Awkward March Madness Moment: Greg Gumbel Gets Confused Over the Miller Bros, Promptly Ejects (w/ VIDEO)

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Man, what a weekend of college basketball!

We saw one for the ages between Wichita State and Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, we saw the death of the Big East as we know it with their top two teams going down to a 7 seed and a 6 seed, and we saw just enough Cinderellas sneak through to where the match ups in the Sweet Sixteen are, for the most part, compelling.

The biggest upset of the weekend was probably 11 seed Dayton knocking off 3 seed Syracuse in the South Region. Dayton was one of six teams to come into the tournament from the much maligned Atlantic 10, and saved the conference the ignominy of coming up empty in the Sweet Sixteen.

It was an amazing game Saturday night, and it sets up the possibility (albeit unlikely) that Dayton head coach Archie Miller and his brother Sean (head coach at West 1 seed Arizona) could meet in the Finals, a sort of college basketball version of the Harbaughs.

And that's where our story begins, with confusion caused the existence of multiple Miller brothers.

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Update: With UH Basketball, the Status Quo Rules the Day

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Update 5 p.m.: James Dickey announced Monday he will step down from his current position due to a private family matter, according to a statement from the University of Houston. The university said it will handle the search for his replacement internally.

It's status quo so far at UH
It's been 11 days since the Houston Cougars basketball season ended. A 94-65 ass-whipping handed to it by Louisville in the AAC Conference Tournament in Memphis. The loss left the Cougars at 17-16 for the season, three fewer victories than the previous season, and no post-season tournament in the offing.

Thus ended the fourth season of James Dickey's tenure as head coach. His record's a pedestrian 64-62 in that time, and his teams have yet to finish with a winning conference record in either Conference USA or AAC play. The team's suffered player defections and controversial staff moves. There's talent on the team, but too often the team seems unprepared, not ready for what it's going to face when the game starts.

The Cougars did defeat three ranked teams this season, the first time that's happened in an eternity. But with the triumphs that came from defeating UConn, Memphis, and SMU (and possibly knocking SMU out of the NCAA tourney with that loss) were the agonizingly embarrassing losses to Louisville (91-52), Memphis (82-59), UConn (80-43), Rutgers (93-70), and San Jose State (72-68). The Cougars played in a much tougher conference this season, but the out-of-conference schedule was rather weak.

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Rice Basketball Hits the Reset Button, Starts Search for New Coach

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John Royal
The Ben Braun era at Rice has ended.
Ben Braun resigned as Rice's head basketball coach on Thursday morning. Braun was a good man, a good coach, who had previously taken Cal to five NCAA tournaments and who won a NIT. He's got 615 career wins, 12th best among active coaches, 41st all-time among all coaches. But he had just one winning season out of six at Rice. His tenure was rocked with controversy. And it was doomed to failure.

The last coach to leave Rice with a winning tenure was Don Suman. His final season as Rice head coach was 1959. The Owls have since had nine coaches. And all of those coaches have departed with losing records. The school's not seen the NCAA tournament since 1970, or the NIT since 2005. Success and Rice basketball aren't words often seen next to each other. It's a place where coaching careers go to die.

There's a new athletic director on campus at Rice, Joe Karlgaard, a young hotshot hired away from Stanford. Stanford's kind of like Rice, one of the places full of very smart kids that claim not to dumb it down too much when it comes to recruiting athletes. Stanford plays in a power conference and its teams are expected to win. It's no different now for the Owls.

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Will Houston Athletes Ever Get Paid to Play in College?

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TaShawn Thomas dreams of one day becoming a professional after college. He's a junior and a forward on the University of Houston's men's basketball team. Without his scholarship he wouldn't be in college, he says. With the money he receives his housing and food are paid for. Still, he thinks it would be fair for athletes to get paid while in college because they bring a lot of money to the school.

The debate on whether or not a college athlete should get paid won't seem to die down anytime soon. In January football players from Northwestern University tried to start a union seeking more financial benefits. The players came together to try to prove they are employees of the university and that they should be compensated as college athletes recognized by the National Labor Relations Board.

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UH Basketball Slinking Toward Oblivion

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Just how bad has it gotten?
The Shasta mascot showed up for Tuesday's Houston Cougar basketball game against the visiting USF Bulls. It roamed the sidelines, did a half-assed imitation of mascots for other schools, but really didn't do much of anything. And then there's one other minor detail: the mascot showed up for the basketball game wearing a football uniform.

That, if anything, is the epitome of all that is wrong with the University of Houston basketball experience. The mascot can't even be bothered to wear the right uniform to the game. But then again, at least the mascot is at most of the home games, which is more than you can say about the cheerleaders and drill team. And let's not even get started on the band, a group who think shouting "air ball" at shots that clink off the rim is the height of taunting.

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Zapruder Analysis: WAC College Basketball Post-Game Fight

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From movieclip.com on Youtube
WAC gets in their jabs like Cruise.
There's a scene in the Tom Cruise movie Far and Away (Yes, I know, I know...on the list of Cruise movies, this one is a tad obscure. It's like talking about the 2009 NBA Draft and bringing up Eric Maynor instead of James Harden or Blake Griffin) when the home of the wealthy Irish landlord is burned to the ground, and, as the landlord's wife is going through the charred remains of her home, she mutters despondently, "This is not the Ireland of my birth..."

That's kind of how I feel about the Western Athletic Conference (which is still and always will be the WAC to you and me).

What was once a trendy Mountain time zone football pinball machine has through realignment morphed into this unrecognizable mishmosh of orphaned state schools, brought together by a common mediocrity in all things athletic.

To wit, something called a "Utah Valley" is currently atop the WAC standings at 11-3 in conference play.

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Cougars Stun Memphis, Quiet Doubters for a Bit

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The Cougars pulled off a huge upset last night
The Houston Cougars had no business being on the same court with the Memphis Tigers. The Cougars had no business leading at the half. The Cougars shouldn't have been leading at the midway point of the second half.

But most of all, the Cougars really should not have been the one's protecting a lead at the end of the game. The ones watching the 21st ranked Tigers go into panic mode, making wild shots and stupid shots and watching a coach's meltdown on the sidelines.

Yet at the end it was the Houston Cougars on top of the world when the buzzer sounded, pulling off the 77-68 upset of the Tigers. The Cougars (14-14, 6-9) were the one's who celebrated. The Tigers (21-7, 10-5) the ones in shock, wondering what in the hell just happened.

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The Marcus Smart Outrage: Taking Up for the Player

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Sometimes, fans are losers too.
"There is such a thing as manners. A way of treating people. These fish have manners! They have manners." -- Jerry Maguire

It's times like Saturday when Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart probably wishes he had just cashed in his chips and been a top five pick in last year's NBA Draft.

In case you missed it (good luck), in the waning moments of Texas Tech's 65-61 upset of Oklahoma State in Lubbock on Saturday night, Smart fell down near the bottom of the baseline stands in United Spirit Arena after a hard foul on a Texas Tech player.

What happened next dominated Twitter, television, and casual conversation for the next 12 hours (which is about the normal shelf life for outrage in today's microwave popcorn society):

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University of Houston Welcomes Back Guy V. Lewis

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University of Houston Athletic Department
UH is honoring Guy V. Lewis on Wednesday. Will you be there?
I was at the last game Guy V. Lewis coached inside Hofheinz Pavilion. A Cougar victory in overtime of 15th-ranked TCU. It was my sophomore year at UH, March 1, 1986. I don't remember much about the game, not much more than shouting "Guy V., Guy V." a lot and banging on the seats. I attended the game with a group of friends, all UH students, and we sat in the sparsely attended student section.

Hofheinz was sparsely attended that season, attendance averaging 4,928 for that season despite UH hosting multiple big name and highly ranked schools. But the Cougars struggled mightily that season, just two years removed from the championship loss to Georgetown, and the UH faithful were as UH faithful always are, caring only for teams that win, not teams that finish a season at 14-14. Attendance had been moderately better the season before, the Cougars drawing an average of 5,698 fans despite the team coming off it's third straight Final Four appearance.

This season's Cougars are struggling mightily. The team's highpoint this season has been a New Year's Eve upset over the ranked UConn Huskies in a game attended by almost nobody. UH has lost its last four road games by an average of 24.5 points, including a 93-70 loss at Rutgers on Saturday and a 80-43 loss at UConn last Thursday. The team's not good. The play on the court looks uninspired.

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Wait, What, SMU Breaking the Rules?

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Is it time for ESPN to do another 30 For 30 on SMU sports?
Are you the Sports Information Director for a major college athletic program? Do the sports programs at that school have a reputation for bending NCAA rules? Do you like your job, like traveling the country and being involved with sports? Then here's a little hint: don't let your Hall of Fame basketball coach be blindsided at a press conference with questions about players tampering with grades.

This was going to be a story on the rebirth of the SMU basketball team. About a legendary coach taking on one last job, one last challenge. This was going to be about Larry Brown, the only man to coach NCAA and NBA teams to titles. It was going to be about the SMU Mustangs defeating the Houston Cougars yesterday 75-68 to move to 16-4 on the season.

But then came the post-game press conference and WFAA's Brett Shipp asking Brown his attitude about players who don't come to class, don't turn in work assignments, who get grades changed and transfer to SMU. That lead to Brown's stock answer, that answer every coach gives, about the importance of education and everything the school does to make sure the players do their school work. The questioning continues with generalities until Brown's asked if he has a zero tolerance policy towards players who change grades which is when Brown finally ask Shipp's what he's getting at.

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