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Big East basketball tournament is underwayThree games were played yesterday, and the losers for the most part had their hopes for a NCAA tournament bid dashed away.  Syracuse beat Cincinnati by 1 point on Gerry McNamarra’s three-pointer with less than a second to play.  What is their reward?  Playing #1 seed Connecticut today at noon.  This is such a brutal tournament with tough opponents, and it has the strength of a third round in the NCAA tournament.  Rutgers beat Seton Hall last night and will face off against #2 Villanova later today.  Other marquee match-ups today are #16 Pittsburgh versus #21 West Virginia, #23 Georgetown versus Marquette.  For Big East College Basketball fans it doesn’t get any better than this.  Hopefully the winner of this tournament won’t be too exhausted by the time the NCAA tournament comes.


Georgetown Center LegacyGeorgetown is back as a Big East force this season, currently ranked 17th in the nation.  Guess what, one of their better players is a center, in 7’2” Roy Hibbert.  Hibbert had an impressive 20 point 12 rebound game in Georgetown’s loss to Villanova yesterday.

Since the Patrick Ewing left the Hoyas, there was the Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning era of big men.  Since then, there have been big guys in the paint, who have made it to the pros, but haven’t made the same impact at Georgetown or in the NBA.  After Mourning, there was eras of Othella Harrington, Jahidi White, Mike Sweetney, and who can forget Ruben Boumtje Boumtje?  Hopefully Hibert will continue to improve on his game, and bring Georgetown back to it’s glory days.

Adam Morrison aka Young Larry BirdKevin Pittsnogle aka young Bill Laimbeer
The Sports Guy Bill Simmons gave me an idea after reading his mailbag. One fan asked why America hates J.J. Redick.  Simmon’s funny response reminded how a number of the standout players in college basketball are white players.  So here are a few observations.

All the good white players are also on ranked teams that get a lot of television time:
#2 Duke with J.J. Redick, Simmons says J.J. is hated because he has a silly first name that people make fun of, such as B.J., Chipper, and Christain.  It’s not entirely his fault, as a lot of fans just hate Duke.  Coach K recruits a lot of players that have a clean cut image and have some resemblance to bad guy Johnny from Karate Kid.  Redick just broke the all-time Duke scoring record, so congratulations on two records in one week.

#4 Villanova with point guard Mike Nardi.  Villanova is known for their 4-guard attack, and a guy with a backwards name in Allan Ray.  People will continue to ask if he will end up as good as Ray Allen?  Nardi reminds me a little bit of Jason Williams, the other thugged-out looking white point guard with the horrible nickname of “White Chocolate”.

#5 Gonzaga with Adam Morrison, aka Larry Bird Jr. plus mustache.  All fans like watching the score tracker and seeing how many points Morrison just dropped.  His latest performance was 44 points, 37 in the second half.  The regular season has a nice scoring champ race between Morrison and Redick.

#11 West Virginia with Kevin Pittsnogle and Mike Gansey.  Everyone likes watching the oddity of a big man shooting three pointers ala Bill Laimbeer.

#23 North Carolina with possible freshman of the year Tyler Hansbrough, who also dropped a 40 point game is looking like a tough big man in the post.  When North Carolina won the NCAA tournament last year, analysts kept mentioning they will reload with a strong freshman class.  At first I was shocked to see Hansbrough, a rugged, strong, white post player.  I was expecting a Vince Carter high-flying athletic type, or a Marvin Williams everyone raves about him but he doesn’t really do much type, both whom didn’t show as much (in North Carolina) as the hype suggested.  I’m just waiting for the Hansbrough/Raef Lafrentz comparisons and jokes to appear.

Read More | Bill Simmons

Bobby Knight not answering questions about Indiana UniversityThe Indiana Hoosiers head coach Mike Davis may be heading into the unemployment line soon, but long time ex-coach for the Indiana Hooisers Bobby Knight sure doesn’t care or doesn’t want to get involved.  Perhaps it is because the hot rumor is that ex-Indiana hero Steve Alford may be next in line to be named head coach.  Bobby Knight and Alford had legendary arguments, while Alford was the star player for Knight during 1987 championship season.

Knight’s famous bad mood swing is back (or never left) on the recent interview that lasted about 10 seconds with Dana Jacobson of Cold Pizza.  Not even her charms could persuade Knight into sticking around after her first question regarding Indiana’s troubles this season.

For more on the Indiana Hooisers basketball troubles:
Read More | ESPN

J.J. Redick sets NCAA 3 point recordCongratulations to J.J. Redick on breaking the NCAA three point mark record by hitting 416 three pointers.  He passed Curtis Staples, who had 413 at Virginia from 1994-98.  Redick is closing in on the all-time ACC scoring leader record as well.  Redick passed Virginia’s Bryant Stith for fourth on the ACC career scoring list, and he remained on pace to pass Dickie Hemric at the top of the list. Hemric had 2,587 for Wake Forest, and Redick now trails by 60 points with five games remaining in the regular season.  Redick set the record last night in a win over Wake Forest.

Villanova Wildcats logoConnecticut Huskies logoTonight on ESPN, catch the Connecticut Huskies take on the Villanova Wildcats at 7 p.m.  This will be the first meeting between the two teams this year.  Both teams are coming on strong this season, and may end up being #1 seeds in different regions of this year’s NCAA championship tournament.  The Big East has three strong, potential National title contenders in UConn, Villanova and West Virginia.  Many NBA scouts look at UConn forward Rudy Gay as a potential top 5 lottery pick in just his sophomore season.  While Villanova is led by a four guard attack in Randy Foye, Allen Ray, Kyle Lowry.  Mike Nardi hopes to participate after being sidelined the last two games with tonsillitis.  UConn has only one loss so far this season, and Villanova, playing at home tonight has two losses.

Eddie Sutton out for remainder of the seasonCoach Eddie Sutton, one of the most successful coaches in college basketball with 794 wins, will sit out the remainder of the 2006 season.  This announcement comes after being involved in a car accident on Friday.  Sutton may have been under the influence of alcohol during the accident.  Sutton had led two Oklahoma State teams into the Final Four, once in 1995 and another in 2004.  The ‘95 team was led by Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, the recent 2004 team had strong guards in Tony Allen, (now of the Celtics) and John Lucas Jr.

The Big 12 Conference had other high-profile coaching news earlier this week, when Quinn Snyder resigned from his post as head coach for the Missouri Tigers after disappointing seasons the last couple of years.  Missouri’s last appearance in the NCAA tournament was in the ‘02-‘03 season, when they were knocked out in the second round by a Marquette team led by Dwayne Wade.


Glory Road indeedThe Media Giant, aka Rulers of the Free World, aka Disney will hit us up with “Glory Road” on January 13th of ‘06.  Granted they want the strongest possible audience, so it was a good call dodging “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and of course “King Kong.”  Jerry Bruckheimer produces the film adding to his long line of successes, but while he’s mostly known for blockbusters, how did he come on to this project.  Surely this will be a sappy story about a topic that has been beaten to death so many times: the 1966 All-Black Starting lineup of Texas Western.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a great moment in Black History.  Don’t you think the African American community, as well as the rest of the movie going audience deserve a Martin Luther King Jr. movie by now?  Disney is even releasing the movie on the weekend we observe his Birthday.  He will surely roll over in his grave that Friday when he sees Matthew McConaughey lookalike, Josh Lucas, portraying a revolutionary white leader, Don Haskins.

Duke just finished off Texas today at the Meadowlands, 97-66.  Both teams were coming in at a record 8-0, and were ranked #1 and #2. They were paced by a career high from J.J. Redick with 41 points, on 9-16 from behind the 3 point line, the highest point total by a Duke player since Cleveland Cavalier GM Danny Ferry.


Not today fans, today Redick had the last laugh!
Thought this was supposed to be a close match, guess not.  Duke might just run the table the rest of the year, barring any major injury.

ESPN.COM has come up with a fictional all-time bracket to decide which schools’ program has had the best players, and who would take home the crown.  The tournament has dwindled down all the way to its Final Four: Georgetown, UCLA, LSU, and North Carolina.  This is a great read for those that haven’t caught the college basketball buzz yet, which doesn’t happen for most fans until around January or February. 

Check it out and relive some of your old favorite players from the past.  It doesn’t matter if your guys only stuck around for a year or two and went pro.  Can anyone stop the speed and shooting of Georgia Tech’s 3-point guard attack of Mark Price, Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury?  Can the Michigan’s Fab 5 take it all the way now they have some outside shooting help thanks to Glenn Rice?  Shaq couldn’t get the job done in his time with LSU, but now he has help with Pistol Pete Mavarich from the past. 

Read More | ESPN