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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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Monday, February 14, 2005

cup of joe

-- ESPN Vice President Burke Magnus may hire Tom Brennan to work at the WWLIS after the Vermont coach retires at season's end, or so suggests Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. Sweet. Bye-bye Jarvis (or Majerus). Hello Brennan.

-- Joe Scott is a genius. First, he turns around Air Force. Second, with his Princeton Tigers struggling after blowing multiple second-half leads, Scott steps out of the box and orders the scoreboard to continue to read "period 1" in the second half of Saturday's game against Columbia. The result? Princeton 63, Columbia 53.

-- Newsday's Joe Gergen reports that Isiah Thomas -- author of the must-not-read book "8 Plays for Winning the Games of Business and Life," published despite Thomas' bankrupting of the CBA -- and 32 other NBA scouts were in the (other) house that Jim built to witness Connecticut-North Carolina. (Mike DiMauro of the New London (CT) Day, however, writes that there were 32, not 33, total scouts at yesterday's game. Who among them, I ask Trey, is correct?)

-- The New York Times' Pete Thamel pens another good piece, reminding readers why this blogger likes the revised RPI better than the road-neutral RPI.

The weekend had two examples of how the changed RPI formula has helped midmajor programs. Vermont lost at Boston University. But because B.U. is ranked in the top 50 of the RPI and the loss came on the road, Vermont did not slide in the ranking. Wichita State lost Saturday at Bradley. But because the MVC had a strong showing in out-of-conference play, Bradley has an RPI inside the top 100, which means a loss to it in conference, especially on the road, is not lethal to a team's overall RPI.

"The new weighted R.P.I. has helped everyone in our league," Wichita State Coach Mark Turgeon said in a telephone interview yesterday. "In past years, we'd have three teams with an R.P.I. over 230, which meant six games against them. Now there's only one team over 200, which makes a real difference."

Although the new formula has helped Missouri Valley Conference teams, which play a lot of road games against tough opponents, it has hurt teams like Pittsburgh, which loaded up on a buffet of lesser teams at home earlier in the season. The Panthers (17-4) are ranked in the top 20 in the news media and coaches polls, but they have an R.P.I. ranking of 47 because of their light nonconference schedule, which included a home loss to Bucknell.

-- Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post leads a thoughtful article on Duke-Maryland with a few notes about the Gary Williams-John Gilchrist relationship. In other words, Gary will today receive from John a few sugar candy hearts, one of whom, I imagine, will instruct the Maryland coach to "fax me." (Why do people purchase those candies, anyway? Not for the taste...)