Afternoon Links: Tom Izzo, second fiddle?
December, 4, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
Afternoon Links is pretty self-explanatory. Get at me to submit your own.
- What's up with Rasheed Sulaimon? After a tidy freshman campaign, the sophomore shooting guard looked set to be one of Duke's most reliable scoring options on the wing this season. Instead, he appears to be deep in Coach K's doghouse, to the point that he took a dreaded "DNP-CD" (did not play-coach's decision) on the scoresheet Tuesday night. What gives? ""As a man, he has to step up and accept what he needs to do," Tyler Thornton told the News and Observer's Lauren Keeley. "We need him. That’s all I can really say about that." NBC's Rob Dauster isn't sure Sulaimon isn't more of a luxury for the Blue Devils than a necessity.
- Typically, North Carolina's Wednesday visit to the Breslin Center to face a top-ranked Spartans team would be a massive ordeal in East Lansing. It's still big, sure, but as the Lansing State Journal's Graham Couch wrote Tuesday, Michigan State athletics kind of has a lot going on right now: "Never has there been a collision quite like this. Wednesday, the Spartans host North Carolina in hoops. Two days later, the volleyball team opens NCAA tournament play against Ohio in Kentucky. Two hours later, the Spartan hockey team plays its first-ever Big Ten game, hosting No. 1-ranked Minnesota at Munn Ice Arena. Saturday night, the men’s soccer team’s surprising NCAA tournament run resumes against Notre Dame, in South Bend, Ind., one win away from the Final Four. Simultaneously, the volleyball team would -- with a win on Friday -- begin its second-round NCAA match. And, at 8:17 p.m., the main event -- the Spartans vs. the Buckeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium."
- As we discussed on our Spreecast this afternoon, the most interesting game of the night is probably No. 8 Wisconsin's trip to Charlottesville, Va., to take on Tony Bennett's defensively-stifling 'Hoos. So which wins out: Wisconsin's precise offense, or Virginia's No. 4-ranked efficiency defense? The folks at Bucky's 5th Quarter and Streaking the Lawn came together in the spirit of sportsmanship to discuss these matters and more.
- Yankees star Mark Teixeira was at the Syracuse game last night. That's cool, I suppose, but I vastly preferred the shot of the dude sitting just behind Teixeira to the left, who was clearly going for the "Tony Soprano in a bathrobe" look. And that wasn't even the most revealing Carrier Dome outfit on Tuesday night.
- This story is a couple of days old now, but it bears mentioning: The North Carolina professor at the center of the school's academic scandal was charged with with a felony this week. And you thought copying your friend's homework was no big deal.
- Bonus in-house links: Dana O'Neil's story on Aaron Craft and his roommates is too funny to be missed; C.L. Brown checks in on the Tar Heels in advance of their trip to No. 1 Michigan State tonight; and, no, it's never too early to start worrying about the bubble. Joey Brackets has you covered.