NCAA notebook: Marquette coach Buzz Williams takes Virginia Tech job



Buzz Williams is headed to Virginia Tech after six mostly successful seasons coaching at Marquette.

Hokies athletic director Whit Babcock announced Williams' hiring Friday night in a statement. Williams will be formally introduced at a news conference Monday in Blacksburg.

"Buzz is a proven winner who has earned his way up through the ranks with a strong track record of success," Babcock said. "I am confident he will energize our fan base and help make Virginia Tech basketball competitive in the ACC."

Babcock, who became athletic director Feb. 17, moved swiftly to find a replacement for James Johnson. Johnson was fired Monday after two seasons, including a 9-22 record and a last-place finish in the ACC. It was the team's third consecutive last-place finish.

Williams was 139-69 at Marquette, though his tenure there ended on a disappointing note. A team picked to win the reconfigured Big East in the preseason finished 17-15 and 9-9 in conference for sixth in the league.

The Golden Eagles' eight-year run of NCAA tournament appearances was snapped.

"It's never easy to leave a great school like Marquette, where I spent seven wonderful years, six as the head coach," Williams said in the statement. "I've heard tremendous things about this terrific institution and this is an outstanding opportunity to build a program."

Miles ejection fair or foul?

Nebraska coach Tim Miles couldn't fix the cold shooting or sloppy passes in the 11th-seeded Cornhuskers' 74-60 loss to Baylor. But the Big Ten coach of the year did see one thing he could correct: an overlooked shot clock error. Miles was instead ejected while trying to alert officials to the mistake. "I'm thinking, 'That's a correctable error.' That is something we can go correct, and the official came over and T'd me up," Miles said of getting his second technical foul. "I said 'It's the shot clock; it never ran.' I was trying to look for the shot clock operator, and I'm assuming it's the guy that just dropped his head." Referee Karl Hess issued a statement after the game acknowledging a shot-clock error that both the operator and officials didn't notice. But he didn't suggest that giving Miles a second technical was wrong, referencing a section of the NCAA rulebook that prohibits "inciting undesirable crowd reactions" and certain conduct while objecting to an official's decision.

From Lowe to Loe

Rob Loe the basketball player is developing a bit of a cult following with each postseason victory by Saint Louis. One of those followers is actor Rob Lowe. While Loe was posting a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds to help the fifth-seeded Billikens avoid an upset against North Carolina State in overtime Thursday night, the actor took to his Twitter account, RobLowe, to laud the player; the Rob without a 'W' in his last name. As the Billikens rallied from behind, the actor tweeted: "We Rob Loes know how to ball! But can he get the W?? #MarchMadness." It was a clever play on the spelling difference in the two last names, and on the court the big New Zealander did indeed get the 'W.' It was the first time the actor has communicated with the 6-foot-11, 245-pound senior. "I just retweeted it. It was kinda cool," Loe said.

Decisions for Duke stars

Duke's season is over, and maybe Jabari Parker's college career, too. He said he hadn't decided anything after the 78-71 upset at the hands of Mercer, though it had long been assumed that Duke was a one-year pit stop for the ACC and national freshman of the year on his way to the NBA. Rodney Hood, a Mississippi State transfer, also could be off to the pros after only one season with the Blue Devils, but claims he hasn't thought about it yet. "I thought I'd be playing after today," Hood said.


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