Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29th, 2010,

Hate on Haters

I am sure the local UK haters will be out in full force today ripping on Kentucky… Not sure how you can rip on a team that had a new coach, a new system, six new players, started three freshmen and a sophomore all year, went 35 and 3, won the conference regular season title, the conference tourney title, went to a regional championship game and had two first team and one second team All Americans but they will find a way… That is what these haters do…

They are more concerned about seeing Kentucky lose than they are seeing their own team win… That is both local haters and the national haters and as you read on below you will find a “fake” hater is even in the mix…

Go Lady Kats!!!

Update to my tournament predictions I published two weeks ago:

I have first listed what I wrote before with an update to each below…

Why Kansas could win it… Depth, Experience, Senior Leadership, Coaching… Although not as talented through the entire roster this team resembles Kentucky in 1996…

Update: This team more than any of the #1’s who lost is probably the most disappointed… This team like Louisville last year should have walked to the Final Four and had the right recipe of seniors, leadership and talent that a bow out in the 2nd round is more than crazy…

Why The Cuse will not win… Early season loss to a Division two team (it was an exhibition game, but) two losses to Louisville, 1st round loss in conference tourney and Zone Defense only just does not do it for me even if Boheim’s wife if from Kentucky…

Update: I guess they were a little deceptive by saying that their big center would play and he did not… Would have hurt their seeding for sure… Even if he would have played I think they would have been bounced for the very reasons listed…

Why Villanova will not win… They appear to have gaps of inconsistency… They do have great guard play though and that could spell a deep run… Finished mediocre…

Update: Pretty much as predicted…

Why Duke will not… Quickness… When they match up against a quicker team they will have problems… They shoot the ball really well actually very well… Their big men are good but not great and they have some depth…

Update: Looks like I was wrong here also… Duke went up against a more athletic team in Baylor with more quickness yet they survived… Question is can they do it against WVA… I am going to say yes… WVA I think played their best game against UK…

Why Ohio State or Purdue will not win… Purdue is injury related and Ohio State just does not have the depth to pull it off as they only play six… They do have a super start who could take them on a deep run…

Update: Pretty much as predicted although I thought Ohio State would make the final four after what all happened the first weekend of the tourney…

Why WVA will not win… Bob Huggins… Huggy can coach with the best but seems to flame out in the tournament… No offense Huggy but you do not look healthy either…

Update: Wrong on this one… Against UK they failed to make a 2-point field goal in the first half and the book on them was make them shoot perimeter shots and they knocked them down… They played great defense and the 1 3 1 was awesome!!!

Quote below from WVA player putting the cart a little bit before the horse while showing great respect to Kentucky this was not the national championship game… -shag

“Apparently caught up in the emotion of Saturday's admittedly impressive Elite Eight victory over top-seeded Kentucky, forward Wellington Smith was quick to label West Virginia as favorites to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.

"There was always Kentucky looming," he said. "Now that we've played Kentucky, that basically was the national championship game. We have a chance at this, we could win going away."


Why UNC will not win… Cause they will not even make the tournament!!! LMAO!!!

Update: How are they doing in the NIT (not in tournament tournament)…  In the semis... 


Why UK could win… A will to win… A veteran leader like Pat Patterson can take a team a deep… Youth with no fear is a good thing… This team has as much talent as the UK 1996 champs but they lack the experience that team had…


Why UK will not win (I am going to get a rash of shit for this one)… Youth… Intangibles such as free throw shooting, defensive lapses that allow teams to climb back in games (a lapse like this early in a game like they have done a few times could lead to a double digit loss), understanding how to play with a lead, turnovers, poor shooting from the arc and to many three points shots taken… The second round match up against Texas is scary… If they make it by this game they could run to the final four…


Update: The book on WVA was push them outside and make them make threes… UK played great defense in the first half and held WVA without a 2-point field goal and they made a bunch of 3’s (they were 25% from the last four games)… In the 2nd half UK’s defense was awful, WVA’s was great!!! UK shot 55% from the free throw line for the game and their three point shooting was gross (at one point they were 0 for 20) yet with 25 seconds to go they had the ball and were down five but yet again gunned a three point shot…


If you look at my statement from two weeks ago about Youth and Intangibles such as free throw shooting, defensive lapses, turnovers and poor shooting from the arc, all of those things showed up in this game… Credit WVA and their 1 3 1 defense for and also Coach Huggins for coaching a game that I did not think he had in him… For UK Bledsoe’s early foul trouble (my wife pointed out during the game that from that point we went down hill) also got the UK team out of sync… There was some questionable officiating but it was on both ends for the floor and I guess that is at least consistent…


Sleeper or Cinderella… Everybody likes Cornell but I like Butler and I like the region they are in for sure… Cornell looks like a nice team though…


Update: I had Butler in the Final Four and like me they will be there to… Since they will be there and I need a rooting interest I will be wearing a Butler Shirt on Saturday… On Friday I will have my UK shirt on that displays the seven championship banners… That eighth one is sure tough win!!!


I have picked Kansas to win it in the Pools I am in and have Kentucky in the final…


Update: Busted but I am in first place in the pools I am in after Saturday because of my Butler pick… Actually one them after Sunday…


Post-Game Views from The Dagger On Yahoo Sports



The article:


If you took the time to watch the press conference after the game you will see a coach and three kids who are very disappointed about losing, who blamed no one but themselves and paid great compliments and respect to the WVA coaches and players… Please read on… - shag

“Some may consider John Calipari an infraction-drawing opportunist. John Wall has about 11 million reasons not to care about losing an NCAA tournament game. And DeMarcus Cousins is a bit of a head case. Yet those things are what made their post-game press conference last night after Kentucky's regional final loss to West Virginia so refreshing and compelling.

Wall, who could theoretically leave Lexington tomorrow, looked devastated. Cousins, who snaps at coaches and often makes it seem as if he cares about little other than himself, looked like he felt he had let the team down. And Calipari was gracious and introspective in defeat. All of Kentucky's panel (which also included Patrick Patterson) was the definition of class, even after a great disappointment.

And this is part of the reason I love college basketball. Say what you will about the one-and-done guys and how they don't care and how they treat college as a momentary stepping-stone en route to NBA riches. I won't disagree with the latter, but look at Wall, Cousins and Patrick Patterson at this press conference and tell me they don't care. Big-time college athletics, for all its faults, is still played by people who want to win. There are plenty of professional athletes who do too, but just as many who are more interested in cashing that paycheck.



Than there are guys like Mike Freeman at CBS Sports.com


Mike shows a classic example of a journalist spewing utter nonsense and trying to make something up so he has a story (as you will find out this is just apparently something he does)...

Kentucky did not hire Cal to win a national championship this year… They hired Cal to rebuild this program and in one year he took a host of new and young talent, blended it with some experience, went 35 and 3 and won an SEC Regular Season Championship and another SEC Tourney Title for UK…   Please make sure you read my summary of Cal in my last post... 

For this team to go from five years of a downward trend to one of the elite programs this year in college basketball and make it to a regional final great exceed any expectation I had for this program this year… Please read his article below and then read some additional information I found about Mike Freeman who I admit I have never heard of until this morning…

In his article below Mike total miss characterizes the UK coach and the UK players and had he watched them play all year he would know this is an emotional bunch who more than anything wanted to win and was a great team not a great group of individuals…

His story line about what the players had to say after the game about WVA is complete hogwash and a guy just trying to make a story where there is no story…


Mike’s Take from CBSSports.com:



 “When you sell your soul, as Kentucky did to get John Calipari, there are supposed to be riches and fame and rainbows, not an embarrassing butt whipping with the Final Four on the line.


 It's not just that Kentucky lost to West Virginia 73-66. It's how the Wildcats lost: whining, complaining, gyrating, crying, flailing and temper tantrum-ing over almost every call the game officials made. One outburst led to a technical foul. They seemed more obsessed over officiating than they were about playing ball.


At one point John Wall was so angry over calls he had to be calmed by DeMarcus Cousins, which is like man biting dog.


The anger soon turned to outright shock as West Virginia shut down Kentucky's shooters and as the Mountaineers made their own baskets. Kentucky was 0 for 20 at one point in the game from 3-point range.


After shock came the outright refusal to admit that the Wildcats actually lost. A good 20 minutes afterward, Wildcat players sat at their lockers with towels draped over their heads. Some had tears in their eyes while others stubbornly refused to give the Mountaineers credit.


"I feel like we beat ourselves more then they beat us," said guard Ramon Harris. He added: "I still think we're the best team in the country, hands down."


At no point in this game did they look it.


This is what happens when blue collar meets white collar. One team, the Mountaineers, played gritty and earthy basketball, relying mostly on calm nerves and defensive rigor. The other, the tradition rich one-and-doners, waited for a bailout. It never came.


The Final Four may be the Final Snore but the Mountaineers are still a great story. Butler will be all Cinderella-y but the Mountaineers should now earn the mantle as America's blue-collar darlings after what can be argued is the most important win in school history.


"Forty-nine states picked us to lose," said West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler. "Obviously we wanted to make everybody upset. We went out there and played our game. We grinded it out. We won. I knew we were going to win ... It was a matter of how we were going to do it." It'll be stated and written that this isn't such a momentous upset since West Virginia is a two seed and Kentucky a one. Yet let's not forget that Wildcat players might go first and second in the next NBA Draft. West Virginia is no slouch but Kentucky is clearly the most physically gifted team in the tournament and they were completely and utterly outclassed. The score doesn't indicate how badly they were beaten.


If you can't see that, you don't know basketball.


In the end, this game came down to an undeniable fact. Quite simply, Bob Huggins outsmarted and out-coached his good friend Calipari. It's an embarrassing truth but it's a truth and this isn't the first time. Huggins is 8-1 all-time versus Calipari. When Huggins was at Cincinnati, he was 2-0 versus Calipari's Massachusetts teams and 5-1 versus Calipari's Memphis teams.


Huggins knew that Kentucky's inside size would be highly problematic so a team that normally runs a more patient offense took more outside shots.


The strategy seemed to totally backfire early. Kentucky took a 16-9 lead because West Virginia couldn't make a basket, going 0 for 16 on two-point shot attempts in the first half.


But Huggins didn't panic and as Kentucky began to self-annihilate, the West Virginia shots started to fall. And fall. And fall. The Mountaineers' eight first-half threes were a season high for the opening 20 minutes.


When Butler got going the entire West Virginia team followed. That Kentucky lead evaporated and the Mountaineers led by two at halftime. Butler finished with 18 points and guard Joe Mazzulla had a career-high 17. The latter destroyed Kentucky by making several easy layups right down the heart of that Wildcats defense.


What did Calipari do to energize his team and slow West Virginia? Nothing. While Rome, Ky., burned, Calipari fiddled. Again, the Wildcats started 0 for 20 from 3-point range, which begs the question why didn't Calipari have the Wildcats go inside and use their size advantage with Cousins once the shooting went cold? It was a huge tactical error.


Kentucky never figured out West Virginia's 1-3-1 zone and as a result the Mountaineers stayed in it nearly the entire game. "The 1-3-1 bothered us," Calipari said. "We tried different things and it bothered us more than I thought it would."


Calipari also did nothing to refocus the Wildcats from officiating to the game itself. These are the reasons why Kentucky got Calipari. But he did zippo. Not a doggone thing.


The Wildcats have three players who will probably declare for next season's NBA Draft. Wall and Cousins are definitely goners. That is an unbelievable amount of talent.


And what do Calipari and Kentucky have to show for it?


They'll be watching the Final Four on television just like the rest of us


Additional Analysis on this article from me:

The anger described is competitive spirit… All year these guys played hard and expected to win and there was more than one occasion that that gritty attitude pulled out victories from the grasp of defeat… If he would have watched this team as many times as I did he would no that…



No doubt Kentucky got beat and that beating had allot to do with three point shooting, free throw shooting and some lapses on defense but also give allot credit to WVA for their stingy defense…



As for the UK players not giving WVA credit that is absurd… At the press conference after the game Cal, Wall, Patterson and Cousins gave nothing but praise for the WVA team (just go watch it)… And as far as the quote from Harris (By the way Ramon Graduated in 3.5 years with his degree Mike) of course that is somewhat the sentiment of the players but that is not taking anything away from WVA… These are kids and they are learning…



Very shoddy journalism in my opinion from a guy who is a national sportswriter but not surprising now that I know his background (see below)… Just trying to pile on and make a story out of something that there is not story…  Can you say Hater!!! 

As for Huggins he does seem to have Cal’s number and it came threw in this game… That is just the way it works some times in the world of coaches…


As for watching the final four on TV… Not me Mike I will be Indy watching the games… Where will you be??? Hopefully doing a little more research so you do not spew so much nonsense…



More on Mike Freeman



This guy is throwing darts at Cal, the UK program and the players… Please!!! Look in the mirror…



From Sherdog.net


A longtime New York Times sportswriter who left to join the Indianapolis Star has resigned from his new job after admitting that he falsified his résumé.



Mike Freeman, who covered professional football and basketball and did investigative reporting at the Times, apologized for telling the Star that he was a graduate of the University of Delaware. He said he attended the school for four years but did not graduate.



"These were lies," Freeman, 37, said in a statement posted on the Web site SportsPages.com. He added: "This was a terrible and unforgivable manipulation of the facts. . . . It was the only time I have told such falsehoods and no other deceptions have ever appeared in any of my newspaper stories or two books at any time in my 16 years of practicing journalism. Nevertheless, the information I gave the Star was wrong and I will be punished with the loss of my newspaper career."



Star Editor Dennis Ryerson said in an interview yesterday that he had accepted the resignation, although this was "a bit awkward" because Freeman had not yet started his job as a columnist.



"The message is, he will not be working at the Star," he said. "I'm very sorry about the way it turned out." Ryerson added that a college degree is not required to work at the Star, and in fact, he does not have one.



Ryerson disclosed the news to readers through the paper's Web site yesterday afternoon.



Freeman worked for The Washington Post in 1988 and again from 1990 to 1992, covering pro football. He has also written for the Dallas Morning News and Boston Globe. Freeman is the author of "Bloody Sundays: Inside the Dazzling, Rough-and-Tumble World of the NFL," published last year, and the 2000 book "ESPN: The Uncensored History."



In July, he reported for the Times on allegations of academic misconduct involving Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett.



In his statement, Freeman said, "there are no excuses or alibis" for misrepresenting his résumé. "This is my fault and my fault alone. Most of all, I have hurt and disappointed close friends and family, particularly my wife, and for this I am truly sorry. I also want to apologize to the Star."





Apologies to Bruce Pearl


Wrong again I was… Bruce beat an Ohio State team that I did not think he would beat and made it further than I ever thought they would… He is still my least favorite coach in the SEC and nothing sucks like a big orange but props to him and his crew… I am glad that Sparty beat them…



Kentucky Season

What Coach Cal was able to do with this team and the growth they showed throughout the year was just incredible… It was very fun to watch this team mature, begin to play together and put together a run that greatly exceeded any expectations I had and most of what a rational UK fan had…


It is just about impossible for a team this young to win it all and that showed against WVA… As coach Cal said in his post game review the team had had lapses before during the season where they did not shoot well and played spotty defense and they go away with it… No team can ever go up against another top ten team and play the way UK did and expect to win…


With that said I am very proud of 35 and 3, SEC Regular Season Champs, SEC Tourney Champs and making it to the regional championship game in Cal’s first year… Oh and yes they are State Champs this year also…


UK hired Coach Cal to rebuild the program and put some life back in it that had not been there in a while and he was able to get off to a great start this year… I truly believe he will win a national championship at UK before he is done and for sure will have this team competing for one every year…


Despite what the national media may report this was a team in every since of the word… If you are not familiar with what they did one night for a birthday party that they happened upon while out to eat in Lexington you should do the work and find out… Great story!!!


Random


- I entered three bracket challenge groups with individuals and won all three of them… I would have much rather lost all three…

- Brad Jarrett and I will be at the final four next weekend… On our list is to find Seth Davis, John Feinstein and now Mike Freeman… We will then go from there, which of course will be nothing but maybe, some verbal abuse depending on our state of sobriety… I threatened the same one-year with Billy Packer and at about 2:00 AM the night of the championship game we ran into him and I had my picture made with him and made a face like it was killing me…


- I will be wearing my UK championship Banner T-shirt in Indy so when someone reads the front and has a comment I will quickly then turn around and show the back of the shirt and say, “How many of these do you have???”


- The tournament has been great… College Basketball has lots of Parody and a tough road to win a National Championship… Not like college football where next year you will see why a playoff that includes a team like Boise State would be unfair… If Boise State beats Va Tech to start the year they will run the table and make the championship game… If they played in the SEC, Big 12 or the Pack 10 they would be a really good 8 and 4 or 9 and 3 team… There is no way a team that plays a weak schedule like Boise State or Utah should be allowed in any type of Championship Game in college football period…


- If Orton and Bledsoe stay in school than I think UK will make another run next year… If they do not I still they will be a very good team… Wall and Cousins are crazy to stay but Patterson may fool everyone and come back yet again… He has nowhere to go but up in my book…


- Watching John Wall and Cousins grow and mature this year was really fun… Does not change my mind though that these players should be allowed to go straight from high school the NBA… Let these guys make their own decisions…


- Go Lady Kats…



Music



Going to see Neil Young this summer… Just Neil by himself solo… Always have wanted to see this guy in this type of performance… I remember him on Saturday Night Live one night do just that and it was fantastic…

Thursday, March 18, 2010

03.18.2010

How I See This Years Tourney


Why Kansas could win it… Depth, Experience, Senior Leadership, Coaching… Although not as talented through the entire roster this team resembles Kentucky in 1996…

Why The Cuse will not win… Early season loss to a Division two team (it was an exhibition game, but) two losses to Louisville, 1st round loss in conference tourney and Zone Defense only just does not do it for me even if Boheim’s wife if from Kentucky…

Why Villanova will not win… They appear to have gaps of inconsistency… They do have great guard play though and that could spell a deep run… Finished mediocre…

Why Duke will not… Quickness… When they match up against a quicker team they will have problems… They shoot the ball really well actually very well… Their big men are good but not great and they have some depth…

Why Ohio State or Purdue will not win… Purdue is injury related and Ohio State just does not have the depth to pull it off as they only play six… They do have a super start who could take them on a deep run…

Why WVA will not win… Bob Huggins… Huggy can coach with the best but seems to flame out in the tournament… No offense Huggy but you do not look healthy either…

Why UNC will not win… Cause they will not even make the tournament!!! LMAO!!!

Why UK could win… A will to win… A veteran leader like Pat Patterson can take a team a deep… Youth with no fear is a good thing… This team has as much talent as the UK 1996 Champs but they lack the experience that team had…

Why UK will not win (I am going to get a rash of shit for this one)… Youth… Intangibles such as free throw shooting, defensive lapses that allow teams to climb back in games (a lapse like this early in a game like they have done a few times could lead to a double digit loss), understanding how to play with a lead, turnovers, poor shooting from the arc and to many three points shots taken… The second round match up against Texas is scary… If they make it by this game they will run to the final four…

Sleeper or Cinderella… Everybody likes Cornell but I like Butler and I like the region they are in for sure… Cornell looks like a nice team though…

I have picked Kansas to win it in the Pools I am in and have Kentucky in the final…

UK Basketball Summary

I am very much pleased with Coach Calipari’s first year at Kentucky no matter what happens from this point forward…

Like most fans I had questions about what happened at UMASS and Memphis with the vacated Final Fours and was very scared that Kentucky has sold its soul in hiring Cal…


When I did the homework I found that he was never implicated by the NCAA for any wrong doing at all (he was actually the person who turned in the UMASS player to the school for the improprieties uncovered so they could investigate and at Memphis they were given approval by the NCAA to play the player who had had his SAT questioned and were never told they were at risk for playing this player throughout the year)…

I also had the good fortune of (before Cal’s name was even mentioned as a candidate) to be working with a guy from Memphis who was a Memphis fan and asked him to give me the lowdown on Cal… He came back with nothing but high praise for him, thought he had a bar rap from the national media in some areas and said he was most impressed with how Cal conducted himself off the court… He said he was not only an ambassador for the school, but for the entire city… He told me about how both Coach Cal and his wife donated allot of money out of their own pockets to local charities and were very generous with their time in supporting local charities in Memphis…

What I have found in Coach Cal’s first year at Kentucky is all of the things this gentlemen described (the Haiti telethon effort in itself told me allot about his character) but also a guy who knows not on the history of basketball and understands he is to value and carry on this history of this sport… He has is also person who has done his homework to understand the history of Kentucky Basketball all the way back through UK’s first All American Basil Hayden…

Probably one of the most amazing things I heard him talk about was how he discovered that allot of the practice techniques, methods coaching points he used were also ones that a basketball innovator had used years before by a very successful coach named Adolph Rupp… One of the classiest things he did was actually take the UK team to Adolph Rupp’s gravesite along with Joe B Hall to pay their respects, explain what he meant to basketball and the programs and ensure that the team understand how in allot of ways coach Rupp was misrepresented in today’s media…

With all of that said he developed a very young and inexperienced team into SEC Regular Season Champs, SEC Tourney Champs with a 30 and 2 overall record… The team is once again very fun to watch (I love the style of play) and exceeded my wildest dreams to this point as to how successful they can be… I cannot wait until year 3, 4 and 5 when he has more experienced players for his system mixed in with the talent level of player that he will continue to recruit I think Kentucky is in great shape and Cal is set to leave a nice legacy behind…

I also truly believe he is trying to build men of character not only with the players but within the coaching staff and the people associated with the coaching staff… He also thinks allot of Kentucky’s rabid fan base and understand what this program means to these fans… When he had the players and himself deliver food to the people waiting in line for Midnight Madness and then both he and his son went down and camped out one night with these fans to me also says allot about his character…

I hope Kentucky makes a deep run in the tournament and of course win it all but I am a realistic person and know it will take some luck along with some great skills to do that this year… The main thing is Kentucky is back in the conversation, back with the elite teams and will be competitive year in and year out… Like the coach that came after Eddie when he does leave he will leave the program in great standing and I truly believe that not matter what his transgressions may or may not have been in the past…

Maybe Coach Cal is like me and maybe he made some mistakes in his life and had some transgression along the way but one thing I have learned about myself as I have grown older and wiser is a truly good person learns from their mistakes, treats ALL people with respect and dignity no matter who they are or where they came from… The truly golden people in life that are successful in all facets of their lives are people who practice these things and are good to others… I see this same character in Coach Cal today and I can relate to this… We have all for sure made mistakes in our lives but the question is what has one learned from those mistakes and what are you doing now???

And by the way...  Nice 29 point whipping on Bruce Pearl and that Oragne Team from down south... 


Mason Dixon Games

My buddy Sam Gibbs daughter Jaci was in three events for Henderson County… She was in a relay race, the 60 meter dash and the long jump… She was the anchor leg in the relay race and she came from behind to win that heat… Nice Job…

I was very impressed with this event, how the event was managed, etc… There used to be a college portion to the event but it died several years ago and I am not sure why… I had not been to a track meet in a long time and we enjoyed attending and will attend again…


New Baseball Alignment

There has been some talk in baseball lately about some type of crazy re-alignment that makes no sense at all (teams would choose what division they were in based on whether they chose to be competitive that year)…

All baseball needs to do is the following:

- Shorten the season to 154 games or have each team play eight double headers somewhere in the June and July timeframe… I like the double header idea…

- Move the Houston to the NL West and Arizona to the AL West… This balances out the leagues…

- The last month of the season form the schedule where most of a team’s games are within their own division…

- If you are going to play interleague than each in each division team gets 15 at home and 15 on the road and they rotate divisions each year…

- Expand the first round of the playoffs to seven games playing a 2, 3, and 2 scenarios with only one off day in between the shifts to the other city…

- Championship series is also a 2, 3, and 2 scenarios following the same off day schedule…

- World Series starts on a Saturday and they play day games on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend and night games the last…

 
Random

- The goverment now wants to step in and dicate what schools get in the NCAA Tournament based on graduation rates for basketball...  First of all GET THE F### OUT OF OUR LIVES and leave these organizations alone...  The data they are discussing is flawed because it counts early departures and transfers as well as people who did not graduate...  Mens Basketball with the new forced one rule is greatly impacted with early departures...  When you look at graduation you need to review all sports not just Mens Basketball...  Also compare it to the percentage of incoming freshmen and what happens to them in four years...  Not allot of difference in mens basketball at most schools and the overall graduation rates... 

- Ryan Howard for Albert Puljos… Not in your wildest dreams… Ryan Howard is great player but he is not Albert… Remember no player in baseball ever has done what Albert has done at this point in their career from an offensive production stand point…

- Don’t count me as a person who thinks that the NCAA tournament should expand to another 32 teams… The format they have is perfect and the conference tournaments are fantastic that feed the tournament the week before… Bigger is not better folks and I am 3000% sure on that one… The bubble teams that do not get in have no chance to win the tournament or make a deep run so why would you add 32 teams who have no chance…

- People are questioning Duke’s and the Cuse easier draw of the four number one seeds… With the Cuse I am not sure why they are even a number one (I thought Ohio State should be the fourth number one)… Duke is a CBS thing because they move the needle when they play on TV and CBS has a big stake in the tournament… I thought Kentucky should be the #1 in the south and Duke #1 in the east, Ohio State #1 in the West and Kansas right where they landed…

- Ben Roethlisberger is for sure guilty of making some bad decisions… Maybe he has a different thing going on than Tiger does which could be a problem… Let’s hope he can get his behavior in line… A very talented player…

- The Fan that Roy Williams had kicked out of UNC game earlier in the year for rooting for the other team at the Dean Dome got a free ticket to Duke vs. UNC at Cameron Indoor… Nice job Duke of rubbing that shit in their face…

- Shake up at the top in Fantasy Golf the last few weeks… Two weeks ago the third and fourth place teams became the First and Second Place teams… My team scored a season high 234 points while the previous leader only got 68 points this week (a season low)… With two weeks to go I am in first place… Luck, Luck and more luck…

- Regardless if UK makes it or not I will be in Indy for the Final Four… They are a great host city for the event and with it this close to hard to pass up…

- I personally think that Tiger is coming back to fast… He has to much to clean up at home in my opinion to come out and try to play golf… Makes me wonder how committed he is to what he needs to overcome in his life… Still rooting for him though and not against him…

- The coach that came after Eddie is poised to take the St Johns coaching job...  Let's see what happens... 

 
Music

Going to see Tom Petty this summer… Always wanted to see him even if he is vintage Tom at this point…

Monday, March 01, 2010

03.01.2010

Lets Not Jump Off the Bridge


Per Gary Parrish at CBS Sports about UT:

“So the past five seasons now feature wins over an undefeated and eventual national-title-winning Florida team (2006), a fourth-ranked Florida team that also won the national title (2007), a Memphis team that was ranked No. 1 and eventually played for a national title (2008), a Kansas team that was ranked No. 1 (last month), and a Kentucky team that was ranked No. 2 (Saturday).”

Per Me:

And how far has UT gone in the Big Tournament??? Not past the sweet 16!!!

A good season for UT (straight from the mouth of Bruce Pearl) is beating UK, which he had not done in his last four tries before today… A good season for UK is winning the SEC and then going to the final four and UK is half way home… See the difference???

Don’t give me the bullshit football comparison either of UK fans just being happy to go to any bowl game vs. what UT fans want like in basketball just to beat Kentucky… The people I tailgate and go to the games with want and expect more out of football just like basketball…

Per some crazy on a UT Web Site:

You have to choose one college basketball coach to lead your team in a big game against a heavyweight opponent. Who ya got? Bill Self? John Calipari? Roy Williams? Mike Krzyzewski? Me, I'll take Bruce Pearl, as long as it's not a regional semifinal in the NCAA Tournament.

Per Me:

The ONLY big games are the regional finals and the two after that… There are games and there are big games…

Anyway…

On a weekend where the number 1, number 2 and number 3 teams are beaten there will be a shake up at the top and Purdue with the injury to Hummel will probably drop allot further than KU and UK will… UT??? Even with victories over number 1 and number 2 this year at home they will be done by the second weekend of the tournament (actually by the first weekend I predict)…

Bruce Pearl has made UT competitive once again but that and $1.65 will get them a tall coffee at Starbucks… He won three SEC tittles when UK was down and has not gotten his team past the sweet 16 and until he does I say he is second tier… His program is toxic… Just look at the issues he has had and the team has had off the court… I just do not ever seeing him getting UT to the final four!!!

As for UK… A loss in this games does not hurt UK at all (probably helps) and was predicted by allot of people so know one should really be surprised… After playing the late game on ESPN Thursday night and then turning around for Noon road game on Saturday I thought UK showed well in this game (they did not in the fist half) and had a chance to win in the 2nd Half… I admit it looked bad for a while and I was frustrated with how the team was playing but they showed me something with how hard they finally played in the 2nd half on the defensive end…

Coach Cal was very upset after the game with effort and I think this weeks practices are going to be rough on some of the guys… He called out a few (not by name) for effort… My guess is Bledsoe and Dodson who have not played well at all (although Bledsoe played pretty good defense yesterday in the 2nd half)…

Bottom line is this… UK can win it’s 44th SEC Championship by winning one of the last two and UT can finish as high as third after beating UK today…  

By the way I disagree with Coach Cal by a large margin about the importance of conference championships...  They are very very important...  I do think his point was UK is not satisfied with just a conference championship and this program is about final fours and championship banners...  I agree but you get those by winning your conference...   


 
A Championship Run for UK


Has to start this week against UGA… UK needs to win the last two and at least one in the conference tournament to secure a number one seed… A loss in the last two and early SEC tournament exit spells number two seed with the movement you are going to see this week in the polls…

Any road game in any conference is tough and at this point and two road losses by this team is tolerable… Two losses period is tolerable… The one coming up at UGA is going to be a tough one (they have only lost once at home all year)… Anyone who though that UK would only have two losses at this point in the season please stand up!!!

UK shot free throws at a level on Saturday that they will need to shoot in tournament (78%) but they have to have more assists and less turnovers… Defense is the key!!! UK played good defense and sometimes-great defense in the 2nd half against UT and that should show well when they watch film of this game to prepare for the next… The first half defense was the example of what not to do and the 2nd half was an example of how to play lock down defense… They also did a great job of attacking the zone in the second half and proved the point that you do not have to shoot and make threes to beat a zone you just have to find the seams and hit the jump shots…

As for three-point shooting Bledsoe, Miller and Dodson are just cold as ice to this point… Bledsoe has hit a wall on the offensive end and on the defensive end (a few good moments on Saturday in the 2nd half) and Dodson has not shown up for several games… You cannot shoot 2 for 22 from the arc and win games but you can shoot 2 for 10 from the arc and win games if you make half the other twelve shots taken inside the paint (that equals a win yesterday)… You do not have to be a perimeter team when you are as capable as this team is in the paint… Attempt 12 three pointers a game not 15, 20 or 22…

I of course am pulling for my team (not against other teams) as I always do and think they are capable of doing just about anything… They could end up in the final four and they could lose in the second round because of the youth on this squad… Flip a coin at this point…

Either way I am proud of the way this team has played this year and the excitement that coach has brought back to the program… Kentucky is back in the conversation and I believe they will be for a the next several years under the leadership of John Calipari…



Random


· At this point I cannot decide if the SEC is just weak, mediocre, pretty good or what… We will see how the conference fairs in the big dance before passing judgment…

· TheVilleHatesUK… This is a person screen name I saw on CBS Sports.com… Wow… Now that is excessive…

· I have enjoyed what I have been able to watch from the Winter Olympics… Curling has been really fun to watch but I need to research the rules and the strategy some more… Just when I think I have it figured out I don’t… Did not matter to me that most of the events were shown taped and not live by NBC… I missed the hockey final but from the highlights it looks like something I should have watched…

· Are the natives getting restless a little at IU??? I think Tom Crean has to show a turnaround or some progress next year and the success that Steve Alford is having at New Mexico will also have people what “iffing” in Indiana… Of course outdate Assembly Hall is not helping Crean recruit… IU like UK has to address their outdated game day facility…

· How long before the SEC Tournament is in Louisville??? The new arena here is going to be awesome… Go on line and check it out… Very well done… Should mean the city will get some early round tournament games and I see some better music acts showing up in the new venue…

· Are you thinking baseball??? I am for sure… Really excited about St Louis chances this year… They have to address the bullpen and closer role, as I do not think Ryan Franklin is a championship style guy for this position… He is really their only option at this point…

· Tiger’s road is a long one back… He had a long way to fall and I believe he fell all the way to the very bottom right next to the Titanic…



Music

Not much to report in the area of music… Have been downloading a few “one” songs from I Tunes where all I really want is a song not an album… My wife and I did go to the Titanic exhibit that is here in Louisville this weekend… Very cool to see the film they showed and get an up close view of the artifacts they had on display… They provide lots of information about passengers, crew, the builder of the ship, etc… I was always fascinated as a kid that they could not find this great ship…