Thursday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

College hoop information on hoops page………NBA stuff on hoops page

Thursday’s 6-pack
Over/under win totals for baseball season
— Philadelphia Phillies, 77.5
— Texas Rangers 76.5
— San Diego Padres 73.5
— Tampa Bay Rays 73.5
— Cincinnati Reds 73.5
— Kansas City Royals 67.5

Quote of the Day
“I grew up in California and I had an aunt that lived in Central California. And when she’d drive to see us, she would stop at the fruit stands on the side of the road, and she’d get these big trays of strawberries. And she’d bring them up to our house, and she would put them into our refrigerator. And every time the refrigerator door was opened, the smell of strawberries would permeate the room. And I could not stand it. And since then, I’ve never eaten a strawberry. The thought of a strawberry is just … terrible for me.”
Tom Brady

Thursday’s quiz
What is the capital of Kansas?

Wednesday’s quiz
John Malkovich played Teddy KGB in the poker movie Rounders.

Tuesday’s quiz
John Calipari went 72-112 as the head coach NBA’s Nets.

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) It is likely that three NFL teams will start their 6th different Opening Day QB in six years when they open the season in September.

Vikings will be starting newly-signed Kirk Cousins; Houston and Cleveland have dealt away their Week 1 starting QB from last year, so Deshaun Watson will go for Houston if healthy and who knows what the Browns will do at QB, but it’ll be someone new.

It is really hard to win when you have no continuity; Vikings are strong at every other position, but their decision to let Case Keenum walk after he played so well LY will be highly scrutinized. Houston seems set at QB for the next decade if they can keep Watson healthy.

12) Dodgers won 40 more games than the Giants last year, which is eye-opening. San Francisco adds Longoria/McCutchen this year, but neither one of them pitches, although Bumgarner was not healthy last year, and now he is, so that’ll help.

Once your nucleus of talent gets old, it is tough to re-boot and stay a contender without a total rebuild. Will be interesting to follow the Giants this season.

11) Damn, the Red Sox hit only 168 homers last year, least in the AL. My A’s hit 234 and they were a bad baseball team. Will JD Martinez help that correct their power shortage?

10) Speaking of Boston, they’ve got $30M of dead money on their payroll this year, most in the major leagues— Rusney Castillo and Pablo Sandoval account for all of that.

9) Three NFL teams proposed a rule that would limit the amount of early games a western team can play during the regular season. Under the proposal, no team would be scheduled “to play more than three away games with a scheduled kickoff time prior to 1:00 p.m. in the time zone of their home stadium (without consent).”

For instance, during the 2017 season, the 49ers played five road games that kicked off at 1pm ET, which feels like a 10am game to them. Couple years ago, the Rams played a 9:30am game in England, which is a 6:30am start if you’re on West Coast time.

8) Cubs’ 1B Anthony Rizzo has been hit with 70 pitches the last three years, seven more than anyone else in the major leagues during that time.

7) Graceland 83, LSU-Alexandria 80— NAIA national title game drew 6,377 fans in Kansas City, as Graceland, from Lamoni, IA won the championship. Tough loss for Alexandria, which lost in the national semifinals by a basket last year.

6) Louisville sent interim basketball coach David Padgett packing; he’ll be fine eventually, but where do the Cardinals go from here?

If you’re Chris Mack, do you really leave your alma mater (Xavier) for a job where the team is likely to go on probation? Louisville might be a lucrative job, but the fanbase is spoiled and the chances of winning right away are almost nil, which won’t please the fanbase.

5) Western Kentucky 92, Oklahoma State 84– Hilltoppers are headed to New York City for the NIT semifinals next week- they won at USC, then 46 hours later, won in Stillwater, OK. Not an easy thing to do.

4) This made me feel old; Bobby Orr turned 70 this week.

For my 9th birthday, friend of my parents gave me a subscription to Sports Illustrated; the first issue that came in the mail had Bobby Orr on the cover and I became a huge Bruins fan- their loss in OT in Game 7 of the ’79 Stanley Cup semifinals remains one of my saddest moments as a sports fan.

Got to meet Bobby Orr at a minor league baseball game in the mid-80’s; nice man with really bad knees. He was playing in a celebrity softball game and he purposely hit fly balls so he didn’t have to run.

Do a search on Bobby Orr rushing the puck and you’ll see a guy who revolutionized the sport; he was so exciting to watch. Hard to believe he is 70 years old; to me, he’ll always be the guy flying thru the air after scoring the game-winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Happy birthday!!!!

3) There are no instant replays in spring training baseball games; I’m pretty sure the umpires have adopted a “When in doubt, call him out!!” mentality.

2) Since 2004, the defending national champ is 8-19 vs spread in NCAA tournament, and Florida went 4-2 when they repeated in 2007, so it is 4-17 without the ’07 Gators.

1— Combined seeds for the teams in the Sweet 16 this year is 85, the highest total since 2000.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings……..

13) Memphis Tigers were down to 4,000 season tickets this season; they claim their program lost $4.7M this year, which is why they named Penny Hardaway basketball coach Tuesday.

Not great being a struggling college team in a city where there is also an NBA franchise.

12) Shortly after that, the first domino fell: 4-star PG Alex Lomax got out of his commitment to Wichita State and signed on with Memphis— he played for Hardaway in high school.

If Penny Hardaway dominates recruiting in talent-rich Memphis, the Tigers will be back in the NCAAs soon. Hardaway won three state titles in his brief career as a high school coach.

11) Dodgers lost 3B Justin Turner with a broken left wrist, after he was hit by a pitch. That’ll put him out for 4-6 weeks. Will they move Logan Forsythe to 3B and platoon Taylor/Utley at 2B?

10) Alex Cobb signed a 4-year deal with the Orioles; lot of teams could’ve used him.

9) If you’re betting games in Las Vegas this week, go to SouthPoint Casino- they’re offering bets at -$105 instead of the normal $110, so if you go 7-5 on $100 bets, you win $175 instead of $150. Plus its a good casino with good pizza and a very good ice cream stand on the way out the door.

8) Ole Miss signed Middle Tennessee State coach Kermit Davis; his salary goes from $750K to $2.5M. Davis’ dad was the coach at Mississippi State a long time ago; he is very good.

7) Jacksonville State’s campus was hit hard by a tornado in Alabama Monday night; the Gamecocks’ hoop team is still playing- they’re at North Texas tonight.

6) ESPN signed former NFL coach John Fox as a studio analyst; will be interesting to see what he has to say. When he was coaching the Panthers, he got Carolina to the Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme as his quarterback.

5) Graduate transfer QB Gardner Minshaw moves from East Carolina to Washington State; he threw for 2,140 yards LY, with 16 TD’s, 7 INTs.  Before he heads to Pullman, the young man is being tutored by Hal Mumme, the father of the Air Raid offense, who is OC at Jackson State these days. Playing for Mike Leach is good for a quarterback.

4) Shohei Ohtani is 3 for 28 batting in spring training— I started to call it hitting, but 3-28 isn’t hitting, it is batting. Angels may have been sold a bill of goods with Ohtani being a 2-way player- they gave CJ Cron away to Tampa Bay to make room for Ohtani’s bat.

3) On April 17, Oakland A’s are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their move to Oakland- they’re playing the White Sox that night, and admission is free. Team got 300,000 requests for tickets for that night.

In 1968, the A’s sold out their home opener; they had 5,700 fans the next night. Probably won’t be a whole lot different this year, on April 18.

2) Back in the early 70’s, Austin Peay (pronounced Pee) had a really good player named James (Fly) Williams; he played in the ABA for a season after that. Prolific scorer.

Austin Peay fans had a great chant: “The Fly is Open. Let’s go Peay!!!”

1— Underrated gambling day today; first round of the Match Play golf tournament, with 32 matches going on. Kind of like a country club version of March Madness. Kind of.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…..

13) First of all, thanks to Ken Thomsen for having me on his excellent sports talk show last night from Las Vegas. Sportsxradio is well worth your time for knowledge about sports, with emphasis on the gambling side of it; it is on from 10-12 every weeknight here in the East.

12) Sports is big business; read today that when Florida Gulf Coast made the 2013 Sweet 16, applications to attend FGCU went up 27.5% the next year.

When Butler made two Final Fours under Brad Stevens, applications went up 50%, so UMBC is expecting a boost to their coffers this coming year. Their online store did more sales Saturday than they did in the previous year combined.

11) Penny Hardaway will be introduced as the new basketball coach at Memphis today; Tigers won 21 games under Tubby Smith this year, but obviously the big-$$$ boosters wanted things to change, so they changed. Hardaway has been coaching a high school team in Memphis, a really good team, so the thought is that this opens the door for Memphis HS recruits to stay home.

10) Looks like Vikings @ Eagles is the NFL season opener September 6. Defending Super Bowl champ almost always opens the following season with a Thursday night home game.

9) Eight NFL quarterbacks will make more $$$ than Tom Brady this coming season; four of the eight have never won a Super Bowl.

8) Red Sox-New York will play two AL East games in London in June 2019, as baseball tries to suck every last dollar out of other countries now. Think A’s-Seattle open next season in Japan for first time since 2012. I’m not a fan of all this, but no one asked me.

7) Look up JReidDraftScout on Twitter; there is an interesting 140-second clip on there of the interview Carson Wentz had with the Eagles at the 2016 NFL Combine. They showed him clips of some of his college plays and asked him to explain what he saw and why he did what he did on that particular play. Interesting stuff.

6) Did lot of research on Nevada coach Eric Musselman Sunday; his dad Bill was also a really good coach, in college and the pros. He once went 48-6 as coach of a CBA team here in Albany. When Bill Musselman was coaching the Virginia Squires in the ABA (1976), he once played his whole starting lineup the whole 48:00. Imagine someone doing that today?

5) Was doing some fantasy baseball research Monday; Cincinnati OF Scott Schebler hit .215 in 393 PA vs righties LY, but with 38 walks. he hit .271 vs lefties, but with only one walk in 135 PA vs southpaws. One walk in 135 PAs? A .290 OB% vs lefties is no bueno.

4) Arizona Diamondbacks put a humidor in their stadium this year, hoping to make baseballs less “happy” with the goal to reduce the amount of home runs hit there this season. They did this in Colorado a few years ago and it worked a little bit.

3) Oklahoma State 71, Stanford 65— Chippy game where host Cowboys came back in 4th quarter to extend their season.

2) Utah 95, LSU 71— I turned this game on and it was 31-9 Utah; guess LSU kids weren’t too excited about playing in high altitude.

1— Get well soon to Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, who has taken a medical leave of absence after leaving three games with an unknown illness. Hopefully he’ll be back soon.

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a great sports weekend

13) Not the best day in the city of Cincinnati.

Florida State 75, Xavier 70— West #1-seed Musketeers blew a 12-point lead.
Nevada 75, Cincinnati 73— Southeast #2-seed Bearcats blew a 22-point lead.

12) From 2005-17, 46 of 52 #1-seeds made it to the Sweet 16. This year, Virginia/Xavier won’t be going, the 3rd time (2000, 2004) since 1985 that two #1-seeds got KO’d early.

11) Nevada was down 14 to Texas on Friday; they were down 22 in this game. Eric Musselman’s team is the mentally toughest team in America. Seriously— they only used six players in this game, and the same six guys played against Texas Friday.

— Musselman was an NBA head coach for three years, going 108-138 with Kings/Warriors.
— He has coached everywhere:
CBA— 270-122 with the Rapid City Thrillers
USBL— 53-3 with the Florida Sharks and Florida Beach Dogs
G-League— 77-30 with the Reno Bighorns and Los Angeles D-Fenders

— He played high school basketball with Tom Tupa, who went on to QB at Ohio State— Tupa scored the first 2-point conversion in NFL history.
— Musselman went to U of San Diego where his roommate was George Tarkanian, son of the late Jerry Tarkanian, the great coach at UNLV.

10) Nevada-Loyola game in Sweet 16 is the first #7-11 seed matchup in a regional semifinal since a George Mason-Wichita State game in 2006.

9) Jordan Caroline is one of Nevada’s best players; his dad is Simeon Rice, the old linebacker for the Tampa Bay Bucs. His grandfather is JC Caroline, who played 10 years in the NFL— he picked off Johnny Unitas’ first-ever NFL pass and ran it back for a touchdown. JC Caroline is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

8) Syracuse 55, Michigan State 53—Over the last ten years, #11 or lower seeds in regional semifinal games are 3-14 SU but 9-8 vs spread- since 2012, they’re 7-2 vs spread.

7) Texas A&M 86, North Carolina 65— Tar Heels played in national title game last two years, but they got bamboozled here. UNC was 6-31 on arc, A&M was 10-24.

6) Purdue 76, Butler 73— Boilermakers won despite not having their big man Haas, who broke his elbow Friday. Purdue scored 1.27 ppp, making 11-24 on the arc.

5) Clemson 84, Auburn 53— Epic tank job by Auburn had Charles Barkley congratulating Clemson during the halftime studio show. Clemson is in Sweet 16 for first time since 1997, when they lost in double overtime to Minnesota.

4) Gonzaga coach Mark Few stood on his hands in the locker room Saturday after his Zags held off Ohio State to reach the Sweet 16. Coach Few is 55; I am three years older— I’m lucky I can stand on my feet.

3) Kansas State 50, UMBC 43— In the 24 hours after they upset Virginia for the first 1-16 upset ever, UMBC sold more gear on their website than they had in the previous YEAR!!!!

2) Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado had 24 points, 23 rebounds in the Pirates’ loss to Kansas Saturday; he is the first player to grab 23+ rebounds in an NCAA tournament game since 1977, when Phil Hubbard did that for Michigan when they beat a Detroit team coached by Dick Vitale, 87-81.

1) For the first time ever, the Sweet 16 in a region won’t have any of the top four seeded teams in the region: the Southeast Region in Atlanta is: #5 Kentucky, #7 Nevada,#9 Kansas State, #11 Loyola.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday…..

13) Michigan 64, Houston 63— Cougars were leading 63-61 and were shooting two foul shots with 0:04 left; the Houston kid misses both shots, Michigan calls time-out. Houston doesn’t put a man on the inbounder (like Duke-Kentucky when Laettner hit that shot) and Jordan Poole, a 36.8% shooter on the arc, hit the walk-off 3-pointer to keep Michigan dancing.

This was the kind of game that if you’re wth the Houston team, you’ll think about it every day the rest of your life.

12) Loyola, Chi 63, Tennessee 62— Clayton Custer got a fortuitous bounce on his game-winning jumper with 0:03.6 left, as the Ramblers won a very exciting game. This is the time in 11 years Loyola had a winning conference record- they’ve won their last 12 games.

This is the 11th year in a row a team seeded 11th or worse makes it to the Sweet 16; Ramblers were ranked outside the top 100 in early January, but they’ve won 12 games in row now and will play the Cincinnati-Nevada in the Sweet 16.

11) Texas Tech 69, Florida 66— This was the best game of the day; Red Raiders hung on after nearly gagging away a 5-point lead in last 0:20. Tech goes to the Sweet 16 for 4th time- Chris Beard won a tournament game with Little Rock two years ago as a 12-seed, and now this. He’s a darned good coach.

10) Gonzaga 90, Ohio State 84— Zags ran out to a 15-0 lead, lost the lead, then pulled away down the stretch, as they advance to the Sweet 16 for the 4th year in a row. Gonzaga beat the Buckeyes by 27 in the PK80 tournament in November- this was way tougher.

9) You think you had a bad day? Thursday, a gambler at SouthPoint Casino in Las Vegas bet $10,000 on Arizona to win SU—- if the Wildcats won, he banked $2,000 for his trouble. If they lost, he was out the $10,000.

A 9-point favorite, Arizona lost by 21. Thats a bad day.

8) One of the truly weird things about being in Las Vegas during March Madness is that there is a wagering proposition: “Which team gets to 15 points first?”

First time I witnessed this was in 2010 at the MGM; I’m watching the first part of the first game, and these three guys start hugging each other as if they had just won the lottery. Score of the game was 15-12.

I actually asked one guy if that was his brother who had scored the last basket; he explained the betting prop to me. Lot of people bet on this, apparently.

7) Jets traded three 2nd round draft picks to Indianapolis Saturday to move up three spots in the draft, from #6 pick to #3. Wonder which quarterback they want? Great move by the Colts, who already have a QB and have many other needs.

6) Few years ago, I was at the Wendy’s near my house, in line behind a basketball team- it was this time of year and the America East tournament was at UAlbany.

It was the UMBC Retrievers, who weren’t very good back then, but they were a good group of guys, patient and respectful in line.

Friday, a guy at the Venetian in Las Vegas put $800 of his hard-earned dollars on UMBC on the money line; he got $16,000 back for his trouble. It takes onions to put $800 on a 16-seed, when in the history of the tournament, no 16-seed had ever beaten a #1-seed (0-135).

5) Jarius Lyles was the star of the show for UMBC Friday; both his parents went to Virginia.  UMBC is his third college, after pit stops at VCU, Robert Morris. Kid played high school ball at DeMatha in Washington DC, one of the best basketball high schools in the country.

4) Kirk Cousins’ agent is Mike McCartney, whose dad Bill was a really good football coach for the Colorado Buffaloes, winning a national title in Boulder.

3) Obscure baseball trivia: The first time Hank Aaron played for the Braves in a spring training game was in 1954, when he took the place of Bobby Thomson, who broke his ankle sliding into second base. Yes, the same Bobby Thomson who three years earlier hit a walk-off homer to give the New York Giants the NL pennant.

2) Tampa Bay Bucs signed C Ryan Jensen to a four-year, $42 million deal with $22M guaranteed that makes him the highest-paid center in the NFL.

1) Georgia hired Tom Crean as its new basketball coach, after Thad Matta turned them down.

Saturday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a full Friday of hoop

Night Games
16) UMBC 74, Virginia 54— The good news: Retrievers from the America East Conference are first #16-seed EVER to beat a #1-seed. And they won easily.

The bad news: UMBC will need a new coach in a couple weeks. Wins like this make coaches wealthy. Ryan Odom’s dad is Dave Odom, who was Tim Duncan’s coach at Wake Forest.

On January 21, UMBC lost 83-39 to the Albany Great Danes. They’ve improved.

UMBC was a 20.5-point underdog, but pointspread-wise, Norfolk State (+21.5) over Missouri in 2012 was a bigger upset than this, a 2-15 game.

15) Kansas State 69, Creighton 59— Bluejays went 3-7 in their last ten games- they really missed 6-9 Krampelj, who got hurt on January 17. Creighton was never the same after that.

How excited is the K-State traveling party tonight? A 9-seed that’ll be a double digit favorite on Sunday— first time that’ll happen, too.

14) Auburn 62, Charleston 58— Auburn’s point guard got two fouls in the first 2:00 so to make up for it, the refs screwed Charleston over the rest of the game. Auburn was 15-32 on foul line, Cougars were 7-14- their point guard fouled out with 5:46 left.

Charleston kid got hit on the elbow as he tried game-tying 3-ball in last minute, but it wasn’t called.

13) Florida State 67, Missouri 54— This game was 42-20 at the half; Mizzou had a senior player suspended after a DUI last weekend- their supposed star recruit has only played two games because he’s hurt- he was 4-12 from floor, scored 16 points but he isn’t in game shape. Will be interesting to see where he goes in the NBA Draft. Someone is going to have to take a leap of faith on him.

12) Clemson 79, New Mexico State 68— WAC team hasn’t won a tournament game since Nevada won as a 7-seed in 2007. Aggies won this league for 6th time in last seven years- maybe they should jump to the Big West, a better league. Even the Big Sky would be an improvement.

11) Xavier 102, Texas Southern 83— Couple years ago in July, I was watching AAU games in Las Vegas and Xavier coach Chris Mack was there with his daughter, who was probably 9 or 10 at the time. She was in the bleachers, watching games and playing with whatever electronic device she had. I’m pretty sure Coach Mack coaches her grade school basketball team. Good guy.

10) Michigan State 82, Bucknell 78— Spartans led by 16 with 2:56 left, Bucknell fought till the end and made the score look closer than the game actually was- they made 11-20 on the arc.

9) Syracuse 57, TCU 52— Once again. Syracuse doesn’t deserve to get in the tournament, then they win two games when they get there. Orange made the Final Four as a 10-seed couple years ago- their zone defense is tough to prepare for. TCU is 45-26 in Jamie Dixon’s first two years, but this loss will sting.

Day Games
1) Nevada 87, Texas 83 OT— By far best game of the afternoon; Wolf Pack was dead in this game, down 14 with 18:40 left- they looked like a goner, but Josh Hall scored 15 points off the bench— he was the only sub Nevada used the whole game.

In 2011, Shaka Smart took VCU on a Cinderella run from the play-in game to the Final Four, winning five of six NCAA tournament games. The last five years, Smart is 0-4 in NCAA tourney games, with three of the four losses in overtime.

2) Marshall 81, Wichita State 75— Wichita took 17 foul shots in this game; Marshall’s star guard Elmore took 15, all by himself, as the Thundering Herd post a big upset.

This is first time in 10 years that two #13-seeds won their first round game.

Up next for Marshall are the West Virginia Mountaineers; these teams used to play once a year in December until two years ago, but I’m assuming West Virginia cancelled it- no way Marshall cancelled it. Now they lay for the right to go to the Sweet 16.

Dan Muller, the coach at Illinois State took a shot at former MVC rival Wichita State on Twitter after the Shockers lost this game:

“I guess switching conferences doesn’t magically make things better. Valley teams advance in the Dance”

3) Purdue 74, Cal State-Fullerton 48— This was an easy but costly win for the Boilermakers, who were just too big for Fullerton. Isaac Haas broke his elbow with about 6:00 left when he fell backwards, hit his elbow on the floor- he is done for the season.

4) Texas A&M 73, Providence 69— Aggies led by 11 with 0:29 left, gave their backers a scare by giving up eight points in last 0:29, but they hung on and covered.

A&M looked like a Final Four team back in November, then injuries/suspensions derailed their season- they play North Carolina in Charlotte Sunday.

5) Butler 79, Arkansas 62— Butler led this game 21-2 out of the gate, then it was 29-29; would like to see the plus/minus charts. This was first loss for the SEC in six tournament games.

Bulldogs play Haas-less Purdue Sunday; they lost by 15 to the Boilermakers on a neutral court back in December, when Haas scored 15 points but played only 16:00 due to foul trouble.

6) Cincinnati 68, Georgia State 53— Bearcats win their 8th straight game, in a brickfest where teams combined to go 17-57 on arc. Sun Belt teams had posted a first round upset two of last three years, but this Cincinnati squad was too athletic for the scrappy Panthers.

7) North Carolina 84, Lipscomb 66— This was first NCAA tournament appearance foe the Bisons; getting assigned to play the Tar Heels in Charlotte assured that it would be a short stay. Atlantic Sun rep covered their first tourney game for fifth time in last six years.

8) West Virginia 85, Murray State 68— Racers’ really good senior guard Stark ended his career with a 1-12 shooting day against a Mountaineer squad that has two good senior guards. OVC plays entertaining ball, but they haven’t won a tournament game since 2012- they’re 3-15 in first round games the last 18 years.

Friday’s Den: Wrapping up a basketball Thursday

Night Games
16) Buffalo 89, Arizona 68— Complete ass-kicking; Bulls outhustled Arizona, they made 15-30 on the arc and they looked like the better team. Arizona kids quit in the last 10:00.

This is first time since 2012 a MAC team won an NCAA tournament game; it is only the second time in last eight years Arizona didn’t make the Sweet 16. With all their legal issues, could be a long time before they get there again.

15) Houston 67, San Diego State 65— Rob Gray scored 39 of Houston’s 67 points, including the game-winner with 0:01 left; I don’t want to say he’s a ballhog, but he took 25 shots, 15 more foul shots and he had zero assists. It is amazing how much he dominates the ball, but he made 12-25 from the floor and the Cougars advance.

14) Alabama 86, Virginia Tech 81— Pet Peeve of the Day; calling a flagrant foul when a defender intrudes the space of the guy with the ball, and the offensive player swings the ball to create space and plugs the defender in the face with the ball or his elbow. Whats he supposed to do?

20 years ago, we used to teach this about rebounding: “Catch-Tuck-Swing” the ball, and if the guy on the other team didn’t want to get drilled in the face, he’d move his face. Now in our soft society, that would be a foul on the guy with the ball, maybe a flagrant foul. It shouldn’t be.

13) Kentucky 78, Davidson 73— Davidson hit a 3-ball with 0:00.6 to cover the spread, but now Kentucky plays Buffalo Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Kentucky went 0-for-6 outside the arc against Davidson, which ended a 1,047-game streak in which Kentucky made at least one 3-pointer. It was the longest active streak in the country, dating back to November 26, 1988.

12) Texas Tech 70, Stephen F Austin 60— Lumberjacks led by 3 at the half; but Keenan Evans scored 23 points for the Red Raiders and Tech gets their first NCAA tournament win since 2005.

11) Michigan 61, Montana 47— Griz led this game 10-0 early, but Big Sky teams haven’t won a tournament game since 2006- they’re just not good enough to beat a top 20 opponent.

10) Florida 77, St Bonaventure 62— Bonnies made tournament for first time since 2012, beat UCLA Tuesday, but ran out of gas here and got drilled by the Gators, who now play Texas Tech.

I’m still amazed one of the genius AD’s at the big money schools hasn’t scooped up Bonnies’ coach Mark Schmidt— he is a very good coach. Ain’t easy to recruit players to Olean, NY.

9) Villanova 87, Radford 61— Worst game of the day, a total mismatch; now the Wildcats face their bugaboo, the second round of the tournament.

Since 2010, Villanova is 1-4 in the second round of the NCAA’s, losing two of last three years in 2nd round as a #1-seed; the one time they won was two years ago, when they went on to win the national title. Villanova plays Virginia Tech Saturday.

Day games
1) Rhode Island 83, Oklahoma 78 OT— First game of the tournament was terrific; Sooners led by 8 late in first half, then trailed by 6 with 4:10 left in regulation, before URI missed a point-blank putback at the buzzer to force OT, where the Rams prevailed.

Oklahoma winds up losing 12 of its last 16 games. URI moves on to play Duke.

2) Loyola Chi 64, Miami FL 62— Donte Ingram stuck a 3-ball with 0:00.3 left to send Ramblers on to the next round in their first NCAA appearance since 1985. Loyola outscored Miami 8-2 over the last 2:47; they were +6 in turnovers (16-10) for the game.

This is the 14th consecutive year that a #11 seed beat a #6 seed

3) Gonzaga 68, NC-Greensboro 64— Games like this are what make the NCAA tournament great. Condescending jerks like Jay Bilas think the NCAA’s should be the best 68 teams in country, rather than the champs from all 32 D-I leagues, but if that were the case, the Spartans wouldn’t have been invited— we’d get the 13th place team in the ACC.

Zags led by 12 with 16:00 left, but UNCG took a 64-62 lead with 1:46 to play- Gonzaga scored the last six points of the game. Exciting game, for sure.

4) Ohio State 81, South Dakota State 73— This game was 70-70 with 1:53 left, but then SD State fouled the 3-point shooter on the next two trips and that was that. Jackrabbits dared Ohio State to shoot 3-pointers; OSU was 12-40 outside the arc, 15-32 inside arc.

South Dakota State’s Mike Daum is an NBA player; he is a sturdy 6-8 guy with 3-point range; he had 27 in this game, and star freshman Jenkins had 16. If those two guys are back in school next year, the Jackrabbits should go dancing again.

5) Duke 89, Iona 67— Gaels shot 38.3% on arc for season; they were 5-24 in this game, as Duke ran out to a 53-39 halftime lead and coasted home from there.

6) Seton Hall 94, NC State 83— Pirates are #55 experience team in country, NC State is #179, which explains this result. Seton Hall led 51-41 at the half and held the Wolfpack off in a game with lot of fouls. Solid first season for Kevin Keatts with NC State, finishing at 21-12. ACC lost two teams already; Wolfpack and Miami.

7) Kansas 76, Penn 60— Quakers led 21-11 early, then reality set in. Penn had a senior named Caleb Wood, only senior in their rotation. He was 4-12 behind the arc in this game, only 12 shots he took all day. He shot 38% behind arc for the year; thats a good gig, just shooting 3’s.

Penn was first Ivy League team to be a 16-seed since Princeton in 1989.

8) Tennessee 73, Wright State 47— Total mismatch, other than first 2:00, when Raiders led 2-0. Vols are just so much more athletic than Wright State. Tennessee has all five of its starters back next year, so they should be even better. Wright State’s only senior starter was Grant Benzinger, son of former major leaguer Todd Benzinger— he was 2-16 from floor in this game.

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) USC star Chimezie Metu sat out the Trojans’ NIT game Tuesday, because he doesn’t want to get hurt before the NBA Draft, which is in late June. This ignited a heated Twitter debate.

I’ll say this: Metu has the right to do as he pleases, it is a free country. But…….

In 2000, Kenyon Martin was the star of a Cincinnati team that was going to be a #1-seed in the NCAA’s, but in the first round of the C-USA tournament, he broke his leg and also injured knee ligaments, the kind of disastrous injury that Metu obviously fears now.

Long story short: Martin was still picked 1st in the NBA Draft that year; he played 15 years in the NBA, scored over 9,200 points and earned $113M in his career.

My opinion is that you should finish what you start, but thats just my opinion.

12) Klay Thompson has apparently broken his right thumb, will miss at least four games; he hasn’t missed more than five games in a season since he became a full-time starter.

11) Stupid new baseball rule: In minor league baseball this year, all extra innings will start with a runner on second base. I’m beginning to think the people who run baseball don’t like baseball.

10) Patrick Beilein is the 34-year old coach at LeMoyne, a D-II school in Syracuse; he is the son of Michigan coach John Beilein. It has been rumored that Patrick Beilein has already gotten three job offers from D-I schools this spring.

9) Ole Miss is going to hire Middle Tennessee State coach Kermit Davis, whose dad used to be the coach at Mississippi State. Rough couple weeks for the Blue Raiders, who got screwed out of an NCAA tournament bid and now are losing their coach of the last 16 years.

8) Memphis went 21-13 this year, but apparently they fired Tubby Smith this week and will hire Anfernee Hardaway as his replacement. John Calipari spoiled this fanbase forever; they ran Josh Pastner out of town after he went 166-73 with the Tigers and now they got rid of Tubby, whose career record is 597-302. Tough town.

7) Evansville fired Marty Simmons after 11 years and zero NCAA tournament bids; he went 25-9, 24-12 two and three years ago, but didn’t win Arch Madness so now he is unemployed.

6) Arizona Cardinals signed Mike Glennon as their backup QB, which is a good thing if they’re going to start Sam Bradford at QB this fall.

Bradford has a 34-45-1 W-L record in NFL, missing 48 games in his eight NFL seasons. He has a very bad knee that Mike Zimmer recently called “degenerative.” He is not dependable.

5) There are 11 teams in this year’s NIT that would be favored over Syracuse on a neutral floor.

4) Toys ‘r Us is closing its 800 stores in this country; that just sounds kind of sad.

3) Cleveland Browns’ tackle Joe Thomas retired this week; the man played 10,363 consecutive snaps in the NFL without missing a play, which is astounding for an offensive lineman.

2) Saw a baseball shift this week I’ve never seen before; Kris Bryant is batting for the Cubs with a man on 3rd. San Diego put three infielders on the left side of the infield, and the 1B almost halfway to 2B. If Bryant hits the ball to the right side of the infield, not sure how they get him out, unless he hits it hard right at the first baseman.

1— Dee Gordon is playing centerfield for the Mariners this spring, at least he was until Robinson Cano strained a hamstring. Seattle’s TV guys were bragging on the Mariners’ bullpen, so we’ll see how well they do this season.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) Minnesota Vikings made their decision; they give Kirk Cousins $84M for three years, all fully guaranteed, to be their QB. Cousins has a 26-30-1 career W-L record, 0-1 in playoffs.

12) Minnesota went 11-3 with Case Keenum at QB LY; Keenum signed with the Broncos on Monday; he threw for 3,547 yards and 22 TD’s last season.

11) Drew Brees re-signed with the Saints; he turned down $60M guaranteed from someone else (Cardinals? Vikings?) before deciding to stay in New Orleans.

10) Cardinals gave oft-injured QB Sam Bradford $20 ($15M guaranteed) for one year. As a long-time Ram fan, I endorse the Keenum signing; the Bradford signing? Not so much.

9) Jets signed Teddy Bridgewater and re-signed Josh McCown, meaning they probably ain’t drafting another quarterback next month.

8) Gonzaga lost the national title game 71-65 last April, ending an odd run to the Final Four- they were 1-4-1 vs spread in their NCAA tournament games last spring.

7) Florida made the Elite 8 in each of its last five NCAA tournaments- hard to do that.

6) Since 2010, Villanova is 5-2 in its first-round games, 1-4 in second round games; the one time they won in second round, they won national title two years ago.

5) Arkansas is probably glad just to be in a different region than North Carolina this year; last three times the Razorbacks made the NCAA’s, they lost to the Tar Heels in the second round. If they play UNC in this year’s tournament, it’ll be in the Final Four.

4) Why gambling on NIT/CBI/CIT games can be dicey; USC star Chimezie Metu sat out Trojans’ NIT game Tuesday, for no reason except he didn’t want to get hurt. Not sure that Metu will get picked in the first round of the NBA Draft— he is a junior, so if he got hurt, he could come back to school next year, but it is a free country, and he chose not to play.

Late night update: With Metu sitting on bench, NC-Asheville played its heart out but fell short, losing 103-98 in double OT at USC- they led by six points in overtime.

3) Virginia loses its best guy off the bench, DeAndre Hunter for the season with a broken wrist.

2) Radford 71, LIU 61— Radford advances to play Villanova Thursday; no 16-seed has ever beaten a #1-seed. Last nine years, #16-seeds who won the play-in game are 7-11 vs spread in their next game, against a #1-seed.

1— St Bonaventure 65, UCLA 58— Season that started with shoplifting in China ended with an ugly loss on a Tuesday night in Dayton. Bruins turned ball over 20 times (-14), shot 10-30 on arc. Bonnies’ Stocker was doubtful to play, then played all 40:00, scored 26 points- they won despite star Adams going 2-16 from the floor.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……

13) Been a rough sports year for the Pac-12; they went 1-8 in bowl games last fall, and now got only three teams in March Madness, two of them in play-in games. USC was shunned, but maybe that was because of the FBI stuff.

Maybe if more people could watch the Pac-12 Network (hint, hint), they’d get screwed over less on Selection Sunday.

12) Creighton-Kansas State is really interesting, because the Bluejays’ best player is Marcus Foster, who played the first two years of his college career at…….Kansas State.

11) Did agent Scott Boras cost Royals’ 3B Mike Moustakas $38.5M this winter?

There are stories on the Interweb that Boras turned down a 3-year, $45M deal with the Angels, who later signed Zach Cosart instead. Moustakas, who also turned down the $17.5M qualifying offer from the Royals, wound up signing back with Kansas City for $6.5M for 2018.


10) College basketball coaching carousel:
— Lorenzo Romar returns to Pepperdine; he coached the Waves from 1996-99.
— Cal-Northridge hires former NC State coach Mark Gottfried.

9) Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic became only the 13th goalie in AHL history to score a goal when he found an empty net in Charlotte’s 7-3 win over Hartford last week.

8) When Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield went to the NFL Combine, he was interviewed by 11 different teams (15:00 each). Would be curious how similar the interviews were.

7) When Richard Sherman signed with the 49ers over the weekend, he represented himself, saving the 3% agents normally get. Sherman saved roughly $210,000 by doing that, but did he get himself the best deal possible?

Writer Mke Florio points out that if he signed the same deal with the Lions as he did with the 49ers, Sherman would’ve paid $1,176,500 less in state taxes. Maybe he wanted to stay in the NFC West; only he knows for sure.

6) Basketball teams that run the Princeton offense generally practice all different kinds of layups for eight minutes in every practice; why doesn’t everyone do this?

Seems like that would be an important skill to have, to be creative close to the basket.

5) Providence lost in the Big East finals Saturday night; all three of their tournament games went to overtime, which doesn’t happen very often.

4) Good grief, I’m tired of the Masters commercials; they started in freakin’ January, before the Super Bowl. Its a golf tournament on a really nice course, we get it. Enough already.

3) Listening to Nevada coach Eric Musselman Sunday night, he kind of threw St Mary’s under the bus as far as scheduling goes.

Nevada added four games to their schedule as late as August (URI, Texas Tech, TCU, Davidson) after Musselman read how the Selection Committee would stress road games this season. Wolf Pack didn’t win the Mountain West tournament, but they did get the league’s first at-large bid since 2015.

St Mary’s apparently refused to schedule better teams, even turning down home/home series. Sunday, they paid for it.

2) San Diego Padres have a shortstop prospect named Fernando Tatis Jr who they’re very high on; his dad Fernando Tatis is famous for one thing— on April 23, 1999, he hit two grand slams in the same inning, for the Cardinals in Dodger Stadium.

Not only that, but both grand slams were against the same pitcher- Chan Ho Park. Eight RBI in one inning is a record that likely will never be broken.

1— Doug Gottlieb tweeted this Sunday night, about the St Mary’s snub:

“St Mary’s not getting in is the reason Gonzaga will leave the WCC”

Gonzaga is likely to bolt the WCC soon, much like Wichita State left the MVC last summer. But where will the Zags go? Please don’t tell me the Big East.

Gonzaga is located in Spokane, WA, which is roughly 30 miles from the Idaho border. How in the name of Rand McNally can a school 30 miles from Idaho be in the freakin’ Big East???

Monday’s List of 13: Initial thoughts on the field of 68

13) When I first saw the brackets, it upset me that USC was left out; they’re a very good team and surely deserved to get in, right? Same with Oklahoma State and to a lesser extent, Louisville.

Then I read something Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports posted on Twitter:

“Louisville out. USC out. Oklahoma State out. What do they have in common? Part of the federal investigation of college hoops.”

That actually made me feel better, that there was a reason those teams got left out, but still don’t think Syracuse belonged in, but they are in, so we move on despite that.

12) Turns out Davidson’s win over Rhode Island knocked Notre Dame out of the field of 68.

11) Middle Tennessee State won Conference USA, the #12 league in country, but lost in their conference tournament; the Blue Raiders played #13 non-conference schedule in the country, losing to USC by 5, Miami by 3- they beat Vandy, Ole Miss, Murray State, but they get left home.

10) Texas Southern deserves special mention; coached by Mike Davis, who replaced Bob Knight at Indiana, the Tigers won the SWAC tourney, after starting this season 0-13.

In November/December, Texas Southern played guarantee games at:
Gonzaga-Ohio St-Syracuse-Kansas-Clemson-Oregon-Baylor-Wyoming-TCU-BYU

Texas Southern may not be a great team, but their players probably pack really well, and their accountants are really happy, because all those guarantee games pay a lot of bills.

9) Something to ponder when the Sweet 16 rolls around: looking back over the last 12 NCAA tournaments, the eventual national champ went 21-3 vs spread on the first weekend, so look for teams who were impressive on the first weekend to maintain that momentum.

8) Since 2006, 46 of 52 #1-seeds got to the Sweet 16, so if you’re filling out a bracket and are tempted to predict an early out for a #1 seed, please don’t do it. For your own good.

7) Last three years, #1-seeds are 7-5 vs spread in the first round.
Last four years, #2-seeds are 9-7 vs spread in the first round.
Last three years, #3-seeds are 4-8 vs spread in the first round.

6) Penn is a 16-seed, the first time since at least 2002 the Ivy League champ is a 16-seed; they were a 15-seed only once in last 15 tournaments, back in ’06.

Over the last eight years, Ivy League teams are 7-1 vs spread in NCAA first round games.

5) Since 2003, only 8 of 60 Final Four teams lost their first conference tourney game: Here are those teams:

2003— Marquette, Texas
2005— Michigan State
2007— UCLA
2009— UConn
2010— Michigan State (only team to do it twice)
2016— Syracuse
2017— South Carolina

4) Over the last 15 years, of the 60 teams who made the Final Four, 26 won their conference tournament. Over last six years, only 7 of 24 Final Four teams won their conference tourney; from 2004-11, 19 of 32 Final Four teams did.

7 of the last 15 national champs won their conference tourney, but only one of the last six.

3) Since the NCAA tournament went to 64, and then 68 teams, #2 seeds are 124-8 in their first round tournament games; here are the eight #2 seeds who lost in the first round:

1990— Richmond (+9) 73, Syracuse 69
1993— Santa Clara (+20) 64, Arizona 61
1997— Coppin State (+17) 78, South Carolina 65
2001— Hampton (+17.5) 58, Iowa State 57
2012— Lehigh (+12) 75, Duke 70
2012— Norfolk State (+21.5) 86, Missouri 84
2013— Florida Gulf Coast (+13.5) 78, Georgetown 68
2016— Middle Tennessee State (+18) 90, Michigan State 81

2) First Four point spreads for Tuesday/Wednesday games:

Tuesday: Radford -3.5 vs LIU; UCLA -3 vs St Bonaventure
Wednesday: Texas Southern -4.5 vs NC Central; Arizona State -1 vs Syracuse

1— Must be nice to have lot of money: Michigan State’s basketball team spent couple of days in Chicago last week, practiced in the Chicago Bulls’ practice facility, just to get away from campus.

Big 14 teams have extra time to prepare for the NCAA’s this year, because the Big 14 tournament was a week earlier than usual. Lot of people think the layoff will make those teams fresher.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Basketball trivia: a regulation hoop is exactly two basketballs wide. Its a pretty good coaching point to show that to kids- the hoop looks smaller because it is ten feet up in the air, but if you show kids that two basketballs can fit in a rim, it can help their confidence.

12) Arizona 75, USC 61— If you made me tell you who the best team in the country is, I’d tell you Arizona, though Virginia is close. All the chaos at Arizona this season may help them this month, since they’re used to the limelight- it may have brought the team closer together.

Pac-12 will have an interesting day, with UCLA/Arizona State on the bubble. It is possible that the AAC gets more teams in the tournament than the Pac-12.

11) UMBC 65, Vermont 62— Retrievers win the America East title- this was a great game. This league has found a niche with the 11am Saturday slot in Champ Week. No matter where their championship game is played, the gym is always packed.

Senior guard Jairus Lyles drained a straight-away 3-pointer with 0:00.6 left to give UMBC its first NCAA berth since 2008. This was UMBC’s first win over Vermont in their last 24 meetings.

Ryan Odom is UMBC’s coach; his dad is Dave Odom, who was Tim Duncan’s coach at Wake Forest.

10) How great was Pistol Pete Maravich? He played at LSU from 1967-70, long time ago, but there are still eight college gyms in this country where Maravich holds the scoring record for a visiting player. Pistol Pete scored 44.2 ppg in his three-year varsity career, and that was before 3-pointers were in the game.

9) Marshall 67, Western Kentucky 66- Thundering Herd is in NCAAs for first time since 1987; they’re coached by Dan D’Antoni, Mike’s brother.

8) LIU won the NEC tournament this week; they’re 18-16 this year, against the #335 schedule in the country (out of 351). Only 5 of their 34 games were against teams ranked in the top 200.

7) Coaching carousel: UConn fired Kevin Ollie, Georgia fired Mark Fox.

UConn won the national championship four years ago, but in this “What have you done for me lately?” world, they’re 30-35 the last two years, so Ollie was told to take a hike.

Georgia is 58-50 in SEC games the last six years, but Dawgs only made the NCAAs twice in nine years under Fox. Some smart mid-major team will hire Fox and will be glad they did.

Also being rumored that Fresno State coach Rodney Terry will be leaving for the UTEP job, which I am told pays better than Fresno.

6) Mookie Betts started out spring training 0-16; I’ve always wondered if players get stressed out over spring training slumps. When Betts got his first hit of the spring the other day, an infield hit, he smiled and pointed to the skies, so apparently, the 0-16 start stressed him out.

5) Cal-Fullerton 71, Cal-Irvine 55— Big West has nine teams in it; the last eight years, 8 of those 9 teams won the Big West tournament once each, which may help explain why Cal-Riverside will be hiring a new coach this spring.

4) Houston 77, Wichita State 74— AAC semifinal was a terrific game; dawned me during second half that Jim Nantz went to college at Houston, but you’d never know it listening to him call the game. Nantz, Raftery and Grant Hill make a good broadcasting team.

3) Villanova 76, Providence 66 OT— Bubble teams everywhere exhale; Friars would’ve been a bid-stealer. Internet pundits keep speculating about Chris Mack or Ed Cooley leaving for other schools, but why would you leave a Big East job?

Not only is the Big East a really good league, there is no football involved at those schools, so your team is king at your school, and thats a big thing.

2) Every bubble team in the country will be rooting for Rhode Island against Davidson today; if Davidson wins, it knocks another team off the bubble. Nevada losing in the Mountain West already knocked one bubble team off.

1— Today is one of the longer days of the year, and not because we turned the clocks ahead an hour last night; NCAA brackets come out at 6:00 tonight. Once the brackets come out, then it is a full night of research and handicapping. Sleepy day, very busy night.

Saturday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a Friday of basketball

13) ACC— North Carolina 74, Duke 69— Carolina was the #6-seed in ACC tournament; must be a hell of a league. Tar Heels won nine of last 11 games overall; they’re 4-6 in last 10 games with Virginia, who they play for ACC title tonight.

Virginia 64, Clemson 58— Tigers have been in the ACC since the beginning; they’re 19-65 in the ACC tournament, with no titles, losing their only two finals appearances. In 65 years.

12) Big East— Providence 75, Xavier 72 OT— Musketeers led by 17 points but lost here and now every bubble team in America will be rooting against Providence in the Big East final Saturday, since a Friar win steals a bid from someone. Providence has won consecutive days in overtime; they used three players 41:00+ in this game.

11) San Diego State 90, Nevada 73— Wolf Pack has lot of injury issues, looked like a dead team here. Aztecs led this game 55-25 at halftime; they’ve won eight games in a row. Mountain West is going to get two teams in the NCAA’s, so another bubble team bites the dust.

10) Pac-12— Does anyone get the Pac-12 Network? I have DirecTV and they don’t carry it. What is the point of having all but two games of your conference tournament on a station that not so many people can watch?

Arizona 78, UCLA 67 OT— UCLA tied game in last 0:30; would’ve been nice to have been able to watch it. Bruins (+4.5) were a tough beat- they didn’t score in overtime.

9) AAC— Memphis 67, Tulsa 64— Memphis is 21-12, they’ve won seven of last eight games, amidst rumors that the school wants to fire Tubby Smith and hire Penny Hardaway.

Smith’s lawyer came out Friday and said Hardaway was keeping some of the city’s best recruits away from Memphis because he wants Smith’s job. Fightin’ words.

8) A-14— St Bonaventure 83, Richmond 77— Bonnies led by 17 with 6:25 left, hung on for dear life and move on to a Friday rematch with Davidson. On Feb 27, Bonnies beat Davidson 117-113 in triple OT, maybe the best college hoop game all season.

Davidson has walk-on guard named Cal Freundlich, who is the son of actress Julianne Moore.

7) Big Sky— Montana 91, Northern Colorado 89 OT— Top-seeded Griz survive and advance; not to assess blame, but a guy on Northern Colorado missed two FT’s with 0:01 left in regulation, when score was 80-80. The kid was 1-7 on the line for the night; he was a 62.1% shooter on the line coming into the game.

Eastern Washington has a player named Bogdan Bliznyuk who shoots 40.4% on the arc, 91.1% on the foul line. He is a 6-6 senior; will he make an NBA squad?

6) Big West— Cal-Fullerton 55, Cal-Davis 52— Davis missed three of four FT’s in last 0:05.7.  Fullerton rallied back from down 12 with 13:00 left; they committed an incredibly stupid foul with 0:01.2 left when they led by 2, but got away with it.

Wee Willie Weber should’ve reffed this game, it was like the WWE: teams don’t like each other. Ton of chirping, refs had their hands full. Physical, chippy game.

5) C-USA— Marshall 85, Southern Miss 75— Mike D’Antoni’s brother coaches Marshall, so you know they play real fast. Thundering Herd was 12-28 on arc in this game.

4) MAC— Buffalo 78, Kent State 61— Bulls are looking for 3rd MAC title in last four years; lower seeded team won last two MAC finals.

Toledo 64, Eastern Michigan 63— Top two seeds will meet in MAC final. Toledo’s best player hurt his knee 30 seconds into this game, didn’t return.

3) Big X— I’ve got nothing interesting to add on this league, so I’ll point out that the Rockets lost 108-105 in Toronto Friday night, ending Houston’s 17-game winning streak.

2) SEC— Alabama 81, Auburn 63— PG Collin Sexton is making himself a lot of money this week; he went for 31 in this game. It would be a big upset if he isn’t in the NBA next season.

1— Sun Belt— Tex-Arlington 84, Appalachian State 68— Mavericks start five seniors; three of their six subs are seniors- they’re the most experienced team in America, but they’ll be an underdog to UL-Lafayette in the Sun Belt semi-finals. Ragin’ Cajuns beat Arlington twice in the regular season, by 12-21 points, but this is the one that matters most.

Friday’s List of 13; Wrapping up a full day of hoop

13) C-USA— Southern Miss 71, Middle Tennessee 68 OT— Potentially bad news for bubble teams all over the country; Blue Raiders are 24-7; they lost to USC by 5, to Miami by 3- they don’t have any really great non-conference wins. the next 48-72 hours will be very long for them.

12) ACC— Virginia 75, Louisville 58— Cavaliers are 29-2 and they’re underrated; they don’t have any big stars for ESPN to over-hype, and they fly under the radar. Excellent team.

Duke 88, Notre Dame 70— Have the Irish done enough to make the NCAA’s? They’re 20-14, but Bonzie Colson missed 15 games; lot of teams have injuries, though. Duke won seven of its last eight games.

North Carolina 82, Miami 65— Miami started game on a 14-0 run, but trailed 32-31 at the half. Luke Maye had a weird game; he grabbed 13 rebounds, had a couple assists, but he was 1-15 from the floor, 0-5 on the arc. Tar Heels have rubber match with Duke in ACC semis tonight.

11) A-14— George Mason 80, UMass 75— Patriots beat UMass three times this year, twice in overtime. Mason won six of its last eight games; an improving young team.

Saint Louis 70, George Washington 63— Billikens were down 11 at the half; they’re 17-15 and getting better under Travis Ford.

10) Big X— Kansas State 66, TCU 64 OT— Kid on TCU hit a 3 at the buzzer to force OT, but a shaky instant replay reversal gave K-State the last possession in overtime, and they cashed it in.

Kansas 82, Oklahoma State 68— Jayhawks are 26-5 in last 31 Big X tourney games. Cowboys are on the bubble, and most people don’t think they should be.

9) Big East— Butler 75, Seton Hall 74— Bulldogs get first Big East tourney win in five tries, scoring with 0:03.6 left in a wild final 0:30. Butler-Villanova in the semis tomorrow night.

Providence 72, Creighton 68 OT— You wonder how these teams from the midwest like trudging to Manhattan every March for their conference tournament. Long trip after a long season, especially when Bluejays already have their NCAA bid in order, despite going 3-6 in their last nine D-I games.

8) Big Sky— Southern Utah 92, Idaho 78— 10th-seed Thunderbirds are in Big Sky semis; they eliminated an Idaho team here that is the 2nd-most experienced team in country.

Montana 84, North Dakota 76— Top-seed has won last seven Big Sky tournaments, but Griz trailed by 6 with 15:48 left, before restoring order down the stretch. Montana will play Northern Colorado in the semis; the Bears crushed Weber State 80-55.

7) Sounds like Mike Moustakas will return to the Royals and Carlos Gonzalez will go back to Colorado, which is bad news for my fantasy team, and bad news for those two guys’ wallets. Not a lot of appetite for teams to spend big money on 30-ish free agents.

6) Big West— Fullerton 76, Long Beach 74— Tough game to ref; very physical. Allman played whole game for the Titans- they need to win next two days to win the tournament. He’ll need some rest eventually.

Fullerton-Davis play in semis Friday; Titans won both meetings during season. Head coaches had words after the first meeting; Fullerton coach Taylor is a Cal-Davis alum.

5) AAC— None of the eight AAC teams who played today will make the NCAA’s unless they win this AAC tournament. Scanning Twitter this week, it is amazing how many people put up their fields of 68 online, as if any of that means anything. Only thing that matters is what we see at 6:00 Sunday on TBS.

Memphis has quietly won six of its last seven games, as rumors about Penny Hardaway being the next Tigers’ coach float around. Memphis is 20-12 and plays Tulsa on Friday.

4) MAC— Buffalo signed coach Nate Oats to a 5-year contract extension; good for him. Bulls are 61-38 under Oats, 36-18 in conference games.

Toledo 71, Miami 69— Rockets avoid an upset here, surviving 4-23 shooting on the arc.

3) Mountain West— Utah State 78, Boise State 75— Big upset puts Broncos on the bubble and maybe in the NIT. Boise does have a win at Oregon, but not much else on its resume.

Nevada 79, UNLV 74— Wolf Pack have lot of injury issues, but they shot 12-25 on arc in this game and came back from 12 down in second half. UNLV PG Johnson got his 4th foul early in second half and Wolf Pack went on a run after that.

2) Pac-12— Arizona-UCLA play in Pac-12 semis Friday; teams met only once this season, with Bruins winning 82-74 in Tucson. Does UCLA need a win to make the NCAA’s?

1) SEC— Alabama 71, Texas A&M 70— Collin Sexton went length of court and hit a runner at the buzzer for the walk-off game-winner. Back in December, Aggies were thought to be Final Four caliber; they were 11-1 at Christmas, but finish 20-12. Could they be going to Dayton? Aggies’ last three games were decided by total of four points.

Georgia 62, Missouri 60— Star freshman Michael Porter Jr played in this game, after missing the whole season except for the first 2:00. Porter was 5-17 from floor in 23:00, which is an awful lot of shots for a kid who hasn’t played since November. You wonder how his presence affected team chemistry.