Opinion Blog: On the University of Connecticut Bandwagon

April 8, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Austin Reed

The Yankees. The Lakers. The Red Wings and the Patriots.

These are our star-studded icons of the great American bandwagon tradition.

Fans of these teams should be required by law to show a birth certificate (take that, birthers!) lest they be mocked out of sports bars for being front-runner leeches.

Now, in the year 2011, an old foe has risen out of the rubble that was the nation’s collective March Madness brackets, those infamous Huskies of the University of Connecticut. 

While all of our brackets imploded as the likes of Virginia Commonwealth University and Butler University tore through the elite ranks of Pittsburgh, Ohio State and Kansas. Little did we know, those relentless uConners were about to return to the stage to plague us once more.

Was there anybody outside of the 5th ratified state of the United States who wanted to see the Huskies win the tournament?


(cue, bandwagoners….)

Exactly. Anyone still worthy of the American underdog spirit were found in front of the TVs, rooting for those quasi-perennial under (Bulldogs) from Butler. They were here to seek revenge against the NCAA system and prove that parity can still exist somewhere in this country. Who wouldn’t root for these nobodies, these two-time Cinderellas, these kids who wanted to prove that they could hang with the supposed ‘elites’ of this massive sports market?

Oh, how foolish they made us look Tuesday night. 

The score was 53-41, uConn.

This is the lowest total score since 1949.

There was only 18.8 percent shooting by our hopeful underdogs.

One solitary three-pointer…on only eleven tries.

Congratulations Butler, you can now join such venerated implosions like the 90′s Buffalo Bills, the ’07 Colorado Rockies, the ’96 Florida Panthers… and of course, the Mets, always. That’s some spectacular company to keep for a team that had the hearts and minds of American sports fans, if only for a moment.

On April 5, 2011, our underdog spirit was caught with its pants down, and mocked for all to see.

All hail the great uConn Empire.

The Daily Update: Monday, April 4

April 4, 2011 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Monday, April 4 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

A would be teenage suicide bomber was arrested in Pakistan and why Southwest airlines may have some holes in their business strategy. When was the last time you got involved in a pillow fight, if it has been a while you might have missed the time of your life this weekend, all this and more on your Daily Update. Anchored by SMU-TV’s Bridget Bennett.

NCAA Accepts SMU Sanctions on Men’s Basketball Team

March 10, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Praveen Sathianathan

The NCAA has placed the SMU men’s basketball team on two years’ probation for “major violations” after the university self-reported that staff members sent dozens of impermissible text messages to the parents of at least seven prospects.

The probation takes effect today and will last through March 9, 2013. According to press releases from SMU and the NCAA, recruiting also will be affected under the sanctions — SMU will have 15 fewer recruiting days and two fewer official paid visits for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years.

SMU proposed the probation and recruiting restrictions and the NCAA accepted them. SMU also said in April and May of last year it implemented a two-week ban on starting communication with prospective student-athletes. The school said it also had all its coaches attend the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in June 2010.

“We have made changes to our compliance staff and are increasing the number of staff members in view of the fact that technology is adding new dimensions to the compliance environment,” Athletic Director Steve Orsini said in a prepared statement.

According to the press release, head coach Matt Doherty received “erroneous advice” from a former SMU compliance officer suggesting that texts to parents were allowed under NCAA rules.

After learning of the violation Doherty reported the violations and informed his staff on the correct rules. The NCAA said Doherty’s staff sent about 100 text messages based on the misinformed advice.

Investigators believed the SMU violations were different from other text message cases in that the men’s basketball staff “sought guidance on rules rather than knowingly circumventing them,” according to an NCAA press release.

The press release also says the NCAA Division I Commitee “noted that there is no evidence that more than a minimal recruiting advantage was gained by these inadvertent violations.”

SMU Swimming and Diving Take Second and Third at Conference Championships

February 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske

SMU men’s and women’s swimming and diving concluded the Conference USA Championships Sunday by setting four meet records. The men’s team earned runner-up honors, while the women placed third overall.

Senior captain Tom Cole set the example by earning top honors in the 200-yard breaststroke, earning him a time of 1:54.54 and setting a new meet record and earning him an NCAA B qualifying time. The captain was also named the Men’s Invitational Co-Swimmer of the meet along with Luca Mazzurana of Hawai’i. Cole aslo took top honors in the 100-yard breaststroke with an NCAA B time of 53.44.

Junior Mitchell Thomson excelled at long distances turning in a 15:1.78 time in the 1650-yard freestyle. The time earns Thomson NCAA B consideration.

The youngsters were also strong for the Mustangs this week. Sophomore Mindaugas Sadauskas also set a a new meet record in the 100-yard freestyle. The 43.04 time earns him an NCAA B consideration time. Freshman Braeden Newton took third in the 200-yard backstroke earning him a time of 1:29.23.

The women also put forth a strong performance last week. Junior Therese Svendsen was named Women’s Swimmer of the Meet for her second-straight year. Svendsen earned six gold medals at the event, setting Conferece USA record in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes, breaking her own personal records and earning her NCAA B qualifying times.

Senior Audra Egenolf had a strong performance at the Championships as well, earning the Diver of the Year award with her first place finish and two second place finishes. Egenolf is qualified to compete in the NCAA Zone Diving Championships next month.

The underclassmen did well for the women as well. Freshman Alice McCall came in first in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time on 16:38.83, earning her a NCAA B qualifying time.

Watch out for these strong competitors in the NCAA Championships on March 17-19 in Austin, Texas for the women and on March 24-26 in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the men.

Men’s Tennis Player Earns Bid To NCAA Tournament

May 6, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

SMU tennis player Artem Baradach, currently ranked No. 47 in the ITA, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Singles Championships, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

As the Mustangs No. 1 singles players, Baradach earned a 16-7 record, going 4-3 against nationally ranked opponents. He finished the season winning eight of his last nine matches.

His 2010 record includes a 6-0, 6-1 victory in Austin over then No. 7 ranked Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas.

He finished off the season with a win over No. 35 Marcelo Arevalo of Tulsa, in the semifinals of the C-USA Championship.

The University of Georgia hosts the NCAA men’s singles championships which are scheduled for May 26-31 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.

Orsini Named to NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee

February 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

It was announced Tuesday that SMU Athletic Director Steve Orsini has been named to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.

Orsini, along with Utah State A.D. Scott Barnes, will begin a five-year committee appointment on Sept. 1.

The 10-member committee, which consists of Division I athletic directors and commissioners, manages the selection, seeding and bracketing of teams for the NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament.

Members also oversee preliminary round and Final Four sites and assign officiating crews for each game of the tournament.