13) Butler-Xavier, tied 59-all with 0:24 left at the Big East tournament. FS1 shows how Xavier is on the NCAA bubble and needs to win this game.
FS1 announcer: “This would be a bad loss for Xavier. Not to speak disparagingly of Butler, but this would be a bad loss.”
Hahaha. Can’t have it both ways, chief. If you say losing to Team A is a bad loss, then you’re speaking disparangly of Team A. No way around it.
Butler 70, Xavier 69 OT— Bad loss for Xavier, which lost six of its last eight games. Musketeers blew a 32-13 lead, no bueno for a bubble team.
12) ACC tournament:
— Syracuse 89, NC State 68— Syracuse was 3-0 against the Wolfpack this season.
— Miami 67, Clemson 64— Hurricanes played seven guys yesterday. Seven.
— North Carolina 101, Notre Dame 59— UNC-Virginia Tech is a good game today.
11) Big X tournament:
— Kansas State 71, TCU 50— Wildcats won four of last five games, after an 0-13 skid.
— Oklahoma 79, Iowa State 73— Cyclones didn’t win a conference game this year.
10) Big 14 tournament:
— Minnesota 51, Northwestern 46— Gophers snap a 7-game skid here; they say Richard Pitino’s job is in jeopardy, and San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher would be their target to take Pitino’s place. Dutcher’s dad coached Minnesota in the early 80’s.
Here’s my proposal, and I’ve said this before: Louisville has an assistant coach named Luke Murray, who is Bill Murray’s son. If you’ve ever seen the movie Caddyshack, you remember the tense relationship Bill Murray’s character had with gophers on the golf course.
Having Bill Murray’s son being head coach of the Minnesota Gophers would open up a huge pool of possibilities for great TV commercials. Just an idea.
9) MAAC tournament:
— Iona 55, Siena 52— Rick Pitino gets his Gaels into the MAAC semi-finals, upsetting the top-seeded Saints.
— Fairfield 79, Monmouth 60— Pretty big upset, but Stags have won four of last five games.
8) Mountain West tournament had some sanity; all three favorites won Wednesday and two of them covered the spread. 2-seed Utah State gets to play UNLV on the Rebels’ home court Thursday.
7) Upsets of the Day:
— Rice (+9.5) 72, Marshall 68
— California (+8) 76, Stanford 58
— Miami (+8) 67, Clemson 64
— Fairfield (+8) 79, Monmouth 60
— DePaul (+6.5) 70, Providence 62
— Butler (+6) 70, Xavier 69 OT
— Northern Arizona (+6) 77, Portland State 66
6) Pac-12 tournament:
— Utah 98, Washington 95— Utes led by 19 with 5:08 left, hung on for dear life. Utah made 14-26 on the arc, shot 66.7% inside arc and only won by 3 points. Yikes.
— Cal 76, Stanford 58— Wheels fell off down the stretch for Stanford; they lost their last five games, finishing 14-13 after an 8-3 start.
5) LaMarcus Aldridge will be leaving the San Antonio Spurs; Gregg Popovich had nice things to say about Aldridge the person, but the team had been faring better when Aldridge was off the floor, so they’re going to trade him, and he’ll be away from the team until that happens.
Aldridge is a free agent this summer; he is averaging only 13.7 ppg, the fewest he’s scored since his rookie season, and only 4.5 rebounds/game, a career-low.
4) NFL salary cap is going down 8% next season, first time in a decade the cap hasn’t gone up.
Free agency starts March 17; NFL will be fighting for headlines with the NCAA Tournament.
3) Kansas Jayhawks fired their football coach the other day; they fired their athletic director yesterday. When you hire a new coach and the team goes 3-18 over two years, the wealthy boosters get queasy about coughing up more money. Rich people aren’t patient.
2) Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw will be using a new baseball glove this season for the first time since 2009. Dodgers won the World Series, Kershaw retired his glove. Guess that means he isn’t superstitious.
1) To me, today (Thursday) is the best college basketball day of the year; 15 hours full of games from all over the country. A good to day to relax, eat pizza and watch a lot of ball. Enjoy.