Monday, April 02, 2007

Daily Tourney Talk (Final Monday!)

Coaching Carousel Instant Update Trying to sneak these under the rug while everyone was watching the NCAA tourney?

  • John Beilein to Michigan!. The brilliant basketball mind of John Beilein will pack his bags and go to Michigan! However this is sad for all the freshmen/underclassmen at West Virginia who expected to be coached by Beilein, the NIT champion, something that Michigan strived for the last few years ;-)
  • The BIGGEST SHOCKER however was (WOW) Butler coach Todd Lickliter going from Butler to Iowa!. I guess Iowa was running interference while they were busy finalizing the details with the Butler coach? Todd Lickleiter was just named NABC coach of the year (NABC = national association of basketball coaches). Terms of the agreement not announced/leaked just yet.
  • Coaching Carousel 2007 updated with these two hirings!

    Blogging live on the Final Four in Atlanta from ...right in front of the TV :-)

  • Live on ESPN News right now, the Ohio State press conference...
  • Billy Packer just went over to Westwood One and talked on the air on radio with Big John, Raft and Kevin Harlan. Anthony Grant (now at VCU) also on the floor joining the celebration.
  • Now that the championship is over, we have two big questions: 1) Will everyone return for a threepeat? 2) Will Billy Donovan take the Kentucky or an NBA job?
  • Will the reporters ask Donovan about the Kentucky job? Will he give them an Ole Roy type of answer "I don't give a sh*t about ****** right now"? Probably not, since Donovan will be a winner, not frustrated because he lost...
  • "We are the champions" sing the Florida fans... And no, not the parody version of that song that Mike (Golik) and Mike (Greenberg) play for the winner of the NIT every year... Florida dominates both football and basketball...
  • Richard fouls out, Noah goes in. 81 seconds from the repeat!
  • Pat Riley's advice to Donovan on repeating: "Go with your gut".
  • Florida fans are starting to smell a repeat, just 2 minutes and 30-some seconds away!
  • Last media timeout (under-4): Ohio State 62, Florida 73... 4th foul on Chris Richard... Oden has 22 pts 11 rebounds... Billy Donovan trying a 2-3 zone... Florida 35-27 on rebounds...
  • Jim Gray interviewing Bill Walton on Westwood One: "repeating is the hardest thing", "Oden one of the most underutilized players in the history of college basketball", "spectacular tournament - only wish there was more than just fouls, timeouts and substitutions", "the game is not over".
  • Fourth media timeout (under-8): Ohio State 56, Florida 64... Noah has four fouls, three on Richards, Speights and Horford and Greg Oden... Can they contain the Oden Express?
  • Third media timeout (under-12): Ohio State 44, Florida 53... Oden vs (now four) Florida bigs... The game intensity increases... Will Oden be worn down at the end of the game?
  • Second half, First and second media timeout (Donovan timeout and under-16): Ohio State 40, Florida 49...
  • Halftime Show: Mini-feature on Kevin Durant receiving the Naismith award (the first freshman ever to do that)... Meanwhile Westwood One has a mini-preview on the women's Rutgers vs Tennessee game... And Dick Enberg is celebrating his 50 years in broadcasting by narrating an essay on ...hands... Ohio State is 2/12 on 3pt FGs this half...
  • Halftime! Ohio State 29, Florida 40... Marresse Speights got some action in order to wear down Oden and save some fouls on Noah/Horford/Richards... Oden is only one.
  • Fifth media timeout (under 4): Ohio State 24, Florida 35... Second foul on Joakim Noah as he was trying to defend Oden... Oden has an impact in the paint but he is only one - Florida has three big men (Noah, Horford, Richard).
  • Fourth media timeout (Matta timeout): Ohio State 22, Florida 33... Ohio State broke Florida's momentum but three three-poitners by three Florida players created some separation again... More nickle-timer calls frustrate Big John...
  • Third media timeout: Ohio State 15, Florida 21... Conley had to return to the game as Matta must have felt that Florida was starting to pull away... Florida is taller this year, but Ohio State will have more bigs next year: freshmen Kosta Koufos and Dallas Lauderdale and transfer K. Mardsen.
  • Second media timeout: Ohio State 13, Florida 17... Danger time for the Buckeyes?... The zebras are starting to nickle-dime again and Big John is not happy, two fouls for Mike Conley, Othella Hunter, etc. Bad zebras!... CBS showed the fake-trophy pre-planned failed hand-off between Donovan and an associate during Midnight Madness that gave the Florida fans a scare. It would be ironic if the last play of this game was a turnover... Nantz and Packer also make a case for not letting fouls take players out of the game. Hopefully this tourney will get the ball rolling on this issue...
  • First media time-out: Ohio State 9, Florida 7. Promises to be an exciting game so far. And that's good! The last thing we need is another choppy quick-whistle game!
  • Ohio State opens with man-to-man defense. Mike Conley scores the first basket for Ohio State, and Corey Brewer the first bucket (three pointer) for Florida. Current score: Ohio State 5, Florida 3.
  • Just before tip-off: The starting line-ups are as expected. One observation from Big John: Ohio State is a lot shorter.
  • 15 minutes before tip-off: Long Greg Oden interview on Westwood One where Greg Oden talks about the bond he developed with Tony Dungy as they both lost people very close to them the last few months.
  • 30 minutes before tip-off: Find your local Westwood One radio station here. Select "NCAA Tournament".
  • 45 minutes before tip-off: Kevin Durant is named Naismith player of the year (the first freshman to get that award).
  • 60 minutes before tip-off: Dick "Hoops" Weiss blogs that Lon Kruger and Mike "Stanford" Montgomery have not been appoached by Iowa. He also says that Arkansas offered Calipari more than $2 million per year... Quotable Pete Gillen: on Roy Williams getting in the Hall of Fame: "he beat me like a rented mule"... Don't miss today's deal of the day at Amazon! Check it out at the end of this post!
  • 75 minutes before tip-off: Pregames airing now both on ESPN and CSTV... If you find Nantz/Packer annoying, just turn off the volume and turn on the radio coverage on Westwood One (check local listings for radio stations) featuring Kevin Harlan, Bill Raftery and Big John... Even Ohio State player/alum Clark Kellogg is picking Florida... My prediction is Florida, but I'm not sure how close it will be. It will definately depend on what the zebras do foulwise. They already ...fouled up two NCAA semifinals (one men, one women). Let's hope the zebras let the players decide the game on the court, not on the bench!

  • Yes, the national championship between Ohio State and Florida will tip off at 620pmPT/920pmET on CBS and CBS-HD where available. The pre-game show (prelude to a championship) starts at 6pmPT/9pmET. Both ESPN and CSTV will have a 90-minute preview show starting at 430pmPT/730pmET. ESPN's Cold Pizza will have a morning after recap on Tuesday. CSTV will have an NCAA repeat marathon this weekend.

  • Stan Heath finds his feet real quick as he is named the new South Florida coach, for five years for a total of $4.25 million with incentives. Apparently Kevin O'Neill (O'Neal?) had personality incompatibilities with the South Florida people, while Stan Heath proved to be a much better personality/temperament match... Waiting by the phone: Allegedly both John Beilein (Michigan) and Jeff Bizdelik (Colorado) are sitting on job offers and will be making a decision in the next few hours...

  • Right around 10pmPT/1amET, after they play "One Shining Moment", and the press conferences, interviews and postgames are over, there will be a new sheriff in town, the Kentucky Job Opening!, or as I like to call it in pop-culture-speak, "Kentucky Coaching Idol 2007"... Check/bookmark these Kentucky websites for news, opinions, rumors and everything else UK basketball: Ky Sports Radio, John Clay, Aaron UK, Sea of Blue, Rivals, Scout,, Brett Lawson... Of all the stories, this is particularly interesting/buzz-worthy because a Florida writer thinks Billy Donovan should go to Kentucky, which got Florida fans rather upset...

  • Vitale fans, check this promotion featuring DiGiorno and Vitale. You can send people customized pre-recorded voice messages from Dick Vitale that end with (you guessed it) Vitale encouraging you to buy/eat DiGiorno pizza. And you wonder why he was not (s)elected in the Hall of Fame? :-)

  • Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports reports that Dana Altman goes to Arkansas! after 13 years at Creighton.
  • Final Four TV Ratings: Georgetown vs Ohio State got a 9 (19%), while UCLA vs Florida got a 9.5 (17%). Overall this was a 9.3 (18%), and a 4.2 in the 18-49 advertiser-coveted category, and 3% from last year. ESPN story. The whole tourney was up a 2%.
  • Mike and Mike joined Dick Vitale today in asking for a sixth foul and pointing out that this is the only game where a trigger-happy referee can send a player to the bench real early (not just Oden/Hibbert, but also happened during the women's Final Four (Candance Parker and Ivory Iverson-Latta)). I support six fouls and the coach option to leave a player in after the sixth and get penalized with two shots and the ball for the seventh foul and beyond.

    Hall of Fame Announcements!. At a press conference (at the Final Four in Atlanta) that started five minutes late (were they busy doing recounts?) the following seven (7) have been (s)elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in the class of 2007. The enshrinement will take place in September 2007:
  • As a Coach: Pedro Ferrandiz (Spain/Real Madrid)
  • As a Coach: M. Novosel (Yugoslavia)
  • As a Zebra/Referee: Mindy Rudolph (NBA) (13th referee inducted in HoF)
  • As a Coach: Philip (aka Phil Jackson)
  • As a Coach: Van Chancelor (OleMiss/WNBA). He was on hand to receive the jersey and cried and laughed at the same time.
  • As a Team: The 1966 Texas Western (now UTEP) team! Congratulations!. (6th team to be inducted in HoF). Two of the starters were on hand to receive the jersey and the news.
  • As a Coach: Ole Roy (Roy Williams) (Kansas/North Carolina). Shockingly Ole Roy did not cry (at least not in front of the cameras)!
  • Also Bob Cousy himself presented the Bob Cousy award to ... *** drumroll *** Texas A&M's Acie Law!
  • The press confernece itself started long-winded with speeches. Just announce the winners! How hard is that? :-)
  • The list of candidates and my predictions are here
    Not elected and crying
    * Dick Vitale, Eddie Sutton, Bobby Hurley Sr, Adrian Dantley, Chris Mullin. The biggest surprise to me was Bobby Hurley Sr. Dick Vitale would probably get in if he was nominated as a cheerleader of the game.

  • Thanks for the link to With Leather. This is how they describe their site: "a blog by a man who loves athletics, strangely focused on hating almost everything in the wide world of sports. Except awesome stuff. And the occasional underdog..."

    Satire Segment
  • How do you lure Majerus to coach your team? with food!
  • Sillest item of the day: The Donald Trump and Vince McMahon scripted "fight" and ensuing fight via their oven-roasted, steroid and android pumped, shiny and glazed bodybuilders.
  • Repeatedly during the "Center Court with Coach K" special on the Discovery Channel, the Rat kept mentioning "he broke my limits". This was a bit confusing as I wasn't sure if this was a basketball documentary or an HBO Real Sex special on SM/BD relationships.

    Shopping Segment
    One day only at Amazon (gold box deal of the day), a Wireless Body Fat Analyzer and Scale, with detachable screen (see pic below) for just $18 and eligible for free shipping (with orders over $25).

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