Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:48 am
Edited on: March 23, 2009 10:49 am

The NIT is interesting, relatively speaking

Assuming you're not basketballed out -- and why would you be? -- there are a couple of nice NIT games Monday night.

First, at 7:30 p.m. ET, Kentucky visits Creighton, and though it's just an NIT game, it's still nice to see Creighton get a program like Kentucky in its building. Then, at 11:30 p.m. ET, Davidson visits Saint Mary's, which means we get Stephen Curry vs. Patrick Mills in a match-up of guards as good as (if not better than) anything the NCAA tournament will offer this week (except for a possible Ty Lawson-Jonny Flynn match-up in the Elite Eight in Memphis).

So Kentucky vs. Creighton and Davidson vs. Saint Mary's on Monday night.

Perhaps the NIT isn't so bad after all.

Posted on: April 2, 2008 11:38 am

Lost in the Crean/Sutton developments ...

Tuesday was a crazy day.

First Sean Sutton was canned.

Then Tom Crean bolted for Indiana.

All the attention paid to those developments made me lose track of a few things I wanted to address here. But now I'm going to address them here because I'm in between radio interviews and have a few minutes to type.

Anyway ...

-- Hopson commits to Vols --

It was no surprise when Bruce Pearl expressed his desire to remain at Tennessee on Tuesday.

You would too if Scotty Hopson just committed to your school.

Hopson pledged his allegiance to the Vols on a Tuesday visit, meaning Pearl will now coach -- unless I'm forgetting somebody -- his first McDonald's All-American next season. The 6-foot-7 wing is a dynamic scorer, somebody who should be a starter from the outset and help offset the losses of Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith. So this is a huge deal by any measuring stick -- a credit to the work of UT assistant Steve Forbes, who has been relentless in his approach to Hopson since the Kentucky native opted not to go ahead with his commitment to Mississippi State in the early signing period.

-- Western Kentucky is looking for a coach --

Hiring an assistant at a major program worked last time for Western Kentucky.

That's why it's likely the school will move similarly to replace Darrin Horn.

And the obvious choice is Texas assistant Ken McDonald.

McDonald worked at WKU from 1998-2003 and helped Dennis Felton lead the Hilltoppers to three NCAA tournament appearances before leaving with Felton to take over at Georgia. McDonald spent one year there and then joined Rick Barnes' staff at Texas, where he has assisted his boss in further establishing the Longhorns as one of the elite programs in the country.

Far as coaching searches go, this should be simple.

McDonald makes sense at WKU on a lot of levels.

He'd be good there.

-- There will be no Florida-Ohio State NIT final --

Ohio State beat Ole Miss in the NIT semifinals.

But Florida lost to UMass.

Consequently,  we will not have a Florida-Ohio State NIT title game this season, which will deny us a repeat of last year's NCAA tournament title game. And that's too bad. But Ohio State still has a chance to snag another runners-up trophy if it can manage a loss to UMass. So that's a reason to watch the championship, if you were looking for one.
Posted on: March 26, 2008 11:24 am

It might be back-to-back-to-back afterall

CHARLOTTE -- You're probably not keeping up with the NIT, and for that I can't blame you. But it's worth nothing that Florida advanced to the semifinals Tuesday night with a victory at Arizona State, meaning the Gators are now just two wins away from their third straight national title.

Yes, that's a little misleading.

But the NIT is considered a "national" title.

And it's also interesting that Ohio State is on the other side of the bracket.

In other words, we could be heading towards a repeat of last year's national title game -- minus Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, Ron Lewis, Ivan Harris, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Al Horford, Chris Richard and, of course, CBS. So it wouldn't be quite the same, I admit. But it's still difficult to argue that these two programs aren't benefitting from the experience, if only because it's allowing their young players to have additional practice time while notching victories.

For instance, had Florida not experienced the NIT it would've entered next season having to answer questions about all sorts of things, among them whether this group was capable of beating a good team on the road. But the Gators spent Tuesday night beating a good team on the road -- specifically an Arizona State team that had previously beaten five NCAA tournament participants at home, among them Stanford and Xavier. And my guess is that'll help Billy Donovan in the long run, aid his quest to return to the NCAA tournament next season.
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com