Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

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Missouri coach could be in trouble with NCAA

From Comcast SportsNetCORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with "unethical conduct" when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, said two people familiar with the situation.The people spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami have announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.The NCAA does not comment on ongoing investigations. Miami officials have said throughout the investigation, which started in 2011, that the school is cooperating with the NCAA and will decline extensive public comment out of respect to that process.The people told the AP that Miami still has not seen a final version of the notice of allegations, the arrival of which will essentially bring just the first chapter of this Miami-NCAA saga to a close. Several people involved with the process have either reviewed draft documents or been advised of their upcoming mentions in telephone calls with investigators. Most of those calls took place last week.Another individual who was interviewed during the joint inquiry told the AP that the NCAA has not been in contact since. That suggests not everyone who at one time was thought to be under investigation will not actually be mentioned in the notice of allegations.Earlier this month, Miami coach Al Golden said he did not expect the university to be surprised by the NCAA's findings. Several people involved in the investigation said Miami has had representation at many interviews the NCAA conducted with persons it found to be of interest.A CBSSports.com report published Monday said that the NCAA could not prove former booster and convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro's claim that former Miami men's basketball coach Frank Haith or a member of his Miami staff paid 10,000 to the family of former Hurricanes' player DeQuan Jones. Shapiro has said that he provided that money.Jones was suspended by Miami last season after Shapiro's claims were published in August 2011 by Yahoo Sports, then ultimately allowed to return to the team.CBSSports.com also said Haith will face the "unethical conduct" charge because of inconsistencies the NCAA found in his account of Jones' recruitment. CBSSports.com also said Haith will be charged with "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance" because relatives of two players were given impermissible airline travel."The University has been in communication with the NCAA regarding their ongoing efforts related to the University of Miami investigation," Missouri said in a statement. "Coach Haith and the University of Missouri continue to cooperate fully. However, we are not at liberty to comment further out of respect for the NCAA process."One of those players, current senior Reggie Johnson, was suspended for a game last season after Miami and the NCAA found members of his family accepted what they called "impermissible travel benefits." And guard Durand Scott, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was for the end of last season and the start of this season after he was also found to have gotten unspecified extra benefits.Whenever the actual letter arrives, Miami's receipt of the notice of allegations will usher in the start of the sanctions phase.And that could take months -- meaning actual penalties may not be handed down until this summer, or later.Typically, schools and individuals named in the notice of allegations have 90 days to file a response to the NCAA's findings, all of which would be reviewed by the committee on infractions -- which operates separately from the NCAA's investigative arm.Some of the sanctions have already gone into effect, since they were self-imposed. Miami's football team has missed three postseason games -- two bowl games and what would have been an appearance in this season's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game -- in response to the investigation, and Golden is holding back a number of scholarships from the 2013 roster as well.Shapiro, the former booster, is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for masterminding a 930 million Ponzi scheme. Virtually all of the individuals who were named by Shapiro in his detailed claims that were published by Yahoo Sports are no longer at the university, and several of the people to whom the NCAA wanted to talk simply refused during the inquiry.The NCAA inquiry started several months before that August 2011 article.

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After getting another signature win at Maryland, does any Big Ten team have two better conference wins than Minnesota?

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USA TODAY

After getting another signature win at Maryland, does any Big Ten team have two better conference wins than Minnesota?

Does any Big Ten team have two better conference wins than Minnesota?

The Golden Gophers went on the road and defeated a ranked group of Maryland Terrapins on Wednesday night, and they did so in impressive fashion, scoring an 89-75 victory in College Park.

Team this win with the win at Purdue back on New Year's Day, and there's no better pair of league victories to be found.

More importantly though, the Gophers, at 9-6, are now the No. 4 team in the Big Ten standings.

It's all a part of a quality NCAA tournament resume for the Gophers, who are closer to lock status after Wednesday's win than they are to being on any sort of bubble. With mediocrity running rampant through the Big Ten this season, Richard Pitino's 21-win squad should be well on its way to an appearance in next month's Madness, which would be the program's first since he took over as head coach.

The resume looks pretty strong at this point, especially after Wednesday. Minnesota can now claim wins over Purdue, Maryland and Northwestern — all three of those conference victories coming on the road. In the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Gophers beat Arkansas, the Razorbacks seemingly heading to the tournament themselves. The only loss from the non-conference portion came on the road at Florida State, one of the highest-ranked teams in the country.

So it's safe to say Minnesota will go dancing.

Wednesday's 14-point beatdown of the Terps saw the Gophers shoot 50 percent from the field on the night and 54.5 percent from the field in the second half. Five players scored in double figures: Dupree McBrayer with 18, Nate Mason with 17, Akeem Springs with 16, Jordan Murphy with 15 and Amir Coffey with 13. Minnesota didn't win the rebounding battle but scored 15 points off 10 Maryland turnovers and marched to the free-throw line, going 17-for-20 from the charity stripe while Maryland was just 8-for-13 there.

The second half was a rout, the Gophers outscoring the Terps 55-40 over the final 20 minutes and rattling off two separate 9-0 runs to burst away from the No. 24 team in the country.

The overtime win at Purdue on the first day of 2017 might go down as a bigger win considering the Boilermakers are closing in on the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. That win, too, came by an impressive-enough margin, 91-82. But Minnesota dominated Maryland over the final nine minutes or so and turned in a double-digit victory on the road against a team that lost to that same Purdue team on that same court by just a point two and a half weeks ago.

The Gophers are now on a six-game winning streak and are piling up wins in a fashion that's making them look like one of the Big Ten's finest. A 3-1 start to conference play that extended its overall record to 15-2 was dampened by Minnesota's five-game losing streak that featured losses to higher-echelon teams like Michigan State, Wisconsin and Maryland, plus road losses at Penn State and Ohio State. But since have come six straight wins. While the caliber of opponent hadn't been terribly impressive until Wednesday, the Gophers can now boast nine conference wins. Only three teams have more.

It's now worth watching how high Minnesota can climb in the Big Ten standings before the conference tournament just two weeks from now. If the season ended today, the Gophers would already be in possession of one of those highly coveted two-day byes. But Minnesota is just a game back of Maryland and just two games back of Wisconsin, who the Gophers play in the regular-season finale.

Like Pitino told his team after Wednesday's win: "No more talk about (just making) the NCAA tournament. We're talking about seeds in the NCAA tournament."