2012 Maui Invitational Preview and Predictions

maui invitational logo

As much as Feast Week is about stuffing your face with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes; it’s also about sweet college basketball tournaments like the Maui Invitational.  This field is not as stacked as a year ago when Duke needed a pair of Tyler Thornton “Onions” three pointers to beat Kansas in the title game.  Nevertheless here are my predictions from a field which includes North Carolina, Texas, Marquette, Illinois, and Butler.

Here is the link to the official 2012 Maui Invitational bracket.

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#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111

mississippi state dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs were one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball last season.  As a result, fourteen-year head coach Rick Stansbury “retired” and was replaced by little known Clemson assistant, Rick Ray.  Ray inherits a messy situation in which he loses six of the Bulldogs eight rotation players from last season.

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Marquette, Illinois, Butler in 2012 Maui Invitational

Darius Johnson Odom

The Maui Invitational is usually the best Thanksgiving Holiday college basketball tournament every year.  The 2010 field was stacked with teams like eventual National Champion UConn, Kentucky, Washington, and Michigan StateThe 2012 Maui Invitational will also be loaded featuring Marquette, Illinois, and Butler.

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99 in 99: #40 Mississippi State Bulldogs

mississippi state basketball

It has been an eventful off-season at Mississippi State… and that is not a good thing.  The Bulldogs will deal with early season suspensions to their top two players but should be an NCAA Tournament-caliber team once they are at full strength.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” countdown ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power rankings order.  Click here if you missed teams #41-#99.

By: David Kay
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Title Games Produce Different Fates for Mississippi State, Minnesota

By Mike Gallagher

Don’t get me wrong, winning the Big Ten Tournament would’ve been nice on a number of levels for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Not only would it have kept their ridiculous amount of late season momentum going right into the tournament with the auto bid they would’ve received, but in the big picture it also would be a great title and trophy to hold along with an unbelievable comeback story for the school that could be passed over for decades to come.  When it seemed they were done, the 2010 Gophers made a memorable charge through the entire Big Ten to win the league and go to the NCAAs.  You know, all that sentimental crap.

But let’s be completely serious, when it came down to the Gophers getting into this year’s tournament, Sunday’s game had nothing to do with it.

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Gophers Upset Michigan State, Set Up Key Clash With Purdue

By Mike Gallagher

Minnesota looked like they were ready to punch their ticket to the Big Ten Semifinals Friday with a 55-48 lead with 3:27 left to play.

But you had to know it wasn’t over. [Read more…]