Posted on: April 1, 2009 5:46 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2009 6:01 pm

Pitino to Memphis? "No way in hell"

DETROIT -- Bruce Pearl is a realistic candidate at Memphis.

Rick Pitino, not so much.

CBSSports.com was the first to report Pearl as a legitimate candidate to replace John Calipari, and multiple sources have since added that if the Memphis boosters approach Pearl with a lucrative deal he would be open to considering a move to the western side of the state. Meantime, The Commercial Appeal has reported that, in addition to Pearl, the Memphis boosters have expressed an interest in trying to lure Pitino from Louisville with a deal that would give him more money than Calipari just took from Kentucky. But an industry source told CBSSports.com that there's "no way in hell" Pitino would move to Memphis, even if the school promised to make Richard Pitino, Rick's son, the designate coach in waiting.

So the bottom line is this ...

Pitino: No.

Pearl: Show me the money.

Posted on: March 15, 2009 11:18 am
Edited on: March 15, 2009 3:33 pm

How the possible No. 1 seeds stack up

NEW YORK -- By most accounts, there are still six schools in play for the four No. 1 seeds.

They are Pittsburgh, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Memphis and Connecticut.

The following is a look at what each has done this season, to date.


  • RPI: 1
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Providence)

-- DUKE --

  • RPI: 2
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 11-6
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 3
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 6-4
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 0


  • RPI: 4
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 2 (UNLV, Notre Dame)


  • RPI: 7
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 2-2
  • Losses to projected non-NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)


  • RPI: 8
  • Record vs. projected NCAA tournament teams: 8-3
  • Losses to projected NCAA tournament teams: 1 (Georgetown)

(All projections are based on Jerry Palm's Sunday morning bracket .)

Posted on: March 1, 2009 12:14 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2009 12:16 pm

Pitino knows how to white it out

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rick Pitino is taking part in the "White Out" here at Freedom Hall.

In other words, he's rocking the white suit again.

Meanwhile, Marquette coach Buzz Williams appears to be wearing black. But we're not even four minutes in to Sunday's Big East showdown, and he's already lost his coat, meaning Williams' white shirt is now prominent, making him blend in with the crowd, just a little.


Posted on: February 2, 2009 11:50 pm

UConn might keep this thing for at least a week

I'm not ready to put faith in any team given how this season is going.

But know this: Connecticut is positioned to stay No. 1 for a while.

The Huskies' win at Louisville on Monday night improved Jim Calhoun's team to 21-1 overall, 10-1 in the Big East. More to the point, it allowed them to clear one of their final road hurdles, and now they won't play another tough road game until Feb. 25 at Marquette.

Four of UConn's next five games are at home.

Only two of those games are against ranked opponents.

So the guess here is that UConn will keep its No. 1 ranking longer than Duke kept its.

Which, of course, means the Huskies are destined to lose at home to Michigan on Saturday, just because.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 2, 2009 2:54 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2009 9:00 pm

Dear Gary (on Louisville-UConn)

Here's Monday Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Who wins: Louisville or UConn?

-- Lou

I don't get excited about many games to the point where I can't wait for tip-off, but this one falls under that category. What we have tonight is the nation's No. 1 team (Connecticut) against the team that is playing like the nation's No. 1 team (Louisville), and it should come as no suprise that the Cards are the favorites at home in Freedom Hall.

Official line: Louisville minus 2.5 points.

My advice: Wrong team favored! Take the Huskies.


Posted on: January 17, 2009 12:19 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2009 3:55 pm

No. 1 and No. 2 are technically underdogs today

CLEMSON, S.C. -- I'm not big on sports betting because I'm convinced there's no way to consistently win, regardless of what you might hear on your local sports talk radio station. But I did find it interesting this morning that No. 1 Pittsburgh and No. 2 Wake Forest are both technically "underdogs" today, according to SportsBook.com.

Louisville is a 1.5-point favorite over Pitt at Freedom Hall.

Clemson is a 2.0-point favorite over Wake Forest at Littlejohn Coliseum.

So if you believe the oddsmakers, Clemson should be the lone undefeated team left in Division I basketball by the end of the night, and if it goes down that way it should be quite a scene here this afternoon, which would make my second consecutive weekend in ACC country (I was at North Carolina-Wake Forest last Sunday) just as wild as the previous.

Posted on: January 10, 2009 8:45 pm

Can Villanova get back to .500 in the Big East?

Terrence Williams got into the lane, put the ball on the rim, watched it fall through and gave the Louisville Cardinals a huge road win, you know, the kind that are hard to come by in the Big East. So then Rick Pitino held a press conference and talked about it all, and my favorite quote was the following quote:

"I've looked forward to this year more than any other," Pitino told reporters after the 61-60 victory at Villanova. "You'll never see 12, 13 teams as tough as this. It's special, I'll tell you that. I'm getting the hell out of here after this year, I'm telling you that."

I'm sure Conference USA would welcome him back.

(Start the Pitino-to-Houston rumors now!)

But in all seriousness, what we learned Saturday -- in addition to that the Cards might be getting on track after a dismal start to the season -- is that the Big East is going to continue to be just as tough as everybody has long believed, if not tougher, and can you imagine how Villanova's Jay Wright must feel? He was that close to moving to 2-1 in the league; all he needed was a couple of free throws or a tip-in at the buzzer. But he got neither. So now he's 1-2 in the league with two of his next four against Connecticut and Pittsburgh, which is why you can't give away home victories in this conference, because before you blink you'll be chasing .500 with no good places to catch-up.

As proof, consider: Villanova (13-3 overall, 1-2 in the Big East) must beat either No. 5 Connecticut on Jan. 21 or No. 1 Pitt on Jan. 28, or else it is guaranteed to be below .500 in the league heading into February. There's no away around that fact. The Wildcats can't get back to .500 in the Big East before February without beating a top five team. So you can understand why Wright said "this game kills you" when he was asked to reflect on the defeat, because now he's chasing .500, and it's going to be hard as hell to get there.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 6, 2009 11:39 am

Dear Gary (on my Edgar Sosa comment)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: For you to say that Edgar Sosa can't shoot (in the Monday Look Back) is not to know him. I admit he's not comfortable in Rick Pitino's system, but this kid was born to knock down big shots. If you don't believe me ask Acie Law. I've been watching this kid since he was 12 and shooting the basketball is what he does. Maybe he doesn't fit with the Cards but if you really want to see him, come to Dyckman Park one summer and watch him ball-out.

-- Sherman

Oh, if I had a dollar for everybody who could "ball-out" and Dyckman Park.

Got another Sosa email, if you're interested.

Dear Gary:  First you diss Louisville in the rankings and verbally at every opportunity. Now Sosa can't shoot? Would you prefer a 40-pecent shooter without pressure or a 23-percent shooter who shoots 60-percent under pressure?

-- Rick

First, I have no idea where you're getting the "60-percent under pressure" stat. But either way, I'd just prefer somebody who didn't miss roughly four out of every five 3-pointers he takes, and I'm not even sure what the hell we're arguing about. Are you really upset that I dropped Louisville from the rankings when it was sitting at 7-2 with no good wins and losses to Western Kentucky and Minnesota? And do you really think the Cards should be ranked now even though they are 9-3 with the additional loss coming at home to a UNLV team that didn't even use its best player?


Remember, I'm the guy who had Louisville ranked second in the preseason.

And I'm the guy who called Rick Pitino the best coach in the Big East.

I like the team and its coach.

But the games are the games, and the losses are the losses, and I'm not sure how anybody can look at what's happened through 12 games and conclude that Louisville belongs in the Top 25. As for Sosa, I mean, the guy just doesn't make shots, and that's the best way to separate good shooters from bad shooters, to figure out who makes shots and who doesn't.

Kyle McAlarney, for instance, is a good shooter.


Because he makes 45.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.

But Sosa is literally shooting 23.1 percent from beyond the arc this season, 32.9 percent from the field overall. Furthermore, he made 34.5 percent of his 3-pointers as a freshman and 37.3 percent of 3-pointers as a sophomore, so he's never really approached even 40 percent, which is a pretty achievable number for good shooters, or at least the ones who don't hurt their average by taking too many questionable shots (like Stephen Curry sometimes does).

So again, Edgar Sosa isn't a good shooter.

I stand by my statement.

And if you want to argue, that's fine.

But you must first explain why he's shooting 33.9 percent from 3-point range the past two seasons.

Good luck with that.

It'd be like me trying to tell you I'm a good speller even though I misspell seven out of every 10 words.

Would that make much sense?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com