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Sunday Recap: Kansas State Controls Title Game Throughout

December 26th, 2011
Kansas State was in control throughout Sunday night

The question leading into the title game of the Diamond Head Classic was how would Kansas State deal with Long Beach State guard Casper Ware. But by the end of the game it was obvious that the better question to ask was how the senior would navigate the Wildcats' tough perimeter defense. Thanks in large part to Will Spradling and Martavious Irving the Wildcats harassed Ware in to a 5-for-18 night from the field, and they took control of the game at both ends on their way to a 77-60 win in Honolulu.

Friday Recap: Wagner Knocks off #15 Pittsburgh

December 24th, 2011
Wagner left Pittsburgh with a historic victory

Plenty of teams have pre-Christmas letdowns, when they allow their minds to wander a bit against teams they're expected to beat. But in a lot of those cases the favored team is able to bounce back and do enough to eventually win the game. But that wasn't the case for #15 Pittsburgh, who turned the ball over 18 times against a team in Wagner that was talented enough to make them pay for those errors.

Thursday Recap: Missouri Wins Braggin' Rights Yet Again

December 23rd, 2011
Missouri won their fourth straight in the series

The "Braggin' Rights" game between Illinois and Missouri is alway an intense affair, with the fans in the stands split by the halfcourt line and both teams understanding what's at stake before they even hit the floor. This season's game was no different, although for a good portion of the first half it seemed as if the undefeated Tigers were on their way to a romp. Bruce Weber's team refused to fold, and once Missouri got out of control Illinois was able to mount their rally.

Friday's Preview: West Virginia vs. #7 Baylor

December 23rd, 2011
West Virginia forward Kevin Jones

Friday marks the final day of games before Christmas Day, and while the schedule is light there are some good games to keep an eye on. Atop the list is a game at the Las Vegas Classic matching West Virginia (8-2) and #7 Baylor (10-0), with the Bears boasting one of the deepest frontcourt rotations in the country. But to be fair this is their most strenuous back-to-back stretch of the season as they beat Saint Mary's on Thursday night.

Wednesday Recap: Tar Heels Too Potent for Texas

December 22nd, 2011
Harrison Barnes was at his best on Wednesday

In each of North Carolina's last two games sophomore forward Harrison Barnes shot 4-for-12 from the field and scored nine points. Some may have been concerned given the fact that those performances came against Appalachian State and Nicholls State, ignoring the fact that the Tar Heels still managed to win both games by comfortable margins. Barnes is fine, as he showed in North Carolina's 82-63 win over Texas by scoring a season-high 26 points and grabbing ten rebounds in just 25 minutes of action.

Thursday's Preview: #24 Illinois vs. #8 Missouri

December 22nd, 2011
Marcus Denmon and the Tigers blitzed Notre Dame

Thursday is the final "busy day" on the college basketball schedule before Christmas and there's important business to address in St. Louis: Braggin' Rights. Undefeated and eighth-ranked Missouri (11-0) looks for its third straight win over #24 Illinois (11-1) in the series, and despite the change in head coach the Tigers remain one of the most balanced teams in the country.

Tuesday Recap: Louisville Rallies to Remain Undefeated

December 21st, 2011
Russ Smith wreaked havoc in the second half

For a while on Tuesday night it looked as if a Southern Conference team would hand another undefeated team its first defeat of the season. But an important suggestion by Louisville assistant coach Richard Pitino set things in motion for the fourth-ranked Cardinals, sparking a rally that resulted in a 69-62 victory. The idea: instead of relying on the frontcourt tandem of Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan to occupy the foul line area against the Charleston zone, use the versatile Kyle Kuric at the four.

Wednesday's Preview: Texas at #6 North Carolina

December 21st, 2011
Harrison Barnes finished with a game-high 20 pointsRick Barnes' Texas (9-2) Longhorns have gotten off to a solid start despite heavy personnel losses from last year's NCAA Tournament team, but outside of a neutral-court win over NC State there aren't any decisions that jump off the page. Can't credit Santa with this pre-Christmas "gift" but they've got a great opportunity to pick up a quality win as they visit #6 North Carolina (10-2). One key for Texas' prospects this season is the play of freshman point guard Myck Kabongo (10.8 ppg, 6.0 apg), and the Canadian has shown signs by the game that he'll be alright.

Tuesday's Preview: Butler at Gonzaga

December 19th, 2011
Gonzaga finally has a healthy Elias HarrisTuesday night's action features a few critical match ups when considering at-large possibilities in March, with one such game being Butler (5-6) taking on Gonzaga (7-2) in Spokane. Brad Stevens' Bulldogs looked to be in serious trouble on Saturday but a furious rally to beat Purdue may have been the win that sparks a turnaround. But they didn't do themselves many favors in that regard from a scheduling standpoint, with Gonzaga boasting a 93-7 record in the McCarthey Athletic Center.