Duke and Michigan State claim PK80 titles, while Notre Dame wins in Maui

Since there were so many games and tournaments to keep track of during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I felt like bringing back a feature that used to be a popular segment on the former Mike & Mike ESPN Radio show:

Stock Up, Stock Down

Duke and Michigan State–for winning the inaugural PK80 Victory and Motion Brackets on Sunday night in Portland, Oregon.  Phil Knight attended as many games as he could, but there were no swooshes to be seen on the team’s trophies (sad to say, but it was true).

St. Bonaventure, for winning at the Emerald Coast Classic defeating Maryland 63-61.  It was their first win against a Big Ten school since topping Michigan in 2002.

William & Mary, for winning on a last second three to upend Old Dominion 79-77 on Saturday.

Purdue for blowing out Arizona 89-64 in the Bahamas.

Notre Dame, for their impressive showing at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Hawaii.

Stock Down

Arizona, for losing three straight games in the Bahamas–they fell from the Number 2 ranked position in the weekly Associated Press poll to being unranked.

Alabama, what a battle on Facebook this past Saturday in Brooklyn.

A bit of background–

With 13:39 remaining on the second half clock at the Barclays Center, some rough play underneath the basket caused a bit of a scrum.  The entire Alabama bench joined in on the fight, which the rules clearly dictate that anyone who leaves the bench to join any fight is automatically ejected from the game.

Playing with only five players against Minnesota, the Crimson Tide outscored the Gophers 30-22.  To make matters even worse, one player eventually fouled out and another player had to leave due to suffering an injury.  The final score was Minnesota 89, Alabama 84.

The game can be replayed on Facebook’s Stadium page.

Texas, for blowing a lead late in their semifinal game at the PK80 Tournament against top ranked Duke.  Even with Grayson Allen and Mo Bamba fouling out, a 15-2 run in the final five minutes sealed their fate.

St. Mary’s, lost at Cal State Fullerton in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy Touranment to unranked Washington State 82-77 on Friday.

Wichita State, for blowing a lead against Notre Dame in the championship game of the Maui Jim Maui Tournament.  The Shockers led 37-23 at halftime, but the Fighting Irish found a way to get back in the game and pull it out in the final minute 67-66.

No more Chaminade hosting their own tournament, will host at least every 2 years going forward

Great article on The Athletic website over the weekend detailing the Silver Swords from Chaminade.  Due to decreased interest and failing attendance each year at the Lahaina Civic Center, Chaminade will play next November at San Diego State and Arizona.  Some Chicago travel agency will be taking care of all the travel arrangements to and from the Pacific Ocean and back.

The 2018 Maui Jim Maui Tournament will feature schools like UConn, Gonzaga, and Illinois.  Next summer, I hope to detail the matchups for Turkey Week 2018.

In the meantime, the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge is currently going on and I hope to have a brief report late in the week.  Thank you so much reading and please have a good night.

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Michael Porter, Jr. More Than Likely Out For Season

SPECIAL NOTE:  This blog is dedicated in memory of singer David Cassidy, who died in a Florida hospital at age 67 after a long illness.  Best known for leading the 1970’s ABC musical comedy series “The Partridge Family”, the group’s ten albums gained them a legion of fans with their catchy pop tune jingles.  Even after the group disbanded, David succeeded as a solo artist and even was a guest numerous times on the former Mike & Mike show on ESPN Radio–a few years before suffering from dementia.

As the old adage goes, ‘Some people were left with a harp in heaven, but I am sure others gave out guitars instead.’

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Crushing blow for Missouri

Center/forward Michael Porter, Jr., chosen by some members of the media as Preseason All-American will be heading for major back surgery.  This news was according to ESPN, CBSSports.com, and other key media outlets on Tuesday.

Simply put, what a blow for the Missouri Tigers and their potential NCAA Tournament hopes.  ESPN.com still projects him as the Number 2 ranked prospect for next June’s NBA Draft.

What this means in terms of the college landscape is that their slot could be taken over by:  a) another team in a Power 5 conference, like Texas A&M or Minnesota, or b) if the resumes stack up among any available mid-majors, there could be a possible last minute addition to the 10 or 11 seed line.

But again, we will know a lot more with 110 days remaining until Selection Sunday.

See you all next week with my Maui and PK80 Tournament recaps.

Maui and PK80 Tournament Previews

 

Monday begins another fun week for ESPN.

“Feast Week” brings true tropical flair in our 50th State

At Lahaina Civic Center in Hawai’i will be four quarterfinal games:

The first pair of games are on ESPN2:

2:30 p.m. Marquette vs. VCU, Rams should be favored

4:30 p.m. Wichita State vs. California, Shockers have 5 guys averaging double figures led by Shaquille Morris averaging 17 ppg, shooting 13 of 18 from the field good for 72.2 percent and he has six blocked shots.

The other pair of games will be on ESPNU

9 p.m. Notre Dame vs. Chaminade, Fighting Irish led by Bonzie Colson.  Good sample size of averaging 20 ppg to go along with 11 rebounds per game and 9 blocks.

Shortly after 11 p.m. Michigan vs. LSU, could go either way but both schools moving on after losing key pieces to the NBA.

Late Tuesday are the semifinal games and Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2 will be the championship.

PK 80 brings 16 Team Style Bracket in Honor of Phil Knight’s 80th Birthday

The newest tournament begins on Turkey Day in Oregon with eight games:

2:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN  Portland vs. North Carolina

4:30 p.m. ESPN  Portland State vs. Duke

5 p.m. ESPN2  Arkansas vs. Oklahoma

7 p.m. ESPN2  Butler vs. Texas

9 p.m. ESPNU  UConn vs. Oregon

10 p.m.  ESPN2  Florida vs. Stanford

11:30 p.m. ESPN  Michigan State vs. DePaul

Midnight ESPN2  Ohio State vs. Gonzaga

The rest of the schedule for Friday’s Motion Bracket (the Thursday losers) and Victory Bracket, along with Sunday’s championship game can be found at this link:

http://pkinvitational.com/brackets

Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend, everybody.

See you all this time next week with my review of both tournaments, along with my first edition of “Stock Up, Stock Down”.

 

Facebook to partner with Stadium in doing 47 live streaming games

The games will be from smaller conferences, echoes similar deals from college football and Major League Baseball

WatchESPN and Amazon have a new partner in the streaming game.

According to the website Awful Announcing, 47 games will be exclusively streamed on Facebook.  Schools like Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, VCU, Rhode Island, Nevada, and New Mexico State will be featured.

The games will be streamed at this page:

https://www.facebook.com/StadiumCollegeBasketball/

The popular social media channel will also air three first-round games in the Mountain West Tournament, as well as two quarterfinal game in the Conference USA Tournament come early March.

There will also be a 30 minute studio weekly studio show airing on Wednesdays, which will preview the games and reviewing other key highlights and news in the sport.  First show is on November 29 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.

For more information on which games will be airing, check out this press release:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb14923661.htm

and bookmark this site to see instant highlights and clips highlighting recent games:

https://watchstadium.com/

So Long, Greeny–At Least For A While

A few years into the ESPN Radio era when weekdays were added to the schedule, Tony Bruno commanded the mornings from 1995 to 1998.  He was a steady, but firm voice who properly put the key sports headlines from the night before into proper perspective.

In 1998, nine year NFL veteran Mike Golic entered the picture.  Late in 1999, Bruno accepted a job to begin a new era for Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles.  Several rounds of auditions took place on the Bristol campus.  Several reporters and a wave of former athletes tried but were all rejected.

The person who ended up getting the job to wake up early in the mornings was an original Scorehead that helped launch WSCR (which was then heard only in the daylight hours at low power frequency 820 AM) “The Score” SportsRadio in Chicago.  A sports reporting stint on WGN sister cable news outlet CLTV (short for Chicagoland TV News) would soon follow.

Mike Greenberg would gain national prominence being one of the first anchors for the 24 hour ESPNEWS outlet in 1996.  A few years of doing weekend editions of SportsCenter would soon follow.  When the one-time Duel game show host on ABC who loves getting pedicures and going to the opera as much as women would be the right combination with Mike Golic, Mike & Mike In The Morning was born.

From January 2, 2000 to today–November 17, 2017, over three million devoted listeners (more if you count all of our devoted servicemen and women overseas) would make their show our morning routine to laugh, sometimes criticize, ponder, but most of all to have fun.

For Yours Truly Online, just hitting the one button to turn the radio on was all I needed to hear when Greeny would affectionately say shortly after 6 a.m. Eastern time,

“Gooooooooooooood Morning…We are back, and better than ever.”

We have had six months to brace for this moment to say good bye.  But it is not a good bye forever.  Greeny will still be employed by ESPN, and I am sure he will be keeping many fans of his books apprised when his fifth book (his first foray into fiction writing) will be something to watch later in 2018 or early 2019).

He is very active on Twitter as well, especially giving off his honest thoughts about his hometown team in the New York Jets.  So in a way, this will be a homecoming for him when he gears up to host the new ESPN weekday morning show simply called Get Up when it is tentatively scheduled to start sometime in the spring.  The primary reason, according to sites like Awful Announcing and Sports Media Watch cite the fact that there have been several construction delays at their new studio around Chelsea Piers, adjacent to the GMA studios at Disney sister cousin of ABC.

This much we do know–Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose will be leaving NBA Countdown and Beadle’s weekday gabfest of SportsNation to join Greeny as co-hosts.  More talent will soon follow, with a possibility of maybe having occasional appearances by GMA Meteorologist Ginger Zee (whom by that time will be coming off her second maternity leave) to give fans key weather details of major sports events nationwide.  The show will air weekdays from 7 to 10 a.m. Eastern, with simulcasts on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.  SportsCenter: AM will slide over to ESPN2.

As for the new era on the radio side, we won’t have to wait too long for the Trey and Mike era to begin.  The one-time page for David Letterman and longtime host of NFL Live will be the new full-time co-host starting on Monday, November 27, 2017.  Even more interesting is that fellow Notre Dame alum Mike Golic, Jr. will join his father during the first hour (keep in mind that Golic, Jr. appears with Robin Lundberg on the overnight talk show, First & Last–heard weekdays from 4 to 6 a.m. Eastern time).

Of course, the 2005 cartoon making fun of themselves called the Off Mikes was too cute to pass up.  But the annual March rite of downright craziness and idiocy climaxed during each of the NCAA Tournaments from 2000 to 2014.  The “Sheets of Integrity” were definitely strange episodes indeed, especially since Mike Golic would complain to Greeny many times about him winning his pool on five different brackets, where you are supposed to only fill out one.  The loser would be forced to do something very dumb, of which you can see the results for yourself on YouTube if you so desire.

The new era already has a few practice runs

Yes, I have heard Trey Wingo more than a handful of times when he was paired with Mike Golic, and it appears the show will be in very good hands going forward.  Once the football season ends, it will be interesting to hear their general thoughts on the 2018 Winter Olympics, followed by the NCAA Tournament, and the start of the baseball season which will be happening much earlier than in decades past–on Thursday, March 29, a full two days before Super Saturday at the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.

But, if you want to hang on to the glory days going into and during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend…

There is hope for you after all.

Besides their uber popular podcasts, there are 2,430,000 YouTube clips for you to enjoy.

Plus, the guys talked about many things including why Mike Greenberg came up with the dumbest idea ever when the winning baseball league in the All Star Game during the years 2003 through 2016 earned Game 7 home field advantage in the World Series.

That and a short conversation with the wives, Stephanie Greenberg and Christine Golic appear in the April 2010 five disk CD set titled appropriately enough:

Mike and Mike’s Rules for Sports and Life

https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Mikes-Rules-Sports-Life/dp/1598597124

Believe me, you wouldn’t want to get the book–since the text is mostly written in yellow and green ink.  A little difficult to read, IMHO.

At least, I will end this special blog with one of their early slogans and how I will remember 18 great years:

“What makes them different makes them great.”

So long, Greeny.  It is time to get some much needed rest.

At least, it was a very, very classy move in the final moments at 9:53 a.m. Eastern time for both of the families to enter the set and share in the final seconds of over 17 1/2 incredible years.  Many past and present ESPN reporters took time to send their thoughts via Twitter, leading off with newly christened NBC Olympics prime time host Mike Tirico:

http://awfulannouncing.com/espn/mike-golic-greenberg-sign-off-espn.html

 

 

 

Big South Conference To Add Pair of Schools For 2018-2019 Season

Big South to Grow to 12 Team League

Following an ESPN.com report earlier in the week by South Carolina Upstate, Hampton on Thursday has decided to leave its’ long standing home in the MEAC and join the Big South Conference.

SC Upstate will leave the Atlantic Sun, which traditionally is the first conference to decide the slew of 32 automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament.

The Big South has two divisions, with the North comprising of longtime conference tournament champions in Campbell, along with High Point, Liberty, Longwood, and Radford.

The South has a few current powerhouses in Charleston Southern, along with Gardner-Webb, UNC Asheville, Presbyterian, and Winthrop.

By the time we get to next October, I will hope to analyze Hampton and South Carolina Upstate and see how they both stack up in their new conference.

 

 

 

 

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley Suspended Indefinitely by UCLA

Nine hours before the UCLA Bruins played their home opener against Central Arkansas…

One by one, the players spoke and gave their long winded apologies during the school’s late Wednesday morning press conference–to the Chinese government, President Donald Trump and the White House staff, the UCLA coaching staff, students, alumni all over the world, along with their close friends and families.

Most of their statements by Cody Riley, LiAngelo Bell, and Jalen Hill were simply frank and mostly heartfelt.  I am sure the school had some staffers craft what was hoping to be a firm and decent apology.  Yes, the black mark they all left behind in China is a major one–it will not be going away anytime after everyone opens up their Christmas presents.

Once the players left, UCLA Coach Steve Alford spoke and mentioned the substantial punishment each player has been sent:

“Our interest was the safety of these young men…We are extremely disappointed in their actions.  They are going to have to regain their trust of the Athletic Department…Trust is earned, it isn’t just given.  They will not suit up or practice for any games.”

Finally, UCLA Athletic Dan Guerrero presented to the media a timeline of the key events of November 6 and 7, during of which the players had 90 minutes of “free time”.  The players ended up stealing items from three different stores adjacent to the team hotel in Hzangjou, China.  Twenty police officers then went to the hotel and searched every player from Georgia Tech and UCLA, including everyone’s bags.  The amount of bail was $2,200, of which it was all refunded and the charges were later dropped.  After the arrest, two UCLA staffers stayed behind in China to keep track of the player’s well-being once the rest of the team left late on Saturday night.  President Trump’s Chief of Staff, General John Kelly spoke by phone with the players during this ordeal.

The UCLA Office of Student Conduct and Alibaba were both heavily involved in this matter.  Guerrero also said more announcements could be forthcoming.

Punishment is so severe, I highly doubt they will suit up for the Bruins this season

Echoing the similar thoughts that ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg said on Tuesday night in Chicago, he said by phone,

“You want to be known for good things.  Everyone does deserve a second chance.  It’s a privilege, not a right…It’s going to take a while…When you are on campus, everyone knows who you are…This season will end up having an asterisk.”

This is a new precedent as far as handling them as players.  Their current roster is in transition, but losing these three freshmen players–they join Kansas and Kentucky as talented teams without a lot of depth.  Seth Greenberg also commented that they will lose a lot of ability in rebounding.

Hopefully, these three young men can begin exercising good judgment, both in and especially outside of the classroom.  They have a lot of things to learn from this international incident.  They should hopefully seek out and find as much help and support from as many people on and off campus in areas such as counseling, helping out in the community, plus other support channels as humanly possible.  Only nine players are on the active roster and a challenging schedule awaits them before the start of the Pac-12 season against Washington State on December 29.