Breakfast buffet: Vanderbilt shoots for share of SEC lead

Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, a daily assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or twitter.

• Vanderbilt hasn't won the SEC East since 1993, but the Commodores can tie mighty Kentucky for the conference lead with a victory over the Wildcats on Saturday evening. Is this the biggest game of Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings' decade-long tenure? "In terms of its impact on the league race, sure it is," Stallings said. "It's the biggest league game that we've played in this late in the year relative to bearing on the race and our position in it."

• Friday was a disastrous night for the Colonial Athletic Association, which saw two of its better teams tumble out of even the fringes of at-large contention with disappointing losses in Bracket Buster games. Old Dominion missed a chance at a much-needed quality win with a 71-62 loss at MVC-leading Northern Iowa, while William & Mary surprisingly got yanked apart at the seams in a 69-53 road loss at Iona.

• Harvard fans chanted "safety school" at Cornell on Friday night, but the Big Red got the last laugh against the Crimson in a scarlet-tinted Ivy League battle. Cornell completed a season sweep of Harvard and remained tied for first place with Princeton, rolling to a 79-70 road victory.

• Purdue leads the Big Ten and is eyeing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Illinois is trying to stay in the Big Ten race and off the NCAA tournament bubble. That's the backdrop when the two teams square off on Saturday in West Lafayette in the rematch of a crucial Boilermakers road victory last month that snapped a three-game losing streak.

• When ESPN originally selected UCLA-Washington for its primetime GameDay game on Saturday night, it thought the matchup would be a battle of top 25 teams and Pac-10 contenders. Fast forward eight months and the Bruins are below .500 on the season and Washington is 7-7 in the worst Pac-10 in years. Said ESPN senior programming manager Nick Dawson, "To say that the game is exactly what we thought it would be in August, no, that would be disingenuous."

• UCLA center J'mison "Bobo" Morgan was once a highly touted recruit that the Bruins persuaded to back out of signing with LSU and come to Westwood after Kevin Love left school after his freshman year two years ago. Injuries, poor conditioning and a lack of offensive skill have kept Morgan shackled to the bench the past two seasons, but a season-ending shoulder injury to James Keefe means Ben Howland is finally ready to give the sophomore center a chance to show his worth.

• Already experiencing a rare down year this season, UConn could be in real trouble next year after Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson and Gavin Edwards each graduate. As a result, coach Jim Calhoun is already hitting the recruiting trail hard, a proposition made more difficult because it's hard for high school players to be confident in the program's long-term future as a result of concerns about Calhoun's health.

• Amid persistent talk that Ernie Kent's time at Oregon may be running out, the Pac-10's longest-tenured coach has gone on a PR blitz the past few days in hopes of showing he's worthy of another chance. "Let us coach, let us work, let us get back to where we were," Kent told ESPN's Andy Katz. "We're not that far off. We went through other transitions."

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