Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hey There Hot Stuff

How hot is Erin Andrews? She takes interviewing coaches and players to a whole new level. Although she loves to do the, “I’m not paying attention but as long as your mouth is moving I’ll keep nodding my head,” move, we still love to watch her work. This former University of Florida dance team hottie has been a sideline reporter for our beloved college basketball since 2004. In 2008 she was named, “America’s Sexiest Sportscaster by Playboy,” and also serves as a reporter for ESPN college football and Major League Baseball. Any woman, who can rattle on about sports and look good doing it, is our kind of woman.
Speaking of our kind of woman, I think we may have found Erin’s new understudy. In case you don’t watch Women’s Basketball or the Miss Teen USA pageant (who doesn’t), let us introduce you to Alexandra LaForce. Better known as Allie LaForce, this Freshman Point Guard on the Ohio University basketball team is on record saying her dream job is to become a commentator for ESPN. Well Sweetheart, you already have the looks, so stay hot and smile for the camera because ESPN will come calling.

We know they love their commenting cuties and if Allie has any public speaking skills, which we know she does, her on the sideline for ESPN within 10 years is a bigger lock then Mr. Alcindor being named ESPN’s best college basketball player of all time. So here is your new assignment Erin, make Allie look as hot as you do with a microphone in her hand, pose in Playboy with Allie in a spread called, “ESPN Babes Bear it All,” and tell Bruce Pearl to keep his greasy hands off you ass. If you could accomplish those tasks and have them on our desk by tomorrow afternoon we would appreciate it, thanks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Miami vs. Clemson

I am a huge Miami Hurricanes fan, and its nice to see them finally get back to the point where they are in consideration for a berth to the NCAA Tournament. After a brilliant 12-0 start to the season they suffered their first loss to Winthrop University. Sitting at 15-7 two weeks ago, I along with many others thought their season was over, but a 4 game win streak which included wins against Duke and Maryland the Canes are back. Clemson the 3rd best team in the Acc has been solid all season. Tonight’s match-up between the Canes and the Tigers is a rematch of an early Acc battle which Miami won on late game 3-pointers by Jack McClinton. This game was not televised so I purchased it on the internet and will watch it live because of the huge bubble implications of this game.

1st Half
Bizarre start to the game after a quick Clemson basket, the lights go off for a couple seconds, the officials blow the whistle and Miami takes it out on the sideline (how odd that was). Through the first five minutes it’s all Clemson who jumps out to a 10-2 lead. Continues to be all Clemson half way through the first half and they are up 24-6. Clemson refuses to miss a three; they are making them from all over the place Oglesby even makes one from 6 feet beyond the 3-point line WOW! First half comes to an end and it’s all Clemson up 41-24. Lets hope Miami makes a little turn around in the second half and makes this a game.

2nd Half
Miami comes out of halftime and scores some quick buckets, and picks up the defensive intensity which leads to a nice 10-2 run cutting the score to 43-34. Game has finally become what it was made out to be 7:26 remaining and Miami has brought to a 4 point game 59-55 talk about a turnaround. Under four minutes left now and after Miami took a brief 1 point lead the Tigers come right back and gain a 6 point lead 69-63. These next 5 minutes should be very exciting. Miami keeps on putting up 3’s rarely making any, now its all up to Clemson’s free-throw shooting 74-67 with 1:15 left. Good fight in the second half by Miami but it just wasn’t enough to cover up their poor first half showing. Clemson makes it out of this game and all but assures themselves a NCAA berth as the worst they can do is finish the Acc at .500.

Player of the Game:
KC Rivers 21 points (4/5 3pt field goals)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NBA Stars in the Making

The debate has already begun. Before the discussion becomes a Sportscenter special every other day, we thought we’d put in our two sense. Although this years draft may not have many, right out of the gate, impact players, we feel this years draft is filled with young talent. To stay within our expertise, we will only list players playing for a college program this year. Here are 5 college players in no apparent order, that we feel could have long, exciting to watch NBA careers.

Derrick Rose

Being compared to NBA stars such as Baron Davis and Jason Kidd, this 6’4 point guard has many attributes to give us good reason to believe he will be around for a long time. He has great size, tremendous quickness, and remarkable athleticism. With that athleticism though comes some wild shots and out of control turnovers. If he can limit his turnovers and improve his perimeter shooting, watch out. Being able to run a John Calipari offense, possibly the best offense Calipari has every coached, as a Freshman, also gives us the indication that he has the smarts and mental ability to lead an NBA team for years to come.

Michael Beasley
Kansas State

An obvious choice by many to be this years #1 pick, and for good reason. He is young, big, explosive, and athletic as hell. He is also averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds per game as a Freshman, in the Big 12 no less. Beasley also broke and is continuing to shatter the NCAA mark for Double Doubles as a Freshman which is quite an accomplishment seeing present NBA stud Carmelo Anthony held the record. Even though he needs to grow up, choose better shots, get back on defense more, and ease up on the ref bitching, we feel he may still make the leap to the NBA. Another year of college basketball could do wonders for him and it looks like he may come back, then again being the youngest player on his NBA team should make him mature quickly.

Brook Lopez

This kid has NBA superstar written all over him. He is tall, lean, can run the floor, and best of all has great hands. His big feet and his lack of ability to explode to the rim could bring him down a peg or two. Brook can also hit a turnaround jump shot on a consistent basis and what we especially like is his ability to knock down the hook shot. This kid is also at the ideal weight for his size, not to chubby and not just skin and bones. He also has tons of potential on the defensive side. We feel he must improve in this aspect to make a quick impact in the NBA. He is very mature though and with his skills now and a little growth on the defensive side he will shine for an NBA team.

Jerryd Bayless

Jerryd Bayless will be a star. He may not have the best shot selection but with his range, who cares. He can spot up from anywhere on the court at anytime. Bayless has a terrific first step, is quick enough to blow by almost anyone, and his ability to jump through the roof shouldn’t bother scouts. We can also tell that he loves the game and has the willingness to learn. This is a vital attribute that players must have going into the NBA. The only problem we see is that he likes to handle the rock, but isn’t sure if he wants to play the point. Like Beasley, another year in college could pay huge dividends for Jerryd. NBA scouts are drooling over this kids potential and you know what, they should be.

DeAndre Jordan
Texas A&M

Don’t let the fact that this kid comes off the bench fool you. Jordon is huge, has so much potential, and is one of the most athletic 7 footers we’ve ever seen. He can flat out dominate in the paint, and has no problem bodying up with anyone. We feel it may take a while for this kid to really become the star he can be, but hey what’s the rush. He is 19 and if you need a reminder of how athletic he is click here DeAndre will be great, possibly Dwight Howard great. The only problem we see is that he is skinny, has absolutely no range (yet), and really isn’t all that confident. So DeAndre, hit the weight room, keep practicing those 18 footers, and just have some faith, then watch as the confidence part takes care of itself. Congratulations to the team that wins his services.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday February 24 Bracket Projection

1: Tennessee, Memphis, UNC, Duke
2: Stanford, Kansas, UCLA, Xavier
3: Texas, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Notre Dame
4: Louisville, Indiana, UConn, Michigan State
5: Purdue, Vanderbilt, Drake, Marquette
6: Butler, Washington State, Arizona, BYU
7: Gonzaga, Clemson, UNLV, St. Marys
8: Miami (FL), Baylor, USC, Oklahoma
9: West Virginia, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Pitt
10: South Alabama, Villanova, Texas A&M, Arkansas
11: St Joes, Kent State, Florida, Davidson
12: U Mass, Arizona State, Illinois State, Rhode Island
13: VCU, Boise State, Oral Roberts, UAB
14: Winthrop, Cornell, Rider, CS Northridge
15: UMBC, American, Belmont, Robert Morris
16: Austin Peay, Hampton, Alabama State, Portland State, Lamar

Last Four In- Illinois State, Arizona State, Rhode Island, UAB
Last Four Out- Kentucky, Florida, Ohio State, Maryland
Next Four Out- Houston, Dayton, Western Kentucky, Ole Miss

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday February 21 Bracket Projection

1:Memphis, UNC, Kansas, Tennessee

2:Stanford, DUKE, UCLA, Texas

3:Georgetown, Wisconsin, UConn, Xavier

4:Purdue, Notre Dame, Indiana, Louisville

5:Washinton State, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Butler

6:Pitt, Drake, Saint Mary’s, Marquette

7:Gonzaga, Clemson, BYU, Arizona

8:Kansas State, Texas A&M, USC, UNLV

9: Arizona State, Dayton, Oklahoma, Rhode Island

10: Ohio State, Miami(FL), West Virginia, Mississippi State

11: Oregon, Syracuse, Arkansas, Villanova

12: South Alabama, Maryland, St. Joes, Davidson

13: VCU, Kent State, Winthrop, UC Santa Barbara

14: Utah State, Stephen F Austin, Oral Roberts, Cornell

15: Belmont, Siena, Portland State, Robert Morris

16: UMBC, Alabama State, Hampton, American, Austin Peay

Last Four in
Villanova, Oregon, South Alabama, Arkansas

Last Four Out
Forida, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Kentucky

Next Four Out
UAB, Houston, Illinois State, Temple

Thursday Bubble games:
UMASS vs. Rhode Island
Western Kentucky vs. South Alabama
Oregon vs. USC

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Storylines Galore

You looking for storylines? Well if you are, this Big Ten clash has a plethora of juicy ones, so strap on your seatbelts and get ready for a rumble in Bloomington. First of all Indiana comes into the game with a coach who could possibly be on the Indiana sideline for the last time ever. In case you weren’t near a computer, TV, radio, or newspaper in the past week or so, Kelvin Sampson, Indiana’s head coach was charged by the NCAA with five major rule violations, and may be fired looking for a job come Friday. Purdue comes in to the game with a big target on their back as they sit on top of the Big Ten conference and could all but eliminate Indiana’s title hopes with a win tonight. Indiana on the other hand can get right back in the thick of things and make the Big Ten a 3-man race with a win here tonight. This is also the only meeting between the two teams this year, who might I remind you, haven’t played a meaningful game against each other since the Bob Knight, Gene Keady era. Add that to the fact that Robbie Hummel, Purdue’s big time freshman playmaker, was one of the alleged high school players that Kelvin’s coaches were calling illegally on the phone, and we have ourselves a little ball game. Does a win here save Sampson his job? Probably not, but a thought to keep in mind.
First Half
If I could sum the first half up into a few words I would say, sloppy, good defense, and a bunch of Indiana turnovers. The game started out with Indiana coming out cold, scoring only one basket before the first TV timeout, and continuing their numbness with only 4 points in the first 8 minutes. The two teams would exchange a few 3’s and after a fabulous, possible NBA continuation by Gordon, Indiana would pull within 3. Gordon looked very jittery in the first half, almost trying to force both passes and shots. His counterpart and sidekick DJ White would have his back though. He looked like a true man child scoring 10 points and grabbing 6 boards in the first half and at one point chest bumping and doing his best lion impersonation to fire up the very lively home crowd. As for Purdue they played very good defense forcing Indiana into 12 turnovers in the first half, but a dismal 0 for 7 from 3-point land to finish the half would cost them the lead and allow Indiana to take a 32-29 lead into halftime.
Second Half
The second half began just as the first half ended with a big dose of DJ White. He came out with a huge dunk to get things going, and mix that with Purdue forcing shots and his continuing domination of the Purdue big men and Indiana would build their lead up to a dozen. The Boilermakers would cut the lead to 2 at the 7 minute mark following 7 straight points by the crafty left hander Scott Martin. Free throws and 3 point shooting would prove to be Purdue’s nemesis in the second half though. They came in leading the Big Ten in 3 point shooting percentage but walked away tonight shooting a combined 24% from behind the arc. They also didn’t help themselves out by going 11-21 from the free throw line.
The key all game and all second half was the dynamic duo of DJ White and Eric Gordon. White is my pick for player of the game even though he fouled out, scoring 19 points and bringing down 15 rebounds. He was the workhorse of the Indiana defense and he was a workhorse on the Indiana offense. White and Gordon also teamed up to shoot a combined 20-23 from the stripe. Gordon would finish with a game high 22 points.
Although this team may need a coach in less than a week, they deserve a lot of credit for blocking all of their coaching problems out. I’m not saying they should be hoisted on shoulders just for doing what they are supposed to be doing, but having to deal with situations like this, in the middle of a season no less, will take its toll on anybody. Indiana was by far the better team on Tuesday night, but Purdue did show some heart and they still have everything to play for. The conference is now wide open for Indiana, Purdue, or Wisconsin’s taking. Wisconsin and Indiana still have Michigan State on the schedule so I’d give the edge back to Purdue if I had to pick the easiest schedule in. But then again Indiana already laid quite a whopping on Michigan State earlier this month so if I had to pick a regular season winner I’d have to lean on the Hoosiers. DJ White showed he was anything but, “doubtful,” tonight, so maybe, just maybe for the first time in a week, the actual basketball players will make headlines tomorrow.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and Bears OOO MY!!!

Since it’s a slow night in college basketball in my eyes, with Louisville, and Xavier winning already and Texas and Texas A&M playing now, I thought I would take this blog in a different directions, and talk about something fun. The top 10 coolest Division I mascots. If you were to ask me any Division I schools mascot I am confident that I would guess it correctly. Lets start it off:

10) UMKC Kangaroos – Who doesn’t like a Kangaroo, hell I guarantee if a girl were to ask you what your favorite animal was, and you said a Kangaroo, she would respond with an “AWWWWW”

9) UC Santa Barbara Gauchos – I don’t know what a Gaucho is, but it sounds pretty cool. This team could probably have the coolest mascot if they were to keep the old Banana Slug.

8) Jacksonville Dolphins – Who doesn’t love a nice dolphin, we just aren’t sure if it’s a bottle nose or if its just a porpoise.

7) North Florida Ospreys – Ok this team doesn’t have the best record in the world they are 2-23 but guess what (They have an Osprey backing them up).

6) Campbell Fighting Camels – If I hadn’t been on a camel before I would say there are no such things as fighting camels, but the thing tried biting me so we will give it some love.

5) Southern Illinois Salukis – I swear that this school stole their mascot from the never ending story, it looks exactly like that flying dragon/dog Falcor.

4) Murray State Racers – It basically looks like the polo horse racing over the letter “M” that’s cool enough to make my list.

3) South Carolina Gamecocks – Wouldn’t be a mascot list with out this amazing mascot, no teenage boy in their right mind grew up with out a “COCKS” hat.

2) Wichita State Shockers – A shocker we all know what that is, even Bob Saget knows what a Shocker is!

1) Western Kentucky Hilltoppers – This thing is sooo cool, it looks like a mix between a Bear and the Kool-Aid guy “ OOOOO YEAHHH”

Sunday, February 17, 2008

ONE Month Until Selection Sunday BRACKET PROJECTION

Sunday, February 17, 2008

1:Memphis, Duke, Kansas, Tennessee

2:Stanford, UNC, UCLA, Texas

3:Georgetown, Wisconsin, UConn, Xavier

4:Michigan State, Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue

5:Drake, Butler, Vanderbilt, Louisville

6:Kansas St ,Wash St , Saint Mary’s, Marquette

7:Pitt, Clemson, Texas A&M, Arizona

8:Gonzaga, BYU, USC, Mississippi State

9: Ohio State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Rhode Island

10: Arizona St, Houston, Dayton, Maryland

11: UNLV, Baylor, Syracuse, Miami

12: Florida, Oregon, St. Joes, Davidson

13: VCU, Kent State, Winthrop, Oral Roberts

14: Utah State, Stephen F Austin, UC Santa Barbara, Cornell

15: Belmont, Siena, Portland State, Robert Morris

16: UMBC, Alabama State, Hampton, American, Austin Peay

Last Four in
UNLV, Houston, Baylor, Oregon

Last Four Out
UMASS, Ole Miss, Arkansas, South Alabama

Next Four Out
NC State, George Mason, Illinois State, Temple

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Watch out Tropicana we have some other Oranges on the Rise!

I am a big fan of rivalries and when it comes to the Big East, this rivalry is the best. Georgetown University Hoyas vs. Syracuse University Orange regardless of who wins, and what the score is, I know this game is going to be a battle, and be very physical.

1st half
This game started off like any other big east game, very slow and no one could score. The Cuse had a very good strategy to start the game (ATTACK HIBERT!!) at one point it was an 8-8 ball game before Syracuse decided to bring the intensity up a couple notches, and bring the home crowd into the game. I step out for a minute to grab some food, and I come back and the score is 36-17 WOW. At this point I don’t think The Cuse has to even score again to win this game. The Hoyas only score about 48 points a game (ok ill give them 55). The first half is over now, and if it weren’t for a few late buckets, then The Hoyas would be down over 20, I guess 16 isn’t that much better.

2nd half
Hoyas start the half off quickly with 2 buckets, but The Orange are quick to respond. A real rollercoaster of a half with the Hoyas cutting the lead to 7 on two different occasions, but every time the Cuse answers with a run of their own to get the lead back up to 15. Georgetown was kept in the game by great 3-point shooting by Jon Wallace who hit 6 three’s (6 Three’s!) But it was the Orange with their young talent of Paul Harris, Donte Green, and Johnny Flynn who carried The Cuse to the upset victory. A huge victory for the Orange who got to finally put that signature win on their NCAA Tournament Card.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Fun Feature

Starting today and continuing throughout the rest of the season College Basketballs Finest Bloggers will be posting our thoughts following a few handpicked games each week. We will precisely pick a few impact games and briefly summarize them in a post that will be available shortly after each contest. To find out which games we will be analyzing, we will post our upcoming schedule at the beginning of each week. With that said, here is our first one.

Maryland vs. Duke

I picked this game for two reasons. 1. Duke is my team and I watch every game so mind as well start with one of their games 2. Maryland and Duke always produce a good game so why not start with a guaranteed good game.

First Half

Duke truly dominated the first half from the beginning. After a quick Duke bucket and a quick Maryland miss, Singler goes down the lane and Osby greets the frosh with a nasty swat right back in his face. Duke then catches a little fire, hitting their first two 3’s to take the game to a quick 6-2 game. They would trade baskets for a little while when Duke’s defense would allow them to pull ahead. Vasquez had a very good half for Maryland though, showing off his talent with a hell of a lay-up to put Maryland down 8. This kid is just a raw point guard. Any team that wouldn’t want this kid running their point should have their head checked. Duke then regained their fire and showed that if they get hot from the outside they are as good as anyone in the country. Duke would continue playing well and lead by 11 after 20 minutes of play.

Second Half

Uh oh, Gary is pissed already, he calls a timeout just 50 seconds into the half. I don’t get that. Your guys have only messed up once or twice in all of 1 minute, why get back in their face, we know that’s where you just were 5 minutes ago in the locker room. Stacey makes a good point, where the hell is Gist? Only 3 points in the first half has allowed it to be the Vasquez show. He continues his solid play pulling the Terps back to within 6, and I’ll reiterate, Vasquez is solid and here comes Maryland. Duke would answer briefly with a big 3 by Scheyer. Duke would then struggle as Maryland starts to bring the heat. A few no calls get Coach K fired up and Vasquez equally as fired up, showing his emotion by jawing at the crazies. Duke has now gone 5 minutes without a basket right when Scheyer again knocks down a big 3. Here is a Gist sighting pulling Maryland back within 2 while Paulus has gone ice cold missing 4 straight from behind the arc. Duke would then get the lead to 9 with a great look from Paulus and another unselfish dish by Singler when he had a possible free basket, but quickly dumped it off to Nelson for an easy dunk. Duke has stretched the lead and here comes the spread offense and they will burn the clock. Maryland starts to foul and a long 1:15 later and this game is officially in the books.

Good game by Duke. Although their offense looked dismal at times in the Second half their defense kept them from losing the lead. Duke is a very good team this year and this game just exemplified their talent. Maryland should not hang their heads though. They are also a good team who has a very bright future. They showed a lot of heart coming back from the start that they had this season and I don't see them flopping down the stretch. If they continue playing the way they are now, there is no way the NCAA can snub them of a spot in the tourney.

Player of the Game

Kyle Singler
26 Points
7 Rebounds

Minnesota & Vander-Built shitty Basketball Courts

There are many things in life that I love, for example: Lobster (my favorite food), Heidi Klum (the most beautiful woman in the world), and of course watching college basketball (that’s the reason we have this Blog). For all of those 3 things I love, there are actually things I dislike about them also. I dislike Lobster because it is so hard to break into it and actually eat it, I hate Heidi Klum because I am not waking up next to her every morning, and I hate college basketball because of 2 reasons:

1) Memorial Gymnasium

2) Williams Arena

Memorial Gymnasium: I was watching the Vandy vs. Kentucky game last night which was one of the worst basketball games I have seen in my life. Kentucky lost by 41 points, and people call this basketball program one of the best of all time (YEAH RIGHT). That’s beside the point because I am going to blame the 41 point loss on the gym itself. First off it looks like the court is on a platform/stage, and the fans must have the most ridiculous view ever, and secondly what coach in their right mind wants to coach a game behind the back board. One of the poorest designed gyms I have ever seen in my life (The only time I would ever step foot in that place, is if Heidi Klum asked me on a date to eat lobster with her on center court).

Williams Arena: There is not one good thing going on at this Basketball Arena, even the State it’s located in is pretty boring (they lost the best thing that happened to them Johan Santana). Any time you see a player have to climb upstairs to get on the basketball court you know that it’s a crappy court. As seen in this picture, we can tell why Tubby Smith decided to coach at Minnesota, because when he is sitting on the bench you can only see half of his body.

Hopefully these two schools will soon realize that when it looks like you have an indoor track around your basketball court, you should probably build a new one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Referees and such...

By now you’ve probably heard there was some questionable officiating going on last night in the world of college basketball, but if you haven’t, there was some, and they both happened about 45 seconds apart. The first coming in the match up between Georgetown and Villanova, the other Helen Keller sighting coming in the Women’s B-ball game involving Tennessee and Rutgers. OK that wasn’t very nice but seriously, they were both god-awful calls that the refs definitely looked at after the game, and immediately became very embarrassed.
First Game
The game is tied with about 7 seconds on the clock and Scottie Reynolds is driving down the baseline when he gets caught up in the air, quickly looks for someone to pass it too, then just tosses it in the direction of about 3 Georgetown defenders. The Georgetown players and the Villanova players both grapple for the ball when Hoya guard Jonathan Wallace comes up with it with about 2 seconds on the clock. He makes a move toward the outside when he’s bumped, and I mean barely grazed by Corey Stokes. The man of the hour, Bob Donato then blows his whistle with 0.1 on the clock and calls Stokes for a push. Now I stick up for refs, I really honestly do, (mainly because I’m a Duke fan and I have to) but this call was bad. The game should have gone to overtime, been decided by the players then and there, then everybody goes home. But no, Donato said I’m a little tired, lets go home now. Well as you can guess, Wallace sinks both free throws, game over.
Now if I’m going to rip the refs I have to lay into both Scottie Reynolds and Corey Stokes. Reynolds should have never left his feet, that’s one of the first things your taught in basketball, to not leave your feet, unless of course you are shooting or have someone to pass the ball too. The second slap on the wrist coming to Stokes who for some reason had to contest Wallace, when all he should have done was let him shoot the 80 footer and taken his chances. Dumb dumb dumb. FYI Corey, foul a bad shooter next time, Wallace shoots 80% from the line.
Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland has already come out and said that, “Official Bob Donato was within his right to whistle Villanova for a last-second foul, a call that ultimately decided Monday night's game in Georgetown's favor,” obviously folks, he’s just doing his job, which sometimes forces him to stick up for referees who make bad calls.
Second Game
That brings me to the next game, which to this point our blog has been all men’s ball, but I’m going to spice things up a bit and talk about the ladies. Tennessee edged Rutgers last night in a game that ended about 5 seconds after the other game, was decided at the foul line, and all happened with under 0.2 seconds to play. Weird right? Anyway this one wasn’t totally the refs fault because it almost looked as if the clock person messed up. Replays showed the game clock seemed to pause as the Tennessee player came down with the ball, was ripped down by a Rutgers player, then went on again, then stopped again at 0.2 as the refs blew the whistle. Whew, did you get all that. Not entirely all the refs on the courts fault, but either way someone not in Pink (Rutgers was wearing pink) and Orange decided this one. So as you can imagine, this one finished on the foul line, when again, it should have been finished in overtime. Not saying I would have watched the overtime, just that it should have gone to overtime. OK I might have flipped over once or twice last night, but so what, it was a rematch of the National Championship game.
While were talking about referees and foul calls, I have to bring something up. Anyone ever notice that when, a few years back, Duke had a large free throw to opponent free throw advantage, and all you heard every time a Duke player was fouled was how much the refs loved Duke and how much they love Coach K and this and that. Well, here is a statistic I haven’t seen ESPN, our world wide leader in sports bring up yet, UNC free throws 651, while Opponents free throws 368. This could be accredited in part to Psycho T but all in all a Nice Stat right? Like I always say, if you want to be a Duke fan, get ready for a war.

Monday, February 11, 2008

RPI: Ranking Poor Institutions

One of the worst things that has happened to college basketball is the creation of the RPI (rating percentage index) the process which is described below.

“The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is the formula used by the NCAA to rate men’s and women’s college basketball teams. The formula is described below. The RPI is calculated by adding three parts. Part I (25% of the formula): Team winning percentage. For the 2005 season, the NCAA added a bonus/penalty system, where each home win or road loss get multiplied by 0.6 in the winning percentage calculation. A home loss or road win is multiplied by 1.4. Neutral games count as 1.0. Part II (50%): Average opponents’ winning percentage. To calculate this, you must calculate each opponent’s winning percentage individually and average those figures. This is NOT calculated from the opponents’ combined record. Games involving the team for whom we are calculating the RPI are ignored. Part III (25%): Average opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage: Basically taking all of the opponents’ Part II values and averaging them.

Here’s how other columns in the RPI grid are computed…

SOS (Strength of Schedule): This is the last two components of the RPI formula:
(2/3) X Opponents Winning Pct. + (1/3) X Opponents Opponents Winning Pct. Non Conference RPI: This is computed applying the basic RPI formula only to a team’s non-conference games. A common misconception is that a team’s non conference RPI will remain the same after they have played their last non-conference opponent. This is not true because a team’s non-conference opponents’ records and their opponents’ records change as they play their conference games. This can have a substantial effect on the NCRPI. For example, in 2003 Alabama’s NCRPI had a ranking of #23 when they entered conference play. By the end of the regular season it had risen to #3. L10 (Last 10 Games): A team’s record in their last 10 games against Division I opponents. RD/NT (Road/Neutral Record): A team’s record away from its home court”.

This system reminds me a lot of the BCS which is used for the selection of the Division I college football bowl games. There is no reason that a computer something that I use to download music and occasionally look at porn (had to throw that in there) should be deciding whom should be playing whom. Below are the current RPI rankings:

RPI 1 Tennessee2 Duke3 North Carolina4 Memphis5 Kansas6 Drake7 UCLA8 Georgetown9 Texas10 Connecticut11 Vanderbilt12 Xavier13 Michigan State14 Arizona15 Pittsburgh16 Dayton17 Louisville18 Butler19 Stanford20 Wisconsin21 Mississippi22 St. Mary's23 Rhode Island24 Clemson25 Washington State

As seen above I am seeing a lot of suspect teams in the RPI rankings. Taking a look at Drake being ranked 7th in the RPI is astonishing to me. This is a team from a mid major conference which in the past was a very strong conference but this year to me it’s a below average conference. You have a team like Southern Illinois who was a Pre-season top 25 selection who is now fighting just to stay above .500 (pretty pathetic to me). Drake though you can give a little credit to, but not number 6 in the country credit to. It pisses me off every time I see a team from a shitty conference in the top 25 unless they have played a decent schedule (Butler for instance). Dayton number 16 in the RPI, they really only have 2 legitimate and they were against a beat up Pittsburgh team, and another beat up Louisville team. Do you honestly think they deserve to be ranked #16 Absolutely NOT!! These computer rankings are helping out small nothing schools, who deserve to be in nothing more than the NIT playing in there crappy conferences. You have Pac-10 schools with better records (Washington State) who are ranked behind Dayton’s and Drake’s, who are playing legitimate teams night after night, but are only deserving of a #25 ranking, that does not seem right. They have come a little way in changing the system by adding the Bracket Buster games which help us organize the Mid-Major teams. This is a step in the positive which is a great start, but many more things need to be done before I believe we can finally have a fair way to distinguish which teams should make the NCAA tourney and which should be left at home.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Glad I didn't go to Illinois!!!

Everyone has been considered a “MEAN” fan before. I know when I was in college we used to heckle the other schools, For example when we played Mount St. Mary’s (MD) we always used to chant “Mount St. Ferries” (I know your thinking how original those kids from Monmouth are). We also used to chant “Safety School” when we used to play our in state rival Farleigh Dickenson University. The one thing we never did and I was taught never to do to opposing teams and fans, is throw objects or start fights with them. Late Thursday night at 9:07 pm there was a rivalry game on ESPN between the Indiana University Hoosiers, and the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.

This was a very unique game because the star player on the court (freshman Eric Gordon) was supposed to attend the University of Illinois as he told them in 2006, but one year later he changed his mind and decided to attend school in Bloomington. When they announced this poor kids name in the starting lineup he was booed more then any one I have seen in a long time, and it didn’t stop there. Through out the game this star was being heckled and yelled at, I would almost rather be Bill Buckner walking through the streets of Boston then be Eric Gordon playing at Illinois (probably not!). Everyone knew there would be yelling, and they dealt with that ok, but when it took a Ron Artest turn, is when things got out of hand. Towards the end of the game (which I must add was terrific) drunken Illinois fans started tossing cups of water, among other things at Eric Gordon’s family, this was completely out of line, and security was brought in. Me being a Cleveland Browns fan I attended a game in Pittsburgh this year, and yes people were yelling at me and saying ridiculous things, but at no point did I have anything thrown at me. These Illinois fans should be ashamed of themselves! They have to learn that “SHIT HAPPENS” so what you lose a star player to your rival school, there are many other fish in the sea.

The game on the other hand was a double overtime thriller (Indiana pulled off the W), which non other then Eric Gordon himself banked home a 3-pointer at the end of regulations to put this thing into overtime. If I was an Illinois fan I would have thrown stuff at Shaun Pruitt and his family because this guy couldn’t hit a free throw if his life depended on it! I would be more confident with Shaq on the free throw line!

On a brighter note this game had me thinking a lot about cheers that colleges use. The best cheer of all times goes to Austin Peay University, who used to have a player with the last name of Tinkle on their team (How fitting), the fans used to cheer “We’ve gotta Tinkle LETS GO PEAY” (most amazing cheer of all time). Over in Athens, OH where Ohio University is located, they have one of the most unique cheers of all time as seen in this video. If any of you out there are lucky one day I might even include the cheer that I made up for Delonte West while he was playing at St. Joseph’s University, but to hear that one you will have to shoot us an email.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Quick Big East Thoughts...

Although I’ve always preferred watching ACC games, I think I would rather watch a Big East game this season. As I just watched Pitt stun WVU at the buzzer it came to me that every Big East conference game is both fun to watch and crazy. It also occurred to me after watching last night’s game between Syracuse and UConn that the Big East is the conference to watch this year. Now don’t get me confused as to saying that the Big East will produce the national champion because I’m not saying that at all.

Some games that quickly come to mind would be Rutgers shocking Villanova, Cincy blowing out WVU, Seton Hall beating Louisville, St Joes beating Villanova, Louisville beating Marquette, every game has a story line and has lived up to it.

Georgetown has a conference leading 9-1 record but is followed closely by Notre Dame, UConn, and Louisville. I would almost go so far as to compare the Big East to College Football this year. College Football this year was so much fun to watch in part because on any given day anyone could beat anyone. Big East b-ball is shaping up to be all College Football was and more. College Football only had about 3 possible champions while the Big East has potentially 6. I don’t see Syracuse or WVU running the table and I don’t see every team above them slipping so far as to allow the Cuse or the Mountaineers to slip into the top stop. College Football also doesn’t have a playoff system to straighten things out at the end either, so there’s another leg up for the Big East.

Now I’m not talking about the Big East tournament here I’m talking about the regular season. Should you need a reminder on how crazy the Big East tourney can be just google, “Gerry McNamara 2005-2006.” Now do you remember?

While were on the Big East, anyone know what the hell happened to Villanova? Actually I might have an answer. I think one could some it up by simply saying that they ran into a rough part of their schedule and just couldn’t tread water. But just like the ACC is every year there is no real cakewalk game in the Big East either. This is in no way an excuse for their terrible play but if you break up their last 10 games it makes a little sense. They opened conference play with Depaul, then Pitt, Cincy, Depaul, and then Syracuse. That little stretch could tire a weak team out and obviously it did. Then pile a big laziness let up at Rutgers with Notre Dame, Pitt, and Syracuse, and you’ve got problems. Last but not least you’re face to face with a cross-town rival with nothing to lose and that spells, Season Over. Big win for St. Joes, even bigger loss for Nova.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Its time for some Busting, Some Bracket Busting!!

Its that time of the Year again for what I like to call the Mid-Major Extravaganza. Schedule for the television games which is below is highlighted by some incredible match-ups. There are a couple of very Intriguing match-ups I see in this years Bracket Buster, starting with on the first day Davidson vs. Winthrop. Davidson is a very dangerous team, winners of 11 straight games, this Davidson team is on a roll, playing one of the hardest non-conference schedules of all-times, they stuck close with UNC, Duke, UCLA, and North Carolina State. There opponents out of the Big South are the Winthrop Eagles who have a solid 14-8 record and have beaten the likings of Georgia Tech, and Miami(fla). This should be a very physical and close game throughout. Guards Michael Jenkins (Winthrop), and Stephen Curry(Davidson) should have a nice match-up.
Another Bracket Buster that looks very intriguing to me, is the match-up between Ohio University and George Mason. Both of these team are off to solid starts in their respective leagues, and each holds a solid RPI. This game means A LOT!!! The winner likely to go on and receive an Automatic Bid, and the loser will have to turn to their conference tourney for some help.
Off course the best match-up is the 10th/11th ranked Butler Bulldogs, against the 15th ranked Drake Bulldogs. The battle of the Bulldogs, This is not only the best Bracket Buster game, but it might be one of the best games all year. Drake winners of 19 straight games, which is also the second longest winning streak in the nation (Memphis owns the best), visits a Butler team who has won 11 out of their last 12 games. I am going to go out on Limb right now and predict a Drake victory. It will be a hard fought game, but in the end I see Drake coming out above.
Hope everyone enjoys these wonderful games, and becomes educated on these mid-majors who will definitely turn some heads in the NCAA Tourney

Friday, Feb. 22, 2008


UCSB @ Utah State
Davidson @ Winthrop

Saturday, Feb. 23


VCU @ Akron
Siena @ Boise State
UW-Milwaukee @ Bradley
Drake @ Butler
Rider @ Cal State Northridge
Marist @ Cleveland State
George Mason @ Ohio
Creighton @ Oral Roberts
Kent State @ Saint Mary's
Nevada @ Southern Illinois
Miami (OH) @ Valparaiso

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008


Wright State @ Illinois State

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bye Bye Bobby....for now

Today we say goodbye to one of the best college basketball coaches of all time. Although you may not like the guy or agree with some of his coaching tactics you have to pay the man his respects. He leaves the basketball world sitting atop the coaching realm with 902 career wins. The majority of his wins coming before his coaching stint at Texas Tech, where he coached Indiana University to 3 national titles and 11 Big Ten championships. Also included in his resume are 5 Final Fours, a gold medal from the 1984 Olympics, and a National Basketball Hall of Fame plaque.

Knights’ basketball records speak for them self but what he will be remembered for most by will be his actions that took place the night of February 23rd, 1985. In a game against Purdue, Knight was given a technical foul for arguing a call. He reacted by tossing a chair from the Indiana bench in the general direction of the referee. He was then given a second technical and eventually ejected from the game. After that though he would continue to foul up and recounts of prior incidents would surface. Have a look below for a fun timeline you may find helpful.

1976- Pulls guard Jim Wisman off the court by his jersey in a nationally televised game
1977- Choked and punched Indiana sports information director Kit Klingelhofer over a news release
1979- At the Pan American games he is arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer
1985- The well-known chair throwing episode
1993- Was booed by fans for kicking his son, then player Pat Knight
1995- Told off and berated an NCAA volunteer at a news conference
1997- Grabbed and choked player Neil Reed at a 1997 practice

Now we can poke fun at Bob and give him a hard time, mostly because he deserves it for being a little wacky, but in respects to his coaching ability we must tip are caps. While at both Indiana and Texas Tech his recruiting methods were never tainted by violations and his players hardly ever acted up off the court. His graduation rate was better than most, in part because he insisted his players both attend class and pursue their degrees. More than can be said for our ACC foe Gary Williams, who from 1997-2000 failed to graduate an athlete, but has since been on fire graduating five out of his last seven. Thought I’d throw that one in there for ya. Those are the kinds of numbers though that sometimes fall threw the cracks and if it takes throwing a punch at Gary Williams to show that some coaches still are paying attention to their boys outside of the gym, so be it.

Bob Knight has a terrible temper; there is no hiding that. There is also no hiding the fact that a fantastic coach retired today. But then again, who said retired? The quote from many sources was, “resigned.” Does that sound like the verbatim from a person who is done for good? Only time will tell. For now his son Pat will take over as head coach effective immediately.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Whats going on here?

Kenny George the 7'7" shot blocking fiend from UNC Asheville, not only is he the tallest player in college basketball, but in his previous life he was known as Andre the Giant wrestling the likes of Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior.

Then there is Bambale Osby whose hair looks like a mix between Tina Turner and Kid n Play. I mean come on Bambale either go with the flat top or go with the afro it's not that hard to choose.

The other night I was watching a game between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. It was a great game as all rivalry games usually are, but I got to thinking what is Sean Sutton doing on the sideline coaching. He looks like he should be out in the forest with his identical twin Elmer Fudd hunting some wabbits!!

It took me a long time but I figured out why Eric Gordon is such a good basketball player. No one else on the court has Jedi powers from which he inherited along with his looks from his father Yoda (now it all makes sense where he got that jump shot from)!!!!

Now it comes to the best names in college basketball history, and if you have any to add please feel free:
1) God Shamgod - One of Providences best players, and not to mention probably the best name in college basketball ever. God was so good he even has moves that I have used in pick-up games named after him.

2) Pops Mensah Bonsu - A year when George Washington only had 2 loses going into the tournament and they were seeded 8th (correct me if I am wrong) out emerged this athletic freak on the court who could jump higher and get more rebounds then anyone on the court. Pops played the 06-07 season with the Mavericks and was cut by them earlier this year.

3) Parfait Bitee - I found this great name while watching a Rhode Island bball the other day on ESPN Full Court. Not only with this guy named after a frozen snack but its amazing he has a pretty decent shot!!!

Any way big day today for the Bloggers our two favorite teams go at it Duke vs. Miami (at cameron) Probably will be a blow out, but either way the twelve pack that will be sitting next to me will taste fantastic.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Going Green Goes to Hell

First of all I would like to welcome all of you to our blog. We encourage your input and value your comments and concerns.
With that said, raise your hand if you're a Duke fan, and found yourself screaming at the television for all those big brained masterminds to take those heinous, no good, "Bleed Blue Live Green" t-shirts, the hell off. My hand is lonely, unless for some reason Dick Vitale and my father are reading this. I actually found myself fist pumping when ESPN came back from the halftime show to acknowledge what the fans were up to.
In case you missed it, the university to my knowledge distributed green t-shirts to fans in an effort to raise awareness about global warming. After Duke let NC State embarass them in the first half, fans showed their displeasure by showering the court with those same t-shirts. Side note, was I the only one who noticed how many times they showed that poor cheerleader bending over right in front of the camera to pick up the t-shirts? Classy ESPN, real classy. Back to what I was saying, maybe it's as simple as the t-shirts had those annoying tags on them, you know the ones that itch the hell out of your neck. My guess is though that the fans superstitiousness and my superstitiousness kicked in. (someone spell check superstitiousness for me)
Now don't take this the wrong way, I'm all for, "Going Green," and helping the environment, but when my squads unblemished ACC record is on the line, the planet takes a backseat. Stop right there because I can hear you saying whoa whoa whoa David this is our planet we're talking about here, well does it make you feel any better that I watched the game with the lights off and didn't run the dishwasher last night? Come on now, how many people in the stands do you think did their best Al Gore impression by, wearing the shirt, watching the game, leaving Cameron, jumping in their 8 cylinder gas guzzler, cranking up the heat, walking in the door to their house, turning every light in the house on, and then cranking up the heat some more?
The point I'm trying to make here is, how amusing are we sports fans that we think a little green t-shirt can make a team go into the gutter (that's where Duke was in the first half, thanks in part to a few mental lapses and some outstanding shooting by State)? I was honestly worried, right up until the sight of a bunch of green t-shirts on a basketball court. The moment I saw those students ripping the shirts off their back, my stress went away. I can honestly say that from that point on I knew Duke had won the game.
Superstitions and jinxes will forever exist in sports, i.e the infamous black cat at the Red Sox game, Michael Jordans Carolina blue shorts, and even the sight of pitchers who step over the chalk line to and from the mound. All in all I know we'll have this conversation again, but for now Crazies, burn the shirts. Oops, that might create a greenhouse gas of some sort, how about you donate them to Goodwill instead.

First Blog of the season!!

Conference games have now been under way for a couple weeks now, and just like every year we have a bunch of surprises.

ACC - this is one of the most odd years in the ACC one could call it a very top heavy conference with only two teams that are a Lock to make the NCAA tournament. Then behind the Big two (Duke & UNC) you have all of these other schools vying for what I think is two more At-large bids. The fight is on between, Clemson, Miami, NC State, and Boston College. The problem with all of these schools are that they can only produce wins on their home courts, and everyone knows that if you can't win on the road, then you might as well stay home from the NCAA Tourney (should be a very interesting final month in the ACC).

The Big Ten - one of my favorite conferences is having a nice solid year. Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue will likely come out of this conference and make the NCAA Tournament. This conference is very intriguing to me, unlike most conferences, every single game that is played is a low scoring defensive fest, which come tournament time is exactly what you need!! Watch out in the NCAA tourney for this squad from Michigan State, when they are firing on all cylinders, they are a tough team to beat.

SEC - a crazy conference very similar to the ACC of this year except there is really only one solid team Tennessee!!! Florida looks great record wise, but when it comes to SOS (strength of schedule) they are towards the bottom in the entire nation. Kentucky one of the biggest disappointments in the nation this year looks a lot better then its record says. Tremendous win against Tennessee surely will fire up this squad, and make me a believer that they could possibly win the SEC conference Tourney (wow what a surprise that would be). Lets give the SEC a little time and see what we can make of this conference in two weeks.

Big 12 – KANSAS is the state to be in, in this conference!! You have the nations power house in The Jayhawks, and then you have the nations best player in Michael Beasley (this guy might be the best college ball player I have ever seen!!). Other then Kansas you must look towards Texas who has been struggling as of late after starting the season amazing, same said for the Aggies of A&M much like Texas they have been faltering as of late (besides the big win the other night). At the beginning of this year I said to a couple buddies WATCH OUT FOR BAYLOR!! More than half way through the season I still stand by this statement, as the nation begins to learn about these BEARS.

Big East – This along with the Pac-10 might be the best conference in all of college basketball. Any time you see people talking about a possibility of 11 teams from one conference making the NCAA Tournament is pretty amazing. Any night you can see an upset. With Georgetown taking the early conference lead with only 1 loss they seem to be the front runner, but in my eyes they are the 2nd best team in this conference. Louisville when they are healthy might be one of the best teams in the country, give them a little more time and you will see that they will definitely do some damage in the post-season. Over the next month I can see this conference having some big twists and turns, and we will find out who the real teams in this conference actually are.

Pac-10 – Probably the best conference in all the land! Take away Oregon State, and this conference is like a round robin tourney all season long. A road win in any conference is incredible, but a road win in this conference is like gold!! Hell make that Platinum (just ask USC after they knocked off UCLA in Polly Pavilion). This conference is an every man for it self war, within about 2 weeks though, I think we will see who the top runners are.

Mid Majors & Small Conferences - Who knew that the Atlantic 10 would be producing 6 solid teams which could possibly make the NCAA tourney WOW! DRAKE DRAKE DRAKE, and oooo yea did I mention DRAKE. What a year for this team! In the Missouri Valley conference the home of mid-major powerhouses, it has been a one man show. GO DRAKE and keep up the good work. Of course it couldn’t be a year of college basketball with out Butler of course, a weak conference but a great team, not to mention a starting line-up that hasn’t lost much from the sweet sixteen team from a year ago (who gave the Gators all they could handle in the tourney). Then on a whole new level is from small Conference USA are the MEMPHIS TIGERS!! Boy do I love this team, I love them so much that I bet on them to win the Tourney before the year even started. This is one of the best teams I have seen play college basketball ever! A run and gun offense, paired with an amazing defense calls for some damage. Blowing out their opponents one after another. Not to mention usually bombarded with cupcakes on their non-conference schedule, they picked it up this year and played in my eyes the toughest non-conference schedule in the entire NCAA’s.

Lets hope that this next month is exciting and I will be back to you shortly with some more thoughts.