1. O26 Teams Make Statements Against Power Conference TeamsTuesday’s Pregame Shootaround: Kansas heads to Florida, Boise State visits Kentucky--CollegeBasketballTalk
Saturday: New Mexico cruises at home, handing Cincinnati its first loss, 63-54; Green Bay’s Greg Mays and Keifer Sykes each contribute 20+ points to defeat Virginia, 75-72
2. Chances For More Statements to Come
With only a few weeks remaining before conference play gets into full swing, opportunities are winding down for Other 26 teams to trip up power conference opponents. Some of this week’s most intriguing match-ups:
On Saturday, Oakland hosts (that’s right, hosts) Michigan State. The Grizzlies are certainly long shots in this one, but seniors Travis Bader and Duke Mondy will look to make the most of this opportunity of a lifetime.
4. Under-the-Radar Players to Enjoy
Five of KenPom’s top seven Player of the Year candidates hail from Other 26 conferences:
Keifer Sykes (Green Bay) – can climb even higher with better shot selection; he is shooting 59 percent inside the arc, but only 27 percent from three-point range.
MID-MAJOR GAME OF THE DAY: Green Bay at Eastern Michigan, 7:00 p.m. ET
Green Bay is a really good team this season. They almost beat Wisconsin at home. They did beat Virginia at home. Kiefer Sykes in one of the nation’s best-kept secrets, and Alec Brown is a legitimate NBA prospect. That said, Eastern Michigan has a couple of high-major transfers, some length and athleticism and a coach that learned how to play a 2-3 zone under Jim Boeheim. Should be a good one.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
2) Indiana will host the Oakland Fighting Travis Baders tonight. The irony: Indiana desperately needs some three-point shooting. If this was the NBA, they’d give up a recruit to be named later for Bader.
Recap: Miami vs. Cleveland--Miami Herald
Prior to that, the Heat stretched the lead thanks to some heady play and clutch shooting. James whipped a pass from beyond the 3-point line to Norris Cole for a layup. The run ended with 1:36 left when Chalmers barely beat the shot clock by burying a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 109-101 margin.Miami Heat fades in second half, falls to Indiana Pacers--Miami Herald
Rashard Lewis (two), Norris Cole (one), Bosh (three) and Dwyane Wade (one) all attempted three-pointers and missed.Playing short-handed becoming norm for the Heat--South Florida Sun Sentinel
Because of the constant lineup shuffling, LeBron James and Norris Cole are the only rotation players to play in every game.Heat blow lead, fight back for 114-107 victory over Cavs--South Florida Sun Sentinel
From there, a Norris Cole layup off a James assist and a pair of Ray Allen free throws put the Heat up 106-100 with 2:16 to play. Earlier, a third-quarter 3-pointer lifted Allen to 24,000 career points.
Saturday's state basketball roundup: Detroit falls just short against North Carolina State--The Detroit News
Detroit Drops Close One to NC State 82-79--Titans Update
Titans Second Half Run Falls Short at NC State, 82-79--detroittitans.com
No. 5 Michigan State holds on to beat Oakland, again--The Oakland Press
CAPUTO: Good day for Oakland despite loss to MSU--The Oakland Press
Former Oakland player Drew Valentine returns to face former team with Michigan State--The Oakland Press
Pregame notes for Oakland-MSU--Grizzlies Den
On this day 3 years ago - Dec 14, 2010--Grizz Gang
Oakland Tripped Up by No. 5 Michigan State 67-63--Grizz Gang
OU goes the distance with No. 5 Spartans--Oakland Post
NO. 5 MICHIGAN STATE COMES BACK TO DEFEAT OAKLAND, 67-63--ougrizzlies.com
UIC ends two-game skid with 75-69 win--The Chicago Tribune
UIC Upsets Southeast Missouri State 75-69--Flame Fanatic
UIC Snaps SEMO's Five-Game Win Streak With 75-69 Road Win--uicflames.com
Late Night Snacks: Kentucky, Florida get back in the win column--CollegeBasketballTalk
NOTABLESMen's basketball: UWGB rallies to end non-conference road drought--Green Bay Press Gazette
Eastern Michigan tops Green Bay 67-58. Green Bay had topped Virginia three days before.
Green Bay Defeats South Dakota 89-85--Phoenix Fever
Balanced Attack Rallies Visiting Green Bay Past South Dakota--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Women's basketball: Megan Lukan becoming leader on young UWGB team--Green Bay Press Gazette
Viewer's Guide: Are any power-conference teams on upset alert?--USA Today
Guaranteed win: Milwaukee at No. 4 Wisconsin (8 p.m.). Milwaukee has actually been pretty decent this season, beating Davidson and Northern Iowa en route to a 9-2 start. However, that third loss is on its way Wednesday. Wisconsin is playing some of the best basketball in the country, and might have a better collection of wins than anyone.
Episode #2 of "The Kyle Rechlicz Show" on TWC SportsChannel--Panther Blog Zone
Keith Carter eligible for Valparaiso at conclusion of fall semester--CollegeBasketballTalk
Valpo shrugs off sluggish start, tops Loyola Marymount--The Post-Tribune
Peters equals career-high in Valparaiso victory--The NWI Times
LUTHERAN MIRACLE: "Miracle on Union Street": an oral history--The NWI Times
LUTHERAN MIRACLE: Looking back on the Miracle on Union Street--The NWI Times
The Lutheran Miracle--The NWI Times
Wrapping up Loyola Marymount--Inside VU Sports
On this day 11 years ago - Dec 14, 2002--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso Knocks Off Loyola Marymount 80-73--Valpo Daily
Valpo Men's Basketball Postgame Press Conference - Loyola Marymount--valpoathletics.com
Crusaders Come From Behind to Take Down LMU--valpoathletics.com
The Lutheran Miracle - 25 Years Later--valpoathletics.com
VU women come up short after slow start vs. Butler--The Post-Tribune
Six impact midseason additions expected to become eligible next week--The Dagger
4. Chrishawn Hopkins, G, Wright StateMiami, Wright State desperate for a win as they meet Sunday--Dayton Daily News
Potential debut: Sunday against Miami (Ohio)
As the rest of his former Butler teammates transitioned to the Atlantic 10 last winter, Hopkins stayed put in the Horizon League. The speedy 6-foot-1 junior was dismissed from the Butler program for an undisclosed team rules violation and eventually transferred to Wright State. Hopkins, who averaged 9.1 points per game during the 2011-12 season, brings an explosive first step and an ability to finish in the lane. Once he shakes off the rust from his year-long absence, he'll be counted on to help Wright State (5-6) bounce back from a mediocre start to the season and live up to its status as preseason Horizon League favorites.
Preview: Wright State at Miami--Dayton Daily News
College Hoops Viewing Guide: December 14, 2013--College Hoops Journal
Youngstown State Penguins (7-4) at Pittsburgh Panthers (9-0), 12 p.m. (ACC RSNs*/ESPN3)YSU’s Perry scores 28 points in loss to Pitt--Youngstown Vindicator
Despite their record (which is inflated by three non-D1 wins), the Penguins have been playing with fire on the defensive end all season long. That's going to be a problem against a Panther team that has crushed inferior opposition consistently in the first five weeks of the season.
On this day 9 years ago - Dec 14, 2004--Guin Report
Youngstown State Trounced by Pittsburgh 91-73--Guin Report
Perry Scores Game-High 28 Points as Penguins Fall at Pitt--ysusports.com
YSU Concludes Home Stand with Morning Affair versus Malone--ysusports.com
Valpo, Green Bay, UIC Snare Saturday Wins--Horizon League Network