Danny Manning

Report: Tulsa to join the (old) Big East, East Carolina to join as full member

4 Comments

The carousel of conference realignment spins on.

According to a report from ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy, Tulsa will be the latest school to switch conferences, joining the Big East later this year, with East Carolina joining as a full member in 2014.

Both programs will be leaving Conference USA as a result. East Carolina had initially announced it would join as a football-only member.

Tulane and Navy will round-out the 11 schools when they join. Navy is slated to join in 2015.

League commissioner Mike Aresco has not named expansion candidates, but said on Tuesday’s teleconference announcing the league’s media rights extension with CBS that the league expected to have “something relatively soon” on a new member.

“We are looking for a 12th team,” Aresco said. “Within the next few weeks, I think we’ll be able to announce a new member. We’ll have a member that brings great value to the conference.”

Aresco said Tuesday he expects the league to have 11 schools in 2014.

The search for a new name for the current Big East is nearing a conclusion.

“We are getting closer,” Aresco told ESPN.

Tulsa moving on to the Big East/soon-to-be-unnamed conference makes sense, even if just because it seems like every other current and former Conference USA member is doing the same thing. Geographically, it doesn’t make sense. But what does anymore with conference realignment?

From a basketball standpoint, East Carolina isn’t much to bring in with only two NCAA Tournament appearances, the last one in 1993. However, they did finish the season 18-11 this year under Jeff Lebo. Tulsa brings in better recent success, with their last NCAA appearance coming in 2003. They also have two NIT titles to their credit.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
1 Comment

Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Leave a comment

Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: