Archive for the ‘NCAA’ Category

You’ve got to be a real hater not to appreciate what Notre Dame has done this season. Saturday night’s win over Southern Cal, punctuated by one of the all-time great goal line stands late in the fourth quarter, completed a dream season for the Fighting Irish.

They are undefeated, 12 – 0. Seriously, no one honestly saw that coming. I certainly didn’t. I’d pretty much come to expect the 4, 5 sometimes even 6 or 7 losses the Irish had started racking up in recent years.

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A lot of eyes were focused State College, Pennsylvania and Penn State on Saturday, as the Nittany Lions opened the team’s first season in nearly 50 years without Joe Paterno as head coach.

Even more though than the absence of Paterno, most want to know how the school would fare under the weight of some of the most serious sanctions ever levied against a major college football program.

The immediate answer is not very well. Penn State playing at home lost to the Ohio University Bobcats 24-14.

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Let me offer some perspective about Brittney Griner’s impact on the women’s game. While there have been many great female players, a number of them tall, skilled and intimidating, who can actually throw down a dunk or two, like Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker among others, none have been the shutdown defender that Brittney Griner is.

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So why do I feel mildly nauseated by Kentucky winning, while at the same time admiring their skill at playing the game?

Maybe it’s because I continue to be uncomfortable with Kentucky’s coach, John Calipari, a slick, smooth-talking, renegade who left two schools, Massachusetts and Memphis, amid scandals that officially stripped them of their Final Four appearances. But amazingly Calipari himself sneaked away from personal sanctions in both of those cases- a slippery guy indeed.

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Most of the credit for Butler’s nightmare should be accorded to the UConn Huskies. UConn’s taller, more athletic players intimidated Butler right from the very start, even though the Huskies shot only 34 percent from the field themselves. They completely shut down Butler’s two stars, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack.

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A lot of folks outside the state of Utah are scratching their heads, wondering how it is that a consensual act of sex may well sideline a dream basketball season at Brigham Young University. For unmarried students at BYU, having sex constitutes a violation of the university’s ultra-strict honor code. Sophomore center and leading rebounder, Brandon Davies admitted to having sex with his girlfriend and has been suspended from the team for the remainder of the season, and pending further review, now faces dismissal from the university.

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I’m a midwestern guy. A Big Ten guy. But right now I’m feeling a little embarrassed. Something is terribly wrong with Big Ten football.
The Big Ten took an absolute beating on New Year’s Day. The Big Ten lost all five games. Losing bowl games is becoming something of a holiday habit for this once powerful league. It has been years since the Big Ten looked strong in the bowls.

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All About the Money

Posted: 24th December 2010 by DavidBurnett in Bowl Games, College Football, NCAA
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By selectively, suspending five Ohio State players this week, the NCAA revealed itself for what it really is, an arrogant, hypocritical, dysfunctional organization.

The crime: Five Ohio State players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, are caught selling awards, souvenirs, autographs and other trinkets in exchange for cash and tattoos.

But how is it that the five-game suspensions of these Ohio State players are postponed until after the upcoming bowl game? The rules are pretty clear – gifts/prizes cannot be sold for profit – or tattoos.

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The culture of big-time college sports is poison and corrupt and everyone knows it, most of all the NCAA. To me it appears the decision to clear Cam Newton is basically an admission by the NCAA that hypocrisy, double-standards and cash under the table, have always been a part of college sports, and that there is very little that can be done about it, except in the most obvious of cases.

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The game played out like the hollywood script it was meant to emulate. Monday Night’s dramatic championship game ended with Duke edging Butler 61-59. But that was only the score. It was not the full story. Duke’s 4th national championship was earned the hard way. Neither team ever led by more than six points. It was back and forth all night. Tight defense, missed shots. Clutch baskets. Mistakes. There was suspense throughout.

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Butler basketball is the equivalent of Boise State football. The two are extremely successful “mid-major” schools which have fought years for respect. The difference though is that unlike Boise State’s football team, on Monday night Butler gets a chance to prove its worthiness in the championship game. Even better, Butler gets to play it at home in Indianapolis.

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There are many, many legendary basketball stories in the state of Indiana, but Butler’s appearance in the Final Four could turn out to be the biggest Hoosier story of them all.

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Joe Paterno: Old Steady

Posted: 3rd October 2009 by DavidBurnett in Coaches, College Football, NCAA
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I watched an old-fashioned Big Ten football game Saturday afternoon. Penn State against Illinois. It turned out to be an easy Penn State victory 35 to 17. I decided to sit through this relatively meaningless game as a way to honor the past. Years ago a game like this actually mattered but I also remember […]

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If a Michigan State national championship helps to uplift the hopes of a troubled state and inspire its people then I’m all for it.  I don’t always root for the Spartans, since I didn’t go to school there or live in the state but I will cheer for them wholeheartedly when the game tips off […]

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Ty Lawson was held out of the NCAA college basketball tournament’s first game on  Thursday to rest his injured right big toe. There is no doubt had Lawson not played on Saturday, North Carolina would be watching the rest of March Madness on television.  The final score an 84 – 70 victory over LSU does […]

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