Category Archives: NCAA

UConn reaches ninth consecutive Final Four; Oregon St., Syracuse, Washington become first-timers

NCAA Women’s Basketball

Even before the University of Tennessee‘s Pat Summit retired from coaching the Lady Vols, Geno Auriemma and his University of Connecticut Huskies have dominated the competition. Earlier this week after their Sweet 16 win, Auriemma commented about this tweet by Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy:


Even though I disagree with Shaughnessy, the combination of his tweet and Auriemma’s reaction generated conversation and debate among fans, increasing national interest going into the four regional final (Elite Eight) matchups.

In the Bridgeport regional final, UConn remained undefeated with an 86-65 win over the Texas Longhorns, advancing to their ninth straight Final Four.

UConn would then play the winner of the Dallas regional final between the Baylor Bears and Oregon State Beavers. Baylor was favored going into the game but has faltered at the Elite Eight in previous seasons. Oregon State started the game hot, Baylor came back but the Beavers earn their first Final Four appearance with a 60-57 win.

The Sioux Falls regional final between the 7-seeded Tennessee Lady Volunteers and Syracuse Orange couldn’t have any more varying histories. Summitt-led Tennessee teams have made many Final Four appearances and have won national championships, but this season’s team was not a powerhouse. Syracuse heading into the game never made it to the Final Four, but were favored in this game versus Tennessee. The Orange defeated the Lady Vols 89-67 and would face the winner of the Lexington regional final.

The Lexington regional final between Stanford and Washington guaranteed two Pac-12 teams in the Final Four with Oregon State‘s Elite Eight victory. Stanford has been a strong team in recent years, but Washington, a 7-seed in their region, can make a statement with an upset over their conference foe. The game was close for most of the time, but the Huskies defeat the Cardinal 85-76.

Final Four Matchups

(1)UConn vs. (2)Oregon St.

(4)Syracuse vs. (7)Washington

Can one of these three first-timers pull the ultimate upset over the dynasty in Connecticut?

Photo credit to Scott U. via Flickr.


Article on TJS101


Gildan Charleston Classic: 8 Team Field Decided

Photo courtesy of Photopin (via Flickr)

The Charleston Classic, sponsored by Gildan, will feature teams from different conferences. Here are the teams that will be participating in the Gildan Charleston Classic, going from worst record of 2013-2014 season to best record of 2013-2014 season:

Cornell University Big Red (2-26), (1-13 Ivy League)

Cornell had a season to forget, finishing last in the Ivy League standings, and looks to improve after a 4-point loss to the University of Pennsylvania that finished their 2013-2014 season. Head coach Bill Courtney understands that the Ivy League is no longer an upset pick in the NCAA Tournament as Harvard‘s strong play shows and Cornell looks to begin the 2014-2015 campaign better than last year, which started with 13 straight losses.

University of Southern California Trojans (11-21), (2-16 Pac-12)

Head coach Andy Enfield did not have the season he expected in his first season at Southern California, and looks to bring the Trojans back to national prominence. Enfield was the head coach of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles when they upset the Georgetown Hoyas in the NCAA Tournament. Southern California was solid in non-conference play with a (9-5) record, but was dreadful in the Pac-12 with a (2-16) record.

University of South Carolina Gamecocks (14-20), (5-13 Southeastern Conference)

South Carolina had a season of inconsistency, defeating Kentucky late in the season and losing to USC Upstate earlier in the season are a couple games showing the Gamecocks‘ inconsistency. South Carolina plays in a major conference but the SEC has shown signs of inconsistency as well. Head coach Frank Martin looks to take his team the next step with a strong beginning of the season in this tournament.

Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions (16-18), (6-12 Big Ten)

Penn State is not known for their basketball program’s success, but any positive headline will suffice. The Nittany Lions had a (10-6) non-conference record and head coach Pat Chambers looks to bring that success into the conference.

Drexel University Dragons (16-14), (8-8 Colonial Athletic Association)

Philadelphia is a city full of universities, and Drexel has one of the stronger fan bases of those schools. Not having a football team motivates their fans to be involved with their basketball team, and their head coach Bruiser Flint is on the hot seat. Flint holds the school’s records for coaching but has no NCAA Tournament wins. The students at Drexel are not satisfied with Flint and he will have to change some coaching strategies to make that next step.

University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes (17-16), (7-11 Atlantic Coast Conference)

Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga has brought the program back to a competitive level, but last year’s struggles in the ACC kept them out of the NCAA Tournament. Miami (FL) was (10-5) in non-conference play and looks to start the 2013-2014 season. Miami (FL)‘s final game of the season was to North Carolina State, who propelled into the NCAA Tournament with their ACC Tournament wins.

Charlotte 49ers (17-14), (7-9 Conference USA)

The 49ers of Charlotte started their 2013-2014 season with a championship in the Puerto Rico Tipoff (wins over Kansas State, Northeastern, and Michigan) and were (10-5) in non-conference play. This past season was Charlotte‘s first in Conference USA, and the 49ers were (7-9) in conference play. Alan Major is looking to get his team to the NCAA Tournament and a strong start to the season would be a great boost.

Akron Zips (21-13) (12-6 Mid American Conference)

Of all the teams competing in the Charleston Classic, the Akron Zips were the only team to finish above .500 for both the conference and regular season. Head coach Keith Dambrot and the Zips finished with a (9-7) non-conference record and are looking to make a name for themselves against some larger-name schools in the Charleston Classic

TD Arena in Charleston, South Carolina will host the tournament on November 20, 21 and 23, 2014. ESPN will broadcast the tournament.

Why St. Louis drafting Michael Sam turns Missouri law upside-down

Courtesy of WikiMediaCommons.

When the St. Louis Rams drafted defensive end Michael Sam out of Missouri University with the 249th overall pick (7th round) of the 2014 NFL Draft, questions regarding Missouri law have been raised. The first to raise this discussion to Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) was Casey Berner.

Per USA Today, Missouri employment law “does not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation”. What this means is that the St. Louis Rams have publicly defied Missouri law, and Michael Sam may be the pioneer for sexual equality in the workplace for the entire state. Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, would be the location of any legislative changes.

Michael Sam has expressed his disgust with the other NFL franchises stating: “Other organizations don’t have the balls the Rams have“. Sam can be fired from the Rams for his sexual orientation and House Bill 1930 will be discussed in-depth now that Sam has been drafted by a Missouri-based franchise.

Michael Sam #10 St. Louis Rams jerseys have already become the second-most purchased jersey of all drafted players only behind Cleveland‘s Johnny Manziel. Manziel was the 22nd overall pick and Jadeveon Clowney, 1st overall pick, is third in jersey sales with his #90 Houston Texans jerseys.

Michael Sam‘s impact on both the LGBTQQIP2SAA and NFL communities cannot be overlooked and Missouri law will be under fire, especially if Sam makes the 52-man roster. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been involved in an anti-bullying scandal and now may have to intervene against Missouri law to protect one of his players. Public support for Michael Sam has been generally positive, but not all have joined the praise. It remains to be seen how opposing NFL franchises will react to Michael Sam being on the same field as they are, but St. Louis has made the first move against Missouri law by drafting the first openly gay player in the 7th and final round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Mike Silver, reporter for, was in the Rams war room during the draft and released an article from his perspective.

Penn State Football Head Coach Franklin Under Scrutiny; Met Alleged Rape Victim at Vanderbilt

Photo courtesty of WikiMediaCommons.

Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions football head coach James Franklin has been linked to meeting with an alleged rape victim (unconscious rape) during his tenure at Vanderbilt University, via SportingNews and the Tennessean.

Four Football players (via the Tennessean, B. Vandenburg, C. Batey, B.E. Banks, J. McKenzie) were charged with 5 counts of aggravated rape and 2 counts of aggravated sexual battery. Vandenburg also is charged with one count of unlawful photography and tampering with evidence. All four plead not guilty and are free on bonds ranging from $50,000 to $350,000.

Since being hired, Deputy District Attorney General Tom Thurman has accused Perez of destroying evidence and Osko of practicing law in Tennessee without a license. Vandenburg’s attorneys earlier this week filed a motion asking for the case to be dismissed, accusing Thurman of overreaching. Or, if it isn’t dismissed, they’re asking for the case to be prosecuted by someone outside of the Davidson County District Attorney General’s Office.

Read the rest of Vandenburg taking the stand via the Tennessean.

In relation to former Vanderbilt head coach, James Franklin, Vandenburg‘s attorneys commented:

“Crucial and material information to the defense of Vandenburg was destroyed or not preserved. Coach Franklin called her (the rape victim) in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it.”

Franklin has declined to comment at this time.

6 former female students at Vanderbilt University have claimed sexual assault charges, and the federal government has decided to investigate the university’s history of sexual assault charges.

Sarah O’Brien, graduate of Vanderbilt, says she was sexually assaulted in 2010; the Tennessean does not normally name victims of sexual assault, but O’Brien has asked to be identified.

“The opening of an investigation means quite a lot to myself and my co complainants. Specifically, it gives us some peace knowing that other people agree that Vanderbilt does not handle cases of sexual violence and stalking correctly. Similarly, it will bring other things to light in how although Vanderbilt claims they have been trying to fix the issues they have not been.”

Sexual assault has become more common than it should be, and as a proud son and brother of women I am completely proud of, this crime needs to stop.