Michigan State Spartans, Villanova Wildcats Co-NCAA Tournament Favorites

cassius winston

Your Michigan State Spartans, along with the Villanova Wildcats, are co-favorites to win it all according to the sports books. You know the saying in East Lansing, Michigan: “January, February, Izzo.” Now while Michigan State is dominant in March, the last weekend of the NCAA Tournament is in April, which has been the cruelest month to the Spartans.

Since their most recent national title in 2000, the Michigan State Spartans have been back to Final Four five times (2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015), and they have only reached the title game in one of those five trips. MSU’s record is 1-5 on the April weekend of the big dance since the glorious night they cut down the nets after beating Florida in 2000.

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Purdue Basketball Case for a NCAA Tournament #1 Seed

mackey arena purdue

While this Purdue basketball team ended up losing the only B1G conference game that will end up having major national significant this season, the Boilermakers are still in great shape for a #1 seed. Michigan State actually needed that game a lot more than the Boilers did, and it was a hotly contested battle that went down to the final seconds.

In the NCAA’s “what the bracket would be if it started today?” reveal yesterday, MSU was only a #3 (here’s an in-depth look at their resume) and Purdue was still a #1. That tells you where things stand right now, but where are they going? Let’s take a look at Purdue’s resume, and then figure out what they need to do still in order to cling to that #1 seed.

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Carsen Edwards: Purdue SG Rising as Fast as Anybody this Season

carsen edwards

Purdue shooting guard Carsen Edwards was certainly seen as a high-level talent entering this season, but very few could have seen a development of this magnitude coming. He’s rising as fast and as high as any college basketball who made “the leap” this season.

Edwards was the only B1G player named as a finalist for the Jerry West Award (nation’s best shooting guard). The sophomore is a strong front-runner for all-conference first team. A 6-foot, 1-inch guard from Atascocita, Texas, Carsen Edwards was also named a top-20 finalist for the Wooden Award, which is the basketball Heisman (well, it shares that status with the Naismith Award). It’s quite an accomplishment when you realize Edwards wasn’t on the preseason top-20 list for the West Award.

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2018 NBA Mock Draft 2-6-18

MARVIN-BAGLEY-III

Welcome to our 2018 NBA Mock Draft. It’s never too early.

For more on a given prospect, click his name where hyper-linked, and that will take you to an in-depth feature piece on said player. Team needs were not taken into account, and the order was taken from Tankathon, who we linked here. You may not agree with the picks in this 2018 NBA mock draft, and yes, somebody will get left out, but you can air your grievances in the comments section.

Just keep it all above board.

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B1G Hoops El Clasico: Indiana Hoosiers vs Purdue Boilermakers

bob knight chair

(Editor’s note: re-posting this from last year, in honor of the Purdue Boilermakers 74-67 win at the Indiana Hoosiers today, the only meeting of the year between these two)

While there is no rivalry in B1G basketball as high stakes and as passionate as El Clasico, the Purdue Boilermakers and Indiana Hoosiers bloodfeud can come close at times. The two teams quite often have not just regional relevance, but national. In a given year, we often see one of the two teams influencing the NCAA Championship odds here as February turns to March. The NCAA Tournament is so close now that you can almost taste it.

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Forwards Vince Edwards and Keita Bates-Diop in Fierce B1G POY Race

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At this point it’s a two horse race for the B1G Player of the Year between Vince Edwards of the #3 Purdue Boilermakers and Keita Bates-Diop of #22 Ohio State. They are both the alpha dog on the two teams that have most pleasantly surprised in the league this season. Even in the off-night he had tonight at Northwestern, Bates-Diop still almost had a double double.

His 10 points and eight rebounds effort ended a stretch which saw him become the first Ohio State player to score at least 25 points in three straight games since Michael Redd in 1998.

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Purdue Basketball: Best Team in the B1G By a Very Wide Margin

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Just a few days ago, this 2017-18 Purdue basketball team was #1 in the Sagarin ratings. This weekend, the Boilermakers ascended to #2 KenPom, as they’re the only team to have a both a top 10 ranked offense and a top 10 ranked defense. They spent this was week ranked #4 in the country and by the time you read this they could be #3.

Purdue is also the only team in the nation yet to have lost on American soil this season. When you look at all the superlatives, coupled with the severe deterioration of the B1G this season, it’s a given to say that they are the best team in the conference right now; and by a very healthy margin. 

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Michigan State Basketball Rules the B1G, Purdue is Solid, the Rest is Meh

michigan-state-basketball-spartans

This current Michigan State basketball team is the class of the B1G, and there is a substantial drop-off below the Spartans. The Purdue Boilermakers were able to shake off a couple bad performances in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving weekend, and now they look very solid.

Then, once again, there’s a massive drop-off to the rest of the league. It’s MSU, Purdue and then just a bunch of guys. Some of those guys are better than the others, but there is no squad that is must see other than the Purdue and Michigan State basketball teams.

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Purdue, Illini, Northwestern Give Mixed Opinions on Early, Congested B1G Schedule

purdue hoops

The B1G schedule is disjointed and disoriented this season, beginning and ending earlier than ever before in modern history. We asked the head coaches and a couple players from the three B1G teams closest to home here (Chicago): #21 Purdue Boilermakers, Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats.

The schedule is so tightly congested on the calendar that it leaves many of us physically congested, because those involved are so worn down from the workload, with quick turnarounds, all taking place inside the perfect breeding ground for germs during flu season.

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Chris Collins Said His Player Got Stitches at Purdue, When He Actually Didn’t

chris collins northwestern

Northwestern Coach Chris Collins put forth some fake news during his postgame news conference at Purdue. Following his team’s 74-69 loss in West Lafayette, Collins opened his media session by saying: “I gotta make it quick.”

“Dererk Pardon is getting stitches from (Isaac) Haas putting his elbow in his face. So I got to get back there, and he only shot three free throws.”

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Matt Painter Reflects on Historical Coaching Carousel that Established Him

matt painter

Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter reflected this week on being a part of the biggest coaching carousel in the history of college basketball.

“Sometimes the world flips around differently, and you get opportunities,” Painter said about the 2003 coaching changes that had numerous ripple effects beyond several high major and mid major programs.

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Purdue Boilermakers Fans Heckle #17 Louisville with FBI, Prostitution Themes

louisville cardinals purdue boilermakers

While you could definitely ask for a more entertaining contest on the court, the in arena atmosphere that surrounded the Purdue Boilermakers 66-57 win over #17 Louisville was top notch. It was electric, spirited and hostile all at the same time.

The fans were both very loud and extremely clever, as they taunted the visiting Cardinals with chants of FBI, and numerous references to the scandals that have plagued the program in recent years and led to the dismissal of Rick Pitino.   

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