Afternoon Links: Learning to lose

What we're reading as we shake off the last remnants of New Year’s Eve. Submit links via Twitter.

  • Losing isn’t easy, and first-year Northwestern coach Chris Collins is losing for the first time in a really long time, SI.com’s Brian Hamilton writes: “On Thursday night, Northwestern coach Chris Collins’ first Big Ten season begins. It is a piano dropped on Northwestern’s head. First, No. 4 Wisconsin. Then road trips to Michigan and Iowa. Then Illinois and Michigan State at home. Then a trip to Indiana. In this league, maybe there is no safe corner to scurry to anyway. But knowing this is all about tomorrow won’t dull the aches of today. And, actually, it can’t. ‘It’s funny, the people that are closest to me, they reach out to me because they know how competitive I am,’ Collins said. ‘So they do know. I can’t lose that competitive spirit. So I’m never going to get to a point where I’m numb to losing. When you get to that point, it carries over to your players. And then you’re in a lot of trouble. Losing is never going to be OK. Now, I can be proud of the effort. What I tell the guys is, I’ll live with the results, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be OK with it. If you fight and do what we want you to do and you’re all-in, I’ll live with whatever happens, win or lose. But I can’t lose that competitive spirit. If I do, I lose a lot of myself.’”

  • Creighton fans kept singing Sweet Caroline a cappella, and then Marquette turned the ball over. Coincidence? Probably! But still. (And by the way: Creighton shot a TON of 3s in that game. It worked.)

  • Were you looking for a granular, intensive analysis of Kentucky’s pick-and-roll defense against Louisville? You were? Great! Rush the Court is one step ahead of you.

  • “It's only appropriate that Penn State used a volatile loss to say hello to a month that was named after a two-faced god.” Credit to Big Ten Powerhouse’s Aaron Yorke for the excellent sentence, not to mention a solid recap of Penn State’s promising-then-not-so-much defeat to Michigan State Wednesday.

  • Former Louisville forward Chane Behanan is going to seek guidance from rehab guru John Lucas, he announced Thursday. That all but confirms rumors that substance abuse was a major factor in his dismissal early week. “I’m hoping to go down there, take care of myself and then hopefully get another opportunity wherever it may be," Behanan said. "I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. First I'm going to go get help."