Thursday, January 29, 2009

Watch Duke losing to Wake again on ESPN Classic: 5pm eastern on Thursday

If you can't get enough of the Wake Forest win over Duke, tune to ESPN Classic today (Thursday) at 5pm eastern for an instant-classic repeat. But if you can't wait, you can also watch it for free online at, available in different screen-sizes and even different screen aspect-ratios (16:9 or 4:3).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We are all Wake Forest fans this year!

Thank you Wake Forest! Thank you! An awesome with a capital-A win! Despite the fact that Wake started falling apart, they managed to keep it together and win this game by executing with less than three seconds left! Wooohoooo!!!!!!!

Wake grabbed a commanding lead, but a combination of poor free throw decision, bad decisions by their two lead guards, and of course Duke's 6th man (the Zebras), managed to slow Wake's offense and score enough points for the Dookies to make the game competitive and even winnable for you. Even Dick Vitale thought one of those calls should have gone the other way, and Dookie Vitale is a bigger Duke cheerleader than the Duke's booster club :)


Wake's future in March?
Now the big question for Wake Forest is the future. They look like they could be a team of a destiny with a Final Four run and beyond. However, they also look like a team that could have a deer-in-the-headlights first week in the NCAA tourney and get bounced out. We were certainly disappointed by the decisions made by their two lead guards in the last eight minutes, they were charging ahead on offense as if they were 10 points behind, instead of backing out, reading the defense, and then attacking. I'm sure this is something Dino Gaudio will be working on in the next few days.

And speaking of Dino Gaudio, what an amazing job he has done at Wake Forest, carrying on the tradition of the late and beloved Skip Prosser! And during the half-time interview, one could have easily be hearing Skip Prosser uttering the exact same words.

Goodbye #1 for the Dookies
So what happens to the Dookies from here on? They win a lot more games (thank you Zebras!), and they stumble in the NCAAs to our great excitement :)

I'm not sure what Coach K does to his players in the secret dungeons of Cameron Indoor Cave, but they have that blank stare, as if he has stolen their souls and replaced then with Wojo-clone-souls ;-) And if they are not deemed as "stars", it seems like Coach K de-claws them offensively, and they just can't shoot or make a basket.

Of course talking about Duke, there's also the elephant in the room, the team is a little bit "too milky" and that can obviously raise some socio-political concerns. Perhaps that's why Paulus was benched, so the starting line-up would be a little bit more "diverse".

Wake should really become the new #1
You know, if you are the #4 team and you beat the #1 team, you should take over the #1 spot, instead of UConn who will likely beat easily a couple of non-Top-25 Big East teams.

Silly Rules needing to change revisited
Once again, silly rules that need to be modernized affected the game but not decidedly so. The five fouls is just plain silly and so is the absence of a semi-circle under the basket, something that took away a couple of legitimate Wake Forest baskets.

Again, the game is basketball, not human pinball. Having players stand under the basket and take charges is not a basketball skill, it's a not-basketball skill! Fix it NCAA!

If you missed the game...
If you missed the game or want to enjoy it again and again and again, then head on over to and watch the replay for FREE :-)

Week #9 of the BlogPoll is out!

Week #9? How time flies! It's almost February! Almost time to start seeing serious BUBBLE-TALK :-) iN OR OuT??? Look at that RPI! What a horrible SOS! But that's a great road victory!!!!!!!

So, here it is, Week #9 of the BlogPoll Top 25. There are four Big East and four ACC teams in the Top Ten. Imagine if these played an ACC vs Big East challenge! Let's look at the hypothetical matchups based on the rankings:

* Duke vs UConn (I would pay PPV to see this one!)
* UNC vs Pitt (muscle vs wine-and-cheese finesse!)
* Wake Forest vs Louisville (first one to 100 wins!)
* Marquette vs Clemson (okay, not as fun as the other three)

West Coast Invasion!
The West Coast is invading the bottom of the top 25, with St. Mary's, Washington, Gonzaga, UCLA buzzing at the bottom of the top 25.

Yes, there are mid-majors! The Gonzaga/St-Mary's duo, along with Butler in the Top 15. Butler ranked higher than the bigger in-state unis by the way!

Then we have two mid-major-conference teams, although the programs themselves are by no means mid-major: Memphis and Xavier.

Laughing matters: Kelvin Sampson wants back in

Some people never learn. NEVER. Case in point, Kelvin Sampson wants back in. He has appealed his suspension. Oh dear!

No, this is not an April Fool's day joke!

After all, he only cheated at two different schools and got caught twice. Doing the same thing. Same illegal thing that is, 500 times at a time :)

Perhaps he is building up his street-cred so he can negotiate a good spokesman deal with a cell-phone provider. Right after AJ Price gets an exclusive spokesperson deal with a laptop manufacturer ;-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Memo to Jay Williams: Stop eating your words!

It must be that high quality Duke education, especially those public-speaking classes the "teacher" Coach K teaches his players. After a handful of years on TV, former Dookie Jay (Jayson) Williams still talks too fast on TV and ends up eating his own words. Literally, not figuratively.

Can't any of the producers at ESPN pull him aside and teach him how to speak without eating his words? :-)

Dookie FAIL: +1

Party on with three Classic Duke Losses!

Duke Haters of the world unite and take over! ESPN Classic will be showing THREE Duke losses in the next few days! On Wednesday, set your DVRs and VCRs for two Wake Forest upsets of Duke, one from the mid-80s and one from the mid-90s! The first game starts at 1pm eastern on Wednesday!

Then on Thursday, at 1pm eastern, also on ESPN-Classic, Virginia Tech and Senor Greenberg beat up the Dookies in 2005. Go VaTech! Go Seth! Go Hokies! Beat those Dookies again!!!

So to summarize, three Duke losses from three different decades, on Wednesday and Thursday on ESPN-Classic.

Thank you ESPN-Classic!

And hopefully by the time the 2009 Wake Forest vs Duke game is over, we will have another Duke Loss to celebrate!

Because we are all Wake Forest fans this week :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Suspend Aubrey Coleman of Houston for the whole year

Aubrey Coleman's behavior during the Houston vs Arizona game was horrible. Not only did he step on a player's face while the player was lying on his back, but when he was kicked out of the game, he was smiling and high-fiving his team-mates as if he did something "REALLY COOL" - and he was caught by the cameras doing that, and shown on SportsCenter and Midnight Madness multiple times.

This type of WWF/WWE behavior has no place in college sports. NO PLACE! This is VERY EMBARRASSING for the Houston Cougars. If the player is not suspended by the coach or the AD for the rest of the season, the coach and the AD need to be FIRED.

Tom Penders tried to cover his and his players behind in the after-game press conference, but as shown CLEARLY by the TV cameras, Aubrey Coleman was smiling and high-fiving his team-mates before leaving the court. That's not the behavior of a player who "accidentally" steps on someone's face!

Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis, and Bob Knight and the other "Game Day" divas were heavily discussing what makes a tough player earlier today. What Aubrey Coleman did defines a COWARD.

Coaches who coached the most games

There's usually a lot of talk about the winningest coaches of all time, but during the pre-game edition of GameDay, ESPN showed another interesting statistic, the most games coached by active coaches. Yes, it's in the four figures, and certainly the current format favors current coaches in boosting their numbers because of the extended regular season and post-season with all the "exempt" tourneys.

So without further ado, here is the list.

1. Jim Calhoun, 1129
2. Sleazy Rat, Chief of the Dirty Dookies, 1089
3. Jim Boeheim, 1069
4. Turnaround Tom, aka Tom Penders, 1034

No winning percentages were given, but I'm sure you can guess who has the lowest of them all. Hint: He is the one who does not have 800+ wins.

Hint #2: "Turnaround Tom" - Tom Penders, currently of Houston.

Not our rival: Duke TOASTS Maryland

Nothing please us more than a Duke loss in college hoops. Sadly, Gary Williams and his long lost son Greivis Vasquez had an EPIC FAIL, a meltdown of double-up proportions at the Duke Cave-arena, with Maryland great Len Elmore having to suffer the game as the ESPN analyst.

So that raises the question, what happened to "THE GARY"? Was it the assistants? Maryland lost a wave of assistants after their major success in the last decade, including Gary's favorite in-game punching bag Jimmy Patsos.

So that sets up a potentially dramatic post-season at College Park. Would they really fire Gary Williams after that he has done for the program, including the national championship? Will the AD et al force him to bring in more experienced or rising assistants? Will they compromise on a Gary Williams early retirement?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Clemson falls apart at North Carolina

Clemson, Clemson, Clemson. You should write a book: "The Art of Falling Apart". Sure, one of the last three undefeated teams. Sure. But can you beat a Sweet-16 team? Can you? Could you? Will you? Do you want to? Are you afraid of success? What's your problem Clemson?

We are saying all that because Clemson fell apart in front of everyone towards the end of the first half at the Dean Dome and could simply not come back. Poor Clemson... We want Clemson to succeed, but we have not been convinced by them the last three years.

This North Carolina team is rather strange. Sure, they could win it all during March Madness, but they could also be upset in the first or second round of the tourney by a tough mid-major team. And no, I'm not talking George Mason mid-major, but "typical" mid-major.

This team just doesn't have the same winner's mentality the 2004-2005 team had. You know, the Felton, McCants and May trio. No matter what the score, you knew that that team could finish off the game in the last ten minutes, almost no matter what.

This is not the case for this team though. Perimeter defense (Lawson/Ellington) are not exactly defender-of-the-year type of players. Ellington does not have the killer instinct the "diva" McCants did. Ed Davis is too skinny to be a "Marvelous Marvin". But this team has its own secret weapon, Danny Green, who continues to be under-rated because of all the other "stars" at UNC. With Ginyard and Zeller likely done until 2009-2010, Green may be the one that gets them the ring in April!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No more undefeated college hoops teams!

It looks like luck has finally smiled at Virginia Tech and Seth Greenberg. After having so many "almost won" moments in high profile games, they manage to de-throne and de-flower the only remaining undefeated college hoops team!

A late comeback by Wake Forest was the proverbial "too little, too late", and the Hokies (DO NOT?) storm the court as they get a very big win - dethroning the #1 team in the country!

Bargain book: Duke vs Carolina Hatorade for $5

If you like college hoops books, Amazon has on special for $5 of the "To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry" book. Free shipping if the total of the order is $25 or more. You can buy an Amazon gift card or online gift certificate to reach the $25 mark.

This book is 384 pages long and published by Harper Paperbacks in January 2007.

Week #8 of the BlogPoll is out: new #1

There is a new #1 in the Blog Poll Top 25! Wake Forest jumped to the #1 spot, jumping over the Pukies. And while the Big East is a giant train, three of the top eight teams are from the ACC.

What could have gotten ESPN some big ratings is if they scrapped the watershed-beating ACC-Big10 "challenge" and replaced it with the "ACC vs Big East" challenge. Now that would have been FUN to watch! And Duke could have actually lost a game or two ;-)

Monty's surprise at Cal is the last team in the top 25 and it can possible get the Cal AD executives fired for keeping Ben Braun there for about six years too many :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

NBA League Pass Free Preview

A week after the ESPN Full Court free preview, there is the free half-season preview of NBA League Pass. The freebie continues until January 25. You must have access to these channels on your cable system or satellite in order to see the free preview. This also depends on what your local or satellite provider is smoking. Some of them may be asleep at the switch, so, to quote Jim Rome, "bang your monkey" if they are not offering it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gameday: Miami at North Carolina

It's awesome baby with capital A! It was the first all-star Gameday with the one and only Dookie Vitale, but it seems that the priority was the destination, not the actual game, as ESPN picked an expected Tar Heels win over Miami. But expected it was not during the first quarter of the game, as the BC-TarHeels showed up.

Eventually though they woke up, and Ellington (yes, he was on the roster the last few weeks) hit six three-pointers in a row to seal the game for UNC.

And while initially it may have looked like the Zeller and Ginyard injuries would not have been a major issue, well, it looks like they were after all. Zeller would have given them an actual seven-footer to go against other centers, while Ginyard would have given them someone who locks down on defense all the time. Ed Davis is going to make lots of money on basketball, but this season he is too skinny/weak to wrestle with the big guys down low. Notice how the ball gets taken away from him on offense. Imagine if he adds strength to his other skills!

Miami feels under-appreciated by the basketball people. Well, they are probably under-appreciated at their own football school, so they have to earn it the hard way. And as we have seen in the past, teams with Iversonesque guards don't always have a lot of team success (Virginia/Singletary anyone?) Nevertheless Frank Haith looks like he has exceeded expectations so far, and he is bringing in talented recruits. But if all else fails, he can always "Steve Robinson it" with a high-profile assistanship :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Doug Gottlieb's epic VIOLA fail

One funny tidbit from the Saturday games that just shows how "educated" our dear Doug Gottlieb is. He TRIED to use the french word "voila" in a sentence and instead he said "viOla". V-I-O-L-A! Such a tiny little thing, yet so revealing about one's cluelesness. Because you can't mispronounce it like that. It means that all this time he was READING the word as viola! Oh boy!

Granted, the "basketball analysts" are not hired to replace George Will or Peggy Noonan, but come on now, V-I-O-L-A!

Pitino strikes again, beats Pitt Nemesis

Three years in a row the upstart Jamie Dixon and the non-stop-fouling Pitt Panthers kicked the celebrated PitinoVille out of the Big East tournament. Three years in a row. Finally, the Cardinals get revenge by beating the #1 and undefeated Pitt Panthers and kicking them out of the both ranks.

Pitt of course is yet another team that can make the case for six fouls or unlimited fouls as their beastly DJ Blair was riddled with fouls. Come on now, we want the players to play, not sit on the bench and watch! This is one of the many rules that really need to be looked at and CHANGED. Change we can believe in!

Without being able to foul on every possession and without their space-eater, the Pitt Panthers were "exposed" as yet another Big East team. However, DJ Blair is the game-changer. As long as he is in the game, Pitt is transformed into a Final Four potential team.

Pitino on the other hand added another line in his Hall of Fame resume, beating an undefeated #1 team, five seasons after the December 2003 victory over #1 Kentucky. But it's not a bed of roses for the Cardinals either. This was a hard-fought victory, and the team has its issues (and moods). Despite the fact that Louisville has strung a few wins in a row, they don't look as good as their recent record may seem to indicate.

Rules committee: You MUST add the semi-circle under the basket

Game after game, we see stiffs stand under the basket and take charges and deny the offensive player a made basket. This is PLAIN STUPID. The game should be decided by basketball skills, not by bodybuilders who like to stand under the basket and take body blows.

The game is BASKETBALL, not wrestling, not football, not human pinball, not dodgeball!

So rules committee, please wake up and FIX IT NoW :-)

One "safe" solution is to add the semi-circle the NBA has added. This has already been tried and tested in the NBA and it should be "safe" to add to the college level.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

North Carolina wakes up in Virginia

There was no Pete Gillen to take all the time-outs before half-time, but the Tar Heels sort of woke up from their not-so-"championy" run and managed to take the lead and not led the Cavaliers back in the game.

But there's no doubt, the aura and era of invincibility of this UNC team is OVER. Other than Danny Green and Ed Davis, all the other players appear to have been overrated. Fanny Fatzilla (as UNC fans will call him tonight) did not make any friends at UNC tonight with his analysis of the UNC team. Then again, there's nothing more powerful than the truth!

Virginia has promise, lots of promise, but so did the Pete Gillen Virginia team. The odds are in favor of the Calhoun protege however, although breaking out of the pack in the ACC is no easy task.

So, for both teams, we have to wait and see. How can UNC do when they play with a Sweet 16 and beyond team? Bring on the Dookies and ...Clemson!

Week #7 of the BlogPoll is out: The Rise of the Undefeated

It's Week #7 of the BlogPoll and the undefeated teams have risen to the top! Except of course for Clemson which has a rather long history of epic February/March meltdowns. We'll know more about Clemson on Saturday afternoon, after they host Wake Forest on ABC!

While Big East has many teams, it's the ACC that has four of the top eight teams in the poll. More and more people are making the argument that the ACC is actually stronger at the top than the Big East. Oh my, how did the East-coast-bias media allow this to happen? ;-)

Monty and his California Experiment is going quite well, they are in the Top 25 already, probably 2-3 years ahead of schedule. Which only goes to show how clueless Ben Braun was. But perhaps he was smoking the lettuce with the UCB brass, so they let him hang around for years and years ;-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mid-week funnies: White Men Can't Jump, Duke edition

Jay Bilas made the astute observation that the 7-footer Duke center (Zubek) did not jump center, but instead the 6'5" Henderson did.

Georgia Tech, please beat Duke! That would make it an awesome day for the Yellow Jackets! First getting Derrick Favors, and then beating the Dookies!

Make my day, beat the Dookies!!!!!!

Move over NBA, college players can score 54 too!

Kentucky's Jodie Meeks became the lead-story at SportsCenter last night as he managed to score 54 points on the troubled Tennessee Vols at the Pat Summit court. Ouch for Bruce Pearl. This also means that there will be at least one ranked SEC team next week!

For wall to wall coverage of Meeks-54, be sure to check A Sea of Blue.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Big Monday recap: Notre Dame at Louisville

It was the start of Big Monday, with the Improv Trio (Raftery, Bilas, McDonut), and the Reece-Digger duo in the studio. The big guns at ESPN, sans the divas, Vitale and of course Bob Knight.

It was an exciting up and down game, just like college basketball should be played. Notre Dame showed how they can beat any team and lose to any team. Certainly with a 7-player rotation, overtime games put them at a disadvantage.

Louisville fans may be pointing out that they actually won the game at the end of regulation, but they probably liked the end-result better, with a solid performance in overtime against the tired Domers.

Louisville is loaded with talent, they have three game-changing players, but Earl Clark needs to improve a lot on decision making and shot-selection, and Samardo Samuels needs to watch A LOT of Elton Brand video before even thinking of leaving college before 2012.

Talent is not enough however, and Pitino needs to continue blending and mending them as a team.

Notre Dame on the other hand has the winning formula - they can beat teams by scoring fewer field goals because they are raining three. So that can keep them in many games they shouldn't be in. But the 7-man rotation may be a limiting factor for a March run, and the Fighting Seven may get worn out before the Big East conference season is over.

The way things are, it may be harder to win the Big East than win the National Championship!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Funnies: Don't beat Oregon State

Memo to the Pac-10 teams: If you are planning to ask for Government cheese or bailout funding, make sure you don't beat Oregon State! Make sure you lose to Oregon State in an exciting game. Otherwise, your chances of getting any type of funding ...diminish!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

North Carolina at Wake Forest recap

While not topping the January 2005 game (Chris Paul vs Raymond Felton in three overtimes), this was a "game of the year nominee" in our opinion. In the grand scheme of things, the outcome may have been favorable for both teams.

Wake Forest gets the big bright spotlight win that now matches their record. North Carolina was able to stay in the game despite horrible performance shooting wise and with some of their stars being invisible/erased by the defense.

Two losses in a row will "open the ears" of the UNC stars to more "coaching" and at the same time lower expectations for the season and post-season.

Wake Forest on the other hand shows that they are indeed for real, this is no Clemson who crumbles the moment they play a Sweet16-capable team. They certainly have a versatile rotation with players they can mix and match depending on the situation.

The unassuming Dino Gaudio has done a great job in carrying on the tradition of the beloved Skip Prosser, and the future looks bright for the Deacons.

The absence of Ginyard and the injury of Zeller actually had an impact on this game, as UNC badly needed a fourth big body when Wake was playing big, and they needed someone taller/longer to harass Jeff Teague who made a lot of future-money today. Ironically adding Ishmael Smith to the line-up allowed UNC to put a taller player on Teague than Lawson, but by the time they figured that out it was too late.

Lawson was once again "exposed" as an NBA prospect and so was Hansbro when facing the trees, although Hansbrough is not likely going to be facing triple-teams in the NBA. The Wake Forest trees simply blocked him and shut off his water.

Danny Green has once again shown why he is the MVP of this team, while from the Wake Forest side, LD Williams is a very versatile player who (because of his size/width) can create mismatch against smaller/bigger players.

But obviously the star of the game, the star with a capital S was ...Jeff Teague!

This is not basketball, let's clean it up!

I am talking about two high profile games on Saturday that turned out to be ugly slugfests with free throws and fouls galore. I'm talking of course about Duke at Florida State and Kansas at Michigan State. This is just ugly. You coaching idiots are ruining the game by turning these games into a painful slugfesting experience!

And how about that sour loser Bill Self? What's next? Start fouling at tip-off?

Time for the "guardians of the game" (as coaches call themselves) to take responsibility and clean things up! And stop jumping from job to job if someone offers them 5% more, and at the same time, DEMANDING loyalty from their players.

"Be loyal to me for four years, I'll be loyal to you until a bigger check comes along".

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gonzaga at Tennessee

What started as a sluggish game of two desperate-for-a-win team, it turned out into a dramatic game in the second half and in the overtime. GoneZaga visited Tennessee at their home, and for the second time this year, they managed to beat them!

And they beat them twice tonight, because the last play at the end of regulation was a goal-tending goal on a Matt Bouldin layup, which was not called. So GoneZaga should have won the game at the end of regulation.

But the refs didn't call it, and the game went into overtime, when they Zags jumped ahead and never looked back.

Gonzaga badly needed this win, and they got it, but as with all games, one has to lose, and that was a really bad loss for Tennessee as they are now 0-2 against the Zags and lost the chance of a home victory, breaking their non-conference winning streak. They are putting the "U" in unravel!

Few went with a more ball-handling line-up, with Gray inserted and Micah Downs coming off the bench. They also got some serviceable minutes from their 7'5" Will Foster, and with him around, they can't really complain that they don't have Sucre, since they barely play these guys more than backup minutes.

The good news for Tennessee is that all is not lost, because they have the whole SEC conference season ahead of them, and they can pick up plenty of good wins there.

Harvard is better than North Carolina!

Yes basketball fans, Harvard is the best team in the country! Harvard beat Boston College tonight on the road, and Boston College beat #1 North Carolina on the road on Sunday night. Therefore, Harvard is twice as good as North Carolina and Tommy Amaker is the best coach in the world ;-)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Louisville at South Florida recap

The Louisville team that was highly-ranked in the pre-season made a guest-appearance in South Florida, a team that took over the game despite T-Will and Samardo Samuels being in foul trouble. There were contributions from the bench, #23 Jenkins being a monster on defense, Delk being productive and such. Sosa did not have a meltdown this time, which was another plus.

On the South Florida side, Stan Heath is in a rather intriguing position. On one hand, no one can blame him for finishing 16th in the Big East for the next 2-3 years, on the other hand, he has something he wouldn't have had in a smaller conference - opportunity for HUGE in-conference wins. But it is also reasonable that they will likely finish at the bottom of the Mega East for the next 2-3 years. A calculated risk, but the upside is bigger than the downside.

Especially since he has managed to bring in some promising transfers, including the latest Ohio State transfer. And if it wasn't for the Mike Mercer injury...

But perhaps the most important part of the game was the "Big Man Clinic" provided by Len Elmore as he exposed players and coaches alike for their lack of teaching the fundamentals of the game ;-)

Week #6 of the BlogPoll is out!

Metallica joins week #6 of the BlogPoll Top 25 where the Unbeatens are falling left and right - it must be January!

Pitt has taken over the #1 spot. We are usually skeptical of Pitt's annual pre-March success because of their inflated out-of-conference record, however this year they may actually be for real. The reason? The big space-eater inside, DJ Blair is a game-changer, and Pitt had lacked a game-changer like that in past years. DJ Blair may be the player that can push Pitt in the Elite 8 and the Final Four. Hopefully foul-trouble won't be the thing that takes him out of critical games. Because I think the rules need to change. It's 2009 already, time to modernize the "peach basket rules"!

Some other top 25 thoughts: GoneZaga, despite their growing pains, probably has the team that is most capable of making an Elite 8 run again. The talent is oozing, and they do have some tough cookies (Pargo, ChiaPet (Bouldin), Ira Brown), but they also have Ammo-Divas likes Heytvelt, Micah Downs and the super-talented Austin Daye. Can they get their act together by March? The losses and struggles may be a humbling experience that forces the team and coaching staff to refocus and "chemistrize".

Unlike Pitt, Clemson does not have DJ Blair, so their fate (once again) will be signed, sealed and delivered by March 1st. Ouch :(

And while we are on the topic of rules and numbers, A Sea of Blue has performed an interesting analysis of turnovers! How much bite do these pesky TOs have? Read on to find out!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Free week of ESPN Full Court (Pay Per View): January 10 to 17, 2009

Fire up your VCRs and DVRs! ESPN is offering one free week of ESPN Full Court! Full Court is their pay-per-view package that shows extra college basketball games from around the country (usually BCS conference teams) for an annual fee. The one week preview starts on Saturday January 10 and ends on the 17th. Happy New Year with bonus hoops :-)

Even though this is a FREE preview, you still need to have access to those channels on your cable or satellite system. A number of cable systems have these accessible only on digital cable, so you may not be able to get to them if you have analog cable. Check with your local listings and provider to find out if they are available on your system.

Rule change that will not happen but should

If players are "glued" to their university of choice, and they are playing for mere a scholarship, then why are the highly rewarded coaches allowed to come and go as they please? How are they going to "teach" their players loyalty and all the good stuff if they bolt when someone shows them an extra $20?

So here is my suggestion: A coach has to stay at a school for at least four years before being allowed to go to another university. If a coach wants to leave in less than four years, then he will have to "sit out" a year.

If a college student-athlete is "stuck" at a college for four years, then why shouldn't a coach who gets paid in the millions be able to jump from flower to flower?

I can only see one exception to the minimum four-year rule for coaches, if the coaches alma-mater opens up, then the coach should be allowed to go, even if he was at his current school for less than four years.

I highly doubt this would happen, but it only seems fair if student-athletes can't jump from school to school :-)

Steve Lavin is the next Dick Vitale!

Yes, Steve Lavin is officially the next Dick Vitale! Let's not forget, it took Dick Vitale many years before he became the recognizable "Hoops Diva"! Remember the Vitale from 30 years ago with the coke-bottle glasses who actually only talked about the basketball game in a monotonous voice? Who would have thought he would become the "Dookie Vitale"?

So what are the similarities between Lavin and Vitale?
* they both talk about their hair during every game
* they are both average analysts
* they talk off-topic during the game, before a game is decided
* they use on-camera props
* they say silly things that most other ESPN analysts would not be able to get away with saying (or wouldn't dare say for fear of shame or ridicule)

Boston College grabs the Tar Heels by the horns

Good things come to those who prepare, plan and wait. That was the case for the Boston Collage Eagles. And collage this team is - a collage of Al Skinner type players, players the elite David Telep schmoozing coaches won't recruit for one reason or another ;-) BC said no to the McDonald burgers and instead had a nice bowl of clam chowder ;-)

It was a game of destiny (if such a thing exists for basketball), the free throws were not falling, the threes were not falling, the 50-50 players were going BCs way. Unlike last year's BC game, this one did not have any UNC momentum of any sorts.

So how did they beat North Carolina? And how can other teams do it? The recipe is simple:

+ have a faster point guard than Tywon Lawson
+ get Danny Green in foul trouble
+ beg Deon Thompson to have a very very quiet game
+ ask all the UNC three-point shooters to miss
+ beg the UNC team to shoot close to 50% in free throws
+ beg the UNC coaches to fail to count the fouls
+ have a strong, tall, wide and long center who can bear-hug and box Psycho-T

And there you have it, a guaranteed way to beat UNC!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Kentucky at Louisville recap

Unfortunately we are not able to watch as many games this season as we usually do, but of the games we have seen so far, this is one of the "game of the year" nominees. The Kentucky Wildcats refused to go away, and the PitinoVille team failed to lose the game ;-) Literally!

Billy "Clyde" Gillispie could have used Acie Law (or a clone of him) right about now! Patrick Patterson showed why he was a highly ranked player and Perry Stevenson showed why every team needs a player a like him. But ultimately you have to take care of the ball and put the ball in the basket, and without a true point guard, it's not easy.

Pitino managed to squeak by with a victory in this rivarly, which is also a personal rivalry as Gillispie's A&M beat Pitino at Rupp Arena in the NCAA tourney before Gillispie became the next Kentucky head coach.

This is year #8 of the Pitino era at Louisville, but it's certainly nowhere near as close to his year #8 at Kentucky. Things come and go in circles, perhaps Pitino will find himself getting ...Denny Crum'ed!

But with the boatloads of raw talent, can a solid point guard or play maker emerge and make the team click? If yes, Louisville can reach its potential. If not, it will be a loooooooong season with lots of transfers in the spring :)

And of course the spotlight once again falls on Edgar Sosa who showed signs of recovery, at times playing like Sebastian Sosa, at other times he looked like off-court-Telfair Sosa ;-)

North Carolina at Nevada (was: happy new year)

The last game of the year or the first game of the year, depending on which time zone you were had the North Tarolina Carheels (ha!) stomp over the Wolfpack who fought but they simply did not have enough. It looks like OleRoy wants to recruit every single basketball player from the surrounding are, perhaps the second coming of David Padgett? :-)

Nevada looks like they have another player that could develop into a Fazekas-type or if he is lucky he could become a ...Chris Mullin type! Overall, this looks like a good WAC team, but do they have enough juice to make some noise in the NCAA and get Mark Fox a bigger paycheck?

Carolina was Carolina, and when most players are clicking, they are hard to stop, especially with Ginyard back in the rotation giving them more defensive versatility.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Week #5 of the BlogPoll is out!

The year starts with week #5 of the BlogPoll. The remaining undefeated teams are risiing, but how many of them are real and how many of them are Clemson and Pitt (aka smoke and mirrors?). For one thing, with three undefeated teams in the ACC, it is guaranteed that by conference season end, a maximum of one ACC team will be undefeated :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year Basketball Fans! (and a small prediction-question)

Happy New Year Basketball Fans! May all your wishes come true in 2009 and all the evils of 2008 be undone in 2009 :-)

And we have a prediction-question for you: Will Ed Davis be the Marvin Williams of this year's UNC team? He sure does seem to provide a lot of things Marvin provided that destiny-bound team!

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