The shooting death of a 21-year-old Mississippi State University student in a campus dorm room is thought to be an "isolated incident," and there is no indication others are endangered, the school's president said Sunday.
For most of championship week, the bubble looked big enough for everyone (and then some). Then came Swiper Saturday, when Houston, Washington and New Mexico State forced their way into the bracket. The bubble tightened considerably and some viable teams ended up missing the NCAAs.
After a Saturday as crazy as any in recent memory, the bubble tightened up considerably and put several teams who were thought to be safe very much in danger as far as earning at-large bids. Utah State and California looked virtually certain to make it before Saturday's results. Now? Both are in danger.
College basketball's offseason has belonged to Kentucky, whose title-starved fans have been celebrating John Calipari, John Wall and everything in between. There is more than one intriguing story in the SEC, though, and in a saner spring, Mississippi State might have been a national focal point, with its acquisitions of two elite high-school big men (one mysterious, one controversial) and a potential All-America center pulling out of the NBA draft.
Well, we're here. Almost. There's still that sticky "Mississippi State hijacking a bid" problem looming for the final few teams in the bracket, but a Tennessee win in the SEC final should finalize the picture below.
What's the deal with the photo shoot Maria Sharapova is complaining about? According to the rules, these thing are supposed to be agreed to in advance by the player and the WTA. Is she backing out of something she already agreed to do? Are there other players participating? I would imagine that stylists, makeup artists and a photographer have already been hired. It must be a pretty big deal if the WTA is going to fine her $300,000. -- Pam, Amherst, N.Y.
Underrated: Mississippi State. Forget what happened in the SEC tournament; by the end of the regular season it was clear the Bulldogs were the second-best team in the SEC behind Tennessee. Jarvis Varnado is a shot-blocking menace (see below), and the inside-outside combination of explosive guard Jamont Gordon and imposing forward Charles Rhodes means Rick Stansbury's team can beat you in different ways. Gordon in particular could be primed for scoring heroics in the tournament.
For the past few weeks, we've been hearing about what a wide-open bubble picture we were going to have this year. Well, that picture got a little bit smaller this week, with two teams with at-large profiles from mid-major conferences -- Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference and South Alabama in the Sun Belt -- lost in their conference tournaments. The bubble picture got a little bit smaller, and it will continue to shrink as the week goes on.
This is the point in the season when I, as the Power Rankings guy, feel marginalized. All anyone wants to talk about is seeds, seeds, seeds. So if you can, pretend that this is my elaborate S-curve through the top four lines of the bracket. And if that's not possible, then just bear with me and try to enjoy the blurbs: these are the final Power Rankings of 2007-08. By the time the major-conference tourneys begin next week, I'll have moved on to blogging ...
Sports Illustrated came out with five regional rivalry covers for the college basketball preview back in November; in retrospect, we probably would have been fine printing just one: Memphis-Tennessee. In 2007-08, no regular-season game has mattered -- or will matter -- as much as the one that will take place on Saturday night at FedEx Forum.
On the morning after the longest game of the year -- 226 points, 106 free-throw attempts, 210-plus minutes of real time, 65 minutes of clock -- we keep it short and sweet. Sixteen teams. And Baylor is one of them.
Fatal laptop issues and a business trip to Nicaragua (yes, I know there's no college football in Nicaragua) have conspired to produce an abridged Heisman Watch this week. Some of you may think it's an improvement.
As anyone who follows college football knows, parity has struck the nation this season like no other. Upsets have been rampant and the New World Order of the college football landscape gets flipped seemingly every week.
The lowest college over-under on the board at Caesar's Palace, as of Thursday night, belonged to Virginia Tech-LSU. It checked in at a measly 38 points. By comparison, the line for Hawaii-Louisiana Tech was double that, at 76 points, and even a major inter-conference tilt such as Oregon-Michigan was at 64.5. That ominous 38, however, is something of which the Hokies and Tigers can be proud. They own perhaps the two most feared defenses in the nation, and Vegas knows it. There's a strong chance that the final score of this game won't even break 30, yet it'll still go down as one of the season's best duels. Are you ready to stay up late for BeamerBall vs. Les ... well, Les what? LesPointsAllowed? LesYardsYielded? That one still needs some work.