Notre Dame’s Mike Brey elected Chair of NCAA Rules Committee

College Football will never have Title Games like This

bcs sucks

By Paul M. Banks

Under the current and counter-intuitive BCS system, college football will never have a title game like the instant classic we watched Monday night. There will never be a mid-major taking on a BCS conference school, and battling them down to the final second, for all the marbles.

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Douchbracket National Champion Notre Dame Fans with no School Affiliation

The Paul M. Banks Regional Champions cut down the nets in the Inaugural dbag bracket Final Four

In the douchebracket, as well as in the NCAA tournament, sometimes it’s all about match-ups. How far your team goes or doesn’t go depends on who you draw in your bracket. And in the inaugural douchebracket “Notre Dame fans with no connection to the school” reached that “one shining moment” partially because they got lucky with match-up advantages. It also doesn’t hurt that St. Patrick’s Day coincides with the douchebracket and March Madness.

And this year was an extra special year for Notre Dame on the court as the Irish won the NIT (or so I’ve been told, I can’t say for sure, cuz I really don’t care about the NIT) and 50+ inebriated idiots on Chicago’s South Side acted like drunk buffoons and thugs to the point that they had to be arrested and in consequence frustrating the city into ending the 31 year old institution that was the South Side Irish parade. And you know many of those morons committing those acts were rocking ND colors despite no connection at all to the school.

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It wasn’t an easy road for the ND fans- they had a very tough bracket in the Paul M. Banks Regional, and faced the winner of what was considered the strongest bracket, the Peter Christian regional. That was essentially the true national championship game. Their dramatic come from behind victory over Alex Rodriguez was by the slimmest of margins and wasn’t secured until the closing seconds- it was reminiscent of Illinois’ OT thrilling come from behind win over Arizona in the 2005 Elite 8. This spring, it was hard to imagine anyone beating A-Roid, with his constant stream of negative press, but as Pete pointed out, A-Fraud always crumbles in the clutch. As close as that game was, the title game was the opposite: a rout, a laugher, an 84-16% landslide over Rachel Nichols, the David K. Regional champion, who ran roughshod over her entire bracket and dominated Ronnie Woo Woo in her Final Four game. No one expected her to run out of gas on the biggest stage after owning the competition for so long. Perhaps she should look into blinking once in awhile. Maybe her eyes weren’t sufficiently hydrated and that kept from performing at the highest level.

In closing, I just want to thank everyone who voted for the ND Fans in my bracket, as well as everyone who commented on all articles posted within the inaugural bracket of sports douchitude. This was a big success and I look forward to doing it again next year. (I call Digger Phelps, Nick Saban, and Sports bars with bathroom attendants)  This is a nice little complement to my Michigan State Spartans reaching the National Title game and my procuring the 3rd and final “in-the-money” position in my pool. (Of course, gambling is illegal, and that’s for novelty purposes only) With the exception of 2000 (MSU wins national title) and 2005 (Illinois, MSU reach Final Four) this has been the best March Madness ever! Thank you and we’ll see you in the 2010 Douchebracket!

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March Madness Baby!

The TSB.net staff NCAA tournament picks

For a more in-depth forecast and rationale please our College Hoops expert David K’s Region by region breakdown.

By the way, Week in Review will not be seen this week. I have been crazy busy and will recap a lot of the stuff that’s been keeping me busy next week. It’s also March Madness, quite possibly the greatest week in all of sports, so I’m wicked busy. Without any further ado, here’s what the panel picked

PAUL M BANKS

Midwest Regional
Winner Louisville- battle tested and ready
Sleeper North Dakota State- The Bison are underrated and dangerous
Early Exit Kansas- Remember the Bucknell Bison? History could repeat itself

West Regional
Winner UConn- Fear the Thabeet!
Sleeper Maryland- Fear the Turtle
Early Exit Washington- The Pac 10 is garbage this year

East Regional
Winner Villanova- athletic, quick and in the shallowest bracket
Sleeper Texas- does that really count as a sleeper
Early Exit Duke- Coach K. talks like SpongeBob’s neighbor Squidward

South Regional
Winner UNC- or should I say UGH, they’re becoming more loathable than Duke
Sleeper none
Early Exit Gonzaga- the glory days of the early 2000s are gone

Title Game North Carolina (God, I @#ing hate Hansbrough and his teammates) over Loserville

DAVID PALMER

Midwest Region
-Louisville should have little resistance on their way to the Final Four.
-Look out for a senior laden North Dakota State team; if they can get past Kansas, they could do some serious damage.
-One of the most overrated teams this year is Michigan St. I see an early exit at the hands of BC or Kansas.

West Region
-I think Purdue is peaking and getting healthy at the perfect time. Look out UConn, the Boilermakers are coming through.
-Marquette isn’t coping well with the Dominic James injury, could be a first round exit.
-Utah State won 30 games this year and can really shoot the ball; a sweet sixteen berth is not out of the picture.

East Region
-Pittsburgh is the class of this region, they will march their way to the Final Four.
-I don’t trust Villanova, I don’t see them getting past the second round.
-UCLA has strangely become underrated, they could be a semi-sleeper with their ability to play defense.

South Region
-I love Syracuse after their Big East tourney run, but I think Oklahoma is getting past everybody to the Final Four. They have the best player in the country in Blake Griffin.
-Illinois struggles to score the ball, one and done for them.
-Western Kentucky will give some teams fits, they are going to be a tough out.


Louisville over Purdue
Pitt over Oklahoma

Finals-
Pitt over Louisville

PETER CHRISTIAN

Midwest Regional
Winner – Louisville
Sleeper – North Dakota State
Early Exit – Michigan State

West Regional
Winner – Memphis
Sleeper – Washington
Early Exit – Missouri

East Regional
Winner – Villanova
Sleeper – Minnesota
Early Exit – Florida State

South Regional
Winner – Oklahoma
Sleeper – Gonzaga
Early Exit – Illinois

South Regional Bracket Breakdown

By: David K.

Overview: This is hands down the toughest bracket. North Carolina and Oklahoma are the #1 and #2. If Blake Griffin didn’t suffer a concussion a couple weeks ago, odds are the Sooners would have been a #1 seed. What I hate about this bracket is that it has three teams I was considering Final Four sleepers; Syracuse, Gonzaga, and Arizona State. I am giddy at the thought of watching two of my favorite teams Cuse and ASU go at it in the second round.

This all hinges on the fact that UNC point guard Ty Lawson is healthy. Lawson was held out of the ACC Tournament and the Heels barely beat Virginia Tech in the first round and then lost to Florida State in the Semifinals. Cuse spent a lot of energy in getting to the Big East Tournament Finals, playing eight overtimes in four games so people are questioning how fresh they will be for the tourney. Judging by their will and desire, I doubt that will be a concern. Cuse makes it to the Elite Eight because they are a more balanced team than Oklahoma and have the bigs who can bang with Griffin down low.

Sleeper: (6) Arizona State
I have not and will not hide my affection for James Harden. He has the ability to take over a game with not only his scoring, but his ability to distribute the basketball. For the Sun Devils to make a run, he will need to be a very aggressive scorer and the complimentary players around must knock down their open shots. Their pesky 1-2-2 zone with mantoman principles tends to bother teams and will need to be effective.

Early Exit: (5) Illinois
Not having their senior floor leader and defensive sparkplug Chester Frazier hurts them. They are in the dreaded five seed and have a very tough first round match-up against Western Kentucky. WKU made a run into the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed last season so they know what it takes to pull off an upset or two. Even if the Illini get past the Hilltoppers, there is no chance they knock off the four seed Gonzaga.


Most Intriguing First Round Match-Up: (8) LSU vs. (9) Butler
The committee obviously didn’t think very high of the SEC as the top team in the conference, LSU only got an eight seed. Despite a 26-4 record, Butler also got little respect, receiving a 9 seed. The Bulldogs only lost at Ohio State by three and won at Xavier by nine so they have played decent competition outside the Horizon League. Keep an eye on Butler freshman swingman Gordon Hayward if you have yet to see Butler play, and LSU shooting guard Marcus Thornton who is a big time scorer.

Illini Rarely Survive Tourney’s First Weekend

Paul M. Banks

In order to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, a team must go 6-0. Out of the 6 rounds within which a team may be eliminated, the University of Illinois has the most issues with the second round. Since 1995, the Illini have qualified for the tournament every year but three.

In those 11 March Madness appearances, they were ousted in exactly the second game on 6 occasions (’06, ’03, ’00, ’98, ’97, ’95) – more than half the time.

If seedings hold this year, it will occur yet again. Illinois is seeded 5th in the South Region and many experts project them to get past 12th seeded Western Kentucky in the first round, but lose to 4th seeded Gonzaga in the second.

You might know the Zags as that team who in recent years have made a lot of noise knocking off high seeds during the first couple rounds, but can’t seem to duplicate that same success once they get seeded near the top of the bracket themselves.

So why has Illinois struggled so mightily in the tourney’s second round? Well, the first (and only) win over a higher seeded team in school history occurred in 2004, when Deron Williams’ 31 points led the 5th seeded Orange and Blue over the 4th seeded Cincinnati Bearcats. This moment was immortalized on an episode of “The Newlyweds,” a low-brow reality series airing on MTV in those days. Viewers witnessed Jessica Simpson’s ex-husband (and die-hard Cincinnati fan) Nick Lachey feel deep depression as the Illini routed the Bearcats.

If the Illini buck this recent trend and survive past the round of 32, they might have to do it without their glue guy and top defender, Dr. Chester Frazier. The senior point guard who broke his hand in practice last Thursday is also the team’s biggest hustle guy on the court as well as and emotional leader. His health status and Illini tourney history are two things to consider when filling out your bracket this week. Of course, this advice is purely for novelty purposes; nothing to do with gambling. If you bought stocks recommended on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” and they later tanked you wouldn’t take it out on Jim Cramer, right?

Big Ten Tournament Preview and Predictions

By Paul M. Banks

When the 12th Annual Big Ten Men’s basketball tournament tips off Thursday morning it will feature one of the deepest fields in recent years. If a couple of the bubble teams make a strong showing at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, as many as nine teams could have a case to be in the big dance occurring the following week. One thing I can’t figure out though is why Chicago, the city where the league is headquartered, and home to the conference’s largest media market and alumni population by miles, doesn’t host it every single year? I guess the “city” of Indianapolis ought to have something going for it.

Michigan State (25-5, 15-3) claimed the No. 1 seed after capturing the Big Ten title for the fifth time under Tom Izzo. Illinois (23-8, 11-7) earned the No. 2 seed, while Purdue (22-9, 11-7) clinched the No. 3 spot. Wisconsin (19-11, 10-8) claimed the No. 4 seed and Ohio State (20-9, 10-8) earned the No. 5 seed. Each of the top five teams receives a first-round bye and will start tournament play on Friday the 13th. Feel the chills!

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Thursday #8 Minnesota (21-9, 9-9) takes on #9 Northwestern (17-12, 8-10) at 11AM. Look for our hometown Wildcats to tie the school record for single season wins at the expense of “Tubby Time.”

The tournament’s second game at 1:30 features #7 Michigan (19-12, 9-9) against #10 Iowa (15-16, 5-13). I’m calling another mild upset here as Iowa’s Jake Kelly, a Carmel, IN native with two Big Ten Player of the Week awards this past month, will come to play in front of the hometown fans.

#6 Penn State (21-10, 10-8) and #11 Indiana (6-24, 1-17) square off at 4. Watch the Penn State fans act Bush League again and storm the court to celebrate winning another game they were supposed to win.

Remember, brackets never appear in nature composed of 11 teams, so the irregular format unfortunately needs explanation every year. For your convenience, I linked the bracket for you to look at here.

Day two begins at 11AM with top-seeded Michigan State facing the game one winner. The Spartans are the No. 1 seed for the third time in tournament history (’98, ’99) and seek to become the first squad in Big Ten Tournament history to win three tourney crowns.

Izzo is too good a coach to be caught off guard by the Princeton Offense of Northwestern again. Sparty won’t get back-doored like they did in East Lansing this past January. State advances while NU goes on to host and win an NIT game next week therefore breaking the school record for victories in a season!

However, nothing is guaranteed in this tourney as the No. 1 seed has won the tournament only four times (Wisconsin last year, Ohio State 2007, Illinois 2005 and Michigan State 1999).

The day’s second game at 1:30 is between the last two tournament champions: Wisconsin and Ohio State. I’m predicting Chicago St. Joseph product Evan Turner, arguably the conference’s best player, leads his Bucks forward.

Nobody has a better record in this tournament than Illinois (21-9), the #2 seed, who will likely end Iowa’s season slowly and painfully in yet another low-scoring game. This contest will tip off at 5:30. The Illini will remain one of just four schools (Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State are the others) to have advanced to at least the quarterfinals in every year of the event. Another thing the orange and blue have going for them, which is nice, is this fact: the #2 seed remains the event’s leader in championships. No. 2 seeds are 15-5 and have won four titles, been to the finals five times and in the semifinals on six occasions.

And by the time all the heavy drinking has started Friday night, #3 Purdue faces the winner of Penn State-Indiana. Since Purdue is 0-4 in Indy for some reason -so much for homecourt advantage- look for Penn State to upset the Boilers.
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The Big Ten Tournament semifinals and championship takes place during the weekend when most of you will be busy getting sloshed at St. Patty’s Day parades.  On Saturday at 12:40 p.m. MSU will begin their conquest of OSU. This contest features two of the league’s best players (and sophomores, so get use to these guys) in the Buckeyes’ Turner and Sparty’s Kalin Lucas. When it’s over, State will declare “THIS…IS…SPARTA!”

They say it’s difficult to beat a team three times in one year, and Penn State will learn that the hard way when Bruce Weber and the Illini finally figure out a way to beat the pesky Lions in the late afternoon game. Star sophomore guard with a porn star name Talor Battle can rest easy though, as Penn State has already punched their ticket to the big dance.

And after all the upsets I’ve picked, I still find myself with a #1 vs. #2 final game. Which is usually what happens in March Madness anyway- all the upsets occur in the first couple rounds, and it’s almost always high seeds within the final stages of your brackets. This is the final game airing before the Selection Show, and really won’t end up meaning much because 1.) Both these teams are already in 2.) Seeding and placement has mostly been determined by the time the clock turns to zero. It is hard to defeat a team three times in one season, but Michigan State gets it done beating the Illini, who will finish second for the fifth time in tourney history.

College Hoops 101

By: David K.

Welcome to a weekly article at thesportsbank.net where I will give you the 101 on what has happened in the week of college basketball and what is to come in the days ahead.

Selection Sunday is six days away!!!!  Be sure to check back to thesportsbank.net frequently during the next couple weeks as I plan on dropping all sorts of college basketball knowledge for your reading enjoyment.

Rewind

-Five teams earned an automatic bid into the Big Dance; Cornell (Ivy League), Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley), Radford (Big South), Morehead State (Ohio Valley), East Tennessee St. (Atlantic Sun).  Northern Iowa is the only one that could actually make any first round-upset noise in the tourney.

-Bubbles are already being burst as upsets are knocking out big name teams from their conference tourneys.  Creighton, who lost in the semi’s of the MVC Tournament, now has to be considered for an at-large bid.  As does Stephen Curry and Davidson who fell to Charleston in the Southern Conference Semi’s.  Big conference bubble teams (like Moe Diddy’s Arizona Wildcats) hate seeing this happen.

-The bubble officially burst for the following teams: Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Maryland, Miami (FL).

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-The dreaded took place as Marquette lost to Pitt and Syracuse this past week, meaning they have now lost all four games since Dominic James’ injury.  MU has proven that without James, they can hang with any team in the country, but cannot get over the hump.  Barring a major run in the Big East Tournament, do not be surprised to see them end up with a 7, possibly even 8 seed come Selection Sunday.

-Convince me NOT to pick Pitt to win it all in my brackets.  I dare you.

-Kudos to Bill Self and Kansas.  Even after losing all the talent they did from last year’s National Championship team, the Jayhawks captured the Big 12 crown and put themselves in a position to have no lower than a #3 seed in the tourney.

My AP Top Ten (if I actually voted in the poll)

1. North Carolina (27-3)
2. Pitt (28-3)
3. UConn (27-3)
4. Memphis (28-3)
5. Louisville (25-5)
6. Oklahoma (27-4)
7. Wake Forest (24-5)
8. Michigan St. (25-5)
9. Gonzaga (25-5)
10. Duke (25-6)

Fast Forward

-I don’t even know where to begin.  Just please plan on watching some of the best college basketball yet this week.  I am setting a personal goal of 25 games this week, (my previous individual week high is 17)  Any social life is going out the window, unless it involves sitting at a sports bar, watching a 70-foot flat screen.  In which case, BOTTOMS UP!

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The Drive to 225

To update my goal of watching 225 college basketball games this season, which will be broken this week…  This should have been the week the Drive was accomplished, but a combination of the flu and a crazy weekend at work ruined those chances.  I’m actually a little upset about this because I missed A LOT of sweet games…

Games watched through 3/8: 223

Games watched this past week: 10
Villanova at Notre Dame
Rutgers at Syracuse
Marquette at Pitt
Wisconsin at Minnesota
Tennessee at South Carolina
UConn at Pitt
Syracuse at Marquette
Louisville at West Virginia
Standford at Arizona
Indiana at Wisconsin

Wildcats Approach School Record for Wins.

By Paul M. Banks

f you saw the highlights of Northwestern’s shocking upset at #20 Purdue on the Big Ten Network last night, you might have seen the line reading “17 wins by Northwestern ties school record.” That’s incorrect. Their next victory, which could come Sunday at Ohio St., would be their 18th. That would tie the school record set by the 1982-83 squad led by Jim Stack. Yes, the Jim Stack.

His group beat Notre Dame in the NIT first round before losing to DePaul in the 2nd round. Lots of local representation in the 1983 National Invitational tournament. NU’s 1931 Big Ten championship team has the best record in school history (16-1), and if you vividly recall that- congratulations on living a long and healthy life!

Getting back to today, the Cats have won three in a row, partially thanks to Big Ten player of the week, sophomore point guard Michael “Juice” Thompson. “I feel myself and the rest of my teammates are playing their best basketball right now. People say it’s good to be playing your best basketball going into March and tournament time,” Thompson said.

Despite what some pundits are saying a win in Columbus will NOT equal the program’s first NCAA tournament berth. Not with an 81st ranked RPI, 61st strength of schedule and below .500 conference record. In order to avoid saying a Cublike “just wait till next year,” about March Madness, they’ll need to run the Big Ten Conference Tournament table in Indianapolis. If they had effectively closed the deal in at least two of the four games in which they blew double-digit second half leads…they’d likely have a ticket to the Big Dance.

However, the school which hosted the first NCAA tournament yet never played in one (with apologies to Alanis Morrissette, “Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”) will obtain a postseason berth of some sort. Northwestern Wildcats does include the letters N-I-T. After last year’s horrid 8-22, 1-17 in conference debacle, any postseason berth is greatly appreciated in Evanston. “I may be their biggest fan. I love what Northwestern does and I’ve always had great respect for the way Bill’s {Carmody} teams execute to precision,” Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said after his Hawkeyes lost to the Cats last Saturday.

The Real Bracket Busters

By: David K.

Last weekend, ESPN featured their “Bracket Buster” day in which some of the best mid-major teams went head-to-head as to make a statement to the committee come Selection Sunday.  This got me thinking (which is always dangerous when it involves college basketball.)  What if there was a true Bracket Buster day featuring the major conferences?  This would give the committee a true look at which of the real bubble teams deserve to be dancing.

Here is how it would play out:
First, I would try to get all six of the BCS conferences to be eligible (Big East, Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12, and Pac-10), as well as the Atlantic 10, Conference USA, and Mountain West which always seem to have a couple teams on the bubble.

Of course, it would be quite the task to get those nine conferences to agree before the season on setting a day in which of all of their teams were off to possibly be included in the Bracket Buster (BB) game.  So you would have to agree on a day and then a few weeks beforehand, pick the teams that appear to be bubble teams come tourney time to participate in the BB.  That time span would be needed to arrange travel and allow your fans a chance to get tickets so they could see the game.

Making this idea even more difficult is my belief that any home court advantage should be eliminated because the game would clearly favor the home school.  Therefore, you pick eight neutral sites spread throughout the country that could host a game as well as draw a decent crowd to make the event financially beneficial, which in this day of age is always a major factor. And again why having regional seeding would be necessary.  Since bigger NBA-type arenas would be preferred, you would have to make sure the venue is not being used that day or plan an early afternoon game so as to not interfere with the already scheduled event.

You then pick 16 teams that are considered “on the bubble” and strategically place them in the designated neutral sites based on location.  There would be rules where you cannot play a team in your conference or a team that you have already played earlier in the season on the BB day.


So let’s pick 8 neutral sites:

Philadelphia (Spectrum)
Charlotte (Time Warner Cable Arena, Bobcats home court)
Atlanta (Phillips Arena, Hawks home court)
Indianapolis (Conseco Fieldhouse, Pacers home court)
Chicago (All-State Arena, DePaul’s home court)
Denver (Pepsi Center, Nuggets home court)
San Antonio (Alamo, Spurs home court)
Sacramento (Arco Arena, Kings home court)

Now you place the 16 bubble-type teams in the pre-determined venues:

Philadelphia
Penn St. vs. Providence

Charlotte
Virginia Tech vs. Temple

Atlanta
Tennessee vs. Miami (FL)

Indianapolis
Cincinnati vs. Michigan

Chicago
Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame

Denver
Kansas State vs. BYU

San Antonio
Oklahoma State vs. UAB

Sacramento
USC vs. San Diego St.

A couple bubble-caliber teams would be left out like Georgetown, Texas A&M, and Maryland, but I think adding a ninth or tenth game would be too much.

The biggest advantage to creating a BB day for the big conferences would be to have one program prove without a doubt that they are better than the other in case it comes down to choosing one school over the other.  It would also serve as an indicator of strengths of conference.  For example, if the four Big East schools went undefeated and the three Big Ten schools did not win a game, you should favor a Big East school instead of a Big Ten school come selection time.

The odds of this actually happening are probably 1-100,000.  But with the amount of debate that is now rampant during two months prior to Selection Sunday about bubble teams, RPIs, strengths of schedules, bad losses, and good wins, this would serve as a definitive determining factor of why to pick one bubble team over another.

Bill Carmody and Craig Moore: NU’s leaders

By Paul M. Banks

After upsetting the #7 Michigan State Spartans on Wednesday night, the Northwestern Wildcats became the talk of Big Ten College Basketball. Coupled with the 74-65 victory over No. 18 Minnesota on Sunday, Northwestern has defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games for the first time in school history. The MSU win was the Wildcats’ first over a team ranked in the top 10 since it downed No. 8 Michigan in 1994. It’s the program’s first victory over a top 10 opponent on the road since a 71-65 win at No. 4 Minnesota Jan. 3, 1953.

Kevin Coble’s 31 points marked the third-highest scoring game of his career and tie Craig Moore’s effort at Brown on Nov. 22 as the highest output by a Big Ten player this season.

NU’s victory snapped Michigan State’s 28-game home winning streak, the third-longest streak in the nation. The last time the Spartans had lost a game at the Breslin Center was Feb. 3, 2007 to No. 4 Ohio State. It also ended Michigan State’s 85-game home winning streak against unranked opponents.

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NU Head Coach Bill Carmody was named “the best offensive mind” in college basketball by Sports Illustrated. Of course, his won-loss record doesn’t exactly reflect that…but

-He needs 5 wins to reach 200 for his collegiate coaching career his ninth season with the Northwestern Wildcats

-His 2005 senior class graduated with 57 victories (more than any other class in the first 102 years of the program)

-The 2006-07 season set a school record with 11 non-conference wins and recorded double-figures in wins before the start of the Big Ten play for the first time in program history.

Wildcats senior shooting guard Craig Moore holds every major three-point record in school history and his currently the team’s second leading scorer behind Coble. He was Named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2006

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His comments on beating a ranked opponent in Minnesota after a couple of tough losses with blown leads…

“We knew we were capable and just had to finish it. We played the half and played 35 minutes and blew leads, so we knew we had to step it up in the second half, suck it up, hold onto our guts and play and I think that’s what we did tonight.”

Being “in the zone,” hitting a couple threes “from the parking lot” as the Sun-Times Lacy Banks said…

“Well that’s where I practice from.”

On his gunslinger mentality…

“Where ever I’m open, that’s where I’m going to shoot from. I don’t know where I’m going to end up half the time so I’m oblivious to that type of stuff. If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it.”

On the crowd at Welsh-Ryan, how usually half (or more) cheers for the other team during Big Ten season and the Purple Passion from the stands…

“Yeah it was great. I mean, half the time I can’t tell the difference between our fans and the opposing team’s fans so I just take it as they’re cheering for us. Our fans were great tonight and I can’t ask anything else from them. Hopefully, they’ll keep coming.”

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