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NCAA Tournament expands, but only to 68 teams

Fear not, those worried about the NCAA making the bold move of expanding to a 96-team NCAA Tournament next season.

The news is in on the new TV deal, and for now, 96 teams ain’t happening.

From the NCAA’s press release:

The NCAA today announced a new 14-year television, internet and wireless rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to present the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning in 2011 through 2024 for more than $10.8 billion. As part of the agreement, all games will be shown live across four national networks beginning in 2011 – a first for the 73-year old championship.

Additionally, CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting have been licensed and will collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.

Late Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee unanimously passed a recommendation to the Division I Board of Directors to increase tournament field size to 68 teams beginning with the 2011 Championship. The recommendation will be reviewed by the Division I Board of Directors at its April 29 meeting.

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Beginning with the 2011 championship, opening- , first- and second-round games will be shown nationally on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. CBS and Turner will split coverage of the regional semi-final games. CBS will provide coverage of the regional finals, as well as the Final Four® including the National Championship Game through 2015. Beginning in 2016, coverage of the regional finals will be split by CBS and Turner with the Final Four and the National Championship game alternating every year between the CBS Television Network and Turner’s TBS.

The assumption is that 68 teams next season means all 16 seeds will have a play-in game. The point of this, I’m not quite sure.

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Marquis Teague commits to Kentucky

In an announcement at Pike High School in Indianapolis this afternoon, 2011 point guard Marquis Teague revealed that he will attend the University of Kentucky.

Teague, the No. 5 player in his class according to Scout.com, averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists a game and shot 43 percent for a 15-7 team at Pike.

He was also considering Louisville, Indiana, Purdue and Cincinnati.

Indiana in the mix for 2011 point guard Sterling Gibbs

One name Indiana fans will likely become more familiar with over the coming months is Seton Hall Prep (NJ) point guard Sterling Gibbs.

The 6-3, 180-pound Gibbs is coming off a fantastic junior season in which he averaged 23 points and five assists per game. Seton Hall Prep finished the season 27-3, falling to St. Peter’s Prep 64-54 in the North Jersey Non-Public A Final.

Gibbs, who considers himself more of a pure point guard than a scoring guard, said he experienced noticeable improvement in his game from his sophomore to his junior season.

“I think the main part was understanding the game more,” Gibbs told Inside the Hall. “I understand to take what the defense gives me and if I get my teammates open shots, then my offense will come into the mix and it’ll be a lot easier for me to score if my teammates are scoring as well.”

While his scoring numbers were impressive, Gibbs, the No. 22 point guard in his class according to Scout.com, is more focused on making his teammates better and winning.

“I can score when needed,” he said. “I like to get my teammates involved in the game. Overall, I just like winning. That’s the main thing for me.”

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Former Ohio State guard Walter Offutt to Indiana?

NCAA First Round: Siena Saints v Ohio State BuckeyesWalter Offutt, a 6-3 guard from Warren Central in Indianapolis who originally signed with Ohio State and transferred to Wright State, is on the move again.

We received a tip on Monday that Offutt would leave Wright State and consider walking-on at Indiana and now The Dayton Daily News is reporting it as a possibility:

Walter Offutt, a 6-foot-3 guard who transferred to Wright State from Ohio State in the winter, will leave WSU when the current quarter ends, Offutt said today, April 21.

Offutt said he is considering walking on to the roster at Indiana or possibly joining former OSU assistant coach John Groce at Ohio University, where Groce is the head coach.

Offutt was a four-star recruit in the 2008 class, but played in just 21 games as a freshman at Ohio State and in two games last fall as a sophomore before transferring to Wright State.

He averaged 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals as a junior at Warren Central before missing his senior season due to injury.

Offutt would likely have two years of eligibility remaining.

Crean confirms Steve McClain will be new assistant

The search for the vacant assistant coach position is over.

Indiana head coach Tom Crean confirmed Wednesday afternoon to multiple media outlets that former Colorado associate head coach Steve McClain will join the IU staff.

According to Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times, McClain could be announced at a press conference in Bloomington on Friday.

Former IU assistant Roshown McLeod, who was fired prior to the last week of the season, was recently named the new head coach at St. Benedict’s High in New Jersey.

The full press release issued by IU is available after the jump:

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Former Iowa recruit Cody Larson commits to Florida

South Dakota Roosevelt forward Cody Larson, who received a visit from the IU coaching staff shortly after opening up the recruiting process, has given a verbal pledge to play at Florida.

Stu Whitney of The Sioux Falls Argus Leader talked to Larson on Tuesday evening about his decision:

“It’s still hard to grasp that I’m a Gator. I look forward to getting back down here and starting my college career.”

“Everything about Gainesville wowed me, especially the (players) and coaches. Coach Donovan is going to push me to get better, and the whole experience is going to be a good challenge for me.”

Not a surprising development at all, given the obstacles Larson would have needed to clear to play at another Big Ten school. The success of Mike Miller, another South Dakota kid from the same AAU program, was likely a factor in the Gators standing out above the other schools in pursuit of Larson.

The latest on Muncie Central’s Jeremiah Davis

Rumors began circulating on Monday that 2011 Muncie Central guard Jeremiah Davis would make an announcement this week on where he’ll play in college.

But Davis, who has maintained throughout the process that a decision would come once the right fit is found, is staying the course with that philosophy.

“My pops says he wants me to wait off for a little bit,” Davis told Inside the Hall on Monday evening. “Once I feel I’m ready to make the right decision, I’ll make the decision.”

Davis, the No. 54 player nationally in the 2011 class according to Scout.com, said he wasn’t sure where the rumors of a Wednesday announcement originated and added that his decision is not dependent on any of his peers.

“I’m not waiting for anybody,” Davis said. “Whenever I feel I’m mature enough and everything is in the right spot, that’s when I’ll make my decision.”

On April 16, Davis received a visit from one head coach on the first morning of the NCAA contact period. The visit was from Tom Crean and it gave Davis the impression that he’s a top priority for Indiana.

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