Monday’s roundup: Golden Grizzlies set for Las Vegas

News staff and wire services
Greg Kampe and the Golden Grizzlies hope what happens in Vegas is a few postseason victories.

Oakland is playing in the inaugural Vegas16 tournament at Las Vegas.

It opens against Towson (20-12) at 9 p.m. Monday, March 28 in the eight-team tournament at Mandalay Bay.

Organizers said Monday they only wanted 16 teams if they could secure top-quality programs. After some unusual results in several conference tournaments, they were hesitant to fill out the bracket with just available teams.

Tournament chairman Jim Livengood says he’s confident the event will grow into a primary option for teams in postseason play because of its location, neutral site and its dates set two weeks after Selection Sunday.

The tournament will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

Oakland (21-11) was eliminated by Wright State in the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament last week at Joe Louis Arena.

The championship game is Wednesday, March 30.

Central in postseason

Central Michigan reached the postseason, and will host a game Wednesday in the tournament, facing Tennessee-Martin (19-14) at 7 p.m.

Coaching carousel

Johnny Dawkins was fired after eight seasons as Stanford’s coach.

Dawkins guided the Cardinal to the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and NIT championships after the 2012 and 2015 seasons, but Stanford went 15-15 this season and finished ninth in the Pac 12 at 8-10.

Dawkins was 156-115 at Stanford.

“I want to thank the Stanford community for playing such an important part in the lives of Tracy and I and in the lives of our four children,” Dawkins said in a statement.

... Trent Johnson was fired as TCU’s coach after the Horned Frogs won only eight Big 12 games in four seasons. TCU finished 12-21 this season.

Johnson, 50-79 in four seasons, had two years left on his contract.

... Tulane has decided to part ways with coach Ed Conroy.

Conroy completed his sixth season following a loss to Memphis in the semifinals of the American tournament. The Green Wave went 12-22 this season. In six seasons, he went 92-103.

... Denver hired Rodney Billups as its coach after six seasons on the Colorado staff.

Billups succeeds Joe Scott, who was fired after a 16-15 record in the last of his nine seasons at Denver.

Billups is the younger brother of former Pistons guard Chauncey Billups.

... California coach Cuonzo Martin said he is moving to fire an assistant who violated the school’s sexual harassment policy.

It comes as university officials have faced criticism for their handling of substantiated sexual harassment allegations involving an astronomy professor and the dean of its law school.

Assistant Yann Hufnagel has been suspended pending termination proceedings and will not be traveling with the team during the NCAA Tournament, officials said in a statement.

The person who accused Hufnagel of sexual harassment is not affiliated with the school, university spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

Hufnagel didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment on Martin’s decision to fire him.

This was Hufnagel’s second year as an assistant.

Illinois player pleads

Suspended Illinois player Jaylon Tate pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery after a weekend arrest for allegedly hitting his girlfriend.

Defense attorney Tom Bruno disputed the woman was Tate’s girlfriend and said, “I don’t believe he was present when it happened.”