Skip to content

10 tidbits to know: Saturday night showdown in Bloomington, the A-10 and more

Feb 1, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT

Indiana v Purdue Getty Images

Vin Parise is a former assistant college coach and the college basketball insider for NBC Sports. Look for his Top 10 Tidbits every week.

1. It doesn’t get much better than No. 1 Michigan at  No. 3 Indiana this weekend. Not only can this be a preview of the Big Ten Championship Game — it can also be a possible preview of the Sweet 16, Elite 8 or Final 4. If you’re not watching live at 9:00 pm ET Saturday night…you better have a good excuse.

2. Speaking of the Big Ten, remember when Illinois was one of the top 15-20 teams in the nation? It’s amazing what a few weeks of conference play reveals. Illinois is 3-7 in their last 10 games and is currently 2-6 in Big Ten play.

3. The A-10 has taken the slogan ‘middle of the pack’ to another level. After VCU and Xavier as the top 2 teams, Butler, Charlotte, St. Louis, UMass, George Washington and La Salle all own a 4-2 conference record. And St. Joe’s and Temple are currently at 3-3 in league.

4. I thought the leader in Blocked Shots conversation would always be between Chris Obekpa from St. John’s and Jeff Whithey from Kansas. But freshman Nerlens Noel from Kentucky now leads the nation in rejections. Noel’s school record 12 blocks in the win over Ole Miss helped his cause.

5. Speaking of St. John’s, Steve Lavin’s Red Storm are rolling right now. After losing back to back games to Rutgers and Georgetown, St. John’s has now won 5 straight conference games. It was a great stretch of the schedule for Lavin – the 5 games were DePaul twice, Rutgers, Seton Hall and an upset home win vs Notre Dame. 3 of the next 4 are on the road for St. John’s – and those road wars are at Georgetown, at Louisville and at Syracuse. The Red Storm are in 3rd place by themselves in Big East standings.

6. After good non-conference wins vs Western Michigan and West Virginia, the reality of how much rebuilding needs to actually be done has hit Jim Ferry at Duquesne. The Dukes are the only A-10 team that hasn’t earned a conference win. But expect Ferry’s program to make a significant jump the next few years.

7. Do you think Marshall Bjorklund from North Dakota State gets and takes high percentage shots? The 6-8, Bison Junior leads the nation in Field Goal Percentage – shooting 70.7% from the floor this season.

8. The CAA didn’t forecast the season well at all this year. Northeastern was picked to come in 5th — they are 8-1 in 1st place. Townson was picked 10th — they are tied for 5th. Drexel was picked 1st — they’re in 7th. Old Dominion was picked 4th — they’re in last place at 0-8.

9. MAAC Coach of the Year right now has to be Joe Mihalich from Niagara. The Purple Eagles are 10-1 in MAAC play and sit at 1st place all by themselves. The scary part for MAAC opponents is how many young players Mihalich has. The future is bright in Niagara Falls.

10. Take Belmont in your March Madness brackets when the time comes. The Bruins are 18-4 overall and undefeated in Ohio Valley conference play. The year started with Belmont winning at Stanford and they haven’t looked back. Rick Byrd’s team is currently 14th in RPI rankings.

Follow Vin on Twitter @VinParise and check him out in studio for NBC Sports Network and SNY.

Latest Posts
  1. UTEP receives commitment from former Oregon guard

    May 2, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    After being dismissed from Oregon, Dominic Artis spent a year at Diablo Valley CC in California but did not play basketball.

  2. Former Mercer guard Ike Nwamu commits to UNLV

    May 2, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Nwamu averaged 15.1 points per game and shot 37.4 percent from three at Mercer last season.

  3. Former Alabama forward headed to UTPA for final season of eligibility

    May 2, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Dakota Slaughter didn’t see much playing time at Alabama, but that could change at UTPA.

  4. Four-star shooting guard Kenny Williams commits to North Carolina

    May 2, 2015, 5:36 PM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    A high-level perimeter shooter, Williams can help a team that was lacking in that area in 2014-15.

  5. East Carolina plans on meeting full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes

    May 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    ECU scholarship athletes in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball will receive an extra $4,025 in scholarship money beginning August 1.

  6. Three Florida Class of 2015 commits update status after Billy Donovan’s departure

    May 2, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Florida has four Class of 2015 recruits signed for next season.

  7. Elite Class of 2016 guard De’Aaron Fox focuses on defense and leadership this spring

    May 2, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    De’Aaron Fox is one of the elite players in the Class of 2016 and he’s spending the spring focusing on defense and being a leader.

  8. How Jaylen Brown’s commitment made a huge impact on the finalists recruiting him

    May 2, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Jaylen Brown’s commitment shook up the college basketball world on Friday night.

  9. Arizona State guard will transfer

    May 2, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Arizona State is losing a sophomore guard to transfer

  10. Former starter returning to America East contender Stony Brook after year in junior college

    May 2, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Ahmad Walker is returning to Stony Brook after a season in the junior college ranks.

  11. Mixtape of top-50 Baylor Class of 2016 commit Mark Vital (VIDEO)

    May 2, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    (Reebok) (Reebok)

    Baylor commit Mark Vital gets it done when it comes to dunks.

  12. UPDATED: 2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings

    May 1, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    Marcus Paige (Getty Images) Getty Images

    The return of Buddy Hield pushes previously unranked Oklahoma into our way too early rankings.

  13. Five-star wing Jaylen Brown commits to California

    May 1, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    (adidas) (adidas)

    Jaylen Brown ended his long and complicated recruitment and committed on Friday night.

  14. Former Miami (OH) point guard selected by Green Bay Packers in NFL Draft

    May 1, 2015, 9:28 PM EDT

    Quinten Rollins, Javarez Willis AP

    Former Miami (OH) point guard Quinten Rollins transitioned to football after his college basketball career finished and now he’s been drafted to the NFL.

  15. Indiana big man will transfer

    May 1, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Indiana freshman center Jeremiah April will transfer.

  16. South Florida lands top-150 Class of 2016 wing

    May 1, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

    Top 150 wing Troy Baxter has decided on his future.

  17. Harvard lands Class of 2016 point guard (VIDEO)

    May 1, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

    amaker AP

    Harvard landed a commitment from its point guard of the future.

  18. 2015 shooting guard Malik Ellison commits to St. John’s

    May 1, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The son of 1986 Final Four MOP Pervis Ellison is the sixth addition to the St. John’s roster this spring.

  19. Dominican league team gets draft day steal in Karl-Anthony Towns

    May 1, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Leones Basketball Club of Santo Domingo landed Towns with the sixth pick.