Thursday, March 7, 2013
3-point shot: 16 games for new Big East?
By Andy Katz
1. At least one coach in the new Big East, filled with the Catholic 7 schools and likely Butler and Xavier, has been told to anticipate a 16-game schedule next season, according to one source with knowledge of the situation. That would force the seven Big East schools -- Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, DePaul and Marquette -- to get two more non-conference games after playing 18 in the Big East this season. Of course, if Creighton is chosen as the 10th member for next season instead of in 2014, the league can pull off a true round-robin, 18-game league schedule, much like the Big 12. That's what the league should do to have a major splash in Year 1. The league's new television partner, expected to be Fox, would probably like to have two more games per team to show.
2. I don't understand why four Stanford assistant coaches and Cal assistant Gregg Gottlieb were ejected from the Cal-Stanford game for coming onto the floor to break up a scuffle Wednesday night. The assistant coaches were acting as peacemakers and trying to ensure the situation didn't escalate. Gottlieb was reacting to a volatile situation. Were the assistant coaches expected to just sit there and watch a full-scale fight? At some point, common sense has to factor into some of these decisions. If the assistant coaches were doing more harm than good, fine. Gabriel Harris of Stanford and Richard Solomon of Cal were also ejected -- but not for fighting, meaning they wouldn't have to miss their respective teams' next games, in the Pac-12 tournament. The conference could always add to the discipline if warranted.
3. Give Washington State coach Ken Bone and Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory a lot of credit for ensuring their teams were still playing with purpose and passion in the final week of the regular season, despite no shot at the postseason (barring miraculous runs in the Pac-12 and ACC tournaments, respectively). The Cougars' victory over UCLA in Pullman on Wednesday had to give Bone such relief after a rough season. The Yellow Jackets, mired in the bottom third of the ACC, denied Miami the chance to clinch the league's regular-season title with a last-second putback. The same is true of Nebraska's Tim Miles, who had the Huskers ready to pounce on Minnesota in Lincoln. South Florida, meanwhile, has won two in a row at the bottom of the Big East. This final week of the season has proven to be as unpredictable as the season as a whole.