March 1, 2005
Boston College:
Crushed by Pitt, 72-50, on ESPN; also obliterated their chances at an NCAA 1-seed (and certainly tweaks the vastly overrated rep of the Big East). QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Selection Sunday, here we come.

Interesting "rules of thumb" in Lunardi's Bracketology column Monday, which I'll sock away for future (bracket-picking) use:

Who did you beat?
When did you beat them?
Where did you beat them?

What about losses?
Say: B.C.? Last night? By 22, at home?
B.C. may have lost out on a No. 1 seed, but it's not like that means anything in an event as flush with parity as the NCAA Tournament. As a top seed, the Eagles were an early-round upset waiting to happen.

Think "top" means anything ...

For the Jayhawks? Rock Choke.

Roy Williams? UNC-ya!

U-Wash? Apple-ripe for upset.

Stop trying to decipher which teams will grab the No. 1 seeds; outside of Illinois, they're more contenders than pretenders, anyway.

Enjoy this last week of the regular season, with the Bubble teams playing with NCAA Tournament "play-in" urgency.

Revel in next week's "C-Week," scouting Cindys and watching the small-league tourney upsets that make March what it is.

But following the battle between KU, UNC, Wake, B.C., Duke, Washington and Kentucky for No. 1 seeds?

That misses the real joy of March (and not just because none of 'em are winning anyway).

Chaney Fallout
Won't coach in A-10 Tourney. That was the right decision to make. Now he can begin the uphill process of reputation repair.

Where to start? How about the obligatory anger-management speaking tour? (Start with a SportsCenter Sunday Conversation, Coach.)

NCAA's "APR" Rate
"Academic Progress Rate": It's the most hotly contested ranking in college sports, making the RPI and the BCS look tame.

What is it? A cut-off point for all NCAA sports teams' players to reach certain academic metrics -- difficult hurdles like:

Not failing.

Returning the next semester.

Kobe Civil Suit Settlement: Rumors are that it's coming
Dirk Nowitzki: Crew-cut a little scary; 28 in W wears well
Andy Sipowicz: End of era for "NYPD Blue" and its top cop
Texas: On outside of Bubble looking in after L to Oklahoma
David Terrell: Wannabe T.O. finally gets cut by the Bears
Bill Romanowski: Player-on-player lawsuit goes to court
More like a Bubble, actually: A team is either over the rate or not. The penalty is lost scholarships, the currency of college sports.

And half of D1 schools are going to lose scholarships for failing to meet the rate (7 percent of all teams).

The APR's intention is good; its methodology is sketchy, and that's what schools are complaining about.

Of course, that allows them to take the focus off their institutional neglect.

CBB Poll-Bashing
And you thought the BCS was a joke!

How could hoops pollsters have watched Duke struggle on Sunday vs. St. John's and still bump them up from No. 10 to No. 6?

(Aha! Maybe they weren't watching; and there's your problem.)

And it took 'em too long to recognize So. Illinois (25), too; SIU is a Sweet 16 team that's been a top 20 RPI staple for the last month.

NFL QB Carousel
Bucs to release Brad Johnson. Look for him to be a second choice as the "top tier" (Garcia, Warner) decide where to land.

Garcia is reportedly eyeing Detroit, Denver and Tampa. Warner is looking at Arizona, Chicago and Detroit.

Meanwhile, buzz is strong that Jay Fiedler will land with the Giants (I think he's a better fit across town with the Jets).

Towers Comes Clean
Fans know that GMs know when their players were juicing. GMs know we know, but as yet have refused to cop to anything.

So Padres GM Kevin Towers coming clean about knowing Ken Caminiti was using 'roids is a bold (if late) start.

Begs a few questions, though:

How many GMs knew/suspected?
Answer: Safe to guess "all?"

Will any GMs follow his lead?
A: Don't count on it.

Should HE get an asterisk?
A: Deserves it more than Bonds.

(Related: New MLB drug-test program set to start Thu.)

NHLPA to Meet
Great Reality TV: Stick a camera in the closed-door meeting of 150 NHL players and their union "leadership" and watch the drama unfold!

The irony is that a TV show like that would get much better ratings than hockey itself. Maybe I can provide a dramatic re-enactment:

"Hey, Goodenow: What the puck were you thinking?!"

This is it for Gary Barnett. Grand jury hears testimony about sexual assault on CU trainer and a secret slush fund, financed by Gary's "Technique School."
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