Campus Chatter: Midnight Madness Edition

My apologies but today’s edition is going to be very brief. I tend to not have nearly as much free time when I am home in NY and the column tends to suffer as a result. Once the baseball season is over I assure you that there will be a great deal more content. For now, here is a quickie as I am off to Shea for Game 2 of the NLCS.

-I am working on a column about Cory Lidle and Buck O’Neil, whether you ever see it is another story. I should also probably get it approved first since I am not the MLB guy.

-Tonight marks one of my favorite nights of the year, Midnight Madness. Midnight Madness used to mark the official start of the college basketball season and while it still does to a degree, a great deal of teams have shifted their festivities to earlier in the night. Two big college basketball stories to cover and then I will share my college football picks for the weekend.

Related Chatter:
-Perhaps the biggest college basketball story of the season has already taken place as the No. 1 recruit in the 2007 recruiting class, as ranked by, has changed his mind on where he will be attending school. Eric Gordon, a 6-foot-3 senior guard out of North Central High School, is set to announce that he will be attending Indiana and not Illinois. The reason why this is such a big story is that Gordon had already verbally committed to Illinois, yet Indiana did not stop recruiting him. While the practice of recruiting players who have already made verbal commitments is extremely common in football, it is against proper etiquette to do so in college basketball. Indiana landing Gordon is a huge step in the right direction for new coach Kelvin Sampson and could lead to a monster recruiting class next season. In addition, it may lead to the heavy recruitment of players who have already made verbal commitments, which would be a black eye for the sport.

-The second major story has nothing to do with a recruit, yet everything to do with recruiting. Southern Cal, which has played its home games at the off-campus LA Sports Arena for years, finally gets to show off its brand new on-campus arena, The Galen Center, tonight. The new arena coupled with super-recruit OJ Mayo and newly hired coach Tim Floyd might lead to a shifting of power in college basketball. USC has obviously showed its recruiting prowess in college football and the basketball program can now not only pitch its great football atmosphere, but its great basketball atmosphere as well. There is no doubt that USC is on a roll right now in basketball and Ben Howland and company over at UCLA are probably a little nervous right now that they may be losing their stranglehold over the city. Much like with the Gordon story, this will be a very interesting story to follow.

Week 7 Picks (Spreads courtesy of
(Season Record vs. The Spread: 30-27-1, Last Week: 3-2)

Wake Forest at NC State (-3)
NC State 24 – Wake Forest 17

#24 Rutgers (+2.5) at Navy
Rutgers 27 – Navy 20

#19 Missouri (-2) at Texas A&M
Missouri 34 – Texas A&M 30

#4 Michigan (-5) at Penn St.
Michigan 28 – Penn St 20

#2 Florida (-2) at #11 Auburn
Florida 24 – Auburn 21

I sure took a lot of road favorites, hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite me. Again sorry for the abbreviated column, enjoy the weekend and Let’s Go Mets!