Coaches, media already missing NCAA tourney czar

1 Comment

For the first time in more than a decade, the NCAA tournament will have a new czar. And it’s not sitting well with various college basketball writers and coaches.

The NCAA announced Tuesday that Mark Lewis will be the new executive vice president for championships and alliances, replacing Greg Shaheen.

Shaheen was the man who negotiated the recent 14-year, $10.8 billion TV contract. He also helped devise the First Four format (avoiding an expansion to a 96-team tournament) and was a man who was accommodating to anyone involved in covering March Madness.

There’s still a possibility that Shaheen will have some sort of role with the NCAA in the future – he’ll soon meet with NCAA president Mark Emmert – which would be smart. Some of the game’s biggest coaches love Shaheen.

Examples:

  • “Working with Myles Brand, Greg furthered the cause of men’s college basketball as much as anyone in the last decade,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told CBSSports.com. “It’s a huge loss for our game.”
  • “It’s hard for me to understand anything anymore except that everyone wants their own power,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo told The New York Times. “I don’t know if it’s the way it has to be. This guy has done a lot for college athletics.”
  • “I can’t imagine anyone doing their job from a coach’s standpoint better than he’s done his,” Kansas coach Bill Self told The Times. “Greg Shaheen is one of the brightest guys that we have a chance to come in contact with.

There’s a good chance that Lewis, who comes to the NCAA from Jet Set Sports, a company than made beaucoup bucks off the Olympics, will thrive in his new role. But it’s clear he’ll have big shoes to fill.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

1 Comment

LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

Leave a comment

In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
Leave a comment

The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

Leave a comment

Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: