SEC Basketball Tournament - Alabama v Florida

Bubble Banter: Who are Saturday’s winners and losers

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All the teams that aren’t playing anymore: Southern Miss lost. That means that they aren’t going to be getting Conference USA’s automatic bid, Memphis will. Since Memphis was going to be in the tournament regardless of whether or not they won, the fact that Southern Miss lost means that there will be another bubble spot open.

Oh, and Alabama losing to Florida means that the Crimson Tide won’t be getting an at-large bid. So there’s another spot that stays open. Middle Tennessee State and St. Mary’s are happy.

Ole Miss: The Rebels beat Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon, but if that going to be enough to get them into the tournament if they lose to Florida? They are the most intriguing team on the bubble, which we wrote about here.


Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles had a chance to clinch the automatic bid on Saturday afternoon, and they didn’t. Memphis knocked them off in the Conference USA title. The Golden Eagles have a decent RPI, but they don’t have enough quality wins to get them in.

Maryland: The Terps had to beat North Carolina on Saturday afternoon to have a real chance of passing the teams in front of them on the bubble and crawling their way onto the right side of the bubble. They lost 79-76 when Logan Aronhalt missed a long three on the final possession. The Terps look like they’re headed to the NIT.

UMass: The Minutemen entered Saturday as one of the first five teams out, according to Dave Ommen, and while losing to VCU certainly doesn’t hurt their profile, it doesn’t help it at all. Derek Kellogg’s club isn’t jumping the three or four teams currently in front of them by losing.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide gave Florida a fight on Saturday afternoon in the SEC semifinals, but a second half run by the Gators put Alabama away. With an RPI of 60 and no top 50 wins, it looks like a stretch that the Tide will have done enough to get themselves into the dance. They have eight wins over teams between 51-100 in the RPI, but losses to Dayton, Mercer, Tulane and Auburn are killers.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.


AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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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.