Saturday, April 9, 2011

ACC LAX Scoreboard - UNC v. UVA TV Today Noon ESPN

(Jim O’Connor/InsideLacrosse.com)
04/03/11
Johns Hopkins (Blue Jays, 7,444 students, Baltimore, MD)  10, NORTH CAROLINA 9 – Lee Coppersmith scored an unassisted goal for fifth-ranked Johns Hopkins with 1:52 to play in the fourth quarter and it proved to be the difference as the Blue Jays defeated fourth-ranked North Carolina (7-3) 10-9 before a crowd of 25,115 at the New Meadlowlands Stadium. It was the second of three games in the annual Konica Minolta Big City Classic.

 Syracuse (Orange, 20,407 students, Syracuse, NY)  13, DUKE 11 – Top-ranked Syracuse jumped out to a 9-2 halftime lead and held off a late charge by No. 3 Duke to post a narrow 13-11 victory in front of 25,115 fans at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at New Meadowlands Stadium.  Senior Zach Howell led all Blue Devils (8-3) with four goals and two assists, while sophomore Jake Tripucka had a goal and three assists.

(Steve Ruark/Special to The Baltimore Sun)

04/08/11             
MARYLAND 10, Navy (Midshipmen, 4,400 students, Annapolis, MD) 4 – The No. 5 University of Maryland men's lacrosse team got two goals apiece from senior Brian Farrell, junior Jake Bernhardt and sophomore Owen Blye in a 10-4 victory over Navy at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Friday night.  The Terps (8-2) opened the first quarter with a 6-1 scoring barrage and never looked back.               

04/09/11             
NORTH CAROLINA @ VIRGINIA – ESPN Noon
DUKE  vs. Denver (Pioneers, 11,644 students, Denver, CO)


Friday, April 8, 2011

He's Baaaacccckkkk...For Now

(Harry How/Getty Images)
While the new Tiger (Phil Mickelson) was charging into the middle of the pack, the old Tiger was having a good day to the delight of the Augusta muckety-mucks and CBS who surely wanted him around for the weekend.

Thanks to a 6-under 66 on Friday, Woods trails Rory McIlroy by only three shots at the halfway mark of the Masters.  He’s tied for third and looking like his old self in many ways…no, not the hooker, porn star way, the golf way!


Oh yeah, almost forgot. This guy is leading the field at -10. 
(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

To see the full leaderboard, click here.

Yow v. Williams: Gregg Doyel (Whoever He Is) Hates Gary Williams Too

Gregg Doyel

Earlier this week former Terp Scott Van Pelt  of ESPN mentioned Gregg Doyel (see below) in a segment about what N.C. State A.D. Debbie Yow said during the Mark Gottfried press conference.  Yow said something would appear soon in the media backing up her claim that Williams tampered with the N.C. State coaching search.

This is what Doyel had to say on a radio show and if you think he sounds like a objective journalist, you let us know!

Just sayin’…

Gregg Doyel, CBSSports.com:  “Well, he has influence, and not because people think Gary Williams is so brilliant and trustworthy that if he tells me something, dadgummit, it must be true. I don’t think he has that much influence. I don’t want to give that little tiny little petty human being that much credit. And by the way, I e-mailed Gary’s PR director yesterday back and forth three times, saying I want to talk to Gary very specifically about his influence on the N.C. State coaching search. They’ve not gotten back to me after I made it clear exactly what I want, so it’s very possible he’s gonna duck me, that coward.

“But in the meantime, the reason he’s had an impact is this: if you’re a good coach at a good school...it’s hard to pull the trigger and say I’m winning here at Arizona or Texas, or I’m winning here at VCU, wherever it is that I’m winning at, and I want to go to N.C. State, where they haven’t won the last couple years. It requires a whole lot of confidence. And if you get one person — and that person’s Gary Williams — to say the AD’s not easy to work for, that will allow someone to justify their own [feelings]....Basically, Gary Williams is giving coaches an excuse to do the easy thing, which is stay where they are.”

And he finished up with this:

“I want to make this very clear, that if Gary Williams does not return my call, he’s scared of me. And so he can act all big and bad, and he can stand there on his coaching bench and turn around and yell at his assistant coaches, who've done nothing wrong. And when a guy on the court travels, he can turn around and yell at the 12th man on his bench, because he’s a little bitty tiny coward runt of a man. He can do all that."

“But here I am on your radio show, and in an e-mail to his PR guy three times, begging him to talk to me about what he’s been saying behind Debbie Yow’s back and hurting the N.C. State head coaching search. And if he doesn’t call me back, then all that means to me is he’s a little bitty tiny coward of a man.”

Nice, Greg, NICE!  But, hold on, there’s more!

“Gary Williams, you call me back, or you’re a spineless little fraction of a man.” 

Yow v. Williams: What Other (Cleary Less Angry) Journalist Are Saying

Scott Van Pelt, on ESPN 980: “I don’t know what to say. I’ve never seen it before. I think you completely marginalized Mark Gottfried, and I think it’s remarkable that you’d say that. The Gregg Doyel piece of it, I think she was expecting an article to be coming. My understanding [is] I don’t think that’s coming. I don’t know why you’d ever say something like that. If you think that you were gonna get Rick Barnes or Sean Miller or somebody like that and you didn’t because Gary Williams told him not to go, then you’re out of your mind."

“But whatever. She marginalizes her coach and I think doesn’t really honor herself in the process...”

(Phil Hoffman Photo)
John Feinstein, on Comcast SportsNet: “First of all, does she really think that Gary Williams had to make any phone calls for people to know that the two of them didn’t get along for 16 years? I mean, that was the worst kept secret since the break in at Watergate, for crying out loud.

“But beyond that, you’re sitting there, you’re introducing your new coach, and you say Gary Williams sabotaged my search? That’s like saying, hey, this is the best I could do, because Gary Williams was calling around. And Mark Gottfried has got to be sitting there thinking, you know what, Gary Williams may have been right, if this is the kind of thing my new boss is saying....

Doug Gottlieb, ESPN Radio: “There’s also the perception that she cares as much or more about women’s basketball than she does men’s basketball. And if you really want truths, the truth is that guys don’t want to coach for a female athletic director who likes women’s college basketball as much or more as men’s college basketball…"

“The other thing no one’s saying is that though Gary Williams may in her mind have sabotaged her search, the biggest thing that sabotages her search is that Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski are in the same eight-mile radius as her school. So in addition to not wanting to work for her, not wanting to work for somebody who likes women's athletics as much as men’s athletics, they don’t want to have to coach four times a year against two Hall of Famers who are in their prime and their programs are rolling.”

Kyrie Irving Buys New Car

Yesterday in Virginia, Kyrie Irving spotted a “previously owned” vehicle he liked and rumor is he purchased it on the spot.

*Items in italics may not be true

Is Lefty The New Tiger?

The guy some of the media wants to win. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
Remember when Tiger Woods burst on to the pro golf scene and all the media coverage was directed at him and where he stood in any given tournament as opposed to the traditional approach that reported  who was winning and why?

Whenever Tiger played every story began describing his round, his clothes, his mind set, his courtesy car – you name it – and then somewhere in the twelfth paragraph there was mention of some poor schmuck nobody (according to the media) cares about who was actually winning the golf tournament.

So now that Tiger is no longer the object of the media’s affection, clearly we are now meant to worship (and follow at the cost of most known journalistic rules) Mr. Nice Guy, Phil Mickelson.

One of the actual co-leaders. (AP Photo)
Here is how Yahoo! Sports covered yesterday's first round of the Masters.

On the home page, the lead story is headlined thusly:  McIlroy, Quiros share lead at Masters.  When you click on this story you are taken to one headlined with this: “Lefty scrambles his way into contention at Augusta”

The leaders, Rory McIlroy and Alvaro Quiros are mentioned in paragraphs four (Quiros) and six (McIlroy) making nice bookends for a quote from guess who?  Why, Phil Mickelson silly.

The leaders are mentioned some 65 words in and McIlroy’s 63 actually gets a full sentence 502 words into the story.

Of course this makes sense because Mickelson won last year and he’s nipping at the heels of the leaders after an opening round 66 (-6) just one stroke off the lead…

Well…no.

Rare photo of one of the actual co-leaders. (Don Emmert/AFP)
Actually Mickelson shot 70 (-2) and here are the guys that are between him and the first round leaders:  Y.E. Yang (-5), K.J. Choi (-5), Ricky Barnes (-4), Matt Kuchar (-4), Charl Schwartzel (-3), Trevor Immelman (-3), Gary Woodland (-3), Ross Fisher (-3), Brandt Snedeker (-3), Geoff Ogilvy (-3) and Sergio Garcia (-3).  Not exactly a bunch of stiffs as there are some majors accounted for amongst these fellows.

And…127 photographs accompany the story about Lefty vaulting into contention a mere five strokes off the lead and not a single one is of McIlroy…Nada, none, zero.

Meanwhile over at ESPN  and Sports Illustrated, the lead story is about the leaders complete with photos.  

Thankfully, sanity still reigns somewhere. 

Quote Of The Day

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 


"My target tomorrow is to make the cut. It would be stupid to think I can shoot 65 again because it's not my way. As I said before, 75 was my best round here. It could be just one good round of golf."

-- Alvaro Quiros, co-leader, after the first round at the Masters.

Pictures Of The Day: Ladies Day At Aintree In Liverpool

Women show off their hat displays as they arrive on the second day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north-west England on April 8, 2011. Friday is traditionally 'Ladies Day' at the annual event which culminates in the Grand National four and a half mile steeplechase race on Saturday. (Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)
Runners in The John Smith's Topham Steeple Chase make their way down the back straight.  (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

Davy Russell riding Quito De La Roque (R) on their way to winning The John Smith's Mildmay Novices' Steeple Chase as the remote control cameras fire to capture the action. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Racegoers watch on as the runners pass the stand in The John Smith's Top Novices' Hurdle Race at Aintree racecourse on April 08, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Davy Russell riding Quito De La Roque (L) go on to win The John Smith's Mildmay Novices' Steeple Chase from Sarando (R) on Ladies Day.  (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
A lady in a union jack dress is seen during Ladies' Day at Aintree. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)
 Donuts!!! (Photo by Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

Things That Make You Go…

Hmmm...
Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain sticks his tongue out after making a putt at the 18th green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.  (AFP PHOTO / Don Emmert) 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Letter In Duke Chronicle Torches Kyrie Irving

(Addison Corriher/The Duke Chronicle)
Let’s be clear, everybody at T.A.H. Worldwide Media believes in the value of a college education.

We also believe that college basketball and pro basketball could benefit from a rule similar to that of the NFL where a player isn’t eligible into his theoretical or actual junior year.  The one and done rule hasn’t helped anybody.

That said all of the jolly folks at T.A.H. are also capitalist and if you are going to offer a young man – no matter if he’s economically disadvantaged or from a family with solid economic under pinnings – millions of dollars to go to “work” playing the game he loves, then we would advocate that he “take the money.”

Of course, there are those people out there that think their chosen university and its players are community property and that they are somehow entitled to four years of service for the benefit of their entertainment.  After all, that’s what sports are – entertainment.

Enter one Chris Cusack author of “An Open Letter To Kyrie Irving” published in the Duke Chronicle two days ago.  Evidently, Mr. Cusack thinks Mr. Irving owes him extended service at his private university of choice in exchange for the platform Irving was given to display his talents while said private university of his choice continued to mint money as a result of Irving and his teammates’ efforts.

A brief excerpt goes like this:  “Rest assured, you’ll never regret leaving Duke after just one year, never wonder what might have been if you stuck around to play with the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class, which by the way includes your longtime friend and teammate Austin Rivers.”

(Let see….make $4.4 million for doing almost nothing if there is a lock out or playing a limited amount of basketball if there is a season (limited as in only two 2010 NBA draft picks are averaging in double figures) or play with the #2 ranked recruiting class and risk further injury (to a toe that already put you out 26 games) that will jeopardize any future NBA career…Hmmm…$4.4 million or #2 recruiting class…We don’t know, that’s a tough call...*)

*Item in italics may be sarcasm.

We won’t drone about this, but we will ask Mr. Cusack a couple questions:  Should you marry and procreate, and should the result of the mating be extraordinarily talented in some way or another (say Mark Zuckerberg talented or LeBron James talented) are you going to deny him the chance to make MILLIONS when those big bucks are offered to him prior to his chronological graduation date from college? 

Will you insist that he not utilize his (James like) talent to secure his (and your) financial future so he can finish college and earn another “banner” and bragging rights for his/your university of choice when the career path he is on features big upfront money on one hand but a high failure rate, career-ending injuries and short careers on the other?

Will you?  Will you be so self-righteous about a game – a form of entertainment – when it’s your child?

No, you won’t. Because now you are a kid -- a college kid who thinks he knows how the world works.  In all probability, you don't.  You'll learn though, and someday when you become a parent you may well view all of this differently.

Chances are your parents are letting you follow your dreams where they lead you.  They led you to Duke.  When you graduate or decide to leave early, they will lead you somewhere else of your choosing.  You won’t ask your fellow students or alums or Crazies where you should live and what you should do for a living.  At some point, you will have earned the right to make those decisions.

Would Irving be a better basketball player if he stayed at Duke another year or two? In all likelihood, yes he would. As would say, Harrison Barnes if he stays at UNC.  But, Irving suffered a major injury and if he is seemingly unwilling to risk his three year guaranteed money as the #1 pick of $14 million on a bad toe, we don't blame him.

Mr. Cusack, you are following your dream.  Let Kyrie Irving enjoy that same freedom.

What's that?  Cusack followed it up with an "explanation" noting he was being sarcastic, not hateful.  Ok, sorry, we blew up.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Picture Of The Evening

Tennis star Andy Roddick caddies for Zach Johnson during the Par 3 Contest prior to the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Zeller, Henson Staying In Chapel Hill

(Photos by Chris Trotman and Nick Laham/Getty Images)
North Carolina junior Tyler Zeller and sophomore John Henson will return to the Tar Heels next season instead of entering their names in the NBA draft.

The school announced the pair's decision Wednesday, but says freshman Harrison Barnes "is still reviewing information" as he considers whether to enter the draft.

Zeller, a 7-footer, averaged a team-high 15.7 points to go with 7.2 rebounds. Henson, a lean 6-foot-10 forward, averaged about 12 points and 10 rebounds as the team's top interior defender.

Both were second-team all-ACC picks as the Tar Heels won the league regular-season championship and reached an NCAA regional final.

In a statement, coach Roy Williams says Barnes "is not as far along" in the process.

Duke's Post Season Takes Another Turn For The Worse

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement issued Wednesday by the school that freshmen guard Kyrie Irving plans to hire an agent, ending his college career.

“Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA,” Krzyzewski said. “We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision. We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player.”

Irving played only 11 games and missed roughly two-thirds of the season with an injured big toe on his right foot. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists for top-seeded Duke, which was upset by Arizona in the West regional semifinals.

“It was a great experience playing for Coach K,” Irving said. “He taught me a lot about the game. Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined.”

When Irving was healthy, he was electrifying.  His 31-point performance against then-No. 6 Michigan State marked just the fourth time in school history that a freshman scored 30 points in a game. He was the MVP of the CBE Classic after averaging 14.5 points and six assists.

But his only season at Duke ultimately might be defined by the 26 games he missed after he jammed his toe during a win over Butler on Dec. 4, and the lingering subplot surrounding the Blue Devils was when—or even if—he would return.

Yow v. Williams: Wait, There's More...

Does Ol' Roy Know About This?

Evidently, the UNC hoops squad just can't get enough basketball after bowing out of the tourney in the Elite Eight round.

So some of the Tar Heels have been taking to the pick-up courts on campus to play with and against their fellow students.

Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Reggie Bullock and Leslie McDonald -- they’re all there. And just so you don’t think this is some sort of college myth, UNC’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, has provided the video to confirm the existence of these games.

Pictures Of The Day

Head coach Gary Blair of the Texas A&M Aggies cuts down the rest of the net after the championship game of the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four.  Just one night after UConn’s Jim Calhoun became the oldest coach to win the men’s championship, Blair at 65 became the oldest to win the women’s title.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Texas A&M Aggies celebrate after the championship game of the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four on April 5, 2011 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. the Texas A&M Aggies defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 76-70 to win the national title. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

UConn Tops Final Poll, Duke # 7, UNC #8

(Jessica Hill/AP photo)
USA TODAY/ESPN:  1) Connecticut (30) 2) Butler 3) Kentucky 4) Kansas 5) Ohio St. (1) 6) VCU 7) DUKE 8) NORTH CAROLINA 9) Arizona 10) Florida 11) San Diego St. 12) Pittsburgh 13) BYU 14) Notre Dame 15) Wisconsin 16) Texas 17) Purdue 18) Syracuse 19) FLORIDA STATE 20) Marquette 21) Richmond 22) Louisville 23) Washington 24) Kansas St. 25) Utah St.

Others Receiving Votes: Temple 41, West Virginia 34, St. John's 33, Xavier 31, Texas A&M 31, UCLA 25, Cincinnati 24, Vanderbilt 24, Wichita St. 20, Old Dominion 9, Michigan 9, George Mason 9, Gonzaga 7, Georgetown 5, Missouri 2, Illinois 1

Evidently, Debbie Yow Still Hates Gary Williams

Gottfried and Yow
And the feeling may well be mutual?

There has been no shortage of rumors over the years saying that former Maryland and current N.C. State A.D. Debbie Yow and Terps hoops’ coach Gary Williams get along like Obama Democrats and Tea Party Republicans.

Yesterday, when announcing new basketball coach Mark Gottfried, Yow accused Williams of what the pros call “tampering.” 

When asked if her reputation made it hard to hire a new coach, she said: "You guys, come on. I don’t have a reputation across all men’s basketball of being difficult to work with. I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search. Come on. We all know that, OK? So, whatever. It’s not a reputation. It’s Gary Williams out there doing his thing. Whatever."

To read about and see the video, click here.

Williams
"I haven't talked to anyone, coach or athletic director, connected to the NC State search," Williams said. "I don't have any interest in the NC State search, since I'm coaching at Maryland and working hard to run our program. Anyone who says I've had contact with a prospective coach or athletic director regarding this search isn't being truthful."

Usually if a rumor persists long enough some truth is assigned.  If Yow and Williams don’t get along it would seem logical that Williams would say less than nice things about his former boss when queried by a buddy seeking the Wolfpack job.  The college coaching fraternity is tight nit and if a candidate called Williams and asked his opinion, we wager after years of observation that he would be quite candid.

The lastest flare up of the old feud is likely to increase the rumble in and around College Park.  Hard core, and frequently suffering from annual unrealistic expectations, fans and alum are concerned over the Terps recent lack of success.  Critics blame Williams evident abhorrence of all things recruiting.

The other Williams in Chapel Hill doesn’t hesitate to get on a plane and go to a high school game mid-season, but Maryland’s version is having none of that.  Those tasks are apparently assigned to assistants, who in many cases are part of the coaching staff because of their recruiting talents and connections.  This approach makes perfect sense to a point.

Marshall
There is a story floating about that doesn’t reflect well on Williams’ recruiting style.  When Kendall Marshall visited North Carolina he was given a tour and had dinner with Ol ‘Roy.  At Maryland, the Marshall men were given a blackboard presentation by an assistant in the locker room while Mrs. Marshall waited outside.  They never met the head coach, prompting Marshall’s father to allegedly say something along the lines of “Gary Williams wouldn’t know us if he sat next to us on a bus.”

True or not, G. Williams needs to be more sensitive to this ongoing criticism.  After winning the 2005 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship, the Terps have not been as successful as one might expect and while Williams has earned his tenured job security and he remains one of the best coaches around, he needs to find a way to quite the recruiting clamor that seemed to have started with his former A.D. and spread via the media/internet/blogosphere.

(Editor's note: No one affiliated with T.A.H. Worldwide Media is allowed to say "whatever" in an interview.  Never.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wolfpack Snares ESPN's Gottfried

N.C. State will name former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried its next men's basketball coach at a 5 p.m. ET news conference, according to multiple reports.

Gottfried will replace Sidney Lowe, who stepped down as coach of the Wolfpack on March 15. Lowe was 86-78 in his five years as the Wolfpack coach, but just 25-55 in the ACC.

During 11 seasons at Alabama, Gottfried had an overall record of 210–132. The Crimson Tide made the NCAA Tournament five times under his watch, reaching the Elite Eight in 2004. Gottfried resigned during the 2008-09 season and has been working in TV with ESPN.

The Wolfpack loses leading scorer Tracy Smith, but returns four of its five top scorers, led by highly touted rising freshman C.J. Leslie.

Numerous coaches who were seen as N.C. State candidates opted to stay at their current locations including Arizona's Sean Miller, VCU's Shaka Smart, Cincinnati's Mick Cronin, Wichita State's Gregg Marshall and Memphis' Josh Pastner.

Incredibly Rare Photo From Last Night's NCAA Final

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The genius research department at T.A.H. Worldwide Media LLC has unearthed an incredibly rare and valuable photograph from last night’s UConn v. Butler basketball(?) game.  We will be selling this photo to the highest bidder.  Proceeds will benefit the photographer (one of our favorites) and the T.A.H. Worldwide Media Foundation.  The Foundation is dedicated to teaching young children the joys of playing basketball while actually making baskets.  The Foundation also tries to teach these young men and women how to make free throws…but, admittedly, that’s quite a bit more difficult.

To bid on the photo email, CountDeMoney@TAHWorldwideMediaLLC.com.

Worst Ever…

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Nice, Butler, NICE!

Was that a blacksmith shop getting ready for the Indiana Horseshoe Tossing Championship or a basketball game?

Butler, Butler, Butler…(muttering, shaking head, eyes cast downward in dejected pose…)

You draw us in and make us love you with your boyish grins, your scrappy style and your mid-major resume.  

So what if you were 14-9 in February after losing to Youngstown State, we jumped on the Bulldog bandwagon last year and we stayed their cheering voraciously through this latest dance.

And how did you repay us for our April love for David vs. the dreaded Big (L)East’s Goliath? 

You set the game of college basketball back 70 years, that’s how…

(Chris Steppig-Pool/Getty Images)
In 40 minutes, Butler scored 41 points – that’s 1.025 points per minute.   Since the 1940’s teams have consistently scored more than one point per minute with the last NCAA championship game failing to reach the mark being Wisconsin’s 39-34 victory over Washington State in 1941.  Yes, back when a whole bunch of good hoopsters were in military uniforms in Europe and the Far East getting shot at not taking shots.

So who was to blame for this awful display of hoops?  How about Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Florida, Notre Dame, San Diego State, BYU, Purdue, Kentucky and Syracuse to name twelve accomplices.

Here are a few low lights just in case you weren’t paying attention or you were on a plane,  or you were put to sleep by the consistent clank, clank, clank or you are the luckiest person on the planet earth and you simply forgot to watch this pukefest excuse for a championship game.

*Butler shot 18.8% on 12 of 64 shooting.  Worst ever in a NCAA final and it broke the record from that awful Wisconsin v. Wash State game noted above.

*Connecticut (32-9) outscored Butler by an unthinkable 26-2 in the paint.

*UConn shot a miserable 34.5 percent from the field and still won by 12 points.  The Huskies were 1-11 from behind the arc.

*The Bulldogs (28-10) went a mind-numbing 13 minutes, 26 seconds in the second half making only one field goal.  They made 3 of 31 two point attempts.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
*The tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Jeremy Lamb, scored a whopping 12 points --  mind you in point-a-minute basketball 12 points is a lot…sort of.

*Butler’s biggest stars, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack were ice cold. Howard went 1 for 13 and Mack went 4 for 15.

*Butler’s 41 points were 10 points fewer than the worst showing in the shot-clock era in a championship game. (Michigan scored 51 in a loss to Duke in 1992)

*Butler’s 12 field goals were the second fewest in a championship game—three more than Oklahoma made way back in 1949.

*The Bulldogs shot 16.2% in the second half on 6 of 37 shooting.

*Butler fast break points = 0.  Bench points = 2. 

OK, Connecticut deserves some credit for  “scrapping, battling, clawing – and finding a way” to win. End of praise.

Here are a few words never before seen on T.A.H. –  WOO HOO! BASKETBALL IS OVER!

LAX, baseball and spring football anyone?  Crime?  Anything…anything at all.

Quote Of The Day

(Chris Steppig-Pool/Getty Images)
“I wasn’t saying anything. I was crying.”

-- Kemba Walker describing the moment before the net-cutting ceremonies began when he approached Calhoun and gave his coach and mentor a long, heartfelt hug.

Walker, an All-American, is a legit first round NBA draft pick.  He earned his degree in Storrs in just three years. 

Picture Of The Day

Kemba Walker #15 of the Connecticut Huskies holds the trophy as he and his team celebrate after defeating the Butler Bulldogs to win the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament by a score of 53-41 at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Frank Haith Leaving Miami For Missouri

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America)
According to the Associated Press, Miami coach Frank Haith resigned Monday to take the Missouri job, Hurricanes’ officials said.

Missouri officials hadn’t confirmed the hiring. University curators are meeting Monday night in a closed session to consider Haith’s contract, and an official announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

Haith will replace Mike Anderson, who left the Tigers late last month to take over at Arkansas. Haith went 129-101 in seven seasons with the Hurricanes, including 21-15 this season, when they played in the NIT.

The Hurricanes went 43-69 in the ACC under Haith and made the NCAA tournament once, losing in the second round in 2008.

“Frank Haith has been a steady leader and made a positive impact on the University of Miami men’s basketball program,” said Tony Hernandez, Miami’s acting athletic director. “We want to wish him well at Missouri, and will begin a national search for a new head coach immediately.”

Haith met with Miami’s players on Monday afternoon to tell them about his decision, and Hernandez said the group was “disappointed.” Hernandez, who received word Sunday from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden that the Tigers were talking to Haith, said he doesn’t have a timetable to find Haith’s replacement.

Hernandez acknowledged the move caught Miami off guard. By midday Monday, he said he had a list of 20 possible candidates.

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)
Missouri’s hiring of Haith comes after the school tried unsuccessfully to lure away Purdue’s Matt Painter, who wound up staying with the Boilermakers and accepting an eight-year extension. The Tigers have made three consecutive NCAA tournaments, and their 77 wins over the past three seasons is the best such total in school history.

Haith’s imminent hiring has surprised and disappointed many Missouri faithful still reeling from the departure of Anderson, who turned down a contract extension and healthy raise to instead return to Arkansas, where he spent 17 years as a Nolan Richardson assistant.

After Painter’s decision, fans, boosters and alumni remained hopeful that Missouri could lure a rising star such as Virginia Commonwealth’s Shaka Smart or a proven commodity such as Minnesota’s Tubby Smith, who reportedly passed on Missouri’s overtures over the weekend.

A return to the Big 12 may have been part of the lure for Haith. He was an assistant at Texas A&M in 1992-95, then returned to the Aggies as an associate head coach for the 1996-97 season. After leaving for Wake Forest, Haith spent three years on Rick Barnes’ staff at Texas before taking the Miami job in 2004.

Barnes, Others Returning To UNC?

Marty Tirrell is a host of “The Mouth of the Midwest” show that airs in Iowa (where Harrison Barnes is from) on ESPN 1700 and KCCI News Channel 8 and was the individual that had the scoop that Barnes would be attending U.N.C. coming out of High School.  

If Barnes stays this possibly could signal that Tyler Zeller and John Henson, like Barnes both N.B.A. prospects, intend to follow suit for a National Championship run.

Word on the street is that Kyrie Irving of Duke and other prominent freshmen are all planning to return to school in the face of an NBA labor dispute.  If the NBA mirrors the NFL labor fiasco, the decisions may get easier.

Smart Move?

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

Shaka Smart, who led VCU to the Final Four, will stay with the Rams, athletic director Norwood Teague said in an e-mail today.

“He is staying,’’ Teague wrote. “We agreed to terms this morning.”

Asked if N.C. State, which is trying to replace head coach Sidney Lowe, had shown interest in Smart, Teague wrote: "Yes, they talked to him and made an offer. We countered and he is staying!!!"

That ends any hope N.C. State may have had in luring the 33-year old Smart to their head basketball coaching position.

According to the boys on PTI, NCSU offered $2 million, and VCU kept him at $1.2 million.

“True to form, Coach Smart’s primary concerns were about his players, coaches and the overall support of the basketball program,” VCU athletic director Norwood Teague said in a statement. “We are honored that he has decided to stay a VCU Ram. He exemplifies everything that is right about college athletics, and VCU is ecstatic about the future under his leadership.”

The second-year coach led VCU from one of the “First Four” games in the NCAA tournament to upsets of prominent programs including Georgetown, Purdue and Kansas to reach the Final Four. VCU (28-12) became only the third No. 11 seed to get that far, losing to Butler 70-62 in Saturday’s national semifinals.

“I’m extremely grateful for the belief that (VCU president Michael Rao) and Norwood Teague have shown and continue to show in our coaching staff and basketball program,” Smart said in a statement.

“Their support, in addition to the bright future that our student-athletes possess, makes VCU a very special place for me to be the head basketball coach. I’m very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for both our program and our university.”

Smart, who turns 34 on Friday, has a 55-21 record at VCU and led the Rams to the CBI championship in his first year. The 55 wins are the most for any two-year span in program history and it marked the first year VCU won more than one game in the NCAA tournament.

The school has said Smart had a base salary of $325,000 this season and was due to make $640,000 in all due to performance bonuses.

Smart move?

Time will tell.

Once Again, Children Across America Will Miss Another Major Sporting Event

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)
Will Butler, and their baby-faced coach, be the mid-major to win it all after tipping over Cinderella VCU’s stagecoach, or will UConn and embattled coach Jim Calhoun restore some cred to the Big (L)East?

To find out, you are gonna have to stay up late.  Tip for the NCAA championship game is 9:23 pm.

Add the Suits In Indianapolis to the list of sporting enterprises that no longer think it’s important to expose children to their marquis event.  While the 18-40 year old demographic is big for advertisers, every sport in America must know that their long-term viability is dependent upon generational continuity.

Of course, the NCAA and CBS will say the tournament will ALWAYS be popular so young fans don't matter.  They will figure it out in time to buy Miller Lite and/or Cialis.  But such short-sighted thinking has sabotaged other major sports.   Just ask boxing, hockey and horse racing how things are going and check in with baseball in ten more years.

The NFL remains the smart guy in the mix (as usual) with a 6:30 pm start time which appeals to both adults and kids.

Things That Make You Go...

Hmmm...

It's a great picture, but what's up with the floor?  Really, it's the NCAA women's Final Four, couldn't the Suits In Indianapolis afford a few coats of fresh paint or does this particular floor have some historic significance and is thus being preserved "as is?"

Pictures Of The Day

Stanford University Cardinal Nnemkadi Ogwumike fights for a loose ball against Texas A&M Aggies Kelsey Assarian (L) and Sydney Carter during the women’s Final Four semi-final game at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.  (Photo by Bill Frakes/SI)
 Harrison Mann rides deep in the barrel to post a near perfect 9.00 to advance in second place during the TNS Rangiroa Pro Junior in Rangiroa, French Polynesia (about 200 miles northeast of Tahiti).  (Photo by Kristin Scholtz/AFP/Getty Images)

Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins jumps into the arms of teammate Devereauz Peters after their victory over Connecticut in the NCAA women’s basketball semi-finals in Indianapolis, IN.  (Photo by Bill Frakes/SI)

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