Saturday, March 20, 2010

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Saturday

Well, I did it again. I correctly picked the 2 seed which would lose in the second round, but picked the wrong opponent to beat them. Villanova limped into the end of the season and barely got past Robert Morris. Scottie Reynolds had another horrible game and probably hurt his draft stock.

But Omar Samhan definitely helped his stock. He's the latest in a long line of big men from mid-majors who play well in the tournament, get drafted in the middle of the first round and are never heard from again. Rafael Arujao and Patrick O'Bryant come to mind but I'm sure I could think of others. The thing I like about Samhan is he has some good offensive moves, he's not just good because he relies on size against mostly smaller opponents. He also has some attitude and a cool chin curtain beard.

But no one has better facial hair than the mutton chops of Lucas O'Rear. And when you throw in his name and his tattoo (a shamrock with O'Rear above it) he's a top five revelation from this tournament.

Bill Self wears a piece right?

Tyrel Reid is white? And so is his sister?

For all the reasons Kansas-Northern Iowa was a great game I really enjoyed watching Cole Aldrich and Jordan Eglseder go at it. Two legitimate big men challenging each other on both ends.

An absolutely earth-shaking upset. One of the biggest upsets of all-time. And it all happened because Ali Farokhmanesh pulled off the biggest onions play ever. Up one, 40 seconds left, he shoots a wide open 3. If it goes in you win the game, if it misses Kansas gets the ball because no one was underneath. That's what it came down to.

Sure there were lots of other bad plays by Kansas including two late charges that cost them -- but were absolutely the right call -- but that shot, that shot will go down in history. Add to it the one he hit the other day against UNLV and this kid has got major stones.

The problem with a first day of upsets reared its ugly head today. Yes, the Murray State Butler game was good, the Old Dominion-Baylor and Ohio-Tennessee games were mismatches.

And then there was another 3-11 blowout. But this time it was the 11. How does Washington play so badly all season and bring its A-game at tournament time?

Total domination by Kansas State and of course Kentucky. Without Kansas around I don't think anyone is going to beat Kentucky.

Jacob Pullen and Omar Samhan are bringing back the chin curtain. Abe Lincoln must be proud.

Syracuse vs. Vermont: First Round

So an easy victory just as we would have hoped. Wes Johnson started off on fire and SU was winning 35-10.

They did allow Vermont and comeback after that but the game was never really in doubt.

Scoop was great, way too fast for the slow Vermont white guys.

Kris Joseph was motivated to play against his brother who, by the way, had an atrocious game.

I don't want to put too much stock into what happened in this game because the competition was so inferior but I am glad the game was a laugher (it was on TV for only about 10 minutes) and we took care of business without Onuaku.

Boeheim actually got DeShaunte Riley, James Southerland and Mookie Jones into the game. Though I don't think we'll get valuable contributions from any of those guys once the competition stiffens.

Gonzaga will be a tough game, especially if Onuaku doesn't play again -- which he probably won't -- but still SU should beat them if they can avoid bad turnovers.

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Friday Night

Maybe Master Bates is right, I should just pick every 5 seed and give up ever trying to get those upsets right. Last year 3 12s won so I picked 2 this year, neither of them came up and I am 0-3 in those 5-12 games, and 1-3 in the 6-11 games. There are upsets, and I know there are, yet I always pick the wrong ones.

They just showed the Naismith Watch commercial for Wes Johnson. I would vote if only standard text message rates didn't apply. I don't even know what that means, they could charge me $1000 for all I know. Wes will have to win this one without me.

New Mexico State's band just played "Livin on a Prayer." At least I think it was the NMSU band. Michigan State is winning by 13 so it wouldn't make sense for them to play a song about the union being on strike and being down on your luck it's tough...oooooh so tough.

Interesting story about Arkansas-Pine Bluff. They started the year 0-11 by playing a murderous non-conference schedule, all on the road. Five of those games were against top-50 RPI teams (Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, UTEP and Missouri). That's 4th in the nation in non-conference SOS. The interesting thing is they went 17-4 in their remaining games. Still their overall SOS was 275 (30 slots better than the next best SWAC team) because their best conference opponent was RPI 199. But the goal was to ready the team for the tournament and they won the conference and beat Winthrop so maybe it worked. But it didn't help them avoid an ass-kicking by Duke.

Two of APB's opponents playing each other, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State. They are 33 and 32 in RPI so it should have been a close game and it was. I wasn't impressed with James Anderson and I think Derrick Favors looks a lot like a guy who will be drafted high and be a complete bust.

No team fucked up the late game so far in this tournament more than Oklahoma State. Georgia Tech didn't get a field goal in the last 8 minutes. Every time they had the ball OSU fouled them. They were 0-5 from the field and still outscored OSU. James Anderson chucked up an unnecessary three then the Cowboys took too long to foul, just a complete botch job. The Big 12 ends the first round 5-2.

More fathers and sons:
Glen Rice Jr. is on Georgia Tech
Johnny Dawkins Jr is on Duke
Leadrick Eackles of Oakland is the son of former Washington Bullet Ledell Eackles
Andy Rautins of Syracuse is the son of Leo Rautins (why don't they ever mention this?)

Michigan State a team known for its steadiness and toughness, and good coach blew a 16-point lead to New Mexico State. But they eventually held on to win, mostly because of size. They couldn't hit a shot but they kept getting offensive rebounds.

Louisville came out flat and was down 22-4 before they even got into it. Despite a late comeback they couldn't overcome Cal and the Pac-10 beats the Big East twice in the first round.

I didn't see much of the Gonzaga, Maryland or Ohio State games.

I did hear them say that Gary Williams and Tom Penders each entered the game with 648 career wins.

Friday, March 19, 2010

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Early Friday

Not an inspiring early set of games.

West Virginia looked to be in trouble for a few minutes, ok a few seconds. Down 10-0 they went on a 73-33 run. Finally a Big East team not crapping its pants.

Xavier beats Minnesota, not much notable in this game except Jordan Crawford going off. He's the guy who dunk on LeBron over the summer and Nike confiscated the video making it a much bigger deal than it would have been. The video is poor quality, you can't even tell who it is, and it's basketball. Everyone who tries on defense gets dunked on every once in a while.

Even the best game wasn't a good game. Cornell absolutely shot the lights out to beat Temple. I believe that makes 25 out of 26 years of a 64-team field with a 12-5 upset. So far I am 0-2 in those game this year with Utah State and Michigan State remaining. Ryan Wittman was great, love those white guys. Can definitely see them winning again and heading to the Sweet 16. Yes, I say that even though I didn't think they were going to beat Temple because Wisconsin is a better matchup for them.

I feel kind of bad for Jems. Poor guy really wants Siena to become the Gonzaga of the East. They didn't play bad, I just think even without Hummel Purdue has more talent. I can't crow too much about this one because Cornell did pull of the upset.

Wisconsin survived! They are such an interesting team. They beat a lot of superior teams but often struggle against worse teams. And when a team does that they normally are a talented bunch who play without discipline and don't take opponents seriously. In Wisconsin's case they frustrate good teams but can't put away bad ones. They could be in for a shock when they play Cornell. The Big Red could be our Cinderella.

Apparently the only highlight of this Pittsburgh-Oakland game was a vicious bloody cut. I didn't see it but I am glad the Big East is bringing the pain a little more today and I hope Louisville and of course Syracuse continue the rejuvenation.

Missouri beats Clemson in one of the best track meets of the tournament so far. Oliver Purnell is the worst coach ever and Mike Anderson is really good. We should have seen this coming.

The only reason this game pissed me off is because it was Tigers vs. Tigers. I thought the only 1st round matchups of teams with the same nickname would be Utah State vs. Texas A&M. What the fuck is an Aggie anyway?

I've been saving that observation since Selection Sunday and I should make it a separate post since no one is reading these Tournament thoughts things I'm posting. So it's really just an exercise in narcissism, but since the entire blog is, I guess I shouldn't be bothered.

I'll start tonight's observations with Aggies vs. Aggies.

Helllllllllloooooooooo, Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadeeeeeeeezzzzzzzz

The perfect man is a geek with facial stubble... women's secret turn-ons revealed

Most women claim to be attracted to tall, dark and handsome men, but a new study has revealed that facial stubble and a geeky personality are their biggest secret turn-ons.

geeks with facial stubble rule

Despite complaining that it looks unkempt and feels rough to touch, the unshaven look on a man is actually a turn-on for 41 per cent of women.

A slightly geeky personality came second, proving that women really do like a guy who knows their stuff when it comes to technology.

A hairy chest was voted third, followed by a man who loves to read or cries at a soppy film.

Other secret turn-ons to feature in the top ten include grey hair, glasses and being a passionate supporter of a sports team.

A spokesman for, which carried out the research, said: 'Publically, girls will claim they want a muscly guy, who is hair free and manly enough not to show his emotional side.

'But these results prove that they secretly want something different. It seems women really do like a guy who is able to show a softer side, or who is carrying a little bit of extra weight.

'I'm sure it's a relief to men all over the country to find out that women aren't actually looking for that perfect guy.'

Thursday, March 18, 2010

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Thursday Night

Kentucky's domination was so complete CBS didn't even show a minute of it and I didn't bother to check in on it with March Madness On Demand, which by the way would be the best thing since sliced bread if it weren't sooooo much better than sliced bread that it's an almost an insult by comparison.

Shocked about the way Georgetown got completely dominated by Ohio. They played no defense at all. Amazing they looked so good against Syracuse and then run off the court by Ohio. Usually these monumental upsets start with the Cinderella getting a big lead, blowing it all then hanging on. But Georgetown never got within more than seven.

I really thought we were going to have an incident when Kevin Harlan said Ali Farokhmanesh is terrorizing UNLV with his bombs from deep. Thankfully he never said that. But I really thought he was headed down that road.

Big win for Northern Iowa though I really wish the committee would start to consider conferences when matching teams up, especially in 8-9 and 7-10 games. I would rather see Northern Iowa, UNLV, Richmond and St. Mary's get a crack at Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas and Wake Forest than matching up against each other.

The Washington-Marquette game is a contrast in coacing styles. There is the manic near-breakdown intensity of Buzz Williams and the cool of LoRo. How has that nicknme not caught on yet? We can call a grown man Buzz but we can't call Lorenzo Romar LoRo?

But the teams play a similar style which made for an awesome game. No defense required, a lot of running, a lot of gunning and some big shot making including that game-winner by Pondexter.

So the Big East has lost 2 6s and a 3 and almost a 2. This could be the worst performance for any conference in history. Good thing we got 8, we'll need them.

Lehigh took an early 12-4 lead on Kansas before the Jayhawks went on a 21-2 run and I thought ended the game. But Lehigh came back with 9 straight points. And they actually hung in pretty well through most of the game.

Texas against Wake Forest was the hardest game for me to predict. I had Wake Forest but I switched it to Texas when I considered that both teams struggled down the stretch but at least Texas lost to good teams.

Bruce Pearl's son plays for him at Tennessee. I always think that must be hard at this level (see: Hawkins, Cody) but especially if you father is Bruce Pearl.

UNLV has Steve "Snapper" Jones's son. Remember when Snapper and Walton used to bicker incessantly with Bill Walton when the NBA was on NBC. I think they drove Tom Hammond to an early grave.

San Diego State has a player named B.J. Gay? Really, Mr. and Mrs. Gay, really? I've been working on a theory about how most last names have at least one name that obviously doesn't work. If your last name is Gay, BJ is probably that name. He might want to go the Marvin Gaye route and an E on the end. I know it doesn't do much but it's a start.

Note: I know his name is actually DJ but that's not as funny.

And speaking of names, doesn't Skyler McBee sound like a character on the "Andy Griffith Show?"

I really want Wayne Chism to wear his headband like a normal person.

Insane finish to Texas-Wake Forest. Throughout the game whenever one team had the advantage, they immediately lost it. Early in OT, Texas made a couple steals, hit a couple 3s and took an 8-point lead. But two missed free throws by a 90% shooter (J'Covan Brown) cost Texas.

That was the third overtime game of the day, more than all of last year's tournament.

What an incredible day of games! Not just upsets, but close games, exciting games and well-played games.

My bracket is completely fucked but man was this fun!

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Early Thursday

Anyone who was at work and missed these three games missed a whole lot.

Notre Dame's season was so interesting. They were good with Harangody, then good without him because they switched from an uptempo to a slowdown style. But they had some difficulty working Harangody back in. He scored only two baskets both at the end of the game off missed 3s Notre Dame really needed.

Jimmer Fredette is the breakout star of the first round. Yes he had 10 extra minutes to get his 37 points but he hit a couple of big-time "onions!" 3s in overtime.

Too bad Kenny Boynton fouled out, they were locked in a pretty good duel until them.

You think Jay Wright wishes he'd chosen another way to make his "minor teaching point?" I have no idea what that means. Either they did something serious and Wright is covering it up, or Wright made a huge mistake by underestimating Robert Morris.

Maybe they broke curfew because once the game started it looked like Reynolds was a little sleep-deprived. But he did hit a huge shot to help them win the game.

It just proves why upsets are so hard. The better teams have bigger guys, two Nova players stuffed an RMU guy on the way to the hoop. Eventually talent wins out -- most of the time.

It just keeps getting better. Murray State, incredible shot. Vanderbilt did everything right there, they switched screens were right in his face forced a pass, then forced the shooter away from the basket. Danero Thomas just hit a great shot.

Danero is money!!!!!!

Ay que lastima.

I know the Law of Independent Trials says this game has no impact on the Siena-Purdue game but two 13s have never won in the same year.

Baylor got a scare. Considering I banked my entire bracket on them I'm more than a little worried but they get an easy draw with Old Dominion beating Notre Dame. And they might catch another break.

I am now convinced St. Mary's will beat Villanova. I feel like every year I pick the right number two seed to lose in the first round, but I always pick the wrong team to beat them. My most vivid recollection of this is when Anfernee Hardaway and Memphis (nee Memphis State) beat Seton Hall, I had expected Western Kentucky to do it. Anyway, if I'm right Baylor doesn't play a single-digit seed until possibly Duke in the regional Final.

St. Mary's had the better inside player and Richmond couldn't match up.

Kansas State dominating North Texas in our first blowout of the tournament.

And the last game of our early session is another blowout. UTEP was actually leading by 6 in the second half, but Butler went on a 28-6 run to put this game away. There goes one of my 12-5 upsets, but I still have Utah State over Texas A&M.

A Special St. Patrick's Day Fuck-up From Joe Biden

Nice of him to wish Prime Minister Cowen's mother well, but at least wait for the old lady to die first before you say "god rest her soul."

"God bless her soul, then."

At least he has a lot of experience recovering from his mistakes, like this most famous one.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I am so excited for the NCAA Tournament. I am home and ready to go and not going back to work until Monday.

I will be here all weekend watching basketball and assisting in potty-training Chase.

Please check back for frequent updates of my random tournament thoughts.

The best pre-tournament Syracuse team of the last 20 years enters the NCAA with a Final Four or Bust attitude, let's hope they get at least that far.

NCAA Tournament Preview: The Top Seeds

East: This region is Kentucky's to lose. West Virginia is a hot team right now but I just don't see them being able to match Kentucky. And it's not because of John Wall. DeMarcus Cousins will have too much size for a generally smallish WVU team. The 3 seed in this region, New Mexico is a good team but often good teams from smaller conferences that get seeded this high (other than Memphis recently) don't have the talent to match the top teams. The four seed in this region, Wisconsin, could pose the biggest threat to Kentucky by slowing the game down and frustrating Wall and Kentucky's other young stars.

Midwest: I have not seen anyone pick anyone other than Kansas to get through this region despite the fact that people complained Kansas has gotten an unfair draw. I really like Ohio State and think Evan Turner is the best player in the country. With Georgetown and Maryland also in this region I just don't think anyone can stop this epic 1 vs 2 matchup in the Regional Final.

West: This is a tough region for Syracuse but I think most people expect them to win it. Kansas State is also a very good team with good guard play, the kind of team people like in the tournament. There isn't a lot of confidence in Pitt. Even when they had really good teams they always underachieved in the tournament because they would win games with effort and brute force but that doesn't work against better teams. That should happen when they run into Kansas State.

South: This one is wide open. Only one year did all four number one seeds make the Final Four. Almost everyone believes Duke is the most vulnerable to miss it this year. That comes even as people say Duke has the easiest road. I actually think this region is wide open for Baylor. Baylor could lose to bigger stronger teams but they can run past anyone. A team like Villanova is perfectly suited for Baylor's game, and Baylor is playing much better than Nova right now. That leaves Baylor against Duke in a regional final, I think. This year Duke has more size than they normally do but they are still a bunch of white pussies who lose every year when someone hits them in the mouth.

Final Four picks: Kansas, Kentucky, Kansas State and Baylor

Note: contrary to popular belief the Big 12 is the best conference this year, not the Big East.

National Champion: This is one of the toughest decisions picking a winner since 2005 when Illinois and North Carolina were in it. The quandary is the same, the more talented team against the more proven winner. Kentucky has the most talent, but three of their top players are freshmen. I don't necessarily think experience is as important as those TV talking heads do, especially because Kentucky has always managed to find a way to win these close games this year. But I just have a feeling about Kansas and I think the Cole Aldrich-DeMarcus Cousins matchup could decide this year's tournament so I am picking Kansas to win for the 2nd time in three years.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

President Obama and ESPN Try to Spell Syracuse

President Obama unveiling his NCAA Tournament picks on ESPN.
For the record I have no problem with this and hate people who use the old "doesn't he have better things to do" line.
I actually like a President who does a bracket.
My only problem with it is his populist picks, even his upsets are populist (Cornell, Siena).
And his horrible spelling of Syracuse, going with "Sycasuse" (before Andy Katz points out his mistake and the President laughs at his spelling and corrects it to Sycacuse) which isn't as bad as ESPN's graphic of "Syracsue" which is worse because they should have had time to spell check.

Obama screws up the spelling of Syracuse

NCAA Tournament Preview: Syracuse

The best Syracuse team in 20 years enters the NCAA Tournament with high hopes as well as serious questions.

Here are the problems with SU:

1) Injuries: The quad injury to Arinze Onuaku and the hand injury of Wes Johnson cast serious doubt on the team's ability to play to their potential during this tournament. But Johnson's injury seems to be getting better and Onuaku's doesn't seem as bad as we first thought. And by the time the real competition picks up SU will have played only three games in 3 weeks.

2) The bench: You could either say SU has a great bench or a horrible one. The first two guys off the bench are better than some of the starters on most teams, including SU. But after that SU has nothing, no one who has played any meaningful minutes all season. If one player is hurt, foul trouble is likely, and no one else will be around to provide help.

3) The 2-3 zone: Syracuse's biggest weapon is also often its downfall. It often confuses teams that aren't used to it, especially not played with the aggressiveness of this year's team, but any good coach should be able to prepare his team for something he is guaranteed to see. Teams that get hot from outside or crash the offensive boards routinely tear up the zone.

Syracuse is definitely good enough to make it to the Final Four and challenge Kansas or Kentucky for the national title, or even win it all, but I actually have them going out to Kansas State in the Elite 8.

Song of the Week

"I Got the Power" - Snap
I was singing this song at the top of my lungs Sunda night.

Happy St. Patrick's Day




Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NCAA Tournament Preview: The Sleepers

For many people the most fun part of the NCAA Tournament is filling out the bracket and rooting for the alma mater of your sister's husband, cute girl at work or in the case of at least one Poophead, your favorite blogger.

For me my favorite part is watching the games.

But second is picking those sleepers that screw up everyone else's bracket but make yours. And I'm not just talking first round. There is almost always a 2-seed losing in the second round. And except for 2008 we often get a Final Four team most people didn't expect.

First round:
Almost every year a 13 seed beats a 4 and this year the trendy pick is Siena. They won first round games two straight years and now they draw a depleted Purdue team playing without Robbie Hummel. But people forget all season Purdue was great, not because of one player but because of a balanced lineup. Also Siena is different this year. In four games against top 50 teams they lost all four. So don't pick Siena, no matter what Jems tells you. If a 4 does go down it'll be Vanderbilt.

Every year (except maybe once) a 12 seed beat a 5. And no matter what Master Bates and Papa Poop have been telling me for 20 years, it will happen again this year and I've got at least a 25% chance of getting it right.

This year's trendy pick is Cornell. And though I hate going along with this crowd the trend says trendy upset picks do pretty well. But styles make fights and this isn't a good matchup for Cornell. They could upset a major conference team with a lot of athleticism if they could slow down that team, frustrate them and get open shots against an undisciplined defense. Temple is a little too tough and aggressive on D to fall for that.

So give me UTEP over Butler though I could see Utah State over Texas A&M. Both schools were great all year and stumbled in their conference tournaments. I'm a little disappointed all the 12s are small conference teams, I usually like a tested BCS school.

And I guess I need an 11 over a 6 as well. The Big East has two 6s (Notre Dame and Marquette) and I like both those teams and I think Minnesota shot its load in the Big 10 tournament. So that leaves me with San Diego State over Tennessee. I think Tennessee is ripe for an upset because they had huge highs (wins over Kansas and Kentucky) but also losses to sub-100 teams (USC & Georgia) and they got blown out by Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. They may finally be petering out after taking a huge talent hit when Tyler Smith got kicked off the team.

Second round:
If you are judging this by the strength of the underdog you might be inclined to take Oklahoma State over Ohio State. But I think Evan Turner is just too good for that. I am say it will be Villanova that suffers the early knockout to Richmond.

I'm also going to knock out a 3 seed in the second round, predicting Marquette will beat New Mexico.

I do have a sleeper Final Four team but I am holding off on unveiling that until Thuesday morning.

Rate This Joke

There’s a dating site called “” I want to create a Jewish version called “”

I don't know why I'm even bothering with this because I know how vicious the Poopheads are to me in polls, but maybe once you bastards will surprise me.

Maybe So, But Getting a Cat is Dumb

People with cats are more likely to have college degrees than those with dogs, according to a scientific survey of pet ownership.
Researchers at the University of Bristol say that the superior intelligence of cat owners is unlikely to be caused by their exposure to the famously cunning and selfish pets.
Rather, more educated people tend to work longer hours and choose a pet to fit their lifestyles. Unlike dogs, cats require no walking and can manage with little human company.

Exactly, people get cats because they have no time to take care of a real pet. Also they are emotionally detached people who choose love only on their own terms. Getting a dog is a much bigger time commitment, on requiring sacrifices in exchange for real, unconditional love. Cat owners want someone to vent to about the bitchy girl at work, and then ignore the rest of the day.

The study, published in the Veterinary Record journal, also found that cat owners were more likely to be older and female. You didn't need to interview thousands of British people to find that out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What Do You Give Me For? Dick Armitage and Dean Norris

What do you give me for Dick Armitage and Dean Norris who plays Hank, Walter White's brother-in-law on "Breaking Bad" which debuts its third season March 21st on AMC.

NCAA Tournament Preview: Bubble Teams

The Monday morning after selection Sunday is for two things, picking Final Four teams and bitching about bubble teams.

I'll get to my Final Four picks later this week so let's examine the bubble teams.

First those that got in with RPI in parentheses:
Utah State (30) and UTEP (38) both lost conference title games but knowing how hard it is to build a strong RPI from a weaker conference, these teams deserved inclusions.

The last two majors to get in were likely Florida (56) and Minnesota (62). Both of these teams had some big wins, Florida beat Michigan State and Tennessee and Minnesota won 5 games against top 30 opponents (Butler, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Purdue). Minnesota also played its way in with a big performance in the conference tournament which may have been a factor for the committee, they wanted to see which teams would step up in must-win situations that could approximate the NCAA Tournament.

That's why Florida getting in over Mississippi State (55) puzzles me a little. Miss State had the same number of top 30 wins (Old Dominion, Vanderbilt) as Florida but they were of much lower quality. But they beat Florida when the chips were supposedly down.

Three more quick bubble teams who deservedly were left out:
Virginia Tech (59): good record (23-8) but a horrible non-conference strength of schedule. The lost to Temple and beat Seton Hall but they also beat 9 teams above 200 in RPI including North Carolina Central #347 out of 347.
Seton Hall (60): No matter what the committee says they just aren't going to take a 9th team from a power conference over a team that won the regular season in a reasonable conference.

That's why things were going so well for Seton Hall early in Championship Week until Saturday when Houston, New Mexico State and maybe even Washington stole bids.

Illinois (74): Just too low an RPI, in Wofford, Sam Houston State range, they probably couldn't have gotten in even with a win over Ohio State.

But the team I think has the biggest reason to be upset this morning in Rhode Island (40). They played in a decent conference (Atlantic-10 was 7th rated conference) but the problem is no big wins, and five losses against Temple, Xavier and Richmond.

This is another discussion we'll get to later but the lack of a really high quality bubble team that has a major argument with exclusion proves that 64 is perfectand 96 is too many.

The Weekend of My Discontent

It all started innocently enough on Saturday in Connecticut. We went to Summer's first birthday party which featured shrimp (I must have had about eight -- teen of em, man), buffalo wings, pepperoni a lot of candy and a lot of kids. Chase hid in the corner and played cars the whole time, with occassional breaks to throw balloons.

After driving through a torrential downpour for two hours we decided soup from the kosher deli (it's open on Saturdays, not glatt) was a good idea for dinner. It was a little after 6pm. As soon as I got inside and placed my order (two quarts chicken noodle, one mushroom barley) and the lights went out. After a few moments of hysteria by the assembled Jews the guy got me my soup and I paid in cash. But one neurotic Jew didn’t have sufficient cash to pay for her meal. When it was suggested she should write her credit card number down and they would run it through the machine when the power returned, she said “I’m not comfortable with that.” So she had to write down her name address and phone number and promise to come back the next day to settle her debt.

As the girl at the counter was trying to add and subtract in the dark she gave me incorrect change, not realizing I gave her $25 instead of $40. I thought my act of kindness in turning down $15 of incorrect change would have bought me some good karma, but that was not the case.

When we arrived home power was out, we lit some candles and found some flashlights and actually did ok. Mrs. Poop left for work at 10, and I watched UFC 109 (huge backlog of UFC PPVs). I saw the Serra knockout but since the Dan Miller-Damien Maia fight was so boring I fell asleep in the middle. That killed the remaining laptop battery (blackberry died too) and I still don’t know who won that fight.

Chase and I try to keep ourselve entertained

Chase and I woke up at 7am (new time) and first thing he did was ask if he could watch a show. When I explained “no power, no lights, no show” he seemed to get it, and no freak-out. But after we’d eaten breakfast and confronted the whole day with no power, we decided to turn tail and run for Staten Island. When we got back with our Chinese food from Peking Taste (best chicken with cashews this side of Guangdong), Mrs. Poop was awake, and the lights were still out.

A tuckered out Chase napped until 6, I napped until 8. During those extra two hours Mrs. Poop tried to make the best of it by sharing a candlelight dinner with Chase, then playing “I Spy” with the flashlight.

A little after 9 I was about to step in the shower when I heard cheering on the streets, similar to what I assume my Canadian cousins heard when Sidney Crosby scored to beat the Americans. I flicked the light switch and relieved the great Biblical moment when God said “let there be light.” I even turned on the light in Chase’s room to tell him our nightmare was over.

All in all it could have been a lot worse but I am pissed about a few things:

1) I didn’t watch any college basketball games on Saturday or Sunday

2) I also didn’t watch a single recorded program this weekend, which could lead to DVR-mageddon this week especially with the NCAA Tournament threatening to consume me for 20 hours this weekend

3) Several programs I wanted to watch including the Selection Show and The Amazing Race are lost and gone forever

4) It was cold, about 60 degrees in the house for two days

5) Our house smelled like a combination of root beer and grapefruit from the scented candles we were burning

What's Wrong with Wright?

Mets fans are going nuts over David Wright’s power outage last year and the Mets are even shortening the fence blaming his decline from 33 homers in 2008 at Shea to 10 at CitiField on the size of the ballpark. But what they fail to point out is that Wright also hit 5 homers in 277 at bats on the road in 2009 – compared to 12 in 325 in 2008. That’s not as big a drop-off as we saw in his home numbers (from 21 in 301 to 5 in 258) but neither number is satisfactorily explained by the change in CitiField.

ESPN’s baseball genius Rob Neyer examines the David Wright home run conundrum:

"How unprecedented was David Wright's power outage last season? As Eric Seidman writes, literally unprecedented:

Wright hit 10 home runs last year in what was, for all intents and purposes, a full season of playing time. That's right, 10! After averaging 29 dingers per season from 2005-08, Wright’s bopping of just 10 long balls would be akin to Ichiro batting .264, Roy Halladay posting 4.47 ERA, or the Royals acquiring a batter whose OBP exceeds .319. It just isn’t bloody likely, and it can drive fans batty searching for causes. Was it the new Citi Field and its dimensions (not likely, as park effects would account for a dropoff of, at most, three or four homers)? A change in swing mechanics or in hitting philosophy? A lingering injury? Or, perhaps, a decision to mail it in until Omar Minaya signed more backup catchers? Whatever the cause, it was particularly peculiar that he sustained talent in the midst of being sapped for power, as Wright hit .307/.390, a BA and OBP virtually identical to his PECOTA forecast, but with a .447 SLG that more closely resembled what one might expect from teammates Daniel Murphy or Fernando Tatis.


The actual 2010 projection pegs Wright’s weighted mean at .313/.415/.541, compared to the 2009 projection of 2010 which had him at .305/.405/.543. Simply put, PECOTA is very bullish on Wright moving forward and appears to be dismissing his 2009 power output, thinking it to be immaterial to what Wright is capable of moving forward. The anti-Brady Anderson in every sense of the term, there are few reasons to expect Wright to continue last year’s putrid power output. Something definitely happened last season to cause such a vast decrease, but searching through the annals of history reveals very, very few comparables from even a broad perspective, indicating that his 2009 campaign was not only anomalous, but literally unprecedented.

In all likelihood, fans a decade from now will look back at his 10-homer season as a blip on an otherwise fantastic career consisting of many more 30-plus dinger years, and in a few weeks, when live regular-season baseball once again occupies our time and Wright looks like the player of years past, few will even think about what happened last season.

I expect a big year out of Wright, too.

There's another way to look at this, though. If something literally unprecedented happens, shouldn't we at least consider the possibility that our usual models don't tell us what we want to know?

I believe in the projection, too. But probably not with quite as much conviction as I would if Wright's 2009 season, you know, precedented."

There may be another factor causing the home run numbers to decrease, and its all Tony Bernazard’s fault. As Neyer once again points out the Mets attempt to improve their poor clutch hitting in 2008 by instructing hitters to hit to the opposite field more. This was likely a bigger drain on power than CitiField.

In an effort to fix one problem the idiotic Mets likely created a different one.

And this is where a lot of traditional baseball people misrepresent statistical analysis. Part of statistical analysis is knowing where the analysis falls short. And when you can't explain what happened, its most likely luck, or a random act of the Universe.

Which I think is probably the best explanation for David Wright, which would mean a return to 25 homers in 2010, with at least 10 at home.

You Have Clearance Clarence

Actor Peter Graves died Sunday at the age of 83. Graves is best known for playing Capt. Clarence Oveur in "Airplane!" and uttering the immortal line "Roger, Roger."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wii Curling

I love Wii, I love curling so there is no doubt I would love to play Wii curling. But judging on the motion needed to be a sweeper in the game (as demonstrated by hosts of an Australian TV show) TON would school me at the game when he comes over to play.