From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
The Syracuse University mens basketball team, 23-0 and No. 1 nationally for a second straight week, faces a stern road test Wednesday at 25th-ranked Pittsburgh (20-4) in a battle of first-year Atlantic Coast Conference schools.
The Orange defeated the Panthers, 59-54, at the Carrier Dome last month, holding Pitt to less than 39-percent shooting from the floor while connecting at 51.2 percent.
Despite the loss, Pitt has still won nine of the past 13 meetings between the schools. Its interesting to note that in successive seasons 2009-10 and 2010-11 Pitt handed SU its first defeat of the season.
In 2009-10, the Panthers beat the then-No. 5 Orange 82-72 at the Dome, ending SUs season-opening 13-0 run.
The next season, third-ranked SU lost 74-66 at Pitt, falling to 18-1.
SU will need to be on guard.
■ I agree with the three-game suspension handed to Oklahoma States Marcus Smart after the sophomore guard went into the stands in Saturdays game at Texas Tech and shoved a fan, who allegedly provoked Smart with a nasty comment.
Athletes, regardless of age, have to be thick-skinned and should NEVER ever, ever go outside the playing arena to engage with fans no matter the circumstance. Just because the fan, Jeff Orr, is a loyal Red Raiders booster, that doesnt give him the right to throw his weight around toward the opposition.
If Smart hadnt been incited, the suspension would have been much more significant.
Channel surfing: On busy local nights, I wish 7News Sports would utilize a scroll at the bottom of the screen to take care of scores on high schools, colleges, NBA, NHL, MLB, etc. (Of course, highlights should remain intact.)
Most of the New York state network affiliates are now using scoreboard scrolls, creating more flexibility in a sportscast.
Scrolls, which can still be advertise-sponsored, are not distracting to viewers, who know what to look for while watching a sportscast. ESPN and Fox channels have been doing this now for years.
The 7News sports department, led by sports director Mel Busler and weekend anchor Rob Krone, does a great job providing highlights of local events, and most other TV sports departments statewide would kill for the amount of time 7News devotes to sports.
In this fast-paced age of 21st-century TV news, the days of sportscasters spending 90 to 120 seconds rattling off scores on busy nights are now behind us.
Insightful features on individuals, rather than just on teams, commentary and even analysis on topics no matter locally, regionally and nationally can lead to a more compelling sportscast.
Richie Richs Top 10 in College Basketball: 1. Syracuse; 2. Wichita State; 3. Arizona; 4. Florida; 5. Villanova; 6. San Diego State; 7. Louisville; 8. Kansas; 9. Michigan State; 10. Duke.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org