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Anchor Drop, March 23, 2023: Basketball season ends

Well, it’s over. Time to do player report cards.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 22 NIT - UAB at Vanderbilt Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Vanderbilt’s basketball season came to an end last night with a 67-59 loss to UAB in the quarterfinals of the NIT. The final record is 22-15, and frankly, this season looked like it was going to go a lot worse than that after the Alabama game.

It also still could have gone better, and I have thoughts on this:

Because, yeah. The NCAA absolutely has sent the message in recent years that what you should do is schedule like Mississippi State did this year: just play a couple of marquee games in a neutral-site tournament and then schedule a bunch of creampuffs to go 12-1 against your nonconference schedule, because really, the NCAA’s not going to punish you for it. Why schedule interesting games at all? It sucks, but this is just the reality the NCAA has chosen for us.

Meanwhile, the reactions to this have been nothing if not predictable:

And honestly, it’s necessary. Even the student-athlete advisory committee only wanted one-time transfer exemptions, not a world where guys playing at four different colleges over the course of their college career without having to sit out a single year is a thing that happens. Of course everybody focuses on coaching changes not being an excuse for a waiver, because why would we ever encourage student-athletes to pick a school and not a sports team?

Of course, this leaves out that the NCAA is also changing the rules such that a transfer athlete will count against the scholarship limit until he’s out of eligibility, even if he transfers again. In other words, Lane Kiffin, if you take a transfer who has three years remaining and he transfers again and still has two years left, well, guess what, you’ve got 84 scholarships for the next two years.

It’s fairly obvious that nobody actually wants the world of four-schools-in-four-years. Everybody more or less accepts the first-time transfer exemption at this point (I mean, I don’t, but I’m in an incredibly small minority there), but it’s not clear who is being served by giving out free waivers except for the absolute worst people on both the coach and player ends.

Sports on TV

All times Central.

  • 1:00 PM: PGA Tour: Match Play Championship (Golf Channel)
  • 5:30 PM: NCAA Tournament: Michigan State vs. Kansas State (TBS)
  • 5:30 PM: NHL: Wild at Flyers (ESPN)
  • 6:00 PM: SEC baseball: Georgia at Auburn (SEC Network)
  • 6:00 PM: NBA: Knicks at Magic (NBA TV)
  • 6:15 PM: NCAA Tournament: Arkansas vs. UConn (CBS)
  • 8:00 PM: NCAA Tournament: Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee (TBS)
  • 8:00 PM: NHL: Penguins at Stars (ESPN)
  • 8:45 PM: NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga vs. UCLA (CBS)
  • 9:30 PM: NBA: Thunder at Clippers (NBA TV)


NBA: Nuggets 118, Wizards 104 ... Heat 127, Knicks 120 ... Pacers 118, Raptors 114 ... Warriors 127, Mavericks 125 ... 76ers 116, Bulls 91 ... Grizzlies 130, Rockets 125 ... Bucks 130, Spurs 94 ... Timberwolves 125, Hawks 124 ... Trail Blazers 127, Jazz 115 ... Lakers 122, Suns 111.

NHL: Penguins 5, Avalanche 2 ... Oilers 4, Coyotes 3.