USC plays Baylor at 4:45 p.m. (PT) and I will have another live chat for the game. Meanwhile, Washington hired long-time Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins to replace Lorenzo Romar.
Hopkins was a finalist for the USC job when Andy Enfield was hired. I’ve heard he was not pleased because during interviews with Pat Haden, he prestented a plan to hire former Syracuse players and Southern California natives Tony Bland and Jason Hart as assistant coaches.
So after Haden hired Enfield, who had no Southern California ties, he told him to hire Bland and Hart. And the pair are still USC assistant coaches. Will one of them now go to Washington? Or perhaps Jim Boeheim will try to hire one at Syracuse?
UPDATED: There is already speculation in Seattle that Hart will join Hopkins.
There are a lot of NCAA brackets produced this week that use non-athletic factors to crown a champion. My favorite is this one from ProPublica, which measures a school’s ability to graduate low-income students with little debt. USC defeated Providence but then lost New Mexico State in the first round. Surely, it would have beaten SMU in this too? Click here to enlarge the bracket.
West Virginia became the first school to have a 10-win football season and Sweet 16 basketball season today. USC has a chance to do that tomorrow. Florida State, Michigan and Wisconsin also have a chance.
Now ask yourself this: What is the average attendance at each school?
West Virginia 11,375
Florida State: 8,488
So who are all these new USC fans today?
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 18, 2017
Charles Barkley is tired of LaVar Ball, so he’s wearing the jersey of UCLA’s opponents during the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m going to wear a jersey till they lose,” Barkley said. “He’s going to be following the camera around. So I need them to lose so we quit showing him.
“I have some animosity toward the UCLA program at this particular moment. Right now, I’ve got bitter anger animosity toward certain people affiliated – not the players. Love Steve Alford.”
Earlier this week, Barkley challenged Ball to a one-on-one matchup. “Once I found out he averaged two points a game in college, listen, you need to slow your roll. I need to go back and Google this guy, because maybe I missed the Ball era, when he was dominating and winning championships everywhere else.”
Here’s a photo gallery from today’s USC-SMU game, including Bennie Boatwright.
— Frank Cruz (@scbtnd) March 17, 2017
Did anyone miss the game because they had to work? CBS Networks put a game between the No. 2 and No. 5 media markets at noon PT? And on truTV?
The interesting part of USC’s two NCAA victories is they are winning with only certain players performing in each game. Jordan McLaughlin was 0-5 on 3-pointers today and had five points. Elijah Stewart, who did not score against Providence, had 22 points today. And it helps to have some good fortune. An SMU player stepping out of bounds. Another player missing a 1-and-1 free-throw situation. Maybe if USC keeps winning, someone will hire Andy Enfield.