John Clay

Notes: NCAA basketball selection preliminary show a good move

Villanova head coach Jay Wright yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Villanova, Pa. The defending champions are the preliminary overall No. 1 seed as announced by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee last Saturday.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Villanova, Pa. The defending champions are the preliminary overall No. 1 seed as announced by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee last Saturday. Associated Press

Random notes:

▪  Count me as having no problem with what the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee did last Saturday, holding a television show on CBS to announce its preliminary top 16 national seeds.

In fact, I think the committee should copy the College Football Playoff committee and release the top four seeds in each region every week leading right up to Selection Sunday. The more information we get, the better.

▪  Interesting that UK Coach John Calipari said “put it in permanent marker” when asked about the Cats being tabbed as a No. 3 seed. Does that mean Cal doubts his team can climb any higher?

▪  That Guinness Book of World Records guy gets around. On Jan. 28, he was at Rupp Arena for Kentucky-Kansas where he certified that the Big Blue Nation set the record for the loudest crowd in an indoor stadium. Monday night, he was at Allen Fieldhouse for Kansas-West Virginia where he certified that Rock Chalk Jayhawk set the record for the loudest crowd in an indoor stadium.

▪  Former Herald-Leader intern and current Washington Post columnist Jerry Brewer wrote Tuesday of John Wall, “For certain, Wall is having a great season, perhaps one worthy of a top-five finish in MVP voting. The problem: His great blends into the greatest point guard season in the greatest point guard era in NBA history. When you combine freedom, responsibility and performance, point guards have never owned the NBA like they do now. It’s why averaging 23 and 10 and leading the surprising revival of the Washington Wizards merely puts Wall in the conversation of spectacular performances, not sparkling on the marquee.”

▪  The Reds’ trade of Brandon Phillips to the Braves is the best for both parties. The Reds get to continue their rebuild with 22-year-old Jose Peraza taking over at second base. Phillips gets a chance to finish his career close to his Georgia home.

▪  That was a huge win for Louisville at Syracuse on Monday night with a huge contribution in overtime from Ryan McMahon. The redshirt freshman guard scored seven points in the extra period, including his first two-point basket of the season.

▪  One of my favorite websites, Pro Football Focus, tabs UK running back Benny Snell as the ninth best returning player in the SEC for 2017.

▪  After watching SMU snap Cincinnati’s 14-game win streak on Sunday, the Mustangs are one of the nation’s more underrated teams. Ken Pomeroy ranks SMU 13th in the nation in defensive efficiency. And it got a boost from George W. Bush last Sunday. The former president was in attendance wearing a “The Mob” T-shirt for the SMU student section.

▪  Fun fact: The Golden State Warriors have lost nine games this regular season, same as last regular season.

▪  Prediction: After experimenting with a similar format in this year’s NIT, the NCAA will go to four quarters instead of two halves. In the NIT, team fouls will reset at zero with 10 minutes left in each half — just as it would if the games were in the quarters format.

▪  In his last 10 games, ex-UK guard and current Denver Nuggets rookie Jamal Murray is shooting 45.5 percent and is averaging 12.2 points. His field goal percentage on the season is now up to 39.4 percent.

▪ Kudos to Morehead State interim coach Preston Spradlin, who took over a difficult situation after Sean Woods resigned Dec. 15 following an investigation into alleged physical abuse of his players. After last Saturday’s win at Eastern Kentucky, the Eagles own the second-best record in the OVC at 9-3. They are at Tennessee State on Thursday night.

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