Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday 02/28 A.M. Quickie:
Summitt, Steroids, Santo and More

There are perhaps no more chilling pair of words ever written than these:

Summitt. Upskirt.

(Well, perhaps "Gators. Stink.")

I credit Pat Summitt for making her way out on the court at the first TV timeout, dressed as a Vols cheerleader (complete with... miniskirt). She led the cheers. She sang the song. It obviously helped the mood that Tennessee was beating the stink out of Florida.

But I'm sure you will all agree that it was a classic "There are some things you can't un-see" moment.

Deadspin's Will Leitch has the first-paragraph take on it I wish I wrote:

"Whether she was channeling Bruce Pearl or Minnie Pearl, Pat Summitt's antics before the Tennessee men's game on Tuesday was the least offensive aspect of the evening, as it turns out. When one considers that Dick Vitale was there, and that Peyton Manning was in the crowd singing, viewers should consider themselves lucky that the cameras focused mainly on Summitt."

Meanwhile, you all know I'm a huge Gators fan. And, yes, finally: I'm worried.

I'd like to see how they perform on the neutral courts of the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, rather than in the hostile environment of Tennessee (or LSU... or Vandy), but some things worry me that transcend location: Like their awful defense. Or their terrible decision-making on offense.

I remain convinced that there isn't a better starting 5 in college basketball (and probably not a team with a better 6th man either), but if they don't get their heads screwed on right, they won't repeat as a Final Four team, let alone as champ. (But I'm not bailing: I'm still picking them to repeat.)

The other big stories of the day:

This steroid bust in Orlando is huge – and only going to get bigger. Who else figured there had to be a reason for Gary Matthews Jr's increased production? And boxers? Please. I'm just waiting for more names – and you KNOW all those folks who were busted are just dying to name names to save themselves.

Ron Santo denied... again. I'm in Chicago right now, and it's a big deal here. But maybe it's time he just withdrew and gave up. Maybe start his own "Sorta Hall of Fame." (Actually, that would be hilarious... and a huge success!)

Conference Championship Week: This is as close as the sport comes to my dream of an everyone-in-the-pool tournament. Even the worst team in a conference can make the Big Dance. I love that. And I have no sympathy for regular-season conference champs who poop the bed when it really matters and miss out on an NCAA Tournament bid.

More College Hoops: Is Michigan REALLY an NCAA Tournament team? I don't know much, but I know that if they are, I'm penciling in whoever they play as advancing out of that particular bracket matchup.

Pitt is worth adding to the "I have no idea how they'll do in the Tournament" list.

Thad Matta's YouTube Moment: You know a story is at the end of its life cycle when it finally makes the TV Sports column of USA Today. Credit sports bloggers (like MJD at Deadspin and Fanhouse) for being all over this first, on Sunday night, before it bubbled into mainstream media (ATH, PTI) and finally, three days later, to newspaper coverage.

Cards like Clemens? That's just fantastic. Which team WOULDN'T want him? The difference is that Clemens has expressed no interest in playing for the Cards. What a non-story!

How much is Ryan Howard worth? If Ryan Howard was on the open market, how much would he command? $10 million a year? $15 million? More? Consider his mammoth marketing appeal as the TRUE "Face of Baseball" -- and the sport's reigning Slugger-King. The Phillies better understand that.

NBA: Typical Knicks – just when things were looking even remotely better, they fall apart. How does a team go from too many shoot-first point guards to too few?

Mavs win 13th straight: Much like a regular-season conference champ from a smaller college conference, this doesn't mean anything if the Mavs don't win the NBA title.

PGA: I love that Tiger Woods is simply creating his own event, using his own foundation's money. In my hometown of D.C. Over July 4 weekend, no less. Because Tiger is literally supporting it, I expect it will be a big deal.

NFL: I love how even Pac-Man Jones' own family says he's "out of control." When your family is talking shit about you, you've crossed a line.

Finally: This is totally crass, but I am anticipating it becoming one of the biggest online-sports sensations of the spring: The "Would You Do?" Tournament.

-- D.S.


Unknown said...

Dan - it's time to face it, not only does Florida suck but they don't even care.

I'd be absolutely STUNNED to see Florida in the Final 4. Just making to the Elite 8 will be amazing the way they're playing right now. Absolutely lifeless.

Unknown said...

Top 5, or 6, in college basketball? Hands down the Kansas Jayhawks. They could go 8 deeper than any other team in the land, it all depends on how they shoot from the perimeter.

Gary said...

Florida can't even get opposing teams to rush the court against them anymore...just kidding, that's a nice amount of class shown by the Tennessee students and kudos to the security guards at "The Summit" for not letting the school get embarassed.

Also, I didn't realize Tennessee was undefeated at home...that's not half bad, even in a weakened SEC that's impressive.

I like the way Lofton plays and he's the kind of guy that can carry a 5 seeded Vols team into the Elite Eight if he gets hot from the outside

Brian in Oxford said...

I thought the Pat Summitt thing was hysterical. Now if we could only get Coach K shirtless in support of coach G.

Way better than here in CT, where it seems Auriemma and Calhoun hate each other!

Oh, and speaking of the Big East....not every team makes its conference tournament. Cincinnati, for instance, is DONE.

I remember a few years ago, Dartmouth had the longest win streak in the nation....they were 6-0 and had finished the year before with 4 straight wins, but of course, no Ivy tournament. The defending NIT and NCAA champs had already lost the following season, and so they actually had a 10-game winning streak in early December, only to get beat by North Carolina.

I'll put in the obligatory 2 cents (Canadian) and mention a shout to Mark Messier, getting his number retired in Edmonton last night.

Gary said...

brian in oxford: I don't think it's that Calhoun doesn't like Geno, no one likes Geno. I root against the women's team at UConn (I'm an alum) just because I think Geno is the biggest D-Bag in the state (possibly New England, Jon Kerry a close second!)

Also, where in CT are you Brian?

Big D said...

5 years, $50M from the Angels. That oughtta buy some good spin doctors for Gary Matthews, now that he's about to be persecuted in the court of public opinion...

As for CBB - Florida is a #2 seed. No doubt. Kansas, Wisco, tOSU and... UCLA? So Ill? G-Town? A&M? Lots of other options there...

TJ said...

Hmm... I guess I'm just weird, but whereas I was completely dispairing after the debacle against LSU, last night's game actually gives me some hope. Apparently getting whooped on by LSU wasn't enough to embarrass the Gators into righting the ship, but I think the 27-point deficit last night lit a fire. The Gators finally (and for the first time since the second half of the Alabama game a few weeks ago) showed some life and spark in the second half.

The way the Gators are playing now, there's no way they win more than one NCAA tourney game, if that. But I also thing there's no way they keep playing like this, not for much longer. We'll on Sunday when Kentucky comes to town. And Gary, UF is undefeated at home also, but of course you should expect at least that from this Gators team.

Matt T said...

Bubble game of the night. Georgia at Kentucky. Both have the same conference record, UK has a better RPI but Georgia won the first game.

Gary said...

Big D: Not that I agree with this, but there is no way that So. Ill gets a 1 seed, they'll be lucky with a 4 seed. Look how long it took Gonzaga to get seeding respect. They went like 29-2 one year and only ended up with a 5 or 6 seed..IIRC.

I wouldn't be surprised if the committee tries to knock the mid-majors down a peg by setting up tough first round matchups for the power mid majors, like Nevada, So. Ill, Butler, Air Force etc. Giving them the Michigan States of the world, Vandy, Boston College etc in first round matchups to try and get as many eliminated as soon as possible.

There are going to be a lot of 7-12 seeds from major conferences this year, and they could be matched up with mid majors for very interesting first round games...I'm starting to get giddy. Selection Sunday is by far my favorite day of the year, Christmas be damned (no offense Jesus)

Anonymous said...

although so ill might deserve a 1 (debatable) they will not get one, i'm sorry but it won't happen.

I watched the game last night and florida seemed like it wasn't that they were hustling they wren;t even going through the motions, there was some point in the second half where they tried to pound it in to noah and like 4 straight passes were stolen thats just lazy.

Patriots64 said...

@ Daddy Rosee

Ryan Smyth, Captain Canada traded to the Isles means a playoff spot for sure and gives them a legit chance to some damage in the playoffs.

San Jose getting Guerin and Detroit getting Big Bert means it will be a dogfight in the west with Nashville and Anaheim.

NHL deadline day in Canada is like Christmas, 8 hours of coverage on all 3 sports networks.

TJ said...

As for the steroid bust, I just pray UF's football team doesn't get their steroids from Orlando. That would ruin the mood in G'ville a little bit.

@daddy, he also doesn't mention much about the WNBA or World's Strongest Man competitions. Hockey is definitely a sport, and a pretty good one, but it's popularity right now in this country is probably barely above soccer.

Anonymous said...

to be honest hockey is a sport, but i do not care about it at all.

Anonymous said...

who u got tonight, duke or maryland.

Fear the Turtle

( I have maryland obviously.)

Gary said...

jason: good point! But you get my drift none-the-less

Also, Air Force is struggling to say the least (insert crappy flying joke here) and they are looking more like an 11 seed than the 11th ranked team they were ranked at just a week or two ago

Mikepcfl said...

Fear the Turtle tonight at Cameron!

Gary said...

they show WNBA highlights when one of the players tries to dunk...i always find that cute (kinda like hockey fans getting defensive about their fringe sport)
(End mean Gary)

Mega said...

For anyone wanting to debate Santo's HOF credentials, here are who his statistics are comparable to:

Fielding- Dale Murphy (who has 2 MVP's to Santo's 0, and is not in the hall)

Batting- Gary Gaetti (definitely not hall material)

Personally, I think guys like Minnie Minoso and Andre Dawson are more deserving to get in first.

TJ said...

@daddy, I'm not really sure any more. Because Barry Melrose is under contract and they have to have something to do with him?

Or because it used to be a popular sport and the people are still willing to see a few great plays?

Or because women's bball is rarely to blame for many "top play" worthy moments.?

Jon said...

God I hope Michigan doesn't get in the NCAA's. Hopefully the committee is smart enough and will reward more deserving teams like ODU and Drexel instead giving a guaranteed one and done from a major.

Could Air Force be playing their way out of the tourney? Not a good time to play losing basketball.

Andrea Kramer has to be the worst 16 seed ever. At least she went out and voted over 200 times for herself...

ToddTheJackass said...

Dan, someone really needs to explain this whole arbitration process in baseball to you, because I think you don't get it. Actually, you don't get it.

Once a player is drafted/signed by a team, the team has the exclusive rights to the player for their first six years of major league service time. For the first 3 years of service time, the team is only obligated to pay said player the rookie/league minimum, and for the next 3 years they are only obligated to pay said player their value as determined by an arbitration hearing (or an out of arb settlement). Players who are arbitration eligible pretty much never get their "value on the open market" as you like to claim.

Therefore the assertions of Mauer/Morneau/Howard (pending) signing for lower than their "market value" is irrelevant, since they are absolutely not free agents. It would make no sense for a team to sign players who are under their control for competitive "open market" salaries, since it isn't an open market.

ToddTheJackass said...

The comparison of Santo to Dale Murphy/Dawson is fairly irrelevant. The argument in support of Santo has everything to do with the position scarcity of 3B, as the fact is that there aren't really many great 3B in the history of baseball, and that Santo is arguably one of the 10-12 best in baseball history at that position.

I'd argue the same is true for Trammel as well. (I also like Dale Murphy a lot, but am unsure about his Hall credentials).

Brian in Oxford said...

Selection Sunday is good, until Dick Vitale cries when Notre Dame is sent to the NIT in most years. Maybe I'll set up a road block from the airport to Bristol (I live in Oxford, Gary....sorry to hide the obviousness of it) to keep him off the air after doing the ACC championship.

The hard part is when you run the bracket pool....everyone just naturally comes to talk about the games to you, and then it's late Wednesday and you're like, oh crap, I still have to make my own picks! The fun part is listening to all the blowhards tell us who's going to win what. And of course they're all always wrong.

It's okay to be wrong, just don't act all pompous leading up to it.

Mega said...

Todd Ching- you have a good point. However, Santo's whining and posturing on the topic probably isn't helping him get votes, IMO at least.

Personally I think its a travesty that guys like Nellie Fox had to wait forever to get in while guys like Buck O'Neil, Andre Dawson, and Minnie Minoso still haven't gotten in. Meanwhile a wife of an owner got in to the Hall. It should now be considered almost a big a joke as the NFL hall of fame.

kirby077 said...

Here I go again, sticking up for the NHL. One of the the reasons the Ryan Smyth deal is bigger news than the WNBA etc. is because we are talking a 5 year/$25-30 million deal. I don't see those other fringe sports throwing around those figures. Even Beckham's playing contract is 5 years/$27.5 million.

Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that regional NHL broadcasts on NBC beat Men's CBB in the ratings.

Seems this whole chat has been about a 'fringe' sport lately.

DougOLis said...

I'm not so worried about Florida mainly due to the precedent established by the Colts and Cardinals where it's ok to suck at the end of the season and turn it on in the playoffs.

Gary said...

brian in oxford: I didn't know an Oxford, CT existed, thats why I asked. I am from Rhode Island, just went to UConn, so I basically only know the towns on the eastern and southern parts of CT.

Anything west past Hartford is all a mystery to me!

ToddTheJackass said...

@Dan Mega,

The reason (as I understand it) that Buck O'Neil didn't get elected to the Hall was that the committee appointed to do that vote determined to evaluate Buck exclusively as a player, and not as an "ambassador". So taking that into account, it's understandable how he didn't get in based on his playing credentials (compared to some of the other Negro League players like Mule Suttles, etc).

What they need to do (and I think this idea originated from Neyer or a Neyer chat), is to have some kind of baseball lifetime achievement award, name it after Buck, and give it to people who have served the game so well, like Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Bill James, etc. who probably wouldn't make it in for other reasons.

ToddTheJackass said...

Also, I don't know about any of you, but do you guys find yourselves passionately rooting against all UF teams because of Dan?

I know I was cracking up when they were down by 25 last night, and my girlfriend asked me why I hate Florida, and Dan's homerism toward them was the only premise for it.

Do you guys find yourself rooting against Florida in response to Dan's (vicarious/adopted) homerism toward them?

Brian in Oxford said...

Oxford's in the middle of nowhere, if you can picture the quadrilateral formed by Waterbury, Danbury, New Haven, and Bridgeport. Gary, your profile says radio in that WEEI's FM version?

I think one problem with the Halls of Fame is that they don't let people accumulate their experiences in different roles.

For instance, Jim Kaat....borderline as a player. But a terrific announcer, too.

Joe Torre's going to have the same deal....maybe not as a player, maybe not as a manager, but between the two....

I think that should HELP Santo's cause. And definitely shoulda helped Buck O'Neil.

It took John Madden a long time to get have to combine the coaching (too short a career) on top of the announcing, and then factor in the video game presence...

chitown italian said...

That color orange is hideous enough but putting a skirt on and joining in on the pyramid....

I threw up in my mouth watching.

verbal97 said...

I root against Florida, but only because of a professor I had at BC who talked about the Gators non-stop.

La Rev said...

Dan, the guy who runs The Big Picture is a Husky. By nature, all Huskies are crass.

Go Zags.

Natsfan74 said...

Adopting a team "just" because of a significant other is the lamest reason ever to watch a team.

But my wife went to the University of Virginia, and we have Virginia football season tickets. I am a huge UVa fan, not because of my wife, but because of the great group we go to games with and how much fun I have there. I will always like tOSU better, but it's good to have a hometown rooting interest.

If Dan is a UF fan just because of his wife, that would be the lamest thing ever. If he's a UF fan because he lives in FL now, is immersed in the culture, and actually goes to see games, then it's a justifiable explanation.

I grew up a Cubs fan. I will always be a Cubs fan. But I have Nationals season tickets, so I am also a huge Nats fan because I immersed myself in the culture as soon as they moved here!

p.s., I hate UF just because, not because of Dan. But it helps...

Chris said...


Is the UF frontline still "the best frontline in the last 25 years of college basketball?" I'm just asking.

Mega said...

natsfan- I just knew you were a Cubs fan the instant you claimed that rooting for a significant other's team is crap but jumping on a bandwagon is ok, which is exactly what you have done. Shanoff can root for whoever he wants to. When I was dating my ex, I rooted for IU basketball (as an SIU alumni) because she was a superfan of the team.

Chris said...

BTW, my wife is an alum of Maryland and I graduated from Penn State. Even though the PSU basketball program sucks (like Dan's alma mater Northwestern) I still root for them and don't adopt my wife's Terrapins because they are a tournament team almost every year. That is pathetic and lame. If you grow up or live in an area close to a university, or are alum of the school, I can see you being a fan of that school. However, just to become an annoying homer (and make ridiculous statements about the teams) of a university because your wife roots for them leaves you open to be ridiculed. I didn't really like or dislike the Gators until Dan became such an apologist for them. Now, I root against them each and every chance I get. Maybe that is a bad reason to root against the Florida, but it doesn't seem like it to me.

Natsfan74 said...

Dan Mega, I don't know what part of my previous statement said it's ok to jump on a bandwagon. Did you ever go to an IU game? Ever be around more IU alum than just your gf? I go to a lot of UVa sporting events, as well as about 120 Nats games over the past 2 years.

My entire High School went to SIU (except for me) and my parents have b-ball tickets there. But I don't root for SIU because I am not immersed in that culture. How did you feel when IU crushed SIU this year?

Heck, when I lived in Hawaii, I had UH Season Tickets and became a big 'Bows (Warriors) fan. It's all about being there and being a part of it, not jumping on a bandwagon.

Matt T said...

@Todd Ching.

Nah, I root against Florida because I'm a UGA alum and its in my blood to hate Florida.

Mega said...

"Dan Mega, I don't know what part of my previous statement said it's ok to jump on a bandwagon."

You move to an area then immediately start liking a team when you got there as a transient with no connection to it. What do you call it?

"Did you ever go to an IU game? Ever be around more IU alum than just your gf?"

Over 30 and yes.

"How did you feel when IU crushed SIU this year?"

I shrugged.

But seriously, if you're going to lambast someone for rooting for a significant other's team, you better be ready to take some heat because there is nothing wrong with it. You might as well criticize guys for liking a team because their dad did.

Gary said...

Brian in Oxford: I don't work at WEEI, I work at a small two-station independently owned cluster. News Talk and Classical (yeah, that classical, Bach, Beethoven).

I get to do HS Play-by-play on the AM and that is my passion, I do the news and other on air stuff for both stations, thanks in large part to my experience at WHUS (the uconn radio station)

Jen said...

The question is, will Dan be a big Gator fan if they ever suck?

My husband and I are both Ohio State fans. Born and bred in Ohio. We both went to different colleges, but always remain a true Buckeye fan, even when they suck and/or don't show up for the NC game in January.

Gary said...

Rooting for colleges present such a large problem for some people...

I can definately see both sides of the coin.

I grew up rooting for URI hoops...1998 was like euphoria for me! URI didn't have a D-I Football team so I adopted a couple of teams at random that were on TV alot and had players I like...enter Penn State and Florida!

I went to UConn, now I am a rabid Huskies fan in all sports, espically football where I have season tickets and attended their bowl game in 2004.

I still root for URI and go to a few game a year because I still like them. If URI and UConn played in basketball, I'd be torn, but UConn would get my rooting because they had 4 great years of my life.

But why does attending a school (presumably based on academics) force one to root for that school in sports. I'm sure that since we are all such rabid sports fans, wherever we went to school we enjoyed the sports at the school and became fans. But what if you hated the teams, but it was your state school and the only one you were accepted to or something? Does that force you to be a fan?

I know this is a bad example, but I hate Notre Dame football, I always have, I think because I disliked Lou if for some reason Notre Dame was my safety school and my state school and the only one I got accepted to, I don't know if I would be able start rooting for their football team just because I was taking classes there. I probably would end up rooting for the Irish...but just thinking of that now makes me cringe!

Sorry for the long comment! Hopefully it's not too confusing

Unknown said...

And now, as promised, HOW TO FIX THE NCAA TOURNEY.
When I complain about the tourney I have a few complaints.

1. Teams that COULD make a run don't make the tourney. Example: 2005. In a year with a very small bubble, the final spot is a straight up showdown between Northern Iowa and Maryland. Eventhough Maryland had beaten Duke (#1) TWICE that season, the committee gives the nod to Northern Iowa who promptly bows out in the first round.

2. Conference tournaments don't have the same meaning that they used to. Example: 2003. Arizona is the #1 seed in the Pac-10 tourney and is playing #8 seed UCLA in the first round. The Wildcats had won their two meetings against the Bruins by a combined 71 points. Needless to say they mailed it in. Lute Olsen made some interesting personel moves during the game and rested his guys. After the game one of the Arizona players actually said, "We have next week to accomplish our goal, which is to win it all." Arizona was still awarded a #1 by the committee and went to the Elite 8.

3. Teams that are seeded 1-12 are (or are supposed to be) the top 48 teams in the country, while the last 17 teams are much farther behind. Example: 2006 (could be any year though). Our 13 seeds were 2 at-large's (Bradley and Air Force) and 2 conference champs (Pacific and Iona). Bradely went on to the sweet 16. This happens very often. Same thing as George Mason. The gap between the last at-large team and the low seeds is annoying. The difference between a 12 and a 14 is staggering whereas the difference between 2-4 is sometimes debateable.

To fix these 3 problems I created a new tourney that I will release soon.

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey, why the heck is Iona so bad this year? Anyone?

Gary said...

they graduated like 11 players last year, iirc...they have 5 freshman start I believe, and presumably not blue-chip freshmen!

Unknown said...

Introducing the 96 team tournament.

As you may have assumed this will include 32 first round byes. While you can easily find 96 teams that are good (just add the 32 teams from the NIT), how does this solve the question of how to fix the newfound insignificance of the conference tourney?

Because those 32 first round byes don't go to the top 32 teams. They go to the 32 conference champs. There are currently 31 conferences and a bunch of independents that can get their own tourney for a bid. Do you think Lute Olsen would risk the embarrassment of going out to some team ranked 93rd in the country. Every team would be killing themselves to get a first round bye like that.

So there it is. 96 teams. Very do-able. No question. It's 2 extra days. just start the tourney on Tuesday. Tuesday - 16 games. Wednesday - 16 games. Thursday - 16 games. Friday - 16 games. Saturday - 8 games. Sunday - 8 games.

If you got through the week, 3 games in 5 days. You are in the sweet 16. Congrats.

I say that week would be the greatest week ever. Tourney for 6 straight days.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd..... cue your thoughts

Brian in Oxford said...

Do you re-seed the teams after the first 64 play?

Because who gets the TAAC champ? An Ohio State team that loses in triple-OT in the Big Ten Final, but has no problem with its Tuesday night game?

Who plays UCLA, as a top seed, for instance? the 64-65 matchup team? Or the 33-96 winner?

Luke Bell said...

So, in essence, what you are saying is that the winner of say, the Patriot league tournament title deserves a bye in the first round over say, the runner up of the ACC tournament? Or, what happens if a sub-.500 team gets hot and wins its conference tournament (I think there was a sub-.500 team last year, seeded 16th obviously)? They deserve a bye over any number of teams that are ranked higher but don't win the conference tournament?

I like it as is. I don't need any more teams in the tournament. Sure, there are always a few teams that say they "deserve" to be in the big dance, but if you truly deserve it, you would win more games in the season (or the conference tournament). These teams usually end up in the NIT and bow out anyway, nullifying their claim to make the NCAA tournament. It's fine as is, says I.

Unknown said...


You don't re-seed, same thing as now but slightly different. There would be 4 regions they have teams seeded 1-24 instead of 1-16.

It would be 1 vs winner of 16/17, 2 vs winner of 15/18.

You can easily find 96 good teams. If you want, go back and look at the last team that would be in my layout from last year. That would be a team seeded as the 3rd best 8-seed in the NIT.

Brian in Oxford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JunkCult said...

If the Mavericks current domination "doesn't mean anything", why even mention ANY regular season basketball ever? As a Mavericks fan, it perplexes me that you dismiss their accomplishments so casually.

And as a Gary Matthews, Jr. fan, I'm disappointed that he's going to be abused in the press over the next few weeks. In spite of what he may or may not have done chemically, he's a genuine good guy.

Brian in Oxford said...

So the 8 seed in a region is for instance the TAAC champ....worst automatic qualifier. They get the 9-24 winner, where the 9 is the best a Wisconsin that might get picked off in its tourney.

Problem then, is that the 9 beats the 8 (Wisconsin over some hyphenated monstrosity), too, and its next game is against the 1 in the region, assuming they beat the 16/17 winner.

That's not a good deal, especially if you don't re-seed. You'd have Wisc-OhioSt just to get to the sweet sixteen. Maybe not those exact teams, but that level of quality between the teams, forced to play earlier than they should.

Unknown said...


I see your point there. Props. No one has ever presented me with that arguement before. Maybe we can fox this somehow.


Your arguement doesn't make much sense. First of all, the worst team that would have made it last year would have been Butler. Delaware State would've been like 10 spots out. Second, it's unfair that a conference champ got a bye like the D1 Indy Champ like Utah Valley State over Wisconsin? More unfair than Oakland getting in that year when they were like 12-18 cause they won their conference and teams like Maryland who beat a #1 seed twice in the regular season STAYING HOME? You've got to be kidding.

Maybe you only give a bye to the top 16 conference winners? Something like that. Brian, help me out here.

Unknown said...

Brian in Oxford

I used to live and work in Middlebury, CT. Nice area. Some of my local bicycle routes used to pass right by the Oxford Airport when I was looking for a slightly flatter route.

Iona graduated a lot of players and had several injuries causing them to start 5 freshmen.

I would like to see the top 32 teams placed in a tournament with 4 team round robin brackets for the first week. However they eliminates the excitement of single elimination games and also hurts the office pools so I am happy with the current 64/65 team format. I certainly don't think it should be 96 teams.

No team excluded from the top 65 and not their conf. champ has any claim to being the best team in the country.

What is the lowest seeded team to win it all since they went to 64 teams?

Unknown said...

I am quite convinced that at this point 96 is the right number.

I heard Jim Boeheim (sp?) on Dan Patrick yesterday and he said that the tourney needs to be expanded.

He explained that it used to be 8 teams but they expanded it because the competition got better. Now we are up to 65. The competition is bounds ahead of where it was when they expanded to 64 in 1985.

In the era of the mid-major this needs to be done. And it will happen eventually so we might as well start now.

Big D said...

Anyone listening to WEEI this afternoon (The Big Show)? They are having quite a time ripping the hell out of "the evil blogs" that are crucifying Cedric Maxwell for his off hand comment in a recent Celtics' game (the comment was so innoccuous, by the way, that it doesn't even deserve recognition).

The Radio hosts are about to blow a gasket talking about how "Blogs are a dangerous thing", and how " is probably not a reliable news site".

What a Joke.

Brian in Oxford said...

Actually the lowest seed to win was Villanova as an 8. Kansas was a 6, I think, back in '88. And those were the "early years" of the 64-bracket.

Here's the thing. Let's say the ACC had the best 12 teams in the country. But the 12th best team went 0-16 in conference, and ended up 12-16. Would they deserve a bid? Let's say they killed everyone out of conference, but lost, properly to 11 teams better than they are. Maybe their RPI is even 12 to prove it (not likely, but whatever, play along here).

If you're clearly not in the argument for best teams in your conference, then you clearly aren't a viable choice to play for the national title. The regular season should have some weight in eliminating you from consideration.

We seed the teams specifically for this reason. Better teams get an easier path, as a reward for their seasons.

Corner, I think your only shot is to re-seed, or give lower seeds byes. How's that for an idea? The 22 seed doesn't play a first round game, but they get a tougher matchup than teams ahead of them, who don't get a bye for the first game.

Anyways, Mets-Tigers is on MLB.TV. Aaaahhhh.

Big D said...

Oops. Meant to include the link to the web stream, so you can all enjoy the dulcet tones of Tony Mazzaroti's voice...

WEEI Online

Unknown said...

On a note of my suggestion to give half of the byes to conference champs of 16 conferences.... who are these 16 teams. I'm looking it up, assuming the best team wins their conference tourney cause we can't predict otherwise.

I have found them, they are.

Ohio State (Big 10)
Kansas (Big 12)
Florida (SEC)
Memphis (CUSA)
North Carolina (ACC)
Georgetown (Big East)
Nevada (WAC)
Southern Illinois (MVC)
Butler (Horizon)
Brigham Young (MWC)
Gonzaga (WCC)
Winthrop (Big South)
Vermont (America East)
Penn (IVY)

Then you add the top 16 other teams for byes.

That leaves the best team without a bye as AIR FORCE.

I think I'm ok with that.

Brian in Oxford said...

Big D, What's the backstory on Cornbread?

Considering he's filling the exact spot the Big O used to fill back when I was in high school (Celts' radio color man), I'd expect some leniency.

Unknown said...

Essentially the top 25 would have byes and 7 other conference winners.

Big D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corey said...

heh heh, looks like Scoop is going after Whitlock again

Unknown said...


Not qualified? I think not.

According to the invaluable "Drive to 65" their are 31 "locks", 6 "should be ins", and 32 "bubble teams".

That's 69 teams!

Add the average of 17 conferences that make it purely on auto-bid alone thats 86 TEAMS.

All you have to do is add 10. That's it.
Take the whole bubble and 10 teams.

Big D said...

Good point Brian...

The Boston Herald ran this story earlier today about his on-air comments.

Basically, here was the problem:

Radio commentator Cedric Maxwell will apologize for saying a female referee should “go back to the kitchen,” over the air during a Boston Celtics [team stats] game Monday night on WEEI-AM, a station official said yesterday...

“Go back to the kitchen,” Maxwell said.

That remark resulted in a moment of strained silence before Maxwell re-launched, saying “Go in there and make me some bacon and eggs, would you?”

Now, by themselves, the comments could easily be misconstrued. But the argument coming from Ordway (and others) is that is was just Max's "schtick", and that he was impersonating Tommy Heinsohn's normal blown-top whenever a ref misses a call that hurts the Celtics.

WEEI just replayed the comments, and it's 50/50 at best, in my mind. Maybe it was a Heinsohn impersonation, maybe he just slipped. But one thing's for sure - Cedric won't be getting a Tommy Point any time soon.

The only reason I brought it up was to laugh at the comments by the "mainstream guys" from the Herald/WEEI/TV talking about how dangerous the InstaWebs are becoming, how anonymity is always a bad thing...

Because newspaper/Radio/TV guys never rely on anonymous sources for their stories, right?

Unknown said...


You missed it. Wisconsin gets the bye.

I said still a 96 team tourney with 32 byes. 16 for conference winners and 16 at large byes.

Hence, Air Force, the best team with no bye.

Brian in Oxford said...

How about 192 first round byes, and 128 teams play in. That leaves 192 + 64 = 256 additional week of ridiculous madness, featuring 320 teams.

How many D-1 teams we got? I know it's right around the 320 mark. If there are more, it's time to relegate some back down to D-2.

Or whatever, shrink the 192 by a few so that those last 10 extra teams play in the first round.

Unknown said...


It's 336.

CMFost said...

Big D - That is one of the reason I do not listen to WEEI that much anymore. I much prefer the Felger show on ESPN 890 and MIke and Mike in the morning over D and C, the only show I really ever listen to know his Dale and Holley. WEEI, They pretty much suck, and if you are against there agenda they shout you down. WEEI is starting to get very stale and Old to me. I think they need to shake things up.

Big D said...

Whoa... @Brian, GitC...

Are you seriously considering a NCAA tourney field of 192, or 320? I mean, doesn't that render the regular season completely useless?

Think about it, if every team got in, then there's no need for the conference tourneys (which, GitC, I believe was your biggest gripe about the current situation).

If we're going that far, why not just make the entire season a double or triple elimination tournament? Then we could just institute a BCS-like system in ten years to let the computers do the thinking for us...

The system in place is good - not perfect, but nothing is. The only thing I'd like to get rid of is the damned "Play-in" game - It just reeks of "Ohhhh, they were so close... let's give them a shot anyway!" If that's the case, how does the #66 team feel now? Or #67? 68? Waste of time.

CJ said...

Hmmm... a little bit of cluelessness when it comes to Ryan Howard.

In baseball, teams own players for years. In Howard's case, the Phillies have the right to simply renew his contract this year and then go to arbitration on one-year deals for the next three years.

A young player has almost NO negotiating power. For example, Albert Pujols exploded on the scene and you know how much he made in his 2nd full season? $900,000. And that was a record amount.

The Phils will likely sign Howard to a one year deal worth a million dollars by Friday and then look at a long-term deal next year before Howard reaches arbitration (like they did with Utley).

To suggest the Phils "don't appreciate" Howard is stupid. To suggest his agent isn't doing his job because Howard isn't paid like Giambi is stupid.

Brian in Oxford said...

Ha, I just found that myself. So 176 get byes, and 160 play the opening round, and voila, that's 256 teams left. Another week of hoops, that's it.

And what, somebody ranked 178th is going to complain about the extra game that team number 176 didn't have to play? yeah, right!

The real problem would be scheduling...they might have to be on-campus, to get 80 games for the opening round and then 128 for the first round.

Unknown said...

Big D-

I never said anything like that. The whole D1 being in is a stupid idea. I want the good teams. All of them. Thats why I did the math. It's the whole bubble and all the conference champs plus 10 teams.


Um, what are you reading. Ohio State and Wisconsin both get byes according to what I said.

Pay attention:
32 Byes. 16 to the top conference tourney winners. 16 to the top 16 teams that didn't win their tourney.

Essentially the top 25 plus 7 more conference winners. Get the byes.

This year the best without a bye would be Air Force and the Best with a bye would be Penn although I might say they can't be eligible unless they actually play a tourney.

Unknown said...

** Penn worst with a bye, not best

Brian in Oxford said...

I think the 336-team tourney is...amusing, but not practical.

The play-in game isn't for mid majors, it's for low majors. The dreaded "day in the sun" with a real chance to win, versus the inevitable slaughter down the road by itself.

But this could go along with my response to Corner, earlier. Let the play-in game be between the last two at-larges, for the right to be a 13 seed. The lower seeds don't have to play in, but they have to face Ohio State right away.

Unknown said...

Jason, Brain, Big D, anyone else-

What's wrong with the situation I have layed out now?

Here's where we are.

96 teams. 32 first round byes. 16 given to the best conference tourney champs. 16 given to the 16 best at-large teams.

96 teams involves the first weekend starting on tuesday instead of thursday and essentially becoming a week.

96 teams means that we take every team that is now considered "on the bubbble" plus 10 more teams (see math up the page).

In this format there would be the same amount of games played in the first 4 days as there are in the whole tourney as of now and we are barely watering down thet talent level because so many people think that most of the bubble teams are so close to eachother anyways.

Big D said...


I agree. I say we all start up a campaign to get me some airtime. My fingers are getting tired from typing all day long.

Plus, I could stop being an "evil blogger"... The only problem is, if you think Simmons has a high voice, you've never heard me when I get going off on a tangent...

CMFost said...

Wow this talk today is crazy stuff.

CMFost said...

Big D - it could not be worse then tony maz. And if you want Airtime you can always by a spot on 1510 the Zone.

Kevin said...

Stop your love affair with Ryan Howard already! The guy had a great two months last year, but he's actually older than Pujols (granted, nobody knows how old Pujols *really* is), and he's not nearly as good. There's no way Howard is the "face of baseball" - he'll probably go something like .300-35-115 this year if he doesn't get hurt. Those are obviously great numbers, but not as amazing as you want him to he's slow as hell and plays crappy defense at a crappy position.

Unknown said...


could you drop your opinion on my last post, it has taken time to develop but thanks to contributions from others (jason, brian) I like it even more now.

Brian in Oxford said...

The problem is, adding more teams, just adds more losers. Nobody left out was going to win the title anyways. I'm sorry that Maryland had Duke's number that year, but it's not like they were 26-3.

So any expansion of the tournament is really just a money grab.

Unknown said...


It makes it more fun, it makes more gambling, it makes more games, and with barely watering down the talent.

I wanna see exciting games.
I wanna see the conference tourneys count.
I wanna see those bubble teams that are all better than the 14 seeds make it.

Unknown said...

How much more exciting is the Big 10 tourney if before they don't even take it into acount and now it would determine a bye in the NCAA?

Unknown said...

I still think 64 teams is more than enough.

Look at the NBA and NHL where 16 teams make the playoffs. Fans of the 7 and 8th seeded teams might be excited during the first round of the playoffs but it made most of the regular season meaningless. Teams get built to just win in the postseason.

NFL and MLB have it right as far as I am concerned. Good teams make it, bad teams don't. Teams with sub .500 records shouldn't be in the playoffs. The NCAA recognized this at least with Bowl games. However I think that only 7-5 teams should be bowl eligible, 6-6 teams have no place in a bowl game.

Brian in Oxford said...

I think that's where we disagree. Every bubble team is there because of something they didn't do during the season. Whereas the 14 seeds are there because of what they did do, instead.

Of course, I'm all for more games, although it may require an 11 x 17 sheet for filling everything in.

Hey, am I the only one who includes the play-in game when scoring a tourney pool?

Unknown said...

You still play neutral.
They could pull it off.
Instead of having a pod be 4 teams playing 3 games in 3 days it would be 6 teams playing 5 games in 5 days.
That's not to bad.
Maybe arenas wouldn't be able to do 4 pods like some do. All you'd have to do is have more locations with less games.

Brian in Oxford said...

I have this bad vision of running 2 games at the same time, side by side on the auxiliary courts, ya know like they do at the gym on sunday mornings.

Unknown said...

As for the question of 10 teams not on the bubble that I'd pick... that's hard. I'm only a semi-pro bracketologist. I'm no Joe Lunardi. I bet you he could do it.

It's simple really. After the NIT comes out, we will know. They shrunk the NIT to 32 teams, so just drop the worst team there. That would be the rest of the teams.

Unknown said...

I said that last year it would have been Butler according to the NIT bracket and seedings, that would be a "24-seed".

Luke Bell said...

I don't want a team that finished 7th in their conference in the dance. Adding more teams just moves the bubble. I like it better when somewhat competitive teams are the ones on the bubble, rather than adding more teams and making even worse teams the new bubble.

Unknown said...


First of all.

Where is this NIT-ology?

Unknown said...

Actually I've now been to and according to them the teams would be.

New Mexico St.
Northern Iowa
South Carolina
Kent St.

Unknown said...

Good wins:
Nebraska- Creighton, Kansas St., Texas Tech
Missouri- Texas Tech, Oklahoma St.
New Mexico St.- Nevada
Washington- LSU (when ranked 15), Stanford, Oregon
LSU- Texas A&M, UConn (when ranked 14), Florida
UCONN - None
Northern Iowa - Wichita St., Southern Illinois, Missouri St., Bradley
South Carolina- @USC, Tennessee
Akron- None
Kent St.- Toledo

Luke Bell said...

I don't consider any of those teams qualified for the NCAA tournament. I'm sorry, I do see your side of the argument, but in reality, we are just letting any mediocre team into the dance. The regular season loses a lot of meaning when you do that.

Unknown said...


That's my point. They may not be good but they are better than teams we already HAVE IN THE TOURNAMENT. I want it to be the top 96 and these 96 is much closer to top 96 than the 65 is to top 65.

Also with these teams we get the bubble teams.

And I want them.

At the current format, there are 21 teams that are better than these guys that wont make it.

I want those 21.

Luke Bell said...

I agree. If you want the top 64 teams, why not get rid of anyone not in the top 64? Sorry, Ivy League champ, no tournament for you. Many of the mid majors (and all of the low majors) would have no shot at the tournament. As it is, we get the best *possible* 64 teams. Sure, there are always a few that are outside that are better than some that are in, but those are the breaks.

Brian in Oxford said...

No Ivy League?!!

I think UCLA woulda preferred that back in '96.

Luke Bell said...

Backdoor cut, backdoor cut, backdoor cut...Ahhh yes, I miss those days.

Unknown said...

Luke, I'm not actually advocating that. I just offer it up as a simpler solution to GITC's scenario.

Luke Bell said...

I am with you. I think both options are not as good as what we have now though.

The heroin sheik said...

Even though In will bet with my heart and pick UF to win we really have no chance.

That pharmacy in orlando is right next to my bus stop. Hell I even had`a scrip i got there after surgery a few yrs ago. Now i wonder about all the pimped out rides I always have seen out front.

Mega said...

Big D- I've been told that Ordway cannot be challenged by ANYONE in the NE area of the country (as in, everyone is afraid of him)...true?

He wouldn't last a second in Chicago. Writers here do not protect each other. I can't even begin to count how many times the writers in the same newspaper started ripping each other.