Sunday, December 28, 2008

A game of troubled teams: UAB at Louisville

UAB was supposed to be having its big year. Mike Davis had backloaded the roster with "BCS" transfers. Yet when the Blazers took the co(ur)t (Pitino-speak) yesterday, they had exactly six scholarship players left. Two were just recently lost to academic ineligibility (AI). The coaches's own son just came back from AI. His own frakking son! Lenny Elmore tried to defend Mike Davis, but it looks like perhaps the Knights were right after all. Yikes!

And the remaining UAB players played as hard as they could, considering their numbers, the numbers of the opponent and the PitinoVille-friendly crowd. They should still be able to out-gun most of the C-USA teams, but it looks like their big chance to dethrone a struggling Memphis team has gone bye-bye.

Louisville on the other hand made a good step in the right direction. On a very related note Edgar Sosa made only a brief guest appearance. Pitino over-reacted to getting burned by Sebastian Telfair (as if he would ever go to college), and decided to stick with Sosa, who is turning out to be a net-negative, and would probably do better running and gunning for a NEC/MEAC team.

Samardo Samuels on the other hand has been EXPOSED. He can't jump over a wet towel when stand-still. This means that the eight-figure NBA salaries are not coming any time soon, but he could make a good back-to-the-basket traditional Euroleague center. Of course he's only a freshman, and it's only late December, so let's not rush to conclusions just yet ;-) Still that does not mean he can't be a very effective college player assuming he learns, adjusts, adapts and develops his game physically and mentally. He is still a space-eater after all!

Nevertheless, without consistent guard play and without reliable shooters that can play defense (eg crack the rotation), this team certainly does not look like a top 20 team, even though it has top 10 to top 15 talent. But if Pitino works his magic as usual, this could be a very dangerous team by February. Or not?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Week #4 of the BlogPoll Top 25 is out!

Week #4 of the Blog Poll Top 25 is out! Check it out! There are tears, tears of Ammo as GoneZaga loses two back-to-back games! The Big East has four and the ACC have three teams in the Top 10. The season is starting to look like a giant Big East vs ACC challenge, which is THE challenge that should have been on TV. But of course ACC prefers the Big 10 patsies, that way they can have a 100-0 conference challenge series record, instead of a 50-50 :-)

For more details, and to see how everyone voted, be sure to check the detailed Google spreadsheet, which you can read with your web-browser, no need to pull out that Excel monster! (although we prefer Open Office - especially its price!)

Merry XMas, Happy Holidays!

To all out there, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and all the best :-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1999, 2004, 2009 - Numbers say UConn wins it all!

UConn won it all in 1999, then five years later, they won it all again in 2004, breaking the heart of a favorite ACC team. So this year, the 2009 NCAA tournament, the numbers say that UConn wins and breaks the hearts of another ACC team - yes, the North Carolina Tar Heels.

But of course the numbers are not the ones playing or deciding the games - it's the players, the zebras, the coaches and the NCAA :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Battle of Seattle Recap: UConn beats GoneZaga!

I finally got around to watching the Battle of Seattle, a great overtime game, where UConn managed to comeback and out-onion the Zags and get a great road victory and "re-discover" themselves at the same time.

This is not your Ammo's Zags though. They can play defense. Really. They do! Look at the numbers! Their defensive field goal percentage is under 40%. Yes, we are talking about the Zags! The type of raw athletic talent and potential of the Zags roster is really equivalent to what you can find in most of the upper-echelon "BCS" teams. Infact a number of them would LOVE to have as good of a raw talent level as the Zags.

And that poses an interesting question, because with this type of talent and style of play, Mark Few has shown that he can both recruit and coach at just about any college program in the country. Is he perhaps, perhaps, auditioning for the Arizona job? Because his team looks like some of the best Arizona teams of the past!

On the other side of the aisle, after two years of troubles and headaches, the talented collection of UConn Huskies are starting to gel together and grow and mature. No more "laptops" and coaches-gone-wild. They certainly have the Hall of Famer coach who is still sharp as a tack, and they have a game-changer inside in Hasheem "shot-blocking" Thabeet - when the zebras are not picking on him - (see my post on what rules must change) - they have Slice-n-Dice Dyson, and a whole lot more!

Barring any surprises or injuries, it would be a major shocker if both of these teams did not make the second weekend in March. How far can they go from there is the big question. They both certainly have a high ceiling!

Monday, December 22, 2008

These Rules Must Change NOW!

The game of basketball is for the players to play. This is what allows the game to exist. So with that in mind, there are a series of rules that need to be modernized, and stop being afraid to change anything just because some people are frozen in evolution and do not want anything to change.

These have to change:

  • Fouling out: This is stupid. Why take a player out? Maybe this made sense when they player with peach baskets and had 40 possessions per game, and fouling out would get rid of the "bad apples" so to speak. But now the game is much faster, the players are taller, longer and more athletic, but the court has not change. They are bound to bump and grind a lot more than they used to. Add to that some diva zebras who want to make their presence felt, and you have players not playing for stupid reasons.
    "ENOUGH!" as BHO said. Perhaps as a start, increase the number of fouls to six, and gradually phase them out or increase them. This is the most important rule change that has to happen

  • Get rid of the alternating possession silliness. Reward the defense with the ball when there is a tie-up

  • Allow the best players to shine by adding the semi-circle under the basket and don't let a player take away a basket simply by standing under the basket and taking a charge. This is not defense, this is pinball! Standing under the basket and waiting to be hit is not a basketball skill, it's "Jackass"!

  • Add a third referee! Too many calls are wrong or missed because two old fat man cannot keep up with the players. Some of the misses are so obvious you can even see them on a 15" TV, like Earl Clark stumbling on his foot and the referees giving the Minnesota player a foul!

Former Kentucky Coaches Support Group (aka Louisville vs Minnesota)

The previous two Kentucky basketball coaches squared off at the University of Phoenix Stadium event that took place in Phoenix, Arizona. Former co-workers and presumably friends and members of the same support group, Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino squared off. As expected, Tubby had the better team, and Pitino had the better raw talent. And as it is often the case in single-games in college hoops, the best team won!

Tubby has probably found the ideal place for him. He is still in a Big Conference, he is the biggest program in the state by far, but at the same time, he is not the type of person that mothflies to the spotlight like Pitino or Calipari or CryZoonski. Plus this allows him to build up solid teams of three and four year players, instead of McBurger one-and-done, which is what he likes to do. He is not going to become the next Duke/Carolina type of a program, but he will have solid 20+ wins every year, and when the cycle is right, he will be making second weekend runs in the NCAA.

Pitino on the other hand is running out of excuses. No longer the "but the high-schooler went to the NBA" excuses work. Gone is Derrick Caracter. He should have had the team he was expected to. But the only one of his six guards that is meeting or exceeding expectations is Preston Knowles. The rest of them are just out of it. We already talked about Sosa in the Ole Miss game recap. And Samardo Samuels is starting to look like a 3rd tier center that comes off the bench for Top Ten teams when the game is already decided. OUCH!

But the good news is that this is still mid-December, and the big games are in February and March! However, considering that this team did not lose that many players, and it has some solid raw talent, they are clearly under-performing even by under-performance standards ;-)

Ole Miss vs Louisville game recap

The awkward Big East - SEC Challenge continued with a double-header and one of the games was of the rather intriguingly unpredictable PitinoVille Cardinals. Ole Miss of course was hot on the heels of the Andy Kennedy "taxicab confessions" incident.

One thing that was evident from that game is that Samardo Samuels cannot jump over a wet kitchen towel while stand-still. This is major ouch for a player that was considered one of the top five incoming freshmen. Ouch! Not to mention not making any adjustments. Perhaps the aura of Derrick Caracter still lingers? :)

But the biggest problem for Louisville is Pitino's stubborness not to "encourage" Edgar Sosa to transfer to an NEC school where he would play 35 minutes per game and take 30 shots per game and be happy. Instead he is trying to transform Sosa into something he is not and cannot be. The side-effects of getting burned by Sebastian Telfair?

The good news is that Earl Clark is awesome with capital A. Even Bob Knight, the grinch who stole the happiness from all of his former players (ouch!), couldn't stop praising Earl Clark's combination of mad skillz and mad understanding of the game.

Ole Miss is promising, perhaps not for this year, but if Andy Kennedy can "survive" the cab-driver "scandal", he could build a solid program at Ole Miss as a Huggins Lite. Although the cab driver "incident" may hint that he is not that much ...lighter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Week #3 of the BlogPoll is out!

The new edition of the Blogger's BlogPoll is out and Kansas is crying? Check it out at March to Madness.

Some quick opinions:
* I love seeing Pitt at #2. Wake me up when they beat an Elite 8 caliber team :-)

* I've only seen PitinoVille play only once so far, and it was the disasterous game against Western Kentucky. If they are that bad, they won't even make the NIT!

* GoneZaga looks like a team with onions for a change. Gone are the DiVas (Ammo) and the little kiddies (Raivio). Did Mark Few honestly think he could go to the Final Four with a 15-year-old as his point guard? (Nothing against Raivio, this is on Mark Few).

* Clemson is doing well again. January paging Clemson :)

* Forgot about Dre Ohio State? They are loaded with talent, and Thad Matta has not forgotten how to coach! Can they make up for inexperience and lack of Oden/etc and have a final four run? Let's not forget it was Thad Matta's non-superstar Xavier team that should have gone to the Final Four in 2004, but unfortunately the zebras and the NCAA had to make sure the Pukies advanced ;-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CBS debuts, no Billy Packer and a great game!

CBS made its 2008-2009 season debut with a great game between the Memphis Tigers and the Georgetown Hoyas, and even better, NO MORE BILLY PACKER! Yeeehaaaaa!

The very abrasive Billy Packer, who was caught by the CBS microphones during the NCAA tournament "MILFing" on Stephen Curry's mom, is GONE! Go back to the ACC blackout games where you belong Billy Packer :-)

Clark Kellogg is certainly an upgrade, although Billy Packer has managed to fill up the CBS line-up with "stiffs" (serious guys), while some of the most famous basketball analysts and announcers were ignored because they were too "loud" (Dookie Vitale, Marques Johnson of FSN, Gus Johnson, etc).

Now can you please get rid of Tim Brando? :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Memphis at Georgetown recap

This was a great start of the season for CBS, with enough defensive and offensive stretches to keep fans of both happy, an overtime and tons of lead changes to keep fans of drama happy, lots of skill-moves, inside-play and such. Only ones disappointed are shooting-fans as the threes were definitely in a ...recession.

Both teams showed that if they develop according to their talent, and the stars align, they could squeak their way to the Final Four! Both teams could easily make it to the second weekend for sure!

But they both have lots of challenges first. Memphis may have again a super-frosh, but this is a different type of freshman. As Derrick Rose improved, so did the Tigers team. On the other hand, with Tyreke Evans, it may be the other way round, the Tigers team has to improve and lift Tyreke Evans. As we saw in this game, he hasn't met a shot he didn't like, and he hasn't met a bad decision he didn't like either.

Don't cry for the Tigers though, they are just now integrating Simpkins, and they could have a "traditional" guard if CJ Henry recovers and is able to catch up with the rest of the team.

Georgetown of course has the super-frosh, Greg Monroe (thank you Greg for not going to Duke!) But it's not just the Greg Monroe show. For a college team, Georgetown's backcourt trio is quite solid, with the short quick guard in Chris Wright and the two versatile power-guards in Freeman and Sapp. Considering their style of play, this may be the best backcourt trio for the team they play for!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Week #2 of the BlogPoll is out!

The Dookies are crying as the results of Week #2 of the BlogPoll are published!

My favorite house of cards is ranked at #2 and without me voting them down, the Pitt Panthers are raging wild ;-) Although, DeJuan Blair is the real deal and he could be the game-changer that Pitt lacked during the previous Howling-Defender and Dixon years.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

We are all Michigan fans this week

Thank you John Beilein! Thank you! I knew you could do it! Thank you Michigan! Thank you Ann Arbor! Thank you for giving the sleazy Dookies their first defeat of the 2008-2009 season! The first of many to come we can hope :-)

That's what happens when you have a real basketball coach coaching versus a phoney :-)

Go Michigan Go! :-)

Can Gus Johnson make the Big Ten Network not boring?

Is Gus Johnson enough to make the Big Ten Network less boring (not boring)? It's bad enough to have teams that engage in slugfests, to make it worse, you have "watching paint dry" analysts and play-by-play guys.

So can Gus Johnson and the ESPN/ESPNU "escapees" breathe some "non-boringness" to the Big Slugfest Network?

PS: It's easier if the teams stop playing slugfest, and start playing basketball the way it is meant to be played :)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dirty play has no place: Suspend Leonard Washington for a whole month

A game is not enough to discourage players from dirty play. I say suspend Leonard Washington of USC for a whole month for unsportsmanship-like conduct, and you'll see how quickly all the dirty below the belt punches will stop for years to come!

Leonard Washington, you are the WORSE COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER IN THE WooooooooooooooooooooooooRLD!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Week #1 of the BlogPoll is out!

The first week of voting for the 2008-2009 BlogPoll is over and the results are in! Check them out at this Google Spreadsheet, and also at March to Madness. How many Big Easts are in the top ten? Who is #2? How did the teams that lost last week fare?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jimmy V week starts on ESPN!

Jimmy V week has tipped off on the ESPN family of networks and will continue until the Jimmy V classic which airs on ESPN next week, Tuesday December 9, 2008!

For more on the Jimmy V Foundation, be sure to visit and donate perhaps at

Monday, December 01, 2008

Louisville vs Western Kentucky: It's awesome with capital A!

The game wasn't awesome, but it was very dramatic in that the outcome was uncertain, and it wasn't Western Kentucky who was trying to steal the victory but Louisville. Perhaps this game would make a good argument why polls shouldn't start until January, but unlike college football, polls are something fun for the fans and experts alike to debate and discuss.

Fox College Sports scored big with this game, as it was their "exclusive", piggy-backing on their satellite network thingy they have with Western Kentucky. Some may have needed a translator to understand what the analyst was saying, but who's complaining? :)

Louisville looked like a miserable experience. They looked like Gonzaga does when they get 0wned in the NCAA tournament by tougher teams who want it more. Only thing missing was the Louisville equivalent of Ammo crying before the final whistle blew :)

But of course Rick Pitino is a veteran of all these, and you betcha he is goin to get mavericky and make the most out of this loss in getting his players focused and motivated. Not to mention scaring all the NBA hopefuls about their future if they deliver performances like that.

But Pitino shares a lot of the blame. For one thing, he is the head coach. For another, his team was having major problems shooting, yet he was very reticent in bringing Will Scott or Katie Curic off the bench. Granted, Will Scott got owned big time in an ISO, so that perhaps may be the reason he didn't want to play him longer, but hey, if you can trade-off three for two, why not? Especially when during most of the game they were trading off zero for two!

But don't cry for the Cardinals. They have plenty of talent, although they are a bit thin on the inside, with just Samardo Samuels and a couple of freshmen. But also, Earl Clark and also T-Will can also play the five and four if needed - especially if playing a smaller team. Also.

AJ Slaughter made it big during this game as he managed to single-handedly carve the Pitino defense like an after-Thanksgiving clearance-sale pumpkin. Considering they just lost to Murray State, what does that say about W-KY? And what does it say about UL?

Well, no one really knows, because these are not best of seven series, they are unpredictable single-instance games of youngsters who can barely decide what they want for lunch.

Friday, November 28, 2008

GoneZaga vs Oklahoma State

This was an entertaining game in the second half, playing basketball the way it should be played!

Hot on the heels of its first ever NCAA championship, the Big 12 has made bold moves towards challenging for the top basketball conference spot. The revitalization of the two Oklahoma schools is a big step in that direction, gone are the angry and vile Suttons and the mega-cheater slug-fester Kelvin Sampson, and in comes perestroika with Jeff Capel and Travis Ford, both former (and successful) basketball players.

It may take Travis Ford a couple of years in order to build a rotation that matches his style, but his impact is already evident in making Oki State a fun team to watch and play for. This will be a growing year, a burn-in year, but don't count them out if the shots are falling!

On the other side, the story is more or less the same at GoneZaga. A five-star offense with questionable defense. Josh Heytvelt is physically gifted, but a bird is looking for its brain ;-) The good news for the Zags is that a new "Pendo" has emerged, Ira Brown. A number of "designer" recruits fill-up the Zags roster, but Ira Brown is the one that can "get it done".

The other good news for the Zags is that with the Arizona "program" dismantled, partly because of two years of interim coaches, Mark Few is not going anywhere!

But where will the Zags go come March? Do they have the onions to survive a brutal defense or a high-powered offense?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Family Feud: Notre Dame vs North Carolina

It's not often that two competing teams have two different sets of brothers, split between rosters. You couldn't even write a movie about this. Yet it happened, but then again, neither one of the pairs squared off on the court, because the younger Zeller is likely out for the season, why the younger Hansbro is sitting out a transfer. So there was no Zeller vs Zeller or Hansbrough vs Hansbrough.

The game was delightful! This is how college basketball should be. Run up and down and have fun and shoot and shoot and shoot. This college basketball, not nuclear science.

The omen is there, the last time the TarHeels won the Maui invitational they won the National Championship. They looked very solid at Maui, considering they were without their best defender (Ginyard) and three of their big men were not available (Zeller, Copeland, and of course Stepheson who transfered). It's good to be North Carolina, you lose three big men, and you still have three top-tier big men on your roster.

Notre Dame looks like it is going to have a very interesting and dramatic season and Kyle McAlarney shooting skill will definitely make for some dramatic game endings. He made 10 three-points after all in this game!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black friday specials from 24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness is having a couple of Black Friday specials, that are unleashed to the world early. These promotions are good from now until December 1st! That's one way to burn the turkey, the stuffing, the pie, and all the other Thanksgiving calorie-full goodies :-)

First up, you can sign up for an All Club Sport month to month membership for $30 per month, and with ZERO initiation fee! Not bad! Nobody likes to pay initiation fees. They are evil!

If you are not ready to go all out, they have a more affordable alternative, you pay ZERO initiation and $20 per month for a One Club Sport month to month membership.

For more details on these offers, be sure to read through the promotion details given in the links above.

Obsession is...

...Jimmy Dykes talking about the Hawk non-stop during the whole fifth place game at the Maui invitational. Can you please send Jimmy Dykes back to the Alaska Shootout moose-hunting instead? He may even see Russia from the arena ;-)

Memphis sends thank you note to Syracuse ;-)

It looked like history repeating last night. Kansas (Memphis) was up by a lot, then Syracuse (Kansas) made a big comeback and sent the game to overtime. The overtime was a no contest as Kansas (Memphis) was deflated by the way the opponent made a comeback and sent the game to overtime.

It looks like the rag-tag fleet of Oranges may be making a lot of noise this year! And considering their rather unique defense and length, they could have another solid run in the NCAA Tournament.

Could it be, could it be, THREE BIG EAST teams in the Final Four this year???

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Game recap: Xavier vs Memphis

Free throws you say? OuCH! Outside shooting you say? OUCH! Shot selection you say? OUCH! Highly-touted kitten bumping into walls and defenders? OUCH!

There will be growing pains for this year's Memphis team, before they can reach a point where they can reach their potential as dictated by their experience and talent level. Conference USA teams, start watching this tape over and over, it's your chance to beat the 2008 NCAA co-champions!

Xavier is what Gonzaga should have been, but with not as much "buzz". They win consistently, they have post-season success, they build teams, not a collection of all-stars, and things like that. There is no "t" in Xavier, but there is a "t" in team. And that's what they are!

Our favorite Xavier team is probably the 2004 Elite 8 team of Thad Matta, this is the team that was ROBBED of an NCAA Final Four appearance because the ZEBRAS gave the Dookies every single 50-50 call in that unforgettable Elite 8 game.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Sins of the Father?

Danny Ainge was a "do whatever it takes to win" type of a player in his NBA days, and it was no secret that he was one of the "dirtiest" players in the league. His second biggest skill next to shooting.

So it's no surprise when his son gets busted for steroids as a rookie in the NFL. Makes you wander if he was "doing some" while being a touted college quarterback...

Friday, November 21, 2008

New drinking game!

We have a new drinking game for you when watching college basketball games on ESPN! Every time Hubert Davis uses the word "outstanding", drink up! And by drink of course, we are talking about water, orange juice, Perrier, green tea, or milk :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recap: UT Chattanooga vs Memphis

This had the feel of a first round early morning NCAA tournament game, with Memphis playing the part of the top 16 seed, and UT-Chattanooga playing the part of the tough mid-major conference team.

All things considered, UT-Chattanooga did quite well, they never let up, and they did not let the Tigers blow them out. The former South Carolina shooter certainly wasn't shy about shooting, and he made quite a few of his "brave" shots.

As far as Memphis is concerned, the easiest way for players to increase their playing time is to show they can make three-pointers without taking too many of them. In today's game, D-Mack did just that, providing much-needed perimeter relief for the Tigers.

One player that Memphis could have used as a backup for special occasions is a player like Andre Allen, a short water-carrier-type point guard, for special matchup situations.

But don't cry for Calipari, his bench is loaded with versatile players, and while he may not have the power-big-man like Dorsey, he's got plenty of everything else. Players like Roburt Sullie, Wesley Witherspoon, D-Mack, Jeff Robinson could start on a lot of teams!

However, the two Tigers games so far have shown some big holes, and when facing a Top 40 team, things could be a lot different for the Tigers, because they are likely to punish them more when they miss perimeter shots, and they will be longer and athletic in filling up the paint and forcing them to prove their perimeter shooting over and over.

NCAA Basketball 2009 starts shipping!

Don't like the outcome of the games? Think you can design better plays? Think you can do better? Well, you can! Sort of... In the virtual world of video games! EA Sports has started shipping the NCAA Basketball 2009, available for XBox 360, Playstation 3 and Playstation 2. This is the initial release of the games, so as you can expect, it will be at list price, $60 for the first two, and $30 for PS2.

Something funny about the picture, Kevin Love is not a guard and he is not playing this year :-)

But if you are the thrifty type or a completist, you can get the NCAA March Madness 2008 video games, ranging from $8 to $25 depending on which gaming platform you have.

Game recap: UAB at Arizona

A series of very unfortunate events can easily describe the last two season at Arizona. And this unfortunate situation is quite possibly what is going to return Arizona back to the amorphous pool of BCS college basketball programs hoping for an NCAA bid on a good year.

If you needed any further evidence of the confusion and disarray, two different Wildcats fouled a player when they didn't have to in the last minute of the game. Both fouls were completely unnecessarily and quite likely had cost the team a very unlikely victory. Ouch for Kyle Fogg.

Two years of uncertainty also have a way of derailing your recruiting pipeline and planning. Who is going to commit to Arizona for 2009-2010 and beyond when no one knows who the next coach is going to be? And considering the current roster, the next coach is going to have at least a couple of years of struggles. Unless of course he can convince Budinger and Jordan Hill to stay put for their senior years and convince the remaining players not to transfer out.

UAB on the other hand, may be getting ready to have their best season since their epic NCAA tournament run against Washington and Kentucky. Despite the academic troubles, including the coaches "daughter" (Jim Rome speak), they have plenty of talent, and as long as Darth Vader(n) can make comfy three-pointers from the half-court, they can come back to just about anyone. But just like their coach, the team looks to be erratic, and that cuts both ways.

Farewell Pete Newell

As most of you have heard by now, one of the most influential college basketball coaches of all time, Pete Newell has passed away in his 90s. Coach Newell had a great career, being one of a very elite group of coaches winning the NCAA, the NIT (when it mattered), and the Olympic Gold. But even after he retired from coaching college teams, he continued teaching and sharing his knowledge with players and coaches alike. A lot of past, present and future centers and big forwards have made drastic improvements in their games thanks to Newell's Big Man's Camp.

Farewell Coach Newell...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today only: College hoodies for $18 at Amazon

Today Amazon is running a special promotion, offering college hoodies for $18 each. "College hoodies" of course being sweatshirts with hoods. Some of the biggest college sports programs are featured, including Florida, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky, Duke, LSU and more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Game recap: Kentucky at North Carolina

Cancel the VMI panic. Kentucky is going to have a similar season as last year. It's not going to be the 15-2 disaster hinted by the start of a high-profile game happening way-way-way too early.

However, the Kentucky Kentucky-fans expect will probably not arrive until 2009-2010, year #3 of the Billy Gillispie era. But will that be enough to hold off North Carolina and Kansas as the winning-est programs? UNC is now just 15 wins away, and considering their roster and Maui participation, they could end the year with 35+ wins and either tying or surpassing UK's #1 all-time wins record. Good thing for UK fans the Chaminade game is a Division 2 game.

On the UNC front, everyone is singing the praises of Tyler "GQ" Hansbro, or "Psycho-GQ" these days, but considering how UNC played at times, they may actually be a better team without him, simply because Davis and Zeller are better gifted and skilled players. But neither one of them has the experience and "psycho-skill" of "Psycho-GQ".

Completely unscientific predictions

  • UNC: gets shocked in the Elite 8
  • Kentucky: makes post-season NIT Final 4

Game recap: UMass at Memphis

Let's start by saying that Tyreke Evans is no Derrick Rose. And there is no one on the roster with the scoring skills and nose of a CDR. Nor the muscle and athleticism of Joey Dorsey.

So the co-champions of 2008 are not likely to repeat this year. But don't count them out just yet, even if they can't hit a jumper. Witherspoon could be a really big surprise and a game changer once he warms up to the college game, while Roburt Sallie can be another versatile player they can plug-in where needed.

But seriously, can anyone from Memphis hit a jumper???

UMass is probably going to have its bumps and bruises this year, but the future looks bright with Kellogg's Corn Flakes at the helm. It may take a couple of years for the transition, as the Travis Ford era and players cycle out and the AASAA players come in.

Completely unscientific predictions for these two teams

  • Memphis: Elite 8
  • UMass: CBI

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jimmys and Joes versus the Xs and Os

Storming The Floor has launched a new feature, on Xs and Os - Outside the Coaches Box.

In this week's episode, STF answers reader questions on crunch time offense, shot blockers, Princeton offense, and things like that. This looks very promising, so if you are into Xs and Os, be sure to visit and bookmark!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The pre-season Blogger's Poll is published!

A new season is indeed coming up! The Blogger's Poll is back with its pre-season edition. And yes, basketball fans, there was a unanimous #1! Will that remain the same after next Tuesday?

By the way, we are planning a big party after Duke's first loss this season and after every loss :-)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

College Basketball and Elections!

Now that the elections are almost over and almost all the votes counted, and almost all the races decided, there is an interesting pattern we have observed.

As most of you know, Barack Obama played college basketball. And he managed to switch two of the three biggest college basketball states in the country, Indiana and North Carolina. The last time they voted blue, they were probably playing with peach baskets! (joke, not historically accurate fact).

But he did not win the other big college basketball state: Kentucky. But what if he was a former UK hoops player? :)

Considering the historical voting patterns of those two states, did any of the exit pollers ask whether college basketball experience was a factor? :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The 2008-2009 TV season tips off on Sunday!

Yes, college basketball fans, the TV season of 2008-2009 is tipping off! Grab your remotes and your TV schedules, and make some room on your DVRs and VCRs!

Sunday November 2

  • 330pm eastern: Previews on ESPN: Big East, Big Ten, Big 12
  • 6pm eastern: College Basketball Preview on CBS, one hour long

Monday November 3
  • 930am pacific: Kentucky Blue/White scrimmage, Fox College Sports

Thursday November 6
  • 6pm pacific: Concordia at BYU, on BYU-TV (religious channel)

Tuesday November 11
  • 6pm pacific: Georgetown College at BYU, on BYU-TV (religious channel)

Friday November 14
  • 7pm pacific: Mississippi Valley State at Arizona State, FSN/FCS

Sat November 15
  • 4pm pacific: Montana State (Billings) at GoneZaga, FSN/FCS

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Free one week preview of NBA League Pass

Check out your local cable or satellite provider! NBA League Pass will be having a FREE one week preview, starting on October 28 and going through November 4, 2008. This can get you up to 40 games from around the country per week. We know this is available for Comcast, we don't know if it's available for others as well.

At the same time they are running a promotion that gets you $20 off the regular price if you buy the package for the whole year during this special promotion period, namely before November 4.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

College Basketball previews on ESPN

Good news for hoops fans, ESPN will be running college basketball reviews, starting on Sunday October 26. And by ESPN, we mean ESPN the actual channel! Good news for those who don't have access to ESPNU. The first two conferences featured will be the SEC and the ACC.

In parallel to that, ESPN2 will be showing a rebroadcast of their critically acclaimed series "Black Magic" that premiered during the 2008 March Madness season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Media Days and Midnight Madness on TV

Believe it or not, it is time for Media Days and Midnight Madness already. How time flies and we are fleas on its wings ;-)

On Thursday, CSTV (CBS College Sports) will be showing the C-USA (Conference USA) Men's and Women's Media days. The men's media day, which includes of course the 2007-2008 co-champions, the Memphis Tigers, starts at 5pm eastern time. If you miss that, it will repeat on Monday.

As far as Midnight Madness, ESPNU will have a Friday special feature with all the usual suspects and visits to the campuses of Kansas, Davidson, and more. ESPNU of course is not available in all markets because of a petty dispute between ESPN and Comcast! Arggg!

Update: Big Ten Network 2.5 hour special!
The Big Ten Network will have a Midnight Special tonight according to Big Ten Network, featuring Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin. This will be 2.5 hours long and will start at 9pm eastern on Friday October 17, 2008!

Update II: CSTV One hour special
It may be hard to find in the TV listings, but CSTV will be having a one-hour Midnight Madness special edition of their "College Sports Tonight" show at 11pm Eastern time tonight. The schedule is here. Notice the bottom of the page.

Friday, October 03, 2008

NHL Center Ice free preview on Comcast

For all the hockey moms out there, Comcast (and other cable providers perhaps) are having a free 12-day preview of NHL's pay per view package, Center Ice. The promotion runs from October 4 to October 15, and during this period you can watch up to 40 games for free, just like a paying subscriber. They also have a $10 off promotion for those who do wish to subscribe.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Big Ten Network added to various cable systems

Great news for Big Ten fans around the country! A number of cable systems across the country have recently had the Big Ten Network added to their channel line-up. This includes Comcast and Charter among others.

The actual location varies by cable system and geography, usually the further away from a Big Ten market, the further away in the cable line-up one can find it. For example Comcast has added it next to the Fox College Sports and ESPN-News and ESPN-Classic channels.

This is great news, but we still don't have ESPNU on Comcast. Well, I guess one per season!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

College Hoops 2K8 for XBox 360 just $12.60

Video games fans, you can now get your college hoops fix for less on the XBox 360. Amazon has the College Hoops 2K8 video game on sale for $12.61, and eligible for free shipping if your total order is $25 or more.

And don't forget to catch a wall to wall repeat of the 2008 NCAA tournament on CSTV. I believe this is the first time in the modern era that the whole NCAA tournament is shown on national TV. But CSTV is "buried" in digital cable and satellite TV packages, but we have no doubt that CBS will eventually push it and make it more accessible to more sports fans out there. After all, they are competing with ESPN-U and the three Fox College Sports (FCS). FCS are aggregators of games from the 20+ regional FSNs).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Time for CBS to clean house and reboot their TV commentators!

Hopefully Billy Packer was just the beginning of a clean-up job at CBS's March Madness coverage, which by the way you can relive right now on CSTV.

Normally I would charge for this, but I'm feeling generous, so CBS, here is what you need to do!

Keep and give them a bonus!

  1. Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, Bryan Gumble
  2. Bill Raftery, Len Elmore, Jay Bilas
  3. Gus Johnson

They need to be replaced no matter what
  1. Jim Nantz (go back to Golf!)
  2. Verne Lindquist (please go back to the senior's PGA tour)
  3. Dick Enberg (recite essays during halftime, don't call games)
  4. Tim Brando (idiotically annoying)
  5. Bob Wenzel (no need to explain!)

Keep only if you can't find anyone better
  1. G-Man (Mike Gminski) and Dan Bonner - monotonous make good games boring
  2. Ian "Ion" Eagle and Jim Spinarkel (Yellow Pages are more exciting)
  3. The high-school kid from CSTV (he's actually older)

Who should be added
  1. Marques Johnson
  2. Doris Burke
  3. Pete Gillen
  4. Tom Brennan
  5. Steve Lavin
  6. Dan Shuman without Vitale
  7. reunite trio of Bilas, Raftery and Sean "McDonut" during second week of the tourney

Do not invite!
  1. Dick Vitale
  2. Mike Patrick
  3. Steve Lapas
  4. Mike Jarvis
  5. Jimmy Dykes
  6. Fran Fraschilla
  7. Dan Belluomini and Barry Thompkins (he was the one doing the KFC "crunchy on the outside, spicy on the inside" ads during the FSN Pac-10 games)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Relive the 2008 NCAA tournament on CSTV (CBS College Sports)

Starting Monday July 21, 2008 at 9am pacific time, CBS College Sports (aka CSTV) will be rebroadcasting select games from the 2008 NCAA tournament. They are obviously picking the exciting games, as they don't want to bore us with repeat-ZZZzz games. Here is a preliminary schedule, but be sure to check and double-check with local listings for exact games and air times. All times here at pacific!

Monday July 21
9am: Georgia vs Xavier
11am: Kansas vs Portland State
1pm: Temple vs Michigan State
3pm: Kent State vs UNLV
5pm: Baylor vs Purdue
7pm: Kentucky vs Marquette
***: all these repeat overnight

Tuesday July 22
9am: Oral Roberts vs Pitt
11am: Cornell vs Stanford
1pm: Washington State vs Winthrop
3pm: Kansas State vs USC (OJ Mayo vs Michael Beasley!)
5pm: BYU vs Texas A&M
7pm: Belmont vs Duke (Go Belmont!)
***: games repeat overnight

Wedn July 23
9am: Miss V St vs UCLA
11am: Cal State Fullerton vs Wisconsin
1pm: George MASON vs Notre Dame
3pm: Arizona vs West Virginia
5pm: Davidson vs GoneZaga
7pm: Drake vs Western Kentucky
***: games repeat overnight

Thursday July 24
9am: American vs Tennessee
11am: Miami vs St Mary's
1pm: Butler vs South Alabama
3pm: UMBC vs Georgetown
5pm: Austin Peay vs Texas
7pm: San Diego Vs UConn
***: games repeat overnight

Friday July 25
9am: Mount St Marys vs North Carolina-ouch!
11am: Boise State vs PitinoVille (Louisville)
1pm: UTSA vs Memphis
3pm: Siena vs Vandy
5pm: Oklahoma vs St Joe's
7pm: Mississippi State vs Oregon
***: games repeat overnight

Saturday July 26
9am: Arkansas vs Indiana
11am: Clemson vs Villanova
1pm: Belmont vs Duke
3pm: UConn vs San Diego
5pm: Drake vs Western Kentucky
***: games repeat overnight

Sunday July 27
9am: Notre Dame vs Washington State
11am: Kansas vs UNLV
1pm: Texas A&M vs UCLA
3pm: Marquette vs Stanford
***: repeat overnight

Monday July 28
12pm: Michigan State vs Pitt
2pm: Butler vs Tennessee
4pm: San Diego vs Western Kentucky
6pm: Davidson vs Georgetown
***: repeat overnight

Tuesday July 29
9am: Wisconsin vs Kansas State
11am: Louisville vs Oklahoma
1pm: Purdue vs Xavier
3pm: Siena vs Nova
5pm: duke vs WEST VIRGINIA (Go Thuggins! Beat the Dookies!!!)
7pm: Miami vs Texas (teacher vs pupil)
***: repeat overnight

Wednesday July 30
9am: Arkansas vs North Carolina
11am: Kansas vs Nova
1pm: Stanford vs Texas
3pm: UCLA vs Western Kentucky
5pm: Mississippippi vs Co-Champions Memphis
7pm: Davidson vs Wisconsin
***: repeat overnight

Thursday July 31
9am: Washington State vs North Carolina
11am: Michigan State vs Memphis (co-champions)
1pm: Louisville vs Tenneseeeee
3pm: more coming up, bookmark this post and visit again!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MLB Extra Innings free on-demand preview

Comcast, and perhaps other cable providers as well, are having a free one week preview of their pay-per-view MLB Extra Innings cable package, which shows lots of baseball games from around the country. The free preview is from July 17 to July 23, and you need to have the appropriate cable system and package to watch the free preview.

For example, on some cable systems, pay per view has moved on to digital cable, so you may need a digital set top box in order to have access to the free preview.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The witch is gone! Billy Packer out as CBS lead analyst!

Today on Mike and Mike, the slim Mike was reading a story from the Miami Herald saying that CBS will be replacing Billy "Fudge" Packer with studio analyst Clark Kellogg as their lead basketball analyst during game broadcasts!

Finally we are getting rid of Packer! Woohoo :) Of course Kellogg is about as dry as Packer, but he does not have the abrasive and toxic personality of Billy Packer.

So the TV analyst carousel is spinning, who is going to replace Clark Kellogg as the lead studio analyst? Perhaps Seth "Golfer" Davis will move as the #1 lead spot, but who is going to be his runner up? Or will CBS go for a big name analyst to replace Kellogg as the #1 analyst?

Remember, Packer was also enforcing a "no fun" policy at CBS, which is why we see a long list of "dry" analysts and commentators.

Does this change also mean a change of direction? Will we see more "fun" and "exciting" analysts making the game "younger"? After all, they are talking about college basketball, not the seniors PGA tour! Will the CSTV team win over the frozen-in-evolution Packer-ites?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

OTL Sunday: Hometown hero, talking about Derrick Rose and more!

The Sunday edition of Outside the Lines, on Sunday June 29, 2008, will be having a featured story on "Hometown heroes" playing in their home town. Derrick Rose's story will be featured, him being a Chicago native, and drafted on Thursday by the Chicago Bulls. UNC's and Brown Bobcats point guard Raymond Felton will be a guest. The other story wlll be on NASCAR, so have your FF button ready :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

2008 NBA Draft TV schedule!

And we are back after a March Madness burnout break! We start with a comprehensive NBA Draft TV schedule. Not only will the ESPN family of networks be having wall to wall draft coverage but also NBA-TV, which is of course the multimedia outlet of David Stern's little cult ;-)

Note that all times mentioned here are pacific time! Add +3 for Eastern time and adjust accordingly depending on your timezone. See for more time-related details.

Sunday June 22 (all times pacific)
+Starting at 9am pacific and going on throughout the week, NBA-TV will be having classic NBA Draft recap specials, starting with 1991 (Larry Johnson, Kenny Anderson, Mutombo), and continuing with 1992 (Shaq, Zo, Whining slugface Laettner, Latrell "I love PJ but can't feed my kids on 10 mil per year" Sprewell), and 1993 (C-Web, Penny, Van Brickxel, JR Rider, etc). Check NBA-TV for complete listings. These repeat multiple times, so you have to try hard in order to miss them ;-)

Monday June 23 (all times pacific)
+11am: SportsCenter NBA Draft Special, ESPN
+5pm, 9pm, 1230am: NBA Draft Preview Show (2 hours long), NBA-TV
+7pm: SportsCenter NBA Draft Special, ESPN2

Tuesday June 24 (all times pacific)
+4am, 9am, 1pm, 6pm, 10pm: NBA Draft Preview Show (2 hours long), NBA-TV
+1030am: SportsCenter NBA Draft Special, ESPN
+430pm: SportsCenter NBA Draft Special, ESPN2
+8pm: Destination NBA Draft, ESPN2

Wednesday June 25 (all times pacific)
+1030am: SportsCenter NBA Draft Special, ESPN
+12pm, 3pm, 7pm, 10pm, 2am: NBA Draft Preview Show (2 hours long), NBA-TV
+7pm: NBA Draft Preview, ESPN

Thursday June 26 DRAFT DAY (all times pacific)
+7am, 2pm: NBA Draft Preview Show (2 hours long), NBA-TV
+4pm: NBA Draft Preview, ESPN
+6pm: NBA TV LIVE draft coverage, NBA-TV
+12am: NBA Draft repeat, ESPN

Friday June 27 morning after (all times pacific)
+9am, 4pm, 1am: NBA Draft repeat, NBA-TV
+11am: Bucks Live on Fox College Sports (recap of Milwaukee Bucks Draft day)
+3pm, 7pm, 11pm: Destination NBA Draft, NBA-TV (repeats Saturday and Sunday as well)

On-Demand Schedule
+NBA-TV is offering 20+ player profiles and team-by-team analysis On-Demand. The full content is available to digital cable subscribes who have a sports package that includes NBA-TV or the NBA pay per view package. Some On-Demand cable systems may also offer some of this content for free, check in the section that is frequently updated with new and seasonal content in your on-demand menu

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NBATV free preview for 19 days!

This is the best time of the year to have a free preview of the NBA-TV, right at the start of the long and winding NBA playoff season! Check with your local cable provider to see if it's available. The note we saw was for Comcast.

This usually requires a digital cable box to have access to NBA-TV, regardless of subscription status. You can usually find it in optional sports packages.

The promotion starts on April 16, 2008 and ends on May 4, 2008, that's a total of 19 days! On top of that, all NBA-TV On-Demand content is also available for free!

Please note that NBA-TV is a single channel that covers the NBA and professional baskebtall 24x7. This is different from the NBA League Pass package that shows you games from all around the country.

But usually NBA-TV is included in the NBA League Pass package, so if you sign up for that, you get NBA-TV too!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Early entries in the 2008 NBA Draft (updated)

It is unfortunately this time of the season for college basketball fans where some of the best underclassmen are leaving college basketball for greener pastures (for the most part). How many of this year's superfreshmen will we say goodbye to? We'll find out by the end of June :)

Here are some of the players who have announced so far, this will be updated in the next few days!

Brook LopezStanfordSophomore?
Robin LopezStanfordSophomore?
Not Cedric Simmons (JJ Hickson)NC Statefreshman?
Derrick CaracterLouisvilleSophomoricGone regardless?
Not Jimi Hendrix (Richard)AlabamaJuniorNo Agent (as of 3/31)
JaVale McGeeNevadaSophomoreHired Agent
Lester HudsonTennessee-MartinijuniorNo agent (4/1, Fox Sports)
Ryan AndersonCal BerkeleysophomoreNo agent (4/3)
Eric GordonIndiana SampsonsfreshmanDeclaring (1070 the fan)
Jerryd "Not Skip" BaylessArizonafreshmanDeclares (AOL Sports)
Ron SteeleAlabama4th year juniorNo Agent (BamaHoops)
Earl ClarkPitinoVilleSophomoreDeclaring? Not so fast? Staying in school?
Anthony RandolphLSUfreshmanDeclares
Mo SpreightsFloridaSophomoreTest Waters
DeAndre JordanTexas A&MFreshmanDeclaring
Donte GreeneSyracusefreshmanDeclaring
Kevin LoveUCLA SlugfestFreshmanConfusion! Is he declaring? Maybe YES for sure?
OJ MayoUSCFreshmanDeclaring
Trent PlaidstedBYUsophomore?Testing waters
Michael BeasleyKansas StatefreshmanGoing, going, gone, with agent (4/14)
Derrick RoseMemphisfreshmanGone! (Tax Day)
Jeremy PargoGoneZagajuniorDeclaring, no agent
Brandon RushKansasjuniorDeclaring
Darrell Arthur (Shady)KansasSophomoreDeclaring
Russell WestbrookUCLAsophomoreDeclaring?
Keith BrumbaughJuCo (former BCS commit)Sophomore?Declaring?
CDR (Chris Douglas Roberts)MemphisjuniorDeclaring?
Luc Richard Mbah MuteUCLAjuniorNot a Joke! Declaring

They said they are returning (but wait for the Draft Deadline before you start a parade in their name)
  • Devon Jefferson (USC) (March)
  • Stephen Curry (Davidson) (March 31st)
  • Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) (early April)
  • more coming up

    Draft Stories
    Writers discuss the NBA draft in the Bleacher Repor(t).

    The New York Times looks at the draft pool, and specifically the freshmen.

    HOT NEWS! AOL News reports that the NBA and NCAA reached a secret agreement that will be revealed in a press conference on Monday that extends the NBA draft minimum age to 20, in order to keep college players in school for two years instead of one. FALSE ALARM! But perhaps better news in that all the stakeholders are getting together to work on putting some structure and some common sense to the summer leagues and the development of the youngsters. Of course there is the old saying of "too many cooks" and that is certainly the case here, but I bet almost anything is better than the insanity of the current summer circuit.

    Meanwhile, Bruins Nation has done a great job in their write-up on Russell Westbrook and the NBA Draft.

    A story posted over and over the net, as if to irritate North Carolina fans says that none of the three UNC players are in the lottery. The trio of course being Tyler "looked like a child against Kansas frontline" Hansbrough, Tywon "I was fast" Lawson, and Wayne "I played with that dirty Dookie in high school" Ellington.

    The Sports Flow has a Should I stay or should I go analysis of the high-profile underclassmen from the four Final Four teams. Theme songs: The Clash with the aforementioned title, or for the younger audience, "Stay or Leave" by the DMB.

    A complete listing of all the 2008 NBA Draft prospects at CBS Sportsline.

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Travis Ford moves to Oklahoma State!

    NIT Champion, and working under Pitino and Donovan, UMass head coach Travis Ford moves on to the Big 12, according to ESPN-News according to Doug Gottleib. Douggie is now live on the phone on ESPN News reporting on this breaking news!

    What happened to the Henry Iba slugfest defensive style of play? Move over Pac-10, Big 12 is the new run and gun conference?

    Turn on to ESPN News now for the live update from Doug Gottlieb! The deal is not yet signed, and Travis Ford was recently given a 10-year/$10-million deal by UMass!

    The final BlogPoll Top 25 poll of the 2007-2008 season!

    The inaugural season of the BlogPoll Top 25 ends with the final end of season poll that was just published today. The poll is available for all to see, including complete details on how each blogger voter. It is available as a Google Doc which you can read online or offline, with your browser or your favorite office productivity tool.

    Which teams made the Final Top 25? You have to read to find out. Here are the teams that did not make the Final Top 25, but were knocking on the door: Villanova, Pitt, Oklahoma, Vandy, USC, Texas A&M, USC and GoneZaga. Of those, we did vote Nova and Vandy in the top 25.

    If you are a college hoops or sports blogger and want to join the BlogPoll for the 2008-2009 season, just let any participating blogger know! You can find the list of all participating blogs at the top of the Google Doc. Each blog's name is a link to their site!

    And before we conclude, big thanks to the BlogPoll Commissioner at March To Madness who has been running the poll throughout the season and herding blogging cats!

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Trent Johnson at LSU press conference live on ESPN News!

    ESPN News and ESPNews-HD are carrying a live press conference at LSU, where former Nevada and Stanford head coach Trent Johnson is introduced as the new head basketball coach.

    One of the things Trent Johnson mentioned was the opportunity to recruit players without the academic restrictions one has at a place like Stanford. Which perhaps explains why the ex-Dookie athletic director bolted out of Duke, and convinced the coach to bolt out of Duke-West (Stanford). Or perhaps another AD driven to madness and tears by Coach K and fleeing the Cameron Dungeon where Coach K practices his dark-side crafts with Dark Vader.

    Another thing mentioned by Johnson was the pressure and expectations to win big, following on the heels of the success of LSU football program. But be patient LSU fans, the Lopez twins are not walking through that do(o)r :)

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Dick Vitale's Top 5 for 2008-2009!

    As seen on ESPN Sportscenter, assuming key players return, which you cannot assume until the April 27 NBA Draft deadline:

    1. North Carolina
    2. UCLA
    3. Lousville
    4. Texas
    5. Georgetown

    Meanwhile Andy Katz at has picked the Texas as their #1 for 2008-2009. Katz has picked a complete top 25, and it is dramatically different from Vitale's homer-appeaser-sycophant top 5 :)

    Of course these preseason picks are beauty contests since we still don't know who will declare for the NBA draft and who will stay in the draft. We can usually get our first "solid" 2008-2009 predictions just before the 4th of July, since the NBA draft takes place in the last week of June.

    Traitor Mike's Dilemma?
    Trent Johnson of Stanford has spoken with LSU about their job opening. The LSU opening has great potential for post-season success, and unlike Stanford, you are not limited by academics on who you can recruit.

    This would be the ultimate irony for Traitor-Mike, as he just took the Cal job. I imagine that if the Stanford job opens, he would bolt California for the Stanford job ASAP. He's not the first coach to pull a switch-a-roo, although he would be the first to do it in such a scenario.

    I hope it happens, so we have more drama to talk about :)

    Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    The NCAA Final: The Post-Game Blog Post!

    And so it ends. Another season in the books, and this time, we got an NCAA championship worthy of championship drama, with an overtime, lead changes, a buzzer beater, and a meltdown even! It had everything CBS wanted it to have to get the viewers captivated and watching their little boxes (well some of them are more than fifty inches wide).

    Kansas: We are the Champions
    Twenty years after Danny & The Miracles, we had Bill Self and the Comeback Kidz, powered by Danny Manning karma on the bench. Kansas was winning the first half, was losing the second half, but managed to stage an almost perfect comeback, send the game into overtime, and grab overtime by the throat and never look back!

    This is good news for KU fans who have been waiting for twenty years for this moment, and can now perhaps bury the Roy Williams hatchet as they got their championship. Of course there will still be bitterness of "15 years of Roy, no championship" and "5 years of Self and a ring". But let's not forget that before March 2008, Bill Self had a sub-par March Madness performance, with two first-round exits and two Elite 8s, when he could have easily had a couple of Final Fours, and a minimum of Sweet 16 each year. But championship cures all.

    Now the battle is keeping Self in place. Oklahoma State is perhaps willing to throw other people's money at Self, and if the ridiculous amounts mentioned are true, it pays to go home again! He would be getting six Lee Majors as a signing bonus! Who can say no to that? I know I wouldn't :)

    And then there's the NBA Draft. Winning it all increases the perceived NBA stock value of potential draftees, and encourages them to either test the waters or jump all the way in, even though they have been on the bubble before the RING.

    But regardless of all that, Kansas was about as deserving of a championship as any team this year, they had solid and consistent games throughout the year, and showed versatility and the ability to play fast and slow on offense, and handle fast and slow teams on defense. What else can you ask a team to do?

    Memphis Half-empty: A Series of Unfortunate Events
    Yes, the free throws were perhaps the most visible and the easiest to pin-point given the past free-throw woes of Memphis, but perhaps Karma was to blame for that. In 2003 the Roy Williams Jayhawks could have easily beaten the Syracuse Carmellos if it wasn't for horrible free throw shooting. So perhaps it was fate that an almost perfect free throw shooting night for the Self Jayhawks (shooting in the 60s), and a 60s performance by Memphis would have a major impact in the game.

    But it wasn't just the free throws you see. A number of other factors could have easily given the game to the Memphis Tigers and prevent it from going into the overtime-meltdown. Here are some:

  • two stupid fouls by Joey "I am no Ben Wallace" Dorsey
  • CDR going to the hoop for a dunk with seconds left instead of dancing around the court and eating up enough seconds to prevent the Mario Chalmers shot
  • Calipari not calling a time-out after the Derrick Rose made free throw, and after the Chalmers miracle three

    But the free throws could have reversed all that, as Memphis had four chances in a single possession and only needed to make two. CDR missed both, but Dozier (who Calipari called out before the game, and indeed had a very good game) stole the rebound and that allowed Derrick Rose to shoot free throws. He made one of two and the rest is history.

    Memphis Half-full: Two plays away from a 40-0 season
    If we step back from the dramatic and epic final game of Monday night, we can easily see that the Calipari Memphis Tigers were essentially two plays away from a 40-0 season. I don't think people realize how good of a season the Tigers had. Sure it was the mid-majorish Conference USA (now with Ben Braun cooking Rice), but being two possessions away from a 40-0 season is no small feat.

    While not as dramatic as the Tark the Shark UNLV teams of 1990 and 1991, the Memphis Tigers will probably be remember a step below those teams. And speaking of the 1990 UNLV Running Rebels, they beat the Dookies by 30 points in the NCAA Final. And now you can buy that DVD from NCAA On Demand via Amazon.

    Relive the Game!
    You can relive the game online at, or you can tune in to ESPN Classic tonight (Tuesday) at 11pm eastern (8pm pacific). You can also watch the game on CBS College Sports (CSTV) at 3am eastern (midnight pacific).

  • Monday, April 07, 2008

    OTL today: Jay Bilas, Cardiac Pack, NCAA Title game!

    Today's Outside the Lines (3pm eastern, ESPN; repeats at 5pm eastern on ESPN2), there are two NCAA Championship specials. The 2008 final (Memphis vs Kansas) and the 1983 Cardiac Pack of Jimmy V and NC State fame are featured! Jay Bilas will be a guest on the show to discuss the title game!

    More details at the OTL Page. Also, the poll of the day at ESPN Sports Nation is who do you think will win the National championship, Memphis or Kansas? Or both? :)

    Basketball Hall of Fame News on ESPN News!

    Watch it live! Who's in, who's out??? Let's get started!

    The Bob Cousy award for the best point guard goes to ... *drumroll* DJ Augustin of Texas-Austin. The award was announced and presented by the man himself, Bob Cousy! DJ Augustin was there of course to receive the award, wearing an (ooops!) this is not the Oscars :) They also announced that the Sports Museum of America in New York City will be the new home of the Cousy Award.

    Next one in, announced by the one and only Jim Nantz, the scoring machine of the NBA, Adrian Dantley! Those of you young enough not to know of him, watch some games on ESPN Classic, NBA-TV, and YouTube!

    Next up, Bill Davidson, of the Detroit Pistons and such, not as a player obviously!

    Followed that, jumping in was Patrick Ewing, the New York Knicks and Georgetown Hoyas supercenter! And it was fitting perhaps that one of Ewing's rivals also enters the HoF at the same time: Hakeem Olajuwon!

    Next, going in as a head coach, the sleek Armani-wearing, Pat Reilly of the Lakers, Knicks and Miami Shacks! Not a surprise to anyone!

    Another coach, the head coach of Immaculata, an all-women's college, Cathy Rush!

    And oh the irony! After causing drama about Vitale/Packer, Jim Nantz would actually announce the induction of Dick Vitale. It's awesome baby with Capital A! It's unbelievable!!!

    And when Jim Nantz interviewed Dick Vitale, Vitale CRIED within 20 seconds of his interview! It's cry-awesome baby with capital tears! Vitale also thanked Bob Knight for his letter-writing campaign to get Vitale in the Hall of Fame.

    And perhaps this is why Vitale got in, the big push from the one and only the General Robert Montgomery Knight!

    It's Awesome Baby! This was a huge class in 2008, the enshrinement ceremony will take place on September 5, 2008!

    Can someone please nominate this blog for the College Hoops Blogging Hall of Fame???

    The NCAA Final tips off tonight!

    Woohoo! The NCAA Final is tonight! And there's plenty of pre-game coverage on TV at ESPN and CSTV (CBS College Sports)!

    Meanwhile Sports Illustrated has opened the floodgates to the past, their vault of past issues is open to the public, and more importantly FREE!

    Congratulations are in order for the UConn Women's Basketball blog, which was recently selected by Blogger/Blogspot as a Blog of Note.

    Also if you want to get wired up, be sure to catch a four-game marathon on ESPN Classic featuring four past NCAA Finals, and a replay of the Wacky Final Four games on CSTV (CBS College Sports).

    More coming up later today!

    Sunday, April 06, 2008

    Dick Vitale gets in the Basketball Hall of Fame!

    ESPN News is reporting that Dick Vitale will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008! That's right, Dookie Vitale is in baby! It's awesome with capital A! It's super-scintillating-sensational!

    The formal announcements will be made on Monday April 7, 2008 at 12pm eastern (9am eastern) on ESPN-News and ESPN-News-HD. You can also check NBA-TV, they may also have the announcement made live.

    Speaking of Vitale, you can watch his Dick Vitale's All American Special on ESPN-2 tomorrow (Monday) at 11am pacific (2pm eastern). With Dan Shulman of course. This is a repeat that originally aired on Saturday on ABC and ABC-HD.

    Final Four: The Day After The Games!

    Vitale bullies Bob Knight
    During one of the Sportscenter at The Final Four segments, Dick Vitale was sort of bullying Bob Knight. And just like any bully, when they are bullied, they hide in a corner. In this case, Bob Knight moved his chair close to Digger Phelps and starting cuddling! Bullies = Cowards!

    Media Watch
    Ja(y)son Williams needs to stop eating his own words while speaking on TV. Literally! He tries to speak faster than his body can process the words and it doesn't sound good for someone who is speaking on TV on a regular basis. Will someone from the TV production crew tell him that???

    Meanwhile CBS/CSTV had a huge get in Greg Anthony. No doubt a Billy Packer favorite as Greg Anthony is a Billy Packer style analyst, with on-topic comments spoken in clear and concise manner. This of course regardless of whether you like or agree with Packer or Anthony. But Greg Anthony could become the next Billy Packer at CBS.

    And speaking of CBS/CSTV, the youngester play-by-play guy, who looks like a snotty brat (or a boyband member), has actually done a very good job at the Final Four as the anchor of the marathon CSTV broadcasts. We are talking about Carter Blackburn. Or in the words of Pete Gillen: Cauter Blackburn ;-) And in his own words at this NY Times sports blog.

    Final Four Afterthoughts
    Calipari turned around the LA Times stories that said the game between UCLA and Memphis would be a major coaching mismatch. Calipari said after the game: "Don't say that about Ben. I have great respect Ben!".

    Ben Howland's horrible job on the bench was only masked by Roy Williams's stubborness to call a momentum timeout, because apparently Williams is of the philosophy that if you call a timeout like that, it is like admitting defeat. One has to wonder how a coach that refuses to look at the scoreboard and refuses to call timeouts is in the Hall of Fame! (hint: 80% winning percentage).

    But back to Howland. For one thing, he has had a shooter on the bench that he chose not to play because of defense. His name is Chace Stanback and he could easily fill the role of Afflalo on offense, especially considering he is a few inches taller. However, because he wasn't ready defensively, he rarely got a look, despite the desperate need for shooting. If I was Chace Stanback, I would transfer out to a program that would actually play me!

    Howland also had some strange matchups. Rose was having a field day with Collison's defense, yet Howland kept him on Rose for the longest time ever. Perhaps that's why Collison intentionally fouled Rose so he would foul out? (the equivalent of the Samurai falling on his sword?).

    Memphis's spread court offense took away UCLA's multiple-fouls-per-possession double-teams by their wrestling forwards, and Ben Howland was unable to compensate.

    This perhaps exposes Ben Howland for what he is, a coach that wins ugly and cannot win big games if he actually plays basketball the right way. And they tried to play basketball the right way with Memphis, and they got manhandled.

    On top of that Ben Howland got dominated three times in a row in the Final Four as none of his losses were even remotely close. And if you can't even win one Final Four game with Kevin Love, when can you actually win? :)

    Imagine if North Carolina had a starting backcourt of Collison and Westbrook. Can you say 120-85 scores? :)

    Body Language Segment
    It was interesting to note the two sets of Final Four interviews by Seth Davis. In both interviews two of the coaches were aggressive and even touched the other coach. Of those two aggressive coaches, one won (Calipari) and one lost (Roy Williams).

    Coaches Gone Wild
    "Peas or Corn?" That was Calipari's greatest accomplishment as a volunteer at Kansas under Larry Brown :)

    Calipari went on an hour-long monologue during today's press conferences setting up the table for Monday's NCAA National Final.

    And a back-handed compliment from Calipari on Howland, describing on how he managed to get away with ugly slugfests under the bright lights of Los Angeles.

    Coaching Carousel
    Spin spin, spin the coaching carousel! Oregon State is now flirting with Ron Hunter of IUPUI. Apparently the Oregon State AD has not met a mid-major-conference coach he didn't like :)

    Traitor-Mike has done it! He's gone from Stanford, to the Golden Gate (State) Warriors, to the California Bears. This puts him in elite company of "traitors", jumping to the most hated rival of their previous team.

    Meanwhile not a rumor, but Western Kentucky has gone to the Rick Barnes well, and came out with one of his assistants as their next head basketball coach!

    NBA Draft updates
    A number of players have jumped into the NBA Draft pool, including Jerryd Bayless, perhaps tired of the coaching drama at Arizona, Ron Steele, Earl Clark, and such.

    Taking Comments Out of Context
    Jim Nantz doing a Golf promo during the broadcasts: "... those are magnificent holes ...". Nantz by the way ha a new memoirs book coming out in May.

    Bob Knight talking about UCLA: "... they made love ...".

    Tape-delayd April Fool's Day
    You've heard the story of Tyler Hansbro renewing the lease on his house at UNC. Well, our insider sources have told us that Hansbro bought a $10 reloadable gift card at a local coffee shop in January 2008. According to our projections, this is a guarantee that he will return next year, because no one would buy $10 worth of coffee unless he was planning to be around for an extra year to spend it!

    Saturday, April 05, 2008

    Phil Knight, Boosters, Oregon Ducks, and money on OTL

    Sunday's edition of Outside the Lines will spotlight Phil Knight, Oregon and boosters, and their money-influence to collegiate athletics. The episode airs on Sunday April 6, at 930am eastern (630am pacific).

    Guests include Temple AD Bill Bradshaw, and Brad Wolverton, senior editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. As usual, Bob Ley is the host.

    And a video preview of the story courtesy of ESPN.

    Final Four Preview: Kansas vs North Carolina

    Oh this couldn't be scripted any better! OleRoy vs his old team! The drama is lessened a bit because it's five years now, and the Kansas players are Self's guys, not Roy's. Roy had a sneak preview of this type of thing when his team squared off against David Padgett and Louisville in the Elite 8. Roy had a short conversation with Padgett after the game - caught by TV the cameras. Just the images, not the conversation mind you :)

    The Roy vs Kansas factor
    The Alamo Dome is a big place, and I'm sure there will lots of fans from both sides. Will the Kansas fans boo Roy every chance they get? And if they do, will that cause a reaction from the UNC fans? Will we have a circus show in the stands? And even if we do, will that affect the game in any way? Fans are supposed to be loud and going crazy at a Final Four setting to begin with :)

    Game-wise, we don't think this will really be much of an impact. Once the ball is tipped, it's a game, the competitive juices are flowing, and it's about beating the other team. Remember, this is different from Roy Williams going up against Dean Smith - that Coach vs Coach, this one is Coach vs Other Team.

    We don't think it will be a factor in the game, but it will definitely be a factor in the discussions of pundits, analysts, experts, bloggers, barber shop goers, and basketball fans in general.

    Depth vs Depth
    Both teams are loaded, although perhaps not as loaded as you may think, considering the injuries of Lodrick Stewart and Bobby Frasor. But they both have quality game-changing performance depth, players that would start on just about any other team in the country even!

    Sharron Collins could be what wins the game for Kansas and Danny Green what wins the game for UNC. They obviously play different positions but their impact is similar! Both teams should devise defensive schemes to limit their impact on the game, because if they don't, either one can start an offensive (or defensive) avalanche.

    Since there are so many factors in the game, the winner of this battle does not necessarily mean their team wins the game, but it's definitely a very helpful thing to have in your plus column.

    Also of impact, especially if there are foul troubles are Chaka Khan (Sasha Kahn), and Alex Stepheson (who most play-by-play guys confuse with Deon Neon Thompson for some strange reason). Not necessarily because they have a 20/10 performance, but for defense, rebounding, screens, and doing all the little but important things a team needs from its big guys to win.

    It may be the that Jeremy Case finds himself on the court a little bit more, while Q (Quinton Thomas) will get his minutes backing Lawson and also trying to defend the Kansas perimeter starters.

    Burger vs Burger
    These teams are loaded with talent! They have Mcdonalds, Roudnball, and Jordan Classic stars all over the place! They are bluebloods with capital A baby! (Okay, capital B).

    The perimeter will be an interesting Burger battle, where the versatile trio of Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush take on beep-beeper Tywon Lawson, Wayne Ellington (now with defense) and Marcus Ginyard (winner of the Jackie Manuel award of defense).

    The players are versatile enough that just about anyone could guard anyone and perhaps the coaches will adjust the matchups based on how the game flows and which players are having good offensive and defensive days. We'll probably not see Brandon Rush on Lawson, but perhaps we may see that too if Self wants to have a "blanket Lawson" strategy where he throws every player at him, hoping he can get the best defensive effort out of each player, while at the same time not wearing down an individual with a 24x7 Lawson task.

    The Front Co(ur)t
    Oops, there's no Pitino, so no need for Pitino-speak. It would be a master of the obvious point to point out the significant of defending and containing Psycho-T. Will Bill Self try to contain him or shut him down? Will be gamble on Hansbro and make the perimeter guys beat him? Or will he go for a more balanced defensive approach? We don't know!

    Carolina's best defense is their offense, even though they are a better defensive team now than they were in December. This team has indeed shown some game-pressure onions during the ACC season and the post-season. At least so far. They didn't crumble when the Pitino Birds made a strong comeback in the second half.

    Shady may present a matchup problem for the TarHeels, as none of their three bigs are slim and shady enough to chase Arthur on the perimeter all game long. But OleRoY is lucky, he can try Danny Green and Marcus Ginyard on him too. Don't be surprised if we see those two guys at the 3/4 spots, and Roy goes for a smaller and faster line-up, just like he did in the Louisville game.

    Meanwhile Neon Deon Thompson's trademark bank shot may be what decides the game. If Kansas does the best they can to take out Hansbro and the perimeter guys, Thompson could have a field day hitting those makeable (for him) shots. Bookmark this prediction!

    Other Previews
    There are plenty of final four previews online, here is a sample of them: Storming the Floor, Slam Online, SI's Luke Winn, and Jocks vs Geeks. No, we did not make up the last website name, it's for real :)

    Final Four Preview: UCLA vs Memphis

    Oh my as Dick Enberg would say. These four teams are hot and these four matchups promise (on paper) to be very exciting and dramatic! We start with the first game, tipping off at 3pm pacific (6pm eastern) on CBS. More on the TV stuff, check our TV schedule.

    The History
    While the most memorable game is perhaps that NCAA Final between John Wooden's and Bill Walton's Bruins and Memphis State back in the day, the most recent matchup was the 2006 Elite 8 slugfest that took the game back 500 years. In that game, UCLA beat up and short-circuited the game, taking out the Tigers, and winning with the first to 50 wins mentality.

    During the press conferences, Ben Howland promised that this would not be another slugfest. This promise coming from the man that brought us the Texas A&M vs UCLA slugfest just two weeks ago, and that game was played in Anaheim even, which was a near-home-court for the Bruins!

    Defending Kevin Love
    One of the big keys for UCLA is Kevin Love, which we like to call "Beached Whale" because of his size. Perhaps hitting another full-court shot in yesterday's practice was an omen for the Bruins, but if Calipari wants to reduce Love's impact on the game, he'll have to do a lot of things.

    For one thing, he can't afford to use up Joey Dorsey's five fouls on Love. For another, if Joey Dorsey is on the perimeter chasing Kevin Love, it opens up the offensive glass for LR Mbah Mute, Westbrook, Keefe, et al and if that happens, Howland has already setup shop in Victory.

    Another player that Calipari could try on Love for a few minutes and a few fouls is the "Dancing Bear", Pierre Niles. Niles hasn't been playing much before of the Memphis style and depth, but you saw in the Elite 8, the moment Dexter Pitman came in, Pierre Niles jumped in too. So we would expect perhaps some Niles tries to wash away the Love ;-)

    The Battle of the Point Guards
    It's no secret Ben Howland is scared of Derrick Rose. During yesterday's press conference, he accidentally called him Jason Kidd. Howland said "when they got Jason Kidd" meaning Rose. This was a stream of consciousness type of thing, not premeditated. And he has good reason to be scared of Derrick Rose. He is a bona fide Pontiac Game Changing Performer.

    But Darren Collison can be one too. While not as powerful as Rose, Collison is the definition of a beep-beeper (Lavinism) with a perimeter shot. We doubt Darren is gonna spend too much time guarding Derrick Rose, unless of course Howland notices something he can exploit. We'll probably see Westbrook or Ship, or even LR Mbah a Mute on Rose, at least partially. Now if Howland could put Arron Afflalo in, or Jrue Holiday, he'd probably take that option right away :)

    Defending Collison on the other hand will probably be done by cmte, as Calipari has many options, such as Rose, Kemp, CDR, and shutdown defender Antonio Anderson. Memphis's athleticism and versatility allows them to switch defenders on just about any player, other than Kevin Love of course. Andre Allen would have been a nice alternative, as he has something the others don't, he is a fire hydrant type guard with speed. And limited minutes would have allowed him to play with wreckless abandon. Good thing for the Memphis Tigers? Darius Washington is not walking through that do(or) (Pitino-speak) :)

    The Other Forwards
    Another critical aspect of the game is the performance of the Other Forwards. On one side we have James Keefe, LR Mbah a Mute, and the Wrestlers, Alfred Aboya and Lorenzo Mata-Real-Madrid. On the other side, we have the wiry Robert Dozier, the versatile Iowa State transfer Shawn Taggart and the powerful but undersized and inexperienced Jeff Robinson.

    Points-wise Memphis looks to have the advantage, but we think that the most critical aspect will be rebounding. And perhaps the group that wins the rebounding game, could potentially be the one winning the game and heading to the "One Shining Moment" game on Monday!

    They put baskets to score!
    As the one and only Pete Gillen says. So apart from the aforementioned players, who else can be a factor in the game?

    For UCLA, the struggling Josh Shipp would need to score. He doesn't have to make threes, he could discover his old ways by being a crafty player around the bucket, especially when Dorsey is out of the game or out of the paint. Westbrook is another scoring factor, whether it's fast-break points or jump shots. Points could be at a premium, so any scoring is good scoring.

    For Memphis, CDR has to justify his name, as no doubt Howland will plot and scheme to surround Rose with ...thorns. CDR will also receive defensive attention, but that's where he has to showcase his craftiness and old man game and put points on the board. We think that if CDR scores 20 or more, Memphis has a good chance of winning the game - other things equal of course.

    The bench has to provide some offense too, be it Taggart, or sharp-shooters Willie Kemp or D-Mack. Don't be surprised if Jeff Robinson plays some minutes in this game, especially if Howland goes to a smaller line-up with LR Mbah-a-MuTe as the power forward. Decision making has been an issue for Robinson, but he has the muscle to grind with the UCLA wrestling forwards.

    Other Previews
    There are plenty of other Final 4 previews on the net, here is a small sampling; Dallas Morning News, Seth Davis (video), and March Madness All Season.

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    Nuggets from the Final Four Press Conferences

    This is an on-going post where we post nuggests as we go through the Final Four press conferences by the four participating Final Four teams. Here we go:

    UCLA tidbits
    Freudian slip by the horrified Ben Howland on the Memphis Tigers: "...They added Jason Kidd", obviously when referring to the addition of Derrick Rose to this year's squad.

    Ben Howland is listening to an extended edition of a live Stevie Wonder song while watching film. Meanwhile Len Robbins, the reporter from Cold Pizza and a fish-wrap, with the annoying voice, annoyed Ben Howland by asking about his obsession with defense. Thank you Len Robbins for exposing the Ben Howland slugfest to a nationwide audience :)

    Memphis tidbits
    The Rev Jessie Jackson was invited by John Calipari to speak to the team... CDR says Calipari yells at him all the time... The Memphis players deflected the questions about Andre Allen, and avoided getting involved in the situation...

    ESPN coverage tidbits
    Seth Greenberg on John Calipari: "He is the Bill O'Reilly of basketball coaches. He is always in the spin zone".

    Kansas Tidbits
    Bill Self on Stewart: He is out after open-practice goofing around injury :(

    Myles Brand and David Stern talk NBA Draft and raising the age minimum on Saturday!

    Be sure to watch or record the 30-minute Outside the Games documentary that airs on CBS on Saturday at 330pm eastern (1230pm pacific). This will feature a discussion with Myles Brand, the NCAA Emperor, and David Stern, the NBA czar on the NBA draft and the possibility of raising the minimum age for entry into the NBA draft. Myles Brand mentioned already in his state of the Monopoly press conference that he favors at least two years, and encouraged people who are interested in this topic to check out that CBS documentary.

    Of course this should probably be done in a way that allows talented and ready players to go to the NBA right away, because a player like LeBron does not really need to play in college, unless of course he wants to. Granted the LeBrons are rare, and LeBron could have learned and benefited a lot from a year in college. After all, he was sitting courtside watching the Steph Curry extravaganza and perhaps wondering deep inside "What if it was me".

    Prediction: Mark Few will be the next Oregon head coach!

    We are big fans of the Gonzaga phenomenon, even though we call them GoneZaga every time they lose. And we are ready to make a bold prediction: Mark Few will be the next Oregon head basketball coach!

    Where do we basis this bold prediction?
    1) The new Oregon AD has Spokane connections

    2) Bill Grier, long time Gonzaga assistant, and first-year San Diego miracle worker-coach, has bolted out of his Oregon State deal. Perhaps because the Gonzaga job will open up soon? :)

    3) Mark Few has very strong ties to the state of Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest. Just like Mike Montgomery won't leave the Bay Area no matter what, we think that Mark Few won't leave the Pacific Northwest. And the Oregon job is the natural progression in his career if he wants to have a chance at the NCAA championship. The new super-sensational arena and the Nike goldmine should help a whole lot. A short bio of Mark Few at Wikipedia.

    4) We are not the only ones thinking in this fashion. See what John Canzano of Oregon Live says.

    We think that the failure to land Kevin Love or Kyle Singler would be ultimately what causes the end of the Ernie Kent era at Oregon. How often does the state of Oregon have two top five caliber players and yet the home team fails to get even close to one of them. That was the harbinger of doom for the Kent era at Quackville.

    The only question perhaps is whether this is a bold prediction or a master of the obvious prediction :)

    Jim Nantz causes Vitale controversy (and sells new book)

    Coincidence? We think not! The smarty pants "serious" golf-like Jim Nantz has managed to kill three birds with one stone in his latest controversy. (No actual birds were harmed by this phrase, so please don't chase me PETA).

    Three birds? Yes, for one thing, he generated buzz for CBS and the NCAA tournament. For another, he promoted and defended his long-time buddy Billy Packer when he said that "If Vitale gets in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Billy Packer should get in too". It is of course no secret that Packer is not fond of the way Vitale handles himself as a basketball analyst. We agree in that Vitale should not go in as a basketball analyst, but rather as a Cheerleader of the Game, or a promoter of the game. Because despite the entourage following, pre-chewing and spoon-feeding Vitale, he still doesn't come up with any real on-the-spot insight worthy of a Hall of Fame analyst.

    So is there an ulterior motive by Jim Nantz here? Well, well, well, Jim Nantz is also publishing a new memoirs book, Always By My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other, which goes on sale May 6, 2008! This new hardcover is currently priced at $17.16 at Amazon, and you can save an extra 5% off if you pre-order it, while receiving a pre-order and 30-day post-shipment low price guarantee.

    So what is the book about? Here is a summary, courtesy of the editorial review at Amazon:

    Always by My Side gives readers an insider’s look into an unprecedented sixty-three-day stretch from February to April of 2007 when Jim Nantz became the first broadcaster to call the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the Masters

    And to help our readers get a better handle on the book, here are some important book metrics: The book is 320 pages, making it a reasonable 5 cents per page. It weighs 1.2 pounds, which is $14 per pound, which is an okay price for a hardcover :-)

    Move over Traitor-Rick, here comes Traitor-Mike!

    That's right! First Rick Pitino did the unthinkable, and went from Kentucky to hated in-state rivar Louisville after a not-so-successful stint in the NBA, and was affectionately named Traitor-Rick by the Kentucky fans.

    Now Mike Montgomery does exactly the same thing, following Pitino's footsteps, going from Stanford to California-Berkeley after a failed stint in the NBA (Golden State Warriors). It looks like Mikie does not want to leave NoCal, and will take any job in NoCal. So as of this moment, Mike Montgomery is officially known as Traitor-Mike - at least to Stanford fans.

    More on the news at the Daily Cal, the student newspaper of the Telegraph university.

    Quick Hitters: Eric Gordon declares for the NBA Draft (and new LMU coach)

    We have a few quick updates! A number of sources are reporting that Eric Gordon is declaring for the NBA Draft! His name has been added to our list of 2008 NBA Draft early entries.

    New news! The Associated Press (AP) has named their player of the year and coach of the year winners. The coach of the year is daddy's son, Keno Davis of Drake, son of Dr Tom Davis of Iowa, Drake and Stanford fame. Player of the game??? *** suspense *** suspense *** The AP did the right thing and gave the best college basketball player the award, Tyler Hansbrough! While Michael Beasley is the best RAW talent and best NBA prospect among college basketball player, he is not the overall best college basketball player. That is Tyler Crazysbro.

    Meanwhile the ticker at the bottom of ESPN2 is quoting Andy Katz reporting that LMU (Loyola Marymount) of the WCC (West Coast Conference) will be hiring Bill Bayno as its next head basketball coach. Bayno, not to be confused with Bill Beano, is currently an assistant in the NBA for the Portland JailBlazers.

    In case you missed it, TCU has picked up a new head coach in Kent State's Jim Christian. Win a NCAA tournament game as a mid-major? You are in good luck! You get a new job, bigger salary, more benefits, and more goodies! Also discussed at the TCU Daily Skiff.

    So who replaced Jim Christian at Kent State? Me! Okay, not me, but Geno Ford. Geno was an assistant under Jim Christian at Kent State, so the dominos stop falling with the Golden Flashes.

    Poll-less poll of the day: Who is better? Maya Moore or Candance Parker? We blog, you decide! And a philosophical question posed by the crew of Cold Pizza (First Take) of ESPN2 today: "Would you prefer your team to go one-and-done in the NCAA tourney, or win the NIT?".

    If you are looking for "Hawk Attacks Girl" discussions here, look elsewhere. This is not an Animal Planet blog, or a Softball blog :)

    Be sure to check our March Madness TV listings, now expanding into April! At the rate we are going, the NCAA tourney will end in May by 2020 :)

    And if you are a big fan of college sports, and offiical NCAA DVDs, hide your credit card! Amazon has 1400 NCAA-produced game DVDs, covering a variety of sports. A good chunk of those DVDs are college basketball, and they cover NCAA basketball tournaments, past, present and future. Well, you can't buy the future ones now, and you can buy the present ones later in the summer, but you can buy the past ones, including the 2007 NCAA tourney, right now!

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