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The Dagger
  • Alone among all the schools in the 2014 NCAA tournament, UNC lost twice in recent weeks: once to Iowa State in the round of 32, and once in the eyes of the public when a terrible paper purportedly written by an athlete apparently received an A-minus. The news earned UNC plenty of derision for rewarding such gross incompetence.

    Turns out that the truth is slightly more complex, though the story itself remains the same.

    Mary Willingham, a UNC learning specialist who exposed the paper, used it in an ESPN documentary as part of an overall example about academic problems at North Carolina. The editing of the documentary made it appear that the paper itself received the A grade, a fact which many news outlets, including Yahoo Sports, reported. However, the paper was actually part of an overall class in which the student earned an A-. Willingham took to Twitter to correct the misperception:

    Read More »from Terrible UNC paper: there's more to the story, but does that matter?
  • Just a few weeks after firing Steve Donahue, Boston College has found his replacement.

    The school announced Thursday that Ohio University’s Jim Christian has been hired to lead the basketball program. Christian is the Mid-American Conference’s all-time leader in winning percentage after spending two seasons at the helm at Ohio and six seasons at Kent State.

    [NCAA tournament: Full bracket | Check out Instant Reactions | Buy team gear]

    "Jim Christian brings three remarkable traits to Boston College basketball," BC athletic director Brad Bates said in a statement. "First, he sincerely cares about his student-athletes and will be a catalyst for their development as basketball players, scholars, servers and leaders, while creating a family culture that brings pride to the BC community. Second, his energy is contagious and his passion inspiring, which will resonate throughout our program. Finally, he is a proven winner with an outstanding winning percentage and three conference

    Read More »from Boston College hires Ohio's Jim Christian as head coach
  • Florida Gators forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10), Michael Frazier II (20), Scottie Wilbekin (5) and Patric Young (4) during the second half against the Dayton Flyers of the final in the south regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at FedExForum. (USATSI)

    This week, The Dagger takes a deeper look at each of the four schools participating in the 2014 Final Four. Today we complete the series with South Regional champion, Florida. Look at the others here Wisconsin, UConn, Kentucky.

    Location: Gainesville, Fla.
    Enrollment: 49,042
    Mascot: Gators
    Must Follow on Twitter: Will Yeguete (@Will15Yeguete)
    Find them here: Official team site or Twitter
    How they got to Arlington: d. No. 16 Albany, d. No. 9 Pittsburgh, d. No. 4 UCLA, d. No. 11 Dayton.

    [NCAA tournament: Full bracket | Check out Instant Reactions | Buy team gear]

    Greatest basketball moment: On April 2, 2007 the Gators beat Ohio State to win their second consecutive national title becoming the first team to repeat since Duke in 1992.
    Reason to root for them: No program in the nation has come more agonizingly close to a championship more often over the past three years without getting to hoist the trophy. The Gators have been to four straight Elite Eights but this is the first Final Four for

    Read More »from Getting to know the 2014 Final Four: Florida
  • Before IPFW made Dane Fife the youngest head coach in Division I basketball nine years ago, school administrators peppered the 25-year-old former Indiana standout with questions that probably didn't come up during interviews with older candidates.

    Tyler Summitt, his mother, and former Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore (AP)One asked Fife whether they should worry that he'd go out drinking with his players. Another asked if they should be concerned that he'd date a cheerleader or student.

    "It was a firing squad," Fife, now a Michigan State assistant, recalled Wednesday. "People weren't real kind with some of their questions and some of their statements in that interview room. I can remember some pretty tough questions that put me on the spot and probably could've incited some anger if I wasn't careful."

    If Tyler Summitt didn't face the same inquisition prior to being named Louisiana Tech's new women's basketball coach on Tuesday, the 23-year-old son of legendary ex-Tennessee coach Pat Summitt surely will have to overcome other challenges as he tries to prove

    Read More »from College head coaches barely older than their players face many challenges
  • New Auburn coach Bruce Pearl found a way to make a splash before he even won his first game or landed his first recruit.

    Bruce Pearl in the dunk tank (via @AUSGA_President)Pearl volunteered for a stint in the Pi Kappa Phi dunk tank on Wednesday afternoon to raise money for PUSH America, the fraternity's non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities. Students paid $2 apiece for the chance to throw balls at a target to dunk Pearl.

    Pearl told the Auburn Plainsman he agreed to participate because it was for a good cause and because he's hopeful stuff like this will lead to more student involvement in the basketball program in return. Plus, it surely didn't hurt that the weather was in the high 70s.

    "We’re going to ask students to come out and support us, maybe even travel to our games," Pearl told the newspaper. "I can’t ask them to engage in our program if I’m not willing to engage in their programs."

    This of course is not Pearl's first time making headlines for shedding his shirt. He appeared shirtless and covered in

    Read More »from Shirtless Bruce Pearl endears himself to Auburn students by getting in a dunk tank


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