Mike Btrey

UPDATE: Notre Dame hoops to start ACC play in 2013-14 season


Notre Dame is headed to play basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference in the 2013-14 season, according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.

The program was initially slated to join the ACC from the Big East Conference for the 2014-15 season.

The Big East officials will vote on the issue on Tuesday morning, with Thamel reporting that it’s almost a certainty that the move is approved.

“It’s every everyone’s intention that this will happen tomorrow,” the source told Thamel.

Monetarily, the Fighting Irish will take a small piece of the Big East’s reserve fund, along with keeping their NCAA Basketball units.

Notre Dame and their coach, Mike Brey, have been pretty adamant about wanting to bolt the conference for the ACC next season, so this move is far from surprising. It’s easy enough to understand, with the Catholic 7 teams breaking away from what is now the Big East, beginning next season, taking the conference name with them. The conference as we know it is crumbling and it’s better, at least from an at-large bid standpoint in college basketball, to be in the more-stable ACC as soon as possible.

Now it’s going to be interesting to see of Louisville tries for the same thing. There isn’t a football tie holding Notre Dame around, so that’s working in their favor. But it’s something that the Cardinals don’t have the luxury of possessing. That may be the lone reason Louisville sticks in the Big East/America 12/Unnamed Conference for another year before joining the likes of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame in the ACC.

Thamel also reports that the Fighting Irish are under the same Mutual Commitment Agreement as the Catholic 7, which means the normal exit fee won’t apply to them. They’ll just give up any part of the estimated $70 million in exits fees and other fund that the current Big East has piled up.

Just another day in the life of conference realignment.

UPDATE: It’s official.

“This decision makes sense for the Big East,” conference commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “In view of Notre Dame’s expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the Big East and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution. The Big East can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts. I want to thank the Notre Dame administration and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick for their efforts in moving toward this orderly transition. Notre Dame has been a valued member of the Big East and we wish them well.”

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Brooks’ big game leads No. 15 Oregon over Fresno State 78-73

Dillon Brooks, Torren Jones
AP Photo/Chris Pietsch
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Oregon staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

Harris, who didn’t score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

The Ducks scored the game’s first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog’s all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. . The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. . Fresno State hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The double-double was the second of the season Brooks and fourth of his career. . The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. . The 6-0 start is Oregon’s second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.