Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Pac-12
Posted on: February 4, 2012 5:05 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 5:28 pm
 

Afternoon Delight: Daytime games don't disappoint

I can't even bite into pudding after seeing Ronald Nored's chipped Chiclet. Butler fell 65-61 to Detroit. (Mocksession.com)

By Matt Norlander

On busier Saturdays and Sundays this season, we’re not going to make you wait until the end of the slate of games to catch up with all that’s happened. Afternoon Delight (3-pointers in flight!) recaps the first five-or-so hours’ worth of action, the perfecta appetizer right before dinnertime.

The best we’ve seen so far:  The Buckeyes got their first win at Kohl since 2000. Thad Matta won in Madison for the first time. It was close. It was quintessential Big Ten basketball, which means I took fadeaway shots with balled-up socks at my living room garbage can to pass the time and make up for lost entertainment. Jared Sullinger’s performance is addressed below. As for Wisconsin, my adoration’s worn off. I still may pick it to win a game in March, but at this point, I’d be happier getting burned and being wrong if they managed to make the second weekend. Team is limited, Jordan Taylor will never get back the level of play he was at last season and UW is all too frustrating to be invested in anymore.

Deserving of a free dinner at the restaurant of their choice: It was the inter-conference game that had the most intrigue. Xavier at Memphis. X led most of the way, bloating its lead in the second half to 10 with six minutes remaining. It looked good and in control. Then, a Memphis run. The Tigers finished the game on a 21-6 run. Memphis looks good now. It needs to avoid getting stupid in C-USA and it will saunter into the tournament. Xavier gets to ride the carousel in the A10 and hope it plays better than 90 percent of the league. No guarantee.  

No soup for youI’d like to go out and thank Georgetown for exposing South Florida. The Hoyas won at home today over USF, 75-45. Few bought into the Bulls, but losing like this will convince everyone that Stan Heath’s team isn’t, and never was, tournament-worthy.  

Afternoon all-stars

  1. Sully went for 24 and 10 and had three steals to boot. Eagerly awaiting what Thomas Robinson does to respond in the marquee game tonight in Columbia.
  2. Who is Pat Connaughton? Seriously. I have no idea. Somebody whip up a profile piece. This freshman had 23 and 11 in Notre Dame’s big win over Marquette.
  3. Jamelle Hagins, who plays for Borzello’s Delaware Blue Hens, had 18 rebounds in a UD W over James Madison.
  4. Vandy might’ve lost, but Jeff Taylor had 25 points, six boards and four steals. He was on his game today. He plays like that going forward, Vandy’s a Sweet 16 team. I swear!
  5. Props to VMI’s Keith Gabriel who, as of this post, has a day-high 32. VMI beat Winthrop 86-79.
  6. Andre Drummond had seven blocks and a filthy alley-oop which is not yet available on the Web.

Other daytime action worth your attention

  1. Florida State is a 7-1 ACC team after defeating Virginia at home, 58-55. Want to emphasize just how good this is for FSU, which is halfway home in conference play and will remain atop the ACC standings with Duke and North Carolina. Virginia falls further behind the pack. The Cavs and Seminoles traded turnovers with each other, but at least the game kept my attention, which isn’t the case with 90 percent of tilts involving ACC teams this year.  
  2. Anyone who tries to make Notre Dame’s 76-59 defeat of Marquette more about the Golden Eagles isn’t giving the right due to Mike Brey, who I’m fairly certain came thisclose to having to start a Gatorade cooler earlier this season. The Fighting Irish are now a 7-3 Big East team with DePaul, Villanova and Rutgers aligned in three of their next four games. My God, the Irish stand a good chance of cracking the field! Anything to keep mock turtlenecks relevant: I’m for it.
  3. Goodman will have more on Vanderbilt falling 73-65 at Florida. I’m guessing he’ll be writing Florida, so let me say something quickly on Vandy: I’M STILL NOT GIVING UP ON YOU. LOOK AT ME. WE CAN MAKE THIS WORK.
  4. UConn’s 69-46, Calhoun coached-less win at home over Seton Hall came as dominantly as the Huskies and their fans could have asked for. But we can’t overreact. Seton Hall didn’t have Herb Pope. And Seton Hall has white guys who can’t shoot. Road tests ahead for the Huskies, and it’s then we’ll find out if the team’s got gumption or not. Beating hobbling roadkill like SHU isn’t going to capture the committee’s attention.

Delightful (and not-so delightful) thoughts

  • Difference between home and road. Jan. 14, Baylor plays Okie State at home, wins 106-65. Saturday, Baylor plays Okie State on road, wins 64-60. And if you’ve got a problem with “Okie State,” just know I’ll never stop writing it that way.
  • Fab Melo scored a career-high 14 points after missing three games due to academic troubles. As a people, we cannot let Melo’s haircut to continue, however.
  • Arizona went into Palo Alto and cleaned up the Cardinal, winning 56-43. It basically means nothing, though.
  • I’ll have something on the A10 tonight or tomorrow—depending on how crazy the evening games get—in how it’s a beautiful disaster of sorts. That was reinforced this afternoon once top-ranked La Salle fell to St. Joe’s, 70-66.
  • I’m thrilled to report I’ll continue to not pay attention to Arkansas, as I was alerted to the fact the Hogs fell on the road again today, losing at lousy LSU, 71-65.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 10:02 am
 

College basketball's January: In photos

By Matt Norlander

Like most of you, I'm a sucker for good photography. For the past couple of years, I've done best-of-the-year photo posts at the end of each season. But I wanted to get more frequent with my appreciation for the faceless photogs that do tremendous work all season long.

These men and women truly have the best seat in all of sports; they're as close to the action without actually taking part in it. This season, just after each month ends, we've been sharing best 40 or so shots from the previous 28, 30 or 31 days. If you'd like to give November and December's best pictures a peek, go ahead.

Now, January's best.

Jeremy Lamb and the impending doom for the rim. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

I'm confused. Does Memphis use two mascots? Or is the tiger in the circle just Wesley Witherspoon messing around? (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Georgia State coach Ron Hunter coaches his fifth annual barefoot game in support of Samaritan's Feet, an organization that provides shoes for underprivileged children in over 62 countries around the world. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Fortunately, the photographer was able to fit every fan attending this Duke game into the shot. This never could have happened in 1994. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Michael Dixon, left, Matt Pressey, center, and Phil Pressey head out to play Texas. Nice shot. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

A cheerleader of the Baylor Bears performs during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Ferrell Center. (Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

Mason Plumlee parachutes back to earth, ready to land on Wake Forest. Seth Curry has already started thinking about how he can turn the ball over. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

An Indiana Hoosiers player is reflected in the floor during player introductions before their game against Nebraska. (Eric Francis/Getty Images)

This is what Nebraskans look like. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Damn, Phil Pressey really knows how to leave a locker room. Play on, player. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The defining image of Thomas Robinson's Kansas career. (Kansas City Star)

Looked so good, we had to show the opposite angle. Should be required wall-decoration for every Kansas freshman for years to come. (Peter G. Aiken/US PRESSWIRE)

Troy's Justin Wright takes a shot over Louisiana Monroe guard Fred Brown. Something about the small gym, the lighting, the peak of the shot. Really like this one. (Thomas Graning/The (Troy) Messenger)

Would you rather have the NCAA breathing down your neck or Jim Calhoun literally doing it? (AP/Fred Beckham). 

Iowa State guard Scott Christopherson, left, just goes with the moment. Chris Allen is ready to share his exuberance with anyone and everyone. Christopherson's look says, Dude, this is great and all, but, Tic-Tac? (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

Navy guard Erin Meador turns her head into a basketball. This feel like art. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Murray State Rrrray-sirs! (The Paducah Sun/John Wright)

Austin Rivers leads a tortured life. (AP/Gerry Broome)

Like flowers being beckoned by the sun, hands rise up and chase the orange. Might be my favorite shot of the month. (AP/Jeffrey Phelps)

The capital G in cursive is truly the most cumbersome letter. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Old man ref advises OD Anosike to get his act together and stop listening to Lady Gaga. (US PRESSWIRE)

Kids at games. The best. (US PRESSWIRE)

Man, I'd love a pair of those shoes. (US PRESSWIRE)

Who says newspapers are dead! Much respect to the guy in front here who's very invested in some piece of piercing journalism.(US PRESSWIRE)

John Henson's dunkface. (US PRESSWIRE)

Remember that time Brandon Paul played out of his mind and then blocked a potential game-winning shot from Jared Sullinger? (US PRESSWIRE)

Akron forward Nikola Cvetinovic forgets something on the way to two points. (Andrew Weber/US PRESSWIRE)

Xavier forward Jeff Robinson demoralizes Duquesne's Kadeem Pantophlet. (Frank Victores/US PRESSWIRE)

That's Davidson's Belk Arena blurred in the background. (US PRESSWIRE)

You could practically push a shopping cart underneath the Purdue cheerleaders. (US PRESSWIRE)

Love The Show out at San Diego State. Legen -- wait for it -- ... dary. (US PRESSWIRE)

Urban Meyer and his Sith lords begin their reign in Columbus, introduce themselves to the hoi polloi. (Greg Bartram/US PRESSWIRE)

Shaka Smart reacts. (US PRESSWIRE)

Santa Barbara Gauchos guard Orlando Johnson is fouled by Long Beach State's Casper Ware. The Big West's two best collide. (Kelvin Kuo/US PRESSWIRE)

Vandy's players give love to their fans after a win. (US PRESSWIRE)

Take the next three minutes to examine the reaction of everyone in this picture. (US PRESSWIRE)

Tom Izzo gets win No. 400, and his players surprise him in the presser. Tom Izzo remains to be among the best. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:00 am
 

Wakeup Call: Boeheim was Coughlin's college RA

First it was the gray/platinum Nike jerseys, now this? Can't wait to see UNC in royal blue. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


Before you click, guess. How many hits does YouTube get on average each day?. // The "It Was a Good Day" mystery/solved mystery doesn't even bother me. The fact someone did the research made my Friday night. // One reason I'm grateful basketball is my favorite sport: it is immune to the physical dangers that will erode/alter the sport in 10, 15, 20 years. // News of Mr. Pitt's passing certainly brought my weekend down. May we all find a perfect pair of socks ...

★ The Ryan Boatright issue was probably the story of the weekend in college basketball. Here's Doyel's take.

★ It was inevitable, and there are millions of words coming down the road in the next week, months, years about this: Division I will eventually fracture between have and have-nots.
 
★ Some terrific insight on Duke's rotation. The five guys who see the floor the most are hurting Duke more than any combination. The plus-minus from an individual standpoint I'm not a believer in, though.

★ Officials are not doing a good job of policing the sport this year.

★ Just the start, Towson, just the start.

★ Now, now, that's not very Mormon-like.

★ I linked to Lost Letterman's "best" college basketball uniforms last week. They subsequently hit me up for their list of the worst.

★ Sometimes really good teams win in really good ways and reaffirm your faith in them. I'd say Ohio State did that Sunday.

★ Ever since the prospect of this was introduced/dawned upon to me about six years ago, I've been gung-ho about it. College hoops would be much better off if it started its season in January.

★ Why was the UConn student section wearing reddish-orange yesterday?

★ Phil Martelli pulled a prank on his team recently. Hold back the jokes, folks.

★ Ooh that’s fancy.

★ We love to give love to the ladies game every now and again.

★ Jim Boeheim was once Tom Coughlin's RA at Syracuse. Boeheim seems like he'd be neither the good or the bad kind of RA. I picture him as the one students nodded their heads to, then went and did what they wanted anyway. In other words: 98 percent of every RA ever.

★ It's never over until it's over, but here's the latest account of how this is a growing pains year for Brad Stevens' Butler team.

★ The Murray State seeding questions continue and will continue to continue so long as Murray State continues to win.

► Western Illinois beat IUPUI at the buzzer Saturday. I love "THE FRESHMAN." Sounds like a couple of WIU students on the mics. Love it, fellas. Great job on the call.



♬ Listening to ALO is like like eating warm bread right before the real meal arrives. Good band to start the day off with. Appropriately, we'll go with Monday today.

Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:52 am
 

Arizona's Parrom latest adversity: done for year

By Jeff Goodman

The past six months have not been kind to Kevin Parrom. 

The latest bout of adversity for the Arizona junior wing came last night, when the school announced he'll miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone is his right foot. 

Parrom was shot in the same leg back in September back home in New York and there was some thought that he would miss the entire season. However, he was even more motivated to return to the court after his mother lost her fight with cancer in October. 

Parrom returned after sitting out the first two games of the season, but he never looked like the player Sean Miller envisioned prior to the injury. He averaged just 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game, down from 7.6 points and 3.4 boards a year ago, prior to suffering the injury late in the first half of Arizona's 69-67 home loss against Washington. 

The school also said that the most recent injury is unrelated to the one suffered back in September. 

Parrom took to twitter after the game and posted the following: 

"I love all u guys thanks 4 all of ya support. Ill be ok. Just like mommy said Just another bump on the road. Ill be back stronger than ever! Just wanna let all the fans know that this season isnt over and we gonna be just fine. Just gotta keep workin harder and learn how to win!  Zona zoo there is no time to feel sorry for me or my injury. I really appreciate all the love and support but we still got to win the pac12!"

Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 11:40 am
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:15 pm
 

The season so far: not what we'd hoped for

North Carolina isn't leading the charge in the ACC. They trail N.C. State currently. Anyone see that coming? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


This is not the superb year of college basketball that we expected.

In some ways I’m getting ahead of myself, because so much of every year is judged by its climax, so without the benefit of knowing what March and the first Monday of April will bring, we can’t say how, as a whole, the 2011-12 season will be perceived. So far it’s been something of a let-down. It’s my fault. It’s the fault of any fan or writer who got romantic over the notion this season could vault itself back to the halcyon ‘80s or mid-‘90s, before the NBA pilfered the premier talent as soon as possible.

We still have most of the same teams at the top of the polls now as were there in November, but the action hasn’t been as good, the sport hasn’t been in the conversation as much as expected — thanks for buckling to the owners’ demands, NBA players — and UNC, Duke, Ohio State, UConn and Baylor have all suffered some swoons. It’s not been a bad season by any stretch, but college basketball, for about the 12th straight year, has failed to create morning-after discussion that enraptures the country. Ironically, or perhaps the very reason why we’re not so enamored with the sport, is the result of most conference races being in flux — more than usual.

Outside of Kentucky in the SEC and maybe Syracuse in the Big East, we lack semblance of what to expect and certainly don't have teams gripping their leagues by the throat. Bad news. The last thing college basketball needs is parity. Tight league races bring great anticipation but just as many questions. Unfortunately, the races aren’t close at the top because so many teams are good; instead, too many squads have proven they know how many ways in which to lose. We’ve got highly ranked teams failing to play bully, so that prevents the mainstream from latching on to a subset of top-level squads who fail transcend the games they play.

Look at the hideous Pac-12, which causes a gag reflex upon any discussion. Cal, Oregon, Washington and Colorado all have two losses. Collectively, it’s among the weakest years for major conferences in the modern era. That’s due in large part to this league. The Pac-12 is on a collision course of playing itself into only one bid, which would be unprecedented and certainly make commissioner Larry Scott consider kicking an Arizona State out of the conference in favor of a group that will actually accomplish something. Perhaps Ron Swanson’s youth team would be willing to make the commitment. Nobody wants to take charge at the kiddie table?

Ohio State should win the Big Ten, but how convinced are you that it will? (US PRESSWIRE)
The Big Ten is the best conference in the country, right? Then why doesn’t it feel elite? It doesn’t ring proudly and dominantly like the Big East has been in recent years. Yet Ohio State, its flagship team this season, is log-jammed with Michigan and Michigan State (all with two losses). Wisconsin and Illinois (a team some believe won’t make the NCAAs) are one game behind in the loss column. Indiana, that great rebirth this season, is just 4-4 in the Big Ten, sharing as many losses as Minnesota, Iowa and Purdue.

The ACC’s got a three-way tie you didn’t expect at all, one that doesn’t include North Carolina, who should ultimately win the league … but who knows. Duke, Florida State and N.C. State are all 4-1 at the moment. Right now, there’s only a two-game difference in the loss column from the top to the 10th team in the standings, 2-3 Boston College.

The Big East is just as clogged from 1 (Syracuse) to 9 (Notre Dame, which ended SU’s undefeated season Saturday), separated by two losses. Below SU in the Big East is a 10-car pileup that won’t be sorted out for weeks. We’re not used to seeing this league be so confused over parity or genuine top-level competition. Thank God the Orange pulled out a nice win at Cincinnati Monday night, lest this column really have a hammer to beat its point into the ground. Even though the Orange is the favorite, there have been questions about how good the team actually is. The fact some don’t think Syracuse looks like a true one seed right now tells you what you need to know about the sport.

Kentucky and Kansas are the only major-conference teams without a blemish at this point. Almost everyone expects Kentucky to win its league. Kansas? Hey, they’ve looked great, but road games at Iowa State, Missouri and Baylor are still upcoming. The Bears, Tigers and Jayhawks are likely to push each other down the track to the final weekend of regular-season play — and then you can expect a different winner from the regular-season champ when the Big 12 tourney finishes. Just feels like one of those years.

The Atlantic 10’s as much of a mess as any league; 12 of the 14 teams are separated by two games. Conference USA is once again a level below, and it’s reinforced by not having Memphis there to prop the league up and offer a team that’s even Sweet 16-worthy. Central Florida, Memphis, Tulsa, Southern Miss and Marshall. Those are five teams who could win C-USA. Another Magic 8-Ball shake of a conference race. This is all exciting to some degree, but when will we see true separation? Without those tiers of teams, upsets in March don’t feel as shocking and the sport in general feels watered down.

When our expectations get altered, and when there are fewer great teams, there is no oomph. College basketball needs four or five really good, really interesting teams to be truly relevant prior to Valentine’s Day. It hasn’t had that so far, and so this year is now beginning to look like most others from the recent past. Get us to March as soon as possible so we can see what this season really has to offer. Just because most conference races are close doesn’t mean they’re interesting, at least not yet.

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 12:22 pm
 

Nike sterilizes college hoops with platinum unis

None of these people currently play college basketball. (Nike)
By Matt Norlander

Syracuse fans' worst nightmares have come true. The team will wear gray uniforms. That's the color of the enemy, Georgetown.

It's not just Syracuse, though. Many teams will be wearing gray -- oh, sorry, PLATINUM -- at some point this season. Nike teamed up with a bunch of universities, primarily because Nike has lot of employees with a lot of time on their hands and is obsessed with this gray/platinum trend way more than it should be. Because of this, nine teams will don these generic, already-out-of-vogue uniforms.

Other schools duped into the marketing ploy include Arizona, UConnDuke, Florida, Kentucky, both the men's and women's North Carolina teams and the Baylor women's hoops squad. Here's the thing -- they're not even that ugly. It'd be one thing if these threads were Oregon's court reincarnated, but they're just ... boring-looking, nondescript from the past half-decade of altering team jerseys up and down the grayscale.

                       [SEE THE COMPLETE SLIDESHOW OF NEW UNIFORMS AT NIKE'S WEBSITE]

The relief comes from the fact these things will not affect player performance. Because players don't much care what they wear, or at least they don't let the colors they don alter their game. As long as fans can restrain themselves from vomiting onto the floor, we should all survive this. Look good, feel good; feel good, play good and all that, but these just look like uniforms that take away from the spirit of the team. They're not playing for Syracuse or UNC or Arizona anymore. They're playing for Nike. Aren't we all. Them or Apple.

There is good news. First of all, the uniforms are apparently great for the environment, having been made up of mostly recycled polyester material, as well as most of Jim Boeheim's old, sweaty dress shirts.

Secondarily, the teams won't be wearing them on the regular. Syracuse will place them on their backs for the most meaningless game of their season: the Feb. 22 home game against South Florida. Kentucky, so fa as we know, is only throwing on the throwfronts for the Jan. 31 game against Tennessee. UConn will give these things a go this Sunday, against Notre Dame.

They'll come and go until the next uniform trend arrives. And when that happens, let's abide by dominant team colors.

(Via Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician)
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:54 am
 

Wakeup Call: 66 days to the Final Four

The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension. (via Greg Shaheen's Twitter account)

By Matt Norlander


Mayor says me "might have tacos" for dinner in support of Latinos. // Players' social-media activity is being tracked. // In the history of American economy, no company made more money in one quarter than Apple did in the wake of Steve Jobs' death. // Arresting images of homeless people. // Where morality flows in your brain ...

★ I try to read everything you see in the Wakeup Call before I link it. I've not yet gotten to Pablo Torre's Herb Pope piece, but I know it's going to be good.

★ The details of San Diego State's hellish trip to Laramie, Wyo., are a headache and a half.

★ Loving your Bottom 10, Eamonn.

★ This Gary Williams tribute on the side of the Comcast Center needs to never get turned off during the night.

★ Goodman's Tuesday catch-all column is mandatory weekly reading, folks.

★ I read the entirety of this blog post on the value of "air" with that awful Chris Brown/Jordin Sparks song in my head the whole time. And it's still on repeat. Blast you, Pomeroy.

★ Brutally honest headline from The Onion. It hurts -- but it's true!

★ When you're Kentucky hoops and you're not slaying pawns nightly, people will being to write things like this. The expectations are that high.

★ An upstart blog called Gotham Hoops passed along a post about Javon McCrea, so I'm happy to oblige them with a link this morning. McCrea's maybe the best mid-major player you know nothing about.

★ The quality work keeps coming from Rob Dauster as he and Troy Machir trek the nation on their #BIAHRoadTrip.

★ Missed this Monday -- Jereme Richmond, the Illinois miscreant, got 18 months' probation.

★ Wyoming boy can fly!

★ I did some legwork on my Gregg Marshall feature from yesterday, so allow me to get incest-like with the linkage here.

► Hey, look, it's UConn assistant Kevin Ollie in a local car commercial.




♬ Do you kind of like Coldplay more than you want to admit but wish there was a similar-sounding band out there five times as good? Elbow is that band.

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