Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

March 20, 2014

OH GOOD GRIEF: Pearl is ‘back’ in the SEC

CROSSVILLE — March Madness is now on us, but that was overshadowed, a bit, by some news coming from Rocky Top.

Former Volunteer coach Bruce Pearl (231-99 in Division I) is now "baaack" in the SEC, as he was named as the new coach for the Auburn Tigers, who fired Tony Barbee after his team was eliminated from the SEC Tournament last week.

He led eight of his 10 Division I teams to the NCAA Tournament, including twice in four seasons at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Tennessee four times in the Sweet 16.

According to the News Sentinel, Pearl was presented a six-year deal worth $2.2 million annually. This includes a $100,000 raise each year, and he will owe Auburn $5 million if he leaves within the next two years.

Pearl will remain under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA which bars him from recruiting until Aug. 23. Auburn has 30 days to accept or contest this ruling. No decision was made by them on this.

Former UT associate head coach Tony Jones and son, Steven, are joining Pearl on the staff at Auburn.

Cuonzo Martin and his 11th seeded Volunteers (22-12) defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes (20-13) 78-65 in overtime in Dayton, OH, Wednesday night to advance from the "First Four" games to earn a berth in the round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament vs. sixth-seeded UMass Friday afternoon in the Midwest region.

Some Vol fans were wanting the third-year coach gone, but Wednesday's win over the Hawkeyes, most likely, saved his job. 

Pearl will make life interesting in the SEC for the other 13 teams and his future teams will be threats when post-season rolls around next year. It will be interesting the reception he gets when Auburn comes to Thompson-Boling Arena.

••••

The opening round of the men's tournament began Thursday and Friday, with second round games Saturday and Sunday, all leading up to the final four in Arlington, TX April 5-7.

It was a shame defending champion Louisville received a fourth seed in the Midwest region and has to play 13th seed Manhattan. There are some heavyweights in that region, with the likes of unbeaten Wichita State, Duke, Kentucky and Michigan.

In the west region, No. 1 Arizona has some biggies in No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 3 Creighton and No. 4 San Diego State.

SEC champion Florida is the overall top seed and anchors the South region; however, there, too, are some stout challengers in No. 2 Kansas, No. 3 Syracuse and No. 4 UCLA.

East region No. 1 seed Virginia, which was blown away by Tennessee earlier in the season, might have the easiest route to the final four, as they must contend with No. 2 Villanova, No. 3 Iowa State and No. 4 Michigan St.

Don't be surprised if there are some upsets by teams seeded in the 10-16 range.

In the south, No. 11 Dayton faces No. 6 Ohio State or No. 12 Stephen F. Austin vs. No. 5 VCU or No. 16 Eastern Kentucky vs. No. 2 Kansas.

In the East. No. 5 Cincinnatti vs. No. 12 Harvard and No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 13 Delaware are potential bracket busters.

Vol fans will now watch their team face sixth seed UMass this afternoon and

then face No. 3 Duke, who will have their hands full with No. 14 Mercer who will be joining the SoCon next season. No. 15 Wofford faces No. 2 Michigan in another potential upset.

Who will be last year's Florida Gulf Coast? Some of the aforementioned teams have the talent to beat a top 4 seed and be the Butlers of the world.

On the women's side, UConn, Notre Dame, Tennessee and South Carolina are the top seeds, with the potential for these Final Four matchups in Nashville — Notre Dame vs. Tennessee and UConn vs. South Carolina.

Notre Dame is the top seed in the South Bend region, along with No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 4 Purdue. I can see some potential bracket busters in these games — No. 6 Syracuse vs. No. 11 Chattanooga and No.  5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, whose men were last year's "Cinderfellows."

Notre Dame will have home-court advantage should they advance to the region.

In the Louisville region, Tennessee is No. 1, with West Virginia No. 2, Louisville No. 3 and Maryland No. 4. SEC foe LSU is No. 7 and faces No. 10 Georgia Tech.

Should Louisville advance, they could be on the their home-court in the region semi-finals against an LSU or West Virginia, barring any upsets.

UConn is the top seed in the Lincoln region, along with No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Nebraska. Andy Landers and No 8 Georgia  could face the UConn in second round, should both win opening games against No. St. Joes and No. 16 Prairie View, respectively.

Should Nebraska advance to the regional, they will have home-court advantage in Lincoln.

Former Chattanooga coach Wes Moore and his North Carolina State team is another team in the region.

In the Stanford region, South Carolina is top seed, with Stanford No. 2, Penn State No. 3 and North Carolina No. 4. No. 11 Florida faces No. 3 Penn State.

No. 8 MTSU faces No. 9 Oregon State with the winner facing the S. Carolina-CS Northridge winner, while No. 13 UT-Martin takes on No. 4 N. Carolina.

Stanford is the third team to have the home-court advantage in the regionals.

Don't be surprised if a couple of  "Cinderella" teams send some shock waves in the women's bracket.

(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically.)



 

1
Text Only
Area Sports
  • image001.jpg Hedgecoth takes first in sporting clays at state championship

    Cody Hedgecoth, the 17-year-old grandson of Peggy and Bobby Houston and son of Missy and William Hedgecoth, won first place in varsity sporting clays at the Tennessee State Championship.  He won by shooting 97 out of 100 clay targets.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wyatt leads team to win in Crossville Team Championship

    Greg Wyatt fired a three-under-par 69 to lead his team to a 12-under-par 60 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the City of Crossville Team Championship Tuesday morning at Lake Tansi.

    July 22, 2014

  • 60+Team .jpg Senior men's softball brings home the gold, again

    Crossville once again sent four senior men's softball teams, representing four age categories (60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75-79) to Franklin, TN to compete in the 2014 Tennessee Senior Olympics.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • CCHS alumni baseball game set Sept. 20

    CCHS baseball is pleased to announce that the annual alumni game will be Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. at Jet Park.  This has become an annual tradition for the program to welcome back its alumni for a weekend of festivities and allow them the opportunity to lace up the spikes another time to represent the Jets.

    July 21, 2014

  • Kraft, Alexander take top spots in Ladies Invitational at Heatherhurst

    Two hundred and four ladies teed off the 41st annual Fairfield Glade Community Club Ladies Invitational July 12-13 at the Heatherhurst Golf Club's Brae and Craig courses.

    July 21, 2014

  • The truth about driver distance

    Most golfers would like to hit the ball further off the tee with the driver.  Distance may not be as important as accuracy off the tee, but it is very valuable. Longer, straighter drives make the game easier.

    July 21, 2014

  • pribanich.jpg Pribanich competed in the Flex Lewis Championship body building competition

    Caroline Pribanich represented Brickhouse Gym and her sponsor General Nutrition Centers (GNC) in the Flex Lewis Body Building championship in Murfreesboro June 28.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rotary 5K set Oct. 4

    The annual Crossville Rotary Club 5k race and one-mile run/walk will be Oct. 4, at 8 a.m. in downtown Crossville, with registration and post-race activities at the Crossville Depot.

    July 17, 2014

  • autograph ball.jpg Scorecard playoff determines winners in Johnny Majors Invitational

    One hundred-thirty-six of Coach Johnny Majors former players, coaches, family members and supporters were divided into four flights for his annual tournament June 13 at the Lake Tansi golf course to complete the weekend's activities.

    July 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • HOF Inductees.jpg Sportswriters induct Woody into Hall of Fame

    Cumberland County native Larry Woody was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Writers Associations Hall of Fame during ceremonies at Cumberland University in Lebanon Thursday night.

    July 14, 2014 2 Photos

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
Parade
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar