Thursday, June 6, 2013
3-point shot: Tourney sites for American
By Andy Katz
1. For months, the favorites to host the American Athletic Conference basketball tournaments have been Memphis, Tenn., for the men and a Connecticut site (Hartford or the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville) for the women. Announcements are expected in the next week or two on both. This is the right move for the fledgling league. Memphis has consistently supported men's tournaments, while the state of Connecticut has been one of the best homes for women's basketball in the country. The Big East ran its tournament in Hartford and Conference USA had good runs with its men's event in Memphis. The only thing left to determine is the length of the deal. It's too early to tell if the American can create a destination or will need to rotate the event. The membership is committed for now in large part because the schools have no other choice. So the league should look to create a sense of stability with a long-term home.
2. Xavier coach Chris Mack has never been afraid of playing anybody, anywhere and at any time during the season. But he said he essentially had to dial back with the high-major games for the upcoming season as the Musketeers move from the Atlantic 10 to the new Big East. He said Xavier will be playing more high-major teams than ever -- including two games in the round-robin schedule against new league members Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette and traditionally tough teams Creighton and Butler. St. John's and Providence should also be in the mix for postseason berths. But the Musketeers didn't schedule soft. Tennessee will be one of the top three teams in the SEC. Going to Alabama, despite some recent issues, will be tough; a home date with Wake Forest and against Battle 4 Atlantis headliner Kansas will be a challenge. And of course the neutral-site game against Cincinnati at U.S. Bank Arena will be one of the hardest games on the schedule. The Xavier-Cincinnati series has one more year at U.S. Bank in a two-game deal before it is reviewed to see if the series should return to campus sites.
3. The NCAA invited attorneys who handle enforcement cases that go to the committee on infractions to look over new legislation Monday in Indianapolis. According to at least one person in attendance, the NCAA reviewed new rules, penalties and processes. The focus from the NCAA was that enforcement will look even more at coach control. Former enforcement director Julie Roe Lach was in attendance as a practitioner. The NCAA's next big case is Miami. The much-discussed Hurricanes case, which has been riddled with controversy, is set for a three-day hearing beginning June 14. Such NCAA hearings are usually two-day affairs at most.