Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Conference Stretch Run Edition.

Savannah State’s Deric Rudolph took 20 shots Monday nigh vs. North Carolina A&T…all were 3-pointers (he made five). That’s the highest total of threes attempted this season. Rudolph is just the third player in the past 15 years to take 20 or more e-point shots without attempting a two.





Senior Nights are just one of the 1,087 reasons college basketball is far better than the NBA. I love watching those kids taking center court with their parents.

Florida is really missing Will Yeguete, their premier rebounder. With a broken foot, there seems no timetable for his return. Without him, I won’t take the Gators too deep in my bracket. Where is Chandler Parsons when you really need him?

This past weekend was about as good as it gets. From the rare Friday night game where Marquette knocked off West Virginia by a point to late Sunday night when Oregon defeated Oregon State by the same margin…there were as many one possession a/o overtime games as I can recall on any weekend.

On Saturday four players had at least 30 points and ten rebounds.

Fordham’s Chris Gaston (35 and 16) took 30 shots and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, most by a player this season…if fact he’s the first guy with 15 offensive boards in a game in more than nine years.

Alabama State missed all 19 of its 3-point attempts in their eight-point loss to Texas Southern.

The only time that neither Duke nor UNC finished first or second in the regular season ACC race was 1995-96.

Coach K is 37-36 vs. UNC. Roy Williams is 8-10 vs. Duke.

Coach Randy Bennett has led St. Mary’s to 25 or more wins for the past five seasons.

Against Sam Houston State, Northwestern State set an NCAA record by missing all 26 of their 3-point attempts.

In their eight point victory over Houston, Marshall was 4 for 18 shooting both free throws and 3-pointers.

I still am not certain that I understand the over-used term “hustle plays.” I thought they were all supposed to be hustle plays.

According to kenpom.com, seven of the past nine champions were ranked in the Top 5 Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

So far Duke’s Andre Dawkins has made 59 3-pointers and just 24 2-pointers.

Long Beach State’s roster has five of its top seven players as seniors.

Wichita State’s top seven players are upper classmen.

Creighton has the nation’s best field goal percentage---51.1%.

Weber State’s Damian Lillard ranks second nationally in scoring (25.1 ppg). Weber State has just one loss since December 16. Don’t overlook them in your bracket.

Kentucky’s Anthony Davis has blocked at least five shots in a game 14 times thus far…staggering numbers.

Kentucky is playing championship basketball night after night. They have the nation’s most dominant interior defense, and seem to get better each week.

One more thing: Shortly the casual fan will be enticed to pay attention to college hoops. I, however believe the excitement starts in the fall. College basketball offers something exciting, amazing, something worth watching and enjoying for nearly five months.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Judgment Week Edition.

Kansas currently has the most consecutive appearances in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.



I know the announcers like to attribute the high number of low-scoring games to defensive intensity and genius strategy, but I think at least part of it is due to over-coaching and too few players with top-notch ball skills.

Drexel is 21-1 in their past 22 games.

New Mexico plays some serious defense.

Kentucky’s men’s and women’s teams are #1 in the SEC.

BC has nine guys getting at least ten minutes a game.

Sixteen (that’s 16) players had ten or more assists in games played Saturday…that’s six more than any day this season.

Finally: At long last, Duke picked up a come from ahead victory Sunday over the BC Eaglets.

FSU point guard, Luke Loucks did not commit a turnover in the win at N.C. State, but as a team the Seminoles had 14.

Oklahoma State’s Keiton Page went 20 for 20 from the free-throw line while scoring 40 points against Texas. The 20 makes without a miss is the most since the 1996-97 season. Overall, State made 43 foul shots.

Conversely, Northwestern State’s William Mosley made just five of his 20 attempts from the line. That is first time since that same 1996-97 season that a player has duffed 15 free throws.

If Kentucky’s If Anthony Davis were a team, he would be ranked 31st in the country in blocks per game.

Georgetown can play defense.

Erving Walker became Florida’s all-time assists leader over the weekend.

NC State’s Scott Wood missed as many free throws {three} in the second half of Duke’s comeback victory as he had all season.

One more thing: I know they are a fashion statement, but I wish all teams would dump those black uniforms. Ditching the traditional colors should infuriate true fans and alumni.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Bracket Busters Edition.

Kentucky, Long Beach State, Utah Valley, Bucknell, Mississippi Valley State and Texas-Arlington are undefeated in conference play.



SMU went 8-for-46 (17.4%) in their 47-28 loss to UAM---the lowest field goal percentage this season. Oddly enough, last year SMU shot 72.3% against Lamar, the highest percentage of the 2010-2011 season.

Four of Oakland’s starters (in their 76-68 victory over Utah) did not record a field goal.

In that game, the lone starter who did score a field goal went 13-13 from the foul line. That is the third time this season that has shot at least 12-for-12 from the line.

Butler has won five of their last six and is 10-6 in the Horizon League. Don’t forget how young they are, with six freshmen and three sophomores on the roster.

Notre Dame is one of the better stories this season. Since losing their best player, Tim Abromaitis, they have just one senior on the team---Scott Martin.

In the 59-50 Wake Forest victory over Georgia Tech, the teams combined for 106 shots…making just 37.

Wichita State starts four seniors.

Kentucky leads the nation in defensive field goal percentage (35.8%).

Ten University of Miami players have scored in double figures at least once this season.

Creighton’s 31-for-40 shooting (77.5%) in their win over Southern Illinois not only set a school and MVC record; it the highest shooting percentage in Division I 2005.

Six guys coming off the bench this season have made at least 13 free throws.

One last thing: I am looking forward to seeing St. Mary’s at Murray State and Long Beach state at Creighton this weekend in the Bracket Busters extravaganza

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Valentine Week Edition.

Does anyone truly believe that Duke is the fifth best team in the country?



How could Florida lose twice to the 13-12 Tennessee team? Lackluster defense. The Gators’s Erving Walker has taken 132 three-point shot shots and merely 90 free throws. That’s either poor shot selection or lack of aggression---or both.

Syracuse has a problem grabbing defensive rebounds. Kenpom.com ranks them # 337 in defensive rebound percentage.

Kansas truly passes the ball with power, intensity and purpose…much like their 2007 team.

A big part of UConn’s disappointing season (to date) is the underwhelming play of big man, Alex Oriaki.

The 22 rebounds Duke’s Miles Plumlee pocketed against Maryland were gained in just 28 minutes on the floor. Most remarkable.

Seems Creighton only wants to play on one end of court.

Indiana State went 12-12 from the three-point line vs. Southern Illinois. If you are scoring at home, that is a new NCAA record for most three-point shots attempts without a miss.

I can’t stand this conference expansion stuff.

Over their last 76 meeting Duke has scored 5,943 points to North Carolina’s 5,941.

Last Wednesday’s Duke/Carolina match-up was the 43rd time that both teams were ranked in the Top-10. The initial 42 games were split 21-21.

The first meeting between Duke and UNC in each of the past eight years has been the highest rated regular season college basketball game that season.

In Tennessee State’s victory over Murray State, all four Tennessee State players on the floor during inbound plays were in perpetual motion. Not a bad concept if you think about it.

Announcers drive me crazy when they say, “Their RPI is 86.” Actually, their RPI rating is 86.

In their initial 24 games this year, Missouri has taken 50 charges. Last year they took just 40 charges in 34 games.

Right now I have Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State in my Final Four. I have yet to buy in to Missouri, and most likely stay in denial until they cut down the nets in New Orleans. Still feel Syracuse can be beaten…not impressed with their lightweight preconference scheduling.

I would like to have the guts to make Marquette my fourth pick.

If North Carolina played with the ferocity and heart that Marquette does for all 40 minutes a game, UNC would be undefeated and the choice to hang another championship banner. So, which Williams is the better motivator…Buzz or ole Roy? That’s a rhetorical question.

There have been ten triple-doubles in Division I this season.

In Saturday’s 75-64 victory over Kansas State, Texas attempted 48 free throws…K-State shot an even dozen. That 36 shots-attempted difference is the third largest in NCAA history.

NC State is the only ACC team with five double-figure scorers to this point…Miami and Duke have four.

Kentucky has six players averaging at least 9.7points per game.

Four of Virginia’s five losses have been by three points or less.

Wednesday’s meeting of UNC at Miami will feature a magnificent war in the paint. Miami’s Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson could easily be as good a pair of big men as Carolina’s John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Must see TV.

One last thing: Any of the present Top-10 teams could lose to anyone in a 68-team field. So far this season, seven of the Top-10 have lost to another team in that group. Even Illinois (with their 5-7 Big Ten record) is 2-1 against the Top-10.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Rivalry Week Edition.

No Ivy League basketball team has ever gotten an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.



UNC’s Harrison Barnes has a grand total of 22 assists this season.

Let us not forget that Memphis has lost two starters to season-ending injuries.

When Northwestern defeated Illinois 74-70, the teams combined for one bench point. In the Illinois/Ohio State game (1/10/12) the bench point total was zero. The Illinois bench has five games without a point thus far.

In the West Virginia overtime victory over Providence, five players played the entire 45 minutes.

Duke is 2-1 against Top 10 RPI teams and 5-3 vs. Top-50 RPI teams. That’s more Top 50 wins than any other team.

On Saturday, six teams had three or fewer turnovers.

UNC’s Kendall Marshall had 16 assists…nine more than the entire Maryland team on Saturday. John Henson’s dunk as time expired was truly bush league…but then, that’s Carolina for you.

Purdue has lost two games this season while committing only three turnovers.

BYU attempted 53 foul shots in their 19-point victory at Portland.

Only Mason Plumlee has started every Duke game this season.

Even after last night’s blowout loss at Kentucky, I still think Florida freshman Bradley Beal makes Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Patric Young better. Maybe good enough for a 2 seed.

I think Notre Dame’s Mike Brey needs to be high on the Coach of the Year list. Not many coaches are doing as much with so little as he is.

Prior to their 20-point victory over #8 Florida, Kentucky’s average opponent’s RPI rank was 140…lowest of any Top 5 team. Six of UK’s final seven adversaries are in the Top 50 RPI.

Kentucky is playing tenacious defense…and has a couple of upper classmen making contributions. These ingredients were missing the past couple of seasons. Look out in March.

The Ole Miss Rebels have fives guys scoring in double figures. Name two of them. If you can name them, you need to be a member of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

Iona has 13 victories on the road. Just four teams ranked ahead of their RPI #56 even have double-digit away wins---Baylor, Murray State, Harvard and Middle Tennessee.

Pitt has won 12 straight home games against Top10 opponents.

Colorado State made all 23 free throws in their 77-60 win over San Diego State.

Southern Utah has won three times without making a three.

We’re getting our money’s worth with Bracket Busters this year. St. Mary’s at Murray State---Long Beach State at Creighton---Nevada at Iona---Wichita State at Davidson are all capable of a tournament victory or two.

Michigan State is underrated.

On February 1, Nebraska-Omaha attempted 95 shots, most in Division I this season…scoring 106 points.

Attendance leader board: Kentucky, Syracuse, Louisville, UNC and Tennessee.

Las Vegas says UNC by 6 over Duke tonight. I think it will closer to 20. Duke's defense is thoroughly mediocre. You either execute or you don't...it isn't brain surgery.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Curmudgeon in the Wry 520

Saturday, February 04, 2012---629 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 16 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Continuing to call them as I see them.






Virtually free of original ideas.

Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.

Often wrong…never in doubt.

Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.

A Grumpy Old Man Production.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

Gluten Free.

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Rave: Jay Bilas…meticulous in preparation and fearless in speaking his mind.

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Reading: “Fly Me to the Morgue” by Robert Randisi.

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On the Hi Fi: “The Art of the Ballad” by Art Pepper.

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Under rated: Barbara Stanwyck.

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I miss: The Baltimore Colts, Brad Dexter, Hoagy Carmichael.

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Rant: Attention sportscasters. Stop saying “There is no score.” There is a score; it is zero to zero. There are no points.

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Quote: “Children aren't happy without something to ignore, and that's what parents were created for.” -- Ogden Nash.

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Rant: The only thing missing from the excessive hype of this Super Bowl is a coin toss by the Sisters Kardashian.

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Rave: The best thing ever written about the Super Bowl was Hunter Thompson’s Rolling Stone piece in 1973, “Fear and Loathing at the

Super Bowl.”

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Rave: The new Hawaiian Shirt post card stamp.

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Hmmm: Isn’t it just a bit hypocritical for obama to disparage “millionaires and billionaires”---I mean who does that bozo think can pony up $35,000 a plate to contribute to his campaign war chest?

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Rave: Most TV shows and movies based on a novel take great characters and alter them into a composite character. “Justified,” on the other hand, expands the terrific characters created by Elmore Leonard. That’s simply one reason this show is so spectacular.

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Rave: “Raylan” by Elmore Leonard is a collection of three novellas in disguise…casual threads tie the trio together. Replete with Leonard’s kinetic story telling, razor-sharp dialogue, lively characters, villains motivated by self-interest and greed and dynamic one-liners from Raylan Givens. Magnificent reading.

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Rant: The History Channel is just fabulous when it actually does history.

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Quote: “We could save much more if America assumed a military policy designed for defense rather than for policing the world.”---John Stossel.

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Truism: You’ve just got to love the fact that sports teams always have guys listed as “questionable” and “day-to-day.” Hell, I’ve been both “questionable” and “day-to-day” nearly every day of my life.

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Rant: obama has done nearly everything he wanted. That's the problem.

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Hmmm: Besides professional athletes and musicians is there anyone else with a lot of tattoos that becomes very successful.

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Truism: First Law of Bicycling: No matter where you're going, it's uphill and against the wind.

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Rant: Someone else can go to the 9/11 movie “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”---not me.

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Hmmm: We never notice field goal kickers until they miss one.

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Rant: The next low-post-move made by disgruntled Orlando magic Dwight Howard will be his first.

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Hmmm: Why would people who have spent their careers in politics know more about investing than people who have spent their careers as investors?

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Rant: If the NBA All-Star Game were played right outside my window, I wouldn't watch.

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Didjaknow: The Postal Service (there’s a contradiction in terms) is exempt from paying taxes, among other exemptions it has from costs that other businesses must pay.

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One last thing: Postal rates have changed. Forever® stamps will remain valid for First-Class rate. After the rate change, the price of a Forever Stamp will be 45¢. All new First-Class Mail commemorative stamps will be Forever stamps.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.

If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

That is all.

As you were.