1. The NCAA tournament selection committee made a sound move by tabbing C-USA associate commissioner Judy MacLeod to replace fired SMU athletic director Steve Orsini. MacLeod will serve a term through the 2014-15 season. The selection committee had to replace Orsini with a person who was from a football conference to continue the 6-4 split among football and non-IA football schools/conferences. MacLeod is a basketball person. She was a former women’s coach at Seattle U. She knows the sport exceptionally well. She was the athletic director at Tulsa for 10 years. Her best move was to hire Bill Self. She reacted too quickly to Buzz Peterson’s abrupt departure by hiring John Phillips. But she was also loyal. I’ve known MacLeod for 17 years. She will take great pride in this important job and be diligent about being fair and respectful of the process.
2. Kansas landed a quality game to fill the marquee portion of its nonconference schedule. The Jayhawks got the home-and-home it needed by starting a two-year series with Colorado in Lawrence. Kansas has locked in a one-way guaranteed home game against Richmond on Dec. 18. The Jayhawks beat the Spiders in the Sweet 16 in 2011. Richmond should be an upper level A-10 squad next season. Kansas just needs one more guaranteed game to fill its schedule against a lower-level team. The Jayhawks have consistently had trouble finishing their slate of games, but they usually end up with a solid, formidable, power-rating rich nonconference schedule. Kansas also has Temple at home and Oregon State in Kansas City, as well as going to Ohio State. KU plays Michigan State in the Champions Classic in Atlanta, too.
3. Boise State is having a difficult time finishing its nonconference schedule because the Broncos still don’t know what league they will be in 2013-14. The Big West has left the door open for Boise State to seek an invitation. Boise State is committed to the Big East in football so the MWC seems out. The only other option is to continue with the plan of going to the crumbling WAC. Boise State coach Leon Rice doesn’t know, though, if he can schedule Big West or WAC teams in nonconference games. He’d love to schedule MWC teams, but isn’t 100 percent sure the Broncos are out so he’s hesitating. Rice said long-term scheduling is impossible at this point.