Over the past few weeks, I’ve been accused of being alarmist with regard to Coronavirus. The N95 masks that arrived a month ago seemed like overkill at the time. So did the electrolyte drinks and food and water. But now that COVID-19 in undeniably here, those precautions seem the norm, if not prescient.
Next comes mass disruption to daily life. And among the nation’s largest gathering spots are sporting events. I have two standing bets with our writers for $100 each at even odds that NCAA Tournament will be played in empty arenas. If it’s played at all.
That notion was radical just 3-4 days ago, but now it’s being presented as a sane option by at least one expert.
This morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Dr. Matt McCarthy, author of Superbugs and a professor at Cornell’s school of medicine offered one of the most sobering and frightening takes on the Coronavirus and how it will impact daily life in America.
For real, you should watch this entire interview, because it’s the most succinct argument I’ve seen for the current measures not being nearly enough to contain and stop the spread of the virus.
This part is noteworthy:
“Widespread surveillance [testing for the virus] is going to start giving us information so we can begin to make these informed decisions about whether March Madness needs to be cancelled.”
“We’re gonna see school closures here. We’re hearing that life’s going to go about just like normal– that’s not true.”
This comes on the heels of National College Players Association, a non-profit group that advocates for athletes, imploring the NCAA to cancel meet-and-greets and to consider whether the NCAA Tournament should be played with no fans in attendance.
That might be the least disruptive part of all of this.
Here’s the full video, which I highly encourage you to watch. Continue Reading
Sports Betting Updates
When Forbes put out an article a few days ago, reigniting the rumors of a potential match between the New York Knicks and Villanova coach Jay Wright, it sent shockwaves throughout the fanbase. Could he leave? Would he leave? Should he leave? The maestro himself began to panic in our Slack channel. Well, friends, it looks like you can breathe a sigh of relief:
Let's quash this stuff before it gets started: source told me Jay Wright is not going anywhere. Not to the Knicks. Not to the Sixers. Not to Oz. His house is for sale. He's not.
— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) February 17, 2020
Jay Wright said today after practice that he has not spoken with anyone from the Knicks and that he has no intention of leaving Villanova.
Of the https://t.co/ImxPxq2l1M story: "“It’s just an article. I haven’t talked to the Knicks, I’m not going to the Knicks. It's crazy."
— Joe Juliano (@JoeJulesinq) February 18, 2020
Can I play devil’s advocate on this one? He hasn’t talked to the Knicks yet. He’s not going to the Knicks yet. I don’t expect the rumors to go away. As I wrote the other day, if I were Jay, I wouldn’t jump ship until a legit star was in place. You have to think that the Knicks’ new team president Leon Rose, who rose to fame as a power agent at CAA, will look to use his clout with players to attract free agents. Perhaps in the meantime the Knicks will look to hire an NBA retread to a short-term deal until they’re ready to roll out the red carpet for Wright.
Don’t tell the maestro, but those rumors of the Knicks’ interest in Villanova head coach are popping up again. Per Forbes, league sources say the Knicks’ new president Leon Rose, who has ties to South Jersey and the Philadelphia native, has his eye on Wright:
Now on @ForbesSports
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 17, 2020
I’ve gone out of my way for years to jab our fearless leader with any rumors and reports of Wright leaving for the NBA. While Kyle Scott himself has pined for the Nova coach to take over for Brett Brown with the Sixers, I’ve often pointed out comments that Wright has made over the years about the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden, the history of the Knicks, and the New York market as a whole.
Jahvon Quinerly was a five-star recruit who played one season at Villanova before transferring to Alabama.
After being originally denied an eligibility waiver by the NCAA last month, he spoke to the Committee for Legislative Relief on Monday, but had his appeal also denied. That means he’ll have to sit out until next year.
Bama Athletic Director Greg Byrne and head basketball coach Nate Oats released this statement in response to the news:
Excuse me. I awake from my blogging slumber to bring you this very important National Champion update.
Eric Paschall, who was drafted 41st overall by the Warriors, behind the Sixers’ 33rd and 34th overall picks, Carson Edwards and Bruno Fernando (draft day swaps), put up 36 and 13 for the Warriors last night alongside fellow National Champion Omari Spellman (7 and 3 in 15 minutes). Paschall, who has turned in three 20+ point games, is averaging 16 and 4 over his first five NBA games.
Head coach and sometimes stance-taker Steve Kerr, however, veered a bit too close to the third rail for my liking, insinuating that Jay Wright didn’t know what to do with such a talent:
“I just told Eric (Paschall) the only person who can keep Eric under 20 was (Villanova head coach) Jay Wright,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr joked.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) November 5, 2019
Steve Kerr on Eric Paschall’s big night, his powerful game pic.twitter.com/JZ5SNSD0ZN
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 5, 2019
“Jay’s my guy.” I wonder if they get together and compare stories of championships and rings. Yeah, I bet they probably do.
Paschall, whom I never thought would catch on in the NBA let alone ever turn in a 30+ point scoring performance, becomes just the latest Wildcat from the National Championship squad (2018 edition– there are three) to turn in a standout NBA performance, leading some to speculate…
Eric Paschall was the fifth-leading scorer, as a junior, on Villanova’s team that won the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Think about that.
There’s some real evidence that suggests 2018 Villanova is one of the best teams in modern college basketball history. https://t.co/UCaQr1k9X5
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 5, 2019
I thought about it, Gary. And I concur.
Thus concludes my trolling.
"While it’s still too early to tell, Martelli’s wealth of experience will likely add a boon to Howard’s rookie campaign as a coach."@JKopnick on what assistant coach Phil Martelli can bring to Michigan schematically:https://t.co/ftCJGB1gsS
— Mich. Daily Sports (@theblockm) October 30, 2019
Nope. Now I’m done.
At least according to the coaches.
The annual preseason poll came out today and Seton Hall just barely scraped past Nova, who had been #1 in this poll for five years straight:
COACHES POLL TIME!@SetonHallMBB is the preseason favorite in #BIGEASThoops, edging @NovaMBB by a single point. @XavierMBB slated third, followed by @MarquetteMBB and @PCFriarsmbb tied for fourth to round out the top-five. pic.twitter.com/vbNJYzaTte
— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) October 10, 2019
Nova has won the Big East regular season in five of the last six years while claiming four of the last five conference tournament titles.
And Kyle probably doesn’t want to hear it, but the Cats didn’t truly become an elite program until UConn, Syracuse, Pitt, WVU, and Louisville left the conference.
Shout out to reader Bryan Knight for bringing this to my attention.
Here’s a clip from the Dan Patrick show today where the radio host discusses the possibility of Urban Meyer returning to the sidelines as USC’s coach. In the snippet, Patrick is sharing information received from a source, which includes a reference to Villanova’s Mark Jackson as well: