February 28th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
Another Monday and another important matchup in the Big East, with Villanova (21-8, 9-7) visiting Notre Dame (23-5, 12-4) in a game the Wildcats desperately need to avoid playing on Tuesday in next week's Big East Tournament. Jay Wright's club is currently in a five-way tie for seventh place and only two teams will avoid playing on Tuesday. Notre Dame on the other hand has clinched at least a first round bye and one more win would mean a double-bye for Mike Brey's team. And at Purcell Pavilion the Irish are tough to beat, as they've gone 16-0 at home this season.
February 15th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
"I'm not going to the NIT. I won't play basketball in the NIT. I'm saying that now. If we lose, and we have to go to the NIT, I will not play."
Those were the words of Kansas State senior guard Jacob Pullen to Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star on January 12th, but from that point forward neither Pullen nor the rest of his teammates had done much to avoid such a decision.
February 14th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
It's now or never for Frank Martin's Kansas State Wildcats, who have been among the most disappointing teams in America. Having lost at Colorado on Saturday night K-State (16-9, 4-6) is in desperate need of a signature win, and the blessing of being in the Big 12 is that they have multiple opportunities to pick one up. Tonight certainly qualifies with in-state rival Kansas (24-1, 9-1) visiting Bramlage Coliseum, and with Thomas Robinson out and Josh Selby banged up (and likely to sit as well) the Jayhawks will be down in the depth department.
February 9th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
A lot of the talk leading into Tuesday's matchup between Kentucky and Tennessee at Rupp Arena surrounded the return of Bruce Pearl to the Tennessee sidelines after an eight-game SEC suspension. The Vols won five of eight with associate head coach Tony Jones in charge but there's something to be said in regards to the comfort level a team has when their head coach is on the bench. But the return to normalcy means nothing if you get outworked and that's exactly what happened to the Vols, ultimately falling 73-61 to the 18th-ranked Wildcats.
January 29th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
While there are a number of good games on the schedule for Saturday the best matchup may not come until the evening deep in the heart of Texas. Rick Barnes' Longhorns (17-3, 5-0) have been outstanding for much of the season, having won 11 of their last 12 games with the defeat being by one point. But they'll encounter a stiff test in regards to both talent and style as a Missouri (17-3, 3-2) squad that needs a win to remain in the Big 12 title conversation visits the Erwin Events Center. Both squads are solid defensively but they do things in different ways.
January 25th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
The return of the "burn" paid dividends for Mike Brey's Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Monday night, with a style of play that got them to the NCAA Tournament making the difference in a 56-51 win at #2 Pittsburgh. Ben Hansbrough led the Irish with 19 points, 13 of which came in the final nine minutes of the game, while Carleton Scott added 16 and Scott Martin 10.
January 24th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
The best game in regards to the national polls would be Notre Dame visiting Pittsburgh in the first game of the Big Monday doubleheader. But a good argument can be made that the matchup between the Fighting Irish and Panthers isn't the most important game of the night. That distinction goes to Baylor visiting Kansas State in a matchup of two teams who need a win period, not just one to prop up their respective resumes.
January 22nd, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
First place in the Big 12 in on the line Saturday afternoon with Texas (15-3, 3-0), fresh off of an impressive win over rival Texas A&M, visiting Kansas (18-0, 3-0) with the undefeated Jayhawks looking to keep their 69-game home win streak alive. In order for Texas to pick up the victory they're going to need their frontcourt to play as well as they did against the Aggies if not better because they'll be up against one of the premier frontcourts in America.
January 18th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
While games tend to have their fair share of dueling spurts and runs, few can match what was seen at the Petersen Events Center on Monday night. Pittsburgh sprinted out of the gates, scoring the first 19 points of the game with Nasir Robinson providing nine of his career-high 21 points during that stretch. But the better teams are able to answer and that's exactly what Syracuse did despite playing without leading scorer Kris Joseph (head injury), going on a 17-0 run to close to within two points with 6:03 left in the half.
January 17th, 2011 by Raphielle Johnson
While there are four games on Monday involving ranked teams it doesn't take much effort to realize which contest gets the main line on the marquee. Syracuse (18-0, 5-0) heads south to take on Pittsburgh (17-1, 5-0) in a matchup of the two 5-0 Big East teams, and the Orange have yet to lose at all this season. But the dynamic of this contest changed some when Syracuse wing Kris Joseph hit his head on the Carrier Dome floor in the first half of Saturday's win over Cincinnati.