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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Saturday, January 08, 2005

of mice and men

-- Raleigh News & Observer Columnist Ned Barnett suggests that "[North] Carolina is back." Following today's game, Maryland fans would tend to agree. As would I, now 1-0 in my predictions for this weekend.

-- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim will soon appear in a television commercial promoting a new sports stadium for Manhattan's West Side. His support for the project may be a matter of principle, but I'd love to know how much bling the Jets sent his way in return.

"It's really a sports stance. I'm in favor of stadiums," Boeheim said. "If they wanted to build a stadium in Albany, I would probably be in support of that. They asked me, and I think it's a good project and will benefit the people and the state." The ad, which is airing in the Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse markets for the next couple of weeks, was paid for by the New York Jets.

It features Boeheim saying the proposed stadium, opposed by some community groups and the owners of Madison Square Garden, would attract big events to New York City such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA championship, which Syracuse won in 2003 in New Orleans. "Winning the national championship was a dream come true," Boeheim says in the commercial. "But it would have been even better if we had played the Final Four here in New York."

-- Tommy Trujillo of the New Mexico hopes the Lobos "Cowboy Up" for Mountain West Conference play. I hope beat writers stop employing the phrase "Cowboy Up."

-- The South Bend (IN) Tribune's Tom Noie writes an article about Torin Francis' diminished role with the Fighting Irish, quoting Francis several times, each to the read-between-the-lines effect that Torin believes he should be getting more minutes. Tribune editors, however, title the piece "Francis fine with revised role." Ugh.

-- The Indianapolis Star's Terry Hutchens learns the cost to Indiana of terminating Mike Davis' contract before July 1st (when coach is scheduled to receive a performance bonus of $300,000): $737,500.

-- ESPN starts its 19th season of "Big Monday" on, well, Monday. Later in the week, ESPN & ESPN2 will air games as part of "Super Tuesday "(Big Ten, Southeastern Conference), "ACC Wednesday" (Atlantic Coast Conference plus some Conference USA doubleheaders), and "Throwdown Thursday" (ACC, Conference USA plus other selected games).

-- Paulius Joneliunas, South Carolina's 6'10" sophomore center, has announced his intent to transfer to American University. His departure takes little away from Dave Odom's basketball team but raises questions about coach's ability to keep kids in his program.

Joneliunas' decision means a player has left USC's roster before completing his eligibility in each of the last four seasons. Issa Konare and Greg Taylor transferred following the 2002 season, Marcus Morrison transferred in spring 2003, and Jarod Gerald left for academic reasons following the fall semester last season.

-- Terry Wood, sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times, notes Stan Heath is happy his Razorbacks are flying under the national radar. But at 13-1, the gig's up. Heath deserves mention as among college basketball's rising stars. Given a choice between John Calipari and Stan Heath, whom would you pick to lead your program? Exactly.

-- Rob Schultz of the Madison (WI) Capital Times examines the symbiotic relationship between Wisconsin's Sharif Chambliss and Kam Taylor. Bo Ryan, I would guess, majored in chemistry in college.

-- After today's defeat at the hands of Ohio State, Iowa has lost two straight. Is Steve Alford back on the bubble?

-- Dwyane Wade: "The first time I saw Travis [Diener], I was thinking to myself, 'Oh, my God, what is Coach thinking? What are we doing recruiting this kid?'"

-- Kathy Orton pens a "special to the Washington Post" about the relationship between Georgetown's current offense under JTIII and Princeton's "stall ball." Not too shabby, those Hoyas. After defeating Pittsburgh a few days ago, they today played well against Connecticut.

-- At the half, Duke is in a -- you guessed it -- close game against Temple. With a short bench, the Blue Devils still (always) find a way to win. They just do it with smaller margins. Against worse competition. More significantly, Texas Tech leads Oklahoma State. I would be shocked if the Cowboys didn't turn it around in the second half.