Tag:Michigan
Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:19 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 11:41 pm
 

OSU probably cost itself a one seed with loss

Trey Burke takes it to the rim against Aaron Craft, something he did often Saturday night. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Matt Norlander

The good news for Ohio State is, the NCAA tournament isn't played on the road. The bad: they're not likely to be a one seed when they enter the Big Bracket.

OSU fell to 22-5 Saturday night -- all five of those scratches coming in road games -- when Columbus-bred superstar Michigan freshman Trey Burke cataylzed a 56-51 Buckeyes knock-off in Ann Arbor thanks to a couple of ridiculously tough floating layups in the final minute. Michigan's ascendance and Burke's superb year is another story for another time, perhaps even a post for tomorrow. What a nice home win for them tonight, one that should cement Michigan, at worst, as a five seed.

Ohio State's stumble is the bigger story, though. There's plenty of flux around college basketball's soft bubble right now. Teams like Southern Miss, Illinois, Connecticut, Mississippi State and North Carolina State are giving away games like flowers at a funeral. It's bad over there, but uncertainty abounds elsewhere, too.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ohio State's gotten wobbly on the one line. It's behind Michigan State now, clearly, and Kansas, UNC and Duke (in that order) are starting to cluster with the Buckeyes. Where they fall in the S-curve is a discussion we're better off waiting for until the end of Sunday's games, but in no way does OSU look like or deserve a one seed as of tonight. Additionally, OSU's 10-4 record and head-to-head loss against the Spartans (rematch coming on March 4 season finale -- in East Lansing) means Tom Izzo's team can take command of the conference if it can win at 17-9 Purdue on Sunday.

Ohio State never had the lead against Michigan, so it goes without saying -- yet here I am, saying it -- that the Buckeyes lacked a dominant look Saturday night. It's something that's been evident with this team ever since I wrote this. Many writers are quick to link back to work that makes them look good. Me? I'm an idiot, as many a commenter on this site has attested to. That link there is the latest example, as a reminder. Though I will follow that up by saying I hedged my bet in the post by stating OSU had to have wins over MSU and Michigan to remain in UK's class. Obviously, the test was failed and Kentucky looks leaps better than Thad Matta's team as of now.

The Buckeyes are still an extremely good team (still the best statistical defense against a decent schedule), but recent results and patterns of play suggest they aren't a great one. It's going to take a table run in the regular season and, minimally, a Big Ten title game appearance against someone who isn't Michigan State in order for OSU to earn the right to the one seed back.

It's clear this team lacks the depth, weapons and foul discipline it had a year ago. Only now is it catching up to them nationally.
Posted on: February 12, 2012 8:40 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 8:47 pm
 

Night Court: Seton Hall, Purdue get bubble wins

Meyers Leonard struggled mightily on the offensive end against Michigan, as Illinois lost by nine. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: In a game with major implications for the bubble, Seton Hall went on an 18-5 run to finish the game en route to a 73-66 win over Pittsburgh. Even more impressively, the Pirates played the final six minutes without Fuquan Edwin, who fouled out after making a jumper to cut the lead to four. Brandon Mobley came up with an important steal, while Herb Pope made four free throws in the final 11 seconds, to clinch the victory for Seton Hall. Pitt probably needs to win the Big East tournament to get to the Big Dance now.

Win to brag about: Stony Brook came into Sunday at 12-1 in the America East and on top of the standings. Second-place Vermont simply went out and hammered the Seawolves by 19, holding them without a 3-pointer despite 15 attempts from behind the arc. Four McGlynn had 24 points off the bench for the Catamounts, who can now win a share of the regular-season title – and potential homecourt advantage in the conference tournament.

Loss to hide from: Only two days after beating Iona to take sole possession of first place in the MAAC, Loyola (Md.) was throttled at home by Fairfield, 68-51. The loss ended the Greyhounds’ seven-game winning streak, as they shot just 17.4 percent from the field in the second half. A 12-0 run midway through the second stanza broke things open for the Stags.

Player who deserves improper benefits: In the “Battle for Brooklyn,” LIU-Brooklyn senior Jamal Olasewere shot 11-for-11 from the field, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds in an 81-78 win over St. Francis (N.Y.). The win keeps the Blackbirds atop the Northeast, and completes a two-game sweep of the city rival Terriers.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Michigan is most vulnerable on the inside, so most expected Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard to have a monster game on the interior. However, he struggled with foul trouble and only finished with five points on five shots as Michigan came out with a 70-61 win. Leonard did grab 12 rebounds, but Bruce Weber needed more offensive production from his big man. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 0: Binghamton is still winless after losing a 62-60 game to Hartford. The Bearcats have five regular-season games left to get a victory.
  • 6: The Northeast has a “Rivalry Week” where each team plays their rival twice in a matter of days. All six matchups featured 2-0 sweeps.
  • 26: Kyle Weems became the 26th played in Missouri Valley history to reach 1800 points, as Missouri State beat Bradley by 11.
  • 10: St. John’s became the first team in the country to lost 10 games to top 25 teams this season.

Three other notable results:

  1. Georgetown hit three 3-pointers during a key three-minute stretch late in the second half to hold off St. John’s, 71-61.
  2. The Big Ten featured a monster bubble battle on Sunday, with Purdue getting the big victory over Northwestern, 87-77. John Shurna had 30 points in the loss.
  3. Washington’s Terrence Ross had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Washington to a 75-72 victory at Oregon State. The game was a must-win for the Huskies, in order to keep pace with California at the top of the Pac-12.

Notes:

  • Connecticut announced that Warde Manuel will be the new director of athletics for the university. Manuel has been the AD at Buffalo for the past six years.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith tipped in a missed 3 with 1.8 seconds left to give Virginia Tech a 66-65 win over Boston College.
  • Scott Machado racked up a triple-double in Iona's tougher-than-expected win over Marist. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:11 pm
 

Podcast: Blogging/podcast worlds collide again

The future of the Hoosiers is one of many topics covered on today's pod. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


Who says a couple of competing podcasts hosts can't share a microphone? ESPN.coms' Eamonn Brennan was again my guest on the podcast, and we managed to get through 37 minutes of conversation with minimal backhanded compliments and deft verbal barbs tossed at each other over the Wi-Fi.

E.B. was kind enough to do this amid a move, so I'm grateful for that. It's setting up to be a pretty nice weekend in hoops, I can't deny. I think this podcast will be a good way to usher yourself in to the first February Saturday slate. Enjoy, and feel free to send us feedback on Twitter. You can follow me here and Eamonn there.
 
Menu:
  • From the beginning: Hey, wait a second -- that's not my voice!
  • 6:06: Was Murray State's come-from-behind home win a good sign or a troubling one?
  • 12:03: February. It's the month where we really see what every team is. I explain why. E.B. responds. It's what we do on the podcast. We're experts at this, you know.
  • 15:13: On to Indiana, where Eamonn graduated from, and so I wanted to know how he sees this program through the eyes of an alumnus and the eyes of someone paid to write about college basketball.
  • 20:22: The games we're most looking forward to this weekend, not including the obvious Kansas-Missouri tilt.
  • 27:18: Eamonn has a weekly Bottom 10 feature, and so what's the worst of the worst of the worst from the past week in hoops? We're not all roses and juggling unicorns over here. 
  • 29:20: I'm not sure how we derailed into Madonna and the Super Bowl and bashing Lost and me defending DMB, but it happened. Don't judge me. Fine. Judge me. I still love you.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:23 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 10:01 am
 

Road Trip: Dozen things I learned

Goodman hit up four big games in four straight days. He is now ready to sleep until Friday. (AP)

By Jeff Goodman

It feels like weeks ago I left Boston for Huntington, West Va. In fact, it was just Saturday. 

It started with the return of Donnie Jones to Marshall -- which included the Tom Herrion Show -- took a drive through Point Pleasant, West Va., home of the Mothman Prophecies, detoured and had lunch with Ohio University star point guard D.J. Cooper. Then it was onto Columbus, Ohio, where I watched the Buckeyes exact revenge on the Indiana Hoosiers, saw Kansas knock Baylor from the ranks of the unbeaten and ended the trip with a nail-biting Michigan victory over rival Michigan State. 

And yes, that was me smack dab in the middle of the Maize Rage, standing in the front row of Michigan's student section next to my nephew - a sophomore at the school. I was the only one not wearing a maize shirt -- and the only one not jumping around. I cleared it with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo beforehand -- and must admit I felt a bit awkward. However, the vantage point was clearly superior to the new media seats at Crisler. So what the hell. 

Here are my 12 Things I Learned on my travels. 

1) If this Kansas team stays healthy, Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey remain out of foul trouble and Bill Self's club gets a decent draw in the NCAA tournament, the Jayhawks could make a run to the Final Four. It sounds nuts, but these guys have a stud in Thomas Robinson -- and Tyshawn Taylor is starting to look like the Tyshawn Taylor we all thought we'd see on a consistent basis. I'm not overly concerned with his abundance of turnovers; he needs to make plays for the Jayhawks, so they will continue to be higher than most. The key for KU may be the continued emergence of 7-footer Jeff Withey and consistency from guys like Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson. 

2) I'm just not buying Perry Jones III as a Top five pick in June's NBA Draft. I love his length and skill level, but he's done little to help shed the "soft" label that's been placed upon him for years. There's not much he can't do on the court, but I'd be weary of risking a top pick on a guy that just doesn't have that "it" factor. I'd go Thomas Robinson over PJ3 every day -- and twice on Sunday. 

3) Speaking of Baylor, let's not write off this team just because it got punked in Lawrence, Kansas. Last I checked, not many go into The Phog and leave with a win. The Bears X-factor has been junior college guard Pierre Jackson, who does give Scott Drew much-needed toughness, along with Quincy Acy. However, the defense against Baylor was worrisome - it reminded me of the pre-Ekpe Udoh Baylor defense. 

4) I'm not sure I've seen Tom Izzo more disappointed after a loss than he was following the setback in Ann Arbor to rival Michigan. It's probably because his team didn't play well, yet still had to a shot to win on the road against a Top 25 team. No one fared well for the Spartans. The team's veteran leader Draymond Green struggled yet again going up against Michigan (he has just 35 points in the last five games against the Wolverines) and Izzo's new guys -- Branden Dawson, Brandon Wood, etc. -- all flopped in their into to this rivalry. 

5) I know that Michigan's talent level with skyrocket next season with the addition of Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson's kid and Nick Stauskas. I've seen all three -- and they are all immediately impact guys. But the departure of seniors Zack Novak and Stu Douglass can't be overstated. Novak is the ultra-intangible guy, who brings toughness and leadership to a group of guys that sorely needs it. McGary is talented, but he'll have to learn how to play within a system -- and John Beilein has never dealt with a guy who arrives on campus with the potential expectation of leaving after one season. That'll be an interesting dynamic. 

6) Kansas coach Bill Self believes the Jayhawks will be better next season despite losing Tyshawn Taylor and almost certainly losing Thomas Robinson. I think he may need to have his head examined. However, he'll add two guys sitting out: Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor. Self and his staff feel as though McLemore can be a star and has as much NBA potential as anyone in the program right now -- and that includes Robinson. The starting lineup could look like this: Elijah Johnson (senior), Travis Relford (senior), Jeff Withey (senior), McLemore (redshirt freshman) and maybe either Traylor or freshman forward Perry Ellis. The Jayhawks will add depth with the addition of a recruiting class that includes Top 50 players Andrew White and Ellis. 

7) Marcus Jordan is a nice player, but he's not a first-team all-league guy in C-USA. In fact, he's not even the best player on his own team: That belongs to Keith Clanton. The Son of Michael couldn't make a shot in the loss to Marshall (he was 3-of-17 from the field) -- and missed the front end of a 1-1 that could have put his Central Florida team up two points with 29 seconds left. 

8) Marshall coach Tom Herrion should be nominated for an Oscar for his acting job during the game against Central Florida. Sure, Knights wing Isaiah Sykes may have jolted him when he made contact while running down the sidelines, but Herrion's entire act looked comical. He went down, clutching his chest, and I honestly thought he was having a heart attack. The lead official came over to explain the situation after looking at it multiple times on video and said Sykes, who was hit with a flagrant foul, did not intentionally attempt to strike Herrion. Marshall got a free throw -- and oh by the way, the Thundering Herd wound up winning by one point. 

9) While Herrion needs to tone it down at times, a couple things are clear: The guy can really coach and he's got enough talent on this time to be dangerous. I think it all depends on the play of senior point guard Damier Pitts.

10) Don't wait around for Tom Crean after the Hoosiers lose a game. There are certain coaches that take forever following a loss -- Jim Calhoun, Travis Ford come to mind. Crean took about 70 minutes after Indiana's beatdown in Columbus against Ohio State. Honestly, it had no bearing on me doing my job since I was writing primarily about the Buckeyes, anyway. But Crean should be smart enough to realize that 1) His players will tune him out after about the first 15 minutes 2) No one likes to be kept waiting that long. 

11) While the Buckeyes can really lock down on the perimeter with Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith, I'm worried about the rest of Ohio State defensively. Sullinger needs to step it up in this department -- and Thomas needs to do the same. This is the biggest difference from last season's team, where David Lighty was a terrific, versatile defender - and Jon Diebler had turned himself into an above-average team defender. 

12) My top four venues to watch a game?  1) Allen Fieldhouse 2) Cameron Indoor Stadium 3) Rupp Arena 4) Danforth School. The atmosphere at Kansas was second-to-none, largely because of the look and feel of the venue and also the rabid fans. Kentucky fans are crazier than anywhere else, but Rupp doesn't compare to Phog Allen. As for Duke, the proximity to the court -- and the students -- are what makes it elite. As for Danforth, that's where I get to see my 8-year-old daughter knock down jumpers (or, more realistically, 7-foot set shots). 

Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:24 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:23 am
 

Night Court: Western Carolina wins by ... 102?!

Trey Burke had 20 points, including the game-winning assist, to lead Michigan to a 60-59 win over Michigan St. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Michigan struggled defensively for much of the second half, but the Wolverines came up big down the stretch to hold on to a 60-59 victory over Michigan State. Stu Douglass made the game-winning layup with 36.5 seconds left, off a terrific pass from Trey Burke. Draymond Green missed a potential game-winning shot and tip-in on the Spartans’ final possession. Burke led the way with 20 points.

Win to brag about: Beating Maryland in itself isn’t that impressive, but Florida State continues to turn it around after an embarrassing loss to Clemson two weeks ago. The Seminoles used a 21-3 run in the second half to dispatch of the Terrapins, 84-70. For a team that has the reputation of being offensively inept, Florida State has now scored at least 84 points in three of its last five games. Ian Miller and Okaro White combined for 31 points off the bench.

Loss to hide from: I have no clue how Toccoa Falls does against its usual competition (it's 3-6), but it apparently can’t handle Division-I opposition. Western Carolina had nine guys score in double figures, defeating the Eagles, 141-39. The Catamounts outrebounded Toccoa Falls 62-16, and only three players did not reach double-figures in scoring.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis has had several impressive performances this season, but Tuesday’s game took the cake. The Kentucky freshman had 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Wildcats to an 86-63 win over Arkansas. Moreover, he broke the school’s single-season record for blocks – with 12 games left in the regular season.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert has been one of the most underrated freshmen in the country this season, but Tuesday didn’t show that. Tolbert went just 1-for-10 from the field and turned it over five times before fouling out. The Red Raiders lost to Oklahoma, 64-55.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 3: After losing 18 of 21 in the rivalry, Michigan has now defeated Michigan State three straight times.
  • 102: The margin in Western Carolina’s win over Toccoa Falls was the third-largest in Division-I history.
  • 15: It’s been 15 years since an SEC player had 27 points, 14 boards and seven blocks in a game. Anthony Davis did it tonight.

Three other notable results:

  1. With first place in the Big South on the line, UNC-Asheville improved to 8-0 with a victory over second-place Coastal Carolina. J.P. Primm had 23 points, helping UNCA overcome six guys scoring in double-figures for Coastal.
  2. Purdue bounced back from last week’s loss to Wisconsin with a 75-68 win over Iowa. The Boilermakers overcame a five-point halftime deficit.
  3. Jason Clark scored 31 points despite going just 4-for-9 from the free-throw line, leading Georgetown to an 83-75 road win at DePaul.

Notes:

  • The lone overtime game on Tuesday was between LSU and Auburn. Auburn’s Varez Ward sent it into an extra session with a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left, but LSU dominated the overtime for a 65-58 win.
  • Boise State freshman Anthony Drmic had a chance to make a name for himself early in Mountain West play, but he shot just 1-for-8 from the field in a 66-55 loss to Colorado State.
  • North Dakota State, currently 6-2 in Summit League play, went into North Dakota – a team with three D-I wins this season – and lost, 59-54.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:07 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Tuesday polls: Let's hear who you're taking

By Matt Norlander

We want to know which teams you like this week, and by which sort of margin. Best of all? We're working in concert with Seth Davis and his TV show, so these results will get shared each Wednesday on "Courtside with Seth Davis" on the CBS Sports Network.

This is the third installment of the polls. You can swing by here each Tuesday just after lunchtime to make your clicks. So let's hear it.



Want more of us? Or more interaction with hoops fans? We suggest you 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.
Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:09 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 5:17 pm
 

Guess who loses on the road? Almost everybody

By Gary Parrish

My colleague Jeff Borzello wrote earlier about the difficulty of winning away games because he knew we were about to start a Saturday featuring nine ranked teams playing unranked teams on the road, and we all knew at least one of them (and probably more) would take a loss.

How'd we know, you ask?

Because it happens every weekend.

Ranked teams lose to unranked teams on the road with great regularity. It's as much a part of the sport as recruiting scandals and Dick Vitale. And though I realize everybody knows this and basicaly accepts it as a fact of life, I do wonder if most fans truly understand just how difficult it is to win away games.

The proof is in the details.

Consider that the four Final Four participants (Connecticut, Butler, Kentucky and VCU) combined to go 23-24 in true road games last season, and that the 2010 national champion (Duke) finished 5-5 in true road games. Translation: Even the best often struggle away from home, and only elite power-conference schools (North Carolina in 2009 comes to mind) regularly avoid the upsets most cannot.

So fans of No. 18 Kansas State can be upset with that loss at unranked Oklahoma. And fans of No. 13 Michigan can be upset with that loss at unranked Iowa. And fans of No. 7 Michigan State can be upset with that loss at unranked Northwestern. And fans of No. 3 North Carolina can be upset with that loss at unranked Florida State (especially since it was so lopsided). They're all losses and fans hate to lose. So I understand. But the reality is that these types of losses, in this sport, just kinda happen. Sometimes, sure, they represent a sign that a team might be as overrated as the cliched chant suggests. But in most cases, honestly, it's just the price you pay for going on the road.
Posted on: January 8, 2012 10:15 pm
 

Night Court: NFL rightly outshines today's hoops

Don't look now, but Michigan's the best team you don't know enough about. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of games …

Game of the Day: There was no game of the day. Tim Tebow sucked up all the dramatic energy from every other sport and packed it into what was the fastest overtime game in NFL history.

Win to brag about: Penn State’s not as easy to win at as you think. Indiana survived and got out of there with an 88-82 victory. Winning the games it should. Indiana’s on pace for a two or three seed right now, folks. Continues to be astounding. Tom Crean must be blasting a lot of Jon Secada on the way into work these days.

Loss to hide from: Wisconsin’s going to be one of the most tweeted and talked about basketball teams Monday, because the Badgers, although still a treading-water 12-5, lost 59-41 to Michigan, dropping their third straight. They’re a top-two KenPom.com as of tonight, which means my numbers-oriented friend out in Salt Lake has been taking a whooping all day for his system, which has its flaws.

Back to Wisconsin — as a team and regarding this loss. It signals to me a reason (or four) to not trust the Badgers the rest of the way. Even if they end up pulling out a third-place Big Ten finish, or something like that, I think the tendency to molasses themselves into this position will remain out there.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Let’s give some dap to a small-conference player. Siena junior O.D. Anosike had the best game of his college career, scoring 27 and grabbing 14 against Niagara.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Maryland’s Pe’Shon Howard hasn’t become the pick-up-the-slack guy the Terps need him to be. Terrell Stoglin and Alex Len can’t carry this team to respectability in the league this year. Howard was 1-of-8 and scored five points in Maryland’s 79-74 loss to N.C. State.

Numbers don’t lie

  • .78. Ohio State didn’t play today. It played yesterday, but per John Gasaway, the Buckeyes are allowing .78 points per possession in Big Ten play. That’s extremely frustrating for other teams.
  • 9.  Iona’s Scott Machado had nine assists against Marist today, which is lower than his NCAA-best 10.1 per game.
  • 14. The number of teams who scored 60 or fewer points on a slow -- take that both ways -- Sunday. The offense problem continues to invade our sport.

Three other notable results

  1. Purdue made little work of Minnesota, winning at The Barn, 79-66. Big day for Robbie Hummel, who scored 13 and had seven rebounds at the site where he first ripped an ACL two years ago.
  2. Drexel's had its problems. The CAA preseason favorite got to 2-2 by beating VCU -- once coming strong, now fading -- to the tune of 64-58 in Philly tonight.
  3. La Salle’s a 2-0 A10 team. The Explorers defeated UMass, 82-75. And they had foru players in double figures, tallied 21 combined assists and hit 12 treys.

Notes

  • Binghamton is still winless, now 0-15.
  • Per sources, Pitt drop-out Khem Birch will decide UNLV or Florida in the next 24 hours, most likely.
  • Fairfield has had a rough go of it. Goodman mentioned on Twitter that the Stags rank among the biggest disappointments in college hoops this season. He’s right. They’re now 8-8 after falling to much-improved Manhattan.
  • Butler may peter out to a slow death — or not. The 76-65 loss to Detroit today slows the Bulldogs to 9-8 and drops them to 3-2 in the Horizon.
  • The NFL was lame Sunday, refusing to allow fans at a hoops game watch the Giants game in the arena. If I’m Siena, I just do it discreetly.

On tap: Allow me to tease you with this: Beginning tomorrow, Borzello’s going to be putting up a daily post around noon or 1 p.m. that previews all the games upcoming, the ones worth your time and attention. So check that out and develop a habit of swinging by here during the lunch hour — as if that wasn’t already part of your routine.

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