Rob Dauster

Yale's Justin Sears (22) and Thomas Ryan (34) celebrate the team's 71=55 win over Columbia in an  NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
(AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)

Yale basketball team releases a statement ‘apologize for the hurt we have caused’

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On Wednesday evening, Tim Bennett, the assistant director for Sports Publicity at Yale, released a statement on behalf of the men’s basketball team, whose qualification for the NCAA tournament — their first trip to the dance in 54 years — has been marred by a controversy surrounding the departure of starting point guard and captain Jack Montague.

Montague last played for Yale on February 6th. He status with the school was changed to “withdraw” on the 10th, and after an announcement that he had left the team on the 26th, the school eventually confirmed this week that Montague was, in fact, expelled. After a game against Dartmouth on the 27th, the story exploded into a national controversy when Montague’s teammates wore shirts with his nickname and number on the back and Yale spelled backwards on the front.

The following week, posters started popping up on campus stating that the men’s basketball team was “supporting a rapist”.

Here is the statement from Bennett:

“Yale Men’s Basketball fully supports a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate where all students can flourish. Our recent actions to show our support for one of our former teammates were not intended to suggest otherwise, but we understand that to many students they did. We apologize for the hurt we have caused and we look forward to learning and growing from these recent incidents. As student representatives of Yale we hope to use our positions on and off the court in a way that can make everyone proud.”

Montague has yet to comment publicly on the ordeal, but his father did speak with the New Haven Register last week.

“We have strict orders from our lawyers,” Jim Montague told the paper. “Soon enough, I’d love to tell the other side of the story. It’s ridiculous, why he’s expelled. It’s probably going to set some sort of precedent. We’re trying to do things the gentleman’s way, so we’re keeping things close-knit. But you guys will get a story.”

VIDEO: J.J. Redick discusses the hatred surrounding Duke players

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We wrote an oral history on J.J. Redick, Adam Morrison, the 2006 Player of the Year race and the hate that those two received all season.

It’s right here.

You should read it.

BUBBLE BANTER: Syracuse players have ‘been punished enough’

Syracuse forward Michael Gbinije reacts after being hit in the face during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament against Pittsburgh, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pittsburgh (KenPom: 43, RPI: 53, CBT Bracketology Seed: 9) won what turned into a critical game for their bubble standing. In what bordered on a play-out game, Pitt tried to blow a 14-point lead but, after Syracuse tied things up with a minute left, got back-to-back buckets from James Robinson to seal the 72-71 win.

The Panthers should be in the tournament at this point. They’ve got a pair of top 50 wins — Duke and at Notre Dame — and a 9-8 record against the Top 100. Throw in an RPI that will likely creep into the top 50 with this win, and the Panthers have all the makings of a team that slows into a No. 9 or No. 10 seed.

Syracuse (KP: 41, RPI: 60, CBT: 10), on the other hand, will be a fascinating case for the Selection Committee. The Orange currently sit at 19-13 on the season, and while they have a quartet of top 50 wins — at Duke, Texas A&M on a neutral, Notre Dame and St. Bonaventure — they also have three bad losses, headlined by a terrible loss to St. John’s, and a record that doesn’t exactly lend itself to inclusion in the tournament.

But Syracuse also went 4-5 in the nine games that Jim Boeheim was suspended this season.

“The basketball committee is not the infractions committee,” Boeheim said after the game. “Their job is to pick the best teams for the tournament. These guys had nothing to do with any of this and should be evaluated on how well they played.”

“They’ve been punished enough.”

The selection committee has said over and over again that will be a factor in the way that they evaluate the Orange profile.

“In Syracuse’s case, we recognize you have a Hall of Fame coach who has assembled his team, knows his team, conditions his coach,” committee chair Joe Castiglione said on a conference call today. “To pretend he’s not a difference maker would be a mistake.”

Syracuse could end up regretting that they lost this game, but there is reason to believe that they have a better chance of dancing that they are currently given credit for.

WINNERS

  • Oregon State: The Beavers entered Wednesday on the cut line and not much changes for them after beating Arizona State. For now, it keeps them on the right side of the bubble and, in all likelihood, creates a play-in game on Thursday for OSU against Cal.
  • USC: The Trojans weren’t totally safe going up against the Bruins in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament. After blowing out UCLA for the third time, this season, they should be just fine.

LOSERS

  • Texas Tech: The Red Raiders lost to TCU in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, an awful loss by any metric. The good news for Tubby Smith’s club is that their computer numbers are probably strong enough for them to survive the loss.

 

Anderson gets vote of confidence from athletic director

Missouri coach Kim Anderson talks to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Samantha Baker)
(AP Photo/Samantha Baker)
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Missouri coach Kim Anderson has gotten a vote of confidence from athletic director Mack Rhoades.

Rhoades said Wednesday that he met with Anderson earlier in the week to share “expectations” for next season. Rhoades said Anderson got the job under difficult circumstances, with little talent left after Frank Haith left for Tulsa.

Anderson said he looks forward to the challenge of putting the school back on the map.

Missouri was 10-21 this season, losing its last five in a row. The school also admitted to NCAA violations dating to 2011 and banned itself from the postseason this year along with vacating all 23 wins from the 2013-14 season.

Rex Walters fired at San Francisco

San Francisco head coach Rex Walters reacts during the second half of a West Coast Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game against Pepperdine, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)
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San Francisco became the third school in the WCC to fire their head coach on Wednesday, as Rex Walters was let go after eight seasons there.

“Just want to thank my players and coaches, past and present,” Walters tweeted. “It’s time to move on. Love you all and I’m here if you need me.”

Walters was 126-125 in those eight seasons, finishing just under .500 in league. He best season was in 2013-14, when he went 21-12, finished second in the WCC and advanced to the NIT.