Atlantic Sun tournament
— Bellarmine 76, North Florida 74— Knights lost by 12 at North Florida three days ago, but won this game on a neutral court, scoring a hoop with 0:00.4 left. Bellarmine now plays at Liberty on Tuesday night, quick turnaround for the lower seed.
— Queens 61, Florida Gulf Coast 55— This is first season in Division I for the Queens Royals; they had lost five of last six games before this win. Queens plays at Kennesaw State Tuesday in the next round of the A-Sun Tournament.
This was the first conference tournament to start; a few more start tonight.
— ACC is having a down basketball season; going into Monday night’s games, Duke (#34), Miami (#37) were the two highest-ranked teams on KenPom.com.
Every year since at least 2002, ACC has had 2+ teams finish in KenPom’s top 20, so they’ve got some work to do for that to happen this year.
— Patriot League tournament is played on higher-seeded teams home courts, but home teams are 47-43 SU in Patriot League games this season, worst home court record for any league in the country.
— Mountain West tournament is in Las Vegas; funny that even though they’re the host school, UNLV hasn’t won the Mountain West tournament since 2008.
— Atlanta Hawks signed Quin Snyder to a 5-year deal to be their new coach; the Duke alum replaces another ACC alum, NC State’s Nate McMillan. Hawks are 31-30, the #8-seed in the East as I type this. McMillan was 110-92 in three years coaching Atlanta.
This is my annual reminder to you that the Hawks’ owner is Tony Ressler, a hedge fund guy and obviously a billionaire. Ressler has been married to actress Jami Gertz for 34 years; she was in Less Than Zero, a terrific movie with Andrew McCarthy/Robert Downey Jr. Funny how a really rich guy has a beautiful wife. Go figure.
Couple years when the Hawks missed the playoffs, Jami Gertz represented them at the NBA’s Draft Lottery. Atlanta is trying for its third straight winning season; we’ll see if the coaching change makes any difference. Snyder was 393-294 coaching the Jazz, only 21-30 in playoff games.
— Milwaukee Bucks got sold this week, to the Haslam family that also owns the Cleveland Browns. Haslam’s paid $3.5B for the Bucks, that’s billion, with a B.
— I watch a ton of college basketball on TV; to me, the TV analyst I learn the most from is Dalen Cuff on ESPN. He isn’t a shill for anyone; he’ll speak the truth and not everyone does that.
— Super Bowl champion Chiefs did the expected, promoted Matt Nagy to offensive coordinator, replacing the departed Eric Bieniemy, who left to be OC at Washington.
— Charger-Bronco games should be interesting next year; Denver hired Joe Lombardi as their new offensive coordinator, six weeks after the Chargers fired him from the same job. Chargers quickly hired former Dallas OC Kellen Moore to replace Lombardi.
— Washington Commanders cut QB Carson Wentz, who went 2-5 as Washington’s starter this past season. Wentz will be on his 4th different team in four years next season; could a reunion with former Colts’ coach Frank Reich happen in Carolina?
— There was a story in The Athletic last week saying at this time last year, Russell Wilson was trying get Pete Carroll fired as coach of the Seahawks; the whole thing ended with Seahawks trading Wilson to Denver, where the Broncos floundered, but now they have Sean Payton as coach, so 2023 should be better for them.
Carroll has coached Seattle for 13 years; he is 138-90-1 there, with a Super Bowl title in 2013.
— Week 2 XFL:
Battlehawks 20, Seattle 18
St Louis won its first two games by a combined 5 points.
Seattle lost its first two games by a combined 6 points.
St Louis kicked a 44-yard FG as time expired for the win.
Defenders 18, Vipers 6
Las Vegas led 6-0 at half, didn’t score in 2nd half on a rainy night in desert.
Vipers completed only 11-23 passes, for 93 yards.
Defenders outgained Las Vegas, 319-177
Brahmas 30, Guardians 12
Total yardage was only 210-175, but San Antonio won going away.
Former Wisconsin QB Coen was 16-24/165 passing, with TD throws to 3 different guys.
Orlando is hurting at QB; Paxton Lynch got benched again. Backup Francois was 6-13 passing for 8 yards.
Roughnecks 23, Renegades 14
Wade Phillips’ team won first two games, by 21-9 points.
Total yardage was 242-125, Houston.
Thru two weeks, favorites are 4-4 ATS, over is 5-3.
— You realize you watch too much TV when you’re sitting there are 5am watching re-runs of The Jetsons on HBO Max; loved that show when I was a kid, but that was also 50 years ago.
— After three days of spring training games, baseball is winning the public relations war with the new pitch clock rules; games have been 20-25 minutes shorter this spring, and announcers on broadcasts are selling the rule changes pretty well.