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The 20th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes handled Marquette 74-63.  The home-team Buckeyes were never really threatened, leading nearly wire-to-wire, last trailing 9-8, by seven at halftime and by as many as 20 in the 2nd half.

Kam Williams led Ohio State in scoring with 15 points, Sam Thompson and Marc Loving each scored 10 points and Amir Williams added 12 points.  It was Shannon Scott who was the offensive star for the victors as he notched eight points and 14 assists.

The Golden Eagles only played eight players on the night and only two of them scored in double figures.  Steve Taylor, Jr. had a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds and BYU transfer Matt Carlino added 1- points.

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In what can only be described as an offensive struggle, #16 San Diego State beat #25 Utah 53-49.  Both teams shot a dismal 32% from the field.  The first half saw Utah take an 18-17 lead after 20 minutes.   The only player to reach double digits in scoring was San Diego State’s J.J. O’Brien who registered 12 points and 11 rebounds.  Dwayne Polee II and Angelo Chol both added eight points in the win.

Utah struggled all night long and star guard Delon Wright scored just seven points on 2-13 shooting and didn’t get on the score sheet until there was 1:22 left to play.  Freshman Jakob Poeltl scored just four points but grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots for Utah.

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The Baylor Bears got 20 points from senior Kenny Chery and 17 from Jonathan Motley to squeak out a 69-65 win over South Carolina.

The Bears did their best to try and give this one away late.  They led 64-54 with four minutes to play, but the scrappy Gamecocks went on a 9-2 to cut the lead to 66-63 with 27 seconds to play but Baylor hit their free throws to come away with the win.

Lester Medford added 12 points and Royce O’Neale netted nine points and seven rebounds to help pace Scott Drew’s Bears.

The South Carolina backcourt of Tyrone Johnson and Sindarius Thornwell combined for 37 of the team’s 65 points.  Michael Carrera and Marcus Stroman added 10 each.  The problem for South Carolina was the rest of the team scored just eight points shooting just 2-12.

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In a game between two mid major programs that you will hear from again Northern Iowa beat Stephen F. Austin 79-77 in overtime.  The game which saw no lead bigger than eight had 23 lead changes and 11 ties also saw the end to the nation’s 2nd longest home winning streak.

The home team held a 37-35 lead at the half and pushed the lead to eight when Demetrius Floyd who had a team-high 20 points made a jumper with 14:50 to play.  At the under 11-minute media timeout the game was tied at 55.  The rest of the game saw 13 lead changes, the last coming when Paul Jesperson made a jumper to give Northern Iowa a 78-77 lead.

Marvin Singleton led five Panthers in double figures with 15.  Deon Mitchell added 14 and Seth Tuttle chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds.  Wes Washpun and freshman Wyatt Lohaus each added 11.

The Lumberjacks had just three players in double figures with Nathan Walkup matching Floyd’s 20 and reigning Southland Conference Player of the Year Jacob Parker had 15 points and 9 rebounds.

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High Point got the lucky draw of being able to travel to Hawaii for the 5am tip off of the tip-off marathon.  One of the country’s hidden talents, High Point forward John Brown did not disappoint leading his team to a 62-54 win.

Brown paced the Panthers with 19 points and six rebounds and Tarique Thompson added 13 and Adam Weary netted 10 in the victory.  It was a good thing too as High Point got just eight points and three rebounds off their bench.

Mike Thomas led the home-standing Rainbow Warriors with 14 points while the rest of his starting cohorts accounted for just another 17 points.  Isaac Fleming was the only other Hawaii player in double figures with 11 and the team shot just 31% and made only three 3-pointers.

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Kevin Pangos scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half as #13 Gonzaga was never really threatened by #22 SMU.  The Zags won 72-56 but the game wasn’t that close as Gonzaga led by as many as 24 in the 2nd half.

Mark Few’s Bulldogs had just three players in double figures with freshman Domantas Sabonis adding 13 points and nine rebounds and Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer adding 10 points.

They held SMU to just 31% shooting and committed just 10 turnovers.

The Mustangs who are looking to build off a trip to the NIT final last season took a hit when All-American guard Emmanuel Mudiay decided to play professionally in China instead of attending school.  Still they were ranked #22 coming into this contest have high hopes for the season.  They were led by sophomore Ben Moore who had 11 points, eight rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in a losing effort.

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The road back to relevancy for college basketball programs can take many turns and twists with peaks and valleys.   Being relevant can also mean different things to different programs but the ultimately relevancy is of course taking part in the NCAA Tournament.  A couple of programs are hoping to take another step back into the consciousness of the college basketball landscape.

Nebraska and Utah both took big steps forward last season.  The Cornhuskers made their first NCAA Tournament since 1998 last season and although they are still looking for Nebraska’s first tournament win coach Tim Miles has the squad that can accomplish that milestone this season.

The junior class will lead the team this season.  Forwards Terran Petteway, Shavon Shields and Walter Pitchford and their 40.2 points and 15.3 rebounds per contest from last season all return.  The Huskers surprised everyone by finishing in 4th place after being picked to finish last.  Another thing that will help Nebraska this season will be the emergence of sophomore guard Tai Webster who hit a bit of a freshman wall last year.

Their non-conference slate should also get Nebraska off on the right foot as their toughest games road tilts with Rhode Island and Florida State and home gates with Creighton and Cincinnati.

Utah hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2009 and hasn’t won a game in the Big Dance since 2005.  In fact last year’s 21-12 record and trip to the NIT where they lost in the first round to St. Mary’s is the first season the Utes were over .500 and saw post-season play  since the 2009 season.

The Utes strength this season will be their depth.  Coach Larry Krystowiak has six solid forwards/centers led by junior Jordan Loveridge who averaged 14.7 points and seven rebounds last season.  Dallin Bachynski and Jeremy Olsen share time at center and freshmen Kyle Kuzma, Brekkott Chapman and junior college transfer Chris Reyes are all expected to contribute in the frontcourt.

In the backcourt the team is led by senior Delon Wright.  Wright averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists last season.  Juniors Dakari Tucker and Brandon Taylor join Wright in the backcourt while sophomore Kenneth Ogbe and freshman Isaiah Wright will add depth.

After eight losses by four points or less last season Krystowiak has set out to challenge his team in the non-conference portion of his schedule.  They play at San Diego State, BYU and Kansas while hosting Wichita State and facing UNLV on a neutral floor in Las Vegas.

Both teams took big steps forward last year.  This season will be the big test as neither Nebraska nor Utah will sneak up on teams in the Big Ten and Pac-12 respectively.  The hope is that by March Lincoln and Salt Lake City will be on their way back to being relevant in the landscape of college hoops again.

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Rashad McCants was a big part of North Carolina National Basketball Title team in 2005, but in an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines he took scam classes.  He didn’t write any papers, and Head Coach Roy Williams knew about not attending classes, plus tutors writing papers.  McCants mentioned in the interview that he had to show up to play, and have to attend class.  Williams and several of McCants teammates have denied it every happened, but this should open a Pandora’s Box.   If North Carolina violated any NCAA rules they should be accountable for their actions.   The NCAA should really take a hard look at the academic policies of North Carolina and make the necessary changes to clean it up.  The problem is that many other universities are doing the same thing by cutting corners academically to keep their star athletes eligible.    By doing that the team continue to be successful and that means more money comes to the university.   However, it compromised the academic standards of the university and call in the questions the legitimacy of their degrees.   They have to clean up the whole system and make a college degree stand for something.


In the 2004-05 College Basketball Season, Rashad McCants would help lead the North Carolina Tar Heels to a National Championship. Now the former basketball star is coming out and saying he took sham courses while at Chapel Hill.

McCant’s statements are the latest in regards to the ongoing academic schedule at the University. In the article from SB Nation, it questions Head Basketball Coach Roy Williams awareness of the the situation

“McCants’ comments detail the “paper-class” system often used by student-athletes at the school, his own academic issues and apparent knowledge of the situation by legendary head coach Roy Williams.” What and where the NCAA will go from here will be remained to be seen. For more on this story go to http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2014/6/6/5785604/rashad-mccants-unc-academic-scandal-sham-classes


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Ohio State had a roller coaster 2013-14 season which ended in a loss to Dayton in the second round of the Ncaa Tournament. Ohio State is now without point guard Aaron Craft who just played his final season of eligibility because he is a senior, Ohio State’s junior shooting guard Laquinton Ross has declared for the Nba Draft, the Buckeyes will lose Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Amedeo Della Valle will leave the buckeyes to play in Europe. These four players are a big piece of the team that needs to be replaced. Thad Matta and the buckeyes have already begun the rebuilding process who has already added a few pieces to the puzzle adding 7’0 Center transfer from Virginia Tech and  Anthony Lee a 6’9 tranfer from Temple University. Five star point guard D’Angelo Russel has commited to Ohio State University and will be key to the Buckeyes success in the future.


The NCAA Basketball title game between Kentucky and Connecticut was a close game.   Connecticut got off to great start, and at one point lead the Wildcats 30 to 15.     Kentucky would cut the deficit 35 to 31 at halftime, but the second half was a different story.    Kentucky would miss too many second half free throws, but Connecticut would make 10 for 10 the whole game.   That would Connecticut a 60 to 54 win, and their fourth national title.

Shabazz Napier, who led the Huskies to this amazing tournament run scored 22 points in the National Title game was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.   This capped an amazing season for the Huskies who barred from last year’s tournament due to academic issues.   They came back in this year’s  tournament as the seventh seed in the East region to win the National Title.  The Connecticut Huskies wound up from going from the dog pound to being the top dogs in Arlington, Texas.


Like Michael Sam came out to his teammates at the University of Missouri in college football.   Derrick Gordon did the same thing at the University of Massachusetts in college basketball.   Gordon who is a sophomore guard had to hide from his teammates from who he really was.   When Gordon came out he became a different person, and started to get calls from people who are struggling to come out of the closet.  Hopefully in the future an athlete coming out will not be a big story.


Tattoos are something to think long and hard over if you are serious about getting one. You have to make sure it does not look dumb, it has a purpose, and is not down and outright ridiculous and silly. In the case of a Kentucky basketball fan, all of those definitely pertain to him. The Kentucky basketball fan got a premature tattoo with the Wildcats logo along with the words “2014 Nati9nal Champions” (the ‘9’ was in place of the letter ‘o’ to represent with what would have been Kentucky’s 9th national championship had they beaten UConn).



     This sums it all up pretty nicely


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College Basketball National Title game is set for Monday night between Kentucky vs. Connecticut. The Huskies surprised the number one Florida Gators. They were led by Shabazz Napier, and played great defense against the Gators. Kentucky had a back and forth game against the Wisconsin Badgers on a Aaron Harrison shot late in the game. Kentucky led by a great freshman class has the chance to win the National Title for the 2nd time in three years.    I expect the game to real close and maybe go down to the wire, but Kentucky has too much talent to be denied the chance to cut down the nets.    Kentucky will win by six points and John Calipari will have 2nd national title as a coach.


When practice started in October there was a lot of talk about how John Calipari was trying to repeat his 2012 success at Kentucky with his 2014 team.  That 2012 team was led by freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones and Marquis Teague and won the national title.  This year’s edition is led by Julius Randle, Andrew and Aaron Harrison and James Young finds itself in the Final Four, but it wasn’t an easy ride.

The Kentucky season has been a roller coaster which seems a little funny to say for a team that is 28-10.  During the pre-season and the non-conference portion of the schedule the hype for the expectations for the team were extremely high after a 13-3 start with the three losses coming at the hands of nationally-ranked Michigan State, Baylor and North Carolina by an average of just 4.6 points.

When SEC play began expectations and excitement for the team was tempered a bit when they were swept by Arkansas and lost to LSU and South Carolina.  Talk then turned to the fact that the 2012 team had veteran leadership in Darius Miller and Doron Lamb that the 2014 team doesn’t have.  Jarrod Paulson is the only upperclassman to be in the top 10 on the team in minutes at just 8.7 minutes per game.  The other nine consists of seven freshmen and just two sophomores in Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress.

After a 61-60 loss to Florida in the SEC title game and defeating three of last season’s Final Four participants, #1 seed and undefeated Wichita State and 2013 title-game combatants Louisville and Michigan the thought that this team could repeat the success of 2012.

The freshmen on this team seem to be gelling at the right time.   Randle, Young and the Harrisons are growing up into more than freshmen right in front of the eyes of the college basketball world.  The growth could be seen in their 75-72 win over Michigan in the Midwest Regional final that saw the Wildcats play seven freshmen, with just Poythress being the only non-first-year player to see the floor.  Big man Cauley-Stein missed the game due to injury but that allowed freshman Marcus Lee to play a season-high 15 minutes (he had played a total of 16 minutes since Feb. 4th) and contribute 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds in the game that saw Aaron Harrison hit a game-winning three pointer with 2.3 seconds to play.

There have been may peaks and valleys in Kentucky’s season.  Just like a roller coaster they are at the peak of a climb and with two more wins they will all be screaming at the top of the lungs as the ride comes to an end.

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The Final Four is set up for this coming weekend in Arlington, Texas and all four teams have traveled a long and winding road.

Connecticut VS Florida   Connecticut are led by Shabazz Napier were able to pull off a few upset especially in the East Regional Final over Michigan State.   Florida has been 30 game winning streak and finished with a perfect regular season  in the SEC.   Connecticut handled the Gators their last loss in December.  I see the Gators getting to the National Title game.

Kentucky VS Wisconsin    The Badgers are a great defensive team and will give the Wildcats fits.    Kentucky has another great recruiting class, but had a lot of difficulty earlier in the season.    They have come on strong during the tournament, and they have a better overall team so the Wildcats will have the rematch with the Florida Gators on Monday night.


Northwestern_WildcatsNow that the National Labor Relation Board approved the Northwestern football team having a union. The university should not challenging the ruling, but should work with the players. The university should help out with the paying for medical coverage, meals, and spending money for the basic necessaries. The NCAA is making 10 Billion dollars from the basketball tournament especially from this weekend Final Four In Arlington, Texas. It would not hurt for colleges for to pay these athletes at least $10,000 as well as the regular scholarship. This is a complicated issue because other athletes in other sports want to get paid, and the Title IX ramification in dealing with female athletes.


Everything these days has a sponsor.  Everywhere you look a logo is plastered somewhere or an event is now called the XYZ Open presented by ABC.  Perhaps this year the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament should be sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters.  There are a plethora of sibling storylines coming out of the second week of the tournament.

The most high profile of these storylines is on the sidelines with brothers Sean and Archie Miller as they take their teams into the Sweet 16.    Sean leads #1 Arizona into Anaheim for a matchup with #4 San Diego State and younger brother Archie heads a somewhat surprising #11 Dayton team into a matchup of double-digit seeds when they face #10 Stanford in Memphis tomorrow.    The elder Miller began his career as a point guard at the University of Pittsburgh in the late 1980s.  He then paid his coaching dues at Wisconsin, Miami (OH), N.C. State as well as his alma mater before moving onto Xavier.  At Xavier he served as an assistant under Thad Matta for three seasons before taking over when Matta left for Ohio State.  Miller was then promoted to head coach where he guided the Musketeers for five years leading them to four NCAA Tournaments and an Elite Eight appearance in 2008.  He then took his current job at Arizona taking over for the legendary Lute Olson.  Now in his 5th year at Arizona Miller has the Wildcats positioned as a national title contender.

Younger brother Archie played collegiately at N.C. State and served as an assistant there as well as at Western Kentucky, Arizona State, Ohio State and under his brother at Arizona before becoming the head man at Dayton in 2011.  In his first season Dayton made the NIT and now Miller has the Flyers in the Sweet 16 since 1983-84 when they made the Elite Eight.

On the floor there are a pair of twin brothers that have found their way to the Sweet 16.  First at UCLA, senior forwards Travis and David Wear will help the Bruins take on #1 Florida in Memphis tomorrow and freshmen Aaron and Andrew Harrison and #8 Kentucky, after defeating previously unbeaten Wichita State will do battle with in-state rival #4 Louisville in Indianapolis on Friday.

The Wear brothers, California natives began their college careers at North Carolina in 2009 before transferring to UCLA after one season.  In their final season the Wears, who are averaging a combined 13.5 points and seven rebounds have finally been able to experience victory in the NCAA Tournament after losing their first game last season.

Aaron Harrison along with twin brother Andrew were considered top recruits  coming out of high school and both ended up at Kentucky  in a star-studded recruiting class.  With such a young team the Wildcats struggled at times to live up to the hype.  They certainly did however in a 78-76 win over #1 Wichita State in one of the best NCAA Tournament games in recent memory.  The Harrison brothers combined for 39 points in the win.  The Pecan Grove, Texas natives have stepped up their play averaging a combined 32 points in the tournament.

The final storyline comes from a player on the court, Dayton’s Devin Oliver and a fan in the stands, his sister Miya.  Miya, who has down syndrome has been Oliver’s biggest fan and he hers.  She can be seen at nearly all Flyer games cheering as loud as she can for her brother.   She says that Devin, who is averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Flyers, has taught her how to play basketball, a sport she competes in for the Special Olympics and Devin says Miya’s passion is so wonderful because it is so genuine.  So as Dayton prepares to take on Stanford in Memphis tomorrow you can bet the UD cheering section will be led by Oliver’s biggest fan.

The bond between siblings will be very prevalent as the Sweet 16 kicks off tomorrow.  Who knows if any of them will make it to Dallas and the Final Four but someone should get Big Brothers Big Sisters on the phone, this has marketing genius written all over it.

Read More at College Hoops Haven


Could VCU’s Shaka Smart be the next head coach at Marquette?  Some think it is likely, which is surprising considering Smart passed on openings at Illinois and UCLA among others.

The Golden Eagles have an opening because long-time coach Buzz Williams left for Virginia Tech.

Reached for comment SID Scott Day declined to comment saying, “we have no comment at this time.”  Read that however you like, perhaps it says a lot.

We have been unable to reach Marquette for comment.

Stay tuned.

Read More at College Hoops Haven

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