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Sports Agenda for Thursday (1/24/13)

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CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 23: Shane Larkin #0 of the Miami Hurricanes scores while being defended by Amile Jefferson #21 of the Duke Blue Devils on January 23, 2013 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

CORAL GABLES, FL – JANUARY 23: Shane Larkin #0 of the Miami Hurricanes scores while being defended by Amile Jefferson #21 of the Duke Blue Devils on January 23, 2013 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

UM

Big News:
Not to be one to say I told you so about UM last night, but…plus the Heat play to their opponents, but still squeak out a win. And my thoughts on the NCAA’s scandal coming to light. All in the agenda….

Quote of the Day:
“I love to go to Washington…if only to be near my money.” – Bob Hope

UM Basketball:
Here’s what I said about the UM-Duke game yesterday morning…
“I don’t know, but it feels like everything is in place for a big time upset tonight. I can’t put my finger on why, but it just seems like things have come together just right for UM basketball to take a big step forward.”
Much like UM last night, I hit that one big time.
It was quite possibly the best I have ever seen UM play and the worst I have ever seen Duke play.
At one point in the first half, I think I counted UM going on a 25-1 run.
I saw a shot of Coach K at one point and thought he was either going to have fire come out of his eyes or his head was going to spin around and pea soup was going to come out of his mouth.
Seriously, that was as bad as I have ever seen Duke play, and I’ve seen a lot of Duke games.
Even Dickie V was stunned at how bad Duke was.
Now all that said, you can’t take anything away from UM.
They came out and smacked Duke in the mouth in the early part of the game and never let up.
When I was watching UM two things dawned on me that I should have realized sooner.
First, UM is primed for an NCAA tourney run.
They’ve got bigs down low and some of the fastest guards you’ll see.
They can rebound, crash the boards, block shots, and get out in transition.
Basically, they’re a lot like the Heat in some ways…except UM can rebound.
UM has no time to savor the victory, FSU is coming to town this weekend and UM could walk out of this week with a Duke win and a win over their arch rival.
So would UM then be having the Best Week Ever?
VH1 is on the case.

Miami Heat: (off Thursday)
The only thing worse than the Heat’s singing ability was their defense.
They gave up 116 points to the Raptors?
Who do they think they are…the Lakers?
Sorry, L.A. makes it too easy.
Oh one other thing about L.A….am I the only one who thinks it’s too convenient that Dwight Howard injures himself right as he is drawing a lot of heat for being the immature jerk that he is?
See Miami, this is why you need to build a statue of Pat Riley.
It’s also nice to see Dwyane Wade awakening his scoring last night, hitting for 35 points.
And finally….the rock has come back to Miami.
No, not that Rock, but the basketball.
Miami had 53 rebounds last night…Bosh, Haslem, and James had 12, 10, 10 rebounds each.
Add in 18 points from Ray Allen and 7 boards from Battier and you have a nice team effort offensively.
Now…if the Heat can only turn on the defense they showed the last two years, we got ourselves a juggernaut.
I still think the Heat are just coasting until they have to turn it on.
But one final note to LeBron…please stop shooting 3-pointers. That is all.

NCAA Scandal:
Finally this morning, my thoughts on the NCAA scandal that broke wide open yesterday afternoon.
First, let’s get this out of the way…
Miami fans shouldn’t celebrate this, you’re still going to get whacked by the Infractions Committee and deservedly so for letting someone like Shapiro run wild in your program, especially Kirby Hocutt and Shalala, we’ll see if the NCAA has the guts to come down on them though.
So Miami will likely escape some of the most damaging evidence, but as NCAA president Mark Emmert said yesterday, they still have a lot of evidence against UM that wasn’t tainted.
UM fans celebrating the possibility of getting out of this are like a convict beating a charge because of a technicality got a piece of evidence that likely would have convicted you thrown out.
You’re still guilty, you just let the system beat itself.
Okay, that said….
NCAA….are you freaking kidding me?
Look, I’ve defended the NCAA over the years from the Albert Means case to even Penn State’s unprecedented sanctions.
I can’t defend this one.
You have to open an investigation on your investigation of UM.
I don’t want to say that’s enough of a hole to drive a Mack truck through with reasonable doubt…but c’mon man.
The NCAA has the responsibility of conducting legit investigations to make sure the rules are followed.
Instead, we’re left with this mess of an investigation that has the credibility of a Washington politician.
I mean, who in their right mind thought it was legit to hire the lawyer of the guy making the accusations and pay her as you use investigation gathered through her.
That’s like…I can’t even come up with anything that dumb…
Here’s a list of how bad the NCAA’s enforcement bureau has been under Emmert, via SI.com.
We have the Cam Newton loophole saga
The Ohio State Tattoo Five being allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl, despite being ineligible.
There’s the NCAA investigator who was fired after her boyfriend told an airline passenger about her pursuit of UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad.
Then there’s the treatment of USC’s Todd McNair which a judge tore into the NCAA calling it “malicious.”
At this point, I think it’s safe to say that it’s time for the NCAA to remove Emmert and whoever is in charge of the enforcement division.
In addition, how about beefing up the enforcement division with some more employees…it’s not like the multi-billion dollar NCAA is hurting for money.
Emmert was in full-fledged CYA mode on a teleconference yesterday and he knew he and the NCAA did their best impression of the Keystone Cops.
As Emmert kept talking and answering questions I could only think of one phrase to sum it up…
“When you’re in the hole, stop digging.”
The NCAA is deep in the hole and even if they do whack Miami, their credibility is shot and my guess is if Miami took it to federal court, they’d tear up the NCAA.
But at this point, I think UM just wants the damn thing to end, as do most fans and sportswriters.
The NCAA, the BCS, Penn State, Notre Dame, Congress….I wonder which one can have the FAIL tag applied to it best?

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