Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Great college basketball blog (link)

While surfing around I found this detailed blog, which among other things provides details of each day's games along with a recap of the previous day's action. http://ultimatecollegehoops.blogspot.com/

Thanks to UltimateCollegeHoops for adding this blog to their list of college basketball blogs.

Daily Bubble Talk - Tuesday

  • Curtis Sumpter made the common sense decision not to return this season for Villanova. Story here
  • Oklahoma is a half-full/half-empty situation. Four back-to-back wins by one-point. Is this a sign of a tough/clutch team or a sign of a team barely holding it together? Where do you seed them when they play like this?
  • Pitt is overrated based on perception and a deceptively impressive record. Look at their OOC record. Look at the games. They have beaten the teams they were supposed to in conference. Nothing more. This team is once again destined for an early exit in March because they haven't been tested enough outside the Big East. They really don't deserve a Top 10 seed. Jamie Dixon is more likely to be the next Quin Snyder than the next Bruce Pearl or Thad Matta.
  • Gonzaga barely beat SF, which traditionally gives them a hard time. This time they needed a GW 3-pointer from P-Mac who is starting to find his offense again. Clearly they are not playing like a #2 seed right now, but then again, who is?
  • Coaches fired at Northern Colorado, Weber State and Colorado College(Div 3). Gary Waters is in exit orbit, which may hurt Rutgers chance for an ...NIT bid! Likewise, Dick Bennett's retirement may hurt Washigton State's slim chances for an ..NIT bid.

  • Monday, February 27, 2006

    Something funny: Majerus Quotes


    Daily Bubble Talk - Monday

    Let's start by dispelling some myths:

  • 20 wins will get you an NCAA bid. Ummm NO!. It depends on how good those 20 wins are. If you beat up 20 Top 200+ RPI teams, good luck getting an NIT bid even!
  • A winning record or a 50-50% record in a big time conference will get you in. Ummm NO!. Once again it depends on who the wins are up against. This applies to both conferences with balanced and unbalanced schedules. Who did you play, where did you play them and who did you beat?
  • A losing record in a big-time conference should automatically disqualify you. Ummmm NO!. Same as above. Who did you play, who did you beat, etc, etc.

    And let's point out a double-standard:
  • If there are many ACC and Big East teams in the RPI Top 50, then it is "Wow what a tough league they have 6 teams in the RPI Top 50!". But if it is the Missouri Valley, then it's "The numbers are misleading. They keep beating each other!".

  • NIT Bubble Talk!

    Wow, a post about the NIT Bubble? That's just craaazy!

    There are 40 bids for the NIT. With the new rule changes, all conference champions who do not go to the NCAA will automagically go to the NIT. This means zero to 30 (!) of the NIT spots will be filled by conference champions (The Ivy sends its regular season conference champ to the NCAA).

    That, along with the fact that you don't need a 50% or better record anymore, makes it a bit hard to predict the field. Will the NIT selection committee go for the big name matchups like they did before? Or will they just line-up the teams NCAA-style and whatever comes up. Remember, all NIT games (other than the Final Four) are played on home courts so care must be taken to play games at places where fans will actually show up.

    A couple of weeks ago these matchups would have been possible: Indiana-Notre Dame, Louisville-Kentucky, but now Indiana and Kentucky may be heading to the NCAA.

    Teams that will FALL to the NIT if they don't get an automatic bid:

  • ACC: FSU, Miami, Virginia
  • Pac 10: Arizona
  • Big 12: Colorada
  • SEC: Kentucky
  • Big East: Syracuse, Cincy, Seton Hall
  • Big Eleven: Indiana
  • MWC: San Diego State, BYU, AF
  • WAC: Utah State, LaTech
  • A10: St Joe's, Xavier
  • CUSA: UAB, UTEP, Houston

    Teams that I consider locks for the NIT unless they win their conference tourney, and assuming there are enough bids left:
  • ACC: Maryland
  • Pac 10: Stanford, USC
  • Big 12: Nebraska, Texas Tech, Texas A&M (their schedule is designed for an NIT berth after all, so they get what they deserve)
  • SEC: Vandy
  • WCC: LMU

    On the NIT bubble:
  • Big Eleven: Minnessoooota
  • Big East: Louisville? Notre Dame? Rutgers?
  • Pac 10: Oregon
  • SEC: Georgia?
  • ACC: Clemson?
  • Big 12: Kansas State, Oklahoma State?

    Isn't this fun? :-)

  • Daily Bubble Talk - The Beginning!

    This is a new daily segment talking about, what else, the BUBBLE!

    So, here we go...

    The NCAA field has 34 at-large teams and 31 conference champions.

    Let's start with 27 teams from the "BCS" conferences that I predict as locks:
    ACC - 4: Duke, Carolina, BC, NC State
    Big Yeast - 6: UConn, Nova, W.Virginia, Gtown, Marquette, Pitt
    Big Eleven - 6: Thada State (oops Ohio State), Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Izzo State and Michigan.
    Pac 10 - 3: UCLA, Washington, CAL
    Big 12 - 3: TeXas, KansaS, Oklahype
    SEC - 5: LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama

    This leaves 13 at-large bids available.

    Next, here are five teams that I believe will get in (if they haven't already) - for one reason or another: Indiana, Arizona, Kentucky, Syracuse, Cincy

    Next I am making the assumption that Memphis, Gonzaga and George Washington will run the table in the conference tourneys.

    This leaves 8 at-large bids. Then I am giving Nevada one bid, and the Missouri Valley two at-large bids (+ the automatic), and I am making the assumption that the conference tourney will be won by one of the top 6 MVC teams.

    So now we are left with five at-large bids to be shared among:

  • Missouri Valley: Three remaining at-large candidates
  • Colonial: George Mason, Hofstra, UNC-Wilma
  • CUSA: UAB, UTEP, Houston (the first two are without their best players Eddins and Tofi)
  • MWC: Sun Diego State, BYU, AF
  • WAC: Utah State, LaTech
  • A-10: A group of teams
  • ACC: FSU, Miami, Virginia, Maryland
  • Big Yeast: Seton Hall, Rutgers?
  • Big Eleven: None
  • Big 12: Colorado, Nebraska, Texas Tech?, Texas A&M? (their schedule is designed for an NIT bid)
  • Pac 10: Stanford?
  • SEC: South Carolina? Vandy?

    The five bids above could:
  • increase by one if Nevada gets their automatic bid
  • increase if Indiana/Arizona/Cincy/Syracuse/Kentucky fail to win the games they are supposed to.
  • decrease if Memphis/Gonzaga/George Washington do not get their conference's automatic bid
  • decrease (or even disappear) if the conference champions of multi-bid conferences are not at-large teams (this could range from 0 to 31!)


  • Weekend Rewind!

  • The game of the weekend was erratic with no flow, but it was a big game by nature. Villanova was able to trade two three-pointers for three 2-pointers early, but once the UConn defense intensified in the 2nd half, and the 3s stopped dropping, it was over. One suggestion for Jim Calhoun: Why not try this lineup against the Villanova four-guard lineup: Adrien, Gay, Anderson, Brown, and Marcus "Laptop" Williams?

  • Credit should be given to Gus Johnson. He never takes a play off as a play-by-play guy. And a lot of times he has more intensity than the players on the court.

  • March Madness online on Demand. Free for a limited time? That's what they claim! http://www.ncaasports.com/mmod

  • Memo to Mike Davis: You may want to avoid incoherent mumbling during press conferences if you want to land another job.

  • These teams helped their NCAA cause during the weekend: Indiana, UTEP, Arkansas, Alabama.

  • These teams should start preparing their arenas for NIT banners: Maryland, Stanford, Kentucky (!), USC (so they may have not played their last game at the LA Arena just yet).

  • Many places had their senior nights. A salute to all the graduating seniors or seniors on a graduation path.

  • Homework for the readers

    Dear Readers,

    Here is your homework assignment: Define what technical, fragrant and intentional fouls are. Submit your answers via a comment :-)

    Xenophobia in "ACC Basketball Today"?

    A couple of weeks ago the weekly FSN program "ACC Basketball Today" had a segment on international players making an impact in the ACC and whining that they are now up to 10% of basketball student-athletes and they are "taking away scholarships". Of course they failed to mention that thousands of US-born college basketball players (who do not make it to the NBA) play professionally all over the world when they graduate, a lot of them making nice six figures, a number of them making high six figures in the top leagues, and in many cases their income is tax-free.

    Guardians of the Game: Len Elmore

    I remember a few months ago there was hoopla about forming a group to act as guardians of the game. I don't know/remember who the members are, but Len Elmore is an ideal candidate for such a post.

    Why? He is former NCAA/NBA player, a long-time TV analyst, a parent of a HS basketball player, and he has a law degree too!

    Friday, February 24, 2006

    Breaking Non-News from ESPN-News

  • Mike Davis will lose $40,000 from his settlement with IU if he bad-mouths the university. Does that explain the honeymoon-like atmosphere during the press conference announcing his firing? He will also lose $40,000 if he attempts to lure any players to go with him, but I doubt he will mind that if he can get players to go with him as it will help his chances to get a job.

  • The bloody gauze (gause?) pad from Adam Morrison's nose made its way to eBay (!!!), but it was quickly pulled after requests from Gonzaga/Morrison/NCAA.


  • One day after David Padgett shut it down because of injuries and an upcoming operation, California freshman Bryan Harvey decided to transfer from Louisville over playing time. I guess Rick Pitino was not joking when he talked about "shutting it down"! http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/news?slug=ap-louisville-harvey&prov=ap&type=lgns

  • Meanwhile Thad Matta insists he has no interest in leaving Ohio State. If I had Greg Oden and a super-dooper recruiting class coming in, why would I leave? An 8-year/11-million dollar contract helps too! http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/news?slug=ap-ohiost-matta&prov=ap&type=lgns

  • Big East Freshman of the Year candidates (link)

    The Marquette Basketball Blog has a detailed post on their candidates for Freshman of the Year in the Big East.

    I agree with their assessment: The battle is for the #2 spot, as the #1 is spot is signed, sealed and delivered. Who is it? You have to read the story :-)

    As it is evident, playing time is as big of a factor as talent, as some highly touted recruits have not been able to post big numbers because they are on deep teams where PT is at a premium. But regardless, there are some surprises!

    One suprise: Given how deep and talented UConn is, Jeff Adrien is probably a mild surprise as he is competing for PT against some very talented but also some very experienced players. If he played for another team, he could have easily been a national freshman of the year candidate.

    Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! No brackets here.

    In: Duke, NC State, NC
    In if they beat who they are supposed to: BC
    Bubble: Maryland, FSU, Virginia, Miami

    Big Eleven
    In: Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin
    Bubble: Indiana

    In: UCLA
    In if they beat who they are supposed to: Cal, Washington, Arizona
    Bubble: Stanford

    Big 12
    In: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas
    Bubble: Colorado, and anyone else who separates themselves from the middle

    In: Tenneesseeeeee, LSU, Florida
    In if they beat who they are supposed to: Kentucky, Alabama
    Bubble: Arkansas, South Carolina

    Big East
    In: UConn, Nova, W.Virginia, Marquette, Georgetown, Pitt
    In if they beat who they are supposed to: Syracuse, Cincy
    Bubble: Seton Hall, Notre Dame (!!!)

    Missouri Valley
    In: Wichita State, Creighton, N.Iowa
    Bubble: S.Illinois, Bradley, Missouri State

    In: Memphis
    Bubble: Houston, UAB, UTEP

    In: Nevada
    Bubble: LaTech (Paul Millsap!), Utah State

    A-14 (also known as Atlantic 10)
    In: GW
    Bubble: LaSalle, Temple, Charlotte, Xavier, StJoes

    In: None
    In if they beat who they are supposed to: San Diego State
    Bubble: Air Force, BYU

    In: Gonzaga
    Bubble: None

    In: None
    In if they beat who they are supposed to: George Mason, UNC-Wilmington
    Bubble: Hofstra, ODU, NE (JJ Barrea!)

    Assuming the teams from the categories 1 and 2 above make it to the NCAA, this will leave a whooping eight at-large bids. That's a generous amount! That could mean that some of the mid-major conferences thought to have been one-bid leagues, will actually get two. The selection committee will have a hard time filling up the NCAA brackets with NIT-caliber teams! Their job will be made easier if non-NCAA teams grab the automatic bids. This also opens the NCAA door for teams who make a strong run in their conference tourneys. For example, three wins in the Big East tourney (three wins for a 5 thru 12 Big East seed would mean reaching the final)could be enough for a bid!

    Assuming NCAA-bound teams win all the automatic bids, there will be plenty of bids to go around on the bubble. But this is not often the case, especially in the 1-bid and 2-bid conferences. So some of the presumed bubble spots will be taken away. Essentially when you see a bracketology report, you can assume that the "Last Four In" will probably be the "Last Four Out", assuming four non-NCAA bound teams win their conference tourneys and claim the automatic bid pushing at-large teams out.

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Crazy or not? Pitino back to Kentucky?

    This sound crazy. Is it possible? probable? Am I totally crazy?

    Well, here is a scenario:

  • Tired of all the whining, Tubby Smith goes to the NBA.
  • Rick Pitino has publicly acknowledged leaving Kentucky was a big mistake and he had a great thing going there
  • Rick Pitino has never been one to stay at the same place for too long. You don't believe me? Check his coaching history!

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Duke about to lose? Coach K about to be ejected?

    Could this be? Coach K has one technical already and has been riding the zebras like crazy. Redick is not scoring. Wow! Georgia Tech is +11 with 17 minutes left in the 2nd half. Upset city? Vitale is doing the game on ESPN, and he is about to start crying if his Dookies lose!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    College Basketball Coaches Salaries (SI, 2003)

    This is an SI story from 2003. If anyone has more updated numbers, let me know!

    SI story

    Currently watching...

  • Notre Dame @ UConn
  • Illinois @ Michigan
  • Xavier @ Dayton

    Michigan needs to be careful, otherwise it may follow Indiana down the NIT slide.

    Notre Dame is one of the best teams ever to have such a horrible record. Perhaps they'll end up meeting Indiana in the NIT. UConn is toying with them, this is gonna be a 20+ game when it's all done.

    In other NCAA news:
  • Amadou Ba was suspended for 1.5 games (50% of remaining regular season) for his incident with drunk Michigan State fan.
  • Paul Silas was lobbying on ESPN's "Fast Break" for a USA-Basketball roster spot for JJ Redick
  • With a looming independent investigation, (which typically becomes a witch hunt), the Quin Snyder saga at Missouri may cost the AD his job for the Sopranos style firing of Q. It's not like the AD had to fire Bob Knight or John Thompson. He only had to fire the struggling Quin Snyder!

  • Knight School (ESPN's reality TV show)

    Those who missed the first episode of ESPN's Reality Show "Knight School" do not worry. It repeats multiple times during the week on ESPN/ESPN2/U.

    Overall the first episode was rather interesting, with a few Bob Knight moments, but in general, he was mild and reserved(!). No chairs thrown, no throat-grabbing, at least not yet...

    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Two problems with Joe Lunardi's Bracketology Top 16 Seeds

    In today's edition of Joe Lunardi's Bracketology there are two problems:

    1) Villanova and Texas are placed as #1 and #2. Usually the selection cmte tries to avoid "replays" of matchups that already took place during the season. Villanova played at Texas this year.

    2) Same problem, with Memphis as #1 and Gonzaga as #2. They have played earlier this year at Memphis.

    Wacky Scenarios (pure speculation)

    How about this wacky scenario? Bob Knight returns to Indiana with Steve Alford as his top assistant and head-coach-designate! Pat Knight takes over Texas Tech as planned.

    And how about another wacky scenario? The Bob Huggins faithful overthrow the current university leadership and install a pro-Huggins administration, they re-sign Huggins with Adam Kennedy as his top assistant, and one day later OJ Mayo and Billy Walker announce for Huggins/Cincinatti.

    (As I said, these are WACKY scenarios baby!)

    Weekend Rewind!

  • The Wacky Pac-10! The #10 team beats the #1 team on the road. Stanford loses its first home conference game to Arizona who all of a sudden decides to play defense like Arizona teams of the past. And then to make things more exciting, USC dominates UCLA (!). At this rate, all Pac-10 teams will end up in the NIT ;-)

  • Jim Boheim's record is a fraud. Why? Because every year, he plays a very soft OOC schedule, with most of the games at the Carrier Dome against cupcakes or mid-majors. In other words, he is guaranteed a solid 8-10 OOC wins every year. So his "excellent" record has a low RPI! OTOH, you can partially justify the schedule for this season because he is playing a very tough Big East schedule.

  • Jimmy Dykes is about 500 years behind the current times. This time he said something about "sister at a frat party". This is almost as bad as considering the wife and kids as someone's "valuable possessions". I mean, come on! This is 2006, not 1006!

  • Beano Cook brought up something that I absolutely agree with during one of his itnerviews on ESPN-News. People in the media have no clue on what an upset really is. #17 Ohio State beating #9 Illinois at Value City arena is not an upset. Just because there is a different of 8 positions in the stupid poll? Come on!

  • And something for the number crunchers: During games, the stats people show us the Free Throw percentage of a team for the whole season and compare it to how they are doing in today's game. This is not a very accurate picture, since that depends on who has taken the free throws. What would be really useful is a weighted average. This will tell you if players are shooting above, at or below their average. Here is an example: Team X is 90% from the free throw line. During tonight's game, they are 10/18. This looks like they may be struggling from the free throw line. But not so fast! In tonight's game, Player Y (a horrible free throw shooter who rarely shoots free throws) gets fouled a lot, so he brings down the team %. But that does not mean the whole team is struggling from the line!

  • Friday, February 17, 2006

    It is official, Mike Davis is on his way out

    So the Mike Davis era at Indiana is over.

    So they managed to stage a press conference with each side praising the other side. Well, if things were that good, why did they have so many problems? :)

    My wild guess for the next coach: Rick Majerus. He coached at Ball State, he was a Marquette assistant, and in some ways, his style and personality would remind some people of Bob Knight.

    Blame it on Maui!

    These four teams were struggling for the most part of the season: Maryland, Arizona, Kansas, and Arkansas. What do they have in common? They played at the Maui Invitational and they got beat. From the list, only Kansas has managed to get it together. So is Maui to blame for their problems? :-)

    Freshman of the Year

    The candidates are running for the #2 spot. Psycho-T is a lock as the freshman of the year. Just ask Paul Hewitt :)

    Some candidates for 2nd best freshman of the year:

  • Dominique James of Marquette
  • Brandon Rush @ Kansas
  • M-Will @ Arizona
  • LR Mbah a Muteh @ UCLA
  • Tyrus Thomas @ LSU
  • Rice @ BC
  • and many more

  • Freshman of the Year

    The candidates are running for the #2 spot. Psycho-T is a lock as the freshman of the year. Just ask Paul Hewitt :)

    Some candidates for 2nd best freshman of the year:

  • Dominique James of Marquette
  • Brandon Rush @ Kansas
  • M-Will @ Arizona
  • LR Mbah a Muteh @ UCLA
  • Tyrus Thomas @ LSU
  • Rice @ BC
  • and many more

  • Weekend preview!

    Lots of dramatic games over the weekend, as expected.

    ESPN's Bracket buster will be huge as it will make or break some of the mid-majors. The featured game will be Bucknell at Northern Iowa.

  • Look for excitement at this game: UConn visits West Virginia.
  • First game after the Davis/Indiana announcement: Indiana at Illinois
  • Almost single-elimination games: Louisville @ Syrcause, Arizona @ Stanford, Kentucky @ South Carolina
  • In-state rivalries: Michigan-Michigan State, Ole Miss - Miss. State
  • Upset (wishful thinking): Miami at Duke

    Here is what the TV offers: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9983884/

  • Ch-ch-ch-changes: The new NIT!

    The NCAA bought the NIT last year. As expected, they are making some changes to the NIT.

    Most notably:

  • All regular season conference champions are guaranteed an NIT berth
  • Teams no longer have to have a .500 or better record
  • The NIT selection committee includes Dean Smith, CM Newton, and Jack Powers
  • The NIT field of 40 will be announced on March 12, just hours after the NCAA field is announced
  • Higher seeds will host games. NIT Final four as always will be at MSG. Play begins March 14.


    I hope Dean Smith does not disqualify freshmen from playing in the NIT :)

  • Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Psycho T went psycho on Georgia Tech

    Guarding Psycho-T one-on-one proved a disaster for Georgia Tech. 40 points later Paul Hewitt may want to revise that strategy. Of course if the 3s kept falling in the 2nd half for Georgia Tech they would have won still. But it rarely rain 3s for both halves. OTOH, it is easy to dunk and make layups for 40 minutes.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    CBS gambled and won

    Many basketball analysts thought CBS took a high risk when they decided to televise the Missouri Valley conference final. Fast forward a few months later, and they look like they made a brilliant decision. Just like Gonzaga is a national "mid-major" darling, the MVC is becoming a hot conference. For now FSN/FoxCollegeSports are capitalizing on this by showing at least two games nationally (FoxCollegeSports) per week.

    JJ Record breaks the Redick!

    JJ Record managed to break the NCAA 3-pointer field goals made redick. He did this while the previous record holder (Curtis Staples (Virginia)) was in the stands watching. Next stop: Duke's leading scorer and ACC leader scorer. At the beginning of the season people thought it was 50-50 for him to break the records (eg a deep NCAA run), but he is breaking the records in February even!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Tuesday News: Chris Rodgers is back, Quin Snyder drama, Jay Wright gets 7

    Jay Wright gets 7. A 7-year extension. Just two years removed from the hot seat, he now looks like a genius (Is he the next Steve Lavin? He had Earl Watson and Baron Davis!)

    On the flip side of the coin, the Quin Snyder situation at Missouri is getting worse and more dramatic.

    Bad news - two season-ending injuries: Darryl "Showtime" Hill at St Johns and Brian Thornton at Xavier.

    Chris Rodgers is back at Arizona. This is a good development, since the student-athlete did not commit any crime, was on schedule to graduate or graduated already, and gave the university 3.5 productive years on the court. His "crime" may have been (I am speculating based on what I have read) having "philosophical" differences with the Silver Fox. This is not the NBA where a coach/GM can simply cut player if they don't like the way they sneaze. It looks like this has been resolved on a good note. Story at Yahoo Sports

    Thanks to basketballvoice.com

    Thanks to basketballvoice.com for adding this blog to their website!

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Future Rule Changes (revisited)

    Yes on:

  • Pushing back the 3-point line
  • Block/Charge circle under the basket

    Not sure on:
  • Trapezoid lane

    Seriously consider:
  • Six fouls so the best players stay on the floor longer. This will be even more important next year with the super-star recruits being in college for at least one year.
  • Make refs accountable. Make them available to reporters/media after a game, but put checks and balances so it doesn't become a circus.

  • Is Ben Howland the right fit for UCLA?

    West Coast basketball has not been famous or successful for its slow down BigEast/Big10-style grinded out slugfests. The two most successful coaches (John Wooden and Lute Olsen) have been teaching and winning with a faster paced game.

    While Ben Howland is having a great year at UCLA when you look at the scoreboard, the questions of whether his style is suited for long-term success on the west coast and UCLA remain. It won't be easy to consistently recruit west coast players to play this ugly style of basketball. And this is not speculation: He lost all the recruiting battles for big men in the 2005 class, but he found a gem in Luc Richard MbahaMoute. The rich 2006 class has also been a struggle for UCLA and they had to bring in a european center because they couldn't get any of the other highly touted domestic players - other than James Keefe. In the 2007 class, Taylor King changed his mind, and preferred Gonzaga and Villanova over UCLA, and ended up at Duke. I can understand Duke but why the Zags and Nova over UCLA? Both Nova and Zags style of play on offense is fun and exciting. Ben Howland is a control freak, he likes to slow the game down and call every single play. Not as much fun, is it?

    Everytime a recruit is interested in UCLA guess what the other competing coaches will do? They will send them a copy of the UCLA - Washington State game or just mention the final score (50-30).

    An Elite 8 is not always a good thing!

    Ask Ernie Kent at Oregon, Henry Bibby at USC or Quin Snyder @ Missouri.

    Sometimes an Elite 8 is the best that you can do, and it goes downhill from there. Ouch!

    Weekend rewind


  • Ohio State. They may reach the Final Four before Greg Oden even registers for classes. Thad Matta has done a superb job at Ohio State making the most out of his team and situation. Wow!
  • Arizona played Arizona basketball while routing Oregon State. The Silver Fox tweaked his core rotation, with Marcus Williams handling the ball as a point-forward, and high-energy Daniel Dillon and Fendi Onobun getting more PT. Hassan Adamas dished a career high 9 assists. Shakur and JP Prince were in the doghouse.
  • Gonzaga: The last time they faced a Trent Johnson team (Nevada @ 2004 NCAA), they got punched in the mouth early on and never recovered. This time, they got punched in the mouth again, but they were able to recover, and ride Adam Morrison to a big win. They needed strong games from both Morrison and Batista for the W. But clearly this is not a #2 seed team, unless Heytvelt and Knight fully recover.
  • Washington: They managed to outgrind UCLA with B.Roy showing the ABC world how a clutch player affects a game with his defense (blocking Farmar's last shot)
  • Duke: A walk in the ...college park.
  • UConn: Seton-who? Calhoun might as well have said: "If Duke can blow them out, so can we!"

  • Miami failed to beat NC on their home court. Hello NIT! Although there's still time to make up for it since so many teams are playing their way out of the NCAAs.
  • Indiana losing at home to Iowa. Bad loss. Sliding...
  • Michigan getting owned by Purdue. Granted they were without a couple of injured players but getting blown out was bad.
  • Michigan State has shown that the early November blow-out at Hawaii was not an isolated event. They got owned by the Gophers.
  • Maryland is still struggling. And this time there's no Gilchrist to blame.
  • Jay Bilas: Jay Bilas shredded Mike Davis on Saturday's College Gameday for not showing for the game, while admiting he did not know how bad his flu was. That would have been fine if he at the same time he defended and praised Quin Snyder. He did admit/disclose that Quin Snyder is one of his best friends. But don't worry, there isn't any Duke bias in the media, is there?

  • Friday, February 10, 2006

    Big games this weekend!

    Some of the most exciting games available on national TV:

    The most exciting game of the weekend is actually on Monday, ESPN's Big Monday: UConn visits Villanova.

    Saturday has some big games with NCAA implications, such as Iowa at Indiana, UCLA at Washington, Duke at Maryland, Stanford at Gonzaga (ESPN's Gameday primetime)

    Sunday has Illinois at Ohio State, West Virginia at Georgetown (predicted score: 33-35) and North Carolina at Miami.

    Potentially the biggest upset: Marshall over Memphis

    Most exciting game on ESPN Full Court: LSU at Florida.

    Why did South Carolina sweep Florida?

    Because the two teams match up real well. South Carolina is similar to Florida. Long, lean, athletic players. Florida does not have the advantage over South Carolina plus Dave Odom is a crafty coach. There is no mystery here :)

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Random Thoughts

    Coach of the Year candidates

  • Bruce Pearl at TN
  • Billy Donovan at FL
  • John Thompson III at Georgetown
  • Belein at West Virginia
  • Karl Hobbs at GW
  • Roy Williams at NC
  • Tim Floyd at USC
  • Jay Wright at Nova
  • Calipari at Memphis
  • half of the coaches in the Missouri Valley conference :)
  • more candidates coming soon

  • Villanova wins the Big 5, although it didn't look that way during the first half of their game against St Joe's in the Palestra. Details at collegesports.com.

  • ESPN should really NOT interrupt a game with that stupid 30-30 update. It would be okay if they did it during timeouts or interruptions, but interrupting a game is stupid. All the latest news are ticking at the bottom of the screen anyway, and they do a recap during half-time and Sportscenter promos after timeouts. Please stop interrupting games with 30-30 updates!

  • While CBS is paying a lot of $$$ for the rights to the NCAA tourney, things for us (the viewers) would be a lot better if ABC/ESPN got the rights. Why? More games and more features in parallel. CBS only shows one game at a time, occasionally a different game on their HD channel. If Disney got their paws on the NCAAs, they could potentially broadcast every single game. Four games, one each at ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU/ESPNClassic/ESPNews/Deportes. Or they could do what CBS does with ABC (switch between the exciting games and regional games), and then show the four games straight on their other channels. They could also offer a Full Court pay-per-view package with all the games, ideal for those with basic cable. If CBS is clever, they should put CSTV to good use during March Madness, but the problem is CSTV is not available everywhere and when it is, it is usually in some special digital tier cable package.

  • Academics matter for the NCAA (when it is convenient)

    Yahoo Sports has a story by Seth Davis of SI, CBS and CSTV on the upcoming results of the utopian academic study dreamt up by Myles Brand ten years ago while he was plotting and scheming to get Bob Knight fired.

    Details here at Yahoo Sports

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Monday Night College Basketball

    Also known as Big Monday on ESPN.

    Gonzaga showed they are the Duke of the West when it comes to getting favorable calls from the zebras. At least the Zags were on their home court ;-)

    Maybe they had the Saturday ESPN GameDay game against Stanford in the back of their minds so they did not concentrate on St Marys. Or Randy Bennett has found a way to slow them down after facing them 2-3 times a year for the last few years.

    Louisville may have played themselves out of the NCAA last night. They were unable to put down a wounded Cincy team that lost Hicks and White for short but critical parts of the 1st and 2nd half. The only way Louisville gets an NCAA bid is they fight hard to make the Big East tourney and then make it to the Big East final (like West Virginia did last year). Even if they don't win the conference tourney, if the final is close, they will get the benefit of the doubt since Big East is tough this year and the brand names of Pitino and Louisville are good for the tourney.

    Don't forget Duke-Carolina on ESPN tonight (Tuesday 9pET/6pPT)!

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    RPI, Rankings and Bracketology (Links)

    This lists will grow organically to include various RPI ratings, power ratings/rankings and Bracketology links. If you have any links, just let me know or add them as a comment and I will update the site.


    KenPom RPI
    Warren Nolan RPI

    Power Ratings

    USAToday.com Saggarin Ratings
    Ken Pomeroy's Ratings
    Warren Nolan's Nitty Gritty Report - color-coded with all the trends. Very nicely done!


    Joe Lunardi's Bracketology
    Bracketology 101
    The Bracket Board
    collegerpi.com Brackets
    Warren Nolan Brackets


    Ken Pomeroy Stats

    The ACC publicly confesses to Duke favoritism by repreminanding officials

    After Duke got very favorable calls by the zebras in two back-to-back close games, the ACC stepped in and repremindanded the zebras that cost FSU a huge road win that would have made their season.


    Regardless of all that, it is now obvious which teams give Duke trouble. Florida State has a rotation of 10+, many of whom are long, athletic, skilled players. The similarities to Va Tech and Memphis are there...

    More on this here:
    Duke bias debate at yocohoops.com

    Gregg Doyel of Sportsline.com chimes in on Duke, the Refs and Coach K. An interesting story to read

    The Rosary Defense

    Caught on camera during the Boston College game, Coach K went to the "Rosary defense". This is probably one of the top 10 moments of the season!

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    What is an Upset?

    The talking heads on TV and the scribbling pens and keyboards in print/online media do not seem to have a good grasp on what an upset is.

    So here is my attempt to explain using examples:

    An upset

  • Probational Div-1 team winning at the home of highly touted BCS team (eg North Dakota State winning at Wisconsin)
  • Team with horrible in-conference road record beating highly touted in-conference foe on their home court (eg Penn State winning at Illinois)
  • Duke not getting a favorable call during end of game situations (and during the game, and before a game)
  • A Duke game not shown on national TV, not even ESPN Full Court (eg FSU at Duke)

    NOT an upset
  • average to good in-conference home team beats ranked in-conference foe
  • #25 team beating #16 team at home
  • #15 team beating #7 team at home

  • Weekend Rewind

    Good weekend for these teams

  • Penn State
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
  • Georgetown
  • Florida State

    Bitter losses
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Oklahoma (16pt lead lost)
  • Arizona (was Chris Rodgers the problem or the scapegoat?)

    Bracketology update
    It's a mess out there!

    Not as bad as their records indicate
  • Notre Dame
  • Louisville
  • Arizona State

    Classic games coming up
    Check your local listings as the following classic games are goign to be shown in the next two weeks:
  • Three old Duke-Carolina games (Tue Feb 9 on ESPN-Classic)
  • The game that started the Nate Robinson/Washington run in the NCAAs in 2004 (Washington at Oregon State) - an epic comeback fueled by Nate Robinson that propelled the Huskies to the NCAAs where they had an epic game against UAB
  • 1997 Clemson-Gonzaga

  • With or without you (Bracketology)

    The following teams have either lost or added signifant players during the season.

    How will this affect their standing with the selection committee??????


  • Arizona (Chris Rodgers)
  • UAB (Demario Eddins)
  • Alabama (Chuck Davis)
  • Maryland (Chris McCray)
  • Wisconsin (Landry and Steinsma)
  • Missouri Valley Team (Nate Funk)
  • Seton Hall (Stan Gaines)
  • Cincinatti (Armen Kirkland)
  • Clemson (Mays)

  • Kentucky (Randolph Morris)
  • UConn (Marcus Williams)

  • Friday, February 03, 2006

    Big Brother releases the first weekly RPI

    Big Brother (aka the NCAA) released their first weekly RPI.

    First ever RPI data released by the NCAA: http://web1.ncaa.org/app_data/weeklyrpi/rpi1.html?

    NCAA guidelines for Bracket selection

    NCAA Press Release announcing RPI data for the masses

    The New "Undefeateds"

    Basketball fans had fun in January tracking down the undefeated teams. Then one Saturday, the remaining three fell one by one (Pitt, Duke, Florida).

    Now we have a new set of undefeated teams. The ones undefeated in their conference games. This will generate excitement throughout March as a couple of these teams may end up undefeated in conference (not unusual). Among others we have Duke, West Virginia and LSU. UTEP fell a couple of nights ago at Houston, while UC Irvine fell last night at Pacific. Something about conference games on the road...

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Today's action on TV

    As we get closer to March, we get more and more exciting games on TV. Tonight's (Wednesday) action is exciting:

  • Duke at Boston College (ESPN)
  • Notre "Desperate" Dame at West Virginia (ESPN)
  • UTEP at Houston (INHD in High Definition, and CSTV)
  • Northwestern at Indiana (ESPNU)
  • Iowa at Purdue and Texas at Missouri (ESPN2)
  • Drake at Missouri State (Fox College Sports; watch the Missouri Valley conference now before they make noise in the NCAAs)
  • High flying Memphis at Tulsa (CSTV)
  • Pitt at UConn (RERUN on ComcastSports; game was played last nite on ESPN+/FullCourt)

    If you love Pac10/west-coast basketball, you can get all four Pac 10 games live on Thursday between FSN, FSN+, ComcastSports and Fox College Sports. Meanwhile ESPN and ESPN2 will feature two high-powered east coast games: North Carolina at Maryland and George Washington at Xavier.

    Don't forget to mark your calendar: Tuesday Feb 7, North Carolina at Duke on ESPN. Earlier on that day ESPN Classic will be airing three classic Duke-NC games so prepare your VCRs/DVRs/TiVos.

  • Websites of Interest: Bracketology 101 blog

    An alternative approach to Lunardi's Bracketology, Bracketology 101 uses a unique "projection-prediction" method to come up with the Field of 65.

    Their latest Field of 65 projection is as of January 29.

    They project 8 teams from the Big East, 7 from the Big Eleven (aka Big 10), 5 each from the Big 12, ACC and SEC, 4 each from the Pac10 and Missouri Valley (MVC), 2 each from C-USA, Mountain West, Atlantic 14 (aka A10). The rest of the conferences are projected with one bid each. For complete details, visit their site :)

    My opinion on their predictions
    As much as I love Gonzaga, they are definately not a #2. They were 3-3 against the Top 50, but then Washington fell off the Top 50, so now they are 3-2. Other teams have a better Top 50 record than the Zags.

    UAB without Demario Eddins is probably too high as a #8.

    I agree with their assessment of Cincy/Armen Kirkland.

    They have setup some potentially nice TV matchups in their brackets, which the NCAA selection cmte loves but does not admit to: Duke-UCLA, Gonzaga-North Carolina, Arizona-Villanova.

    Obviously upsets in conference tournaments tend to push the "Last Four In" towards the "Last Four Out", so the "Last Four In" are shaky.

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