Full list of ineligible schools for 2015 postseason tournaments

To nobody’s surprise, they mostly come from the Southland Conference:

Alabama State (SWAC)
Appalachian State (Southern)
Florida A&M (MEAC)
Houston Baptist (Southland)
Lamar (Southland)
San Jose State (Mountain West)
Central Arkansas (Southland)
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Horizon League)

More details on the grading levels given for schools on a case-by-case basis, plus a link to the NCAA’s FAQ’s on how the APR is calculated can be found here:




Expect a return to a two-man booth for CBS and Turner Sports

Wednesday’s news had Steve Kerr signing a 5 year, $25 million dollar to become the new head coach of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.  Multiple broadcast and online reports throughout the past month had him possibly going to New York and reuniting with longtime former veteran coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers in Phil Jackson.

As it is, expect Jim Nantz and Greg Anthony to be your 2015 Final Four announcing team for TBS and CBS.

On the Turner side of the ledger, once the NBA Playoff coverage ends later this month–expect a major promotion for Reggie Miller and maybe Grant Hill to possibly get some more exposure during the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

More details on that and other key broadcasting changes in my annual season preview blog in the days leading up to Halloween, although the weather in parts of the Midwest is acting exactly like October–cold, dreamy, damp, and very clammy.  Please try to enjoy your day.

CBS Sports Classic drums up big time programs with big time games

The formerly lackluster non-conference games that dotted the CBS Sports landscape in the final mad dash before the end of each holiday shopping season got a major boost on Wednesday, May 7.

Take a look at this matchup.  If this isn’t make you think big time hoops before March, I don’t know which other games will top this outside of the Champions Classic boasting UK, Michigan State, Kansas, and Duke:

It will be a round-robin concept, with the first set of games to take place in Chicago at the United Center on December 20 to be televised on CBS.  UCLA plays Kentucky at 1 p.m. Eastern time, while UNC plays Ohio State 30 minutes after the end of game one (around 3:30 p.m. Eastern).  On Dec. 19, 2015, UNC will go up against UCLA, while Kentucky draws Ohio State at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The third stop will be in Las Vegas on Dec. 17, 2016 at a venue TBD, with those games featuring a super blockbuster of games with Kentucky vs. North Carolina and UCLA vs. Ohio State.

In addition, CBS Sports will also stream the games exclusively on their website, CBSSports.com along with their own mobile apps for use on the iPhone, iPad and Android.

It promises to be big time fun (surely hope nobody will be catching me wrapping up some holiday presents during each of the TV time outs).

Add another school to banned 2015 NCAA Tournament list

The full list will be revealed amongst the four-year programs sometime next week, but Friday came the news that Houston Baptist had a score of only 913.

The Southland Conference school will join the Horizon League’s Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers in being ineligible to participate in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

For those in the know, the Academic Progress Report or APR is simply the NCAA’s measure for a program’s graduation, retention and eligibility rate for a set of players that make up your team.  All eligible teams have to maintain a score of at least 930 or more to remain eligible (the ceiling is 1,000) for any type of postseason play.  The old level was 900 that was implemented in the late 2000’s.


Big Ten Tournament slated to move East come 2017

For the better part of nearly two decades, the Big Ten was all about familiarity and consistency on having both Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and the United Center on the West Side of Chicago play host to the final weekend of tournament play just mere minutes before CBS would give us that “first live, exclusive” look at the brackets.

On Monday, Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany not only managed to make waves, but he is looking to leave more than just a ripple effect in welcoming with open arms two new conference members in Rutgers and Maryland come July 1.  First came the news that there will be a preseason Big Ten/Big East tournament slated for early November 2015, named after the late founder of the Big East and longtime NBA executive Dave Gavitt.

Not to confuse anyone with the wildly popular Big Ten/ACC Challenge that the ESPN family of networks love to hype around the Thanksgiving holiday–anytime a game in the Gavitt Classic is held at a Big Ten campus, either ESPN or BTN (Big Ten Network) will televise it.  Likewise, if the game is at a Big East gym, the very green Fox Sports One will have tons of graphics to get you pumped for 40 minutes and then some (no, that is not the name change I am planning for my blog for the 2014-2015 season).

But getting back to my point on the Big Ten’s expanding footprint into the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States:

You see it inside Yankee Stadium, where all 14 school logos are imprinted along the foul lines.  Cable systems are clamoring to have the Big Ten Network taken off the second tier and into basic service just like in the Midwest.

Multiple online and broadcast reports have a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, at which time the Big Ten will be announcing the 2017 postseason tournament will be taking place at the normal home of the Georgetown Hoyas, the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (wonder if President Obama, whom will then be just a few weeks moved out of the White House be available to any of the cable outlets by being a color commentator at that time?  Remember back during his first term, he sat on a CBS broadcast with Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg).

I guess the Big Ten is no longer about familiarity with location.  It is all about grabbing and taking a firm hold on that next big thing.

Only time will tell in this blog reporter’s mind if the crowds (let alone how many scores of eyeballs that were tuning on their TV’s/smartphones/Android/other mobile devices or listening in on Sirius/XM satellite radio if their local school gets knocked out in the early rounds) would prove to be just as successful as loyal fans in Chicago or the simply basketball crazed hotbed that is Nap Town Indy.

No doubt that the tourism both in and around the Beltway will be up in which is normally the time where most people watch the blossoming of the cherry trees.  And Maryland travels well, but will they be in the same class as Indiana during the 1980’s and 1990’s, or both Michigan and Michigan State in more current times?

That will definitely be something to ponder over the next few years.

For those reading in the Mid-Atlantic region, I am sure you are all very excited.

No more Duke.  No more North Carolina.  Not even Notre Dame is welcome, except for NCAA Tournament play.  I guess that is the way things will be going forward.



Even President Obama’s brother-in-law joins ranks of the unemployed

Late Sunday night, Oregon State fired coach Craig Robinson which happens to be the President’s brother-in-law.

With all of the perks that come in handy being part of the First Family, it is with this hope and wish from this blog reporter that Coach Robinson can somehow, some way find employment soon somewhere in this vast and very wide college basketball landscape.

Sure, his 93-104 record did not speak volumes.  But the zero trips to the NCAA Tournament almost certainly without question, caused Robinson’s ultimate undoing in Corvallis.

Early reports according to CBSSports.com and other online sources have former UCLA and Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland as an early candidate to take over.

Hope to provide some clarity on who takes over for the OSU Beavers when the news becomes official.