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SEC Headlines 3/24/2014

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1. For the first time since 2010, there’s a competition for the starting quarterback at Georgia.

2. Even though the number of competitors has dropped from five  to three - a quarterback race is on at LSU as well.

3. One week into spring practice, Florida’s offense remains a work in progress.

4. Former Alabama offensive guard Chad Lindsey could be headed to Michigan where he would be reunited with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

5. Of the 40 best players in the SEC during the BCS era, was Tim Tebow No. 1?

6. Is Auburn’s Nick Marshall talented enough to play quarterback in the NFL? Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee:  ”Oh, I think without question.”

7. Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson on his freshman season: “It’s a big spring for me because last year, I was a little bit disappointed with my performance and I can’t wait to get better.”

8. Should coaches bonuses be tied to academic performance?  Education Secretary Arne Duncan makes the case.

SEC Basketball

9. Georgia freshman basketball player J.J. Frazier was arrested late Sunday night on a charge of driving without a license

10. Florida will meet UCLA Thursday night . Fourth time since 2006 these two teams have met in March.

11. “With his 3-0 run this March, (Tennessee coach Cuonzo) Martin has equaled Jerry Green’s victory total in four NCAA appearances. Only Bruce Pearl (eight) and Don DeVoe (five) have more.”

12. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Who knew that Bruce Pearl and Cuonzo Martin both would be big winners this month?”

13. LSU plays SMU tonight in the NIT.  ”Simply put, there might not be two more talented teams remaining in the NIT field.”

14. Arkansas gets a rematch with Cal tonight in the NIT.  The Golden Bears beat the Razorbacks in the Maui Invitational in November.

15. Texas A&M at Illinois State tonight in the CBI.  Aggies just 1-8 in road games this season (but that one win was over a Sweet 16 Tennessee team).

SEC Media

16. Sweet 16 rundown – TV, tip times, and announcers.

17. Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy will join the SEC Network as an analyst.

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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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SEC Headlines 3/17/2014

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1. Lane Kiffin’s offense at Alabama is “player friendly,” according to receiver Amari Cooper.

2. Cooper is trying to improve his 40-yard dash time, which he says is all about technique.

3. Auburn backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson believes “there will be more passing” when he becomes the starter.

4. Seth Emerson takes a pre-spring look at Georgia’s likely starters on defense.

5. Florida receiver Andre Debose was allegedly pushed through a window during a weekend altercation.

SEC Basketball

6. Florida is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. It’s the second time in school history.

7. Florida holding on against Kentucky to win the SEC tournament helped the Gators land the top spot.

8. Kentucky received a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. What Final Four hope does UK have? Here’s a look.

9. Tennessee is a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament and will play Iowa for the right to face No. 6 seed UMass.

10. Cuonzo Martin’s job might not be safe just be getting Tennessee into the NCAA Tournament.

11. There are two big names on the candidate list for the Auburn job.

12. Arkansas is disappointed to be out of the NCAA Tournament but ready to play in the NIT.

13. Georgia is a No. 2 seed in the NIT and will host Vermont to open the tournament.

14. LSU is preparing for a road game at San Francisco in the first round of the NIT.

15. Missouri missed out on the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will host Davidson to open the NIT.

16. Ole Miss’ season is over as the Rebels were not invited to the NIT. They chose not to pursue an invite to the CBI.

17. Texas A&M will play in the CBI. Coach Billy Kennedy: “We’re excited to be playing the postseason considering all the challenges we have had this season.”

NCAA Tournament

18. Here’s a look at the full NCAA Tournament bracket.

19. The NCAA Tournament selection committee made some puzzling decisions, writes Eric Prisbell.

20. USA Today provides a breakdown of the NCAA tournament field.

21. Click here to see all the tipoff times and TV information for every tournament game through Friday.

22. Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee are all favored to win their first tourney game. Here are all the first round lines from Vegas.

23. ESPN provides some analysis for all four regions in the tournament.

24. Here is the selection committee’s official 1-68 rankings.

Extra

25. Texas has dismissed two players from the football team.

26. Video: Andy Staples discusses several college football items.

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SEC Headlines 3/15/2014

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Changes to alcohol policy for Georgia-Florida game “highly unlikely.”

2. Spring practice gets underway today at Alabama. Crimson Tide not just breaking in new players, but new coaches as well.

3. Big battle going on in the LSU camp at the right guard position. Coach Les Miles on his quarterback battle: “I think the quarterback position is a position of toughness.”

4. All four of Tennessee’s quarterbacks took reps in Friday’s first spring scrimmage.

5. With Tre Mason gone to the NFL, what are the running back options for Auburn this fall?

6. Missouri defensive end Shane Ray claims a 4.44 4o-yard dash this offseason.

7. SEC coaches divided on the idea of an early signing period for football.

SEC Basketball

8. As Auburn looks to replace Tony Barbee, Tigers will have a search committee of 1 – A.D. Jay Jacobs. 

9. If Auburn calls, Bruce Pearl will listen.

10. Alabama coach Anthony Grant will return.  Has the backing of A.D. Bill Battle.

11. Will Florida freshman Chris Walker return or enter the NBA draft?

12. Improvement will be expected in Rick Ray’s third year at Mississippi State.

13. Adjusting postseason expectations at Arkansas. The Razorbacks “big game hunt withered to small potatoes.”

14. Arkansas, Georgia (if it doesn’t win SEC Tournament), LSU and Missouri all look to be better fit for NIT than Ole Miss.

15. CBI bid possible for Texas A&M?

Extras

16. Did you know?  The Big 12 will be the smallest FBS conference in the country this fall when the Sun Belt expands to 11 football teams.

17. When it comes to earnings, Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady is not that close.

18. New York Times: “One major college basketball participant with no chance of advancing to the national tournament: Las Vegas…”

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Horn Out At Carolina; Marshall Already Mentioned As A Candidate

So much for the whispers that Darrin Horn would survive at South Carolina.  The school has fired the coach after four seasons.

In the end, not even the decision by Bruce Ellington to become a hoops-only player could save Horn from his overall record in Columbia (60-63), the horrible season that just ended (the Cocks’ 21 losses tied a school record for futility), and dwindling fan support.

Athletic director Eric Hyman has scheduled a news conference for 1:30pm ET today.  By firing the coach now — and not waiting until April 1st as some had suggested — Hyman will have to hand over a $2.4 million buyout to Horn, rather than $1.6 million.  But as we wrote last week, what’s $800,000 bucks to an SEC school that’s raking in more than $20 million per year?

The State in Columbia is already naming potential replacements
as Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall — a Palmetto State native — and current Duke assistant Jeff Capel.  The paper reports that Hyman went after Capel — who was fired last spring from Oklahoma after five seasons — before hiring Horn four years ago.

Consider Marshall to be the fan favorite.  He took Winthrop to the NCAA Tournament in seven of nine seasons at the school.  His Wichita State program has gone from no tourney to the CBI to the NIT and now to the NCAAs in his five seasons in Kansas.  The Shockers — a #5 seed — will face VCU and “hot name” coach Shaka Smart in their opening game on Thursday.

Early last week, most in Columbia believed Horn would be retained.  But as the week wore on — and as Carolina nosedived out of the SEC Tournament — murmurs increased that Hyman might pull the trigger on his coach.  We were told by a source as recently as yesterday evening that they believed Horn would “barely” survive. 

Not so.

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