- ACC Sports: Expansion is upon us. A 7:00 AM conference call between all of the ACC presidents will determine which, if any, of the other potential schools under consideration will be invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. The smart thinking on this is that Lousiville has the inside track on joining the conference and the possibility of adding more than one school is very slim. This has got to be disappointing news for Connecticut, which has lobbied hard for inclusion in the ACC, and to a lesser extent Cincinnati, Navy, and South Florida, all of which have also made bids to join the league. It looks like football success may be the deciding factor, though both Connecticut and Cincinnati are pressing hard on the issue of academics where those schools have an advantage over Louisville.
- ESPN: Maryland‘s exit from the ACC doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a clean break after all. The noise that Maryland president Wallace Loh has been making about not intending to pay the full $50 million exit fee has roused the collective ire of the conference that Maryland has scorned. The ACC has filed a lawsuit against Maryland seeking full payment of the agreed-upon exit fee. The suit is supported by all member schools (outside of Maryland) as well as the three incoming schools (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame). In terms of a conference seeking full and complete restitution from a departing member, this is a big time move, at least on paper.
- Wisconsin State Journal: The Bennetts loom large in Wisconsin basketball lore and the match-up between Tony Bennett‘s Virginia Cavaliers and his former mentor, Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers, is about as storied a coaching storyline as you can get in terms of Wisconsin basketball intrigue. Now, obviously the market for “Wisconsin basketball intrigue” is about as niche a topic of interest as possible, but for those who are interested, this is a big one. Tony Bennett was a basketball hero at Wisconsin-Green Bay and an assistant coach at Wisconsin under Bo Ryan, who succeeded Bennett’s own father, Dick Bennett, who coached Wisconsin from 1996-2000. The point is that for Virginia’s coach, tonight’s match-up against the Badgers is rather important.
- Miami Sun-Sentinel: Miami sports fans don’t exactly have the best reputation for supporting their team and sadly that reputation extends to the students at the University of Miami whose attendance at basketball games can be described as spotty at best. Despite fielding a successful team for the past several years, Miami continues to trail the vast majority of the conference in average and annual attendance figures. With the ranked Michigan State Spartans coming to town as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge tonight, head coach Jim Larranaga is optimistic that the students and fans will show up for what could potentially be a pivotal turning point in Miami’s basketball history. Miami is good enough to give the Spartans a competitive game, and if they can do so in front of a raucous home crowd, the game could turn into a watershed moment for the Larranaga era in Coral Gables.
- Blogger So Dear: Would someone please check on Bart Johnson? After Wake Forest took a tough loss to Nebraska, things aren’t looking great in Winston-Salem again these days and Demon Deacon fans are despondent. Faith in head coach Jeff Bzdelik has plummeted below already dangerously low levels and our favorite Wake Forest bloggers seem prepared to make a deep run through the entire The Cure discography. It’s pretty bleak.
BONUS: Maryland stomped Northwestern in last night’s game in Evanston, but the story was a little different when the two teams last faced off… in 1958. The Northwestern archives and the Washington Post are happy to point us to the footage of this long-ago meeting. It’s honestly pretty rad.