Author: Daniel Martin

Matthew Dellavedova

Pregame Shootaround 3.19.13: NCAA tournament tips off with First Four in Dayton

Leave a comment

Game of the Day: Saint Mary’s vs. Middle Tennessee (9:10 p.m. ET, truTV)

The night cap of the First Four in Dayton features two bubble teams who were both able to fall on the right side of that bubble and into the NCAA tournament on Selection Sunday. For Saint Mary’s, everything starts with guard Matthew Dellavedova, who averaged 15.8 points and 6.4 assists per game this season. He is the engine behind an offense that is Top 25 in the country in scoring and field goal percentage, running through the WCC and if Gonzaga had not been there, likely would have won the conference.

Middle Tennessee was ready to be the mid-major snub, but now rightfully finds itself in the First Four. The Blue Raiders had high-major wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in the non-conference this season, as well as keeping it close to Akron in an overtime loss. There is a good deal of balance to Middle Tennessee’s offense, but it is led by Marcos Knight with 13.5 points per game.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: North Carolina A&T vs. Liberty (6:40 p.m. ET, truTV)

Liberty was able to catch lightning in a bottle in the Big South tournament and turn a bad start to the season into one worthy of an NCAA tournament automatic berth. They meet a North Carolina A&T team that emerged from the dust in the MEAC tournament after No. 1 and No. 2 seeds Norfolk State and North Carolina Central fell in earlier rounds.

This will be a game of contrasting tempos, with Liberty looking to score the basketball more and North Carolina A&T wanting a more defensive game. A&T will have to shoot well from the field if it wants to advance, though, 317th in Division I.

NCAA Tournament First Four

North Carolina A&T vs. Liberty (6:40 p.m. ET, truTV)

Saint Mary’s vs. Middle Tennessee State (9:10 p.m. ET, truTV)

Other Notable Games (NIT)

Maryland vs. Niagara (7:00 p.m, ESPN2)

St. John’s vs. Saint Joseph’s (7:00 PM, ESPNU)

Louisiana Tech vs. Florida State (7:15 PM, ESPN3)

Robert Morris vs. Kentucky (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Norfolk State vs. Virginia (9:00 PM, ESPNU)

Northeastern vs. Alabama (9:00 p.m., ESPN2)

Ohio vs. Denver (9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Washington vs. Brigham Young (9:30 p.m., ESPN)

Stephen F. Austin vs Stanford (11:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Report: New Big East to announce addition of Butler, Xavier, Creighton Wednesday

Big East

School presidents representing members of the New Big East will meet with representatives from FOX Sports and Madison Square Garden for an 11 a.m. ET press conference Wednesday in Manhattan to “reveal significant progress in the ongoing development of a multi-sport conference,” the league announced in a release Tuesday.

According to David Woods of the Indianapolis Starthat is where the conference will officially announce the widely reported news that Butler, Xavier, and Creighton will be added to the league. It has also been reported that the conference will announce a partnership with FOX Sports as the league’s primary media rights holder. The network reportedly offered $500 million for the rights as part of a 12-year.

This process has been set in motion since the group dubbed the “Catholic 7,” the Catholic-affiliated and basketball-centric universities formerly of the Big East, announced its desire to break away from the other football schools in the old conference. Speculation has been ongoing for months about the possible additional schools that would join the league.

It is also expected that the New Big East will announce what the release calls “advancements” in regards to the conference and Madison Square Garden, likely pertaining to the venue as a site for the league’s postseason tournament.

If the report proves to be true, the New Big East would include Butler, Xavier, Creighton, Marquette, DePaul, Providence, St. John’s, Villanova, Georgetown, and Seton Hall. That would mean that the conference stretches as far west as Omaha, Nebraska and as far east as Providence, R.I. Approximately 1,400 miles lay between those two cities.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson named UMKC head coach

Kareem Richardson
Leave a comment

To follow along with the 2013 Coaching Carousel, click here.

Louisville assistant Kareem Richardson has been hired to become the next head basketball coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the school announced in a release Tuesday. Richardson has 16 years of coaching experience that includes the 2007-08 season, which he spent as an assistant at UMKC.

“I would like to welcome Kareem back to Kansas City,” UMKC athletic director Tim Hall said in a statement. “He has strong relationships with high school and AAU coaches here and throughout the Midwest. He brings a high basketball pedigree in the areas of recruiting, on-the-floor coaching, strategy and preparation, and service to young men. Kareem is an educator, and knows what it takes to be successful in the mid-major ranks.”

Louisville is currently in the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed in the Midwest regional and Richardson will remain with the team for the remainder of the season. He came to Louisville after stops as an assistant at Xavier and Drake, as well as spending time serving on the staff at Evansville, Indiana State, Wright State and Indianapolis.

“Being at the University of Louisville and working under future Hall of Famer Coach Pitino, it had to take a special situation for me to leave, but I know the vision that Leo Morton and Tim Hall have for the program makes UMKC a special situation,” Richardson said. “It is extremely exciting to have the opportunity to lead the UMKC men’s basketball program and to be back in the wonderful city of Kansas City.”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_