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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, February 19, 2005


-- Dick Harmon of the Deseret (UT) Morning News praises University of New Mexico athletic director Rudy Davalos for standing up to ESPN. When the WWLIS called to ask Harmon to move the start time of the Lobos' 7 pm Monday game against the nationally ranked Utah Utes to 10 pm, Davalos said thanks, but no thanks. He and the the rest of the MWC's athletic directors are unhappy with ESPN's failure to promote the network's telecasts of the conference's Monday night games.

-- The Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun pens a must-read about Boston College's Sean Williams. Including a second paragraph that sets up the great article that follows.

It is not what Williams has done, it is what he might do. What he is expected to do. What people hope he will do, especially in a program that arguably has never had anyone like him.

-- The indefatigble Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette suggests the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will make the NIT Tournament if the Phoenix win all three of their remaining regular-season games. I agree, if only because Demovsky makes a persuasive case based on RPI data, schedule results, and historical precedent.

-- It took me a day, but I finally came to grips with the fact that ESPN's Mark Simon decided to write -- and praise! -- Florida's Anthony Roberson in his weekly edition of "College Hoops Extra." Try as I might, I can't erase from my mind Roberson's selfish play at the end of last season...More importantly, Simon (as usual) uncovers a most interesting statistic. Texas Tech may be the nation's most able and balanced passing ballclub; Bobby Knight's club has seven players who average better than an assist per game AND have positive assist to turnover ratios. Also, I noted that (for the first time?) Simon's column appeared in the "More from ESPN.com" rotation. Is our good friend moving up in the world of college basketball punditry?

-- Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl suggests Division I wannabes study the Buffalo model: have the fan base to support an elite program, gain admission to a conference and hire a good coach. Also via Grant Wahl, a link to poems by Duke guard J.J. Redick.

-- Wahl's SI colleague, Stewart Mandel, argues Pacific, Wichita State, Southern Illinois, Vermont, Old Dominion, St. Mary's, UW-Milwaukee, and Davidson could surprise a club or two in the NCAA Tournament. Not so sure about Wichita State after their third loss, but the others make a solid seven.

-- Fox Sports' Frank Burlison hands out the hardware. He joins the chorus of those who belive Salim Stoudamire is current a first-team All-America.

-- More from the Mainstream: Mike DeCourcy of Fox Sports is up with Hits & Misses and his Mailbag. Tony Mejia of CBS SportsLine projects the Field of 65. Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated this weekend likes Boston College over Syracuse, Illinois over Iowa, Oklahoma State over Texas Tech, Oklahoma over Kansas State, Cincinnati over UAB, Pacific over UTEP, Vermont over Nevada, Florida over LSU, Wake Forest over Duke, and Pittsburgh over Villanova. Andy Katz of ESPN heaps praise upon Tubby Smith and the University of Kentucky. While his Bristol buddy, Dick Vitale, uses the term "wacky" to describe the SEC. Finally, Gregg Doyel of CBS SportsLine pens a piece on his Top 10 weekend games.

-- Jay Bilas of the WWLIS asks if the 2004-2005 season is Billy Donovan's best coaching job. Yes. Though I would argue it is also his only coaching job. Bilas also comes out of left field to suggest -- and I am not making this up -- that the Pac 10 may only receive two bids. Sure, Arizona State, UCLA and Stanford haven't done much to help themselves of late, but it is highly unlikely that at least one of the three will not notch a few big victories during the remainder of the season and the conference tournament. My money's on UCLA (RPI: 34), in no small part because the Bruins' schedule might enable Ben Howland's club to notch a road victory against Notre Dame on February 27th.

-- ESPN's Pat Forde on Boston College. Who knew Rick Pitino calls Al Skinner by his old nickname, Bunny. Hehe.

-- Info on tickets to the America East tourney here.

-- Andrew Joyner of the Charlottesville (VA) Daily Progress and Patrick Stevens of the Washington Times cover the final days of the Gillen era at Virginia.

-- Bruce Weber: Fear not hope.

-- Phil Chardis of the Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer suggests Jared Dudley, Ryan Gomes, Jeff Green, Chevy Troutman, and Marcus Williams are the five players most indispensable to their Big East teams.