Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday 03/02 A.M. Quickie:
Obsessed With College Hoops

March 2 Hoops-in-Brief: UCLA is DEFINITELY No. 1... I'm back sitting shotgun on Georgia Tech's bandwagon... Who saw UVA coming? Anyone?... Nevada plays its way out of a Top 4 seed... First conference-tourney title games tomorrow ("Big Ohio Atlantic South Sun Valley!")... Top leagues wrap up regular season (Florida better bring it at home vs. UK)...

My top 1-seed? UCLA, which affirmed the spot by beating No. 13 Washington State AT Wazzu to win the Pac-10 regular-season title. Wazzu plays that brutal-D/deliberate-O style that gives favored teams fits in the NCAA Tournament; perhaps drawing on last year's NCAA run, UCLA proved it can win playing that style, in addition to having the guns to score when they need to. And to win AT Pullman? Impressive.

I have said before that I don't think it matters if a contender is a 1-seed, 2-seed or even further down (just ask all of the 1-seeds from the 2006 Tournament about their AWESOME experience at the Final Four... wait.)

But that doesn't mean that the intrigue over the four 1-seeds isn't there. UCLA is a lock, as I just said. Ohio State is a lock, short of losing in their first game of the Big Ten Tournament. After that? Go figure:

Wisco? Eh. They're not even the best in their own conference, and without Brian Butch, they're no 1-seed. Kansas? There's no guarantee they'll even win this weekend's regular-season finale, let alone the Big 12 Tournament. UNC? I'd still give them a 1, but losing last night to a team squarely on the Bubble doesn't help their resume. Florida? Sigh.

The unprecedented parity I forecast at the start of the season and have tracked since is in full effect. Good luck with those brackets, friends.

Georgia Tech: We're Back On! Three and a half months ago, I surveyed the field of college hoops teams and made a few Final Four picks: Florida (obvs), Georgetown (reasonable), Wisconsin (up until the Butch injury, totally legit)...

And Georgia Tech. (Why? I liked Tech's young talent and overall size, even in an ACC that was stacking up as deep, if not loaded with juggernauts.)

For the next three months, I cursed that pick as the Wreck played EXACTLY like a young team should: Inconsistently. But last night was at least a measure of validation: A huge – HUGE – win over UNC.

If Georgia Tech can beat a presumptive 1-seed like the Tar Heels, then they certainly have the ability – if not the consistency – to win four straight in the NCAA Tournament and fulfill my longshot pick.

At the very least, I think this win nudges them to the "in" side of the Bubble, despite an RPI in the 40s (and the fact that that would give the ACC a whopping 7 bids). Too little, too late? Not in college basketball. (Here's a reasonable argument why they're still outside looking in.)

Meanwhile, speaking of ACC, did anyone – ANYONE – have Virginia winning the conference's regular season title? I have been working on a Top 16 teams NCAA seeding chart, and the Hoos win last night – coupled with a loss by Nevada – inspired me to give UVA Nevada's 4-seed spot.

I know that Nevada lost (1) on the road (2) in OT (3) by a basket (4) to a Utah State team ranked in the Top 60 of KenPom's RPI ranking, but if the Wolfpack wants to be taken seriously as a Top 4 seed, they needed to win that game – along with the rest in their season.

College Hoops This Weekend: Smaller Conference Tournaments continue. I will watch ANY conference-tournament championship game. I don't care. Big South, Atlantic Sun, Ohio Valley on Saturday? I don't even know who's playing in them: Sign me up. And reward my attention with either an upset or a dramatic finish!

For the rest, there are two key dynamics among the conferences holding their regular-season finales: Bubble teams trying to get in, and Tournament "locks" trying to jockey for favorable seedings and regional placements.

NYT's Pete Thamel blogs March Madness: The New York Times has done a really good job with event- or season-specific sports blogs. March Madness could be their best yet, because the lead writer behind it – Pete Thamel – is, by far, the best college sports reporter in the country. Here's the link to the NYT's "The Bracket" blog.

The best of the bunch is Texas at Kansas (although they could very well meet again in the Big 12 Tournament). Alright: I just want another chance to watch Kevin Durant. You've got somewhere between 3-10 chances left, depending on how far UT goes in the Big 12 and NCAA Tourneys.

Sunday: Kentucky at Florida. And the Gators better freaking show some life and right the ship before the SEC Tournament. And Duke at UNC, where yet another Duke loss would simply make the rest of us laugh at their inevitable placement as a dreaded 5-seed.

NBA: Mavs win 14th straight. I did a local-radio interview yesterday and was asked about the Mavs' chances to win the NBA title. They're playing better than anyone else right now, but I just can't get behind them. I have no analytical reason for that, and they SHOULD earn my favor, because I have a weakness for teams being "motivated" after a previous season's crushing loss. (See Texas A&M, Georgetown in college hoops.)

MLB Steroid Watch: MLB wants more info about Gary Matthews Jr. from the Albany DA. Sure, his name came up, but isn't it obvious that a lot of other names will, too? Why target Matthews individually and not seek to get info on ANY/EVERY MLB player who might be involved?

MLB Deals: Michael Young gets a 5Y/$80M deal. It's the second-largest in Rangers history. Given how well the largest deal worked out, I see nothing but good things ahead here!

More MLB Deals: The Giants locked up promising sophomore SP Matt Cain to a 4-year deal worth $9 million. He led NL rookies with 13 wins and 179 Ks last year. That Giants rotation should be solid this year.

NFL Cuts: The Vikings cut Fred Smoot. It's the end of an era – a Double-Sided era, if you will.

More NFL Cuts: Cowboys bounce Drew Bledsoe, a lame experiment from the get-go, driven by Bill Parcells' overrated personnel management skills. Steelers cut Joey Porter (but what about the dogs?!). Saints cut Joe Horn (legacy secure with his "Celly-bration").

NFL Trades: Lions DB Dre Bly to the Broncos for RB Tatum "If you draft me for your fantasy team, I will ruin you. Yes, Dan, I'm talking to you" Bell and a Broncos OT (and if it's a Denver OT, it MUST be an upgrade to whatever the Lions have up there).

NFL Deals: Fred Taylor signs a 3-year extension with the Jaguars. Inevitable annual injury presumably built in to the terms.

NBA: Blazers Prez and GM Steve Patterson resigns. He's the type of executive who makes me think that I could run an NBA team fairly competently (or at least more competently than he does). TrueHoop's Henry Abbott is a Blazers fan; he'll have the best analysis.

Bud Selig's new MLB-wide drug-test policy: I think it would be only fair if the mainstream media covered the positive drug tests of MLB league and team employees who failed their drug tests in the same breathless way they cover MLB athletes who fail drug tests.

Jared Zabransky on the cover of EA's College Football 2K8 is the most inspired choice on any EA cover ever. Fans can only hope that that means the motif of this year's game is expanded ability to run trick plays, Boise-style.

Kudos to Yahoo's Dan Wetzel for using Shaun Livingston's season (or career) ending knee injury to remind everyone that the NBA's age limit is preposterous.

Gilbert Arenas Watch: I enjoyed Klosterman's take on Gilbert in the new edition of the New York Times' sports magazine, Play (which, for my money, is the best sports magazine out there, including SI and ESPN the Mag), out this weekend and featuring none other than Deadspin's Leitch as a contributor.

Nice way to end a week that started with Gilbert showing me – me! – some love on his blog. (I also finally got a long-awaited custom order from the NBA Store: A Wizards jersey T-shirt with the number 0 on the back, with "Agent" where "Arenas" would be. Whee: Happy birthday to me.)

In case you missed it: The Top 20 Most Influential Sports Bloggers, ranked by two dudes who should know better than to do that.

On a related note, if you live in NYC, mark your calendars for next Wednesday night, for the March edition of the always-excellent Varsity Letters Reading Series, whose theme this month is (ahem) "Online Writers Offline." Among the readers: Me. Yes, I will be there, ready to make a fool out of myself.

The other readers include No. 1-ranked Will Leitch of Deadspin; No. 3-ranked Henry Abbott of TrueHoop/ESPN (and I'm sayin' HE'S buyin'!); No. 6-ranked Matt Ufford of WithLeather and Kissing Suzy Kolber; my neighbor Jason Fry and Greg Prince of Fear and Faith in Flushing (one of the best team-specific blogs you'll read, and if you're a Mets fan, an absolute Must-Read); and Jon Bois, Nick Dallamora and Brandon Stroud of The Dugout (who probably should have made my Top 20, if only for their consistent brilliance).

All the logistical details are here.

-- D.S.

102 comments:

CMFost said...

I will state again what I have state before this is going to be the toughest NCAA Tourney in recent memory to be able to pick for a pool. There has to be at least 10-15 teams that could make a run to the final four if not more.

Dan Mega said...

Agreed cmfost, this is going to be a tough year. I will never be able to duplicate a few years back that I went 13/16, 7/8, 4/4, and 2/2 for my picks in the final four rounds of the tourney. The one year I don't put money down, argh!

Taking a Broncos RB in fantasy football is like taking a Bears QB, it won't work. This coming from a Bears fan.

Unsilent Majority said...

Come on Dan, as a Gator fan you shouldn't be taking shots at Freddy T. Take away the '01 season and his injury history is overblown.

EN said...

I'm just reeling about the comment that the Badgers aren't the best team in the Big 10. That hurts. Did you watch those OSU games? UW matches up very well with OSU - completely controlled game 1 in Madison and *should* have won game 2 in Ohio. I'm looking forward to game 3 in the B10 tourney...

Free Agency - Let's get that Moss for Rogers deal done, Pack, and then go get Adailius and Graham...

Jon said...

I really don't want to see GT in the tournament. Just because they won a big game late shouldn't overwrite that they can't win away from home. I'm sure they'll get in though with the 8-8 ACC record if they beat BC on Sunday. I'd rather see some more of the so called mids who are probably more deserving.

What was the big deal about Porter, Bledsoe and Horn being cut? Porter is an overrated linebacker that beats his dogs, Bledsoe is a back QB and Horn hasn't done anything in the last 2 seasons.

Luke Bell said...

I am a Badger fan, and I don't want Wisconsin as a #1 seed. Maybe they deserve it by default, maybe not, but I would rather have them as a #2.

Whittle said...

Hey guys, if you've never read the Dugout, go NOW.

http://www.wordupthome.com

These guys are awesome. Join the forums, too, we can talk some rasslin.

Geoff said...

So Livingston was drafted and clearly didn't have a body ready for the NBA. So now the Clippers have wasted millions of dollars on a guy that wasn't and might not have ever been ready for the NBA, and this is a reason there shouldn't be an age limit?

If he never makes it out of college because his body is fragile than guess what... he didn't deserve to make millions.

jhawkjjm said...

I don't think Wisconsin should get a 1 seed. I'ld be in favor of it if Butch was healthy but he's done. If the committee has admitted to taking injuries into account when determining who's in and who's not, then the same has to apply to seeding. I think they should drop to a 2.

KU-Texas will be huge this weekend. The winner gets to avoid A&M in the semi's of the Big 12 tourney and basically has a free path to the championship game. Also an interesting fact. This is KU's 50th (!!!!) time they've won or shared the league title in their hundred years of league affiliation.

Danielle said...

I love when people say that a team *should* have won. If the team was so dominant, and so much better than their opponent, then they shouldn't have been in a position where a *possible* bad call could lose them the game. (Miami Football 2003) What matters is the W, don't give me any of this "should have" or "but they dominated" crap.

Sh!tShow said...

jon-

Bledsoe will get a gig. I'm biased, but I still think he can start on 5 teams right now.

Luke Bell said...

Wisconsin lost by a point on the road, without Butch for most of the game. I think it is fair to say that Wisconsin is better than OSU, despite the loss. Even without Butch, I think the Badgers are better on a neutral court.

Daddy Rosee said...

Maybe a year or 2 in college would have helped Livingston's body mature so that he wouldn't be so injury prone?

The NBA; setting young people for life, regardless of wheather not they are good enough to play in the NBA.

Jason said...

re: The ACC getting 7 bids

It's really not that whopping. It's about who's qualified and who's not. The Selection committee has said they base the field on who deserves to be in, not on the number of bids per conference.

Jason said...

And add me to the people who don't think Tech should be in. There are a number of more than deserving mids in the MVC, MWC, and CAA that should be considered for at-larges ahead of Wreck. A team with a .500 record in their conference, no matter how good the conference is, does not belong in the discussion with a shot at the national title.

Daddy Rosee said...

BTW today's AM jump is hilarious.

Brian in Oxford said...

Did the Cowboys really *release* Bledsoe, or did Romo just drop him from the roster. Ha! Thank you, and tip your waitress :)

Anyways, I could see Bledsoe back in NE...Vinny Testaverde's not coming back and it seemed Hoodie wasn't sold on Matt Cassel. The pay cut would have to be tremendous, though. And hey, if Brady has to miss time from the psychological effects of fatherhood, who better to step in...

Denver HAD to get a DB to try to replace Darrent. And of course, Denver running backs look like trade bait.

Anyone else read Jim Caple's ESPN.com story about the Tough Guy race in England? That sounded awesome!

I could envision the Tar Heels fans shouting "NIT" while pounding Duke on Sunday, but that would probably just lead to Duke winning the conference tournament.

Thanks Dan for the NCAA2008 cover. I was afraid I'd have to actually watch Cold Pizza at 11:30 to find out.

CMFost said...

Dan the other killer for fantasy teams has been Culpepper the last 2 years. In my league the team that has drafted him the last 2 years has finished in last place.

Jason said...

Wow...the AM Jump is a conflict of interest of epic proportions! And it's NO College Basketball. DJ Gallo, you have your finger on the pulse of SportsNation, talking about Arena Football. I wonder how strongly worded the e-mail from a higher-up was telling him he HAD to talk all Arena.

EN said...

@Danielle - You must not have seen the WIS/OSU game. Badgers were up by 1, on the road, with 20 seconds left. A 78% FT shooter (6th in Big 10) went to the line for the Badgers and missed a 1 and 1. 8 times out of ten he'll make 2 of 2 there. That's one reason they *should* have won. Another is that their coach blew the final 4 seconds - OSU scored a deuce and we immediately inbounded the ball to midcourt whereupon a player took two dribbles and hit a three. Of course, the refs waived it all off because Bo called TO after the made bucket (no one on the court stopped playing and even after watching several replays, I didn't hear a whistle untill the shot was released). That was the other reason they *should* have won.

Listen, if you deny that sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way in sports, you're just ignorant. Teams that should win end up losing on occasion. The better team doesn't always win. That's why they play the games. Knowing that, and after watching both WIS/OSU games, it's clear to me that the Bagders are a) a better team and b) should have swept the series.

DrDoom said...

Fear the turtle

Actually though I think livingston is a proof of why a age limit is bad, lets say this happened in college and then he never plays again. the nba efectivbely kept him out of the leaue and millions, imagine if thsi happens to like oden... that is a big problem.

Hisjazziness said...

Is it necessary to point out again that the NBA has always had an age limit? ALWAYS? That they just raised the limit to 19 now? Do I need to repeat this?

OK, didn't think so.

If you argue for no age limit, Dan, you have to believe that HS sophs and juniors can enter the league as well. Otherwise, you are arguing for the limit to be 18 and/or HS class graduating.

Danielle said...

In fact, I did watch the game, and I'm also not ignorant, but thanks. My point is, it's not so clear who the best team in the Big Ten is if the game is that close. (And remember, OSU did win in Madison too, but I didn't see that game.) I'm sick of excuses, win the games and no one will have to argue. You obviously missed that.

ian said...

The trade for Dry Bly was a heist. Tatum Bell can't hold on to the ball, and George Foster played his way out of a starting job. Thanks Matt Millen!

Luke Bell said...

Ummm, OSU lost to UW in Madison. Not only did you not see the game, you don't even know who won. :)

Danielle said...

I'm sorry I meant to say they almost won. They had a shot at a three at the buzzer. Sorry, typing to fast. :)

EN said...

Danielle - I'm no name caller, but you certainly are ignorant in this discussion; WIS beat OSU in Madison. Which, of course, renders your "point" about winning the games and not having to argue irrelevant, since they split the season series. In order to decide who's better, you HAVE to discuss it (or "argue," as you frame it) because it is relevant for seeding purposes, etc. There's no way anyone can argue OSU could/should have won the game in Madison. Meanwhile, it's clear how WIS beats OSU in Ohio - Taylor makes the FTs. It's that simple. Ergo, concordantly, vis-a-vis, the Badgers are better than OSU this year, even without Butch. And, yes, they *should* have won that second game.

Maybe all of this is semantics and a misunderstanding. We'll see with your next post.

Perks said...

drdoom, et.al.,

I want to first say that I take a Klosterman stance on the issue of High School-> NBA. I think for some (Kwame) the rule should be there, but for others (LBJ), it's horrible. So, I'm torn.

But, I have a slight edge towards disagreeing with the current rules.

I think Livingston is one of those 50/50 borderline subjects to study. Thing is, when you're 18, you can get drafted and go to war. If the NBA is an association, it shouldn't be discriminating against age. Now for someone like Kwame, Outlaw, Webster, etc. it makes sense. Nonetheless, it should be their decision, and that's why people like HS counselors and teachers should be better paid/respected, because then maybe the student(ahem, athlete) would listen to their advices.

But for Shaun, I get the feeling that in a time when everyone who was over 18 playing for national aau teams and being told to jump to the NBA and get millions-- he wouldn't have taken the college road. Also, I believe he was told ahead of time that he would be eased into the NBA scene, and wouldn't log minutes right away.

Even still, hindsight is always 20/20, so I don't think Shaun being forced to college would've solved any problems physically, mentally, or any other -ally.

Just my $2 worth

Danielle said...

I already responded about my whoops in my post regarding Madison. Other than that I'm not going to respond.

EN said...

That's what I thought.

Brian in Oxford said...

If athletes made 5 and 6-figure incomes only, this wouldn't be an issue.

I didn't leave school early to do my job, but I bet I could have skipped college altogether. Was I discriminated against? Employers have the right to set their own rules for employment. Discrimination only exists if ONE 18-year-old is allowed in and others aren't....or if white 18-year-olds are allowed in and blacks aren't.

If a bunch of 18-year-olds want to tour the country playing basketball for anyone who wants to buy a ticket to see them, they are free to do so.

Danielle said...

Are you 12?

Luke Bell said...

OSU had a shot at a three to tie the game at the buzzer, after being down double digits. The Badgers simply relaxed while OSU hit a lot of threes to get back in the game(along with many missed free throws).

I don't think I will change any minds, but if the Badgers make a damn free throw, they win both games (and the one in Madison wouldn't have been close).

EN said...

No. 11. I just like the confirmation that goes along with people who realize they've written something they probably shouldn't have. Bloggers tend to emulate sports-yak radio, throwing out ridiculous arguments and reactions just for the sake of it. I do get a kick out of illustrating that ridiculousnees because it occasionally leads to people thinking before they blog...

Danielle said...

Ok. My whole point was not that OSU was better. My point was twofold. I hate excuses for losing, and that I don't think it is so clear which team is better since both games were close (at least at end if referring to Madison). But all in all, I'm glad you are making the blogging world a better place.

Jason said...

Danielle, his entire point is that OSU isn't better based on any criteria you have put forth. They split the season series and both games were close at the end...how can you claim one team is better than the other in light of that fact and then when asked to defend say you're not going to respond?

CMFost said...

I think it was Dickie V I heard talking about it and I think his rule for Basketball Players going HS to Pros made sense. Basically if a players is judge to have top 10-15 pick potential they are allowed not to go to college and can enter the pro draft but if they do not then they have to go to college and stay for at least 3 years to eligible to enter the NBA draft. That way the Oden's and Lebron's of the world can go straight to pros but HS that have no business being in the pros would have to go to college.

EN said...

Wait - you're still taking that position? Are you saying there is no excuse for losing? Are you saying you don't like analysis of games/gameplay? Or are you trying to articulate a much more specific point but you just don't have the time, care, or capability to do so? Something like - "I think that the excuse of losing a game because of x is not justified. There are a variety of factors that impact athletic contests and x is constant for all teams at all times, so it should never be an excuse." Is that what you're getting at?

You do realize that your "point" (on excuses) is truly untenable from an tautological view.

As for the better team point - yes, that certainly up for discussion. But if anyone is going to do any thoughtfull analysis on that, it has to include the reasons why each team lost to the other - the "excuses." To me, it appears obvious that the Badger's had "better" excuses for their loss than the Buckeyes. Great minds can disagree on that point, but if you're going to do it, you have to articulate it. You really can't just state "excuses are dumb" or something like that...

CMFost said...

Here is an easy way to settle the OSU-UW agruement. Wait until the Big 10 title game when hopefully both will make it and then the winner on a neutral court would be the better team. Otherwise if you look at it they a pretty equal.

Louis said...

Even if Wisconsin lost by 1 on Sunday, it's tough to think that they can be considered by any measure to be better than OSU right now without Butch. Butch gave them a unique weapon, a 7-footer who can post up and hit the outside shot. Without him, teams are going to key in on Tucker/Taylor even more. OSU would've probably game-planned much differently for a game without Butch, and I'd expect them to do the same if they meet up in the Big 10 tourney.

Frankly, I don't see either of these teams making a championship run anyway. Wisconsin was definitely the stronger contender, but without Butch, it's a tough road. And as for Ohio State, while they've got a lot of talent, their youth and seeming inability to string consistent solid performances together (see both of the Penn State games, for instance) make me have a hard time believing they can put 6 good games in a row together in the tournament.

Louis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis said...

Even if Wisconsin lost by 1 on Sunday, it's tough to think that they can be considered by any measure to be better than OSU right now without Butch. Butch gave them a unique weapon, a 7-footer who can post up and hit the outside shot. Without him, teams are going to key in on Tucker/Taylor even more. OSU would've probably game-planned much differently for a game without Butch, and I'd expect them to do the same if they meet up in the Big 10 tourney.

Frankly, I don't see either of these teams making a championship run anyway. Wisconsin was definitely the stronger contender, but without Butch, it's a tough road. And as for Ohio State, while they've got a lot of talent, their youth and seeming inability to string consistent solid performances together (see both of the Penn State games, for instance) make me have a hard time believing they can put 6 good games in a row together in the tournament.

Jason said...

CM: Very true but when it pertains to something like seeding the Selection Committee will be decided before the game begins as to whether 1 or both deserve a 1 seed. The brackets typically get released within a few minutes of the Big 10 Title game, so who's the better team as it pertains to seeding needs to be decided before the rubber match.

Brian in Oxford said...

I don't necessarily buy that. If the Big 10 final is OSU-Wisc, I could easily see the Committee leaving a 1 spot and a 2 spot open, winner gets the 1. Then they'll get to tell Billy Packer not to schedule the game so late before the show.

The real hard part is if it's ONE of those teams, plus a lesser team (which may or may not already have locked up an at-large, too....)

Cycledan said...

Danielle,
Please don't respond anymore. It is not worth it. What I like about this blog is that the comments tend to stay intelligent and flame wars have been pretty much avoided. When some little kid wants to get on the comments section and start a flame war, best thing is to ignore them and they go away.

Dr. Zoom said...

C'mon, Dan. It's the End of a Double-Ended Era. Not Double-Sided.

Todd Ching said...

Before we all fall on the UVA bandwagon, people should note that their RPI is pretty bad (considering they're on top of the ACC standings). As of yesterday, they were ranked 39th, lower than UNC, Duke, BC, Maryland, and V-Tech from the ACC alone. Their Nonconf. SOS was an abysmal 174, and they're 3-7 (as of yesterday) in road/neutral games.

So let's not write them in for a 4 seed just yet.

@EN, you realize you lose a lot of credibility in the OSU v. WISC debate by being an obvious homer in this debate. Danielle has a different point than you, and you obviously disagree. Just let it go already, you're making yourself look like a whiny ar-tard with some of your comments.

EN said...

I'll ignore cycledan because he seems to have not read all the posts.

I'm with Jason - I think the seeding will be in place before the Big 10 champ game is over (for all we know, WIS or OSU won't make the game). That's why it's important to know/discuss who's better now. And that's why it shocked me that Dan has OSU better than WIS right now.

Can anyone make a cogent argument about OSU's superiority in either of those games? And Butch doesn't exactly make THAT much difference, I would think. At least not for the matchup for these particular two teams - the reason the Badgers have OSU's number is defense - OSU was 38 and 42% in the two games played. Butch isn't a defensive maven. If the Badgers make the FTs they *should* make, they win the first game by 10 or more (58% FTs that game) and they beat OSU at OSU. Where's the counter-arg?

CMFost said...

What might happen is if Wisconsin and OSU play in the Big 10 title game and the committee might have the seedings set that the winner gets a 1 seed and the loser gets a 2 seed and all they have to do is put the team name in.

Brian in Oxford said...

And if it's only one of those teams against, say, Penn State....then the committee will probably say, (using Wisconsin as the example), we coulda made them a 1, but not if they lose. Let's just keep them a 2 so we don't have to re-do our entire board, win or lose.

EN said...

Todd - being a homer has nothing to do with it. The bottom line is if Taylor makes 2 FTs, there's no discussion. The same cannot be said about OSU.

What did I say that makes me look like a " whiny ar-tard "? I thought her whole "point" about excuses is anathama to the very reason we break-down and discuss games. How is attacking that, even in the context of a separate discussion involving my college team, discredited in any way? And I'm not just throwing that out there - I would like a response; I'm curious as to your reasoning.

kway34 said...

In order to decide who's better, you HAVE to discuss it (or "argue," as you frame it) because it is relevant for seeding purposes, etc. There's no way anyone can argue OSU could/should have won the game in Madison.

1) They split the series, but Wisky also lost to MSU and Indiana, which OSU did not. Therefor, OSU is better until proven otherwise.

2) Jamar Butler makes a 3 pointer at the buzzer and OSU gets the game to OT. Using the momentum gained from a huge rally in the closing minutes of regulation, OSU edges the Badgers in OT. There's your argument for how OSU could have won that game. SHOULD they have won? No, but to say you can't argue for how they COULD have won is ignorant.

Jason said...

En, I actually will make a valid argument for the superiority of Ohio State. Since they are 1-1 against one another, we can look at how they have otherwise performed. Ohio State's only loss in the Big 10 was to Wisconsin. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State once, Michigan State once (by 9, Ohio State won by 2), and Indiana once (by 5, Ohio State won by 7). Wisconsin's one NC loss was to Missouri State by 2 on a neutral floor (and as much as I love the Bears, Wisconsin SHOULD have won that game.) Ohio State's NC losses were to UNC (w/o Oden) and Florida (w/ Oden not at full strength). Ohio State hasn't lost since January. One of their major players isn't injured. Ohio State has an RPI of 2, Wisconsin has 6. Wisconsin wins in NC SOS, but otherwise I think Ohio State has it especially since Ohio State beat opponents that Wisconsin lost to and Wisconsin has an injured Butch. Based on what we have, the Buckeyes are better.

verbal97 said...

En:

As a complete neutral who didn't watch either game, I can dismiss your argument. Saying a 78% FT missing one free throw is equal to Wisc should have won is a poor argument. One can easily say the Bills should have won SB XXV if Norwood doesn't miss a very missable kick or the Yankees should have won the 2001 WS if Rivera (who makes that play more than 90% of the time) doesn't throw the fielded bunt into CF.

A 78% FT shooter missed in a pressure situation, which would happen at least 22% of the time anyway. Plus you're statement about a 78% shooter should make two consecutive free throws 80% of the time is "fuzzy math".

EN said...

Thank you, Kway and Jason. Kawy, I should have stated "should" rather than "could/should" - for the 1st OSU/WIS game. Any team "could" win a game, and I was sloppy there. But I'll maintain that OSU was not winning that game - the Badgers just decided to bleed it down and take a 1 point victory if need be, because that strategy assured them of victory. The last 3 would have been the 4th or 5th three that was almost improbable - OSU's luck had to run out at some point.

As for Jason's point, the transitive theory is sports is useless, especially when you have evidence of the teams playing each other (all the more so when you have two examples). Wisconsin won their first game convincingly. The second game they lost by blowing some FTs. To me, they're better. But as I said in my post at 10:28, great minds can disagree on this point.

Dan Mega said...

You have to be joking, WI "clearly" better than OSU? LMAO. OSU would have won by 10 if the refs didn't have Badger jerseys on underneath their shirts. The Buckeyes guards were getting hipchecked to the floor without any whistles blown. Plus WI was playing "hack a shaq" defense the entire game with barely a call. WI "clearly" better than OSU, no. They are on par with each other.

EN said...

Verbal - I would actually agree that the Bills should have won that game (I don't know the baseball reference). I think it's obvious they should have. They didn't, but they should have. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way. What can you do?

And, not to completly beat the point into the ground, but your point doesn't dismiss my argument that WIS should have won the OSU game (it's a statistical reality).

Jason said...

I agree that the transitive property is useless in almost all sports situations. However, when trying to decide upon who is "better" in this context, we have to look at factors that we otherwise would dismiss because quite frankly the Buckeyes and Badgers are both damn good. The fact of the matter is that Ohio State did better in the Big Ten than Wisconsin did. What they did on the court night in and night out makes them the de facto better team even if Wisconsin dominated nearly the entire first game.

We can certainly agree to disagree though. :)

Richard said...

I don't know that my boys at GT deserve a NCAA bid but consider this:

Did anyone watch that game? That wasn't simply a win. It was a beat down of a team that could win it all. UNC never looked like they had a chance.

If GT doesn't get into the dance, they better not let in other bubblers like Perdue, FSU, Georgia, Clemson, whom we beat as well.

Also, If you were a #1 seed, I doubt youd be happy about seeing GT in the #8 or 9# spot, and if you were a #5 and GT was a.... I'm not even going there.

EN said...

dan - I don't know where I said "Clearly" - I think I might have said it is "clear" to me. Very different, of course, as I'm sure you'll agree. In any event, I thought that second game was very even - both sides were allowed to play rough. I remember watching and saying to one of my friends that the only way a foul will be called is if someone punches someone else. Within two minutes, an OSU player shoved a Badger and a whistle finally blew. That's just the kind of game it was. But to think that the Badgers got more calls is tough to argue, given the number of FTs shot and fouls called (I think OSU had to give 3 fouls before they could force Taylor to the line at the end).

rukrusher said...

Here is the thing about UVA, they lost to App State, Utah, Purdue and Stanford. If any other conference champion lost those games the conference would be talked about like the A-10, instead, the ACC boosters discount those losses as early season poor performances. If you are punsihing teams who play weak out of conference schedules then you should question a conference whose champ can't win a big game out of conference.

EN said...

Jason - Once again, great minds can disagree on these points. My view is that the Badgers are better than OSU straight-up. (as evidenced by the two games they played). Wisconsin doesn't match up as well with MST (a great rebounding team). I'm worried about Saturday's game (MST also has more to play for). As for the Indiana game, that's a game ripe for ref-ripping... :)

rukrusher said...

P.S. I do not think wins over Arizona and Gonzaga this year are that impressive.

Todd Ching said...

Wow dude, seriously, get a life. You're still dwelling on a loss from over a week ago?

I could care less about OSU or WISC, but from the records, and what I've seen of the two teams for the entire year, there's just no way you can't say that OSU is the better team (if only marginally).

Only a serious homer with some serious OSU-envy issues would keep dwelling on this the way you do. It's kind of sad actually that you have to come on a message board, to only get shut down like this. Do women/men shut you down like this on a normal basis? Are they not impressed when you try and use big words to make your points?

Oh and by the way, Alando Tucker is a nice player. Love that kid.

rukrusher said...

I am going to do one grid this year using a coin flip for every matchup, heads for the higher seed, tails for the upset. I think it might just beat my shrewed analysis bracket.

Jason said...

If Tech gets in, they're going in as an 11 or 12. Looking at them closer, they actually might deserve a bid if they can win an ACC tourney game. If not, UNC may be out of that 1 seed either way. (UCLA, Ohio State, Kansas, Wisco/A&M/Fla/UNC fustercluck)

verbal97 said...

En:

You missed my point. In any close game, you can say the losing team "should have one if (blank) happened". It's just sour grapes to harp on a loss, especially one if a call or something out of the players' control didn't cause the loss. Of course the point is moot. One of them will probably be a 1 and the other will likely be a 2. It's all meaningless because in either case you have to win 7 games to win the title...which is why college BB is so much more legit than college FB.

Ruk:

I'd be interested in the results of your coin flip experiment. My mother, who knows nothing about college football, does a football pool based on team nicknames and colors...and she won a few years back.

EN said...

Todd - It's a slow work day, and I enjoy discussion. That's the point of the boards. And I'm glad I can discuss this with other sports fans. I have no OSU envy. I maintain WIS is better because they were a set of bonus FTs away from sweeping the series. That's certainly a tenable position. I was looking for arguments for the contrary. You have provided none. Stating "what I've seen from the two teams" doesn't add anything to the discussion. I'm sure you recognize that.

Further - this discussion isn't about a loss that happened a week ago. It's about who should get the #1 seed from the Big Ten, OSU or Wis. I think WIS should because they are better than OSU (and I believe the two games illustrate that). Others are free to disagree with that analysis or, as Jason argues, believe OSU should get the #1 based on record v. other opponents in the Big Ten. Someone else could argue that Wisconsin only has one loss outside of conference and OSU has 2, therefore the Badgers should get the #1. Heck, there are numerous ways to argue this. It's fun. If you don't like it, don't comment. But I'm sure you realize you haven't added anything here...

Jason said...

Verbal said: It's all meaningless because in either case you have to win 7 games to win the title...which is why college BB is so much more legit than college FB.

You have to win at least 12 games to win the title in College FB.

Brian in Oxford said...

...well, unless you're notre dame, and you get #1 votes and a BCS shot for going 9-3.


Oh calm down, I'm just kidding!

EN said...

Fair point, Verbal.

AtownTim said...

I'm not exactly sure how the physical injury that Livingston suffered through has anything to do with an age limitation for the NBA? A dislocated knee and torn tendons wouldn't have mattered if Livingston was 18, 23, or 28? It all depends on how you land on your knee and the way it reacts to the pressure against it? At any age!

Wade dislocates his shoulder but because he went to college he is different than Livingston? This is just a terrible attempt to say that high school kids are ill prepared for the league.

Dan Mega said...

You're right, you didn't say clearly. But I'm not biased toward either of the two teams, and what I saw was that OSU was getting slapped and pushed around with no whistles. I still say they're about the same talent wise.

Brian in Oxford said...

Livingston's injury didn't have to do with his age. But the point was that if he were still in college, he would not have then been able to get a guaranteed multi-million dollar contract. And the argument of Wetzel's column was that all 18 year olds with game have a right to tens of millions, if someone's willing to pay it.

CMFost said...

Brian do not lie, you were not kidding.

verbal97 said...

Tell that to Auburn Jason, tell that to Auburn.

Jason said...

Verbal: touche. comment cheerfully withdrawn.

verbal97 said...

Does anyone else find it completely unnecessary and totally gross that Yahoo is running a picture Livingston holding onto his dislocated knee on the front page with Wetzel's column?! I've tried hard not to see it and then it pops right in my face against my will.

Dan Mega said...

Hey Pats fans...

Any chance you guys want to see Drew Bledsoe backing up Brady next season? Eh, eh, eh? LOL!

Can't wait to see the responses, make em good please...

...or even better, a team signs Bledsoe, then during the 2007 NFL draft, Goodall says "The New York Jets have traded their first round pick to (team) for Drew Bledsoe..."! I wish no harm to the Jets and their fans, I just think it could be the most priceless reaction ever during the draft.

Jason said...

Today's Bracketology is up. Drexel is out and Ga Tech is now in; continuing yesterday's discussion, UMass is part of the Next Four Out.

verbal97 said...

dan mega:

That wouldn't be the most priceless. What could make it better you ask? The Jets trade their first round pick for Bledsoe, followed by the Jets trade their second round pick for...Kyle Brady.

CMFost said...

Bledsoe on the Jets would be fantastic. Bledsoe on the Patriots no so much. I would rather have Vinny then Drew.

Brian in Oxford said...

Did anyone else know that Princeton is 2-9 in the Ivy League?! Talk about the mighty falling, no wonder JT3 abandoned the ol' alma mater and moved up to GTown.

Jason said...

Yeah, Princeton has fallen apart since 2004. It's a shame...NJ basketball overall has gotten bad with the inconsistency of Seton Hall in recent years.

Jason said...

Oh...before I forget: Kansas is now a 1 in Lunardi's projection.

Brian in Oxford said...

I just saw Jake the Snake to Tampa for a 4th round pick, only then to read (on Yahoo) that Jake's going to retire instead.

jen said...

Not to interrupt this OSU-WI banter, but did anyone read about that horrible bus accident in Atlanta? It looks like the driver misjudged to road and careened over the side of the road onto I75. The bus was taking the Bluffton baseball team to FL. It just so happens that my boss is an alum of Bluffton...a small school in western OH. Tragic.

rukrusher~ I like your coin flip idea!! I am putting NO thought into my bracket also. This is going to be a great tourney.

Jason said...

I had heard about the bus thing last night but completely forgot. It's really a shame.

GuyInTheCorner said...

A couple of notes-

en- I understand your arguements to an extent, but the fact is that OSU's losses are simply more understandable than the badgers. By 3 at Wisc? At UNC without Oden? At Florida in Oden's first came?

I mean seriously. That's 3 losses, all on the road, to teams with seedings of 1, 2, and 2.

I know Wisc only lost on the road as well but they lost 4 games to teams with seeds 1, 10, 10, and 11.

And Ohio St. was missing a best player for 1 1/2 of those losses and now Wisc lost a great player. You just can't expect a higher seed.

And you are bad at math. A 78% FT shooter making 2 is 8/10? It's actually 6/10.

Jason said...

GITC: You'll be thrilled to know that JoeLu has UMD as a 4 seed.

GuyInTheCorner said...

On to the best conference....The ACC!

UNC can't be punished for losing a road game to a tourney team on the road in the ACC. For the third time this week... ACC teams are not expected to win on the road, the exceptions for this year are Wake Forest, NC ST., and Miami.

I saw Virginia coming at the beginning of the year, just not in the top spot. I think I had them 2nd or 3rd, I'm not sure. Before you doubt that I had this remember that to the ACC fan JR Reynolds and Sean Singletary are not new names.

Note that due to the rule stated in bold above that this lost should not hurt Va Tech.

Florida St. is currently listed as the 5th team out so they culd get in to make it 8 ACC teams.

Duke losing that game at UNC won't hurt them due to the rule stated in bold above especially due to the fact that it's at UNC who is a 2 seed.

And as always FEAR THE TURTLE

GuyInTheCorner said...

Side note on fear the turtle:

I have one of the original fear the turtle shirts. I bought it the day after they won the title in '02.

Jason said...

Let's make this clear: Until last night Georgia Tech was NOT a tournament team and even now they're only in precariously. Second, it wasn't a close loss that would be understandable. UNC got the absolute shit kicked out of them by a far inferior team. They no longer have any real claim on a 1 seed at this moment and in my view fall behind Texas A&M and Florida for the last 1 spot in that order.

ACC teams may not be expected to win on the road by ACC fans, but for the rest of the country a bad loss is a bad loss.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Why is nobody talking about the two biggest news items of the day. The first one is that Cliff Clavin is replacing Big Pussy from the Sopranos on Dancing with the Stars. Second is of course the Anna Nicole Smith funeral how has this not been mentioned. My life was forever changed when I heard the news that she had died.

Can the AP not impose a blackout on all of the Anna Nicole coverage like they did with Paris Hilton last month? I wish they would.

As the one Duke fan on this board I have mixed feelings about this team. They have the talent to make a run to a Regional Final but they are way to inconsistent when it comes to scoring. They have no inside presence. I thought McRoberts would be that this year but he has no low post game. All it consists of is, if no one is open then I am going to try a hook shot that is really me throwing the ball at the basket and hoping it goes in. We will see what, in Dan's opinion, the mediocre Coach K can do with this team in the tournament.

Jason said...

It pains me to say this, but I think this Duke team will win a national title...in the next two years.

Brian in Oxford said...

I will say this....it will actually be rewarding to see Coach K show off some coaching, having a lesser-regarded team this year.

CMFost said...

DUKE WILL BE OUT IN ROUND 1 OF THE TOURNEY!!!!

verbal97 said...

cmfost:

Wishful thinking...you know Duke's contract with the devil hasn't run up yet.

Tyler said...

The Dugout is amazing. Best site since sliced bread.

Andy said...

Can I have the fantasy baseball people chekc out the message board in the league? THanks!

Todd Ching said...

@ Verbal...

I think it's the other way around. I'm pretty sure Satan is the one that just has a contract with Duke...

verbal97 said...

clever...very clever