February 10, 2012

02/10/2012 - 11:40am

UConn received some potentially crushing news to their 2013 post-season tournament hopes as the NCAA has denied their APR waiver. The request would have been for UConn to play fewer games, which would still allow them a chance to make a post-season and hopefully NCAA Tournament. The reason for the situation is due to the low Academic Progress Rate scores of the university.

Connecticut will appeal the NCAA's decision, but the ramifications of this appear very real for a UCONN hoping to bring some potential pro's back to school. Post-season bans do not exactly do wonders for recruiting, either. With rumors swirling about that Andre Drummond was considering coming back for his sophomore season, this would certainly make him reconsider. Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi, possibly even Ryan Boatright might consider bolting as well if Connecticut has no NCAA tourney shot in 2013.

02/10/2012 - 11:30am

Forgive me for being proud of the Oregon basketball team, but I cannot help it. After checking out Matthew Knight Arena on a recent trip back to Eugene, I definitely approved of the Ducks new home court. They played an excellent game last night against University of Washington, winning 82-57. Outshooting the Huskies 56.4%-36.4% definitely helped as Oregon moved to 17-7 on the year. More importantly, they are only one game back of Cal and Washington in the conference standings.

Garrett Sim started the game off on an 8-0 run. The Ducks never let up in a first half that saw a Carlos Emory tip in put them in the lead 49-26 as the buzzer sounded. Emory finished with 16 while Sim was joined by EJ Singler and Devoe Joseph with 13 apiece. Devoe Joseph was not allowed to play for Oregon until December 10, but his play has been All-Pac 12 worthy. Tony Wroten led the Huskies with 14 points, causing 4 steals and making a few sweet passes. Wroten's issue is still decision making and shot selection, not to mention struggling from the FT stripe and long range.

02/10/2012 - 11:26am

In 2000, Larry Eustachy was named the AP National Coach of the Year for his work on the sidelines at Iowa State. Three short years later, pictures surfaced of him drinking and partying with students. Although the accusations did not go beyond this and Eustachy taking steps to enter treatment, he was terminated by the school.

It has been 9 years since Eustachy has taken his last drink and he has risen up after his very public crash. In 8 of those years he has been the coach of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. He has won more than he has lost on the sidelines, but this year could be the one in which he finally leads the team to the NCAA Tournament.

Sitting atop Conference USA, the scrappy Eagles are 20-4 and recently ended Eustachy's 17 game losing streak to Memphis with a 75-72 victory. It is always good to see a person making the most of a second chance and Larry Eustachy is definitely doing that. Led by Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson and with a focus on hard nosed defense, seems like Southern Miss might get more than one chance to play a NCAA tournament game if they play their cards right.

02/10/2012 - 11:25am

The Racers of Murray State were the last NCAA Division 1 school without a loss. Last night, they were handed their first blemish of the season courtesy of Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee State. Many expected Murray State to cause a possible conundrum for the NCAA Tournament selection committee if they indeed ran the table in the OVC and finished the season undefeated. This loss does little to Murray State's tourney hopes, they still look like a lock, but it could hurt their seeding.

Isaiah Canaan, who has had an All-American worthy season for the Racers, finished with 31 points including 7 triples in the 72-68 defeat. Fouls and turnovers proved to be the main factor for the loss, as Tennessee State recorded 15 steals. The Tigers were led by junior forward Ronald Covington, who scored 17 points. Covington is having a solid third year, averaging 17.7 ppg and 8 rpg. Senior forward Kenny Moore also scored 16 points off the bench in Tenn State's big win. The Racers will try to rebound against Austin Peay on Saturday and have a major showdown with a solid St. Mary's squad on February 18.

02/10/2012 - 11:23am

Add another chapter to the legend of Canadian freshman PG KEVIN PANGOS. Ever since his first big game, a 33 point scorching of Washington State, Seth Sommerfeld called for his name to be capitalized. Well, NCAA Daily obliges. After scoring 27 points to end St. Mary's 12 game winning streak, KEVIN PANGOS deserves his props. He went 5-6 from long distance, made all of his foul shots and just added to the lore of a first year that has him leading the Bulldogs in scoring.

Robert Sacre and Gary Bell each scored 12 points while Gonzaga won 73-59. This was sweet revenge for a team that had blown them out previously and a major win against a St. Mary's team that is 22-3 after this latest stumble. St. Mary's Australian star guard, Matthew Dellavedova, scored 20 point to lead the Gaels. St. Mary's still leads the West Coast Conference with an 11-1 record, but with Gonzaga and BYU, this conference should have a very interesting finish.

02/10/2012 - 6:19am

In a clash of two of the premier pivots in the Big 10 conference, Cody Zeller's Hoosiers bested Meyers Leonard's Illini 84-71. The freshman Zeller outscored the sophomore Leonard 22-17 while neither were a big factor on the glass. In a game that saw both schools shoot over 50% from the field, Indiana was just that much more efficient with the ball and maintained home court advantage at Assembly Hall.

Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo also scored 18 apiece for Indiana, who moved to 19-6 (7-6 Big 10) on the season. Assembly Hall has treated the Hoosiers well and they are now 14-1 on home turf. Illinois was led by DJ Richardson with 19 points while Brandon Paul chipped in with 13. The Illini have struggled to win on the road in conference play and are now 16-8 (5-6 Big 10). They play Michigan on the road on Sunday and have lost 5 of their last 6 contests. The Illini still have definite NCAA Tourney aspirations, but will need to pick it up in conference play to get there.