Despite Awful Season and Recruiting Misses, Chris Collins Seat at Northwestern Very Cool

chris collins

The “program momentum,” if you believe such things actually exist in college basketball, is long gone now at Northwestern. Yes, they made their first ever NCAA Tournament two years ago, and achieved the school’s first ever tournament win to boot, but that might as well be ancient history today. 

Today’s mood is the polar opposite of 2017 March Madness as Chris Collins now faces a very real danger of finishing dead last in the Big Ten for the first time in his career. Barring a miracle turnaround down the stretch, NU will be forced to play on the first night of the Big Ten tournament and an under. 500 overall record for fourth time in Collins’ six seasons seems very likely. In three of his five seasons at the helm, the Cats have finished 10th in the league.

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Ayo Dosunmu Has High NBA Draft Stock, but it’s Just Not Reflected in Mock Drafts

ayo dosunmu

Illini basketball in the Brad Underwood era has finally shown signs of a pulse in the past month as the team picked up two very high quality wins over teams ranked in the top 15 at the time. Illinois has now won four of their last five, and played their way above the Wednesday night projection in the Big Ten tournament.

If the Illini can close out the season 4-3 or better, they will avoid breaking the school record for single season losses. A primary reason for the Illini surge has been the stellar play of freshman point guard Ayo Dosunmu. His rapid development has coincided with the drastic Illini improvement.

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Purdue Boilermakers NCAAs Resume Update After Michigan State Win

purdue

In their shocking 73-63 upset of #6 Michigan State Sunday, the unranked Purdue Boilermakers ended MSU’s 13 game win streak, as well as their bid for the first 10-0 Big Ten start in school history. This past weekend’s loss also saw State trail by their largest margin (23) in any game this season, before an epic fake rally window dressed the score quite a bit.

Purdue also held Sparty to their lowest point total in a half since 2004 and ended State’s 21 game conference win streak. So now with this blockbuster win under their belt, where do the Purdue Boilermakers stand in terms of season profile/postseason projection?

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Indiana Hoosiers Star Romeo Langford Still Has Lottery Stock Despite Recent Slump

romeo langford

Despite a recent mini-slump, Indiana Hoosiers guard Romeo Langford is measure for measure the Big Ten’s best pro prospect, and by a very wide margin. His performances and productivity have slipped a bit lately, but Romeo is probably the least of IU’s problems right now. Hoosiers coach Archie Miller believes the criticism surround Romeo is much ado about nothing. 

“He’s got to continue to work, find different ways, step back behind that three point line a little bit, hopefully make a couple more, but Romeo’s not the problem,” Miller said last night after his team lost 73-66 at Northwestern.

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Michigan State Basketball: Tournament Resume Update After Purdue Upset

michigan-state-basketball

You know how it is with Michigan State basketball- the season really doesn’t begin until March. Reaching the NCAA Tournament is basically automatic for this program, so success or failure is judged by what they do in the The Big Dance.

That said, today’s 73-63 loss at Purdue was certainly disheartening for several reasons. This team really needs wing Joshua Langford, and the dimensions that he gives them, back very badly. Langford missed eighth straight game today due to an ankle injury, the specifics of which the school has kept quiet. Michigan State basketball certainly has a #2 seed profile right now, and with a little work, could be on that top line come Selection Sunday.

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Northwestern Wildcats Basketball Season Resume/Postseason Profile

northwestern basketball

While there are still 14 games left in the season, the clock is very much ticking loudly for the Northwestern Wildcats. Right now, they’re projected to be in the dreaded Wednesday slate/opening day of the Big Ten Tournament and you know what that means- you have to win the whole conference tourney in order to get into The Big Dance.

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Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball Season Resume/Postseason Profile

Iowa Hawkeyes kirk ferentz

In college basketball, it’s never too early to talk about the postseason. More than any other sport, it’s a game where an overwhelming majority of the followers don’t really even check in until just the postseason or just before. Last night, your #25 Iowa Hawkeyes looked very much like a team that could make some noise come tournament time.

They went out and got a conference road win despite missing Tyler Cook, who is their leading scorer and rebounder by a very wide margin. The Hawkeyes didn’t know that Cook (sore knee, day-to-day) couldn’t go until the shoot-around, but they recovered and responded nicely.

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Despite Record-Breaking Losing, Seat of Illini Basketball Coach Brad Underwood Cool

brad underwood

It’s going to take nothing short of a miracle for the current Illini basketball team to avoid having the highest loss single season in program history. At 4-11, with 16 games left, Illinois will need to go 10-7 (or better) down the stretch in order to avoid tying the Illini basketball program record for single season losses of 19, set in 2007-08 (16-19 overall, 5-13 in the B1G) and tied again in 2015-16 (15-19, 5-13).

If the math seems off by one, remember there will be one more loss in the Big Ten Tournament. In order to keep his current team from figuring prominently in the “worst team in school history” debates Brad Underwood will somehow need to guide a team with a winning percentage of .267 to a .588 clip (or more than double) the rest of the way.

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John Calipari Strongly Conveyed the Christmas Spirit this Week

isaiah-briscoe-john-calipari-kentucky-wildcats-basketball

After his team beat #9 North Carolina 80-72 at the United Center in Chicago, Kentucky Coach John Calipari gave a postgame press conference that had an important message- one that goes well above and beyond mere basketball. Calipari wished the media Merry Christmas, and then advised any person with the means of taking somebody in this Christmas to do so.

He was speaking about those who won’t have a place to be this Christmas. Coach Cal suggested that if you have the ability to warmly welcome one of these people into your home this holiday season, you should do so.

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Steve Alford Seat at UCLA Now Turned Up to Absolutely Scorching

kevan-looney

The desire to see UCLA move on from head coach Steve Alford is growing stronger by the day. As the results keep worsening, the backlash in Bruins nation keeps growing. In Chicago yesterday, UCLA suffered yet another lop-sided defeat, this time at the hands of #15 Ohio State by the score of 80-66. UCLA were slight underdogs coming into this contest, and if you’re going to be doing some sports betting, via online casino canada you will see the Bruins as heavy underdogs in most games going forward.

When the NCAA Tournament, or “March Madness” gets here, it’s a sports gambler’s paradise, and one that UCLA will almost certainly not be a part of. Anybody who watched their game yesterday will tell you that it was much more one-sided than that final score would indicate. The blowout dropped the Bruins to a record of just 7-5 on the season.

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#9 North Carolina Tar Heels vs #19 Kentucky Wildcats: Game Preview with @DaggumRoy

Roy-Williams-north-carolina-tar-heels

Saturday brings the CBS Sports Classic, a college basketball double header featuring four of the sport’s most storied programs, to the United Center in Chicago. It’s UCLA vs. #15 Ohio State in the undercard (game preview at this link), tipping off at 2pm CST. The heavyweight bout is the #9 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. the #19 Kentucky Wildcats; tipping off at 4:15 local.
Now there are plenty of industry standard game preview articles out there for this headliner match-up, but we decided to go in a different direction. You already know how most head coach press conferences go- lots of cliches, platitudes and corporatespeak.
But what if you were able to do a Q&A with North Carolina Tar Heels Head Coach Roy Williams, and he had absolutely no filter at all during it?

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#19 Ohio State Buckeyes vs UCLA Bruins Preview, Prediction

Ohio-State-dangelo-russell

It’s always a massive struggle to generate mainstream interest in college basketball before February (and it always will be), but events like the CBS Sports Classic have the right idea. Football and the holidays will always be top of mind in December, and by a considerable margin, but the more marquee match-ups you can get schedule before conference season begins the better.

The #15 Ohio State Buckeyes will play their second game in just 17 days at Chicago’s United Center, and this one, 2 pm on Saturday against the UCLA Bruins, figures to draw a much bigger crowd than the previous contest. OSU handily beat the home state Illinois Fighting Illini, a once proud program that has completely fallen off the map, in front of pretty much just friends and family that Wednesday evening.

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