Stats & Info: Murray State Racers

(1) Syracuse 72, (16) UNC-Asheville 65
In 1991, the Orange became the first 2-seed to lose to a 15-seed.

Thursday, it looked like Syracuse might become the first 1-seed to lose in the Round of 64.

Jim Boeheim’s team was the first 1-seed to be trailing at halftime since Kansas in 2002, but the Orange were able to hold on late, winning by seven.

UNC-Asheville led by four at halftime. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bulldogs are the seventh 16-seed to lead at halftime. The largest halftime lead by a 16-seed is eight points, done twice in 1989 by Princeton (over Georgetown) and East Tennessee State (over Oklahoma).

Syracuse’s seven-point win was the 12th time since 1985 that a 1-seed defeated a 16-seed by fewer than 10 points.

(3) Marquette 88, (14) BYU 68
Jae Crowder had a double-double by halftime, finishing with 25 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and four steals. He's just the third player to reach those totals in an NCAA Tournament game. Crowder is only the fifth Big East player to go 25-15 in a Men’s Basketball Championship game, and the first since DeJuan Blair in 2009.

(6) Murray State 58, (11) Colorado State 41
Colorado State had the lead at halftime, then came out in the second half and made just seven field goals (0-7 behind the 3-point line) and scored 17 points.

The 41 points scored by CSU is the fewest by a Mountain West team in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The previous low was 47 by New Mexico in 2005 vs Villanova in the Round of 64.

Murray State advances to the Round of 32 for the third time in school history, but the Racers have never reached the Sweet 16. In fact, since 1985 Ohio Valley Conference schools are a combined 0-5 in the Round of 32.

And although it was just a point deficit at halftime, Murray State now is 6-0 this season when trailing at half.

(4) Wisconsin 73, (13) Montana 49
Bo Ryan is 10-1 as a head coach in Round of 64 games, and the Badgers extended their school record of reaching the Round of 32 for a sixth consecutive year.

(8) Kansas State 70, (9) Southern Miss64
Rodney McGruder had 30 points and no turnovers as the Wildcats reach the Round of 32 for a school record third straight season. McGruder is the fifth player in the past five years of the Men’s Basketball Championship to score at least 30 points in a game without committing a turnover.

(4) Louisville 69, (13) Davidson 62
Louisville snaps a streak of three straight losses in the Men's Basketball Championship. Louisville only attempted five 3-point field goals, the fewest in a tournament win since Boston College attempted four in 2004.

(5) New Mexico 75, (12) Long Beach State 68
New Mexico wins its 28th game of the season, tied for the second-most in school history (30 wins in 2009-10). Long Beach State loses its fifth straight game in the Men's Basketball Championship and has not won since 1973.

(5) Vanderbilt 79, (12) Harvard 70
After leading by as much as 18 in the 2nd half, Vanderbilt advances to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2007. Harvard lost in its first Men's Basketball Championship since 1946.

Big 12, MVC have strong week in rankings

February, 29, 2012
The Big 12 continues to close on the Big Ten, and the Missouri Valley Conference moved up two spots in ESPN Stats and Information’s weekly college basketball rankings.

For a complete recap of how we rank the conferences, click here.

The computer portion of this week’s rankings is once again comprised entirely of the BPI, ESPN’s new College Basketball Power Index. The BPI team rating takes into account the game score, where the game was played, the pace of the game and whether any of the team’s top five players was missing. For a complete explanation on the College BPI, click here.

After dropping two spots in last week’s rankings, the Missouri Valley Conference is back in the No. 8 spot this week. The conference’s overall computer rating remained constant but Wichita State is now the eighth-rated team in the nation according the BPI, moving up three spots in the past week.

It was the MVC’s human bonus that saw a big jump this week, increasing from 2.3 percent to 4.3 percent. Wichita State is now ranked in the top 15 in each human poll and Creighton returned to the Top 25 for the first time in three weeks.

The Big 12 has been gaining on the Big Ten and is now less than five points behind the top conference in the rankings. The Big 12 is the only conference with three teams in the top 10 of each human poll. Kansas and Missouri have been ranked in the top 10 for each of the past eight weeks, while Baylor returned to the top 10 after a one-week absence.

The Big Ten continues to have five teams ranked in the Top 25 but only one in the top nine. After reaching the number three spot in each poll during the week of Feb. 6, Ohio State is now 10th in the AP poll and 11th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Buckeyes have lost three of their last five games and two of their last three at home.

The Ohio Valley remained in the No. 22 spot of the rankings but saw the biggest increase of any conference this week, jumping 4.8 points from last week’s rating. Murray State is the only Ohio Valley Conference team in the top 150 of the BPI.

BracketBusters stats primer

February, 17, 2012

AP Photo/ Stephen Haas
Time to cram on Isaiah Canaan and others in BracketBusters action this weekend.
Your one-stop primer for this weekend’s BracketBusters games.

16 Saint Mary’s at 14 Murray State - 6 ET Saturday, ESPN/ESPN3

This is the fourth game in the 10-year history of the BracketBusters event that has pitted two ranked teams against each other. The lower-ranked team has won the three previous meetings.

Murray State’s opponents rebound 35 percent of their misses, putting the Racers in the bottom 20 percent of the country in defensive rebounding. That could be a problem against the Gaels’ Rob Jones, whose 10.8 rebounds per game ranks in the top 10 nationally.

The top four players in Division I according to Offensive Rating on will be featured in televised matchups.

F Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts
The 6-foot, 6-inch wing has really excelled in isolation. He's averaging the third-highest points per play while turning the ball over fewer than once every 14 plays when going one-on-one (minimum 50 plays).

F Doug McDermott, Creighton
The sophomore efficiently moves without the ball within Creighton’s offense. McDermott has made nearly 80 percent of his shots off cuts to the basket and averages better than 1.5 points per play, both of which rank among the top 10 in Division I (minimum 50 plays).

G Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
The Racers lived up to their nickname this season, ranking third nationally in transition points per play. As the team's starting point guard, Canaan leads the fast-paced attack. He’s scored on 60 percent of his transition plays, racking up nearly four times as many assists as turnovers.

G Damian Lillard, Weber State
Lillard torches opposing teams as both a scorer and passer. Among players with at least 50 pick-and-roll plays, he averages the second-most points per play in Division I and created an additional 96 points on 82 passes with just six turnovers.

The record for points scored in a BracketBuster game is 35 by Norris Cole of Cleveland State at Old Dominion on Feb. 20, 2011. Another contender who could top that is South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters.

The junior topped the 30-point mark five times this season, including in his last game on Wednesday. shows that he draws 6.5 fouls per game (32nd in the nation). He’ll enjoy a home-crowd advantage as the Buffalo Bulls travel west to play the Jackrabbits at 1 ET (ESPNU).

Here are quick facts on the defending postseason NIT champs who are unranked in the ESPN/USA Today’s Coaches Poll but rank 12th in ESPN's new BPI.
• 8-3 vs BPI Top 100 teams (best among mid-majors; minimum 5 games)
• 14-4 vs BPI Top 150 teams (best among mid-majors; minimum 9 games)
• Won 13 of last 14 games (only loss in 3OT)
• Third-most experienced team in the nation (according to starting four seniors
• Four players shoot at least 38 percent from 3-point range (minimum 25 attempts)
• Joe Ragland: 68.58 true shooting percentage ranks fifth in Division I

Wichita State plays at Davidson, Noon ET Saturday on ESPN2/ESPN3.

Contributions by Mackenzie Kraemer, Katie Sharp and Harold Shelton

Thursday recap: Murray State finally falls

February, 10, 2012
And Then There Were None
Murray State becomes the last Division I men’s team to lose, falling to Tennessee State, 72-68. Murray State led by as much as 13 in the second half, but allowed Tennessee State to outscore them 37-20 in the final 14:45.

Not only is it the first loss for Murray State, it’s the first career loss for Racers head coach Steve Prohm.

Although Murray State just lost for the first time this season, should the Racers be concerned about not even making the Men’s Basketball Championship?

Murray State has five regular season games remaining, including next Saturday at home against No. 13 Saint Mary's. If the Racers lose two of those five games, lose in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament and don't get an at-large bid, the Racers would wind up on this list.

Gonzaga hands No. 13 Saint Mary’s its first loss since December
Kevin Pangos scored 27 points (5-6 from 3-point range) and Elias Harris contributes 10 points and 10 rebounds as Gonzaga hands Saint Mary's its first WCC loss of the season and snaps its 12-game winning streak. The Bulldogs have beaten the Gaels in three of their past four meetings and three straight times when Saint Mary's has been ranked. Gonzaga has defeated Saint Mary's in 15 of its last 16 meetings in Spokane.

Mississippi State avoids being swept by Ole Miss for first time since 1998
Arnett Moultrie had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bulldogs. Dee Bost added 15 points and a career-high 13 assists. Mississippi State has won 13 straight home games and avoids being swept by its rival, something that hasn't been done since 1998. Mississippi State is 13-1 at home against Ole Miss under Rick Stansbury. Reginald Buckner had 15 points and 9 rebounds for the Rebels, who have lost three of their four games against ranked opponents this season.

Scott Wood misses a FT
In North Carolina State’s 61-52 win over Georgia Tech, Scott Wood had his streak of consecutive free throws made end at 66. The 66 straight made free throws is the fourth-longest streak in Division I history.

Vanderbilt hosts GameDay and Kentucky
This will be the 179th meeting between these SEC rivals, with Kentucky leading the all-time series 135-43. The 135 wins against Vanderbilt are the second-most for Kentucky against any one opponent (Tennessee, 148).

The Wildcats have opened SEC play winning their first 10 games for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The past three times Kentucky started 10-0 in the SEC, the Wildcats reached at least the Elite 8 in the each time, including winning the national championship in 1996.

For Vanderbilt, the Commodores will look to earn their eighth win and seventh home win against the AP No. 1-ranked team.

If the Commodores pull the upset, they’ll move into a tie for the fourth-most wins all-time against the No. 1-ranked team, along with being tied for the most home wins all-time against the No. 1-ranked team. In fact, the past four times Vanderbilt hosted the No. 1-ranked team, the Commodores won the game.
Missouri 89, Baylor 88
Baylor guard Pierre Jackson scored 20 points and handed out 15 assists in his first start of the season. He's the first player to reach those levels in a game since VCU's Joey Rodriguez (22 and 17) on November 12, 2010

Kansas 69, Texas 66
Texas guard J'Covan Brown shot 7-26 (27 percent) from the field after going 8-28 (29 percent) in his previous outing. 18 different players this season have taken at least 26 shots in a game but Brown is the first to do it twice. He's also had the two worst shooting performances of those players.

Jackson State 80, Grambling State 67
Jackson State went 23-23 from the foul line in the win. That's the most made free throws without a miss by any team this season.

Florida A&M 68, Maryland Eastern Shore 63
UMES collected 35 offensive rebounds while making only 23 field goals. That's the most offensive rebounds by a team in a loss this season.

Eastern Michigan 41, Toledo 38
The 41 points are the second fewest scored by a winning team this season. UALR defeated FAU 40-38 on January 7th.

Drexel 71, Northeastern 53
Northeastern's Quincy Ford missed all four of his field goal attempts, but was 10-10 from the line. He's just the second double-figure scorer this season to go perfect from the line while not making a field goal.

West Virginia 77, Cincinnati 74 (OT)
Darryl "Truck" Bryant missed as many field goals (14) in 44 minutes as the rest of the West Virginia's starters missed in 131 minutes played.

Pacific 64, UC Davis 48
UC Davis shot 50 percent from three-point range (9-18), but only 24 percent from two-point range (7-29) in the 16-point loss.

Nevada 74, Fresno State 61
Trillion of the night: Patrick Nyeko of Nevada played 10 minutes without recording a stat in the Wolf Pack's 74-61 win.

Elsewhere around college basketball... Jan. 18, 2003. That’s the last time Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun all tasted defeat on the same day.

Saturday, it happened again, as No. 1 Syracuse fell on the road at Notre Dame, No. 4 Duke saw its 45-game home win streak snapped against Florida State and No. 11 Connecticut lost its second straight game and fourth of its last six.

The Orange falls after beginning 20-0, the best start to a season in Syracuse history. The loss leaves Murray State (20-0) as the only remaining undefeated team in Division I.

Chris Chambers/Getty ImagesDion Waiters' presence off the bench has helped Syracuse to a 20-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Let’s get you warmed up for the College GameDay road show (live Saturday from Pittsburgh at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

Saturday’s Matchups
(1) Syracuse at Notre Dame, 6 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: Syracuse is averaging 37.1 bench points per game this season, which is the most by any Big Six Conference team during the last 15 seasons. The bench has been led by C.J. Fair (+287) and Dion Waiters (+266), who rank 1-2 in the Big East in plus/minus. Waiters has scored 117 transition points this season, which is the third most in the nation.

(5) Missouri at (3) Baylor, 2 ET on ESPN and ESPN3
Key stat: Baylor is getting 26.4 percent of its offense off of turnovers this season, averaging a Big 12-best 20.5 points per game off turnovers. But Missouri only turns the ball over on 15.0 percent of its possessions, the second-best in the nation, and gives up just 10 points off turnovers per game, which leads the Big 12.

Alabama at (2) Kentucky, Noon ET
Key stat: Kentucky is blocking 15.6 percent of its opponents’ shots at 9.3 per game this season, both the best marks in the country. The Wildcats are also holding opponents to 0.68 points per play and 33.8 percent shooting in the half court, which are also both best in the nation.

Non-ranked teams that can make noise
Cincinnati is 8-4 in Big East road games over the last two seasons and has won its last seven conference games on the road. Part of the reason is avoiding turnovers. The Bearcats average 10.5 turnovers per game this season, the second-fewest in the Big East and eighth-fewest in the nation.

Purdue averages 9.6 turnovers per game this season, the second fewest in the nation. The Boilermakers turn the ball over on 14.6 percent of their possessions, which is the lowest percentage in the nation.

Stanford has been getting it done on the boards, grabbing 54.8 percent of available rebounds this season, the best percentage in the Pac-12. The Cardinal also allow 9.6 offensive rebounds per game this season, which is the fewest in the Pac-12.

Vanderbilt's efficient offense has paced them this year. The Commodores score an SEC-best 1.15 points per possession in conference play this season. Vanderbilt also leads the SEC by assisting on 61.6 percent of its field goals in conference play.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
Among the topics Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis plan to tackle:

Where should Murray State be seeded?

According to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology, 18-0 Murray State would be a No. 7 seed if the tournament started today. Comparing Murray State to the other projected No. 7 seeds, the Racers appear to be seeded correctly based on kenpom’s adjusted efficiency.

Murray St is undefeated, but the Racers have played some close games this season. Eight of their 18 games have been decided by single digits, including a nine-point double-overtime win against Southern Miss.
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesHarrison Barnes will be among the players College GameDay will be assessing on Saturday afternoon.
Let’s get you warmed up for the first College GameDay road show of the season (live from Tallahassee, Fla. at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN) by taking a look at some notes and nuggets from our college hoops advanced stats research team (a group we call the "Stats in the Paint" team).

Saturday’s Matchups

(2) Kentucky at Tennessee, Noon ET

Key stat: In its first two conference games of the season, Kentucky has shot 50 percent against zone defenses and 39 percent against man-to-man. That’s noteworthy, because the Wildcats have faced zone defenses on about 60 percent of their offensive possessions in those two games.

(3) North Carolina at Florida State, 2 p.m. ET
Key stat: Though Florida State allows 87.1 points per 100 possessions on defense (13th in the nation), it has trouble on the offensive end.

The Seminoles turn the ball over on 26 percent of their possessions, worst in the ACC and 11th worst in the country.

Oklahoma State at (4) Baylor, 3 p.m. ET
Key stat: Baylor is averaging 9 steals per game, and 21 points per game off turnovers (best in the Big 12). That’s helped by Perry Jones III, who is 9-for-9 on transition 2-point field goal attempts this season.

Teams on the rise

• Murray State ranks 10th in the nation in transition points with 307. In three games against teams currently in the RPI’s top 50, the Racers shot 77 percent and averaged 23 points per game in transition.

• UNLV is averaging 113.9 points per 100 possessions this season, 15th most in the country. The Runnin' Rebels get assists on 65 percent of their baskets, 11th-best in the nation.

Teams that are flailing

• Pittsburgh averages just 56.1 points per game with its FIRST-chance on a possession this season, which is fourth worst in the Big East and ranks 52nd out of 74 Big Six conference teams.

• Opponents are shooting nearly 60 percent in transition against Xavier in the Musketeers’ last eight games; opponents were shooting 47 percent in transition in Xavier’s first eight games.

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

Among the topics Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis plan to tackle:

Is Doug McDermott the new Jimmer Fredette?

McDermott entered Friday averaging 24.5 points per game, which ranks second in the nation. He’s made the most field goals in Division 1 (158) and is shooting over 60 percent from the field this season.

McDermott has scored 30 percent of Creighton’s points this season and takes 36 percent of the team’s shots while he’s on the floor, comparable to Fredette, whose rates were 36 percent and 38 percent.

Creighton has played three games against Big Six conference opponents this season (all wins).

In those games, McDermott shot 66 percent from the field. In four games against Big Six foes, Fredette struggled, especially in the half court. McDermott made two-thirds of his shots in half court, and averaged 1.28 points per play. Fredette only made 42 percent and averaged 0.95 points per play.

The big difference in their games is in trips to the free-throw line. McDermott is just 15th in the Missouri Valley Conference and 402nd in the nation in free throws made. Fredette ended the 2010-11 season ranked first in the nation in that stat.

Stats to see: Racers shoot for the top

December, 22, 2011
Racers continue to roll
The Murray State Racers shot 68.3 percent from the field in a 78-54 win over Tennessee-Martin.

It matched the Racers’ best field goal percentage in a game in the last 15 seasons (1/30/01 vs Tennessee State) and was among the best shooting performances by a team against a Division I opponent this season, as noted in the chart on the right.

In the second half, Murray State was even better than it was in the first half, at least in one regard. The Racers were 10-for-11 from two-point range in the final 20 minutes.

With the win, Murray State improved to 13-0, the second best start in school history behind a 16-0 start in 1935-36.

Cincinnati reaches century mark again
The Cincinnati Bearcats made easy work out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday in a 101-53 win. The 48-point win was the largest margin of the Mick Cronin era, and largest since beating Jackson State by 52 in 2004.

The Bearcats have scored 100 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1976-77. There's a good chance for them to make it three in a row on Friday when they host Chicago State, which ranks 338th out of 339 in scoring defense.

Scott powers Virginia
The Virginia Cavaliers did not have an easy time with Seattle, but still came away with an 83-77 win thanks to its star senior. Mike Scott led the way with 33 points and 14 rebounds, hitting 12 of 14 shots.

He is the first ACC player with at least 33 points and 14 rebounds since Florida State’s Al Thornton in February 2006. The last major conference player with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and a field goal percentage of 80 percent or better is Blake Griffin in 2009.

Longhorns starters don’t show up
Only two of Texas’ five starters managed to hit a field goal on Wednesday. The Longhorns fell to North Carolina 82-63. Alexis Wangmene, Julien Lewis and Myck Kabongo combined for one point on 0-for-10 shooting from the field.

Coming into the game second among freshmen in assists, Kabongo managed just one in 15 minutes of action. Texas shot 25.0 percent in the first half and 34.8 percent for the game. It marked Roy Williams first win over Texas as UNC head coach after losing the first three meetings.

Sycamores’ defense shines
It’s not often that you can score 50 points and still come away with a double-digit win. That’s what happened Thursday as the Indiana State Sycamores defeated Louisiana-Monroe 50-35.

It’s the fewest points allowed by the Sycamores since the shot clock was introduced in 1985-86. Indiana State improves to 9-2, its best 11-game start since 1979-80, the year after Larry Bird graced the campus.

Perfection on the line this weekend

December, 16, 2011
As we enter this weekend’s slate of college hoops, there are just nine remaining unbeaten teams in Division I. All of those squads will put their perfect records on the line this weekend.

Baylor Bears (8-0)
Baylor travels to Provo, UT where it will face a BYU Cougars team that has only lost five games at home since 2005-06. During that span, the Bears are 48-2 in non-conference home games, but lost their only such game against a ranked foe in 2009 vs Wake Forest.

Illinois Fighting Illini (10-0)
Saturday at the United Center, Illinois and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels will face off in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament Round of 64 game won by the Illini. Illinois is 10-0 for the first time since starting 15-0 in the 2005-06 season.

Indiana Hoosiers (9-0)
The last time Indiana faced the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Irish won 88-50 at the 2008 Maui Classic in Hawaii. This will be the first meeting between the two in-state rivals in Indianapolis since 1959. On Saturday, the Hoosiers look to improve to 10-0 for the first time since 1989-90.

Louisville Cardinals (9-0)
Louisville takes on an unranked Memphis Tigers team that is just 5-3 and has failed to live up to expectations as the ninth-ranked team in the preseason poll. This will be the 86th meeting between these former C-USA, Metro Conference and MVC rivals. Louisville holds a 51-34 edge including 30-11 at home.

Marquette Golden Eagles (9-0)
Marquette is off to its best start since the 2004-05 season and is looking to start a season with 10 straight wins for just the sixth time in school history. The Golden Eagles host the Northern Colorado Bears in the first-ever meeting between the schools.

Missouri Tigers (10-0)
The Tigers improved to 10-0 with a 104-67 win over the Kennesaw State Owls on Thursday night. This is their best start since they opened the 1991-92 season with 11 straight wins. They host the William & Mary Tribe on Sunday.

Murray State Racers (11-0)
Murray State became the first team to 11-0 with an 89-65 win over Lipscomb on Thursday night. The Racers are off to their best start since 1950-51, and the fourth-best start in school history. They host the Arkansas State Red Wolves Saturday.

Syracuse Orange (10-0)
Syracuse heads to Raleigh, NC to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack for its first true road game against a non-conference opponent since facing Memphis in December 2008. NC State is 5-25 all-time against the AP No. 1. Only 11 schools have more such wins.

Xavier Musketeers (8-0)
The Musketeers play their first game since the brawl with the Cincinnati Bearcats last weekend. Xavier, which hosts the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles on Sunday, has won 14 straight and 44 of its last 45 games at the Cintas Center.