Billy Donovan made it easy on UF fans this time around, removing his name from contention within half an hour of Kentucky's official press conference dismissing Billy Gillispie. Speak to three different connected people and you'll get three different versions of how serious Donovan's level of interest was. In the end, it really doesn't matter since he stayed. It's not an accident that Anthony Grant accepted the Alabama job less than two hours after Donovan released his statement. That's a great move for them and for Anthony. Donovan and his proteges now make up 25 percent of the conference's coaches, and if Donnie Jones can get Marshall going the next couple of years someone will probably try to bring him back too. As for Kentucky, the buzz right now has them going after John Calipari. He's the closest thing to Pitino or Donovan they're likely to find, but will he be willing to give up a guarunteed two seed or better every year at Memphis?
The Final Four is now set, and after a pretty boring first three rounds the tourney was finally worth watching over the weeekend. The biggest surprise for me is definitely Michigan State making it. When I've seen them play this year, they just did not look like a team capable of playing at a high enough level for four straight games. Instead, they rallied to beat the defending champs and then handed Rick Pitino hs first ever loss on the second week of the tournament. Now they get to play in Detroit, with only the possible distraction of Kentucky interest in Tom Izzo to deal with. CBS play by play guy Gus Johnson reported the Spartan staff told him yesterday that Florida was supposed to "destroy them" in 2000 while comparing that situation to the matchup with Louisville, though. Michigan State was a four point favorite in the game, and they were a one seed to UF's five seed in the tournament. Winning a championship is something to be proud of, but there's no need to make up nonsensical stories about it. As for Pitino, he at least has the two best commercials running this year, with the one for Guitar Hero making its debut yesterday.
As soon as the word was out that Seth Curry was looking to transfer, everyone in college basketball expected it to be to an ACC school. Turns out Duke is the destination. Maybe he'll be a star for the Blue Devils, but if he wasn't considered a strong enough player to top programs out of school why is he now that he spent one year at Liberty? Does anyone think this happens unless his brother did what he did last year in the tournament? Lots of siblings have struggled to live up to legacies over the years, and there no athletes in the Big South close to the defenders Curry will see in the ACC. I don't envy the expectations Seth will have on him when he starts playing in 2010.
You might have seen LeBron James on 60 Minutes with Steve Kroft last night. Once upon a time that show did the most feared investigative reporting on television, but not any longer. Not once did Kroft confront LeBron about his incredibly dangerous pregame ritual! Yes, a Case Western Reserve environmental health expert thinks kids might harm themselves imitating LeBron so she wants him to stop tossing powder in the air as his pregame routine. Is there anything that's not dangerous to kids these days? Just imagine what a menace to society LeBron could be if he endorsed something made with peanuts.
Today's a big day in Gainesville, as my old employers at Asterisk give the city a fulltime FM all-sports station. 105 The Game will carry even more play by play sports than we were able to on the Star 99.5, plus people will be able to pick it up anytime day or night. Shows like Steve Czaban in the morning and Dan Patrick 9-12 will really add something to Gainesville radio for listeners who like national options. Wish I could have been there to be a part of it.