing its threads for a year or two.

The answer’s actually …

Duke: just plain more athletic and more talented than anyone else. (US PRESSWIRE)

Duke. It’s ironic at face value, since the joke’s always been something to do with Duke’s players always being so great at the college level and amounting to nothing beyond that. But Duke’s been consistently getting guys into the Association.

You want to know how Mike Krzyzewski’s really keeping his program at the top? Well, winning that 2010 title helps, but just as importantly, he can walk into any recruit's home, flash those four rings, and also proclaim he’s putting more guys into the NBA than John Calipari, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bill Donovan and Jim Calhoun. Most wouldn't think that was the case. Until I came upon this information, I would've maybe put Duke in the top five; certainly not atop the list.

According to rosters listed on the NBA official website as of the season-openers on Christmas Day, here’s who is sending the most players to David Stern's empire.

1. Duke, 17
2. UCLA, 15
    Kentucky, 15
4. Texas, 13
    Connecticut, 13
6. North Carolina, 12
    Kansas, 12
8. Arizona, 10
    Florida, 10

Credit for this information goes to the Arizona sports information department, which sent me a notice that this was the 12th straight season the NBA’s employed at least eight former Arizona players.  As for conference play? Yeah, let's throw out some more ammo for the ACC honks, who can rightfully proclaim their league brings in the most elite talent -- by a wide margin.

1. Atlantic Coast, 62
2. Pac-12, 53
3. Big East, 49
4. Southeastern, 45
5. Big 12, 40
6. Big Ten, 25

Some think these facts mean little, but that's not the case. Here's how it boils. What's a coach's job? Win games. How do you win games? You get the best players possible. How do you do that? What are the best players thinking about? When it's not their next meal or girls, they're daydreaming about playing in the NBA. And at the heart of it all, a coach who puts players into the NBA dangles the biggest carrot in the garden.

The names on that list aren't surprising, and they're not going to change. Winning titles doesn't go hand in hand with elite talent, but keeping your program at the forefront of college basketball does.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 2:12 pm

Tuesday polls: Not just for New Hampshire

By Matt Norlander

Today is quite the big day for you to cast your vote. No, I'm not talking about the New Hampshire primary (though the political geek in me is anxious to steal some viewing of that tonight while navigating a very nice Super Tuesday lineup). If you missed the debut last week, through the end of the season, we'll be letting you have your voice represented on TV. We've got this weekly poll with a spread of games.

So get to clicking and sharing the word.

You can see the results of this week's voting on "Courtside with Seth Davis" (Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network). This is the second installment. We thank you again for making the time to swing by our abode every day. Let's hear it.

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: December 10, 2011 10:48 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 9:47 am

Night Court: Brawl, upsets and no Sully

By Jeff Goodman

(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBB on Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)

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

Game of the day: Indiana blew a 10-point second-half lead and it looked as though top-ranked Kentucky was going to escape with a victory in Bloomington -- until Hoosiers talented forward Christian Watford drilled a 3-pointer as time expired to give IU its biggest win in the Tom Crean Era. This one was riveting from the get-go and could wind up being a defining victory for a program that has worked its way out of the gutter. 

Game of the Day for all the wrong reasons: The latest edition of the Crosstown Shootout was unforgettable. Xavier exacted a measure of revenge on the court with a 23-point drubbing over Cincinnati, but it was the fracas that ended the game with nine seconds left that made this one a lasting memory. It began with trash-talking between Xavier's Tu Holloway and Ge'Lawn Guyn, but included several haymakers - one delivered by Bearcats senior Yancy Gates to fellow heavyweight Kenny Frease that left the Musketeers big man with blood gushing under his eye. This ugly scene completed overshadowed a terrific showing by a Xavier team that is currently ranked eighth in the nation. 

Win to brag about: Phil Martelli and his St. Joe's program have struggled the last couple years, winning a total of 22 times the last two seasons. It had been nearly three years since the Hawks had knocked off a Top 25 team, but St. Joe's handed an undefeated and ranked Creighton team its first loss of the season on Saturday. Junior guard Carl Jones scored 29 points in the 80-71 victory. 

Loss to hide from: Tennessee didn't just blow an 11-point lead, but they did it against an Austin Peay team that began the season with nine consecutive losses. The Vols, under new coach Cuonzo Martin, fell to 3-5 overall after watching Austin Peay score the final eight points of the game at Thompson-Boling Arena. 

Player who deserves improper benefits: Tyshawn Taylor - Kansas' senior guard, playing with a torn MCL that will require surgery on Sunday that is expected to put him on the shelf for the next couple weeks, logged 35 minutes, finished with nine points and 13 assists in the Jayhawks win over Ohio State. Sure, the Buckeyes didn't have Jared Sullinger. However, it doesn't take away from the gutsy effort put forth by Taylor. 

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Terrence Jones - He's still an enigma and yet another exhibit of how he hasn't yet changed came against Indiana when he finished with just four points and one rebound - and sat on the bench for the final minutes of the loss to the Hoosiers. One day Jones can look like the best player in America - and the next he can appear lazy and disinterested. 

Numbers don’t lie:

500: That's the number of career victories that Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus has after his Billikens defeated Illinois-Springfield, 72-62. 

1-0: That's UCLA's record in the post-Reeves Nelson Era. The Bruins defeated Penn, 77-73. Lazeric Jones scored 21 points in the win. 

38%: That's Mason Plumlee's free throw percentage after going 2-for-11 from the charity stripe in Duke's win over Washington.

43: That's how many points IUPUI's Alex Young put up tonight in a 84-76 win over Western Kentucky. The 6-foot-6 wing's previous career-high was 32.  

0: That was the number of field goal attempts Wisconsin All-American candidate Jordan Taylor made in 10 attempts. The Badgers somehow still managed to beat UNLV, 62-51. 

21 & 19: That was the final line for Delaware junior big man Jamelle Hagins on Saturday

Six Other notable results:

North Carolina edged Long Beach State, 84-78, in Chapel Hill. John Henson had 24 points and 10 boards, Harrison Barnes finished with 20 points and Kendall Marshall dished out 16 assists. Casper Ware had 29 for Long Beach State. 

Butler fell to 4-6 after losing to Ball State in Muncie. Khyle Marshall had 21 for the Bulldogs, but no one else for Brad Stevens' team was in double-figures. 

Syracuse had no issues with George Washington as the Orange rolled to a 85-50 victory, meaning that Jim Boeheim - in the midst of all the off-the-court issues involving his former assistant coach Bernie Fine - will likely assume the No. 1 spot when the polls are released on Monday. 

Kansas got a much-needed win over Ohio State in Lawrence, 78-67. The Jayhawks needed it because the Jared Sullinger (back spasms) wasn't on the court for Thad Matta's team. 

Temple, despite being without starting big man Micheal Eric, got the better of Villanova in a Big 5 matchup. Ramone Moore exploded for 32 for the Owls (6-2). Jay Wright's team fell to 5-4. 

Michigan State, led by 34 points from Draymond Green, got an impressive road win at the Kennel against Gonzaga.  


Ohio State's Player of the Year candidate Jared Sullinger sat out the game at Kansas and a much-anticipated matchup with Jayhawks big man Thomas Robinson due to back spasms. 

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor played in the win against Ohio State with a torn MCL. Taylor is set to have surgery on Sunday and is expected to miss a couple weeks. 

Arizona freshman guard Josiah Turner returned from a one-game suspension and played 17 minutes in a win over Clemson. Turner had six points, six rebounds, five turnovers and one assist. 

Marcus Jordan, Michael's son, was suspended for Central Florida's two-point win over Bethune-Cookman. 

Ohio point guard D.J. Cooper finished with a triple-double (14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds) in a win at Portland late Saturday night.  

Northern Arizona defeated Cal State Bakersfield in the Lumberjacks first game following the sudden resignation of coach Mike Adras. Dave Brown, 70, took the reigns on an interim basis. 

Texas A&M's top scorer, Khris Middleton, returned after missing the last seven games with a knee injury and finished with 24 points.  

On tap: 

It's a fairly lackluster Sunday. Here are the top three games: 

1) Murray State at Memphis, 6 p.m. ET - The Racers have one of the nation's underrated point guards in Isaiah Canaan and could pull off the upset. 

2) Iona at Marshall, 2:30 p.m. ET - Two of the nation's top mid-major teams this season. 

3) Detroit at Alabama, 6 p.m. ET - Ray McCallum Jr., (aka Little Ray) goes up against an athletic Crimson Tide squad that will likely fall out of the Top 25 after a loss earlier this week. 

Photo: AP

Posted on: December 10, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 7:18 pm

Nice win for KU ... but it needs context

By Gary Parrish

The weekend's marquee game became something less Saturday when college basketball fans learned the CBSSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year would not participate because of back spasms. You wanted to see Jared Sullinger vs. Thomas Robinson. I wanted to see Jared Sullinger vs. Thomas Robinson. Instead we got Evan Ravenel vs. Thomason Robinson. And, with all due respect to Ohio State's backup big, that's just not the same.

So 14th-ranked Kansas beat No. 2 Ohio State 78-67.

Consequently, the Buckeyes have been eliminated from the group of undefeated schools.

But what does it really mean?

Honestly, nothing.

It doesn't mean Ohio State isn't the team that beat No. 12 Florida early and routed No. 7 Duke two weeks ago, and it doesn't mean we should reconsider what we think we know about the Buckeyes. They're still awesome. They're still the best team in the Big Ten. They just need their dominant big to, you know, get healthy, and that will presumably happen in time. Then OSU will get back to pounding people. I promise.

As for Kansas, again, good win.

Seriously, it was nice.

But I do sort of feel bad for the Jayhawks because they were in a bit of a no-win situation once it was clear Sullinger wouldn't play. Win and who cares? Lose and it's a bad loss at Allen Fieldhouse. Knowing Bill Self, I'm confident he wanted Sullinger on the court, confident he wanted to see Thad Matta's team at its best. But it didn't happen. So it is what it is. And what it is is a double-digit victory for a KU team that entered the season with lots of question marks but is slowly erasing them one by one.

Photo: AP

Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:28 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 5:33 am

Sullinger feeling better, dancing

By Gary Parrish

Breathe a sigh of relief, NBA scouts.

Looks like we're gonna get that Jared Sullinger vs. Thomas Robinson matchup after all.

"[Sullinger] just told me he feels great," said Ohio State coach Thad Matta. "He said he feels a lot better. He said he woke up dancing this morning."

That's good news for the second-ranked Buckeyes considering Sullinger missed last weekend's win against Texas Pan-American with back spasms. Consequently, the 6-foot-9 All-American had been unofficially listed as questionable for Saturday's game at No. 13 Kansas. But questionable has now turned to probable, meaning the most likely scenario has the two prospects ranked first and second in the CBSSports.com National Player of the Year Watch banging bodies on Saturday inside Allen Fieldhouse.

Sullinger is averaging 19.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

Robinson is averaging 17.4 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.

Both are projected lottery picks for next June's NBA Draft.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com