Of all the facets of the Oklahoma City blueprint that Bobcats general manager Rich Cho hoped to follow, landing the No. 2 pick in the draft wasn't one of them.
So much of college basketball's preseason centers around the talk of the players and the teams that are expected to have a successful season. Luke Winn has even developed his own formula for determining who will have a breakout year. But rarely do we go back at the end of the year and take a look at who failed to live up to those expectations.
Truth be told, no one is safe when it comes to the NBA draft. Not the players whose careers are often scrutinized in accordance with where they were picked. And certainly not the executives whose reputations are forever tied to each selection. Risk is a part of the equation no matter the prospect, even when it's a big man like Kentucky's Anthony Davis, who is widely seen as a "can't-miss" talent.
As NBA front-office types and scouts continue their homework leading up to the June 28 draft, one central purpose will drive their study sessions: risk management.
There is a valid argument to be made that the 2011-2012 Pac-12 was the worst power conference ever.
While this spring shined unflattering light on the restrictions players often face in trying to switch programs, the annual coaching carousel showed once again that coaches' freedom to move remains unfettered. This year's carousel wasn't packed with big-name openings, but there was still a significant amount of intrigue generated as men cashed in on NCAA tournament success and conference realignment continued to exert pressure on straggling programs.
The 2011-12 chapter of Kentucky basketball closed on April 17, when all five of its starters appeared at a joint press conference in matching blue polo shirts, and announced they were turning pro. The only player comment that drew a rise out of coach John Calipari, who was sitting among them in a black suit, came from Anthony Davis, the 6-foot-11 freshman who was the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and also swept every national player of the year award. When Davis humbly thanked the coaching staff for "helping me become the great player that I am," Calipari interjected and said, half-incredulously, "Did you just say 'the great player that I am?'"
The Atlantic 10 is a better basketball conference than the Horizon League. The A-10 has more history and more prestige. It has more talent and is on national television more often. It can send four teams to the NCAA tournament in a year where the Horizon sends one, thus generating more revenue; and the A-10's athletic departments, on the whole, spend more money on basketball. If you're a Horizon League team that gets a chance to join the A-10, as Butler did on Wednesday, you take it. It makes too much sense.
Day 1 of SI.com's inaugural Data-Based Coaching Awards was a success on most fronts: The awards show, on an obscure cable network, received respectable enough ratings to get carried for a second day, and the winners seemed happy -- other than the parts where John Calipari kept refusing to admit that it meant anything to him, even though he won in three of eight categories. Players-first, not numbers-first, he kept saying. Oh well. We move on.
NEW ORLEANS -- During a discussion last week at Tulane's law school covering the hot topics in college sports, a student asked a great question of a panel that included Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne, Missouri athletic director Mike Alden, NCAA associate director of enforcement Renee Gomila and attorney Timothy Epstein.
Hours after raucous University of Kentucky students torched cars and couches after their men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA championship, the Wildcats' coach said that he understood fans' passion but was "disappointed" by some of their actions.
The University of Kansas men's basketball team squeaked by Ohio State late Saturday night, setting up an an NCAA tournament championship showdown with top-seeded Kentucky.
The University of Kansas men's basketball team squeaked by Ohio State late Saturday night, setting up a NCAA tournament championship showdown with top-seeded Kentucky.
If you like Cinderellas, you've come to the wrong Elite Eight. Five of the top eight seeds remain, and when Florida's your cuddly underdog, you know this is a big-boy bracket. Mix in arguably seven of the game's top 10 coaches (with the outsider, Scott Drew, in his second regional final in three seasons) and there are a lot of talking points, both on the court and on the sidelines.
ST. LOUIS -- Tyshawn Taylor did not mince words about his performance in Friday's Sweet 16 game.
Crazy upsets? Freak injuries? Dramatic comebacks? What else could happen?
1. Four No. 1 seeds advance: For just the seventh time since 2000, all four No. 1 seeds advanced out of the first weekend of the tournament. Last season, No. 8 seed Butler upset Pitt in the round of 32 thanks to a last-second free throw from Matt Howard. In 2010, it was Ali Farokhmanesh hitting a big three to lead No. 9 Northern Iowa to an upset of Kansas.
Plenty of intriguing themes figured to gather with the teams dancing in St. Louis: the Ohio Bobcats want to become the latest mid-major long shot to reach the Final Four; North Carolina State is making the most of its first NCAA appearance in six years; Kansas survived Purdue's upset bid to advance to its fifth Sweet 16 in the same span; and of course, there's the inevitable "Roy Williams left Kansas" angle. All of that was pushed to the background, however, with 10:56 left in top-seeded North Carolina's win Sunday over Creighton.
OMAHA, Neb. -- During the final TV timeout, John Pelphrey leaned forward and tapped a reporter on the shoulder. "What are they shooting?" he wanted to know, they being the Spartans of Norfolk State. Pelphrey was sitting courtside to scout Florida's next opponent. He'd been scribbling notes -- and sure, probably concentrating on No. 2 Missouri. But like everyone else, the Florida assistant coach was suddenly swept up in what he was seeing. The 15th-seeded Spartans led Mizzou by four. At that point, they'd hit five of six three-point attempts in the second half. But maybe more important than the statistics, they'd had an answer for everything the higher-seeded Tigers threw at them.
A university president apologized after members of the school's band yelled "where's your green card" at a Latino player during a NCAA basketball tournament game Thursday.
The 2012 NCAA tournament is finally here, and with it the endless speculation that accompanies each bracket. The 68-team field has been dissected from every angle, and the hunger for information is insatiable. Can Kentucky defend its top overall ranking? Can UNC recover from an injury to John Henson?
It's nice that every NCAA tournament team is given a clean slate, by which I mean the ad-free courts, which provide temporary relief from the eye-ache of the conference tournaments, whose floors were covered in stickers like steamer trunks from the Golden Age of Travel, or possibly the Golden Age of Traveling (a violation abetted by the stickers themselves, which are slippery as new ice).
Is your brain scrambled from trying to decipher all those names and all those seeds and all those brackets? Fear not. Your resident Hoop Thinker has arrived in the nick of time. Let's take a spin through the four regions and see what comes to mind.
We like to say there are no sure things in the NCAA tournament, but of course there are. As you watch a game while pretending to work, somebody will hit a ridiculous shot that blows your cover. You will fall in love with a player because of his name. (My favorite: Long Beach State's Peter Pappageorge.) When the afternoon games start on St. Patrick's Day, Budweiser stock will rise six percent. You will cheer against John Calipari because it makes you feel patriotic.
DAYTON, Ohio -- They don't tell you the so-called First Four is great basketball. Given the eight teams involved, they don't need to. Your team wouldn't be in Dayton, Ohio, on a Tuesday or Wednesday in March if it were, you know, special. If the universities of Kentucky or Kansas ever play in the First Four, pack up some bottled water and head for the cave in Montana. Armageddon will be right behind you.
Dozens of teams to choose from, brackets, office pools. Why are we all so obsessed with March Madness? Let us explain.
Say the name out loud three times.
Which teams could be working with a little less star power as the 2012 NCAA tournament kicks off? Here are some of the most notable injuries that could greatly affect teams in the field.
When he heard a pair of familiar voices speaking some unfamiliar language early in last year's NCAA tournament, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus sensed something interesting was happening on his network. "I thought we had some magic when in a space of a fairly short period Marv Albert did a promotion for the Masters and Augusta National, and then shortly thereafter, Jim Nantz did one for 'Hardcore Pawn,' said McManus. "And I have never heard Jim Nantz say three words so slowly."
I used to consider myself a reasonably qualified expert at filling out NCAA brackets. While I rarely won an office pool (only your co-worker's buddy's nephew is allowed to win the office pool), I usually held my own, particularly in identifying early-round upsets. It wasn't a case of in-depth knowledge about the actual participants as much as applying lessons learned from previous tournaments. I favored teams that won big nonconference games and finished strong. I shied away from wildly inconsistent clubs. I looked for unsung mid-majors heavy on seniors or blessed with capable big men. You wouldn't want take my picks to Vegas, but you would be surprised just how many purported stunners I saw coming.
ATLANTA -- Five things we learned from the ACC Tournament:
This is the time of the year when everyone can channel their inner Dick Vitale. Just make sure not to startle your co-workers if you start yelling, "Awesome, baby!"
My alma mater, Northwestern, is on the bubble. You already know this, just as you already know that Northwestern has never been to the NCAA tournament, largely because every sports media outlet seems to be overflowing with Northwestern alums like myself who can't stop talking about it.
Of the many famous bubbles the world has seen, from Housing Bubble to Dot-Com Bubble to Stock Market Bubble -- from Bubbles the Chimp to Seinfeld's Bubble Boy -- none has had the strange charisma or single-name star power of The Bubble, a fickle mistress still tormenting athletes well into its sixth decade.
Here are a few thoughts from Saturday's slate of college hoops:
SI.com's Magic Eight Ball finally came back from its manufacturer this week, with a sticker declaring it repaired and a note of apology from the R&D team. Despite their best efforts -- they use some blend of Tiresian Method, divinatory tarot and a predictive algorithm -- their product failed to see Kemba and the kids coming in February. It's been calibrated and is back in working order.
Here's a look at a few notable contests from an eventful Tuesday in college hoops:
With Selection Sunday just three weeks away, the mythical eye test will start rearing its ugly head as experts (and, of course, the NCAA selection committee) determine exactly who the 37 "best" at-large teams are for the NCAA Tournament.
Here's a quick rundown of Saturday's slate of college hoops:
Here's a look at the highs and lows of Saturday's slate of college hoops:
A few thoughts on Saturday's crop of college hoops:
This was a year to remember in college basketball. Then aren't they all? This is the greatest sport in the world, and it will only be greater -- and more memorable -- in 2012. Best of all, you don't have to wait 12 months to learn what the new year's 10 biggest stories will be. I've predicted them all well in advance.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 5. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer.
Most conferences would be overjoyed to have a national title favorite (North Carolina), another top-10 team (Duke) and the country's best defensive squad (Florida State). But the nation's most venerable basketball league is facing serious depth issues in 2011-12; after the aforementioned trio, there are no sure-fire NCAA tournament teams. The biggest question is not who will win the ACC -- I'd be shocked if it's not the Tar Heels -- but rather, will any sleepers emerge from the middle of the pack?
WACO, Texas -- "Hey, how you doing? Good to see ya! You gettin' somethin' to eat? Great! Thanks for being here..."
Zen Hoop Thought: If someone realizes how immature he is, does that not make him uncommonly mature?
Tuesday's look at the top offensive "Value Add" seasons by a point guard in the efficiency era (2003-present) featured three players from '10-11: Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, UConn's Kemba Walker and BYU's Jimmer Fredette. As amazing as last season was for scoring point guards, it was devoid of any historically great shooting guards or wings. The highest ranked '10-'11 players in my nine-year database of shooting guards/wings were Ohio State's Jon Diebler, at 29th with 6.29 percent value added, followed by Providence's Marshon Brooks, at 30th with 6.25 percent value added.
The 2010-11 season was an exceptional one for scoring point guards: Jimmermania swept the nation, Kemba Walker led UConn's improbable run to the national title, and the criminally underappreciated Jordan Taylor had stat-heads marveling over his high-efficiency efforts at Wisconsin. In my first look at the concept of offensive "Value Add" -- the formula developed by John Pudner, measuring a player's value over a hypothetical major-conference "replacement," or ninth or 10th man -- it was not shocking that Taylor, Walker and Fredette ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, last season. But did we see three of the best point-guard seasons of college basketball's entire efficiency stats era, which spans from 2002-03 to the present?
Nothing in this sport occurs in a vacuum. Firings, hirings, commitments, decommitments -- they all have ripple effects. Five offseasons ago, I looked at the early reverberations of Bob Huggins' hiring at Kansas State and Kelvin Sampson's hiring at Indiana. Those moves affected the futures of players such as Scottie Reynolds, who would lead Villanova to a Final Four; Damion James, who would star at Texas; Darrell Arthur, who would win a national title at Kansas; and Michael Beasley, who would help put Kansas State back on the map. Sampson's departure from Oklahoma impacted as many as 16 programs in a little more than a month, and Indiana is still digging out of the crater he would create.
With George Washington deciding Monday to fire coach Karl Hobbs, there are now just five vacancies left to be filled in Division I college basketball. Thus, we are approaching the conclusion of one of the quieter coaching carousels in recent years. Since the end of last season, 45 schools have searched for a new coach, but only nine compete in the six power conferences. Lots of dominoes fell this spring, but they weren't very big, and they didn't make much of a sound.
Now that the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft has passed, we look at the 10 teams with the most to lose between now and the May 8 deadline to withdraw. Teams are ranked in order of how much their players' decisions will impact the 2011-12 preseason poll.
Fans celebrate after UConn defeats Butler to win the NCAA's men's basketball national championship.
If there was ever a perilous time to be a professional prognosticator, this is it. In case you haven't noticed, we so-called experts have been turned on our heads during this unforgettable NCAA tournament. You might say we've been Shaka'd. That might not be great for us, but it sure is great for the sport. All season long the rule in college hoops has been to expect the unexpected. So nobody should be surprised that our picks have been so wrong so often. Of course, we like it when our picks turn out to be correct, but isn't being wrong half the fun? (That's called rationalizing. I've gotten good at it.)
Let's nip this in the bud, shall we?
SAN ANTONIO -- On Selection Sunday night, VCU senior guard Ed Nixon was glued to his television. Despite the weeklong insistence of Nixon's roommate, point guard and team bracketologist Joey Rodriguez, that the Rams would make it into the NCAAs, VCU was a very borderline at-large case.
NCAA Tournament stories in the SI Vault
NEWARK, N.J. -- They'd played this game before. Two nights earlier, actually. Not to mention both games last weekend in Tampa. And umpteen SEC games before that.
NEWARK, N.J. -- Roy Williams' first grandchild, Aiden, was born on Jan 1, 2010. It made for a joyous start to a new year, the rest of which wasn't nearly as fun.
"Kids should be going to college if at least part of what they want to do is get an education. The way it's set up on these one-and-dones. ... To me, it's a sham." -- Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy
CHICAGO -- VCU's NCAA tourney bid was such an uncertainty that coach Shaka Smart chose not to stage a selection show viewing party for his team. ("I didn't want them to be too crushed" going into a possible NIT game, he said.) Forward Jamie Skeen was eating dinner at a Great Wrap when he heard the news. Others were in their dorm rooms. Several athletic department staffers were at the school's baseball game.
DENVER -- Gonzaga spent much of the season operating out of fear that it was in jeopardy of missing the month it has become most famous for.
WASHINGTON -- Lasell Gymnasium is a 125-year-old gray stone building that sits at the corner of Spring Street and Route 2, where the latter highway bisects Williams College in the northwestern Massachusetts village of Williamstown. Lasell looks like a church (and, in fact, has a bell tower) and the gym inside is ringed by an overhanging, second-floor balcony running track that discourages jump shots from the deep corner.
DAYTON, Ohio -- Thankfully, at 12:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, we get to hit reset.
The burgeoning bromance between CBS and Turner Sports was on full display this week inside a third-floor hotel banquet room at the swank Le Parker Meridien hotel in Manhattan. With their bosses seated behind them at the head of the room, Turner's Charles Barkley and CBS analyst Len Elmore chatted amicably about the upcoming NCAA tournament. Barkley, who works exclusively on NBA coverage, conceded that the college game presented a staggering amount of players and teams. Elmore, a soft-spoken lawyer who has broadcast college basketball for CBS and ESPN the past decade, told Barkley he had covered nearly 70 college games this season and was happy to provide some tutelage. "Call me anytime if you need something, Elmore told Barkley. "Happy to help."
If you don't like the NCAA tournament, then don't take this the wrong way, but you're probably an America-hating socialist. The tournament is hate-proof. Even when it's bad, it's good.
A well-aged pro hoops chronicler such as myself is liable to get a "what's wrong with the NBA?" question at any time during the year, but the advent of March Madness seems to throw the inquiry into sharp relief.
Many people who will watch the NCAA tournament this week are just tuning in to college hoops for the first time this season. Real hoopheads like us, however, have been locked in since the start of practice in October. Nothing we see over the next three weeks is going to surprise us. We've trained ourselves to expect the unexpected.
DAYTON, Ohio -- About five years ago, NCAA executive vice president Greg Shaheen registered the trademark "First Four" and told colleagues to "put it in our hip pocket," in the event they one day decided to re-brand the NIT Season Tip-Off or create some other preseason event.
NCAA Tournament Preview stories in the SI Vault
It might amuse you to know that there were folks in Cambridge and greater Boston who actually watched CBS' Selection Show thinking that Harvard had a chance to receive an at-large big to the NCAA tournament.
Answers for the burning media questions going into the NCAA tournament ...
In 2010-11, college basketball suffered from a recession. The talent level was down across the board. (NBA execs are already lamenting the worst draft pool in years.) Injuries sidelined potential All-Americas (Duke's Kyrie Irving, Purdue's Robbie Hummel) before they could even get going. Young, but talented teams struggled to get their acts together. Coaches and referees made stupefying late-game decisions. Michigan State went 19-14 -- and still made the Dance.
Each March, college basketball's regular season fades from memory as fans and players gear up for the NCAA Tournament and all the hoopla that comes with it: The brackets. Cinderellas. Buzzer beaters.
NEW YORK -- Who would have pegged St. John's-Rutgers to provide the first madness-inducing moment of conference tourney season? The Internet lit up over the ending to Wednesday's wild finish at the Big East Tournament -- unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.
The month of March gives us a chance to enjoy the greatest, truest, most treasured activity in American culture:
This has probably been the most ... well, let's be kind and just say "ordinary" -- the most ordinary college basketball season. First of all, as the Super Bowl drifts into February and NFL television ratings soar, poor little college basketball gets ignored for longer and longer. Didn't you have the feeling this year that Dick Vitale didn't arrive in our consciousness until he suddenly appeared like a bald Cupid on Valentine's Day?
According to this week's AP and Coaches polls, as well as the RPI ratings, Connecticut (21-9) is one of the nation's Top 25 teams. According to the latest bracket projections, the Huskies are in line for a No. 5 seed in next week's NCAA tournament, putting them near the top quartile of the 68-team field.
Since Duke was the latest team to lose its No. 1 ranking, it's only fitting that we begin this week's mailbag with a pair of e-mails from Blue Devil Nation, one searching for hope, the other expressing concern.
The most dangerous team in college basketball over the next seven days is ... Milwaukee?
The battle in the Mountain West was the main story Saturday, but far from the only one. This was a huge moving day for a number of teams across the land. Here's a look at what it all means.
You can hear the thumping getting louder each day, like the sound of a ball pounding on the floor as the dribbler gets closer. Two teams from a non-power conference on a collision course to a big game with enormous implications -- in the conference, in the polls, and most importantly, in the NCAA tournament bracket.
We begin with an appropriately geeky question from Overland Park, Kan., former home to the NCAA's headquarters.
I consider myself a big "freedom of movement" guy. I don't like the NBA's age-minimum rule because it denies players an opportunity to meet the market's demand. I never criticize a coach for bolting for a more lucrative job or an underclassman who turns professional. I don't like the National Letter of Intent because it binds a recruit to a school even in the event of a coaching change, and I don't like the fact that schools have the option of denying a release to a player who wants to transfer.
A package arrived this week from Baltimore, signaling the end of an acrimonious, two-and-a-half-year negotiation. It contained Grant Wahl's Magic Eight ball, which he would use to guarantee a national champ, two months in advance, during his tenure as SI's chief college hoops writer. Wahl moved to the fútbol beat in 2009, taking the Eight Ball with him and then making a series of absurd demands for its exchange. At one point Wahl threatened to break off trade talks and pawn it in Zurich during reporting on the 2022 World Cup bid; last week, he finally agreed to swap the ball for the actual Che Guevara flag worn by Adam Morrison at the 2007 Coachella Festival and an advance-screener DVD of Rashad McCants' acting debut in The Booster Club. I had to cash in many a favor to obtain those items.
For my weekly Hoop Thoughts column on Monday, I expounded on the prevailing wisdom that college basketball is awash in mediocrity. So it's understandable that many fans would feel unsettled. However, you'd think that if there were one last enclave of optimism out there, it would emanate from Columbus, Ohio.
Of all the major season-ending awards, coach of the year is the hardest to define. Most people seem to believe the coach of the year should be based on a one-year evaluation period where the main criterion is exceeding preseason expectations. But to me, there should be a lot more to it than making a bunch of poll voters look dumb. If that's the most important measurement, half the coaches in Division I should get a trophy.
Twenty-three years after graduating from the University of Arizona, Steve Kerr is heading back to college.
I'm not sure if it's the end of the holidays or the constant pummeling from winter storms, but when I opened my mailbag this week, I inhaled a strong whiff of gloom. Is there no end to this darkness? Where is the proverbial light at the end of this long and ominous tunnel? Didn't John Lennon promise us that it's getting better all the time?
College basketball seasons may not fit squarely into one calendar year, but that doesn't mean 2010 didn't feature more than its fair share of compelling storylines. Here are the top 10:
John Calipari stands in a ballroom in a big hotel in downtown Lexington. He's saying a few words at a breakfast for the local Salvation Army to launch its Christmas campaign. The room is full, maybe 500 people, and Calipari is working it. It's tough to say where his act plays better. This stage? Or the one next door, in Rupp Arena?
Player of the Year: Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
INDIANAPOLIS -- Butler's national championship-game starters went their separate ways over the summer. Gordon Hayward entered the NBA draft as a sophomore and landed in Utah. Willie Veasley, the lone senior, signed to play with a team in Japan. Shelvin Mack earned rave reviews on the summer-camp circuit and as a member of the college "select" squad that scrimmaged Team USA. Ronald Nored rehabbed from surgery and coached an AAU team. Matt Howard, a finance major with a 3.88 GPA, shaved his mustache, cut his hair and worked internships at Merrill Lynch and Butler's on-campus Business Accelerator.
Whether top-end quality or overall depth is more important in defining a conference as strong is debatable, but the best have ample quantities of both. Which leagues have the right balance to do the most damage in March? Using the categorical framework of Bubble Watch, here's a breakdown of the top 10 conferences this season:
Twelve major-conference teams changed coaches this offseason, and the situations they stepped into were far from equal. One re-secured his predecessor's entire, loaded recruiting class in a 36-hour tour (Wake Forest's Jeff Bzdelik), while another is coping with the exodus over which his predecessor presided (Iowa's Fran McCaffery). One inherited the makings of a bubble NCAA tournament team (Seton Hall's Kevin Willard), another inherited the possibility of NCAA violations (Oregon's Dana Altman). Over the next few years, they all can't be evaluated on the same scale.
My most nagging regret from this past NCAA tournament: Never writing about Kansas State-Xavier, the widely agreed-upon Game of the Year. Especially since I was in the building for said epic, covering the West Regional. The problem was that I covered a different game.
Every year, it seems like there are some high-profile early entrants from non-BCS schools that shake up the competitive landscape, but this season's losses feel particularly heavy. When you lose talent like Nevada's Luke Babbitt, Xavier's Jordan Crawford, Ohio's Armon Bassett, UTEP's Derrick Caracter, Fresno State's Paul George and Butler's Gordon Hayward from the pool, you're going to feel an impact.
Every year we see a slew of "report cards" and "winner/loser" style articles written by clairvoyant college basketball journalists criticizing underclassmen for electing to leave the cozy confines of college basketball. More often than not we read about "bad decisions" made due to "poor advice" received from people in a players' inner circle (agents, runners, greedy parents and AAU types).
Nearly a month has passed since Gordon Hayward's half-court heave clanged off the rim in Lucas Oil Stadium, and the annual spring coaching carousel has still not quite come to a halt. Fifty jobs have opened up, and four have yet to be filled. Though Rutgers has reportedly agreed to hire Robert Morris coach Mike Rice. And Hofstra had a new coach in Tim Welsh, but he resigned three days after he was charged with drunken driving and only a month after he got the job. (The other two current vacancies are at Chicago State and Mount St. Mary's.)
The NBA Draft Limbo Period is laughably short this year. The official window between the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft (April 25) and the deadline to pull out (May 8) is 13 days, but unofficially, it's even tighter. NBA teams don't yet have the official list of underclassmen in hand, can't begin working players out until April 29 and can't schedule workouts that conflict with class times. Realistically, all the draft prospects have is 10 days in which to decide if they'll sign with an agent and stay in the draft. These are the 10 college teams with the most at stake during that hurried process:
No matter how glorious this past NCAA tournament was -- the thrilling opening day, Butler's inspiring run to a hometown Final Four, and a title game that was good to the last shot -- it was difficult to leave Indianapolis without the feeling that something horrible was on the horizon.