—NET Rankings Update: No. 8.
—Unless they’re moved to a different location, it appears next week’s First Four games in Dayton will be played in front of no spectators. It also looks like the NCAA is moving closer and closer to banning fans from attending the first and second round games across the country next weekend.
It’s gonna be so weird watching college refs make unforgivably bad calls to zero crowd reaction, but it’s also going to be interesting/hilarious to hear every word all these coaches are saying from the sidelines.
—It’s also now at least something of a possibility that we may not wind up having an NCAA tournament overall.
I still think the more likely scenario is closed off games for the first and second rounds and then a reassessment after that, but at this point, who knows. Things seem to be shifting dramatically every hour.
UPDATE: It’s now official, no fans at the tournament for at least the first two rounds.
If nothing else, the potential for comedy just got taken up a notch.
Also, to me, this guarantees a weird national champion. You can’t have a season where everyone’s losing to nobodies, the tournament gets played in front of no fans, and then Duke or Kansas ends up winning the national title.
Approach your brackets accordingly.
—Both U of L and UK have extended their spring breaks and moved all classes to online only for at least the rest of the month.
—U of L athletics has announced that sporting events hosted by U of L will go on as planned.
—Obi Toppin and Luka Garza appear to be a in a two-horse race for national POY.
—Sports Illustrated names Jordan Nwora as a Third Team All-American.
Jordan Nwora, Louisville: Nwora’s return to school last spring instantly made the Cardinals a national title contender, and he’s largely lived up to expectations while recording 18.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as Louisville’s leader.
—The Sporting News also has Nwora on its Third Team.
Jordan Nwora, PF, Louisville
Key stats: 18.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .402 3-point percentage.
Defining game: 22 points, seven rebounds, 4-of-8 3-point shooting in 80-73 victory over Virginia
Nwora served as a prototype of the college “Stretch-4” for the Cardinals, delivering consistently as a defensive rebounder and connecting on 76 3-pointers. He was prone to some scoring slumps — there were three single-figure scoring games in ACC play, and another against Kentucky — that generally were a product of him not being involved enough in the attack. When he is active, he excels.
—Wake Forest’s season came to an end with a loss to Pitt in the first round of the ACC tournament on Tuesday, but much-maligned head coach Danny Manning “absolutely” expects to be back in Winston-Salem next season. We’ll see if the school’s higher-ups agree.
—There was never a question about the hierarchy of importance here.
It is testament to the place of basketball in Kentucky that the governor recommend that churches cancel weekend services to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the state’s high school basketball Sweet 16 remains untouched.— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) March 11, 2020
—As the NCAA continues to weigh its options with March Madness, public health officials and experts are recommending the elimination of large crowds.
—The 2020 CBI has been canceled amid Coronavirus concerns.
—By a 47-0 vote in the state Senate, Maryland is the latest state to ok sports betting.
—Danielle Lerner of The Athletic tells the story of David Johnson’s relationship with Muhammad Ali.
“I didn’t see it as the great boxer,” Johnson says. “I saw it as I used to go to this guy’s house and hang out with him as a young kid, so most people saw it as just another celebrity that died but mine was more of a friend.”
Ali didn’t live to see Johnson become a hometown hero in his own right, leading Trinity High School to a Kentucky state championship as a senior and now starting as a freshman point guard and chief playmaker for the No. 15 Louisville Cardinals, who begin postseason play Thursday as the third-seed in the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
Johnson has stepped into his role at Louisville with quiet confidence anchored by a disciplined work ethic, traits Bousso says she believes her son picked up from Ali.
“(Ali) was a worldwide icon and I could sit in a room with him, pat him on the leg and just girl-talk,” Bousso says. “David was never starstruck. Knowing all (Ali) has done and worked hard for made you feel like it was easier to be somebody great. You didn’t have to be a bionic man and have all these talents. With David, I think he saw that. It’s just natural for him. So what he’s doing now, I’m thinking I’ve seen it all my life.”
—The U of L baseball team hammered Chicago State on Tuesday, and then hammered then again today (13-3).
—Here’s the latest mock bracket from SB Nation’s Chris Dobbertean.
—Postseason Snacks didn’t go quite as swimmingly as Senior Day Snacks.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see an NCAA Tournament probation on Alcorn State for denying Snacks from getting the ball pic.twitter.com/7X2RXYoirq— Fundamentally Sound (@FundamentallySD) March 11, 2020
—Louisville has offered four-star class of 2021 QB Peter Costelli out of Mission Viejo, CA.
—The Ivy League is now putting all of its sports on hold for the rest of the academic year. The Yale men’s and Princeton women’s basketball teams will still be able to play in the NCAA tournament if they choose to.
—The WRAL ACC tournament notebook is a fun thing to check in on throughout the course of the day.
—The dream appears as though it is about to be delayed once again.
DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto has been telling people in recent days that head coach Dave Leitao will be offered a contract extension, source told @Stadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 11, 2020
The question here is also whether Ponsetto remains the AD.
“The DePaul” (the first day Big East tournament game featuring the conference’s last place team ... which has been DePaul in 10 of the last 12 years) will be played tonight at 9:30 between the Blue Demons and 7th-seeded Xavier.
Mission 10 Straight 2020 starts in a matter of hours.
—Congrats to the Male Bulldogs, who topped Ballard on Tuesday night to claim their first Seventh Region title since 2002.
—Branden Northern, the son of former Cardinal guard Bryant Northern, is making a name for himself at Silver Creek High School.
—Louisville has added walk-on quarterback Braden Carnes, who threw for over 4,000 yards in his high school career in Tennessee.
—A closer look at U of L’s postseason look confirms that it is far too normal to produce championships.
A closer look at Louisville’s ACC Tournament uniforms. Nice modeling job by the guy from those And-1 shirts pic.twitter.com/EVmXboQsjg— Lucas Aulbach (@LucasAulbach) March 11, 2020
—Northern Kentucky has only been eligible to play in the NCAA tournament for the last four years, and now the Norse are heading to the Big Dance for the third time. Congrats to former Card Tyler Sharpe and the rest of the squad on yet another Horizon League title.
—Creighton star Marcus Zegarowski has officially been ruled out for the entire Big East tournament.
—A day after it was announced that it would go on as planned, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Louisville has now been canceled.
BREAKING: Hosts of Louisville St. Patrick’s Day Parade announces the parade will be postponed. “We will come back and do something later in the year”.— Drew Gardner (@WLKYDrew) March 11, 2020
—Louisville’s seed on Selection Sunday will likely be heavily impacted by how it performs in Greensboro.
—And finally, Jay Bilas has Louisville at No. 8 in his current top 68 rankings.