We really shouldn’t laugh at this poor girl’s misfortune, but… hey, she made her own bed by choosing to edumacate at Duke. (and besides, she’ll be ok…). From CNNSI:
A Duke University freshman has been diagnosed with meningitis after camping outside for a chance to see the men’s basketball game against North Carolina. Officials said Wednesday the infection was caught early, and the student is expected to fully recover. Meningococcal meningitis, also known as bacterial meningitis, can be fatal if not treated early.
Actually we don’t feel that bad because ESPN is going to do its very best to make us feel as if we’ve had our own bout with meningococcal meningitis after repeatedly and arduously violating us with the Duke-Carolina hyperbole tonight. So if we have to take it, so should she.
They say that this bacteria is often transmitted by kissing – let’s just hope for Miss Undergrad’s sake, he wasn’t the vector.
Ed. Update (02.08.09 @ 9:30pm EST) – the Ebay listing has been removed. The below screen grab is the only evidence remaining.
We all know that securing tickets to one of the annual Duke-Carolina matchups is a difficult task (particularly in the 9,000 seat Cameron Indoor Stadium), but sensing that change is indeed in the air, North Carolina state senator Eddie Goodall (R-Mecklenberg) has decided to offer his senate seat for a pair of tickets to next Wednesday’s game. Channelling ousted Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich, Goodall didn’t choose to reach out to Jesse Jackson, Jr.; rather, his choice of a targeted customer base was… Ebay?
See, Goodall has for some cockamamie reason put his actual senate seat, as in his chair, on Ebay. We know the economy’s bad and all, but you’d think that the NC Senator’s salary of $13,951 per annum would leave him in much better shape than that. Ok, probably not, but his tax and financial consulting business probably enabled him to buy the monogrammed $787.95 chair in the first place. A CBS Sportsline report that broke the story today suggests that Goodall cannot legally sell either one of his seats – physical or political – which begs the question as to what his orginal motive was here. He claims that the whole thing is an “elaborate goof,” but that rings about as hollow as the assertion of yellowcake in Niger.
We’ll have to wait to see what happens with the chair, but we can rest assured of one thing – Goodall may have played ball at UNC-Charlotte instead of Chapel Hill, but he’s clearly no Dook fan.
RTC typically doesn’t have a lot of SWAC coverage, other than our biweekly correspondent updates on the conference managed faithfully and superbly by HBCUSportsBlog’s inimitable JC. But thanks to a loyal tipster (h/t Bluejay Basketball), we were alerted to a peculiar situation out of that bottom-dwelling league from a game earlier this week. Er, almost a game. From the Monroe (La) News-Star:
The Talladega College (NAIA) men’s basketball team arrived at Grambling’s Assembly Center on Tuesday expecting a game. There was no game to be played. Talladega coach Matt Cross said the team was initially told that the scheduled 7 p.m. game had been delayed because referees were late in arriving, and 20 minutes later, Grambling officials told him the game was canceled because the Southwestern Athletic Conference had forgotten to schedule the referees. “I said, ‘Can we reschedule? We’ll just stay another night,'” Cross said. “They said, ‘No, we’ll just cancel.'”
We’ve heard some harebrained excuses over the years (“sorry about that, but can you believe that I contracted malaria this weekend?”; “my ex called me out of the blue from Korea and said he wanted to get back together”; “I’m really just not into to guys anymore”), but this one certainly strains the seams of credulity. The SWAC forgot to schedule the refs? And no refs could be found within a day’s drive? Hmmm….
More Like Grumbling State
Cross, to his credit, smells a dancing Tiger rat in Denmark.
Cross said he suspects there is more to the situation than a scheduling mix-up. He said Grambling just didn’t want to play the game. The Tigers (5-13 overall, 3-4 SWAC) were blown out at home 83-58 by conference rival Jackson State on Saturday, and Talladega already has four wins over SWAC teams this season: Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Southern, and Mississippi Valley State. “They didn’t want to play the game,” said Cross, a Shreveport native. “They wanted to save the embarrassment.”
So Talladega boarded onto its bus and took the 7-hour trek east back home. The school will still receive its $2500 guarantee for the game, but can you imagine if, say, Duke showed up at the Dean Dome next month and UNC said, “y’know, we couldn’t find any refs, so you’re just going to have to get on back to Derm. It’s the ACC’s fault. See ya!” Absurd.
Remember a couple of weekends ago when the brother of Providence player Jeff Xavier nonchalantly ambled out of the crowd, climbed over the PC bench, and proceeded to give the ref the whatfor over a non-call on a drive involving his sibling? Just to refresh your memory of this bizarre incident, here’s the video:
We know you’ll be floored by this news, but big bro Jonathan Xavier is currently on probation for three drug convictions in Rhodie in 2005. He served eight months in the state clink and has spent the rest of the time trying to keep himself out of trouble. Until two Saturday nights ago. Now, according to the Providence Journal, he’s being held without bail until he appears at a preliminary hearing to determine whether he violated the terms of his probation on Feb. 10. And it doesn’t look all that good for him.
“The baseline condition of anyone’s probation is to keep the peace and be of good behavior,” Healey said. “In plainspeak, stay out of trouble. So what’s driving this is the attorney general’s belief that Jonathan Xavier’s conduct was not only offensive but dangerous and, therefore, cannot be tolerated.”
Xavier Didn't Get His Money's Worth (photo credit: AP/Michael Dwyer)
With over five years remaining on Xavier’s original sentence, his little stroll to politely inquire about a foul may end up costing him way more than he could have imagined. Frankly, for that much hard time in the pipeline, he should have decked the ref, the offending player from Marquette (Joseph Fulce) andBuzz Williams for good measure.
The only thing that I can even think of that is comparable to this on the college level is Christian Laettner stepping on Aminu Timberlake‘s chest after being fouled in “The Greatest Game Ever Played”.
As bad as Laettner’s stomp was, I think going at Budinger’s face is taking it to another level. At least for Arizona’s sake, this isn’t a mess they brought on themselves. It will be interesting to see how the Houston AD handles the situation.
Update: Apparently, Coleman has issued an apology (follow the link for his “apology” since WordPress is having issues with embedding it here). I’m not buying this whole unintentional thing. The Arizona AD Budinger may have changed his story on whether or not he thinks it was intentional, but I think Coleman’s actions walking off the court are pretty strong evidence of his intent.
You thought we were going to mention Wake – Virginia Tech here, didn’t you (#1 Wake is currently down nine to the Hokies in the late second half)? Nope, we’ll get to that later, but how about NJIT tonight, ending its streak of FIFTY-ONE LOSSES IN A ROW. If there were ever an RTC that was deserving, this would be it (see below clip). Kudos to the lads from New Jersey Tech – may they all be the toast of their corner of the world tonight.
Ed. note: if you have some nominees that we missed, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it in the comments and we’ll try to get a photo up…
While we were sitting around watching a closer-than-it-should-have-been game between Memphis and Central Florida a couple of weekends ago, it occurred to us that we were spending more time staring at the appallingly hideous UCF Knight plastered onto the middle of the floor. And when the tv cameras took us to one end of the court, away from the menacing black knight ready to swallow up half of the players, my eyes were forced to contrast their two-tone floor where everything within the three point line was one color (light beige) and everything outside of it, another (beige). It was horrible. But our visual disaster is your gain, as it gave us an idea for a neat post comparing the ugliest home floors in America.
Central Florida – UCF Arena
The first thing we did was contact our loyal RTC correspondents, because who else will know about some abominable court hidden away in the BigMountainSouthUSA whatever Conference than our guys. Here are some of their entries:
Eastern Michigan – Convocation Center
It’s never a good thing when you start painting giant basketballs on the court and coloring in the three-point areas. Never. A. Good. Thing.
Moving to the Big 12, which has not one, but two nominees…
Texas A&M – Reed Arena
We’re uncertain what bugs us about this particular floor, other than the bizarre checkerboard parquet and the enormous outline of the state of Texas in the middle of it. Yeah, Texas is a big state, but come on… And the T-star situation isn’t helping – what is that thing?? We thought the A&M logo always had the letters “A” and “M” in it.
Baylor – Ferrell Center
This one isn’t all that bad except for one minor major annoyance – unless you’re sitting in the first five rows, who thought it was a good idea to paint the new 3-point line in yellow on a hardwood-colored floor? Especially when watching Baylor on tv, it’s nearly impossible to track what is a three and what isn’t a three because of that fact (sorry, we haven’t moved to HD in the RTC West Coast Compound yet).
Georgia Tech – Alexander Memorial Coliseum
This place has always bothered us – something about the deli mustard borders and the gigantic bee in the middle of the floor. Why not go with the black/gold setup like Vandy or Wake instead?
Colorado State – Moby Arena
Oh, Lord, no… this just can’t be allowed to continue. The photo isn’t great but you can clearly make out the outline of a ram’s horns all over this court.
Boise State – Taco Bell Arena
But the school that takes the cake, not once, but twice, has to be our blue-turfed friends in Boise. Both incarnations of their home floor in recent years (the top is their current one) have been downright offensive (the horse heads are bad enough, but we esp. hate the half-basketballs in the corners).
Princeton – Jadwin Gymnasium
Honorable mention goes to Princeton, not so much for its floor (which is solid) but for its multipurpose arena known as Jadwin Gymnasium. The space-age Epcot-style lighting and airport-hangar background there really scares us. For Chrissakes, they have temporary restraining walls on the sidelines so the ball doesn’t roll into the indoor track/field area. What a disaster.
Quick… what’s the term for the opposite of good basketball IQ? A Stephon Marbury? What do you call a player who consistently makes abominable, indefensible and atrocious decisions on the court? A Derrick Coleman? Well, step aside Bonehead Brethren of Years Past, because there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Jamelle Horne. The Arizona sophomore, through his complete and utter obliviousness at the end of two key games this year, may have singlehandedly ensured that his school will not play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a quarter-century.
"Oh No! I Did It Again!" (photo credit: Lori Shepler/LA Times)
Arizona now sits at 11-7 and eighth place in the Pac-10 (2-4) after getting swept by the SoCal schools over the weekend. Their RPI is currently #52, the ship appears to be taking on water, and at this point it’ll take a herculean effort for Russ Pennell to get Arizona back into the mix as a realistic at-large candidate. But what if instead of 11-7 (2-4), the Wildcats were currently sitting at 13-5 (3-3)? You’d have to figure they’d be getting votes in both polls as well as being talked about as a dangerous team in the second half of the season.
This is where Jamelle Horne comes in. The Arizona wing was lambasted back in November for intentionally fouling a UAB player 60 feet from the basket in a game that was tied 71-71 with one second left. UAB hit one of two free throws and won the game. Flash forward to Saturday night at USC. In a game where Arizona led most of the way, USC had clawed back to tie the score at 64-all when Nic Wise threw the ball away. USC’s Daniel Hackett grabbed the errant pass and started upcourt. From the Arizona Star:
Immediately after Hackett crossed the midcourt line, Horne ran into the USC guard with 1.2 seconds left. Having only a prayer of a chance at a game-winning field goal, Hackett instead was given two free throws. He made the first one and that was all the Trojans needed.
We were watching this game live, and let’s be a little clearer than the reporter’s account above. Horne didn’t just accidentally “run into” Hackett. He deliberately ran into Hackett in an attempt to cause the referee to blow the whistle. It wasn’t an intentional foul in the sense that you grab a guy to impede his progress, but it was an end-of-game “intentional” foul designed to stop the clock and put the player on the line. The kind of foul you only make when you think you’re behind and you need to get the ball back. (we respectfully disagree with this UA blog’s assessment that the foul was ticky-tack)
Problem was, for Arizona and Horne, the game was (once again) TIED.
If we were Russ Pennell, we’d strongly consider putting Horne through a battery of memory tests to determine if he has the mental capacity to remember something for longer than two seconds. Either that, or just sit the kid down at the very end of his bench for the last minute of every game. It’s simply astonishing that the same player could make such an egregious error twice in a single year, costing his team two Ls as a result. Time and score, time and score, time and score… how many times did we hear that growing up? Either Horne really is not a very bright bulb… or he’s gotta have something else going on.
note: we couldn’t find video of the incident, so this walkthrough vodcast will have to suffice.