Wikileaks, Bradley Manning … and March Madness?

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US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning stands accused of providing Wikileaks with thousands of classified documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2009 and 2010.

I’ve heard about this, but didn’t pay it much mind until an email with a link to an article with this headline popped up: “How March Madness and ‘panties’ figure into hearing of Bradley Manning”.


You earned a click with that one.

The long and short of it is this: Manning was kept on prevention of injury status, which is one level below suicide watch, while he was in jail awaiting his hearing. That meant that, among other things, Manning was kept in isolation and was not allowed to be in his cell alone with anything that could be used to harm himself. No socks. No underwear. Nothing like that. Manning’s lawyers say this constituted illegal punishment, and used his excitement about March Madness as evidence he wasn’t depressed or suicidal:

Earlier in the day, Staff Sergeant Ryan Jordan told the defense during cross-examination that one reason Manning was kept on prevention of injury status – essentially one level below suicide watch – was that Manning rarely engaged in conversation with the guards.

Jordan related an instance when he and Manning spoke about the upcoming March Madness — the frenzy around the national college basketball playoffs — and said that Manning talked about how he had enjoyed filling out brackets in previous years.

Well, now.

Good to know I’m not the only one that looks forward to March all year ’round.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

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.