I have a friend who is a UNC-Wilmington alumnus. We used to love to joke about UNC-W’s programs for the basketball season. They haven’t had a very stellar history, so the program included articles on near wins against such powers as Indiana and UMass. Fortunately for the Seahawks, they actually built up a little real history in the past few years (and added one more nearly to their program with the almost win against Maryland in the Tourney a couple of years ago).
Well, now they’ve taken another step towards the bigtime. Their mascot got arrested for drug possession. Hey, just like the big boys, right?

Maryland Loses A Fan

This is a very interesting editorial in Maryland’s student newspaper. Jeremy Craig says he is no longer going to games. He’s fed up. He’s fed up with the school’s crackdown on fans. He’s fed up with the sterile environment in the new Comcast Center. He’s fed up with the idiot fans. Lastly, he’s fed up with the school’s ticket policy that makes it hard for a student to get tickets.
That’s tough. Schools often forget, but the students are the soul of college basketball. Yeah, the sponsors and season ticket holders make the money, but without the students, the money would dry up. The games wouldn’t be as fun.
Now, certainly Maryland has had problems. The administration had to do something after several recent embarassing events that received national attention (riots, the bottle hitting Boozer’s mom, the F*** JJ chants, etc). I’m glad they finally acted, after first claiming that the constitution prevented it. But, they didn’t necessarily have to drive out the fans. It sounds to me like they’ve driven away one of the good ones and that’s a shame.
Thanks to Yoni for the link.

Paulus Update

I’ve written a bit before about the curious situation with Duke recruit Greg Paulus. There isn’t too much new to report on the story. And that by itself is something. You see, Paulus orally committed to Duke a couple of years ago, but his first chance to officially sign a letter of intent ends today. Today is the last day of the early signing period for college basketball. That it apparently came and went without a signed LOI from Paulus is certainly disturbing to the folks in Krzyzewski Tower.
The College Basketball Blog has a rundown of some of the latest scuttle.

Lovable Losers

I recently found a new blog, The Mid-Majority. It’s slick and well-written and as you might guess, it focuses on mid-major hoops programs. It’s definitely one to add to your regular reading schedule.
In this article, Kyle makes a great argument that the NCAA Tournament is better for having the at-large bids, even if they devalue many conference tournaments. His argument is that those extra big schools, and they are mostly the big boys, just become the victims of upsets at the hand of the smaller conference champs. We all love those first weekend upsets, right?

Hoops Is Here!!

For some reason, I haven’t celebrated in this space yet. Allow me to rectify that – yaaaah, college basketball is here again!
I watched some of the Wake Forest game the other night. It felt good. Wake looked good (and so did GW, by the way. That’s a pretty good team). NC State played last night and started very well.
It’s the beginning of nearly six months of the best time of the sports year. I’m looking forward to a great season. For the local Triangle teams, basketball season couldn’t have come fast enough.
For those teams who aren’t in preseason tourneys, the season will start this weekend.

Spurrier To South Carolina?

The rumors have been going strong for a couple of weeks now, but it’s looking like it’s a done deal. The evil Steve Spurrier is going to Columbia, SC. Sure, they are still hedging a bit, but it sounds like everyone knows what’s going to happen.
Lou Holtz will retire after the season and hand over the reigns to The Visored One.
This is bad news for Clemson and its fans. Spurrier may not be able to build a program on par with what he had at Florida (SC talent is good, but not Florida level), but it will still be a powerhouse. Clemson has been uneven in recent years and I bet Spurrier will make a point of targeting his rival on and off the field. Spurrier loves to thrash his rivals and then rub it in with some barbs. Tommy Bowden better get ready for some battles.
It should be interesting.

Sissy Fight

It’s nothing like the famed basketball games, but Duke and UNC do still have something of a football rivalry. Recently, it’s been a game less about who’s better than about who’s worse, but still, they don’t like each other and that has to count for something, right?
This year, the game has a little extra spice in the flavor of a great pre-game quote. UNC center Jason Brown had this to say of his nearby rival, “Who wants to lose to Duke? You know, that’s like getting beat up by a girl.”
I guess Matt Doherty would add that it’s probably an ugly girl too.

Ivy Hoops!

Alright, let me hear you out there. Who’s fired up about the start of Ivy League basketball?!! Huh? Anyone? No? Ah well, me neither. I have nothing against it, mind you, but it is the Ivy League.
That said, the SportsProf wrote up a very long and impressive review of the upcoming season in the Smarter-Than-You League. Give the man some props – he’s dedicated.

Whitehurst = Worst?

It seems that Stwart Mandel of Sports Illustrated
thinks that Charlie Whitehurst is the biggest dissapointment in college football. I can’t argue with him. In fact, I was thinking that very thing just the other day. It’s really hard to explain why he’s so bad this year, tenth in the conference in pass efficiency. Lack of receivers isn’t really a great excuse considering that Arise Curry leads the conference in both catches and yards per game.
The thing is, Whitehurst isn’t the only QB having a surprisingly bad year. Darian Durant has been very good at times, but not the star I expected him to be. Chris Rix is the thirteenth most efficient ACC QB ever, yet lost his job earlier this year to the inconsistent Wyatt Sexton. Even early-season stars Cory Randolph and Marques Hagans have fallen off, Randolph even losing his starting spot.
It’s been a bad year for ACC quarterbacks.

Cavalier Day

It was a good weekend for Virginia football. No, not American football; the Cavaliers lost to Miami on Saturday. No, it was a good weekend for football, as in futbol. Soccer.
The fourth seed Cavaliers won their ninth ACC Tournament Championship (there have been 18 ACC soccer tournaments), beating Maryland 2-1.
Shortly after Virginia continued its dominance of ACC soccer, DC United, a team with a history full of former Cavs, won its fourth MLS title, beating the Kansas City Wizards 3-2. Two of the three United goals (and very nearly the third) were scored by Virginia product and former ACC Player of the Year Alecko Eskandarian.
DC United won the first three MLS titles behind coach Bruce Arena who previously built a dynasty in Charlottesville, winning five straight national titles. Those original United teams were littered with former Cavaliers, including John Harkes and Jeff Agoos.
Note: I’ll be out of town on bidness until Wednesday, so there won’t be any posting. Talk amongst yourselves.