Monday, March 31, 2008

Taylor King transferring out of Duke (we predicted that in August 2007)

Who's singing our praises now? We are! On August 3, 2007 we predicted that Taylor King would transfer out of Duke before the end of his sophomore year. And we were right! We also predicted that Jamal Boykin would transfer out of Duke. We are awesome baby with capital A ;-)

The Taylor King transfer story is posted in many places, including Sports Illustrated, Scout, and News Observer.

This further complicates matters for Duke's 2008-2009 season, and Taylor King could have been a player to factor in their spread out offense since he can occasionally hit a series of wild three pointers. Occasionally :)

Coach K will probably try to "raid" recruits made available by coaching changes, and could perhaps scrap the Mike D'Antoni inspired offense for a more traditional Duke style of play.

Also discussed at the VU Hoops sports blog.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Most Final Four Appearances including the 2008 Final Four field

So after the Final Four field was set, which colleges have the most NCAA Tournament appearances in men's basketball? Who is it? Who is it???

1. UCLA 18 (three in a row)
2. North Carolina 17
3. Duke 14
4. Kansas and Kentucky, 13 each

As you can see Kansas was at #5 but since they made the 2008 Final Four, they have moved on to tie UK at #4.

North Carolina was ahead before Ben Howland took over UCLA, but three back-to-back UCLA final fours jumped them over UNC which had 16 at the time. Ole Roy put the Tar Heels in this year's Final Four, generating even more separation between UNC and the Dookies!

In 2004, the year Ole Roy took over UNC, the Dookies were just one Final Four away, after Coach Ratcase managed to steal the last Final Four spot from Thad Matta's Xavier. But two more UNC appearances (2005, 2008) have created a three-final-four advantage for the TarHeels.

And I wouldn't be surprised if either Kansas or Kentucky tie the Dookies at the #3 spot in 2009 :-)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Roy Williams Commits NCAA Violation!

But not what you think :) During the press conference before the Louisville vs North Carolina game, Roy Williams committed an NCAA violation, in front of everyone, the media, the cameras, the reporters, and ESPN News!

What was the violation? He pulled out a Coke bottle and poured it into his blue NCAA-logo cup. This is a violation because the NCAA does not want any other marketing logos to appear in their press conferences.

This is further complicated because Coca Cola is one of the premier North Carolina sponsors :)

Will this amount to anything? Probably not :) Is this worth talking about? Probably not!

PS> In the same press conference, Roy Williams revealed he said "NO" to NBA teams eleven times, including three NOs to the Los Angeles Lakers. Take that Coach K ;-)

Elite 8, the Final Four is just around the corner!

We posted our preview of today's Elite 8 games yesterday, so be sure to check that out. Xavier and UCLA will tip off at 330pm pacific, and North Carolina vs Louisville will tip off around 6pm pacific. For more on that, be sure to check our march madness tv listings.

Our predictions for day two of the Sweet 16 went 2-2, but we were glad to be wrong on Davidson and see Davidson advance to the Elite 8!. If any coach at a non-BCS school deserves a run in the NCAA tourney, it is Bob McKillop. We did predict that Memphis would have an easy victory of Michigan State, just like we predicted Michigan State would beat Pitt. A number of analysts including Bob Knight and cheerleader Vitale were just so wrong on this matchup, when it was fairly obvious how the match ups would pan out!

Speaking of Vitale, it was so cool to see Steve Lavin call Vitale an ACC Homer, when they were both doing the Friday night College Gameday scoreboard on ESPN! Go Lavin! Lavin of course is learning under the master, as he may end becoming the next Dick Vitale! Unless he takes the California job? :)

CBS must be crying after last night's game, as they had four relatively not-very-close games, but at least they had a Cinderella Magic Moment in Davidson.

Will the success of Bob McKillop in the NCAA tourney have mid-major programs from all across the country running to New York to get New Yorker coaches? :)

Already Cal used the geo-tagging feature to go after Jamie Dixon of Pitt, after the success of Ben Howland at UCLA, and Herb Sendek at Arizona State!

And what about the talk that Pete Newell is promoting Bob Knight as the next head coach at Cal? Well, he would fit real well with the Berkeley crowd, but he won't be the craziest one of the lot for a change ;)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily Tourney Talk: Sweet 16 day 2, and Elite 8 coming tomorrow!

We went 3-1 in yesterday's Sweet 16 predictions. We don't want to tout our horn, but we predicted that the Lawson/Green/Ellington trio would be what gave UNC the victory over Washington State. We missed the West Virginia loss to Xavier as we were betrayed by the ThreePointeers outside shooting. Now we are 100% behind Xavier's attempt to beat UCLA and get to the Final Four.

As you may recall in 2004, the Thad Matta X-men would have made the Final Four had it not been for extreme Duke favoritism by the zebras in that game. And last year the X-men also lost an NCAA game on a controversial call, ironically to Thad Matta. After all the crapola UCLA has put "basketball" through, they deserve to lose to the X-men, and we predict that Xavier will beat UCLA in overtime. That game will be played tomorrow, in the Elite 8. That will be the first game.

We also had a good read on the Louisville vs Tennessee game, and it's really sad that these two teams had to meet in the Sweet 16 instead of the Elite 8. It is also sad that Louisville will have to face North Carolina in the Elite 8, instead of the Final Four. Both are Final Four caliber teams, and one could make an argument that they are two of the best three in the country at the moment (the third being Kansas). So it will be sad from a basketball perspective to see one of them go home without a trip to the Final Four. We predict that, partially thanks to the home co(ur)t advantage, North Carolina will beat Louisville in an instant classic.

And now that we got tomorrow's Elite 8 games out the way, here are our predictions for today's four Sweet 16 games. Will we go 4-0 this time? If we do, it will be upset city baby!!!

And don't forget to check our on-going TV listings, as well as our March Madness shopping segment.

Bob Knight on today's Outside the Lines!

Well well well, if you like Bob Knight on your TV, whether it's because you are a fan of his, a hater or just waiting for his next outburst, you are in luck as the ESPN family of networks is giving us a steady stream of Knightalia!

So today, at 330pm eastern (12:30pm pacific), on Outside the Lines, on ESPN, Bob Knight discusses hoops. Details on the OTL page. This will also have a sneak preview of the Rece Davis interview with the trio of headcases, Bob Knight, Bill Parcells, and the softball coach of the Bird League ;-)

Knight will also preview today's Sweet 16 games, and recap yesterday's action...

It is interesting to see how Rece Davis's star continues to rise in the ESPN World, as now he has been "blessed" by the General who hates the media. But as Digger Phelps told him "You are MEDIA!". Bob Knight tries to think of himself as a "consultant" on TV.

By the way it is Rece Davis, not Reece Davis, he is not a peanut butter cup ;-) This is a good way to remember how to properly spell his name :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MLB Extra Innings free preview on Comcast!

Comcast (and maybe other cable companies too) will be having a week long free preview of its baseball pay per view package MLB Extra Innings. The preview will start on March 31st, and end on April 6. The free preview includes all the available channels, up to 10 games running in parallel, depending of course on what games are scheduled each night.

You do usually need to have access to digital cable, as the cable companies are moving from analog to digital, for various reasons. But that's a story for a different blog :)

Outside the Lines: Tyler Smith and Duke's Blues

Today's Outside the Lines, on ESPN2 (330pm eastern) has a distinct College Basketball flavor. First up, Duke's Blues as Coach K gets his second early exit from the NCAA tourney! Thank you VCu, thank you Belmont, thank you West Virginia and Bob Thuggins! Outside the Lines re-examines the Duke/North Carolina rivalry with Raleigh Radio Host, Bomani Jones.

Some love for Coach K
As we mentioned a few years ago, in October 2005, at our sister blog, Recruiting Wars, that the return of Roy Williams at UNC would significantly alter the dynamics of the rivarly. Don't look now if you are a Duke fan, but look now if you are not! A national championship, an elite 8, a current run in the sweet 16, an amazing job on the year after the championship when he didn't have the usual Kansas/UNC talent, and such. More on that in January 2006.

What has Coach Ratface K done? He stockpiles Mcdonalds All-Americans, plays only half of them, and wastes the life and potential of almost all of them. Look at where DeMarcus Nelson's career has gone! He was a scoring machine that could have been a whole lot more in college had he played elsewhere. At Duke, just like most players, their life force is drained by the Ratface K, and their game just evaporates into floor slaps.

The second feature, the centerpiece, is the story of Tennessee's Tyler Smith, told by Tom Friend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Madness On Demand breaks traffic records!

We already mentioned the Compete story, but now we have more hard numbers on March Madness OnDemand, courtesy of

The numbers went through the roof compared to last year, with a total of 3.7 million hours watched! All the numbers across the board went up up and away.

Also of interest in that story, ESPN and CBS Sports had about the same number of entries in their online bracket competitions!

But remember, every time you fill in a bracket, Coach K eats a kitten for breakfast ;-)

Ben Braun officially fired by California Berkeley

As we predicted a few days ago, Cal-Berkeley head basketball coach Ben Braun was fired after 12 (not 15) seasons as the Chief Bear. Story at Sports Illustrated. More on this story at regional website And also at the university newspaper, the Daily Californian.

So our first of two predictions came true. Which one was our second prediction? Randy Bennett riding his second wave of NCAA Tournament selection success a few miles down the road to take over Cal-Berkeley.

One of the pluses of Randy Bennett is that he looks a bit like Herb Sendek, and if Sendek was able to reboot ASU in just two years...

Ironically this is the second coach Herb Sendek unintentionally managed to get fired. If it wasn't for Sendek's success in Year Two at ASU, the other coaches (Jay John, Ben Braun) could have gotten more out of the usual excuses (tough conference, not easy to do it, east coast bias, etc). But if Sendek turned ASU into a promising and rising program, what exactly has Ben Braun being doing in Berkeley?

But in our opinion the firing offense was poor recruiting decisions. How can you have a team loaded with big men, and yet fail to get enough guards around them? And why was Jordan Wilkes not even given a chance to play through the season when the team was struggling? And the "Omar Wilkes bolted out a year earlier" excuse does not hold water. Wilkes was a wing. The team badly needed a point guard. Both Knezevic and mini-me Randle are backup guards at best. Christopher is a nice Pac-10 caliber player but he is more of a wing-guard.

NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions, Day 2

If you already read our Sweet 16 Day One preview, then you are ready for Day Two! Day 2 games will be played on Friday. Be sure to check our March Madness TV Listings for airtimes. All times pacific, unless otherwise indicated!

Davidson vs Wisconsin
Wisconsin, just like Washington State, are teams that have a more performance narrow band. They usually beat the teams they are supposed to beat, and lose to the teams they are supposed to. This is good news for Badger fans, unless of course Davidson is indeed playing like an Elite 8 team :)

I would prefer to see the Cinderella story continue, Davidson and Stephen Curry to make some noise and get to the Elite 8, and Bob McKillop to finally get the mass-market respect he deserves.

But I'm afraid that Wisconsin is not going to be "surprised" by the Wildcats the same way the Zags and the Hoyas were. Bo Ryan has the depth and the talent to win this game, one way or the other.

Stanford vs Texas
Oh boy, this is a tough one to get a read on. Texas, like Xavier, are crazy teams. They can beat anyone, and they can lose to anyone. The Stanford guards are really going to have their hands full with DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams, and there's only one Greg Washington on the roster.

The good news for Stanford fans is that they were already able to beat a guard-loaded team in Marquette, and that was with the drama of Trent Johnson getting prematurely ejected from the game.

But unlike the Marquette guards, the Texas guards can shoot from Austin and make the bucket in Houston. And that's where the game is going to be played. Home co(ur)t advantage goes to Texas for sure.

Texas has enough big bodies to bother the Lopez twins on offense and defense, and the struggling Lawrence Hill is going to be tested going up against former Kelvin Sampson signee (the list is getting longer and longar) Damion James.

On the other hand, the Lopez twins are going to clog up the paint on defense, and create havoc in the paint on offense.

Can Stanford limit the three-point makes of Texas? Can they stop the wild runs and fast-breaks? If yes, they have a chance to win the game. Our prediction? Texas wins in a dramatic game.

Michigan State vs Memphis State
Well, well, well, the pundits are picking Izzo State, just like they were picking Pitt to steamroll Izzo State. We didn't, we saw that Izzo would be able to short-circuit the Panthers, and all the pundits (Bob Knight included) were blinded by the fact that MSG is Pitt's second home court as half of their roster is from the NYC/NJ area. We predicted Michigan State would beat Pitt.

And using the same reasoning, we see that Izzo State is really overmatched in just about every position, and unless Memphis has a total collapse on the free throw and the three point line, Memphis will get an easy win over Michigan State.

The development of Kalin Lucas was slowed down because coaches are "loyal" to their older players, in this case, Lucas is the one who should be running the show, not Neitzer and not Walton. But that's another story. Calipari has a lot of options to try to slow down Kalin Lucas, from tiny Andre Allen, to tall Antonio Anderson, along with Willie Kemp and Derrick Rose. Neitzel is an easy cover for most of the Memphis perimeter players.

Raymar Morgan could create some problems but Calipari has options, from Dozier to Anderson to handle him. Michigan State's size inside is not a threat since none of those guys are likely to beat a team or force double-teams. Heck, we may even see Pierre Niles or Hashim Bailey if Izzo goes big and tall ;-)

Villanova vs Kansas
Can you smell it? Can you smell it? We can smell it! No, it's not last week's dinner, it's the upset in the making! It's all about the guards, and Nova has a boatload of them. Guards and three pointers! That will be the undoing of Kansas, and a very disappointing loss for the Bill Self Jayhawks.

They showed this year against UNLV that they can grind better than last year (see Southern Illinois and Kansas NCAA tourney games), but as we saw in the Arizona game, talented guards can give them headaches. And Nova has plenty!

Now how can Villanova make up for the difference in talent inside the paint? With Casseim Drummond out for the season, the "shorties" will have to deal with "Shady", "Chaka Khan", and "Not Elton Brand Jackson", along with "Paul Bunyan". If the Nova Shorties can do enough to minimize the impact of the three big bigs, and contain Shady, and the guards, then we have an upset special!

Does this defy logic? Yes it does! But then again, this is the NCAA tournament. And let's not forget, how many of the NBA playoff results would have been the same if the NBA Playoffs were single elimination games? Even some of the best NBA teams of all time had their bad games and even got blown out on occasion. And with the NBA we are talking about seasoned professionals, not college kids.

Obviously Kansas would win a best of seven series, but in a single game setting, if the Nova guards are on fire, and the pressure weighs on Kansas, and the memories of the two first round exits and Elite 8 appearances cloud their minds, it will be upset city!.

2008 McDonalds All-American All-Star game tonight on ESPN!

Yes, the 2007-2008 season is not over yet, but you can already start planning for the 2008-2009 with the McDonalds All-Star Game, previewed at our sister blog, Recruiting Wars.

Another controversial group of two dozens players was selected for this game, and with the NBA Draft out of the question, we only have a couple of uncommitted players, the most notable being Tyreke Evans who seems to be enjoying the spotlight and the attention this generates.

The Grassroots Ballin blog states that Tyreke Evans will announce his decision on April 16, 2008. He is down to four schools, check Grassroots Ballin to find out which four!

The game tips off at 630pm pacific (930pm eastern) on ESPN and ESPN-HD. But there is an NBA game before that, so if the NBA game runs late, it may eat up some of the ...McDonalds ;-)

But that's not the only all-star game of the season! The Jordan Brand Classic, is taking place on April 19 at the storied MSG. This time it will be shown live on ESPN2, no longer hidden in the secret world of ESPNU, a channel no one is able to watch because ESPN and Comcast are too stubborn to reach a reasonable compromise.

Preaching aside, there's also the Nike Hoop Summit, this time moving to Portland, Oregon, after being "glued" to the Calipari-FedEx arena in Memphis, TN. This one will be shown on FSN and Fox College Sports, tipping at 1pm pacifc on April 12, 2008.

And in case you were wondering why we haven't mentioned the Roundball classic, it looks like it has been cancelled or frozen. It looks like there won't be a 44th Roundball Classic this year :-(

Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions, Day 1

You can get a two hour preview of the NCAA Tourney games on CSTV, today at 2pm pacific (5pm eastern), but you can also get a preview right here. For all the TV stuff, be sure to check our March Madness TV listings.

West Virginia vs Xavier
The first wave of games tips off with a good old rivarly, Bob Huggins vs Xavier. As you may recall, Huggins was the head coach at Cincy, and they had an annual intense rivarly game every year. We now love West Virginia even more, after they beat up the Dookies, and we are planning a blogging celebration for them later today :) And because of that we want West Virgina to win and move along. But Xavier, just like Texas, is one of those crazy teams that can beat anyone and can lose to almost anyone. They already showed early tournament onions by making comebacks against Georgia and Purdue.

But ultimately we think the combination of outside shooting, Joe Alexander, and Bob Huggins toughness will get the Threepointers over the top and send the Musketeers home. And the X-men will have to worry some more, as their head coach may be poached by one of the BCS schools. Indiana is not the only major program looking for a head coach, and the impressive success of Herb Sendek at Arizona State may tempt other Pac-10 schools to go after one of his former assistants. We are talking potentially Oregon, California or USC. But let's leave that for the coaching carousel discussion :)

North Carolina vs Washington State
In the other game, North Carolina will face Washington State. This is the ultimate contrast in style, although the young singer is not a ...dick like his dad, he lets his team run when they have the advantage. We've said all along that Washington State, just like Wisconsin, are operating in a narrow band. They usually beat the teams they are supposed to beat, and lose to the teams they are supposed to lose to.

If you don't think so, be sure to check Washington State's record, courtesy of Ken Pom RPI. They are 0-5 against Sweet 16 teams (UCLA, Stanford), but they beat up NCAA teams that lost in the first week (Baylor, Zags, USC, Oregon). Arizona is an exception because when they had their full complement they were playing like a Sweet 16 team. But injuries and such derailed them. But that's a story for another day.

Ultimately we think that UNC will overmatch Wazoo. Derrick Low may give them some headaches, as neither Lawson or Q are ideally suited to guard him. Kyle Weaver on the other hand will have his hands full having to deal with Ellington on defense and Ginyard and Green on offense. Hansbrough will probably be limited by the Wazoo interior play and defensive scheme, but the combination of Lawson and Green/Ellington, and possibly Deon Thompson's bank shots will be the difference.

Louisville vs Tennessee
This is a game we have a hard time getting a read on. Both teams are deep, both press and run and gun. We would have preferred that this was a Final Four game instead of a Sweet 16 game.

But let's consider Tennessee's history in the NCAA tourney in the Bruce Pearl era and Pitino's history. That does not look favorable for Tennessee, but one could have easily made the same argument for Texas A&M vs Louisville last year at Rupp Arena, and Billy Clyde Gillispie pulled out a tough win at his future home court beating Pitino on his former home court. Or to use Pitino-speak, his former home cot :)

But there's something else that goes against Tennessee: Consider how they did not only in past NCAA tourneys under Bruce Pearl, but also in other tourneys. This year they got blown out by Texas in a pre-season tourney in New Jersey. Last year they lost to Butler in the pre-season NIT. They haven't done well in the SEC tourney either.

Obviously the three point shot can be a determining factor and if there is a big difference in the shots made, we think that the team with that advantage will probably win the game.

Other than Lofton - if he is having a wild shooting game - we don't see any potential matchup advantages for the Vols.

Ultimately we think that Padgett and T-Will will be able to make up for the potential shortcomings of the Cardinals guards crumbling under the Vols pressure, and Derrick Caracter and Earl Clark will be too much for the Vols big men to handle. Louisville will win, we predict, but it could be a very close game.

Western Kentucky vs UCLA
We badly want Western Kentucky to win, but we are afraid that UCLA will be too much. Duke West has been getting a series of "friendly" calls by the zebras, not just the highly visible controversial calls, but also the multiple fouls per possession the UCLA wrestling-forwards commit on screens on offense and double teams on defense.

We have enough material now to convict Ben Howland of ruining the game of basketball. You have two of the fastest guards in the country in Collison and Westbrook, and the most smartest (LOL) big man in Kevin Love, and yet you try to win the games in a slugfest, the same way a desperate low-major coach of a 300+ RRI team is clinging on to dear life. For crimes against basketball, Ben Howland, you have been convicted to lose in the Elite 8, and never make it to the Final Four again :)

Friday's Games
We will be posting our preview and predictions for the four day two games later today! Update! The time is Later! Here is the preview and predictions for day two of the Sweet 16 (Friday).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Billy Packer caught on tape MLFing!

As I was watching the repeat of the Davidson vs Gonzaga NCAA game on CBS College Sports, with 37.6 seconds left in the second half, and after coming back from a TV timeout, Billy Packer, who thought he wasn't on the air, said "Pretty Woman" while the camera was focused on Stephen Curry's mom.

Not that there is anything wrong with any of the above, but Billy Packer usually tries to play the "serious analyst" card and criticizes others who make "off topic" comments.

Which explains why the CBS NCAA tourney pool of analysts includes "serious" types, and sleepy play by play guys. Which is perhaps why Gus Johnson is often left out of the second week of games, and notable analysts like Marques Johnson of FSN are not invited.

NCAA Tourney causes internet traffic jams!

The internet traffic monitoring website is blogging that the free online March Madness On-Demand has generated waves and waves and spikes and spikes of traffic towards

As you can see from their second graph the spikes are happening every March. Coincidence? :)

Compete was also tracking the jump in traffic as people were e-lining up to sign-up for the free VIP access passes.

Monday, March 24, 2008

2008 March Madness TV Listings

If you enjoyed our regular season TV listings, and our 2007 March Madness TV listings, you will be thrilled by our 2008 March Madness TV listings!

2008 NCAA Tournament TV listings
The National NCAA tourney TV listings were just published (March 17) at CBS Sports. The tourney games will be on CBS, CBS-HD, and CSTV (now CBS College Sports).

The play-in (cough cough opening round game) tips off on Tuesday night on ESPN and ESPN-HD, and squares off Mount Saint Mary's with Coppin State, the team with the 20 losses.

The CBS studio hosts will be the same as before (Seth Davis, Bryan Gumbel and Clark Kellogg), and the eight announcer teams are the usual faces, but with one addition. Youngster Carter Blackburn of CSTV will be "trained" by Dick Enberg (old enough to be his great grandpa) and Jay Bilas (tall enough to be his grandpa).

Action begins on Thursday at 9am pacific (noon eastern), and CBS decided to start things off with an intriguing game, Xavier facing off the Georgia Bulldogs, aka the Georgia Miracles!

You can also watch games live or repeats on your computer for FREE at This is what they call March Madness On-Demand. They also have a "video library" of previous games and events. Or so they claim ;-)

The 2008 NIT TV listings
The TV listings are embedded in the brackets at the NIT website (embedded PDF file). Direct link to the PDF file right here (PDF file). Every single NIT game (31 total) will be carried by the ESPN family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN Classic.

For more details on the NIT tourney, check the NIT website.

The inaugural CBI TV listings
The games are available online and at Fox College Sports. Details here. Action tips off on Tuesday March 18, 2008 with two games, and continues on Wednesday with two more games. We are not sure which games will be available on local channels or regional FSNs.

Detailed daily TV listings


Monday March 17, 2008
6pm, Black Magic Part #2, ESPN (commercial free; will re-air on ESPN Classic later on)
730pm, College Gamenight, ESPN2
9pm: ESPNU Inside the Polls, ESPN2
Midnight: CLASSIC, 1993 Arizona vs Kentucky, in the Maui, ESPN Classic
various time: Debut of College Sports Tonight on CSTV (CBS-CS). This is a daily one-hour show that recaps the world of college sports. Think of it as SportsCenter for college sports but not by ESPN.

Tuesday March 18, 2008
11am, 1987 NCAA Final: Syracuse vs Indiana, ESPN Classic
12pm, repeat: P10 tourney: Arizona vs Oregon State, Fox College Sports
1pm, 1998 NCAA Final: Texas vs Oklahoma, ESPN Classic
130pm, repeat: 2008 SEC tourney final, Georgia vs Arkansas, the miracle, CSTV (aka CBS College Sports)
4pm, NIT game: UNC Asheville at Ohio State, ESPN2 (7'7" giant Kenny George visits Value City arena)
4pm, 11pm, CBI game: Richmond at Virginia, Fox College Sports
430pm, NCAA Opening Round: Mount St Mary's vs Coppin State, ESPN
6pm, NIT game: Oklahoma State at Southern Illinois, ESPN2
6pm, NIT game: Akron at Florida State, ESPN Classic
6pm, 1am, CBI game: Houston at Nevada, Fox College Sports
630pm, NIT game: Minnesota at Maryland, ESPN
630pm, 1130pm, NAIA D2 tourney final, CSTV (CBSCS)
8pm, NIT game: Alabama State at Arizona State, ESPN2

Wedn March 19, 2008
Pregame press conferences on ESPN News throughout the day!
midnight: Classic: 1987 TipOff classic: UNC vs Syracuse, ESPN Classic
10am: CLASSIC 1966 NCAA Final: Texas Western vs Kentucky, ESPN Classic
11am: CLASSIC 1989 NCAA Final: Seton Hall vs Michigan, ESPN Classic
1pm: CLASSIC 1990 NCAA final: UNLV vs Duke, ESPN Classic
1pm: March Madness Central (3 hours), CSTV (CBS CS)
4pm: NIT UAB at VCU, ESPN2
4pm: NIT Morgan State at Virginia Tech, ESPN Classic
4pm: CBI Cincinnati at Bradley, Fox College Sports
6pm: CBI Valpo at Washington, Fox College Sports
6pm: NIT Charlotte at Nebraska, ESPN Classic
6pm: NIT San Diego State at Florida, ESPN2
8pm: NIT New Mexico at California, ESPN2

Thur March 20, 2008
*** check local CBS station for listings in your area ***
*** all times pacific ***
7am to 9am: SportsCenterU, ESPN
9am to 2pm: NCAA Tournament begins!, CBS, National schedule
9am to 145pm: March Madness Central on CSTV (CBS CS)
11am to 1pm: Tourney Gameday, ESPN2
145pm, 1am: NCAA tourney from Anaheim: Cornell vs Stanford, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
4pm to 10pm: NCAA Tournament afternoon session, CBS
4pm to 10pm: March Madness Central on CSTV (CBS CS)
All night: March Madness Highlights (one hour long), CSTV (CBS CS)
9pm: NIT Second round: Southern Illinois at Arizona State, ESPN2 (first one to 39 wins!)

Fri March 21, 2008
*** check local CBS station for listings in your area ***
7am to 9am: SportsCenterU, ESPN
9am to 2pm: NCAA Tournament Round 1 Day 2!, CBS, National schedule
9am: NCAA Tourney, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
11am to 230pm: College Gameday, ESPN
2pm, 1am: NCAA tourney from Anaheim, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
4pm to 10pm: NCAA Tournament afternoon session, CBS
1am: NCAA tourney repeat, CSTV

Sat March 22, 2008
*** check local CBS for your area ***
*** all times pacific ***
9am: NIT round 2: Akron at UMass
10am: Road to the Final Four, CBS
11am: NCAA Round 2 Day 1, four games [1-2-2-3], CBS, National schedule.
11am: WEST VIRGINIA vs Duke, CBS
120pm: Kansas State vs Wisconsin or Xavier vs Purdue, CBS
340pm or so: Notre Dame vs Washington State, or Marquette vs Stanford or UNLV vs Kansas, CBS
6pm or so: Pitt vs Michigan State or Texas A&M vs UCLA, CBS
9pm: Gameday on ESPN (1 hour long)

Sun March 23, 2008
*** check local CBS for your area ***
*** all times pacific ***
6am: Game of the week repeat: NIT, Rhode Island at Creighton, ESPN Classic
630am, Outside the Lines: Pat Summitt vs Geno Auriemma, The Drama, ESPN. Video preview.
9am, NCAA Round 2 Day 2, three games, CBS, [1-4-3], National schedule.
910am: Siena vs Villanova
1120am or so: Miami vs Texas or Bulter vs Tennessee or Davidson vs Georgetown or Western Kentucky vs San Diego
130pm or so: Miss State vs Memphis, or Oklahoma vs Louisville or Arkansas vs North Carolina
9pm: Gameday on ESPN (1 hour long)
All Nite: March Madness Highlights, CSTV (CBS CS)

Mon March 24, 2008
*** good news, NCAA games repeating on CSTV! ***
9am: Three NCAA game tourney repeats, CSTV (CBS College Sports). That's right, if you missed any games or your local CBS kept switching out, you can watch them in a full two-hour edit window!
9am: full-game repeat: BELMONT vs Duke, CSTV (CBS CS)
11am: full-game repeat: UConn vs San Diego, CSTV
1pm: full-game repeat: Drake vs Western Kentucky, CSTV
11am: Two Classic NCAA Tournament Finals on ESPN Classic
11am: 1991 NCAA Final Duke vs UNLV Kansas, ESPN Classic
1pm: 1993 NCAA Final Michigan vs North Carolina, ESPN Timeout Classic
4pm: NIT game, ESPN
4pm: CBI game: ODU at Virginia, Fox College Sports, CBI schedule
6pm: NIT game, ESPN
6pm: CBI game: Utah at Tulsa, Fox College Sports
920pm: College Gameday, ESPN (20 minutes)
1am: full game repeat, not sure which one, CSTV

Tue March 25, 2008
9am: three full NCAA Tourney game repeats: UConn vs San Diego, Drake vs Western Kentucky (2.5 hours long), and Davidson vs Gonzaga, CSTV
11am: Two Classic NCAA Tournament Finals, 1994 Arkansas vs Duke, and 1995 UCLA vs Arkanas, on ESPN Classic
230pm: March Madness College Coaches, FSN
4pm: NIT game, ESPN2
6pm: NIT game, ESPN2

Wedn March 26, 2008
8am: Three repeats of full NCAA games: Davidson vs Gonzaga, Butler vs Tennessee, and Xavier vs Purdue, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
1020am: Gameday repeat (20 minutes), ESPN
2pm: March Madness Central (2 hours long), CSTV (CBS College Sports)
4pm: CBI semifinal #1, Fox College Sports
4pm: NIT Quarterfinal, ESPN
5pm: NCAA repeat: Texas A&M vs UCLA slugfest, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
6pm: CBI semifinal #2, Fox College Sports
6pm: NIT Quarterfinal, ESPN
630pm, 2008 McDonalds All American Game, ESPN. Preview at Recruiting Wars.
8pm: NCAA repeat: Xavier vs Purdue, CSTV
11pm: NCAA repeat: Butler vs Tennessee, CSTV

Thur March 27, 2008
8am: NCAA repeats: Butler vs Tennessee, Xavier vs Purdue, Stanford vs Marquette, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
2pm: March Madness Central (1 hour), CSTV
3pm: NCAA Division 2 tourney, semifinals (two games), CSTV
4pm: NCAA Tourney, Sweet 16 Day 1, CBS National sked.
4pm: Washington State vs North Carolina or, West Virginia vs Xavier
(around) 630pm: Louisville vs Tennessee, or, Western Kentucky vs UCLA
10pm: College Gameday, ESPN
1130pm: NCAA repeat: Stanford vs Marquette, CSTV

Fri March 28, 2008
8am: NCAA repeats: UCLA vs Texas A&M, Memphis vs Mississippi State, Davidson vs Georgetown, CSTV
10am: College Gameday, ESPN
2pm: March Madness Central (2 hours), CSTV
4pm: March Madness Central (5.5 hours), CSTV
4pm: NCAA Tourney, Sweet 16 Day 2, CBS National sked.
4pm: Stanford vs Texas, or, Davidson vs Wisconsin
(around 630pm: Villanova vs Kansas, or, Memphis vs Michigan State
10pm: College Gameday, ESPN
1130pm: NCAA repeat: Davidson vs Georgetown, CSTV

Sat March 29, 2008
*** all times pacific ***
*** Elite 8, Day 1, CBS (two games) ***
1130am: March Madness Central (30 minutes), CSTV
1130am: Division 2 final, CBS
2pm: Road to the Final Four (90 minutes), CBS
330pm: NCAA Tourney Elite 8 Game #1: Xavier us UCLA, CBS
around 6pm: NCAA Tourney Elite 8 Game #2: Louisville vs North Carolina, CBS
430pm: March Madness Central (3.5 hours), CSTV
9pm: College Gameday, ESPN

Sun March 30, 2008
*** all times pacific ***
*** Elite 8, Day 2, CBS (two games) ***
10am: License to Thrive, Title 9 at 35, ESPN2
11am: March Madness Central (5 hours), CSTV
11am: NCAA Tourney Elite 8 Game #1, Memphis vs Texas WOW!
around 130pm: NCAA Tourney Elite 8 Game #2, Kansas vs Davidson, Go Cinderella!
930pm: College Gameday, ESPN

Mon March 31, 2008
9am: various NCAA repeats, CSTV (CBS College Sports)
5pm: CBI Playoff Final (Best of 3, game #1), Bradley at Tulsa, Fox College sports. Meet the 7-footer Jerome Jordan of Tulsa!

Tue April 1, 2008
4pm: NIT semifinal #1, UMass vs Florida, ESPN2
630pm: NIT Semifinal #2, Ohio State vs Ole Miss, ESPN2

Wedn April 2, 2008
5pm: CBI Playoff Final (Best of 3, game #2), Tulsa at Bradley, Fox College sports

Thur April 3, 2008
4pm: NIT final, UMass vs Ohio State, ESPN
6pm, midnight: College Basketball Skillz (2 hours), ESPN

Fri April 4, 2008
** all times pacific in this post **
10am, 130pm, NCAA Final Four Practices live on CSTV
12pm: tape-delayed McDonalds All-American Girls Game, ESPN2
5pm: CBI Playoff Final (Best of 3, game #3), Bradley at Tulsa, Fox College sports.

Sat April 5, 2008
*** all times pacific in this post ***
9am, Gameday from the Final Four, ESPN
11am, Coast to Coast Basketball (season recap), CBS
11am, Memphis 24/7 All Access (30 minutes recap), CSTV (CBS College Sports) (repeats many times)
1130pm, March Madness Central, CSTV
12pm, Coaches All America Team, CBS
1230pm, Road (Outside the games), CBS (David Stern and Myles Brand talk NBA Draft)
1pm, The Final Two Show, CBS
2pm, Dick Vitale's All American Team, ABC

Sun April 6, 2008
morning, Best Dunkers, CBS

Mon April 7, 2008
*** all times pacific ***
11am, Dick Vitale's All American Team, ESPN or ESPN2
5pm, Pregame show, CSTV (CBS College Sports)

Tue April 8, 2008
Where did the season go???

More coming later on
*** all times in this post are PACIFIC, unless otherwise indicated ***

Sunday, March 23, 2008

NCAA Tourney Second Round predictions, day two

We went 6-2 in yesterday's second round predictions. We did predict Bob Thuggins and his Threepointers beating the Whining Express of Coach Ratface K, and that Washington State would short-circuit the Fighting Irish, and that Izzo State would beat up the Pitt Panthers. We pointed out that Pitt's marvelous performances at MSG happen for a reason, half of their team comes from the New York area, so MSG games are home-coming games for those players. The only two we got wrong? The wild prediction that UNLV would beat Kansas and Beasley and Billy "Get me a towel" Walker would out-talent the Wisconsin Badgers.

It is worthy to point out that we believe that both Wisconsin and Washington State are "ceiling" teams, they can consistently beat the teams they are supposed to, but they cannot beat teams that are better than them. That's why Washington State can beat teams like Notre Dame, and the middle of the Pac-10, but was 0 for ever against UCLA and Stanford.

Anyways, now let's move on to day two of the second round. Action tips off with Villanova short-circuiting Siena. The Cinderella run ends for Siena. Remember, this is the team that beat Stanford early in the season when the feisty Trent Johnson scheduled a home-coming game for Taj Gibson. But you can get Jay Wright won't sleep on them, he was the Hofstra coach after all, so he is familiar with the east coast mid-majoralia.

Run and gun? Whatever it is, Texas will beat Miami handily. This is easy to predict. The other three games in the same time slot are not. And CBS is going to go crazy with quick live look-ins.

In the super-battle of the double-digit cinderellas, Western Kentucky will squeak by San Diego, and first-year former GoneZaga coach will taste what GoneZaga has been tasting the last few years, bitter tears of defeat. Speaking of the surprise mid-majors, be sure to check the post at Casey's Clipboard on them and Siena.

The end of the rainbow does not contain Sweet 16 gold for the Figthing McKillops, who just shuttered their NCAA Glass Ceiling by finally winning their first McKillop NCAA tourney game. This could mean that they lose their coach to a bigger job though. Oregon maybe hiring and the international man of mystery could be a good-will ambassador for Nike ;-) We predict that Georgetown will grind Davidson to the ground, and get a Hoyas-style but convincing win.

The hardest game to predict? Butler and Tennessee. The Wild Pearls have not been convincing and given their recent results in the NCAA tourney in the Bruce Pearl era (perhaps the shadow of the giant ...Summitt looming on them men's program?), and last season's pre-season NIT game, we are prepared to declare that Butler will beat Tennessee! Oh my! This regional is starting to sniff like the 2007 preseason NIT with Butler, North Carolina and Tennessee. But let's not crown them just yet :)

The last three games, shown all together on one TV set, will feature Memphis winning comfortably over Mississippi State, North Carolina getting an early scare from the energetic Arkansas Razorbacks before making a run around the 8 minute mark of the second half, and getting a relatively un-close close win. So onto the Sweet 16 for UNC! And the last game? We predict overtime for the Oklahoma vs Louisville game, with lots of battles in the paint, and Terence Farley being a factor, but ultimately Rick Pitino wins in overtime.

To check what's on the old-school YouTube, be sure to check our March Madness TV listings.

By the way, kudos to CBS for switching to the very close Purdue vs Xavier game during the TV timeouts of the Marquette vs Stanford game, instead of running the usual commercials. Because they work for viewers like you ;-)

If you missed any games, or you want to rewatch them, or if your team lost and you want to relive some great wins from the past, the whole NCAA library (allegedly) has been posted at You can also watch NCAA tourney games there outside your region. Or something like that :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness Second Round predictions

Our day 2 predictions were not as good as day one, we went 9-7 thanks to all the crazy upsets that took place making it true March Madness. Our running score is 22-10. Our record is ...on the bubble ;-)

So what will happen in the eight second round games today? Here we go...

Bob Thuggins and his Threepointeers will beat the Dookies! Go Thuggins! Go West Virginia! Go WVa! Go Go Go! This will be the only game shown in the timeslot, so the world can enjoy a Duke Loss :-) More on the TV schedule at our on-going March Madness TV schedule post.

The second wave of games will have Billy Walker and B-Easy beating the "ceiling" Wisconsin Badgers, the X-men beating Purdue in an entertaining game. Then Washington State will short-circuit Notre Dame and win easily.

Stanford and Marquette, hard to predict, but ultimately the Lopez Twins beat the Marquette guards. And *gasp* UNLV and the Fighting Lon Krugers will beat Kansas! That's right, Bill Self will find himself on the wrong end of another March surprise. You heard it here first ;-)

The last two games will be entertaining as Texas A&M gives UCLA more than they can handle, but ultimately Ben Howland with the help of Kevin Love and the Zebras will beat Texas A&M.

Everyone is jumping on the Pitt bandwagon, but one man is not! And that's the one who is going to derail the Pitt Train. His name? Tom Izzo. That's right, Izzo will outgrind the Panthers, and squeak by in a double-overtime instant classic. And in case it wasn't clear: Michigan State will beat Pittsburgh in an instant classic!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness predictions for Friday (NCAA Round One, Day Two)

After going 13-3 in day one of our March Madness predictions, we feel brave enough to post predictions for all sixteen games of day two. We start in chronological order, the order the games will tip off.

The one and only Bill Raftery tips off Friday's games with Tennessee steamrolling American. American is a great story, but the Bruce Pearl express is loaded in numbers and in talent, the Patriot league team has no chance! But it would be a really nice upset if it happened. A very big IF!

Then Billy Packer gets his hands dirty by calling a mid-major game, where Davidson continues their streak of not winning NCAA games. That means Gonzaga will not be GoneZaga in the first round! The depth and versatility of the Zags will ultimately get them the W. Look for key contributions from Bouldin, Kuso and Pendo.

Then the annoying Tim Brando and the G-Man will call Drake beating Western Kentucky in a game that will be a lot closer than Keno Davis and Drake fans would think considering their #5 seed.

The fourth game of the first wave will have the first upset, Saint Mary's beats up the Miami Hurricanes, and Patty Mills scores 33. Randy Bennett said Miami reminds them of San Diego, and they haven't beaten San Diego lately, but we think that ultimately St Mary's has what it takes to beat the Canes.

Second wave of games
Three of the four games will be cakewalks, Texas over Austin Peay, Georgetown over UMBC, and UConn over San Diego. But Butler will have its hands full yet ultimately survive and advance over South Alabama.

Afternoon games, first wave
Phil Martelli will get his shiny bold dome broadcast live on CSTV (CBS College Sports), in addition to having the game shown on various CBS affiliate regions. We think that St Joe's has enough to beat Oklahoma, although it wont be easy. Their beating Xavier twice will give them the confidence needed to pull such a victory over a BCS team.

We do not see Vandy having any trouble with Siena, and North Carolina won't have to climb a mountain to beat Mount Saint Mary's.

The Oregon vs Mississippi State game looks very promising, but because the Nike Ducks are bombing away, Batman won't have as much impact on the game, and we predict that Oregon will beat Rick Stansburies.

Last block of games
Memphis and Louisville will have no troubles advancing. However our crystal ball is having a hard time getting a good read on the other two games, so our predictions for the next two games are not as strong as the previous ones. Ultimately we think that talent will rise to the top and the combo of Eric Gordon and DJ White will be too much for Arkansas, and the Hoosiers will advance and face UNC in a good (on-paper) game.

Last but not least, we have Clemson vs Villanova. This is a hard game to pick. We simply cannot see clearly, but we will give Clemson the slight edge to beat the Fighting Massiminos.

For all the TV listings of the NCAA, NIT and CBI, be sure to check our March Madness TV listings post.

Rumors for Eddie Sutton and Jessie Evans replacements at USF (San Francisco)

The CBS station is reporting a list of five coaches to replace the Jessie Evans and Eddie Sutton coaching duo at USF. We hope the AD and whoever else was involved in this badly managed situation will be fired as well. This was really bad for USF and the WCC - with the way it was handled.

The list of five names rumored to be possibilities includes two current assistants, in former UCLA point guard Cameron Dollar (with Romar at Washington), and former Eastern Washington and Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti currently an assistant and close friend of the GoneZaga program.

The list also includes two NBA'ers, Bill Cartwright and Eric Musselman, and of course the obligatory listing of Steve Lavin, since he is from NoCal and could probably be a good fit at USF.

Mike Montgomery, the former Stanford coach, and current TV analyst, was not included in the list.

Recapping a fun Day One of March Madness!

We did much better than we thought in our day one predictions, we were 13-3! The only games we got wrong were Bob Thuggins over Kevin O'Neill, Kent State vs UNLV, and Kansas State vs USC.

Congratulations to the Belmont Musicians! A valiant effort against the feverish Dookies, and oooooh so close to the upset. The Belmont coach probably made a lot of money tonight, one way or the other. When you have an NAIA transfer carve up the Duke team, composed of about eight McDonalds All Americans, you have to tip your hat to Belmont! Go Belmont Go!

Kentucky's senior Joe Crawford had a valiant effort too, as he tried to will his team into a comeback victory over Marquette. And Tom Crean can finally breathe a sigh of relief, it was his first NCAA tourney win in the post D-Wade era at Marquette! And a winning streak against the Cats in the tourney!

Other good games were the Miracle Dogs of Georgia doing better than the Miracle Orange of Syracuse did in the tourney after their conference tourney miracle run. At least the Dennis Felton Dawgs won the first half of the game. This was another good game, but ultimately the X-men made a comeback.

Another good game was the battle of the super-freshmen, and Tim Floyd got a taste of his own medicine when his own superfrosh got knocked out of the tourney. Last year USC spoiled the Kevin Durant party.

And that game was a clear example of why we need to go to six fouls or more. If the NCAA really means that they want to do what's best for the student athletes, then they should address the foul situation immediately. The student athletes work and train hard all around the year so they can compete on the court. Why should we let three middle-aged men with overactive "weasels" and egos control their playing time? This is ridiculous. NCAA, take action now!

To close, this was indeed chalk day, as most of the top seats won, and it's really hard to call Kansas State over USC or Texas A&M over USC upsets, just because the seed numbers are higher.

Now it's up to Bob Thuggins and the West Virginia Threepointeers to beat the Dookies! Go West Virginia, Go!

The 2008 Madness tips off in a few minutes!

It's finally here basketball fans! March Madness is about to officially tip-off with the Miracle Dogs (Georgia Bulldogs) squaring off with the X-men! A full slate of games on CBS today, along with a bonus game at 445pm eastern on CSTV (CBS CS).

Be sure to check our 2008 March Madness TV listings for the games, and to find out which games will be shown in your region, be sure to check with your local CBS station's website or tv listings.

We've also posted our predictions for all sixteen games tipping off today!

But basketball is not the only one having March Madness. Dell is having two March Madness one-day specials! There's a feature-packed desktop for $500 (see the link in the left column), and also a feature-packed laptop, the Inspiron 1525 laptop for $700 (before tax, fees, shipping & handling) after $395 instant savings (T5450 Core 2, 3gb RAM, 160gb hard disk, 15.4" widescreen, dvd burner). This is a one day sale, so don't sleep on it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prediction for March Madness Thursday games!

We will put our basketball reputation on the line (since we don't have any), and use our mad basketball skillz to predict all sixteen games that will be played tomorrow in the NCAA tournament! That's right, we are diving all the way in. We'll be shocked if we get more than eight of them, right :)

First wave of games
Action tips off with Xavier facing the Georgia Miracle Dogs. As we saw with the G-Mac Syracuse Orange Miracles, things can catch up with a team after a miracle run, so we expect a comfortable Xavier win. Of course Xavier is a crazy team as you can see from their record, so they could lose by 20. But we'll stand by our prediction of a comfy X win.

Cancel the Bucknell and Bradley references, Kansas will coast through Portland State. Portland is now a state? I have to catch up with modern geography :)

The next one is hard to predict, Temple or Izzo? While Temple hasn't had frequent NCAA trips the last few years, their coach, Fran D did when he was chewing Ivy at Penn. But ultimately we'll sing-a-long like Dick Vitale and praise Izzo's NCAA tourney savvy. Michigan State wins. It might be a double over-time game though!

Second wave of games
The second wave of games starts off with a repeat of the Elite 8 game of a few years ago, where Kentucky tries to avenge the D-Wade loss. If Patrick Patterson was playing, it would be a different story, UK would probably have been a top eight seed, but without PP, and with the crazy Marquetts guards, we predict a close Marquette victory.

An intriguing battle will take place between Baylor and Purdue, Baylor a team that was perhaps picked because of its off-court success in recovering from the Dave Bliss tragedy. Half a dozen other teams could easily make a good case why they should have been picked ahead of Baylor, but that is for the Bracketology historians to dissect in the future. Ultimately we think that Purdue will win, but Baylor will give them a scare before bowing out.

A game that promises to be nice as well is Kent State vs the Slugfesting Rebels of UNLV. Lon Kruger has shown that his teams have a fight, even if they are undermatched and the chances stacked against them. But we are going with a gut feeling here, and are predicting Kent State over UNLV.

It is tempting to do "Oral" jokes, but we'll leave that to the late night talk shows. We predict a comfy Pitt victory over ORU.

The second wave of games finishes with a game that will be played on CSTV at 445pm eastern (145pm pacific), after all the other games have finished up. It will be the battle of the Academics, but we expect Stanford to deliver a woodshed beating over the Cornell Big Red. Red from the Stanford spanking ;-)

Afternoon games, first wave
And now we jump to the afternoon games, where the two superfreshmen square off, Michael Beasley vs OJ Mayo. The game is further complicated by the fact that OJ Mayo and Billy Walker were high-school teammates and their one-on-one games were getting very intense even though they are friends. Unless Beasley scores more than 50 points, we predict that Tim Floyd will outsmart and dissect Kansas State, and USC will get a relatively easy win and move on to the next round. Tim Floyd will be officially named party pooper as he takes out Durant and Beasley in consecutive years. But this time he has OJ Mayo so don't blame him :)

We predict that both Duke and Washington State will have relatively easy paths to the second round after they tip off with the Belmont musicians and the Winthrop "where's our previous coach" Eagles.

The last game of the day promises to be a typical 8 vs 9 matchup of Texas A&M and BYU. Even without Billy G Clyde, we expect the confused Mark Turgeons to defeat the BYU Cougars. It will be an interesting battle inside as Trent Plaidsted squares off with Jordan and Davis and the other A&M inside players. But we have an opt-out for BYU: If Tavernari makes more than six three-pointers, BYU has a good chance of winning!

Last wave of games
The first day of March Madness, and usually the most exciting since it's the start of the tourney, and there's sixteen games, closes with UCLA and Wisconsin getting comfortable wins and moving along in the second round.

Jim L and his miracle Masons are facing off Notre Dame, but after last year's Winthrop upset, and Digger Phelps's zone and out of bound plays, the Fighting Irish will have an easy victory over the Final Four Cinderella. We expect "Gody" to give Will Thomas and the other George Mason inside players a major headache and the Domers have the outside shooting to match up with whatever Coach L throws at them.

Last but certainly not least, Bob Thuggins squares off with streaking Arizona. We pitted these two teams against each other during championship week, before the brackets came out, and before West Virginia beat UConn in the Big East tourney. Since we had hints of being clairvoyant, we feel brave enough to predict a half-time fist-fight between Bob Huggins and Kevin O'Neill in the tunnel as the teams are heading to the locker rooms.

Oh the game? That's right we are supposed to predict the game. We feel that unless Alexander the Great scores more than 40, Arizona has enough guard play and JoJo Hill to take out the Bob Thuggins Beileiners. Arizona wins.

And this concludes our sixteen predictions for day one of the NCAA tourney. And if you readers out there behave and eat your cereal, we may post a set of predictions tomorrow for Friday's games. No promises though.

Be sure to check our summary and detailed March Madness TV listings so you can plan ahead your TV watching and TiVoing. And remember, if you are TiVoing or recording games, give them at least an extra hour as buffer time. Since two games are played per arena, it only takes one or two overtimes or delays to make the games run a lot longer. And the TV timeouts are a bit longer in the tourney.

Daily Tourney Talk: It's Xavier, not Ex-Zavier!

It was so funny to see Dennis Felton saying how much he knowns and respects Xavier, when he doesn't even know how to pronounce their name. Likewise, Duke-educated Ja(y)son Williams called Ex-Zavier as well.

So let's all practice saying their name the right way, it's not pronounced Ex-Zavier, it is pronounced Zavier!

Meanwhile Cornell was having some transportation issues, but there were all sorted out thanks to Big Brother's help. And what did Coach K do with his voice? Was he screaming like Count Dracula when the sun went down?

Seth Davis has joined Steve Lappas and Jayson Williams on the CSTV March Madness preview show. And a funny moment on CSTV: Clark Kellogg interrupted the live broadcast and grabbed Seth Davis and moved him out of the studio!!! Not sure if this was staged or not, but it was so funny :)

Meanwhile "reporter" Tom Keegan asked Billy Walker one of the stupidest press conference questions ever. He asked him "who is a better teammate, Michael Beasley or OJ Mayo?". Unless this was a staged question, the AD or the coach should have jumped in and tell Tom Keegan to go back to the Drive and eat his popcorn ;-)

Billy Clyde Gillispie denied the rumors that he watched all 29 Marquette game tapes. And with good reason, it would take 60 hours of non-stop watching. And there's barely that many hours between now and Selection Sunday. He did confess however that he watched most of them.

Daily Tourney Talk: One day before the Madness!

Today's Outside the Lines has a NCAA tourney themed Centerpiece story: "Cinderella Story". Steve Cyphers looks at the #1 vs #16 matchups, and revisits the Harvard over Stanford women's upset for the ages. Details from OTL. Today's episode will air at 330pm eastern (1230pm pacific) on ESPN and ESPN-HD.

Don't miss the debut of March Madness Central on CSTV (now CBS College Sports) at 4pm eastern (1pm pacific). With the infusion of CBS money and resources, CSTV will now go wall to wall March Madness tourney coverage. During the games, CSTV will be airing March Madness Central in parallel, showing press conferences, highlights, interviews, maybe look-ins, and who knows what else to fill up the time :) CSTV will also air two games, one on Thursday (Anaheim game at 5pm eastern (2pm pacific)), and one on Friday (noon eastern).

But post-season madness already filled up the airwaves, with the ESPN family of networks showing eight NIT games last night, and eight more tonight, and Fox College Sports showing two CBI games per night. That's right, ten post-season games per night, that's more than the NCAA tourney games even, as we only get four "full games" per day from CBS (plus one from CSTV the first two days).

And speaking of TV, will someone please tell Dookie Ja(y)son Williams to stop eating his own words? Literally! He talks faster than his biological system can process the words, so he ends up eating his words. And that's an issue if you are a basketball analyst on TV!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The 2008 Coaching Carousel is spinning!

As you probably know, this year we didn't have to wait for the season to end for the coaching carousel to spin. A number of high profile jobs are available at the moment.

The most high profile job of course being Indiana, with cell-phone Kelvin Sampson out of the way, and former IU great Dan Dakich serving as interim.

Also ejected during the season was tenured coach John Brady at LSU, replaced by assistant Butch Pierre on an interim basis. Another "BCS" ejection was Jay John at Oregon State.

This was not a good year for Arizona coaches, as Lute Olson had to take a sabbatical for (still unknown?) reasons, Jay John got fired by OSU, Jessie Evans was pushed out of San Francisco to make way for Eddie "The Drunk Unethical Cheater" Sutton, and Rodney Trention was pushed out of LMU.

After almost a dozen donut years, Tim Welsh was fired (okay, not renewed) by the Providence Friars. Friar fans, Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino and Doris Burke are not walking through that door! How about Pete Gillen? Fannie Fatzilla?

Another long tenured coach, Willis Wilson was fired by Rice, and yes, Houston, we have a problem :)

And a former Ole Roy assistant is available now, as he was let go by the TCU Texan Frogs.

Other colleges firing their coaches: Toledo said goodbye to Janis Stan Joplin, Pepperdine kicked the "AASAA" offense coach Vance Walberg in the "AASAA". Also gone is Missouri State coach, and a few more we probably missed.

Also open is the South Carolina job, as highly respected Tim Duncan coach Dave Odom is retiring.

The Georgia coach (Dennis Felton) was saved by their miracle run in the Tornedo Tourney of the SEC. Am I the only one who thinks the Georgia coach looks a bit like the coach with the same moustache in the recurring Mad TV skid?

New Hires for 2008-2009
Yes, we know the 2008 tourney hasn't even tipped off (play-in game excluded), but we have the first hire for the 2008-2009 season! "BCS" tenured coach John Brady apparently had enough of the BCS crapola and signed on with Arkansas State. As you may recall, Arkansas State was also flirting with Nolan Richardson, but apparently decided to go with a coach who reached the Final Four in 2005, rather than one with a Ring in the 90s, but also a boatload of NCAA baggage.

Daily Tourney Talk: Quick hitters

In case you missed the promos on ESPN, Bob Knight returns to the ESPN studios on Wednesday! Watch out! With Bilas out of the way (he is doing NCAA games for CBS), Knight will get more face time!

Is it me, or does Sean Miller, the Xavier coach, sound like his former associate, Herb Sendek on the phone? (No, he hasn't called me, but when he was talking to the ESPNers).

Congratulations to CSTV for making the splashy transition to CBS College Sports! Last night they had the debut of their own version of "Sportscenter for College sports", they call it "College Sports Tonight", with Greg Amsinger and Adam Zucker.

Speaking of CBS College Sports (aka CSTV), it is interesting that their college basketball team closely resembles the ESPN in their make-up: They have the Big East Coach guy (Digger Phelps vs Steve Lapas), the West Coast guy (Steve Lavin vs Sean Farnham), the Duke-vs-UNC guy (Hubert Davis vs Ja(y)son Williams, and the commanding point guard (Reece Davis vs Greg Amsinger). And they both have their Andy Katz, Andy Katz vs Brian Curtis. Wow, a five on five matchup!

And while we are on TV, be sure to check our on-going March Madness TV listings, starting with a summary of the three post season tournaments (NCAA, NIT, and CBI), and then following up with detailed daily listings. As always, be sure to always double-check with your local listings. All times mentioned here are Pacific time (unless otherwise indicated). This is a west coast bias blog, although we trash the west coast teams most of the time ;-)

And more on the TV topic, the NCAA first day press conferences will be launching on ESPN News on Wednesday. And speaking of ESPN News, in a couple of weeks they will be launching ESPNews-HD, with brand new shiny studios and more information (jam)-packed in the high def tv screen.

Money money money! Andy Katz said on this morning's "Cold Pizza" (okay, First Take) on ESPN2 that the NCAA is sugar-coating the play-in game with hard cash, as the winner of the game gets one full-share of the revenue, which would be about 1 million $200,000 or so. So now all the university administrators and bureaucrats will lobby for their teams to play in the opening round game, because let's face it, you have a much higher chance to win the opening round game, than beat the #1 or the #2 seed in the "actual" NCAA tourney :)

NBA Draft 2008 here we come!
NC State's prodigal freshman JJ Hickson will declare for the 2008 NBA Draft but not hire an agent. Some of the tv talking heads mentioned team chemistry issues, so perhaps it may not be as big of a loss. One of those "addition by subtraction" type of things?

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Monday, March 17, 2008

The 2008 CBI Brackets have been announced!

And what about the inaugural 2008 CBI brackets you ask? Well, here they are, courtesy of the Gazelle Group. The CBI will get some TV love as well, be sure to check their CBI TV schedule. The games will be picked up by Fox College Sports, and presumably by regional FSNs as well. You can also watch them online. Fox College Sports will show two games each night on Tuesday and Wednesday.

More coverage of the 16-team CBI tourney at the DC Sports blog. Those into TLAs (three letter acronyms) will appreciate the long list of CBI acronyms posted in the Spartan Tailgate forum.

Just like the NIT, the CBI tips off on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the eight games evenly split between the two days.

The teams
Of the sixteen teams participating, three of them are "BCS" teams, namely Virginia, Washington and Cincinnati. Of the high-mid-major conferences, we have UAB, Houston, Richmond, Nevada, Tulsa, UTEP, and Utah. Lots of C-USA teams there, eh? Of the emerging high-major mid-major conferences and teams, we have Old Dominion, Bradley (Valley of Darkness), Miami of Slugfest (Redhawks of Ohio), Ohio itself, and Valpo. And two "surprises" I guess, Rider and Brown. Yes, Brown!

2008 March Madness TV schedules
For the 2008 post-season tv schedules, be sure to check our brand new NCAA tourney tv listings post.

Bob Knight body language analysis (daily tourney talk)

Perhaps prophetic was our post of a few days ago, juxtaposing the resumes of West Virginia and Arizona. This was before West Virginia beat UConn in the Big East tournament. And lo-and-behold, they are playing each other in the first round of the NCAA tournament. We feel so special, so special ;-) So that gives our NCAA tourney upset predictions more street cred. (As if!)

Meanwhile Bob Knight tried to incite religious wars when he jokingly talked about Catholics vs Methodists. Oh the Pope is going after the General!

And Dookie Vitale continues his "Knight back to Indiana" routine, while Bob Knight tries to stay motionless and expressionless while Vitale goes on with that sales pitch. But it was very interesting (and perhaps subconscious) last night, when Knight said right after that "Dick makes a very good point", short pause, "on the brackets...". Intentionally or not, Knight wants back!!! And we don't even have a body language specialist on this blog. We can't afford one, unlike Papa Bear!

Be sure to check ESPN and ESPN2 today for more bracket analysis, but also the reveal of the 2008 NCAA Women's College Basketball Tournament brackets.

And after that, the NIT will take over the ESPN family of networks, as every single NIT game (31 total) will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Classic. Action tips off with a handful of games on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is interesting to note the NIT seeding, to see how the college basketball coaches, led by CM Newton, viewed the field of teams left out by the NC2A.

The 2008 Joe Biden Coaches award goes to...

Instead of handing out the traditional Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year Awards, we decided to try something different, and hand-out different types of awards.

The first award of this kind is the Joe Biden Media-savvy College Basketball Coach award. (Award not endorsed by Joe Biden). Those who watch the various cable news channels or read political blogs are familiar with the phrase: "don't get between Joe Biden and a camera", because if there's a camera in the zipcode, Joe Biden will find a way to be in front of it.

So which college basketball coach has won this award for the 2007-2008 season? Well, we'll give you a few sentences to think, before we announce it in the paragraph below. If you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading right now!!!

And the winner is.... *drum roll* John Calipari of the Memphis Tigers! Calipari has managed to find himself on just about every sports show on television, regardless of network affiliation. Just on Selection Sunday, Calipari had not one, but two interviews on CBS within hours of each other. And if that wasn't enough, he was also interviewed on CSTV's March Madness show. We haven't checked all the outlets, so he could have been elsewhere as well.

Fill your brackets with these upset specials! (Daily Tourney Talk)

Well, well, well, we have some great upset specials for you. Our most likely upset is in the Sweet 16, where Hasheem "Shot-blocking" Thabeet blocks out the sun, has a triple double, sinks the "Beached Whale" (Kevin Love), and UConn beats up UCLA in double overtime and moves on to the Elite 8! Ben Howland cries, Kevin Love lays an egg, and they all go to the NBA, Howland included ;-)

A few other conditional upsets: USC over Wisconsin, because Tim Floyd can slugfest it out too, but he has more pure talent than Bo Ryan.

Izzo out-slugfests Pitt in the second round. Everyone's jumping on the Pitt bandwagon, but let's not forget the Big East tourney is played in the Ga'aden (Madison SQuare Garden) and half of Pitt's team is usually composed of New York metro area hoopsters.

Don't be shocked if Clemson beats Kansas in the Sweet 16. Clemson gave both Duke and UNC major headaches in the ACC tourney, and Kansas can fall into the ...traps as well.

First round upsets
St Mary's over Miami, this one is signed sealed and delivered! The downside? Cal picks the St Mary's coach as their next head coach, and Patty Mills goes pro (NBA or Europe).

Arizona over West Virginia and Kevin O'Neill and Bob Huggings pick up a fist-fight in the tunnel during half-time ;-) Arizona has two solid guards, and if Jordan Hill stays out of foul trouble, watch out! Budinger and Joe Alexander can cancel each other out if they both have good scoring games.

Fool's Gold upsets
Georgia over Xavier? Not happening. Remember what happened to G-Mac's Syracuse after their miracle run in the Big East tourney? It will probably be worse for Georgia.

Belmont over Duke. Sure VCU got them, but expect the Dookies to give Belmont a good-shed beating. But if Belmont wins, I'll be very happy.

Daily Tourney Talk: The Brackets are out, four days to tip-off

It is no longer a secret, the brackets are out and the hoops world is buzzing. What did the committee do? Well, probably not a bad job considering the mess they were dealing with. Surely there's a number of teams you can make an argument that should have been included, and some that should not, but given the moving target of the selection criteria, it's not a surprise. We did not find a smoking gun with this year's selection. Sure, Seth Greenberg and Herb Sendek can cry a Boeheim, but they should look at their out of conference schedule. And no, Herbie, the Maui excuse is not enough. Granted, both coaches did pick the best scheduled that fit young and inexperienced teams, so they are not to blame.

The NCAA tournament is not a birth-right, you have to prove that you are one of the best 45 to 50 teams to get in. Or win your conference tournament. Fair or unfair, that's how it is setup.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Selection Sunday: Lunardi's Lunacy and The Final Countdown

Both Lavin and Jimmy Dykes spent most of the time of the 9am pacific time Gameday analyzing posteriors. Is that E! for basketball?

Lunardi's last four in on ESPN's Gameday (noon eastern): Oregon, Arizona, Villanova, and Virginia Tech. His last four out: Illinois State (come on Lunatic!), Arizona State (not good OOC RPI), Ohio State and New Mexico. We just posted an updated table with the bracketology candidates. We are not bracketologists here, we just provide you the information to make your own decisions.

Lunardi's picks for the #1 seeds were much more reasonable, and actually I agree with them! The last #1 indeed belong to the team that wins the Big 12, which means the loser will be at best the 2nd #2 seed, so as to avoid a matchup in the early rounds of the NCAA tourney. And I think either Kansas or Texas could make a good case for being the best #2, considering that Texas beat UCLA, Tennessee and Kansas.

I have nothing against Karl Ravech but he doesn't seem to be on top of his game. He makes procedural mistakes all the time, doesn't know how to count the timeout breaks, gets confused about which channel he is on and gives confusing programming information and such. Nothing personal against him or the crew who is whispering stuff in his ear. But get your act together already! It's not like you are writing on a blog that 10 people read :)

Selection Sunday is here! (daily bubble talk)

Joe Lunardi is certifiably insane: Illinois State and Saint Joseph (he is a St Joe employee) are projected in! Yeah, sure! It would be a really miserable job if this resume was included. The at-large field is the best 45-50 teams, not the teams who beat the bottom 250 of the RPI! Illinois State has two RPI Top 50 wins (Creighton twice) and that's it! They lost to ALL FIVE of the NCAA teams they played. Illinois State is a CBI team at best!. Lunardi, stop sniffing the cheesesteaks and drinking the Hawk Juice!

And how about St Joseph's?. I love Phil Martelli, and Hawk Talk, but did anyone look at St Joe's out of conference schedule? They blew out Villanova in a neutral game, which is a quasi-in-conference game since it is part of the Big 5. Then what? Their RPI is 45, their SOS is 53. Not convincing. Their only other OOC win in the top 100 was Siena on the road. Then crapola! The next best win was #155 Penn State at home. I'm sorry but the OOC counts too, and St Joe's played a ...Jim Boeheim schedule and lost. Sure, they beat Xavier twice, and I'm sure that avenged their undefeated season loss to Xavier of a few years ago, but that is not enough.

Besides St Joe's has more to benefit from an NIT Final Four, than getting blown out in the first round of the NCAA tourney :)

And now let's pick on Dookie Vitale: Stop quoting conference records in association with the conference RPI for conferences with unbalanced scheduling (eg ACC). Let's look at Virginia Tech's schedule. Best OOC RPI win? #126 UNC Greensboro at home. Need I say more? Need I say more? Seth, we love you, but you are going to the NIT, and then straight to the CSTV (CBS College Sports) analyst chair. VaTech OOC schedule is so weak, it's crazy to even think they could get in. Their ACC schedule was soft too, they played the top three teams once, and lost to all of them handily (UNC, Duke, Clemson). They did have a good record against the other ACC bubble teams, which may be their saving grace, along with their performance in the ACC conference tourney. They beat Maryland twice, beat Wake Forest and Florida State once, and split with Miami and Georgia Tech. They played ACC bottom teams NC State and Boston College twice. Compare that with playing Duke and Carolina twice.

So as much as we love Seth Greenberg, they don't deserve an NCAA bid. But the selection cmte is humans, not robots, and the VaTech story, with all the adversity the team and the university faced in the last couple of years, may give them the "human interest" boost, and get them over the hump.

Hate to break the news to you Virginia Tech fans, but the best wins you had were over bubble teams, Miami (split), Maryland (twice), FSU and Wake Forest. Virginia Tech has not beaten an NCAA team. Besides, a young team like that has a lot more to learn from a good run in the NIT, than getting blown out in the first round of the NCAA.

In fact, I'm not sure they would deserve to be in even if they beat UNC. The analysts seem to be micromanaging every single move in the conference tourneys, and forget that the previous games count too! It's the whole season, not just the last game or the last 12, or just the conference games. We love you Virginia Tech, but get ready for the NIT.

ConferenceLocksContendersWant In too
ACCDuke, UNC, ClemsonVirginia TechMaryland, Wake Forest, Florida State
Pac-10UCLA, Stanford, USC, Washington StateArizona, Arizona State, Oregon
Big EastGeorgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt, Marquette, UConnWest VirginiaVillanova, Syracuse
Big 10Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin, IndianaOhio State, Illinois (tourney final)
SECTennessee, VandyArkansas, Miss StateKentucky, Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia (tourney final)
Big 12Texas, KansasTexas A&M, Kansas StateOklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech
Everybody elseXavierBYU, St Mary'sGonzaga, Southern Illinois, Dayton, UMass, VCU, UAB, Houston, New Mexico, Illinois State, UNLV, Temple, St Joe's, South Alabama

PS> Automatic bids are removed from the list (eg conference champions).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Certifiably Insane: Top 65 don't get at-large bids!

We love Seth Greenberg, and we understand he was emotional after his loss at UNC, but the top 65 teams don't get to the NCAA tourney. At-large bids are given to 34 teams, and it's usually the top 45-50 teams that get in the NCAA tourney. The remaining slots are filled by automatic bids from smaller conferences that would never ever earn an at-large bid. But we understand what he felt, almost winning in North Carolina, and I'm sure he must feel that a couple of calls went against Virginia Tech towards the end of the game.

Meanwhile, Boise State is beating New Mexico State with 15 minutes left in the second half, not that it matters bubble-wise, or seeding-wise even :)

Keep in mind, the SEC conference championship will be played on Sunday March 16, at 330pm eastern (1230pm pacific) on ESPN2. The game will also be shown on the local CBS affiliate in the cities/states of the two participating teams.

We are behind on our TV listings, we just added the TV listings for Sunday March 16, 2008.

It's always a special day when Duke loses. I am organizing a parade in their honor on Monday. And I'll ask everyone to wear green, to celebrate the freshness of their victory! Check your local events calendar, there may be a parade like that in your city :)

THANK YOU CLEMSON TIGERS! I knew you could do it Oliver Purnell! Go Tigers Go! Go Clemson Go!!!

You can celebrate this victory with some Clemson gear too if you like:

Daily bubble Talk: The Drama intensifies

As we write this the UNLV Running (well Slugfesting) Rebels of Lon Krugers are closing the Mountain West conference championship by beating the BYU Cougars and sealing an automatic NCAA bid, and sending BYU to the pool of at-large bid contenders. This makes things even more interesting!

Let's see which teams are involved in the bubble!

ConferenceLocksContendersWant In too
ACCDuke, UNC, ClemsonVirginia TechMaryland, Wake Forest, Florida State
Pac-10UCLA, Stanford, USC, Washington StateArizona, Arizona State, Oregon
Big EastGeorgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt, Marquette, UConnWest VirginiaVillanova, Syracuse
Big 10Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin, IndianaOhio State
SECTennessee, VandyArkansas, Miss StateKentucky, Ole Miss, Florida
Big 12Texas, KansasTexas A&M, Kansas StateOklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech
Everybody elseXavierBYU, St Mary'sGonzaga, Southern Illinois, Dayton, UMass, VCU, UAB, Houston, New Mexico, Illinois State, UNLV

Daily Bubble Talk: The day before judgment day!

Joe Lunardi drinks the NCAA crazy juice as he puts Illinois State ahead of Villanova, Arizona State. Jay Bilas picks up a fight with Lunardi on ESPN's Gameday for picking Illinois State over those two. Lunardi also made a case for Philly-team Temple. Looks like we have some Philly-bias from St Joe employee Joe Lunardi!

The dream is still alive: Illinois vs Minnesota!

Meanwhile, Digger Phelps has gone crazier ever since Bob Knight joined ESPN. Case in point: The Dr Frankenstein segment on Gameday.

Speaking of Bob Knight, he had perhaps his first TV outburst as an analyst when he refused to pick a winner between Illinois and Minnesota ("I really don't care!") in the morning edition of ESPN's Gameday.

Also keep in mind, Virginia Tech would be a good ratings story for CBS, so I'm sure the cmte members would be reminded of that by the TV suits.

Congratulations UMBC, you are in!

Am I the only one who finds the operatic ACC singing during ESPN's ACC conference tournament coverage extremely annoying? Who came up with that idea and have they been fired yet? :)

Goodbye Tim Welsh says Providence
Happy trails Tim Welsh! You had your fill of Dunkin Donuts, now it's time for you to go to Starbucks! That's right, Tim Welsh was fired (or not renewed) by Providence College, after a long career at PC. Perhaps they need to bring back Rick Pitino or Billy Donovan? So, who is going to be the next Providence college basketball coach? One thing's for sure, not me! How about Pete Gillen? Well, we prefer Pete Gillen as a TV analyst!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Pac-10 needs new referees!

In the third time in a row, the Pac-10 zebras screw up and affect the outcome of the game, instead of letting the players decide the game on the court. This time the three blind mice called an over the back foul on Jeff Pendegraph on what looked like a reasonable putback in traffic. This silly call caused Pendergraph to foul out, and at the same time sealed the game for USC. And oh by the way, ASUs post-season future was on the line.

Memo to the Pac-10: Hire new officials!

Daily Bubble Talk: My kingdom for a bracket!

The softer side of Bob Knight on ESPN? On Digger Phelps: "We just had a good time". Oh my? But of course that was just day one.

Today is Judgement Day in the Pac-10! Arizona State has a chance to beat USC and move on up in the Bubble, Arizona has a chance to beat Stanford and move on up, and Oregon has a chance to score 50 and beat Washington State and move on up. And California-420 has a chance for "pay back", to take back the game they lost again the UCLA Cheaters. Wouldn't it be poetic justice if Cal won the game on a last second (no-)call? :)

The wonderful world of the A-10 continues as no one really knows how to rank and rate the teams not beginning with an "X".

CSTV, which is becoming CBS Sports on selection Sunday, will be showing the Memphis quarterfinal from Conference USA, and two games from the Mountains of the West.

And how silly and petty is that? Taking a tour of ESPN is an NCAA violation. Now, I'm not a fan of Geno, I often call him Sleazo, but the NCAA is once again showing that they are a petty band of bureaucrats whose goal in life is to make everybody else's life miserable and boring ;-)

And where are you planning to watch the March Madness? Perhaps you new flat panel HDTV? :)

March Madness at!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bubble face-off: Arizona vs West Virginia

Let's take two teams with contrasting records and square them off in this Bubble Face-Off. In the left corner Arizona and its KenPom RPI record. In the right corner, West Virginia and its KenPOM RPI record.

ArizonaWest Virginia
Overall SOS255
Overall RPI2932
Best Wins@USC, Washington State (twice)@Providence, Marquette, Pitt
Best Losses@Kansas (OT), @MemphisTennessee (N), Oklahoma (2OT)
OOC SOS/RPI7/5134/39
Top 505-73-7
Top 100+7-215-1 (cupcake city!)

Daily Bubble Talk: Numbers, Syracuse, and the power of the Pac-10

Wow, this Pac-10 conference is loaded! The #9 vs #8 game, Cal vs Washington showcases why this is probably Pac-10's best regular reason ever. Both of these teams could contest in an NCAA first round game, and look like they could do some damage in the CBI or the NIT!

No G-Mac, no miracles for the 'Cuse. The good news? The NIT Final Four is played at Madison Square Garden, an extra incentive for the Cuse fans!

A thing that is misleading, especially in conferences with unbalanced scheduling is the number of wins in the conference season. A lot of people fall into this trap. Gottleib tries to point out, but no one seems to be listening. Don't just look at the 11-7 or 10-6, look at who did you play, and where did you play them. Case in point the West Virginia Thugineers with loads of Big East comfy wins, and not a whole lot of tough wins, in or out of conference.

The same thing can be said with the 20 win mark which a number of people, usually clueless play-by-play guys, or Sportscenter anchors or other likewise clueless sportscasters.

Why is it stupid? Because a mediocre team that is not even NIT-worthy can get to 20 wins. It's really easy. Here is the formula for 20 wins: 12 out of conference games, all scheduled at home, including an exempt tourney, so you basically have 12 to 14 wins. Then you split the games in conference, eg 8-8, and voila, you have a 20 win season. Does that mean you are one of the best 40 teams and qualify for an at-large NCAA bid? NO WAY!!!

NHL Center Ice Comcast special for $57 for the rest of the season

We don't know much about NHL or Hockey, but we saw an email from Comcast that says they have a special promotion for NHL Center Ice, for $57 for the remainder of the season.

Personally, we recommend that you give up on the NHL and hockey, and watch NCAA College Hoops March Madness instead :)

Bob Knight makes ESPN debut on Sportscenter tonight at 6pm eastern!

Bob Knight makes ESPN debut on Sportscenter tonight at 6pm eastern! Will he trash the studio? Will he scream at the Sportscenter anchors? Will he grab Doug Gotleib by the throat?

Find out at 6pm eastern (3pm pacific) on Sportscenter, airing on ESPN!

Interesting how the Bob Knight highlights have changed since he was hired by
ESPN. Before the hire, it was the chair, the whip, the screams, grabbing by the throat, the NCAA press conference yelling at some bureaucrat, and such.

Now that he is an ESPN analyst, well, it's the NCAA championship game, and such, and gone are all of the above highlights.

How did he do in his debut at the 6pm EST Sportscenter?
Well it was a rather subdued performance. Knight behaved just like any other analyst, talking about the games. No chair throwing, no screaming, no drama. But that was just hour #1.

Interestingly they had Doug Gottlieb in the witness protection program, as he appeared separately from Digger Phelps. He even had a different Sportscenter anchor.

Apparently Reece Davis is allowed to call him "Bob", he doesn't have to call him "Coach" ;-)

Week #18 of the Blog Poll is out!

Week #18 of the BlogPoll has been published in Google Doc format. Who was #1? UNC edged Memphis by two #1 votes. UCLA rounds up the top 3, and Tennessee the #4 spot.

Who was the last one in? The USC Trojans! Last one out? Mississippi State!

Butler, Drake and Davidson are the mid-major-conference teams in the top 25. Well, Memphis too :)

OTL: Black Magic and Bubble Watch

Today's Outside the Lines will air at 330pm eastern on ESPN2, and have two college hoops related features, Bubble Watch and Black Magic. Black Magic will begin airing after Selection Sunday on ESPN, this is a teaser by OTL.

Please keep in mind this airs on ESPN2 tonight, because ESPN will be busy with the Big East First Round. More at the OTL Video promo.

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