Marcus Smart suspended

Marcus Smart was suspended for three games following his altercation with a fan. This shouldn’t be a suprise, as pushing a fan for saying something, even something really bad, can’t be tolerated. Both Smart and the fan have apologized, though the fan is insisting he did not use a racial slur. Jay Bilas discusses the situation in the video above and points out how Smart needs to address this issue going forward.

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Charles Barkley debates Rick Pitino about the Big East [video]

Rick Pitino joined the March Madness coverage and got into a little debate with Charles Barkely, who obviously isn’t a big fan of the Big East.

I love Pitino’s statement at 0:50 that “Notre Dame will not lose tonight” (to Florida St., whom they did lose to…badly).

The Big East is currently 9-9 in the tourney with two teams still alive (UConn and Marquette). Based purely on seeding, we would expect the conference to be 14-6 with five teams (Pitt, Notre Dame, Louisville, Syracuse and UConn) still alive. Barkley is right that the Big East didn’t have a powerhouse team like the Big Ten (Ohio St.) or the Big 12 (Kansas) does, but it is a good conference top to bottom. Marquette is a good example. They beat a solid Xavier team and then upset Syracuse. Sure, it would be more impressive had they beaten a non-Big East team to make it to the Sweet 16, but it’s still an impressive run for an 11-seed.

If UConn and Marquette go quietly into the dark night against SDSU and North Carolina, respectively, then we can really wonder about the conference’s strength, but if UConn wins and Marquette gives the Tar Heels a good game, isn’t that enough?

It’s interesting — when Barkley made that comment about the Big East having solid but unspectacular players, I looked at a first round mock over at NBADraft.net, and the only Big East player projected to go in the first round is Kemba Walker. (There are six Big East players projected to go in the second round.) DraftExpress also shows one first rounder (Walker) and six second rounders.

Jay Bilas probably summed it up best on Twitter:

With a little help from Jay Bilas, Rockin’ Refuel helps one high school athlete go to college

Given what has transpired over the past couple months in sports, it’s kind of hard to weed through the headlines and find a positive story. From Tiger Woods to Ben Roethlisberger, there have been enough negative sports headlines to go around.

So if I may, I’d like to take a second to focus on a positive storyline – one that I was able to participate in and see unfold first hand.

Shamrock Farms is a local milk processor out of Phoenix that has developed a new product called Rockin’ Refuel, which is a protein-enhanced milk geared towards helping young athletes rebuild, recover and refuel after workouts. The drink boasts that it has 40 percent more protein than regular milk and is chockfull of vitamins.

At the beginning of the month, Rockin’ Refuel teamed up with an organization called Hoop It Up 3-on-3 (a local market 3-on-3 basketball tour that is affiliated with the American Cancer Society and Coaches vs. Cancer) in New York City to help kickoff a great event. Along with ESPN college hoops analyst Jay Bilas, Rockin’ Refuel traveled to Xavier High School in Manhattan to conduct the “Most Rockin’ Shot,” which was a contest that gave one lucky student a $10,000 academic scholarship.

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