Time for 8 Team Expansion

Posted on December 18, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How to Expand the College Football Playoff

December 11, 2016

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As the subject states… it’s time to expand the College Football Playoff (CFP) from 4-teams to 8 like immediately!

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It’s the third College Football Playoff season rankings and Bill Hancock, the CFP’s executive director, reiterated that the system is working. “We are confident,” Hancock said Sunday, “that four is the right number.”

Is it? The Big Ten Champion is out of the playoffs… Big 12 leader is out… Undefeated Western Michigan is out…. but it’s working?

He went on to say “I don’t anticipate any discussion about expansion.” In a word, INTERESTING!!!!

So, wouldn’t you say eight teams would be much more solid as well as fun for the students! And it seems that the majority of fans want the playoff to expand! And every playoff in every major American sport has eventually grown bigger!

NOTE: FCS, Division-I, has been doing this for years

Speaking December 7th at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, Emmert said he prefers an eight-team format that includes automatic bids for champions of each Power Five conference.

And in case you didn’t know, NCAA Commissioner, Mark Emmert, doesn’t have control over the College Football Playoff format — the NCAA doesn’t run the Football Bowl Subdivision postseason and they always remind you of that — but “if” he did, he’d expand it to eight teams in a heartbeat.

However, as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany noted on Wednesday, the field selection this year did not provide any movement toward an eight-team playoff. In so many words he shared ‘the tires have been kicked on an eight-team playoff, casually or otherwise, even before major college football had a four-team playoff. With the three-year-old postseason format paying out hefty sums of money, one can venture to guess expansion is coming at some point in the future.’

Why eight teams? Many believe, including the staff at Amateur Sports, eight is the sweet spot for the college football playoff: more national representation but not too much, and only one more round of competition. Even further…. win your conference (Big Ten, SEC, ACC, MAC, Big 12, PAC12, *AAC or *Sun Belt) and you are in – PERIOD!!! With one spot for a solid wildcard (highest ranked teams remaining including independent teams like Navy and Notre Dame, etc).

* best overall record between these two conference determines who’s in…

The case for expansion…

For the first two years of the playoff, one thing looked abundantly clear: winning your conference championship was important and all eight playoff teams in those two years were conference champs. But this year, Penn State messed things up by winning the Big Ten championship. Suddenly, the qualifying statements perpetuated by the “CYA” mission of selecting the “four best teams” began pouring in. Then came along the dialogue about the resumes between Penn State and Ohio State, which were not close but they won when they had to based on their schedule.

To be clear, this isn’t to say those statements are wrong. In many ways they’re right. But can anyone remember this much dismissing of conference titles last year? How about the year before? Funny how it emerges when it’s the team no one expects winning the conference.

And let’s not forget the efforts of Western Michigan who went undefeated including winning the MAC championship, and they are out too.

Additionally, two things fans love about March Madness take effect. There’s the Cinderella story, which would have been Western Michigan this year, and the team with the hot hand. No one denies that early-season losses by Oklahoma and USC matter, but it’s also true they aren’t the same teams now as they were in September. Expanding to eight at least allows for greater consideration of this.

The macro point here is that the first three seasons of the playoff have been filled with inconsistencies. Fans see this on a week-to-week basis with the mock rankings selection show. “Body clocks” is a pass one week and “game control” is a criterion the next. Flexibility is the beauty of having a human committee. It’s also what makes it extraordinarily frustrating. Having the Power Five conference champions as automatic bids absolutely takes away the drama, but it also takes away a lot of the frustration.

What would an eight-team playoff look like this season? This exercise is part reality and part subjectivity.

To acknowledge the selection committee members, we will use their top four: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Washington.

Now, the fun part: we pick the next four!

They are as follows: No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Western Michigan, No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma. Despite a 39-point loss at Michigan Stadium, Penn State is ahead of the Wolverines because of its overall profile (wins over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Temple and Iowa) and conference championship.

Unfortunately, the first four out would be USC, Wisconsin, Florida State, and Colorado. USC is very close to Oklahoma to us even though they didn’t win their conference or division but has two better wins — Washington and Colorado — than anything on Oklahoma’s résumé. Plus, outside of Alabama, USC is the team no one wants to play.

Here’s how our hypothetical eight-team playoff would look this year.

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NOTE: With the team with the higher ranking “host” to game on their home field.

No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 8 Oklahoma (10-2)

No. 2 Clemson (12-1) vs. No. 7 Michigan (10-2)

No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) vs. No. 6 Western Michigan (13-0)

No. 4 Washington (12-1) vs. No. 5 Penn State (11-2)

college-bracket-2016

NOTE: Losers are then slotted to the “already” predetermined bowl games ~click here for details on that. Notice in the column of team selection how it states conference and place in the standings.

CONCLUSION
Now to be fair, there is a case against expansion expanding…

What do you want to reward? The best team in tournament play at the time of the tournament, or the best team in the land?

In the modern era of college football, championships have been won by teams with superior talent and excellent coaching. Each year, you could make an argument that only about 13-16 teams in the country will fit that description at the beginning of the year, and many of those teams will fall from title contention because of injuries or ill-timed poor play. If the playoff is expanded, you gain the element of postseason drama but risk losing a worthy champion because of a bad break. Often you hear let’s leave the “Cinderella story” to college basketball and let college football crown its king with the four best teams in the country.

I also think expanding the playoffs would require increasing the scholarship limit or cutting back on the number of regular-season games. Expanding the playoff would decrease the urgency for conference championship weekend for teams that were “locks,” like Ohio State was heading into Selection Sunday this season.

I’m not great at math, but scholarships cost money, cutting regular season or conference title games means less money, and there isn’t enough impetus for this current crop of conference commissioners to go through the headache or reworking the letter of the law without knowing more regarding the future of finances (media rights) in college football.

Regardless of the “so-called” obstacles, isn’t it about the “student-athlete” and their efforts on the field? And these athletes can only play who’s on the schedule and in front of them. We also believe the NCAA should “own” one floating week on ALL D1 schedules each year, which they can force teams to play a real, out of conference competitor, but that’s in an upcoming article – Stay tune. We digress…

In the end, we’re going to watch and debate, but respectively speaking, it’s time to reward overall achievement not what we think will happen.

For fun, here is a 16-team playoff by our friends at SEC country  – whew!… click here!

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2015 NCAA Championship Weekend

Posted on December 6, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Championship Weekend is here…

December 5, 2015

It was a Saturday filled with conference championships, and Buckeye fans were hoping that a few minor miracles would help Urban Meyer make his way into the College Football Playoff yet again.

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Michigan State 16, Iowa 13

The Spartans and Hawkeyes engaged in a typical Big Ten battle Saturday night in Indy. With only nine points scored in the first half, both teams were able to find paydirt in the fourth quarter, but it was a familiar Ohioan who gave Michigan State the conference crown.

The true freshman rushed for 73 yards and the game-winner that capped of a 22-play, 82-yard drive that consumed nine minutes of the fourth quarter. Scott carried the ball fourteen times on Sparty’s final drive. Connor Cook completed 16 of 32 passes for 191 yards and one interception. The senior missed a few open wide receivers and still didn’t look anywhere near 100%.

The Hawkeye ground game struggled throughout the night, managing just 55 yards with no scores. Quarterback C.J. Beathard connected on 18 of 26 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception. On the first play of the third quarter—on a 2nd down and 20—the junior tossed one of the prettier passes of the season, connecting with Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard touchdown that put the Hawkeyes on top 13-9.

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Alabama 29, Florida 15

Florida only having lost one conference game in the regular season probably tells you everything you need to know about the SEC this year. I guess the positive for the Gators may be that high school quarterbacks have to see that early playing time is a real possibility in 2016.

The Gator offense was tough to watch on Saturday. The running game ended with 15 yards on 21 carries. They actually had negative yards rushing until quarterback Treon Harris scrambled for 23 yards late in the fourth quarter. Speaking of Harris, it wasn’t pretty for the 5-foot-11 sophomore. He ended the day 9 of 24 for 165 yards with one score and an interception. Jordan Kronkrite and Kelvin Taylor led the way on the ground as both finished with a whopping eight yards.

Derrick Henry all but secured the Heisman Trophy, rushing for 189 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries. He now holds the SEC record for rushing yards in a season (1,986) and his touchdown tied the SEC single-season record (23). Jake Coker threw for 204 yards and a pair of scores. True freshman wideout Calvin Ridley made a few ridiculous plays while hauling in 8 passes for 102 yards.

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Clemson 45, North Carolina 37

Lately, poor officiating has been a hot topic at both the college and professional levels. That trend continued Saturday in Charlotte, and for Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels, it may have cost them a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. With a little over a minute left in the game, UNC recovered an onside kick near the 50-yard line, but the officials flagged the Heels for supposedly being offsides.

Deshaun Watson had himself a day for the Tigers. The sophomore signal-caller accounted for over 400 yards and scored five total touchdowns. Tailback Wayne Gallman rushed for 187 yards and a score as the Clemson ground game tallied 319 yards on the day. Artavis Scott led all receivers with seven receptions for 96 yards and a score. Gallman added 68 yards receiving and a touchdown reception.

Quarterback Marquise Williams once again led the way for the Heels. The senior threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 81 and a score on the ground. Elijah Hood rushed for 65 yards and a score. North Carolina put up 382 yards of total offense while Clemson managed just over 600.

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Stanford 41, Southern California 22

If Derrick Henry all but solidified his Heisman status on Saturday, then I’m not sure what Christian McCaffrey did. The Reggie Bush comparisons have been out there throughout the season, but Stanford’s do-it-all sophomore truly did just about everything for the Cardinal.

McCaffrey tossed a touchdown pass, rushed for a score, and was on the receiving end of a touchdown from quarterback Kevin Hogan. He ended the day with 207 yards rushing, 105 yard receiving, 149 return yards, and the 11-yard touchdown pass. McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders’ single-season all-purpose yards record as the Trojans simply had no answer.

For the Trojans, Cody Kessler threw for 187 yards and a score. JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in 11 passes for 87 yards while junior tailback Justin Davis added 99 yards on the ground. The Trojans fought back from a 13-0 second-quarter deficit and actually had the lead with five minutes left in the third quarter. The turning point came late in the third when Cardinal defensive lineman—and former Ohio State target—Solomon Thomas scooped up a Kessler fumble and returned it 34 yards for a score.

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Houston 24, Temple 13

Tom Herman is good at coaching football, and for the second straight season, he is a conference champion. The Cougars got off to a 17-0 first-half lead and their ground game and defense were able to hold off the Owls after the half.

Houston’s running game accounted for 233 of its 339 total yards. Junior quarterback Greg Ward led the way with 148 rushing yards and two scores. Ward chipped in another 88 yards through the air. Brandon Wilson added 70 yards rushing while sophomore Javin Webb was also able to find the endzone.

Temple quarterback P.J. Walker threw for 287 yards and a score. Senior wideout Robby Anderson was his favorite target on the day, hauling in 12 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.

On Friday, Herman signed a 5-year extension with the Cougs; spurning a number of larger programs, including Georgia and South Carolina.

So things definitely did not go as we had hoped. Florida provided Buckeye fans about a quarter’s worth of hope as their defense kept them in the game early on. Stanford is simply a better team than the Trojans. And North Carolina had no answer for Deshaun Watson.

Obviously we don’t know if UNC would have scored and converted the two-point conversion to tie the game, but I have no idea what the officials were looking at to make that offsides call. Targeting calls are constantly being reviewed, so it seems a little strange that something so important is not a reviewable call. Perhaps there will be another rule change? Who knows.

It will be interesting to see where the Buckeyes end up. Personally, I will be content—or at least as content a possible without going to the CFP—with playing Stanford in the Rose Bowl or Notre Dame in the Fiesta. But will the committee have Iowa ranked higher than Ohio State? The Rose Bowl management committee suggested that the “strong presumption” is that they take the next highest-rated team.

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We shall learn our fate Sunday afternoon as the College Football Playoff show will reveal the final rankings between 12PM and 4PM EST on ESPN.

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BIG TEN / ACC Challenge

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2013 BIG TEN / ACC Challenge

BIGTEN-ACC-Challenge-2013

DECEMBER 2, 2013

This years’ Big Ten/ACC Challenge promises to be two of the most exciting days of the college basketball season, as 24 teams from two powerhouse conferences collide on the hardwood.

The Commissioner’s Cup remains with the Big Ten after a tie in this event last year, although the ACC boasts a 10-3-1 record over its rival conference. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if the ACC can pick up its first win since 2008, especially with so many talented squads in the field.

Here is this years’ schedule and our predictions (in BOLD)…

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NOTE: Three ACC teams were excluded this year: Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Tuesday, Dec. 3 (all times ET)
7:15 – Indiana at Syracuse (ESPN)
7:15 – Illinois at Georgia Tech (ESPN2)
7:30 – Penn State at Pittsburgh (ESPNU)
9:15 – Michigan at Duke (ESPN)
9:15 – Notre Dame at Iowa (ESPN2)
9:30 – Florida State at Minnesota (ESPNU)

Wednesday, Dec. 4 (all times ET)
7:00 – Maryland at Ohio State (ESPN or ESPN2)
7:00 – Wisconsin at Virginia (ESPN or ESPN2)
7:30 – Northwestern at NC State (ESPNU)
9:00 – North Carolina at Michigan State (ESPN)
9:00 – Boston College at Purdue (ESPN2)
9:30 – Miami at Nebraska (ESPNU)

This is going to be a great tournament and a single game could be the difference between a win or loss—and possibly another tie—in the challenge.

I have it all tied again, but putting pride into the equation could change everything. So, don’t be surprised if the outcome of this challenge comes down to the final minutes of the final game being played on Wednesday night. These two conferences are that evenly matched and it could truly go either way.

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Here are a few fun notes about the Challenge…

•Seven of the 12 games will mark first-time Challenge matchups: Michigan-Duke, Maryland-Ohio State, Miami-Nebraska and Boston College-Purdue, plus the debut of the three new ACC members Syracuse (vs. Indiana), Notre Dame (at Iowa) and Pitt (vs. Penn State).

•In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Nebraska holds a 3-1 record against Miami; Purdue won both previous meetings against BC; Ohio State and Maryland last played in 1985 with OSU three out of the five all-time games; and Notre Dame will play Iowa for the first time since 1990 and holds a 8-5 series record.

•Old Pennsylvania rivals Pitt and Penn State will meet for the first time since 2005. The Panthers have won the past five contests.

•Illinois/Georgia Tech and Wisconsin/Virginia will follow their first-time Challenge meetings in 2012 with a rematch in the 2013 event. The Illini and Cavaliers won last year’s matchups.

•Best Three Out of Five: North Carolina/Michigan State and Minnesota/Florida State will meet in the Challenge for the fifth time. Both series are 2-2.

•Rubber Match: Northwestern and NC State will square off in the Challenge for the third time. Northwestern won in 2009 and NC State in 2002.

•Syracuse and Indiana have met five previous times in non-Challenge games, with the Orange winning the past four, including last season’s Sweet 16 matchup.

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College Basketball Watch List

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

We are watching….

As basketball tipped last week, we have compiled our “WATCH-LIST,” which consist of players from our coverage area here in Illinois, as well as national players we have gotten to know over the years on the circuit. During the season, we will be updating this blog every week as the season goes on until championship Monday in April 2014.

So be sure to bookmark this article, and come back each and every Monday morning for our weekly recap.

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Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas Jayhawks 

Jabari Parker, F, Duke Blue Devils 

Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona Wildcats 

Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana Hoosiers 

Kendrick Nunn, G, Illinois Illini

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Julius Randle, F, Kentucky Wildcats 

James Young, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

Aaron Harrison, G, Kentucky Wildcats 

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Top College Basketball Teams 2013-14

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Our Top Teams…

November 2013

Another exciting college basketball season is underway! This should be an incredible season because there are a number of legitimate contenders. You will see some great matchups early in the year, including Michigan State-Kentucky and Kansas-Duke in Chicago early – November 12. That’s four of my top five teams squaring off in one night!

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1. Kentucky
John Calipari has reloaded big time. He has the top recruiting class in America by far, and this group should be special. Think about it — the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew), Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, James Young, Marcus Lee —  WOW! Then add in veterans like Jarrod Polson, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein to help the youngsters learn the ropes, and Big Blue Nation will be smiling.

2. MichiganState
Having Adreian Payne up front, plus a healthy Gary Harris, Keith Appling and Branden Dawson, is enough to believe the Spartans are legit contenders to cut down the nets in April. The Big Ten favorites will be cohesive and deep. Tom Izzo is a master motivator at tournament time and his team should make a deep run in 2014.

3. Louisville
Russ Smith’s decision to return to school gives Rick Pitino an even better chance of going back-to-back. Chane Behanan will be even tougher on the glass. Luke Hancock is more confident after being named Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. I can’t wait to watch Louisville and Kentucky go at it in late December, and don’t forget about Chicago’s very-own Wayne Blackshear.

4. Duke
Mike Krzyzewski will have a more athletic team that will run, baby, run! Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are newcomers to watch. Expect more from Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon. The return of Andre Dawkins will provide long-range shooting help.

5. Kansas
The Jayhawks moved up because of one name — Andrew Wiggins. There will be excitement for Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk with the diaper dandy leading the way at the Phog. I expect Perry Ellis to develop into a valuable performer.

For the rest of our list, click here.

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Ranking NCAA Football Conferences 2013

Posted on September 16, 2013. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Who’s the TOP College football conference?

August 28, 2013

10sunbelt

Who? Okay…. we needed a 10th conference…

9 confUSA

Louisiana Tech is fun to watch… next

8Mid-American

Northern Illinois dominates this conference every year and this year will NOT be any different but the rest of the teams struggle.

7MountainWest

There’s Boise State and a bunch of other teams… Next!

6AmericanConf

Louisville, Cincy and Rutgers are all gonna battle and that makes this conference tough.

5  acc

It’s all about Clemson and Florida State, but still nothing to sneeze at here.

4BigTen-Logo

Right night, it’s hard to imagine any team long-term outperforming The Ohio State this year, even though Wisconsin will try their best to keep things close since they are in the same conference (Leaders). On the other side of the division, Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern will fight and scratch to the end in order to play the Buckeyes in the championship game December 7 in Indianapolis.

3Big12

This 10-team league is wide-open with contenders like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Baylor and Kansas State at the top. Who will prevail? See ya in December…

2  Pac12

Right away, when you think Pac-12 you think Stanford and Oregon, which is absolutely correct but don’t sleep on Arizona State and UCLA this season.

1SEC

As much as we would love to put another conference on top, the reality of it all is we can’t. Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, etc… would dominate any conference listed below – hands down. Thus, SEC again is the top football conference – PERIOD!

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2012-13 USBWA Women’s All-America Team

Posted on April 10, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

USBWA Announces 2012-13 Women’s All-America Team

April 3, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch, 314-795-6821

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Baylor senior center sensation Brittney Griner became the ninth three-time honoree and was joined by four other repeat selections on the 2012-13 U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women’s All-America Team from last season.

Also selected as repeat All-Americans were Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, and Baylor’s Odyssey Sims.

Additionally, a first-time sister act has occurred with Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike, whose sibling Nnemkadi, now with the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, was a three-time honoree. Texas A&M’s Kelsey Bone is the school’s second player to earn All-America honors.

Former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris and former UConn great Maya Moore are the only four-time honorees since the All-America women’s team gained USBWA status in 1996-97.

Because of the upsets in the Sweet 16, only Notre Dame’s Diggins and Connecticut honorees Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who meet for the fourth time this season in the national semifinals, will be the only honorees participating in the Women’s Final Four at the New Orleans Arena in Louisiana this weekend.

Three seniors, Griner, Delle Donne, and Diggins, expected to be the first three players selected in the WNBA draft on April 15, headline a squad that also has six juniors and one sophomore.

Diggins and UConn teammates Dolson and Mosqueda-Lewis give the Big East three representatives on the squad while Baylor teammates Griner and Sims, who are also past USBWA freshman of the year honorees, give the Big 12 two representatives.

The Atlantic Coast, Pac-12, Southeastern, Big Ten and Colonial Athletic Association each have one representative with Delle Donne being the only honoree from a mid-major school.

Diggins, Griner, Ogwumike, and Lucas were also conference players of the year, respectively in the Big East, Big 12, Pac-12, and Big Ten.

The USBWA Women’s All-America Team is the nation’s best ten players, regardless of position, as selected by the USBWA membership based on regular-season performance. These ten standouts are finalists for the USBWA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as national player of the year, which will be announced Sunday at the New Orleans Sports Arena prior to the start of the NCAA semifinals.

Following is the complete 2012-13 USBWA Women’s All-America Team:

Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M, C, 6-4, Jr., Houston, Texas
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware, G/F, 6-5, Sr., Wilmington, Del.
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame, G, 5-9, Sr., South Bend, Ind.
Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut, C, 6-5, Jr., Port Jervis, N.Y.
Brittney Griner, Baylor, C, 6-8, Sr., Houston, Texas
Maggie Lucas, Penn State, G, 5-10, Jr., Narberth, Pa.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut, F, 6-0, So., Anaheim Hills, Calif.
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford, F, 6-3, Jr., Cypress, Texas
Odyssey Sims, Baylor, G, 5-9, Jr., Irving, Texas
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland, F, 6-2, Jr., Harrisburg, Pa.

By conference:
Big East (3); Big 12 (2); ACC (1);
Big Ten (1); CAA (1); Pac-12 (1); SEC (1).

By class:
Seniors (3); Juniors (6); Sophomores (1); Freshmen (0).

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association, formed in 1956, has named a women’s All-America team since the 1996-97 season. The association has also named a national player of the year since 1987-88 and a national coach of the year since 1989-90. In 2002-03, the USBWA initiated an award for the nation’s top freshman.

For more information about the USBWA and its award programs, contact Executive Director Joe Mitch in the Missouri Valley Conference office at 314-795-6821.

Related link: * All-time USBWA women’s honors

 

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2012-13 NCAA Players of the Week

Posted on January 16, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2013 NCAA Players of the week

care of U.S. Basketball Writers Association

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association picks a top player, each week of the 2012-13 season, from both Men and Women’s basketball, and award them with the National Player of the Week. The USBWA’s weekly honor will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 19 this season. The Men’s award is named after Oscar Robertson, and the Women’s awards Ann Meyers Drysdale.

Here’s the winners of the Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week:

Week of Feb. 17: Michael Lyons, Air Force (Mountain West Conference)

Week of Feb. 10: Mason Plumlee, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)

Week of Feb. 3: Shane Larkin, Miami (Atlantic Coast Conference)

Week of Jan. 27: Darrun Hilliard, Villanova (Big East Conference)

Week of Jan. 20: Roosevelt Jones, Butler (Atlantic 10 Conference)

Week of Jan. 13: Elston Turner, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)

Week of Jan. 6: Trey Burke, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)

Week of Dec. 30: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (Pac-12 Conference)

Week of Dec. 23: Victor Rudd, South Florida (Big East Conference)

Week of Dec. 16: Doug McDermott, Creighton (Missouri Valley Conference)

Week of Dec. 9: Brandon Paul, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)

Here’s the winners of the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Players of the Week:

Week of Feb. 17: Keiera Ray, Pennsylvania (Ivy League)

Week of Feb. 10: Kelia Shelton, Louisiana Tech (Western Athletic Conference)

Week of Feb. 3: Khaalidah Miller, Georgia (Southeastern Conference)

Week of Jan. 27: Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford (Pac-12 Conference)

Week of Jan. 20: Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut (Big East Conference)

Week of Jan. 13: Brittney Griner, Baylor (Big 12 Conference)

Week of Jan. 6: Kayla McBride, Notre Dame (Big East Conference)

Week of Dec. 30: Karisma Penn, Illinois (Big Ten Conference)

Week of Dec. 23: Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M (Southeastern Conference)

Week of Dec. 16: Chucky Jeffery, Colorado (Pac-12 Conference)

Week of Dec. 9: Maggie Lucas, Penn State (Big Ten Conference)

This is the fourth season that the USBWA has selected a national player of the week. The weekly Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week will be considered for the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list, which will be released at mid-season.

Since the 1958-59 season, the USBWA has named a National Player of the Year. In 1998, the award was named in honor of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Famer and two-time USBWA Player of the Year Oscar Robertson. It is the nation’s oldest award and the only one named after a former player.

And at the Women’s NCAA Final Four in Denver last April, the organization (USBWA) announced going forward that the Women’s national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale. At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2013 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards breakfast in New Orleans, site of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

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At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac will be presented by its namesake, Oscar Robertson, at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 15, 2013, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award and the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four. At last season’s Women’s Final Four, it was also announced that former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was the female recipient of the Most Courageous Award for her battle against early onset dementia, Alzheimer type, would have that award named in her honor.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the most comprehensive college basketball publication in the world, returns for its 32nd season, bigger and better in 2012-13. Blue Ribbon – long-known as “The Bible of College Basketball” – gives its readers the most thorough, up-to-date and timely evaluations of every Division I team in the country. For more information about Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, visit blueribbonyearbookonline.com.

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Illinois-Georgia Tech

Posted on November 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 27, 2012

Illinois plays host to Georgia Tech

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – The Fighting Illini (8-0) had to lean on reserve guard Joseph Bertrand to knock off Georgia Tech 75-62 Wedneday night at Assembly Hall during the Big Ten / ACC Challenge.   The redshirt, 6’6″ junior hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions (sick and-1 http://youtu.be/9rNqfhfvp8w) and scored every point in a 10-0 run to ignite the Illini to the victory.

”It’s really helped my confidence,” Bertrand said. ”I’m looking to shoot them more this year. I was driving more last year. I’m looking to do both.”

After missing his first season with a knee injury, Bertrand relied upon his athleticism to get to the basket and create scoring opportunities for himself during the last two years. By concentrating on his perimeter game during individual practice sessions over the summer, he’s become tougher to guard.   ”Until you get to know him, Joe sometimes comes off like a quiet guy, but he’s got some big-time energy,” Illinois coach John Groce said. ”I very rarely will watch practice film or game film and say, ‘Bertrand isn’t playing hard.”’

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Georgia Tech rallied with two 3-pointers from guard Chris Bolden and a breakaway dunk by Jason Morris for a 54-50 lead with 10:16 left.

The lead changed hands six times in a back-and-forth first half, when Illinois shot 46.7 percent from the 3-point line while the Yellow Jackets hit 45.5 from behind the arc.

During the first half both teams played a solid, uptempo game as the home team take a 1 point lead into half 36-35. Both teams shot darn near identical: Yellow Jackets 46.2% from field and 45.5% from downtown, Illini 46.7% from both. But by the end of the contest, the home team increased their percentages, 474% from for the floor and 50% from downtown, and theYellow Jackets decreased  44.2% and 38.1% respectively.

Bertrand and Brandon Paul finished the contest with 15 points apiece, and Tyler Griffey and D.J. Richardson each had 14 points for Illinois.

Kammeon Holsey led Georgia Tech (4-2) with 14 points while Jason Morris and Mfon Udofia scored 10 apiece of which 8 came in the first half.

‘‘If you had said, ‘Would you predict 8-0?’ I probably wouldn’t have been bold enough to do that,’’ Groce said. ‘‘But our guys have been resilient. We’ve been popped in the mouth two or three times and come back in games and made big plays down the stretch. Hopefully, we continue to do that.’’

Coming into this Big Ten-ACC Challenge, the Fighting Illini are off to a fast, undefeated start of 7-0 and play host to Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in this years’ Big Ten – ACC Challenge. It just seems that first year coach John Groce and got the team to buy into his way of things and it’s working. Groce uses attacking, dribble-drive offense and they feel comfortable in it, and that is helping them make shots.

Groce said of Illinois’ Top 25 ranking. ‘‘We’re seven games in. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the recognition. But at the end of the day, what’s it mean in terms of the long-term mission we’re on to be the best team we can be in February and March?’’

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FUN NOTES

John Groce’s 8-0 start is the second-best by a first-year coach at Illinois along with Harry Combes (1947-48). Fletcher Lane started 12-0 in 1907-08, his only season as Illini coach.

After losing 12 of its last 14 games last season, Illinois is off to a strong start under Groce, who became the only coach since World War II to start his Illini career with eight straight wins.

Illinois holds a 7-1 advantage over Georgia Tech in the all-time series, including five straight wins.

 Illinois is 7-1 against Georgia Tech, including a 103-92 double-OT victory Jan. 22, 1989. That was the only other time Tech has come to Champaign. With that win, Illinois improved to 17-0 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation the next day.

Illinois entered the week as the nation’s leading 3-point shooting team, making an average of 10.9 per game.


Attendance: 12224 – Orange Crush!!!

For more on the 2012 Big Ten-ACC Challenge roundup click here.

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BIG Ten – ACC Challenge Roundup…

Posted on November 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

November 27-28, 2012

The 2012 Big Ten-ACC Challenge ended in a tie, 6-6, and the Big Ten retains control of the Commissioner’s Cup, having won last year’s Challenge.

It only seems fitting that when the two best conferences in the country were matched up that it would end in a tie.

Of course, it’s only November. A lot can change before the March Madness dance cards are filled out. As N.C. State can attest, a lot can change in two weeks. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty to learn from watching these games. Again it’s early but it might be another year with at least five teams earning spots in the Big Dance from the Big Ten. There were six teams in the Big Ten ranked in the Top 25 at the start of the week. Four of them won. Most impressively, Indiana, the No. 1 team in the nation, trounced No. 14 North Carolina by 24.

Illinois 75, Georgia Tech 62 
The Fighting Illini (8-0) had to lean on reserve guard Joseph Bertrand to knock off Georgia Tech 75-62 Wedneday night at Assembly Hall during the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. Click here to read our game summary as we were courtside.

Miami (Fla.) defeated Michigan State, 67-59
Keith Appling had 15 points for the Spartans (5-2), who lost to Miami, 67-59. It was Michigan State’s first loss since the season opener against Connecticut.

Duke defeated Ohio State, 73-68
Mason Plumlee had 21 points and a career-high-tying 17 rebounds, and No. 2 Duke rallied late and held on to beat No. 4 Ohio State 73-68 on Wednesday night. Deshaun Thomas scored 16 points for Ohio State (4-1), while Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 11 apiece.

Boston College defeated Penn State, 73-61
Despite a late 18-1 run that cut Boston College’s 20-point second half lead to only three with 3:08 to play, the Nittany Lions (3-3) were unable to take the lead and suffered a 73-61 loss to Boston College (3-4) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Purdue defeated Clemson, 73-61
D.J. Byrd had 20 points and six 3-pointers in the first half as Purdue built a big lead and held on to defeat Clemson 73-61 in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge on Wednesday night.

Virginia defeated Wisconsin, 60-54
Ben Brust scored 15 points and Jared Berggren added 12, but Wisconsin was unable to hold an early second half lead as Virginia posted the 60-54 win over the Badgers in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge at the Kohl Center on Wednesday night.

BIG Ten 4, ACC 2 after one night of play…

INDIANA 83, North Carolina 59
Cody Zeller knocked down 20 points and teammates Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey added 19 each to help top-ranked Indiana (7-0) defeat North Carolina 83-59 Tuesday night in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge in Bloomington, Ind.

The Hoosiers led 46-37 at halftime, then separated themselves with a strong start after the break.

The Tar Heels’ were lead by Dexter Strickland with 14 points, Marcus Paige added 11 and team leading scorer James Michael McAdoo finished with 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting.

It was the largest margin of victory in the series for Indiana since the it won 107-81 in Bloomington on Dec. 12, 1964. The Hoosiers took an 8-5 lead in the series between programs that each have won five national titles.

MICHIGAN 79, N.C. State 72
Freshman Nik Stauskas came off the bench and lit it up with a game-high 20 points and Trey Burke added 18 points and 11 assists to lead the Wolverines past the visiting Wolfpack. The Wolverines (6-0) also got 16 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. and 11 points and seven rebounds from freshman Glenn Robinson III as they shot 50 percent from the field and were 9-for-24 from 3-point range.

The Wolfpack trailed 43-36 at halftime and were down by as many as 15 in the second half before a late rally. They pulled within five on three occasions down the stretch but didn’t get any closer.

T.J. Warren scored 18 points and C.J. Leslie had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead N.C. State. Richard Howell added 12 points and Scott Wood scored 10 for the Wolfpack, who have lost two of their last three and barely eked out a two-point win over UNC Asheville in between.

MINNESOTA 77, Florida State 68
The Golden Gophers held the Seminoles to 37.9 percent shooting… That’s a season low folks…

Minnesota (7-1) led by four points with 9:15 left in the first half, then closed with a 19-10 run to build a 38-25 halftime advantage. The Gophers extended their lead to 21 points midway through the second half and withstood a brief rally that saw Florida State (4-2) pull within 10 points with 5:44 left.

The Golden Gophers had four players with double digit scoring: Joe Coleman with 16 points, Rodney Williams Jr., who added 14, Austin Hollins added 13 points and Andre Hollins scored 12 points. And the BIG man, Elliott Eliason, snagged with 10 rebounds.

The Seminoles were led by Terrance Shannon who knocked down 14 points.

NEBRASKA 79, Wake Forest 63
Ray Gallegos scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half as the visiting Cornhuskers dominated after the break and cruised past the Demon Deacons.

The Demon Deacons trailed by four at the half and were still within 42-37 with 14:09 left when the Cornhuskers began to pull away. Gallegos hit a pair of 3-pointers and totaled 12 points during a 20-3 run over the next 6:04.

Andre Almeida scored 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting and added 11 rebounds and three blocks for Nebraska (5-1), which shot 60 percent in the second half.

Codi Miller-McIntyre was the only player to reach double figures for Wake Forest (3-3) with 11 points. Stars Travis McKie and C.J. Harris combined for 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting.

VIRGINIA TECH 95, Iowa 79
Erick Green scored 24 points and Robert Brown added 18 as the Hokies pulled away late to beat the visiting Hawkeyes.

Roy Devyn Marble recorded 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Aaron White chipped in 21 points and 10 boards for Iowa (5-2).

Maryland 77, Northwestern 57
The Terrapins were led by the hot hands of sophomore guard Dezmine Wells who knocked down 23 (game-high), followed by sophomore teammate Alex Len, who added 13.

The Wildcats was led by Reggie Hearns who scored 19.

This contest was close at the half, where Maryland held a two-pinit lead 28-26, but in the second half, they just stretched out and out-scored the Wildcats by 18 points (or 49-31).

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