For a lot of college basketball fans, this is the best week of the year, and with good reason. The air is filled with promise for every team that’s made the NCAA tournament, with upsets to pick, buzzer-beaters to be made, and legacies to be built. We’ll be covering the Big Dance (and yes… *sigh*… the NIT, as well) more in-depth for the next few days, but before then let’s catch you up on a few things you may have missed this weekend:
- Kyle Singler almost did something glorious during the Devils’ matchup against Georgia Tech in the ACC Final; while jumping into media row, he took out half of the ESPN broadcasting team. Unfortunately, that half was Dan Schulman, not Dick Vitale.
- As if winning the ACC Tournament and getting a number 1 seed in the NCAAs wasn’t enough, Duke received some more good news this weekend in the form of a commitment from class of 2011 five-star prospect Michael Gbinije (the lead recruiter was Nate James, who continues to do nice things on K’s staff).
- Speaking of that number 1 seed, more than a few people (including myself) are griping this morning that Duke seems to have been given the easiest road to Indianapolis. Ignorant fatty National columnist Jason Whitlock has - surprise! - written a piece about the Devils getting a favorable seeding that brings race and tv contract conspiracy theories into the equation. Big Duke Balls does a nice job dismantling Whitlock’s asinine theories, and let me join them by saying that even as a UNC fan I can acknowledge that while Duke got a favorable draw this year, such is not the case every time, and I don’t even think Duke is as much of a TV ratings pull as Whitlock even thinks they are.
- Slam has a brief Q-and-A with former Duke NCAA flameout JJ Redick (…sorry, clearly I’m still bitter about the whole NIT thing)
- Jim Young writes up a little something about the Assasin of 1,000 Faces, Jon Scheyer, who continues to be Senor Juevos-son-Grandes in the clutch for the Blue Devils.
- Darren Rovell reports that Duke told the government it lost $2 million last year - a number that’s misleading, since it doesn’t count in apparel sales and other revenue sources - but sweet mercy, why do the Dookies spend so much per player per season (nearly $400,000, as compared to, say, Maryland, which spends around $45,000 per player for a season)?? Maybe Kyle Singler needs to cut back on those pregame meals of Alaskan caviar and Kobe beef skewers.
- North Carolina makes the NIT field (yes, it was actually in doubt) as a 4-seed, where they’ll take on 5-seed William and Mary in Carmichael Auditorium, where Jordan, Worthy, et al used to light it up for the Heels. Should make for a nice atmosphere, so at least we got that goin’ for us, which is nice.
- Carolina March breaks down William and Mary, including the school’s numerous Carolina connections.
- It appears that Dave Telep’s prediction of Roy Williams reacting to this year’s disappointing season by going into “beast mode” on the recruiting trail is already coming to fruition - on Saturday the man watched Kinston commit Reggie Bullock win a 2-A state title in NC, then hopped a plane to Iowa just so he could take in Harrison Barnes’ team win their state championship two time zones away. These guys are already commits, but it’s the kind of thing that makes Roy a legend on the recruiting trail and impresses other kids he’s going after.
- The Shiver gives a breakdown of this year’s Kansas squad vs. last year’s UNC title team, not-so-surprisingly giving the Jayhawks the edge. We’ll see how they do in the tourney before we comment further, but we’re not so comfortable with a lot of the head-to-head assertations they made, especially the “draw” they’re giving Collins vs. Lawson.
Enjoy filling out your 3,486 bracket entries, and good luck to all. Especially those playing Duke.