13) Conference tournaments start next week in the mid-majors; this will be the first time in three years we have a normal March Madness.
Should be an interesting three weeks coming up, one of my favorite times of the year. No dominant team; the #1 team is a mid-major (Gonzaga), Arizona is experience team #356 and Auburn is a football school with a great player (Jabari Smith)- they have two losses in OT, a third loss by one point. If you put “Kentucky” on their uniforms, they’d probably be the favorite.
12) Oregon 68, UCLA 63:
— Bruins star Johnny Juzang got hurt again, played only 11:00.
— UCLA split its last eight games.
— Oregon wins on Nike founder Phil Knight’s 85th birthday
11) USC 94, Oregon State 91, 2OT:
— Beavers are the best 3-23 team in the history of the world.
— Davis scored 31 for Oregon State, only 2nd time this year he scored 20+ points.
— Beavers were only 12-22 on the foul line.
— USC point guard Ellis sat this game out (ankle)
10) Murray State 76, Belmont 43:
— Two best teams in OVC; Belmont was 5-25 on arc, 2-4 on line.
— Murray sweeps season series by 22-33 points, but meeting #3 will probably be in OVC tourney and that’ll be the one that decides who goes to the NCAA Tournament (Murray could still get in with a loss)
9) South Dakota State 106, Oral Roberts 102 OT:
— Same situation here; two of three best teams in Summit League.
— Oral Roberts led by 13 in first half.
— Luke Appel scored 41 points; looks like he came off the bench.
8) There are rumors that Troy Aikman is bolting FOX for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, which would be interesting.
— Would Joe Buck go to ESPN with Aikman?
— If so, would Buck get a gig on Sunday Night Baseball?
— Who will replace Aikman on FOX?
7) Back in 1983, this was Virginia’s coaching staff; lot of good coaches.
— Head coach Terry Holland won 418 games
— Jeff Jones has 532 wins (and counting)
— Dave Odom won 406 games
— Jim Larranaga has 689 wins (and counting)
— Seth Greenberg won 383 games.
6) Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan has a cap number of $48,662,500 next year, highest in NFL history. Right now, Ryan takes up 23.4% of the Falcons’ salary cap space for 2022- if Atlanta were to release him, they would save $8,137,500 in cap space, but they wouldn’t have a QB, either.
5) Nebraska is 21-65 in basketball the last three years, 6-49 in conference games, but they’ll bring coach Fred Hoiberg back next season- they would’ve had to pay him $18.5M to go away.
Hoiberg went 115-56 in five years at Iowa State before trying his hand in the NBA with Chicago; he thrived at Iowa State by bringing in transfers, but now everyone does that.
4) Ohio State 86, Illinois 83:
— Ohio State led by 16 with 5:58 left, hung on for dear life.
— Buckeyes outscored Illinois 26-11 on foul line.
— Illinois led game 21-8 early on.
3) Gonzaga 89, San Francisco 73:
— USF beat Davidson, UAB, two solid mid-majors; Arizona State’s resurgence could help the Dons- they beat ASU 66-65 in December.
— Dons are 1-5 against BYU-Saint Mary’s-Gonzaga; they need a good WCC tournament.
2) Fullerton 66, Irvine 64— Anteaters’ loss puts Long Beach State atop Big West standings with three games left. Irvine led this game by 10 with 6:42 left.
1) Life has peaks and valleys, for sure; Rams win the Super Bowl 12 days ago, a great night for Sean McVay, but now this week all hell breaks loose in the Ukraine. McVay is getting married this summer to Veronika Khomyn, who is from the Ukraine— her family is still there.
Has to be horrible to turn the TV on and see your homeland invaded by hostile forces. My prayers are with the Ukranian people; hopefully this mess will come to a peaceful end soon.