Perhaps more than any season in recent memory, the top teams in the country have taken so brutal poundings this season.
The most obvious victim is Duke, who got manhandled by Miami back in January. That’s the same Miami who is currently sitting at No. 2 in the country despite the 19 point whipping they were on the receiving end of against Arizona in late December. That same Arizona team lost by 13 points in a brutal showing at Colorado on Thursday.
That’s not all.
Michigan lost by 23 points at Michigan State last Tuesday. Ohio State lost by 22 points at Wisconsin on Sunday. New Mexico lost by 21 points at San Diego State. Georgetown lost by 28 points at home to Pitt. Florida lost by 11 point at Arkansas, but the final score doesn’t do the mollywhopping justice. Perhaps the worst loss of all came when Kansas, who beat Kansas State by 21 last Monday, lost to TCU.
No team since the tournament expanded to 64 teams has lost by more than 26 points and won the national title. Only four have suffered losses by more than 17 points and won the title. And, according to a study done by Peter Tiernan of CBSSports.com, 10 of the top 20 teams in the country have lost by more than 17 points this season.
What does all of that mean?
Well, in case you didn’t realize it already, the NCAA tournament is going to be a mess.
An awesome, amazing, thrilling disaster.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.