NCAA

NCAA Tournament denies Bay Area showcase

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NCAA Tournament denies Bay Area showcase

The fallout for the St. Marys basketball team from Cals horrific 65-54 beatdown from South Florida Wednesday is ...

... well, none, really. Doesnt matter a jot.
RECAP: Cal's season comes to ugly end

This seems easy if you assume as most right-thinking folk do that teams go into tunnel vision-mode as the NCAA Tournament begins. The Galloping Gaels, other than a presser Thursday afternoon expected to reveal no secrets or sterling insights from the particulars, are all into Purdue, except for the assistants breaking down Kansas and Detroit on the just-in-case plan.

But fans think differently. They think in terms of defending the honor of the Bay Area (as if there was some), or the Pacific-12 (big in the NIT, not so much where people are looking), or the WCC (BYU has already made it a big tournament).

And nothing could be less interesting to the performers. Their world is about themselves; Rob Jones isnt talking about Victor Rudd (South Florida), hes talking about Robbie Hummel. He may also be talking about studies, or girls, or a million other things, but on the list of things that are on his list, Victor Rudd is way down it either way.

Thats why players tend to be so impatient the day before a tournament game. The waiting and not knowing has killed them, and though like fans they tend to pay attention to the big teams or the ones they know, in this case Cal and St. Marys may as well be Neptune and Mercury.

Too bad, too. Both are programs that by clashing shields become better for the experience, and their fans would get a kick-start out of it as well. In fact, a Bay Area tournament (a non-starter of an idea from long ago) would be ideal.

But coaches are risk-averse, especially the higher you go on the reputational food chain, and Cals version is that St. Marys cant help them but could certainly hurt them, while St. Marys version is that Cal cant hurt them and certainly help them.

Thats the bigger picture. The smaller picture is, St. Marys plays tomorrow, and Cal plays in November. Ships not even passing in the night, and honor aint got nothin to do with it.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.