Re: I gotcher madness right here, baby.

1

I predict that no one cares.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:37 AM
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well it is hard to be less exciting than the NBA[*], but who wants to quibble about degrees of tedium?

[*] Somewhat astonishingly, MLB manages it without apparent effort.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:40 AM
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I've got the emails to dispute your prediction.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:40 AM
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Isn't `the lurkers support' me a bit tired at this point, apo?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:41 AM
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Never!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:43 AM
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Have another piece of fruitcake, guys.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:43 AM
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I hear the Patriots may well go undefeated ....[yawn]


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:44 AM
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I don't follow the NBA, but the NCAA tournament is awesome. Direct elimination, brackets, guaranteed Cinderella stories. It's pretty much perfect. How many more sports would be better if they adopted it?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:46 AM
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I deft you all by witnessing that I have really gotten into the NBA, and for this reason am more bored by the inferior college brand of basketball. Also, fruitcake.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:51 AM
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"Cinderella stories" is deprecated! I have in the Final Four: UCLA, UNC, Texas, and Kansas. You know how it goes from there.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:52 AM
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Go Portland State! Oh, uh, so much for that. I guess facing the top-seeded team in the first round kind of sucks when you're no. 16.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:52 AM
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The drop-off from the 1 and 2 seeds (aside from Duke) to the rest of the field seems sharper than usual this year. I have UNC, UCLA, Kansas, and Pitt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:54 AM
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I'm predicting Florida v. Ohio State in the Finals again.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:56 AM
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imminently ordinary

Really, ESPN.com?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:00 PM
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12: I'd love to say Pitt (like Bobby Knight has), they are looking strong, but they have shown an unhappy genius for either losing to upstarts or running into buzzsaws (Dwayne Wade/Marquette 2003 for instance) lo these past 20 years.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:01 PM
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I hate Duke as much as the next guy (I hate all of the evil blue and white teams), but they earned that 2 seed this year by consistently disproving the doubters. I know, Belmont, but I'd much prefer to play Tennessee.

For those interested who haven't discovered, CBS is streaming all of the games online for free!


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:02 PM
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The claim isn't that the NCAA is less exciting, it's that the quality of play is much lower. Per Cala, the tournament is exciting just by virtue of its win or go home structure. It's too bad the NBA runs the playoffs as four excruciating rounds of 7 game series.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:07 PM
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In the end, the tournament will probably turn out to be fairly anticlimactic. Not sure how UNC is going to score against UCLA, and I can't wrap my mind around the idea of a Rick Barnes or Bill Self team winning the title.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:08 PM
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I hate all of the evil blue and white teams

Which are these? Certainly not all blue and white teams -- UNC for example. (I'm no Tar Heel, but folks who hate Duke tend to like them.)

So . . . the Yankees? But not the Cubs? Can this theory be amended to darkish blue and white teams?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:10 PM
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Wait, when did fruitcake eating become elitist? Didn't you mean "fruitcake elitists," instead?


Posted by: JH | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:10 PM
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1. I don't think the argument is so much that it's less exciting as that it's less basketball-y.

2. Duke has fallen so far, so fast--with Coach K on the bench!--that yesterday, near the end of the Belmont game, I actually wondered if I would be a sinning if I felt sorry for Duke when it lost. Fucking Belmont.

3. Predictions? At the end of this tournament, some team will have made enough of a surprise run that its coach will get a raise substantially greater than the combined value of all of the scholarships offered to players on his team. And the natural order of the universe will continue its march toward restoration: Heels over the Bruins.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:10 PM
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it's that the quality of play is much lower

Well sure. Given that only the top 2-3% of college players end up on pro rosters, that's not a very deep observation. Aside from the tournament structure, though, way too much of the NBA (for my tastes, anyhow, and I like the NBA) comes down to one-on-one moves as the too-short shot clock winds down. I like high-wire dunks as much as the next guy, but it's only part of the game.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:11 PM
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It's too bad the NBA runs the playoffs as four excruciating rounds of 7 game series.

You're going to be glad of it in the West.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:12 PM
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17, 21.1: I was mostly trolling about that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:13 PM
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way too much of the NBA (for my tastes, anyhow, and I like the NBA) comes down to one-on-one moves as the too-short shot clock winds down.

That kind of isolation play was the hangover from the Jordan era, from about 1997-2002. All the best teams play very well together now, there's a lot of ball movement. You do need some stars who can create their own shot, but what separates the top teams is team defense and ball movement to get the good shots on offense.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:15 PM
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Western Kentucky will make it to the Elite Eight again.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:19 PM
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25: And that's basically all the college game is, if played at a slightly lowered level. I also appreciate that I'm never presented with an aging player, any team might have the promise and the players realize that, annoying personalities disappear within a few years, and dynasty is easy come easy go.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:21 PM
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You want madness? I had to go to Twisty's to find out about

A 78-year-old German woman went into the hospital last month to have surgery on her leg. Because of a mixup, Frankenpost reports that she left the Hochfranken-Klinik in M├╝nchberg, Germany, with an artificial anus.
So Twisty is now my source for biologically-humorous mishaps, and Unfogged is the home for endless gender discussions. Fantastic.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:22 PM
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So Twisty is now my source for biologically-humorous mishaps, and Unfogged is the home for endless gender discussions. Fantastic.

damn.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:23 PM
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Duke has fallen so far, so fast

Not that I've been following college ball terribly closely the past few years, but... what? They won the national championship 7 years ago, and went to the Final Four 4 years ago. Last year wasn't so great, but they *did* go 12-2 in conference this year.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:26 PM
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So, I don't follow basketball...how are the US's chances at the Olympics this summer?

Also, there's an exiting tennis tournament going on in California. Not that anyone cares.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:27 PM
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I have to admit I am more interested in Fug Madness 2008.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:27 PM
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33

I would watch more basketball if they gave it an artificial anus.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:29 PM
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Ah come on Zags make something happen!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:32 PM
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they *did* go 12-2 in conference this year

12-4 in conference. They certainly overperformed for a team with no inside presence and a short bench, but I chalk that up mostly to great coaching and an off year for the rest of the ACC.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:32 PM
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33: Yeah, but you'd watch damn near anything if they gave it an artificial anus.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:33 PM
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artificial anus

I wonder if she has somebody dilate that with forceps, so it doesn't collapse? That's what they do with artificial vaginas, only the patient can do it yourself. Seems like it would be harder to work the forceps into your ass.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:34 PM
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And that's basically all the college game is, if played at a slightly much, much lowered level.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:34 PM
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some team will have made enough of a surprise run that its coach will get a raise substantially greater than the combined value of all of the scholarships offered to players on his team

And one of those players will be banned for accepting $200 from a booster. Fucking NCAA.

I agree the West draw looks great this year. Although I would still go back to five game series for round one. Any #1 that goes down 3-2 to the 8 seed deserves to lose, that goes double if your best player is from Europe.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:34 PM
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it's harder to troll basketball threads


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:35 PM
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19: I'm no Tar Heel, but folks who hate Duke tend to like them.

Trust me it's not hard to not like either of them. Maybe to different degrees, but Duke frat boys demanding vicarious basketball glory as their entitlement may be the apotheosis of sports fandom evil, but UNC frat boys doing the same are not far behind.

I'll admit that my sentiments may rightly attributed to envy and years of regional basketball pwnership. (Goes way back, such as Akron having their way to Small College B'ball glory blocked for a couple of years by an Earl Monroe led Winston-Salem.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:36 PM
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From casual observation, I would say that the college game has less driving and post-up play, and more spot-up shooting and turnovers.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:36 PM
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They certainly overperformed for a team with no inside presence and a short bench

Isn't that them every year, though? I don't remember the last time Duke had an actual inside presence (probably when Boozer was there), and K's never been comfortable with anything more than a 6-man rotation.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:37 PM
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12-413-3 in conference. They certainly overperformed for a team with no inside presence and a short bench an excessive reliance on freshmen and sophomores, but I chalk that up mostly to great coaching and an off year for the rest of the ACC.

They did fine early on as a two-dimensional team, but late season slumps have made them one-dimensional, which just won't get it done for long.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:39 PM
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Can this theory be amended to darkish blue and white teams?

Not completely. Penn State's certainly not evil.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:39 PM
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Which are these? Certainly not all blue and white teams -- UNC for example. (I'm no Tar Heel, but folks who hate Duke tend to like them.)

No, I hate both UNC and Duke. And Kansas. And Kentucky. I can understand if you went to school there or grew up in the area, but, otherwise, what's the point? It's like rooting for the Yankees. If they don't win it all you're going to be disappointed, and for everybody else it just gets tiresome, especially when you have to listen to Dick Vitale blather on about them every chance he gets (most particularly about his love affair with Coach K).


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:40 PM
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especially when you have to listen to Dick Vitale blather on about them every chance he gets (most particularly about his love affair with Coach K)

Hey, at least K is still coaching. Dickie V still manages to work Dean Smith in every so often, and he's been retired for more than 10 years.

Although come to think of it, if there's one thing that can bring Tar Heels and Blue Devils together, it's utter loathing of Dick Vitale. (Billy Packer might work in a pinch.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:43 PM
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Rooting for Kansas is not like rooting for the Yankees, at all.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:46 PM
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Just heard one of the most laughable NCAA tournament comments ever from the announcer. "Can Drake's Cinderella slipper continue" as they attempt to come back and when the game in which they are the #5 seed taking on a #12 seed....


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:46 PM
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The NCAA tournaments are all good. But sports dynasties are boring and fans of sports dynasties are insufferable. It would be great for Duke to get knocked down a few pegs and stay there for a few years. It doesn't have to be forever.


Posted by: KRK | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:48 PM
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They certainly overperformed for a team with no inside presence and a short bench, but I chalk that up mostly to great coaching and an off year for the rest of the ACC.

But, that's just Duke, isn't it. If Duke were personified it would be Bobby Hurley, Greg Wojohowski, Greg Paulus. In other words, an annoying little spaz.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:48 PM
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Let know one fool themselves, the moral equivalence of rooting for almost any big-time college sports team or Pro team is well-established.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:48 PM
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Just heard one of the most laughable NCAA tournament comments ever from the announcer. "Can Drake's Cinderella slipper continue" as they attempt to come back and when the game in which they are the #5 seed taking on a #12 seed....

It's not that bad, though. Drake hasn't had a good team in over 30 years. Cinderella may not be the appropriate term, but this has been a remarkable season for them.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:48 PM
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No know.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:49 PM
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I read yesterday that UNC is the only #1 seed this year with a graduation record above 50%.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:51 PM
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And Drake claws back to force overtime.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:51 PM
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In stark contrast to UNC, Duke, Kentucky and Kansas, how can anyone not be rooting for Drake?


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:53 PM
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53: It was a good comeback (going to overtime), but just the use of Cinderella (and "continue" when it is a 1st round game, and they were prohibitive favorites in their conference tournament as well) struck me as silly.

Rooting for them still.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:54 PM
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And I also realize now that I was mentally confusing Drake with Bradley (one of those upstarts that took out Pitt in recent years).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:57 PM
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Woo Davidson!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:57 PM
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Unfogged is developing a very bad habit of staying on-topic. Just saying.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 12:58 PM
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Go Drake! Everyone else hear Jay Silas talk them up, too?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:05 PM
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98-98 with 6 seconds to go in overtime and one more free throw coming for Drake. Man, it sucks to be at work right now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:09 PM
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CBS Sportsline, free streaming video!


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:09 PM
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dude


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:10 PM
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30: Maybe I oversold it. But there was a time when Duke was considered the preeminent basketball program in the nation. Many people even considered Coach K the best coach in the nation (better than Dean Smith!). Now, I'm not sure they even make a list of the preeminent basketball programs, and Coach K is probably two more early exits from people openly wondering whether he's too old. Duke's still first tier, but they're second set within the first tier.

It's glorious.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:11 PM
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Oh, man.

Great shot, though.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:11 PM
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WK Hilltoppers get the finish that Belmont needed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:12 PM
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Oh god are my brackets all messed up. I bet on all the wrong Kentucky institutions.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:15 PM
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Yeah, but you'd watch damn near anything if they gave it an artificial anus.

Mea culpa.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:18 PM
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I'm very sad that this job has no tournament pool I can mysteriously win every year regardless of the increasingly randomized methods they employ to pick teams/brackets/whatever. I made some good money on that in my days at Ma Bell.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:18 PM
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Now, I'm not sure they even make a list of the preeminent basketball programs

I think they still do, in the same way that Kentucky does, because the brand is still strong enough to recruit blue-chip players nationally. Both programs should be able to reload pretty easily.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:18 PM
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I have three misses so far: Kent St. didn't UNLV, Arizona didn't beat W. Va., and St. Mary didn't beat Miami. But the only one of those I have winning in the next round is 'zona over Duke (Jay Lunardi at espn.com wrote a column which convinced me of this). So not too bad, and here's hoping Duke still goes down early.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:18 PM
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Yeah, my brackets look pretty bad, but every wrong pick so far, I had losing in the next round anyhow (except USC, dammit), so it's still recoverable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:20 PM
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If all the teams I picked to win start doing their part from here on out, I'll be in good shape.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:28 PM
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72: Yeah, but...t they used to get the best class in the nation and, often enough (Brand, Williams), the best player in a class. Now, with one and done, having the very best freshman class seems much more important. And they don't. Or something else is going on, because their talent level no longer seems at the absolute top.

Put it this way: post-Williams' return, don't you sort of expect UNC to be better than Duke?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:31 PM
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I had that USC one right because I stumbled across this site which uses a system whose methodology I didn't look into at all to pick all the games, and shows you their picks for the East before charging you for the rest. And I decided to trust them on Kansas State. After watching that game, I'm nervous about Wisconsin's chances against Kansas State, who looked really good.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:34 PM
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74: Same here*, although K State over USC was in fact my one "upset" call. (I thought the seedings were a bit whack on that one anyway.)

Not at work, but finally a nice day here, a ton of outside work that needs to be done, and yet here I set watching this crap.

I generally have two brackets, JP's Head where I acknowledge that the Big Ten is generally top to bottom shit and Pitt chokes, and JP's Heart. Last year "Heart" did better. Only did one this year, though.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:35 PM
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But there was a time when Duke was considered the preeminent basketball program in the nation. Many people even considered Coach K the best coach in the nation (better than Dean Smith!). Now, I'm not sure they even make a list of the preeminent basketball programs, and Coach K is probably two more early exits from people openly wondering whether he's too old. Duke's still first tier, but they're second set within the first tier.

Enh. Dean Smith went eight straight years without making the Final Four in the 80's, and people assumed that the game had passed him by. Then he went to four in seven years. These things happen.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:38 PM
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As a Drake grad, all I can say is gglleeeearrrrghh
howcouldheMAKEthatGODDAMNshotbbblleeaahhhhh!!!!!one!!1!!

Ahem. I mean, good game.


Posted by: Ubu Imperator | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:39 PM
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Also, screw Duke since people mistake Drake for them all the time. Throw Drew and Drexel in there for good measure.


Posted by: Ubu Imperator | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:40 PM
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I'm currently in 1,101,715th place in the ESPN challange. Still within striking distance.

76: I think Duke's talent level has always been slightly lower than the other top programs, which is what makes Coach K such a great coach. How many great pro players have come from Duke?


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:45 PM
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How many great pro players have come from Duke?

Another possibility is that Coach K doesn't prepare his players well for the NBA.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:50 PM
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79: Yes, but Smith's last name isn't an anagram for one of the thirteen names of the Devil.

82: IIRC, Duke had a spate of #1 recruiting classes relatively recently. Here's one.

NB: Other than the UNLV-rip-off championship (I don't even want to know what the fouls for/against ratio was), it's hard for me to come up with a good justification for hating Duke. Everyone I've ever met from Duke has been really--surprisingly--nice.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:57 PM
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I think Duke's talent level has always been slightly lower than the other top programs

I'm not sure this is really the case. They certainly have McDonald's All-Americans all the way down the bench every year, and are consistently ranked as among the top 10 recruiting classes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 1:59 PM
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I Am Charlotte Simmons made me feel some sympathy for Duke.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:00 PM
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Everyone I've ever met from Duke has been really--surprisingly--nice

Just like anywhere else, sure. I only hate their basketball program because I'm required to do so by law.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:00 PM
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14: You make me proud of Unfogged a little. I was a little afraid the thread might have gotten past 80 without anyone smacking down that demon of spell-check.

I'm not objectively anti-demon, by the way. I vaguely enjoyed some sincere writer's recent reference to the "immanent birth" of a child.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:03 PM
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Just like anywhere else, sure.

No, nicer even than that. Or maybe what I'm saying is that the distance between reputation and actual people is greater than at most place. Some places with similar reps really do (or did) produce a fair number of tools.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:05 PM
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Using scout.com's ranking's, Duke had the #2 recruiting class nationally in 2005, #4 in 2006, and # 6 in 2007.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:06 PM
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Sorry, meant to include the link. Next year's class is only rated 18th in the country.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:08 PM
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90: And, I just saw, #1 in '04.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:08 PM
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Another possibility is that Coach K doesn't prepare his players well for the NBA.

Almost certainly true for post players, probably not so much for wings. Although I'm a little skeptical of the notion that any coach can really "prepare" players for the next level; mostly it seems to me to be a choice of playing style and deciding who gets the most touches.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:15 PM
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Although I'm a little skeptical of the notion that any coach can really "prepare" players for the next level; mostly it seems to me to be a choice of playing style and deciding who gets the most touches.

I think that's sort of right, and I also think that there may be a difference between the way a recruit is ranked and the sheer athleticism of a player. Carolina always seems a bit more athletic somehow.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:23 PM
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South Alabama's going to be another scratch on my bracket.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:25 PM
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84: Here's what they said about that class: The sum of these parts adds up to the best recruiting class thus far. Having said that, in our opinion, there is not a dominating player in this class.

I'm sure I'm wrong overall, but Duke always seems to have alot of smart, but not incredibly atheletically gifted, role players on their team. I guess what makes for a talented college player is very different than what makes for a talented pro player (e.g. J.J. Reddick). Here's a list of Duke players who played in the NBA. Here's one for UNC.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:27 PM
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Just to say I hate this shit. Let's have one of those political threads that everyone else hates, OK? Or maybe a swimming thread. Or a nice "out the sexist guys" thread.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:30 PM
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Thanks for sharing, John.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:31 PM
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97: Next year is Reed's year, Emerson. I can feel it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:31 PM
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Umm . . . Duke, UNC.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:32 PM
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Portland State is already eliminated, I presume. I have nothing to live for.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:38 PM
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96: I guess what makes for a talented college player is very different than what makes for a talented pro player

Absolutely (once you get below that absolute tip-top of players who would star wherever). Like in almost all sports, there is usually an absolute minimum speed/quickness threshold (secondarily strength/power for some positions, but speed/quickness rules even among the big fellows) you must have at the very top that scrapes off a lot of otherwise talented players who can excel at lower levels. The Heisman in football is a notorious example and there are a lot of soccer players with fabulous ball skills that will never see Premier League pitch for that reason.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:40 PM
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103

101: And Gonzaga gone as well. Who will come forward to be this year's "mid-major with a big white guy who has a good jump shot" tournament narrative?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:44 PM
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Who will come forward to be this year's "mid-major with a big white guy who has a good jump shot" tournament narrative?

Butler is promising. Also, Wisconsin.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:49 PM
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Wisconsin has the most boring team since the introduction of the 35-second shot clock.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 2:52 PM
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Wisconsin has the most boring team since the introduction of the 35-second shot clock.

Well, aside from other Wisconsin teams, such as the 2000 squad.

Big Ten basketball is deprecated.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 3:03 PM
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Yeah, this ACC-Big Ten Challenge they do every year would be much better as an ACC-SEC Challenge, especially since there's considerable geographic overlap.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 3:19 PM
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Since 2000, Wisconsin has three Big Ten regular-season Big Ten championships, two tournament championships and a final four appearance. Not a mid-major, and not necessarily boring.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 3:32 PM
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I had South Alabama, too. What the hell was I thinking, picking so many upsets in the first round? I'm sinking to the bottom of my pool.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 3:33 PM
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Ah, there you go, San Diego over Connecticut for the mad hat-pin bracket pickers from hell.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 4:11 PM
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106: Big Ten basketball is deprecated.

I tend to agree, having watched many a Big ten-laden bracket go awry, but I was surprised to see the following numbers for teams making it to the Final Four/winners over the last 10 years:

ACC: 9/3 (2-year Final Four drought)
Big Ten: 9/1
SEC: 5/3
Big 12: 5/0
Big East 4/3 (7 if include all current members)
Pac-10: 4/0


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 4:18 PM
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And UNC puts up 60 points in the first half!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 6:01 PM
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picking so many upsets in the first round?

Tell me you didn't pick Cornell.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 6:17 PM
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#17: The claim isn't that the NCAA is less exciting, it's that the quality of play is much lower.

The lack of quality play, and the lack of world class athleticism at each position, is what makes the amateur game less predictable and more exciting than the NBA, in my humble opinion.

Also, Christian Donald Laettner is the best college basketball player of all time. That is all.


Posted by: fnook | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 7:29 PM
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Junior high school sports are the most exciting of all! Anything could happen!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 8:33 PM
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114.3 And is the poster child for the phenomenon noted in 102.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 8:35 PM
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That UNLV rip-off championship nearly killed me. At the time, I was unemployed, and my girlfriend had just dumped me. I was completely invested in rooting for UNLV and against Duke. Of course they meet, and Duke wins. I couldn't even watch the championship game, I was so despondent. Now that I think about it, there's probably a shitty country song in there somewhere.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 8:55 PM
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Why limit it to college hoops. Christian Donald Laettner is one of the top thousand basketball players of all time.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:06 PM
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The Red


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:21 PM
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Damn it. Anyway, the Red Sox-(Hanshin) Tigers game is now underway in Tokyo (with the first HR of the season for David Ortiz in the first inning). Basketball season is now declared over.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:23 PM
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||

Yeah..

Hm.

No, I got nothin'. You guys follow college Mathletes?

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:25 PM
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120: are you excited to wake up at 3 to watch the season opener?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:26 PM
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I haven't decided whether it will be wake up at 3, or stay up until 6.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:29 PM
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At the time, I was unemployed, and my girlfriend had just dumped me. I was completely invested in rooting for UNLV and against Duke. Of course they meet, and Duke wins. I couldn't even watch the championship game, I was so despondent. Now that I think about it, there's probably a shitty country song in there somewhere.

"You picked a fine time to UNLV me, Lucille."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 9:29 PM
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Go Nova! Go Big East!

Leaving snark aside, I see the point in 114. Because none of the players are good enough one-on-one to really bail out a bad play, everything depends on getting the right ball movement. And they're at the edge of a turnover at all times.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 10:17 PM
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125: Go Nova! Go Big East!

Yes indeed. Plus this one helped me. I have 'Nova winning in the next round. (And they "only" have Siena to get past.)

good enough one-on-one to really bail out a bad play

Yes it does give a different look and feel. I always hated the "zone" rule in the NBA, but in actuality it did not make that big of a difference. The kind of pro-NCAA fans that I don't like is the "they don't even put their hands up on defense" crowd. Well, yes, because otherwise they would get worn out from repeatedly bending over to pick their jock off of the floor. This often is expressed in thinly veiled racial terms to some degree as well. But I do enjoy both, my biggest NCAA bitch is that the 3-point line is too close.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 10:35 PM
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my biggest NCAA bitch is that the 3-point line is too close

No fucking joke. After not having watched much basketball in a while (and what little I did watch being NBA), the closeness of the 3-point line really jumps out. I don't think NCAA should necessarily move it back to NBA range, but something needs to be done.

(And watching pickup games at my gym is a perfect illustration of what Cala was saying a while back about not being able to appreciate the difficulty of sports without having played them. *Nobody* shoots from the college 3-point line at the gym.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:28 PM
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*Nobody* shoots from the college 3-point line at the gym.

Meaning what? You play in a Jewish league where everyone shoots the running hook? Even decent high school players have no trouble with the college three.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:35 PM
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It ain't Heebs playing pickup at my gym; I've seen at least one former NBA player there. (And the current AG! Well, okay, he wasn't playing hoops.) All I can say is, the pickup games I've seen, no shots from outside the line.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:41 PM
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BTW, if you haven't been to this yet, you should go. Fucking awesome.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:42 PM
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Maybe it's a gym with a culture of strict sanctions ("what the fuck are you doing?") for missing outside shots. Some places are like that. Push the boundaries, man.

As for "Mortified," tomorrow seems like my last chance to see it and I can't go. Thanks a lot.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:50 PM
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I don't quite get the customs in the games at my gym. The last time, there was one guy who never made it into the frontcourt on any of his team's possessions. It was like reverse cherry-picking. (And he wasn't a slow fat guy either, he was probably in better shape than anyone else on the court.) Sadly, none of it is relevant for me; I think I'd fall apart if I tried to jump more than an inch off the ground. Kind of like Shaq these days, only without the glorious memories of being athletic.

And "Mortified" is a monthly thing at the Make-Out Room. We'll be there next month. (Don't worry, it's two nights, so we can coordinate and you won't have to introduce bpl to anyone.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:56 PM
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And "Mortified" is a monthly thing at the Make-Out Room.

Oh, cool, I'll try to go (in disguise, of course).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-21-08 11:59 PM
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You mean, as a 6-foot-tall white guy?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:02 AM
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I have many disguises. For the Make-Out Room, maybe the middle-easterner with a chip on his shoulder.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:05 AM
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Do you need to go to one of those dunking camps to regain the lost glory of your youth?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:15 AM
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If they give you new legs at dunking camp and lipo twenty pounds off your torso, I'm so there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:20 AM
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Ogged, if you lose 20 lbs off your torso, you'll be transparent.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:41 AM
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No, I'll be slightly heavier than I was in high school.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:45 AM
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Which is a stupid thing to aim for. Presumably your body did continue to develop for at least a few years after your 18th bday.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:48 AM
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I'm not aiming for it. I was responding to Josh with my typical wit and humor and you're being a feminist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:50 AM
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I'm being concerned about you, baby. Because I love you just the way you are.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:52 AM
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I love you just the way you are.

See? I need a different kind of love. A manly love. Loving from a Marine, maybe. Mmmhmm.

Off to bed!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 12:57 AM
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Semper Fi-llatio!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 6:50 AM
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I'm no Tar Heel, but folks who hate Duke tend to like them.

UNC fans tend to hate Duke. The rest of us who hate Duke generally don't like UNC either. For instance: those of us who went to other ACC schools. I root for UNC in UNC/Duke games in much the same way I would root for Stalin against Hitler.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:39 AM
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You play in a Jewish league where everyone shoots the running hook?

In my youth I played pickup with a couple of Jewish kids, and learned to shoot the running hook--badly.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:45 AM
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WKU Hilltoppers!!! i went there.


Posted by: MrBitchPhd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:32 AM
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WKU Hilltoppers!!! i went there.

Gawd, that's a crazy regional. I assume that they can't get to the Final Four, but I wouldn't want to swear that they couldn't get to Elite Eight.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:39 AM
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And the 2-seed everybody wanted to get is gone.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 2:31 PM
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Mistah Duke, he dead.


Posted by: Dr Paisley | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 2:33 PM
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149, 150: Wow. I missed that game. I guess we might as well get started: "The game has passed Coach K by."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 2:55 PM
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"The game has passed Coach K by."

It's the lack of a big guy inside. They've relied on the thee-point shooting all year, and whenever it isn't falling, they're lost. 15 straight misses from 3 this afternoon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:21 PM
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You know, you don't have to be a member of the Chosen People to shoot the running hook. Here's how.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:25 PM
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152: I was just kidding, per #66 and #79.

153: Maybe I just started watching basketball too late, but I don't remember a lot of Kareem running jump hooks. To be honest, I don't remember a lot Kareem running.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:30 PM
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To be honest, I don't remember a lot Kareem running.

"my dad says you don't work hard enough on defense"


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:34 PM
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Good call, Apo. The 2 seed everyone wanted to get.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:38 PM
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Further to 154, wow, the AP story is just brutal (unfairly, probably--I didn't see the game):

Now he's back home in West Virginia, at the school he played for, and back among basketball's elite.
His Duke counterpart, Mike Krzyzewski, is heading in the opposite direction. Every year from 1997 through 2006, Duke was a participant in the round of 16. Every single year. It's a stretch that featured three trips to the Final Four and the 2001 national championship. But now Krzyzewski's team is on a two-year drought, having bowed out in the first round in 2007.

and

There were stretches of the second half when Duke's offense pretty much amounted to going down court, calling out a play, then hoisting an off-the-mark jumper.

Must not be a Dukie.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:39 PM
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155: Ha. I thought about trying to find that on Youtube.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:40 PM
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Celtics/Hornets tonight is the real game. CP3 has more talent than all Duke players of the year combined.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 3:45 PM
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Go Badgers! Who really are boring. But still.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 5:57 PM
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CP3 has more talent than all Duke players of the year combined.

But--like much of the rest of the league, I fear--less than the Celtics. It's going to kill me if the Celts win a Celts-Lakers final, but that really looks like the likely result of such a pairing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 6:22 PM
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Yes, the Celtics are good. My dad, a die-hard Celtics fan, has been in town for the past ten days. As a result, I've watched the Cs play a few times. And as Yglesias and the standings suggest, Boston's pretty great. The Badgers, though, could take 'em.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 6:33 PM
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I am disappointed in Duke. I picked Belmont in the first round.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:05 PM
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What the &^%$ is going on with the Stanford game?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:05 PM
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I didn't realize Huggins moved to West Virginia. I wonder if they stopped graduating players.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:09 PM
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Actually, it appears Stanford won by one. That is what the &^%$ is going on with the Stanford game. I still am not sure how this happened.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:11 PM
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I was doubtful about the Cs title chances earlier in the season -- I favored teams with historically better point guard play and defense (Detroit, San Antonio). That skepticism has evaporated. The defense has been consistently superb, and Rajon Rondo has been coming into his own. It's only the first half, but he has been more than holding his own against Paul tonight. If the Celtics get B+ play from point guard and center positions, they are awfully hard to beat.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:17 PM
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Actually, it appears Stanford won by one.

In overtime. On a shot with 1.7 seconds left.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:18 PM
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Yeah, I was "watching" on the Internets. Still kind of exciting, though.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:24 PM
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Alas, they can't all lose.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:27 PM
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167: Yeah, they look awfully good, particularly on defense. If there is a Lakers-Celtics finals, the Lakers will have to hope that their youth allows them to punish the Celts.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:32 PM
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That seems about right. Bynum has looked strong.

Fun fact: The Hornets are guarding Paul Peirce with ... Peja Stojakovic. It is going about as you would expect.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:36 PM
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The Lakers will crush the hated Celtics, and we will hear the lamentations of their women.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 7:58 PM
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I don't think any of the Celtics' women are 19 year old hotel clerks...


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 8:03 PM
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How is it that the Warriors might win 50 games but likely will be only an 8 seed, if they make the playoffs at all?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 8:04 PM
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Meanwhile, the # 8 seed in the east will be sub .500


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 8:12 PM
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How did this become an NBA thread? I call shenanigans.

UCLA down three at the half to A&M.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 8:27 PM
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How did this become an NBA thread

I know that once Duke is knocked out I no longer seethe with loathing. That diminishes my interest.

17 fourth quarter points for the Celtics. Feh.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 8:41 PM
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Texas A&M up 8 now.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 8:49 PM
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How did this become an NBA thread?

For the last few years I've followed college ball even less than pro, which bascially means I don't follow it at all.

Baa is clearly insane if he thinks Kobe would lower himself to sodomizing (consenually of course!) a filthy Celtics fan.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:14 PM
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I can't believe it might take overtime for a #1 seed to break 50 points.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:41 PM
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Narrow escape.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:42 PM
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I don't know about A&M, but Howland's teams tend to be low scoring, don't they?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:44 PM
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Lowest score this season, though they had two other games in the 50s.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:46 PM
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Effing Pitt lost in a good tough game. Not that it probably mattered, but Pitt got some stinko calls in the last several minutes, including one that was among the worst I've seen at this level (a charge, on Lavance Fields I think). For a minute I thought I was back in the early 80s to mid 90s "Fear of the Playground" era of tournament reffing.

Actually Michigan St. is probably my 2nd favorite team in the tournament, one of several bad draws for my rooting interests this year.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:29 PM
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Pitt losing officially destroyed my bracket.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:52 PM
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I'm pretty bad off, but may still be alive in the smallish pool that I am in. Duke is the only Elite 8 I've lost, but I went Big East heavy this round for all but West Virginia. Marquette almost did me proud, but Notre Dame?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:00 PM
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Barack Obama and I chose the same Elite 8 and Final 4.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:07 PM
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188: That's very cult-like interesting. Ah, but I see you guys drank the Pitt Kool-Aid along with Bobby Knight. I have 20+ years of watching the creative ways they find to lose in the tournament. (One of the main reasons, I used to do a "heart" entry along with a "head" one, so I could get that shit out of my system in a harmless way.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:19 PM
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Waking up this beautiful Easter morning, I'd just like to say: "My head hurts, my team lost, and I don't love Jesus."

(Buffet references probably rate an autoban, but I think you have to at least grant him that one line from back in the day.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 7:01 AM
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I saw the Pitt-Michigan State game accidentally in a tavern, and both teams looked sloppy. Lots of trainwreck plays, I though, not that I know anything.

The A&M - UCLA game was fun except for the outcome.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 7:25 AM
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I would like the NBA better if the players had to work for free.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 7:49 AM
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192: Yeah, then they'd put their arms up on defense.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 8:39 AM
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Is anyone else watching Davidson-Georgetown?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 3:02 PM
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Sux2bHoyazzzzz


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 3:12 PM
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I'd hate to be boring, toolish and predictable by just posting "Racist", so I won't.

White people like self-restraint.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 4:17 PM
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HEEEELS!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 6:58 PM
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197: Ok, so they squeaked by those first two.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-08 4:46 AM
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I know it's wrong to enjoy this, but it (via TAPPED) is so great:

As a reporter was leaving, the reserve Cam Thoroughman asked if Duke point guard Greg Paulus was one of the eight McDonald's all-Americans. When told yes, Thoroughman said: "Oh my God. Are you kidding?" No joke. And for the rest of the college basketball off-season, no-names like Thoroughman have made once-mighty Duke a punch line.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-24-08 8:28 AM
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The two Carolina games this weekend, while containing no drama, were amazing offensive outputs. In the first round, they broke 90 points with 9:30 still left in the game; against Arkansas, there was 7:45 left. Across the two games, the team shot 64% from the floor and the two point guards combined for 48 points, 21 assists, and no turnovers.

Yow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-08 8:46 AM
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Gawd, I hate ESPN. Why isn't the magic market throwing up a competent sports channel/.com play?

That is all.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-24-08 12:26 PM
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199: Pretty fucking cocky for a guy who got 9 minutes of run in a 6-point win.

I understand why people hate Duke, but Huggins is a thousand times worse.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-24-08 12:49 PM
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I understand why people hate Duke, but Huggins is a thousand times worse.

Everyone knows Huggins is a bastard. That's part of the explanation for the reaction. Duke hate is, in part, a function of the media's tendency to treat the program like a basketball messiah. Nobody thinks Coach K was worse than Tark, for example, but a lot of people reasonably doubt that the distance was quite as great as portrayed.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-24-08 12:57 PM
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Wow, another squeaker for the Tar Heels. What's going to happen to them when they have to play an actual good team?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-28-08 5:59 AM
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