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Tag:Big 12
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:07 am
 

Big 12 quarterfinals preview

Not much of note went down on the first day of the Big 12 tournament. Texas A&M knocked off Oklahoma and Oklahoma State took care of Texas Tech. 

Now's when it gets interesting. 

Kansas and Texas are the two teams with the most to gain from the tourney. The Jayhawks can wrap up a No. 1 overall seed if they run through the tourney -- as has been the case each of the past two years. 

Rick Barnes' young Longhorns are playing for their NCAA tournament lives, squarely on the bubble and likely needing a victory on Thursday against Transfer U. - Iowa State. 

Teams like Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State are all playing for seeding while Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will attempt to play the role of spoiler. 

Now, let's look at Thursday's games in Kansas City: 

Kansas (1) vs. Texas A&M (9). The Jayhawks have won eight straight Big 12 regular-season titles and the last two conference tourney crowns as well. Bill Self has arguably the nation's top player in Thomas Robinson, but the key for KU is the play of point guard Tyshawn Taylor. Texas A&M has had a rough season with the health issues of its coach, Billy Kennedy, and the injuries to the Aggies top player, Khris Middleton. 

Missouri (2) vs. Oklahoma State (7). The Tigers have exceeded expectations this season under first-year coach Frank Haith, whose taken a veteran group and put them in position to receive a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. These guys have strong guard play -- led by Marcus Denmon and Phil Pressey. Oklahoma State has been disappointing, largely due to injuries and the erratic play of talented freshman Le'Bryan Nash. 

Iowa State (3) vs. Texas (6). This is the most intriguing matchup of the day. Fred Hoiberg has done a terrific job assembling a team loaded with transfers and getting them to click. The Cyclones are led by Royce White, but have lost six straight years in the first round. Texas is down this season due to a lack of size and experience. J'Covan Brown is the star of the team, but he'll need help in order for the Longhorns to pull off the win. Rick Barnes will be without senior big man Alexis Wangmene, who dislocated his wrist in the regular-season finale and is done for the year. 

Baylor (4) vs. Kansas State (5). There aren't many teams who possess more talent than Scott Drew and the Bears. Baylor jumped out of the gates strong, but have struggled in league play -- losing six times. However, four of the setbacks came against Kansas and Missouri. Perry Jones III needs to play with toughness because right now it's Pierre Jackson who is carrying the team, averaging 21.5 points over the past four games. Frank Martin's Wildcats are balanced and have won four of the past five against Baylor. 

-- Jeff Goodman

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 2, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 5:01 pm
 

Is there a three-way POY chase?

By Matt Norlander

No matter who you think should be college basketball's player of the year, if you're a fan of the game, I think it's undeniable: Draymond Green is so, so much fun to watch. When you stop and think about it, isn't he the best big man with the most diverse weaponry in his game to wear a Michigan State jersey since Magic Johnson?

Green is a point forward, essentially. He does things for this team, and has skills at the 1/2/3/4/5 that nobody -- nobody -- in college basketball has. That inherently makes him unique, and I suspect Tom Izzo is thankful for every second he has remaining with Green at his disposal. He's not only reliable, he's impossible to gameplan against because you can take away what he does best, or second-best, or third-best, and he'll still be able to help his team in five or six other ways. It's because of this that he's even in the conversation for Player of the Year.

But should he be? At first reaction, I thought so. Jeff Eisenberg put up a comparison post using traditional, tempo stats on The Dagger Wednesday. It was only between Thomas Robinson and Anthony Davis. "Where's Day-Day?" I asked upon seeing the piece. Chris Vannini, who has spent the past four years covering Michigan State, thought the same. And then I realized I was automatically judging Green's value to Michigan State vs. his ability as a player. Without him, is Michigan State an NCAA tournament team? I question that it is.

That's the ever-lasting argument: value to a team vs. actual ability/talent and achievement that's been displayed in a given year. Without Anthony Davis, Kentucky is still very good. It doesn't make him nearly as valuable to the Wildcats as Green is to Michigan State and Thomas Robinson is to Kansas.

In talking Player of the Year, we're talking the latter part of that debate above. I hope voters are aware of that. It's not a valuable award, it's a talent+achievement award. From that combination's standpoint, unfortunately, Green is not in the same class with the two men who are a virtual length-of-a-nose race for Player of the Year. I'm talking numbers here; from a visual perspective, again, it's a blast to watch Draymond. I think when he scores 29 and his team is still not even sniffing a win against Indiana, that's a double-edged result.

The following data was used compiling as-of-today statistics at Statsheet.com (Player Efficiency Ratings and KenPom.com. And fortunately, all statistics are measured through exactly 30 games for each player. Stats need to be judged against schedule strength too, in my opinion. As a backdrop, here's the KenPom.com overall SOS for each player:

Robinson: No. 3
Green: No. 4
Davis: No. 60



Davis' O Rating is absolutely absurd. And take note that I'm using one grid as a background for all data comparisons, so Davis' lofty PER and block numbers look small here, but in fact are nearly as stupid as his adjusted offensive rating.

Here's how it spreadsheets out. Notice how frequently Green is third in these dozens valuable categoriges. His only advantage is when it comes to passing, wher he is clearly as far ahead in that category as any other player is in any other. He makes teammates better, which speaks more to value than his overall achievement profile, but it's still plenty noteworthy.



Green's had a great, great year so far, but he's going up against an all-time shot-block/freak in Davis and a relentless, superior rebounder and scorer in Robinson. I think, at this point, POY is out of Green's reach, even if he's deserving to be in the conversation. From a numbers standpoint, he's a notch below. It's not his fault. If he put up these numbers last year, against Jimmer, it would actually be a really intriguing race.

No matter. Green's still incredible to watch, just as valuable to his team as Robinson, and more diversified in his game -- even though his ceiling are lower -- than Davis. Michigan State won't get to the Final Four without him, and while any coach would love/marry/kill to have Robinson or Davis on their roster, Green is woven into the fabric of his team's scheme as much as any player in the country.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:00 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 5:27 pm
 

College basketball's February: in photos

By Matt Norlander

Twenty-nine days gone, here are the best images taken from dedicated photogs around the country. Some are from big moments in big games; others are snapshots that you'd never would have known if not for a quick finger and clean lens. I'm continually grateful that news organizations put a premium on covering games with equal parts dedication to the pen as they do the camera. Enjoy this fantastic work.

Previously:

The shot that could ultimately decide who gets the final No. 1 seed. Look carefully behind Seth Curry's right arm. See the girl who can't bear to watch Rivers' shot. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Celebration, from above. It's like a connect-the-dots to a victory charge. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The dots turn into people from the floor view. Andre Dawkins gets to Austin Rivers first. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)

Truman the Tiger pumps up the crowd before the Missouri-Kansas game. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

This monstrous Mike Moser poster is revolutionary, and I hope the NCAA doesn't ban them. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Rapper Flavor Flav and his son Karma Drayton at UNLV-San Diego State game. This is a PHOTO. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Aiden Williams is held by grandfather Roy. I desperately want Roy's jacket. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Rick Pitino whipped out the white suit. Or is that ivory? (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I'm goign to assume this isn't brother and sister. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kammeon Holsey provides the most dramatic moment of Georgia Tech's season. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Bugs Bunny ears are the perfect touch. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Mark Turgeon receives the Whitney Houston news. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Rob Lowe is always watching you, even when he's taking a photo of something else. Unnerving. (Lance King/Getty Images)

UNC cheerleader finds a moment to herself. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Fireworks do their job prior to the Kansas-Missouri game. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Tom Izzo, left, and Mike Eades engage in a conversation that most likely doesn't go anywhere. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Washington State guard Dexter Kernich-Drew is a shy Tyrannosaur. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Frank Martin spots his reflection in the floor and is startled for the first time in his life. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Frank Martin, I'm so sorry. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Connecticut women's head coach Geno Auriemma matches his background. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Illinois basketball.(AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

It is unclear whether Delaware's Elena Delle Donne passed her most recent physical. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A brief disagreement. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Missouri guard Michael Dixon regrets. Kansas celebrates. The rivalry is over. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Arkansas' Ky Madden tries to shoot over Auburn's Adrian Forves (45) and Kenny Gabriel (22). Seemed like a good idea at the time. (AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

Bill Self proclaims victory, wins eighth straight Big 12 regular-season title. (US PRESSWIRE)

Duke's Haley Peters pays for the sins of Gerald Henderson. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Miami's Durand Scott celebrates with fans after Miami defeated Florida State 78-62. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Quincy Miller, right, borrows a camera from Waco Tribune Herald photographer Rod Aydelotte, left. One of my favorite shots of the month. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas forward Alexis Wangmene gets emotional on Senior Night. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Someone get the sewing machine. (Greg M. Cooper/US PRESSWIRE)

Love, love, love this shot of Kenny Boynton being defended by Mardracus Wade. His right ankle is taking all the pressure, while his body remains squarely balanced. The left toe is almost perpendicular to the floor, and the ball and shift is on. A terrific capture of a basketball move and body balance. (Beth Hall/US PRESSWIRE)

It's not often we get to see the sole of a player. (US PRESSWIRE)

Tom Crean has enjoyed life. But not as much as that fellow. (US PRESSWIRE)

Please attend the NCAA tournament. (US PRESSWIRE)

Frank Haith knows this year was unexpected and a special one. (US PRESSWIRE)

Shurna face multiplies. (US PRESSWIRE)

A different view of UCLA basketball. That shot looks like it's going to miss. (US PRESSWIRE)

Jeremy Lamb sees UConn's future inside that basketball. (US PRESSWIRE)

Robbie Hummel on Senior Night. I'd get snarky, but Goodman would threaten me again. (US PRESSWIRE)

Anthony Marshall waits out the rush on the scorer's table after UNLV is defeated at Colorado State. (Ryan Greene)

John Shurna, left, and Drew Crawford react after losing to Ohio State on Senior Night. Will the Wildcats' time, their first time, in the NCAAs come this year? (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Of course, last, here's what's considered college basketball's photo of the year. Jack Blankenship turned himself into a 15-second celebrity with this brilliant idea. (The Birmingham News/Hal Yeager)
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:40 pm
 

Tyshawn Taylor raves about McLemore, Traylor

By Jeff Goodman

Just imagine if this Kansas team had Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor.

Both players were declared ineligible by the NCAA prior to the start of the season, but Jayhawks senior guard Tyshawn Taylor had strong praise for the duo. 

"He's for sure a pro," Taylor said this afternoon on SiriusXM's Inside College Basketball regarding the 6-foot-5 McLemore. "He's got the most upside of any good on the team right now. He's young, is long and is the best athlete in terms of getting off the floor." 

Kansas coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks staff all agree about McLemore, a St. Louis native, and his potential. 

Traylor is a junkyard dog type who would help give the Jayhawks another productive and much-needed body up front. 

"He's like a 6-foot-7 T-Rob," Taylor said while comparing him to KU star Thomas Robinson. "He's strong, real athletic and is a beast from Chicago. He plays hard every possession." 

While both players aren't eligible this season -- and Bill Self is instead forced to use former walk-ons Conner Teahan and Justin Wesley off the bench -- this bodes well for next season once Taylor and Thomas Robinson (in all likelihood) depart. 

The Jayhawks will have more quality depth and more overall pieces with returning starters Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, McLemore and Traylor and a freshman class that includes forward Perry Ellis, wing Andrew White and solid (likely four-year) bigs Landen Lucas and Zach Peters. 

That doesn't sound all that intimidating, but neither did this year's team -- and last I checked the Jayhawks were 25-5, wrapped up the Big 12 regular-season title and are battling for a No. 1 overall seed. 

Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:33 pm
 

It's our bulkiest Tuesday poll yet

By Matt Norlander

We're back again with our weekly Tuesday poll and we want you to click through and let us know who you're picking for this week's marquee games. This is by far and away the most we've ever included in a poll, which means it will take you 20 seconds instead of the normal 13 to decide.

As usual, all of these games will be discussed on Wednesday night's edition of "Courtside with Seth Davis" at 7 p.m. ET. Before or after you vote, I also implore you to 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. That newsleter is fantastic -- send it along to a parent or relative who you think would want that in their mailbox this time of year, too.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:11 am
 

Night Court: Kansas clinches eighth straight

In a "rebuilding" year, Bill Self led Kansas to its eighth straight Big 12 title. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games … in a different format than usual to accommodate the less-than-stellar slate.

Eight in a row: Heading into the season, not many people had Kansas winning the Big 12. In what may have been Bill Self’s best coaching job, though, the Jayhawks got better as the season went on and clinched the Big 12 regular-season title with a win at Oklahoma State on Monday night. It’s not a vintage Kansas team, it doesn’t have a lot of depth or a ton of offensive options – but Self has the Jayhawks in contention for a No. 1 seed. Unbelievable stuff.

Georgetown under the radar?: It’s tough for a top-12 team to fly under the radar this late in the season, but if anyone fits that description right now, it could be Georgetown. The Hoyas just throttled Notre Dame on Monday night, locking the Irish down defensively and making plays at both ends of the floor. Because Georgetown has had some hiccups this season – double-digit losses to Seton Hall and Pittsburgh – the Hoyas might not get the attention they deserve.

Notre Dame needs to find its shot: The Fighting Irish are not the 3-point heavy team they’ve been in the past, but still, they’re not playing well right now. They shot just 4-of-31 from deep against St. John’s over the weekend and they didn’t do much better on Monday, knocking down just 3-of-17 from behind the arc. Throw in the fact that Jack Cooley only had two points, and Notre Dame simply did not look dangerous.

Everything Baylor: I know it was only Texas Tech, but when Baylor plays like it did on Monday night, the Bears are still a pretty tough team to beat. Perry Jones and 15 points and 10 rebounds in only 27 minutes, while Anthony Jones, Quincy Acy and A.J. Walton also scored in double-figures in the 77-48 win. Turnovers were still a problem, but it was a reminder that Baylor – despite its weaknesses – still has a ton of talent.

17-0: Mississippi Valley State improved to 17-0 in the SWAC with its win over Jackson State on Monday night, led by Kevin Burwell’s 30 points. The Delta Devils can finish the regular-season unbeaten if they beat Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Thursday.

MEAC race heats up: Savannah State stayed atop the standings with its win over North Carolina A&T, but Norfolk State remained only one game up after beating Florida A&M on the road. Delaware State dropped a one-point game at home to Morgan State, putting the Hornets out of the hunt.

March Madness comes early: The month of March technically doesn’t start until Thursday, but conference tournaments kicked off tonight in the Big South. VMI and High Point both advanced, meaning Radford and Gardner-Webb are both headed home.

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 2:40 pm
 

Frank Haith is not talking about Miami

Haith's having an incredible year at Mizzou, but the Miami questions could still haunt him. (AP)

By Matt Norlander


The bubbling undercurrent to Missouri's amazing 25-4 season has been the fact Frank Haith was hired away from Miami before Yahoo Sports dropped five thousand proximity mines on the campus with its exhaustively and impressively thorough reporting last summer. Haith was not exactly portrayed as a coach with his program on the up and up in that report, but he's been able to douse the fire on his Miami reputation with the job's he's done in Missouri. Not that those two things are or should be separate issues.

The NCAA continues to sift into Haith's Hurricane tenure, as all parties were mum on the issue for most of this season. The NCAA continues to work on the mammoth case; we don't know when all sorts of verdicts on the football and basketball program will come down. But with Sunday's news that Reggie Johnson was suspended for illegal travel benefits provided by former Miami coaches, it meant Haith had to be asked about his time at Miami again. He's not going there, folks.

“We're doing some great things here at Missouri, and we're cooperating with the NCAA fully,” said Haith ... “And I'll just be glad when this thing's over with.”

In a news release issued Sunday before Miami's game with Florida State, Miami said:

After the game, current Miami coach Jim Larranaga told reporters: “It's my understanding Reggie and his family didn't do anything wrong. They didn't know of any impermissible benefit. It was somebody else that did that. Reggie's already paid a dear price, missing this game.”

...

Asked his thoughts about Johnson's situation, Haith said, “It's just disappointing. Reggie is a wonderful young man, and you hate to see anyone have their career delayed.” He added, “It's tough. I feel bad for him and his family, and I know he'll get through it, though.”

Haith has denied the allegations from the get-go, obviously. This travel benefit for Johnson would stem from Haith's tenure, to be clear. It now gets lumped into the allegation that former Miami booster, who is currently sitting in jail, Nevin Shapiro, knew Haith was complicit in a $10,000 payment to Miami recruit DeQuan Jones, who is a member of the team now.

Miami hopes to get Johnson reinstated as swiftly as possible; the team's NCAA tournament hopes could hinge on it. Haith hopes he doesn't have to answer one more question about Miami for the rest of his life. One seems much more likely than the other.

Posted on: February 25, 2012 6:45 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 9:08 pm
 

Kansas pulls remarkable comeback in Border War

By Jeff Goodman

LAWRENCE, Kan. - If this was it, the Border War sure went out in style. 

Kansas overcame a 19-point deficit and came back to beat Missouri, 87-86, in overtime, in one of the most thrilling regular-season contests college basketball has witnessed this season. 

The hype and the atmosphere for this one was off the charts. Both teams entered the game ranked in the top five in the country and there's no love lost between the two programs. Mizzou is headed to the SEC next season and there has been no shortage of speculation that these two will end the series that has spanned since 1907 and through 267 matchups. 

Game No. 267 ranks up there with the best of them. 

Tyshawn Taylor, who has been maligned through much of his four-year career in Lawrence, sank a pair of free throws with 8.3 seconds left in overtime to give Kansas a 87-86 lead. Missouri was unable to get a shot off on its final possession. 

It was Kansas' 90th victory at Allen Fieldhouse in its last 91 games.  

This wasn't just any ordinary victory for Bill Self and the Jayhawks. It was a victory against a rival -- and also extended the streak of claiming at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title to eight consecutive years.  It was also revenge as Kansas blew a eight-point lead in Columbia a few weeks ago. 

With the Tigers losing at home against Kansas State this past week and Saturday against KU, the Jayhawks now sit two games in front of Missouri with two regular-season games left. 

Kansas will just need a win at Oklahoma State or a home win against Texas in order to win the Big 12 outright. 

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