2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

Pitt wants to host ACC tournament in a hockey arena


The agonies of realignment keep roiling. When the ACC added Boston College to the fold, it seemed strange to see the likes of Duke and Clemson make road trips to Boston. It will be more so with Syracuse and Pitt on the schedule. Imagine how traditionalists will feel when the league tournament is staged north of the Mason-Dixon line.

That day is coming. We don’t know when, but we do know — thanks to David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press — that the first Yankee attempt to commandeer the league’s post-season spectacle has been made.

Teel notes that the ACC tournament has not been played north of Maryland in nearly 60 years of existence. That may change soon, as the city of Pittsburgh has reportedly submitted a bid to host the tournament at Consol Energy Center at some point between 2016-2021.

Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson and basketball coach Jamie Dixon told me the city’s Consol Energy Center submitted a bid. Home to the NHL’s Penguins, the arena opened in 2010 and last season hosted second- and third-round NCAA basketball tournament games. College hockey’s championship weekend, the Frozen Four, is scheduled at Consol for 2013.

“We’d sure love to have it here,” Pederson said. “Pittsburgh’s proven it can do great things. The NCAA tournament sold out here in a short period of time. The city gets behind it. One of the things that’s great is you can stay downtown and walk to the games. … And thanks in large part to what Jamie’s done, people here are enthusiastic.”

Dixon has coached the Panthers to eight NCAA tournaments in nine seasons. He knows prying the ACC’s signature event from its traditional base will be difficult, but hey, the league took the tournament to Tampa, Fla., in 2007, so why not the Northeast?

Teel notes that Greensboro, NC has a lock on the tourney for the next three years. The Greensboro Coliseum is a bit of an odd duck. It’s technically the home arena for the UNCG Spartans, a team that never comes close to filling the venue’s 22,000-plus seats. It’s more frequently used for concerts, NCAA tournament games, and, for some ungodly reason, a stage production of Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job. It’s very central to the Tobacco Road schools that form the heart of the historical ACC, but there’s no telling what the future holds now that the northern carpetbaggers have entered the fray.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.