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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
3-point shot: UConn gets APR on track

By Andy Katz

1. The NCAA will have a portal available in July on its website for Final Four sites to make proposals for 2017-2020; a decision on sites for those years will be made later in 2014. The NCAA won't put any restrictions on the proposals, meaning that a city that doesn't have a dome can make an offer and the NCAA will discuss it. The NCAA has made one decision on domes -- it is done with them in regional finals. Mark Lewis, the NCAA's vice president in charge of championships, said using domes for regionals was a trial run for future Final Fours. But the upcoming Final Four sites have already had the dry run, so the NCAA doesn't need to do this anymore. Lewis said regional finals should be in arenas, and that will be the plan going forward. The next three Final Fours are in Arlington, Texas, in 2014; Indianapolis in 2015; and Houston in 2016.

2. Connecticut should get the credit it deserves for getting its Academic Progress Rate scores up to the appropriate level to qualify for the 2014 postseason. The Huskies got the necessary criticism for not qualifying last season. But the problem with the APR is that it goes back four years, not two. The most recent past of the Huskies has been good enough to stay eligible for postseason. UConn had to fix this problem and it did. The Huskies were the highest-profile team to sit out due as punishment for poor scores -- embarrassing and humbling for the school and program. Now the onus is on the school to keep the APR score high and for the Huskies to be once again a conference title contender.

3. Nerlens Noel will go to Washington (where the Wizards hold the No. 3 pick in the June 27 NBA draft) Friday after originally planning only to visit the teams with the top two picks -- Cleveland (set for June 20) and Orlando, earlier this month. Noel may also visit No. 4 Charlotte. Ben McLemore will visit Cleveland the same time Noel is there. Cleveland is getting a slew of calls about the No. 1 pick. The Cavs will listen, but they have to decide if a player in the lottery will help them next season or in 2014-15. The difference between the players in the lottery and those projected to go in the middle of the first round is marginal, according to one general manager. With that being the case, what is the point of making a move just to make a move?