<
>

AL: Geno Auriemma, soundbite master

Afternoon Links are exactly what they say they are. Send in your links and tips here. You can also e-mail me and hit me up on Twitter.

  • After the Connecticut women pulled off the rather incredible feat of tying the John Wooden-era UCLA 88-game win streak Sunday, UConn coach Geno Auriemma went rather far afield in discussing why people care about his team's accomplishment: "I know there would not be this many people in this [press] room if we were chasing a women's record," Auriemma said after the game. "The reason why everyone is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everyone is up in arms about it. All the women are happy as hell and can't wait to come in and ask questions. All the men who love women's basketball are excited, and all the miserable bastards who follow men's basketball and don't want us to break the record are all here because they are pissed. So that's the way it is. "If we were breaking a women's record, everybody would go: 'Aren't those girls nice.' Just give them two paragraphs in USA Today or give them one line on the bottom of ESPN, and let's send them back where they belong in the kitchen. But because we are breaking a men's record, we have a lot of people paying attention." Yes, Auriemma actually said all that. Naturally, this riled some people up. Newly minted CBS blogger Matt Norlander -- of The Dagger and College Hoops Journal fame, and a great hire for the new CBS college hoops blog -- writes that Auriemma, a master of the soundbite, knew he had to ruffle a few feathers to maximize exposure for his team's accomplishment. It certainly seems to have worked.

  • The Big Ten Geeks revisit their preseason predictions and check up on the Big Ten in this weekend's two-part discussion.

  • Auburn's home loss to Presbyterian Saturday night wasn't just a barometer of how far the Tigers have to go under first-year coach Tony Barbee. It was also the first time the Blue Hose had beaten a team from a BCS-affiliated conference.

  • Basketball Prospectus' Asher Fusco has a warning: Beware the Iona Gaels: "If ever a team were built to pull an upset, this year's Iona squad might be that team. All the pieces are present. Guards Jermel Jenkins and Kyle Smyth are each shooting better than 40 percent from three-point range. Point guard Scott Machado is a get-up-and-go assist machine with a penchant for forcing turnovers. Forward Alejo Rodriguez is an outstanding shot-blocker and a 62 percent FG shooter. And post Michael Glover is a junior college transfer who originally committed to Seton Hall and still looks and plays more like he belongs in the Big East than the MAAC."

  • Tom Izzo is officially done talking about his IAP-related suspension, which he served Saturday: "Unfortunately, I'm making my last statement about it, because it was one of the worst and most embarrassing things of my coaching career," said Izzo, who watched MSU's 90-51 win over Prairie View A&M at home. "And I served my sentence and I'm moving on. That's it."

  • Rush The Court's Zach Hayes argues that Kansas will incorporate Josh Selby just fine, thanks.

  • Memphis fans are apparently a little worried about their Tigers. The Commercial-Appeal's Dan Wolken has some advice for them: stop.

  • Star-Telegram reporter Mac Engel got to spend some time behind the scenes with TCU, and it didn't take long for him to witness a heated locker-room scuffle: "The TCU men's basketball team's 14-point loss at Nebraska is less than three minutes old when the fight breaks out in the locker room. Head basketball coach Jim Christian's face looks more annoyed than worried as he hears the sounds of a scuffle between his players. Christian walks down the short hall from the coaches' dressing room to the visiting players' locker room as a pair of Lincoln, Neb., police officers run to break up the fight between the TCU players. The police leave. The door shuts. The candor flies. 'He's got the worst attitude on the team, and no one can say nothin' to him!' 'You guys gotta man up!' 'That was so easy, and you made it hard for no reason.' 'Would you stop worrying about the messenger and play better!' The 'conversation' lasts for 20 minutes before the players pack their gear and head into the bitter Nebraska air."

  • Bruins Nation asks the age-old sports question: Where are they now?

  • And, as always, some of the stuff we've been doing around these parts: Mechelle Voepel writes about the female Huskies' intimidating "presence"; Diamond profiles the unlikely rise of Nicholls State forward Anatoly Bose; Mark Adams provides his weekly glance at the mid-major scene; we do our Weekly Watch thang; and Andy discusses the challenges and benefits of Rick Pitino's decision to coach the Puerto Rican national team.