Sports Outside the Beltway

2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

Here it is-

2010 Women's bracket

Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some guesses predictions in the women’s also.


Central Florida fires Basketball coach Kirk Speraw

The Knights last made the NCAA tournament in 2005. From AP-

Kirk Speraw is out after 17 years as Central Florida’s coach.Kirk Speraw

UCF announced Monday that Speraw would not be retained after a disappointing 15-17 season, ending one of the longest active tenures in the nation. Associate head coach Mike Jaskulski will serve as interim coach.

UCF athletics director Keith Tribble said in a statement that it “was not an easy decision, but one we felt will serve in the best interest of our program’s direction.”

Speraw finished as the school’s winningest coach with a 279-233 record.

UCF has always been a lesser college basketball in Florida. If the goal of the school is to upgrade the basketball program, the firing of Speraw makes sense. I just don’t think the Knights will be more than the 4th best school in the states for at least a few more years.


2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket

Well here it is-

2010 bracket

I don’t have to say. Later in the week, I’ll take a shot at predicting the outcome.


No return- Georgia Tech beats North Carolina 62-58

Just two more days before the brackets come out. From Media General-

Start fast, stumble to the finish. The preceding sentence perfectly summed up both North Carolina’s basketball season and its 62-58 first-round ACC tournament loss to Georgia Tech on Thursday evening.NC-GA Tech

The Tar Heels led by 10 at halftime. (The Tar Heels started the season 8-2 and were ranked as high as No. 6 in the Associated Press poll.) Carolina couldn’t handle that success, and hit an early-second half swoon, allowing Georgia Tech to score the first seven points after halftime. (Just past the midway point of the season, Carolina lost eight of 10 games, sending the Heels’ season into a spiral.)

See the trend here?

Down the stretch Thursday, just as it has been all season, Carolina was plagued with ball handling issues and poor shooting, and the Yellow Jackets took advantage. They outscored the Heels 38-24 after halftime. In the last 5:13, Carolina missed all eight of its field-goal attempts and turned it over twice, and Georgia Tech pulled away for a win that likely seals an NCAA tournament berth for the Yellow Jackets (20-11).

“It’s extremely disappointing, to say the least,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

Disappointing don’t do justice to North Carolina’s 2009-10 basketball season. Only a year ago they were National Champions, now they are hoping the NIT throws them a scrap bone tournament invitation. Should a team that finished 16-16 be playing in the post season?


For the record- UConn beats Notre Dame 59-44

The Huskies broke the consecutive win streak also set by the Huskies back in 2001-03. From AP-

Tina Charles, Maya Moore and the latest Connecticut Huskies dynasty now have their own place in the record books.

Charles scored 16 points and Moore added 11 to help top-ranked Connecticut win an NCAA record 71st straight game — a 59-44 victory over Notre Dame (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) on Monday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

UConn surpassed its own mark set from Nov. 9, 2001, to March 11, 2003. Unlike that amazing run, which ended in a loss in the Big East conference tournament semifinals to Villanova, this Huskies team has thoroughly dominated its opponents in every game, winning all of them by double digits.

Connecticut (32-0) will face either West Virginia or Rutgers on Tuesday night with a chance to win its 16th Big East conference tournament championship.

Maybe the most spectacular aspect of UConn’s record is the fact they have seldom been behind in any of the 71 games. Has there ever been a more perfect sports team?


College Basketball team slowed on way to Moscow

Papers please, comrade. From the Honolulu Advertiser-

Perhaps it was fitting that the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team had to sit for about 30 minutes on a stalled bus on a dark and lonely road on the way to Moscow, Idaho, last night.

“We got here, that’s all that matters,” Hawai’i head coach Bob Nash said.

And without a trip to the gulag either!

Just an attempt at humor here. You just get a chance to write many sports posts headlines like I did here.


Cornell wraps up Ivy League title and NCAA tournament bid with 95-76 win over Brown

Only 63 more teams to go. From AP-

Cornell became the first team this season to earn an NCAA tournament bid, clinching its third straight Ivy League championship by beating Brown 95-76 on Friday night with a record-tying display of 3-point shooting.

The Big Red (26-4, 12-1) made 20 of 30 attempts from 3-point range and held Brown to 30 percent shooting in the second half while cruising to their 24th victory in 26 games.

Cornell tied an Ivy League record for 3s in a game and increased its season total to 292, also a conference mark. In doing so, the Big Red wrapped up their fourth Ivy League title — securing the fifth NCAA tournament berth in school history.

Cornell will be making their 5th tournament appearance. They lost in the first round as a #14 seed the last two years. Coming off a near upset of #1 Kansas, the Big Red look to have a much better chance of advancing this year.


No end in sight- Comcast/Versus dispute still unresolved

A game between two top 15 schools is scheduled to be broadcast on Versus this Saturday. From KRQE-

Saturday’s game between the New Mexico Lobos and the BYU Cougars may be the biggest game of the season and an estimated 1/3 of Albuquerque TV viewers will not be able to see it.

The No. 10/12 ranked Lobos are heading for a huge showdown Saturday in Provo, Utah against No. 13/11 BYU.

The regular season conference championship will most likely be on the line.

But, because the game will air on the Versus network, DirectTV subscribers will not be able to see it.

A money dispute between Versus and DirectTV has kept Versus off DirectTV.

On their network, DirectTV claims the parent company of Versus, Comcast, is asking too much money to carry the network on DirectTV. As a result, DirectTV does not carry Versus.

The Mountain West Conference’s tournament championship is scheduled to be broadcast on Versus next month.

I sympathize with Mountain West sports fans. This dumb dispute has dragged on far too long and NHL fans are about to get screwed even more than they have already been up to now. The playoffs are less than two months away and some of those games are carried exclusively by Versus.

The NHL’s decision to sit on its hands is mind boggling to me. The league doesn’t have a big United States fan base. Marginal fans are going to find something else to watch and perhaps permanently. Is Commissioner Gary Bettman too dumb to realize that or does he simply not care?


Parting gift- Montana State basketball program gets bequeathed $170,000

It was given by Ellen Kreighbaum who was instrumental in starting Women’s Sports at the University. From AP-

Montana State University’s women’s basketball program and the Bobcat Club are the beneficiaries of a $200,000 estate gift.

The MSU Athletics Department announced Friday that the gift was made by Ellen Kreighbaum, a pioneer in Bobcat women’s athletics.

The women’s basketball team will get $170,000, while the remaining $30,000 will go to the Bobcat Club for student-athlete scholarships.

Kreighbaum was instrumental in starting the MSU women’s basketball program in the late 1960s. She also helped establish the women’s athletic department at MSU.

Ellen Kreighbaum’s affiliation with Montana State began in the mid-1960′s. Prior to 1968 the school didn’t have a women’s athletic program.

The Florida High School I attended was bequeathed money to build its own swimming pool. It was still held up in probate at the time of my graduation.


Former Arizona State sports coach William Kajikawa dead at 97

Nicknamed ‘Kaji’, he led ASU’s basketball, baseball, and freshman football teams at one time or another. RIP.

William (Bill) “Kaji” Kajikawa, a legendary former football, basketball and baseball coach at Arizona State, died Monday morning. He was 97.Bill Kajikawa

Kajikawa began his coaching career at Arizona State in 1937 and retired in 1978.

He began coaching the Arizona State Teacher’s College freshman football team in 1937, when the players were known as the Bulldogs. During his tenure, Kajikawa watched the Bulldogs become the Sun Devils in 1946, and he saw his alma mater gain university status in 1958.

Before retiring in 1978, Kajikawa had worked as the freshman football coach under nine ASU head football coaches. In addition, he served as head basketball coach from 1948 to 1957, and he was head coach of ASU’s club baseball team from 1947 to 1957. He was inducted into the Arizona Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1982.


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