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Boxscore Breakdown: Colorado State 84 – Missouri 72

march-madness-schedule-tv-logoBetween the NCAA and the NIT, the SEC had six teams qualify for postseason tournament play.  Four games in, half of them are already done.  Missouri becomes the latest SEC squad to make a quick exit, falling to Colorado State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers trailed by nine at half and proceeded to cut the lead to four points early in the second half.  They never got any closer.

Phil Pressey led Missouri with 20 points and seven assists.

- Colorado State doubled Missouri on the boards – outrebounding the Tigers 36-18.

-Missouri shot 42.1% from the field (24-57) while Colorado State shot 49% (25-51)

- Colorado State went to the free-throw line 14 times more than Mizzou – made 10 more (27 vs 17).

Missouri finishes the year 23-11; 17-0 at home and 6-11 in road/neutral court games.


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SEC Hoops: Tennessee Falls To Mercer In First-Round NIT Action

basketballsMercer 75 – Tennessee 67

1. Vols end the year at 20-13 after getting bounced by Mercer.  Trae Golden: “It was weird because when we played Missouri (in the regular-season finale), we felt like that was our last home game,”

2. Jarnell Stokes had 14 points and 13 rebounds. “”I don’t think we came out expecting to lose.”

3. Mike Strange: “Tennessee got Robert Morrissed on Wednesday night…”

SEC Hoops Tonight/NCAA Tournament

Missouri vs Colorado State (9:20 Eastern).  Florida and Ole Miss both play Friday.

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Report: Napier To Replace Groh At Alabama

mrsec-breaking-newsBilly Napier is leaving Florida State to become the wide receivers coach at Alabama, according to a report from

Napier will replace Mike Groh, who’s leaving for the Chicago Bears, according to the Noles247 report.

Napier’s decision to leave Florida State comes less than two months after his arrival in Tallahassee. He was hired as Florida State’s tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator on Jan. 15.

Napier, who served as Colorado State’s quarterbacks coach in 2012, was the offensive quality control coach on Alabama’s 2011 staff. He previously served on Clemson’s staff from 2006-10.

Napier, widely regarded as one of the nation’s top recruiter, will be filling big shoes in that area. Groh was recently named the Rivals’ Recruiter of the Year after he helped Alabama sign such highly-touted prospects as defensive linemen Dee Liner and A’Shawn Robinson and running back Altee Tenpenny.

Napier was twice recognized by Rivals as one of the nation’s top 25 recruiters during his time at Clemson.

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UT’s Dooley Channels His Inner-Saban

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley might not have wound up on the Volunteers’ radar way back in January of 2010 had he not been an ex-assistant for current Alabama coach Nick Saban.  From Florida to Colorado State, if you worked for Saban, you’ve got a little extra juice these days.  Well yesterday, with his team riding high after a 35-21 opening night win over NC State, Dooley seemed to channel his old boss with regards to his own team possibly becoming complacent:


“Most teams never reach their dreams because they overestimate the event and underestimate the process…

Our biggest challenge is going to be not patting ourselves on the back and listening to everybody talking about how good we played and not remembering why we had success, which is the process these guys have been going through the last eight months.”


Ah, the process.

How long before Dooley suggests the media isn’t giving enough respect to Georgia State, Tennessee’s next foe?

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SEC Headlines – 5/11/12

1.  It appears as though there could actually be some serious discussion of raising the NBA’s minimum age limit.  (If that happens, the one-and-done rule could disappear.)

2.  The SEC will try out wireless communication for its officiating crews this fall.

3.  A great find.  Now you can read a letter Paul “Bear” Bryant wrote to an incoming Alabama freshman about 40 years ago.  (We pause for Tide fans to wipe their tears.)

4.  Think Nick Saban will remind his team about Jim Delany’s “that team” remark when they open with Michigan this fall?

5.  LSU chancellor Mike Martin is a finalist to become the chancellor at Colorado State.

6.  Here’s a look at Mississippi State’s safety position p0st-spring drills.

7.  And here’s a look at Florida’s receiving corps after spring practice.

8.  This writer tells you which nonconference teams he thinks Georgia should schedule in football.

9.  Kentucky hoops signee Nerlens Noel says the NCAA hasn’t contacted him directly and that he’s in “great position to qualify” academically.

10.  Steve Spurrier and Frank Martin visited Augusta, Georgia yesterday saying, “It’s great to cross the state line and still be in Gamecock Country.”

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Reports: Nussmeier Hired As OC By Bama

It’s not official yet, but multiple reports are claiming that University of Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has been hired to fill the same spot at Alabama. 

Prior to his stop in Washington, Nussmeier has served as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL (St. Louis Rams) and in the Big Ten (Michigan State).

Ironically, Nussmeier replaced Jim McElwain at Fresno State when Saban tabbed McElwain to run the Tide offense in 2008.  Now he’ll replace McElwain as the ex-Bama coordinator takes over as head coach at Colorado State.

Many view the Washington offense as being the baby of head coach Steve Sarkisian, rather than of Nussmeier.  Of course, some look at Bama’s defense as being Nick Saban’s rather than Kirby Smart’s.  Bottom line — Nussmeier and Sarkisian had the Huskies offense ranked 25th in the nation in scoring offense this past season.

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SEC Headlines – 12/14/11

The next couple of days, we’ll be taking some time off, meaning we’ll mainly have your headline fix each day and some breaking news items when they occur.  Let’s call ‘em “mental health days.”  We’ll be back to full speed next week. 

That said, here are the day’s headlines:

1.  Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain — who will coach in the BCS title game — accepted the top job at Colorado State yesterday.

2.  If the Crimson Tide beats LSU next month, Bama will pay out more than $1 million in bonuses to its coaches.

3.  Auburn’s now in the market for two coordinators.

4.  New Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes has a reputation for being a “grinder.”

5.  Until Arkansas hosts Southeastern Louisiana Saturday, the hoops Hogs will have to continue to stew over recent losses to UConn and Oklahoma.

6.  More awards and honors pour in at LSU.

7.  LSU and Alabama will each get 17,000 tickets to the BCS Championship Game.  (But you can bet they’ll snap up a good portion of the remaining 38,000 tickets, too.)

8.  Uh-oh.  Tyler Russell “tweaked” his knee in practice yesterday and could miss MSU’s next two bowl practice sessions.  With Dylan Favre having transferred, depth at quarterback is becoming a major concern.

9.  Mississippi State survived a late scare to top Florida Atlantic 75-68 last night.

10.  New Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze took to Twitter — multiple times – to congratulate his old school and Gus Malzahn on their impending marriage.

11.  Andy Kennedy likes the depth on this year’s Rebel team.

12.  Ohio State’s Urban Meyer has raided Florida for a couple of support staff members.

13.  Check the depth chart and you’ll see that Georgia should be an SEC title contender next year, too.

14.  Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan is finally getting some postseason recognition.

15.  South Carolina freshman defensive back Martay Mattox has left the team.

16.  The Gamecock basketball squad needed a strong second half to avoid an upset at the hands of Presbyterian College last night.

17.  Forward Kenny Hall says Tennessee faces a “must win” game tonight at College of Charleston (a school that beat UT in Knoxville last year).

18.  Vanderbilt has already sold its initial allotment of 10,000 Liberty Bowl tickets.  (Kudos, Dore fans.)

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Bama OC McElwain Lands CSU Head Coaching Gig

So much for Alabama hanging on to both its coordinators.  Colorado State is set to introduce Jim McElwain as its new head coach today.

McElwain pulled his name out of the running at Fresno State over the weekend.  Now the Tide offensive coordinator is headed west anyway, to take over a program that has finished 3-9 in three consecutive seasons.

The 49-year-old McElwain is a Montana native.  He interviewed for the head coaching job at Colorado last offseason.

On the positive side for Bama, it’s believed McElwain will continue to coach the Tide offense through its BCS Championship Game rematch with LSU next month.  The coach already has one BCS title ring from Alabama’s 2009 championship.  He has coached in Tuscaloosa since 2008.

Now the question becomes: Will Nick Saban bring in an offensive coordinator in or will he promote someone currently on his staff?

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How This Year’s NCAA Tournament Would Look If Computers Picked And Seeded The Field

As soon as the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced each year, out come the talking heads, coaches, and fans to complain about the process and its results.  Even with three extra teams in this year’s field, the barking continues.  (As would be the case with a 128-team field, too.)

There’s an easy way to do away with the debate and disputes.  A clear-cut, proven way to end all the seed-whining, bid-complaining and conspiracy-theorizing.

Just BCS it.

BCS the whole NCAA Tournament. 

Now, personally, I think this would be a pretty crummy way of doing business because I rather like the human element playing a role in tournament selection.  Add a couple more basketball folks to the committee and I’d be quite happy with the current system.  It’s not perfect — and it’s never going to be — but for the most part it’s fair. 

Besides, if you’re Team #69 you really don’t have much to complain about because chances are you’re not going to cut down the nets anyway.  And if your team is good enough to actually compete for the title then the difference between a #3 and a #4 or a #4 and a #5 shouldn’t be that big of an obstacle to overcome.

But again, all the arguing can be KO’d by applying a BCS-style formula to the process:

Step 1: The conference tourney winners get automatic bids as they do now.

Step 2: The new formula is used to determine the remaining teams in the field.

Step 3: The field is seeded according to the formula using a standard S-curve (1-8, 2-8, 3-6, 4-5, etc).  Just to keep things neat, the play-in games would go to the eight lowest RPIs in the field with each winner moving on to play a #1 seed.

No fuss.  No muss.  And if a squad sees a conference mate in Round One or has to travel half way around the world to play, they can take it up with the computer that spits out the seedings.

Using the RPI numbers from as our “formula,” here’s the 2011 field and how it would have been seeded.  Realize that human error and bias has — aside from a few computer programmers — been removed from the process.  So no complaining about what you see below.  It’s all math without partiality. 

Each team’s RPI is listed in parentheses. 

Automatic bids from conference tourneys are underlined

Teams not in this year’s actual tournament are in bold

(And for the record, we’ve been working on this since Monday afternoon, but pushed up the posting time when ESPN — dang them — briefly discussed a BCS idea on “SportsCenter.”)

1 Kansas (1)
  1 Ohio State (2)
16 Ala. State (263) / Tx-SA (193)
  16 Ark-LR (188) / UCSB (157)
8 Washington (32)
  8 UAB (31)
9 Tennessee (33)
  9 Butler (34)
5 Louisville (17)
  5 Syracuse (18)
12 Illinois (48)
  12 Georgia (47)
4 Wisconsin (16)
  4 Utah State (15)
13 VCU (49)
  13 Colorado State (50)
6 George Mason (24)
  6 Kansas State (23)
11 Richmond (41)
  11 Cleveland State (42)
3 Notre Dame (9)
   3 Pittsburgh (10)
14 Bucknell (79)
  14 Morehead State (77)
7 UNLV (25)
  7 St. John’s (26)
10 Princeton (40)
  10 Penn State (39)
2 Florida (8)
  2 Kentucky (7)
15 Indiana State (84)
  15 St. Peter’s (93)

1 Duke (4)
  1 San Diego State (3)
16 Boston U (216) / Wofford (109)
  16 Hampton (153) / NC-Asheville (147)
8 Temple (29)
  8 Texas A&M (30)
9 Cincinnati (36)
  9 Harvard (35)
5 Old Dominion (20)
  5 Arizona (19)
12 Michigan State (45)
  12 St. Mary’s (46)
4 Georgetown (13)
  4 Connecticut (14)
13 Oakland (53)
  13 Belmont (51)
6 West Virginia (21)
  6 Xavier (22)
11 UCLA (44)
  11 Missouri State (43)
3 Purdue (12)
  3 Texas (11)
14 Gonzaga (56)
  14 Long Island (75)
7 Memphis (28)
  7 Vanderbilt (27)
10 Missouri (37)
  10 Villanova (38)
2 BYU (5)
  2 North Carolina (6)
15 Akron (107)
  15 N. Colorado (99)

So there you have it.  Using an RPI formula, the field is selected and seeded without the aid of human beings.  Harvard, Cleveland State, Missouri State, St. Mary’s and Colorado State would be in while Michigan, Florida State, Clemson, Marquette and Southern Cal would be out.

As you eyeball the results, remember that the Southeast champ would face the Southwest winner and the East titlist would play West champion at the Final Four in Houston.

Like what you see?  Think folks would quietly, happily accept these results?

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Arkansas A Finalist For Nevada Lineman

Defensive end Sam Tai from Liberty High School in Henderson, Nev., has narrowed his college choice to Arkansas and UCLA, according to

Tai has offers from schools such as Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State and San Diego State.

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