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Sully's Court: Colorado State's win at Air Force bigger than most people think

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  February 18, 2013 09:27 AM

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The Monday morning college basketball report while looking ahead to Indiana-Michigan State Tuesday night (and maybe a little less so but Bucknell-Lehigh Monday night):

Five rising:

Colorado State: The Rams won a huge game at Air Force Saturday (it’s really a difficult place to win this season) and overcoming 45 points from the Falcons’ outstanding guard Michael Lyons. They’ve now won six in a row and their goal should be to win the Mountain West.

Louisiana Tech: The Fightin’ Mailmen continue to dominant the WAC; they’ve won 15 in a row including a successful Northwest conference sweep of Seattle and Idaho.

Northwestern State: The Demons have won eight in a row, are once again a serious contender in the Southland and a possible dangerous first-round opponent in the NCAAs. They lead the nation in scoring at 84.3 points per game.

Oklahoma State: Ex-UMass coach Travis Ford has the Cowboys on a roll with seven straight victories including two thrilling overtimes wins over Baylor and Oklahoma. Outstanding freshman Marcus Smart knows how to play the game. I’m not sure how much basketball is appreciated in Stillwater despite the long history of the game at this school.

Tennessee: The Vols are only 14-10 but they’re much improved immensely. They’re on a three-game winning streak but all of that is overshadowed by the unimaginable 88-58 victory over Kentucky Saturday. Yes, it’s the largest margin from Tennessee’s end in the series.

Five falling:

Auburn: Former UMass star Tony Barbee is having a really hard time; the Tigers were run off the court at home against Florida and have now lost nine of 10.

Kentucky: Bingo Long and the Traveling All-Stars lost center Nerlens Noel to a torn ACL and then got obliterated by Tennessee 88-58 Saturday. Good thing Coach Cal has the nation’s top recruiting class coming in, he obviously needs more talent.

Indiana State: The Sycamores had played their way into an NCAA at-large berth and then went on a two-game road trip and lost to Missouri State and Bradley. Incredibly disappointing.

Murray State: The Racers have to be one of the most disappointing teams in the country after dropping both games on the OVC Illinois swing to SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois.

South Carolina: Gamecocks coach Frank Martin ripped into his team last week basically saying he needs new players. His team’s losing streak has reached six games, the longest he’s ever had as a head coach.

This week’s George Mason (best mid-major): Akron. The Zips have won 17 in a row.

This week’s Final Four: Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Miami. The Hurricanes have earned their spot; they’re playing as well as any team in the country right now. It was a gritty win at Clemson Sunday night, the type of game only great teams with the utmost in confidence win.

This week’s national champion: Indiana

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