Four more bids were handed out Monday, including Wofford winning the Southern Conference tournament at McKenzie Arena.
Here are the teams that already have a ticket:
Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
Gonzaga (West Coast)
Indiana State (Missouri Valley)
Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
Old Dominion (Colonial Athletic Association)
Saint Peter’s (Metro Atlantic Athletic)
UNC Asheville (Big South Conference)
Wofford (Southern Conference)
Side note: Hopefully, UTC athletic director Rick Hart negotiated a fair renting agreement with the powers that be at Wofford, because after dEEEEEEE-stroying UTC by something like 1,154 points last month and their three-day tournament run this weekend, it's obvious the Terriers flat-out own McKenzie Arena. Maybe they'll bring in some extra concerts to the Roundhouse. Is Kool & the Gang still working? What about Mr. Randy Watson? That guy is good. Good and terrible.
Where were we? Oh yeah, the Dance. Let's just move on.
College hoops update, volume 7, chapter 2
Tennessee's Melvin Goins (2) is helped to his feet by teammate Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon (34) after being fouled on a three point shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 104-84. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
— Of the list of automatic qualifiers above, Johnny Vols Fan (you too, Johnny Tide Fan and Johnny Bulldog Fan) can thank Old Dominion for handling its business against VCU on Monday. If VCU had won the CAA's automatic berth, ODU would have been another team on the dreaded bubble heading into the weekend. And if you're team is on the bubble, you want other bubble teams to lose — and lose bad.
— The college basketball marathon starts today. If you can't find some college hoops game on TV for the rest of the week, then you're not really trying. Here's a quick summary of big games coming this week, and some of the things hanging in the balance:
Tonight: Butler at UW-Milwaukee (Horizon title game) Butler was last year's tournament darling. Tonight they play for their NCAA supper. A Butler win puts UWM on the bubble (the drama of Bruce Pearl's former school and current school — UWM and UT, respectively — each being on the bubble together could be interesting).
Thursday: Tennessee-Arkansas (SEC first round) A lot of folks have the Vols in win or lose. The 5-at-10 is not one of those folks. A neutral-court loss to a mediocre-at-best Arkansas team would be damaging.
Thursday: Georgia vs. Auburn (SEC first round) It's tough to overstate this game for Georgia. If the brackets were selected today, the 5-at-10 has Georgia in, even after Saturday's loss against Alabama. But a loss to Auburn would be bad. Real bad. In fact, as of this morning Mr. Joe Lunardi (who is officially Mr. Bracket Big Shot, dude seriously know his stuff) has the Bulldogs and Alabama among the first four teams left out of the tournament. If Georgia loses to Auburn, the Bulldogs are done.
Friday: Michigan State vs. Purdue (Big Ten quarterfinal) These next two have assumptions tied to them. Michigan State would have to beat Iowa on Thursday to get to this game. If the Spartans, who started the season ranked in the top five in the country, can get to Saturday — and that's a tall order considering the Boilermakers are tough — MSU will get in.
Friday: Virginia Tech-Florida State (ACC quarterfinal) There are a couple of elimination games in the ACC draw, including this one and the BC-Clemson game. It should be an interesting week, huh?
Braves report, part I
Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, right, leads teammates as catcher David Ross, left, points, loosening up during a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The 5-at-10 asked last week which issue was the biggest for the Atlanta Braves this spring. The answers were overwhelmingly in two camps: Chipper Jones' health; what's up in centerfield.
The 5-at-10 believes the health of L-Dub (that's what we've always called one Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones) is the biggest issue for this club, because if L-Dub can't play, then Martin Prado moves from left field to third base and then whomever does not make the cut in center will get a lot of action in left.
Here's your Braves stat(s) for the day: Nate McClouth, who is the frontrunner for the starting gig in centerfield hit his first homer of the spring Monday. Plus, it wasn't off some guy wearing No. 83 who will be bagging groceries in April; McClouth connected off Marlins closer Leo Nunez.
Another stat for you: Rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman was 3-for-3 Monday and is hitting a cool .458 this spring.
Say what, Coach Tressel
In this file photo, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel looks on during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, in Iowa City, Iowa. Ohio State won 20-17. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Reports are surfacing that Ohio State coach Jim Tressel knew eight months before it became public that several OSU players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, were selling gear and memorabilia. Yahoo! Sports reported that Tressel was informed before the school said it was made aware of improper transactions.
If it's true, that's bad, Bad, BAD news for Tressel. And things do not look good since Dan Wetzel is part of the Yahoo! Sports team that is reporting this, and Wetzel is among the better sports investigative journalists out there.
If we have learned anything about telling the truth at this point it's the following things: First, if any woman asks you whether she looks "heavy" or "fat" well, there's only one answer. "Absolutely not," even if she's the size of the Empire State Building; second, if you work, play or support college sports and the NCAA asks you anything, the only answer is the truth.
The NCAA has little tolerance for lies — just ask our man Bruce Pearl.
This and that
— If you have not been following the high school basketball story in Michigan, well click here. Here's a snippet about last night's win for Fennville, which elected to play in the state tournament even after its best player, Wes Leonard, died on the court after hitting the game-winning shot last week:
Leonard's absence overshadowed the game. In a tribute to their fallen teammate, Fennville sent just four players onto the court before the opening tip. The fifth player took the court after a dramatic pause to wild cheering from the crowd.
— This crying thing is getting a little bit out control. The Miami Heat cried after a regular-season loss. OK. Does that mean they're bad basketball players or mean people? Of course not. Are they sissies for squalling after a regular-season loss? Well, more than likely. Let's just move on.
— Charlie Sheen was fired from his "Two and a Half Men," and this was his response to losing a job that pays him roughly $1.8 million per episode: "This is very good news," he said. "They continue to be in breach, like so many whales. It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at [expletive] again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension." Coming Wednesday, we're going to look at potential new jobs for Charlie Sheen, and let's say our old friend pretend Al Davis is planning on stopping by.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...