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2013 Final Four: Rutgers Situation, Pac-12 Referees & Other Coaching Hires Taking Away Hype?

Matthew Emmons-USA Today Sports

Go back to Sunday evening, the Louisville Cardinals advanced to their second consecutive Final Four, but the talk circulated around Kevin Ware and his horrific leg injury.

Deservedly so, Ware’s story has turned into a sense of inspiration and motivation for the Cardinals heading into this weekend’s Final Four contest against No. 9 Wichita State. However, the simple fact that the Final Four is being played on Saturday has been seemingly overshadowed all week long by other, non-NCAA Tournament related news.

The obvious of these story lines have been the recent coaching decisions made by UCLA, USC, Texas Tech and Minnesota. No fault in that public attention as this happens each and every year, but what about the two biggest story lines out there?

Yes, we are referring to the “conspiracy” and potential scandal involving Pac-12 referees and head of officials Ed Rush. Reports surfaced that their was a “bounty” on Arizona head coach Sean Miller if he was given a technical foul in the conference tournament. He was, so media speculation instantly poured out this week. Rush was forced to resign on Thursday night.

Then of course there is the Rutgers situation, which is still developing. Head men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was fired and athletic director Tim Pernetti was forced to resign amid turmoil from practice videos that showed Rice and assistant coach Jimmy Martelli throwing basketballs, shoving and using derogatory language towards players. Rice was only suspended three games for these actions and the public outcry following the tape’s release has caused a domino effect within the university.

Everything aside, there are two Final Four contests that will take place on Saturday and it’s time to switch gears away from the off-the-court, disappointing news that is related to the sport.

Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State and Louisville are ready to hit the hardwood and they are the ones that deserve the headlines and attention — not wrongdoers in the Pac-12 and at Rutgers.

Re-focus — it’s crunch time within the NCAA Tournament and we are just days away from crowning a National Champion.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS