ODDS AND ENDS
|NCAA TOURNAMENT PRINTABLE BRACKET|
SB Nation has a NCAA Tournament printable bracket that you should print-off and fill out, and pass copies to your friends. Just make sure that your friends are not Colorado or Virginia Tech fans.
I thought for sure that Colorado would get in, as did a lot of people, but the Buffs were snubbed. The Dagger's Jeff Eisenberg writes that Colorado is at the top of the list of biggest snubs and The Dagger's Graham Watson writes that the Big 12 has the biggest gripes in regards to seeding. Awesome! Big 12 Hoops' Evan Pfaff writes that the Big 12 gets no respect and with only 5 teams to make the tournament, it sure feels that way.
TEXAS TECH BASKETBALL
|GILLISPIE IS THE ONLY NAME BEING MENTIONED|
I'm going to try to do this chronologically. Sports By Brooks wrote on Friday that because Texas Tech didn't hire a search firm, that it was likely that Billy Clyde Gillispie would be the only candidate at Texas Tech:
Meanwhile, Gillispie may soon land at Texas Tech after the school decided to not hire a search firm to fill its head basketball coaching vacancy. A headhunter service would’ve likely drawn out the hiring process and increased scrutiny on individual candidates.
Instead, I’m told new Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt spoke to the agent-less Gillispie this week and that the coach has the backing of prominent TTU boosters. A hire for the job could come as soon as next week.
Then, in the Twitterverse, Ryan Hyatt tweeted on Saturday that this job was down to two candidates, Gillispie and Marquette's Buzz Williams:
Billy Ball or Buzz Ball. Take your pick.
Meeting with #TexasTech higher ups went well w/Gillispie. Still going through the process but unless new issue arises he will be new coach. Don't expect anything official from @kirbyhocutt until his last day at Miami which is this Friday. He hasn't offered job to anyone yet. Will the job be offered before that last day at UM or that day? Certainly could be, yes. @kirbyhocutt's 1st day at #TexasTech is March 21st.
So, the meeting has happened, and Level feels confident enough to write that unless something happens, Gillispie will be the head coach. As an aside, AAS's Kirk Bohls' weekly nine things and one crazy prediction article, he writes that Texas Tech should hurry up the process or lose Gillispie to Arkansas and I think you could include Georgia Tech in that list as well. I'm not real worried about those other teams as I think Gillispie wants the Texas Tech job. Seems crazy to think that a coach wants to be a head coach at Texas Tech rather than Arkansas or Georgia Tech (both are more traditional basketball schools), but I just can't shake that there is a reason why all of those articles were written (i.e. how Gillispie has changed his life) and the P.R. push started a few weeks ago.
LADY RAIDER BASKETBALL
|WAITING FOR THE SEED
LAJ's David Just writes that it has been a long wait for the post season for the Lady Raiders:
The waiting dates back to 2005, when the Lady Raiders made the last of their 16 consecutive trips to the postseason and haven’t been back since.
"We’re excited about our postseason," fifth-year coach Kristy Curry said following the team’s 71-69 loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday. "I’m so proud of this team and what they’ve done to get to this point. We feel like we’ve got a great opportunity in the NCAA tournament."
The hour-long NCAA Selection Show airs at 6 p.m. today on ESPN, and the question that remains isn’t if Tech will get in, but where the Lady Raiders will go.
Hoping for a good seed for the Lady Raiders.
TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL
DMN's Michael Graham has 5 things we have learned about the Red Raiders during the spring practices and Graham's last item is the most important item to me:
The 2011 defense will play faster than the 2010 defense did.
Players claim that new defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow's 4-2-5 defense is simpler than former defensive coordinator James Willis' 3-4. Consequently, the defense is reacting faster in the 4-2-5 defense.
Additionally, a majority of the Texas Tech defense enjoys the return to a four-man front. Former defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill ran a 4-3 defense under Mike Leach before one-season defensive coordinator James Willis installed the 3-4 with the arrival of Tommy Tuberville. There's more familiarity with the four-man front and therefore the players are more comfortable with the 4-2-5 than they would be otherwise.
I don't know that you'd get much in terms of disagreement that the defense needed to be faster. This is good news.
I also wanted to address the "de-commitment" of Rockdale LB Derek David. There's this link to Scout's Erin Hartigan ($) that states that David de-committed from Texas Tech, but from what I'm being told (yes, I'm rumor mongering) is that this was initiated from Texas Tech's side of the table and took back the scholarship offer from David. There are apparently quite a few issues here, including academic issues, and so I've heard that Texas Tech decided to pull the scholarship offer now rather than later. And there's no doubting David's athletic ability and when David committed, there was quite a bit of hesitation about whether this would last until signing day of 2012. Of course, no college can comment on a recruit or commit, so this is going to be a one-sided conversation.