At long last, Xavier was able to secure a victory, 64-61 OT over Creighton Wednesday night. The overtime victory snaps a six-game losing streak for Xavier (12-13, 4-8, 133rd). The Musketeers were led by Naji Marshall’s 23 points. Tyrique Jones (12) and Zach Hankins (10) also reached double digits. Martin Krampelj led the Blue Jays (12-12, 4-8, 102nd) with 18 points. The season for Xavier has been very disappointing, but is it salvageable? At this point, X is hoping for an overall winning record. That is no guarantee in the Big East conference. The only guaranteed postseason for the Muskies’ is the conference tournament in New York City. Any hopes of playing after that, will depend on how Xavier fares in Madison Square Garden. XU will play Providence (14-11, 4-8, 98th) Saturday at 2 PM in Rhode Island. TV: FOX Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall’s 23 points and clutch play helped X win (The Enquirer)
Basketball is not the most complex game in the world. The goal is to put the ball in the hoop, and not let the opponent do the same. It becomes difficult to win when a team cannot make its free throws, which of course, are uncontested. East Carolina defeated Cincinnati 73-71 in a major upset in AAC play. The loss drops the Bearcats to 12-3, while the Pirates improve to 8-6. The major reason the upset occurred was the poor free throw shooting of UC. The Cats shot less than 50% from the charity stripe (44.4%). Regardless of the questionable officiating in Greenville, NC, no one should expect to win with poor free throw shooting. It doesn’t matter if you are playing North Carolina, East Carolina, South Carolina, North Carolina A&T, or South Carolina State. Ranking over 350 teams, RealTimeRPI Power Ratings had UC at 23 and ECU at 260. Those numbers have now been updated to 43 and 224 respectively.
Nysier Brooks complains on a foul call in the 73-71 loss to ECU (The Athletic)
Cincinnati plays Tulsa (11-4, 84) on the road Thursday night 7PM.
After becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Manziel (Johnny Football) is enjoying plenty of the benefits of the prestigious. Manziel, who is now dating a model, was invited to the Late Show with David Letterman to present the “Top Ten” list.
The Connecticut Huskies were able to outlast the Butler Bulldogs in an offensive struggle, 53-41 in the National Championship Monday. Connecticut was able to finish the year strong, winning 11 consecutive postseason games to earn a Big East Championship, and then a National Championship. For coach Jim Calhoun, it’s his third National Title. On the other hand, the Butler Bulldogs finished as runner-ups for the second year in a row. Both teams struggled offensively the entire game. However Butler’s field goal percentage was 19%, setting a dubious National championship record. UConn’s shooting wasn’t pretty either, at 35%. As a team with nine losses, lots of remarks are being made about whether the “best” team won the championship. But it seems that Connecticut proved their case and then some, winning 11 consecutive games in the postseason, including wins over San Diego State, Arizona, Louisville, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and so on… as if a National Championship isn’t enough.
In the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated, a six-month study was done on the criminal records of players in NCAA Football. SI (and CBS) performed 7,030 background checks on 2,837 players who were listed on the rosters of the preseason top 25 (SI poll).
Here is what they found:
About 7 % of the players had been in trouble with the law. This is equivalent to 1 out of every 14 players.
None of the teams checked juvenile records, only two teams did background checks.
Almost 40% of the alleged incidents are considered serious offenses.
The University of Pittsburgh had a chart-topping 22 players on their roster that had a criminal record.
22 of the 318 athletes from Florida (which allows access to juvenile records) were arrested once before turning 18.
48% of the players in the overall study were black, and 44.5 % were white. This indicates race was not a major factor.
Texas Christian University had no players with arrests.
University of Cincinnati had five players with arrests.
What this means: For some, seven percent may seem not that high. But for the rest of us, it can be agreed upon that it’s 7% too many players in trouble with the law. Universities have been questioned with whether too much importance is being placed on a team’s statistical performance, rather than on an academic and perhaps most importantly, conduct basis. Pittsburgh’s 22 players with checkered pasts, is very alarming. Maybe it’s not that much of a surprise that the head coach, Dave Wannstedt, was fired after the season.