Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Madness - Saturday Thoughts

Two more thrilling games to cap the night.
I was rooting for Texas, because I hate Duke. But those fuckin Blue Devils got every freakin loose ball. Maybe they outhustled Texas or just lucky but Texas should have had more chances to win that game but they just couldn't grab a rebound.


That Gonzaga Western Kentucky game is my favorite of the tournament so far. Very well-played, tons of shot making and a frantic finish. As much as coaches like to overdo it that game is Exhibit A why you don't call a timeout in a situation like that. Gonzaga was able to sprint up the court before WKU could get their defense set.


I hope Orlando Mendez-Valdez is this year's Stephen Curry. But I hope for his sake he's not next year's Stephen Curry. Instead of LeBron James, Eduardo Najera could show up at all his games.


If this were the 1950s they wouldn't show Blake Griffin's parents on TV.


If you didn't know why so much was being made out of Ty Lawson's injury and how important he is to North Carolina, well, now you know.


Washington's comeback falls short because they didn't spread the floor. They were driving and getting into the lane and screwing up Purdue's defense, but no one was set up at the 3-point line to get the pass from Thomas. They also couldn't get a stop which didn't help.


Usually they talk so much about tempo, but Washington is pushing the tempo and still getting killed by Purdue. 54 is a pretty good full game total in the Big 10 and Pursue still has 10 minutes left.


If you were friends with Lorenzo Romar would you call him LoRo or ZoRo?


If you watch essentially the same program for 3 days straight, 12 hours a day you will see the same commercial a lot. The guy dressed up like a pregnant lady sneaking nachos into a game is dumb. But Bill and Jeff love the Axe commercial with the excessively perspiring underarms.


Anyone notice how quick CBS is being with adding baskets to the score at the bottom? I noticed a couple times they gave a team credit for a free throw while it was still in the air, then they had to take the point off when it missed.


After blowouts by Villanova, Memphis and UConn we finally got some good games.

Typical Penn State Fans

Horseman stopped by to watch some games with Bill and me. When he was leaving we had the dogs on the leashes in the front yard. Jeff was looking at them as he was backing out of the driveway. A woman driving by could see Jeff wasn't paying attention and honked him before she got anywhere near him.
Then she rolled down her window and yelled "he didn't even look."
As she drove away we saw a Penn State bumper sticker on her car.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness - Friday Thoughts

A great finish to a great two days of action. We'll still hear a lot of complaints because these games were too late for a lot of people to stay up, but what a finish. And two more days of games before its over for the weekend.


Looks like we saved the best for last in the first round. There's the biggest upset of the first round, Cleveland State over Wake Forest. And also not one but two overtime games.

Siena's Ronald Moore showing some onions (!) to send the game into the second overtime. And Ronald Moore with moore onions (garden variety), hitting another huge 3. Siena wins in the first round for the second straight year, and Jems is going nuts.

And Wisconsin's Trevon Hughes hitting a circus shot to win it for Wisconsin. Despite a great game by Toney Douglas Wisconsin rallied for the win. The third 12 to beat a 5 this year. The first time in 25 years of 64 team fields that has ever happened.


Anyone else noticing how empty the arenas have been for these early rounds? Is it the economy? I never remember arenas being so empty all the time. I'll be curious if we see a lot of empty seats next weekend too.


Right now Pizza Parlor Derek is chanting "I want Morehead!" And yes, that's his joke not mine.


Ready to start the night session, the end of the first round is already here.


I told you an 11 always beats a 6 and a 12 always beats a 5. It's like the sun coming up in the East. And speaking of the East, the Big East falls to 5-1 with only Louisville left, so we can safely make that 6-1 in the opening round.


Pittsburgh wins by 10, but they didn't play a smart game. Nor did ETSU for that matter. Too many threes, and a lot of missed free throws as well.


Derek Glasser's free throws help Arizona State lock up a win over Temple. A Jew brings down the Temple.
Next up for Arizona State the Syracuse Orange.
Let's see if Syracuse can stop James Harden. He had a terrible game, I don't expect a repeat of that performance.


OK, I said I didn't like those Christmas puns, but if Dionte Christmas experiences the premature ejaculation do you think his girlfriend says "Christmas came early?"


Everyone says a 16 is going to beat a 1 eventually. I'm not convinced but Pitt is letting ETSU hang in here. I still expect them to win by 20.


I am so happy Jim Nantz is not doing this Temple game. Imagine how many gay puns he would have done with Dionte Christmas.


Marquette holds on for a 1-point victory. Too bad Utah State's 3-point shooters fouled out, they got a good look but missed it.

There's almost always an 11 over a 6. Now it's either Dayton over West Virginia or Temple over Arizona State. Or maybe there just won't be many 1st round upsets this year.


Incredible bank shot 3 by Utah State to cut the lead to 2.

We're finally get some great finishes, awesome crossover by Eaton to give Oklahoma State the win.


North Dakota State is playing a good game but two things need to happen for an upset of that magnitude to occur. The underdog has to be hot, and the favorite has to be playing badly and turning it over. Kansas is playing well enough to hold them off. Especially Sherron Collins.


Let me set the scene for you. I am at Billy's house and Diesel and Trey are going nuts. They will not stop jumping all over each other. So there is a lot of barking, and a lot of howling. And every 15 minutes an alarm goes off. Billy is currently having an opthamological issue and needs to put in eye drops every 15 minutes.

We've got two laptops plus the big screen TV, so if we could ever get the dogs to lie down we'd be in March Madness heaven.

I think the dogs will calm down enough to let me post some thoughts on today's games.

Syracuse vs. Stephen F. Austin

Syracuse is playing great, dominating from the opening whistle.

They are getting the ball inside which is what they have to against smaller teams.

Also the perimeter defense is very impressive. Sometimes teams can kill SU from the outside. SFA missed their first 15 3-point attempts before finally hitting one.

But SU wasn't much better from downtown, shooting 2 for 16 with Rautins going 0 for 6. But I don't worry about him, I'm sure he'll bounce back with a better performance in the next game.

Also, SU got very sloppy with the ball, especially in the second half, turning it over 21 times in total.

But you can't be too upset with the way they played. They came out and took a big lead and really never let them back into it. A great easy first round victory.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness - Thursday Thoughts

Note: I'll update this throughout the day with thoughts, newest on top.

A pretty tame day, and I'm sure a lot of people will complain about the lack of exciting games and upsets. This was a mild start, as the one upset (Western Kentucky over Illinois) was fairly obvious to a lot of people.
Here's hoping for a better day tomorrow starting with a Syracuse win.


So UCLA holds off VCU in what has to be the game of the day. A lot of people were looking for the upset here but UCLA did enough to win.


Blake Griffin does a pretty good tuck and roll. How the hell did he allow himself to be lifted off the ground like that.


When underdogs pull of huge upsets they got nuts from 3-point range. That's what American did in the first half. But Villanova turned it on and outscored them 49-26.


Similar thrust from Gonzaga, 31-6 run to bury Akron and turn a double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead.


Texas's AJ Abrams went off. Over a span of 5 minutes in the second half Texas went on a 15-5 run, all 15 points were Abrams' 3s, on 5 attempts.


Big win for Michigan. Remember when they used to be an elite basketball program? Clutch 3-point play by Manny Harris ended Clemson's comeback bid.


There's a guy on Akron Humpty Hitchens, so named because he loved the "Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground. They played the song and Tim Brando said "reminds me of my wedding night." I hope he was kidding.


I have no idea why so many people were picking Mississippi State over Washington. When they made the pick they said Mississippi State was a hot team because they won the SEC. Now the announcers just said they were worn out from their run in the SEC Tournament. They'll say the same thing about Syracuse when they lose.

Washington is a really good team though. I actually have them beating Connecticut. A 1 seed usually loses and I love the other 3 with their matchups.


UNC and UConn looked great. I guess they don't need Calhoun and Lawson as much as everyone said.


I lost my first upset pick. Northern Iowa kept getting to within 6 but Purdue kept fighting them off. Still not impressed with the Big 10.


If Hasheem Thabeet were a baseball player, a switch-hitter, when they brought in a lefty to face him, Tim McCarver would say they are "turning Thabeet around."


Everyone's upset special is starting - Northern Iowa vs. Purdue.


Jim Calhoun is sick and in the hospital. He will not coach today and who knows about future UConn games. He's had cancer so many times, who knows what's wrong.


Good slate of opening games:
LSU 75 Butler 71 - LSU jumped out to an early lead and Butler came back but could never get over the hump. I love this kid Matt Howard, and he has 2 years left.

Memphis 81 Cal-State Northridge 70 - Much closer than the final score indicates. They really put a scare in Memphis, but Memphis turned it on when they got really scared. This has to raise questions about them as a final 4 team though.

Texas A&M 79 BYU 66 - ATM got up early and never let go.

60 games, left, 13 more today, and so far I got all three right.


Ok, we can all relax now, Memphis finally took this game over with superior size adn speed. And they started hitting shots. There will be no monumental upset.


62-59 Northridge, 8:33 to go. When it was 55-55 I was going to write that Memphis would still win by 10. Then Northridge scored 6 in a row. This can happen. Memphis is not playing defense on the dribbler and they are chucking up too many threes. If they don't change their gameplan they could destroy every office pool in the country.


March Madness on Demand is awesome. For years I've been frustrated when CBS sticks with a game just because they decided to show it first. I have no rooting interest in LSU-Butler, even though it's close I'd much rather watch Memphis-Cal State Northridge.
If Northridge pulls it off it would be the 2nd biggest first round upset in history. When Arizona, South Carolina and Iowa State lost as #2s they weren't real contenders. Memphis is, and Syracuse was back in 1991, that was bigger because it was the first time.

Mask Taps Out

The co-founder of the MMA-inspired clothing line Tapout, a gentleman named Mask (ok, his real name is Charles Lewis) was killing in an horrific auto accident.
Mask's $300,000 Ferrari jumped the curb and hit a lightpole so hard, that the car was literally torn in half.
A policeman nearby saw Mask's car and a Porsche driving very fast and he saw the cars spin out of control, probably after colliding.
The other driver sped off and was caught a few blocks away and arrested for drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
The woman in the car with Mask sustained serious injuries and is still in the hospital.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Just Can't Quit Bill Simmons

When Bill Simmons was first hired by ESPN, he was awesome. He thought, talked and acted exactly like us and he wrote the way we would write if we had an ESPN column.
Somewhere though, he lost his way, he became just like every other douchebag writer and sports personality, being overly critical, never backing his opinions up with facts and in Simmons's case, beating every joke into the ground. Did you know Isiah Thomas was a bad general manager?

And even worse, his mailbags which were once the highlight of his writing just became full of letters from Simmons wannabes hitting on the same themes (every GM sucks, stupid things ruin movies and moustaches rule). But like I said, I can't quit Simmons so I did read his latest mailbag and found a couple things that made my laugh and remember why I used to read him so religiously before he started writing books, feuding with ESPN and posting once a month.

First he said Red and Andy from Shawshank Redemption had the best bro-mance in history. So true. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.

And then there was this gem, even though the heavy lifting was done by the letter-writer here, it's still hysterical:

Q: Can you think of the sports equivalent of the spouses of buddies whose Facebook friend-request you accepted who constantly update their status on the topic of taking care of their kids? Like "Jenn is watching her little ones nap" and "Sarah is playing 'Bob the Builder' with her kids! Yay!" As a 28-year-old unmarried man, it's not that I don't appreciate females or motherhood, it's just that I don't care. For the same reason that I don't update my status with "Kully just put on jock itch cream."
-- Kully, Guangzhou, China

SG: Wouldn't the sports equivalent be like ending up with an undesirable throw-in for an NBA trade (aka Marcus Banks)? The more interesting angle for me is how Twitter and Facebook reflect where our writing is going thanks to the Internet. In 15 years, writing went from "reflecting on what happened and putting together some coherent thoughts" to "reflecting on what happened as quickly as possible" to "reflecting on what's happening as it's happening" to "here are my half-baked thoughts about absolutely anything and I'm not even going to attempt to entertain you," or as I like to call it, Twitter/Facebook Syndrome. Do my friends REALLY CARE if I send out an update, "Bill is flying on an airplane finishing a mailbag right now?" (Which is true, by the way.) I just don't think they would. I certainly wouldn't. That's why I refuse to use Twitter.

As for Facebook, I don't mind getting status updates and snapshots of what my friends' lives are like -- even if "Bob the Builder" is prominently involved -- as long as they aren't posting 10 times a day or writing something uncomfortable about their spouse/boyfriend like "(Girl's name) is … trying to remember the last time she looked at her husband without wanting to punch him in the face" or "(Girl's name) is … just going to keep eating, it's not like I have sex anymore." Keep me out of your personal business, please. Other than that, the comedy of status updates can be off the charts. Like my college classmate who sends out status updates so overwhelmingly mundane and weird that my buddies and I forward them to each other, then add fake responses like, "(Guy's name) … snapped and killed a drifter tonight" and "(Guy's name) … would hang myself if the ceilings in my apartment weren't too short." It kills us. We can't get enough of it. We have been doing it for four solid months. And really, that's what Facebook is all about -- looking at photos of your friend's kids or any reunion or party, making fun of people you never liked and searching for old hook-ups and deciding whether you regret the hook-up or not. That's really it. All in all, I like Facebook.

Song of the Week

"Mad" - Ne-Yo
I loved this guy when I heard "So Sick" since then he's done a parade of decent but very "pop" songs, finally something with a little more R&B flavor.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Three Seed

Syracuse earned a 3-seed with its impressive run in the Big East Tournament.
The last time SU was a 3-seed a freshman named Carmelo Anthony led them to the National Championship.
The last two times they went to the Big East Final they lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
I don't think Stephen F. Austin is much of a threat (though an upset is possible) and I even think SU should beat Arizona State (even though James Harden is pretty good).
That would leave a Sweet 16 matchup against Oklahoma. I think SU will get eaten alive by Blake Griffin especially because our interior players are undisciplined defenders prone to foul trouble. But a lot of people are saying there's a chance Oklahoma will get knocked off before then.
If somehow SU got through that game, a matchup in the Regional Final against North Carolina would surely be their downfall.

But you never know what's going to happen, so you just have to watch.
SU plays at 12:15 on Friday afternoon and should they win the round two game will be Sunday at noon, the only game in that time slot so the whole nation will be getting our game.

Love is Blind

Mandy Moore recently married singer Ryan Adams.
And I haven't the slightest idea why.

They Need to Pair This Guy With Sully

Southwest Airlines could charge extra for flights flown by Sully Sullenberger with this guy as the flight attendant.

Rapping the announcements, pretty impressive. Rapping the announcements without sounding cheesy and with a bunch of white people giving a ragged beat, now that's impressive.

Do Not Post About Your Job On Facebook

But if you do, make sure you spell everything correctly.
The Philadelphia Eagles fired a stadium emploee, Dan Leone after his status update said "Dan is fucking devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver ... Dam Eagles R Retarted!!"
Leone was upset about the Eagles allowing his favorite player Brian Dawkins to sign with the Broncos.
Leone who works the gate on gamedays was fired by phone a few days after that status update.

I wonder if the Eagles had a policy saying team employees could not be publicly critical of the organization. If so, his comments are reasonable cause for dismissal. Even if they didn't it should have been reasonably assumed that this behavior would not be appreciated.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jimmy Fallon's Take on the 6 Overtime Game

Jimmy Fallon sucks and this skit is hardly amusing but I will do anything to keep the memory of that incredible Syracuse - UConn six overtime game on my mind.