Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: January 11, 2012 9:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:53 am
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Podcast: Does CBB not have 25 great players?

By Matt Norlander

There's a grouping of surprising college basketball teams who've yet to feel the swoon of conference play. But are they for real? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman present their cases. They also discuss UConn's Final Four chances, why they'll come together.

There's also the matter of the Mountain West, which I believe is the fourth-best league in hoops, better than the ACC and Pac-12. Goodman and Parrish can't quite go there. It's a longer podcast today, 42 minutes, and at this point you know what you're getting on the Wednesday show: unfiltered bickering mixed in with some smart analysis.

Timesheet:
  • From the beginning: We had to record this Tuesday afternoon because Goodman is travelling to New York today. We started talking the Wooden Award ballots, primarily the bickering behind them.
  • 6:39: Compiling a list of 25 worthy players for this list proved to be tough. Isn't that a bad sign? Parrish equates it to the bubble.
  • 7:40: UConn is going to get it together, meaning they're going to resemble a team most will see making the Final Four, Elite Eight at the worst.
  • 12:51: UNLV landed Khem Birch and damn are the Rebels getting it done immediately with Dave Rice.
  • 16:35: I make the case the Mountain West is the fourth-best league, top to bottom. My superiors scoff in my general direction. Actually, they do more than that.
  • 19:54: The A10 is a jumbled mess -- can it afford to be one?
  • 23:37: Who's for real? There are six teams out there. "I think they're a real basketball team" makes me laugh much more than it should.
  • 32:08: The final 10 minutes ... it's just a bunch of gabbing. Goodman's schedule, Parrish feeling slighted I didn't ask about his schedule, me lamenting the most epic #whitepeopleproblem of all-time, me vs. Bob Huggins.

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 11, 2012 12:20 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 12:34 am
 

Night Court: Paul with the game of the year (?)

Brandon Paul should probably ask the prettiest girl he knows out on a date before his next game, because it's not getting better than this. (AP)
By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday night’s slate of games …

Game of the Night: Baylor-Kansas State. We already wrote on it here, but I'll add this. Kansas State isn't one of the 16 best teams in the country. Winning at K-State is not easy at all -- it's an achievement for any team -- but Baylor's so nice, folks. This was affirming, but nothing to vault them. The Bears play at Kansas Monday night. Then we get the real answers. I don't think we need to adjust the kaleidoscope because of what happened in Manhattan, Kan., tonight.

Win to brag about: Illinois proved once again it’s tough to win on the road in conference against tournament-worthy teams. The 79-74 win was one that speaks to the depth of the Big Ten, a league that’s going to send more teams to the tournament than anyone … maybe. How do you like that for conviction? It should have more teams with higher seeds than any, though. We’ll get to Brandon Paul in a sec, but as for the rest of the team, four guys scored in double figures and went the distance against a thin-benched OSU.

Loss to hide from: C’mon. You know what it is. Louisville put up what will be measured as one of the worst losses of the season when this year’s said and done. A 90-59 sleep job to the Friars in Providence is inexcusable for a Rick Pitino team. Who knows what’s wrong. It’s more than Siva. It’s more than them being tired. This team could have peaked, though. And I still think they make the tournament, but thing is, they’re certainly no sure thing, not with these warning signs.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Borzello asks, “43 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, four blocks. Five-point win over the No. 5 team. Brandon Paul: performance of the season?” And then there's this, from ESPN.com college basketball editor Brett Edgerton, "Paul was also incredibly efficient, becoming the 1st CBB player in the last 15 years to score 43+ on 15 or fewer FG attempts." An incredible performance. The hoop was eight feed wide for Paul -- but he did everything tonight. If he can channel half of what he did tonight on a regular basis, look out for Illinois.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: I put out the feelers on Twitter and the overwhelming response was Peyton Siva. As Louisville goes, so does he? (Notice how I didn’t phrase that the other way around.) Siva fouled out in 19 minutes, score two points -- but only one turnover!

Before we move on, WASHINGTON, YOU'RE THE BANE OF THIS POST'S EXISTENCE. The Huskies actually almost gave the game away, a home game, to three-win Seattle, causing me to sit around like the loser I am, waiting to see if they actually blew it. UW got out of the arena with a 91-83 win. Issues abound. The Huskies are not to be trusted.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 33. This wasn't the worst U of L loss for Pitino's tenure. The Cards fell by 33 to Notre Dame two years ago.
  • 0.  The number of bench points in the Ohio State-Illinois game.
  • 2. Quietly, Harrison Barnes was bad at home against Miami. He made 2 of 12 field goals.

Three other notable results

  1. Virginia Tech is right where it wants to be: behind the ball in the ACC, falling to 0-2 after the 63-59 loss at home to Florida State. Seth Greenberg is in muted despair.
  2. Wichita State pulled off a 65-62 home win against Illinois State, who will be the thorn of the Missouri Valley this year.
  3. Creighton 63, Northern Iowa 60. It’s the type of game that will ultimately ensure Creighton becomes a lock as February comes, and what’s going to make things very hard for UNI, which is now a 2-3 Valley team. A very good 2-3 Valley team, but it’s all uphill now.
  4. This is notable. Fran McCaffrey got vicious with a chair.

Notes

  • They can’t know if it will last, but Notre Dame being 3-1 in the Big East has to feel great for that program right now. Reaching the NCAA tournament is a tall order, but even just getting top eight in the Big East would be an incredible coaching job by Mike Brey. Long way to go, though.
  • Not a good sign that Harvard got a close 70-61 win at 3-13 Monmouth tonight. Convinced the Crimson will get plucked at least once in the Ivy.
  • One that’s easy to overlook: Florida 70, Georgia 48. Now, Florida’s 22 points better than Georgia at home, but it’s how the Gators respond to that awful Tennessee loss from Saturday. Good sign by Donovan’s team.
  • After flirting with the horrifying, San Diego State put on its pants, won 73-65 and kept Chicago State winless. UNLV is next, Saturday.
Posted on: January 8, 2012 10:15 pm
 

Night Court: NFL rightly outshines today's hoops

Don't look now, but Michigan's the best team you don't know enough about. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of games …

Game of the Day: There was no game of the day. Tim Tebow sucked up all the dramatic energy from every other sport and packed it into what was the fastest overtime game in NFL history.

Win to brag about: Penn State’s not as easy to win at as you think. Indiana survived and got out of there with an 88-82 victory. Winning the games it should. Indiana’s on pace for a two or three seed right now, folks. Continues to be astounding. Tom Crean must be blasting a lot of Jon Secada on the way into work these days.

Loss to hide from: Wisconsin’s going to be one of the most tweeted and talked about basketball teams Monday, because the Badgers, although still a treading-water 12-5, lost 59-41 to Michigan, dropping their third straight. They’re a top-two KenPom.com as of tonight, which means my numbers-oriented friend out in Salt Lake has been taking a whooping all day for his system, which has its flaws.

Back to Wisconsin — as a team and regarding this loss. It signals to me a reason (or four) to not trust the Badgers the rest of the way. Even if they end up pulling out a third-place Big Ten finish, or something like that, I think the tendency to molasses themselves into this position will remain out there.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Let’s give some dap to a small-conference player. Siena junior O.D. Anosike had the best game of his college career, scoring 27 and grabbing 14 against Niagara.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Maryland’s Pe’Shon Howard hasn’t become the pick-up-the-slack guy the Terps need him to be. Terrell Stoglin and Alex Len can’t carry this team to respectability in the league this year. Howard was 1-of-8 and scored five points in Maryland’s 79-74 loss to N.C. State.

Numbers don’t lie

  • .78. Ohio State didn’t play today. It played yesterday, but per John Gasaway, the Buckeyes are allowing .78 points per possession in Big Ten play. That’s extremely frustrating for other teams.
  • 9.  Iona’s Scott Machado had nine assists against Marist today, which is lower than his NCAA-best 10.1 per game.
  • 14. The number of teams who scored 60 or fewer points on a slow -- take that both ways -- Sunday. The offense problem continues to invade our sport.

Three other notable results

  1. Purdue made little work of Minnesota, winning at The Barn, 79-66. Big day for Robbie Hummel, who scored 13 and had seven rebounds at the site where he first ripped an ACL two years ago.
  2. Drexel's had its problems. The CAA preseason favorite got to 2-2 by beating VCU -- once coming strong, now fading -- to the tune of 64-58 in Philly tonight.
  3. La Salle’s a 2-0 A10 team. The Explorers defeated UMass, 82-75. And they had foru players in double figures, tallied 21 combined assists and hit 12 treys.

Notes

  • Binghamton is still winless, now 0-15.
  • Per sources, Pitt drop-out Khem Birch will decide UNLV or Florida in the next 24 hours, most likely.
  • Fairfield has had a rough go of it. Goodman mentioned on Twitter that the Stags rank among the biggest disappointments in college hoops this season. He’s right. They’re now 8-8 after falling to much-improved Manhattan.
  • Butler may peter out to a slow death — or not. The 76-65 loss to Detroit today slows the Bulldogs to 9-8 and drops them to 3-2 in the Horizon.
  • The NFL was lame Sunday, refusing to allow fans at a hoops game watch the Giants game in the arena. If I’m Siena, I just do it discreetly.

On tap: Allow me to tease you with this: Beginning tomorrow, Borzello’s going to be putting up a daily post around noon or 1 p.m. that previews all the games upcoming, the ones worth your time and attention. So check that out and develop a habit of swinging by here during the lunch hour — as if that wasn’t already part of your routine.

Posted on: January 6, 2012 8:56 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 9:01 am
 

Wakeup Call: Calhoun docked wins and losses

By Matt Norlander

This is what my friend did to his dog.

Space balls. // Yes, there is no topping this story -- at least until the end of January. // Turns out it's harder for Americans than for Europeans to rise from nothing into something. // Great job, stripes. // Hey, we know this is kind of awkward and all, but come on back home ...

★ I don't know what to make of this. It's a weird read. Not a surprising one ... but you're probably going to want to give it a look.

★ I had no idea Rose Hill Gymnasium is the oldest still in use by a D-I team. I'll be there tomorrow to see if Xavier's season turns to ashes once and for all.

★ And I'll keep all this in mind while seeing if Xavier can get a win it desperately needs.

★ Obviously Jim Calhoun shouldn't be credited wins or losses during his three-game suspension. The clarity was needed because all other times Calhoun's not coached games, he's still earned credit, which is stoopid.

#BIAHroadtrip is underway!

★ I liked seeing a deeper look at how Marquette really lost itself in blowing that game to Georgetown.

★ Agreed -- I think Wroten has a very good chance of winding up with the Pac-12 POY if Washington can get mostly right by the end of January.

★ Because Tom Crean definitely needs more energy during a game.

★ Newsflash: Villanova's awful season is being overshadowed by Pittsburgh's skid.

★ My immediate response to this was: I vehemently disagree. I believe Goodman's working on a story about this. Regardless, we'll have something up about it today.

★ I'm fairly certain this was the first time I was ever mentioned in Luke Winn's Power Rankings. I'm quite honored.

★ It may wind up getting overlooked, but Purdue's loss last night was bad news. I have no idea what's happening in college basketball.

There are signs of erosion with St. John's. Maybe this program won't have the long-term comeback to prominence we were expecting.

★ Most surprising of all? Grambling State won! WHAT! They are terrible. But so is two-win Alabama A&M.

► Sans the tea-pouring, this is how I prep for blogging on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.



♬ The further we move away from Alice in Chains' existence with Layne Staley, the more I appreciate what that band was doing in the early '90s. "Would?" embodies a sound only Chains could exhibit -- yet it got ripped off from 1995-2002 or so. 


Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:56 am
 

Night Court: Hoyas get another impressive win



By
Jeff Borzello

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

Game of the day: Marquette continues to confound everyone. The Golden Eagles dominated Georgetown for the first 27 minutes of the game, taking a 17-point lead with 13:10 left. They then went seven and a half minutes without a field goal, allowing the Hoyas to get back into the game. Hollis Thompson – who beat Alabama earlier this season on a 3-pointer – finally broke a tie with 24 seconds left as Georgetown won, 73-70. Jason Clark scored 18 points in the second half. Marquette has now lost three of five.

Win to brag about: Temple has now defeated a top-10 team in four consecutive seasons, the latest coming against No. 3 Duke on Wednesday night, 78-73. The Owls were extremely efficient from the field, shooting 56 percent from the field, and also outrebounded the Blue Devils. Khalif Wyatt led the way with 22 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers to give Temple a nine-point lead it wouldn’t relinquish. It was Temple’s first win over Duke since 1996.

Loss to hide from: Losing to Illinois isn’t bad in itself, but Northwestern needs to win that kind of game if it hopes to get to the NCAA tournament in March. The Wildcats were up by 10 in the first half, but struggled offensively in the final 20 minutes, falling 57-56. John Shurna had 17 points in the first half for Northwestern, but was held to just three in the second stanza. A Myke Henry free throw with six seconds left won the game for the Illini.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Wichita State avoided a loss at Evansville on Wednesday, carried mostly by 7-foot senior Garrett Stutz. The big man shot 12-for-14 from the floor, finishing with 29 points and 10 rebounds. He also contributed four assists and three blocks. Not surprisingly, he grabbed the game-clinching rebound in the 67-66 victory. On the other side, Colt Ryan went for 31 points.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: The entire Towson team. The Tigers have struggled this season, but Wednesday’s loss at Drexel might have been the low point. They scored just 27 points against the Dragons, the fewest points ever scored in a CAA game. Towson also tied the NCAA record for consecutive losses, at 34. The Tigers made eight baskets all game, shooting 21.6 percent from the field.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 43-3. That’s Kansas’ record against Kansas State in their last 46 meetings. The Jayhawks won the latest meeting, destroying Kansas State on the boards en route to a 67-49 victory. Kansas outrebounded K-State, 50-26. Thomas Robinson had 14 points and 15 boards.
  • 2007. That’s the last time Iowa won back-to-back road games in the Big Ten, which the Hawkeyes accomplished Wednesday night by beating Minnesota. They had defeated Wisconsin over the weekend.
  • 15-0. Murray State remained undefeated by beating Eastern Kentucky, 76-67. The Racers are one win away from matching the school’s best start, which was set in 1935-36.
  • 16-0. This is the second year in a row that Syracuse has opened the season with 16 straight wins. The Orange beat Providence, 87-73. 

Three other notable results:

  1. We’re still waiting for Xavier to snap out of its funk. The Musketeers are now 1-5 since the Crosstown brawl, after losing to La Salle, 80-70. On the other side, the Explorers improved to 11-4 with the victory.
  2. Looks like Georgia State is for real. The Panthers went into VCU on Wednesday and knocked off the Rams, 55-53. Georgia State has won 11 in a row.
  3. Dayton led for only about two minutes in regulation, but outscored Saint Louis 15-8 in overtime en route to a 79-72 win.

Notes:

  • Iowa State held off Texas, 77-71. Longhorns’ point guard J’Covan Brown missed most of the second half with an ankle injury.
  • Cincinnati won its seventh in a row, beating Notre Dame 71-55 in Yancy Gates’ first game back.
  • Saint Joseph’s overcame a 16-point second half deficit to beat Duquesne in overtime, 84-82. T.J. McConnell had 28 points and five assists in the loss.
  • Memphis beat Tennessee for the second time this season, 69-51.
  • Rutgers is now 0-2 since beating Florida. West Virginia scored 51 points in the first half en route to a dominant 85-64 victory.
  • The Missouri Valley is going to be fun. Illinois State went into Missouri State and won, while Northern Iowa beat Indiana State by 17.
  • Bet this is the last time Florida State scores 85 points this year. The Seminoles beat Auburn, 85-56.
  • Remember when Tulane was 9-0? The Green Wave have now lost three of their last five, after falling to UCF.
  • Heck of a day for Philadelphia basketball. Drexel, La Salle, Temple, Penn and Saint Joseph’s all picked up victories.
  • Southern Miss improved to 14-2 with a two-point win over East Carolina. Interestingly, the Golden Eagles never trailed.
  • Delaware’s Jamelle Hagins totaled 21 points and 18 boards in a one-point win over Hofstra.

On tap: It’s not as loaded as Wednesday, but there’s plenty of action. The game of the night is in the Big Ten, as Michigan heads to Indiana. Pittsburgh looks to get back on the right track at DePaul, while Arizona trips to UCLA. Stanford also faces Oregon, while California and Oregon State do battle.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: January 4, 2012 3:10 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 3:11 pm
 

Podcast: Midseason awards; Syracuse is overrated

By Matt Norlander

We're in the throes of conference play now, so the podcast takes this opportunity to share the best and worst of the college hoops season so far. How can Syracuse be overrated? Parrish tells you how. To be clear: this is the opinion of Gary Parrish and Gary Parrish only.

I think this is a top-two or top-three podcast we've recorded. Just a good energy and pace and dialogue. Plus, I can't get enough of the way Parrish says "dribbler." If only I could share with you the things that didn't make the cut. Today's podcast was interrupted by profanity, a mailman and a bad Internet connection. It was also delayed in going to publishing. But we're here, and you should love this one. 

Today:
  • From the beginning: Parrish will be on TV tonight. Goodman will not. Parrish compares himself to Jude Law.
  • 1:52: Michigan State, Wisconsin and that clock controversy that should have never been. We start with Wisconsin. Should we trust them still?
  • 5:22: On Michigan State, a team with 14 straight wins and angling at a No. 2 seed right now.
  • 9:04: A "Falling Down" reference, which means this podcast rules.
  • 9:12: Who's the best point guard in the country right now?
  • 11:49: The Joe Jackson situation which almost became a massive issue at Memphis over the weekend.
  • 17:39: We transition to Jarnell Stokes, who could be playing for Tennessee soon after transferring there. Parrish and Goodman make the case he should wait until next fall.
  • 22:04: Our midseason awards will be up on the blog tomorrow, so we tease each other and basically insult each other's selections at the end of the podcast.

You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.


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Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:30 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 9:35 am
 

Izzo's team displays more mental toughness in win

By Jeff Goodman

It's difficult for Tom Izzo to hide his emotions and thoughts, which is why it was easy to digest that Michigan State's coach wasn't having much fun with his group last season. 

"I slept with both eyes open," Izzo joked following the Spartans win at Wisconsin last night. "Now I only sleep with one open." 

Izzo likes this team. Really likes these guys. 

On paper, it's not an intimidating bunch. If it was, let's face it: One-year Valpo transfer Brandon Wood -- no matter what he did in the Horizon - wouldn't be able to come to East Lansing and immediately move into the starting lineup. 

But these guys -- led by Draymond Green and Keith Appling - have displayed the one trait that's become an Izzo-ism: Toughness. 

Proof?

They have gone into The Kennel in Spokane and The Kohl Center and come away with victories. Sure, the 14-game winning streak that followed a pair of historic losses to start the season is impressive. 

But wins at Gonzaga and on the road against Wisconsin?  The 'Zags are 96-8 at The Kennel and Wisconsin had only lost eight Big Ten home games in the last 11 years.

That's mental toughness. 

"Damn right," Izzo said. 

"This was a big win for us," Izzo added after the controversial ending in which Ryan Evans' apparent 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game into a second overtime was disallowed after the refs determined time had expired. "We weren't great, but we're getting better every game in some aspect." 

Unbelievably, this was Izzo's first career victory against Bo Ryan in Madison. He was 0-for-8 prior to the win. 

"They've had our number," Izzo said. "We lost one in overtime, we were up 12 in another. Our football team lost and we even tried to use that this time. It was our turn. It wasn't pretty, but it was a big one for us." 

Michigan State has Iowa and Northwestern next and that means, barring an upset, the Spartans should have 16 wins by mid-January - which is yet another indication to never, ever discount an Izzo-coached team from the equation. 

"We've won 14 straight and I'm telling you, I don't even feel like we've been great," Izzo said. "I really think this team has a big upside." 

Izzo told me not to give up on this team after the loss to Duke way back on Nov. 15. 

Fifty days have passed -- and Michigan State hasn't lost since. 

Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:16 am
 

Wakeup Call: 'Violence is out of the question'

That was some nice win for Tom Pecora's Fordham club over Harvard. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander

This story is unbelievable. Literally. I do not want to believe it. // Also: simply an incredible story. But this one is mostly good. // The power of thank-you notes. // You hating the new Facebook timeline? Here's how to wipe out your embarassments and all things related to that crazy-but-hot ex you once dated ...

★ I can't explain why, but Bo Ryan's "violence is out of the question" quote from last night is great.

Really liked this from a college hoops writer getting more run, Daniel Martin.

★ It's about two weeks too early for my liking, but who am I kidding? I'll read anything on bubbles at this point. Andy Glockner is your bracket prognostication guru.

★ We linked to Troy Bell's R&B work in December. Searching For Billy Edelin went a step further and got an interview with the man about his music -- and still beating basketball career.

★ Iona's quite good, so it's going to have a number of articles written on it. It's already happened, in fact. Ben Cohen drops in with a quickie profile on Scott Machado, one of my favorite players this season.

★ What myths exist with road games in college basketball? Groupies in most Atlantic 10 cities, for starters.

★ They say the rejected marriage proposal wasn't staged. I'm no cynic, but I can't see how that is all organic.

A deeper look as to why MSU was able to win in Kohl for the first time in a decade.

★ We always appreciate the love. Be sure to follow these guys and gals on Twitter.

★ I really hope this was Stew Morrill's Christmas card.

★ Linked you last week about that Juco program that forfeited its season. The conference is trying to figure out what the heck it's going to do with scheduled games.

★ Some more intel on four-guard lineups in college hoops. Wonder if this will become more of a mild trend in the next few years.

It's been a long time since I pick and rolled ...



♬ If you don't have Beck on your iPod outside of "Loser" and "Where It's At," you're cheating yourself. Also, this song will absolutely be played at my wedding. Listen and have your day get off to a start that can't be brought down.


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