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Friday's List of 13: Wrapping up one of the best days of the year....
13) Our day started just after noon with Charlotte-Richmond in Brooklyn, ended 14 hours later, with Oregon's OT win over Washington in Las Vegas. Quite a day of college hoop, with more to come today........
12) Richmond was up 63-60 with 0:06 left; they fouled on purpose so that Charlotte couldn't tie the game with a trey, but when Derrick Williams was called for a (shaky) technical foul while blocking out on the first foul shot, all hell broke loose, as Richmond coach Mooney got two more technicals and was tossed. Charlotte made 8-11 foul shots in the last five seconds, and got a 68-63 win, when they probably thought they were dead.
My view was that Williams should've been given a regular foul and not a technical, which would've kept the Spiders alive in the game.
11) Richmond lost because they fouled on purpose while up 3; Cal Bears lost to Utah because they didn't foul, and Utes tied game with a trey with 0:09 left, before beating Cal 79-69 in OT. Utah has now won four in a row.
10) WAC bracket is wide open, with top two seeds Louisiana Tech and Denver both losing already; Tech was 16-0 in the WAC, but has now lost its last three games. Very disappointing for them.
9) MEAC bracket is even worse; #1-4 seeds all lost to the #5-8 seeds, so seeds #5-8 play in the semis Friday. Winner of this tournment is definitely going to Dayton next week.
8) Baylor battled back from down 42-24 at half, tied game with 0:19 left, then lost on a cheesy foul call with 0:03 left as Oklahoma State edged Baylor, 74-72. Bears needed a run this week, are likely headed to the NIT.
7) UCLA was down 15 with 16:00 left to Arizona State, but ASU's lack of depth and their having played the night before wore the Sun Devils down, as Bruins survived 80-75. ASU only used seven players (7th played just 3:00).
6) Looking through all these boxscores, it surprises me that very few teams use more than three subs for 10+ minutes, and most only use two. So little depth means that one injury can wreak havoc, even with a team like Duke, which got a huge jolt when Ryan Kelly got healthy.
5) Halftime interviews are interesting; coaches who don't get on TV much are way more eager to talk than the guys who are on all the time. Cal-Irvine coach Russell Turner sounded like he would've talked the whole 15 minutes at halftime of his game with Hawai'i. Fact that he was up 22 at the time had to help. Turner has the Anteaters headed in the right direction.
4) Iowa State was down 37-29 at half to Oklahoma, but rallied to win 73-66, Cyclones' first conference tourney win in eight years. ISU survived a crummy day by star G Lucious (0-8 from floor), will play Kansas today.
3) Georgia Tech was up 15-0 over Boston College, then lost by 20, in one of the bigger tank jobs in recent memory. Freshman Olivier Hanlan scored 41 points, making 8-10 behind the arc; BC was 14-24 overall on 3-balls.
2) Syracuse made 12-19 behind the arc, dispatched Pitt 62-59; Panthers wound up with only one win in their last five Big East tourneys. Both Pitt and the Orangemen start playing in the ACC next year.
1) Friday night will be tremendous, with 26 games, 18 of them semi-finals in conference tournaments, after four quarterfinal twinbills in the afternoon.
ACC tournament (Greensboro)
NC State didn't extend itself much in 80-63 win over Va Tech Thursday, its 7th win in last nine games; State (+3.5) lost 58-55 at Virginia Jan 26, game Wolfpack led by 11 late in first half. State is 5-3 in last eight ACC tourney games; Virginia is 1-6 last six years, with last tourney win in '10. Cavaliers are 3-4 in last seven games, with last four decided by 5 or less points. State's last five games, UVa's last three stayed under total.
Big Dozen tourney (Chicago)
Indiana (-7) lost 74-72 at Illinois Feb 7, game they led by 14 with 12:50 left; Hoosiers split last four games after 24-3 start. LY's 75-58 win over Penn State is Indiana's only Big Dozen tourney win last six years. Illini survived 32% shooting to nip Minnesota 51-49 Thursday; three of their starters played 31+ minutes, subs provided one hoop. Five of last seven Indiana games, five of last seven Illini games stayed under the total.
Michigan has gone W-L in last six Big Dozen tourneys; they won by 17 yesterday (led by 2 at half)- they're only 6-5 in last 11 games- they lost 65-62 (-2) at Wisconsin Feb 9, when Badgers hit 45-footer at buzzer to force OT. Wisky won this tourney in '08, is 1-4 in it since, scoring 49.0 ppg in four losses; they lost two of last three games, with only win at buzzer at Penn State. Seven of last ten Wolverine games went over total.
Atlantic 16 tournament (Brooklyn)
Butler was 16-2 before losing 54-53 (+2.5) at LaSalle Jan 23, game they led by 10 late in first half; Bulldogs played three starters 31+ minutes in 73-67 win over Dayton Thursday, making 10-24 from arc. Butler is now 14-6 in last 20 conference tournament games. LaSalle won seven of last nine games behind senior G Galloway (41.7% from arc); over last decade Explorers are 5-3 in first A-16 tourney games. Five of Explorers' last six games went over the total.
SEC tournament (Nashville)
Tennessee was just 9-8 before nipping Alabama 54-53 Jan 26, avenging earlier 68-65 loss to Tide; Vols crushed an awful Miss State club 69-53 Thursday, its 9th win in last 10 games- they're 6-4 in last 10 conference tourney games. Alabama is 2-3 in last five games, losing last three away games- they've won first SEC tourney game last four years. Five of last seven Tennessee games went over total. Tennessee was up 16 at half on Thursday, played three starters 32+ (mainly stress-free) minutes.
Missouri held A&M to 24% from floor Thursday in 62-50 win, its 8th win in last 10 conference tourney games; Tigers split pair of one-sided games with Ole Miss, with last one played Feb 9. Rebels are 3-2 in SEC tourney last two years; over is 9-3 in their last 12 games, 4-1 in last five Mizzou tilts. 23-8 Ole Miss is seen as bubble team, since its win over Mizzou is its only top 50 win (beat #62 Tennessee), so this game is lot for important for Rebel team that won four of its last five games.
Conference USA tournament (Tulsa)
Memphis is 17-0 in league play, 21-2 in last 23 C-USA tourney games, but this is true road game for them, at Tulsa squad they beat 94-64 (-15) Feb 2, making 12-26 from arc. Only two of Tigers' last seven road games were double figure wins. Tulsa was down five at half to ECU Thursday, played three starters 31+ minutes in 79-72 (-1) win. Hurricane is 0-5 vs top 100 teams this year, with only one loss by less than 15 points. Six of last seven Tulsa games went over total.
Big East tournament (NYC)
Syracuse scored TOTAL of 85 points in 11-22 point losses to Hoyas in last three weeks; Georgetown won 12 of last 13 games overall, is 12-6 in last 18 Big East tourney games. Syracuse made 12-19 from arc in 62-59 upset of Pitt Thursday, just its third win in last nine games, second time since '06 they've won 2+ games in a Big East tourney. Georgetown used three starters 37+ minutes, Syracuse played four starters 35+ Thursday, but Orange also had a game Wednesday.
Last 4+ years, Louisville is 10-2 in this event; over last decade, they are 5-1 in semi-finals of Big East tourney. Cardinals lost in five OTs Feb 9 at Notre Dame (led by 7 in last minute), then beat Irish by 16 six nights ago. Irish played three starters 35+ minutes each of last two nights, and played two guys 40 minutes last night. Louisville had Wednesday night off. Cardinals forced 24 turnovers (+6) in fairly easy 74-55 win over an improving Villanova team last nite. Under is 9-4 in last 13 L'ville games.
Big X tournament (Kansas City)
-- Iowa State had its heart torn out by Kansas twice this year with pair of OT losses, 97-89/108-96; Cyclones led both games late. ISU is 7-2 in last nine games overall; yesterday was its first conference tourney win since '05. Kansas is 17-2 in last 19 Big X tourney games; they crushed Texas Tech 91-63, after Cyclones came back from down 37-29 down at half to nip Oklahoma by 7. My question about State is this: after two brutal losses to Kansas, do their kids believe they can beat Kansas?
Pac-12 tourney (MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas)
-- UCLA was down 15 with 16:00 left Thursday, rallied to win by 5, as thin ASU squad got tired down stretch. Bruins beat Arizona twice this year, by 11-5 points. Wildcats haven't won Pac-12 tourney since 2002; they lost in final last two years, both by a basket. Arizona is 5-4 in last nine games after 20-2 start, as lack of true PG begins to show up. Its been five years since the #1 seed won Pac-12 tournament, but this is also its first year at truly neutral site.
Mountain West tourney (@ UNLV)
Over last 7+ years, San Diego State is 15-4 in MWC tourney, winning it two of last three years; they've won MWC semis last four years, by 2-3-2-10 points. Aztecs split pair of one-sided games with New Mexico this season- their win Wednesday was first in last six games away from home. Lobos won seven of last eight games, with only loss in that span by point at Air Force. New Mexico won this event LY, since '05, Lobos are 9-6 in MWC tourney.
UNLV won this event in '07/'08, is just 5-4 in it since, despite playing at home; Rebels split pair of close games with Colorado State this season, losing by 5 in Fort Collins, winning by hoop here. Rams normally start five seniors, but PG Green (ankle) isn't supposed to play, big blow for State squad that is 4-3 in last seven games after a 21-4 start. Eight of last ten UNLV games stayed under; over is 5-0-1 in Rams' last six. Less than 1,000 tickets were left for this twinbill as of Thursday, but how many are Lobo fans who will leave after first game?
-- North Carolina played 16 kids in its win over Florida State; how many bigtime programs dress 16 players for games?
-- Miami Dolphins signed Brandon Gibson to a 3-year contract; I watched every game Gibson played for the Rams. Not sure what Miami is thinking.
-- Denver Broncos' safety Quinton Carter was arrested and charged with cheating at craps at a Las Vegas casino; he grew up in Vegas. What could he be thinking? Casinos are worst place in America to commit a crime, since every inch has camera surveillance 24/7. Wow.
-- Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas wears number 25; coincidence? I think not.
-- Puerto Rico beat Team USA 4-3, sent the Americans back to their spring training facilities. Will American fans watch the WBC finals on TV?
-- Miami Heat won again, have now won 21 games in a row; the record is 33, and I'm thinking they've got their eyes on that record.
Saturday's List of 13: Wrapping up a fantastic Friday of hoops......
13) Another 14-hour day of basketball, with evening part of the card just filled with good action. Last game of the night was one of the more emotional games, as Pacific gave coach Bob Thomason one last appearance in Big West title game with a dramatic 55-53 win over Cal Poly in Anaheim.
Thomason is retiring after 25 years as Pacific's coach; the Tigers are moving to the WCC next year. Pacific plays Cal-Irvine for the Big West title.
12) Kentucky got spanked 64-48 by Vanderbilt; they're still winless away from Rupp Arena since Nerlens Noel got hurt. Most pundits have Kentucky out of the NCAAs; couple even suggested that the Wildcats' body language Friday looked like they wouldn't mind if the season ended.
11) Maryland beat Duke 83-74, just second time in 11 years Blue Devils lost their first ACC tournament game; the other time, they were 8-8 in ACC that season. This year, they were 14-4. Very disappointing loss for Duke.
10) Which reminds us that no team has ever won the national title if they lost their first conference tournament game that season.
9) Wisconsin 68, Michigan 59-- Badgers scored 17 points in first half, 51 in second. Wolverines split their last 12 games after a 20-1 start.
8) Ole Miss 64, Missouri 62-- Rebels outscored Missouri 18-6 over final 8:48 to pull out a win and keep their NCAA hopes alive. Ole Miss will be favored to beat Vandy today and get to the SEC finals.
7) Southern Mississippi shot 58.5% against UTEP, not easy to do against a Tim Floyd-defense, as Golden Eagles advanced with a 85-67 win over the Miners. USM plays Memphis (18-0 in C-USA) today for the title.
6) UCLA beat Arizona for third time this season, 66-64, but lost freshman star Jordan Adams for season with a broken foot; he had 24 points for the Bruins Friday, 18 in the second half.
5) Three conference finals will be played within 3.4 miles of each other in Las Vegas Saturday, with New Mexico-UNLV hottest ticket of the three. UCLA-Oregon and New Mexico State/UT-Arlington are the other two. You like college basketball, Las Vegas is your town Saturday.
4) North Carolina sophomore PJ Hairston, who sparked a recent 7-1 UNC hot streak, tore up his hand in a bloody accident late in Tar Heels' 83-62 win over Florida State. Not sure what the injury is, but anything with the hand is obviously going to hamper his ability to catch the ball.
3) Zeke Marshall almost single-handedly saved Akron's season, with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 7 blocks, as the Zips held off rival Kent State 62-59, its first win since PG Alex Abreu was suspended indefinitely.
2) Flip side of winning is losing; Buffalo fired coach Reggie Witherspoon on Friday, after a 14-20/7-9 season. Bulls are 47-33 in MAC play over last five years, so Witherspoon did a pretty good job, but he hadn't made the NCAAs in 14 years, and in today's world, that gets you fired.
1) I'm thinking that the selection committee has a very hard job this year; moreso than usual. Not much separates these bubble teams, but if you don't want to be sad Sunday night, like we said earlier this week, then win more.
Conference USA tournament (Tulsa)
Memphis is 18-0 in league play, 22-2 in last 24 C-USA tourney games; since since '06, Tigers are 117-14 in conference games- they beat USM twice this season, 89-76 (+1.5) on road, 89-73 (-7.5) at home. Southern Miss played four kids 32+ minutes Friday, used only six players more than nine minutes- they're bubble team if they lose. Memphis won true road game at Tulsa last night, only played one kid 30+ minutes- they've won last six C-USA final appearances, with five wins by 11+ points.
SEC tournament (Nashville)
Alabama has gone W-L in last four SEC tourneys, losing by 24-6-14-3 points; Crimson Tide is 3-3 in last six games, losing three of its last four away games- they lost 64-52 (+16) at Florida ten days ago, game Bama led by 8, before Florida outscored them 27-7 over last 11:17, outscoring Tide 22-6 at foul line. Florida last won this tourney in '07; they're 5-1 in last six semi-final appearances, winning by 22-6-16-21-11 points. Tide won its last three games, allowing average of 51.3 ppg.
Ole Miss outscored Missouri 18-6 over final 8:48 last night; Rebels are now 5-1 in last six games- they survived 5-21 shooting from arc Friday. Ole Miss (-8.5) won 89-79 in OT at Vanderbilt Jan 15, game they trailed by 13 with 8:39 left. Vandy upset Kentucky Friday, they're 6-1 in last seven games after 10-15 start- they played two kids 33+ minutes, three subs 19+ Friday, as they play here for 3rd day in row, but this tourney is also in Nashville, albeit not on Commodores' unusual home court.
ACC tournament (Greensboro)
Over last decade, Miami has won twice in only one ACC tourney, year Hurricanes went 4-12 during season. Miami struggled with BC Friday, but had bye Thursday; they got tip-in at buzzer to beat NC State 79-78 (even) Feb 2, in game State led by 5 with 1:51 left, as Miami shot 67.5% inside arc, 3-21 outside arc that game. NC State won eight of its last 10 games; Wolfpack won last two days by 17-19 points, so they haven't been overextended.
Maryland beat Duke Friday for second time this year, most pundits are saying they need this win too, to make NCAAs, but traditionally hard for team to get back up after upsetting Duke. Terps played four starters 30+ minutes Friday- they lost twice to North Carolina this year by 10-11 points. Carolina soph Hairston hurt his hand last night, status for this is unknown; Tar Heels won four of last five semi-final games, winning by 15-2-5-2 points- they've won seven of last eight games overall.
Atlantic 16 tournament (Brooklyn)
Butler is now 16-6 in last 22 conference tournament games, but they got beat twice by Saint Louis this year, 75-58 (+2.5) on road Jan 31, 65-61 at home Feb 22. Bulldogs were -23 in turnovers (37-14) in those games. Veteran Billikens (top 6 guys juniors/seniors) won 13 of last 14 games- they had bye Thursday, while Butler is playing third day in row. Butler played three starters 32+ minutes Friday, had two subs play 17-23- they've won last four games, after losses to Billikens/VCU.
VCU is now 20-5 in last 25 conference tourney games; they didn't play Thursday, while UMass is playing 3rd day in row, which could hurt vs Rams' pressure. VCU forces turnovers 28.6% of time, most in country. Minutemen played three starters 31+ minutes Friday; its star Williams played 78 minutes last two nites. VCU (-11.5) won 86-68 over UMass Feb 14, forcing 24 turnovers (+16) while holding Williams to six points. Rams won nine of their last 11 games overall.
Big Dozen tourney (Chicago)
Over last decade, Wisconsin is 4-1 in its second Big Dozen tournament game, winning by 2-3-12-2 points; they beat Indiana 64-59 Jan 15, with Hoosiers other than Zeller making only 8-27 from floor. Indiana is 3-2 in last five games after a 24-3 start- they played their starters 30+ minutes Friday, even though they led by 14 at half, weren't really challenged by Illini in 80-64 win. Weird that #1 seed Indiana's first two tourney games came vs teams that both beat indiana in their only meeting.
Michigan State is 6-1 in this tournament last 2+ years, after being 7-9 in previous eight; home side won both of Spartans' games with Ohio State this year- MSU (-2) won 59-56 Jan 19, then lost 68-60 (+3) Feb 24 in Columbus. Buckeyes are 11-2 in this tourney last 4+ years, 7-0 in 2nd tourney game over last decade- they've won last six games overall, all by 8+ points. Spartans were down 12 to iowa with 11:58 to play Friday, so they had to fight like hell to win yesterday.
Big X tournament (Kansas City)
Kansas is 18-2 in last 20 Big X tourney games, winning last five finals by 12-4-10-8-12 points; they treat K-State like a pinata, beating them 59-55 (-3.5) in Little Apple Jan 22, then 83-62 (-8.5) Feb 11- Jayhawks won nine of last 10 games overall, have eFG% of 41.6%, #1 in country. K-State won eight of last nine games, with only loss by 6 at Oklahoma State; they're just 4-7 in this event last 7+ years. With Duke losing last night, Jayhawks could be playing here for a #1 seed in NCAAs.
Mountain West tourney (@ UNLV)
UNLV won seven of last eight games, are playing in home building but crowd will be split with lots of Lobo fans in Las Vegas for the weekend. New Mexico is 8-1 in last nine games, with only loss in that span 89-88 at Air Force; Lobos won this event LY, since '05, they're 10-6 in MWC tourney. UNLV won this event in '07/'08, is 6-4 in it since, despite this being their home court- since teams had Thursday off, both are playing second night in row. Lobos played all five starters 33+ minutes Friday.
MAC tournament (Cleveland)
Akron's 7-foot center Marshall had 7 blocks in 62-59 win last night, as Zips survived 17 turnovers, 13-29 foul shooting in tense win over rival Kent State. Zips beat Ohio twice this season, by 14-7 points, but both were with PG Abreu in lineup. Ohio has great PG in Cooper; their two MAC losses were both to Akron; Bobcats won 16 of last 19 games- in last night's win, Ohio made 11-21 from arc, played four starters for 30+ minutes, but weren't seriously challenged.
Big East tournament (NYC)
Syracuse is playing fourth night in row, surviving an emotional OT game with rival Georgetown Friday; road team won both their games this year with Louisville, Cardinals winning last meeting 58-53 in dome March 2, after losing by hoop at home Jan 19. Last 4+ years, Louisville is 11-2 in this event; over last decade, they're 4-1 in conference tournament finals. Cards are only playing third night in row; they've won nine games in row played 3 starters 34+ minutes in fairly easy win (never trailed) Friday.
Pac-12 tourney (MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas)
UCLA lost freshman star Adams (foot) for season last night, after his 24 points propelled Bruins past Arizona for third time this season; Oregon (+5) won 76-67 at UCLA Jan 19, back when PG Artis was healthy and . Ducks were rolling- they're splitting PG with Artis/Loyd now; Loyd and UCLA star Muhammad are both Vegas kids, have lot of friends/family in tourney. Bruins played seven kids last night; with Adams out, the roster is very thin. Its been five years since #1 seed won Pac-12 tournament.
Big West tournament (Anaheim)
Pacific coach Thomason is retiring after 25 years; his Tigers won 55-53 last night on putback with 0:01.3 left; they beat Cal-Irvine 70-62 (-5) on March 7, after losing 68-59 (+2.5) in Bren Center Feb 20. Irvine played its starters 30+ minutes Friday, but only Wilder played more than 31; Anteaters won seven of last eight games, with four of last five wins on road/neutral courts. Pacific won its last six games; no one played more than 31 minutes Friday; three subs played 11-23-27 minutes.
WAC Tournament (Orleans Arena, Las Vegas)
Home team won both UTArlington-New Mexico State games; State (-9) beat Mavericks 66-63 last Saturday (led by 15 at half), avenging a 65-47 loss (-2) in Arlington Dec 29. Aggies are without gritty senior Watson; they played four starters 30+ minutes last night. Arlington is 9-3 in last 12 games- they had stress-free win last night. Key is for Aggies to get turnovers and score in transition; UTA held them down in halfcourt in second half last Saturday. State is 12-3 in WAC tourney last 5+ years.
Big Sky tournament (Missoula, MT)
Weber State won last 13 games, but they trailed North Dakota by 12 in last 14:51, by 3 with 2:36 left, as they dodged upset to set up this final with Montana club that beat them in last three Big Sky tourneys, two finals and a semi. Home side won both Weber State-Montana games this year, but Griz big guy Ward missed Montana's last six games- that hurts Montana's inside game. Griz is 6-1 in this tourney last 3+ years. Weber hasn't won this tourney since '07; in '10, they had 20-point halftime lead at home, lost to Montana in finals by a point.
Well after a clean sweep yesterday and a great start to Madness lets throw out a couple more. I mentioned I played UCLA to win the Pac 12 Tournament at 4-1 odds so I will be playing a few bucks on Oregon since it makes so much sense to not lose anything on that future wager. Also have Syracuse in the Big East tournament and still like them today so no reason to put anymore on them. Have Indiana to win the Big 10 as well and thats all that is still alive for now.
Six of the more interesting teams I'll be looking for when they announce the NCAA pairings tonight at 6:00.........
-- Middle Tennessee-- 28-5 with #39 non-conference schedule; helped by an Ole Miss run in SEC-- they beat the Rebels.
-- Albany-- Albany was 0-6 vs top 3 in America East until it counted, then they beat Stony Book/Vermont to get to NCAAs for third time in eight years.
-- Kentucky-- Zero road wins since Noel got hurt. Three sellouts at Rupp Arena will help the NIT's bottom line this year.
-- Boise State-- Were messed up with injuries/illness in January; had terrific win at Creighton, went 9-7 in one of nation's best leagues (MWC).
-- Saint Louis-- By time brackets are picked apart late Sunday, pundits will have Billikens sounding like the '72 UCLA Bruins. Saint Louis is good, but not Final Four good. They'll be a fashionable sleeper, though.
-- Gonzaga-- Have played in one regional final, in 1999. Now is their time; they're good enough to make a run to Atlanta.
13) Guys in the media are whining all weekend about the end of the Big East fail to realize the Big East isn't going away, Syracuse is. Pitt, Rutgers started in Atlantic 10, Notre Dame was an independent, Louisville came over from Conference USA, so Syracuse's bolting for the ACC's football money is the only deep-rooted change here. That, and UConn being left behind.
Louisville's 44-10 run after trailing by 16 makes them the favorite to win the NCAA tournament; takes pressure off the other #1 seeds.
12) Pretty cool scene in Big West tournament, as Pacific beat Cal-Irvine, in coach Bob Thomason's last season coaching his alma mater after 25 years. Pacific is moving to the WCC next year, giving that league ten teams.
11) Refs called a horrible charge on Shabazz Muhammad in first half of UCLA-Oregon game, and Ben Howland made like Al Oerter, tossing his suit jacket into the second row of the stands. He got a technical, and his Bruins got drilled 78-69 by the resurgent Oregon Ducks.
10) Anybody who had North Carolina lasting longer than Duke in the ACC tourney, raise your hand. Put your hand down, you're lying.
9) Montana beat Weber State in the Big Sky tournament for the fourth year in a row, 67-64. Weber was the better team this season, with Mathias Ward out for the Griz, but the game was played in Bozeman, and the stripes gave Montana the benefit of the whistle.
8) With Stephen F Austin/Texas-Arlington both losing Saturday, it means that no teams from Texas will be in the NCAA tournament- when was the last time that happened?
7) These flagrant fouls on accidental contact are getting ridiculous. Game is becoming too babified. These games have three refs making $1,500 apiece; time to stop video reviewing every little thing. Let the kids play; if the three refs didn't see it, then it didn't happen, the exception being clock issues.
6) Memphis finished 19-0 in Conference USA, beating Southern Miss in double OT, 91-79. Eagles were hurt by 15-28 foul shooting.
5) Northwestern finally canned Bill Carmody, who was 192-210 in 13 years with the Wildcats; academics are no excuse for losing in basketball, for example, Vanderbilt has a good team most every year. And Duke, too. For a team that close to Chicago to rarely have a winning record, its just not good.
4) Why coaches get fired if they lose: they're expensive. Colorado State's Larry Eustachy has a base salary of $750,000; if the Rams win 20+ games and stay off probation, he makes another $100,000. Make it to the NCAA's, Eustachy bags another $250,000. Make the Sweet 16, $100,000 more.
If Eustachy doesn't cash that $250,000 bonus too many years in a row, he'll be looking for a job, just like Coach Carmody. Its a cruel business, but if you win, its pretty damn lucrative, which is why recruiting is so cutthroat.
3) Odd Stat of the Day, NBA version: Washington Wizards are 15-2 vs the spread this season if they're on back end of a back-to-back.
2) Team USA lost in WBC, tickets for the semis/finals in San Francisco Sunday-Tuesday have been discounted to as little as $8. You go to a baseball game in the Bronx, you can't get a beer for $8.
1) For bubble teams, Sunday is the longest of days; for most of the teams, just getting in the NCAA tournament is a win-- how many can really win six (seven) games in a row and the national championship?
Lets close off this thread with a couple more plays and then get ready for the brackets. Lots of contests ahead so make sure you check our links out here at BTB. I think VCU has a chance to make a nice run in the tournament once again.