Monday, April 26, 2010

Ciaching Carousel Continues

Oregon, after reaching for the stars (Few, Dixon, Izzo, etc.) hired Creighton's Dana Altman. Altman was a hot commodity a few years back - actually leaving for Arkansas and then deciding against it. He led Creighton to 5 straight NCAA appearances from 1999-2003. Since then, he's only made it twice. Altman may find success at Oregon but this hardly seems to be the hire they wanted. Prior to Creighton, Altman had coached at Kansas State, going 68-54 with 1 tournament appearance.

Replacing Altman is Greg McDermott of Iowa State. McDermott left Northern Iowa following the 2006 season so he is quite familiar with the Missouri Valley. Interesting that Creighton has now hired its last two coaches from the Big 8/12. McDermott was probably facing a make or break season in Ames and saw the writing on the wall. He left UNI having taken them to 3 straight Big Dances so he's had success here before.

I'll be curious as to which lasts the longest in their newest position. Some think Oregon with all the Nike money and facilities is a sleeping giant and the Pac-10 is wide open but I like McDermott's chances at Creighton..

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marquette & Big 11 Expansion

No, Marquette will not be joining the Big 11 but now that we've moved past Tournament expansion, we should revisit the likely expansion of the Pac-10 and Big 11 and how this will directly affect Marquette.

Though the Big 11 has publicly stated expansion is just being evaluated, it's more likely a matter of time before you see expansion and likely the creation of the first real super conference - a 16 team football AND basketball conference. We can guess at the schools but it'll hardly matter. Current rumblings have conference officials trying to push current members to stop scheduling non-conference games against Notre Dame to force its hand and basically strong arm them into joining.

It's possible the Pac-10 moves first and expands to 12 teams. Though BYU seems a natural fit, member school presidents don't like the idea of adding an academically inferior school which BYU falls under. Utah seems certain with a strong possibility of pursuing Colorado.

What does this mean? Well, the ACC & SEC would more than likely react by expanding themselves cherry picking the Big East leftovers and with the SEC pushing hard to bring Oklahoma and Texas in the fold - which would in turn bring Oklahoma State and Texas A&M with them. The Pac-10 would expand again and the Big 12, WAC & Mountain West desirable leftovers would create a 5th Super Conference.

But what about Marquette? The Big East because of its non-football schools would see Notre Dame (Big 11), UConn (ACC), Syracuse (ACC), Rutgers(Big 11), Louisville(Big 12?), Cincinnati(Big 12?), South Florida(?), Pittsburgh(Big 11) & West Virginia(ACC) leave. The non-football schools could theoretically stay in the Big East but it would be more likely that if a Big East were to survive, it would have little choice but to try and keep Louisville, Cincinnati & South Florida and expand with schools such as Memphis and the non-affiliated BCS Florida schools (UCF, etc.).

It's possible the Big East does that and keeps Seton Hall, Villanova, Marquette, DePaul, Providence, St. John's & Georgetown for basketball. The question will be does Louisville, Cincinnati & South Florida want to play in what will be considered a non-BCS conference? In all likelihood, no. To keep them would likely lead to some very interesting decisions in regards to the non-football members.

I firmly believe we will see 5 power conferences within the next two years being formed and Marquette scrambling to find a new home, possibly a basketball only conference including old guard Big East schools. If you're a Marquette fan, you should pay attention to how all of this plays out.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


68 works.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kyle Singler coming back.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


In one good bit of news on tournament expansion, according to ESPN themselves, CBS and its broadcasting partners (TNT & TRU TV) have the highest bid for broadcast rights and ESPN does not intend to offer more than what they have on the table.

No Digger or Mike Patrick is a great thing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Expansion Explosion

In reply to expansion, more is better, you see. It's like 11 on an amp.

All the NCAA wants to do Brian, is have more kids get to experience the joys of the tournament. Really, that's it. Half, Half! the D-1 football teams get to play in bowl games enhancing the college sporting experience for the student athlete. Would you turn down a chance to visit Mobile or Detroit or Boise or Charlotte in December? Think of the enrichment these young lads get visiting these fine cities and learning about their culture and history. The bowl game itself is really secondary and a reward for the loyal fans of these programs.

But in basketball, only 65 of about 330 get to play in the tournament. Only 65! I think Bo Ryan said it best in pointing out the horrible (THE HORROR!) inequity in this. Sure, sure the conference tournaments are really an extension of the tournament itself but now 23 whole more teams will be able to continue their season after these conference tournaments. Isn't that wonderful? Think of the valuable life lessons and cultural enrichment these young men will now experience. You don't think Evan Turner appreciated his time in Milwaukee, learning of our fine brewing history or of our coupon-clipping ways? Now 23 teams of 12 or so young men will also get to experience this. It's really a shame that they're only expanding to 96. Think of all those kids that didn't earn their way to the tournament. How is that fair? Just because they didn't earn their way on the court doesn't mean they shouldn't be included in the field, should it? That seems pretty harsh. It's all about the children. Think of the children, God Dammit!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Its sounds like when the tournament expands the new first round (seeds 9-24) will play Thursday/Friday and the second round Saturday/Sunday. The third round would be Tuesday/Wednesday, fourth round Thursday/Friday, and Final Four Saturday/Sunday. So, the top seeds get a bye but then have to play 4 games in an 8 day period. How is that helpful?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ACC Coaching Shakeup

At Clemson, I think the Tigers upgraded bringing Brad Brownell in to replace Oliver Purnell. In 4 years, Brownell took UNC-Wilmington to the tournament twice and managed to win one Horizon League title over Butler while at Wright State. Brownell runs a style similar to Tony Bennett's, so the ACC now has two programs that'll be grinders. Clemson has a reputation as a bit of an underachieving program (Sounds like the football program) but I think a guy like Brownell can find some success here.

Boston College brought in one of the hot guys from the tournament, Steve Donahue of Cornell. They dumped Al Skinner in hopes of bringing a more dynamic offensive to BC and Donahue has promised to try and turn them into 75-80pt. per game team. The Al Skinner era probably ended sooner than anticipated thanks to the move to the ACC. I like this hire, too.

The one move that leads me to scratch my head is the Wake Forest hire of Jeff Bzdelik, who in three years at Colorado, didn't get his team to a single post-season berth. Bzdelik has a NBA pedigree and two wildly successful years at the Air Force. Considering the timing of the Gaudio firing, I'd have imagined a bigger target.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The final tally for the Perfect 64

Congratulations to Duke on their 4th Men's NCAA Basketball Championship and to Coach K who get a little justice from the hoops God's for taking on the albatross that is USA basketball.

As we know, this was likely the 26th and final 64(5) team tournament. Here's a look at the Final Four participants based on conference affiliation:

1. ACC - 24 Teams - Duke 11, UNC 9, Maryland 2, Georgia Tech 2

2. Big 10 - 18 Teams - Michigan State 6, Indiana 3, Michigan 3, Illinois 2, Ohio State 2, Wisconsin 1, Minnesota 1

3. Big East - 14 Teams - Syracuse 3, UConn 3, Georgetown 2, Villanova 2, Seton Hall 1, Providence 1, West Virginia 1, St. John's 1

4. SEC - 13 Teams - Kentucky 4, Florida 4, Arkansas 2, LSU 2, Mississippi State 1

5. Big 8/12 - 12 Teams - Kansas 7, Oklahoma 2, Oklahoma State 2, Texas 1

6. Pac 10 - 9 Teams - Arizona 4, UCLA 4, Stanford 1

7. Conference USA - 3 Teams - Marquette, Louisville (2005), Memphis (2008)

8. Big West - 2 Teams - UNLV 2
9. Metro - 2 Teams - Louisville (1986)& Memphis State (1985) 1 each
10. Great Midwest - 1 - Cincinnati (1992)
PCAA - 1 - UNLV (1987)
Horizon - 1 - Butler
A-10 - 1 - UMass
Colonial - 1 - George Mason
WAC - 1 - Utah (1998)
SWC - 1 - Arkansas (1990)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Todd vs. Brian

Horizon vs. ACC. Demski vs. Dachel. A feud is born. Queensryche should write a song about it.

If Duke wins, that'll be 5 ACC National Champs in 10 years (Duke '01, Garyland '02, UNC '05 & '09). Like the SEC in football, it's about National Titles.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Ol' 96er


Can you get those brackets for next year to me on a single sheet? Thanks.

Kudos to John "Junior" Feinstein for embarrassing the NCAA - not very difficult - yesterday during their news conference, er sales pitch about tournament expansion. Since when was class time a concern for the NCAA? Class time. That argument only works when they poo-poo a football tournament. Class time. Watching the NCAA operate is great comedy. Class time! C'mon John, seriously? Class time!

Anyway, just play this when you think about why the tournament is expanding:

Class time!