Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Madness

  • Today was Press Conference and free public practice day. CSTV covered these with a three hour edition of Crystal Ball, which repeats 2 more times today. Check local listings. Big Baby is a load of fun during a press conference. Ed Pickney is very smooth as a TV analyst. Ben Howland was name-dropping like crazy, and trying to justify his slugfest style of play. Noah started speaking in tongues during the press conference.
  • Injury update: Ryan Hollins got injured during practice and sat out the public practice but will play. Howland bluffing or for real? The other injury is Lorenzo Mata and his doubly-broken nose. Is UCLA unlucky or is Howland and his training staff to blame for all the injuries?
  • Relive the madness on CSTV on Sunday April 9. The 12 best games will be shown back to back. 24 hours of madness. Check local listings for details. ESPN-Classic used to show some games, it is unknown whether CBS will allow ESPN to show games or not, since they now own CSTV.
  • These two programs are NIT dynasties: Michigan won the NIT in 2004 and lost in the final in 2006. South Carolina won back to back in 2005 and 2006 and lost to DJ Wagner's Memphis in 2002. These two programs are made for the NIT...
  • Roy Williams is sweeping the Coach of the Year awards
  • As expected JJ Hype-Redick and Adam Cry-Morrison are splitting post season awards.

  • Thursday, March 30, 2006

    NBA Draft Watch 2006 - Early Entry candidates

    Important NBA Draft Dates

  • Entry deadline: April 29
  • Lottery order determined: May 23
  • Withdrawl deadline: June 18
  • Draft Day: June 28

    Signed with agent
  • Guillermo Diaz, Junior, Miami
  • Marcus Slaughter, Junior, San Diego State

    Indicated will sign with agent
  • Stinson, Junior, Iowa State

    Will not Sign with agent
  • Rondo, Kentucky
  • Gardner, Missouri
  • Blalock, Iowa State
  • Roby, Colorado

    Will not enter the draft this year
    These players have gone on record stating they will not enter the draft this year:
  • Davidson, Alabama
  • Hansbro, NC (I am too lazy to type his full name)

  • Interesting topic at

    The hot topic is: "Is the NCAA tournament the best means of determing the national champion?"

    Yoni Cohen makes his case at

    The topic is up for debate at, with 90+ responses.

    Great ESPN Classic idea: All-time Greatest College Basketball Tournament

    I have to give kudos and props and praise to ESPN for coming up with the Alltime Greatest College Basketball Tournament on ESPN Classic. It was a great idea and they featured an all-star cast of former coaches, players and analysts. Quite entertaining for college basketball enthusiasts and historians.

    Final Four Picks

    On the Women's side, Iverson Latta delivers in the clutch and UNC gets past Maryland. On the other semifinal, Duke beats LSU in overtime, setting up a classic Duke-Carolina, but Iverson Latta is too much for the Dookies to handle and North Carolina gets the ring!

    On the Men's side, in semifinal #1, Florida's athleticism is too much for George Mason. Walter Hodges provides a good matchup against the George Mason guards.

    In semifinal #2, I will be using the Digger Phelps approach to make a pick: LSU is going to win because they are on a mission.

    LSU beats Florida in the final, making everyone in Louisianna happy...

    Greg Doyell had the Spaldings

    When Andy Katz broke the news on the Kelvin Sampson hire at ESPN-News, something strange happened: All the people on the ESPN payroll who commented on the hire were very positive and sugar-coated Sampson's NCAA violations. Even the ESPN-Radio guy from Indiana said everyone was happy. The only two people not on ESPN's payroll who commented on the situation that day was an Indiana newspaper writer and Gregg Doyel of CBS The newspaper writer said no one was particularly excited. Gregg Doyel was very open about his thoughts, pointing out Kelvin Sampson's violations and shortcomings. His truthfulness surprised the ESPN-News drone who was visibly surprised/shocked to hear what he just heard.

    If you needed another reason to dislike Duke...

    If you needed another reason to dislike Duke, here is one: the men's lacrosse situation.

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    Breaking News: Kelvin Sampson at Indiana

    Andy Katz is reporting at that Oklahoma's recruiting violator Kelvin Sampson will be announced as the new Indiana head coach as early as Wednesday.

    The cat is out of the bag now at ESPN-News as well with comments and confirmation from Vitale and Bilas.

    Who will replace Kelvin Sampson? Here are some possibilities:

  • Another coach from the Jud Heathcote tree
  • Another coach currently coachign the state of Oklahoma (although I doubt they would hire Sutton's other son currently at Oral Roberts.
  • An MVC coach - there's still a few left!
  • A big national name (eg Majerus, Nolan Richardson, etc)

    And what will happen to Kelvin Sampson's 2006 recruits? He had a Top 5 incoming class! Some thoughts and analysis on that at

  • Thanks to

    Thanks to for adding this blog to their list of basketball links!

    Rick Majerus on the Late Late Show on CBS tonight!

    Rick Majerus is gonna be on tonight (Tuesday March 28, 2006) on CBS's "Late Late with Craig Ferguson".

    Check local listings for channel and airtime!

    Actress Jane Kaczmarek; college basketball analyst Rick Majerus; actor Tom Fontana.
    Producer(s): Billy Kimball.
    Original Airdate: March 28, 2006.

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    More Madness

  • Way back when, in the preseason NIT, the ESPN analysts were laughing about the projections that had Drexel as the 6th or 7th Colonial team. Drexel did finish as projected. And guess what, the Colonial is indeed that good! George Mason is in the Final Four! Old Dominion is in the NIT Final Four and just ousted Hofstra in the NIT's Miserable 8 (ooops! Elite 8). UNC-Greensboro lost in OT in the first round of the NCAAs to GW. The Missouri Valley got most of the mid-major hype during the season but the Colonial has scoreboard!

  • Every six years Florida makes it to the Final Four. Lon Kruger in 1994, Billy Donovan in 2000, Billy Donovan in 2006.

  • Coaching Carousel: Indiana is open. They allegedly went after Calipari, not just Mark Few. Perhaps after the way they treated Bob Knight they are finding it hard to find a high profile replacement? Pecora at Seton Hall? How about Bobby Gonzalez? How about Barry Rohsen of Pitt?

  • Sunday, March 26, 2006

    What to Watch (on TV)

  • Monday: The D1 JUCOs final (junior colleges) on CSTV
  • Tuesday: NIT semifinals on ESPN
  • Wednesday: McDonalds All-American game and Dunk competition on ESPN.
  • Wednesday: Three hour special event on ESPN-Classic: Creating a fictional tournament with the greatest teams of all time. Not exactly sure how it will play out.
  • Thursday: NIT final on ESPN
  • Friday: Three hour special edition of Crystal Ball, live from the Final Four on CSTV
  • Friday: Final Four Press Conferences on ESPN-News
  • Saturday: NCAA Semifinals on CBS
  • Sunday: nada; didn't CBS have the Final 2 show in years past?
  • Monday: NCAA Final on CBS

  • The Case for Six Fouls

    The game is all about the players.
    We want to watch the best players compete on the floor.
    We do not want bad calls by the refs taking players out of a game.
    The game is all about the players!

    So it is time to go to Six Fouls!

    Just this weekend, the zebras affected games with their overly aggressive whistles. The one with the most impact was giving B-Roy a foul and technical on a rather mild confrontation and non-foul foul. Two fouls for nothing!

    Fouls almost ruined the big matchup inside between Big Baby, Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams and Josh McDunk.

    Less power to the zebras ----> Better for the game!

    The Madness - the ultimate unscripted reality show

  • Arguably one of the wildest NCAA tourneys of the last few years. Certainly George Mason is the biggest story of them all.
  • It is now clear that the remarkable Coach K has major issues when it comes to winning Sweet 16 games without the help of the Selection Cmte or the Officials. Scoreboard!
  • It looks like the much maligned 2005 Senior Class at Michigan State (Anderson, Hill, Tolbert, etc) was better than most thought. Without those players they couldn't even get out of the first round.
  • The draft declarations are coming in left and right!
  • Ben Howland promised a fun game during his press conference before the Memphis game. Everyone who paid for tickets for that game should ask Mr Howland for a refund!
  • Funny how a coach goes from Struggler to Genius when they get talented players. Case in point: John Brady @ LSU, and Billy Donovan @ Florida - among many others.

    Coaching Carousel
  • Looking for a coach: Indiana, Seton Hall, UAB, Arizona State
  • Huggins was clearly aggitated by the same-old questions asked by the drone at ESPN-News. But Huggins knew he had to be polite and civilized, so he kept calm.
  • This is the wildest of all. I hoped it was an April Fool's day joke but we are not there yet: Henry Bibby got a 2nd interview at Temple. This is crazy! Why oh why on earth would anyone want that head case?
  • The bizareness continues at Missouri as the are about to fire the AD only after they let him hire their next coach, which apparently they didn't want. The situation is almost as messy as Quin Snyder's hair. Needless to say Mike Anderson will get on the Hot Seat faster than if he was hired by the TBD AD with the blessings of all involved with the Missouri program. Bizarre! They should have hired someone to do their homework - perhaps a USC student? :-)

    Knight School
    With Knight School concluding tonight (I have not seen the season finale yet), here are a couple of thoughts: Knight must have known he was in for a very bad season because his reality TV walkons were beating (!) his scholarship players during the filming of the reality show.

    And another thing: [This is a spoiler for those who haven't seen the 2nd to last episode, so stop reading right here!]: After all the hooplah and drama for chosing the last two players, the choices made were rather simple: They picked the two tallest remaining players. That took the air out of the excitement of the reality show, as the little guys essentially had no chance as Knight & Assistants went for height when push came to shove.

  • Lots of interesting stuff posted at
  • I found this a little bit late, but here is an NIT bracket projection:

  • Monday, March 20, 2006

    After one week of March Madness...

  • Nevada got a taste of its own medicine. They got beat up by Montana the same way they beat up Gonzaga two years ago. The difference between being the hunter and the hunted!
  • The coaching carousel is spinning and spinning. Expect more firings in the next few days. The Final Four will be produce a lot of gossip and rumors.
  • The Big 10 bubble has burst. The overall RPI can be misleading. People should be paying more attention to the OOC SOS before annointing the Big 10 as the top conference:-)
  • The Seven-Footers have made a comeback! Aaron Gray -vs- Patrick O'Bryant, Morris/Shagari -vs- Boone/Armstrong, Hibbert, and a few more.
  • Bonehead player of the week: Darrel Mitchel of LSU. Yes he saved the day with a last-second GW 3-pointer, but the last 3-4 positions he screwed up by hoisting 3s instead of using the clock and getting the ball inside to Big Baby. If he is out of control like that, LSU has no chance of surviving the Blue Chevy Devils.
  • What is it with Illinois and Pac10 schools? We all remember last year's meltdowns with Arizona. More of the same in the game against Washington but this time the Pac10 team won.
  • Chairs chairs chairs! Bob Knight has a Radio Shack TV commercial where he is kicking and abusing a red chair. Roy Williams did that towards the end of the George Mason game.
  • Rudy Gay is one of the four Naismith award finalists? What are they smoking? Are they voting based on a player's performance during the season or the NBA Draft potential?
  • CBS should really consider retiring Dick Engberg and Verne Linquist. They are losing it. They are missing obvious things, and they have lost their touch. They may be legendary announcers, but it's time for change.
  • The paint job on the Auburn Hills floor was cool, but I don't think they realized it makes it harder to watch the game on TV.
  • With so many Big 12 job openings, most of the MVC coaches looking for bigger job$ will get their chance.
  • Happy Trails Wayne Morgan (Iowa State), and Hampton coach
  • Is Stan Heath in trouble? For a team loaded with talent, they seem to be underachieving year after year.
  • ESPN is paying Digger Phelps the big bucks for this kind of analysis: "UConn is going to win because they are on a mission". "Nova is going to win because they are on a mission". Can I get a job like that too?
  • The CBS feature on Sean Dockery features a short interview with Coach Chevy. (oops Coach K). What was weird was the choice of background, which essentially made Coach K's head float in the foreground. Rather bizarre but funny.
  • To paraphrase Coach K: "nothing is more powerful than the truth, and the truth is Coach K is a sellout". He is now selling Chevy cars. What next?
  • The quote of the year belongs to Tom Brennan: "Sometimes you are the pigeon, sometimes you are the statue".

  • Friday, March 17, 2006

    The drama and the Madness

  • Fired: Former Phoenix Suns star coach Paul Westphal was a disaster at Pepperdine. Tim Buckley, famous for pulling upsets at Maui a few years ago, has failed to deliver at Ball State.
  • Should resign: Louis Orr at Seton Hall should resign for the benefit of both himself and Seton Hall. His team is very erratic, getting big Ws one week, and getting blown out in the NCAAs next week.
  • Quin Snyder's Bad Hair Day continues
  • Amid a new recruiting scandal with Wayne Morgan and Iowa State in the middle, junior NYC guards Blalock and Stinson became the first two college players to announce for the NBA draft
  • A scare at Cox Arena. Fortunately everything turned out okay.

    Coach K Watch
  • Coach K is now a car salesman - selling GM/Chevy cars. Al Bundy and Coach K now have something in common.

  • Predicting the Friday Games!

    Ohio Stete over Davidson
    NW State upsets Iowa upset city!
    Bucknell beats Arkansas in triple OT
    Arizona over Wisconsin in a boring game

    Georgetown over N.Iowa
    W.Virginia over S.Illinois, giving the Big East a 2-1 lead in the MVC-BigEast challenge
    Memphis over Oral
    Nova over Monmouth

    Izzo over G.Mason
    Pitt over Kent St
    Cal over NC State
    UConn over Albany with a 50pt spread

    NC over Murray St
    Kansas over Bradley
    Texas over Penn
    Kentucky beats up UAB by double digits

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    Projecting Thursday's NCAA games

    The games are listed by playing time, not by pod or region:

    All times listed are Pacific time! Viva West Coast Bias :-)

    9am games

  • Wichita State beats Seton Hall in overtime in a classic battle between Mid-Majors and BCS.
  • UW-Milwaukee embarasses Oklahoma with a double-digit W. The Kelvin Sampson bubble bursts after the loss as the media decides to pick up the story of his NCAA violations.
  • Pacific fights hard in the 1st half, but in the 2nd half, Craig Smith, Shot-blocking Williams and wild-Rice deliver the KO punch.

    12pm games
  • Marquette out-toughes Alabama. Dominique James carries the team at crunch time.
  • Tennesse gets a scare before beating Winthrop with a barrage of 3s.
  • Florida gets a real big scare before beating South Alabama thanks to a couple of favorable calls.
  • Nevada delivers a wood-shed beat-down on Montana by 20+

    2pm game
  • UCLA manhandles Belmont allowing under 50 points.

    4pm games
  • George W runs past UNC-Wilmington despite the home court advantage, setting up a highly anticipated duel with Duke.
  • Steve Burtt scores like crazy, but the Big Baby is just too much. Jeff Ruland tries to get his eligibility back - he's the only Iona player big enough to push around Big Baby.
  • Gonzaga gets a scare from X, but last minute heroics and a favorable call give the Zags the W.
  • Illinois starts cold and slow, but picks it up in the 2nd half with a comfortable W over the AF.

    630pm games
  • Duke walks all over Southern
  • Syracuse -vs- Texas AM: My crystal ball is very foggy on this game. No prediction!
  • Upset City Baby! San Diego State surprises Indiana with a nice win. Steve Fisher is back as a national story! Mike Davis cries during the post-game press conference.
  • Utah State gives the Huskies a big scare, but B-Roy puts the team on his back and punches their ticket to the 2nd round. Random factoid: Utah State has a 29yo guard who spent some quality time in prison.

    Predictions for Friday games to come late tonite or probably tomorrow morning.

  • The Madness!

  • Just 20 hours away before the first Tip Off.
  • Those not watching "Knight School" may find this tidbit a bit interesting: One of Bob Knight's hunting partners is a minister. A minister shooting-to-kill sounds a bit ...strange to put it in mildly.
  • Random March Madness links:,,
  • Reading Time: Check out this book on how March Madness came to be so big. The title of the book is ... "How March Became Madness".

    March Madness on TV
  • Both CSTV and ESPN News are carrying out press conferences. CSTV will have a seven-hour block covering all press conferences. And if you miss it, the whole seven hour block will repeat later tonight! ESPN's Cold Pizza has many madness-related features as well, and just about every other ESPN regular show.
  • Check with your local CBS station as you may be able to watch two different games. Typically the premium game(s) of the four-game block are in HDTV, so if your local game is not the premium game, then it may be able on the HDTV channel of your local CBS affiliate. Some of the TV listings are not updated or are inconsistent, so be sure to check thoroughly :-)

  • Monday, March 13, 2006

    The 2006 NIT field is announced!

    This is the first NIT field selected under the NCAA regime.

    Two blueblood programs and two former C-USA teams headline this year's NIT field as the #1 seeds.

    #2 seeds: Creighton, Missoura State, Florida State, St Martellis (ooops St Joseph)
    #3 seeds: Houston, South Carolina, Hofstra and Miami

    Feeling left out of the NIT: Northwestern, Iowa State, Kansas State, Georgia, Providence, DePaul, USC, Oregon, StLouis, LaSalle, UNLV, Fordham, Hawaii, Northeastern, Ohio, VCU. It looks like there are enough quality teams left to start a 3rd tier tourney! Perhaps FSN or CSTV or NBC will sponsor it? :-)

    NIT on TV: 18 games will be broadcast on the family of ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU). Check TV listings link below for details. The first round has quite a few interesting matchups, including the all-academic challenge (Virginia-Stanford), Vandy-Notre Dame (I predict VAndy wins by 1 in triple OT), OklState-Miami, and Wake-Minnessooota.

    NIT TV Schedule and Brackets

    Great Tourney special in Monday's USA Today!

    Run to your nearest 711 and get a copy of the multicolor!

    USA Today has a 26-page special feature on the NCAA tourney (two extra sections). A job well done! I was surprised to see the multicolor do such a thorough job. Highly recommended! It only costs 75c. The special segment also has a lot of statistics from the regular season.

    John Chaney announces retirement

    Earlier today John Chaney, one of the most durable coaches in the business has announced his retirement as it was speculated. This opens up one more quality job that could start its own carousel.

    The Brackets are out! The Brackets are out!

  • Has the Selection Committee screwed up?
  • This time around we had drama on the CBS selection show. Funny that a play-by-play guy was attacking the Selection Cmte chair. Billy Packer sort of took a backseat to the attack, perhaps using Jim Nantz as his attack dog. Jim Nantz is not exactly a basketball expert. He only does basketball in March. He is just a play-by-play voice. I thought that was disrespectful to have a play-by-play voice attacking the Selection Cmte chair. Now if he was being attacked by basketball people (eg Billy Packer) then that makes more sense.
  • Did the Selection Cmte penalize the University of Cincinatti for firing Bob Huggins or was it because of the Armen Kirkland injury which most of the TV talking-heads on ESPN seemed to ignore - with the exception of Doug Gotleib who kept repeating it but apparently the other ESPN analysts are not watching ESPN :-)
  • Rematches were a theme: Kentucky-UAB, Pitt-KentState. Lots of in-season rematches are also possible: Duke-Texas, Memphis-Gonzaga, etc.
  • The Cmte has also set up some potentially fascinating matchups, both of similar style teams (UConn-Washington, Carolina-Tennessee) or clash of styles (Arizona-Wisconsin). And some epic battles in the paint: Duke-LSU (Shelden -vs- Big Baby).
  • Why was UAB a #9 seed? For a very simple reason: A rematch of the 2004 classic game with Kentucky. Otherwise, I'm sure UAB would have been a double-digit seed. The only way Tubby Smith is to avoid UAB, would be to schedule a regular season game against them each year.
  • Pitt at #5? Some may cry and whine. Others will point at Pitt's OOC schedule.
  • GW at #8? Probably a combination of Pops and OOC schedule.
  • Meanwhile teams get rewarded for strong OOC schedules: Tennessee, Memphis, Alabama.
  • FSU is left out. Look at their OOC schedule.
  • So it looks like the Selection Cmte is sending a clear message. But wait, there's more: Air Force is in. Their OOC schedule is just as bad as GW and FSU. No Top 50 wins. They are in! UAB has a miserable OOC schedule but they are in. Both the Air Force and UAB play in high mid-major conferences (MWC and C-USA), and by not being in "BCS" conferences, along with their unique style of play, scheduling tough home-n-home games is probably not easy for them. Texas A&M had been playing strong lately, but with a poor OOC conference so they are in.
  • So the Selection Cmte is actually sending a clear message: Play a competitive OOC schedule if you are in a "BCS" conference. Otherwise, the high mid-majors will get the bids.
  • Will the snubs cause any coaching changes? FSU's Leonard Hamilton has no excuses for not scheduling tougher OOC games. His team has been on the verge for a while, but always on the verge. Should he be on the hot seat? How about Tommy "another failed Dukie assistant" Amaker? How about Dave Odom? South Carolina has also been on the verge for a while, but not taken the next step. Should they? Will they?
  • If I see one more special on the Darius Washington missed free throw, I am going to throw the remote at the TV. Get over it already media people!

  • Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Selection Sunday Bubble Talk!

  • Great 1-hour documentary produced by ESPNU called "Organizing the Madness". It was shown last night on ESPN, and it replays on ESPNU throughout the week. If you don't have access to ESPNU, contact ESPN and ask for another rerun. It features Jay Bilas and the NCAA VP of Men's basketball, taking a step-by-step look at how the Selection cmte gets the job done. Props to the NCAA for giving some insight inside the selection process. I wish they would offer a free download of the software used by the selection committee!
  • The ACC tourney broadcasts are becoming very annoying. Non-stop whining by Dick Vitale and Mike Patrick defending Duke as if they were Coach K's lawyers. How can they possibly be unbiased reporters? They are Duke cheerleaders! This is very annoying. Speaking of Duke bias, Jay Bilas does it again: He shreds Florida State (which would have won @Duke if the refs did not show blatant Duke favoritism), and at the same time he praises and defends Michigan, coached by his friend and former teammate Tommy "Hot Seat" Amaker. Jay Bilas is a lawyer so he is able to disguise or cover up his favoritism most of the times, but there are times he gets caught red-handed. Shameless Dookies!
  • Poor Joe Lunardi, he got attacked like crazy by Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Rece Davis yesterday on ESPN's Game Day. Even Dookie Vitale felt bad for him. And to pile on Jay Bilas, he shredded Joe Lunardi for overweighing the importance of the RPI, and guess what, Bilas has been using the RPI to evaluate teams throughout the season on College Game Day. You can't hide from this Mr Bilas. You are on record!
  • Meanwhile on CBS, Florida is taking the air out of the South Carolina bubble. But we are still in the 1st half. A rather slow game, with the spaced out Vern Linquist, the only entertaining thing in that game is Raft.
  • South Carolina is officially out unless they win today? That's what could be inferred after listening to Craig Littlepage today on CBS's "Road to the Final Four", which will have a free live webcast later today on the CBS website.
  • Jealous of Cisco for sponsoring a lot of college basketball, competitor Juniper Networks will be sponsoring segments of the CBS NCAA tourney coverage.

    NIT Bubble Talk
  • Automatic bids: Western Kentucky, Manhattan, NAU, FDU, Georgia Southern, Lipscomb, Delaware State.
  • This leaves 33 at-large NIT bids for the bubble teams and the middle-of-the-road "BCS" teams and high profile mid-majors. The automatic inclusion of conference champions means fewer bids for BCS teams as illustrated by the list above.
  • One more automatic NIT bid could be earned today if Northwestern State loses in today's Southland conference tourney final. NW State is an under-rated and underappreciated team and they will get to the post season regardless.

  • Friday, March 10, 2006

    Kelvin Sampson on the NCAA Hot Seat

    In a story that has been severely underreported, Kelvin Sampson and his staff at Oklahoma committed a number of recruiting violations. A hush-hush story is finally starting to see the light of day. We are talking 550+ impermissible recruiting calls. I guess that's one way to get a great 2006 recruiting class :-)

    The university is worried the NCAA is going to hammer them hard, including a postseason ban.

    Reasonable minds can wonder why some violations at some programs are news-worthy 24x7 on some media outlets, while others are merely footnotes...

    Daily Bubble Talk - Judgment Friday

  • CBS wants Dickie V for the tourney! But ESPN respectfully declines.
  • Syracuse played their way in. Beiheim's outburst fired up this underachieving team.
  • Texas A&M is making their case with dramatic fashion by delivering a woodshed beating to Colorado, a team with ten thousand seniors and a super-soph.
  • Wild-cards for winning their conference tourneys and stealing an at-large bid: an angry Wake Forest team, Maryland, a rejuvanated Oregon team (was Aaron Brooks the problem?), South Carolina, Houston. Even if one of these teams wins their conference tourney, at-large teams all around the country will be crying all night long.
  • A couple more at-large bids disappearing and Tommy Amaker may find himself in both the NIT and the Hot Seat.
  • Happy trails: Jim Woolrdge and the triangle offense at Kansas State, sub .500 Rob Evans at ASU. More firings are just around the corner!
  • The top 4 teams in C-USA advanced. This bodes well for their at-large chances - NCAA or NIT.
  • The A-10 has been the wackiest conference tourney so far. Temple -vs- St Joe's, Xavier -vs- Fordham. One of these will be NCAA-dancin!
  • The Washington-Oregon game was full of drama and blood-letting. Was this a Big-10 game?
  • FSN should be praised for a wonderful job in covering the Pac-10 tourney so far. Granted FSN only has one tourney to cover on a national level, compared to ESPN covering just about everything else, so it is easier to concentrate on it.

    NIT bubble talk
  • Tim Floyd and USC should get an NIT bid as a reward for their impressive tournaround and the big-time wins (Carolana, UCLA, Arizona)
  • Automatic bids: Western Kentucky, Manhattan, NAU, FDU, Lipscomb, Georgia Southern
  • More automatic NIT bids will be rewarded tomorrow as the conference tourneys of the MAC, WAC, MWC, Big West, MEAC, America East and Patriot will be completed by Saturday night. The regular season champions will get an automatic bid if they don't win the tourney title and if they are not given at-large bids.
  • Colorodo just became a top seed in the NIT thanks to their meltdown against Texas A&M. They also gave Texas A&M their first ever Big12 conference tourney W.
  • Pitino now wants to play in the NIT. Why wouldn't he? He has a huge recruiting class full of freshmen. Injuries or no injuries, they badly need more PT/experience and the NIT is great for that.

  • Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Daily Bubble Talk - Wednesday

  • The major conference tourneys are starting today. Already Syracuse sneaked by Cincy, while Boeheim dropped a few f-bombs after the game trying to defend G-Mac. As expected Notre Dame lost a close game to Georgetown. But I think Notre Dame deserves the NIT, so they can lose another close game there :-)
  • The next three days will be crucial for bubble teams as some out-of-the-blue teams will pose threats to at-large bids. Temple's strong victory over URI earlier today in the first round gets them a chance to taken down GW without Pops tomorrow.

    Other stories
  • Last week's Full Circle game - North Carolina at Duke on the ESPN family of networks/platforms was ESPN's highest-rated game in its history: Yahoo Sports story. A total of 3.78 million households. Their previous high (3.44 million) was for an NCAA game 1990 (Princeton-Arkansas). This will definately encourage ESPN to do more crazy things like that!
  • I want my Dickie V!, cried CBS, but ESPN declined. Details in the multicolor
  • has a link to a NY Times story trying to find a link between scores and point-shaving.

  • Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Daily Bubble Talk - Tuesday

  • Tony Skinn punched his team in the gut by doing exactly that to a Hofstra player: His one game suspension (from a potential NCAA 1st round game) and the unsportsman-like act are like to weigh heavily on the Selection Committee and probably cost his team an NCAA bid. Another senior not thinking with his head. NIT! NIT! NIT!
  • Despite their loss, Hofstra is now clearly ahead of George Mason on the bubble. Beating them twice in the last few years helps and T. Skinn's unsportsman-like contact won't get G. Mason any favors from the Selection cmte.
  • The other senior screwing up is Hot Sauce (Arizona's Hassan Adams). His DUI is costing him the Pac10 tourney, and his absence will likely put Arizona back on the bubble. But there is plenty of coachable talent on the bench with Dillon, Onobun and Brillmaier being able to play without costing the team with bad shots or silly turnovers. I wouldn't be surprised if Arizona plays better without Hot Sauce.
  • The bubble teams were excited last night as LMU's Knight missed a last second layup that would have taken an at-large bid off the board. Why did he miss the layup? Because he was afraid of a spectacular block by Gonzaga's Knight. Knight's spectacular blocks in the WCC tourney likely caused LMU's Knight to miss the bunny!
  • St Peters is now thinking NIT. Kee Kee Clark, the #6 all time scorer may help his team get an NIT bid, as they would be an interesting NIT cinderalla story and could help fill up some arenas.
  • I am glad the professional bracketologist is tackling the NIT. Here is a snapshot by Joe Lunardi.

  • Monday, March 06, 2006

    March Madness on TV (plan ahead!)

    Selection Sunday

  • CBS has the official selection show on Sunday March 12.
  • ESPN will bracket the official selection with two Bracketology shows, one anchored at ESPN and the other at ESPNU. The SportsCenter in between the two Bracketology shows will discuss the brackets right after they are announced on CBS.
  • CSTV (now a CBS company) will have a 90-minute "Crystal Ball" to discuss the brackets right after the CBS Selection Show finishes.

    The Games
  • CBS will show the games, starting on Thursday the 16th at 12pmET/9amPT. In some cases, CBS may show a different game on the HD CBS station. Check local listings.
  • DirectTV viewers can watch all the out of market games in parallel if they purchase the March Madness package.
  • Computer users can sign up for free to watch all the out of market games online at Bandwidth and availability may be be limited, since free will generate a lot of interest.

    Additional Tourney TV Coverage
  • CSTV will carry a 30-minute pre-game show on game-days, starting before the 12pmET/9amPT broadcast on CBS.
  • CSTV will also produce a daily highlights show that will run on CSTV throughout the night/next morning. Last year it was also carried by SpikeTV. Not sure about this year.
  • CSTV will also have coverage of press conferences ("Full Court Press") and an in-studio show with analysts called "Tourney Talk" on gamedays.
  • ESPN will have the usual cast of characters on GameDay/GameNight, and SportsCenter along with tourney coverage on the various other ESPN/ESPN2 shows.
  • ESPNews will carry press conferences, highlights, news and other related stuff.
  • FSN/FCS will have a preview show probably featuring the cast of characters from their Sunday Night Hoops TipOff Show.

    Blast from the Past
  • ESPN Classic will have three 12-hour blocks of classic NCAA games. That's a total of 18 games! Set your TiVos/VCRs because they start at 7amET/4amPT and end at 7pmET/4pmPT. The first block starts just a few hours after the selections are announced on Selection Sunday. Check local listings.
  • CSTV will also feature 1-2 classic college basketball games per day.

  • Daily Bubble Talk - Monday

  • MVC Commish is lobbying for five. Not six. It looks like Creighton may have to start preparing for their NIT game - perhaps a rivarly game with Nebraska?
  • Gonzaga hosts LMU in the WCC tourney final. All the bubble teams are rooting for a Zags victory. This will save an at-large bid for them.
  • The Colonial is hoping for three, along with a couple of NIT bids. Hofstra and UNC-Wilmington get a shot tonight for the automatic bid. A high-level, close and intense game may push the loser into the dance as well.
  • Scoring machine Kee Kee Clark is hoping for a win against Iona. This will put his team (St Peters) into the NCAAs and get this little guy some national recognition.
  • Troubles: Hot Sauce gets a DUI-related arrest. Two Tennessee players (redshirt and walk-on) get in trouble for drug possession.

    Oscar night: Brandon Roy gets the Oscar for best player in the Pac10, while Steven Smiths get the A10 award.

  • Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Daily Bubble Talk - Seven days from Selection Sunday

  • Roy Williams put Carolina back on the map - a year ahead of schedule. As I wrote earlier, Coach K is very desperate because he won't be able to stop the Carolina Express. Last night's game was a preview of what is to come in the Duke-Carolina rivalry!
  • Texas A&M, Florida State, UAB all enjoyed great home Ws. This helps a lot but they still have work to do because of their very weak OOC schedule. UAB has the emotional upper hand because of their performance in the NCAAs the last two years.
  • Four of the top 5 CAA teams are still in the hunt for the automatic bid. This bodes well for the chances of an at-large NCAA or NIT bid for the three who wont' get the automatic bid.
  • High-scoring Kee Kee Clark of St Peters may get his wish - an NCAA bid! The rest of the nation will then "discover" this scoring little guy.
  • In the soap-opera that is the Missouri Valley, Southern Illinois punched their ticket with the automatic bid. Bradley looks good as the runner-up in the final - being the hotest team in the MVC. So is it two, three, four or five? I am guessing all five will get a post-season: NCAA and NIT combined :-)
  • Gonzaga is facing their pseudo-nemesis San Diego tonight in the WCC semi-final. San Diego hopes they can make another run for an NCAA bid - they are just two wins away.
  • In what is supposed to be "Bubble Battle Sunday" in the ACC, Maryland and Virginia are probably fighting for a good ...NIT seed. FSU can get a lot closer to in with a win at Miami.
  • Did Georgetown feel sad for South Florida and rolled over? Regardless, South Florida is no longer the only team without a conference win.
  • Will Wake Forest get angry and win the ACC tourney for an at-large bid? Not likely but not impossible.
  • Bonehead play of the weekend: Goldwire of Charlotte thinking with his ...elbow. This may have cost the Fighting Bobby-Lutzes an NCAA bid. Well, the NIT is fun too :-)
  • Some thought Indiana on Friday was on the bubble. Now some think Michigan is on the bubble. Another Coach K disciple struggling for an NCAA bid. The magic wears off when the calls are not favorable, eh?
  • Colorado is primed for a #1 seed --- in the NIT
  • Arizona had a melt-down in the 2nd half after leading comfortably. Romar's Huskies are all of a sudden the #2 seed in the Pac 10. Meanwhile Stanford has been having their typical post-season meltdowns throughout the regular season.
  • Is the SEC bubble ready to burst? Some people give them six bids but do they really deserve it? If you take out their in conference wins, it's hard to find four, let alone six deserving NCAA teams. But it's not over yet...
  • Ohio State is for real. And that's before Greg Oden. Thad Matta is the next superstar coach. Of course this is only a projection, as he has to be able to sustain this at a high level for more than 10 years to reach the superstar status.
  • For all the latest news, check UltimateCollegeHoops. They do a great job of updating all the scores and brackets.

    NIT Bubble Talk
  • G-Mac may have not played his last game at the Carrier Dome today. Syracuse will probably get a home game in the NIT. But don't count them out just yet. They could make a run to the Big East conference final, which should be enough to punch their NCAA ticket even if they don't win the Big East conference title.
  • I am not sure if split regular season conference champions qualify for the NIT, but if they do, Lipscomb, who was the #1 seed in the Atlantic Sun conference, lost to Belmont in the conference tourney final, so they may have punched their NIT ticket!
  • A case for an NIT bid? Both teams finished 2nd in the regular season and lost in the conference tourney final: Buzz Peterson's Coastal Carolina and Samford.

  • Coaching Carousel - the Hot Seat, the Bench and the High Risers

    The following are solely my opinions and speculation:

    The carousel may get really exciting!

    On the Hot Seat

  • "Adam" Kennedy @ Cincy (interim) - now rumored for Ole Miss
  • Ernie Kent @ Oregon
  • Rob Evans @ Arizona State
  • Dan Monson @ Minnessoooota
  • Louis Orr @ Seton Hall
  • Woolridge @ Kansas State
  • R. McCallum @ South Florida - can you trust an AD in March?
  • Tubby Smith @ Kentucky - may leave for the NBA

    Ready for Retirement?
  • Eddie Sutton
  • John Chaney

    Fired, Resigned, Retired
  • Rob Barnes (Ole Miss)
  • Gary Waters (Rutgers)
  • Quin "L'Oreal" Snyder (Missouri)
  • Mike Davis (Indiana)
  • Eddie Sutton (Oklahoma State) - on a leave of absence
  • Dick Bennett (Washington State)- retired
  • Fired Coaches @ Weber State, Northern Colorado, SE Miss St, Fairfield, Texas State, and a couple of other directional schools, and Colorado College (Division 3)

    Job openings
  • Indiana
  • Cincinatti
  • Missouri
  • Rutgers
  • Ole Miss
  • Weber State, Texas State, Fairfield, Northern Colorado, SE Mizz State

    High risers
    These coaches may be happy where they are, but if the BCS conferences come in with big contracts and seven figures, it may be hard for them to say no:
  • Half of the coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference
  • Mike Anderson @ UAB
  • Karl Hobbs @ GW

    On the Bench
    Unemployed coaches, possibly available for new jobs
  • Bob "Dui" Huggins
  • Rick "USC" Majerus
  • Nolan Richardson
  • Steve "WD40" Lavin
  • Mike Jarvis
  • Pete Gillen
  • Fran "Big 12" Fraschilla
  • Steve "I coached with Rollie" Lapas
  • Quin "L'Oreal" Snyder
  • Mike "Whiner" Davis
  • Rod Barnes

    May become available or return to the college game
  • Mike Montgomery (@Golden State)

  • Friday, March 03, 2006

    Daily Bubble Talk - Friday

  • Bubble teams take their future in their hands! UAB convincingly beats Memphis with defense. Texas A&M and FSU are still celebrating their big home victories despite the passive-aggressive whining of Coach K.
  • Bradley just beat Creighton. Bradley is hot, especially since they got their big center back. Bradley could end up as the MVC team that goes the furthest in the NCAAs!
  • What a disasterous loss for Syracuse. Granted DePaul has been a Dr Jerkyll and Mr Hyde this season, getting blown out by ODU and now blowing out Syracuse! Watch DePaul next year as Jerry Weinwright works his mad scientist magic and gets this team in the Top 8 of the Huge East.

  • Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Daily Bubble Talk - Post Game Extra!

  • Florida State manages to defeat Duke in what turned out to be a disasterous ending, with the FSU officials clearly unable to control the situation. Regardless of that, it's funny how the Duke magic disappears when the 50-50 calls don't go Duke's way :-) Regardless of all that, Florida State has dramatically increased its chances for an NCAA bid. This may have been the breakout victory Leonard Hamilton needed to push this team into the spotlight. They had been on the verge of a breakout for a while. But they have to follow it up with solid perforances in their remaining games.
  • The Comeback Cats are back! A big W at Tennessee puts them squarely on the uptick of the bubble and they now have their destiny in their own hands for an at-large bid. All they need to do is keep winning :-) Perhaps Tenneessee is starting to wear down or perhaps their success-bubble deflating? :-)
  • Houston barely avoided losing at home to Rice and punching their ticket to the NIT.
  • Meanwhile Texas A&M managed to score 40-ish points and beat Texas at home in a horrible slugfest. This, along with Colorado's loss, helps them remain on the bubble for now.
  • Gary Waters is officially out - just like Mike Davis he will finish the season before ejecting. Apparently we have a new trend. ADs are in a hurry to get a new coach so they push them out as early as possible and they don't mind doing it before their season ends! Who will be the replacement? Fred Hill may have been a "secret head coach designate" all along.
  • The Quin Snyder Bad Hair Day continues

  • Daily Bubble Talk - Wednesday

  • The madness before the madness has already began! Action in conference tourneys is underway in the Horizon, Ohio Valley and the Big South. Details at and many other places
  • You are on the bubble. You want in badly! You want to have a chance! You want to get that signature win that tilts the scales! You want to have an opportunity! Florida State has that tonight against Duke. They may have won the game @ Cameron Indoor if the zebras did not cite with Coach K. But that game is over. This is a brand new game. Florida State has been on the verge of a breakout - this is as good as any time to actually break out!
  • South Carolina had its chance. At home, against the wounded Tigers of LSU (Tyrus Thomas was injured and stayed in the Mardi Gras state). They tried but in the end, Big Baby was too big and wide for them. They may get a chance to defend their NIT title.
  • Speaking of South Carolina there are so many similar names it's confusing for people who don't watch them play regularly: Tisby and Trice, Kinsey and Kelly.
  • Comic relief - Rick Majerus on Barry Bonds in drag @ the Giants Idol: "... reminds me of the women I used to date".
  • Seth Davis has a breakdown of the Bubble
  • And a North Carolina - Duke preview, from a recruiting perspective:

  • Latest posts

    Latest from Recruiting Wars