NCAA

Hewitt vs. Hurley in GMU at Rhode Island

uspw_6002392.jpg

Hewitt vs. Hurley in GMU at Rhode Island

If you're a college basketball fan of a certain age and didn't grow up rooting for the Dukies, odds are you're not a fan of the Hurley's. Depending on how George Mason's matchup at Rhode Island winds up on Wednesday night, Patriot fans might feel the same.

True, it's former Seton Hall point guard Danny and not his better-known brother in the head coaching chair for the Rams (1-5) - and the one leading the Atlantic 10 program in the right direction, but it's a guilt by association thing. Besides, Bobby Hurley, the floor general (and for some, constant irritant) on Duke's consecutive back-to-back national championship winning teams from the early 90's, will be sitting right next to his younger brother as one of the Rams' assistants for the 8:00 p.m. tip-off.

Then again, green and gold nation should simply be rooting for their side to come up with an aesthetically pleasing outing after Saturday's ugly 48-45 win over Boston University. With only one player scoring in double figures and George Mason (4-2) collectively missing 14 of 16 attempts from beyond the arc, the Patriots needed Bryon Allen's 3-point play with 0.2 seconds to avoid a homecourt disaster against the Terriers. Johnny Williams, George Mason's leading rebounder and second-leading scorer behind Sherrod Wright on the season, paced the Patriots with 10 points.

Speaking of associations, don't assume the Rams' losing record means the Patriots will have it easy in Kingston. For starters, recall last season's 92-90 overtime win in Paul Hewitt's George Mason coaching debut. The current Rhode Island roster hung tough with No. 4 Ohio State and lost in overtime against Loyola (Md.) before finally claiming victory Sunday in double-overtime at Auburn.

Guard Xavier Munford tallied 33 points in the Rams' 78-72 win as the 6-foot-2 junior forced the second extra session with a desperation 3-point field goal. Munford leads the Rams in scoring with 17 per game while senior forward Nikola Malesevic does a little bit of everything, averaging 15.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals and knocks down 42 percent of 3-point attempts. Malesevic scored 12 points in last season's matchup in Fairfax while Wright and Vertrail Vaughns each had 17 for the Patriots.

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

The NCAA is a dumb and monumentally stupid organization with rules that often don't make sense for the student-athletes they govern. One of those is paying, or more specifically not paying, athletes.

In an incredible twist of irony, Maryland will give one lucky regular student (that isn't an athlete) $10,000 for something an athlete (not a regular student) could potentially perform on the football field.

This is a highly specific play that will have to happen in order for one lucky student (again, not an athlete) to win the money, but the hypocrisy is incredible and this entire situation is so backward.

A student-athlete could score a touchdown (while not being paid) for the university and while scoring said touchdown will be helping make money for the university (money they will never see a dime from). The university will then turn around and give money to a student who did nothing to earn it, except decide to stay around in the second half for a game that is expected to be lightly attended, thanks to the achievement of a student-athlete who is incapable of receiving said money. 

That makes sense. Totally.

This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week that Division 1 coaches were "spooked" and against new rules that would allow students who met a minimum GPA to transfer and have immediate eligibility.

This is all totally fine.

Anyway, I can't believe someone didn't see the irony here and think "eh, we just had one of the biggest upsets of the weekend and should have a better way to capitalize on our momentum with something cool to entice people to stick around against Towson?"

I guess not.

MORE MARYLAND: TERPS KICKOFF YEAR WITH TEXAS-SIZED UPSET

 

Virginia Tech beats West Virginia 31-24 in electric showdown at FedEx Field

usatsi_10259331_141983962_lowres.jpg
USA Today Sports

Virginia Tech beats West Virginia 31-24 in electric showdown at FedEx Field

LANDOVER, Maryland -- Virginia Tech made FedEx Field feel like Lane Stadium Northeast and got to bring that Black Diamond Trophy back to Blacksburg for the first time in more than a decade.

Oh, and the Hokies' new quarterback looks like a keeper, too.

Josh Jackson passed for 235 yards, ran for 101 and accounted for two touchdowns in his first start for Virginia Tech, and the No. 21 Hokies made a last-second stand to beat No. 22 West Virginia 31-24 on Sunday night.

The 52nd meeting between the Appalachian region rivals was the first since 2005. It ended up being a classic. The Hokies rushed the field after their defense held the Mountaineers out of the end zone on two last plays from the 15, and their fans screamed along to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" to celebrate.

"This was a fantastic win," Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds said with a huge grin.

Jackson, the redshirt freshman who won a three-way competition for the job, was up and down with his passing, but showed off some nifty moves running in the opener for both teams.

"I felt calm," said Jackson, the son of former longtime Michigan assistant coach Fred Jackson.

Josh Jackson's 46-yard keeper up the middle -- which ended with him taking a hard low hit -- set up Travon McMillian's 3-yard touchdown run that put Virginia Tech up 31-24 with 6:30 left.

"I felt that one pretty good," Jackson said about the hit.

Jackson said he read a blitz on that play and the Mountaineers gave him all kinds of room inside.

"That was a bad, bad call by me," West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said.

West Virginia's new quarterback was just as impressive. Florida transfer Will Grier, who left Gainesville after being suspended by the NCAA for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015, pass for 371 yards and three touchdowns.

He got one more chance to tie after usually reliable Virginia Tech kicker Joey Slye missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 1:55 left.

Grier slinged and scrambled West Virginia down to the Virginia Tech 15. Hokies coach Justin Fuente used a timeout before the last two plays because he was worried his defense was getting gassed chasing the shaggy-haired quarterback.

"You just want them to hold on for one more," Fuente said.

Grier's second-to-last pass into the end zone under pressure was a little behind David Sills and it went through the falling receiver's arms.

"I thought I had him," Grier said. "I got hit and I couldn't see. I thought he caught it. That's the one I'd like to have back to get it up more for him."

It was a tough ball to catch, but Sills wasn't hearing that.

"I just got to make that play," he said. "That's really all it comes down to."

Grier's last throw sailed high and away, but a couple of penalties on the West Virginia offensive line made it moot.