- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Murray State has only one loss heading into the Ohio Valley Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn., needing only to win two games for the automatic NCAA berth. “Our guys' sense of urgency is very high,’’ Murray State coach Steve Prohm said. “They are a resilient group. The biggest thing I told them is that we have an opportunity to win another championship, which is special in its own right.’’ Prohm said he told the team that winning the OVC could solidify a top-four seed.
2. Doc Sadler did his own deal at Nebraska last year, adding two years to his contract to take him through 2016 and ensuring a buyout of $3.4 million. The Huskers host Iowa on Wednesday in an attempt to get to five Big Ten wins in their first season in the conference. Nebraska doesn’t have any kind of glorious NCAA tournament resume. The decision athletic director Tom Osborne faces in the short term is if Sadler is the coach long-term to turn the Huskers into a top-half Big Ten team, and if it’s worth shelling out for a major buyout so soon after giving him an extension. Sadler didn’t finish higher than seventh in his first five seasons in the Big 12. He’ll finish near the bottom in the Big Ten in year one. If he will have time to show improvement in a new league is an unknown.
3. Columbia coach Kyle Smith is raving about the strength of the Ivy League as he prepares to host Harvard on Friday night. The former Saint Mary’s assistant said that the Ivy League is better than the West Coast Conference was in some of the years he was in the league. He also compared Penn guard Zack Rosen to, gulp, Steve Nash. “He’s smaller but tougher than Nash in college in my memory,’’ Smith said.