Starting in the middle of March every year, America's attention is focused squarely on March Madness. Sports – and non-sports fans alike – are tuned in to every bit of news around the tournament in hopes it leads to lucrative bracket paydays.
And in the middle of March each year, there's another story that doesn't get nearly the same attention as the tournament. This week, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida issued its annual report examining the graduation rates of all of the schools participating in the tournament.
The University of Memphis will play George Washington Friday in the Second Round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Raleigh, N.C. The Tigers (23-9) learned their fate during the Division I Men's Basketball Selection Show broadcast by March Madness Live and CBS on Sunday.
Memphis is the East Region's No. 8 seed. The winner of Friday's game between No. 9 seed George Washington and the Tigers will take on the winner of Friday's game pitting No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina on Sunday. The games in Raleigh will be played at PNC Arena.
Times for Thursday and Friday's NCAA Second Round games are still to be determined.
The day before they landed a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Louisville Cardinals took ownership of the hardware that goes with being crowned the winners of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship.
The defending national champions thumped the University of Connecticut 71-61 at the FedExForum on Saturday. It was the seventh win for Louisville in the last eight contests against the Huskies.
The Cardinals (29-5) are set to square off against 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-7) on Thursday in the Mid-West Region in Orlando, Fla. UConn (26-8) is the seventh-seed in the East Region and will play No. 10-seed Saint Joseph's (24-9) on Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. at the First Niagara Center.
The inaugural American Athletic Conference semifinals played out Friday night at FedExForum and moving on are the Louisville Cardinals and the University of Connecticut Huskies.
The two schools met in the 2011 Big East Conference Final and played two regular season games, with Louisville winning both contests (76-64 and 81-48).
Louisville, the conference's second seed, flew pass the University of Houston, blowing out the Cougars 94-65 in the Cardinals' semifinal match-up.
Professionals and amateurs alike have discovered a new technology, Neurobands, to optimize their performance on the field and alleviate pain from current and prior injuries.
Developed with the help of a 16-member team of physicians, trainers and other specialists, Neurobands mimic contractions that stimulate neuron pathways in specific muscles so they continuously adjust muscle balance to keeping the skeleton in alignment.
"Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who's had repeated neck and back injuries and multiple surgeries, now has eight therapeutic shirts with built-in Neurobands and wears them pretty much every day," says Bill Schultz, who brought the technology to market via his company, AlignMed, www.alignmed.com.
The buzz about the University of Memphis' debut in the inaugural American Athletic Conference was short-lived, with the debut degenerating into a cameo appearance.
In front of 13,801 fans at FedExForum on Thursday night, the Tigers (fifth-seeded) took a beating from the fourth-seeded University of Connecticut Huskies.
The final score was 72-53 and it didn't feel that close.
The inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament is being played out in Memphis, with University of Memphis fans hopeful that their fifth-seeded Tigers can claim the tourney championship.
With Cincinnatti, Louisville, SMU and UConn seeded ahead of them, the Tigers are especially happy to have what amounts to home court. Whether it proves to be an advantage will start to show on Thursday when Memphis takes on UConn in a game set to be shown on ESPNU at 8 p.m.
Memphis fans will need no prodding to get up for UConn. The Huskies took both games from the Tigers, with Memphis falling short in an overtime challenge at the FedExForum.