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SEC Hoops Roundup: Kentucky & Tennessee Give SEC Three In Sweet 16

gfx-hoops-round-up2Kentucky 78 – Wichita State 76

1. Kentucky knocks out No. 1 seed Wichita and previously undefeated Wichita State.  Andrew Harrison led UK with 20 points while Julius Randle adds 13 points and 10 rebounds.

2. Kentucky coach John Calipari: ”You should know this was an Elite Eight game. The winner should have gone to the Final Four.”

3. Pat Forde: “It took a Kentucky team with as many as seven NBA players finding its own greatness to eliminate the Shockers.”

4. Victory sets up a Kentucky-Louisville Sweet 16 matchup.  ”Forget Duke and North Carolina, this is college basketball’s greatest rivalry right now.”

5. “Dare we say Kentucky...is a sleeper national title contender?” 

Tennessee 83 – Mercer 63

6. Tennessee keeps the SEC perfect in NCAA Tournament play.  Coach Cuonzo Martin: “Very proud of this team. Just a lot of resiliency as a team – a lot of fight.”

7. “The Volunteers are playing as well as any team right now, and on Sunday, there was nothing Mercer could do to stop them.”

8. Vols have now won eight of their last nine games by an average margin of victory of 20.9 points.

9. On to Indianapolis where Tennessee will meet Michigan Friday night.

NIT

10. Southern Miss 71 – Missouri 63.  Tigers started the season 10- and finished at 23-12.   Missouri may lose guards Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson to the NBA draft.

11. Louisiana Tech 79 – Georgia 71 (Saturday). Bulldogs end the season at 20-14.  Georgia expected to return everyone except senior forward Donte’ Williams.

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SEC Hoops Roundup: Vols, Wildcats Advance

gfx-hoops-round-up2Tennessee 86 – UMass 67

1. Jarnell Stokes scored a career-high 26 points while helping the Vols beat UMass.

2. Playing Iowa in the first round on Wednesday might have helped Tennessee be ready to play UMass.

3. Next up for Tennessee is No. 14 seed Mercer, which knocked off No. 3 seed Duke on Friday.

Kentucky 56 – Kansas State 49

4. Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein said the Wildcats believe they can still do something special.

5. A second win in the tournament would be more special. Kentucky will face unbeaten Wichita State in the next round.

6. Video: Kentucky coach John Calipari discusses the win over Kansas State.

Saturday SEC Hoops Schedule

Florida vs Pittsburgh – 12:15 ET. Florida is a 6-point favorite.

7. Florida knows it’s about to face a good Pittsburgh team. The Panthers beat Colorado soundly on Thursday.

8. Pat Dooley looks at the upcoming matchup for Florida, which had coach Billy Donovan “baffled” over its play in round two.

Georgia vs Louisiana Tech – 11 a.m. ET (NIT)

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SEC Headlines 3/20/2014

headlines-friSEC Football

1. Urban Meyer on Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin:  ”There has been a lot of publicity about Lane Kiffin and I having issues. There’s none. ”

2. Florida coach Will Muschamp on new offfensive coordinator Kurt Roper: “Just a really good teacher, very fundamental in his approach.”

3. What do Georgia players think of new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt? “I think he might be a little more meaner than Coach Grantham,”

4. Why is Georgia restricting media access to spring practice when other schools open up to media and fans alike?

5. 61-year old David Kotulski is Vanderbilt’s linebackers coach – and an expert in the 3-4 scheme.

6. Alabama center Ryan Kelly: “This is a big spring.”

7. Auburn offensive lineman Shane Callahan has gained 29 pounds – up to 304. Dead heat in the left tackle race between Patrick Miller and Shon Coleman.

8. Big focus for the Auburn offense - cutting down Nick Marshall’s fumbles in the pocket.

9. Texas A&M will have its first spring scrimmage on Saturday.  

10. Focus at LSU’s Saturday scrimmage will be third-and-long situations.

SEC/NCAA Tournament Basketball

11. Mike DeCourcy: “Those who wonder where these supposed “upsets” come from… it’s often because the 12 seeds have no business being 12 seeds.”

12. Why did Florida struggle to win Thursday?  Perhaps because Albany is not your average David.

13. SEC NIT schedule.  Georgia hosts Louisiana Tech Saturday, Southern Miss at Missouri Sunday, Arkansas and LSU play Monday.

SEC/NFL

14. In defense of Johnny Manziel: “He’s a tough, almost elastic dude, in fact the toughest guy I’ve covered…”

15. Could Jadeveon Clowney be reunited with safetey D.J. Swearinger in the NFL?

16. At Missouri’s pro day on Thursday, they came to watch defensive ends Kony Ealy and Michael Sam but a few others stood out.  Lineman Max Copeland has lost 50 pounds and wants to be a fullback.

17. Vanderbilt holding its pro day today.

Extras

18. NCAA recorded a nearly $61 million surplus for its 2013 fiscal year.

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SEC Hoops Roundup: Tennessee Gets OT Victory; Perfect Tournament Night For SEC

gfx-hoops-round-up2NCAA Tournament

Tennessee 78 – Iowa 65 (Overtime).  Video Highlights

1. Tied at 64, Tennessee dominates overtime, outscoring Iowa 14-1.   Jordan McRae led the Vols with 20 points.

2. Biggest win of Cuonzo Martin’s tenure?  Tennessee advances to play UMass Friday in Raleigh.

NIT

LSU 71 – San Francisco 63

3. With the victory, Tigers get their first 20 win season in five years.  LSU advances to play SMU Monday night in Dallas.

Georgia 63 – Vermont 56

4. Bulldogs rally from nine-point second-half deficit.  Charles Mann led Georgia with a career-high 29 points. Bulldogs now 20-13 and will play Louisiana Tech Saturday.

CBI

Texas A&M 59 – Wyoming 43. Video Highlights

5. Aggies dominate Cowboys with 41-27 rebounding advantage and outscoring Wyoming in the paint 26-14. Texas A&M will travel to Illinois State Monday night.

Thursday SEC Hoops Schedule

Albany vs Florida in the NCAA Tournament. Victory by the Gators will move the SEC to a perfect 7-0 in postseason play.

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Georgia’s Richt Catches Heat For Recent Arrests; “Perception” Issues Remain

On Monday, four Georgia football players were arrested for cashing UGA-issued scholarship checks twice.  Folks from ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit to legendary UGA kick Kevin Butler weighed in on Mark Richt’s discipline.  Here’s what Herbstreit said via Twitter:

 

herbie tweet

 

 

Butler then responded to Herbstreit by tweeting “your dead on Kirk ….. No consequences, no fear… just plain stupidity every year.  Embarrassing for University.”

What neither pointed out is that you could put together a pretty good squad from the players Richt has tossed from his squad: Zach Mettenberger, Nick Marshall, Isaiah Crowell, etc.  All those guys landed elsewhere, including two inside the SEC who Richt had to coach against last year.

Also not mentioned is the fact that perception is worse than reality when it comes to Georgia’s “outlaw” reputation.

Georgia — as we’ve pointed out a few hundred times on this site — has the toughest drugs and behavior policies in the Southeastern Conference.  A footballer busted for an alcohol-related crime elsewhere might be forced to run stadium steps and sit for a quarter.  At Georgia, that’s typically an automatic suspension for two full games.  South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has poked fun at the Bulldogs by saying he likes playing them early because they’re always missing a few guys.  That kind of comment gets kicked around until outsiders who don’t know any better — and apparently a supposed insider like Butler who should — start believing that UGA has more disciplinary problems than other schools when in fact, Georgia simply disciplines more than other schools.

Kids get in trouble at all schools.  And if your favorite school is on a clean streak right now, consider your football program overdue.  With 100 kids on a roster, there will be alcohol, marijuana and behavioral issues to deal with each and every year.  Georgia deals with them harshly and openly… and the school, the football program and Richt pay a price for that.

Kudos to Georgia and other SEC schools who have implemented strict policies (Kentucky being another), but in a world where Twitter perception is reality, it might be time to stop sweating the small stuff, just as most other schools do.  That will help make the big stuff — like the actions of the four dullards arrested Monday — seem less like the norm and more like the exception that it really is.

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SEC Headlines 3/19/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Why is former Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore lashing out at the Aggies athletic administration?

2. Spring practice gets underway today at Florida with a focus on the offense and new coordinator Kurt Roper.

3. Some players to watch and some questions to ask at Florida this spring.

4. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen appreciates having some depth at quarterback this spring. Bulldogs kicked off spring practice Tuesday.

5. Concern at LSU?  Tigers backfield lacks depth.

6. Those four Georgia players charged with  multiple counts of theft by deception on Monday were back on the practice field Tuesday but Mark Richt not ruling out any dismissals. Bulldogs potential national title contender in 2014?

7. Plenty of new faces and new roles along Missouri’s offensive line but center Evan Boehm will be the anchor in the middle. Is Tigers running back Russell Hansbrough one of the players poised for a breakout season?

8. Vanderbilt redshirt freshman C.J. Duncan is changing positions.

9. Germain Ifedi started every game at right guard for Texas A&M last fall.He could wind up playing tackle this fall.

10. Linebacker Trey DePriest will be a leader of the Alabama defense.

11. Auburn safety Trent Fisher, son of St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, may no longer be on the team.

12. South Carolina sophomore Jamari Smith trying to get the jump on five freshmen cornerbacks who will join the program this summer. A couple of South Carolina linebackers undergo arthroscopic surgeries.

13. Arkansas had to replace three assistant coaches in the offseason - but none of the changes came on the offensive staff.

14. Tennessee football is on spring break this week but here’s an updated look at the depth charts.

Bruce Pearl to Auburn reaction

15. Auburn’s new basketball coach meets the media.  ”When I made the mistakes that I made at Tennessee, I let a lot of people down.” Pearl gets six-year deal worth $2.2 million annually.

16. Pearl turned 54 Tuesday.  “Happy belated birthday, Bruce Almighty. Or should that now be Bruce Au-mighty?”

17. Pearl believes the hiring had the blessing of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive: ”I’m sure I wouldn’t be getting this second chance unless it met with his approval.”

18. “He will be a catalyst for change in the league, to the delight of commissioner Mike Slive.”

19. Pearl met with Auburn A.D. Jay Jacobs at his Knoxville home Monday night - deal hashed out on the kitchen island.  One Tennessee reaction to Pearl’s hiring?  Relief.  

20. Kevin Scarbinsky: ‘A popular analogy already has started making the rounds...Pearl will be to (Anthony) Grant as Nick Saban was to Tommy Tuberville.

21. Paul Finebaum: (Alabama A.D. Bill Battle) “woke up today and found out his worst nightmare – at least from a basketball standpoint — has come true.”

22. Mike DeCourcy: “How many active coaches are better? Let’s just say they could all probably fit in one clown car.”

SEC Basketball

23. Tennessee meets Iowa tonight.  Vols are 0-2 in NCAA Tournament games in Dayton, Ohio.

24. The 13-year old son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery will have surgery to remove a thyroid tumor just hours before tonight’s tipoff. Update: “Today’s surgery for my son Patrick went as planned.”

25. Georgia hosts Vermont tonight in the NIT.  Bulldogs going for their 20th win of the season.

26. LSU travels to San Francisco to meet the Dons tonight in NIT action.

27. Texas A&M plays Wyoming tonight in the CBI Tournament.  Coach Billy Kennedy:  ”Our guys have been good in practice, and it helps us more for next year more than anything, just playing another game, and practicing helps for the future.”

28. Freshman guard Shawn Smith still not with the Aggies.

29. With a win Tuesday night, Albany gets to play Florida in the first round.  Trivia question: Know their team nickname?

30. The President has Florida in his Final Four but picks Michigan State to win it all.

31. Florida Center Patric Young wants to become a minister after basketball.

Extra

32. Johnny Manziel and his “Fighting Ducks” Nike shoes. Merrill Hoge on Johnny Football: “He’s got bust written all over him.”

33. Here’s a look at the rings given to Florida State players and coaches for winning the BCS title.

34. Actor Vince Vaughn pays $6.5 million for Lane Kiffin’s California home.

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What’s Next At Georgia?

With four Georgia football players getting arrested, what’s the next move for coach Mark Richt?  The AJC’s Mark Bradley puts the case in perspective.




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SEC Hoops Roundup: A Florida-Kentucky Final

gfx-hoops-round-up2Florida 56 – Tennessee 49. Video Highlights

1. Tied at 45, Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon slapped with technical foul, his fifth foul of the game. Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin: “Unfortunately for us, some costly technical fouls probably shifted the game.”

2. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes:  ”They have a great team. So there were some calls I didn’t like, but that’s part of it.”

3. Down by 10 points late in the first half, Florida rallies for its 25th straight win.

4. Jeff Schultz: “Here’s your first NCAA bracket tip: Assume nothing with Florida.”

Kentucky 70 – Georgia 58. Video Highlights

5. Relaxed and revitalized Kentucky outrebounds Georgia 36-21 and shoots 51 percent from the floor.

6. Georgia forward Brandon Morris:  ”We just didn’t play well enough to beat a high-level team like Kentucky.”

7. Kentucky coach John Calipari: “I’m not looking forward to playing Florida again.”

8. Bulldogs expected to go to the NIT.

Today’s Schedule

SEC Conference Championship Game – Kentucky vs Florida – 3:15 ET on ESPN. (Florida favored by 6)

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SEC Hoops Roundup: Conference Tourney Final Four

gfx-hoops-round-up2Florida 72 – Missouri 49. Video Highlights

1. Tied at 29 at halftime, Florida pulls away with 12-o second-half run.  Gators have now won 24 straight games.

2. Missouri scores only 20 points in the second half.  22-11 Tigers likely bound for NIT.

Tennessee 59 – South Carolina 44. Video Highlights

3. Tennessee gets 22 points and 15 rebounds from Jarnell Stokes – his 19th double-double of the season.

4. Vols get Florida today in a semi-final game.  Coach Cuonzo Martin: “We came to win the tournament.”

5. South Carolina coach Frank Martin on Tennessee: ”I told our assistants last night I think they’re playing better than anyone in our league right now.”

Kentucky 85 – LSU 67. Video Highlights

6. 17 points and 16 rebounds for Julius Randle. James Young led all scorers with 21 points.

7. LSU forward Johnny O’Bryant: “They just were the tougher team tonight when it really counted.”

Georgia 75 – Ole Miss 73. Video Highlights

8. Charles Mann led the Bulldogs with 16 points in a game that featured 20 lead changes, 17 ties, 51 total fouls and 73 total free throws.

9. Last time Georgia played Kentucky, Bulldogs were beaten by 25 points in Rupp Arena.

10. Marshall Henderson scores 19 points for Ole Miss , but was just 5 of 21 from the field.  No NIT for the Rebels?

SEC Conference Tournament Saturday Schedule

Tennessee vs Florida

Georgia vs Kentucky

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Georgia 75 – Ole Miss 73

Video highlights of the Georgia 75-73 win over Ole Miss Friday night in Atlanta at the SEC Conference Tournament.




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