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Once and for all, can we stop referring to the Missouri Valley Conference as a mid-major? On Sunday afternoon, I watched Creighton and Southern Illinois play the MVC tourney championship game before 22,000 plus fans on CBS. It's earned the right to be considered among the elite leagues in college basketball, even if the teams don't play major college football. Watching th…

Start spreadin' the news:  Syracuse's road to a third straight Big East tournament title begins against Connecticut in Wednesday's prequarterfinals at 2 p.m. in Madison Square Garden. The Orange finished as the No. 5 seed after Saturday's loss at Villanova while the Huskies sank to 12th when St. John's beat Providence Sunday to sneak into the 11 hole.  A nationa…

Some of the names associated with Minnesota's coaching search include Nevada's Mark Fox, Southern Illinois' Chris Lowry, New Mexico State's Reggie Theus and Denver Nuggets assistant Mike Dunlap. Among that group, Fox and Lowry are the hottest names although Theus is intriguing because of his ties to the NBA and to Louisville where he was an assistant under Rick Pitino. De…

The University at Buffalo completes its disappointing season this week in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, but the Bulls could have been a tournament dark horse if top recruit Jonas Jerebko had arrived on campus. Jerebko signed with UB but elected to play professionally in Europe, spoiling coach Reggie Witherspoon's plans to use the 6-foot-9 swingman as a point for…

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Iona's Steve Burtt, Niagara's Juan Mendez and Manhattan's Luis Flores had huge careers in the MAAC and all got to win a championship the last three years. But only Flores has seen any NBA time thus far. That was as a bit player with a couple of teams. Marist point guard Jared Jordan hopes to win a title here this weekend -- and looks like he'll get a …

After three days at the MAAC Tournament in Bridgeport, Conn., I'm feeling the same way I did when I covered the Super Bowl a few years ago in Jacksonville: Which genius decided to put the event in this godforsaken place? Downtown Bridgeport is a hellhole. It makes Buffalo  seem like Paris. The first day we arrived, they weren't allowing anyone to park in the parking r…

Getting to 20 wins is no longer the magic bullet to grabbing a postseason berth that it once was. Not with teams' regular-season schedules bloated by new NCAA rules allowing as many as 30 or 31 games rather than the 27 of previous seasons. Check this out:  83 Division I teams entered Saturday with at least 20 wins. Eighty-three! And there's 28 more schools with eithe…

From spindly-legged freshman to Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year as a senior. Yep, it's been quite a run for Hofstra guard Loren Stokes, the Turner/Carroll graduate who has quietly produced one of the best collegiate careers for any WNY native since Christian Laettner. Stokes earned the CAA honors Thursday night at the league's banquet in Richmond, Va., wh…