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Tag:Nebraska
Posted on: March 9, 2011 9:42 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:39 am
 

Wednesday Wrap-up

Baylor was bad.

The St. John's-Rutgers officials were worse.

Here's Wednesday's Wrap-up to recap the day in college basketball.

Teams that punched tickets: Long Island and Northern Colorado each earned automatic bids to the NCAA tournament on Wednesday. That means 13 of the 68 spots in the field are now claimed.

Best game: The contest was terrific but the officiating at the end of St. John's' 65-63 win over Rutgers in the second round of the Big East tournament was embarrassing and inexcusable, and that's putting it nicely. Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton somehow missed St. John's senior Justin Brownlee travel and then step out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left. By doing so, they committed what Big East commissioner John Marinatto later acknowledged were "two separate officiating errors" that cost Rutgers a chance to tie or win at the buzzer. Those "two separate officiating errors" should also cost Burr, Higgins and Walton future assignments.

Other best game: Long Island's 85-82 win over Robert Morris in the title game of the Northeast tournament represented everything that makes small-conference basketball great. It was a bunch of players most folks have never heard of competing in front of a rowdy crowd in a rare national television appearance with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line, and it ended with a court-storming. Jamal Olasewere's career-high 31 points turned him into a name worth remembering heading into next week. That's when the Blackbirds will play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997.

Team whose dream remained alive: Colorado was down six with less than three minutes to play in a potential bubble-bursting game. Then Alec Burks made a jumper, sparked a comeback and led the Buffaloes to a 77-75 win over Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. Burks got 25 of his 29 points in the final 17 minutes. It was a performance that kept Colorado's quest to make the NCAA tournament intact, though the Buffaloes probably need a win over Kansas State in Thursday's quarterfinals to feel reasonably good about their at-large chances.

Team whose dream was crushed: Nebraska entered Wednesday on the bubble thanks to a resume that included wins over Texas, Texas A&M and Missouri, and just three losses outside of the top 100 of the RPI. But the Huskers still needed to do work, everybody agreed. And now the Huskers are off the bubble, everybody agrees, thanks to a 53-52 loss to Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

Performance I hope you witnessed: I voted Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough the Big East's Player of the Year. So I can't join those who think Connecticut's Kemba Walker was slighted for that award because I'll never give Player of the Year honors to somebody whose team finishes in the bottom half of a league. That said, it's baffling that Walker wasn't a unanimous all-league selection, and he showed why in the Huskies' 79-62 win over the Chris Wright-less Georgetown Hoyas in the second round of the Big East tournament. Walker was 10-of-18 from the field. He finished with 28 points. "I think he's the best player in the country," said UConn coach Jim Calhoun. "That should be more important."

Performance I hope you missed: UCF's 75-60 loss to East Carolina means the Knights, in a span of three months, transformed from a nationally ranked team with non-league wins over Florida and Miami into a nationally unranked team that was bounced in the first round of its league tournament. Marcus Jordan was 1-of-9 from the field with four turnovers against the Pirates. It was a fitting ending to a strange season.

Three other things worth noting

1. Baylor's bad day that started with the announcement that star freshman Perry Jones has been suspended because of a violation of NCAA rules ended with an 84-67 loss to Oklahoma in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. So the Bears' season began with their best guard (LaceDarius Dunn) suspended and it will end with their best big (Jones) suspended. It'll also end in the NIT, most likely.

2. Marquette's 67-61 win over West Virginia in the second round of the Big East tournament ensured the Golden Eagles won't have to spend Selection Sunday worrying whether they're in or out. They're in. Safely. Regardless of what happens Thursday against Louisville.

3. Manhattan fired Barry "Slice" Rohrssen on Wednesday while Northern Illinois fired Ricardo Patton. There will be more firings Thursday, I'm certain. It's that time of the year, you know?

Final thought: Texas Tech announced early this week that Pat Knight won't return next season.

Lots of possible replacments have been mentioned.

I'd hire Billy Gillispie.

Yes, I know Gillispie has had issues, and those must be addressed. But don't let two weird years at Kentucky make you forget that he was considered among the nation's best and hottest coaches just four years ago, and that he earned that reputation by winning at two Texas schools (UTEP and Texas A&M).  At Kentucky, Gillispie was out of his element, and he didn't handle it well. A subsequent drinking-and-driving arrest further damaged his reputation, but it should be noted that he's stayed free of negative headlines for the past 18 months. That's not everything. But it's something.

Bottom line, Gillispie's pros outweigh his cons at a place like Texas Tech.

I bet he would win there if given the chance.
Posted on: February 19, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 5:49 pm
 

The top 10 is stacking losses, one after another

It started last Saturday when Ohio State fell at Wisconsin. Then Kansas lost at Kansas State on Monday. Then Georgetown lost at Connecticut on Wednesday while Wisconsin lost at Purdue. And then, on Saturday, Pittsburgh lost at St. John's, Notre Dame lost at West Virginia and Texas lost at Nebraska, meaning we've seen the schools ranked first, second, third, fourth, eighth, ninth and 10th in the latest AP poll lose over the past eight days.

Four of those losses were to unranked teams.

All of them were on the road.

So, more than anything, this stretch is a reminder that winning road games is difficult without exception. But it also highlights how vulnerable even the so-called best of the best are this season, and it should make for an interesting NCAA tournament because the top seeds aren't going to seem invincible. Assuming it's true that believing you can win is the first hurdle an underdog must jump, let's go ahead and acknowledge that the eight and nine seeds will have more realistic dreams than usual of the second weekend because they're going to see the one seeds as beatable.

Take the schools projected as one seeds now, for instance.

The Pittsburgh Panthers? They've lost to two currently unranked teams. The Texas Longhorns? They've lost to two currently unranked teams. The Kansas Jayhawks? They've lost to a currently unranked team. The Ohio State Buckeyes? Well, they haven't lost to any currently unranked teams. But they have played one-possession games with three currently unranked teams (Penn State, Northwestern and Minnesota), and that alone suggests they're capable of losing to almost anybody even if they beat almost everybody.

In other words, who's scary good?

Who scares you?

Though neither Kansas nor Kentucky made the Final Four last season, both were intimidating outfits heading into March Madness. Nobody wanted any part of those rosters, and it was a major surprise when the Jayhawks and Wildcats were eliminated early. This March nothing will be a surprise. Any of the one seeds could make the Final Four or lose in the opening weekend. Granted, the former is more likely than the latter. But I've seen enough so-called elite teams lose over the past week to know nothing is guaranteed.
Posted on: June 9, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2010 4:25 pm
 

Report: Nebraska board agrees on Big Ten move


The Nebraska Board of Regents informally agreed Wednesday to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten, Orangebloods.com is reporting. According to the site, an official announcement will come Friday, at which point Texas and five other Big 12 schools -- most likely Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado -- could begin the process of moving to the Pac-10.

That kind of exodus would bring an end to the Big 12.

It's unclear where those left behind -- most notably Kansas -- would land if the Big 12 ceased to exist.

The Mountain West Conference is one possibility.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Nebraska
 
Posted on: June 9, 2010 12:09 am
Edited on: June 9, 2010 10:02 am
 

Report: Nebraska expected to join Big Ten


An executive at a Big 12 school told the Omaha World-Herald that he expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday, the paper reported late Tuesday night. If true, it's a development that could trigger Texas and five other Big 12 schools to move to the Pac-10, at which point the Big 12 would cease to exist.

"I think before too long -- I don't know exactly what the time frame is -- we'll be able to put this to bed," Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said Tuesday night on the Husker Sports Network, according to the World-Herald. "There's a lot of information we really don't have right now. Hopefully we'll get these put together in the next few days."

Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman is expected to discuss realignment with the Board of Regents Friday.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Nebraska
 
Posted on: November 19, 2009 9:54 am
Edited on: November 19, 2009 10:00 am
 

Sadler knew what was coming against SLU


I was headed out of my hotel in downtown St. Louis Wednesday afternoon when I bumped into Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, whose Huskers were in town to play Rick Majerus' Saint Louis Billikens. Next thing you know, I'm in a 45-minute conversation about anything and everything. But when we settled on the subject of the actual game it was clear Sadler knew what he was up against Wednesday night.

"It's gonna be like playing one of Rick's teams," Sadler said. "They're gonna make us guard them for 30 seconds."

Can your guys do that?

"I think we're disciplined enough to guard them for about 20," Sadler answered. Fast-forward to late Wednesday -- after a 69-55 loss to SLU -- and I wasn't surprised to see the following Tweet from Sadler. "We [have] a lot of work to get done with toughness. Shot selection horrible. No patience on D."

Turns out, Saint Louis -- surprise, surprise -- swung the ball from side to side, drained the shot clock on many possessions and waited for Nebraska to make a mistake. More times than not, the mistake came. It allowed Saint Louis to shoot 47.8 percent from the field in the second half, all of which proved that even when coaches know exactly what's coming it can still be difficult to prevent, particularly in mid-November.

 
 
 
 
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