Sports Outside the Beltway

Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Kurt Budke dead at 50

He and an assistant basketball coach died when the plane they were flying on crashed in Arkansas. Very tragic and RIP.

Oklahoma State University women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were killed when the single-engine plane they were riding in during a recruiting trip crashed near a wildlife management area in central Arkansas.

The university said the pair died in the crash Thursday night near Perryville, about 45 miles west of Little Rock. The Winona Wildlife Management Area is in steep terrain in the eastern Ouachita Mountains. A cause of the crash was not announced.


Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden Dies At 99

NCAA FINAL UCLA WOODENJohn Wooden, the UCLA basketball coach who led his teams to twelve NCAA Championships, died overnight at the age of 99:

John Wooden, a staid Midwesterner who migrated to U.C.L.A. and became college basketball’s most successful coach, earning the nickname the Wizard of Westwood and an enduring place in sports history, died Friday at Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized since May 26. He was 99.

His death was announced by the university.

Wooden created a sports dynasty against which all others are compared, and usually pale. His teams at U.C.L.A. won 10 national championships in a 12-season stretch from 1964 to 1975. From 1971 to 1974, U.C.L.A. won 88 consecutive games, still the N.C.A.A. record.

Four of Wooden’s teams finished with 30-0 records, including his first championship team, which featured no starters taller than 6 feet 5 inches.

Three of his other championship teams were anchored by the 7-foot-2 center Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Two others were led by center Bill Walton, a three-time national player of the year.

Wooden retired after U.C.L.A.’s 1975 championship victory over Kentucky. A slight man hugely popular for his winning record and his understated approach, he ultimately became viewed as a kind of sage for both basketball and life, a symbol of both excellence and simpler times.

Even in retirement he remained a beloved figure and a constant presence at U.C.L.A., watching most games from a seat behind the home bench at Pauley Pavilion. Lines of well-wishers and autograph-seekers often snaked their way to his seat in Section 103B. Wooden always obliged his fans, until the university and his family requested that he be granted privacy in January 2008, when he was 97.

A dynasty like Wooden’s would be almost impossible now, because the best players seldom spend more than a year or two in college before turning professional. No N.C.A.A. men’s basketball coach has won more than four championships since Wooden retired. Of Wooden’s eight coaching successors at U.C.L.A., only one — Jim Harrick in 1995 — won an N.C.A.A. championship with the Bruins, who have managed to retain an air of the elite among basketball programs largely on Wooden’s legacy.

Wooden’s success fed upon itself. When he won his first two national championships, landed Alcindor and moved home games to the new Pauley Pavilion, high school stars begged to play for him. Besides Abdul-Jabbar and Walton, Wooden turned out celebrated players like Gail Goodrich, Walt Hazzard, Keith Erickson, Henry Bibby, Lucius Allen, Sidney Wicks, Jamaal Wilkes and Marques Johnson.

“He was almost a mystical figure by the time I got to U.C.L.A.,” said Johnson, a starter on Wooden’s final team. “I couldn’t really sit down and have a conversation with him about real things just because I had so much reverence for him — for who he was and what he had accomplished.”

College basketball is a much different game than it was in Wooden’s game, and it’s unlikely we’ll see the likes of him ever again.


East Carolina hires Jeff Lebo to be its next basketball coach

He replaces Mark McCarthy. From the Charlotte Observer-

East Carolina has turned to former Auburn coach Jeff Lebo to lead its long-struggling men’s basketball program.

The school announced Monday it had hired Lebo to replace Mack McCarthy, who spent three seasons on the sideline for the Pirates before stepping down to take a fundraising job in the school’s athletics department. Lebo had spent the past six seasons at Auburn, going 96-93 overall before he was fired earlier this month.

The 43-year-old coach played at North Carolina under Dean Smith in the late 1980s and had coached at Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga previously.

The school has scheduled a news conference for Lebo on Tuesday.

Lebo inherits a difficult job at East Carolina, a Conference USAb school located in the shadows of instate Atlantic Coast Conference programs Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State.

East Carolina hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1993 and has had only been .500 or better once since then. Lebo faces a next impossible task in turning around the Pirates fortunes.


Houston Cougars Basketball Coach Tom Penders resigns

Inconsistent play by the Conference USA team may have done him in. From AP-

Tom Penders has resigned as coach at Houston, ending a six-year tenure that culminated in the Cougars’ first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1992.Tom Penders

The Cougars qualified after winning the Conference USA tournament, but lost to Maryland 89-77 in the first round Friday night.

The 64-year-old Penders became just the eighth coach to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament. He had also led George Washington, Rhode Island and Texas there.

Penders has been successful whereever he has coached. Considering his age, I don’t know if Penders will want to try a fifth school.

The rumor mill is already at work in concern to who will be Penders’ replacement. Right now the name that is being floated around is Sam Houston State’s Bob Marlin.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd round- March 21st

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

Syracuse beats Gonzaga 87-65
West Virginia beats Missouri 68-59
Ohio State beats Georgia Tech 75-66
Cornell beats Wisconsin 87-69
Michigan State beats Maryland 85-83
Duke beats Cal 68-53
Xavier beats Pitt 71-68
Purdue beats Texas A&M 63-61


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd round- March 20th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

St. Mary’s defeats Villanova 75-68
Tennessee beats Ohio 83-68
Butler beats Murray State 54-52
Stunner- Northern Iowa beats Kansas 69-67
Baylor beats Old Dominion 76-68
Kentucky beat Wake Forest 90-60
Kansas State beats BYU 84-72
Washington beats New Mexico 82-64


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 19th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

West Virginia beats Morgan St. 77-50
Cornell beats Temple 78-65
Xavier beats Minnesota 65-54
Purdue beats Siena 72-64
Pittsburgh beats Oakland 89-66
Wisconsin beats Wofford 53-49
Texas A&M beats Utah St. 69-53
Gonzaga beats Florida St. 67-60
Duke beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-44
Michigan St. beats New Mexico St. 67-64
Syracuse beats Vermont 79-56
Maryland beats Houston 89-77


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 18th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

1st result- Old Dominion defeats Notre Dame 51-50
1st overtime game- BYU beats Florida 99-92 in double OT
Close call- #2 seed Villanova beats Robert Morris 73-70 in overtime.
First big upset- #13 Murray State beats Vanderbilt 66-65
Baylor beats Sam Houston St. 68-59
Kansas State beats North Texas State 82-62
St. Mary’s beats Richmond 80-71
Butler beats UTEP 77-59
Kentucky beats East Tennessee St. 100-71
Ohio beats Georgetown 97-83
Washington beats Marquette 80-78
Northern Iowa beats UNLV 69-66
#1 Kansas beats Lehigh 90-74
New Mexico beats Montana 62-57
Wake Forest beats Texas 81-80


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball predictions

Here are my selections-

2010 predictions1

2010 predictions2

So you heard it here first. Duke and Ohio State in the finals.

Note- Starting tomorrow I will have a sticky post at the top of the blog featuring that day’s results. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comment.


Oregon fires Coach Ernie Kent

He twice led the Ducks to the elite eight. From AP-

Ernie Kent, the winningest coach in Oregon history, was dismissed Tuesday after 13 seasons with his alma mater.

“You may find a better basketball coach, but I don’t think you’ll find anybody that has the passion and love that I have for this university,” said Kent, who had to pause for several moments to fight back his emotions.

Oregon went 16-16 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10 this past season, finishing with a 90-74 quarterfinal loss to California in the conference tournament.

Kent, 55, leaves Oregon with a 235-173 overall record.

Oregon had two poor seasons in a row but Kent had made the Ducks into a respectable program. The firing is tough luck for him, but I think Kent will find another head coaching job soon.Ernie Kent


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