Is there an echo in here?
It’s every night in college hoops, not 24 hours after Penn State shocked Michigan and USC beat Arizona—Virginia whips Duke. Of course, the students rushed the court (speaking of tiring trends) in all three instances—although with only 4,000 in attendance at USC it was more milling about the floor than it was rushing it.
Is Creighton gone?
The moment of the Bluejay departure from the Missouri Valley Conference may be at hand. Multiple news sources are reporting that the so called ‘Catholic 7’ will start competition in the fall of 2013, retaining the Big East name and adding three schools. Xavier, Butler and Creighton are all expected to be in the Big East for its inaugural season, with plans to add Dayton and St. Louis in the fall of 2014. There has been no comment from anyone in the Creighton administration, but one wonders what would possibly keep them from leaving the Valley. This will be the dominant topic of conversation/speculation next week at the MVC Tournament in St. Louis; it should be very interesting to see how fans around the league react to them. But the truth of the matter is that every school in the conference would probably jump at the opportunity that Creighton is, apparently, being afforded.
Great travel agent---
Faced with nearly two weeks of games being snowed out, Shocker Baseball got creative with the schedule, quickly setting up five games in four days down in Arkansas. As it turns out, teams like Western Illinois and Iowa were in similar situations—but it took very gracious offers from Arkansas-Little Rock Coach Scott Norwood and Central Arkansas’ Allen Gum to it work. Both coaches altered their schedules and made their facilities available for those being held hostage by the weather. The Shockers thanked Norwood by beating Little Rock 9-5 on Thursday; they play Western Illinois this morning and will face New Orleans, Iowa and Central Arkansas before they return late Sunday.
Royals unbeaten in the Cactus League---
Kansas City improved to 6-0 in the exhibition season beating the Padres 5-4 yesterday. The game was notable for the debut of recently acquired James Shields on the mound. The new ace of the Royals staff was limited to just 30 pitches and he only used 16 in a one, two three first inning in which he topped out at 94 miles per hour. Shields had been an innings eater for the Rays where he was the number three guy. Being the top man in a rotation carries a different responsibility, you’re looked on as the club’s stopper. There’s more pressure on an ace because of the expectations that accompany him, he’s paid at a level that invites scrutiny. Can Shields hack it with a team that won’t back him quite like the Rays did, at least not yet. The answer to that question will go a long way in gauging how improved this club will be this summer.