Larry Ness' CBI Game of the Year (won NIT on Sun!): The Big Dance dominated Sunday's news but Larry said he was NOT going to let a great opportunity slip by in the NIT! He won his NIT Game of the Year on Nevada & now he DOUBLES DOWN with his 10* CBI Game of the Year. Remember, winners are paid in G-R-E-E-N, regardless of the size of the conference or in this case, the tourney! Any takers?
Game: TCU at Oregon St. Mar 19 2012 10:00PM
Prediction: Oregon St.
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: My 10* CBI Game of the Year is on Oregon St at 10:00 ET.
Craig Robinson took over in Corvallis for the 2008-09 season. The Beavers were 13-17 after losing in the Pac 10 tourney but got an invite from the CBI (it helps to the the Presidentís brother-in-law). Robinson led that team to the 2009 title, ending the year 18-18. Oregon St was expected to build off that win but that hasnít been the case. Playing in the CBI for the THIRD time in four years (did not play in the postseason at all last year, going 11-20), is NO way to build a legacy! OSU opened TYís tourney with a home game vs Western Illinois. The Leathernecks were just 7-23 last season (2-16 in Summit League play) but this year finished 9-9 in conference action before making it all the way to the Summitís title game, where they lost 52-50 in OT to South Dakota St. Western Illinoisí appearance in TYís CBI marked the schoolís first postseason appearance since moving to Division I in 1981. Oregon St won 80-59, shooting 65.2% as a team with guard Cunningham (17.8-4.0) leading the way with 22 points. Heís joined on the perimeter by Starks (12.3) and Nelson (9.5). Oregon St has a seven-man rotation with the frontcourt contributors being the 6-7 Collier (13.2-5.2), the 6-10 Brandt (8.9-3.4), the 6-7 Burton (8.3-6.0) and 6-10 freshman Moreland (5.0-6.6). TCU head coach Jim Christian came to Forth Worth after an outstanding run at Kent St where he won 20-plus games in his six seasons in the MAC, going to the NCAA tourney in TWO of his last three years. However, he entered this year 38-58 in his first three years with the Horned Frogs. This was his first winning season, as TCUís 83-73 win at home over Wisconsin-Milwaukee gives them an 18-14 mark. Interestingly, despite his struggles, Christian was rumored to be a leading candidate for the Rhode Island job before the Rams hired Danny Hurley on Saturday. Christianís status is no longer a distraction but one wonders how the team will slow down the Beavers, who average a whopping 82.6 PPG at home.The team owns nice balance but just two double-digit scorers, PG Thorns (13.5-4.7 APG) and 6-5 guard Cadot (11.2-7.0). The frontcourt features the 6-9 Fields (9.8-2.4), the 6-7 Green (9.6-3.3), the 6-8 Williams (8.0-3.9) and the 6-8 McKinney (5.5-3.8). Note that not a single one of them average as many as 4.0 RPG! Oregon St is 13-5 at home but against major opponents, own few blowouts. However, the Horned Frogs were 1-6 SU on the Mountain West Conference road, with FOUR double digit losses (lost at Wyoming by 12, San Diego St by 10, New Mexico by 17 and UNLV by 23). Let me also note that TCU played at USC on Dec 19 and allowed 83 points! Now let me remind all just how awful USC was this year. The injury-depleted Trojans averaged 52.6 PPG while shooting 38.7%, including 27.1% on threes. Yet, against TCU, the Trojans scored 83 points on 50.9% shooting, including 8-of 17 (47.1%) on threes! Are you kidding me?? While Craig Robinson has failed to build off that 2009 CIT tourney title, hereís one stat that canít be ignored. His OSU teams are a HIGHLY-PROFITABLE 12-3 ATS in conference tourney (Pac 10 and now, Pac 12) plus CBI games. Lay it!