Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Madness

Fans of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams cheer in the second half of the game against the Georgetown Hoyas during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kansas Jayhawk Marcus Morris gets a hand in the face of Boston Terrier John Holland during their second-round game at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK.  Jayhawks won easily.   (Photo by Greg Nelson/SI)
 
Duke’s Kyle Singler engages in some hand-to-hand combat for a rebound against Hampton during their second-round game at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC.  Duke won easily 87-45.  (Photo by Bob Rosato/SI)
Forward Mike Morrison of the George Mason Patriots celebrates a slam dunk against Villanova Wildcats in their second round game at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH.  George Mason won 61-57.  (Photo by David E. Klutho/SI)
Ben Hansbrough, Tyler’s brother, of Notre Dame gets away a pass against the Zips from Akron during their second-round game in Chicago.  The Golden Domers won.  (Photo by John Blever/SI)
John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Jamal Olasewere #1 of the Long Island Blackbirds lay on the floor after a collision during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Texas A&M forward Nathan Walkup shoots over a Florida State defender during their second-round game at United Center in Chicago.  FSU advanced, 57-50.  (Photo by John Blever/SI)

Duke, UNC, FSU Advance

Irving
DUKE 87, Hampton 45 – He’s baaaaack.  There are people who think Duke didn’t deserver a #1 seed and that the Blue Devils are a longshot to repeat as National Champions.  Those people have not seen Kyrie Irving play nor do they realize how much different and better the Blue Devils are with their star freshman point guard rocketing up and down the court.

Just to make the point, on one play Irving stole the inbound pass and sped downcourt toward the helpless Hampton defender under the basket. He leaped for a layup with his right hand, then switched to his left in mid-air. Count it.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Duke’s electrifying point guard sure didn’t look like he hadn’t played since December, scoring 14 points in his first game in three months.   

Kwame Morgan II 
Andre Dawkins added 13 points, Mason Plumlee had 12, Kyle Singler finished with 11 and Miles Plumlee had 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils (31-4), who never trailed and shot 53 percent. They dominated from the start, winning their fourth straight and advancing to a third-round matchup with No. 8 seed Michigan (21-13) on Sunday.

Coach K moved one win from joining Bob Knight as the only Division I men’s coaches with 900 career victories. He can tie his mentor and former coach at 902 wins if the Blue Devils win the West Regional final and clinch their 12th Final Four berth under him.

A victory in Houston would not only put Duke back in the national championship game, it would leave Krzyzewski alone atop the wins list.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Hampton (24-9) had its five-game winning streak snapped. Its top three scorers—Darrion Pellum, Morgan and Charles Funches—were a combined 9 for 29.

Zeller
NORTH CAROLINA 102, Long Island 87 – the Tyler Zeller scored 32 points, Henson added 28 points and six blocks, Barnes had 24 points and 16 rebounds and North Carolina used its hulking size to defeat scrappy Long Island University on Friday night in the East Regional.

Still, amid the career highs and gaudy numbers, there was just enough sloppiness, turnovers and bad 3-point shooting for North Carolina coach Roy Williams to have concerns in the school’s return to the NCAA tournament.

“Am I pleased about the win? You’re darn right,” Williams said. “Am I pleased about some of the turnovers? Not at all. Am I pleased about going 3-for-17 from the 3-point line? Not at all. But we have to build on this to be ready to play better in the next game.”

Julian Boyd had 18 points and 12 rebounds, C.J. Garner added 16 points and Jamal Olasewere scored 15 for LIU, which faded after rallying to tie with under 5 minutes left in the first half as its nation-best 13-game winning streak was snapped.

Kitchen
FLORIDA STATE 57, Texas A&M 50 – Derwin Kitchen scored 15 points, and the 10th-seeded Seminoles moved on in the tournament for the first time since 1998 with a  victory over the seventh-seeded Aggies in the second round on Friday.

Bernard James added 10 points and three blocks, keying a go-ahead run in the second half, and the Seminoles (22-10) advanced even though star Chris Singleton struggled in his return from a broken right foot, finishing with five points and four fouls.

The nation’s leader in field-goal defense, they held Texas A&M (24-9) to 31.4-percent shooting on the way to their first NCAA win since they beat TCU in the first round in 1998. The Seminoles had dropped three straight NCAA games, losing to Wisconsin in overtime in 2009 and Gonzaga last season.

Michael Snaer
Khris Middleton scored 16 for Texas A&M—11 in the first half. Nathan Walkup added 11, David Loubeau scored 10, but a team that was hoping to two-step its way to tournament games in Texas can forget about that.

Florida State got going early in the second half, erasing a 31-23 deficit with a 13-0 run in which James scored eight straight.

Friday, March 18, 2011

So Much For Wacthing The Big Dance On Line...

…And The Madness Begins

Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals and the teams mascot react after a play against the Morehead State Eagles during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

UNC Asheville’s Jaron Lane crashe into Pittsburgh’s Brad Wanamaker during their second round NCAA game at Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  The real question is what is Ashton Gibbs #12 wearing? (Photo by Al Tielemans/SI)
Head coach Frank Martin of the Kansas State Wildcats coaches against the Utah State Aggies during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at McKale Center on March 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Demonte Harper #22 of the Morehead State Eagles shoots the game winning three point shot with 5.5 seconds left on the clock against the Louisville Cardinals during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Morehead State Eagles upset Louisville Cardinals by a score of 62-61. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Kevin Anderson #14 and Justin Harper #32 of the Richmond Spiders celebrate after defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Richmond won the game by a score of 69-66. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Adidas sneakers worn by the UCLA Bruins against the Michigan State Spartans during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Temple Owls bench celebrates defeating Penn State 66-64 at McKale Center in Tuscon, AZ. (Photo by John W. McDonough/SI)

Clemson Falls To West Virginia

Stit
West Virginia 84, CLEMSON 76 – A scant 36 hours after the First Four, the Tigers were back on the court facing a formidable opponent in the Big East’s fifth-seeded West Virginia.  In spite of the impressive 12/5  upset ratio of over 30% since the Big Dance expanded in 1985, Clemson could not add to the roster of lower-seeded victories.

Darryl Bryant scored 19 points and Kevin Jones added 17 as West Virginia (21-11) overcame a slow start in the early afternoon matchup. The Mountaineers will play fourth-seeded Kentucky  in the next round.

Clemson coach Brad Brownlee refused to complain about the fast turnaround his team had to make after beginning tournament in Dayton, Ohio, but he raised the issue afterward about whether such an early starting time is fair to a team in those circumstances.

“I don’t know. We certainly were ready to go early,” Brownell said. “I mean, 12:15 is less than ideal. I certainly hope they address it for the student athletes’ sake, because there is a wearing effect on the game.”

Bryant’s four-point play and a long 3-pointer by Jones that tied it 40-40 at the half highlighted a game-changing 28-8 run that enabled West Virginia to turn a 10-point deficit into a 57-47 lead. The closest Clemson (22-12) would get the rest of the way was three.

Andre Young scored 22 points for Clemson, which beat Alabama-Birmingham in the opening round of the tournament in Dayton, then boarded a plane for a middle-of-the-night flight to Florida to face a team that hadn’t played in eight days.

Young
Demontez Stitt had 16 points and Devin Bookere and Jerai Grant added 13 each for the Tigers, who fell behind by 12 in the second half before making it interesting in the closing minutes.

Clemson arrived at its hotel in Tampa around 5 a.m. and spent the rest of Wednesday balancing the the need for rest while also preparing for an opponent that had not played since losing in the second round of the Big East tournament last week.

Brownell estimated he got about three hours of sleep.

Joe Mazzulla scored 12 points for West Virginia, including two free throws that put the Mountaineers up 76-71 with 1:43 to go. Pepper’s steals on consecutive Clemson possessions thwarted any chance for a Tigers comeback.

Speculation Over : Duke’s Kyrie Irving To Play Today

Irving
No. 1 seed Duke’s NCAA tournament opener against No. 16 seed Hampton on Friday in the West Regional will mark Irving’s return to the court. The flashy freshman has been out since Dec. 4 with an injured big toe on his right foot, and coach Mike Krzyzewski plans to bring him off the bench and play him limited minutes. 

"He hasn’t played in a long, long time, but he’s the type (of) player, you give him the ball, he’s going to get out there and he’ll help us if he gets on the court,” guard Nolan Smith said. “He’s that good a player.”

With Irving, Duke was 8-0 with five wins over teams destined for the 2011 NCAA tournament.  The Blue Devils and Irving defeated Princeton 97-60, Marquette 82-77, Kansas State 82-68, Michigan State 84-79 and Butler 82-70.  Without Irving, they lost to St. John’s, Virginia Tech, Florida State and North Carolina.

Suffice to say, Duke is better – much better with the electrifying freshman in their lineup.  


Still, Duke clearly doesn’t want to expect too much too soon from Irving. At the time of his injury, Irving had Duke averaging a then-team-best 17.4 points while orchestrating the team’s uptempo attack.

Irving admits his current conditioning isn’t where he wants it, but he says he’s able to do nearly everything he could before he was hurt. He pronounced himself 95 percent healthy, said “the other 5 percent will come when I actually play out there” and admitted to being even more nervous than he was for his Duke debut back in November.

His return has all but overshadowed a second-round matchup that figures to be one-sided.

Duke enters as a 23-point favorite over Hampton (24-8), which won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament in Winston-Salem five days ago and is in the round of 64 for the first time since 2002.

Quote Of The Day

“No disrespect to Iowa State, they ain’t Duke.”  

-- Hampton coach Edward Joyner, Jr. noting that Almost exactly 10 years ago, they knocked off then-No. 2 seed Iowa State as a No. 15 to match the biggest upset according to seeding in the history of the NCAA tournament.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Derek O'Connor celebrates victory on Chicago Grey in the 141st Year Of The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse on Ladies Day on March 16, 2011 in Cheltenham, England.
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe)

Opening Round Of The ACC N.I.T.

Allen
VIRGINIA TECH 79, Bethune-Cookman (Wildcats, 4,00 students, Daytona Beach, FL) 54 – Jeff  Allen scored 19 points to help Virginia Tech overcome the sting of not making the NCAA tournament with a win over Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Virginia Tech (22-11), making its 12th appearance in the NIT and fifth in eight seasons under head coach Seth Greenberg, will meet Wichita State in the second round on Sunday after the Shockers beat Nebraska 76-49.

“This isn’t about not getting in,” Greenberg said, referring to the Hokies’ exclusion from the NCAAs. “If we’re motivated by not getting in, then we’re motivated by the wrong thing. We’re motivated because we want to win games.”

The Hokies connected on 10 of its first 11 shots and took a 23-9 lead after Allen’s basket with 13:01 left in the half.  Virginia Tech led by as many as 23 in the first half and shot 61.3 percent (19 of 31).
Bethune-Cookman (21-13), the regular-season champion in the MEAC, was making its first appearance in postseason play since 1980 as a Division II program.
Delaney scored 13 points for the Hokies, who shot 55.6 percent from the floor (33 of 59), reserve Manny Atkins added 12 and Erick Green 11. Green and Delaney, Tech’s starting guards, combined for 13 assists—a career-high eight by Green—and no turnovers.

Garrius Holloman led the Wildcats with 20 points.

Top-seeded Tech (22-11) will host fourth-seeded Wichita State, coached by Cave Spring graduate Gregg Marshall, in the second round at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Johnson
MIAMI 85, Florida Atalantic (Owls, 20,946 students, Boca Raton, FL) 62 – Malcolm Grant scored 23 points and Miami beat Florida Atlantic in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night.

The Hurricanes outscored the Owls 15-1 during a 5:22 span in the second half to secure their 20th win of the season. Durand Scott’s two free throws with 4:23 remaining capped the run and gave the Hurricanes (20-13) a 66-51 lead.

Adrian Thomas and Scott hit consecutive 3-pointers early in the second half to give Miami a 45-30 lead before the Owls scored six unanswered points to stay within single digits. Greg Gantt’s basket with 12:23 remaining cut Miami’s lead to 51-45.

Miami was coming off a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina in the ACC tournament.

Scott scored 19 points while Reggie Johnson finished with 14 points and 20 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who will host Missouri State in the second round.

Gantt led the Owls (21-11) with 17 points.

Quote Of The Day

"That kid, he's fighting a lot of things right now. And a lot of people are saying, 'Dexter's not doing anything'. Dexter's doing a lot more than most people would, because most people wouldn't even be playing."

— North Carolina coach Roy Williams on Dexter Strickland who injured his knee when he ran into a photographer on the baseline during his team's 89-69 victory over Florida State on Feb. 6.

Doctors told Strickland they could operate and he would perhaps miss the rest of the season, or he could play through the pain without doing further damage.  

Strickland chose to play…

To read more, click here

Quote Of The Day, Part 2

At his postgame press conference,

“I think that’s a silly question, to be honest with you. We’re sitting up here, and the NCAA logo is behind me. The game was on TV. I don’t know what else it would’ve been other than an NCAA tournament game. It’s not the NIT. The regular season is over and there’s a huge NCAA logo on the middle of the floor.”

-- VCU coach Shaka Smart was asked if the First Four felt like the “real” NCAA tournament.

To read a critique of the First Four, or First Bore as Yahoo! Sports Jason King describes it, click here.

Pictures Of The Day

THE QUEEN’S SPEECH.  Andrew Lynch riding Sizing Europe didn't stumble over a single word, or anything else for that matter, winning The Stan Sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 16, 2011 in Cheltenham, England.  His connections were happy to say the least.  ( Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT.  Chickens and roosters take part in a “laughing” contest in Makassar, Indonesia.  About 1,600 of the birds were involved in the contest, judged for “melodious crowing,” which according to the event organizers sounded the most like human laughter.  The contest’s finale is a BBQ.  They eat the losers, then they eat the winners…Just kidding. (Photo by Yusuf Ahmad/Reuters)
THANKS, BIG GUY. Bradford Burgess #20 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams gives props to the Man upstairs at the end of the game after defeating the USC Trojans during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 16, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quote Of The Day

“There is a chance that he would play,” 


-- Duke Coach Mike Krzyzklm4ski.  The coach added that if Irving does come back, he won’t start, would see only limited minutes and wouldn’t be on the court for extended periods of time.


The top-seeded Blue Devils’ West Regional opener is against 16th-seeded Hampton on Friday in Charlotte, NC. 

#1 Seeded Boston College Wins First Round NIT Game

Reggie Jackson scored 22 points, Corey Raji had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Boston College beat McNeese State 82-64 in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

The Eagles (21-12) placed five players in double figures. Biko Paris had 14 points and seven assists, reserve Josh Southern scored 13 and Joe Trapani had 10 points.

Patrick Richard had 22 points for the Cowboys (21-12), who shot 36 percent from the field, compared to 53 percent for Boston College.

The Eagles grabbed control with a 29-8 surge in the first half. Gabe Moton started the spurt with a three-pointer and Raji’s layup made it 36-13 with 2:43 left.

Jackson’s three-pointer in the final seconds gave Boston College a 41-19 lead at the break.
Diego Kapelan had 12 points and Stephan Martin finished with 10 for McNeese State, which welcomed a school from the Atlantic Coast Conference to Burton Coliseum for the first time. P.J. Alawoya added nine points and 12 rebounds.

Boston College went 11 for 23 from 3-point range and outrebounded McNeese State 42-27 in front of a crowd of 5,305—the third-largest total for the Cowboys in Burton.

“This was a great environment,” Eagles coach Steve Donahue said. “The NIT should be proud. It’s a challenge to play in front of a good crowd with a lot of energy.”

Clemson First ACC Team To Advance, Sort Of...

Grant
Jerai Grant scored a career-best 22 points and the fast-starting Tigers built a double-figure lead and never backed off in beating Alabama-Birmingham 70-52 on Tuesday night in an NCAA tournament “First Four” game at the University of Dayton Arena.

There was little time to celebrate. The Tigers hurried to catch a flight to their second-round game against fifth-seeded West Virginia (20-11) on Thursday afternoon in Tampa, Fla – a mere 36 hours after the buzzer.

Grant, who hit 10 of 15 shots from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds, said the most important thing was to sleep—and then get prepared.

Demontez Stitt, Clemson’s leading scorer at 14.7 points a game, said it was important for the Tigers to relax and let their bodies have a break.

In a matchup of No. 12 seeds, part of the expanded tournament’s new look, the Tigers (22-11) went on a 21-2 run in the first half and never let the big lead slip away, as they had in Saturday’s overtime loss to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals.

Milton Jennings added 11 points and Tanner Smith and Devin Booker each had 10 for Clemson, picked to finish seventh in the ACC. The win was its first in the NCAA tournament since the 1997 team advanced to the round of 16.

Jamarr Sanders had 19 points and Dexter Fields 12 for UAB, regular-season champions of Conference USA.

Both teams were among the final four at-large teams to get into the tournament. Each had spells when they didn’t look as though they deserved berths — but UAB’s bad spell lasted a lot longer.

The victory was particularly gratifying for Clemson coach Brad Brownell, who had been the coach at Wright State—across town from the University of Dayton—for four years before taking the Clemson job a year ago.

He had always wanted to play an annual game with Dayton, but could never close the deal. As a result, winning a game on the Flyers’ home floor was always one of his fondest wishes while he was at Wright State.

Pictures Of The Day

BULLISH. Albany team member Tiger Woods tees off on the seventh hole during the second day of the Tavistock Cup Golf Tournament in Windermere, FL.  (Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photos)
DANCING IN DAYTON. A general view of game action between the Clemson Tigers and the UAB Blazers during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 15, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
MISSING IN ACTION. Adams Island #15 competes sans jockey Aodnagan Conlan with Carole’s Legacy #6 and No Panic #18 during the Stewart Family Spinal Research 3 Mile Handicap Steeplechase at the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire.  (Photo by Bob Martin)
X-TREME X. Xavier Bertoni of France warms up before the Winter X Games Men’s Skiing Superpipe Elimination in Tignes, France.  (Photo by Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quote Of The Day

“This is my school, I love this school. It was my hope and dream to come back here and do something special again.”

-- Sidney Lowe, now former N.C. State basketball coach, last Thursday at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. 

N.C. State’s Sidney Lowe Resigns

From a story by J.P. Giglio in the Raleigh News & Observer:

N.C. State head coach Sidney Lowe resigned Tuesday, ending his tenure at his alma mater. He went 86-78 in five seasons, with a 25-55 mark in ACC play.

The popular former Wolfpack player, who was captain of the 1983 national title team, upgraded the program’s talent the last two seasons but couldn’t move out of the bottom third of the conference standings or into the NCAA tournament. In five seasons under Lowe, N.C. State failed to make the NCAA tournament once.

Under the terms of his contract, which has two years remaining, Lowe’s buyout is worth about $900,000.

A news conference has been scheduled for 6 p.m.

Lowe met with N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow on campus for about 90 minutes today. Yow has not made any public comments about Lowe since the season started, but she is expected to hire an executive consulting firm to aid in her national search for Lowe’s replacement.

Arizona coach Sean Miller, a former N.C. State assistant, and Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, who once worked for Roy Williams at Kansas, are expected to be among Yow’s targets.

Picked to finish fourth in the ACC in the preseason, N.C. State posted a disappointing overall record of 15-16 and finished 10th in the ACC (5-11). After Thursday’s first-round loss to Maryland in the ACC tournament, Lowe spoke passionately about his love of the program and the hope for the program’s future.

Lowe, a longtime NBA coach, returned to his alma mater in May 2006 after a prolonged search for Herb Sendek’s replacement, which sputtered on for weeks after big-name college coaches, Rick Barnes and John Calipari, turned down the job.

N.C. State went to the NCAA tournament five straight years before Lowe’s arrival. But he inherited a program that struggled down the stretch of Sendek’s last season, as the Wolfpack lost six of their last nine games, including a 24-point home loss to North Carolina and a 21-point loss to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Lowe’s first team featured only one returning Wolfpack starter.

Lowe spent 15 seasons in the NBA as an assistant and head coach. He turned down an offer last spring from longtime friend Flip Saunders to be an assistant for the Washington Wizards.

To read more, click here. 

Tournament Dancing Double-Doubles

Click on the map for a better view
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams from DUKE, UConn and Ohio State won their conference tournaments prior to advancing to the NCAA tournament.  They lead the list of 26 schools that sent both their men’s and women’s teams to their respective Big Dances.

Both DUKE and Ohio State vanquished the same opponent to win both the men’s and women’s conference tourney’s – the Blue Devils got the best of the Tar Heels both times while OSU’s men and women downed Penn State.

Connecticut’s women won the regular season and the Big East tournament championship game against Notre Dame while the men knocked off Louisville last Saturday night in Madison Square Garden.

The other schools with teams in both tournaments are: NORTH CAROLINA and FLORIDA STATE from the ACC, along with (in no particular order) Kansas State, Purdue, Georgetown, Princeton, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Temple, Notre Dame, St. John’s, Kentucky, Hampton, Gonzaga, UCLA, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Marquette, Michigan State, West Virginia and Arkansas Little-Rock.

Six ACC Teams In NCAA Women's Tournament

For the ninth straight year, the ACC will be represented by at least six teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Field of 64. The ACC is one of only two leagues (Big East) to place six or more teams in the 2011 Big Sadie Hawkins Dance, while all six ACC teams selected were tabbed top five seeds – a first since 1996.

Duke, which won the school’s seventh ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship and its second-consecutive, finished 29-3 and earned a No. 2 seed in the Philadelphia region.
Joining the Blue Devils  are the Florida State Seminoles, which own a 23-7 overall record and an 11-3 mark in ACC action, and the Miami Hurricanes, which advanced to the WNIT Championship game last year.

Entering the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 is Miami (27-4), which earned a No. 3 seed and will face No. 14 seeded Gardner-Webb in Charlottesville, Va. The 2010-11 Hurricanes shared a piece of this year’s ACC regular-season crown with Duke after recording a 12-2 league mark – completing the ultimate turnaround from one year ago.  

Maryland returns to the NCAA Tournament for the program’s 19th all-time appearance as the No. 4 seed in the Philadelphia region. The Terrapins, which won the 2006 National Championship, finished this season with a 23-7 record, including a 9-5 ACC mark.  

Duke's Jasmine Thomas, left, Krystal Thomas (34), Karima Christmas (13) and Tricia Liston (32)
Georgia Tech, which won 23 games for the second-consecutive season, a mark that again ties the school record for wins in a regular season, claimed a No. 5 seed in the Dayton region. The Yellow Jackets posted their fifth straight 20-win season en route to making their fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and seventh overall. Georgia Tech finished the season with a 23-10 overall record, 9-5 in league play.

North Carolina was named a No. 5 seed for a league-best 23rd time in program history. The Tar Heels finished the regular season with a 26-8 mark, including a 3-1 run to the 2011 ACC Tournament final.  UNC will face No. 12 seed Fresno State, the Western Athletic Conference’s automatic qualifier, in the Spokane region. 

To see the bracket, click here. 

(Photo by Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)

Virginia Tech And The NCAA Tournament: Everything Explained Part II

Brad Greenberg and Radford
President Penelope Kyle
Evidently, it does all come down to coaching and there is one word for why the Hokies were shut out (AGAIN) from the NCAA tournament.  Brace yourselves, the word is: Greenberg.

Wait, not Virginia Tech head basketball coach Seth Greenberg, but his brother Brad Greenberg…

Huh?

You see, the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) are upset with Greenberg – so upset  that they are subconsciously (OK, we threw that in for the legal department because the Suits have more money than T.A.H. Worldwide Media because they made $9 billion on the Big Dance this decade and we made $9 from ad revenue last month)…Where were we?

Oh yeah, the NCAA Selection Committee subconsciously penalized the Virginia Tech version of Greenberg because they didn’t get a chance to penalize his brother from Radford for HEINOUS crimes and NCAA rule VIOLATIONS he committed just down the road from Blacksburg.

Yes, the NCAA didn’t get to suspend Brad Greenberg ‘cause his school beat them to it, suspending the Highlander version of the Greenberg coaching tree for the final four games of the season for breaking the rules that govern “team travel and associated extra benefits.”


The other Greenberg
According to John Feinstein, here is what Greenberg did: He took Masse Doumbe with him to road games Radford played during Thanksgiving break and Christmas break even though he was ineligible. The NCAA had barred Doumbe from playing in the first 21 games of the season because he had played on a French team the NCAA deemed professional because one player on the team (not Doumbe) was being paid. Greenberg didn't want to leave him alone on campus during the holidays, so he brought him with the team. 

That was the impermissible travel.

The extra benefits? Meals, and a bed to sleep in.

Imagine what might have happened if he had bought the kid an ice cream cone after a team meal.

So, that explains it.  The Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) wanted to throw some heavy-handed justice of their own Greenberg’s way, but they never got a chance.  Then they got distracted by the NCAA tournament and…EUREKA!...a solution presented itself…

Hey…He’s got a brother at Virginia Tech…

Hmmm…How convenient…

Nice, NCAA, NICE!

The NCAA Tournament: Everything Explained By John Feinstein

Speaking of John Feinstein, he’s on a roll.  All the more often than not, the Duke grad gets it right – especially when it comes to his two areas of expertise: golf and NCAA basketball.  OK, you can throw in Navy football, but we’re trying to go mainstream here.

In today’s Washington Post, Feinstein eloquently (as usual) points out how the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) are buggering up the roundball version of the BCS.  He wants “accountability” and it’s pretty clear he thinks the ACC generally, and Virginia Tech specifically, got the short end of the Suit’s self-righteous Big 10 lovin’, memorabilia sellin’ stick…

His point is simple: The selection process shouldn’t be top secret; it’s not a national security issue.  Committee members can vote for UAB and against Virginia Tech and never have to explain why…

To read more, click here.

Blog Archive