NCAA to Host 2013 Inclusion Forum in Indianapolis

Dialogue will center on a range of inclusive topics related to policy, research, best practices, law and general issues as it relates to five areas of interest: race, gender, international student-athletes, LGBTQ, and disability-access in sports. Panelists and moderators will include college and university officials, Olympic NGB representatives, media, sport organization representatives, NCAA staff, government officials and not-for-profit advocates.

The Inclusion Forum allows a range of voices and experiences to come together to discuss ways to advance an inclusive culture in intercollegiate athletics and higher education, said Bernard Franklin, executive vice president of membership & student-athlete affairs/chief inclusion officer. Diversity and inclusion remain a priority for the NCAA. Our goal is to work with our membership and key organizations that include diversity and inclusion as a main mission in order to develop ways to increase diverse representation in our membership, especially in decision-making roles, and create more inclusive climates in athletics.

One of the keynote panel sessions will be Disability and the Law: New Guidelines from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The panel will review the recent guidance issued by the OCR pertaining to an educational institutions responsibilities in providing athletics opportunities for students with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The discussion will further clarify the impacts for NCAA members and outline future opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities. University and OCR representatives will speak on that panel.

In addition to the wide range of speakers, Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, will deliver the welcome to the participants. Other panel sessions will include Sports Inclusion and the Media; Opportunities for Adaptive Sports; Strategies for Successfully Hiring, Mentoring & Supporting Coaches; Concussion in Womens Sport; Title IX after 40; The Relationship Between the Chief Diversity Officer and Intercollegiate Athletics; Mental Health Issues and Athletics Identity; NCAA and EADA Financial Reporting; and LGBTQ Inclusion. There will also be a workshop on developing campus inclusion action plans, Title IX education and NCAA divisional hot-topic sessions.

The NCAA hosts the three-day forum to provide attendees the opportunity to get updates on trends, relevant data, equity procedures, inclusion planning and key issues that could have a positive or adverse impact on its membership and the student-athletes it serves. The NCAA combined its Inclusion Summit, first held in 2011, and its Gender Equity Forum, held annually, to form the 2013 Inclusion Forum.

March Madness Bracket


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Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Missouri -15½, Total: 142½

However, the Cowboys are one of two teams that have actually beaten the Tigers this season, winning 79-72 on Jan. 25 in Stillwater. Also, the Cowboys have been a pesky road team this season, going 5-2 ATS. Mizzou Arena is one of the toughest places to play in all of college basketball, but OSU has lost by more than eight points just once in its past nine trips to Columbia. The Cowboys are also a strong wager against Big 12 foes this season, posting a 7-4-1 ATS mark, which is the same ATS record the Tigers have in conference play. The pick here is OKLAHOMA STATE to keep the final margin within a dozen points.

Oklahoma State is working on a four-game ATS unbeaten streak (3-0-1 ATS), but the school is coming off a 13-point loss at Kansas on Saturday. The Cowboys couldn’t find the ocean in that defeat, connecting on just 32.7% FG. It was quite a different story last month, as they torched the Tigers by making 60% of their shots, including 67% in front of the arc. Freshman F/G Le’Bryan Nash (13.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG) scored a career-high 27 points in that matchup, while fellow freshman teammate G Brian Williams (8.1 PPG) reached his own career high with 22 points. The defensive star that day was another freshman, F Michael Cobbins, who had 10 rebounds, four blocks and four steals. Senior SG Keiton Page, who leads OSU in points (14.4 PPG) and assists (2.3 APG), had 12 points and five assists against the Tigers, but he has gone cold since that game, shooting just 30% FG and 27% threes.

Missouri ranks seventh in the nation in points (80.2 PPG) and third in FG Pct. (50.0%), but opponents have succeeded in slowing down the Tigers recently. In the past five games, Mizzou’s scoring has dipped to 69.4 PPG, despite a strong 48.8% shooting clip. Missouri has four players averaging 12+ PPG this season, led by senior G Marcus Denmon (18.0 PPG). Denmon scored 17 points in the loss in Stillwater, but he struggled with his shot, going 4-of-16 that night. He has certainly found his stroke lately though, pumping in 23.3 PPG on a blistering 57% FG (14-of-26 threes) in his past three contests. Senior F Ricardo Ratliffe (14.0 PPG) continues to lead the nation with an insane 73.7% shooting clip, and he burned the Cowboys for 25 points and 12 rebounds in last month’s upset loss in Stillwater. The other big scorers for the Tigers are both excellent three-point shooters. Senior G Kim English (14.0 PPG) makes a whopping 47% from behind the arc while junior G Michael Dixon (12.4 PPG) makes a solid 36% of his threes.

Final Four Preview: No. 5 Butler Bulldogs vs. No. 5 Michigan State Spartans

The Michigan State Spartans are back in the Final Four for the second consecutive season, also for the 6th time in 12 years! In addition to the game clinching free throws, Morgan had his 6th double double of the basketball season, scoring 13 points and pulling down a 10 boards against a the Tennessee Vols who refused to go away peacefully. Junior Durrell Summers led scorers with 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting and his avg. is 22.5 ppg in the 2010 NCAA Tourney, almost 12 points more than his season average. The Michigan State Spartans have won two games in the absence of point guard Kalin Lucas as Summers, Draymond Green and Korie Lucious have picked up the scoring with the team's leading scorer out.

The MSU Spartans are the only team left in the tournament with experience at this level. They did it last year, and a big part of this team's contributors played lots of minutes the team last year. Coach Izzo has a March legacy, and he's lost just three times in the second game of NCAA Tournament weekends in his career. This means, if he gets to the championship game, he won’t be easy to beat. Durrell Summers, Korie Lucious and Draymond Green join Morgan in playing the best basketball of their careers. MSU could be the most athletic team left.

The Butler Bulldogs and the Michigan State Spartans are at opposite ends of the world in terms of experience in playing in this tournament, as the Bulldogs are making the first Final Four appearance in school history after beating Kansas State on Saturday 63 – 56. The Butler Bulldogs, who have now won an impressive 24 straight games, are allowing a only 56.5 ppg in the tourney and haven't allowed to team to score 60 or more points in a game since Feb. 26, 2010. The Bulldogs defense is led by guard Willie Veasley, the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, who, with the help of Ronald Nored, held Kansas State's backcourt duo of Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen scoreless for almost 30 minutes. It’s not all hype this Butler Bulldogs team can play.

Now to the important section of this article the college basketball betting picks. has Butler favorites by 1.5 points with the over / under at 126.

The Michigan State Spartans are 27 - 8 money line and 14 - 20 ATS. The Butler Bulldogs are 32 - 4 money line and 16 - 20 ATS. When they have played common teams, the MSU Spartans are 5-2 straight up and 4-3 ATS. The Bulldogs are 4-1 outright, but just 2-3 ATS.

The Spartans averages 72.5 ppg against teams normally allowing 66 points. This is on 47.2 percent shooting to teams that usually only permit just 42.4 percent.
The stats for the Big 10 schools are even more staggering on the defensive end. They allow only 64 points per game against teams that normally get only 69.4 points, which makes them a 40.6 percent shooting team when they are usually a 44.2 percent shooting team.

Butler scores 69.4 ppg against teams that score about 66.7 on 45 percent shooting versus 42.9 percent. They are not slugs on defense either, they only allow 59.6 points per game where teams usually shoot at 44.6 percent.

Michigan State is 25-10 in the NCAA Tournament ATS all time. Butler is 43-21 outside the conference ATS. If we look at over / under trends the Spartans have gone over 8 - 0 against the Horizon League, but under 30-12 when they are underdogs. All key points for college basketball bettors to keep an eye on.

I predict that the Spartans will beat out the Bulldogs, Izzo will get his team ready and I think the bright lights and big atmosphere will be too much for Butler. MSU +1.5