Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday 02/26 A.M. Quickie:
Who's REALLY No. 1 in College Hoops?

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Who's Number 1 in college hoops? Not "Number 1" number 1 – the question on everyone's mind is which four teams will earn No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Touranment: The Big Ten champ? UNC? Florida? UCLA? Someone else, maybe a streaking Georgetown?

I love the next two weeks of debate leading up to Selection Sunday as much as anyone, but here is where college football's system and college basketball's system diverge:

However flawed the BCS system may be, the question of "Who's Number 1?" (and, perhaps even more, "Who's Number 2?") is the essence of the season. In college hoops, who is Number One now – and certainly on Selection Sunday – is completely meaningless. Just ask any of last year's No. 1 seeds.

As opposed to being concerned with poll position and, ultimately, seedings, I would be much more focused on how teams are playing – how teams are winning. What their strengths and weaknesses are.

Or how they'll look in various possible NCAA Tournament matchups, so you can spot the upsets or the alchemy of talents that might illuminate which team will be number one when it exclusively matters: At the end.

Sure, Ohio State beat Wisconsin yesterday, but it was in Columbus and I'm still not convinced that Wisconsin isn't the better team. So I guess that's why the created the conference tournament. That anticipated rubber match in the Big Ten title game will be great.

(Reader Matt reminds me that the NCAA seedings are finalized before the B10 title game is finished. But again: Seedings are irrelevant, except for the dreaded 5-seed. But that doesn't mean we can't use the game to make final evaluations about OSU or Wisco's FF-worthiness.)

The much bigger news was UNC losing at Maryland, which has all but secured its once-unlikely NCAA Tournament ticket. Meanwhile, you have to question whether UNC is a lock as a No. 1 seed anymore (certainly no more of a lock than, say, Florida). As with the Gators, the Heels need a conference-tournament title to lock up a No. 1 seed. Otherwise? Well, a 2-seed isn't that crazy when you lose to an unranked team.

(Update: As Commenters are pointing out, Maryland was hardly unranked where it matters: The RPI, where they were 17th. I admit to my own laziness in going with the AP poll, which is useless. Give me the RPI or Pomeroy's rankings anyday. UNC remains a lock of a No. 1 seed, and -- yes -- it looks like Florida is a 2, unless they streak their way to an SEC tourney title.)

But again: The most important question is what does UNC's loss at Maryland say about their larger NCAA Tournament chances? Was it Maryland's particular style or personnel that foiled the Heels? Was it the road conditions? Was it UNC looking ahead? And do any of those factors bode well – or poorly – for UNC's Tournament chances?)

Your SEC MVP? Derrick Byars. Vandy continues surprising run by beating Kentucky.

Women's CBB: Congrats to Duke on becoming the first women's team ever to go unbeaten in the ACC. (Of course, it doesn't mean anything if they go out and lose to, say, Maryland in the national-title game.)

NBA: Is Amare the Comeback Player of the Year in the NBA? I have 43 reasons (a season-high) to argue he is, but the real proof will come when the Suns win the NBA Finals behind Amare, the Finals MVP.

Meanwhile, Chris Webber is making a late-career surge for respectability. He's been a sparkplug for the Pistons since the trade, and his role yesterday was critical to Detroit's win. With Wade's injury, the Pistons have to be the favorite to win the East. Wow: Could Webber win that elusive ring? Is he the Rasheed Wallace from 2004, the (swiped, damaged) piece that gets the Pistons to a title?

Dwight Howard's "Kiss the Rim" Dunk is officially the dunk of the year. Yes, even better than his Slap-Sticker-On-The-Backboard dunk from the All-Star Dunk Contest. Certainly better than anything done by Gerald Green. Here is your People's Dunk Champ: Dwight Howard.

NFL Combine 40 "Talk":
Wisco OT Joe Thomas: 4.93
Okla RB Adrian Peterson: 4.38
GA Tech WR Calvin Johnson: 4.35
Drew Stanton > Brady Quinn
(All stats/gossip via ProFootballTalk.)

Watch the Name: Amobi Okoye, the 19-year-old Louisville DT who could be the surprise riser of the draft. PFT was "Talking" him up over the weekend, and I opened my New York Times this morning to a very positive profile. The academic story is wild: Played for L'ville as a true freshman at 16 (16!) and even graduated early. Oh, and he's 6-foot-2, 300 pounds -- and still growing.

Another Name to Watch: Toby Korrodi. Could he be this generation's Johnny Unitas? Only if Unitas would have scored a 12 on the Wonderlic. (Link and Tip: The Feed.)

NFL '07 Schedule: Will it be Cards-Steelers in Arizona in the league's Sunday night season-opener?

MLB: Who had "handful of days" in the "Carl Pavano Injury Pool?" And who had "early" in the "Manny Reports to Camp Pool?"

UPDATE (5 p.m.): Anything that mocks Curt Schilling is OK by me. Here's the link (via Sports By Brooks)

OSCARS: Congrats to Scorsese. Long overdue. And congrats to Forest Whitaker, who might be the greatest actor of our generation. (Beyond "Last King of Scotland," for his work on "The Shield.") Funniest moment: Ferrell, Black and Reilly serenading about the lost cause of comedians at the Oscars. Worst moment: Anything with the full-body shadow hand-puppets. Meanwhile, the Red Carpet show on E! is one of the few times all year I get to update my "List of 5" (celebrities I could hook up with, without punishment from my wife). When I nominated Reese Witherspoon, my wife -- a huge Reese fan -- said OK, as long as you invite her over for dinner afterward so we can hang out. Done and done!

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Got a great dispatch from Free Darko's Bethlehem Shoals about Amare. Wanted to share it:

Once he learns the game, it's over with.—Stephon Marbury.

"Back in December of 2002, when Marbury mattered and Garnett still had hope, the Suns and T-Wolves played a game of basketball. Amare exploded for 38, by far his career high, and Stephon took advantage of a chance to belittle KG. This has gone down in history as Marbury at his most desperate, but it was also the first time we saw what a remotely consistent, stable Amare Stoudemire could do.

Last night against the Hawks was another one of those days. I'm still not convinced he's back to his full athletic capacity; even his legend won't accomodate that kind of superhuman recovery. It's high time, though, that we recognize Amare's a basketball player, not some poster-generating armament paid by the kilohert. In the past, it was hard to see this, but the current Stoudemire practically screams personal growth and development.

And in that sense, maybe Marbury wasn't so wrong or desperate after all. He was just a little too proud."


Unknown said...

I'm not sure that the seeding for the top 7-8 teams will really matter. They'll have to go through each other, imo.
Right now, though..I'd think the 1 seeds go to:
Ohio State

Not really informed, just my opinion.

UNC has been Hansbrough and everyone else all season. It's a young team, so the fact they lose to teams they shouldn't isn't a surprise. Ohio State is the same way...but OSU manages to squeak things out. I don't think I'd take either team over Wisconsin or Florida in the tournament though.

Mikepcfl said...

A couple points on Dan's Maryland/UNC post. FIrst, Maryland may not be ranked in the polls, but they were #17 in the all-important RPI. So Maryland wasnt unranked in the important ratings.

Second, I noticed a weakness for UNC. Maryland was able to come back by exploiting UNC's small guards. Maryland has big guards and they abused UNC's backcourt in the paint during the second half. This is a weakness that other teams can exploit in the tournament. So UNC needs to fix this quickly.

Dane Buzzle said...

No love for the Big 12? I don't see why you couldn't put Texas A&M OR Kansas over both Florida or UNC.

Unknown said...

Jason -

Don't agree that ACC is top conference, per se. This feels like a year in which there are a lot of top teams... but their conferences don't really match up.
Virginia Tech? UVA? Boston College? Duke? I wouldn't feel sure putting any of them into the S16.
Aside from the Big East, its as if the top teams from each conference are far ahead of the other teams in their conference. I do include UNC out of the ACC in that.

Unknown said...

DS - I completely agree with you about Reese. Holy crap my TV almost exploded when she came on screen.

That's all I got to talk about at this point.

Andrew (JUhS) said...

No one mentioned this yet ... 9/10 for Dan on the Oscar picks. Not bad, even in a fairly obvious year such as this one.

However, Pan's Labyrinth got robbed for best foreign language film.

I've been unable to watch the Texas basketball games, so I haven't really been able to follow the team properly. Besides Durant being the man, do they actually have a good team? Are they a lock for the tournament? It's sad, I'm alumni, I should know this...

nep1293 said...

# 1's
Ohio St/Wisconsin-tourney winner
Kansas Texas A&M-tourney winner

# 2's
Ohio St/Wisconsin
Kansas/Texas A&M

# 3's
Washington St

# 4's
Southern Illinois
Virginia Tech

This should be a hell of a tournament. Completely wide open

Kevin Erb said...

The problem with the Big 10 tourney is that the final is so late on Selection Sunday afternoon. Presuming its Wisco and Ohio State again, the comm. will likely have already completed the bracket before the game is over, rendering its outcome somewhat meaningless. If they both make the final, it would probably OSU a 1 and Wisco a 2, unless UNC struggles and Wisco moves up.

Ed Lamb said...


How can UNC be way out ahead of the other teams i the ACC when they are in a three-way tie for first place, and technically in second because Virginia Tech holds a series sweep over the Tarheels?

I do believe the ACC is the toughest men's bball conference this year. So where's the love for the team that is sitting atop the ACC standings?

TJ said...

Nice picks nep, only I'm not sure that both Georgetown and the Big 12 winner will make the 1-line. Instead--and going against my slight overreaction on Saturday--it could come down to UF or a second Big Ten team for the final spot.

Everyone is right, though, that the one and two seeds are completely wide open. The top 8 or so teams seem so even. This could be one of those rare years where the second two weekends of the tourney are even more exciting than the first.

Unknown said...

Working at VT...seeing that team play...If they get a 5 seed...instant 5/12 upset pick.

UNC is the best team in the ACC. Talent-wise especially. Do they play like it in the regular season. Not always. Come Tourney time, I think they will.
I had to mention UNC as the elite team in the ACC...otherwise there wouldn't be an elite team in the ACC. I wouldn't pick VT or any other ACC team (besides UNC) to:
1- beat Wisky and OSU for the B10
2- Beat UCLA or Wazzu for P10
3- Beat Georgetown/Pitt/Marquette for the BEast
4-Beat Florida for SEC
5- beat Kansas/A&M for the B12
6- Beat SIU for the MVC

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Dwight Howard is a stud! And no mention of how the Cavs can't beat the Heat without D. Wade? Embarrassing!

And Reese is hot, but my gf gave me an out with Sophia Bush. I mean, look at her!

Trey (formerly TF) said...

There are two things being overlooked when you say Fla. still has a 1 over UNC.

1. Maryland is going to the tournament. LSU is not.

2. UNC plays in the ACC, which is, as usual, the best conference in the country. Florida lost to the team from the SEC West, which has defined underachieving this year (when Ole Miss is your best team, you've got a problem).

That said, UNC still has a 1. Florida is a 2. Simple.

How quickly you forget that UNC lost to NC State (not going to the tournament) and Gonzaga (won't get an at large if they don't win the WCC)

UNC has 5 losses; Florida has 4. Right now both are two seeds in my opinion, but if you had to give one team a 1 seed, you cannot ignore the whole record, not what happened Sat/Sun

Joe (Dayton)

TJ said...


The committee plans for situations like that in advance. If it comes down to OSU-Wisconsin in the Big 10 final, the committee will simply say "If OSU wins, then... and if Wisc wins, then..." They could even decide that both teams are one-seeds no matter what. Or that the winner is a one, the loser a two, and build alternate brackets accordingly.

ToddTheJackass said...

According to the RPI (at least as of yesterday), here's how the conferences rank:

1) ACC
2) SEC
3) Big 10
4) Pac-10

So for what that's worth...

jhawkjjm said...

Yes Texas is a lock for the tourney. If they win out, they can even get a share of the Big 12 regular season championship because they are a game back and play both KU and A&M.

The 1's, assuming each win out in the regular season and make at least the semi's of the conference tourneys:
1) UCLA - top seed, final four bound
2) OSU - first #1 eliminated
3) UNC
4) A&M/KU - this one might actually require the conference tourney to decide

The 2's
5) A&M/KU
6) Florida
7) Wisconsin
8) Georgetown - I'm not sold on, early exit

pv845 said...

#1: UCLA, OSU (predict early bow out), KU/AM, Georgetown
#2: KU/AM, UNC, Wis (better than OSU), Memphis
#3: SIU, FL (yes a 3, haven't beaten any team ranked outside Tenn.), WASU, Nev.

Big D said...

@ revscott:

You are a good man. Thank you for that, this early into my 17-hour work day.

And Re: NFL '07 schedule... I can't imagine we would be subjected to Cards/Steelers to open the year, even if there's a "coaching rivalry" aspect to the game. That's just a lousy game, through and through.

However, there is no doubt that the Thursday night opening game will be Indy/New England. Kind of a no brainer.

In other news... reports out of Foxboro say Troy Brown might be retiring - just what New England needs, less quality wide receivers.

Anonymous said...

Quick edit: Forrest Whitaker has two Rs in it, not one.

pv845 said...

I understand that FL beat OSU, but that was without Oden playing as he is now and Ohio State has beaten exactly 2 ranked teams. (Wisconsin on their home floor and Tennesee) Not exactly a superstar Number 1 seed. They are probably a 2 seed, but they deserve a 3. OSU should be a 2 seed, but with 3 losses to top 10 teams, kinda hard to.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan I am sorry but no way is Forrest Whitaker the best actor of this generation. Jack Nicholson is the best of this generation and he is not slowing down anytime soon. If Jack is not eligible I would take Ed Norton, Leo, Sean Penn or possibly Matt Damon.

TJ said...

I think the best thing you can say for this season is this: imagine all the different matchups that would make for amazing final four games (and title games)

Honestly, if you just picked names out of a hat from among UCLA, OSU, UNC, UF, A&M, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Georgetown, you would get a fantastic title game every time. I really can't wait till March.

pv845 said...

Troy, I like your thinking. What would happen if the NCAA tourney picked ping pong balls like the World Cup does. Play it out and see what happens. Good idea, bad idea?

Mikepcfl said...

My only problem with the ping pong ball idea is that Duke would have the magic 'frozen' ping pong ball and would play the equivalent of 16 seeds all the way through the tournament!

Ed Lamb said...

@raphael and others

Go Hokies. Spent many years in Blacksburg as an undergrad and grad, including the last time the Hokies went dancing.

It doesn't seem to me that Tech is inconsistent. It seems to me that they play up to or down to their competition. Hense the two wis against UNC and the two losses to NC State. Give the Hokies a 5 seed, they'll definitely lose.

Maybe I shouldn't want a 3 seed. Maybe I should argue for a 16 seed.

TJ said...

You may be on to something pv. Sure, it's fun to watch all the little guys getting their shot at greatness on the first weekend of the tourney, but how much more fun would it be to limit ourselves to 32 teams, have a 4-team pools like the World Cup, which feeds into the ultimate 16-team battle royale.

You lose out on the opening weekend orgy of games, but you gain more games between more equally matched, potentially championship caliber teams.

This would of course be impossible (what about all the winners of the crappy conferences?) but it sure would be great to watch.

ToddTheJackass said...

Duke to win it all? Are you kidding? Have you not noticed they almost always let leads dwindle, and have a tough time closing out games (without the help of the refs).

If you're talking about the Duke women, that's one thing. But no one honestly cares about Women's CBB right? I mean, right?

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Jason said...
It's not just about wins and losses, TF. If we look head to head @ Non-conference wins and all of the losses, that'll clear it up. And to be completely fair, this is the first time I'm comparing the two teams:

UNC: Good NC wins: @Tennessee, Ohio State, Kentucky, @ Arizona. Losses: Gonzaga (ranked at the time, admitted downard trend), @ Va. Tech, @ NC State, Va. Tech, @ Maryland.

Florida: Good NC wins: Ohio State. Losses: @ Florida State, Kansas, @ Vandy, @ LSU.

You leave Providence off Florida's list but put UT and UK on UNC's list?

3 of UNC's OOC wins are teams that Florida has beaten too, is that something that UNC can puff their chest out about?

Further, the FSU loss was without Florida's best defender (Corey Brewer) does it suprise anyone that the man he would have been guarding went off (Al Thorton) The committee will take that into account, just as they will the no/limited Oden against UNC and Florida.

The point is UNC is not that far ahead of Florida that they will automatically get the 1 seed if it came down to UNC/UF.

Joe (Dayton)

ToddTheJackass said...

I'd agree that I don't see much separation between UNC and Florida right now. That being said, if UNC wins the ACC tourney and FL wins the SEC tourney, I'd give the nod to UNC over Florida, since there are a lot better teams top to bottom in the ACC than the SEC.

And I'm still not sold on Kansas being a #1 yet, as the Big 12 is not really that great this year (top is good, but a steep dropoff from there).

TJ said...

Joe Lunardi has the new bracketology up and UNC is just ahead of Florida at #4 overall. He still has UF #5 for the top 2 seed ahead of A&M, Kansas, and Georgetown, which is a little suprising to me.

TJ said...

@ tf and jason

I think Lunardi sums it up best: "It comes down to Carolina and Florida for the final No. 1 seed in this bracket. The Tar Heels have a far better schedule and, as a result, nearly double the InsideRPI Top 50 wins."

pv845 said...

UF is ahead because of the most dominant post players in the history of college hoops (right Dan) even though they got obliterated inside by a mediocre LSU team without their best post player. UNC deserves to be ahead of Duke.
I understand everyone's hesitation with the Big 12, but I figure that Kansas has wins over FL, OSU, BC. AM is just nasty on D and with Law IV, you can never count them out. If both win out and play for the B12 championship, the winner deserves to be a #1.

ToddTheJackass said...

Like I said, Kansas and A&M are good teams, but the rest of the Big 12 just isn't good.

The Big 12 is the 6th rated conference in the RPI, and Kansas and A&M are ranked 15 and 13 respectively. After that, you have Texas, who's probably in the dance at 36, but then you have bubble teams Texas Tech (44) and Oklahoma St. (50). What I'm saying is that the conference is too top heavy, and either Kansas or A&M needs to win out to make a case for a #1, but more likely will get a #2.

That's not saying they don't have what it takes to do well in the tourney, my point is just that we shouldn't be giving either of them a #1 seed right now by any means.

Asteroid said...

Good choice on adding Reese to the top 5. I saw that picture, and she was smoking hot. Still, not sure if I could add her to mine: Salma Hayek, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Scarlett Johannsen, and Jessica Alba. Tough 5 to beat.

Trey (formerly TF) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trey (formerly TF) said...

The reason Florida's RPI is so bad is because teams like Southern, Samford, and UNF are rated worse than UNC Asheville, FAU, and High POint.

It's the trick that has made the MVC relevant. Do you really think a 5 loss So. Illinois (ranked 4th in RPI) should get the 1 seed nod over Florida because their RPI SOS (ranked 43rd)is higher?

Lets put it this way UNC has 5 losses, Florida has 4. Who has the advantage in that column...

Joe (Dayton)

Unknown said...


Maryland is such a balanced team, that they could be scary in the tourney. Starting 3 seniors, 2 great freshman point guards, 2 good big men, bunch of good guards, great coach, can run or set offense, 2 great shotblockers and a great perimiter defender.

For those who doubt the ACC here are the list of good wins for ACC teams.

UNC- Winthrop, Gonzaga, @Tennessee, Ohio St., Kentucky, Virginia, @Clemson, @Arizona, @Duke, @BC
Va Tech- Iowa, Old Dominion, Appalachian St., @Duke, UNC, Maryland, @Ga Tech, Virginia, @UNC, BC
Virginia- Arizona, Gonzaga, Maryland, @Clemson, Duke, @Maryland
BC- Michigan St., @UMass, Maryland, Virginia, Va Tech, @FSU, Clemson
Duke- Air Force, Davidson, Indiana, Georgetown, @Gonzaga, Clemson, BC, @BC, @Clemson
Maryland- Vermont, @St. John's, Michigan St., Winthrop, @Illinios, Clemson, Duke, @Clemson, UNC
Ga Tech- Purdue, @Memphis, Duke, Clemson, UConn, @FSU
FSU- Florida, Providence, Va Tech, Maryland, @Duke
Clemson- @Old Dominion, Appalachian St., Mississippi St., @FSU, BC
NC St.- Michigan, @Va Tech, UNC, Va Tech
Wake Forest- Appalaichian St., Ga Tech, Clemson
Miami (FL)- Ga Tech, @UMass, @Maryland, Virginia

All of this is based on the knowledge that non-conference games matter more and that teams are not expected to win road games in the ACC due to crazy homecourt advantages by almost every school.

pv845 said...

I agree. No ACC team can be expected to win on the road. Case in point: Duke over Clemson at home.

Just kidding. I agree it is insanely hard to win on the road in the ACC.

Unknown said...

Addition to above post:

When I said that every school has a great homecourt advantage I meant the 9 real ACC teams.

As for BC, Miami, and Va Tech it just isn't there besides in Blacksburg.

Kind of shows you the difference between the ACC and other conferences.

The BC coach actually gave a speech to their school about getting a better HCA to compete in the ACC. I guess the back to back L's to UNC and Duke means in didn't quite work.

I do think that BC will step it up eventually though. Miami is hard to say cause they are only a real team 1 out of every 10 games.

Mega said...

en said "When it comes down to it, the Badgers are just better than OSU."

Bzzzzt, wrong. The Badgers were flat out abusing Oden out there. They were playing hack a shaq with him and not getting called. I don't know how many times the Buckeyes guards were knocked to the floor without a call. Its like I was watching a Duke home game, the refs were aweful and OSU should have won by 10.

pv845 said...

Oden may have been getting hacked inside, but he and his fellow Buckeyes were doing their fair share without being called as well. Just because you block the ball cleanly does not mean that you can go through their body.

Natsfan74 said...

I am not 100% sold on tOSU making a deep tourney run, but I don't know why there are still so many doubters. They lost by 3 at Wisconsin, and they had the lead late into the UNC game, before losing on the road, without Oden, in a pretty hostile environment. They have pulled out some squeakers lately, but that might help them down the stretch as they have to overcome games where they aren't sharp. I think they are a 1 seed, and at least an Elite 8 team, who could easily be out in the 2nd round.....

For the top 5 list, my wife hates mine. I won't go into who is on it, but my basic premise is that since I am allowed to have one, I should make it as realistic as possible. I could put Reese on my list, but even if I met her, I wouldn't have a shot. But if I met Brittany, I would give myself at least a chance, given recent events.

Unknown said...

More College Hoops...

On a preliminary note where would we be without the Drive to 65 (the artist formerly known as Bubble watch) ( and Bracketology (AKA Joe Lunardi's brain) (

I agree with all of Lunardi's 1s, 2s, and 3s.

That said... look at those 3's! Normally you are scared of 3-seeds, but Washington St., Texas A&M, Memphis, and Pitt? It frightens me that those are 4 of the top 12 teams. That's pathetic.

Side note: ACC has 6 teams in and Big East has 8, but all of the ACC teams are higher than all of the Big East teams with the exception of Georgetown and Pitt. And obviously the Big East has more teams in the first place, hence the name "The Really Big East".

ToddTheJackass said...

Actually Guy in the Corner, our (BC's) fans do suck, but you've got it for completely the wrong explanation.

The only home games that BC lost in the ACC this year were against Duke and UNC. And at THOSE games, we actually did have a really good crowd. But we have beaten UVA, Maryland, FSU, V-Tech, and Clemson at home as well. And let me tell you, the crowds for those games weren't that good (noticeable that there were empty seats).

So I agree BC is not on the level of some of the ACC teams in terms of HCA yet, but your reasoning for it is flawed.

But you can worry about HCA, I'll worry about how my team is actually doing, which is better than I'd have expected given the loss of Sean Williams. And based on our two years in the ACC, I think we've earned respect from everyone.

Unknown said...

Todd Ching-

As I live in ACC country and am a huge ACC fan I can tell you that BC has almost earned the respect of an ACC team, which I didn't think possible.

That said there isn't anyone who is scared of going to BC like they are scared of going to, say FSU.

CMFost said...

The problem with BC and any school in Boston is that boston is a pro sports town. And fans around here just do not get into college sports in less the team has a shot at the title.

Forrest Whitaker is a good actor but to me it seems like all his charecters lately are the same. Though he was very good in The Shield and decent in ER.

Wow Manny reported early, what got into him???

Luke Bell said...

The bottom line is that no fouls were getting called in the UW-OSU game. I think UW is better than OSU (though I don't know the extent of Butch's elbow injury. Ouch.) If "Chris Rock" makes his free throw, it's game over. As it was, the Badgers still could have won, on the road, with one of their starters KO'd. Not to mention Tucker's sub-par game. Bucky wins that one on a neutral floor.

Unknown said...

Semi bracket breakdown:

There are 18 conferences that don't get in at all if not for a conference tourney spot. That said, we have 47 spots that are for what is supposed to be the TOP 47 TEAMS.

Bracketology has 31 "locks". Now there are 16 spots left.

Bracketology has 5 "should be ins". Now we have 11 spots left.

11 spots and 34 bubble teams.

I love March Madness

ToddTheJackass said...


I wasn't trying to argue that we didn't have a good home court (we don't most games), just that your reason for saying how we didn't (the Duke and UNC games) was flawed, since on those nights we did have a good crowd.

But you're right, we need to get our fans up for the UVAs, the FSUs, and the Marylands in addition to getting up for the Duke and UNC games.

I'm also glad we "almost" have your respect. Unless you're a Duke fan, we've beaten your team since joining the ACC, so not sure what else we can do. We made it to the ACC finals last year, and were in first of the ACC standings for much of this year. Tell me who your team is and I'll tell you whether or not we respect them... :o)

@CMfost, the other problem is that so many people in the Boston area are college grads, and have allegiances to other schools as well. BC is a private Catholic school, so it doesn't really have a devout following in the mainstream like a state school might.

But I'm not convinced altogether that the "pro town" label could be shed if a team were to have constant elite success. Problem is, BC doesn't have the reputation, and cares about graduating its football players, so what are you going to do, right?

Unknown said...

I think you have a misconception about ACC-HCA.
It's not all about having a good crowd. It's about the other team being scared before they get into the arena.
Duke, Maryland, UNC, FSU, and Virginia/Wake Forest (depending on the year with those 2) legitimatly scare the crap out of opponents before they show up.
My team is Maryland and BC did beat my team. It's not so much that ACC country people don't think BC is good, it's that you hear the name of the 9 "real ACC" teams and there is a certain "uh-oh" factor.

note: I am slightly offended by the consideration on your part that I might be a Duke fan. We have had numerous exchanges and I'm not sure that I ever came off as pure evil.

Unknown said...

Jack Nicholson as best actor of this generation? You mean of 2 generations ago..unless you're 70 years old.
Besides...making movies that make lots of money does not mean he/she is a good actor. The Lethal Weapon and Mad Max movies were good..but I wouldn't call Mel Gibson a great actor.

re: homecourt advantage in ACC
Far as I know, its tough to win road games in any conference. "It's hard to go on the road in the ______ Conference because wins are rare"
I hear that every season about just about every conference.

I stick by my thought that this is the year of the individual team..not the conference.

Unknown said...


To clarify- being scared before the opposing team shows up has to do with periods like when FSU won (I think) 3 consecutive home games against Duke. Stuff like that scares people.

The mention of empty seats at home games during the conference schedule offends me as an ACC fan.

ToddTheJackass said...


First of all, apologies for suggesting you might be a Duke fan... you do seem like you have a soul and aren't responsible for infant puppy cancer.

That being said, I guess this is more of a general problem I have, but what difference does it make that BC doesn't have a great HCA if we can win? What does it matter if our arena doesn't "scare teams," but our talent does "scare teams."

I always keep hearing this from the pre-expansion ACC fanbases, but I just don't get it. Personally, it matters to me how good a team is, and playing on the road against any good team "scares" me. If they're a bad team, I don't care how good their fans are.

[By the way, I am annoyed that BC fans are as fairweather as they are, especiall the students].

Also, glad to see Maryland finally turning it around. Vasquez is going to be a great, great player.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...


Name an actor in this generation who is better than Nicholson right now. If you are going to go by age then the best are Norton, DiCaprio, Damon and Ryan Gosling but Jack is still the best spanning the last three generations.

chitown italian said...

I did not watch any of the Oscar events (maybe I should after seeing some of the pictures this a.m.)

Isla Fisher, I'd " my balls and spit up blood..." for some of that.

Unknown said...


I'm not quite sure how you get it started, but once you get some big wins at home against teams that are better than your team it enables you to do it over and over.

And yes I love "General" Greivas Vasquez. He's great and so is the other freshsman point guard, Hayes.

Unknown said...

One of the ways you know that this crazy thing exists is that UNC, Maryland, and Duke are the top 3 teams in history of wins over the #1 team in the country, and many of those wins were at home.

Just because the other team is better, in the ACC if you are at home sometimes it just doesn't matter.

That's why it's different than your team actually "being good".

Brian in Oxford said...

Here's a point I'd like to make.

If you're CLEARLY not the best team in your conference, then you're not worthy of competing for the NATIONAL championship.

I don't want to hear about .500 teams in power conferences claiming they deserve a shot in the tournament. All they're claiming is they want the inherent $$$ that comes with a bid, and the coach is lobbying to keep his job. A 10-6 team that's just behind the leaders in the league? That's fine. But 8-8, 7-9? Come on, you eliminated yourself.

Give me that 27-3 team that got upset in the small conference tourney, any day!

Big D said...

Re: best actors...

He might be a goof, but any conversation about the best actor of the past 20+ years has to include Tom Hanks.

Though my vote would go to Ed Norton.

Unknown said...

Syracuse - Being a big Syracuse fan, I am surprised to see Syracuse appearing in Lunardi's bracket as a 12 seed. Granted, this is just one person's suggestion but he is usually fairly accurate. I would love to see them as a 12 seed against a 5 seed such as Air Force in the Bracketology bracket. I think it would be even money who would win.

After being on a cruise last week with the family, I had some catching up to do sportswise. Syracuse is still 62 in one RPI listing online. They are probably better in reality than being the #62 team but even as a fan, I would think that they still have some work to do. If they beat G-town tonight then they are most likely in. I think splitting their remaining 2 games and winning one in the Big East tourney would get them in for sure.

As for the Oscars, I see so few movies that it is hard to care. I would like to see the Departed one day. We rented Little Miss Sunshine through our cable company and my wife wanted me to watch it. It was awful and a waste of my time. Well not totally since I was answering work emails during the movie.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

@big d

I cannot believe I forgot Tom Hanks. Although he mailed in "The DaVinci Code" he is one of the best and he seems to do it so effortlessly that you forget about him when talking about the best actors of a generation. Also, a guy who play Rick Gassko in Bachelor Party and then win back to back Oscars may be the best ever.

ToddTheJackass said...

Good call D, Tom Hanks work in Bachelor Party was awesome! But in all seriousness, he does warrant consideration.

Anyway... did anyone else out there think The Departed was overrated?

I finally saw it this weekend, and while it held my attention throughout, and for the most was well acted, I don't see what was 'great' about the movie. Entertaining, certainly. Best Picture, not in my opinion. Just had too many weird and unexplained subplots for me.

verbal97 said...


I don't think the problem with BC is fairweather fans, but rather choking in big games. They had a chance to make a statement this year when playing a struggling Duke and a good UNC team at home in the same week and they blew it. And it's not just basketball. Recently, they blow it every year in the Beanpot (except 2001). They were one win against a lousy SU team from getting a BCS bowl in their last year in the Big East and not only did they lose, they got obliterated. Plus, this year's losses when their division (and a spot in the ACC title game) was very attainable and they choked it away.

I don't get too carried away when BC are doing well early in a given season, as I know they will screw it up somewhere down the line. And as was mentioned earlier, if they can't win the big games, then they won't be a contender and if they're not a contender the pro sports fans in Boston won't care.

Andy said...

My pick for best actor of our generation would be Jamie Foxx. The guy can play so many roles so well. I don't care what anyone says, but what he did in Ray was one of the best acting I've seen in my life time.

Brian in Oxford said...

Oh, I totally agree that a 9-7 SEC team is probably better than a 16-0 Patriot team (Bucknell / Holy Cross loser?)

but....are they more WORTHY to be in the dance?

That's my point....we're trying to decide a championship. My argument is that the 16-0 team needs to beat on the big stage to demonstrate it wasn't worthy. The 9-7 team (or worse!) has shown consistently there are teams in its own division more "WORTHY" of being there.

Inviting a seventh, eighth, ninth team from a megaconference just reeks of BCS-ness.

jhawkjjm said...

For the Big 12 perspective from someone who's followed the Big 12 carefully, here's what we have.

IN: KU, A&M, Texas
Most likely in: K-State, TT (hard to discount beating KU and A&M twice)
That's it unless some other team wins the conference tourney, then they will probably bump Kstate.

Big 12 is down. But I'd argue that KU and A&M are better prepared for the tourney this year because the Big 12 is now filled with a wide variety of styles. When Syracuse won the national title they knocked off 3-4 Big 12 teams because those teams couldn't figure out Cuses' zone because noone in the Big 12 played it.

As of right I don't think either KU nor A&M are one seeds. I think they each would need one more quality win... which means the winner of rematch in the conference tourney. If they do meet, the winner should get a 1 seed over Wisconsin.

ToddTheJackass said...


BC did win the hockey championship in 2001. So it's not like we're a complete failure... there's also the Flutie game (ancient history I know).

Also BC got to the ACC finals last year by beating a hot UNC team, won a few big games against UCONN when in the Big East (not to mention the 20-0 year), and also are the only team to ever beat V-Tech on a Thursday Night. Also, you can [sort of] argue that winning 6 or 7 consecutive bowl games is pretty sweet.

I do agree there is the perception that BC loses a lot of big games, but we do win our share of big ones as well.

But that Syracuse football game was my Senior year, and damn was that painful...

Trey (formerly TF) said...

I know I'll get made fun of, but Leonardo DiCaprio. Put Romeo + Juliet & Titanic aside. He carried The Beach, was great in Catch Me if You Can, did an awesome job as Howard Hughes in Aviator.

Great actor.

Commence making fun of

Patriots64 said...

The opening game(Thursday) will probably be Pats at Colts unless he Pats balk because of the China roadtrip ! If not, Saints or Broncos at Colts.

Andy said...

tf, I'm just gonna have to disagree with you on that one. I really didn't think he was that good in any of his roles. When I look at a good actor, I try to see if I can see anyone else playing that part well. I could see a lot of actors playing Howard Hughes well. I could see a lot of actors play Frank Abignail well. I honestly can't see anyone else play Ray Charles quite the way Jamie Foxx did.

I really want to make fun of you, but Leo is a decent actor. Just not great.

DP said...


Why make fun when you spoke the truth. Leo can flat out run a film now. If you haven't seen Blood Diamond, GO SEE IT!!!. My dad, a former Marine, turned from hating Leo to being a fan because of that movie. Not that I was upset to see Forrest Whitaker win, because he is a gem of an actor, but Leo played an African better . . . and HE's WHITE!!!

I was happy to see THE BEST PICTURE win best picture. That hasn't happend since Shakespeare In Love beat Saving Private Ryan (I loved SPR, but SIL was just a little better).

DiCaprio will get his and guys who held a grudge against him as teenagers need to watch his films. The guy is not the next DeNiro, because he is going to be better than DeNiro, but more humble.

ToddTheJackass said...

Ray aside, what else has Jamie Foxx been great in, that would warrant him "one of the greatest actors of this generation" status?

If you want to talk about irreplacebility, (if that's a word), then Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, and Pacino come to mind, and I'm not sure that there really is one such actor in this generation yet. I wouldn't be willing to put Hanks, Leo, or Ed Norton in there just yet.


And can someone explain to me why/what significance Jack Nicholson's character in the Departed being an FBI informant played?


TJ said...

Actually, I'm with you, tf. It's not even like he's bad in Titanic. The Aviator, I thought he was pretty good. Gangs of New York, he was ok. But I thought he was great in Catch Me if You Can and even better in The Departed. I remember when Leo-bashing was the thing to do, but honestly I think that's behind us now. Dude is legitimately a very good actor.

Andy said...

Bluebird, come on! Crash was one hell of a movie and tremendously underrated until it won the award and it was well deserved. Most years, I only watch a couple of the nominees. That year, I happened to have seen all the nominees, and Crash was just better then Brokeback. The acting was much better. The story was more captivating. The directing was awesome. Plus, it had a great message. Gotta love movies like that. Brokeback was completely overrated simply because of the homosexuality factor. I'm glad it didn't win for that reason.

Patriots64 said...

Jamie Foxx=Willie Beamen lol

De Niro > Pacino in my opinion!!

John Travolta said the only career he would consider wanting more than his own is Tom Hanks.

CMFost said...

Opening Night Game will not be Pats and Colts they will save that for a mid to late season Sunday Game. The Opening game will be Saints at Colts. Tons of fun storylines for that game.

verbal97 said...


It's true BC won the NCAA hockey title in 2001 (I was part of the crowd that tore down the Mods fence after the game), but that was the fourth Frozen Four in as many years, so they were bound to win one (and they almost threw away a two goal lead in the title game against North Dakota).

The simple fact that we BC people cling to the Flutie game and a national title in hockey just further illustrates my point from before that more often than not, BC craps the bed.

Plus, two of the biggest wins in football the past 15 years were when we ended ND's undefeated seasons, and that's because we weren't expecting them to. It's not so much that BC sucks in big games, it's that they suck in big games that they're "expected" to win.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Andy I guess your world was rocked by Jamie when he was on In Living Color. Foxx is alright and was great in Ray but I am going to wait until we see a few more efforts like Ray and Collateral from him. Right now he is not even close to Ed Norton, Leo, Denzel, Matt Damon and I would put Will Smith ahead of Jamie Foxx.

Bluebird the only reason that Shakespeare won in 1998 was the shameless plugging that the Weinstein's did for the movie. I am afraid that Shakespeare in Love will go down as one of the worst Best Pictures ever, similar to How Green Was My Valley winning over Citizen Kane.

verbal97 said...

I have to agree with all those who say Jaime Foxx CAN'T be considered one of the best actors in this generation. His best role was in Ray, but in the male biopics I've seen in recent years, Phillip Seymour Hoffman was better as Capote, Joaquin Phoenix was better as Cash and Jim Carrey was far better as Andy Kaufman.

In fact, I can probably think of at least 50 actors that are better than Jaime Foxx that have started within the past 25-30 years.

Big D said...

@ Todd Re: FBI

Just following the Whitey Bulger Career Arc.

@ cmfost: Since the Thursday Night Season Opener now almost always the Super Bowl Champ vs. the "toughest opponent" or "best rivalry" on their season schedule, there's no doubt in my mind that the NFL will put Indy vs. NE on, in Prime Time, when there are no other games to compete with.

It's not only the Premier Game for the league (remember the hype for Pats/Colts regular season game last season?), and after the epic AFC Title Game, the NFL would be insane not to lead the season with this one.

Personally, I'd rather see it happen in about Week 13ish, where the game matters a little more. Unfortunately, the NFL hasn't learned to utilize me as a valuable programming resource.

At least, not yet.

kway34 said...

I hated Leo after Titanic, but he was good in Catch Me If You Can and brilliant in Blood Diamond (haven't seen The Departed yet). He's definitely become one of the best actors working today. Jamie Foxx was great in Ray and Collateral, but he's still behind several others at this point.

Crash sucked, but I don't know I saw many of the nominees that year.

Unknown said...

I think its pretty much impossible to pick a best actor of any generation. Everyone has diverse one man's All-time great is another man's bum.
Hm...this seems like a HoF discussion...

I can't recall a bad Will Smith movie (I didn't see Hitch though).
I did think Little Miss Sunshine was hilarious. But I like subtle comedies (ie. royal tenenbaums, punch drunk love) so this fit the bill.

I haven't seen Departed...but I guess I should.
I did just see Flag of our Fathers. Eastwood is impressive as a director. The movie left me profoundly saddened. And that's a good thing. Letters from Iwo Jima is next on my list.

CMFost said...

Plus you have to take away a little from Jamie Foxx for Miami Vice which was a horrible movie.

DP said...


Sure, that is why it won, but it WAS a better film. The only thing Saving Private Ryan had it beat on was action and there is not a category for that. But SIL had an amazing script (why it won the award for screenplay). Even the cinematography was as good, not to mention that it was more universally watchable since it had Shakespeare as the subject. I am not dowing Private Ryan, but Shakespeare In Love was a brilliant film and deserved the award more. Watch it. It's a solid movie.

ToddTheJackass said...

@Rafael, what about Wild Wild West? I, Robot and Men In Black II also sucked. Everyone makes crap movies (only proving your point about everyone disagreeing).

Aside from the actors we've mentioned, Philip Seymour Hoffman and William H Macy deserve a little love in my book. I've always liked them a lot (not that they're 'the greatest', but that they've been consistently solid).

As for handicapping this year's Oscars, I liked Sunshine better than Departed, but it seemed like a weak year overall. I am curious to see the Hong Kong flick that Departed was based on though, supposedly the acting in that is even better from the two main characters.

@Big D, should've known it had something to do with Whitey. Still, it really wasn't all that relevant to the plot, right? And yet it was shot and edited in such a way whereas it seemed like it should've been a bigger part than it was. Also the psychologist lady pissed me off (why do they always have to make the women in mob movies so lame?)

kirby077 said...

Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong movie 'The Departed' was based on is a superior movie. I thought all the actors in 'The Departed' over-acted.

Has anybody else brought up how out of her league Ellen was? It was uncomfortable to watch.

CMFost said...

Sheakspeare in Love was an absolute crap fest. I can only think of one movie that sucked more in the last 10-15 years that won the Best Picture Award and that was the English Patient.

Unknown said...

Elaine agrees with you.

I'm going with Tom Hanks.

Note: Coming tomorrow....

How I would restructure the NCAA tourney.

ToddTheJackass said...

I liked Shakespeare in Love a lot, but the movie really does lose a lot the second time you watch it, and is pretty cheesy in other parts.

Rotten Tomatoes has a best reviewed Best Picture list on their website that I was looking at earlier. Departed ranks around #30, and Crash got pretty poor reviews (comparatively) at 75 out of 80. Godfather was #1.

Titanic for me will always hold the worst winner ever for me, especially considering it won over Good Will Hunting and As Good as it Gets, which were both superior movies.

DP said...

@ cmfost

your opinion is like the smell of skunks. When it comes around, everyone can't ignore it, but they are disgusted just the same. Yet they still don't hesitate to run you over as the stink will eventually go away.

1000 Dollars says you have NEVER seen Shakespeare in Love because it doesn't contain the words sperm, shit, poop, or roadtrip in the screenplay. I marvel at your abilitiy to conciously navigate the internet as well.

Unknown said...

ouch blubird. lol

SiL was a good movie.

And no, Todd..i did not see WWW, MIB2, or the third one. lol

Name actors are rarely the best one, i think. The big actors usually have a 'thing' that everyone recognizes and enjoys.

I always liked Willem Defoe, for example. He's not usually the headliner though.

Chaddogg said...

Crash and English Patient are definitely the two worst Oscar winning films of all time, and it's not even close. I couldn't even stomach 20 minutes of Crash - being beaten over the head with blunt and trite lessons that "everyone is a little bit racist" and "racism sucks" pretty much made that the most obvious, least insightful, worst movie I've ever turned off before finishing.

DS - any thoughts on today's Veterans' Committee announcement? Does Ron Santo finally make it (the guy is one of the 10 best 3B of all time, so this should be a no-brainer)?