Afternoon Linkage: Big Ten shakedown
February, 17, 2010
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
- In advance of tonight's Purdue-Ohio State brawl, Ballin' Is A Habit offers a quick reminder that Ohio State, if it wins tonight and at Michigan State on Sunday, will be a game up on the rest of the Big Ten's contenders with a tiebreak advantage over MSU and PU. So, yeah, tonight's game is important. You could say that.
- Sad stuff from Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland, whose horrific injury early in the season has kept him out of the Aggies' run at the NCAA tournament -- and out of A&M's near miss against Kansas Monday night. As told to Yahoo's Jason King: "I started to cry once I got home," Roland said Tuesday night. "Every other game I’ve been fine. But that one shook me up. We could’ve won that game and I could’ve made a difference. I wanted so bad to be a part of it. Once I got home, it all hit me."
- Another very sad one: Former Florida All-American Dwayne Schintzius -- who, in addition to his basketball ability, you might remember as having one of the greatest basketball mullets of all-time -- is being treated for leukemia in Tampa in what has become a "months-long battle." Best of luck, Dwayne.
- Andy Glockner on Cornell center Jeff Foote. Seven-footers are rare enough in college basketball; they're even rarer in the Ivy League. (Quick: When's the last time an Ivy League team played a seven-foot guy?)
- The State columnist Ron Morris says NCAA tournament expansion won't happen because the NCAA presidents won't allow it: "This is not the time for college basketball to propose more missed class time, not when its athletes annually record among the lowest GPAs - and poorest graduation rates - of any sport. One of the reasons college presidents reject any thought of a college football playoff system is the probability of increased time away from campus for athletes. There is no way presidents will buy the same exchange for college basketball." Sorry, but the reason presidents make that argument about the BCS is because the BCS is a cash cow. College presidents want their athletes to do well academically, but most of them are realistic, and if getting millions of dollars from athletics means Ph.D. students in the biology department get a new lab -- at the cost of one more missed week of school for a group of 12 undergrads -- I'm betting Big State U president Adam McAcademic is going to go ahead and make that trade. What do you think?
- Rush The Court hits us with a list of ten underappreciated players, led by Texas A&M's Donald Sloan.
- Dear North Carolina fans (and everyone else, for that matter): Ed Davis would like you to stop bothering him. He's not going to tell you whether or not he's leaving school. Deal with it, dudes.
- An argument for how college basketball helped improve the NBA All-Star game. I did not see that one coming. (But I like it!)
- Maize and Brew has a little tongue-in-cheek fun with the rumors of Texas-to-the-Big-Ten rumors. It's totally good for everyone. Totally.
- Finally, a little ESPN love: Don't miss Andy Katz's conversation with former NCAA tournament selection committee members; nor should you overlook Pat Forde's latest Minutes, which is entertaining as always; and be sure to check out Dana O'Neil's all-access with referee Tim Higgins. Surprising: Higgins wears an awesome hat. Not surprising: Besides the whole being on the court thing, officiating doesn't look like very much fun.