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Report: CAA tournament moving to Baltimore

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Sources have told Jeff Goodman of Eye on College Basketball that the Colonial Athletic Association will move its annual postseason tournament to Baltimore starting in 2014.

The move is not particularly surprising. The league was historically heavy on Virginia-based schools, so the Richmond Coliseum made sense as a central location. It was never, as league officials would disingenuously claim, a neutral location. When the final game featured VCU, Old Dominion or George Mason, final-day attendance soared. Especially if two of the league’s local powers squared off against one another for the auto-bid, as has happened five times since the turn of the millennium. Only twice in that same time period has a CAA title game been played without one of the league’s big three on the court.

With VCU gone to the A-10, and Old Dominion heading off to C-USA, the epicenter of the league has clearly shifted. The only member of the big three to stay put is George Mason (so far), so the notion of moving the league tourney into their territory would seem to be a logical decision.

In addition, the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metroplex is more populous, has more attractions and is, as Goodman points out, easier to get to for fans of every team. Fans of Boston’s Northeastern Huskies or Hofstra’s Pride had to take two flights to get to Richmond more often than not (and, unsurprisingly, didn’t do so in great numbers), but will find a direct flight to Baltimore easier and cheaper. Fans of JMU, Drexel, Delaware and W&M will not be particularly inconvenienced, and supporters of Mason and Towson will be able to take public transportation to the games now.

Dig UNC-Wilmington or incoming member Charleston? Well, you’re getting the short end of the stick. It’s a fair cop, society’s to blame.

Essentially, there’s not much point in getting attached to any particular team, building, city or iteration of reality as long as realignment rages unchecked. Richmond today, Baltimore tomorrow, Sheboygan the next? Stranger things have happened.

Ellis, Lucas lead No. 6 Kansas past No. 10 West Virginia

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) blocks a shot by West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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In the first meeting between No. 10 West Virginia and No. 6 Kansas, the Mountaineers dominated in their 74-63 win in Morgantown. Bob Huggins’ “Press Virginia” attack forced 22 Kansas turnovers, with the Jayhawks playing far too fast and loose with the basketball while also getting out-toughed by the Mountaineers. In the rematch Kansas (20-4, 8-3 Big 12) looked far better equipped to deal with West Virginia in both of those areas, winning by the final score of 75-65.

Kansas committed 15 turnovers, with Devonte’ Graham responsible for five of them, but they did not allow West Virginia (19-4, 8-3) to use those chances to kickstart their offense. The Mountaineers scored 13 points (one fewer than Kansas, which took advantage of ten WVU miscues) off of those turnovers and did not register a single fast break points. Having to play in the half-court more than they would have liked, West Virginia could not execute at the level they did in beating Baylor Saturday.

As a result Bob Huggins’ team shot 37.3 percent from the field and 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers have shown signs of being able to win games in which they don’t force a high turnover count, but that wasn’t the case at Allen Fieldhouse.

If not for West Virginia grabbing better than 34 percent of their misses and scoring 14 second-chance points, the margin is likely even greater than the ten-point outcome due to the contract in offensive execution. Kansas pushed the ball early, getting out to an 8-0 lead, and as the game wore on the Jayhawks were much better in finding quality shot opportunities. Bill Self’s team shot 56.1 percent from the field with Perry Ellis scoring 21 points to lead five Jayhawks in double figures.

The tandem of Ellis and Landen Lucas, who grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, won the battle against a WVU front court missing the suspended Jonathan Holton. Devin Williams, who went for 17 and 12 in the first meeting, finished the rematch with a respectable 14-point, nine-rebound effort but he didn’t get much help in the post from the likes of Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian.

After having Self question their toughness in a home win over Kansas State six days ago, the Jayhawks have responded with wins over TCU and West Virginia. Obviously it’s tough to read too much into beating the Horned Frogs, because even with that game being in Fort Worth it’s one Kansas was expected to handle with ease. The Mountaineers posed a different, and far more rigorous test, and Kansas got the job done.

As a result the Jayhawks have brought West Virginia back to the pack in the Big 12 title race, making Saturday’s game at No. 3 Oklahoma even bigger than it already was.

VIDEO: North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapses on sideline

Roy Williams
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapsed during the second half of No. 2 North Carolina’s visit to Boston College on Tuesday night:

Roy Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past; it’s not abnormal for him to collapse on the sideline during games, and given that his team is currently losing to Boston College, it’s understandable that he may have screamed himself dizzy.

He had to be helped off the floor:

It does appear that this isn’t something serious, according to a North Carolina release, that said Williams is “doing OK”.