Saturday, March 22, 2014

Video: All-Access for Kentucky vs. Kansas State

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Kentucky's win over Kansas State:


Louisville Knocks Off Saint Louis to Advance to Sweet 16

(4) Louisville 66
(5) St. Louis 51

Final from Orlando, Florida

Game recap by UL:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Louisville didn't need a big game from Russ Smith to get back to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

Luke Hancock scored 21 points and the defending national champions shrugged off a cold shooting performance to beat Saint Louis 66-51 on Saturday and advance to the round of 16 for the third straight year.

The fourth-seeded Cardinals (31-5) shot under 45 percent, had 19 turnovers and only got 11 points from Smith, their star. It didn't matter with the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-7) going 0 for 15 from 3-point range and struggling to take care of the basketball.

Louisville moves on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or No. 8 seed Kentucky. The unbeaten Shockers and Wildcats meet Sunday in St. Louis.

Saint Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16, lost in the third round for the third consecutive year. Dwayne Evans led the Billikens with 16 points and Atlantic 10 player of the year Jordair Jett finished with 15.

Chris Jones made a couple of huge shots and scored 11 points for Louisville. Montrezl Harrell put a punctuation mark on the victory with a dunk that enabled him to finish with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino improved to 50-16 in the NCAA tournament, including 41-6 when his team is the higher seed. The Cardinals are in the round of 16 for the 20th time, matching Kansas and trailing only North Carolina (25), Kentucky (24) and Duke (23).

Smith struggled shooting the ball for the second straight game, missing his first four attempts and going scoreless until his 3-pointer put the Cardinals up 25-14 in the final minute of the opening half. The Louisville star scored 18 points in the second-round win over Manhattan, however he was just 3 of 9 from the field and had six turnovers.

Complete Recap


Pikeville's Record-Breaking Season Ends in Second Round

St. Gregory's (Okla.) 88
University of Pikeville 83

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by UPIKE:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When it looked like St. Gregory's (Okla.) might blow the game open with a 10-point lead, the University of Pikeville  fought back within three at halftime and took an eight-point lead late in the second half. But ultimately the Cavaliers and their star guard Marty Wilkerson were too much, winning 88-83 in the NAIA second round.

It's not hard to see where the game was won as St. Gregory's blistered the nets, hitting 10 3-pointers while shooting 50 percent from the field. The Bears struggled for most of the game, shooting just 36.8 percent and hitting just five of their 21 3-point shots.

"We didn't have a good rhythm shooting the ball today," said Pikeville head coach Kelly Wells. "We got some good looks, but I could never feel us getting in a groove."

Instead, the Bears had to battle for baskets. Other than some timely threes from Elisha Justice and Josh Whitaker, it was Bruce Reed, Keala King and Kenny Manigault going to work around the rim.

Reed led all scorers with 26, while King added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Manigault had 13 points with 11 coming in the second half.

"We didn't play very confident, I thought we were a little hesitant today," said Wells. "But we can look at ourselves in the mirror and know we gave everything and played really hard. Credit to St. Gregory's, they are one of the teams that came into this tournament very hot."

Wilkerson paced the Cavs with 23 points, including three 3-pointers, while Trey Jones chipped in with 19 and Richard Shields joined them in double figures with 13.

Complete Recap

UK Players Talk About NCAA Tournament Win Over Kansas State

Kentucky's Andrew Harrison, Alex Poythress, James Young and Dakari Johnson talk about last night's NCAA Tournament win over Kansas State:


Kentucky Survives Tough Battle with Kansas State in NCAA Tournament

(8) Kentucky 56
(9) Kansas State 49

Final from St. Louis, Missouri

Game recap by UK:

ST. LOUIS - If first impressions are everything, Andrew Harrison's first shots of the night - two free throws before the tip because of a pregame administrative technical foul on Kansas State for dunking in warm-ups - sent pretty strong signals that these UK players, most of them playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, had more than a few nerves to shed.

Andrew Harrison stepped to the line, spun the ball and lofted the shot, just barely grazing the left side of the rim on its downward trajectory.

"Almost shot an air ball left and we bust out laughing," John Calipari said. "Think about it, this kid is 18 years old in the NCAA Tournament, never been here."

Instead of clamming up, UK clamped down on the defensive end.

The eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (25-10) shook off the early jitters and passed the first test in their NCAA Tournament journey, grinding their way to a 56-49 victory over ninth-seeded Kansas State (20-13) in the opening round for both teams.

There were some tense moments at the end when the Wildcats from Manhattan, Kan., cut a 13-point deficit to just six points in the closing seconds, but UK did enough defensively Friday night to set up a dream matchup with No. 1 seed Wichita State. On Sunday at approximately 2:45 p.m. ET, it will be the team that some predicted could go undefeated at the beginning of the season (UK) vs. the one that actually is (Wichita State).

"They play really hard," Coach Cal said of Wichita State. "They have really good players. You don't go 35 or 36-0 or whatever they are without having really good players. And they have really good players. And they play hard and compete."

Complete Recap

Randolph Morris in Position to Win Another CBA Championship

Former Kentucky big man Randolph Morris and the Beijing Ducks are in excellent position to win another CBA championship in China.

Beijing defeated Xinjiang 90-86 in overtime yesterday to take a 2-0 lead in the final series.

Morris led the way for Beijing with 31 points and 17 rebounds. He put in 7 of Beijing's 9 points in overtime to seal the victory.

Ex-NBA star Stephon Marbury chipped in 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for Beijing.

Former Murray State star James Singleton finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks for Xinjiang.

In the first game of the series, Beijing rolled to a 95-75 victory behind 24 points and 13 boards from Morris.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mercer Stuns Duke in NCAA Tournament

Mercer knocked Duke out of the NCAA Tournament earlier this afternoon.

Yes, that really happened:




Videos: University of Pikeville's First Three Days in Kansas City

Check out these videos from the University of Pikeville's first three days at the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City:






Dayton Daily News Produces a Great Headline

The Dayton Daily News produced a great headline this morning in the wake of Dayton's second round upset of Ohio State:

Murray State to Host Omaha in Second Round of CIT

Murray State has been matched up against Omaha in the second round of the CIT Tournament.

The Racers will host the Mavericks Monday at 7:00 p.m. local time.

Here is a release from MSU:

The Murray State Racers have been paired with the Omaha Mavericks in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky., Monday (March 24).
Tip time is set for 7 p.m. as the Racers return home after winning their first round CIT game Wednesday at Missouri State 66-63 in Springfield, Mo. Doors open at 6 p.m.
 
Tickets are available at the MSU Ticket Office in the CFSB Center or by calling (270) 809-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at GoRacers.com. Ticket prices for the game are $15, $10 and $7. Season ticket holders have until 2 p.m. Friday, March 21 to purchase their tickets. Tickets not claimed by 2 p.m. will be released to the general public.

Protocol for Murray State students remains the same. On game day, all students must enter through Gate C and show their student ID. Admission is free.
 
 
The CIT started as a 32-team event and is now down to 16 teams. The game will mark the latest home game for the Racers in their 16 seasons at the CFSB Center.
 
The Racers are 19-11 will be looking to secure a school-record fifth straight 20-win season.
UNO (17-14) won a first round CIT game at home over North Dakota 91-75 in Omaha, Neb. The Mavericks are members of the Summit League.
 
The game can be heard over the air on Racer Radio on Froggy 103.7 FM and online at Froggy103.com and GoRacers.com. Online streaming video will be provided by MSU Athletics and can been seen at CollegeInsider.com. The audio and video streams are free.
 
"I want to personally thank Jim Carter, Shelley Todd and Bob Scales of the CFSB Center and everyone else that helped make this event work out so that we can host a game," said MSU Director of Athletics Allen Ward. "I want to encourage our fans to come out and support our team and show the CIT what Racer Basketball is all about." 

Eastern Kentucky to Broadcast NCAA Tournament Game at Alumni Coliseum

Eastern Kentucky University will broadcast today's NCAA Tournament game against Kansas on the video board at Alumni Coliseum.

Here are details from EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – The EKU men's basketball team's NCAA Tournament game versus Kansas on Friday will be shown live on the video board at Alumni Coliseum, and all Colonel fans not making the trip to St. Louis are invited to attend the free viewing party!

Doors to Alumni Coliseum will open at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The game is scheduled to get underway at 4:10 p.m.

Concession stands will be open during the viewing party, which is sponsored by the EKU Student Alumni Ambassadors.

Check Out the Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Tournament Hype Video

Check out the Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Tournament hype video:


No. 2 University of Pikeville Destroys Lindenwood-Belleville

(2) University of Pikeville 103
Lindenwood-Belleville 76

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by UPIKE:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Keala King poured in a career-high 32 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Chris Cantino posted a double-double as well with 12 points and 13 boards as the University of Pikeville ran past Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 103-76 in the first round of the NAIA Men's Baskeball National Championship on Thursday at Municipal Auditorium.

The Bears advance to the second round for the first time since the national-championship run in 2011. UPIKE faces St. Gregory's (Okla.), which upset No. 15-seed Wiley (Texas) 84-69, at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday.

Lindenwood-Belleville, one of the newest members of the NAIA, was making its first trip to the national championship and it ended up being a short one as the talented Bears kept their feet on the gas pedal.

"Our approach was really good, our guys were focused and I think our experience from the past helped us settle in," said UPIKE head coach Kelly Wells. "Our five seniors gave an unbelievable effort. I tell them all the time we don't need a Superman on this team, we just have to get it done together."

That was evident on the court, even though King looked superhuman at times, he couldn't have done it without Bruce Reed adding 12 points and Josh Whitaker and Elisha Justice chipping in with 11. All five starters scored in double figures along with Kenny Manigault off the bench with 12. Justice also dished out six assists and hit three shots from beyond the arc.

Complete Recap


Louisville Escapes Manhattan in Final Minutes to Survive and Advance

(4) Louisville 71
(13) Manhattan 64

Final from Orlando, Florida

Game recap by UL:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Now everyone knows why Louisville coach Rick Pitino wanted nothing to do with Manhattan.

Luke Hancock hit two huge 3-pointers in the final 1:19 to help Louisville finally shake free from tenacious Manhattan, 71-64 in the NCAA tournament Thursday night.

The defending national champions were down 58-55 with less than 4 minutes remaining - getting outplayed for most of the second half - before coming alive from the 3-point line.

Silky smooth guard Russ Smith, who finished with 18 points, got things going with a game-tying 3 from the wing. Hancock delivered the knockout blows. He stole an inbound pass, got fouled and made both free throws. He hit the first of two daggers with 1:19 remaining and then sank a wide-open look from behind the arc with 28 second left.

Those shots propelled fourth-seeded Louisville (30-5) into the round of 32, where it will face fifth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday in the Midwest Region.

Ashton Pankey led 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-8) with 16 points.

"That's why I didn't want to play them, because I'm sick inside losing to one of my players," Pitino said.

While outsiders everywhere questioned why the Cardinals were seeded fourth, Pitino criticized the selection committee Wednesday for pitting his team against Manhattan, which is coached by Pitino's former assistant, Steve Masiello.

Masiello served as Pitino's ball boy with the NBA's New York Knicks in the 1980s, played for him at Kentucky (1996-1997) and then spent another six years coaching alongside him at Louisville (2005-11). They know each other inside and out, with Masiello molding Manhattan to mirror the Cardinals.

Masiello's team attacked Louisville's weaknesses and gave the Cards fits on the defensive end.

"That's one of the best coaching jobs that I have seen in my 39 years," Pitino said. "He just made us have to guard on the perimeter with four guards."

Complete Recap


Kentucky Players Preview Tonight's Game Against Kansas State

Several University of Kentucky players preview tonight's NCAA Tournament game against Kansas State:


St. Catharine Stuns No. 5 SAGU in NAIA National Tournament

St. Catharine 99
(5) SAGU (Texas) 97

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by SCC:

With the lights turned on, the Patriots held off the strong charge of the #5 Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Lions in the first round of the 2014 Buffalo Funds NAIA National Tournament. The SAGU Lions came into the contest with the Patriots following a 2013 run to the national championship game, where they fell against Mid-South Conference member Georgetown College 88-62. Following a charged run to open the contest by the Lions, Nick Porter (Owensboro, Ky.) and William Tolefree (Stone Mountain, Ga.) drilled a pair of three point baskets to cut the Lion lead to one at 10-9. The precision shooting, sparked a Patriot run that propelled them on a run capped off by a steal from Omar Skinner (New Castle, Del.) that led to two free throws and a 17-14 Patriot lead. The Patriots continued to build when Raymon Austin (Cleveland, Ohio) set a stellar screen to allow Chris Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky.) to get three the old fashioned way, taking a 20-14 lead. With 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Raymon Austin grabbed the defensive board and went coast to coast in wild fashion to split two Lions and find the bottom of the basket for a 26-14 lead. With 9:19 remaining Nick Porter picked the Lions’ pocket dishing up to Omar Skinner who slammed it home to push the lead to 30-20. Following a short Lions’ run, Stephen McCray (Baltimore, Md.) tickled the twine from behind the arc to push the lead to 35-24. With four minutes remaining, McCray continued to punish the Lion defense, hitting two step back jumpers to push the lead to 42-30. The Lions pushed back again, but Chris Johnson would find Julito Hutchinson (Atlanta, Ga.) for two and then fake out a defender on the next possession, finding three more for himself to grab a 51-38 lead. With the seconds running out in the half, William Tolefree would find the bottom of the net once more from behind the arc to send the Patriots into the locker room with a 54-44 lead. With the beginning of the second half, the Patriots picked up where they left off when a quick layup from Taron Franklin (Philadelphia, Penn.) pushed the Patriot lead to 58-47.

Complete Recap

Thursday, March 20, 2014

UK Assistant Kenny Payne Drains a Half-Court Shot

Watch as Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne knocks down a half-court shot at UK's NCAA Tournament shoot around:


Murray State Knocks Off Missouri State in CIT Tournament

Murray State 66
Missouri State 63

Final from Springfield, Missouri

Game recap by MSU:

The Murray State Racers came away with a 66-63 win Wednesday over the Missouri State Bears in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo.

Tyler Rambo made a steal and scored his only basket of the game with 1:13 remaining to cut the Bears lead to 63-62. With 42 seconds left, the Racers forced a miss which led to a Cameron Payne floater in the paint to put MSU in front 64-63 with 19.6 seconds left.

After Missouri State called a timeout, the Racers held again with Payne grabbing the rebound and getting fouled. MSU's Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year went to the free throw line with 7.1 left and made a pair to put MSU in front by three points. In the remaining seconds, the Racers defense didn't allow the Bears to get a shot off as they covered a loose ball when time expired.

Jarvis Williams led the Racers (19-11) with his 14th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Payne tossed in 19 points. Jeffery Moss added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Complete Recap




Rick Pitino Not Happy that Selection Committee Matched Him Up Against Masiello

Rick Pitino doesn't mind that his Louisville Cardinals are a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

What does irk him, however, is that the NCAA Selection Committee has him in a second round battle against former player and assistant Steve Masiello.

Here's what Pitino had to say about the matchup:

“(The seed) doesn’t bother me, it really doesn’t, but I’ll tell you what does bother me is playing Manhattan,” Pitino said. “I think that sometimes committees make poor decisions in who they put you against. I happened to work with the young man for six years, coached him at Kentucky. He was my ball boy at the Knicks. And I don’t think that’s right for either one of us.”

He also added:
 
Asked if he was afraid of playing Manhattan, Pitino responded: “I am afraid of playing him. He knows every single thing I do since I’ve been 28.”

Read More

Louisville and Manhattan are scheduled to tip off tonight at 9:50 p.m. ET.

John Wall Wants to Bring the Washington Bullets Back

Former Kentucky star John Wall likes the Washington Wizards logo but he'd love to bring back the Bullets.

The Bullets switched to the more politically correct Wizards name in 1997.


Morehead State's Season Comes to an End in CBI Tournament

Illinois State 77
Morehead State 67

Final from Normal, Illinois

Game recap by MSU:

NORMAL, Ill. -- The Illinois State men's basketball team used a 16-2 run midway through the first half and never trailed again in a 77-67 win over Morehead State on Wednesday night at Redbird Arena.  The contest marked the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational.

The Redbirds, who finished 9-9 in Missouri Valley Conference action, improve to 17-15 overall and 13-3 at home.  The Eagles, who finished 10-6 in Ohio Valley Conference play, end their season 20-14 overall and 9-7 on the road.  ISU also improves to 6-1 all-time against MSU.

Illinois State is making its fifth postseason appearance in the last seven years and 19th overall.  The Redbirds are playing in their first CBI.  Morehead State enjoyed its fourth postseason berth in the past six seasons and ninth overall.  The Eagles played in their second CBI.

"Give Illinois State credit," Head Coach Sean Woods said.  "They are a good basketball team and play even better at home.  I'm proud of our players for everything they've accomplished this season.  We squeezed as much juice out of the turnip as we could tonight."

Illinois State tallied a 16-point advantage from the foul line on the way to its 12th home win in 13 tries.  The Redbirds canned 73 percent (29-of-40), while the Eagles converted on just 62 percent (13-of-21).

Junior Daishon Knight paced four ISU players in double figures with 18 points.  Junior Bobby Hunter added 16, while sophomore Nick Zeisloft chipped in with 13 and freshman Reggie Lynch had 12.

Junior Kareem Storey led three MSU individuals in double figures with 19 points, all of which came in the second half.  Junior Angelo Warner posted 14, while sophomore Brent Arrington contributed 13.

Complete Recap


Georgetown College Gets Past Wayland Baptist in NAIA National Tournament

(14) Georgetown College 97
Wayland Baptist (Texas) 90

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by GC:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Monty Wilson finished with a game-high 39 points on 10-of-16 shooting to lead the way for defending national champion and No. 14 seed Georgetown (Ky.) to top Wayland Baptist (Texas) 97-90 on Wednesday in the first round of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship in Municipal Auditorium.

The point total was the most in a game at the national championship since 2012 and sends the Tigers into the second round for the 12th time since 2000.

"Monty Wilson has had some pretty good games in this gym and he stepped up tonight making big free throws and big plays," said Georgetown head coach Chris Briggs. "The first game out here is always the toughest and you're getting used to the daily grind and you have to get comfortable.

"We got stops when we needed to and obviously our defense needs to improve if we plan to advance. There was too many times where they just outhustled us. I think it comes with rhythm and getting back to playing games. We did a good job with their field-goal percentage in the first half and kept them down."

Holding a 6-5 lead at the 18:09 mark, Georgetown saw the Pioneers erase it by rattling off a 13-4 run to go up by 10. It ended up being the largest lead of the game for either team.

But the resilient Tigers battled back to take a 45-40 lead into halftime. Shooting was key for Georgetown as it went 18-of-36 from the field, while Wayland Baptist connected on just 14-of-37 shots.

The second half turned into a back-and-forth affair with nine ties and six lead changes.

With less than five minutes to play, the score was tied at 79 as the teams traded 3-point baskets. A trey by Wayland Baptist's Royal Crouch again knotted the score at 85-85, but it would be the final tie of the game as Deondre McWhorter made a basket to help the Tigers finish the contest on a 12-5 run.

Wilson poured in 27 points in the second half, including a 9-0 run all by himself when the score was tied at 70 late in the contest. The former national tournament MVP added five assists and four rebounds.

Complete Recap

University of the Cumberlands Hammers No. 9 Rocky Mountain in National Tournament

University of the Cumberlands 82
(9) Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 58

Final from Kansas City, Missouri

Game recap by UC:

The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men’s Basketball team kicked off the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball NAIA National Championship Tournament with quite the bang, pulling off the first upset of the tournament with an 82-58 win over #9 ranked Rocky Mountain College in first round action. The Patriots, who just made the final cut for the prestigious tournament last week after a strong showing in the final two weeks of the season, will advance to the Sweet Sixteen round and face the Lions of Emmanuel College on March 21st at 9:00 am.

The game started off in Cumberlands’ favor as they headed to the locker room at half time with a 45-27 lead. With superior rebounding and stellar three-point shooting at 52%, the Patriots pulled away early and never looked back with each player on the roster seeing action in the total team victory.

Senior James Archie (Jackson, MS) led the way for the Patriots scoring 17 points, all of which came in the first half of play, on 6-10 shooting including 5-7 from three point land. Michael Dow (Melbourne, Australia) added 13 points to the stat sheet while R.J. Scott (Slidell, LA) and Chance Armstrong (Mt. Washington, KY) showed up big for the Patriots chipping in 12 points and 10 points respectively. Shaquille Lowery (East Moline, IL) only had 3 points in the game, but was a big contributor adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

With the win, Cumberlands moves to 20-11 overall, entering the Sweet Sixteen round for the 7th time in program history. The Patriots will look to continue their run to the Final Four against the Lions of Emmanuel College who are currently ranked #9 in the NAIA and earned the #8 seed for the tournament. Tip-off is set for 10:00 am eastern time on Friday, March 21st.

For more information on the Patriot Men's Basketball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.

Virginia Fan Used Cheap Suit to Work His Way Into the Huddle at ACC Title Game

A young Virginia fan spent just over $100 for tickets and a cheap suit and somehow managed to find himself in the Cavaliers huddle at the ACC Championship game last week.

The kid acted like he belonged and was given access to the court. He ended up in the Virginia huddle, behind the basket, in the postgame handshake line and even taking pictures with the ACC championship trophy.

Here is more from Deadspin.com:

With his family in the stands taking photos, Danny was on the right side of the cordon when ushers roped off the court as Virginia closed in on the win. He celebrated with the players as confetti blew, was handed his ACC champion hat and T-shirt by the team manager, and made sure to get into the handshake line.

When he showed up on TV shaking Mike Krzyzewski's hand, he says "about 20 people messaged me asking what the hell I did this time."

One person caught on. A UVa administrator stopped him, and asked, "Are you with us?"

"I responded, 'Yeah.'

"He said, 'No, you're not.'

"My response: 'I know. I'm with the Coliseum. But why not have a little fun?'

"He laughed and walked away."

Complete Article

Here he is shaking hands with Coach K after the game:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lafayette's Jackson Davis Cuts Final List to Six Schools

Lafayette star Jackson Davis has reportedly cut his final list down to six schools.

According to Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader, Davis is down to Alabama, Arizona State, Butler, Columbia, Creighton and Vanderbilt:

NextCats Jackson Davis down to six schools, his mother tells the H-L: Alabama, Arizona State, Butler, Columbia, Creighton and Vandy.

Davis, who recently de-committed from Rice, is a talented 6-foot-8 forward. Rivals.com currently rates him as a three-star recruit in the class of 2014.

2014 Kentucky Derby Festival Classic Rosters

The 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival Classic rosters were released earlier today.

Both teams are loaded with talent and the White team includes three University of Louisville commits, including Kentucky Mr. Basketball Quentin Snider.

The game will be played on April 18th at Freedom Hall in Louisville.

Here's a look at the rosters:

White Team

Keita Bates Diop – Ohio State
Leron Black – Illinois 
Trevon Bluiett – Xavier
Chris Chiozza – Florida
Bonzie Colson – Notre Dame
Brandone Francis – Florida
Jaylen Johnson – Louisville
Chinanu Onuaku – Louisville
Devin Robinson – Florida
Quentin Snider – Louisville

Green Team

Jonah Bolden – UCLA
Angel Delgado – Seton Hall
Isaac Copeland – Georgetown
Max Hoetzel – Indiana
Robert Johnson – Indiana
JaQuan Lyle – Undecided
Dwayne Morgan – UNLV
Goodluck Okonoboh – UNLV
Romelo Trimble – Maryland
Dion Wiley – Maryland

More from Scout.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ballard's Quentin Snider Named Kentucky Mr. Basketball

Ballard High School's Quentin Snider has been named Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky.

Snider will play college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals.


It's Official: Bruce Pearl is the New Head Coach at Auburn

Bruce Pearl is the new head coach of the Auburn Tigers.

It was reported earlier this morning that Pearl met with Auburn's AD last night and was "strongly considering" the job.

Now, Auburn confirms that it is official:

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn hired Bruce Pearl as its new basketball coach Tuesday, bringing in a frequent visitor to the NCAA Tournament, a coach with SEC experience, a three-time national coach of the year and fan favorite.

Pearl coached at Tennessee from 2005 through the 2011 season, taking all six of his teams to the NCAA Tournament. He's been an ESPN basketball analyst the last several seasons.

"I'm humbled and blessed to be back in the game that I love," Pearl said. "I don't know how long it will take, but it's time to rebuild the Auburn basketball program, and bring it to a level of excellence so many of the other teams on campus enjoy."

Pearl was the second fastest to 300 career wins in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina's Roy Williams. Pearl is a two-time SEC coach of the yeaer.

Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs welcomed his new coach.

"From the moment I met Coach Pearl and heard his vision for our basketball program, it was clear he's the right man at the right time for Auburn," Jacobs said.

"Coach Pearl is a proven winner who will bring energy and excitement to our program. We have raised the bar for Auburn basketball, and I could not be more excited for our student-athletes and our future under Coach Pearl's leadership. I know he agrees with me -- it's time to win."

Auburn basketball legend Charles Barkley endoresed the hire.

"Coach Pearl has a proven track record and he's a great fit for our program. WDE," Barkley said.

Complete Release

John Wall Picks Kentucky to Lose to Wichita State

USA Today had several NBA stars fill out their NCAA Tournament brackets.

Former Kentucky star Anthony Davis picks the Wildcats to win it all.

John Wall, on the other hand, thinks the Wildcats will defeat Kansas State and lose to Wichita State. Wall picked Florida to win the national championship.

Complete Article

Here is Wall's bracket (photo via USA Today):

CBSSports and SportingNews Ranks the NCAA Tournament Teams

CBSSports.com and SportingNews.com have ranked the NCAA Tournament teams from 1-68.

Comparing the rankings to the seeds given by the NCAA selection committee is a bit surprising and seems to support the thought that both Louisville and Kentucky were under-seeded.

Here's a look at the top 10 from both sites:

CBSSports.com:

1. Florida
2. Arizona
3. Louisville
4. Kansas
5. Duke
6. Michigan State
7. Iowa State
8. Virginia
9. Wichita State
10. Michigan
19. Kentucky
60. Eastern Kentucky

SportingNews.com:

1. Arizona
2. Michigan State
3. Florida
4. Kansas
5. Wichita State
6. Louisville
7. Duke
8. Michigan
9. Kentucky
10. UCLA
60. Eastern Kentucky

Some excerpts from CBSSports.com:

3. Louisville: Once again, Rick Pitino has his team playing its best basketball late in the season. The Cardinals are gunning for three straight Final Fours.

19. Kentucky: It might be hard to trust the Wildcats, but it's also hard to overlook this much talent. John Calipari's team showed a different edge in the SEC tourney.

60. Eastern Kentucky: The preseason favorite hit its stride at the right time. The Colonels can really score the ball, led by Glenn Cosey and Corey Walden.

Bruce Pearl "Strongly Considering" Taking the Auburn Job

According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl met with Auburn's AD last night and is "strongly considering taking the job."

Auburn fired head coach Tony Barbee last week.

Here is more from Goodman:

Bruce Pearl met with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs on Monday night in Knoxville, Tenn., and is strongly considering taking the job, sources told ESPN.

Pearl, 54, was fired in 2011 after taking Tennessee to six consecutive NCAA tournaments. He has worked for ESPN the past two years.

Pearl declined comment.

Read More

Peyton Siva Picking Louisville to Win It All Again, Not Happy About Four Seed

Former Louisville star Peyton Siva is picking the Cardinals to win it all in the NCAA Tournament.

Siva has Louisville defeating Florida in the national championship game.

"I definitely love following the tournament," Siva told MLive.com. "I think it sucks we got a four seed."

Here is more from MLive.com:

Siva said he speaks almost daily with his former teammates at Louisville, which has a 29-5 record and is one of the hottest teams in the country after winning 12 of its final 13 games by an average of 22.5 points.

Like Singler, Siva is picking his alma mater to win it all with a victory over Florida.

"They're one of the hottest teams in the nation right now," Siva said. "They've run off a bunch of wins. They're one of those teams you can't really match up with.  You can't really simulate how they press in practice. You can't simulate how aggressive they are. They're starting to jell right now

"I definitely love following the tournament. I think it sucks we got a four seed" in the Midwest Regional.

Complete Article

Monday, March 17, 2014

Julius Randle Earns AP All-SEC Honors, Newcomer of the Year

Kentucky's Julius Randle was named AP All-Southeastern Conference First Team on Monday.

Randle was also named SEC Newcomer of the Year.

James Young was named All-SEC Honorable Mention.

Here is a release:

The 2014 Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference men's basketball team announced Monday, with name, school, position, height and class (u-unanimous choice to first team or for individual award):

FIRST TEAM

u-Julius Randle, Kentucky, F, 6-9, Fr.
u-Scottie Wilbekin, Florida, G, 6-2, Sr.
Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee, F, 6-8, Jr.
Casey Prather, Florida, F, 6-6, Sr.
Jabari Brown, Missouri, G, 6-5, Jr.

SECOND TEAM

Jordan McRae, Tennessee, F, 6-6, Sr.
Trevor Releford, Alabama, G, 6-0, Sr.
Johnny O'Bryant III, LSU, F, 6-9, Jr.
Patric Young, Florida, C, 6-9, Sr.
Jordan Mickey, LSU, F, 6-8, Fr.

HONORABLE MENTION

Chris Denson, Auburn, G, 6-2, 181, Sr.; Kenny Gaines, Georgia, G, 6-3, 195, So.; Marshall Henderson, Mississippi, G, 6-2, Sr.; Charles Mann, Georgia, G, 6-5, 210, So; Rod Odum, Vanderbilt, F, 6-9, Sr.; Jarvis Summers, Mississippi, G, 6-3, 186, Jr.; James Young, Kentucky, G-F, 6-6, 215, Fr.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Scottie Wilbekin, Florida
COACH OF THE YEAR — Billy Donovan, Florida
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR — u-Julius Randle, Kentucky

Anthony Davis Rookie Cards Selling for More Than $1,000

Anthony Davis basketball rookie cards are currently a hot item. According to Ballislife on Twitter, some Davis cards are selling for $1,000 or more on eBay:

Ballislife CARD WATCH: Anthony Davis rookie cards are hot. @PaniniAmerica National Treasures RC selling for $1k+ on Ebay pic.twitter.com/xGJWWjgae9

Erik Daniels to Play Basketball in Qatar?

It looks like former Kentucky star Erik Daniels will be continuing his professional basketball career in Qatar.

Daniels gave an update on Facebook this week:

Erik Daniels Headed to Qatar tomorrow. Not looking forward to this 13 hour flight. 1st time in this part of the world. Looking forward to learning about another culture.

Erik Daniels Finally in Doha after 13 hours in the air

There have been no updates or releases about which team Daniels will be joining.

Daniels was recently playing well in Ukraine but was forced out of a job due to political turmoil within the area. In 14 games with BC Odessa this season, Daniels averaged 13.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Previously, Daniels has made stops in the NBA, NBA D-League, Croatia, Italy, Israel and Ukraine.

Julius Randle Named to 2014 USBWA Freshman All-America Team

Kentucky's Julius Randle has been named to the 2014 USBWA Freshman All-America Team.

Randle is joined on the team by Joel Embiid (Kansas), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Jabari Parker (Duke) and Andrew Wiggins (Kansas).

Parker was given the 2014 Wayman Tisdale Award as college basketball's national freshman of the year.

Release from the USBWA:

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association will present the 2014 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award to Duke forward Jabari Parker. The award – a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray – will be presented to Parker at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on Mon., April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

As the national freshman of the year, Parker has led the Blue Devils to a 26-8 record and the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional of the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

The April 14 gala will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award. In addition, the Oscar Robertson Trophy – given to the USBWA's national player of the year – and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will be presented at the banquet to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.

Parker, a 6-8, 235-pound true freshman from Chicago, is the USBWA's District III Player of the Year, a consensus All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and the conference's Rookie of the Year. He is second in the ACC in scoring (19.3) and is looks to become just the fourth freshman in conference history to lead the league in rebounds (8.8).

Parker has scored in double figures in 17 straight games and in 32 of 34 games this season, breaking the the Duke freshman record held by Gene Banks and Luol Deng, the 2004 USBWA National Freshman of the Year. Ten times this season Parker was named ACC Rookie of the Week and the week of Dec. 24, Parker was the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.

Complete Release

2014 USBWA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Pos.No.Player, SchoolHt.Wt.Yr.Hometown
C21Joel Embiid, Kansas7-0250Fr.Yaounde, Cameroon
G11Tyler Ennis, Syracuse6-2180Fr.Brampton, Ont.
F1Jabari Parker, Duke6-8235Fr.Chicago, Ill.
F30Julius Randle, Kentucky6-9250Fr.Dallas, Texas
G22Andrew Wiggins, Kansas6-8200Fr.Vaughan, Ont.

Two Pikeville Players Selected for NAIA Division I All-Star Team

University of Pikeville seniors Bruce Reed and Keala King were recently selected to the NAIA Division I All-Star Team.

Reed averaged 18.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this season. He was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Year.

King put in 15.3 points, 5.8 boards and 2.8 assists per game for the No. 2 Bears.

Here's a release from the NAIA:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- (Buy tickets) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2014 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball All-Star team, the four contestants in the Slam Dunk Contest and four participants in the 3-Point Contest. The NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Game, presented by US Bank, and the NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball 3-Point and Slam Dunk Contests, presented by Rawlings, will occur on March 22, as part of the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo.

The Division I All-Star Team is comprised of three players at this time: Xavier Roberson of Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), Darrie Stephens of Brewton-Parker (Ga.) and Marcel Towns (pictured of Great Falls (Mont.). The rest of the 10-man team will be selected from a pool of 14 finalists, whose teams are participating in the 2014 Division I National Championship. In order for a finalist to be selected to the All-Star Team, his team must lose in the First or Second Round, prior to the All-Star Game on March 22. If there are more eligible finalists than the seven open spots after Second Round games, the NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Committee will hold the authority to make the selections. The First and Second Rounds will be played out March 19-21 in Kansas City.

This Division I All-Star Team will compete against a 10-member Division II All-Star Team, which was announced on March 6 (see team below). The game will tip-off at 8 p.m. CDT on March 22 and the format is 2 20-minute halves.

Complete Release

2014 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball All-Star Team (listed alphabetically):

Name School Pos. Ht. PPG* RPG* APG* SPG*
Xavier Roberson Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) G 6-1 25.1 3.7 2.7 1.7
Darrie Stephens Brewton-Parker (Ga.) F 6-7 20 7.8 1.6 1.6
Marcel Towns Great Falls (Mont.) G 6-2 21.1 5.9 2.2 3
 

Division I All-Star Finalists^  (listed alphabetically)  
Name School Pos. Ht. PPG^ RPG^ APG^ SPG^
Joel Barndt Rocky Mountain (Mont.) F 6-9 17.7 9.2 0.9 0.8
Daron Bell William Carey (Miss.) G 6-3 17.9 5.8 3.6 2.3
D'Alvin Brown Philander Smith (Ark.) G 5-9 13.8 3.2 2.3 1.6
Brandon Davis LSU Shreveport (La.) G 6-3 19 12.8 3 1.6
Keala King Pikeville (Ky.) G 6-5 15.3 5.8 2.8 0.7
Zack Kleine Evangel (Mo.) G 6-5 22.7 4.2 1.9 0.6
Markus Monroe Wayland Baptist (Texas) G 6-2 21.3 6.1 3.5 1.3
Latraius Mosley Life (Ga.) G 6-6 23.7 9.1 1.6 2.6
De'End Parker Cal State San Marcos G 6-6 17.3 4.8 4.2 1.5
Dominique Rambo SAGU (Texas) G 6-0 23.6 5 3.6 3.4
Bruce Reed Pikeville (Ky.) F 6-7 18.2 6.3 1.8 1.3
Kyle Teichman Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) C 6-6 16.5 7.3 0.9 0.7
Luke Thomas MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) F 6-8 20.3 13.2 2.6 0.5
Preston Wynne Vanguard (Calif.) G 6-1 19.8 4.1 2.6 2

^ This is a list of finalists whose teams qualified for the Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. These finalists will be selected to the All-Star Team if their team loses prior to the Quarterfinals/All-Star Game on March 22.

Campus Insiders Video Feature on the Kentucky Wildcats

Campus Insiders has put together a video series titled 68in60 for each NCAA Tournament team.

The videos include insight and analysis for each school and also covers their road to Dallas - all in 60 seconds.

Here is the 68in60 video for the Kentucky Wildcats:



* Videos by Campus Insiders 

Tough Ending for Ryan Harrow in Sun Belt Conference Championship Game

Ryan Harrow scored a career-high 37 points Sunday but Georgia State lost in overtime to Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt Conference championship game.

Harrow missed shots near the end of regulation and the end of overtime.

It was tough to see Harrow crying on the court after the game. He was eventually helped off by a teammate.

The loss took Georgia State, which dominated the Sun Belt all season, out of the NCAA Tournament and left them as a 6-seed in the NIT.

Harrow is averaging 17.9 points and 4.3 assists per game this season.

Here are highlights of Harrow's career day that ended with heartbreak:

Video: Dan Patrick Gets His Eastern Kentucky Jersey

Dan Patrick has finally received his No. 32 Eastern Kentucky University jersey.

Patrick, who is a self-proclaimed EKU hater, once played for the Colonels but his stay in Richmond didn't end well.

EKU head coach Jeff Neubauer appeared on Patrick's show last week and vowed to make things right again.

Here is Patrick receiving his jersey:


Indiana AD: "We're Indiana. We don't play in the CBI"

After being snubbed by the NIT, the Indiana Hoosiers declined an invitation to play in the CBI Tournament.

Indiana AD Fred Glass said the decision wasn't based on finances. His reasoning: "we're Indiana. We don't play in the CBI."

Here is more from IndyStar.com:

IU made the decision Sunday afternoon that the program would not accept a bid to the College Basketball Invitational, a tertiary postseason tournament in which host teams pay for their participation.

Indiana Director of Athletics Fred Glass confirmed that decision to The Star on Sunday night.
"Finances wouldn't be an issue if we thought it made sense," Glass told The Star. "But we're Indiana. We don't play in the CBI."

This is the first time since 2011 that an IU season ends with the Big Ten tournament. Four of coach Tom Crean's six seasons in Bloomington have ended without postseason play beyond the conference tournament.

Complete Article

We're Indiana. We party like it's 1999 when we beat Kentucky:


Field Set for 2014 National Invitation Tournament (aka the NIT)

The field for the 2014 National Invitation Tournament is set and the first round games tip off on Tuesday.

SMU, the most notable snub from the NCAA Tournament, is one of the top seeds in the NIT. Other No. 1 seeds are St. John's, Minnesota and Florida State.

Donnie Tyndall and Southern Miss, who also had a solid argument to be in the Big Dance, is a No. 3 seed and will play Toledo on Wednesday.

Arkansas, LSU and Georgia are teams from the SEC that are in the NIT field.

SMU region

No. 1 SMU vs. No. 8 UC Irvine (Wednesday)
No. 4 San Francisco vs. No. 5 LSU (Wednesday)
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 6 Indiana State (Tuesday)
No. 2 Cal vs. No. 7 Utah Valley (Wednesday)
 
St. John's region
 
No. 1 St. John's vs. No. 8 Robert Morris (Tuesday)
No. 4 Green Bay vs. No. 5 Belmont (Tuesday)
No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 6 Georgia State (Tuesday)
No. 2 Illinois vs. No. 7  Boston University (Wednesday)
 
Minnesota region
 
No. 1 Minnesota vs. No. 8 High Point (Tuesday)
No. 4 Saint Mary's vs. No. 5 Utah (Tuesday)
No. 3 Southern Miss vs. No. 6 Toledo (Wednesday)
No. 2 Missouri vs. No. 7 Davidson (Tuesday)
 
Florida State region
 
No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 8 FGCU (Tuesday)
No. 4 Georgetown vs. No. 5 West Virginia (Tuesday)
No. 3 Louisiana Tech vs. No. 6 Iona (Wednesday)
No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 7 Vermont (Wednesday)
 
 
Complete NIT bracket (click to enlarge):
 
 

Kansas State's Bruce Weber Talks About Kentucky and NCAA Tournament

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber talks about the NCAA Tournament and being matched up against Kentucky:
On being selected to play in the NCAA Tournament…
“You feel good about it, but if you are an SMU or St. John’s or Georgetown, there are a lot of teams that did not get in and that was the message to our players that they should be proud of themselves. The senior group, four in a row for Will (Spradling) and Shane (Southwell), which is a nice thing, and even as a school we are in the top 10 as far as the streak goes of consecutive appearances in the NCAA (Tournament). So that is a nice honor for our guys, for our program and for our university, and then we get a chance to play one of the top schools in the history of college basketball, It should be fun. I hope our guys are fired up.”
On drawing Kentucky in the first round…   “We were just looking at the eight-nine matchups, you have got a lot of very good teams, like Colorado and Stanford. You can analyze it a lot of different ways. We know Baylor beat Kentucky early in the year. They had some struggles two or three weeks ago but they did play better down the stretch and they had a good game today. We were just upstairs watching it, just as basketball fans watching the games and they have some talent, there is no doubt about it. We are going to have to play. But it does not matter who you play, you have to play good basketball. The important thing for us is we have to do all of the little things that made us successful, whether it was in that stretch in December or when we had some big wins in Big 12 play.  That is just playing hard, guarding the heck out of people, just doing all of the little things that make the difference. If we can do that, I think we will be fine. My message has been ‘compete’ since last week and I think that has got to be the message going into Friday and if we get to play Sunday.”

On battling in the loss to Iowa State…
I think we did. Obviously, they are good and they went on a run and people had predicted them to win the tournament going into it. They are a three-seed, so even nationwide, someone feels good about them. It came down to the last couple possessions and we had our chances. We have had so many should-have-could-have games and now we have to get one. We have to get those games because there is no more should-have-could-haves. We had that last year with La Salle. You can say all you want about it, we have got to get it done. I think our league was really respected by the committee. With seven teams in, we are the lowest with Oklahoma State at nine and everyone else is higher. It has been a very competitive year and I hope we can show that by our play throughout the tournament. For us, it prepared us for whatever we are going to face because we have faced it all in the league and I do not think there is any doubt.”

On the experience of playing in the NCAA Tournament…
“It is just a cool thing. Every year, that is what your goal is, to win a conference championship and get into the tournament. Those guys have had the great opportunity of winning a conference championship last year and then being in the tournament four times. It is a special feeling and I told them yesterday that it is the greatest sporting event in the world. I guess you could argue for the Super Bowl, the World Series or a couple other little things. But it goes through three weeks and I have had the great honor and pleasure of getting to the last day. It is a ride that you will remember forever and that is what I told them, I hope they want it because I want it for them. That is the whole thing is to go on a little run and see what happens and I think we are capable of that. Obviously, it is not going to be easy and you have got to play well.”

On the play of senior Shane Southwell…
“I was happy because I thought he played well against Iowa State. His back was to the wall and he had not been playing very well. I thought he stepped up. Obviously, on the last possession, he would want to rewind that thing but he gave us a chance for that last possession to mean something. He and Will are what they are. They have been really solid players. I just want them to compete and do what they do. Shane has to do what he does and when he plays smart and hits open shots and passes the ball, he is good. Will (Spradling) has been our steadying influence and Omari (Lawrence) gives us a little spark. No one expects us to win because we are playing Kentucky. Just go play basketball, compete and see what happens.”
 
On his initial thoughts on Kentucky…“Talent is the number one thing. Youth, they are pretty young. It starts with (Julius) Randle. You have got a big-body guy who can do a lot of things and I have watched him through high school. They have got some size and they have athletes but we are going to have to guard them. Randle is a tough matchup. Any team that has a four-man who can do some things, that makes it tough. Maybe we can exploit some of their weaknesses, maybe he does not get the ball quite as much.”

On learning from last year’s loss to La Salle…
“I do not think we respected them as much as we needed to and that was obvious by the way we started the game. We went into the locker room at halftime and turned it on. You have got to realize that you have to play every game. It does not matter how good you are or what league you are from. If a team gets hot and gets going like La Salle did to us, we were playing in Kansas City and we were on our heels and they were taking it to us. This time, I think it is a little different. It is Kansas State and Kentucky. This will be the eighth time that we have played Kentucky. Ernie (Barrett) called me already and he is still mad about the (1951) National Championship, so he wants us to get some revenge for him. Last year, we were the hunted, the name team. We are the underdog this year and I hope we play like LaSalle did last year, with great heart, loose and free and go at them.”

On the players’ mindset going into the NCAA Tournament as compared to last year …
“It was not that they were not excited to be in the tournament last year, I just do not know if they got mentally ready to play La Salle. I do not know what is in their head or in their heart. The first thing that Coach Lowery asked after I did my speech was if anyone was scared. A lot of Texas guys have played with their Texas guys. The kid from Kansas City (Willie Cauley-Stein), a lot of our guys have played with or against him, so they all know each other. It is so different than years ago, pre-AAU, when those kids were shell-shocked by that. We play Kansas every year, Kansas and Kentucky are two of the top programs, and we beat Kansas. We are capable. We just have to do it on Friday, whatever time they set.”

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Game Time Announced for Kentucky vs. Kansas State

Kentucky fans will be up late Friday night as the Wildcats are scheduled to tip at 9:40 p.m. ET.

Here is the schedule from CBS:

Second Round Games

 Friday Evening, March 21 (6:30 PM, ET-Midnight)
(Announce Teams Same as Day Games)

CBS

St. Louis IV

Kentucky vs. Kansas State
Nantz/Anthony//Wolfson

That game will start approximately 9:40 eastern.

2014 CBI Tournament Bracket Released; Morehead State vs. Illinois State

The 2014 CBI Tournament field has been released.

Morehead State will travel to Illinois State on Wednesday night in the first round. The winner will advance to play the winner of Wyoming and Texas A&M.

Here is the bracket (click to enlarge):

2014 CIT Tournament Field Announced; Murray State vs. Missouri State

The 2014 CIT Tournament Field has been announced.

Murray State will continue their season with a road game at Missouri State in the first round.

Here is the schedule:

FIRST ROUND

Monday, March 17
Holy Cross (19-13) @ Brown (15-13)
 
Tuesday, March 18
VMI (19-12) @ Canisius (20-12)
Wright State (20-14) @ East Carolina (17-16)
Norfolk State (19-14) @ Eastern Michigan (21-14) 
Chattanooga (18-14) @ ETSU (18-15)
Columbia (19-12) @ Valparaiso (18-15)
Alabama State (19-12) @ Sam Houston State (23-10)
Portland State (17-14) @ San Diego
 
Wednesday, March 19
Quinnipiac (20-11) @ Yale (15-13)
Towson (23-10) @ USC Upstate (19-14)
Cleveland State (21-11) @ Ohio (23-11)
Akron (21-12) @ IPFW (24-10)
Murray State (18-11) @ Missouri State (20-12)
North Dakota (17-16) @ Nebraska-Omaha (16-14)
Texas A&M Corpus Christi (17-15) @ Northern Colorado (18-13)
Pacific (15-15) @ Grand Canyon (15-14)

SECOND ROUND
March 21-22

QUARTERFINALS
March 25-27

SEMIFINALS 
April 1

CHAMPIONSHIP
April 3

Willie Cauley-Stein: "I knew we'd get janked"

Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein believes that most people want to see Kentucky fail.

Here are his comments following the NCAA Selection Show:

John Calipari Knew UK Would Be An 8-Seed, Says Committee Had Already Made Minds Up

Here are John Calipari's comments about Kentucky's NCAA Tournament seeding and today's SEC Championship game against Florida:

On UK’s NCAA Tournament seeding …
“Did we get a nine or an eight? (Eight.) We’d have been an eight if we had won this game. Why are you laughing? No, it’s the truth. We would have been eight. They made their minds up that that’s what this team was. The only way you can prove ‘em wrong is go play ball. And we played today and I’m proud of the guys. We’ll go play. We’ll go to St. Louis and play.”

On if they can keep the momentum …
“I hope so. That’s the plan. That’s why we did what we did.”

On how familiar he is with Kansas State …
“No idea. I haven’t watched them one second. I’ll probably watch them on the plane.”

On what seed he thinks they should be if he called the shots …
“I called an eight seed to the team. I said eight. They said there’s no way. I said we’re going to be an eight seed. You just watch.”

On why he thought they would be an eight seed and if he has inside information …
“No.”

On what seed he thought they’d played to today …
“I have no idea. We lost. We lost the game. But it didn’t matter. The seed was done before the game was played. They were not moving us around. That’s who we were going to be.”

On how the players reacted to it …
“They were kind of like, ‘What?! OK.’ I think they’re still disappointed we lost this game so they’re still not thinking. We’ve got a couple guys still almost despondent. I’m just telling you, I’m not thinking about this we just played right now. None of it’s even entered in my mind. I won’t even watch the tape. Let’s move on. We’ve got to play Kansas State.”

On how they played today …
“We played good. We played good. We get down against the No. 1 team that many points and you fight and claw back and you have your chance to win the game. You have the ball. We had the ball with a chance to win.”

On how much the weekend gives them good feelings going forward …
“I’m good. We didn’t play great. We still got some guys that are kind of in a funk right now and (I’m) trying to make the game simple for them. They just got to listen. Trying to make it real simple so you can just go play harder than the other guy. And that’s all I’m asking them to do. But we’ve got a couple guys who just got to get them on the same page with everybody else and this thing is on. Even with that being the case, we had the ball with our chance down one. Get fouled, bump it in, offensive tip-in, you know, something like that.”

On how important that surge was to keep the momentum they had gained the previous two days ...
“Yeah, it was good. I was proud of the guys. I really was.”

On Andrew Harrison saying you put the ball in his hands and he should have taken it …
“No, there’s two things. You guys know I never call a timeout (late in games). And I was mad that I did. ‘Call one, call one.’ And I called it, and as soon as I called it I was angry because I don’t call timeouts. Now you’re going against a set defense. They were spread out and scrambling. I could have stopped them and talked them through what we were going to do and let them play, but I didn’t. I called a timeout. He did exactly what I wanted. A little bit too late, but he did what I wanted him to do. And James (Young) slipped. James would have probably got something up off the backboard. I don’t know if we would have had enough time to tip it in, but it’s what we wanted him to do. He did what we wanted.”

On how much they need to get Julius Randle going …
“Julius has got to play better, Alex has got to play better. You know what I’m saying? Jarrod’s got to play better. But like I said, we’re one of those teams. We just got to go play now. It’s what it is. It doesn’t matter what other seeds are now. It’s over. I can be mad about it, you can be mad, everybody can be (mad). Explain yourself. They had the fourth strength of schedule. Are you telling people they don’t have to play anybody? Explain it. But they don’t have to explain it. They said what we did. So, we just got to go play. We got to play basketball in St. Louis.”

On how much a difference Dakari Johnson and Willie Cauley-Stein made …
“It was good. That’s where we made our run and I kind of rode with it.”

On how he feels being in St. Louis and close to Kentucky fans …
“It’s good. Yeah, it’ll be good. But it’s close to Wichita (State), it’s close to Kansas State. Everybody’s going to have fans. I bet you everybody uses up their allotment.”

On how many teams the SEC got in …
“Yeah, one of them was a play-in. I mean, Tennessee is a play-in game? I mean, again, I don’t know where this image of our league is right now, but we just did with Florida, does that mean they’re not very good? I mean, I guess if you say it enough and say it enough it becomes real. But, you know, we’ll have to see.”

On if was coaching Wichita State, how mad he would be to see Kentucky possibly in the next round …
“He’s not worried about anybody. I’ve had that team when I was at UMass and we weren’t worried about anybody else. It didn’t matter who we played, we were comfortable. And if it’s an eight or nine seed, they’re like, ‘I don’t care who they are, they’re still an eight or nine seed.’ And we’ve got to win. I’m not worried about Wichita and they’re not worried about us. We’ve got to win our first game and that’s all our focus will be on: trying to play a really good team, a very physical team. So they kind of threw that out: Who’s the most physical team out there? Boom! It’s a physical game and a tough game.”

2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Brackets Released

The 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament brackets are set and March Madness will hit full stride this week.

Louisville is a No. 4 seed in the Midwest region. The Cardinals will battle Manhattan and former Louisville assistant Steve Masiello in the
second round. The winner will advance to face the winner of Saint Louis and either North Carolina State or Xavier.

The Kentucky Wildcats were given the No. 8 seed in the Midwest region and will battle Kansas State in the second round. The winner will almost certainly face No. 1 seed Wichita State, the only undefeated team in college basketball.

If Louisville and Kentucky both win two games, they will meet each other in the Sweet 16.

Eastern Kentucky is the No. 15 seed in the South region and will have the task of squaring off with No. 2 Kansas in the second round.

The Florida Gators are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. The other No. 1 seeds are Arizona and Virginia.

My thoughts: I personally think both Louisville and Kentucky were hosed by the selection committee. I felt Louisville has an argument to be a No. 2 seed and somehow ended up as a 4.

Kentucky has 10 losses but is playing much better heading into the tournament, including a one-point loss to Florida in the SEC championship game. Meanwhile, Kansas has 9 losses but still manages to grab a No. 2 seed?

Printable bracket from CBSSports.com (click to enlarge):

Kentucky Players Discuss Win Over Georgia, Game Against Florida

Kentucky's Andrew Harrison, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, James Young and Dakari Johnson talk about Saturday's win over Georgia and Sunday's championship game against Florida:


Highlights: Kentucky Defeats Georgia in SEC Tournament Semifinals

Check out the highlights of Kentucky's 70-58 win over Georgia in Saturday's SEC Tournament semifinal game:


Eastern Kentucky to Host NCAA Selection Show Party with Sundy Best Concert

Eastern Kentucky will host an NCAA Tournament Selection Show Party this afternoon at the EKU Center for the Arts.

Here are details from EKU:

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University fans, students and media are invited to join the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champion men's basketball team for a NCAA Selection Show Party on Sunday.

The event will be held at the EKU Center for the Arts, located across the Eastern By-Pass from Alumni Coliseum.  Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.  The selection show begins at 6 p.m.  A free concert by Sundy Best will follow at 7 p.m.

Members of the EKU Board of Regents, Foundation Board, Alumni Board, University administration, Colonel Club, men's basketball season ticket holders and men's basketball team families are asked to obtain their preferred seating wrist band at the Center for the Arts box office, located in the lobby, upon arrival at the event.

Free t-shirts, provided by Raising Cane's, will be provided to the first 2,500 fans in attendance.  Fans will have the opportunity to take a picture with the OVC Championship trophy and wear the official OVC Championship net while the 2014 OVC Championship highlight video plays on the big screen.

The team will be introduced and head coach Jeff Neubauer will speak to the crowd.

Complimentary snacks and beverages will be available.  WCYO 100.7 FM will broadcast live from the event.

Here's a complete schedule of events …

4:30 Doors open
5:10 Theatre opens for seating
5:30 Program begins
5:35 Team introduced
5:50 OVC Tournament highlight video
6:00 Selection show on the big screen
7:00 Sundy Best concert
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