Syracuse imposes self-ban on playing in 2015 Tournaments

Dating back several years, Syrcause’s wrongdoings within the confines of their men’s basketball program means that they are the 12th school to not play in either their conference tournament come March or the NCAA’s or NIT post-season tournaments.

VCU claims second key player to injury

Senior forward and the team’s leading scorer Treveon Graham reaggravated an ankle injury that lingered early on in the Atlantic 10 season.  Barring a late-season collapse, I would not be surprised at all to see VCU as a middle-seed team when the brackets are released in over five weeks.

Purdue continues to impress

It is always to end a blog with something really cool, and the Boilermakers are suddenly becoming a major player in the always rugged Big Ten.  Latest case helping their Tournament cause, a huge home win on Wednesday night while overcoming poor free-throw shooting in upending Ohio State 60-58. The Buckeyes were playing without the conference’s leading three-point shooter in Marc Loving was suspended indefinitely by the school.  No exact reason for the suspension was given prior to the game by OSU Head Coach Thad Matta. For Matt Painter, this is a sign of when he was a key cog in those mid-1990’s Boilermaker teams which featured lockdown defenses and scrappy plays to pick up loose balls in forcing the opponents to feel uncomfortable. Purdue (15-8, 7-3 Big Ten) must have been trying to avoid being a future subject in my “Under the Microscope” series. The current four-game winning streak has the Boilers off to their best conference start since posting a 9-1 clip back in 2007-08.  This was their first win against the Buckeyes in almost four years, snapping the overall skid at six games during the Aaron Craft/Jared Sullinger era.

Huge game in AAC, as SMU tries to make themselves more relevant

SMU had mostly everything going for them in 2013-2014, but barely missed out on the Big Dance since their non-conference schedule came back to bite them.  Tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN, they have a huge contest at home against perennial foe Cincinnati.  The Mustangs are 18-4, 9-1 in conference play.  With a bigger showdown at Tulsa waiting in the wings, Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown would need to show off a nice defensive effort to keep Cincinnati’s guards at bay.  The only loss SMU has had to a Top 25 team was Arkansas in the early part of the season, but the Mustangs have reeled off wins in 16 of their 17 last games–an impressive record only matched by a handful of schools. Also at the same time on ESPN2, UCLA tries to stay alive in the Pac-12 race as they pay a visit to the campus that hosted what would turn out to be Dan Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance way back in January 1985, Palo Alto and Stanford. Purdue has won three straight over ranked opponents for the first time since January-February 2010. All three of those wins have come with the Boilermakers unranked, a feat they last achieved during a January-February stretch in 1979.

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