Wednesday, April 3, 2013

RU Kidding?

To me Rutgers athletics is similar to the Mets and Jets. Yawn city, the ultimate in where creativity lacks and let's be honest, what do you get after ripping these subjects? I thought I was over it but it was brought to my attention that I should take a stand on the recent Mike Rice Rutgers basketball incident. Ok here we go.

I don't think the Rutgers basketball job, big east or big ten, is a desirable job. It's been since 1993 since Rutgers made an NCAA appearance. I think. I don't really know because that's how irrelevant RU has been. The last good memory I have was the Billet kid going a little zany in the 99 big east tourney. Or was it 2000? Then the other Billet kid transfers to Virginia. I saw Rutgers lose to Vermont in 09 at the RAC, to which Vermont went to the NCAA's and Rosario(1st Rutgers McDonald's All American) transfers to Florida and Echinique transfers to Creighton. So, needless to say, bless the heart of the guy who one day makes Rutgers basketball relevant. I won't get into how the head job is tough but it's tough. I'll say this about Mike Rice, hey Mike camping is intense, how bout some decaf. In my opinion he's a classic case of when trying too hard goes wrong. Overcoaching 101. To me a detail oriented control freak and sets the example for coaches who claim, "they're really trying because they're under a lot of "pressure" ". Garbage, look at Enfield, a breath of fresh air and the complete opposite of overcooked rice. Granted, you can't fault trying but for an outside guy looking in it looked like forced trying which doesn't get you anywhere. But I think the coach signing up for the Rutgers job should know this going in. Pernetti, the AD, to me, despite making cash for the university, knowing the Imus incident, shouldn't get a pass. But hey, that's why I'm blogging and not doing what he does. I'll never understand Rutgers athletics. Still sour over the Weber State loss at the buzzer to East Carolina.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Enfield to USC-George Mason-Weber State

A little less than a month ago while starting Modblog I had the pleasure of watching the Atlantic Sun conference championship game. Florida Gulf Coast wound up winning and was fascinated with the program, especially the head coach. What an insane journey! Well, if you're a SoCal fan like me it just got better. Andy Enfield left Florida Gulf Coast to become the new head basketball coach at USC. That's a win win for me. Look, USC has a very limited basketball tradition(Al telling rambling wreck to go inside, beat Trojans at buzzer with 3 at Bradley Center/Losing to VCU in "First Four" game, VCU to Final Four/OJ Mayo) so they have nowhere to go but up. In fact I think it's house money. Alford to UCLA may be good but is just so typical. USC pulled the hottest coach to Troy and hopefully will build a basketball program. As far as it stands today, USC basketball will get better and as long as they beat the UCLA suits, Enfield is the best hire.

Failed to mention yesterday that George Mason has also had a successful post season run. Unlike the postseason tournament, the Patriots are playing the Santa Clara Broncos in the College Baskeball Invitational which is a 3 game series. Different format and not a bad one either. Mason lost last night in California but have the next game(game 3 if necessary) in Virginia. Wound up looping for Coach Hewitt(George Mason Head Coach) this past labor day. Good guy and am rooting for him and the Patriots. In fact Coach Hewitt was responsible for making sure Kerry Kittles didn't decommit from Villanova after Rollie and his staff were let go. Hewitt was an assistant with Lappas before heading to Georgia Tech and now George Mason. Also, George Mason will be switching conferences leaving the colonial to head to the Atlantic 10.

Friendly reminder that tonight Weber State Basketball plays host to the Pirates of East Carolina on CBS Sports Network tonight at 8 eastern. Weber State Weber State Great Great Great

10 year anniversary of the best regional semi and final performance I have ever seen. Courtesy of Bill and Raft of course!

Enjoy these clips

Best intro-2:10 Kiss-The Rest, AWESOME

Monday, April 1, 2013

Final Four 2013 Pt.1

First things first. After losing a painful Big Sky Conference championship game in Montana, YOUR Weber State Wildcats will be playing in the postseason tournament championship game tomorrow night. Weber State became the FIRST team in Big Sky history to win 30 games in a season. Kudos to Coach Rahe and the program. Consider Rahe's seven seasons at Weber and he pretty much wins. After winning the Big Sky and an NCAA bid in his first year(thanks Coach Cravens) Rahe has won another regular season title and lost in three Big Sky title games with a 150-72 record overall and 95-26 mark in Big Sky conference play through seven seasons. With the exception of his second year, Rahe has led to 'Cats to post season play. Despite losing three Big Sky title games Coach Rahe has done tremendous program building at Weber State. I think there will be no question who the NBA's rookie of the year will be. He went to Weber State. SOO.....The 'Cats will play host to the Pirates of East Carolina at 6pm Tuesday at the Dee Events Center(O-TOWN) in a game that will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. Tune in and watch. Hopefully Weber State will bring home a championship to Ogden Utah.

The 2013 NCAA men's basketball tournament has been great. As expected. But Florida Gulf Coast expected? Alley-oop expected when you're "supposed" to kill clock because it's Georgetown. Harvard expected? New Mexico buried me early and the Mountain West did for that matter. Colorado State was the most fun team to watch this year Mountain West wise and hey, they lost to eventual champion Louisville. Too soon? Getting back to the Lobos, what have you done for me lately. Alford couldn't get outta there quicker after signing his extension. UCLA because it's UCLA? Good luck. My opinion, New Mexico is the better job. Why not be the first coach to lead the Lobos past the sweet sixteen? South Dakota State nothwithstanding, the Pit is an extremely hostile enviornment. You can look up the records. But hey have fun at UCLA zzzzzzzzzzz. Wheat Shockers expected? Well, I did have them losing in the Elite 8 but come on! Great story. Well, casual/average fan I guess you'll have time to find out what a Wheat Shocker is. Since I Don't watch much of ESPN anymore(very limited), I'm sure they'll send out Mayne or Reilly to Kansas and show you. Don't get any pathetic ideas ESPN, they're mine. Felt bad for St. Louis. They were a squad, along with Colorado State I followed more with detail. They couldn't throw it in the ocean against Oregon. Too bad but at least they won the A-10 tournament. Majerus would be proud. Florida, my pick to win it all played about a bad a game that can be played in yesterdays loss to Michigan. Wait, Kansas did that in the previous game with the worst final 2 minutes this side of Jason Williams. Syracuse, people surprised? Why, they have length, athletes, and wait a minute, they're Syracuse. Love the haters. Last time I checked Jimmy wasn't retiring but still was winning. That's to be expected.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's Christmas Time(not really)

It's not really Christmas time but the feeling of anxiety is lifted and we have games! We have games! All day and night! For two straight days! Amazing, truly the best sports "event" annually. And I heard from two seperate, very reliable sources that the NCAA is looking at eventually eliminating the ridiculous dome sites for the Final Four and moving the media, that is often too close to the floor, up to the mid-level to allow fans occupy those seats. I will say though, great ideas no doubt, we are at least ten years away from those changes. But good to hear nonethess. Another reason to love the tournament is the fact that you get great coverage(minus Bonnie Bernstein post championship game 2003). Yes WORLD, there is more to sports coverage than the insanity of ESPN. So glad that stupid in your face programming network is out of the picture for the greatest of all sports events. Also, no NBC sports. Win win. Looking forward for Nantz to move over but overall CBS does a fantastic job. Nothing to flashy, just basic, solid, coverage. Doing the job. Plus the pre and post game analysts on all the stations now are very good. Props to the production that CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV do. A bevy of information done very well. My favorite in game booth combo, Verne and Raft will once again be covering a regional final(not sure what region yet). Also marks the ten year anniversary of Mr. Dwyane Wade and his remarkable march with Marquette to the final four. In my opinion the most entertaining, special, and favorite college player of all time. What a run! Can't forget Novak and Diener but Wade willed that team. What a performance! (BTW, Miami Heat win again, imagine if Lebron had played in March for any college or university?) So people get ready for the best time of the year and enjoy the madness!!!

Rupp Arena

Butler/Bucknell- for all the people loving Bucknell, get back to me after the game. Let me know how that works out.

Marquette/Davidson- classic game for me in which I don't wanna see either team lose because I love both programs and coaches. Praying for the upset but going with the Warriors, oops, Golden Eagles.

Louisville/NC A&T- Don't let me down Cards.

Colorado State/Missouri- Maybe the most intriguing game today. Going with Rams, provided Iverson handles it down low. Either way, I think slugfest.

Birdman, Spanarkel and if you haven't seen Allie LaForce, tune in. She does a very good job. She played ball at Ohio U.

HP Pavilion

Saint Louis/New Mexico State- Check out the tallest player in D1, the Aggies own, Sim Buhller. 7ft 5. Cool. Saint Louis Basketball 2012-13, story of the year. Billikens Baby.

Oklahoma State/Oregon- Classic game of  "I can't stand both basketball programs". Truly don't care but gotta root for Cowboys, I mean the "fighting" ducks. When did this whole "fighitng" ducks thing develop? I must have missed that memo. Go back to graphic design in Eugene and keep producing cool uniforms.

UNLV/California- Just hoping, praying, wishing the Rebs play well this tournament. They have the talent and hope they get hot. Going with Vegas.

Syracuse/Montana- Umm...still pissed Weber State can't win the big game and no love lost if the Griz is down 25 at half. I expect Syracuse to act like Syracuse. Please!

The Palace of Auburn Hills

Michigan State/Valparaiso- Rooting for Valpo hard! If Michigan State doesn't get it done at home, come on.

Memphis/St.Mary's- Absolutley in love with Memphis. Similar to Arizona and Vegas, athletically. But no true PG. Rooting for Pastner's boys but will Delly let the Gaels go out silently? Interesting watch.

Michigam/South Dakota State- Rooting for Jackrabbits hard! If Michigan doesn't get it done at home, come on.

VCU/Akron- Trap game for VCU. Tester for Rams.

Verne and Raft calling these games and let me tell you, nothing better than this. Home games for Big Blue and Sparty. Valpo and Jackrabbits got the rest of America with them. GET AFTER IT VALPO and JACKRABBITS

Energy Solutions Arena(AKA The Dump)

Pittsburgh/Wichita State- Won't be shocked if Pitt loses.

Gonzaga/Southern- Let's get this straight. A few times I heard Gonzaga compared to Notre Dame football. Maybe this year, that's it. Notre Dame is so beyond Gonzaga Basketball. Notre Dame has national championships, etc. Stupid comparison. I'll say this, Zags fault or not, they are a No.1 seed. They haven't made the elite 8 in 16 years, oh really? Thanks for noticing mr. college basketball fan. I think this Zag squad is legit.

Arizona/Belmont- Another classic game where I love both programs, especially Belmont of late. If Arizona doesn't win, I'd be scratching my head. Rooting for Belmont but Arizona is so explosive.

New Mexico/Harvard- Hmm...Tough one. Will New Mexico cover? That's my question. No disrespect Harvard.

Spero and newly fond Gottlieb calling the games.

Enjoy the games! Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

St. Louis Billikens Tourney Selection

After winning the A-10 tourney and before hopping on plane in Teteboro, the Billikens stopped in the Seacaucus Best Buy to see their seed.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sixth Man Post

I like a lot of things but what I don't like is the format of my blog. I'd love to have a sett style or format. So, I'll be mixing it up stylistically. It is of note that this morning of the Tim Brando Show, on CBS Sports Network, Jon Rothstein, Tim's fill in opened up the show by comparing Gonzaga's backcourt with Iona's backcourt. HMMM...funny, I just blogged about that. Similar to when Francesa opened his show two days ago and mentioned the bizarre ending to the MAAC title game. Damn, Modblog making waves five entries in! I love it.

In a previous entry I wrote about the head coach being reflected in the way his team plays on the floor. I'm in the middle of a book, "You Can Call Me Al, the colorful journey of college basketball's original flower child Al McGuire" and thought this quote was applicable. "A team should be the extension of the coach's personality. So my teams are obnoxious and arrogant. Being a fellow originally from the streets, when I am punched, I punch back." Al McGuire is the man. College basketball fan? Read this book!

NEC Tounrmanet Final:

Third-seeded LIU (20-13) was coming off a season in which four of its players were suspended in the fall for their role in a fight and reigning NEC player of the year Julian Boyd tore his ACL in December. So, beating the fifth-seeded Mountaineers (18-14) was perhaps the sweetest victory in the three-peat. "Me and C.J. talked about everything we've been through from the suspensions, your player of the year goes down -- it could have gone both ways," said senior Jamal Olasewere  "We knew this one was personal." Garner and Olasewere seemed determined not to let this one slip through their fingers. Garner's 31 points were a career high and Olasewere added 15 points and 10 rebounds to help coach Jack Perri became the third coach in the conference to win the title in his first year on the job. Perri, who had been an assistant for the Blackbirds before being promoted this season, said this was the sweetest of the three titles for him. "I'm very emotional right now because of what we went through," he said. "totally different book than the last two years, totally different story. Everything went right the last two years and this year they had to show their true colors." After a frantic back-and-forth first half, LIU Brooklyn opened the second half with a 35-31 lead. Led by a decisive dunk by Olasewere and a three-point play from Garner, the Blackbirds went on a 13-4 run to go ahead by 13 only 6 minutes into the half. LIU Brooklyn didn't allow Mount St. Mary's to pull closer than 12 the rest of the way. The enthusiastic LIU Brooklyn crowd, which spent much of the second half chanting "Brooklyn Three-peat", stormed the floor to celebrate what was a career night for Garner and a definitive statement for the small LIU program. LIU Brooklyn's win cut Mount Saint Mary's comeback from an ugly start to the season a bit short. The fifth-seeded Mountaineers came in riding a nine-game win streak after upsetting top-seeded Robert Morris for a chance to play in the finals. A win for Mount St. Mary's would have topped an impressive turnaround for the team, which started a dismal 2-6 in conference play.
During the first half, it seemed as though the Mountaineers would take this one. LIU Brooklyn didn't grab its first lead until more than 10 minutes had passed. From there, it was back-and-forth with five lead changes until the Blackbirds took over in the second half. Sam Prescott, who scored 19 points, started 4-for-4 from 3-point range before going cold in the second half for the Mountaineers, while Garner scored 17 of his points and Olasewere 10 after the break. The Blackbirds shot close to 68 percent in the second half. Garner, who averaged 28 points during the tournament, was named its most valuable player, in a game that gave the LIU Blackbirds a place in the NEC record book for most consecutive conference wins.(AP)

Horizon League Final/Summit League Final:

Torn, as I wish I could watch both games with the same intent and focus but Wischusen and Bardo(calling Horizon League Final) were bothering me initially so I paid more attention to the Summit League final.
You can complain about it being a home game for the jackrabbits but not their fault the neutral site was in South Dakota. Nate Wolters is flat out fun to watch. He helped SDSU(South Dakota State University) to a road win at the pit iin against UNM in December and also dropped 53 points at IPFW, most points this year in D1. Another entertaining Jackrabbit is Jordan Dykstra, no relation to nails. Questionably undersized when compared with other big men around the nation but love the motor. SDSU pulled away toward the end of the game which thankfully allowed me to get back to see Valpo. Also, was sick of Valvano complaining about the low scoring in men's college basketball. I'll stop complaining about the telecast when the announcers get off their soapbox and stop complaining about the game. GEE WHIZ! That really gets me. I'd do anything to be at these games and homeboys are complaining? Please take your grandstanding to your local sports radio and not to the Summitt League Championship. I didn't tune in for the "state of the game". Unreal. Sooo....I flip back to the Horizon and see Valpo and Wright State. Pretty good run for Valpo going on an 18-4 at the end which saw Valpo win in front of their home fans. Happy for them because they are "Valpo", hit a buzzer beater two nights prior and got a guy named Buggs! Good job by Horizon League which rewards the best conference record by letting them host the conference tourney. At the end Wright State acknowleged the outcome by not fouling and letting the time end and yet you have "Coach Wischusen" getting flustered as to why the Raiders wouldn't foul. Umm....Bob, please call the friggin game, you ARE the play by play guy. Seems, especially of late, Bob has to let out his New York Jets frustration on something. But once again not at the Horizon League title game!

Some noougs for ya face:
Summit League Championship victory takes Jackrabbits to the NCAA Tournament for the 26th time in school history, 2nd time Division 1

Valpo(26-7) set new program record for victories in a season

This link is father coach son player stat. Still digging for coach who has son who coached same program to NCAA's. If ya got anything else other than Valpo, holler at your boy.

How about Nate Wolters(SDSU Jackrabbits), who incidentally, I watched as a frosh play at the D2 level when I first moved to Denver courtesy of my sisters basement.
Wolters=2nd straight Summit League tourney MVP with 21.7/4.7/7.3(great numbers any league)
Wolters=Double figures 71st game in a row/114th of career. 20pts., 19th time this year/50 all time\

Patriot League Recap later. Take on Your Day and tell your Play by Play and Color guys to STICK TO THE GAME!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why don't they just pay the players already?

Silly question because we all know players get paid, grades are fixed, and the NCAA is shaking in their boots.

I came across this article in Sports Business Journal. A quick but good read.

Not for nothing but you see the Big 10 and their cash strapped budget. That is tounge in cheek. Compared to the other "big 6" conferences it looks like the Big 10 is on hard times. Big 10=Joke proving once again how hard it is for me to listen, watch, and root for any of these "legends" and "leaders".

Recap of LIU-Brooklyn, Valpo, and the Jackrabbits coming soon.

Point of note. If anyone caught Mike Francesa's open yesterday one could say he read the open of my last blog entry! Obviously he didn't but it's nice to know that I wasn't the only one to catch the ODD ending of the MAAC title game.

Monday, March 11, 2013

5 More Tourney Tickets Punched

Where to start? Where to start? Overall happy night for this college basketball fan. I'm no betting man but if you dare complain about the "bogus" tech Manhattan College coach Steve Masiello recieved how about the most ridiculous ending of a game I've seen in years. If you had Manhattan, thank the refs for an early christmas gift for "the cover that should have never happened". I mean what a joke. Moving right along,  let's start with the Colonial Athletic Conference championship game. James Madison University defeats Northeastern. Since Mason Nation wasn't involved and this game was broadcast on NBC sports network, I simply flipped it to my favorite logo and mascot for the Hilltoppers of  Western Kentucky. They defended their Sun Belt title by defeating Richard Pitino and Florida International. Where's Raja Bell when you need him? The fighting red towels had this the whole way and no love lost for Richard Pitino. Looped for him and his pops a few summers ago. No Steve Lappas, Paul Hewitt, or Lawrence Frank I can tell you that much. Go Toppers and I know they beat Seton Hall in 93? Whatever the year that's when I was introduced to the funny logo and mascot. Quite a run this year. More to follow. The Southern Conference championship game saw the College of Charleston play the Wildcats of Davidson. Snoozefest. In that, I mean Bob McKillop really is a cool customer. Love his style. Fresh suits, haircut, the whole nine. Another NCAA bid for the cats. The West Coast Conference championship saw the Bulldogs of Gonzaga handle the Gaels of St. Mary's which will surely get an auto bid. Dish of the night featured by David Stockton to an Olynik jam. The MAAC title game saw the Jaspers of Manhattan play the Iona Gaels. I focused on this game. When comparing starting backcourts, who would you rather have? The Gonzaga combo of Stockton and Pangos, so sound, so smart, and controlled or the highest scoring backcourt in D1 with Ionas Jones and Armand, which is a high risk/high reward combo that seems like organized chaos? Really cool to watch the different styles. Obviously Iona is not Gonzaga and versa vica so the backcourts are used to their strengths but fun to watch the contrasting styles. Too bad this game was played in Springfield Mass. Closest campus conference wise was Fairfield. I get that it's all about cash but gimmie a break. Thank God for conferences like the Big Sky that reward the regular season conference winner with playing host to the conference tournament. Manhattan, I thought froze out Iona in the first half with the zone but the Gaels came out in the second more aggressive. And as they should really. Anyone see the Iona coaching staff? Loved the look! Straight outta Sopranos man. You can say that some coaching staffs are reflected in their players and Iona just out muscled Manhattan in the second. I don't know too much about Coach Masiello but he really irked me. Dude could be the nicest guy on the planet for all I know but couldn't stand the whining, cheerleading, and fake surprise when he got the tech for not staying in the coachs box. I think his insecurity was reflected in the Jaspers play in the second. Meanwhile you had the Iona team locked in. Was it the jumpsuits? Maybe all the close losses this year? The 20 point blown lead to BYU last year? Great win for Iona and  I hope they get hot and win at least one game in the tournament.

In closing, I tuned into CBS College Sports Network for maybe a recap of the night. It IS March Madness(insert TradeMark)? Instead they have NBA D League basketball. My remote was almost thrown into the wall. So I had to flip on ESPN to get a little recap. Thank GOD for the mute button. I muted when the clown host introduced Joe Linardi as "Joey Brackets" and LaPhonso Ellis as "Fonzi". What garbage ESPN is. Catering to the fan as "hip" and "cool". More like "forced". What, these guys going out with us later? How about some wings? Words can't describe how absolutely horrible that into was. It made me cringe and I almost vomited.

Looking forward to Valpo and the Jackrabbits tomorrow night. Good night now!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Big South/Arch Madness

I love small conference D1 basketball. The stories seem endless and yet intertwine with the "big" names. The Big South Conference has locked up a three year contract with to host the tournament at Coastal Carolina's HTC Center(even though the Chanticleers play 8 miles west of Myrtle in Conway). Somewhat of a weird angle television viewing angle and I thought of Temple. Wouldn't ya know it but during the commercial I flip over to CBS and Temple was hosting VCU. The Liacouras Center has without question the worst angle for television viewing. Back to the game. The Liberty Flames who opened the season 0-8 and all the bad losses found their way in the championship game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, who incidentally have the nations smallest home court capacity at about 880. The game was close in the first half but Libery busted out in the second half. Liberty took its largest lead of 14, 68-54, with 5:28 left. Charleston Southern got within eight points in the waning minutes but had to foul at the end which proved boring and ineffective, leading to Liberty's third tournament championship and the 87-76 victory. Some creamy nougs:

The Flames' .429 winning percentage (15-20) is the lowest for an NCAA tournament team since Oakland (Michigan) had a 12-18 record (.400) in 2005.

Liberty opened the season with eight straight losses and had never won more than three in a row until this week.

Dale Laney, Liberty Head Coach took Colorado State to the NCAA's in 2003. Colorado State, last night set a school record 24 wins last night beating Nevada, despite depriving the Moby Arena crazies of a proper senior sendoff, which I thought was mismanaged by Eustachy. Come on Larr.

The A10, MVC, MWC, CUSA and WCC will be blogged and monitored because they're bigger than a Mid-Major but not as big as a Big 6 conference.

The Missouri Valley Conference championship game, affectionately referred to as Arch Madness saw the Creighton Bluejays, the one seed play the Wichita State Wheat Shockers two seed. Played at the Kiehl Center in St. Louis the place seemed to be rocking pregame. Brando/Raftery doing the game, even better. Wheat Shockers shut down McDermott in the 1st half but not the 2nd. The dude is alright. Even though the Bluejays went missing the final three minutes and I have NO clue why WSU left 2 timeouts in their pocket, played on to take a horrible 3 at the end of regulation, Creighton is the better team. I didn't want to see them win but am happy for them because, sigh, it is good for college basketball. Ya got the father/son dynamic, a few transfers and a legit national player of the year candidate in Doug McDermott. Also shoutout to Rutgers transfer Greg Echenique. Had a double double and got a raw deal at RU. Rosario(Florida) left too. Plus I know the Smith's, owners of MacMurphy's in Ridgewood love the kid and was happy to see him reach the NCAA's, something that you won't be doing at Rutgers anytime soon. The Wheat Shockers are funny. They play decent defense, have no real offensive go to guy even though Armstead went off for 28 but will make the tournament as an at-large. Tell you this much, it IS all matchups and "draws" but I don't wanna see the Wheat Shockers opening weekend. Raft shared with the audienece that while at LaSalle, he gave up 30something and 20something to Paul Silas. There ya go butters.

Harvard gets in again. Whop-dee-do. Good job by Amaker I guess??? I appreciate the Ivy for its tradition for not having a conferemce tournament. Only saw one game this year in the Ivy(Dartmouth at Harvard) and it was real tough. NBCsports network is simply horrible. Why doesn't the Ivy have its own channel already?

Tough loss for Mason Nation. Caddied for Coach Hewitt this past labor day and was rooting for him. Real tough loss for his bunch. I won't get into that mess.

Badgers beat Penn State at the buzzer. Take that Penn State.

Tomorrow there will be 5 conference champions crowned. Put a jersey on.

Atlantic Sun/Ohio Valley Championships

The 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship played between the Mercer Bears and the upstart Florida Gulf Coast Eagles featured an intresting player, team, and program. A-Sun conference player of the year Sherwood Brown was quiet in the 1st half but helped lead the Eagles soar to victory with 16pts and 11rebs on the road in Macon. Guy has talent, maybe a little too much showman but nevertheless he did make it count when the Eagles needed it most. I saw 2 airballs and a 10 second violation from the Eagles with no pressure from Mercer in a game that FGCU controlled. You feel bad for Mercer but they were hesitant most of the game. Not going to win like that. Crazy part is Florida Gulf Coast is in its second year of eligibility and is making their inaugural trip to the NCAA tournament. Perhaps nuttier is Coach Enfield's journey. This is a fantastic story and gets my juices going. Good luck to the Eagles.

The 2013 Ohio Valley Championship pitted the Belmont Bruins(last years ASun Champs) against the Murray State Racers(defending OVC Champs). Western Kentucky and Murray State might have the coolest logos. Anyways this was a game that I was rooting for Murray State because of the logo, Isaiah Cannan, and the fact that Belmont may just be America's "Cinderella". At the end of the game I found myself officially converted to a Belmont Bruin believer. Murray State had its chances and couldnt't script a lousier way to lose. Really couldn't. I watched their previous matchup on Feb.7th and thought that Murray State had an advantage athletically and in pure scoring. Didn't seem to matter last night. So, Belmont switches conferences and wins another conference title. Belmont, the new Butler, Gonzaga? Who knows but what a story.

 Chew on these facts:

The victory marked win No. 1000 for the Belmont program.

Belmont becomes the first program in the nation to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament six of the last eight years (Kansas and Memphis have opportunity to equal).

Kerron Johnson was named Tournament MVP for a second consecutive year (which, to me is insane considering the conference switch).

Belmont is 18-2 in conference tournament games since 2006, including eight straight victories.(great job).

In closing, I have to comment on some other basketball. How about Valpo? Not to mention the other semifinal. Horizon league lost Butler but doesnt't seem to matter for loss of excitment. Kudos to Alabama buzzer beater. Sick. And I DO know that it really is hard to rank teams especially the bottom 3rd but how about your trendy, well dressed, "fighting" ducks from Oregon. Way to "fight" this past weekend on the road. Can't stand Oregon right now.

Today will feature the Big South Championship and "Arch" Madness. Have a great day and enjoy your basketball.

PS-Shout out to my brother who got the opportunity of a lifetime to go to the deandome(again) to watch Duke/UNC. Shame it was a blowout.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Conference tournament time is upon us. Tomorrow the Atlantic Sun Conference and Ohio Valley Conference will crown champions. This is the best time of my year and the worst blog entry of all time. More to follow...