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Afternoon Links: Scoring down in Dec.

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

  • Michigan State basketball ops man Kevin Pauga was back late last week with another look at the monthly trends in scoring in college basketball. November was a boon month for the NCAA’s attempts to increase scoring. But December marked a drastic decline in both points and, not accidentally, fouls called: “The increase in scoring was 43.4% lower in December than November when compared to full season data from 2012-13. In the numbers world, that’s a lot. That’s actually a real lot. … The bottom line is fewer fouls are being called. The increase in fouls from last year was 53.4% lower in December than it was in November. The explanations is likely as simple as players, coaches and officials have adjusted to the new rules. Teams are either fouling less or officials are passing on more calls.”

  • SI.com’s Seth Davis brings back his annual “stock report,” which is both informative and gives me a mental image of Seth slamming on a big red “buy buy buy!” button as a bull roars in the background. Try to put a value on that.

  • Michigan’s win over Northwestern on Sunday can’t really be boiled down to a handful of plays. Actually, that’s true of every game. In this instance, it’s true because the Wolverines beat the tar out of Chris Collins’ rebuilding project. Still, UMHoops’ breakdown of five big plays against the Wildcats is good insight on the kind of possessions Michigan would like to get all the time.

  • Is Wake Forest’s victory over UNC a stepping stone? Or an aberration? Rush the Court discusses.

  • Even after losses to Houston and SMU, UConn is still getting Top 25 votes. Gary Parrish Poll-Attacks the culpable parties.