Saturday, March 05, 2011

03/05 (Very) Quickie

*I'm still in Boston at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, and here's my big takeaway from yesterday:

As they should, the "names" drew big crowds -- guys like Mark Cuban and Bill Simmons and Mike Wilbon -- but the stuff that's going to impact sports and fans was going on in some of the smaller panels, where R&D was being discussed that will change the way teams optimize their performances (and the way fans appreciate the games). Very cool.

*Championship Week really tips off today, when three small(er) conferences crown champs -- it is one of my favorite moments of the sports year, because for these leagues and schools and fans, it's all or nothing. That's why you can't help but root for 15-18 North Florida, the 6-seed out of the Atlantic Sun, which has gone on a run to get one W from the Big Dance.

*The Heat got routed by the Spurs: Did people really think the Heat were going to be legitimate contenders this year? What a stark contrast: The Heat's "Big Three" against the Spurs putting 8 players in double-figures, affirming their place as the best team in the league this season. For all the glitz of Miami, it is decidedly unglitzy San Antonio that is dominating.

*The story about the Michigan high school hoops player who collapsed and died seconds after hitting the game-winning basket to seal his team's perfect season is so sad, it's hard to even fathom.

*Are you going to SXSW? Join me and Darren Rovell on Selection Sunday for a Quickish live event. You'll be enjoying the bracket reveal -- I'll be furiously updating the site. Good times!

-- D.S.

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