The Big East Goes Back to the Future

March 30, 2015 – 12:51 am by Hickey

chris-mullin-sju

A pair of Big East programs that were national powers in the 1980s announced their new coaches on Sunday, though both left people scratching their heads for different reasons.

St. John’s is turning to the most prominent name in program history, while DePaul will turn to… a name in program history.

Chris Mullin, a long-time flattop aficionado and member of the last St. John’s  team to play in the Final Four,  will return to his alma mater as its new head coach. Meanwhile, conference rival (?) DePaul decided to go back to the coach who last provided it with any semblance of success — Dave Leitao, who guided the Blue Demons to their most reason NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004.

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Brady Aiken: Former No. 1 pick undergoes Tommy John surgery

March 27, 2015 – 1:59 am by Ryan Phillips
    Brady Aiken

Last summer, prep left-hander Brady Aiken was the consensus top player in Major League Baseball’s June draft. The San Diego product had a big arm, three plus pitches and uncommon poise and polish for a prep hurler. He was selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Astros and everything seemed great. One crazy year later and that has all changed.

Aiken and the Astros couldn’t work out a contract agreement before MLB’s deadline to do so. Houston balked after the team believed a physical showed problems with the 18-year-old’s elbow. Aiken and his representatives disputed those findings claiming he was fine and there was no reason for concern. The Astros held firm and pulled their high-dollar offer. Aiken’s team also held firm and refused to accept less money. Instead, the lefty decided to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida this season before re-entering the 2015 draft.

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Will Wrigley Field be ready for opening night? UPDATE: Yeah…

March 26, 2015 – 12:42 am by Hickey

Wrigley Field Jumbotron

Even when someone finds themselves impossibly excited about the Chicago Cubs, it doesn’t take very long for some damn fool thing to happen that reminds you that you’re dealing with the Cubs.

Regardless of their record this upcoming season — it may well be a few games under .500 or a few games over .500 — there’s no question that an exciting young team has been assembled on the North Side. Even the growing pains will be fun. And some intelligent baseball minds believe that 2015 won’t necessarily be a bridge year for the ballclub.

Grantland’s Rany Jazayerli posits that the Cubs are ready to contend RIGHT NOW, and not just because Marty McFly said so. He notes that Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are odds-on favorites to finish 1-2 in Rookie of the Year voting, something that hasn’t happened to Cubs teammates since Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith pulled it off for the 1989 NL East champs. (He also notes that the rest of their careers are likely to turn out better than it did for Messrs. Walton and Smith, though I will never personally question Dwight Smith’s ability to pinch-hit like a boss).

So there should be joy in Wrigleyville as we eagerly try to make the next two weeks before opening night vanish from the calendar. But as it turns out, there’s some question as to whether the Cubs will actually be in Wrigleyville on opening night.

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Emails show NCAA was out of control in USC case

March 25, 2015 – 1:42 am by Ryan Phillips

Todd McNair

In June 2010, the NCAA hit USC’s football program with the harshest sanctions since SMU received the death penalty in 1985. For years USC fans and administrators have contended that the NCAA was far too harsh in its punishment of the school’s football program as a result of the Reggie Bush scandal.

People close to the school have repeatedly insisted that the NCAA unfairly targeted USC, that the investigation was biased against the university and didn’t produce nearly enough evidence to actually prove its case. On Tuesday, those people were proven right.

Hundreds of internal NCAA emails related to the Bush investigation were unsealed on Tuesday and what they revealed was exactly what we’ve come to expect from the NCAA. The picture painted by the emails is one of a Committee on Infractions that judged USC guilty before the investigation into the Bush matter even started. Then, when no smoking gun existed to prove that USC knew about Bush receiving benefits, the investigators and committee members attacked Todd McNair, the former running backs coach at USC.

McNair is currently suing the NCAA for defamation and that suit was the reason the documents were unsealed. The NCAA had fought for years to keep the documents under wraps, but several court rulings determined the organization had to turn the information over and make it public.

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Bartolo Colon to start Opening Day for the New York Mets

March 24, 2015 – 1:04 am by Ryan Phillips
    Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon is going to start on opening day. In the year 2015. That’s a thing that is actually happening. I’ll give you a moment to process that information.

Yes, the rotund right hander will toe the slab on opening day for the New York Mets on April 6 against the Washington Nationals. Colon won the honor over Mets ace Matt Harvey, who is returning after sitting out the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery.

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Sunday’s big NCAA winner: Genitalia

March 23, 2015 – 2:16 am by Hickey

vanvleet

College sports are played by college kids, and sometimes college kids say things that, say, a 30-year-old would not. After all, like Bill Cosby always used to tell us, “Here, have a drink” kids say the darndest things.

Both Virginia forward Darion Atkins and Wichita State guard Fred Van Vleet fell under that umbrella on Sunday with some “genitalia as an adjective” references in their postgame interviews.

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Video: Stephon Marbury posterized in CBA Finals

March 19, 2015 – 3:51 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Han DeJun Marbury

Raise your hand if you knew Stephon Marbury was still playing basketball…that’s what I thought. Marbury is, in fact, continuing his career in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Beijing Ducks. The Ducks are currently in the CBA Finals and on Tuesday night he wound up on the wrong end of a monster dunk.

Han DeJun, better known as Chinese Shaq, plays for the Liaoning Flying Leopards who are battling Beijing for the CBA title. He is 7’1″ and 300 pounds of basketball-playing fury and averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds this season. On Tuesday he posterized the man formerly known as Starbury.

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Join the World’s Largest NIT Office Pool!

March 17, 2015 – 12:15 am by Hickey

NIT-300x231_5

Anybody can fill out an NCAA bracket and win their office pool. (HINT: Take Kentucky). But do you have what it really takes to prove yourself as a hoops guru?

Here at Rumors and Rants, we are looking to find the real cream of the crop — those of you capable of winning an NIT office pool.

That’s right. We are setting up the World’s Largest NIT Office Pool, which should prove to live up to its name as long as three people sign up.

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