- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports1 day 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 Sports3 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:
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
As his program crash-landed at rock bottom Saturday at South Carolina, John Calipari excused himself from the proceedings. He got himself tossed by the officials, and then blew off the press conference after his Kentucky Wildcats lost to a team ranked No. 178 in America according to the RPI.
When the going got tough, Cal got out.
It was a nostalgic flashback to December, when Calipari made a four-minute postgame interview appearance after losing to Baylor, then abruptly got up and left when the first question was directed toward one of his players. His freshmen sat there and answered the rest of the queries without him.
Had Calipari shown up to answer questions Saturday after the worst defeat of his Kentucky tenure, instead of sending assistant John Robic and two freshmen to the interview room, here are the questions Calipari should have been asked.
- Pat Forde at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall has become something of a numerologist, and not because he’s a math savant.
Louisville’s Rick Pitino has grown a beard, and not because it looks good.
They are college basketball coaches, and they are looking for any mental edge they can find. Any bonding agent, any focus enhancer, any pressure alleviator.
It’s what the smart and creative ones do at this time of year, in the dog days of late February, when a basketball season can seem like an eternity.
This one began earlier than the season ever has, with rule changes allowing practice to start in late September. Now, the fun trips to exotic holiday tournament locales are long gone. There was no Christmas break to speak of, maybe a couple days with the family and then back for several lonely weeks on a deserted campus while the regular students were home. The winter has been brutal, the conference travel full of complications. By now, team camaraderie may be giving way to contempt. Plenty of guys are playing hurt.
Five months after practice began, the grind continues without relent. The Promised Land of postseason basketball is up ahead, plainly visible yet still unreachable.
- Yahoo Sports10 days ago
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college basketball (Jim Boeheim-as-Michael Jackson photo comedy sold separately):
STOP THE OPEN SEASON ON OFFICIALS
When Jimmy met Tony (1) on Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium, it was a seminal moment in the long and florid history of college basketball coaching tantrums. The Minutes ranks Boeheim's explosion at Tony Greene alongside the 2002 head-slapper from Indiana's Mike Davis against Kentucky as the most memorable freakouts of the 21st century.
But among the many problems with Boeheim's completely unapologetic eruption is this: it promotes the mindset that the scapegoating of officials is acceptable.
If you blame the refs when your team loses, you are a loser. That eternal truth needs to be repeated every so often – especially at this pressurized time of year, where difficult calls are scrutinized with a microscopic specificity and a level of outrage that is unhealthy for everyone involved. Twitter, message boards and call-in shows are veritable forest fires of ref-bashing both during and after games.
- Yahoo Sports12 days ago
DURHAM, N.C. – For decades, visiting coaches have left the Gothic torture chamber of Cameron Indoor Stadium pissed off.
But nobody has ever gone out of here the way Syracuse's Jim Boeheim did Saturday on his very first visit. The 69-year-old's one-man court storm and subsequent ejection was a tour de force of tantrum behavior. The Hall of Famer's jumping, gesticulating, coat-flying, foot-stomping, finger-pointing, two-technical-foul fit with 10.4 seconds left in a 66-60 Duke triumph sets a new standard for ref-related meltdowns at Cameron.
"People will remember this one for 30 years because the old coach went out there and got a little excited," Boeheim said afterward, the rage from 15 minutes earlier having dissipated. "I think the fans will remember Jim Boeheim down here."
- Yahoo Sports13 days ago
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – If you want to measure the massive growth of the North Carolina Tar Heels, let the two games against Wake Forest be your yardstick.
Game one was Jan. 5 in Winston-Salem. The Demon Deacons did not trail over the final 21 minutes and won comfortably, 73-67.
Game two was Saturday in Chapel Hill. North Carolina won so easily that human victory cigar Wade Moody (referred to as "the little sucker" by Roy Williams) played the final five minutes and made his first two baskets of the season in a 105-72 romp. This noon tip set up as a classic trap game after the emotional defeat of rival Duke on Thursday night, but Carolina refused to be flat.
- Yahoo Sports15 days ago
For years, the presumptive power struggle in college sports was between Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. They were the key figures tussling over dollars, clout, athletic glory and the shape of things to come. Everyone else remained supporting actors as the two protagonists dueled.
But it's funny how things turn out. The 2013-14 athletic season has become the Year of the Ninja.
That's John Swofford, the low-key, low-visibility commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He earned the wry media nickname "Ninja Swofford" last year for his ability to stealthily make big things happen, covertly solidifying the ACC's membership and its place in the national hierarchy. Now he is reaping the benefits.
- Yahoo Sports15 days ago
The patches on the Boston College uniforms are small and simple, bearing the man’s initials: “DK.” But the meaning behind the patch is immense, deep and powerful.
Powerful enough to inspire a group of young men to do something Wednesday night that seemed inconceivable.
Dick Kelley is gone, passing away last week and being buried Tuesday after a long and courageous fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Yet the longtime men’s basketball media relations director was the spirit that moved the 7-19 Eagles to absolutely shock the college basketball world, upsetting undefeated No. 1 Syracuse 62-59 in overtime in the Carrier Dome.
There is no doubt. This win – the Eagles’ biggest in years and most improbable in decades – was for Dick.
“There is absolutely no question in my mind,” associate athletic director Chris Cameron told Yahoo Sports. “That’s who they were playing for.”
- Yahoo Sports17 days ago
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college basketball (title and deed verifying ownership of Villanova on file in Omaha):
IF YOU HAVEN’T PAID ATTENTION YET, THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO START
We interrupt Bode Miller’s tears, the American speedskating uniform brouhaha, the Sochi stray-dog rescue efforts and Bob Costas Eye Watch to deliver this important news: this is the best week of the year so far in college basketball.