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Original Issue

SETH DAVIS'S Hoop Thoughts

Missouri was the subject of a lengthy NCAA investigation and endured a slew ofother off-court embarrassments during Quin Snyder's seven-year tenure inColumbia, but it wasn't until the Tigers started losing badly--the team islikely to miss the NCAA tournament for the third straight year--that the schooldecided to make a change. The final straw was an embarrassing 26-point loss atBaylor on Feb. 7 that left Missouri at 10-11. (At week's end it had improved to11-11 overall, 4-7 in the Big 12.) Three days later officials told Snyder(above) he was out at the end of the season, prompting him to quit. Now Mizzouhas a chance to get things right with Snyder's replacement. The Tigers havebeen on NCAA probation under both Snyder and his predecessor, Norm Stewart. Ifuniversity administrators do not establish a new attitude in the program, thenit's only a matter of time before Missouri makes headlines again for the wrongreasons.

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun certainly has done some things this season thatare worthy of criticism, but the skewering he has received recently over histreatment of UConn's beat writers is far from deserved. The minirevolt on pressrow was ignited by Jeff Jacobs of The Hartford Courant, who complained in aJan. 31 column that Calhoun had threatened him a month earlier in response toan item in a previous Jacobs column. (Calhoun had told reporters that if Jacobsattended practice, he'd better come "with a couple of armed guards.")To engage in personal sniping in the pages of a newspaper is plain silly.Furthermore, the readers don't care. If Jacobs or any other reporter doesn'tlike the way Calhoun treats him, he should handle it face-to-face and behindclosed doors.

1 Michigan has major defensive problems. The Wolverines (16-6) let Ohio Stateand Purdue shoot a combined 61.1% (55.3% from three-point range) in their twolosses last week, and Michigan has fallen out of the Top 25 with three straightdefeats.

2 This is thebest national scoring race ever. Gonzaga's Adam Morrison (above) and Duke'sJ.J. Redick are not only the top two candidates for player of the year honors,but through Monday only two points separated them in the scoring battle, withMorrison (28.8 per game) first and Redick (28.7) right behind him.

3 The Big East isin good shape to get nine NCAA tournament bids. That's how many of its teamsare ranked in the top 35 of the RPI, and with so many other power conferenceshaving down years, it looks as if all nine could get into the tournament.

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