Tag:Gary Parrish
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:44 am
Edited on: March 9, 2012 10:10 am

Source: Weber out at Illinois

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

Illinois informed Bruce Weber early Friday that he will not continue to coach its men's basketball program, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The news was first reported by the Champaign News-Gazette's Paul Klee.

Weber had a record of 210-101 while at Illinois. He made the championship game of the NCAA tournament in 2005 but failed to get the Illini to the NCAA tournament in two of his final three seasons. The Illini were 17-15 overall, 6-12 in the Big Ten this season. They lost to Iowa in Thursday's first round of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

VCU's Shaka Smart is expected to top Illinois' wish-list of candidates.

Duke assistant Chris Collins, an Illinois native, could also be a possibility.

Weber probably won't be out of coaching long unless he chooses to be. Sources have told CBSSports.com that he'll likely be a target to replace Chris Lowery at Southern Illinois. Weber coached SIU for five seasons before replacing Bill Self at Illinois in 2003.
Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:22 am

SEC quarterfinals preview

The Kentucky Invitational continues Friday in New Orleans where we've got the top eight seeds all playing ... except for Mississippi State, which might've ruined its hopes of making the NCAA tournament with its loss to Georgia in the first round. The Bulldogs went from being ranked to losing six of their final eight games. That's not good. It should definitely cost State a spot in the Field of 68. Now the question is whether Rick Stansbury can make it to 2012-13?

My guess?

Yes, he'll survive.

But he'll enter 2012-13 on the hot seat.

Anyway ...

Let's look at Friday's matchups.

Kentucky (1) vs. LSU (8): Congratulations, LSU. You just beat Arkansas to advance to the SEC quarterfinals. Now you get Kentucky. So ... congrats on making it to the SEC quarterfinals.

Florida (4) vs. Alabama (5): This is the SEC tournament's only game of the day between two teams assured of a trip to the NCAA tournament. So the stakes aren't that high. But it's also Billy Donovan against Anthony Grant, his former assistant. And nobody wants to lose a quarterfinal game to their old assistant, do they?

Tennessee (2) vs. Ole Miss (7): Ole Miss advanced to the SEC quarterfinals with a 68-54 victory over Auburn. (I hope Varez Ward had Ole Miss minus the points.) Now we get a matchup between two bubble teams. The loser can plan for the NIT. The winner remains alive for the NCAA tournament. This is one of Friday's most important games.

Vanderbilt (3) vs. Georgia (11): Vanderbilt beat Georgia twice this season by an average of 10 points. So there's no reason to think the Commodores won't win this and advance to Saturday's semifinals. But the Commodores have suprised us before, haven't they?
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gary Parrish, SEC
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:37 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 10:46 pm

Big Ten quarterfinals preview

The higher-seeded teams all won in the Big Ten tournament on Thursday ... except Northwestern.

What a stupid loss for a bunch of smart kids.

The Wildcats' 75-68 loss to Minnesota ended any realistic hopes they had of making the NCAA tournament. So that's one storyline we won't deal with on Selection Sunday. That's good, I guess.

Let's look at Friday's matchups in the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan State (1) vs. Iowa (8): The good news is that Tom Izzo won't have to end Bruce Weber's Big Ten career. The bad news is that Fran McCaffery almost certainly did courtesy of Iowa's 64-61 victory over Illinois in Thursday's first round. So now we get Michigan State vs. Iowa. The Spartans beat the Hawkeyes by 34 points in the only meeting between the two schools this season. This game shouldn't be that lopsided. But Michigan State should still win easily.

Wisconsin (4) vs. Indiana (5): Tom Crean has experienced enough injuries in his tenure at Indiana to know when things are good or bad, so when he said Verdell Jones' knee injury was "not good" after Thursday's win over Penn State it was safe to assume Jones wouldn't play in Friday's quarterfinals, and that he probably won't play in the NCAA tournament, either. That's too bad. The senior deserved to finish his career the right way. Now he'll likely finish it on crutches. Either way, this Wisconsin-Indiana game will be fun. Wisconsin won the season's only meeting by single digits at the Kohl Center. Take that for what it's worth.

Michigan (2) vs. Minnesota (10): Tubby Smith ensured Northwestern will remain the nation's only power-conference school to never make the NCAA tournament by dealing the Wildcats a loss in Thursday's first round. Now excuse me while I talk to Northwestern. (Really, Northwestern? College basketball fans -- and analysts -- seemed OK with putting you in the Field of 68 despite your 1-10 record against the Top 50, and then you went out and lost to Minnesota, which isn't even a Top 50 team. Shame on you, Wildcats. I can't even look at you right now.)

Ohio State (3) vs. Purdue (6): The Boilermakers played Ohio State tough in Columbus during the regular season despite the fact that Robbie Hummel missed nine of the 13 shots he took. So if the senior star is better Friday ...
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:09 am
Edited on: March 9, 2012 10:29 am
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Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:33 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 12:47 am

What-to-know conference previews: Big Ten

They played 18 league games and couldn't settle it.

So let's settle it in Indianapolis.

The Big Ten Tournament starts there Thursday -- Will the city be over Peyton Manning by then? -- with four games that do not feature one of the three co-champions -- namely Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. The Buckeyes' victory at Michigan State on Sunday created the three-way tie for first. It also probably cost the Spartans a shot at a No. 1 seed, but they'll still get a two seed as long as they don't do something stupid in Indianapolis (like lose Friday to Illinois or Iowa).

What about Wisconsin and Indiana?

It honestly won't surprise me if either wins this event because both are legitimate Top 20 teams, too. That's why Friday's quarterfinals should be great and Saturday's semifinals greater. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Thursday's first-round games provide some nice storylines, too.


Iowa (8) vs. Illinois (9): Each time I talk to somebody in basketball they ask me who's gonna get the Illinois job, which suggests nobody thinks Bruce Weber will coach in the Big Ten next season. And that's too bad. Weber is a good coach and a good man. But he stayed in one place too long, and now he's on his way out. He might beat Iowa on Thursday but he won't beat Michigan State on Friday.

Indiana (5) vs. Penn State (12): Indiana started the regular season as a borderline NCAA Tournament team and ended the regular season as a No. 4 seed, according to my colleague Jerry Palm. So that's a good season. It'll get better when the Hoosiers handle Penn State on Thursday. It'll get a lot better if the Hoosiers handle Wisconsin on Friday.

Northwestern (7) vs. Minnesota (10): A win here might be enough for Northwestern to secure its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. So win here, Northwestern. Just win here and make everybody (outside of Minnesota) happy. Tubby's been to enough NCAA Tournaments. It's your time, Wildcats. Don't screw this up.

Purdue (6) vs. Nebraska (11): The Boilermakers are in a strange spot. They could win this game and probably get off the 8-9 line for the NCAA Tournament or lose this game and definitely get off the 8-9 line for the NCAA Tournament. So what should they do? They should try to win, obviously. But a loss wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. An eight seed or a nine seed would be the worst thing in the world. That's all I'm saying.

-- By Gary Parrish
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:56 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 10:08 pm

What-to-know conference previews: SEC

So who's gonna finish second to Kentucky in New Orleans?

That's an obvious question to ask heading into the SEC Tournament.

It's probably also a reasonable question to ask about the NCAA Tournament.

Because the Wildcats are the overwhelming favorite in the SEC Tournament and will be most people's pick to win the NCAA Tournament, too. They're talented and dominant and generally great. They've only lost once all season and that was on a buzzer-beater at Indiana. They ran through the SEC in a way that impressed even Nick Saban. If no SEC team could beat them in 16 tries during the regular season, why would any SEC team do it here?

Answer: No SEC team will.

So who's finishing second to Kentucky in New Orleans?

I'll go with Vanderbilt.

Despite what the tournament seedings and national rankings suggest, the Commodores are, in my opinion, the SEC's second best team. They just don't play like it all the time, which is a problem. But that's another issue for another day. For now, let's just focus on the event's first-round games. Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida earned byes to the quarterfinals. The other eight schools start play Thursday.


LSU (8) vs. Arkansas (9): There was a time when nobody could beat Arkansas at Arkansas, but that time ended just after Valentine's Day. That's when Florida destroyed the Razorbacks at Bud Walton. Then Alabama handled them there. Then Ole Miss handled them there, too. Suddenly, the Razorbacks were no longer considered a bubble team. They looked more like a ninth-seed in a 12-team league, which is exactly what they turned into. If they beat LSU on Thursday, they'll play Kentucky on Friday. So I'm not sure winning Thursday is wise.

Alabama (5) vs. South Carolina (12): The Crimson Tide were on the verge of falling apart when several players were suspended, including Tony Mitchell, who was ultimately dismissed. But Anthony Grant held things together, the Crimson Tide closed the regular season by winning four of their final five games, and they're now (I presume) safely in the NCAA Tournament. Meantime, South Carolina is on a five-game losing streak. So barring a surprise, Grant will spend Friday coaching against Florida while Darrin Horn spends Friday dreading a meeting with his athletic director.

Ole Miss (7) vs. Auburn (10): Proof that the bubble is super soft is that Jerry Palm has Ole Miss just on the wrong side of it despite the fact that the Rebels are 1-6 against the Top 50 and 7-11 against the Top 100. To be clear, they probably need to beat Auburn on Thursday, Tennessee on Friday and Vanderbilt, Mississippi State or Georgia on Saturday to be seriously considered for an at-large bid. But Andy Kennedy's team has a shot. That's the point I'm trying to make.

Mississippi State (6) vs. Georgia (11): Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs are in most bracket projections right now, but just barely. In other words, they'd better not lose to Georgia on Thursday because if they do they won't play Vanderbilt on Friday ... or in the NCAA Tournament at all.

-- Gary Parrish
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gary Parrish, SEC
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:45 am

Two UK Wildcats headline Wooden Award finalists

By Gary Parrish

The 15 finalists for the Wooden Award were announced Tuesday.

They are:
  • Isaiah Canaan (Murray State)
  • Jae Crowder (Marquette)
  • Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
  • Marcus Denmon (Missouri)
  • Draymond Green (Michigan State)
  • Kevin Jones (West Virginia)
  • Kris Joseph (Syracuse)
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
  • Damian Lillard (Weber State)
  • Scott Machado (Iona)
  • Doug McDermott (Creighton)
  • Austin Rivers (Duke)
  • Thomas Robinson (Kansas)
  • Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)
  • Tyler Zeller (North Carolina)
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:25 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 11:19 am

What-to-know conference previews: WAC

Mark Fox was the coach and Nick Fazekas the star last time Nevada was positioned to make the NCAA Tournament.

Now Fox is at Georgia and Fazekas is playing professionally in the Philippines.

But Nevada -- with a different coach and different star -- is back.

The Wolfpack finished the regular season with a 25-5 record and won the WAC title by three games. They've only lost twice since Nov. 25. They only lost one league game -- to Idaho in early February. And yet, still, Nevada probably needs to win the WAC Tournament to ensure a spot in the NCAA Tournament because David Carter's team is 0-3 against the Top 50 with an RPI in the 40s. That's not awful, but it's not great either. So the Wolfpack would be wise to win three games in Las Vegas, cut nets and relax. Anything short of that could make for a stressful Selection Sunday.

New Mexico State is the No. 2 seed this week.

Nevada beat the Aggies twice this season by an average of six points.



Schedule: Wednesday through Saturday in Las Vegas

Title game: Saturday at noon ET


  • Deonte Burton (Nevada)
  • Olek Czyz (Nevada)
  • Vander Joaquim (Hawaii)
  • Preston Medlin (Utah State)
  • Wendell McKines (New Mexico State)

Conference RPI: 12

KenPom.com rating: 12

Sagarin rating: 13

NCAA tournament locks: None

NCAA tournament bubble teams: Nevada

Last NCAA tournament appearances

  • Utah State: 2011
  • Boise State: 2008
  • Idaho: 1990
  • New Mexico State: 2010
  • Hawaii: 2002
  • Nevada: 2007
  • Fresno State: 2001
  • San Jose State: 1996
-- Gary Parrish
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gary Parrish, WAC
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com