If the speculation about Tommy Amaker bolting from Harvard to BC is going to progress beyond media chatter and toward things like interviews and expressions of interest, it's going to have to wait at least a couple of days. Amaker's Harvard Crimson topped Cincinnati 61-57 yesterday in their NCAA tournament opener, becoming the first Ivy League team to win tournament games in back-to-back years since Princeton in 1982 and 1983.
The reason Harvard was a popular pick: defense and balance. All five starters averaged in double figures for the season and that balance was needed against Cincinnati's aggressive defense. Laurent Rivard, the Crimson's 3-point specialist, finished with 11 points, while Steve Moundou-Missi and Brandyn Curry both scored nine.
Jeff Goodman chimed in on the Amaker rumors:
Harvard was a graveyard job. No one wanted it. There was no history. The Crimson hadn't gone to the NCAA tournament. Ever. Now Amaker has taken the program to three straight tourney appearances -- and after a victory over No. 5 Cincinnati on Thursday, Harvard has won a tournament game two straight seasons.
Amaker is hot, but it may not matter. Boston College may well come calling now that athletic director Brad Bates jettisoned Steve Donahue. Amaker and his wife love their current situation, but how could he turn down twice the salary without even so much as having to move residences?
In other NCAA DribbleSlam Crazyness action, it was a mostly-good day for #goacc:
Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping Pittsburgh build a 28-point on the way to a 77-48 rout of Colorado in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
Trevor Cooney scored 18 points, breaking out of a long slump, fellow guard Tyler Ennis had 16, and the Orange defense clamped down in a 77-53 victory over Western Michigan on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
But it was the end of the line for NC State.
Rob Loe scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping St. Louis wipe out a late 14-point deficitand pull away in overtime to beat North Carolina State 83-80 in the NCAA tournament Thursday night.
In news approximately as shocking as a 1 seed beating a 16 seed, Johnny Gaudreau was named to the Hobey Baker final 10 (along with Kevin Hayes). He was also tabbed Hockey East player of the year for the second straight season.
For the second straight season, Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau was named Hockey East Player of the Year, while his coach, Jerry York, earned his third league Coach of the Year honor.
Two Boston College standouts and three players from the Big Ten are among the 10 finalists named Thursday for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award. National scoring leader and returning Hobey Hat Trick finalist Johnny Gaudreau, a Boston College junior, headlines the list, which also includes his teammate, senior Kevin Hayes.
On Thursday at the Hockey East championship banquet at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., the league announced its two 2013-14 All-Star teams, as well as a five-player honorable mention squad.
Gaudreau, Hayes, and Matheson made the six-man first first team. No Eagles made the seven-person second team, which featured six skaters plus a goalie. I would say Bill Arnold has a right to feel peeved about that, though he was named to the "honorable mention" team. I think it's only fitting, given Hockey East's officiating, that they allow too many men on the ice on the league's second team.
Last night, Everett High junior defensive back Lukas Denis announced his verbal commitment to Boston College, becoming the second in-state prospect to pledge with the Eagles this week, and the latest in a prosperous pipeline of Crimson Tide defensive backs to BC.
"I'm proud to say I'm part of something," Denis said of the pipeline between Everett and BC. "The city of Everett is always gonna be at my games. My family is all behind me. I'm very excited."