13) Fort Wayne 71, Indiana 68 OT— This is why big-name teams don’t go on the road, even though in this game, the crowd was split at least 50-50, with the Hoosiers being so popular in Indiana. TV guys said there was more red than blue in the crowd, so maybe Indiana had more fans.
Fort Wayne is a pretty good team in the Summit League, 66-36 the last three years, 31-15 in Summit games, but they’ve never made the NCAA tourney- this could be the year.
This was just a great game for college basketball; a mid-major getting a big boy in their own gym, then beating them. Good for the sport, good for the city of Fort Wayne, good for people at home watching on TV.
12) The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is in Springfield, MA but there is also a college basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. Somehow, Jerry Tarkanian is not in this Hall of Fame, which makes the decision-makers there look plain stupid.
How can you have Norm Stewart, Gene Keady and Lou Carnesecca in there, but not Tark? It is an oversight that needs to be corrected, and don’t give me his NCAA issues— Eddie Sutton had more baggage than a full airplane and he’s been inducted.
11) I’d love to know what the financial bottom line was for the Texans-Raiders game in Mexico City Monday night; Oakland gave up a home game- they played in a bigger stadium and it was full. Just curious who made how much money; you’ll know it was REALLY profitable if they do it again next season.
10) North Carolina has won the Maui Classic three times; they made the Final Four that year all three times, and won the national title two of the three years.
9) Mississippi State’s most productive player, Quandarry Weatherspoon, is out for the year with a wrist injury. 3-1 Bulldogs were already the 2nd-youngest team in America, and not especially deep.
8) Philadelphia 76ers have improved a lot; they’ve won their last four home games and are 7-2 vs spread as a home underdog- they still haven’t been favored to win a game.
7) It is funny in college basketball; once you beat a team, especially in a non-league game, then you become their biggest fan- every game they win helps your NCAA tournament profile. Good example is Northwestern, which beat Texas Monday- they need the Longhorns to have a great year, so that win looks better in March than it does now.
6) Why would Jimbo Fisher leave Florida State for LSU? As long as Nick Saban is at Alabama, LSU is a high-paying job where you’re going to take a ton of grief for being second banana to the Crimson Tide. If they fired Les Miles, they’ll fire you.
Fisher is King of the Castle at Florida State; he is in an easier league and in a better state for recruiting. I’m assuming he is very well-paid, with less grief. He ain’t going anywhere.
5) I’m not sure what this says exactly, but when UConn had their preseason conditioning run, head coach Kevin Ollie finished third. I know Ollie played in the NBA and all, but you probably want your players to be in better shape than the coach.
4) How much is a quarterback worth in Las Vegas? Looks like Andrew Luck won’t play Thursday against the Steelers; point spread went from Pittsburgh -3 to Steelers -9. Six points is a big jump. Scott Tolzien (0-1-1 as an NFL starter) will play QB for Indy. Looks like former Miami U QB Stephen Morris would come off the practice squad to be the backup.
3) Speaking of Las Vegas, the new NHL team in Vegas will be called the Golden Knights. The Maloof family, who used to own the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino, own 15% of the Golden Knights- they begin play next season at T-Mobile Arena.
2) TV analyst/former Illinois hooper Stephen Bardo told a great story on TV Tuesday about when he played in college, Illinois played in the Maui Classic one year. TV analyst Bill Raftery rode on the Illini’s flight home, so Bardo was picking his brain about the television business, knowing that one day, he wanted to do that.
Bardo went on to say that Raftery sat next to him the whole (long) flight home and answered every question Bardo had about TV “….and thats why I consider Bill Raftery to be the best.” A very nice tribute; Bardo is a good TV analyst by the way.
1— Quite a day at the White House Tuesday: President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor to 21 people, including Vin Scully, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, Robert Deniro, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Redford, Bill Gates.
Imagine what that room was like? Incredible star power.
No doubt that Hanks becomes the first former vendor at the Oakland Coliseum to get this prestigious award.