- In what might have been one of the more ridiculous controversies we have ever seen a minor firestorm erupted late Thursday night following UCLA’s win over Arizona when some reporters noticed that Shabazz Muhammad had a Gucci backpack on. Several writers jumped on this story as a sign that Muhammad could have been (or even was) receiving impermissible benefits since they could not imagine that his family could afford a bag worth in excess of $1,000. We will let you think of the sociopolitical ramifications of that idea. It turns out that Muhammad’s family had in fact managed to scrape together the money for it and was able to produce enough evidence that UCLA’s compliance department has closed the “case”. As we said on Twitter a few days ago, it is a sad state of affairs when the media is fixated on a backpack with all of the unscrupulous things going on within the NCAA.
- When your team sets multiple NCAA records for offensive futility in a half you have to be creative when conveying the story to your students, fans, and boosters. In the case of Northern Illinois and its four-point first half, the athletic department had to come up with creative ways for talking about the team’s performance and did so by talking about their defensive effort and glossing over the 1-31 field goal shooting in the first half. To be fair to the school we doubt that we could have come up with a better way of putting the game in a positive light. Unfortunately for them the folks at Deadspin are always watching.
- Louisville may not be as offensively challenged as Northern Illinois, but the Cardinals still have some significant issues as Saturday’s loss should illustrate. Fortunately for Rick Pitino and company help may be on the way in the form of incoming recruit Terry Rozier, who scored 68 points on Saturday while coming off the bench. The big issue for Rozier is his academic status, which is still in question, but it appears that he is taking it seriously as he missed a week of practice and two of his team’s game while working with a tutor to get his grades up to the necessary level (apparently the reason that he did not start). We are sure that there are a few more Louisville fans who are concerned about Rozier’s grades after this weekend’s debacle.
- The TV ratings for nationally televised college basketball games so far this season are out and they are not pretty. The highest rated games so far have been Duke-Kentucky and Kansas-Temple, which both had 2.0 ratings (apparently that is around 3 million viewers). It should be noted that the Kansas-Temple game was the lead-in to the NFL playoffs so I am sure that played a major role in that number. We are sure that some of these numbers will trend up now that we are getting into conference play where we have some more traditional rivalries (at least for this season) and other major sports are finishing their season. It is nice to see that when you get two major teams on TV you still are able to get viewers, but the numbers (there are even a few 0.0 ratings) are kind of depressing.
- And finally because some of you may have missed it, here is Marshall Henderson interacting with the friendly Auburn fans after his team pulled out a win on the road:
You Could Spend Hours Dissecting Everything Going On Here