|ESPN.com: Dick Vitale||[Print without images]|
Each week I'll write about the sport I love, college basketball:
• The Jimmy V Classic will feature another outstanding doubleheader on Dec. 17 at Madison Square Garden. Florida will take on Memphis while former Big East foes Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will square off in the first game. That is always a special night as we honor the memory of Jimmy Valvano and his brave fight against cancer.
• Memphis got some good news as former Missouri guard Michael Dixon Jr. decided to join the Tigers. He sat out last season following off-court issues. Dixon will petition for immediate eligibility, similar to Dez Wells last season going from Xavier to Maryland.
• I was saddened to learn of the passing of Charlie Coles. He was a great coach and a great man. He was a dear friend from way back in the 70's, when he coached at Saginaw High School before going to coach in college. May he R.I.P.
• It has been a busy offseason for transfers. Iowa State landed a good one as coach Fred Hoiberg brought in DeAndre Kane from Marshall. Kane, who has one season of eligibility remaining, averaged 15.1 points and seven assists per game last season.
• Athletes have to use good judgment or deal with consequences. Down at North Carolina, P.J. Hairston did not use good judgment as he was arrested for possession of marijuana and a gun.
• Beginning with the upcoming 2013-14 men's basketball season, the former John R. Wooden Classic and the Anaheim Classic will combine to create an eight-team, three-day, 12-game bracketed event called the Wooden Legacy. The expansion to a multi-day, multi-team tournament format prohibits schools from participating in the tournament more than once in a four year period. In addition, no more than one school from each conference can compete in the event in any given year. Arizona State will represent the Pac-12 in the 2013 field also featuring Creighton, Marquette, Miami (Fla.), San Diego State, Cal-State Fullerton, College of Charleston and George Washington. Play begins on Thanksgiving Day in Orange County.
• It was sad to hear the news that former Auburn guard Varez Ward was arrested on counts of bribery relating to a sports contest and conspiracy for allegedly trying to fix the point spread for the Tigers' game against Arkansas on Jan. 25, 2012. That is not the kind of news that the sport needs at any time.
• The Pac-12 and the Mountain West have entered into a broad collaboration to manage their men's basketball officiating program. I am in favor of anything that will improve officiating, and the Pac-12 is happy to get some positive publicity after what happened in the league's tournament with Ed Rush and Arizona.