NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL SELECTION COMMITTEE, FOX SPORTS NEW GAMEDAY, TIGER WOODS

MICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY

March 12th, 2019

Welcome back have a great Tuesday!

On This Day In Sports:

  • 1966 Bobby Hull‘s 51st goal of season, sets record
  • 1966 Jockey Johnny Longden retires after 40 years (6,032 wins)

Happy Birthday:

  • 1956 Dale Murphy, slugger (Atlanta Braves, 2 time NL MVP), born in Portland, Oregon

 

THE NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL SELECTION COMMITTEE WILL BE TESTED LIKE NEVER BEFORE

 

  • The 10-member NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA Tournament. Currently, the chair of the committee is Bernard Muir, the director of athletics at Stanford.
  • The other members of the selection committee are, Mitch Barnhart, director of athletics, University of Kentucky , Tom Burnett, commissioner, Southland Conference, Janet Cone, director of athletics, University of North Carolina Asheville, Bernadette McGlade, commissioner, Atlantic 10 Conference, Michael O’Brien, vice president and director of athletics, University of Toledo, Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation, Northwestern University, Chris Reynolds, vice president for intercollegiate athletics, Bradley University, Craig Thompson, commissioner, Mountain West Conference, Kevin White, director of athletics, Duke University.
  • Committee member that represents a specific conference cannot be in the room when teams from that conference are being discussed, and they are not allowed to vote for teams from their conference. The same applies to school representatives, who cannot discuss or vote for their own schools.
  • The committee arrives in New York City for the beginning of the selection process. For the next five days, the 10 committee members will cast hundreds of ballots and engage in debate over dozens of teams until the final bracket of 68 tournament teams is released on Selection Sunday.
  • This is the hardest year ever to select and seed the field because at least four teams are in the mix for a No. 1 or 2 seed and are missing a player or coach. There isn’t definitive news on when those people may return. Four bubble teams have suspended players or assistant coaches that must be factored either in or out of the equation.

    FOX SPORTS WILL COMPETE WITH ESPN COLLEGE GAME DAY

Urban Meyer wearing glasses: Getty

Photo: (Getty Images)

  • Fans and media think Fox is crazy to have a college football game day show in competition with the long running ESPN show. The lined up will feature Urban Meyer, Rob Stone, Reggie Bush, Brady Quinn, and Matt Leinart. The fivesome could be put on television at 11 a.m. Saturdays to preview the college football action of the day, up against one of the most venerable and successful sports programs of the last 25 years.
  •  Mark Silverman, President of FOX Sports National Networks, said in a news release, “with a head coach that won three national titles in 10 years, two of the most successful college quarterbacks in recent memory and one of the sport’s most electric running backs, our new college football pregame show has the game covered from all angles.”
  • College GameDay has been a staple of ESPN’s football coverage since 1987, and the popular show has been broadcasting live outsides a stadium most Saturday mornings since 1993.

    TIGER WOODS ALL BUSINESS AT THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP AT TPC SAWGRASS

Photo: (Getty Images)

  • Tiger Woods will play the first two rounds of The Players alongside a pair of major champions as he looks to return from an injury that caused him to withdraw from Bay Hill. He will be paired with reigning Masters champ Patrick Reed and defending Players champ Webb Simpson.
  • Another trio includes reigning Player of the Year Brooks Koepka, who will play the first two rounds with Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. The young guns of the PGA Tour. The groups of Woods-Simpson-Reed and Koepka-Fowler-Spieth will play late Thursday and early Friday, while the groups of Mickelson-McIlroy-Kuchar and Rose-Thomas-Schauffele will play Thursday morning and Friday afternoon.
  • Woods has been working on his putting with coach Matt Killen. Woods has not had a coach of any kind since parting ways with Chris Como at the end of 2017. Killen is a 32-year-old Kentucky native and has been in South Florida working with Tiger on his putting.  Killen told Golf Digest as he departed the range. “His putting is better. I like what I see.”

 

LSU WADE IN HOT WATER, KANSAS STREAK ENDS, WOMENS BASKETBALL DYNASTIES

MB SPORTS  DAILY

March 7th, 2019

Welcome back, have a great Thursday!

On This Day In Sports

  • 1930 Georgetown High of Chicago defeats Homer 1-0 in basketball
  • 1940 Montreal Canadiens lose record tying NHL 15th straight game at home
  • 1940 Ray Steele beats B Nagurski in St Louis, to become wrestling champ
  1. LSU Tigers Should Fire Will Wade and Miss The NCAA Tournament

will-wade-christian-dawkins-wiretap

Photo: WESLEY HITT/GETTY IMAGES

  • When will it stop? To answer that question, only when head coaches get the same sentence as surrogates. A phone conversation intercepted by the FBI reveals LSU coach Will Wade and former Adidas consultant Christian Dawkins discussed a recruiting deal offered to a prospect, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports.
  • In case you somehow missed the excerpt from the FBI wiretap that appears to be related to LSU guard Javonte Smart getting an “offer,” here it is, according to Yahoo:

Wade: “I was thinking last night on this Smart thing. I’ll be honest with you, I’m [expletive] tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just [expletive] sick of dealing with the [expletive]. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.”

Wade: “Dude. I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong.

Wade: “The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit. It was tilted toward taking care of the mom, taking care of the kid. Like it was tilted towards that. Now I know for a fact he didn’t explain everything to the mom. I know now, he didn’t get enough of the piece of the pie in the deal.”

Dawkins: “Hmmmm.”

Wade: “It was a [expletive] hell of a [expletive] offer. Hell of an offer.”

Dawkins: “Okay.”

Wade: “Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid.”

Even worse for Wade was that ESPN reported via court documents that Dawkins had “at least three calls with a cellphone number belonging to LSU coach Will Wade, each of which occurred between June 19, 2017, and June 30, 2017.” Smart announced his commitment to LSU on June 30. From saturdaydownsouth.com By CONNOR O’GARA 

2. Was The Kansas Jayhawks Big 12 Title Winning Streak a Basketball Dynasty

For the first time in 14 seasons, the Kansas Jayhawks won’t be crowned Big 12 regular-season champions. Kansas’ run of 14 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships ended Tuesday night, as the Jayhawks’ 81-68 loss at Oklahoma mathematically eliminated them from the title race.

3. LeBron Passes Michael Jordan On The All-Time Scoring List

  • James said about passing Jordan, “A lot of stuff that I have done in my career, this ranks right up there at the top with winning a championship,” James said. “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, MJ was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like MJ, wanted to shoot fadeaways like MJ, wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like MJ, wanted to wear my sneakers like MJ. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like MJ. It’s crazy, to be honest. It’s beyond crazy.”

4. College Baseball Season Starting to Heat Up

Hawkins Field

Photo: vucommodores.com

Vanderbilt remains No. 1 in the Baseball America Top 25 after a 4-1 week. Vanderbilt began the year ranked No. 1 in the Preseason Top 25 for the second time in program history and have remained atop the rankings through the first three weeks of the season.

Updated on: 3/4/2019 FROM BASEBALL AMERICA
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Vanderbilt

SEC
Notes:Last week: 4-1
Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in SEC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
Weekend Series: 2-0

Results: 
Feb. 26: Southeast Missouri State: W 11-3
Feb. 27: Austin Peay: L 7-6
Mar. 1-3: Dayton: W 11-3, W 5-1, W 2-0
Upcoming
Mar. 5: Davidson
Mar. 6: East Tennessee State
Mar. 8-10: Illinois State

Top-ranked Vanderbilt made relatively routine work of a sweep of Dayton. Shortstop Ethan Paul continued his hot-hitting ways with a 5-for-10 weekend at the plate, pushing his average to .422 on the season. He’s also taken to the shortstop position nicely after sliding over from second base, as he has yet to make his first error there. Preseason All-American outfielder JJ Bleday added home runs in each of the first two games of the series, giving him a team-leading four on the year.

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    UCLA

    Pac-12
    Notes:Last week: 3-1
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in Pac-12 (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 3-0

    Results:
    Feb. 26: @ Cal State Northridge: W 4-3
    Mar. 1-3: Sacramento State: W 2-1, W 6-0, L 2-1
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Pepperdine
    Dodger Stadium Classic in Los Angeles, Calif.
    Mar. 8: (18) Michigan
    Mar. 9: Oklahoma State
    Mar. 10: vs. Southern California

    A moment of appreciation for UCLA reliever Kyle Mora, who has been virtually unhittable this season. He threw two scoreless innings in each of the first two games of the series against Sacramento State. In 13 innings across eight appearances, he has a 0.69 ERA, a 21-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and an .098 opponent batting average. The starting rotation has continued to carry more than its own weight, as the righthanded trio of Zach Pettway (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K), Jack Ralston (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K), and Jesse Bergin (6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K) were excellent once again.

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    North Carolina

    ACC
    Notes:Last week: 4-1
    Overall: 11-1, 0-0 in ACC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: UNC Wilmington: W 4-3
    Feb. 27: Virginia Commonwealth: L 11-8
    Mar. 1-3: Massachusetts-Lowell: W 5-0, W 14-7, W 14-2
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Charleston Southern
    Mar. 8-10: @ (21) Clemson

    Righthander Gianluca Dalatri is doing all he can to make sure last season’s injury-plagued season is but a distant memory. In Game 1 against Massachusetts-Lowell, he threw 7.1 shutout innings, allowing two hits and no walks with five strikeouts. On the season, he’s now sporting a 1.06 ERA, a 17-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a .167 opponent batting average in 17 innings of work. The Tar Heels are still waiting on a few guys to get going for an offense that is hitting .263 as a team, but shortstop Ike Freeman has been locked in, hitting .410/.510/.692 with three homers, which already ties his career in home runs, set last season. UNC has a huge series coming up this weekend, as they open up ACC play against a Clemson team looking to bounce back from a series loss to rival South Carolina.

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    Stanford

    Pac-12
    Notes:Last week: 3-1
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in Pac-12 (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 2-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: San Francisco: W 8-3
    Mar. 1-3: @ Cal State Fullerton: W 4-3, W 8-1, L 6-5
    Upcoming
    Mar. 7-10: (9) Texas

    In a quality series that went a bit under the radar due to the presence of so many other marquee series and tournaments across the country, Stanford took two of three on the road from Cal State Fullerton. The Cardinal offense still isn’t quite clicking as a whole, but catcher Maverick Handley continues to be a bright spot. He was 3-for-4 with a double and a triple in game 1, 2-for-4 with three RBI in the second game, and while he was just 1-for-5 in the finale, his one hit was an RBI double that scored Stanford’s first run of the game. A four-game home series with Texas this weekend promises to be a barnburner.

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    Florida

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 4-1
    Overall: 9-4, 0-0 in SEC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: @ Jacksonville: W 5-4
    Feb. 27: Central Florida: L 12-9
    Mar. 1-3: Winthrop: W 16-4, W 28-5, W 5-3
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5-6: Florida Gulf Coast
    Mar. 8-10: Yale

    There has been concern at various points over what could be expected from Florida’s offense, but they looked quite good in scoring 49 runs in their sweep of a Winthrop team that boasts some talented arms. The Gators’ Game 2 effort, when they plated 28 runs on 23 hits, was particularly impressive. It’s not just those gaudy totals. It’s also that they hit not one, not two, but three grand slams over the course of game, one each from Kendrick Calilao, Jacob Young and Santino Miozzi. Though they are still waiting on some key offensive pieces to come around, the offensive outburst against Winthrop raised the team average to .287 on the season.

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    Florida State

    ACC
    Notes:Last week: 3-0
    Overall: 10-0, 0-0 in ACC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Mar. 1-3: Mercer: W 9-5, W 12-1, W 5-1
    Upcoming
    Mar. 6: North Florida
    Mar. 8-10: Virginia Tech

    Florida State just continues to roll on in nonconference play. They got their stiffest test of the season from a Mercer program that is annually a contender in the Southern Conference, but the Seminoles handled the Bears with little incident. Few hitters have been as hot as FSU outfielder Robby Martin in the early going. With a 6-for-11 weekend against Mercer with a pair of doubles, he’s now hitting .538 with seven doubles on the season. Third baseman Drew Mendoza is off to a great start in his own right. He homered twice in the series finale, giving him a team-best five.

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    Oregon State

    Pac-12
    Notes:Last week: 2-1
    Overall: 10-1, 0-0 in Pac-12 (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-0

    Results: 
    Mar. 1-3: West Virginia: W 9-2, W 4-2, L 2-0
    Upcoming
    Safeco Baseball Showcase in Seattle
    Mar. 8: vs. Minnesota
    Mar. 9: vs. Indiana
    Mar.10: vs. (19) Coastal Carolina

    A much-anticipated pitching matchup between West Virginia’s Alek Manoah and Oregon State’s Kevin Abel ended up not living up to expectations in Game 1 of last weekend’s series, but that’s only because OSU took the suspense out of the game so quickly. They plated seven runs (four earned) off of Manoah in the second inning and never looked back. Meanwhile, Abel threw six innings of one-hit, one-run baseball with three walks and 11 strikeouts. The series finale might have been a 2-0 defeat, but the continuing dominance of lefthanded reliever Brandon Eisert is notable. He tossed two scoreless innings in Sunday’s game, which now gives him 11 scoreless innings on the season with 13 strikeouts and just one walk.

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    Mississippi State

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 4-1
    Overall: 10-1, 0-0 in SEC (3-1 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Jackson State: W 17-4
    Feb. 27: Southeastern Louisiana: W 12-0
    Frisco College Baseball Classic
    Mar. 1: vs. Sam Houston State: W 5-4
    Mar. 2: vs. (8) Texas Tech: W 4-2
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: (14) East Carolina
    Mar. 6: Arkansas-Pine Bluff
    Mar. 8-10: Maine

    The Friday-Saturday rotation combination of lefthander Ethan Small and righthander JT Ginn showed, once again, that they might be the best such combo in the Southeastern Conference, if not the entire country. Against Sam Houston State, Small threw six innings, giving up seven hits and two runs with no walks and six strikeouts. The lack of walks in his start is no fluke, as the redshirt junior has yet to walk a single batter in his 18 innings this season. Ginn silenced the powerful Texas Tech offense over seven innings, allowing just three hits and two runs with one walk and eight strikeouts.

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    Texas

    Big 12
    Notes:Last week: 4-1
    Overall: 10-3, 0-0 in Big 12 (3-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Sam Houston State: W 10-3
    Feb. 27: Texas-San Antonio: L 10-7
    Mar. 1-3: (2) Louisiana State: W 8-1, W 8-4, W 7-6
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Texas-Rio Grande Valley
    Mar. 7-10: @ (4) Stanford

    Texas made by far the loudest statement of the weekend by sweeping LSU. In each of the first two games, they wasted no time in getting to the Tigers’ starting pitchers. On Friday, it scored three runs with the help of six hits and four walks in four innings against righthander Zack Hess. On Saturday, LSU freshman righthander Landon Marceaux was done after 1.1 innings, having given up six earned runs. In the finale, it took coming back from a 6-4 deficit in the bottom of the ninth, but Texas pulled it off, with the winning run coming home on an Austin Todd RBI single. On the mound, Bryce Elder was outstanding again, throwing 6.2 innings, allowing just four hits and one unearned run. The tough tests don’t end here for Texas, as it hits the road this weekend for four games at Stanford.

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    Louisiana State

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 1-3
    Overall: 8-3, 0-0 in SEC (0-3 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 1-1

    Results: 
    Results
    Feb. 27: Southern: W 17-4
    Mar. 1-3: @ (19) Texas: L 8-1, L 8-4, L 7-6
    Upcoming
    Mar. 6: Holy Cross
    Mar. 8-10: California

    There’s no other way to describe it. LSU simply took it on the chin this past weekend on the road at Texas. The Longhorns blitzed the Tigers’ starting pitchers in each of the first two games of the series on the way to victory, but the loss in the finale was in more heartbreaking fashion, as the Tigers held a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, only to have Texas storm back for three runs for the walk-off win. Their opportunity for a bounce back comes this weekend when Andrew Vaughn and California pay a visit to Alex Box Stadium.

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    Texas Tech

    Big 12
    Notes:Last week: 1-2
    Overall: 6-3, 0-0 in Big 12 (0-1 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 2-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: New Mexico State: W 7-0
    Frisco College Baseball Classic
    Mar. 1: vs. Nebraska: L 2-1
    Mar. 2: vs. (9) Mississippi State: L 4-2
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5-6: @ San Diego State
    Mar. 8-10: Wichita State

    It was a tough weekend for Texas Tech in cold, rainy Frisco, as the Red Raiders dropped a pair of close games to Nebraska and Mississippi State. After pitching had been more of a concern earlier in the season, it was the Tech offense that scuffled this time around. In 18 innings of play, they were held to just three runs on seven hits. On the mound, lefthander Erikson Lanning was a steadying force on Friday once again, throwing five shutout innings against the Cornhuskers, giving up two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.

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    Mississippi

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 4-0
    Overall: 8-2, 0-0 in SEC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-0-1

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Tennessee-Martin: W 12-6
    Mar. 1-3: Long Beach State: W 7-2, W 7-6, W 5-3
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Little Rock
    Mar. 6: (14) East Carolina
    Mar. 8-10: Alabama-Birmingham

    Senior outfielder Ryan Olenek, a classic college baseball grinder type, is off to an outstanding start to the season. In three games against Long Beach State, he went 6-for-13 with a pair of doubles, helping bring his slash line to .475/.542/.650 on the year. The effort of freshman righthander Gunnar Hoglund was a bright spot in Game 3, as he turned in the best start of his young career. He tossed five innings, giving up six hits and one run with no walks and three strikeouts. Connor Green continued his run as the Rebels’ most effective reliever, tossing two perfect innings in the Game 2 victory, running his scoreless innings total to 7.2 on the season.

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    Louisville

    ACC
    Notes:Last week: 3-1
    Overall 8-3, 0-0 in ACC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-1

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Xavier: L 5-4
    Mar. 1-3: James Madison: W 5-0, W 11-1, W 1-0
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Morehead State
    Mar. 8-10: Boston College

    Louisville starting pitchers allowed just one run on nine hits over the course of the entire weekend in a sweep of James Madison. Lefthander Reid Detmers allowing just one hit and one walk with 14 strikeouts in eight shutout innings in Game 1 was just par for the course with how well he’s pitched so far this season. In 20 innings, he has an 0.45 ERA, 28 strikeouts, five walks and an .078 opponent batting average. Logan Wyatt walked six times in the three games against the Dukes, bringing his season walk total to an absurd 19, which means he’s only made one more out this season (20) than he has walks.

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    East Carolina

    AAC
    Notes:Last week: 3-2
    Overall: 8-4, 0-0 in AAC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 25: Air Force: L 3-2
    Feb. 27: Elon: W 5-3
    LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C.
    Mar. 1: Utah: W 7-6 (10)
    Mar. 2: Wright State: L 12-4
    Mar. 3: Western Carolina: W 12-6
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: @ (8) Mississippi State
    Mar. 6: @ (12) Mississippi
    Mar. 8-10: Marist

    East Carolina got pushed in their home tournament, the LeClair Classic. It took extra innings for the Pirates to dispatch Utah in the opener, and they were downed by Wright State before securing a winning weekend with the win over Western Carolina. The walk-off win against Utah came courtesy of an RBI single from center fielder Dusty Baker, who entered as a defensive replacement a few innings prior. Two-way player Alec Burleson continues to rake, going 6-for-14 in the tournament, although that actually served to lower his average to .542. ECU has a couple of interesting midweek games on deck, as they will complete the Magnolia State double-dip with games against both Mississippi State and Mississippi.

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    Georgia

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 3-2
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in SEC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Long Island-Brooklyn: L 1-0
    Feb. 27: Kennesaw State: W 11-1
    Mar. 1-3: @ Georgia Southern: W 3-1, W 4-2, L 10-7
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Alabama State
    Mar. 6: Jacksonville State
    Mar. 8-10: Presbyterian

    For the third weekend in a row, Georgia Southern pushed a major conference foe. This time around, it was Georgia, which won two tight games to start the weekend before dropping the finale. Third baseman L.J. Talley has helped carry the Georgia offense in the early going. He had five hits over the weekend, including three in the Game 2 win, and is now hitting .447/.532/.763 with a team-leading three home run. Righthander Emerson Hancock did give up his first run of the season in the series opener, but he limited the Eagles to just one run in his five innings of work, giving him a nifty 0.50 ERA to this point.

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    Arkansas

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 4-0
    Overall: 9-1, 0-0 in SEC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 27: Memphis: W 10-3
    Mar. 1-3: Stony Brook: W 3-1, W 4-3, W 15-7
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5-6: Charlotte
    Mar. 8-10: Louisiana Tech

    Dave Van Horn and his staff have to be elated with what they got from starting pitcher Isaiah Campbell in the series-opening win. The righthander, who is prone to bouts of inconsistency, threw seven shutout innings, giving up three hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts. First baseman Trevor Ezell, a graduate transfer from Southeast Missouri State, has been a real shot in the arm for the Razorbacks’ offense. After a five-hit weekend that featured a triple in the opener and a home run in the finale, he’s hitting .432/.511/.703 and he’s a perfect six-for-six in stolen bases for good measure. Arkansas welcomes a veteran Louisiana Tech team for three games this weekend in what could be a competitive series.

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    Auburn

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 3-0
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in SEC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Mar. 1-3: Cincinnati: W 5-0, W 5-0, W 9-5
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5-6: Tennessee-Martin
    Mar. 8-10: Texas-San Antonio

    Auburn swept Cincinnati with little incident, including back-to-back shutouts to begin the series. Righthander Tanner Burns shined in the first of those two, throwing a two-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts. It was sophomore lefthander Jack Owen, in his first start of the season, who did the heavy lifting in the second of those team shutouts, throwing seven scoreless innings with only three hits allowed to go along with ten strikeouts. In 16 innings this season, he’s yet to allow an earned run and he has a 22-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio on top of it.

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    Michigan

    Big 10
    Notes:Last week: 2-1
    Overall: 8-1, 0-0 in Big Ten (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series 3-0

    Results: 
    Mar. 1-3: @ Cal State Northridge: W 2-1, W 4-2, L 5-2
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: @ Long Beach State
    Mar. 6: @ (24) UC Irvine
    Dodger Stadium Classic in Los Angeles
    Mar. 8: @ (2) UCLA
    Mar. 9: @ Southern California
    Mar. 10: vs. Oklahoma State

    Lefthander Tommy Henry simply continues to dominate. His latest masterpiece was eight shutout innings against Cal State Northridge in the first game of the series, giving up three hits and one walk with 12 strikeouts. Prepare yourself for some truly mind-blowing stats through Henry’s first three starts. He’s now thrown 23 innings without allowing so much as a single run. He’s fanned 34, walked just two and allowed a microscopic .132 batting average against him. The Wolverines’ offense has just two players hitting better than .250 at this juncture, but with Henry and the rest of the staff combining for a 1.58 team ERA, they’ve had more than enough offense to get the job done.

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    Coastal Carolina

    Sun Belt
    Notes:Last week: 3-1
    Overall: 10-2, 0-0 in Sun Belt (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series 0-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 27: @ College of Charleston: L 8-5
    CCU Baseball Tournament in Conway, S.C.
    Mar. 1: Illinois: W 11-3
    Mar. 2: Connecticut: W 10-7
    Mar. 3: Indiana: W 6-5
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5-6: Wake Forest
    Safeco Baseball Showcase in Seattle
    Mar. 8: vs. San Diego
    Mar. 9: vs. Washington
    Mar. 10: vs. (7) Oregon State

    Of Coastal Carolina’s three consecutive home tournaments to begin the season, last weekend’s, with games against Illinois, Connecticut and Indiana, promised to be the toughest, but the Chanticleers passed that test with flying colors. The Coastal offense was humming along all weekend, as they collected at least ten hits in each of the three games. The standout on that side of the ball last weekend was shortstop and nine-hole hitter Scott McKeon, who went 6-for-9 with three walks, driving his batting average up to a team-leading .417, and giving him, somewhat strangely, his first three walks of the season. Coastal is piecing things together a little bit on the mound, but it’s working for them thanks in large part to a deep bullpen, led by righthander Alaska Abney (0.00 in 10 IP), lefthander Trevor Damron (0.00 in 7 IP) and righthander Matt Eardensohn (2.19 ERA in 12.1 IP).

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    South Carolina

    SEC
    Notes:Last week: 3-1
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in SEC (2-1 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend Series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Appalachian State: W 3-1
    Mar. 1-3: @/vs. (14) Clemson: W 5-4, L 11-5, W 14-3
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Citadel
    Mar. 6: Gardner-Webb
    Mar. 8-10: Valparaiso

    South Carolina endured a series with rival Clemson that featured wild swings of emotion, with each team securing a blowout win in addition to the Gamecocks’ nail-biting victory on Friday. Reid Morgan turned in a solid start in the series-clinching win on Sunday. The righthander threw 6.2 innings, giving up eight hits and three runs (two earned) with no walks and five strikeouts. Bullpen work has been a strength for the Gamecocks thus far and that continued in the Game 1 victory as the trio of Wesley Sweatt, Cam Tringali, and Brett Kerry combined to throw 6.2 innings with six hits and one run allowed. It’s mostly good news with this series win for South Carolina, but there was a bit of bad news with the announcement that Carmen Mlodzinki, a key piece of the starting rotation, will miss some time with a fractured foot. That will make the efforts of the South Carolina bullpen and young lefty starting pitcher Dylan Harley even more important.

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    Clemson

    ACC
    Notes:Previous ranking: 2-2
    Overall: 8-3, 0-0 in ACC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series 2-1

    Results 
    Feb. 26: East Tennessee State: W 14-3
    Mar. 1-3: vs./@: South Carolina: L 5-4, W 11-5, L 14-3
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: @ Furman
    Mar. 8-10: (3) North Carolina

    Starting pitching faltered in Clemson’s series loss to rival South Carolina. In the opener, Brooks Crawford lasted just two innings, having given up five runs on home runs by South Carolina’s Andrew Eyster and T.J. Hopkins. In the finale, Justin Wrobleski was hung with five earned runs in just one-third of an inning. In the Game 2 victory, Davis Sharpe struggled for the first time this season to the tune of seven hits and four runs in 3.2 innings, but four innings of shutout relief from Holt Jones allowed the Tigers’ offense to pick the team up. Things don’t get much easier for Clemson this coming weekend, as they’ll welcome in a red-hot North Carolina club for the start of ACC play.

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    Duke

    ACC
    Notes:Last week: 3-1
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in ACC (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 3-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Richmond: W 8-2
    Mar. 1-3: @ Penn State in Bradenton, Fla.: W 14-0, L 8-7, W 9-2
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5-6: Pennsylvania
    Mar. 8-10: @ Virginia

    Duke began the weekend by getting a combined no-hitter from Graeme Stinson, Matt Dockman and Jack Carey in a blowout win over Penn State. After that point, things got a bit stickier, as a three-homer game from PSU left fielder Kris Kremer helped push the Nittany Lions to a Game 2 win, and as late as the seventh inning in Game 3, the Blue Devils trailed 2-0. It was in that seventh inning, however, that the dam broke and Duke poured it on in a 9-2 win to capture the series. Center fielder Kennie Taylor had his own offensive outburst in the Sunday win, as he clubbed two homers and drove in six runs.

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    North Carolina State

    ACC
    Notes:Last week: 4-0
    Overall 11-0, 0-0 in ACC (1-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-

    Results: 
    Feb. 27: @ Campbell: W 10-1
    Mar. 1-3: Minnesota: W 3-2, W 8-4, W 5-4
    Upcoming
    Mar. 6: @ North Carolina Central
    Mar. 8-10: Pittsburgh

    North Carolina State has done nothing but impress so far in 2019 with their series sweep of a solid Minnesota club just the latest example. A pitching staff with a team ERA of 2.36 on the season came through again. In Game 1, it was righthander Jason Parker who led the way with 5.1 innings in his start, giving up four hits and one run. The second game featured a solid start from lefthander Canaan Silver, who threw six innings, giving up three hits and two runs. The bullpen stepped up in the series finale, with the quartet of Evan Justice, Nolan Clenney, NIck Swiney and MIchael Bienlien combining to throw five innings with only three hits and one run allowed.

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    UC Irvine

    Big West
    Notes:Last week: 2-1
    Overall: 7-3, 0-0 in Big West (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 3-0

    Results 
    Feb. 26: @ Loyola Marymount: L 7-3
    Mar. 1: @ Missouri State: W 3-2, W 4-1 (11)
    Upcoming
    Mar. 6: (18) Michigan
    Mar. 8-10: St. John’s

    What was supposed to be UC Irvine’s three-game series on the road at Missouri State turned into a Friday doubleheader between the two teams, as they worked to get in as much baseball as they could before inclement weather rolled into Springfield, Mo. The Anteaters made the most of the double dip, taking home wins in both halves. Ace Andre Pallante looked more like his old self in Game 1, throwing 5.2 innings, giving up two hits and two runs with one walk and six strikeouts. In the second game, the righthanded trio of Tanner Brubaker, Trenton Denholm and Jordan Bocko held the Bears largely at bay for the first ten innings, allowing third baseman Brandon Lewis to connect for a go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the eleventh.

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    Baylor

    Big 12
    Notes:Last week: 2-2
    Overall: 9-2, 0-0 in Big 12 (0-0 vs. Top 25)
    Weekend series: 2-0

    Results: 
    Feb. 26: Dallas Baptist: W 10-4
    Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic in Houston
    Mar. 1: vs. Texas A&M: L 5-2
    Mar. 2: vs. Rice: L 6-3
    Mar. 3: vs. Texas State: W 5-4
    Upcoming
    Mar. 5: Texas-Arlington
    Mar. 8-10: Nebraska

    Baylor was dangerously close to going home winless in the Shriners Classic in Houston. After losses to Texas A&M and Rice in the first two games of the weekend, the Bears trailed Texas State 4-3 heading into the ninth inning of their third game. But instead of pulling the ripcord and packing up mentally, they did what veteran teams do and fought back. Just one strike away from being the final out of the game, Baylor center fielder Richard Cunningham dumped a double just inside the left field line on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to get a rally going. One batter later, he scored on a Nick Loftin single to right, and one batter after that, the Bears took the lead on a Davis Wendzel double off the wall in left. Baylor was scheduled to hit the road this coming weekend for a tough series at Nebraska, but due to lingering winter weather across the Midwest, that series is now a home series at Baylor Ballpark.

5. What Happened To The Women’s Basketball Dynasties

TENNESSEE’S HOLDSCLAW LEADS VOLS TO EARLY LEAD

Photo: Louisiana Tech was a women’s basketball powerhouse in the 1980s and ’90s. The Techsters lost the 1998 title game to Tennessee. (GARY CASKEY / REUTERS)

  • The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs women’s basketball team contributed to the initial rise in popularity of women’s intercollegiate basketball in the United States in the 1970s. Women’s college basketball was organized under the auspices of the AIAW in the early 1970s, at a time when competitive power was distributed among small colleges that had established a niche (such as ImmaculataDelta StateWest Chester StateWayland Baptist and Stephen F. Austin). Later in the decade, ODU won two national championships in dominating fashion with star players, Nancy Lieberman and Anne Donovan. ODU, along with UCLA and Tennessee, among others, led the rise to prominence of large schools with national reputations to the top intercollegiate level, before the NCAA began sponsoring sports for women.
  • The very first women’s NCAA basketball tournament was held in 1982, and Louisiana Tech took center stage. The Lady Techsters had already compiled a 109-9 record over the previous three seasons, winning the 1981 AIAW Championship (the precursor to the women’s tourney) with a perfect 34-0 record. The Lady Techsters haven’t made the NCAA field since 2011 at 14-14 this season, they aren’t likely to end that drought soon.
  • Tennessee Volunteers were the women’s college basketball team of the ’90s with four titles, including three in a row from 1996 to ’98, one unbeaten season and a 310-39 record under Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt.
  • Summitt won a silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal as a member of the United States women’s national basketball team. She returned to the Olympics in 1984 as a head coach, guiding the U.S. women’s basketball team to a gold medal. She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her at number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list. In 38 years as a coach, she never had a losing season. In 2012, Summitt was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards.

 

NBA/COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS & NOTES

Photo: LA Times

Who stands the best chance of becoming the next head coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team Ben Bolch | LA Times

Arizona head coach Sean Miller and LSU head coach Will Wade have been subpoenaed in the federal college basketball corruption trial  

NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch John Gasaway | ESPN Insider

Federal prosecutors are demanding jail time for three men convicted of fraud in the pay-to-play college basketball trial Danielle Lerner | Louisville Courier Journal

Here are the 5 fastest college basketball point guards Joe Boozell | NCAA.com

Kansas isn’t dead yet and remains No. 16 Gary Parrish | CBS Sports

Conference Tournaments 2019 What’s New Chris Dobbertean | Blogging the Bracket

Rules surrounding the speed of the game — and players themselves — were popular topics for our coaches Staff | ESPN.com

Lakers coach Luke Walton wants his team to embrace the sting of back-to-back losses at New Orleans and Memphis Broderick Turner | LA Times 

Assessing Luke Walton & Coaching Staff’s Performance Cranjis McBasketball | BBallIndex

Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would be interested in playing for the Lakers someday Bruce Jenkins | San Francisco Chronicle

What the hell is Kyrie Irving thinking Mark Fischer | New York Daily News

Magic struggle with loss to Knicks Chris Hays | Orlando Sentinel

Paul Millsap and Nickola Jokic’s vast improvement from last year Bruno Manrique | Clutch Points

Bill Simmons is top NBA personality Staff | Hoops Hype

Joe Harris Just Keeps Hittin’ Buckets Phil Watson | Nothin’ But Nets

Mavs Own The Biggest TPE Ever.  What Does It Mean? David Lord | 247 Sports

Monte Morris NBA’s Best Backup PG? Jared Dubin | The Step Back

Capela-Faried Coupling A Big Development For Rockets Jonathan Feigen | Housotn Chronicle

 

DUKE NOT RUSHING WILLIAMSON, KANSAS LOOKING FOR 15 STRAIGHT BIG-12 REGULAR SEASON TITLES

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Photo: Sporting News

Duke has no plans to shut down Zion Williamson after the freshman sensation suffered a knee injury earlier this week, according to coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The Blue Devils coach explained Saturday after his team topped Syracuse, 75-65, that he hasn’t had any conversations with Williamson or his family about ending the forward’s collegiate career earlier than expected.

“We would never play a kid who’s not ready,” Krzyzewski said, per ESPN. “We would never play a youngster who didn’t want to play. It’s not about that. He wants to play. He loves being at Duke.

“He doesn’t like being injured. It’s an injury you can get over in a shorter period of time. There’s just a protocol that we have to go through to make sure he’s completely ready. We’re not rushing anything, so that’s why we said day to day because it’s literally day to day.” From Chelsea Howard Omnisport

Williamson, projected by many as a potential top pick in June’s draft, suffered a mild knee sprain less than 40 seconds into his team’s rivalry matchup against North Carolina on Wednesday. He slipped, ripped open his shoe and fell to the ground before walking off to the locker room for further evaluation. He did not return to that game and missed Saturday’s game.

“He’s in good spirits and everything,” Blue Devils guard Tre Jones said of Williamson. “There’s no rush on whatever is best for him. Make sure his health comes first before everything.” From AMEER TYREE

The process of writing off Kansas in its quest for a 15th straight Big 12 regular-season title began in early February, after the Jayhawks lost by seven at Kansas State. But after a three-game win streak for Kansas, a home loss by Kansas State and some Bill Self voodoo, suddenly the Jayhawks were only one game out of first place entering the weekend. Continue Reading By Jeff Borzello

From ESPN

It’s still possible for Kansas to extend its streak of consecutive Big 12 championships to 15. But it’s no longer a likely scenario now that the Jayhawks are tied for third in the league standings, and two games back of Kansas State, with just four regular-season games remaining. Continue Reading By

Kentucky coach John Calipari is in favor of the NBA’s latest move to end its one-and-done draft rule. Jon Hale, Louisville Courier Journal

Lowering the NBA age limit would not raise the caliber of college basketball. It would not plug the pipelines that provide Duke and Kentucky with the best talent. It would not bring parity to a sport long dominated by self-perpetuating powers.

What it would do is cause more high school players to make more irrevocable mistakes and eliminate some of the embarrassment American universities feel for acting as accomplices for quasi-students. As reported by USA Today, the NBA proposal to lower the league’s age limit from 19 to 18 is an idea with strong appeal on a libertarian level, one that would restore the perception of college as a choice rather than an obligation for high-level hoopsters, but while virtually guaranteeing some unpleasant and unintended consequences. Continue Reading By , Louisville Courier Journal

From left, Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim and Duke Coach Krzyzewski after their team’s matchup on Saturday. Photo: Nick Lisi/Associated Press

Jim Boeheim, the Hall of Fame coach of the Syracuse Orange, returned to the bench Saturday night, three days after he had struck and killed a pedestrian on a darkened highway.

Boeheim’s first public appearance since the crash that killed Jorge Jimenez, 51, on Wednesday night near Syracuse, N.Y., was in a 75-65 loss at home to top-ranked Duke and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, a close friend. Boeheim, 74, in his 43rd season as coach at his alma mater, received an ovation from a record crowd of 35,642. Continue Reading By The Associated Press

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Photo: (Getty Images)

If an opponent called Complacency indeed is the most significant challenge remaining on the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ schedule, that poor victim is taking a beating that would lead even the most ardent masochist to signal surrender.

Complacency? Gonzaga by 30 over BYU.

Complacency? Gonzaga by 30 over San Francisco.

Complacency? Gonzaga by 48 over Saint Mary’s.

How is this a discussion? The Bulldogs have not relaxed for an instant. They are winning their West Coast Conference games by an average of 28 points, every single one of them decided by a double-figure margin. They have not lost in 66 days, and their winning streak stands at 16 games. Continue Reading By Mike DeCourcy

Top international prospect Oumar Ballo has committed to Gonzaga, a source told ESPN.

A 6-foot-10 Malian center with a 7-6 wingspan, Ballo averaged 21 points and 17 rebounds at the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Argentina last summer. He is only 16 but will enroll this summer as a 2019 recruit.

Ballo plays at the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City. He took part in the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp at NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, last weekend as one of youngest participants.

Ballo came to the attention of NBA scouts and college coaches two years ago with a dominant performance at the FIBA U16 African Championship. He averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds in just 21 minutes per game despite having turned 15 just days before the tournament. From Jonathan Givony ESPN

THE INJURY HEARD AROUND THE WORLD OR AT LEAST IN NORTH CAROLINA

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Photo: Getty Image

Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson was forced out of Wednesday night’s game against rival North Carolina after just 36 seconds with what Blue Devils coach Mike Kzryzewski called a “mild knee sprain.” Continue Reading By Ryan McGee

Many talented Duke basketball players have taken the Cameron Indoor floor to face North Carolina over the years, from Shane Battier to J.J. Redick to Jayson Tatum.

Few had the hype freshman sensation Zion Williamson brought to the storied rivalry Wednesday night. But in the first minute against the Tar Heels, Williamson suffered a knee injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. That setback seemed to stun Duke, and North Carolina rolled to an 88-72 victory. Continue Reading By Dan Bernstein

Zion Williamson Sneaker Blowout Floor

Photo: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Tonight, all eyes were on Cameron Indoor Stadium, the stage for the latest chapter of the storied rivalry between North Carolina and Duke Basketball. This matchup in particular was intriguing due to it being the rivalry debut of high touted freshman standout Zion Williamson, the overwhelming favorite to be selected with the top pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Prior to tip-off, tickets for the game were reportedly selling for an average of more the $3,000 and among the notable names in the crowd was none other than former President Barack Obama. All the ingredients were in place for one of the year’s most exciting nights of basketball. Then, the Sneaker Blowout Heard ‘Round the World took place. Continue Reading By 

Nike has been outfitting Duke’s basketball team since 1993, but it’s possible that the sports-apparel giant was never so happy with the arrangement as this year, given that among the current group of Blue Devils is one Zion Williamson. For his part, Williamson was never under more of a spotlight than Wednesday night, when the front-runner to be taken No. 1 overall in June’s NBA draft squared off for the first time this season with Duke’s arch-nemesis, North Carolina.

Unfortunately for Williamson and college basketball fans everywhere — and very unfortunately for Nike — Williamson didn’t last long against the Tar Heels, because he was forced from the game in the first minute with a knee injury. The mishap occurred as the 285-pound forward was planting his left foot to pivot — and his shoe exploded. Continue Reading By Des Bieler

The entire NBA world will have an eye on Duke-North Carolina on Wednesday night, tuning in more for Zion Williamson than the pageantry of the historic rivalry. It’s fitting for the audience to match the atmosphere, as this game has collected the buzz of an enormous NBA clash, with tickets hitting Super Bowl prices and preview commercials running every hour on the hour.

Of course, with the game being framed this way, Sports Illustrated‘s NBA staff had to weigh in. In advance of the game, we asked our staff what team they would most like to see land Zion Williamson. Continue Reading By  THE CROSSOVER STAFF

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Photo: Getty Image

Former President Barack Obama was in attendance for Wednesday night’s upset by the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels of the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke University officials had increased security with the likelihood that Obama would be in attendance, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports earlier Wednesday.

The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

Obama was video-taped pregame by ABC11’s Mark Armstrong high-fiving fans and later was captured by ESPN cameras. Continue Reading By 

Former President Barack Obama looks on during the first half between the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels.

Former President Barack Obama looks on during the first half between the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels. (Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports)

The 44th president of the United States is taking in one of the biggest college basketball games of the year.

Former President Barack Obama was spotted at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday before No. 1 Duke takes on No. 8 North Carolina in one of the best rivalries in all of sports.

Obama is a known basketball fan as he was famous for walking ESPN through his March Madness bracket during his two terms as the Commander-in-Chief.

The Duke-North Carolina game is one of the toughest and most expensive tickets to grab this season. One fan bought four tickets for $9,080.25 each, according to the Action Network. From Thomas Lott

RJ Barrett-112918-GETTY-FTR

Photo: Sporting News

The Duke Blue Devils had just won a basketball game by 21 points that was played against an opponent with five NCAA championships in its past. This may seem routine by now, given that it was contested at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but even at that it was rather jarring to hear Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski using the occasion to address circumstances from a game the team played last week. This would be the antithesis of “taking it one game at a time.” Continue Reading By Mike DeCourcy

It took less than a minute for Wednesday night’s matchup between No. 1 Duke and No. 8 North Carolina to turn on its heels — literally.

Only 34 seconds in, Blue Devils star Zion Williamson blew out his shoe after an attempted about-face driving the lane, and with it went Williamson’s night — he did not return and instead watched the game from the training room — and Duke’s chances to win. North Carolina would score first on the ensuing possession, and with the air sucked out of Cameron Indoor Stadium, it never trailed in a dominant 88-72 win.

Williamson’s injury took the life out of Duke, which looked listless throughout. The Blue Devils had a chance to cut the lead to a single possession just before half, getting to within five, but UNC went on a surge to extend its lead to 10 and it never got closer.

Luke Maye led UNC with one of his strongest showings of the season, scoring 30 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Senior Cam Johnson added 26 points, while touted freshmen Coby White and Nassir Little combined for 11 points.

For Duke, RJ Barrett tied his career-high with 33 points, and Cameron Reddish added 27. But no other Blue Devils player added more than six points on the evening, and it was clear Williamson’s absence — both physically and statistically, where he’s averaging 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds this season — was sorely miss

Even with the loss Duke will remain a No. 1 seed, according to CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm. From 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEATING UP TOWARD CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT TIME

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Photo: (Getty Images)

The most amazing thing about Tuesday night’s college basketball action, even more incredible than Duke’s comeback from a 23-point deficit, was that everyone watching on television got the identical picture of doom for “the Commonwealth’s” two top-25 teams.

A television camera affixed to the top of the goal at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena showed everyone how LSU center Kavell Bigby-Williams scored the game-winning tip-in to beat the No. 5 Wildcats by knocking the ball into the goal as it rested on the rim from teammate Skylar Mays’ original attempt at the decisive basket. Bigby-Williams’ goal was not a legal play, but neither was it reviewable under NCAA basketball’s instant-replay rules. Continue Reading By Mike DeCourcy

Welcome to Volume II of The Bilas Index, the most dependable and trusted metric of hoop quality and capability in the known universe. Every conceivable bit of basketball information has been input into the gray matter inside The Bilastrator’s skull, and the output is simply magnificent and not subject to question or reasonable debate. The Bilas Index is the final word on all things basketball, and anyone with a functioning brain knows it. To be clear, The Bilas Index is not some weekly poll voted on by media, coaches or fans. It is not subject to current whim or which way the wind might be blowing. It is a clear-eyed evaluation of the 68 best teams in the country, irrespective of home wins, road wins, quads, calves or pecs. This gift from on high is not parsed by a group of well-fed and well-compensated college administrators pretending to be basketball-literate. It is culled from the most savvy and informed mind the game has ever known, and therefore, it is the most powerful basketball evaluation tool ever invented. Continue Reading By Jay Bilas

It’s easy to labor in obscurity in Buies Creek, North Carolina — until your game starts being connected to college hoops icons. Folks, meet Chris Clemons.

Campbell’s star scorer, the 5-9 guard from Raleigh had a season-high 48 points Wednesday to give him 2,978 for his career, moving him past Kansas star Danny Manning (2,951) and Cincinnati Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson (2,973) into ninth place in men’s Division I career scoring. The Camels defeated visiting Hampton, 87-84, in Buies Creek.
Rick Barnes will take you to his favorite lunch spot, but not until this tour ends. Continue Reading By Bob Hille

He’s the head coach of the No. 1-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, but he also might as well be a Knoxville Chamber of Commerce rep as he weaves past a statue of Pat Summitt, steers down Phillip Fulmer Way and rolls toward Tee Martin Drive in a super-sized SUV that hogs the streets of Tennessee’s campus during the school’s winter break.

“You gotta see this,” he says as he ignores the GPS directions to the restaurant, and charts his own course.

Barnes speaks of Knoxville as if he’s a proud, longtime resident of this growing city. Continue Reading By Myron Medcalf

Wednesday was not a great night for many bubble teams, although NC State picked up a decent win.

Auburn and Lipscomb are among a handful of bubble teams that lost a chance to help themselves.

Seton Hall defeated Georgetown 90-75 in a game featuring two teams on the bubble and has done a better job of defending its home floor lately. This is the third straight win at home for the Pirates. Things are about to get tougher because three of their next four are on the road. Georgetown’s slim chances just got a lot slimmer. Here’s how the rest of bubble teams in action Wednesday fared:Continue Reading By 

Photo: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cal basketball team may have blown its best opportunity to produce a conference win in 2018-19 with a 75-67 overtime loss to UCLA Wednesday night. The defeat was the 13th straight for the Golden Bears, one which dropped them to 5-19 on the season and 0-12 in the much-maligned Pac-12.

It’s also a defeat which allows us to ask the question: Is Cal the worst power conference team in the history of college basketball?

On the surface this seems like a hyperbolic overreaction to something happening in the present. Do a little digging, however, and Wyking Jones’ team is putting together a pretty compelling case. Continue Reading By Mike Rutherford

By the end of this week, there will be just one month until Selection Sunday—the day that will determine the postseason fate for so many March hopefuls. With three-quarters of the regular season already in the books, we have a good idea of who this year’s top contenders are and who the favorites are in each conference race and tournament. But even if we think we know how things will play out in this final month, there’s bound to be at least one or two major surprises in store. Between now and March 17, will happen that few will see coming? We asked our staff to each make one bold prediction for the days leading up to (and including) Selection Sunday. Continue Reading By THE SI STAFF

Duke forward Zion Williamson dunks in a game against St. John's.

Duke forward Zion Williamson dunks in a game against St. John’s. PHOTO: ROB KINNAN/REUTERS

If you follow college basketball only casually until the NCAA tournament begins, there’s a good chance that the only thing you know about the 2018-19 season is the existence of a very large Duke freshman named Zion. But with the regular season winding down, fans are starting to wonder whether their teams will attract an invitation to March Madness.

Figuring out how your team rates will be different this year. RPI, the metric the NCAA has used since 1981 to gauge the strength of teams, has been replaced by a new, more sophisticated measure called NET. Continue Reading By Laine Higgins

 

 

SPORTS NEWS ROUND-UP

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Pelicans

Photo: ESPN.com

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-112.

James Harden extended his own historic run, dropping 42 points against the Thunder, eclipsing 30 points for the 29th straight game — two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in NBA history, but far behind Chamberlain’s record run of 65 games.

Kyrie Irving underwent an MRI this morning at New England Baptist Hospital and has been diagnosed with a strained right knee. His status is day-to-day.

The Indiana Pacers announced Sunday they have signed free agent guard Wesley Matthews to a contract. Matthews appeared in 45 games and made 44 starts for the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks this season while averaging 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Salah Mejri has re-signed with the Mavericks, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Mejri was waived Thursday to open a roster spot so the team could complete a deal that sent Harrison Barnes to the Kings.

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson said the New Orleans Pelicans operated in bad faith during negotiations with his team over a deal for superstar Anthony Davis. However, he said he isn’t dwelling on the trade deadline failure and wants his players to shift their focus forward as well.

Magic Johnson plans to hug it out with the Los Angeles Lakers to help them cope with the fallout from the NBA trade deadline. “It’s a part of business, it’s a part of being a professional athlete,” he said Saturday. “I’m going to hug ’em and tell them that we got to come together and our goal is still in reach, which is to make the playoffs.”

After 10 days of team-wide uncertainty during their widely reported pursuit of disgruntled New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis, Rob Pelinka said he believes the Lakers will bounce back strongly. Pelinka already saw signs of it Thursday night, when Los Angeles beat Boston on Rajon Rondo’s dramatic winning basket just a few hours after the deadline passed and Davis remained with the Pelicans.

Kyle Kuzma dropped an impressive 23 points in the first quarter on Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia. The performance was most points scored in a single quarter by any Lakers player since Kobe Bryant dropped 23 in the fourth quarter against the Jazz back in 2016 — which was also Bryant’s final NBA game.

Anthony Davis is showing he can still produce great numbers. He only needed 25 minutes to score 32 points in his first game for New Orleans since requesting a trade nearly two weeks ago. Davis also had nine rebounds and three blocks in a 122-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

The Philadelphia 76ers made several moves prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. In the biggest deal, they sent Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and four draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.

Sunday afternoon report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Hornets have claimed veteran point guard Shelvin Mack off waivers from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks interest in Kevin Durant is obvious. Their intent to go after him this offseason was solidified when they rid themselves of Kristaps Porzingis’ contract at the trade deadline. The rumors are certainly alive and well. Per Brad Rowland of Uproxx, the team ‘coincidentally’ used a picture where he is defending Mitchell Robinson in a season-ticket renewal promotion.

Otto Porter said Wizards management held a private meeting with him before the trade deadline and assured him that he would remain with the team, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

The Raptors have agreed to a new multi-year contract with Chris Boucher, promoting him from his current two-way deal with the team, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. 

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

During an appearance on Good Morning America, host and one-time Brady Super Bowl antagonist Michael Strahan said that he is in the camp that sees Brady as the “G.O.A.T.,” but Brady said it’s not a moniker he’ll be embracing anytime soon.

Brian Flores officially hired 16 assistant coaches to join him in his mission to turn around the Miami Dolphins, including Jim Caldwell as his assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

The NFL combine ahead of the 2019 draft is only three weeks away. In the meantime here is Mel Kiper Jr. first mock draft, which came out on Jan. 17.

Adam Gase’s new coaching staff with the New York Jets contains enough potential family drama. he full staff, announced Friday by the Jets, includes longtime NFL assistant Joe Vitt, Gase’s father-in-law, and Blake Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

NBC Sports veteran Bob Costas revealed he was removed from the network’s coverage due to comments he made about the NFL’s concussion problems.

The Raiders are negotiating with Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum officials to allow the NFL franchise to play its home games at the venue during the 2019 season.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer broke down the key dates on Murray’s calendar in Thursday’s Game Plan, with key benchmarks arriving soon in both his budding MLB and NFL careers. So what does Murray’s near future hold? Check out his schedule via Breer below.

February 15: A’s position players are due to report for spring training in Mesa, Ariz. Oakland gave Murray a $4.66 million signing bonus under an agreement that would allow him to play one last season of college football, then report to spring training for 2019. So if he doesn’t report next week, that’s a pretty big deal.

February 27-March 2: Quarterbacks go through their four days at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Murray has been invited. Will he be there?

March 13: Oklahoma pro day. Like the combine and everything else, this one is in direct conflict with spring training.

March 14-April 19: In-house visits with teams, and private workouts. The workouts can actually spill into draft week, while the deadline for NFL teams to fly prospects into their facilities is a week before the draft.

March 20: A’s open their season in Tokyo against Seattle. As for their affiliates, the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators, Double-A Midland RockHounds and Single-A Stockton Ports and Beloit Snappers all open up on April 4.

April 26-28: The NFL draft takes place Nashville.

Murray declared for the NFL draft on Jan. 14. He was the No. 9 pick in the MLB draft in June 2018.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The Giants have emerged as a serious contender for Bryce Harper in the past week, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes that the club has “no desire” to make Harper an offer approaching the 10-year, $300 million deal he reportedly rejected from the Nationals in September.

Chicago White Sox reportedly made a $175 million offer to Machado earlier this offseason. The offer is still on the table.

Free-agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel asked for a six- to seven-year contract worth $25MM to $30MM per annum at the beginning of the offseason but has yet to sign a contract. Entering the offseason, MLBTR predicted an $82MM guarantee for the 32-year-old Keuchel.

A’s star third baseman Matt Chapman will be slowed by ongoing rehab this spring, but don’t count him out from the club’s March 20 regular-season opener against the Mariners in Tokyo.

Athletics righty James Kaprielian suffered a setback in his shoulder and will undergo an MRI.

Reliever Alex Wilson had interest from 10 or 11 different clubs, different minor league options Before the Indians signed him.

Any of the following Wil MyersManuel MargotHunter RenfroeFranchy CorderoFranmil Reyes and Travis Jankowski are all in the mix for a spot in the Padres outfield.

Brett Lawrie is mounting a comeback with the organization that got him started. The former first-round Draft pick announced via Instagram on Saturday that he’d signed with the Brewers. Lawrie, 29, hasn’t played organized baseball since the White Sox released him in March 2017.

The Royals announced on Saturday that they signed veteran right-hander Homer Bailey to a Minor League contract. Bailey, the seventh-overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, pitched his entire career with the Reds before Cincinnati dealt him to the Dodgers in December for salary relief as part of a seven-player deal.

The Nationals signed free-agent starter Jeremy Hellickson to a one-year deal on Friday. Hellickson will earn $1.3 million in 2019, with up to $4 million in incentives.

One of the opening day questions for the DBacks will be if they can carry three catchers which they have in each of the past two seasons under this regime. Right now it would look like Carson KellyAlex Avila, and  John Ryan Murphy.

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle. Bob Murray, the team’s general manager, will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed their young superstar to a huge contract, inking a five-year extension with Auston Matthews. The deal will carry an annual average value of $11.634MM, and be paid almost entirely in signing bonuses. Leafs have acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings. Going the other way is a package of forward prospect Carl Grundstrom, defense prospect Sean Durzi, and the Leafs’ 2019 first-round pick.

Pittsburgh Penguins sent Brassard, Riley Sheahan, a 2019 second-round pick (PIT), and two 2019 fourth-round picks (PIT & MIN) to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

The Chicago Blackhawks have put defenseman Luc Snuggerud on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination.

 

NCAA FOOTBALL

JENNA WEST from Sports Illustrated reports Clemson still doesn’t know how three players failed drug tests ahead of the Cotton Bowl in late December, according to The Post and Courier.

The program is continuing to appeal the suspensions of defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Brandon Galloway, who tested positive for the banned substance ostarine before Clemson’s CFP semifinal game win over Notre Dame. The three Tigers players also missed Clemson’s 44–16 national championship victory over Alabama.

Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables at that lofty level. Venables earned $2.2 million last season. He received a new contract last July that pays him $11.6 million over six seasons. Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott are now in the million-dollar club.

Miami football is back! As Manny Diaz walked behind one of Miami’s returning players into a recruiting dinner last month, the player spoke up to no one in particular. “I feel like I transferred to a new school,” he said. Behind him, Diaz smiled. “That’s kind of what I wanted to hear,” Miami’s new head coach said.

 

NCAA BASKETBALL

Duke is investigating a sexual assault allegation made against a former player, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. Former Duke student Meredith Watson claimed she was raped by a member of the basketball team in 1999, per her attorney’s statement. Watson also claimed Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax raped her during her time as a student.

On Saturday afternoon, the NCAA tournament selection committee continued its tradition (born way back in 2017) of offering the world an early glimpse at the top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament if the season ended that day. One of this year’s more intriguing subplots among bracket prognosticators is just how much the NET rankings, which the NCAA introduced this season to replace the widely panned RPI, will impact the committee’s choices.

The Big Ten is ranked as the No. 1 conference on kenpom.com, a far cry from the fifth-place finish it had after a down 2017–18.

The Kansas Jayhawks have won 14 straight Big 12 regular season crowns, but road struggles have them sitting back in fourth with five weeks to go. Kansas State Wildcats cruised to the conference lead, punctuated by Tuesday’s home win over KU.

Indiana Hoosiers with a 13-11 record this season, and 4-9 in the Big Ten, and despite wins over three teams listed in the selection committee’s initial top 16, Indiana’s only realistic path to the field of 68 now probably runs through a Big Ten tournament title the Hoosiers have never won.

 

SKIING

 Lindsey Vonn walked off with her career haul of medals in her right hand, the gold, silver and bronze clinking together almost weighing her down. Whatever it was, the sound was a reminder of what Vonn has come to symbolize an athlete who battled back from one major injury after another throughout her career to win more ski races than any other woman.

 

DUKE NOT VOLS TOP SEED IN FIRST 16 SEED RANKINGS

Duke, not Vols, top overall seed in initial NCAA rankings

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2019, file photo, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes watches the action in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. The Volunteers don’t have a single top-100 recruit on their roster, yet they’re ranked No. 1 and have a school-record 17 straight victories for the longest active winning streak of any Division I team. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

 

Tennessee has been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll the past three weeks, has one loss this season and owns Division I’s longest winning streak.

It wasn’t enough for the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee to give the Volunteers the top overall seed in its initial rankings. The committee revealed its preliminary rankings on Saturday and it was Duke, not the Vols, earning the No. 1 overall seed. Continue Reading By JOHN MARSHALL

Duke v Virginia

si.com

In Duke’s last game against Virginia, coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad shot 2-of-14 on three-pointers and relied on its talent to beat the Cavaliers’ stifling defense. Instead of repeating that performance Saturday, the Blue Devils took a page out of UMBC’s “make every shot” playbook, shooting 57.8% and 13-for-21 on threes in an 81-71 win. Continue Reading By JOE WILKINSON

Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (15) and Marquette Golden Eagles guard Markus Howard (0) reach for a loose ball during the second half at Fiserv Forum.

Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (15) and Marquette Golden Eagles guard Markus Howard (0) reach for a loose ball during the second half at Fiserv Forum. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports)

Saturday’s unveiling of the top 16 seeds by the NCAA tournament selection committee provided a glimpse into the future. But the day’s game slate also served as a reminder that there’s still plenty of basketball to be played in the next five weeks up until Selection Sunday.

In a battle between two forecasted No. 1 seeds, Duke once again out-dueled Virginia. The Blue Devils started the day as the top overall seed, per the committee’s assessment, and ended the day with an even stronger profile. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, only suffered their second loss of the season, but this one was a much more convincing loss and on their home court. Continue Reading By 

Louisville Cardinals forward Dwayne Sutton (24) fights for a ball against Florida State Seminoles guard MJ Walker (23) during the first half at Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

Louisville Cardinals forward Dwayne Sutton (24) fights for a ball against Florida State Seminoles guard MJ Walker (23) during the first half at Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Photo: Melina Myers, USA TODAY Sports)

It’s always tough to win on the road in the ACC.

No. 24 Florida State (18-5, 6-4 ACC) outlasted No. 17 Louisville (17-7, 8-3 ACC) 80-75 in an overtime battle of ranked teams in front of a Tucker Civic Center crowd of 11,675 Saturday afternoon.

“That one was tough to swallow,” Louisville coach Chris Mack said. “Felt like for the better part of the game we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in position to win.”

Louisville had won seven of its last eight games entering Saturday. The Cardinals fall to 4-2 on the road in ACC play.

The Cardinals let a 10-point second-half lead slip away and the Seminoles tied the game at 65 at the end of regulation.

FSU didn’t waste time in overtime.

The Seminoles scored the first eight points of the period to surge in front, 73-65. It was their first advantage since 23-22 in the first half. Continue Reading By , Louisville Courier Journal

A slow first half from Quinndary Weatherspoon and the Bulldogs gave Kentucky enough momentum and margin for a 71-67 victory (Photo: Steve Robertson, 247Sports)

The best second half of Mississippi State’s season wasn’t good enough to complete a comeback as Kentucky escaped Humphrey Coliseum with a 71-67 victory. The #5-ranked Wildcats left 20-3, a game out of the SEC lead at 9-1, and with a tenth-straight victory.

Ben Howland’s Bulldogs dropped to 16-7, 4-6 with the week’s second close call. If not in overtime as Wednesday’s setback to LSU, this was by another four-point margin. And maybe, more frustrating given the game’s contrasting periods. Down 40-25 at halftime and seemingly out the Bulldogs slashed that deficit to a point with plenty remaining time to complete the comeback.

They couldn’t. “If we come out the first half like we did the second half I feel we win the game,” guard Nick Weatherspoon said. His coach didn’t disagree about the key to winning…or avoiding defeat.

“It’s not digging a hole in the first half,” said Howland. “Go down 15 points to maybe the hottest team in the country, that put a very low probability. And I thought we gave ourselves a great chance.” Continue Reading By DAVID H. MURRAY 

MICHAEL BARI SHOW FRIDAY JULY 6, 2018 SPORTS NEWS & NOTES

Red Sox ace Chris Sale faces Jason Hammel on Friday in Kansas City. At the World Cup, France meets Uruguay and Brazil takes on Belgium in two quarterfinal matchups Though Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently reported that trade talks surrounding Manny Machado have “accelerated” this week, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that teams still aren’t offering … Read moreMICHAEL BARI SHOW FRIDAY JULY 6, 2018 SPORTS NEWS & NOTES

COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS-VILLANOVA-LOUISVILLE-RECRUITING

Let the record show that if Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman return to Villanova I will have the Wildcats ranked No. 1 in the CBS Sports preseason Top 25 (and one). But both are probably going to remain in the NBA Draft, I’m told. So the Wildcats are more like a borderline top-10 team than … Read moreCOLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS-VILLANOVA-LOUISVILLE-RECRUITING