Could there be a method to the madness of UCLA's pre-Tournament mess? Better question: SHOULD there be?
A presumptive NCAA Tournament 1-seed, the Bruins' quarterfinal loss to
But since when has a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament (versus a 2-seed or a 3-seed) ever guaranteed anything? I've hammered this for weeks: Seeding is irrelevant; matchups are all.
However, here IS a guarantee: By losing, UCLA will NOT have to play two more games over the next two days.
Is there a correlation between mileage logged in a conference tournament and NCAA Tournament success? (Or, alternatively, is there a correlation between momentum gained during a deep conference-tourney run and NCAA Tournament success?)
I suspect not, and the most obvious evidence is that, each year, half-a-dozen big-league conference tournament champs do NOT win the NCAA title. And at least 11 of the 12 top-seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament (if not all 12) do not win the NCAA title.
Given UCLA's secure status as, at worst, a 2-seed, they might as well concentrate on the only tournament title that matters: The NCAA title.
(Feel free to make the leap based on what I'm saying: If I'm a fan of a team with a 1-, 2- or 3-seed, I could take it or leave it whether I win my conference tournament title. Who cares? NCAA title or bust.)
Meanwhile, how intriguing is Duke's seeding status? After losing in the first round (FIRST round!) of the ACC Tournament, I can't believe the Dukies will pull a Top 4-seeding. (More intriguing: How quickly they'll flame out. Who's got "first weekend" in the over/under?)
So where DO you seed Duke: 5? 6? 7? I'm rooting for them to pull the dreaded 5-seed or pull the 6-seed and get 11-seed VCU in the first round or pull a 7-seed and get 10-seed
The natural follow-up question is whether the Selection Committee will factor in the absence of suspended Duke stud Gerald Henderson?
If they're not going to take into consideration EVERY time any team had any player missing – or even not playing at full strength due to injury – they shouldn't factor in
Women's College Hoops: Pokey Chatman Resigns. I love all of the euphemisms and vague descriptions being thrown around by mainstream media, all trying to either write around the fact that Chatman had a romantic relationship with a player. (While the player was still in school? After they left? Rumor is that the player was still in school.) How much of this vague-speak has to do with the fact that it would have been a gay relationship and mainstream sports media is absolutely, fundamentally and embarassingly incapable of handling that?
Let's provide a helpful reminder: A coach should never have a romantic relationship with a player. Man, woman. Straight, gay. Doesn't matter. Never. Sexuality isn't the issue here; power is.
More March Madness:
ACC: What the hell happened to
SEC: After knocking off
Big 12: Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Kansas State-Texas Tech a virtual play-in game for an at-large bid? (If not, it should be.) CORRECTION: I have been told by my Big 12 spies that Tech is a lock. (Really? Even if they lose here?) However, K-State absolutely needs this win.
Meanwhile, I think Texas A&M is in for a hell of a game tonight against
Pac-10: Prediction: I think the
Mid-Majors: How huge of a blow would it be to
(What makes it more ridiculous is that he slipped on an on-court advertisement. I understand the conferences have to try to make money, but can't they keep the marketing messages from damaging the product?)
More MWC: Is UNLV a legit Final Four team? Someone with some MWC or UNLV knowledge please fill the rest of us in.
Stalking the Selection Committee? Awesome.
Update: This post is yet another reason why Pete Thamel and Co. are surging with their "Bracket" blog on NYTimes.com.
As we head into the final stretch before Selection Sunday, it's worth beginning to consider who your "It" team is. (But remember: It's all about the individual game matchups.)
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More of today's biggest storylines:
Tom Brady: From All-Pro to All-Preg! Um, is Gisele Bundschen pregnant with Tom Brady's baby? Between Bridget's and Bundschen's buns in the over, that's an awkward weekend visitation situation.
(For those of you who mocked me for calling Tom Brady the new Shawn Kemp, who's laughing now? You cannot possibly deny Brady's ascension to Kemp Status now.)
Meanwhile: I appreciate that Tom probably should spread his seed as far and wide as he possibly can (and I'm sure there's a line of ladies who would be interested), but he should consider either (a) condoms or (b) a vasectomy.
NFL: Willis McGahee traded to Ravens. Seems like a good upgrade for both McGahee (who will get a fat new deal) and Baltimore. What will the Bills do to fill McGahee's role? Word is that they're looking at Chris Brown or Dom Rhodes.
More: Rams sign TE Randy McMichael; Dolphins sign K Jay Feeley (Doesn't he understand leaving NYC will hurt his Tiki-wannabe TV career?)
NBA: Spurs win 11th straight. Everyone keeps talking about the Mavs as the team to beat. Or this being the Suns' year. Wait until the Spurs simply plod along and win yet another NBA title.
You will see every self-respecting all-sports or NBA blog pick this up: It's a hilarious parody of that Nike "Second Coming" TV ad. These guys deserve huge credit (as do We Are the Postmen for the find).
NHL: Chris Simon stick-as-weapon hit. I'm with Melrose: Suspend the guy for the rest of the season. That was assault. Isn't there a code among players that you just don't do that?
NHL: Why is it that the only time the NHL makes national news these days is for scandal? It seems their union honchos "pulled an HP" and tried to monitor players' emails. No wonder the players fired Goodenow.
MLB: Who had "March 8" in the "Mike Hampton Injury" Office Pool?
MLB PED Watch: Journeyman pitcher Darren Holmes the latest to be linked to this latest PED scandal. (Doesn't that affirm the Baseball Prospectus Theory that PEDs were mostly used by the talentless players at the margins?)
I also have a question: Is SI.com going to name these guys in dribs and drabs every other day? Are they sitting on a larger list and releasing it piecemeal simply to drive traffic to the Web site?
If you're staying offline all weekend (and with all the hoops to watch, I don't blame you), be sure to check back on Monday for a complete Bracket breakdown.