NCAA

NCAA Tournament denies Bay Area showcase

703320.jpg

NCAA Tournament denies Bay Area showcase

The fallout for the St. Marys basketball team from Cals horrific 65-54 beatdown from South Florida Wednesday is ...

... well, none, really. Doesnt matter a jot.
RECAP: Cal's season comes to ugly end

This seems easy if you assume as most right-thinking folk do that teams go into tunnel vision-mode as the NCAA Tournament begins. The Galloping Gaels, other than a presser Thursday afternoon expected to reveal no secrets or sterling insights from the particulars, are all into Purdue, except for the assistants breaking down Kansas and Detroit on the just-in-case plan.

But fans think differently. They think in terms of defending the honor of the Bay Area (as if there was some), or the Pacific-12 (big in the NIT, not so much where people are looking), or the WCC (BYU has already made it a big tournament).

And nothing could be less interesting to the performers. Their world is about themselves; Rob Jones isnt talking about Victor Rudd (South Florida), hes talking about Robbie Hummel. He may also be talking about studies, or girls, or a million other things, but on the list of things that are on his list, Victor Rudd is way down it either way.

Thats why players tend to be so impatient the day before a tournament game. The waiting and not knowing has killed them, and though like fans they tend to pay attention to the big teams or the ones they know, in this case Cal and St. Marys may as well be Neptune and Mercury.

Too bad, too. Both are programs that by clashing shields become better for the experience, and their fans would get a kick-start out of it as well. In fact, a Bay Area tournament (a non-starter of an idea from long ago) would be ideal.

But coaches are risk-averse, especially the higher you go on the reputational food chain, and Cals version is that St. Marys cant help them but could certainly hurt them, while St. Marys version is that Cal cant hurt them and certainly help them.

Thats the bigger picture. The smaller picture is, St. Marys plays tomorrow, and Cal plays in November. Ships not even passing in the night, and honor aint got nothin to do with it.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

pitino-sad-ap.jpg
AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

cal-usc-ap.jpg
AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.