Sunday, March 30, 2008

Welcome to Bracketville 10.0

Welcome to Bracketville, Population 14

Congrats: Chuck widened his lead by going 4-0 in the Elite 8. Hardy also scored a 4-0; and is the only one who can catch Chuck. If the last three games go Hardy’s way, he cuts down the nets.

Rave: Anyone who watched the Kansas/Davidson game as their first college game has to become a fan for life. That is as good as gets…from the back-story to the final score. Absolutely incredible to watch. It is a cliché…but it is a shame someone had to lose.
Davidson does back down to any team. Arguably, they are the most disciplined and well-coached team in the field of 65. That squad gets more out of its talent than any team I have watched. Their scouting and recruiting must be immaculate.

Late Rave: You gotta love Xavier. They can pound you---they held Michael Beasley to one basket. They can buzz you---they held Indiana’s Eric Gordon to four baskets and UT’s Lofton to three baskets. They out rebounded West Virginia (one of the better rebounding teams) by three---and outscored them from beyond the arc by 30 points

Quote: “Working hard is an acquired skill.” ---Rick Pitino.

Factoid: College men’s basketball players graduate at about a 44% rate.

Rant: Can’t we call a spade a spade? “Official timeouts” are not for officials…they exist so the networks can show commercials. Call them TV or commercial timeouts. Even worse, is how many there are and how long they take.

Another spade to call: The mandatory use of “student athlete” during the press conferences (it is in the media handbook the NCAA passes out) is another misnomer. What is wrong with being called a player? The reason these guys are in front of the camera is that they play basketball at the highest collegiate level…not because of dubious classroom achievements.

Didjaknow: The twenty-minute halftimes first came into being in 2003 at the request of CBS so they could give news updates on the Iraq war (it began on the eve of the tournament’s first day). The war continues, the updates do not---and more commercials can be sold in twenty minutes.

Rant: No basketball ought to tip off later than 9:30 local time. Start the doubleheaders earlier. The only reason the Sunday games start at reasonable hours is so CBS can show “60 Minutes.”

Didjaknow: In you want to host the NCAA tournament; you must remove all signage in your building. This includes team banners and retired numbers. That is really weak!

Factoid: The Sweet 16 included seven of the top-10 teams in the RPI ratings.

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