Posted tagged ‘NCAA Basketball’

USC Gets Two Year Ban

June 10, 2010

The NCAA handed down some harsh penalties to the University of Southern California today, including a two-year ban from bowl games, citing major violations by both the football and men’s basketball programs.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Citing a history of misdeeds that “strike at the heart” of college amateurism, the NCAA hit USC with a string of penalties Thursday that will keep the powerhouse Trojans football team out of bowl games for the next two seasons and could cost the university millions of dollars.

The sanctions, which also involve men’s basketball and women’s tennis, culminated a four-year investigation that began with separate reports that two star athletes – Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush and basketball forward O.J. Mayo – had accepted improper gifts from outside sports marketers and agents.

Tiger Woods Returns to The Masters

April 5, 2010

Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour today at one of the greatest events each year, The Masters.

This return brings an end to his self-imposed exile stemming from a car accident in November outside his home which was followed by his admission of extramarital affairs.

I hope this doesn’t take the spotlight off the great NCAA Tournament game tonight between Duke and Butler. Celebrity gossip and Tiger shouldn’t be on center stage tonight. It should be the game in Indianapolis.

From CNN:

Woods is practicing this morning at Augusta National Golf Club, and is set to participate in a news conference – his second since the scandal broke – at 2 p.m. ET. (Our partners at Golf.com will live blog the news conference here)

The golfer – even since his early childhood – has thrived in the spotlight and it may shine brighter today than it has before with millions of spectators turning on nearly any channel to catch him – not even on the course but at a news conference.

And our partners at Time.com wonder if Tiger, let alone any athlete, can be mentally prepared for what will happen at the Masters this year given all the attention. The tournament, they said, will effectively be a test of his toughness in the face of all of the drama. For other golfers, the spotlight on Tiger could be a good or bad thing. Golf.com’s Peter Kostis says while all eyes will be on Tiger at the start of the Masters, the real drama surrounds some of the players over 40 and under 30.

“Perfect” UConn Women’s Team Wins National Championship

April 8, 2009

Tina Charles had 25 points and grabbed 19 rebounds Tuesday night as the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Louisville 76-54 and captured the Huskies’ sixth title.

From the Associated Press:

“I’m so overwhelmed how I feel about the way it ended,” Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said a few minutes after he helped cut down the nets at the Scottrade Center and was carried off the court. “This is the first time since the brackets came out I didn’t feel like I’m going to get sick, physically sick, thinking about everything that was ahead of us.”

It wasn’t just that Connecticut claimed another championship. It was how they did it.

UConn won every one of its 39 games by double digits, a first in college basketball.

“This is first time we can stop and enjoy the win for more than a couple of days,” said senior guard Renee Montgomery, with a beaming smile and a championship net dangling around her neck. “We’re always looking to the future. Now we have time to enjoy this win and all the other ones.”

North Carolina Wins National Championship

April 7, 2009

And John wins all of his pools he entered this year :)

North Carolina beat Michigan State 89-72 to win its fifth NCAA basketball championship.

What will be interesting to see is the status of Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington and their decisions on whether to return to school next year or jump to the NBA. North Carolina had to wait nearly two months last year to find out whether Lawson and Ellington would stay before deciding to return to school.

From the Associated Press:

Ty Lawson led a record-setting first half and the Tar Heels coasted to an easy victory Monday night at Ford Field.

The Tar Heels (34-4) started the season as the unanimous No. 1 pick and breezed through the NCAA tournament. They became the first team to win all six games by double digits since Duke in 2001.

Lawson finished with 21 points and eight steals for coach Roy Williams’ team.

Goran Suton had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Michigan State (31-7). The Spartans lost for the first time in three championship game appearances.

John Calipari Appears Headed For Greener Pastures in Kentucky

March 31, 2009

Yes…that was a very lame attempt at a Kentucky Derby joke. I don’t hear anyone laughing!

We know that John Calipari put together a great recruiting class for Memphis in 2009, coming off another great season and the name value of Calipari and the University’s basketball program.

Now, it might be coming apart with talk of Calipari heading to Kentucky.

Reports across the country say that there is a strong chance John Calipari will be named Kentucky‘s new basketball coach soon.

From the New York Daily News:

One of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball reportedly has offered the Memphis coach an eight-year deal worth $35 million that would make him the highest-paid coach in the sport. Representatives of both sides were in serious discussions all day Monday to iron out details.

Calipari, who transformed Memphis into a national power since taking over that Conference USA program in 2001, has coached the Tigers to a 252-69 record in nine years, four straight 30-win seasons and a second place-finish in last year’s NCAA Tournament, losing to Kansas, 75-68, in overtime.

He coached this year’s team, which had to replace three key players – Derrick Rose, Joey Dorsey and Chris Douglas-Roberts – to a 33-4 season, which included a 27-game winning streak and a spot in the Sweet 16.

Kentucky received permission to speak with Calipari over the weekend, three days after the school fired Billy Gillispie, who struggled to a 40-27 record in just two years. The Wildcats failed to make the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time since 1992.

From USA Today:

Two signees say they have agreements from the school that would release them from their scholarships should Calipari leave. One player who has publicly committed and another who is interested say Calipari’s departure could change their minds.

The Tigers have signed Oklahoma City guard Xavier Henry, the No. 3 overall player according to Rivals.com; Richland, Texas, guard Nolan Dennis, No. 47 on Rivals’ list; and two players from Miami Dade Community College.

Memphis has a verbal commitment from Mobile, Ala., forward DeMarcus Cousins, the No. 2 overall player. Raleigh, N.C., guard John Wall, Rivals’ No. 1 player, has Memphis on his short list.

Jim Calhoun Released From Hospital

March 20, 2009

Guess UConn didn’t need him in their rout of Chatanooga yesterday!

George Blaney coached the Huskies in Calhoun’s absence. A.J. Price and Hasheem Thabeet each scored 20 points in the one of the largest victories  in NCAA tournament history.

From Fox Sports:

“He has been given a clean bill of health with no restrictions,” UConn sports information director Kyle Muncy said Friday morning.

Muncy said Calhoun ate breakfast with the team and then headed to practice at a local gym. He was expected to accompany the team to the Wachovia Center for a media availability later in the afternoon, but it wasn’t known if he would speak.

It’s also unclear whether the 66-year-old Calhoun will be on the bench for Saturday’s second-round game against Texas A&M.

Calhoun did not feel well Thursday morning and was admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania later in the day for tests. He was kept overnight for observation.

UConn sports medicine director Dr. Jeff Anderson and the school did not say what was wrong with the coach.

Let March Madness Begin!

March 19, 2009

There are so many great games and interesting story lines this year. Who will be the 12-5 upset? Can four #1′s make it to the final four again? Will Lawson play for UNC? Is Louisville really that good?

My brackets are filled out. Not as easy as it has been in years past with so much parity!

Most have a Memphis, Louisville, UNC and Pittsburgh final four. But I do have some with Michigan State, UConn and even an Oklahoma. What do you think?

Do you see an upset by VCU, WKU or Utah State? How about another shocker like North Dakota State or American?

Are you ready for the Madness? Who’s your champion?

Syracuse Upsets UConn in 6 OT

March 13, 2009

I can safely say that last night, i saw one of the greatest games in NCAA Basketball history. The Big East Tournament showdown between Syracuse and UConn is no doubt an instant classic that people will be talking about for years to come!

March Madness may “officially” kick off next Sunday on “Selection Sunday” (although, I’ve always believed that March Madness begins with the Conference Tournaments), but it was Madness in New York last night, that’s for sure!

It’s hard to imagine that Syracuse won the game, after not holding a single lead in any of the first 5 OT. Yet, the Orangmen were able to come out and start the sixth OT with an 8-0 run that sealed a victory.

I was speechless last night, and, for the most part, I’m still speechless this morning. Did anyone else watch? What are your thoughts?

From USA Today:

The tumult of March goes on this weekend, and there is too much happening to stop and savor a single college basketball game. But this one, we must.

A classic — a true classic, not one just to fill a slot on ESPN — deserves special notice, before it is placed to stay in the inner sanctum of great games.

They played for 3 hours and 46 minutes and six overtimes in the last quarterfinal of the Big East tournament, neither Connecticut nor Syracuse willing to give, as Thursday turned to Friday in Madison Square Garden. But at 1:22 a.m., Syracuse finally won 127-117, mostly because somebody eventually had to.

“I’ve got no words to describe it,” Orange coach Jim Boeheim would later say. “I can’t imagine being involved in a better basketball game.

“I’m more proud of this team tonight than any team I’ve ever coached. We had nothing (left).”

By 1:22 a.m., who did?

Sheer numbers only say so much, but we can begin there.

There were 209 shots taken — 26 of them blocked.

And 93 free throws put up.

Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn scored 34 points, but that wasn’t the remarkable part. He played 67 minutes. “I can’t feel my legs right now,” he said afterward.

The game was tied 22 times. Syracuse never led in any of the first five overtimes.

Eight players fouled out, four on each team.

What that meant is that in the sixth overtime, Syracuse had to turn to a walk-on guard named Justin Thomas, who had played 18 minutes all year. When he grabbed a rebound, it was his first of the season.

By the sixth overtime, the Orange had to call on 6-4 Harris for the center jump. All the big guys were gone. It was the only jump ball Syracuse won all night.

The game ran so long, when Boeheim tried to recall one of the strategic moves, he finally had to admit, “I forget when that was.”

The irony? The whole issue was a millisecond from being settled in regulation. That would have been on a nice, routine buzzer-beating jump shot by Eric Devendorf, which appeared to give Syracuse a 73-71 win. The celebration went on long enough for Devendorf to leap onto the press table and lead the fans in a chant.

Kay Yow Dies of Breast Cancer at 66

January 25, 2009

Kay Yow, North Carolina States’ Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach, who won more than 700 games, has lost her decades-long fight against breast cancer, dying at the age of 66.

From the Associated Press:

Ms. Yow, first diagnosed with the disease in 1987, died yesterday morning at WakeMed Cary Hospital after being admitted last week, said Annabelle Myers, university spokeswoman.

“I think she understood that keeping going was inspirational to other people who were in the same boat,” Dr. Mark Graham, Ms. Yow’s longtime oncologist, said yesterday.

Ms. Yow won more than 700 games in a career filled with milestones. She coached the US Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, earned 20 NCAA tournament bids, and reached the Final Four in 1998.

She also was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002, and the school dedicated “Kay Yow Court” in Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.

But for many fans, Ms. Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer, from raising awareness and money for research to staying with her team through the debilitating effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatments.

She served on the board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and a friend and colleague, former N.C. State men’s coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993.

“Kay taught us all to live life with passion and to never give up,” said fellow board member George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. He said the network would remain committed to a research fund established in Ms. Yow’s name.

“She’s a driving force for what’s going on today in the battle against cancer,” ESPN commentator and former Notre Dame men’s coach Digger Phelps said.

At Duke, one of N.C. State’s closest ACC rivals, there was a moment of silence to honor Ms. Yow before the men’s basketball game yesterday.

Tyler Hansbrough Sets UNC All-Time Scoring Record

December 19, 2008

Tyler Hansbrough scored 20 points this evening to break Phil Ford’s 30-year-old all time scoring mark at the University of North Carolina.

From the Associated Press:

Phil Ford stood at midcourt, waiting for Tyler Hansbrough to take the microphone and address the home crowd. As the reigning national player of the year walked up, Ford playfully bowed in reverence before giving him a hug.

Now even the famed point guard who flawlessly ran Dean Smith’s “Four Corners” offense is looking up at Hansbrough as the storied program’s all-time leading scorer.

He needed just nine points coming in, making the record an almost certainty considering that he’s failed to reach double figures just six times in his career. But that didn’t mean Hansbrough was oblivious to all the attention about a record that had stood through the careers of names like Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Antawn Jamison.

“I’m usually not nervous before games, and I was a little nervous before tonight just because I felt like there was a lot of pressure,” said Hansbrough, who sat between Ford and coach Roy Williams during the postgame news conference. “One thing for me, I didn’t want us to strictly focus on trying to break a scoring record. We had a game and I was trying to do whatever I could to help the team.”


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