Archive for March, 2008

Wash U (in St. Louis) and U Mass (in Amherst)

March 27, 2008 1 comment

News This Week In College Basketball:

I forgot to mention the Washington University men winning the Division III national championship! Pictures here of the defeat of Amherst and the chancellor. My alma mater is a champion. That’s always cool, but old hat; I mean, all those women’s volleyball championships, and the women’s basketball championship in ’98…’99…2000…2001

Syracuse collapsed again, to U Mass. I’m hoping my friend sends along some pics from Coach Travis Ford’s appearance in the home bar in NYC around the NIT finals appearance. The game was spectacularly coached; the team knew how to space themselves for shots, got the ball to shooters; they had enough gas to run with Syracuse.

And strategically, it was brilliant. With about 12 minutes to play, the Minutemen just stopped trying to slow down the Orange’s drives to the basket. They funneled them inside, and if they shot, the Orange shot fast… giving the ball back to the Minutemen, who would take a fairly quick three. Rinse, repeat. And they inched closer, and closer… it was incredible to watch. Travis Ford called it the greatest comeback he’d ever participated in, better than the Kentucky comeback against LSU that Ford quarterbacked in 1994, i suppose.

Man, I want this guy to coach a team I cheer for.

Categories: college basketball, Sports

Big East Teams’ NCAA Matchups

March 19, 2008 Comments off

Teams We Hate, from Slate

March 19, 2008 1 comment

FU fingerI think this year’s edition of Slate’s Teams We Hate is much weaker than last year’s, which had disses dropped on Indiana’s Kelvin Sampson, Wright State’s moronic logo, Joakim Noah, and Bruce Pearl. And weaker than 2005’s, which made me mock the Chattanooga Mocs for all time.

This year’s includes Duke, Baylor, Wisconsin, Cornell, Western Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, American, and Southern Cal. What, no South Alabama aka Team USA?

But man, that “FU” foam finger was drawn by a real talented fellow, wasn’t it? or if I were to borrow from There Will Be Blood’s cadence: if I say that foam finger was crafted by an illustration master, you would agree.

Categories: college basketball, Sports

Bruce Pearl Loves Selection Sunday

March 17, 2008 2 comments

Hey, Coach Bruce Pearl, who’s the new coed on your lap?? I found this on a message board, and it certainly reminds me that Bruce Pearl is having fun down there at Tennessee. It’s probably his daughter Leah… but it’s another fun picture of the majesty of Bruce Pearl.

Bruce Pearl Selection Sunday

Roundup of NCAA Tournament and Postseason Links

March 17, 2008 Comments off

Happy Bracketology New Year! What a great time of year. Passionate basketball, crying fans, elated fans, lost productivity, shirking and “sicknesses,” weird sounds from the cube or office down the hall… Get your bracket here!

NCAA Bracket

And here, for your pleasure, a roundup of the basic stories you will read about the tournament. I will go into detail on one or two of these topics later this week, but trust me; once you read these, you will only see variations on the themes.

Regional NCAA schedules. Congrats to all the teams who got in the tournament. And no, I can’t believe Villanova got in either.

– And now, the whining:

  • VT edition – quit whining. Your team is an affront to basketball and the eyes. Apparently, coach Seth Greenberg’s daughter is hot. Usually, I roll my eyes at the “so-and-so coach’s daughter is hot” comments, but Paige Greenberg’s really cute. You know how I know this? because someone at the Anchorage Daily News was very bored and feeling pervy, and photographed a whole slideshow of her. I appreciate pulchritude as much as the next guy but damn, aren’t you a member of the fourth estate? That kind of thing is for pervy collegiate bloggers with a hand down their pants! The upshot of all this: Paige Greenberg = cute. The basketball team = not as cute.
  • Herb Sendek

  • Arizona State edition – everyone’s coming back next year. Take it out on people this year and use the motivation. I’ll pencil you in for an Elite Eight run in 2009.
  • Illinois State edition – they have a little gripe, especially being out of the power conferences, but getting smoked by 30 by Drake in the conference tournament final… well, that leaves me unsympathetic.
  • Dayton edition – what, going 7-9 in the last 16 games should get you an at-large bid? STFU.
  • Ohio State edition – props for the low whining on Thad Matta’s bunch. Upstanding team, those Buckeyes.
  • Ole Miss edition – also a low-whining group here.
  • U Mass edition – they knew they weren’t good enough, too.
  • Hansbrough sucks Dockery– Some completely ignorant advice on winning your tournament pool from MSNBC. I am convinced that these people are trying to screw their readers brackets up. I think I will make a bracket using their advice and see where it goes.

    – Some incredibly good advice on picking your bracket. I will discuss these in detail later.

    – An article on the NCAA first-timers like American and Maryland – Baltimore County.

    – You know what’s so hot in the news these days? Cornell basketball. They get to play fellow top-national-university, Stanford in a red on red competition for the ages. It’s the depressed gorge jumpers vs. the techy sun-drenchers! The Big Redders are thinking about an upset… which will remain strictly the province of fiction, exposition, and argumentation classes.

    Georgia wins SEC– You can’t fire a guy after a 4 day blitzkreig through a tournament that culminates in an NCAA bid. Dennis Felton at Georgia did a great job with his remaining scholarship players, and has a solid incoming recruiting class coming in. Even the fans are happily eating crow.

    – Small gripes about the selections and seeding. I would add that it’s interesting how mid majors are playing midmajors (Drake vs Western Kentucky, Davidson vs Gonzaga, Butler vs South Alabama, UNLV vs Kent State). I know it doesn’t hold true all the way through the bracket, but it’s like they were trying to get some pesky flies off the ship early.

    Florida and Ohio State, last year’s finals participants, are in the NIT. Hey, Michigan State and Indiana State didn’t go in 1980 after meeting in the Bird vs Magic final the year before. NIT bracket here. ESPN schedule:

    Tuesday, March 18
    No. 2 UMass vs. No. 7 Stephen F. Austin, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 UNC Asheville, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 8 Robert Morris, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 4 Southern Illinois vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 6 Akron, 9 p.m. (ESPN Classic)
    No. 4 Minnesota vs. No. 5 Maryland, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
    No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Rhode Island, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 1 Arizona State vs. No. 8 Alabama State, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

    Wednesday, March 19
    No. 3 Dayton vs. No. 6 Cleveland State, 6 p.m., (ESPNU)
    No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 8 Morgan State, 7 p.m. (ESPN Classic)
    No. 4 VCU vs. No. 5 Alabama-Birmingham, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 2 Ole Miss vs. No. 7 Cal State Santa Barbara, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 2 Florida vs. No. 7 San Diego State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 3 Nebraska vs. No. 6 Charlotte, 9 p.m. (ESPN Classic)
    No. 2 Illinois State vs. No. 7 Utah State, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 4 California vs No. 5 New Mexico, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

    – Did you know there is a third tournament, called the College Basketball Invitational (CBI)? It’s the first year of the tournament, and some schools were dodgy about participating— possibly because of pressure from the NCAA, who owns the NIT tournament or because of the cost of fielding more games in a less-prestigious tournament.

    The finals will be a best of three affair with the higher seed hosting the first and third (if necessary) games. Get your CBI bracket here.

    Opening round schedule:
    Tuesday, March 18
    Richmond at Virginia – 7 p.m.
    Rider at Old Dominion – 7 p.m.
    Brown at Ohio – 7 p.m.
    Houston at Nevada – 9 p.m.

    Wednesday, March 19
    Cincinnati at Bradley – 7 p.m.
    Miami (Ohio) at Tulsa – 8 p.m.
    Valparaiso at Washington – 9 p.m.
    Utah at UTEP – 9 p.m.

    – Meanwhile, coaches are given the boot at TCU, Rice, and Toledo.

    Man, I’m TIRED after all of that.

    Enjoy some photos:

    Stephen CurryClemson's MaysJarvins Varnado + Miss State

    Categories: college basketball, Sports

    NCAA Bubble Teams + Tournament Expansion Talk

    March 14, 2008 Comments off

    This is the time of year that the run of the mill teams are sweating. Just dripping through their jerseys. Wondering what if they had beaten that conference foe, would they be off the dreaded NCAA bubble? What if the ref wasn’t obviously biased towards the team that was making contact?

    What if the NCAA Selection committee doesn’t realize that the freshmen on the team are coming on strong, and all they need is another chance to prove they are giant killers?

    What if the NCAA Selection Committee downgrades that win you thought was so big until said opponent fell off the rails and lost to a team of tall middle schoolers?

    Or doesn’t realize that University of Big Conference but Low Talent/ Podunk State named not after a state but after a City or a person such as “Wright” or “Truman,”/ Mid-Major Directional Arts and Tech is a tough matchup for your team?

    Sad DogOr doesn’t realize how important [insert guard who was injured for much of conference season] was to your team that has 11-12 other people on it?

    Or doesn’t realize what a great story of gravel-tasting grit and perseverance your team has been?

    Or doesn’t realize that your team has sprinkled magical pixie dust all over themselves in the pixie dust spa, learned to play unstoppable basketball after their last mediocre loss in their conference tournament, and DESERVES a spot in the NCAAs?

    Or how your long and storied tradition finds it simply foot-stompingly unacceptable to be left out of an invitational tournament?

    Well, for Baylor, Missouri, Maryland, Ole Miss, and all the rest, here’s some news for you – you weren’t gonna do nothing anything, anyway. So stop complaining, whining, and cajoling your way into that field and all that money for your program. You selfish, undeserving schools.

    Over the last five seasons, only nine teams seeded No. 9 through No. 12 — your typical seeding for a major-conference bubble team — made it to the Sweet 16, and last season no team seeded lower then seventh made it.

    Take a closer look and you’ll see that the ones in that seeding range that manage to win a couple of games are usually so-called mid-majors, or at least not from the power conferences — teams such as Butler in 2003, Alabama Birmingham and Nevada in 2004, Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2005, and Bradley and the famous George Mason team that made it to the Final Four in 2006.

    So track teams such as Kentucky, Maryland, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Ohio State and even two-time defending champion Florida if you’d like, but they probably aren’t going to make it out of the first weekend even if they do make the field.

    Wear that “L” with pride, bubble. Oh hell, if St. John’s sniffs the NCAAs next year, I’ll probably be calling for expanding the field of 65, like Jim Boeheim wants to, myself.

    But think about it. A four team, major conference play in game– four absolute lame ducks– who will be slotted in as a 11 or 12 or 13 seed– would be a better choice. That’s usually where your limp d*cked major conference team (see: last year’s Arkansas, this year: Ohio State, Baylor, Kentucky, Oregon) ends up and gets worked over by a mid-major or some other team with a pulse.

    Imagine adding the last four out, like Villanova, Syracuse, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Florida, and the like playing nationally televised matchups against those other teams. Viewers would watch, hoping their team could get into the big dance.

    TV ratings on play-in night would be better.

    The NCAA would make money and the schools would make money.

    The low-majors wouldn’t have to win their conference tourney only to suffer the indignity of beating up a fellow low-major to get run off the court by Duke, UCLA, or Memphis. Those kids could say “I went to the tournament!”

    Isn’t that a win all around?

    Note: the dog in the photo above just looks like my dog. It is not.

    Categories: college basketball, Sports

    Luke Harangody’s Celebrity Look-a-Like

    March 14, 2008 Comments off

    Luke Harangody is the Big East Player of the Year, and the Indiana player is gaining national notice. But every time I look at him, he looks like someone else… Friday Night Lights’ star Jesse Plemons, who plays tight end Landry Clarke:

    Harangody BloodyJesse Plemons

    Harangody Sports Illustrated)

    Jesse Plemons and Adrienne Palicki

    You know it’s true.

    From Harangody’s (nicknamed “Gody”) SI feature, by the way:

    In his second season as part of a close-knit Notre Dame team, Harangody looks very much at ease. He has partnered with junior guard Kyle McAlarney to become the Irish’s resident pranksters. They both pack masks in their road bags — ‘Gody’s is an evil clown, McAlarney’s is the Jigsaw Killer from Saw. Says junior forward Ryan Ayers, “You have to get back to your hotel room before [Harangody] does because he’ll get your roommate to let him in, then hide in your closet and scare the heck out of you.”