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February 2008 Archives


Friday, 02/29/08

Losing Patterson Is Big Blow For UK

If Billy Gillispie thought the first two months of this season were tough, it just might have got even tougher for the first-year Kentucky coach.

Kentucky school officials announced Friday that freshman star Patrick Patterson will not play the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture in his left ankle.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 03:30 PM | Comment

Thursday, 02/28/08

Knight Joins His Nemesis

Well here's a headline you don't see everyday...

Bob Knight hired as analyst by ESPN for NCAA tournament (AP)

Um, excuse me?

For a guy that's absolutely loathed the media for the last 42 years, it's hard to believe that Bob Knight is about to join us with his own analysis and commentary.

After all, you don't have to dig deep to see how Knight really feels about the media...

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)

Thursday, 02/28/08

Fluff On Fire

The Fluff was flying on Wednesday night in Houston as senior guard Robert McKiver finished with 52 points in the Cougars' 95-67 win against Southern Miss. It was the highest single game total in the NCAA this season and the most by a Cougar since 1966 (Elvin Hayes scored 55 against Southwestern on Feb. 12). It is also the all-time single game record for points in Conference USA.

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Posted by David Scott at 12:07 AM | Comment

Tuesday, 02/26/08

UConn Feeling Good With Dyson Back

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- It's ironic how a team can sometimes play even better without one of its leading scorers.

For No. 15 UConn, that's happened to be the case since Jerome Dyson was suspended at the end of January for a failed drug test following a charge for possession of alcohol as a minor.

Yet the Huskies didn't waver with their second-leading scorer gone, and in fact, showed that they had enough maturity and firepower to knock off some of the premiere programs in the country, including Big Ten power Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., ACC foe Georgia Tech in Storrs, Conn., and Big East staples Louisville, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Marquette.

On Tuesday night, Rutgers couldn't be compared to one of those Big East contenders, but UConn still did its part in rolling by the Scarlet Knights with a 79-61 victory in front of 5,833 at the RAC.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:53 PM | Comment

Monday, 02/25/08

Office Hours: Undefeated No More Edition

MEMPHIS -- As has become The Professor's custom during our frequent trips to Elvistown this season, we are lingering for a few Sunday hours on Beale Street.

There's a noticeable sense of deflation around the city after the homestanding Tigers 66-62 loss to Tennessee on Saturday night. It's probably a combination of the literal and figurative hangover that comes after the state's biggest sporting event ever finally winds down after what seemed like a season-full of anticipation and hype. (Some of the residual results of the loss are being played out, as you'd expect, through anonymous commenters.)

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Posted by David Scott at 01:34 AM | Comment

Saturday, 02/23/08

Beale Street Baskets: Vols Win Tennessee Battle

MEMPHIS -- Memphis's John Calipari said all week long that he couldn't understand how Bruce Pearl's Tennessee Volunteers hadn't been No. 1 in the nation at some point this season.

On Monday, Calipari will no longer have to wonder.

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Posted by David Scott at 11:18 PM | Comment

Saturday, 02/23/08

Beale Street Baskets: Tigers-Vols Tip In One Hour

MEMPHIS -- Just a quick check-in form the FedExForum where we are about 60 minutes from tip of the season's marquee regular season game between No. 1 Memphis and No. 2 Tennessee.

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Posted by David Scott at 08:13 PM | Comment

Friday, 02/22/08

Beale Street Baskets: Ego Game In The Vol State

MEMPHIS -- PT Barnum had nothing on these two guys. Nor does Don King. Not even Hulkamania creator Vince McMahon holds a candle.

In terms of the ability to promote one's self, one's business (university) and one's brand (program), there may not be two more capable college basketball coaches in the land than the two who will share a (crowded) sideline on Saturday night at the FedEx Forum.

Need confirmation? The guy who once painted his chest orange to cheer on his school's women's team AND served as color analyst for a Lady Vols game, actually admits to being the lesser of the two promoters.

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Posted by David Scott at 12:45 PM | Comment

Thursday, 02/21/08

Beale Street Baskets: Let The Hype Begin

MEMPHIS -- Hang Time has touched down in Elvis's old stomping grounds and as much of a circus as the Tiger basketball program usually encompasses -- as the No. 1 team in the nation is won't to do -- the big top is approximately one thousand times crazier than usual as the gargantuan Saturday match-up between No. 1 Memphis and No. 2 Tennessee draws closer.

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Posted by David Scott at 01:42 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 02/20/08

Nutt Gone; MAAC Madness

Two topics that probably can't go without some kind of comment.

1. Nutt steps down

Dickey, of the famous Coaching Nutts.

That Sun Belt's a killer, man.

2. Fairfield beats Marist in 2OT

The MAAC is mad already! What sounded like a typical, wild MAAC contest in most write-ups turns out to have been one wild and wooly affair. (The reference to Margaret McCaffery is explained quite well here .

So much so, in fact, that the MAAC released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

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Posted by David Scott at 12:48 AM | Comment

Monday, 02/18/08

Lawson Still Not Ready Yet

If Roy Williams was hoping to finally get his starting point guard back for Wednesday night's ACC showdown at rival N.C. State, he'll have to wait a little bit longer.

The North Carolina coach told reporters during Monday's weekly ACC media teleconference that Ty Lawson will miss his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle that he suffered back on Feb. 3 in an overtime win at Florida State.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 05:39 PM | Comment

Monday, 02/18/08

Bruins Hold The Mayo On USC

Losing to Washington last weekend in Seattle gave UCLA a little more perspective on the parity that's developed in the Pac-10.

But coming into a new week with an important Sunday showdown with cross-town rival USC, Ben Howland's players remembered the way the Trojans embarrassed them on their home court last month.

So with a chance to redeem themselves and retake sole possession of first place in the Pac-10, No. 6 UCLA stepped foot in The Galen Center and silenced a raucous USC crowd with a 54-44 victory to retake sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:20 AM | Comment

Monday, 02/18/08

Office Hours: President's Day/NBA All-Star Edition

Admittedly, The Professor is liking NBA ball a lot better these days because our Beantown Five's sudden surge. Still, the Sunday night All-Star offering, combined with Wake Forest's upset of No. 2 Duke and the UCLA-USC tussle (won by UCLA, 56-46) made for our best Seventh Day evening since Tony Soprano went out of business over at HBO.

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Posted by David Scott at 02:37 AM | Comments (1)

Friday, 02/15/08

Bearcats' Mitchell Suspended

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin has surprised plenty of people this season with quality conference wins over Louisville, Syracuse, Villanova, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, but the second-year coach now will have to do it without Alvin Mitchell.

The freshman forward, who has started just one game and appeared in 21 others, was suspended on Friday for violating team rules with the potential to return if his behavior improves before the end of the season.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 02:33 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 02/13/08

NCAA Allegations Has Sampson Under More Fire

What is going on in the sports world these days?

Between Roger Clemens' continual denial about his use of performance-enhancing substances and now Kelvin Sampson's reoccurring recruiting violations, it's been scandal after scandal these days in sports, whether at the professional or collegiate level.

After all, on Tuesday night, it was Indiana who was receiving a list of alleged violations from the NCAA after school officials learned earlier this season that Kelvin Sampson and his staff made several impermissible phone calls during 2006 and 2007.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday, 02/12/08

Golden Victory For Struggling Eagles

NEWARK, N.J. -- Tom Crean understood the scenario better than anyone.

Lose a third straight game and the road to March starts to get much slipperier.

So with Marquette coming off two disappointing losses to Louisville at home and Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., last week and falling outside of the AP Top 25 poll for the first time this season, the Golden Eagles couldn't afford to take a third straight loss with No. 22 Pittsburgh coming to Milwaukee Friday for another Big East brawl.

On Tuesday night, sophomore forward Lazar Hayward made sure of that, rising to the occasion with 23 points, nine rebounds and two steals in Marquette's 89-64 bounce-back victory over Seton Hall at The Prudential Center.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:33 PM | Comment

Monday, 02/11/08

Lawson's Return Still Up In The Air

Losing Ty Lawson hasn't been an easy obstacle for No. 5 North Carolina to overcome.

But after losing to dreaded arch-rival Duke last Wednesday in Chapel Hill, the Lawson-less Tar Heels scrapped and clawed their way back against Clemson Sunday to outlast the Tigers, 103-93, in double overtime.

And while North Carolina fans eagerly await Lawson's return from a sprained ankle suffered in an overtime win at Florida State, head coach Roy Williams just wants his players to forget about the injuries and focus on what's to come next.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 01:06 PM | Comment

Monday, 02/11/08

Office Hours: Big Men Edition

Welcome to the final month of the regular season or, as you're likely to hear it called, "Bubble Time." It's really laughable at how large the imaginary "bubble" becomes at this time of year. The Professor firmly believes that between now and Selection Sunday, the so-called experts will, at one time or another, have no fewer than 100 teams as "locks" for the Field of 65.

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Posted by David Scott at 12:48 AM | Comment

Sunday, 02/10/08

Rhody Fights Hard To Earn Win No. 20

BRONX, N.Y. -- You don't have to look at much more than Jim Baron's fingernails to get an idea of what the last two games have been like for Rhode Island.

Chewed up, uneven and shaved down to almost the cuticle, those 10 babies have been through a lot in the past four days.

After all, that's life in the Atlantic 10 these days.

For Baron, the nail biting started Thursday when the Rams began their three-game conference road trip up in Amherst, Mass., where they suffered a heartbreaking 78-76 loss to UMass after digging themselves into a hole in the first half.

On Sunday afternoon at Rose Hill Gymnasium, the Rams also fell into a hole early on, but Baron, in the end, got to feel what's like to be on the other side of a two-point game, as URI escaped with a 65-63 win over a reliant Fordham team that scrapped and crawled until the bitter end.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 03:33 PM | Comment

Friday, 02/08/08

Brady Out At LSU

Winning games never seemed to be a problem for John Brady.

As the third-most winning coach in school history, the LSU coach had won with regularity in each of his 10 years in Baton Rouge, La.

One those years, the 2005-06 campaign, featured a trip to the Final Four and an SEC regular season championship, his third with first-place finishes also coming in 2004-2005 and 1999-2000.

But winning games hasn't seemed to happen much for LSU this season, and with many rumors floating around about Brady's future in jeopardy, athletic director Skip Bertman finally made it official Friday when he fired the former Samford coach after the Tigers' 8-13 start.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 12:43 PM | Comment

Thursday, 02/07/08

Pearl To Lead U.S. In Maccabiah Games

Since his early years at Division II power Southern Indiana, Bruce Pearl has always dreamed of coaching in the holiest of all places.

And now that dream has become a reality after the Tennessee head man was appointed Thursday to coach the Maccabi USA's Open team at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 12-23, 2009.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 05:00 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 02/05/08

Saint Mary's, Gonzaga Fight To Bitter End

One of the things that I love about the Big Monday stretch of the college basketball season is the third game of the night's triple-header, which has been tabbed the last few years as the 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT West Coast Conference game.

But this week's matchup was particularly intriguing -- even with the time difference out on the East Coast -- in seeing No. 25 Saint Mary's (CA) welcome seven-time West Coast Conference champ Gonzaga to McKeon Pavilion.

And in what was an absolute back-and-forth thriller, it was the host Gaels outlasting Mark Few's Zags in overtime to come away with a 89-85 win and share the lead with the Bulldogs in the conference standings.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 01:45 AM | Comment

Monday, 02/04/08

Knight Hangs Up His Sweater

Bob Knight felt it was time.

He felt it was time to walk away from the game that he has given so much to. He felt it was time to step aside from his sideline perch and let another Knight pave the way.

So on Monday night, the 67-year-old coach stepped down from his throne at Texas Tech and handed over a program that he had magnificently turned around in less than six years to his son Pat.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 07:24 PM | Comment

Monday, 02/04/08

Office Hours: Super Bowl Edition

Let us count the ways that we are overjoyed with the culmination of the Super Bowl: No more Spygate talk; No more perfection talk; No more gratuitous shots of Gisele. Okay, scrap that last one. The Professor will take as many Gisele glimpses as we can get.

But most of all, the end of the NFL season signifies the earnest start of the stretch run for college hoops and a time when the nation-at-large begins to focus attention on RPIs, SOSs and S-Curve numbers. Or, if you prefer, Beasleys, Roses and Hansbroughs.

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Posted by David Scott at 12:55 AM | Comment

Saturday, 02/02/08

Panthers Eager To Get Leader Back

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The two big injuries that hit Pittsburgh in late December may be catching up to them.

At first, the Panthers kept on winning, as they came out on top in four of their first five games after Levance Fields was lost to a broken foot injury, a week after Mike Cook was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Included was a win over Georgetown, although it was at home, while a road loss to Villanova in that stretch might be understandable.

But since then, the Panthers have alternated wins and losses beginning with a loss at better-than-advertised Cincinnati. That theme continued in the Panthers' 60-53 loss to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford on Saturday, a game where the Panthers had an edge at various points but couldn't get anything going in the final minutes.

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Posted by Phil Kasiecki at 07:15 PM | Comment

Friday, 02/01/08

Wiggins Reinstated, Dyson Still Out For Huskies

Jim Calhoun will get at least one of his two suspended players back for Saturday's showdown against No. 18 Pittsburgh at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

Reserve guard Doug Wiggins was reinstated by the UConn coach Friday, but starter and the Huskies' second-leading scorer Jerome Dyson will remain suspended indefinitely until further word from the school's department of athletics.

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Posted by Josh Herwitt at 04:38 PM | Comment
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