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March 26th, 2015


07:49 pm - 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Round 3

Well, the bracket's still above 50%, and I'm tied for the lead in the draft at the moment. The third round was not nice to me, however.

Conference breakdowns!

  • B1G: 2-3 round 3, 7-5 overall. .500 achieved, and maybe Wisconsin or Michigan State picks up an extra win. Ohio State lost, but they honestly won one more game than I had them at, so things are awesome.
  • Big East: 1-3 round 3, 5-5 overall. They weren't happy with that, specifically the Villanova loss to be sure, but...not that bad still? Xavier beating Notre Dame ensures .500, and there are less likely outcomes.
  • Little XII: 2-1 round 3, 5-5 overall. Their hopes of .500 are riding on Oklahoma, who is playing Michigan State followed by Louisville or NC State. The other team remaining is playing Kentucky.
  • PAC-12: 3-1 round 3, 7-1 overall, and candidate #1 for "should have had more teams in the tournament." This is a notable change from, "Why is UCLA there?"
  • SEC: 1-1 round 3, 4-4 overall. To break even, Kentucky must win against West Virginia. In related news, Bob "Huggie Bear" Huggins wants a binky.
  • ACC: 5-1 round 3, 11-1 overall, and the loss was top-seeded Virginia. I only had two glasses of hard cider. I am reading this and doubting all facts.
  • Atlantic 10: 0-1 round 3, 2-3 overall and done. Also likely done: the coach at Dayton, because there's a Miller tearing up teams at Arizona and this brother of his clearly fell off the same tree. Arizona State is hiring, and boy would that be a hoot.
  • Mountain West: 0-1 round 3, 1-3 overall and you may now protest your seeding arrangements to the committee. They may not listen, but I'd gripe over that, sure.
  • West Coast Conference: 1-0 round 3, 2-1 overall. Gonzaga does what they do. Next, they get UCLA, which apparently chose *now* to start playing.

Next, let's talk upset percentages. Again, I look at Rounds 2-3 as a gauge for tournament selection accuracy, and rounds 3-4 as an evaluation of seeding accuracy. Round 2 had 5/32 for 15.625%, while round 3 had 5/16 for 31.25%. Total is 10/28 for 20.83%, which...I've seen worse. The round 3 makes me wonder what happens tonight - indications are pointing towards seeding being the issue. Time to find out....
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March 22nd, 2015


03:00 am - 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Rounds 1 and 2

Away we go! (One day late, but I have a valid excuse - a memorial service for my grandmother, who passed away last week with myself and her family watching her in hospice. I may post more about that later.)

First, the bracket and the draft, so you can follow along with my relative fortune. Bracket looks okay after the first round except for the south, though that's everyone else's south region so we're cool there. The draft...well, those 14-seed teams that wrecked brackets? Yeah, I drafted those. ^_^_v We'll need more help later on, but free points are free points, and there's two free points no one else got. :-)

So, conference breakdown time.

  • B1G: 5-2, all round 2. The two losing B1G schools? The representatives from the state of Indiana. Which we'll get to in regards to round 2...
  • Big East: 4-2, all round 2, but more importantly: GEORGETOWN DID NOT ROLL OVER AND DIE IN THE FIRST ROUND! IT'S A MIRACLE! The rest of the new Big East looked pretty good, too.
  • Big XII: 3-4, all round 2. OVERRATED. *clap clap clapclapclap*
  • PAC-12: 4-0, all round 2. UNDERRATED. (And Arizona gets the Buckeyes in round 3, which seriously how did my alma mater get through round 2?)
  • SEC: 3-3, one of which was in Round 1 (Ole Miss). They'll probably be all right, because Kentucky is a robot.
  • ACC: 6-0, all round 2. Well, I can't fault their six bids, that's for sure.
  • Atlantic 10: 2-2, all wins coming from Dayton. Probably an underseed for them, but the rest of the conference wasn't much to look at this year, sadly.
  • Mountain West Conference: 1-2, one loss coming from Round 1 (Boise State), and probably a few words to the committee on where they got put. Dayton in Dayton? Wyoming against a 6-seed of UNI? That draw can go blow itself.
  • West Coast Conference: 1-1, with the loss being in Round 1. Zags were carrying this load anyway.
Also notable: State of Ohio goes undefeated in Rounds 1 and 2. I think we need to play more in-state schools for non-conference cred, but that's clearly just me at this point.

Notable going into round 2:

  1. We're getting a Battle for Indiana and a Battle for Kansas. HOORAY MIDWEST BRACKET!
  2. Ohio State not yet dead! (Okay, as of my writing this they are, but they survived Round 2! That is one more game than was expected of this year's squad!)
  3. Georgia State is bringing grown men to tears.
Next round report should be on time. Viva le basketball!


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March 18th, 2015


08:51 pm - 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Well, look, it's that time again.

Tourney bracket is all set - I'll post my bracket after the first round. Thoughts about in/out/screwed:

  • That School Up North was due for a bad year, and booooooyyyeeee they got one~
  • Easiest #1 overall seed ever? Easiest #1 overall seed since 1979 Indiana, at least.
  • I'm at peace with the Duke seed. Their losses are worse than Gonzaga or Virginia. Their wins are better. What I think happened is they were right next to those schools, and someone finally looked at them head-to-head. The head-to-head matchups between those schools puts Duke in front. There's still a team there that can go horribly wrong, though.
  • Take UCLA out and put in Murray State, please. Murray State doesn't get the opportunities to schedule better than their conference. I get that their 28-5 record was 0-2 against teams that made the tournament, but with their recent success and still being in the Ohio Valley Conference, they simply aren't getting picked to play by anyone outside of Xavier.
  • The Midwest bracket is a thing of wonder and delight, even *with* #1 Overall Juggernaut Crushing Team leading it off. Kansas-Wichita State is probably a thing.
  • Coming up shortly in this First Four watching session: Dayton in Dayton. What must be understood is that for it to be a neutral court when only one place is having a First Four, there must be a place where no NCAA Division I team has a stake. But, by bylaws, it must be a place where an NCAA Division I team has played. So...umm...yeah, this was going to happen, and it's good to get it out of the way now. (For the record, last year there was an opposing crowd to one of the First Four teams; Dayton and Xavier are not on the best of terms.)
Next post will be after the first round. Team draft among friends is happening shortly.


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June 26th, 2014


08:22 pm - Analyzing the World Cup like I do basketball

Horribly. But anyway.

I don't have a bracket for this. Unlike Basketball, they are rarer, not to mention involve a sport with inherently high leverage that if my life depended upon a bet in the sport I would consider pulling the trigger myself and save everyone some time. I saw a clean streak on ESPN's Streak for the Cash once made up mostly of soccer goal win margins and reported the man immediately for suspicion of cheating - which, in the medium of soccer, is likely match fixing. What I can do is discuss bid distribution, which is fixed by FIFA early in the World Cup cycle based on evaluation of the various federations that comprise its membership. This is in fact more accurate than what I usually am able to do for college basketball, as each team (and, thus, each conference sending at least one member - sorry, Oceania) is guaranteed a minimum of three games.

Without further ado, then, in win-draw-loss format:

  • UEFA: 18-7-14, six teams advancing, but not really all of them you'd expect. Greece literally stole a spot, while in other brackets perennial favorites Spain, Portugal, Italy, and England left the tournament in the worst and most hilarious fashion possible. Netherlands and Germany are still Netherlands and Germany, however, and France is now getting along with itself and wrecking everyone else.
  • CONCACAF: 5-3-4, three teams advancing, and it's simply glorious. Mexico had Brazil to fend off, Costa Rica had Italy, England, and Uruguay, and the US had Germany, RonaldolandPortugal, and Ghana just for laughs. All three advance. (Pity Honduras lost three straight.) The round of 16 should be nice to them (at least in comparison), and that would be enough for a winning record that normally does not come to them.
  • CONMEBOL: 13-2-3, five teams advancing. Home-court advantage largely unnecessary, but appreciated (sole exception may be Brazil, the true host country, who expect to top their group a lot easier). Only team not advancing is Ecuador, who found two of the four powerful UEFA clubs in their group along with everybody's free three points in Honduras and couldn't get more than a tie with France outside of that. Two teams, Colombia and Argentina, are so far undefeated. Only sad part is that, of the five remaining, four play each other next round.
  • CAF: 2-2-8, Nigeria alone advancing, and even they aren't necessarily happy about their performance. Still, the CAF matches showed effort more often than not. Ivory Coast's loss to Greece was sheer heartbreak.
  • AFC: 1-3-8, Algeria alone advancing, and that was because the rest of their group fell asleep. Japan and South Korea, in particular, stunk up the joint with scared, pointless play. Their best, most daring athletes are in arcades. Iran fought bravely at least, if in the manner of Crystal Palace without quite the quality. Spain saved David Villa just for Australia, which was stupid overall *and* a horrible thing to do to a team after facing Chile and the Netherlands.

From this point, we end up with bracket matchups. In reverse order of interest:

  1. Costa Rica vs. Greece: Please remove Greece from this tournament WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND ANGER.
  2. Germany vs. Algeria: Algeria gonna die.
  3. France vs. Nigeria: Normally a better match but one team is playing much better than normal and the other is playing worse than normal.
  4. Colombia vs. Uruguay: CONMEBOL rivalry match, but without Suarez until he learns to keep his mouth shut.
  5. Argentina vs. Switzerland: We play the winner, and if France can find five goals Lionel Messi's going to have himself a showcase.
  6. Belgium vs. USA: Because obviously, and it'll be nice to go into a match liking our chances of winning.
  7. Brazil vs. Chile: Upstart Chile vs. the country of Brazil. This gonna be gooooooood.
  8. Netherlands vs. Mexico: Robin Van Persie vs. Guillermo Ochoa, with a tiny ball trapped in between. DO WANT.

Are you ready? I'm not, but the fun cranks to eleven come Saturday at any rate.


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June 9th, 2014


07:16 am - Yeah, it's time to end college sports

Don't think this doesn't hurt. That's my degree sitting downstairs from some university in Columbus you may have heard of, after all.

For years - I wish I knew how many - the NCAA has fought to sustain illogical, if not illegal, dichotomies: People supposedly both college students and highly-trained athletes; a non-profit enterprise making money hand over fist; amateur athletes paid with nothing but a scholarship. These dichotomies were engineered to provide the best of both worlds to the NCAA - skilled players that were supposedly related to an educational purpose, heaps of tax-free money, and public faces and advertising for a university for little cost or liability. It has probably been on the brink for some time, but I can not imagine it will be possible to sustain through these latest troubles.

Okay, so it's been that way nearly since inception, one might argue, but the classic moment when the lying through the teeth started - the moment "student-athlete" was coined - is attributed to the aftermath of State Compensation Ins. Fund v. Industrial Com'n. It is important to note that the decision lists another case, University of Denver v. Nemeth, wherein the college employed a student with the expectation that in addition to such employment he would play football, and that such a thing would probably be an NCAA violation because they have no intention of going anywhere near such an arrangement where they might be thought of as an employer. Their concern with the employer status, as the case reveals, is that employees that are hurt on the job are generally entitled to workers' compensation of some sort. The NFL is fielding lawsuits from hurt players on a regular basis; the first of the NCAA's slim defenses of the status quo is that they are not an employer; that the person plays amateur football on the side and is mostly a student. The voluminous record in NLRB Case 13-RC-121359 belies otherwise, and makes a point to openly mock the NCAA's countable athletically related activities numbers as a flawed measure of time spent performing football-related activities.

The passage most-quoted from Taylor Branch's now-infamous article, linked above, deals with this paragraph from the Colorado Supreme Court decision, also linked above:

It is significant that the college did not receive a direct benefit from the activities, since the college was not in the football business and received no benefit from this field of recreation. In fact, the state conducted institution, supported by taxpayers, could not as a matter of business enter into the maintenance of a football team for the purpose of making a profit directly or indirectly out of the taxpayers' money.
The Ohio State University's Department of Athletics is such a profitable institution that they are required to send money back to the university itself, and this is laying aside donations given through the OSU Alumni Association or The Buckeye Club. If they were found to be a for-profit institution making large sums of money, they would have to pay taxes on the money they so made and your donations to them for whatever reason (football or no) would not be tax-deductible. That this possibility is most widely used as a detractor towards the players, in that they would potentially have scholarships taxed as earnings, is lamentable; that would mean that players get screwed more, but would require the schools to withhold taxes. With no income, that's either shorting the amount paid into the scholarships as well as the per diem stipend, or schools put into the position of making up the shortfall as part of the scholarship.

The third dichotomy is to be addressed today in court. To some extent, it already has, as Electronic Arts has settled their portion ahead of time, knowing full well what would be found in discovery. The NCAA chose not to, to their shame. One had better have an equivalent exchange for the use and license rights of persons' likenesses in perpetuity, and 100K tops/50K median disbursed over a four-year period isn't going to cut it. But instead, the thought was that they could restrict people from using their own fame to get any fortune - lest the amateurism facade break down and the rest of the foundation of sand collapse against the waves. (I'll let you decide what those waves are. Money's most obvious, but there are options aplenty.) That they were using these people as advertising for their college and the access to the exploits as an enticement to elicit donations in the millions of dollars underscores that there is a monetary value for their services that is greater than the scholarship, room, and board that is offered.

Most of this you probably know already, but I'm putting it in one place because the next step is how to fix things. I don't like the options I see.

  1. Keep the current model somehow. I have seen some amazing leaps of constitutional and legal logic in these past few years, and most of them involved the intelligence community. I don't see how they legally can as things stand.
  2. Claim exemption to the rules. This is not unprecedented - it's what most professional sports have done because there is no real competitor to Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, or the National Hockey League. The understanding here is that, while these institutions are all monopolies, the federal courts do not like the antitrust laws and weaken them where possible. However, as explicit as they are, this would seem to require the acceptance of a union with which collective bargaining could take place, thus having an agreement trump the law. That would effectively place them as an employer even more than the NLRB has already found them, and the tax sheltering would be on its way out the door.
  3. Legislate a waiver. This is also not without precedent - the origin of the NCAA Taylor describes involves intervention from Teddy Roosevelt to set some sort of standards while keeping collegiate football (and helping Harvard, but I digress). More recently, understand that the Federal government, looking at AT&T being sued over allowing the NSA to wiretap phone lines on AT&T's premises, wrote legislation to absolve everyone of their wrongdoing. This would be similar, and just as distasteful. It is also the most likely way out and, at the same time, unlikely to happen. Despite there being reasonable mutual interests for the NCAA and both parties of Congress, this is not something that could be construed as a wartime necessity, nor are the houses of Congress aligned such that a non-trivial bill without the greatest of importance could hope to pass a divided legislature.
  4. Be done with collegiate athletics once and for all.
The last one is where I think we are. Effort to fund scholarships for current athletes while academically on track for graduation could be made. Focus would be diverted solely to academics. Donations would still be tax-deductible, though you wouldn't be able to get a seat at a football game with them now. Less people would have brain injuries as a whole. Some void in the National Football League could be filled by a minor league system of some sort. This does seem to be the most disruptive course, and non-profit organizations are allowed to create content in a for-profit forum (see: Tickle Me Elmo), but profit cannot be their primary goal, and the exploitation of football has come to that point and gently glided by. As noted in the pre-trial hearings of O'Bannon, the money is going to administrators and coaches, not education or players. If it were truly non-profit, the money would flow directly to the latter, rather than paying outrageous sums of money to, say, Dr. Gordon Gee. If the latter, then we owe money to the players as much as the coaches in compensation for their time and effort. And, quite honestly, we need to break one of these institutionalized flaws at some point in the modern age, to let the wound bleed out and release the pressure of corruption, lest uprising bring about death of the patient.

What will happen in the end? I don't rightly know. But change will be forced, rest uneasily upon that.


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April 14th, 2014


06:14 pm - Frozen, Hockey

We'll start with Frozen, because I don't need a disclaimer to discuss that.

The visuals were good, save for points where the light snow seemed suspended in place; there was the *slowest* movement downwards and I'm surprised someone didn't up the gravitational pull on the particles. The gags were decent, with the favorite being treating the sled as a man's pet car. The Oscars' pick for song of the year is completely justified, and I like how some songs use it as a counterpoint with Ana's songs to describe conflict and communication failure.

What I *didn't* like is that it really wanted to be a Rogers and Hammerstein production. It felt like they were forcing musical numbers into every nook and cranny. You have the good song, and some good ideas to sprinkle it in with other songs; now, let the storytelling do some work, please. If this was a musical, okay, but it's not; it's a movie, with space for effects and a quieter development. Granted, this may make hiding the twist near the end just a bit harder, but it also might help round out Ana just a bit. (Elsa, for as cold and distant and away from the main action that she is, just happens to be the best character by far, and have I mentioned her song is best movie song of the year?) More storytelling and one or two less musical numbers and I think this could have been even better than it was, which in Disney's eyes is a billion dollars in box office revenue.

Now for the disclaimer bit: The hockey team I am about to discuss just happens to have the name of the company I work for permanently attached to the arena they play in. As such, I have received free tickets, as well as priority purchasing for playoff tickets. My statements are my own and not said company's.

...but that hockey team is IN the playoffs, for the second time in their history, and they hope to get their first playoff win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Baby steps. Baby steps.) They are quite literally Sergei Bobrovsky and five hopeful scrappers on the ice at any given time. Detroit, my old fave, is still making the playoffs (Twenty-three years in a row!) and will play the Boston Bruins, which may be just as ugly a series as the Blue Jackets' looks on paper. (Record vs. Pittsburgh this season: 0-5.) Since my chances of getting Detroit tickets are slim to none, it's good to have a playoff I can watch and a team worth rooting for. Now, if only they could get the puck out of their zone in a penalty kill or pass effectively or SHOOT THE BLACK THING AT THE NET ON A BREAKAWAY I MEAN SERIOUSLY QUIT DEKING AND FIRE ALREADY AAAAAGGGGHHH


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April 13th, 2014


10:10 am - 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament wrap-up

At least a 7-seed beat an 8-seed. That part of the S-curve was correct.

Kentucky was behind early - it's been a trademark this tournament run - and then tried their come-from-behind schtick. Alas, UConn had just enough veteran experience to go with their exceptional talent, and that trick didn't work. Thusly, UConn won the championship trophy and the face time on national television that goes with it.

Which Shabazz Napier took to tell the NCAA that awarded him the trophy off. "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BAN US! TWO YEARS!"

A rough cut to commercial followed.</p>

The thing about the late Mid-Majority site is that it explained the difference between the many and the elite few. It made for argument as to where the Red Line was between haves and have-nots, but there was at least an understanding that there were clearly a lot more have-nots than haves, and the object people were having or not having was money. This class struggle - the hopes of the 1% to not be left completely destitute, to have something - it exists in the real world, and it certainly exists between the players and the institutions. One might think that, for all of the NCAA's commercials noting that most players go on to something other than sports, they might stop and look at how often their players aren't living as well as the universities they not only advertise, but create advertising dollars for. This hubris is ending here as it has in Rome - Emmert is doing the fiddling, while three or four different lawsuits dare to claim the money and power for the players and end the facade of amateurism in college athletics. The first is the O'Bannon suit, which asks for the money; the second is Northwestern's unionization attempt, which asks for protections for the players to be bargained rather than arbitrary and at the whim of the colleges and their athletic staff. The third is an antitrust suit that seeks to remove the very structure of the NCAA, seen to be an abused monopoly power.

I cannot agree with the loss of history that Mid-Majority's removal caused. The internet has storage for such relics that we may have a record of the end. For I fear this is certainly the end, and that, for all of the literal burning Kentucky was doing during its run, the institution of the NCAA's figurative burning is all the brighter. Its only hope at this point is to beg those whose laws are leveled upon it for relief and exceptions, and I fear the weight and enumeration of the troubles upon it will bring the end before such protections may come to pass.

Maybe we get one more tournament out of it. (Then, maybe, I can save face from my bracket and draft this time out.)

Final conference standings:

  • B1G: 10-6, had perhaps hoped for even better, but certainly not an embarassment.
  • Big East: 2-4, and that at least looks better than the football years if still not deserving of its bids.
  • ACC: 6-7, and perhaps Virginia cleanly winning the conference is a sign their conference was in a down year?
  • AAC: 9-3 and the championship and the middle finger to everyone.
  • SEC: 12-3 out of a pile of trash. AGAIN, I'M SORRY
  • PAC-12: 8-6 and thouroughly unremarkable, but worthy of its bids AND MORE COWBELL.
  • Big XII: 6-7, and replace "Virginia cleanly winning the conference" with "Iowa State being the class of the league".
  • Mountain West: 2-2, and they could want more from their two powerhouses but it just wasn't to be.
  • Atlantic 10: 4-6 says too many bids; Dayton winning asks whom you would see removed.

That's all for now. Should post a personal update sometime - I'm such a slacker, though....


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April 7th, 2014


08:53 pm - 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Final 4 Round

So, from 4 to 2 went like this.

The first game was reasonably good, with Florida up early and then a combination of Shabazz Napier and one Niels Giffey. The UConn Blog's Twitter feed was the best to follow during and after the game, including a pic that you do not put out there for employers not under the SBNation banner. You can't blame him, though. UConn as a 7-seed goes in representing the AAC.

The second game was all you could ask for. I counted three instances of Bo Ryan Blown Gaskets - the first was the best, with him gesturing with his hands vertical wondering how fouls were being committed from the vertical position. The most justified was instance three, where he politely ordered the official over to the monitor at the scorer's table after extracurriculars went well beyond multiple whistles and ended with a player shoved to the ground. (If the play is dead, STOP SHOVING. If he's still hanging on, as the game thread from a Kentucky blog suggests, then they will notice that instead.) Some runs, closely fought from start to finish, cold threes, and thundrous dunks. And your stat of the day - Wisconsin went 19 of 20 from the free-throw line. That miss came in the closing seconds, as Traevon Jackson drew a foul from beyond the arc with the game tied. Pic describing my reaction to fouling a three-point shot in the closing seconds of a tied basketball game:

foulingonathree

Of course, they then went down to the other end, and with 5.4 seconds on the clock, Kentucky hits a three from the corner, just like last game, because that's what they do. Wisconsin gets the ball and a decent two-point shot at the buzzer, which doesn't fall, and that's college basketball in a nutshell.

So, we forgot to update the per-round conference records last time. Let's catch up:

  • B1G: 1-2 Elite 8, 0-1 last round, 10-6 finish. Can't argue they weren't good.
  • AAC: 1-0 Elite 8, 1-0 last round, 8-3 overall. UNDERSEEDED.
  • SEC: 2-0 Elite 8, 1-1 last round, 12-2 overall. I'M SORRY ALREADY
  • PAC-12: 0-1 Elite 8, 8-6 finish. They were just fine, really - but outside of the game Wisconsin beat Arizona in, not remarkable, either. Still, nothing to indicate the bids were overdone.
  • Atlantic 10: 0-1 Elite 8, 4-6 finish. As a conference, you want to be at .500 when you send six teams - but arguably team #6 did the best of any of them. This leads to our next paragraph well.

So, we have a #7 seed playing a #8 seed for the title. Our other two Final Four teams, the more likely #1 and #2 seeds, just left. Again, 37.5% upset percentage from rounds 3 and 4. Dear NCAA Selection Committee: When you were seeding, was it seeding teams into a bracket, or an euphanism for marijuana consumption?! I HUMBLY SUGGEST IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE LATTER. At least the games from the bracket YOU COMPLETELY OVERLOADED WITH TALENT have been worth watching, even though the result is a #8 coming out of there! CONGRATULATIONS you all sucked this year at your job.

Well, one game to go...let it be a good one.


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April 5th, 2014


03:56 pm - 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Elite 8

So, I'd like to thank UConn for making this Final Four bearable.

The games:

  • Florida got one run towards the end of the first half, and that's what they needed to win. Other than that, Dayton hung in as best they could. No lead, though.
  • UConn edges Michigan State is correct score-wise but being exceedingly nice to Michigan State. The choke was indeed palpable. Shabazz Napier is earning the buzz he needs for NBA money, though.
  • Wisconsin shut Arizona down. It's nice to see a slight bit more running out of the slow, strangling death that is Wisconsin basketball. The next game is being billed as a match of extreme philosophies - four-year, high-leverage, defensive play versus one-and-done players demonstrating NBA Showtime. Not caring about that, myself - still caring about the potential Florida vs. Wisconsin championship game NO ONE WILL WATCH.
  • Oh, yeah, Kentucky's players > M*ch*g*n's players. Just in case you didn't know. (No hitting on Kate Upton this year, Mr. Albrecht.)

And, thus, the Final Four, of which I have none on my bracket *pukes*:

  • From the SEC, its champion, a very good defense with one or two shooters when absolutely necessary, Florida!
  • From the AAC, left hung to dry with even Louisville leaving what was the Big (L)East, and riding on the hopes of Kemba Walker's former teammate, Connecticut!
  • From the B1G, with slightly more offense than usual (thanks be to God Almighty no really watch this and try to stay awake), Wisconsin!
  • And, finally, again from the SEC, the perennial team that molts players annually, led by the coach you love to hate (especially if you're the NCAA and have to deal with the messes that appear where he coaches), Kentucky!

Let's get this over with.

Miss you, Mid-Majority.


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March 29th, 2014


12:26 pm - 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Round 4

Round 3 had gone poorly for those following the Mid-Majority on their farewell tour. Dayton survived, though, and you have to feel good for them even if in the position like myself where the resulting smacktalk is going to last for a while at the expense of one's alma mater. The games themselves weren't much Thursday save for Arizona's late night comeback; Friday had That Team Up North nearly blowing it to a play-in team, Kentucky/Louisville, and UConn removing the last vestiges of the Big XII. The bracket is at 21% and half the Final Four is gone; the draft is going even worse, with one team remaining. So, let's discuss things that aren't my guesses at how the tourney goes!

  • B1G: 3-0 this round, 9-3 overall. That's two perfect rounds, with all three losses being from teams' first games.
  • ACC: 0-1 this round, 6-7 overall finish. Virginia was indeed the best team in the ACC this season, but that doesn't put them over MSU, or leave the conference with a winning record.
  • AAC: 1-1 this round and 6-3 overall, as UConn refuses to go away at the hands of state schools from Iowa. The next state school might be a bit trickier, though. As for Louisville, they'll have to be content with last year's championship to lord it over Kentucky.
  • SEC: 2-1 this round and 9-1 overall, as all perfection ends with the SEC. Especially if counting on Tennessee to keep up the streak.
  • PAC-12: 1-2 this round, 8-5 overall. The South region was not as kind as the rest of the bracket - 4-3 and eliminated with two of the three losses being upsets to marginally lower seeds. Also, the foul trouble that lifted Stanford over Kansas was its downfall against Dayton, as Dayton plays twelve people and is more than happy to trade fouls with a team relying heavily on starters; Nastic in foul trouble was replaced by tall sacks of wet cement.
  • Big XII: 0-2 this round, both to the Big Ten, and a 6-7 finish is the result. Wisky annihilated Baylor in typical Wisconsin fashion - completely unwatchable - and left Iowa State to try and withstand the Death Star that is a fully-operational M*ch*g*n State.
  • Mountain West: SDSU loses, and the conference finishes at 2-2. Being part of the only watchable Thursday game is still a loss, but moral victory for the conference was achieved.
  • Atlantic 10: Dayton, however, chooses to survive and bring the conference to 4-5 overall. Next for them is Florida, which plays into their strengths - full-court press means more fouls and fatigue, which twelve players should handle well. Talent-wise, there's still Wilbekin over anything Dayton's bringing, but if you need to win two more games to guarantee a break-even point you couldn't hope for better at this juncture.

So, our elite 8:

  • From the B1G, we have two teams from That State Up North and Wisconsin, and zero rooting interest from Ohio!
  • From the SEC, Kentucky and Florida, which is a good representation of the entirety of the SEC this season!
  • From the PAC-12, Arizona and their pansy tourney schedule!
  • From the AAC, Connecticut, which would still like to join the ACC!
  • And, from the Atlantic 10, Dayton, the Mid-Majority's last hope and enough reason for Ohio to take a vacation this weekend!
...seriously, Ohio State could not dream of a worse Elite 8. UK, Florida, both schools up north, and an in-state mid-major coming right through them. BLECH.

As for upsets this round, 4/8 is a clean 50%. Third and fourth rounds add up to 9/24 for 37.5%. Whereas the slightly over 27% from rounds two and three indicate a possible problem with team choice, the 37.5% is rather adamant that the seeding done by the committee was BULLSHIT. Hey, look, half of the Elite 8 is from predicted seeds (1's and 2's)! Also, three seeds of 7 or worse. WAT U DOIN

Time to watch some more basketball, I guess...


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