What’s in a Name?: New name ideas for old Big East

With the seven Catholic schools leaving and taking the name “Big East” with them, the no name conference, that will add Houston, Tulane, East Carolina, SMU, Memphis, and UCF for the 2013 season, is in desperate need of a new name.

Perhaps the most confusing thing about all of this conference realignment is what to name these new conferences.  The Big 12 has 10 teams, the Big 10 has 12 teams, and the SEC has teams outside of the Southeastern region of the United States.  It can be confusing, but if you change the Big 12 to the Big 10 and the Big 10 to the Big 12 life will make sense.

Luckily for the remaining teams in the old Big East, there are some solid options for the new name of the Big East.  Here are a few conference name suggestions for the remaining non-Catholic schools in the old Big East:

Conference Formerly Known as the Big East
Think of that picture like the symbol that the artist formerly known as “Prince” uses.  Any symbol will work, a dollar sign with a huge slash to symbolize the lack of money the teams formerly in the Big East will make compared to the BCS conference schools, or a frowny face which will show how sad the schools are for not being invited to the Catholic 7’s new “Big East”.  Think about it, how many conferences are recognized by just a symbol?  None, so being able to add a unique twist to the conference name might actually help make up for some of the revenue that is going to be lost.  Just pick a symbol, throw in “the conference formerly known as the Big East”, and let the merchandising of the conference begin.

Conference USA 2.0
Makes sense to me.  After all, the Big East certainly likes snatching teams from C-USA.  When they first expanded in 2005, the Big East took C-USA football members Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida.  This time they take Houston, SMU, Tulane, Memphis, Central Florida, and East Carolina of C-USA.  With the departure of Louisville to the ACC, this makes eight of the 12 schools (Navy is not scheduled to join until 2015) former members of C-USA.

Please Take Me Next Atlantic Coast Conference Conference
The PTMNACCC is a mouthful, but when you take into account that the ACC pillages the Big East much like the Big East pillages C-USA you can understand the name.  With Pitt, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Syracuse leaving to go along with Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College from 2005, the Big East is looking like a minor league farm system for the ACC.

Metro Conference
This was the conference Memphis, Cincy, and Tulane belonged to before it folded resulting in the formation of  C-USA.  Since C-USA and Big East are now taken, and nobody has the name Metro Conference, it also makes sense.  Most of the universities in the old Big East are in major metropolitan areas so the name works from that angle as well.

Catholic 7
Since St. John’s, Seton Hall, Marquette, Providence, DePaul, Villanova and Georgetown are taking the Big East name with them, why can’t the old Big East teams take the name those schools have been known by the past few months. Stealing the name of the seven schools that crippled an already struggling conference, seems like the right thing to do to spite them.

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport.  If you think you have a better name for the new look Big East tweet him @churtj09 #newBigEast for his and your amusement.  He also live tweets from different college football games throughout the Mid-South.

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Can something be done to eliminate long security lines at Memphis Grizzlies games?

On Friday, many Memphis fans were left waiting outside in the cold once again missing the opening tip of a Grizzlies game. The long lines and late arrivals into seats have become common occurrences on the nights FedExForum is forced to comply with the NBA’s increased security policy.

Kevin Cerrito is the managing editor of MemphiSport and host of MSL every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.  Follow him @cerrito.

SEE ALSO: Reaction to Memphis receiving invite to bid for 2024 Olympics

Will home court advantage help Jay-Z even the score against Justin Timberlake?

JT and Jay-Z watching the first "Suit and Tie" Classic together

JT and Jay-Z tweet out a picture of them watching the first “Suit and Tie” Classic together

Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will be the setting for the second ever clash between celebrity owners Justin Timberlake (Grizzlies) and Jay-Z (Nets). The game played twice a year between the Eastern and Western Conference teams has been nicknamed the “Suit and Tie” Classic.

The Grizzlies defeated the Nets, 101 – 77 at the NBA’s first “Suit and Tie” Classic at FedExForum in Memphis on January 26, 2013.

The February 24 game was recently moved to national TV (ESPN) and is the first “Suit and Tie” Classic since Jay-Z and JT announced they would be going on tour together this summer.

Can Jay-Z get his first win over Justin Timberlake in Brooklyn’s first ‘Suit and Tie’ Classic?

Read CJ Hurt’s breakdown of Justin Timberlake vs. Jay-Z

UPDATE: The Grizzlies defeated the Nets, 76– 72  at the “Suit and Tie” Classic Vol 2 at Timberlake is now 2-0 against Jay-Z in the NBA.

MSL’s Annual Oscars Handicapping Special 2013

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Oscarologist Greg Akers joins Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter in studio to preview and predict the 85th Annual Academy Awards during MSL’s Annual Oscars Handicapping Special presented by the 16th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival and Ronald McDonald House Memphis’ Oscar Experience.

AUDIO:

MemphiSport Live

Click hereto read Greg Akers and Chris Herrington debate the Oscars

Click here for information about the 16th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival

Click here for information on Ronald McDonald House Memphis’ Oscar Night America

Click here for more MSL interviews.

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito  & @marcus_hunter.

 

MSL: 2.23.13

BOM MSL 2012

HOUR 1:

(Segment 1) Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter discuss the week’s biggest stories in the Starting 5.
(Segment 2) After the phones go down, the guys are forced to play Tweet & Listen instead of Hang Up & Listen.
(Segment 3) Shenanigans.

MemphiSport Live

HOUR 2: MSL’s Annual Oscars Handicapping Special

Oscarologist Greg Akers joins Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter in studio to preview and predict the 85th Annual Academy Awards during MSL’s Annual Oscars Handicapping Special presented by the 16th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival and Ronald McDonald House Memphis’ Oscar Experiance.

MemphiSport Live

Click here for more MSL interviews.

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito  & @marcus_hunter.

Reaction to Memphis receiving invite to bid for 2024 Olympics

In a shocking turn of events, the United States Olympic Committee invited Memphis (and several other cities) to make a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. 

Kevin Cerrito is the managing editor of MemphiSport and host of MSL every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.  Follow him @cerrito.

SEE ALSO: Famous Raptors fan who went nuts on YouTube reacts to Rudy Gay trade on MSL

Grizzlies expand TV and radio to Little Rock

Photo by Justin Ford

(Photo by Justin Ford)

On Tuesday, the Memphis Grizzlies announced plans to to broadcast more television and radio games in the Little Rock, Arkansas market on FOX Sports Southwest PLUS and 93.3 KKSP.

Here is a portion of the official press release:

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES ANNOUNCE REGIONAL BROADCAST EXPANSION

Grizzlies TV and Radio Expand to the Little Rock, AR Market

 Memphis, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies today announced that they will have expanded regional coverage of the team with their television and radio broadcasts throughout the Little Rock, AR market. FOX Sports Southwest PLUS will televise seven of the 31 remaining regular season games this year beginning tonight, while at least 20 games will be aired on 93.3 KKSP The Source beginning March 1.

Residents of Little Rock and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy play-by-play broadcaster Pete Pranica, who is in his seventh season as the television voice of the Grizzlies. Pranica will be joined by analysts Sean Tuohy and former Grizzlies point guard Brevin Knight and will feature sideline reporter Rob Fischer, who is currently in his sixth season for all Grizzlies telecasts.

Television games broadcasted in the Little Rock market are as follows (all times CT):

Date                     Game

Feb. 19                 at Detroit Pistons                                           6:30 p.m.

Feb. 22                 vs. Orlando Magic                                          7 p.m.

Mar. 3                  at Orlando Magic                                           5 p.m.

Mar. 6                  vs. Portland Trailblazers                                7 p.m.

Mar. 13                at Los Angeles Clippers                                 9:30 p.m.

April 7                   at Sacramento Kings (following St. Louis Cardinals baseball—join in progress)          5 p.m.

Also, beginning on March 1, the Grizzlies Radio Network is excited to expand their already existing coverage in four states and 11 stations to include 93.3 KKSP The Source of Little Rock, AR as a new affiliate. Radio play-by-play broadcaster Eric Hasseltine, currently in his eighth season as the radio voice of the Grizzlies, will continue to team up with color analysts Hank McDowell and Elliot Perry to provide commentary for all Grizzlies games.

“Expanding our regional footprint in the Mid-South is vital to the long term growth and success of the Grizzlies,” said Jason Levien, Grizzlies’ CEO and Managing Partner. “We are excited to take this first step into Little Rock with our TV broadcast partners at Fox Sports along with expanding our radio coverage with The Source 93.3FM. We look forward to continuing to grow our regional appeal and reach further in the coming months and years.”

SEE ALSO: Redbirds announce list of 2013 promotional giveaways, includes BBQ bobblehead

Why the Memphis Tigers are rolling through opponents

The University of Memphis men’s basketball team had a tendency to build big leads in games early, but lose the large advantage before the end of the game.  The Tigers built double digits leads in many games early in the season, but had to hold on for dear life to pull out a win.  That has not been the case the past few weeks.  The last two Tigers’ home games have been blowouts by Tigers’ standards.  The Tigers are in the middle of a 16 game winning streak.  The last loss was to the hated Louisville Cardinals on December 16.

Joe Jackson has led the Tigers to one the best defensive teams in the conference.  Photo by Justin Ford.

Joe Jackson has led the Tigers to one the best defensive teams in the conference. Photo by Justin Ford.

The Tigers did not play bad in that game and if a few questionable calls had not gone against the Tigers maybe they would have won that game.  The Tigers’ black eye of the season came during the three games played in the Bahamas.  Despite having one of the most talented teams in the field, Memphis only won one game on that trip.  The Tigers learned a lot from that trip and the lessons learned has led to the current streak.  The Tigers have returned to the Associated Press and USA Today polls and are slowing rising in the power rankings.

Here are a few reasons why the Tigers are on such a roll:

Respecting the opponents.  The Tigers have had a history of playing down to the level of their opponent. Head coach Josh Pastner has been stressing the quality of every opponent the Tigers are playing this year. To the Tigers’ opponents, every game is their Super Bowl. This will be the last chance some members of  Conference USA will get to beat the Tigers, because of the move to the Big East next season.

Adonis Thomas consistency has improved.  Before the season, it was a given that Thomas would be showcasing his talent for pro scouts on a nightly basis, but then  Thomas was invisible for the first half of the season.  Recently Thomas has been more aggressive.  Against Marshall, Thomas had one of his best games of the season scoring a career high 23 points and he grabbed 10 rebounds.  The points and rebounds came within the flow of the game and he didn’t take away from anyone’s game.

The big three play well together.  An unlikely trio has formed in the combination of Chris Crawford, Joe Jackson and Geron Johnson.  When those three are on the court at the same time a special kind of explosive occurs.  The normally fast Tigers appear even faster and are able to push the tempo to an even higher pace and they tend to force opponents turnovers.  It hasn’t hurt that Crawford has emerged from his early season slump.  The key with these three players is they head up the dangerous Tigers’ defense.

Offense excites, but defense wins games.  The explosive dunks of DJ Stephens, the penetrating layups of Jackson and the outside shots of Crawford always seem to get the crowds at FedExForum on their feet.  However the Tigers lead Conference USA in blocked shots, are second in steals and have three players ranked in the top ten in steals per game 9-Crawford (1.56), 7-Jackson (1.68) and 3-Johnson (1.8).  DJ Stephens is hands down the best shot blocker in the conference with 57 blocked shots on the season and is averaging (2.28 bpg).

Terry Davis covers the Memphis Tigers for MemphiSport. To reach Johnson, email him at terry@memphisport.com.  Follow him @Terryd515.

SEE ALSO:

MSL: 2.16.13

BOM MSL 2012

HOUR 1:

(Segment 1) Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter discuss the week’s biggest stories in the Starting 5.
(Segment 2) Dustin Starr joins the guys in studio to talk about wrestling in the Olympics,  Robert Pera vs. Vince McMahon, and WrestleMania.
(Segment 3) Shenanigans.

MemphiSport Live

HOUR 2:
(Segment 1) Hang Up & Listen.
(Segment 2) The guys discuss the Tony Allen TV Special.
(Segment 3) Woohoos and Boos. Plus, Kelley Evans joins the show live from the NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, Texas.

MemphiSport Live

Click here for more MSL interviews.

Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host MemphiSport Live (MSL) on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.

Follow the MSL hosts on Twitter @cerrito  & @marcus_hunter.