Posted on: May 6, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 4:51 pm

Report: Maryland AD to meet with Arizona's Miller

Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson is expected to soon meet with Arizona's Sean Miller about succeeding Gary Williams as the Terrapins' basketball coach, the Washington Post reported Friday. The paper added that there is "mutual interest" between the two sides.

Miller just finished his second season at Arizona by winning the Pac-10 and taking the Wildcats to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. He's losing Derrick Williams from that roster but should still have a team talented enough to be ranked in the preseason Top 25, which might make it tough to leave now. Still, the Maryland job is too good to ignore -- especially for a Pittsburgh native and former ACC assistant. So Miller will listen and consider coaching at a third school in a span of four years. He was at Xavier before moving to Arizona.

Notre Dame's Mike Brey is another serious candidate for the Maryland job.

According to sources, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and Villanova's Jay Wright are likely uninterested.

Williams retired Thursday after 22 seasons at the school.

He led Maryland to 14 NCAA tournaments and the 2002 national championship.
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:51 am
Edited on: May 6, 2011 8:59 am

Dixon, Miller among possible Maryland targets

Maryland's search for Gary Williams' successor is underway and figures to center on some of the men connected to most high-profile openings over the past few years -- specifically Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, Arizona's Sean Miller and Villanova's Jay Wright, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

Notre Dame's Mike Brey is also in the mix.

Brey is a Maryland native who would almost certainly take the job if offered, according to a source. But the same source said Dixon, Miller and Wright would probably have to make it clear to Maryland officials that they're uninterested before the ACC school moved that direction. The level of interest from Dixon, Miller and Wright varies and is unclear, though all three would at least take a phone call and listen, multiple sources told CBSSports.com, considering the Maryland job is widely viewed as one of the nation's best because of tradition, support and a rich recruiting base of Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

One thing worth noting is that Dixon has an existing and strong relationship with first-year Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, who was previously the AD at Army when Dixon's sister, Maggie Dixon, was the school's women's basketball coach. She died from heart failure in April 2006 at the age of 28 just after completing her first season at Army. It should also be noted that Dixon has in recent years rejected multiple overtures to remain at Pittsburgh (most notably from Arizona, Southern California and North Carolina State), that Miller likely has a preseason top 20 team at Arizona and that Wright is a Philadelphia native who has passed on countless opportunities over the past five years. Those things could help the job fall to Brey or somebody like Minnesota's Tubby Smith or VCU's Shaka Smart.

Williams retired Thursday after 22 seasons at the school.

He led Maryland to 14 NCAA tournaments and the 2002 national championship.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 1:21 pm

Videos, videos and more videos!

You want to watch me preview seven of this weekend's games with Jason Horowitz?

Click this link.

You want to hear me talk about myself for 20 minutes?

That's this link.
Posted on: February 6, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 4:36 pm

Pittsburgh's Gibbs out with MCL injury

Pittsburgh junior Ashton Gibbs has an MCL injury that's expected to sideline him for at least 10 days, Panthers coach Jamie Dixon told CBSSports.com through a school spokesperson on Sunday.

Gibbs is averaging 16.3 points per game for the fourth-ranked and Big East-leading Panthers.

He will definitely miss Monday's game at No. 25 West Virginia and probably miss Saturday's game at No. 12 Villanova.

Travon Woodall will handle the point guard duties in Gibbs' absence. The 5-foot-11 New York native is averaging 6.7 points and 3.6 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. He's scored in double-figures five times this season.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 6:06 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 7:48 pm

The Big East Conference -- where everybody loses

I don't know if there's an elite team in the Big East.

They all seem flawed in some way.

But I'll still be surprised if the league doesn't put a record number of schools in the NCAA tournament, and I won't be shocked if one or two make the Final Four. The problem is trying to figure out which one or two because the league is a scattered mess after three top 10 teams took losses Saturday.
  • No. 23 Louisville 79, No. 5 Connecticut 78 (2OT)
  • No. 21 Georgetown 69, No. 8 Villanova 66
  • Marquette 76, No. 9 Syracuse 70
The result of that is this: The teams ranked fifth (UConn), eighth (Villanova) and ninth (Syracuse) in the latest AP poll are now fourth (UConn), fourth (Villanova) and eighth (Syracuse) in the Big East standings, and the team ranked 23rd (Louisville) is all alone in second. Meantime, nine Big East members are in the top 28 of the latest AP poll, and half of the Big East's 16 members already have either three or four league losses, which suggests every relevant Big East member except Pittsburgh is likely to spend the next five weeks alternating between wins and losses. It'll be fun to watch from a distance but unbearable to experience first-hand. For proof look no farther than to Wednesday's showdown between Syracuse and Connecticut.

Yep, those two teams play each other next.

So Syracuse will either take its fifth straight loss or UConn will take its second straight loss.

There's no way around it.

Which is why Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun must be going crazy.

Both lost winnable games Saturday.

Now one of them is guaranteed to lose again Wednesday.
Posted on: January 15, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 1:38 am

Massive Monday is almost here

PITTSBURGH -- Saturday was interesting complete with wild comebacks by Louisville and Tennessee, close calls by Kansas and Michigan State, and another questionable home loss after a nice win for Florida. But two games that could easily double as the semifinals for March's Big East tournament are scheduled for Monday. So I'm already over the weekend (even though the weekend isn't over) and ready for MLK Day.

Thank you, Villanova, for winning Saturday.

You too, Connecticut.

You too, Syracuse.

You too, Pitt.

Your results ensured Monday will bring two games between four top 10 teams with a combined record of 65-4.

The day-night doubleheader sets up like this:
  • No. 7 Villanova (16-1) at No. 10 Connecticut (14-2) at 3:30 ET.
  • No. 4 Syracuse (18-0) at No. 5 Pittsburgh (17-1) at 7:30 ET.
I'll watch the first game on TV here in Pittsburgh, then be courtside at the Petersen Events Center for the second. According to KenPom.com, the home teams (UConn and Pitt) are supposed to win, meaning the Panthers should move to 6-0 in the Big East and sit alone atop the league standings come late Monday. But we could easily get opposite outcomes (even though Syracuse's Kris Joseph will miss the showdown with Pitt because of a concussion suffered in Saturday's win over Cincinnati), and, either way, who cares? I'll wait to figure out what it all means. For now, I'm just digging the anticipation. A national holiday with two terrific Big East games is on tap. So Saturday, I enjoyed you, and I'm glad we got to spend this time together. But I'm already ready to move on. Monday can't get here fast enough.
Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 4:02 pm

The Poll Attacks

Arizona lost at Oregon State late Sunday.

One voter apparently didn't get the memo.

He'll suffer the consequences in the Poll Attacks.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll:
Let me start by saying that Lindsey Wilhite's top seven is perfect.

It looks like this:
  1. Duke
  2. Ohio State
  3. Kansas
  4. Syracuse
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. San Diego State
  7. Connecticut
That's exactly how the first seven of the Top 25 (and one) looks, too. So, needless to say, Lindsey (from the Daily Herald in Illinois) got off to a nice start, and he's pretty good for the most part. I mean, I don't know why he ranked Cincinnati (undefeated with no good wins) 22nd and left UCF unranked (undefeated with a win over Florida), but whatever. My issue is this: Lindsey ranked Arizona 24th.

Arizona entered the weekend with no good wins and two losses -- one of which was reasonable (87-79 to Kansas in Las Vegas) and another that was not (87-65 to BYU in Salt Lake City). So ranking the Wildcats last week would've been a mistake. But how in the world can anybody rank them after Sunday night's 76-75 loss to an Oregon State team that had previously lost to Seattle, Texas Southern, Utah Valley, Colorado, Montana and George Washington?


How. In. The. World?

Arizona is now 12-3 with no good wins, a reasonable loss to KU, a blowout loss to BYU and a head-scratching loss to Oregon State. The only explanation is that Lindsey worked on his ballot early like I do every Sunday afternoon and constructed it as if Arizona would win (I do similar things every Sunday afternoon). So from our top seven to how we operate on Sunday afternoons, Lindsey and I are similar. Where we part is that I don't file anything until every team I'm considering is done for the day, and Lindsey (again, I'm assuming here) goes to bed early on Sundays because "True Blood," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Eastbound and Down" are all out of season. In theory, not a bad move. But if it leads to you ranking Arizona, well, something's got to change.

Coaches poll: The thing I like best about Lindsey's ballot is that he has UConn at No. 7.

Any lower is wrong.

I mention that because the coaches have UConn ninth, which isn't a big difference but still wrong because the only one-loss team that can reasonably be ranked ahead of UConn (at this point) is the one-loss team that just beat UConn, i.e., Pittsburgh. If you want to rank all the undefeated teams (except for Cincinnati and UCF) ahead of UConn, I'm OK with it. I have Duke (13-0), Ohio State (14-0), Kansas (13-0), Syracuse (15-0) and San Diego State (15-0) ranked ahead of UConn, and Pittsburgh (13-1), too. But do those who dropped the Huskies drastically after last week's loss at Pittsburgh realize that UConn (11-1) is the nation's only one-loss team whose lone loss came on the road to a team currently ranked in the top 10? And do they realize UConn is one of just two one-loss teams with two wins over teams currently ranked in the top 20?

The the other is, of course, Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has wins over No. 9 UConn and No. 12 Texas.

Connecticut has wins over No. 11 Kentucky and No. 19 Michigan State.

(And both of UConn's key wins came on a neutral court.)

Tennessee (wins over No. 5 Pittsburgh and No. 7 Villanova) is the only team besides Pittsburgh with two wins better than UConn's best two wins, but the Vols are irrelevant to this conversation because they have four bad losses. Again, UConn's only loss came at No. 5 Pittsburgh. So if anybody can explain why the Huskies are behind Villanova (no Top 25 wins/one loss came to currently unranked Tennessee) and Missouri (best two wins are over No. 20 Illinois and No. 24 Vanderbilt/one loss came to No. 13 Georgetown in Missouri), please do because I can't figure it out.

I have no idea what the future holds for UConn, obviously.

But anything lower than a No. 7 ranking in the present is wrong.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 7:24 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 1:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

Somebody ranked Florida 16th after a loss to UCF. Same somebody didn't even rank undefeated UCF. And that voter from the Daily Progress isn't progressing well at all. That's too bad for him. But it's great for the Poll Attacks.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll: Florida returned five starters from a roster that made the NCAA tournament, and the Gators added a McDonald's All-American to the bunch. So ranking them high in the preseason made some sense. I even did it myself. But now the season has started, and the Gators are 6-2. Their losses are a lopsided loss at home to Ohio State that didn't really bother me and a surprising loss on the road to UCF that bothered me quite a bit.

But you know who wasn't bothered by it?

Scott Mansch from the Great Falls Tribune in Montana.

It didn't bother him at all.

Dude had the Gators 16th last week and 16th again this week.

(Worth noting: Florida didn't make the Top 25 (and one) or actual AP poll.)

Needless to say, this was startling. So I decided to further examine Scott's AP ballots from last week and this week and compare the two. Here's what I found: He dropped Missouri five spots for losing in overtime to No. 9 Georgetown, dropped Michigan State two spots for losing by five points on the road to No. 1 Duke. (More on this below.) But Florida? Scott kept the Gators right where they were last week on his ballot after the loss at UCF. And what makes it even sillier is that Scott didn't rank undefeated UCF at all. So he apparently believes losses to teams he and everybody else has ranked are worse than losses to unranked teams. That's all I can figure.

(Moving on …)

Does anybody know Whitelaw Reid from the Daily Progress in Virginia?

We have to sit this guy down, ASAP.

I busted him up in last week's Poll Attacks, and I thought he might listen and adjust. Alas, he did not. My man still has Villanova ranked No. 8 and Tennessee unranked despite the fact that Tennessee is undefeated with a neutral court win over Villanova. He still has Connecticut behind Michigan State, Kentucky and Washington despite the fact that Connecticut is undefeated with wins over Michigan State and Kentucky, both of which beat Washington. And he still has Missouri ahead of Georgetown despite the fact that Georgetown is undefeated with a win over -- you'll never guess -- Missouri.

That last game, a thriller, happened last Tuesday.

Do you think Whitelaw heard about it?

Do you think Whitelaw even knows the season is underway?

Coaches poll: There are lots of things I hate about how people vote in polls -- that's sort of how I stumbled into doing this every Monday -- but there's nothing I hate more than when teams drop for losing competitive games to higher-ranked teams, especially on the road. By definition, a team ranked No. 1 is supposed to beat a team ranked No. 6, particularly when the game is on the top-ranked team's home court. So it should've surprised nobody when No. 1 Duke beat No. 6 Michigan State 84-79 last week at Cameron Indoor Stadium. What's surprising is that the Spartans dropped from No. 6 to No. 8 in the coaches poll because of the loss.

Seriously, why?

What did anybody see in that loss at Duke to make them think MSU wasn't worthy of its ranking?

How many teams would've or even could've won that game in that building on that night?

So stupid.

If you want to rank Michigan State eighth, that's fine. Or put the Spartans 12th. I don't care. My point is only that there isn't a single thing that happened over the past week that should've diminished anybody's opinion of Michigan State. So wherever a voter had the Spartans last week is, at worst, where that voter should've had them this week.

For instance, I had Michigan State No. 5 last week.

Same thing this week.

Because a five-point loss on the road to the No. 1 team is no reason to drop them.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com