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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Could this be the last time an NCAA regional final is conducted, as Rick Jeanneret might put it, back where Jimmy Hoffa is buried? The future of Continental Airlines Arena is in doubt with the New Jersey Devils moving to a new arena in Newark next season and the New Jersey Nets planning a move to Brooklyn in the near future, which will leave the a…

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A note to ADs looking for their next head coach: Hiring a Duke assistant may not be the answer. When the talk turns to some of the greatest college basketball coaches ever, Mike Krzyzewski belongs in the first paragraph, if not the opening sentence. His former assistants, however, haven't been as fortunate. Bob Bender, Quin Snyder, David Henderson…

We pause from our hoop chatter for a quick plug: If you want to check out the stats for any team in the men's and women's tournaments -- even the ones who have been eliminated -- check out the Associated Press "interactive" brackets on the top right of the Sports front under the NCAA Brackets heading. One warning: Every team is clickable even though your cursor …

Want to learn more about Albany coach Will Brown, who is expected to interview soon for the vacant St. Bonaventure post? Forget about the typical school Web site bio. Like most coaches, Brown clearly has that streak of self-promoter in him and you can read all about his background and philosophies on his own personal site. It's one of the best around I've seen for any co…

One of the great things about the NCAA Tournament is discovering a terrific player from a lesser-known league. My favorite discovery of the first two rounds was Wendell White, the versatile, 6-6 swingman from UNLV. White was sensational in the Rebels' wins over Georgia Tech and Wisconsin. He shot 8 for 12 in each game and averaged 20.5 points. He had a bigger impact in tha…

Canisius and Niagara never used to worry much about Loyola, the Baltimore school that had been a bottom-feeder in the MAAC for years. But Greyhounds coach Jimmy Patsos, an assistant on Maryland's 2002 national champions, got Loyola to the conference semifinals this year before it lost to Niagara and the turnaround has been largely through transfers. Andre Collins and Hassa…

There have already been 29 Division I coaches who have either been fired or resigned (and the way things are going, the number will probably be in the 30s by the time you read this). The list is a pretty interesting one, spanning unknown places like UC-Riverside, Radford and Quinnipiac to big names like Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico. It also, of course, includes St. …

With all the talk about Niagara's run to Chicago or the games in HSBC Arena, you probably haven't been paying much attention to the NCAA women's tournament. But we have. And the Big 4 schools better be too. Metro Atlantic champion Marist became the first MAAC school to make the Sweet 16 and just the third No. 13 seed in history to get that far after upsetting No. 4 Ohio S…

So should we start the countdown to 2010 right now? That was one terrific subregional. Duke goes down and Pittsburgh nearly committed one of the epic meltdowns in tournament history. Butler and VCU did all mid-majors proud and so did Davidson, led by wondrous freshman Stephen Curry (OK, so we can forget the putrid performance of Old Dominion). And, most important, HSBC …

The first Saturday of the tournament is a 10-hour extravaganza hoop fans wait all year to enjoy. But some folks take it to extremes. Bet you didn't know that Saturday was National Corndog Day, started in 1992 by a couple of Oregon fans who spent the day hooping it up. Seriously. Check it out. ---MIke Harrington

Xavier players and fans will relive today's near-miss against Ohio State for, well, forever! A nine-point lead with 2:54 left in regulation goes down the drain. A free throw in the final 10 seconds gets clanked and allows Ohio State's Ron Lewis to drill a 23-footer with two seconds left to force overtime. And in OT, Buckeyes freshman Mike Conley Jr. dominated and Xavier …

To most fans, the joy and uniqueness of the NCAA Tournament comes from all the upsets. So far at least, this year's version has been utterly mundane. The only big upsets were by a pair of No. 11s -- Winthrop (over Notre Dame) and VCU (over Duke in Buffalo) -- and that's the fewest double-digit seeds to win in the first round since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams i…

CHICAGO -- Niagara probably won't be the only team Kansas steamrolls in this NCAA Tournament. Still, it was disappointing to see the Purple Eagles crash and burn just a few hours after Texas A&M-Corpus Christi had No. 2 seed Wisconsin in an 18-point hole here. You thought maybe, just maybe, Niagara could cause some of that same kind of drama. Maybe on a different nigh…

    The appeal of CBS basketball analyst Billy Packer lies in the Simon Crowell factor. He's such a snob, so sure he's speaking hoops gospel even when he's wrong, that you can't help but listen just so your disdain for him grows a little more.      Billy Big Conference kept going on about how Niagara was playing out of character by trying to run w…

- Duke's loss to VCU on Thursday reminds me of something VCU grad Gerald Henderson Sr. said to his son, Blue Devils swingman Gerald Henderson Jr.:  "Watch out, VCU has good guards." - Speaking of Henderson, Duke doesn't have enough players who are like him. Think back to all of Duke's good teams and they always had versatile, interchangeable swingmen like K…