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Pitt has parted ways with head coach Kevin Stallings


Pitt and Kevin Stallings have parted ways after just two seasons, according to a statement released by the university.

Stallings was 24-41 in his Panthers tenure and finished this season with an 8-24 record and an 0-19 mark against ACC competition.

Since 2000, only six high-major coaches had been fired after just two seasons on the job and just two of the six — James Johnson at Virginia and Billy Gillispie at Kentucky — were fired because of on-court performance. Kelvin Sampson at Indiana, Sean Sutton at Oklahoma State, Gillispie at Texas Tech and Donnie Tyndall at Tennessee were all fired for various off the court issues.

Who Pitt hires now will be an interesting thing to track. It’s not going to be easy to turn that program around, and it will be important for their AD Heather Lykes, who was hired last March, to get this decision right. The issue that Pitt has run into in the last few years is that the way they built their program was on the talent that they could pull out of New York and sell on playing in the Big East. That pipeline is not going to work as well in the ACC.

Clearly the big name here is Sean Miller, who is a Pittsburgh native that may be looking for a soft landing, depending on what he knows or thinks the FBI may have on him. Pitt also should make Danny Hurley say no. Thad Matta is another name that has popped up. The former Ohio State head coach has a proven track record and can get players in the midwest, but he’s never coach in the ACC before and part of the reason that things ended for him early at Ohio State is that he didn’t put in the same hours on the recruiting trail. Another out of work former Big Ten coach that would make sense is Tom Crean.

Former Pitt assistant and current Towson head coach Pat Skerry is another name that has popped up, and Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne would probably get the Panther fan base excited if they could land him. Iona head coach Tim Cluess, who has made five of the last seven NCAA tournaments out of the MAAC, would be another name that makes sense.

If I was Lykes, one of the first calls that I would make would be to Paul Weir, the current head coach at New Mexico who took New Mexico State to the NCAA tournament in 2017. He has been able to recruit players from Canada — he’s from Toronto — and in order to succeed at Pitt you need to find some way to gain a recruiting advantage. Canada might just be it.

Police: Thief steals electronics from UNC basketball program

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Police say someone stole thousands of dollars in electronics from the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team locker room and office while they were away for the ACC tournament.

UNC-Chapel Hill campus police said on Twitter that the break-in happened at the Dean Smith Center on March 9, and they released images of a man they believe may have been involved.

A police report says the thief managed to get into the team locker room and basketball office without forced entry, according to The Herald-Sun.

The report says the thief stole a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and clothing worth $2,900 that belonged to the athletic department. Police say the thief also stole a laptop worth $1,200 and a financial document worth about $3,000 belonging to one of the players.

No upsets over here: No. 1 seed UConn women set scoring records in first round game

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The No. 1 overall seed on the men’s side of the NCAA tournament made history on Friday night.

They because the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament, as Virginia lost to UMBC, if you were still unaware.

Over on the women’s side, the bracket is nowhere near as broken, because UConn’s women made history, too. They set NCAA tournament records for … well, almost everything it seems like.

The Huskies were up 55-19 at the end of the first quarter of their first round game against St. Francis (PA). Those 55 points are an NCAA tournament record. They held a 94-31 lead at the half, another NCAA tournament record, and held on to win 140-52.

The 140 points that Geno Auriemma’s team scored was an NCAA tournament record. The 88 points that they won by was one point short of an NCAA tournament record 89 points that was set by Baylor in a win over Texas Southern last season.

Oh, and the Huskies set the record for more assists in an NCAA tournament game — 38 — for good measure.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say that the fans in Storrs had a better weekend than the fans in Charlottesville. Hopefully, that will allow them to forget the fact that the men’s basketball program has become a laughing stock.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Maryland Governor calls UMBC upset, so does NBC Sports’ writer son

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Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament as a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed.

That was until Friday night, when UMBC sent the No. 1 overall seed Virginia packing.

And if you thought no one had picked that upset, you were wrong.

Let’s start with the Maryland Governor, who was clearly a homer in picking UMBC to not only beat Virginia, but to win a national title:

Never say never, but … that’s never going to happen bud.

But how about this: My son, who is two years old and based his picks on his hard and fast rule of “all the doggies”, called this upset!

He also called Penn over Kansas, Fullerton over Purdue and Butler winning a national title, but whatever.

That bracket is actually pretty good!

VIDEO: Virginia’s Ty Jerome does not appreciate dumb question after UMBC loss

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You have to give Virginia some credit.

After losing to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the players on that roster faced the music. They went up to the dais and answered question from reporters on national television.

There is no way they enjoyed that.

And you can tell because Ty Jerome had absolutely no interest in answering dumb questions from reporters:

He was not amused.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Saturday’s betting lines, point spreads, over-unders

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Here is the full TV schedule, with spreads, over-unders and betting lines, for every game for the first four days of the NCAA tournament.

(Lines are updated for Saturday morning.)

Pittsburgh: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson

  • 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Villanova (-11.5) vs. No. 9 Alabama, CBS (149.5)
  • 2:40 p.m.: No. 2 Duke (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Rhode Island, CBS (149)

Boise: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington

  • 5:15 p.m.: No. 5 Kentucky (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Buffalo, CBS (155)
  • 7:45 p.m.: No. 4 Gonzaga (-4) vs. No. 5 Ohio State, CBS (141.5)

Dallas: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude

  • 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Tennessee (-5) vs. No. 11 Loyola (Chicago), TNT (131.5)
  • 8:40: No. 3 Texas Tech (-1.5) vs. No. 6 Florida, TNT (133.5)

Wichita: Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn

  • 7:10 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas (-4.5) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall, TBS (154.5)
  • 9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan (-3) vs. No. 6 Houston, TBS (135)