13) Cincinnati 62, Wichita State 61— Intense, high level game; Bearcats win the AAC regular season title. Cincy PG Evans was hobbling around most of the game; they need him to be healthy 11 days from now.
12) Loyola Chi 65, Illinois State 49— Ramblers are in NCAA’s for first time since 1985; this was their 5th year in the MVC- it is first time they’ve had a winning conference record since 2007.
As for Illinois State, they lost in finals of Arch Madness for 4th time in six years, losing to four different schools, two of whom (Creighton, Wichita) aren’t even in the MVC anymore.
11) Think about it, conference realignment has made coaches millionaires who work at schools that didn’t even move. Andy Enfield broke the bank at USC because of his success at Florida Gulf Coast, where his team made the Sweet 16 in 2013.
But Florida Gulf Coast became the best team in the Atlantic Sun only because Belmont moved up to the OVC; Bruins won the A-Sun title five of the last seven years they were in the league. Enfield should send the Belmont AD a gift every year.
FGCU is 70-22 in A-Sun play since Belmont moved on.
Wichita State became a MVC power after Creighton went to the Big East.
10) Lipscomb 108, Florida Gulf Coast 96— Speaking of which, you play the conference title game on your home floor, its not good if you’re down 60-31 at halftime. Lipscomb was 32-47 on the foul line, and this was a true road game for them. 47 free throws is an awful lot.
FGCU made a wild comeback in the second half, got within five points, but ran out of gas at the end and Lipscomb is in the NCAA’s for the first time ever.
Lipscomb won its last eight games and 12 of last 13- they play 7th-fastest tempo in country. Some of their high-profile non-conference games:
— Lost 86-64 at Alabama
— Lost 80-57 at Texas
— Lost 81-71 at Tennessee
— Lost 98-66 at Purdue
Lipscomb turns ball over 20+% of time out of conference, which is a red flag; at times they looked awful when Florida Gulf Coast was pressing them.
9) Phil Mickelson won a playoff over Justin Thomas in this week’s PGA event; Mickelson got his first Tour win in January 1991; Thomas was born in April, 1993
8) Over the last 30 years, this was just 23rd out of 1,355 PGA tournaments that was won by a golfer who was 47+ years old.
7) Virginia won the ACC by four games; 3rd-place teams were six games behind Virginia.
6) Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann is 49-23 in conference games wth Butler/Ohio State the last four years, but he is 0-4 in conference tournament games in those seasons.
When he was at Gardner-Webb, Holtmann’s teams were 23-29 in conference games, 1-3 in the conference tournaments, so he is 1-7 overall as a head coach in conference tourneys.
5) Radford 55, Liberty 52— Carlik Jones, a 31.1% 3-point shooter coming in, drained a walk-off, conference-winning 3-ball at the buzzer to send Radford dancing for first time since 2009, when they got waxed 101-58 by North Carolina as a 16-seed in first round.
This year’s Radford team had these high-profile pre-conference games:
— Lost 82-72 at Ohio State.
— Lost 74-62 at Vanderbilt
— Lost 95-68 at Virginia Tech
— Lost 77-62 at Nevada
They play the 5th-slowest tempo in America.
4) Interesting note: Some NFL teams at the Combine scheduled 15:00 interviews with UCLA players, only to grill that player about QB Josh Rosen. Teams will do anything they can to mine out information about players they might potentially select.
3) From MMQB.com: “…….there’s a favorite question employed by almost every team in the NFL when quizzing a prospect about his teammates: If you could take one teammate with you to your future NFL team, who would it be?”
It is straight out of the movie Draft Day, where the Browns don’t draft a QB prospect in part because his teammates didn’t go to his 21st birthday party. A quarterback has to be a leader, a person his teammates believe in. Doesn’t work any other way.
2) We had 8.5 inches of snow in Albany the other day; in Cobleskill, which Mapquest says is 45 miles away from here, they had 39 inches of snow, over three feet!!! No bueno.
1— Kawhi Leonard and Jordan Brand were working on a new four-year extension worth more than $20 million, but now talks have stalled.
According to ESPN.com: “…….discussions broke down abruptly because representatives for Leonard didn’t feel that the new deal reflected the forward’s accomplishments and standing within the league.” Oh boy.
Leonard has been cleared by the Spurs’ doctors to play, but has chosen not to; he’s played in nine games this season- he currently makes $500,000 a year on his Jordan endorsement deal, is being paid $18,868,625 by the Spurs this season.