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The Morning Mix

Mar 14, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

- The big news item of the day deals with Syracuse center Fab Melo, who will be unable to participate in the NCAA tournament due to eligibility issues. This is the second time this year Melo has been ruled ineligible.  He had to sit out three games in January, and the Orange subsequently lost their first game of the season to Notre Dame. Jay Bilas assesses the impact of Melo’s absence.  Since Melo won’t be able to participate for the rest of this season, it seems as though he has decided to declare for the NBA draft

- Speaking of Syracuse, ESPN anchor Ryan Burr, a Syracuse alum, sent out a tweet directed at  highly-touted recruit, and potential replacement for Melo, Nerlens Noel. The tweet has since been deleted, but the NCAA doesn’t usually approve of things like this

Position Logistics provided a great-read about the makeup of this very blog you are reading

- Richard Deistch provides by-far the best ultimate guide to viewing March Madness. Don’t be fooled by silly imitations. This is all you need

- Mascot rankings for all 68 tournament teams

- John Gasaway explains why there will be no 12-5 upsets this year

- Matt Norlander put together a travel mileage chart of all the NCAA Tournament teams. Pretty cool stuff

- Jeff Eisenberg details the three “second round” games that feature lower-seed favorites

- Your obligatory “Who is this year’s VCU?” article

- If Ohio is able to upset Michigan in the second round, don’t be surprised if you see Jon Croce’s name appear on the hot-lists for new coaching hires in the off-season

- UConn’s punishment for low APR scores is a tournament ban in 2013 But if next year’s APR scores were applied now, 13 current tournament teams wouldn’t be dancing

- Oral Roberts and Drexel are two of just 15 teams since 1985 to go undefeated in league play only to lose in their conference tournament by single digits, thus losing out on the March Madness experience

Andy Staples does a great job at projecting the next breakout tournament star

-  The odds that you pick a perfect second round bracket is 13.46 million-to-1

Ten tournament truths you must abide by

- Five entertaining yet unconventional ways to fill out your brackets

- Five first round upsets to look out for

- Does the lack of tailgating hurt the widespread popularity of college basketball?

- Former-Penn State guard Monroe Brown, who helped lead the Nittany Lions to a 1991 Tournament upset victory over UCLA, died on Friday at the age of 41

- Former NBA assistant coach Dick Harter led Penn to two NCAA tournament appearances and was the Oregon coach when the Ducks ended UCLA’s 98-game home winning streak. He passed away on Monday at the age of 81

- Georgia Tech has dismissed Glenn Rice Jr. from the basketball program after he was involved in a shooting incident prior to the ACC Tournament

- With Northwestern in yet another N.I.T., is Bill Carmody’s time up in Evanston?

- Darrin Horn has been fired as head coach at South Carolina after four seasons on the job. Could Wichita State head coach Greg Marshall be in the running?

- Rhode Island fired their coach Jim baron last week after an abysmal season. The school has now gotten permission to interview Dan Hurley, who led Wagner to an impressive 25-6 season in the NEC. Hurley is the brother of former-Duke guard Bobby Hurley, and the son of legendary New Jersey high school coach Bob Hurley

- UCLA has decided to keep Ben Howland as their head coach despite a tumultuous season

- Samford fired head coach Jimmy Tillette after 15 years at the helm

- Charlotte and UT-San Antonio are leading candidates in Sun Belt Conference expansion. This is why expansion stinks. San Antonio and Charlotte are nowhere near each other on a map. Neither is Marquette and South Florida. Or Boston College and Miami.  Or Syracuse and everywhere

- The 2012 Carrier Classic is likely to be held off the coast of Charleston, SC on the deck of the USS Yorktown 

- The Big-XII and ESPN are close to finalizing a blockbuster TV extension

- Georgetown’s mascot Jack the Bulldog, the real JtB, not the fake one, tore his ACL over the weekend. Yes, I know, I’m confused too. But apparently have ACLs and  can tear them. You learn new things every day

- When half-court shots fall short, way short 

 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir

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