Schilling picks Michigan State

Three-star forward Gavin Schilling has decided to attend Michigan State, he announced on Twitter today, leaving the UCLA out in the cold along with finalists Minnesota and Villanova.

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound recruit became the first member of the Spartans’ 2013 class in a decision that leaves the Bruins still wanting for frontcourt depth. UCLA, the Pac-12’s worst rebounding team this season, has three guards who committed during the early signing period.

Schilling, whose Findlay Prep teammate Allerik Freeman is already signed to UCLA, watched the Bruins Pac-12 semifinal win over Arizona. The 66-64 victory wasn’t enough to sway the 17-year-old, who lived in Chicago, France and Germany before relocating to Henderson, Nev. His mother still lives in Chicago.

His head coach at Findlay, Todd Simon, grew up 30 miles north of Lansing, Mich.

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Obama picks Gophers over Bruins

President Barack Obama unveiled his March Madness bracket this morning with ESPN’s Andy Katz, and joined the crowd when it came to the UCLA-Minnesota first-round game.

“UCLA lost a key player (in Jordan Adams),” he said. “Minnesota’s been playing tough. I think Tubby Smith’s team’s gonna do pretty well.”

Obama only picked one national champion correctly (UNC, 2009) in his first term, and his 2012 bracket was in the 63.6th percentile of ESPN users. This year, he picked Indiana to beat fellow No. 1-seed Louisville in the title game, with No. 3 Florida and No. 2 Ohio State filling out the rest of his Final Four.

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Gavin Schilling announces Wednesday

Three-star forward Gavin Schilling is deciding between Minnesota, Villanova, Michigan State and UCLA, and will announce Wednesdy at 11:15 a.m. on Twitter. The 6-foot-9 recruit watched the Bruins’ win over Arizona in the Pac-12 semifinals, and his Findlay Prep teammate Allerik Freeman is already signed to UCLA.

UPDATE: Schilling said he will announce at 12:30 p.m. instead.

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Did anyone pick UCLA to beat Minnesota?

No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA might be the most popular upset pick in the whole NCAA field. The Gophers may have lost 11 of their last 16 games, but the Bruins haven’t inspired much national confidence after falling to Oregon without Jordan Adams.

Here’s a quick predictions round-up. Continue reading

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No. 11 Minnesota: First look

No. 6 UCLA (25-9) vs. No. 11 Minnesota (20-12)
Tipoff:
6:57 p.m. PT, Frank Erwin Center (University of Texas at Austin)
TV: truTV

Conference play: The Golden Gophers opened the season 15-1 and 3-0 in the Big Ten, but have lost 11 of their 16 games since. Minnesota finished in a three-way tie for seventh in the conference alongside Illinois, a seven-seed, and Purdue, which did not make the field of 68. The Gophers lost in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, falling 51-49 to the Illini.

Coach: Tubby Smith is one of the most well-known coaches in college basketball, but hasn’t replicated the success he had at Kentucky. He began his career in Lexington with an NCAA title in 1998, and reached three Elite Eights and two Sweet Sixteens before resigning in 2007 due to public pressure and dissatisfaction.

Minnesota will be making its third NCAA appearance in six years under Smith, and are looking for their first victory after two double-digit losses in the first round. Continue reading

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