legalacidity's musings


I'm a Jinx

Yep. I'm bad luck. That and I could have sworn that the officials were wearing purple and gold. Oh well. Dammit!

At least those West Virginia fans who were cheering so hard for LSU got their guts ripped out by Paulino's three at the buzzer. I was so happy that Texas won that game. Remember, folks: you don't need to waste all of your energy during the first game cheering for a team that you may very well never get to play because a Longhorn named Paulino nails a three pointer at the buzzer. Remember that on the long trip back to Morgantown. I mean that specifically for the four WVU fans sitting in front of us at the game. You know who you are.

Oh, and I've changed the colors on this blog. Leave it up to LSU to ruin purple and gold for me. Oh well.

1:37 a.m. - 2006-03-24

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Me? Bad Luck? Not This Year!

Ok, ok--I know. I haven't updated since Friday night. I've been in a basketball-induced coma since Sunday, allowing my body to repair itself in preparation for the next four days of insanity. Plus, I had a surprise birthday party thrown for me Saturday night, so I've been recovering from that too. I'm off to Atlanta tomorrow to kick it NCAA Regional-style while getting to watch my beloved Duke Blue Devils take on LSU (and, hopefully either Texas or West Virginia). I like the matchup Duke has with LSU, and if Shelden can stay out of foul trouble, Duke shouldn't have any problems.

However, if Duke does have one downfall, one Achilles heel, it's that I'm going to be at the game. I'm terrible luck for Duke, and when they were struggling with Southern in the first round, I was cursing the basketball gods for toying with my emotions once again. You see, every time I've had tickets to the tournament (this year will be my ninth), and I've had a chance to see Duke play, or actually seen them play, they've lost. The most gut-wrenching was in 2002 when they lost to Indiana in Lexington in the Sweet Sixteen. I wanted to shoot myself as Jason Williams missed the free throw and then the layup-attempt by Carlos Boozer at the buzzer fell short. I was mortified because I just knew it was my fault.

This is the year that Duke can erase all of my bad memories and make me feel a part of something good for a change. It's one of those few moments where a decade's worth of bad luck can be redeemed in a matter of days; in this case, with two Duke wins. However, if any of you out there are of the gambling persuasion, feel free to put an entire month's paycheck on LSU for the simple fact that I will be attending the game. I almost feel like the brother of Paul Bettany's character in the movie Wimbledon, who kept betting against Bettany's character because, as he explained it, if he lost, the brother got rich, and if he won, the brother got laid. The only problem with that is that I'm married, and my wife doesn't really care about Duke basketball, so I guess it's a toss-up either way!

At any rate, go Duke, and I hope J.J. pours in 30 in each game. See you in Atlanta!

2:40 p.m. - 2006-03-22

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A Bad Day to Be in the Big Anything

Well, this afternoon and evening probably killed a lot of people's brackets, what with the Big Ten deciding to forget that you have to show up in the first round. Granted, I didn't have Iowa advancing that far, but Michigan State? Come on, Izzone! You have to do better than that! Losing to George Mason, who was missing their second-leading scorer? Ouch. Although, I guess that the loss did have a karmic touch to it, given the story I heard about an MSU fan at a local sports bar: he was talking more trash than Mrs. Doug Christie. He went on and on about how great MSU was and how Tom Izzo was the best coach ever, and blah blah blah. With George Mason up by six or so in the second half, the MSU fan got kicked out of the bar for--get this--peeing on the floor. Way to represent! After that happened, George Mason put the game away, and karma was officially satisfied.

Of course, it was a bad day for "Big" anything, as Bradley took out Kansas in the day's second-biggest upset. Bradley did it from downtown, hitting 11-of-22 threes (Kansas was 7-for-17). With that loss, I think that my bracket is officially headed to the shredder. Texas and North Carolina won, but at this point, I guess I'll be cheering for Duke, Alabama, and then every underdog that's left. Dammit.

While I was watching these games wind down, I began to wonder: is there any doubt that the CBS coverage this year is severely lacking? My favorite is the quick cut-in to the close game that's coming down to the wire just as the game is going to commercial for a timeout. Or, as was the case in the Northwestern State-Iowa game today, a quick cut-in just as the final shot went up. It's like they can't pull the trigger on switching games for some reason, even though whatever particular game I happen to be watching is a blowout. They've ought be better than this stuff, right? They do it every year!

10:34 p.m. - 2006-03-17

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Building a Better Bomb

Yeah, that's right. Not even the threat of a bomb can derail the runaway locomotive that is Jean Felix. In case you missed it, Felix went off against Marquette yesterday, pouring in 31 (8-of-11 from three point range) to lead 'Bama to a first round upset of Marquette. Alabama's prize for winning is a game with UCLA, who destroyed Belmont by 34 points (after trailing by six early). For all of your bracket needs, click here. Also, the boys over at Deadspin are live-blogging all of the games during the day. Check it out.

By the way, looks like Air Force (lost to Illinois by nine) and Seton Hall (destroyed by Wichita State) completely validated Selectron Littlepage's justifications for having them in the tournament. Great call, chairman! Is there doubt in anyone's mind that Cincinatti would have actually showed up and given the Shockers a game instead of laying down like Seton Hall did? Ah, controversy!

12:25 p.m. - 2006-03-17

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Uh Oh, Herb

More bad news for Herb Sendek: according to Deadspin's NCAA Tournament preview, 36% of current ACC players say that he is the coach that they would least want to play for. Ouch. That means that out of 12 coaches, Herb's got to be coming in first (assuming that players could only pick one coach).

The main reason given? The type of offense he runs.

9:42 a.m. - 2006-03-15

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Air Force & Selectron the Magnificent

I found out this morning that Air Force was so sure that they weren't going to make the tournament that they didn't even bother to watch the selection show. What better praise for Selectron the Robot Magnificent (i.e., Craig Littlepage, NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chairman) that his stellar assembly of basketball minds picked a team that wouldn't have even picked itself? Of course, Air Force coach Jeff Bzdelick said that he wanted his players to "catch up on their studies," which we all know is coachspeak for "We weren't going to make the tournament, and I didn't want a live CBS shot of us crying."


On the big conference snubs, Littlepage said that the committee would "like to see rigor" in scheduling. Hmmm. Ok. I understand Florida State (overall strength of schedule was 114; nonconference SOS was 316), but what about Cincinatti? Their overall SOS was seventh while their nonconference SOS was 23rd. Sounds like the mid-major majority makeup of the committee decided to help out the Missouri Valley Conference, doesn't it? Let's see. Bradley's resume: a SOS at 47 and a nonconference SOS of 146. George Mason: 79th overall and 30th for nonconference. Either way you look at it, the Bearcats got screwed in a big way because, frankly, I think that the committee didn't want to let in nine Big East teams, which is a shame. Of course, Cinci could point the finger away from the MVC and at it's conference-mate, Seton Hall, who got in with a 39th ranked overall SOS and a ranking of 33rd for the nonconference schedule. But, the glaring difference is between Cinci and Air Force: the Falcons had a stellar SOS ranking of 173, with their nonconference SOS checking in at 267. The committee says to have a better nonconference schedule and then lets in one of the worst candidates for an at-large bid with respect to...nonconference schedules! What a joke.


One last note on Selectron: wasn't he the worst interview of a selection committee chairman ever? I mean, I realize that these guys are going to defend the decisions they make and not give too many details, but I think I could have done a better job describing why the committee did what it did and I was 1500 miles away from the decisionmaking (although I don't think that anyone can explain Air Force). Selectron needs to brush up on his people skills before he ventures out from the Robot Arms Apartments again.

10:13 a.m. - 2006-03-14

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Here Comes Atlanta; Thoughts on N.C. State

Well, the brackets are out, and I am happy about Duke in the Atlanta region. Now I just hope George Washington's Pops Mensah-Bonsu doesn't recover from his knee injury just yet so that Duke doesn't have to worry about Shelden Williams fouling out against an active big man.

I do have another horse in this tournament: Alabama. I've written a mini-preview on them for the folks over at Deadspin; check it out here. After you check that out, be sure to print out a copy of their bracket. Alabama's facing one of the 27 Big East teams that made the tournament (which, by the way, it's not a surprise that they got eight teams in--there are 16 teams in their conference), Marquette. It should be an interesting matchup, because Marquette finished 10-6 in the Big East and did knock off UConn earlier this year. I'm hoping that 'Bama can play some aggressive defense and force turnovers out of the two starting freshman guards for Marquette. However, I have a bad feeling that 'Bama's going to play it's trademark "What? That was my guy?" defense (like against Kentucky in the SEC tournament) and allow Steve Novak to score at will from the three-point line. We'll see.

Also, is there any doubt that California is the biggest first round lock in the tournament? N.C. State completely folded down the stretch, losing twice in one week to lowly Wake Forest. Is there any doubt that Cal knocks off N.C. State by a good 15 points? Or, Herb Sendek could pull another March miracle and somehow pull off an upset (or, heaven forbid, two wins in a row) to save his job for another year. And, it's a funny thing to say that--"save his job"--when N.C. State's made the tournament in five straight years, but that's the way it is over there on Tobacco Road. Sometimes making the tourney isn't enough when your counterparts are winning those very same tournaments. Good luck, Herb, but it looks like N.C. State folks are already camping out so they can have a good seat to watch the arrival of Rick Barnes on a white horse.

Hmmm...Barnes...that brings up a thought...Barnes...wait! I got it! Rod Barnes got fired at Ole Miss this year--maybe that's where Herb could go, completing the circle: replaced by one Barnes, Herb could go replace another Barnes. Talk about karma.

2:24 p.m. - 2006-03-13

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Memo to Haters: Duke's Not Quite Dead

Down in the dumps? Nah. Limping into the NCAA tournament? Nope. Overrated? Not hardly. It appears that the reports of the death of the Duke basketball program this year were greatly exaggerated. J.J. Redick was tired, they said, the product of chasing too many individual records. But, you see, J.J. wasn't chasing individual records--he was chasing team glory. The records were secondary, and maybe he felt the pressure from outside as he got closer and closer to each one--the ACC three point record, the ACC scoring record, the NCAA three point record. He had a couple of bad games to end the season, and everyone was signaling the death knell of Duke basketball.


Duke proved over the last three days why they are one of the best teams in college basketball, bar none. They took out a motivated Miami team that gave Duke all it could handle in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament, then took out a red-hot Wake Forest team that had finally decided to play up to its preseason potential. That left Boston College.

The knock on Duke this year has been that they are unable to handle the so-called "physical" teams that will body and muscle Duke in the paint, pushing them around. While I think that this is somewhat true, I don't think that the reason Duke may have trouble with one of these types of teams is that they cannot handle the inside banging. Rather, I think that the problems they may have hinge on staying out of foul trouble, just like most teams who have one or two star players--if Shelden Williams gets in early foul trouble, any opposing team will have an easier time in the paint.

That being said, Duke took on and defeated Boston College--the very type of team that everyone says can and should beat Duke--this afternoon, and it was one of the best ACC championship games in years. Both teams played well, but the most telling thing to me was that Duke handled the physical play from B.C. and came out with a victory, despite what "they" have been saying about Duke not being able to handle physical teams. Oh, and one other thing: J.J. Redick was ridonkulous as usual, knocking down big shot after big shot. Shooting slump? Tired? Fatigued? Nah. Once again, these reports were greatly exaggerated. If he was suffering from fatigue, he wouldn't have been able to carry Duke down the stretch today.

Now we get to wait and see what happens with the brackets and see who goes where. I hope Duke gets the #1 in the Atlanta region (as projected) and makes it to the Sweet Sixteen for the umpteenth time in a row so I can see them play in person for a change. Go Duke!

2:18 p.m. - 2006-03-12

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Here from a Google search? Check out my archives.

New Site - 2008-05-24

Kyle Busch is Garbage - 2008-05-03

On Bissinger and Leitch - 2008-04-30

Chad Johnson is a Doofus - 2008-04-03

Thoughts on the NCAA Tournament in Birmingham - 2008-03-25

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