Posted on: March 5, 2011 11:10 am
Edited on: March 5, 2011 11:19 am

Who saw this coming 13 Saturday mornings ago?

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina is a 1-point favorite over Duke tonight, according to That means the Tar Heels are favored to be outright ACC champions, and who could've predicted this in early December?

When we woke up 13 Saturdays ago, Kyrie Irving was healthy, Duke was undefeated and North Carolina had played seven games and lost three of them -- to Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Illinois. So the two rivals were headed in different directions, it seemed. But on the same day (Dec. 4) the Tar Heels recorded their first notable victory (a 75-73 win over Kentucky), Irving suffered a toe injury that's sidelined him ever since.

The Blue Devils have been good subsequently.

But they've never been the same.

Meantime, UNC eventually benched Larry Drew II and inserted Kendall Marshall into the starting lineup, and the Tar Heels got better when Drew quit, which will forever serve as his Carolina legacy. Either way, the result is this: the team (Duke) ranked No. 1 on Dec. 4 is currently tied atop the ACC standings with a team (North Carolina) unranked on Dec. 4, and that unranked team is now a home favorite in tonight's regular-season finale here at the Dean Smith Center.

It's quite the turn of events, clearly.

Tipoff is at 8 ET.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 1:19 pm

WSU's Thompson arrested for marijuana

Washington State star Klay Thompson was arrested late Thursday for possession of marijuana.

He's been suspended for Saturday's game against UCLA.

The Spokesman Review is reporting Thompson -- a junior guard who is averaging 21.4 points per game -- was pulled over near campus because he was driving without a headlight. The Pullman Police Department officer who pulled Thompson over reported smelling the odor of marijuana. Thompson was the driver and sole occupant. Once a search warrant was obtained, officers found 1.95 grams of marijuana in Thompson's car.

Thompson was issued a criminal citation and released.

Washington State is 19-10 overall, 9-8 in the Pac-10.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 3, 2011 7:14 am

Report: BYU suspended Davies for premarital sex

Brandon Davies was suspended from BYU's basketball team for the remainder of the season because he violated the part of the school's honor code provision that prohibits premarital sex, according to a report in The Salt Lake Tribune.

The paper reported that Davies acknowledged the violation to BYU officials Monday.

BYU announced Davies' suspension on Tuesday.

"Everyone makes mistakes in their life," said BYU's Charles Abouo. "We are reaching out and trying to help him get through this."

Davies was averaging 11.1 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds. The No. 3 Cougars lost 82-64 Wednesday night to New Mexico in their first game without Davies. They close the regular season Saturday against Wyoming.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:30 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 10:39 pm

Barnes' play now matching potential

It was more than four months ago when I named Harrison Barnes the preseason National Player of the Year.

I was wrong.

And no matter how this season ends, I'll still be wrong because the National Player of the Year will be Jimmer Fredette. Or Jared Sullinger. Or Nolan Smith. Could be any of those three ... or even JaJuan Johnson, I guess. But it won't be Harrison Barnes, and I came to terms with that a while ago.

But I hope you now at least see why I did it.

Surely, you now see why I did it.

Barnes buried a 3-pointer in the final seconds Wednesday to give No. 13 North Carolina a 72-70 win over Florida State. It was the latest nice moment for a freshman who's had a bunch recently, another big shot for a kid who is finishing as strong as he started slow. Barnes is averaging 17.9 points and 6.4 rebounds during UNC's past 10 games. Wednesday's clutch shot ensured the Tar Heels will have an opportunity to play for an outright ACC championship against Duke on Saturday. But what I found more impressive than the shot was the idea that led to the shot.

It was a straight isolation play at the top of the key.


You know how a coach will give the ball to Kobe Bryant or LeBron James late and just tell him to go make a play and win the game? That's basically what Roy Williams did with Barnes. Williams got Barnes the ball at the top and asked him to win the game, and he did. It was the latest bit of evidence that suggests Williams trusts Barnes immensely, and an undeniable sign that Barnes is blossoming into everything he was supposed to be.

Granted, he still won't be National Player of the Year.

But Most Outstanding Player of next week's ACC tournament suddenly seems like a reasonable goal.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 4:39 pm

Former Michigan State guard transferring to ISU

Former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious is transferring to Iowa State and will continue his college basketball career playing under Fred Hoiberg, a source told on Wednesday.

Tom Izzo dismissed Lucious from Michgian State in late January for what was described as conduct detrimental to the program. Lucious visited Iowa State in February and will now join former teammate Chris Allen -- who left Michigan State in the preseason -- as a member of the Cyclones.

Lucious was averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 assists at the time of his dismissal.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:36 am

KU's Taylor reinstated

Kansas junior Tyshawn Taylor will be in uniform for Wednesday night's game at Allen Fieldhouse against Texas A&M, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

Taylor had been suspended for a "violation of team rules" since Feb. 21. He missed the Jayhawks' past two games -- easy wins over Oklahoma State and Oklahoma -- and was replaced in the starting lineup by Elijiah Johnson, who averaged 10.0 points and 2.0 assists in those two games. Taylor is averaging 8.8 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Kansas is 27-2 and ranked No. 2 in the latest AP poll.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 1, 2011 1:02 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 8:53 am

KSU's turnaround is something to be admired

I got to Kansas City the afternoon of the Kansas State-UNLV game just before Christmas, checked into my hotel, went upstairs, dropped my bag and immediately came back downstairs to grab a late lunch. In the lobby, I ran into KSU coach Frank Martin. Rather than eat, I sat there and talked.

I asked about Jacob Pullen.

About the recent loss at Florida.

About the lack of a leader on this squad.

"We'll be alright," Martin assured me. But it sounded more like a hope than a promise. A few hours later, Pullen and Curtis Kelly were suspended. Then the Wildcats fell to UNLV, started 2-5 in the Big 12 and lost two rotation players (Freddy Asprilla and Wally Judge), at which point KSU's promising season was lost for good because coaches just don't overcome player suspensions, player defections and a bad first two months of the season.

Or at least that's what most thought.

Turns out, most were wrong.

Monday's 75-70 win at No. 7 Texas pushed Kansas State's record to 21-9 overall, 9-6 in the Big 12 -- this after starting the season 14-8 overall, 2-5 in the Big 12. That means the Wildcats have won seven of their past eight and in the process gone from the wrong side of the bubble to safely into any projected NCAA tournament field. It also means this: Frank Martin deserves Big 12 Coach of the Year consideration. No, the Wildcats won't win the Big 12 like they were supposed to win it; they dug a hole too deep. But one way to prove your worth as a coach is to overcome adversity and turn a bad season good midflight, and Martin has spent the past month doing exactly that -- Monday's win at Texas serving as just the most recent example.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 7:53 pm

The Poll Attacks

Alabama got zero votes in last week's Coaches poll. Then the Crimson Tide barely beat Auburn, lost to Ole Miss and ... got six points in the Coaches poll. Not sure how that happens. But it sure does make the Poll Attacks simple.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of

Associated Press poll:
Florida is 22-6 overall, 11-3 in the SEC, ranked 14th in the AP poll, 14th in the Coaches poll and 16th in the Top 25 (and one). The Gators are 4-2 against top-25 RPI schools, 9-2 against top-50 RPI schools, 13-3 against top-100 RPI schools and in possession of a two-game lead in the SEC East.

And yet Izzy Gould from The Birmingham News left them off his AP ballot.

But he's got Kentucky 15th and Vanderbilt 21st.

Which means he ranked two SEC East schools -- and neither of them are SEC East-leading Florida.

Beyond that, he ranked Virginia Tech 24th.

Which means he ranked a Virginia Tech team that's 1-3 against top-25 RPI schools, 2-5 against top-50 RPI schools and 7-5 against top-100 RPI schools, but didn't rank a Florida team that's 4-2 against top-25 RPI schools, 9-2 against top-50 RPI schools and 13-3 against top-100 RPI schools. Needless to say, Izzy was blown away by the Hokies' win over Duke. I mean, really, really, really blown away. Most impressive thing he's ever seen, apparently.

Coaches poll: If the NCAA tournament started today -- and it doesn't, so relax -- Alabama might sneak in as an at-large. Or it might not. The point is that it would be close, and if you're that close to missing the NCAA tournament in late February then you probably shouldn't be getting votes for a Top 25 poll ... especially when you're coming off a loss to Ole Miss.

Still, Alabama got six points in Monday's coaches poll.

And that's not even the strangest part.

The strangest part is that the Crimson Tide got zero points in last week's poll when they were 18-8 overall, 10-2 in the SEC. Then they barely beat Auburn and lost to Ole Miss, and somehow that convinced coaches to vote for them. Strange. Bottom line, Alabama shouldn't have been on anybody's ballot last week or this week, but it's impossible to omit the Crimson Tide last week and add them this week. And by impossible, I mean idiotic and inexplicable.

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