Former Ohio State student-body presidential candidate Amedeo Della Valle is winning ticket vs. NebraskaPat Forde at Yahoo Sports14 hrs ago
INDIANAPOLIS – Ohio State's Big Ten tournament existence was saved by a mop-haired Italian bench jockey whose biggest claim to campus fame before Friday was his failed write-in campaign for student-body president.
Hey, countryman Silvio Berlusconi came up with much worse than that as Italian prime minister. And for a college audience, I'm not sure how that isn't a winning platform. But apparently the big issue was getting Ohio State students to successfully spell "Amedeo Della Valle."
Far easier to be a write-in candidate when your name is John Smith.
Della Valle finished fifth in the voting with 479 votes. Hold a re-vote today, however, and you would have a different result. The Italian Stallion would be a landslide favorite.
"I definitely would win," Della Valle said with a smile.
Unkempt perms might become the campus hairstyle of choice, too.
- Yahoo Sports16 hrs ago
INDIANAPOLIS – Two shots in the paint. One bounces on the rim and drops, the other thuds off the iron and misses. That's the difference between Michigan's relief and Illinois' dejection.
That is tournament basketball in a condensed, compelling drama.
The Big Ten champion Wolverines won a game that was far closer than anyone expected, beating the Illini 64-63 in the conference tournament quarterfinals Friday. Ten days earlier, Michigan won by 31 in Champaign.
But the motivation to salvage a season is a powerful thing, and so Illinois took an eyebrow-raising, one-point lead into the final seconds. That's when the Wolverines won it with a smart play call and even better execution, Jordan Morgan scoring the winning basket with 7.9 seconds left. But they also had to endure a last try by Illinois, a remarkably good look by Tracy Abrams that came up short and ended any long-shot chance the Illini had of making the NCAA tournament.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
INDIANAPOLIS – The last stand of college basketball's Holy Land was brief and inglorious.
Here at the Big Ten tournament, the first two teams eliminated were Indiana and Purdue. The Hoosiers bogged down late and were beaten by Illinois, 64-54. The Boilermakers gave Ohio State all it could handle before falling, 63-61. Thus Elimination Thursday officially left the Hoosier State without a school whose name will be in the 68-team NCAA tournament bracket when it is unveiled Sunday.
From Fort Wayne to Evansville, there isn't even a bubble team to be found. Three days before Selection Sunday, the state is dismissed.
And that is a cultural disaster.
- Yahoo Sports2 days ago
During his third season at Georgetown, John Thompson looked up into the stands right before tipoff of a 1975 game in tiny McDonough Gym and saw a bedsheet unfurled with this written on it: "Thompson the n----- flop must go."
Nine years later, his Hoyas won the national title.
During his first year at Arkansas, in 1985-86, Nolan Richardson had a daughter stricken with leukemia and a team with a losing record. Someone added to the misery by issuing a bomb threat on his home.
Nine years later, his Razorbacks won the national title.
Epithets and threats would deter neither man.
Thirty years ago, John Thompson became the first African-American basketball coach to win a national championship. Twenty years ago, Nolan Richardson became the second. As we head into March Madness in a far different time, those are anniversaries worth remembering and respecting.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college basketball, where Marcus Smart's flopping is contagious – and hilarious:
A week from now it will officially be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: the first NCAA tournament games will be played in Dayton. But there is plenty of ball before then, and plenty to talk about in the last days before Selection Sunday. Let's fast break into it:
HERE'S TO THE SMALL-SCHOOL GRINDERS WHO MADE IT BIG
It's fitting that in a season where Gus Malzahn completed a journey from high school coach to BCS championship game coach at Auburn, we see some similar up-from-the-bootstraps success stories in college hoops.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Kansas center Joel Embiid's return to the court will be prolonged, Jayhawks head coach Bill Self said in a press release Monday.
Embiid, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft, visited a spinal specialist in California on Monday for a second opinion on his lower back, which he injured Feb. 8 against West Virginia and reinjured March 1 against Oklahoma State. The specialist confirmed the original stress fracture prognosis he received in Lawrence. Current treatments have Embiid in the middle of the healing process, which renders him unavailable for the Big 12 championship and unlikely to play in the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. "Based on that, this weekend (in the Big 12 championship) is out," Self said. "Next weekend, we feel like is a longshot, but the doctors are hopeful that if Joel works hard in rehab and progresses that it is possible that he could play in the later rounds of the NCAA tournament if our team is fortunate enough to advance."
- Yahoo Sports5 days ago
ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Valley Conference extended a wonderful Arch Madness parting gift to the undefeated Wichita State Shockers on Sunday afternoon.
Seconds after they finished beating Indiana State 83-69, the players were handed T-shirts commemorating their Missouri Valley tournament championship. The shirts had a bracket on the back that said the Sycamores actually won the thing. Nobody noticed until the Shockers were wearing them.
One league’s gaffe is another man’s gold.
For a program that relishes bathing in the icy water of disrespect, this was perfect. Total domination of the conference ends with a printing mistake that denies the Shockers their first Valley tourney title in 27 years. The players were proudly cloaked in insult as they cut down the nets in the Scottrade Center.
“Hey, hey!” a gleeful Gregg Marshall said upon seeing the shirts. “Someone get a picture of this.”
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
ST. LOUIS – Gregg Marshall and the city of St. Louis are back on decent terms.
That is a good thing for 33-0 Wichita State.
This has not exactly been Pleasantville for the coach of the Shockers. In his previous six seasons, the site of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament had been nothing but Arch Sadness for Marshall and all Wichita State fans. The Shockers have not won the Valley tourney under Marshall – or under any coach since 1987. That’s an astonishing streak for a school that has arguably the best tradition of any current conference member.
Coming into this year’s tourney, Wichita State was just 7-6 in Arch Madness under Marshall. Their misery in Missouri included a controversial one-point loss to Creighton in 2009, amid allegations of a clock snafu that went in favor of the Bluejays; an upset loss to Indiana State in the semifinals in 2011, relegating the Shockers to the NIT; an upset one-point loss to major underdog Illinois State in 2012; and a pair of title-game losses, once to Northern Iowa (’10) and once to Creighton (’13).
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
It has been 27 years since Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
As surprising and frustrating as that streak is for the school, this is no time to end it.
It may sound shocking, but the Shockers should lose a game in St. Louis this weekend. I'm not suggesting deliberately tanking a game – but a loss wouldn't be the worst thing in the world at this point.
It might even be the best thing.
Dragging that "0" in the loss column into the fishbowl of the NCAA tournament would be like loading a 500-pound anvil in with the team travel gear. It's a huge and non-essential burden.
Especially when you're Wichita State.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college basketball, where storming the court is an increasingly bad idea:
MARCH MOVERS AND LOSERS
Major-conference teams have less than two weeks to secure (or fumble) a place in the 68-team NCAA tournament field. It is time to improve (or damage) seeding. To make a stirring (or stumbling) stretch run.
With great drama comes great pressure, and of course great debates. A few to consider heading into the stretch run: