Rob Dauster

In this Nov. 22, 2015 photo, Yale's Jack Montague attempts a shot during an NCAA college basketball game against SMU in Dallas. Yale announced on Feb. 24, 2016, that Montague was no longer on the team. Citing federal privacy law, Yale declined to give details and confirmed only that Montague is no longer a student. Montague's father has said he was expelled from the school in February. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Ex-Yale captain Jack Montague is ‘whipping boy’ for sexual assault crisis on campus, lawyer says

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The lawyer for former Yale captain Jack Montague released a statement to the media on Monday morning condemning the school’s decision to expel his client and referring to the ex-player as a “whipping boy” for our nation’s problems with campus sexual assault.

Max Stern, Montague’s lawyer, also confirmed in the statement that it was an allegation of sexual misconduct which resulted in Montague’s expulsion.

Montague plans to sue the school for his dismissal.

“We strongly believe that the decision to expel Jack Montague was wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary, and excessive by any rational measure,” Stern wrote in the statement. “Yale has been oblivious to the catastrophic and irreparable damage resulting from these allegations and determinations.”

“The expulsion not only deprives Jack of the degree which he was only three months short of earning, but has simultaneously destroyed both his educational and basketball careers.”

Montague was dismissed on February 10th, but the story started to gain national traction later that month when the basketball team wore t-shirts with Montague’s nickname and number on the back and Yale written backwards on the front. After that game, flyers began appearing around the Yale campus stating that the team was “supporting a rapist”.

The incident in question happened in October of 2014, but Montague wasn’t accused of non-consensual sex by the female student student until this past fall. He’s stated that the sex was consensual and that the woman had spent the night with him.

“We cannot help but think it not coincidental that the decision by Yale officials to seek expulsion of the captain of its basketball team followed by little more than a month the report of the Association of American Universities (AAU) which was highly critical of the incidence of sexual assault on the Yale campus, and the Yale President’s promise, in response, to ‘redouble our efforts,'” Stern wrote. “From what appears, Jack has been pilloried as a ‘whipping boy’ for a campus problem that has galvanized national attention.”

“There is no doubt that institutions of higher learning must take the problem of sexual abuse seriously and take effective steps to protect its women students. But that obligation cannot justify imposing so drastic a punishment on the basis of such flimsy evidence.”

Montague is not facing criminal charges in Connecticut.

Yale will open NCAA tournament play against Baylor in Providence this week.

2016 NCAA TOURNAMENT: CBT Expert Brackets

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Rob Dauster

Rob

[   BRACKET BREAKDOWNS: East | South | Midwest | West   ]

Scott Phillips

Scott's Bracket

[ New CBT Podcast | Printable NCAA Tournament Bracket ]

Raphielle Johnson

raph's bracket

Travis Hines

HinesBracket

Tess Quinlan

TQ_Bracket

2016 NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET BREAKDOWN: The Podcast

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Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips join me on another episode of the College Basketball Talk podcast to breakdown everything you need to know about the NCAA tournament and your bracket.

Give it a listen, go win some money. You are welcome.

[   BRACKET BREAKDOWNS: East | South | Midwest | West   ]

Twitter topples CBS selection show with leaked NCAA bracket

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NEW YORK (AP) The first blockbuster upset of March Madness: Twitter over CBS on Selection Sunday.

The NCAA said Sunday night it is looking into how a copy of this year’s tournament bracket got leaked online during the network’s extended selection show on Sunday.

The bracket was being shared on Twitter about 20 minutes after the start of the two-hour broadcast, generating thousands of retweets as Charles Barkley fumbled around with a touch screen monitor making picks.

“We go through great lengths to prevent the tournament field from being revealed early and the NCAA took its usual measures to protect this from happening,” the NCAA said Sunday night in a statement. “Unfortunately, and regrettably, the bracket was revealed prior to our broadcast partners having the opportunity to finish unveiling it. We take this matter seriously and we are looking into it.”

CBS declined comment.

The broadcast drew wide criticism on social media for drawing out the selections. Some Kentucky players fell asleep during the show at the home of coach John Calipari. And others waiting for their draw found out about their matchups early as news of the leaked bracket went viral.

At Notre Dame, coach Mike Brey said he got a text from his son, Kyle, a tight ends coach at Youngstown State, saying the leaked bracket showed the Irish playing the winner of the Michigan-Tulsa game in Brooklyn.

“I thought he was messing with me,” Brey said. “So I just deleted it. Fifteen minutes later we show up, and then I found out we had a little leakage going on. Nothing’s secure, huh? That’s great. That is so typical. It’s so typical of college basketball.”

At Pitt, Sterling Smith set the Panthers at ease early during the selection show, sharing the leaked bracket that showed them as the 10th seed in the East Region. “We were wondering what we were going to do for that entire time; all of a sudden we knew rather quickly,” coach Jamie Dixon said.

Xavier forward James Farr said he saw the leaked bracket on his phone while the Musketeers were still waiting to learn their seeding and opponent, but he didn’t say anything to his teammates. “I didn’t want to ruin anything,” Farr said. “I thought it was somebody’s prediction of the bracket.”

It’s not clear who posted the tweet, which was labeled “Spoiler alert.” The account used a Kansas logo as its avatar photo, with the name “Sarcastic” followed by a vulgar word. The user later changed the name and protected the account, shortly before the account appeared to be deleted and turned over to a different user.

Trent Johnson and TCU part ways

big 12 media day 1021
(Rich Sugg/The Kansas City Star via AP)
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Trent Johnson has been fired as head coach at TCU after four seasons with the program.

Johnson went 50-79 in those four seasons, winning just eight Big 12 games in four years. He had previously spent 13 seasons as a head coach at Nevada, Stanford and LSU as a head coach, getting to the NCAA tournament just five times in his 16 years.

Johnson had two seasons left on the deal he signed in 2012.

There are some intriguing candidates for the TCU job, which is a better gig than it’s going to get credit for. Dallas is tricky to recruit, but there is a ton of talent within driving distance of their campus. Stephen F. Austin’s Brad Underwood is a name you’re going to hear a lot, as is native Texan Buzz Williams. Rick Stansbury is a former head coach and currently an assistant at Texas A&M that helped the Aggies build a pipeline for in-state kids. Fresno State’s Rodney Terry and Pitt’s Jamie Dixon — a TCU alum — are also intriguing candidates.

And then there is Billy Gillispie, who built programs at UTEP and Texas A&M and who is currently coaching in the JuCo ranks. I seriously doubt he’ll be able to get the job there — it would take an AD with some cajones who isn’t worried about losing his job when it goes south — but I also seriously doubt he’d do anything other than win there.

2016 NCAA TOURNAMENT WEST REGION: Bracket Breakdown

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Every year, there is one region in the bracket that, eventually, just doesn’t make sense.

That is going to end up being this year’s West Region. Do we trust anyone of the No. 3-No. 6 seeds? Do we trust Oregon and Oklahoma? How many double-digit seeds are going to end up winning in the first round?

All that said, I’ll fully admit that I’m rooting for an Oregon-Oklahoma Elite 8 matchup, because that game will be so much fun.

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

  1. Did Oregon deserve a No. 1 seed?: One of the biggest criticisms of the committee this year was that Michigan State didn’t get a No. 1 seed while Oregon did. Personally, I don’t really get it, for a couple reasons. Oregon won a dual-Pac 12 title, which is not an easy thing to do, and they gathered a boat-load of quality wins while doing so. They’re also really, really good. If this team with these wins and those players were named, say, Arizona or UCLA, no one would have an issue with them getting a No. 1 seed. But since Dillon Brooks and Chris Boucher wear Nike’s fluorescent green jerseys, they’re going to get criticized.
  2. Is this the region with all of the upsets?: It feels like it’s going to be, simply because this is the region where the top seeds all half question marks. No one understands how good Oregon is. Oklahoma is one cold-shooting night away from getting picked off. Texas A&M feels overseeded as a No. 3. Neither Duke or Baylor can guard, and unless Amile Jefferson got some super-human regenerative powers, he will not be playing due to a broken foot. Is this where things go wild this year?
  3. The scandal at Yale: One of the biggest stories as we head into the NCAA tournament is that Yale, who made the Big Dance for the first time in 54 years this season, will be playing while dealing with a scandal that has erupted on their campus. One of their players was dismissed from the program, and after the rest of the team showed support for him, flyers began popping up on campus claiming that the basketball team “supported a rapist”. Expect to hear quite a bit about that this week, and to be inundated with it if Yale can get out of the first weekend.

[   BRACKET BREAKDOWN: East | South | Midwest | West   ]

West

THE ELITE 8 MATCHUP IS … ?: No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 2 Oklahoma

Putting the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the Elite 8 here is pretty easy simply because I’m not all that impressed by the teams in the No. 3-6 range in this region. They’re kind of whatever. But I’m not convinced that Oregon and Oklahoma are anything close to locks to make it this far. The Sooners rely too much on their jump-shooting to really feel comfortable taking them far in the tournament. One off night and they can lose to anyone.

And while I love this Oregon team, I can’t help but feel like the Pac-12 is one of those leagues that was made to look better in computer numbers because it is so balanced and deep. The Ducks looked great in league play, but just how good was the competition they were playing?

FINAL FOUR SLEEPER: Northern Iowa

I really like this UNI team. They have a dynamic point guard in Wes Washpun and they surround him with deadeye shooters that can lock-up at the other end of the floor. I also really like this draw for the Panthers. I think they matchup well with Texas, and I’m not convinced that A&M is all that great. Remember, UNI has beaten North Carolina, Iowa State and Wichita State twice, in Wichita and on a neutral floor.

UPSETS THAT CAN HAPPEN

  • No. 13 UNC Wilmington over No. 4 Duke: This is going to be a tough matchup for the Blue Devils. UNCW plays like VCU and West Virginia. They press for 40 minutes and continually throw bodies at you. They never tire. Duke? They basically have six guys, and the only one that’s a point guard Derryck Thornton. Tired legs and turnovers really plays into UNCW’s hands.
  • No. 8 Saint Joseph’s over No. 1 Oregon: My colleague Raphielle Johnson mentioned this on the latest podcast, but St. Joe’s matches up really well with Oregon. They have a pair of versatile defenders in Isaiah Miles and Deandre Bembry that will take away from of Oregon’s small-ball lineup advantage.
  • No. 11 Northern Iowa over No. 6 Texas: Do I need to explain it more than what I wrote above? UNI is really good.
  • No. 11 Northern Iowa over No. 3 Texas A&M: As good as Texas A&M is, I think they’re somewhat limited by a back court of Alex Caruso and Anthony Collins. Those guys aren’t shooters, and you need shooters when your front line is your strength.

UPSETS THAT WON’T HAPPEN

  • No. 12 Yale over No. 5 Baylor: Yale could not have drawn a worse matchup. The Bulldog strength is their front court; they’re the only team in the country in the top ten in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. Baylor may be, pound for pound, the best rebounding team in the country, and they’ve made a name for themselves this season for not getting upset by lesser competition.

FEEL LIKE GAMBLING?: Saint Joseph’s to the Elite 8

The Hawks are really good this year, and they got themselves a nice little draw. Like I wrote earlier, they matchup really well with Oregon. Then, in the Sweet 16, they’re looking at a flawed Duke team, a Baylor team that can’t guard or a mid-major. They could very well end up getting beaten by Cincinnati — who is pretty good in their own right — but if any team in an 8-9 game is going to make a run, I think St. Joe’s is the team that will do it.

THE STUDS YOU KNOW ABOUT

  • Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: He averaged 25 points. You know him. Or you should.
  • Grayson Allen, Duke: Allen may not be the point guard Duke needs, but his endless energy and ability to attack the rim in transition is going to be valuable against someone like UNCW.
  • Gary Payton II: The other Gary Payton’s son, “the Mitten” is the best dunker in the NCAA tournament and a future first round pick.

THE STUDS YOU’LL FIND OUT ABOUT

  • Dillon Brooks and Chris Boucher, Oregon: I’m not exaggerating when I say those dudes are really, really good.
  • Chris Flemmings, UNCW: The kid has a fascinating story, and he’ll be a huge deal is UNCW picks off Duke.

BEST OPENING ROUND MATCHUP: No. 11 Northern Iowa vs. No. 6 Texas

Shaka Smart vs. Ben Jacobson will square off as the two teams that beat UNC in the non-conference. That should be enough to get you to tune in. If not, Wes Washpun vs. Isaiah Taylor is a point guard matchup that people that love broken ankles will have to see.

MATCHUPS TO ROOT FOR

  • No. 6 Texas vs. No. 3 Texas A&M: Rivalries renewed! And the game will be played in Oklahoma City. That could be fun.
  • No. 7 Oregon State vs. No. 2 Oklahoma: All due respect to VCU, but I want to see Payton II vs. Hield.

CBT PREDICTION: Oklahoma comes out of the region. Who they beat, I don’t know. But they’ll get hot at the right times against competition that isn’t overwhelming.