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Kentucky, UNC, Virginia open as Las Vegas favorites for 2016 hoops title

Apr 08, 2015 -- 10:12am

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker


John Calipari is expected to lose his entire starting lineup to the NBA draft, but Kentucky still is considered one of the favorites for the 2016 title

Read More here Via: ESPN.com

ACC to net over $28M off tourney

Mar 24, 2015 -- 9:32pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker



Via: ESPN.com | Darren Rovell

An incredible run in the NCAA tournament by ACC teams will result in more than $28 million going back to the conference over the next six years.

The conference is 11-1 in the tournament, making up five -- Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Duke -- of the Sweet 16 teams. The lone loss was Virginia, which lost to Michigan State on Sunday.

The NCAA pays conferences for the performances of their teams in a tournament over a six-year period beginning in the next year. Teams earn a unit per game played, except the championship game, which is not included.

Next year's units are worth $260,525 each and will increase in value over the next five years they are collected through 2021. That means each game played in this year's tournament is worth at least $1.56 million.

The five ACC teams in the Sweet 16 have already played in 12 games for 12 units. They're guaranteed six more for playing their Sweet 16 games, adding in the fact that Louisville playing NC State means that one has to win and get a unit for an Elite Eight game.

The old Big East earned the most units in one tournament in 2009, when it finished with 24 total units. That year, five of its teams played in the Sweet 16, four advanced to the Elite Eight and two reached the Final Four.

The ACC, which splits its units equally among conference members, has a chance to reach 26 units in this tournament based on how the bracket breaks down. That would result in the ACC being the first conference to earn more than $30 million off one tournament, and it would even surpass $40 million.

The NCAA's basketball fund was started in 1991 as a way to split the tournament television money, which at the time was worth $143 million a year. The average annual value of the TV rights for this year, as a result of a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal signed with CBS and Turner in 2011, is $771 million.

March Madness Conference Tourneys

Mar 09, 2015 -- 9:47am

Phil Baker


@ESPN680 | @939TheVille | @Phil__Baker

As we gear up for Championship Week... Here is where we see the local team playing in their Conference Tourneys. 


Keep the dial locked to ESPN Louisville Networks during Championship Week as we gear up for March Madness on your HOME for the NCAA.


ESPN 680 | 105.7 FM | 93.9 The Ville. 




Ranking The ACC Head Coaching Jobs

Feb 28, 2015 -- 4:21pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker



This week ESPN Insider Travis Haney has been ranking all 65 Power 5 coaching jobs. The list wraps up today with the top 24, which includes three ACC jobs. After reading where the coaches stand, here's the ACC blog's take on the matter. 

1. Florida State 
With its history, national profile and recruiting radius, there isn’t a better job in the conference. However, while Florida State has ranked among college football’s elite programs for much of the last three decades, it’s not always the easiest place to win. It needs a coach who can draw prospects to Tallahassee, and Jimbo Fisher has the program rolling. 

2. Clemson 
Coach Dabo Swinney has turned the Tigers from perennial underachievers into annual ACC title contenders. There is a commitment to excellence at Clemson, and the Tigers have one of the most iconic stadiums in college football. South Carolina is not littered with prospects, but Clemson is close to Charlotte and Atlanta. 

3. Louisville 
While they haven't always been viewed as one of the better jobs, the Cardinals have turned themselves into a quality program. Five different coaches have put together at least one season with just a single loss, and Bobby Petrino and Charlie Strong combined to elevate the program into title contenders. Athletic director Tom Jurich offers the required support for a football program in a basketball state, too. 

4. Miami 
The Hurricanes have fallen on hard times the last decade, but it is still Miami. There are certain financial hurdles, but the history and fertile recruiting area still make the Canes an attractive job. Miami might not be able to make A-plus hires, but it should be able to attract top up-and-coming coaches. 

5. Virginia Tech 
The Hokies have been on a linear incline since Frank Beamer took over, although the last few seasons have been disappointing. Whenever Beamer leaves Blacksburg, though, VaTech should be able to make a solid hire. It’s a little tougher to recruit, but there is a ton of support for the program as Lane Stadium provides one of the most intimidating atmospheres. 

6. North Carolina 
The Tar Heels are the proverbial sleeping giant, yet Carolina has never been able to break through. Maybe it just needs the right coach -- and Larry Fedora could still be that coach -- or maybe it is just too tough to win at a place where football will always be a distant second. 

7. Georgia Tech 
There is a branch of Yellow Jackets fans who expect Georgia Tech to compete for an ACC title annually, but the reality is it can be a tough place to win and recruit. However, Tech resides in the Coastal Division, which is ripe for the taking for whichever program can separate from the pack. 

8. Virginia 
Like UNC, Virginia is a program that has the resources to be better than it has been historically. The state is not stocked with talent, but the Virginia Beach area has produced some of the country’s greatest talents. The campus is among the nicest, too. There are donors to be tapped into if the program can string together a couple of winning seasons. 

9. NC State 
The talent is growing in the state, and Charlotte, which has seen drastic population increases recently, has been open for one team to come in and clean up in recruiting for quite some time. A brand new indoor facility is set to open in the spring. 

10. Pittsburgh 
It hurts that the Panthers do not have an on-campus stadium, and the empty, bright yellow seats can be unattractive for prospects. There is significant talent in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, which Pitt can tap into. Pitt does have a rich history, and the right coach should be able to turn the Panthers into an annual ACC contender. It could take some time, though. 

11. Duke 
David Cutcliffe was the perfect hire at Duke as he was able to create a buzz around the program and finally use the school’s academics to his advantage. Cutcliffe has turned Duke into a winner, but is it sustainable? Will the next coach be able to duplicate or build upon what Cutcliffe started? It didn’t happen when Steve Spurrier left after 1989.

12. Boston College 
New England and the Northeast are not football havens, so there are challenges in building a roster. It takes a coach willing to embrace what the university has to offer and use it in his favor. Steve Addazio has done that, but how will future coaches fare? 

13. Syracuse 
The weather can be brutal, and there is not much nearby football talent. Sustainability is a huge question mark at Syracuse, and it is hard to imagine a successful coach remaining in central New York for the long haul. 

14. Wake Forest 
Whoever is coach of the Demon Deacons has his work cut out for him every season. Jim Grobe showed you can surprise people and put together a few winning seasons, but after going 20-7 in 2006 and 2007 combined, he went 31-43 over his final six years. Of the 28 coaches Wake has had since 1908, only three finished with winning records, and none since D.C. “Peahead” Walker left after 1950.


Lloyd Tubman cleared of rape charge

Feb 12, 2015 -- 6:36pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A grand jury has cleared Kentucky defensive end Lloyd Tubman of a rape charge.

The Courier-Journal quoted Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson as saying Wednesday night that the county grand jury heard evidence during three days before deciding not to return an indictment against the freshman.

Larson said Tubman, the alleged victim and investigators testified during the closed proceedings.

Tubman, who did not play for the team this season, was arrested and charged in October and pleaded not guilty. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing, sending the case to a grand jury.

The newspaper said that Tubman's attorney, Jim Lowry, declined to comment.

Report: EKU, Kentucky players fight

Jan 29, 2015 -- 2:03pm

Phil Baker

@ESPN680 | @Phil__Baker


Kentucky Football Players Allegedly Injure EKU Lineman

Via: ESPN.com

An Eastern Kentucky offensive lineman suffered multiple facial fractures during a fight that allegedly involved three Kentucky football players over the weekend, according to a report by The (Louisville) Courier-Journal.

The father of Eastern Kentucky lineman Colton Scurry, Jeff Scurry, told The Courier-Journal about his son's injuries, but he wouldn't comment on the details of the altercation.

Two EKU students, however, told the newspaper that Scurry, a redshirt sophomore, instigated the fight that occurred at Jerzees in Richmond, Kentucky. The students also alleged that the bar fight involved Kentucky wide receiver Dorian Baker, quarterback Drew Barker and defensive end Tymere Dubose.

According to Richmond police, Scurry told officers he was hit in the head repeatedly -- at one point losing consciousness -- and then unsuccessfully attempted to walk back to EKU.

Police said Scurry, 20, was taken by ambulance to Baptist Health hospital with a broken nose, broken bones around his cheek and orbital socket, multiple facial lacerations and a head wound that required stitches or staples to close.


"We were in the back part of Jerzees," Will Ruholt, a friend of Barker's from Conner High School in Burlington, Kentucky, told the newspaper. "A couple people started talking [abusively], and things started to get a little heated. Colton Scurry is the one who started the entire fight. He pushed me. Multiple people can verify that."

Added fellow EKU student Zach Littleton, who said he accompanied the Kentucky football players to the bar: "I was actually pretty sober, and I was watching everything that was going down. Basically what happened was a bunch of UK football players come in and all you hear is, 'This is my neighborhood. What are you doing here?'

"... As soon as [Scurry] pushed Will, it was just a big mess. From what I saw, it wasn't just Colton. I saw a bunch of people swinging for no reason."

Richmond police issued a statement Wednesday and are continuing to investigate.

"Once the investigation has been completed and the facts are fully established, the department will take the appropriate action with regard to the filing of charges against any person deemed to be culpable," the statement said. "Until that time, the department will have no further comment on the matter."

Kentucky athletics spokesman Tony Neely told ESPN.com that the school will have no comment on the incident at this time. A source told The Courier-Journal that Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is currently on the road recruiting, but he is aware of the allegations and is gathering information.

Scott Cason, EKU's vice president for communications, told the newspaper that he couldn't confirm any names in the incident, but that the university was investigating the situation.

Jeff Scurry wouldn't discuss the incident. He said he wasn't sure if his son would need facial reconstructive surgery.

"We'll let the criminal side take its course and do its investigation," Jeff Scurry told The Courier-Journal. "There's a lot of good evidence and eyewitnesses that saw exactly what happened. [Colton's] healing, but we're trying to let the [legal] process take place. We're just trying to get him well.

"It's been a long couple of days. ... We're up here just for comfort and support. We've met with the staff and the school and everybody is praying for a speedy recovery."

Baker, Barker and Dubose were three of four Kentucky players charged with second-degree disorderly conduct for their involvement in firing an airsoft pellet gun near a campus residence hall Sept. 28.

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