Steve and I talk about the final “meaningless” rankings: How in the heck is Florida State No. 4? Which teams are still alive for a playoff spot? How will championship week play out? The podcast is packed with everything you’ll want to know before this weekend’s games. If you mention the show on Twitter or Facebook, or send me a question or comment via email, you’ll get a special shoutout on the next podcast.
I also want to share a couple of college basketball stories I’ve written. One is a feature on Manhattan coach Steve Masiello, which was published in the latest issue of Basketball Times. You probably remember his name from the résumé scandal last spring. I spoke to Masiello, his current and former players, several of the school’s administrators, and others outside of the program who are familiar with the situation to get an idea of how Manhattan went about taking him back and what it means for the school. The other story is much shorter, though it deals with tall players: Kentucky’s basketball team, which may be the tallest in college hoops history and can match up with any NBA team. It appeared in TheWall Street Journal last week.
Why is the Heisman Trophy essentially reserved for quarterbacks and running backs? My latest college football column attempts to answer that. I attended the press conference for the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame class, which included 1996 Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel, Orlando Pace, and Tedy Bruschi (pictured above), among others, and I spoke to them about the Heisman’s skill position bias.
I’ve been doing a lot of college basketball reporting as well, covering several games at Madison Square Garden for Newsday. I’ve also started a weekly column for CBS Local in which I profile a “Rising Star” in the sport (I’ve written the two from this season). Remember, this blog is home to most all of my freelance work. If you have any suggestions for my next “Rising Star,” or any other story ideas, send them my way. Even if it’s a local story that received little attention, I’d love to give it a bigger audience. Thanks for reading. Happy holidays.
In a battle between schools separated by the length of approximately 500 basketball courts, the Iona Gaels beat Manhattan last night to win the MAAC Tournament and earn the league’s automatic bid to the Big Dance. Iona coach Tim Cluess said after the game he would enjoy Selection Sunday a lot more this year—last season the Gaels got an at-large bid, but Cluess was a nervous wreck until Iona’s name was called.
You might think the Gaels are eager to redeem themselves on the sport’s biggest stage after their record-setting collapse in the play-in round against BYU last year, but they’re playing for something much more important: the memory of a fallen teammate. Mike Haynes, a Chicago recruit headed for Iona last fall, was shot dead in July. Iona’s players dedicated this season to his memory and have worn patches on their jerseys to honor him.