Conference USA

Larry Brown returns to college basketball

Former NBA coach takes on challenge at SMU
<p> Larry Brown is back to school in return to college basketball</p>

Larry Brown returns to the college game for the first time in 25 years. His task: Lead SMU back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993.

By Michael Bradley

10 College Basketball Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2012-13

Herb Sendek is under pressure to turn things around at Arizona State
<p> 2012-13 College Basketball Preview: 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat</p>

After a year in which the Pac-12 regular season champion failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, none of the programs in the league made a coaching change.

That’s partly a testament to some of the new coaches in the league or the built up credibility for some of the others. But it was a mild surprise after the entire league struggled en masse for another season.

College Basketball Countdown: No. 18 Memphis Preview

Joe Jackson leads an all-local starting backcourt for the Tigers
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 18 Memphis Preview</p>

College Basketball Sleepers: 10 teams that could return to the NCAA Tourney

Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon hopes the Panthers end a one-year Tourney drought.
<p> College Basketball Sleepers: 10 teams that could return to the NCAA Tourney<br />  </p>

In 2012, 30 of 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament field missed out a bid a season earlier.

The tally included eight from the six major conferences, including returns to prominence for Indiana and NC State. A quarter of the Sweet 16 -- the Hoosiers, Wolfpack, Baylor and Ohio -- was comprised of teams that a year earlier were either in consolation tournaments or missed the postseason altogether.

In 2012-13, Tournament droughts undoubtedly will end with a handful of teams capable of reaching the second weekend.

Top 10 College Coaches Under 40

Our look at the most accomplished under-40 college football and basketball coaches
<p> Top College Coaches Under 40</p>

What would recent Final Fours be without Butler and VCU? And how boring would college football be without coaches like Lane Kiffin and Pat Fitzgerald.

There’s an intriguing youth movement afoot in college sports where Butler’s Brad Stevens and VCU’s Shaka Smart, both under the age of 40, have reached the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament and subsequently turn down big-time jobs to continue building their mid-major programs.

College Basketball Conference Realignment: Winners and Losers

How teams and leagues graded out in conference basketball realignment
<p> College basketball conference realignment: Winners and Losers</p>

One of the unfortunate truths of the latest wave of conference realignment is the overwhelming focus on football.

As a result, basketball and other sports have been of secondary concern in some circles. In others, such as at Butler and VCU and in the Horizon, Colonial and Ohio Valley, basketball is the primary engine of revenue. Almost every league in some way has been impacted by the dominoes of realignment.

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