- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. This may be a first but at least you can respect some honesty from Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh and former coach Jeff Reynolds. Mueh said that the players weren’t having fun anymore — a reason for a dismissal that you don’t always hear. Reynolds said he was told the same thing and that it’s important at the academy for basketball to be enjoyable (a release, maybe), considering all the cadets' other responsibilities. Reynolds was upset at the timing of Wednesday's dismissal but admitted that he didn’t win enough. The Falcons looked like a team that would be a tough out in pushing UNLV to overtime on Jan. 28. But they couldn’t follow that up. Air Force is one of the tougher jobs in the West and clearly the academy wants to win — but also enjoy it at the same time.
2. There are still a few weeks left in the regular season, but if I had a vote, Mike Brey would be coach of the year in the Big East. Notre Dame won at West Virginia on Wednesday night to move to 8-3 in the conference. The Irish are the only team to beat first-place Syracuse; they are going to make the NCAA tournament after a brutal non-conference. This is one of the best in-season turnarounds in the history of the league.
3. Florida State had taken care of business by beating teams lower than it in the standings — until Wednesday. The defeat at Boston College didn’t lose the ACC for the Seminoles. But it raised considerable doubt that Florida State can win the conference for the first time ever. At one point Wednesday, the Seminoles had a shot to be tied with UNC (and technically ahead in the tiebreaker) and two games ahead of Duke. But then FSU lost and Duke stunned UNC at the buzzer on Austin Rivers’ 3-pointer. That means FSU is in a three-way tie with UNC and Duke at 7-2 and now suddenly looking like the shakiest of the three.