NCAA Tournament blog: Former Boise coach Greg Graham interested in Hawaii job

9:34 p.m. — More on lane violation

Here is New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies on the late-game lane violation:

"In (official) Ray (Percone's) opinion, he felt it was something he should call at that particular part of the game. Whether it happened or not, I don't even know. ... And regardless, whether it happened or not, he called it and so it's like a foul that you don't think is a foul. Did he call the foul? Yes. If he called a foul, then it's in the score book as a foul and it exists as a foul statistically for the rest of history. So did he step in on the lane violation? Because Ray called it? Yes, he stepped in the lane. And it will be engraved in the NCAA stats forever. So it doesn't matter whether it happened or not."

Menzies went bonkers when the final horn sounded and had to be restrained by his assistant coaches from going after the officials.

Here's a tweet from CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis: Bottom line: Lane violation call on McKines was correct. He stepped on Summers's lane space before FT was released.

And earlier from Davis: Been watching end of Mich St-NMSt game frame by frame w/ John Adams, NCAA's coor of officials, on the phone.

8:19 p.m. — WAC goes 0-for-2 in Spokane

No. 12 seed New Mexico State dropped a difficult 70-67 decision to No. 5 seed Michigan State at Spokane Arena. The Aggies, who trailed by 16 in the first half, never led by more than two points.

But NMSU had a chance late. Trailing 69-67, NMSU grabbed a missed free throw by Michigan State's Raymar Morgan. But the Aggies were whistled for a lane violation and Morgan made his extra attempt, pushing the lead to 70-67. Missed 3-pointers by Jonathan Gibson and Hernst Laroche later, and Michigan State had escaped.

The referees were booed off the court by fans at Spokane Arena.

Earlier, Texas A&M dispatched of Utah State easily, topping the Aggies 69-53.

The WAC has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2007, going 0-4 in the last three years in the tourney. Nevada has the league's last four NCAA Tournament wins. The last non-Nevada WAC team to win a tournament game was Tulsa in 2003.

The last non-Nevada WAC team that is still a member of the league to win a NCAA game was Fresno State in 2001.

4:40 p.m. — BSU coach Greg Graham applies for Hawaii job

Boise State coach Greg Graham told the Idaho Statesman on Friday afternoon that he is interested in the vacant job at the University of Hawaii. When asked if he was interested in or had applied for the job, Graham said, "Yes." He would not elaborate.

Graham was fired earlier this month. He went 142-112 in eight seasons with the Broncos and led Boise State to three postseason appearances, including one NCAA Tournament.

The Honolulu Advertiser first reported that Graham acknowledged contacting the Warriors about their opening. Hawaii fired Bob Nash after finishing ninth in the nine-team WAC and missing the conference tournament.

The paper said seven candidates have been interviewed and now 18 additional applicants have applied for the position and Graham is one of them.

3:38 p.m. — Boilermakers say upset picks inspired them

Without injured star forward Robbie Hummel, Purdue was a popular pick to be upset in the first round. President Barack Obama even picked Siena in his bracket.

"President Obama just said he kind of felt sorry for us, just everything we been through and with this team and the adversity we face. Guys don't want people to fee sorry for us. We want to prove that we still have a lot of talent and can make a big run in this tournament," said guard Lewis Jackson.

Said Keaton Grant: "Other teams picking against you and the analysts picking against you and you got the President picking against you, so it's a different thing, but we were very aware. We just use that as motivation."

Obama did correctly pick Cornell's upset of Temple, Murray State's upset of Vanderbilt and St. Mary's upset of Richmond in the first round.

3:21 p.m. — Great support, slow start for Utah State

The Aggies' fans, as usual, have traveled to support their team, which is seeking its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2001. The Aggies have lost their first-round game in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Utah State is playing in its 11th consecutive postseason.

Utah State is off to a slow start, training Texas A&M 18-11 with 11:28 remaining in the first half.

3:01 p.m. — Boilermakers survive, advances

It wasn't always pretty for Matt Painter's Purdue Boilermakers, but they're headed to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after dispatching pesky Siena 72-64.

So much for Siena senior forward Alex Franklin. He had zero points and four rebounds in the second half.

Purdue center JaJuan Johnson had 23 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in the win. Purdue gets the winner of Utah State-Texas A&M in the second round.

2:28 p.m. — This is why we love March

Siena looked done, down 15 to Purdue. But the Saints have pulled to within three points at 66-63 with 1:02 left. The entire arena, save for those in Purdue black and gold, is rooting for the Saints as if they spent four years at the Albany, N.Y. college.

1:55 p.m. — Defense keys Purdue rally

Purdue had clamped down on Siena in the second half, rushing out to a 56-41 lead with 11:59 remaining. The Saints have just nine second-half points. Siena has turned it over six times in the first eight minutes of the second half.

Meanwhile, Purdue — which shot 38 percent in the first half — is now up to 50 percent for the game.

Reports of the Boilermakers' demise without injured star forward Robbie Hummel (15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds per game) have been exaggerated.

1:32 p.m. — Upset alert in Spokane

No. 13 seed Siena leads No. 4 Purdue 32-29 at the half. Siena senior forward Alex Franklin had 10 points and eight rebounds in the first half, often looking like the best player on the floor.

Siena gave away a few possessions at the end of the first half. That might come back to haunt the Saints, who whipped Boise State in Boise back in 2008 — the Broncos' NCAA Tournament season.

Franklin had 30 points and 18 rebounds in the 93-70 win at Taco Bell Arena.

Siena also crushed the Broncos 82-52 in 2009 in Albany, N.Y.

Of course, Purdue started the second half on an 8-0 run, giving the Boilermakers a 37-32 edge.

12:51 p.m. — Utah State’s Morrill defends the WAC

SPOKANE, Wash. — The WAC landed two NCAA Tournament bids for the first time since 2007 and both Utah State and New Mexico State ended up at the same first- and second-round site.

No. 12 seed Utah State (27-7) will meet No. 5 Texas A&M (23-9) and No. 12 seed New Mexico State (22-11) will face No. 5 seed Michigan State (24-8) in first-round action at Spokane Arena on Friday.

New Mexico State upset Utah State in the final of the WAC Tournament last week. Utah State, which had won 17 consecutive games before the title game loss, was one of the last at-large teams in the NCAA Tournament field.

Utah State coach Stew Morrill went on the offensive when asked about the WAC on Thursday.

“Our league gets way too many bad raps. I keep hearing things that our league’s not very strong. Our league’s a top-10 league in the country out of 30-plus leagues,” Morrill said.

“We’re definitely not a big six league or a BCS league, but we got a solid basketball league. And hopefully we can go out and show that.”

The WAC ranked No. 10 out of 31 Division I leagues in 2010, according to RealTimeRPI.com.

“If you went through the schedule like we do every year, you would know it’s a good solid basketball league,” Morrill said.

Tell Greg to toss the Tiki God back in the sea AT ALL COSTS!

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

Of course Mr. Graham is interested in the Hawaii job

I wish the guy well. It will be interesting to see how we look back at the Graham era.

Remember that the Tiki God needs to be taken back to the burial grounds. Just be careful around Professor Whitehead!

I hope he gets the Hawaii job......(but he won't)

...we should hope he lands the gig! He couldn't get it done here so why not wish him on another league foe? Good luck Graham -- although I doubt Hawaii will hire a guy just booted by a league partner.

I was in vacation in Hawaii

I was in vacation in Hawaii and I stayed at it was great to be in that place I experienced a lot of things and feelings and I will never forget that I meet the love of my life

I hope he gets the job because he is a good coach!!!!!!

I also hope he gets his revenge on BSU for firing him and they should be angry at the fans. He is a good coach, and can't make the fans come to the game. It is just a convenient and easy scapegoat when the basketball program is not a mirror image in success like the football program. Utah State has a longer history of success and recruits better players because of it.

I am okay with the basketball program not being perfect like football. This question is for the fans who won't come: Are you ashamed to support a team not as successful as the football program????? Do you look like a better person when your team is ranked 2nd in the nation? Would you be supporting Coach Pete if he was in a similar position as Coach Graham was with his record?

It is okay to let other teams in the WAC be better at something. Are you okay with that? Does that make you feel inferior and embarassed? Maybe you have the problem and not Coach Graham!!!!!!

MMM...It was a lot more than attendance. Do read up.

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

Attendance was the biggest issue for his departure

Athletic departments can live with sub par basketball seasons as long as the team is able to draw fans is generate revenue for the program and if fans were flocking to TBA on a consistant basis, then Graham, despite his teams performance and record this season, would in all likilihood still be the Bronco's coach, but the fans divorced themselves from coach Graham and didn't support the program, and that's what led to the end of Graham's BSU career.

So THUGS didn't come to play nor did LOSING.

NEXT!

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

exactly BK....

...remember, it's all about the money. When you start your career with around 5,000 tickets being sold and drop to 3,000 then there is a problem. The scheduling didn't help bring out the fans -- I don't get it. Why won't BSU schedule tougher teams that will put people into the seats? Not only does it result in better attendance but it also prepares the team better for league play and also post season play. The BSU basketball schedule just sucked. Would you buy a season ticket to watch that kind of basketball??

Yep, no reason they can't increase attendance

There's no reson that they can't get back to the 7K-8K range that the program enjoyed in the late 90's and early 2000's

I do think that the athletic department did too little, too late, in their attempt to get people into TBA to see the games, but then again getting fans into seats isn't their speciality, acyaully, I'm not sure what they're good at other than making excuses.

Personally, I think Graham is a good coach and it's dificult for a team to sustain long term success, but Graham was succesful at BSU, but unforunately he wasn't successful this year, but even if he had been, I don't think that he would have received the fan support and I base that on the fact that the football program not delling out all of it's home games, even though they had a history making season.
You and I seem to be in the minority around here who think attendance is a serious issue facing the athletic department and that it's their job to put people into seats, and provide them with quality sports entertainment.

BK

In the spirit of tring to be nice and stop hounding you. I will post this. I agree with this whole post. Yes attendance is a problem... an athletic department problem..... hopefully we can come up with ways to help that don't involve someone losing thier job.
Now I do remember fondly going to BSU BBall games with my father all the time. Great memories, great games... great fans. Personally My interest in BBall has greatly decreaced in the last ten or so years, college and pro. I dont know if it is my personal feelings as to BBall but I think the nation is also wanning away from it as a sport.... though I have no stats to back that up. It is just probably projecting my own disinterest onto others. I would love to take my kids (all girls) to a ball game like my father did with me. I hope that excitement can still be felt. Not having grahm there already makes a a little more excited and willing to go. Not that that had anything to do with grahms coaching, but it just seems more exciting and you would have to admit that a cardboard cuttout of grahm would have more on coart personality than grahm himself.

If you agree with me, wouldn't that make you delusional too?

wouldn't it also confirm the points that Truth and I have been making over the past several weeks?

Why would you jump on our little bandwagon and say that attendance is an athletic department issue all of a sudden when you've been agruing for weeks that it isn't?

Show me once where I said it wasnt?

You cant. However, you and I and truth are not one the same page as to the reasons why. Well I tried to be nice....idiot.

Once again.....it's all about the.....

....money. It really is. That's the name of the game.

On Graham, I have said here many times that I have met him, spent time with him and enjoyed sharing conversations. Good guy. Fair basketball coach. Not great, but fair.

"Fair" doesn't put butts in the seats. In fact "good" doesn't always do the trick either. I think the athletic administration at BSU thought that they could employ a 'fair' basketball coach and put just enough butts in the seats to keep the natives happy. That's my opinion.

What is needed is a 'great' coach with enough energy and charisma to put together a very good product (exciting basketball) -- and -- and athletic department that understands that basketball can generate POSITIVE CASH FLOW if the PRODUCT is great and the COMPETITION is also great. I hope the next coach is able to convince the athletic department that BSU should be playing with the big boys. Go play the big boys and eventually some of them will come to play you too. What's wrong with a small four team tourney HERE that is sponsered by BSU? They control the product then, right? Bring in three other very, very good programs. In the end, it makes the team better AND it makes the value of the ticket greater.

Having been with Graham in many social situations I can tell you that he did lack one key characteristic. He was not exactly an outgoing, hand shaking, engaging personality. The head basketball coach MUST be engaging. He's the chief sales person for his own program! Peterson happens to have that character quality. Graham did not.

NOTE: I didn't mention the athletic directors name. Yes, I was critical of the program and the athletic department but just because I didn't mention his name doesn't mean.........

Punctuation

Who???????was???????the????????idiot????????who???????taught????????you????????that?????????using??????????multiple????????punctuation??????marks!!!!!!!!!!!!makes!!!!!!!!!!!your!!!!!!!!!!!!writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!more!!!!!!!!!!!!effective??????????? It gets old in a hurry, doesn't it?

Adjust yout Typomatic setting in your Aptiva BIOS.

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

I KNOW! MAXELL CASSETTE LABEL REPLICA!

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

Greg Graham! Are you kidding?

Utah State blew BSU away by 24 points then got blown away by Texas AM. This proves just how bad a team Graham had at BSU. So regardless of what small college coach Gene and his senior citizen search team brings in it will still be the same team.
And did anyone else see Kustra's interview? He stated he did not care if BSU had a winning basketball program as long as they get the fans back. WHAT?

....you forget what I've said a thousand times now!

....Dr. Kustra said what it's all about. MONEY! He doesn't care so long as they are making MONEY. Need I say more?

You've only said it 129 times! Don't exasperbate.

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

Let me round that off to an even 130....

....it's all about the MONEY!!!! There. I like even numbers.

They've said that since the Reagan administration, esp in the UK

Surely food, toilet paper and living somewhere other than under a sign with a river's name, owning a pet and marrying somebody slightly more with it than you factor in as higher priority?

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.

CHECKMATE!

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Stop whining about the stupid signature and think for yourself.