Saturday, March 31, 2007
It's a little late - there's about eight minutes left in the first half as I write this - but consider this an open thread for what could be an epic Georgetown-Ohio State battle (I'm taking the Oden and the Buckeyes) and a revenge match between UCLA and Florida (I've got the Gators, just because I'd like to see a college team actually repeat).
Leave your thoughts, predictions and concerns in the comments...I'll be in and out after the jump.
(Looking for a real, live, live-blog? The Big Lead is all over this.)
6:37 - Early foul trouble for both Oden and Hibbert. The difference? Hibbert has 8 of Georgetown's 14 points, Oden is scoreless thus far.
6:44 - 23-17 Buckeyes with 3:40 to play, thanks to a long three from Mike Conley Jr., who has nine.
6:45 - I like the fact that they changed the ending of the GM robot commercial. In doing away with the ridiculous "suicide" angle, they've actually made the end of the commercial more funny.
6:48 - Hustle points for Georgetown.
6:49 - Oden has only played three minutes so far? Wow.
6:50 - Pithy comments thus far, eh?
6:51 - We have a 27-23 ball game at the half, in favor of Ohio State. Things are still very much up in the air and could depend largely on the foul situation with regards to Oden and Hibbert. Other factors: can Conley continue to shoot well (5-of-6 from the field, 11 points) and will Jeff Green become more involved in the Hoyas offense?
9:25 - Oden and Hibbert both played well in the second half - Oden finished the game with 13 points and 9 rebounds, Hibbert had 19 and 6 - but Jeff Green never got on track. He reeled in 12 rebounds and shot 80% from the field while playing all 40 minutes, but only attempted five shots in tallying nine points. The Hoyas struggled from three point range, hitting 7 of 21 attempts, and were unsuccessful in taking the ball inside and drawing fouls, attempting only eight free throws overall. Ohio State wins 67-60 and Greg Oden is one game closer to adding "NCAA Champion" to his growing resume.
11:00 - It's official, we have a championship game: Florida vs. Ohio State, Monday night. Oden vs. Noah, an exceptional group of freshmen vs. a quartet of juniors who returned specifically for this reason, a coach who believes in the five-second rule vs. a coach who will soon have to decide between continuing to build his legacy or following the money and the prime job.
Florida 76, UCLA 66, in a game that wasn't really even that close.
11:04 - What the hell was Joakim Noah looking at during the post-game interview?
11:14 - My pick for the final? Florida over Ohio State, 67-63. It would be a nice story if Oden wins, but I've always been a sucker for mini-dynasties, so I'm hoping Florida takes it.
Ricky Williams has this NFL thing all figured out. Rather than allow himself to be worked to the point of breaking down, he has chosen to attack his career at a more leisurely pace. One year he plays, the next he “retires”. One year he plays, the next year he gets suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and misses the entire season. (If you’re keeping track, that’s twelve NFL games in three seasons – one quarter of the actual schedule.)
Now, in keeping with the cycle, Williams is making plans to return to the Miami Dolphins in 2007 as a backup running back. He has taken the initial steps with the league to be reinstated and is, according to his agent, Leigh Steinberg, ready to contribute:
“Ricky is in the best shape of his life…He’s passed all of his drug tests and he’s at a place where he’s ready to come back to the Dolphins.”
I’m gonna climb out on a limb and wish Ricky the best of luck this time around. We’re nearly the same age – he’s 30, I’m 27 – and I’d like to think that we have the same sort of nomadic, “what am I going to do with my life?” spirit. The only differences are that he has quite a bit more money at stake than I do and I’ve never turned to demon weed while trying to figure things out.
Which brings me to the real reason I decided to post on this topic. Can anyone guess the name of the California town that Ricky and his fiancée currently call home?
Grass Valley. You can’t make this stuff up.
Ricky Williams starting NFL reinstatement process (ESPN.com)
I saved this one for last because I'm like the rest of the nation - sick of hearing about the Gators. But really, I don't dislike the Gators as a team. It's pretty much Joakim Noah's antics that are wearing thin with me. Especially when he whines about the backlash. If he could keep the pelvic thrusting to a minimum and just play basketball, I wouldn't even mind him so much, because passionate players are what I love about college basketball.
Anyway, this team is full of great players, and most of them don't do anything untoward. So let's ignore my rampant bias and instead go for homer bias, by visiting the Gainesville Sun.
Now... maybe I'm an idiot, but why would Billy Donovan leave a national powerhouse he built with his own two foreheads in order to resurrect Kentucky? For some it would be an ego trip, but I'm assuming it would have to be two metric assloads of money that would lure BD away from the Gators. Nothing else makes sense to me.
Sadly, that's a lot of what the Sun is forced to write about in the run-up to a possible repeat championship:
Hubert Mizell: Pitino may be UF's Trump Card. Mr. Mizell is indulging in the canard that BD would not want to face his former mentor. Quote "Pitino now coaches at the University of Louisville, furious in-state rival of Big Blue. If Donovan signs to jump to Kentucky - no matter how much Billy and Rick might vow to one another to never become engaged in personal headbutting - it would unquestionably happen."
Pat Dooly says UK Circus Not Hard for Gators to Ignore. Well, not until you asked them about it, Pat.
And, operating on the bedrock principles of journalism, Pat knows you never turn down a good fart joke: Humphrey Silent, but Deadly.
And that's about it. Three articles about a team that might repeat as champs. And two of them are partially about the University of Kentucky. The Columbus Dispatch is diving for loose balls and taking charges, while the Sun trots back on defense and makes lazy passes.
This is why people start rooting for champs to lose, fellas.
Lest we forget that the women are playing a Final Four, too, I wanted to share this LZ Granderson article. LZ doesn't get much attention on Page 2, which I think is a blessing. He gets to write about topics we might not have thought about very hard otherwise.
Now, I'm not going to proselytize about women's basketball. I don't really enjoy watching it, either. However, I have immense respect for women who play basketball. They've dedicated themselves to a game that will most likely never earn them a dime. So it's not asking too much for us to give them respect, and, yes, love.
As LZ points out, nothing exposes how small a man can be like making fun of a big girl. Playing hoops is the only way for some of these women to find people who understand and accept them. And that makes Title IX OK in my book.
Best quote: "When me and my girls go to the club, we'll all wear high-heeled shoes and dress real cute, and if you're not man enough to approach me, then obviously you're not man enough to date me." - WNBA player Chantelle Anderson.
In the interests of full disclosure, I'll note that my wife can look me in the eye without putting heels on, so maybe LZ was preaching to the choir here. But here at AA, we try to do our part to promote respect for everyone. Except that schmuck Billy Packer.
See you next week, for more Press Buffet coverage.
I have been Extra P.
I've looked at the two biggest media markets in L.A. and D.C., so now it's time to turn to the lesser-known writers of the college towns. For Ohio State University, coverage is handled by the Columbus Dispatch.
The Dispatch went wild with coverage in the first couple of days after the Buckeyes clinched a Final Four trip, reeling off twice as many features as any of the other newspapers. Something tells me they're letting the BCS championship won by Florida over Ohio State stick in their craws a bit. Someone remind them they have to get by Georgetown, first, OK?
Rob Oller gets most of the Buckeye Basketball columns for the Dispatch.
His first filing, immediately after the win over Memphis, gave us the surprising news that OSU's most recent appearance in the Final Four never happened. "The Buckeyes are making their ninth trip to the Final Four and first since 1999, when they lost to Connecticut in a national semifinal. That appearance is not recognized by either the school or the NCAA because of penalties incurred during the Jim O'Brien era."
He also makes it sound like the Buckeye diaper dandies are bored by their success. "We just won our way to Atlanta? So what’s for dinner?"
Bob Hunter, on the other hand, feels they've done enough, so why not relax?
But Rob Comes back with "*F* that ish! We're beating Georgetown and THEN smacking some Gators' bitch up!"
So Bob decides to back off and write about David Lighty, for those of you who are tired of hearing about Oden and Conley. Quote: "'Versatile' is a nice way of saying we don't have a position for you."
Bonus: Mike Conley, Sr. is in no hurry for his son and Mr. Oden to jump to the NBA. If you read OMDQ's wonderful exploration of the educational paths being followed by Final Four athletes, you'll note that Conley has not picked a major but Oden has.
I think Oden wants to stay in school. Heck, he might even like learning! If you wonder why he is stone-faced all of the time, imagine the pressure he's feeling to go pro, when he probably just wants to go to class, drink keg beer, and sleep with coeds.
We've looked at local press coverage for UCLA already, now it's time to go to our nation's capital and examine the feature articles about the Georgetown Hoyas. The talent at the Washington Post is top-notch, with Michael Wilbon at the top of the heap, in my opinion. I am not so much a fan of Tony Kornheiser, either as a writer, or a football announcer. I just don't dig the Shecky Green act. Sally Jenkins has the year-round Hoyas beat, and does a nice job as well.
The Post requires a login for their online edition, so don't forget to use our AA login:
ID: email@example.com Password: freeharold
I'd also be remiss if I didn't point out that Ted at A Price Above Bip Roberts is a hee-yoooge Hoya fan (and an alum), and is writing about them all week in his blog. He also turned in an excellent feature on the unifying power college sports have on a diverse student body at College Rule Notebook.
But now we turn to the august halls and cubicles of the Washington Post, after the jump.
The Wash Post is not usually into warm and fluffy features, but their analysis is always good.
Camille Powell starts us off with an examination of the impact some non-star players have on the Hoyas' fortunes: Can They Cut It? Key stat: "Georgetown trailed 75-65 with seven minutes left in regulation, but from that point on, the Hoyas outscored the Tar Heels by a 31-9 margin -- and Green and Hibbert, the team's top two scorers, accounted for just seven of those points."
Michael Wilbon weighs in on the possibility that JT3 might be a better coach than his dad. His argument: If he is, it's because his dad paved the way for it to happen.
Are you one of those people who wonders why black columnists talk about race a lot? Because crap like this happened in their lifetimes, and those of your parents.
Quite frankly, the Post's coverage seems to be all about having famous parents, and how one deals with it. Sally Jenkins named her article after a movie with Daniel Day-Lewis. Quote: "You get the feeling, listening to Thompson III wax on about his tutelage under Pete Carril of Princeton, that there was a time when his father couldn't tell him much of anything."
The echoes of history are very strong in the Georgetown coverage, which is an interesting contrast to the UCLA coverage by the L.A. Times. While there is no direct link to John Wooden, Lew Alcindor, or Bill Walton on this UCLA team, those banners have to loom large.
In general, it's amazing how many famous dads will be at this Final Four. Mike Conley for Ohio State; Big John Thompson, Patrick Ewing, and Doc Rivers for Gtown, Yannick Noah, Tito Horford, and Sidney Green for the Gators, and Joe Shipp temporarily leaving USC football on the back burner and rooting for his son Josh to win a basketball championship at UCLA.
Lots of Daddy issues getting played out on the hardwood tonight.
If OMDQ is going to open up the confessional regarding his appreciation for Bill Simmmons, I can let my dirty little secret out, too.
I tune out sportscasters. During the Liveblogapocalypse, I had to remind myself to even note who was broadcasting the game. When AA left the door open for Channel Four team members to contribute more to the site, I knew I couldn't cover announcing any better than it is already being done by our fearless leader.
So I'll be looking at sports writing, which has, these days, become sort of the minor leagues for TV punditry anyway. I'll mercilessly root out cliches, expose hackery at every level, and even hand out kudos for good, original insight.
This week, I'll be focusing on the hometown columnists of the Final Four teams. For papers that need a login to read, I've provided a generic login that we can all use:
login ID: firstname.lastname@example.org password: freeharold
I'll get started after the jump.
We'll start our tour with a West Coast Bias (someone has to have one, right?) The L.A. Times is covering the UCLA Bruins, and the most common angle they're taking is "Bruins want Revenge on Gators". Hey, guys, you have to play another game after that one to win the championship:
Ben Howland says "Stop! Collaborate and Listen..." Best line: ""Sometimes you block out his voice and go on instinct," sophomore Josh Shipp said." Hope you enjoy wind sprints, Josh.
Gin N' Goat Cheese - Arron Afflalo grew up on a farm... in Compton. Best line: "We'd be doing squats up and down the road and horses would chase us."
The Final Four is waaay better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
Required reading for the Times staff: The Little Engine That Could.
History Suggests UCLA Loss
Bruins Could Be Gator Meat
Cali lives up to its reputation as a progressive state. Most of the Bruins' Final Four coverage comes from Diane Pucin and Helene Elliott.
Collecting the links is taking a while, so rather than make you wait for a long post about all four teams, I'm going to publish this one now, and put out three more posts the rest of the day to cover the rest of the teams.
This is something I’ve never seen before: a point-shaving scandal involving a major college football team.
It happens every so often in basketball (Wikipedia mentions a couple directly and talks around a few others – it’s actually a very disorganized section), but rarely, from what I can find and remember, on the gridiron. I suspect it has something to do with the large number of players on a team and the limited impact, positive or negative, that a single person can have on the outcome of a game.
Maybe Toledo Rockets backup running back Scooter McDougle Jr. likes a challenge, however, because he was charged in federal court Friday with “participating in a bribery scheme to influence sporting contests.” If convicted, he faces some serious jail time: up to five years in jail, plus a hefty $250,000 fine.
It will be interesting to see what happens with McDougle’s partner in this little project, a man known to his friends, family and the feds as “Gary”. While McDougle was the go-between, the link between unsavory characters and Toledo’s football and basketball teams, “Gary” appears to have been the mastermind and moneyman, at one point allegedly offering a football player $10,000 not to play in a game.
McDougle is pulling a Shoeless Joe Jackson with the proceedings, claiming that he knew about the scheme, accepted the car, phone and other gifts that came along with it, but “never changed the way he played to affect the outcome of games.” Normally, that would result in a big “Riiiiiiiiiight” from me, but Scooter just might be telling the truth here; he played in three games this season, carrying the ball eight times for 49 yards. Whether or not he missed the other nine games on Toledo’s schedule for legitimate reasons remains to be seen.
Toledo finished 2006 with a disappointing 5-7 record, including four straight losses after a 2-2 start. I had the bright idea to check the results against the point spread of each game to see if anything jumped out, but then remembered that I never have and never will understand how to read a point spread. If you’re interested in comparing, the link is below.
(Note: This might only interest me, but it’s five o’clock in the morning, I’m watching SportsCenter, and this is not the lead story. Apparently Kobe Bryant’s 53 points is more important than a potentially major college football scandal. It’s not the second story, either. Or the third. Basketball all the way to the first commercial...then college basketball...blah blah blah.)
Toledo player charged in point-shaving scheme (ESPN.com)
Toledo Rockets Team Page (Vegas Insider)
By this point, I honestly don’t care if Kobe Bryant’s recent scoring binge is good or bad for the Lakers as a team; all I know is that it’s a whole lot of fun opening up a news story and seeing how many points he dropped on a particular night.
Like tonight, for instance, when the headline “Kobe's 53 not enough in OT loss to Yao, Rockets” jumped off the screen. First registered thought? “Hot damn, he did it again. The man is a scoring machine.” Second registered thought? “Oh, the Lakers lost. Too bad.”
Interesting facts that I did not know: Kobe “is the only player in the last 40 years to average 40 points per game for an entire month” and his 19 games with 50 or more points rank third in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. He’s hit for fifty or better five times in the last seven games, including a stretch of four in a row at one point, leading the media to once again push the ever popular “Kobe vs. Michael” question.
My feelings on the subject are simple: Michael Jordan was a great basketball player whose reputation and influence was enhanced by the era in which he entered the league; if Bird and Magic started the process of “saving” the NBA, it was the arrival of Jordan that took it to the next level. Kobe Bryant is also great, of course, but has never made the leap to that level of transcendence. He has never been called upon to “save the NBA”, so to speak, and probably never will; that’s the responsibility of LeBron and Dwyane at this point.
You know what, though? There’s a good chance that someday, my kid will ask me who Kobe Bryant was, and I’ll have to tell him that he was one of the best players I ever saw.
Friday’s NBA scores are after the jump.
Philadelphia 88, Boston 82
Toronto 123, Washington 118 (OT)
Charlotte 97, Milwaukee 81
Detroit 110, New Jersey 105
Miami 92, Minnesota 77
Orlando 95, Indiana 87
San Antonio 102, Utah 93
Dallas 105, New York 103
Phoenix 125, Denver 108
Houston 107, LA Lakers 104 (OT)
LA Clippers 105, Sacramento 101
Seattle 120, Memphis 93
Despite the name and expressed mission statement of this site, I am under no obligation to write about announcing, awful or otherwise, on the weekends. Thanks to your esteemed editor, I can pretty much write about whatever I want. The NCAA tournament? Okay. High school sports? Could happen. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens? Hell yeah.
But seriously - when something that pretty much defines "awful announcing" falls into your lap, how do you just turn it away?
The following comes to you courtesy of The Postmen and The Feed, and features a gentleman having a rough day at work. There's a fine line between "awful" and "awesome", and Dan Moriarty is walking it.
I wanna say something. I’m gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don’t, send it right back.
I still like Bill Simmons.
In fact, he is one of my favorite writers, one of the few guys who makes me sit up and say, “Oh good, he wrote something new today” when a story with his byline pops into my Google Reader. Like it or not, I usually find that the story provides an interesting read – I might not necessarily agree with the premise or the conclusions, but it generally grabs my attention and holds it. (For the record, my current favorite writer: Dave Lozo over at Why Don’t We Get Drunk And Blog? Some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read.)
There has been plenty of fury directed at Simmons over the last couple of years, much of which stems from two occurrences: a decrease in the frequency of his writing and the hiding of his archived work behind ESPN.com’s dreaded Insider pay wall. Steps have been taken recently to remedy the first issue: since February 8, Simmons has authored “The Basketball Blog”, a supplement to his regular twice-weekly columns that serves as a way to directly comment on the sport in which he is most knowledgeable. It also means he is writing much more – up to four times per week during the month of March. Some of the posts have been very good, some very bad, but hey, it’s more Simmons.
Friday’s blog post showed that ESPN is willing to take steps toward satisfying Simmons readers in problem number two: the archives have been paroled and are available for everyone’s reading enjoyment, free of charge. No more Insider for Simmons.
More frequent writing…less good stuff behind the pay wall…if this keeps up, we might have to consider that ESPN is actually listening to public opinion. Perish the thought.
(The Big Lead recently wrote about the problems with ESPN.com in a post about the demotion of Editor-In-Chief John Papanek. In closing, they asked for suggestions on ways to "alter the .com". Out of 54 comments, more than 20 addressed Insider in some way. So yeah...maybe they're listening.)
Friday, March 30, 2007
Haven't had the opportunity to ruin your day with some musical links in awhile, so here we go.....
Your links are sponsored today by......Ghetto Cowboy from Mo Thugs (I'm going to skip the cheesy part where I add the word "link" into the lyrics. Just enjoy this masterpiece):
You betta count your money....onto the links.....
These Noah Photoshops are Amazing (Bruin Online)
Who Wants to Sex Hansbrough? (We Are The Postmen)
Chuck Klosterman is being pretentious...surpsrise! (Gawker)
Female Umpires? (Babes Love Baseball)
Can we please just get rid of the "underwear" stereotype? It's really not (nor has it ever been) funny. (FJM)
What Board Game would you choose if your life depended on it? (KSK....my choice is Mousetrap.)
Blog Show Number 2 Tonight. I'll have the video up later. (Mister Irrelevant)
I'm turning this show over to Extra P and OMDQ, but I'll be back with your Final Four in quotes (probably Sunday)....titled The "I Don't Like Sports That Much" Edition. See you then, and let's have Joe Noah dance us into the Final Four weekend.
HUUUUUGE UPDATE: I forgot to remind you that Mascot Madness on Animal Planet is this Sunday at 8pm. Go Go Baby Arm!!!
Meanwhile, Theismann on Thursday rejected an offer to be a college football analyst for ABC and ESPN.Hmm...interesting approach. I actually think Theismann would be perfect in a pregame role, or perhaps on Monday Night Countdown. Yes the show is terrible, but Joe could provide some balance. I think as long as he has some prep time to ready himself for what he's going to say he's fine. It's when he gets into the game.....gets flustered.....and starts saying things like, "The way to win football is to score touchdowns, and the Philadelphia Eagles are doing that."
"Joe feels he's an NFL guy and wants to stay focused on the NFL," said Theismann's agent, Sandy Montag.
Theismann, who has four years left on his contract with ESPN, probably will do some NFL work for ESPN Radio (which doesn't carry NFL games) and espn.com. Although Theismann could try to escape his contract to pursue NFL work at another network, Montag said that scenario hasn't been discussed.
Update: Great point by J from East Coast Bias in the comments...
I'm strangely disappointed. It is odd to see someone with so much (unearned?) pride as Thiesmann basically get shit-canned and then put into self-imposed exile.It really is odd. For someone who has been labeled egotistical for his whole career it's definitely an odd move. I don't know if he's banking on Jaws failing and that he can go back in the MNF booth or what?
Here's a tip Joe.....Why don't you do College Football for 2-3 years? When your contract runs out at ESPN.....you head back to the Pro game, and you INSTANTLY know more about every Rookie than any other analyst. Makes sense right? Probably too much sense for someone SO egotistical.
I don't know if you caught it but Wingo and Gottlieb got really heated when talking about Iowa basketball and some other things on the Dan Patrick Show Today (Trey was filling in for Dan). I don't even really know what they were arguing about.Well I found the link in the archives, and it is 10x more funny than I thought it would be....The debate starts at about 5 minutes in. They are talking about a handful of things like facilities at certain schools and Steve Alford leaving Iowa for New Mexico. But the real fun happens at about 8 minutes in when Gottlieb tries to call Iowa a Basketball School. The debate finally ends as Douglas gets p'wned by Wingo at the 8:35 mark.
If you have time....listen to the whole thing. They DO NOT seem to like each other one bit, and it's entertaining as hell.
"Good Lord it's like dealing with my wife talking to you!"- Trey Wingo
What did I tell you? I told you that I didn't think Billy Packer liked Basketball. Well Deadspin found the evidence....
"This may surprise you......"- BP, Actually no.....no it doesn't.
This is one of those things that just cracks me up. I stopped watching the N.I.T. after Frank Young hit what seemed like his 14th three on the night (there was an Office marathon...what do you want from me?!?!). Well apparently when WVU went to celebrate and don their Championship shirts....there was a tad bit of an error...
You don't see it? Look again. The company who created the shirt is 6th Man Sportswear, and they've found the error (Thank God!).
***PLEASE NOTE: In our rush to put up a graphic immediately after the closing buzzer, we inadvertently used in incorrect image. We apologize for the error. The correct Championship Tee Shirts will ship, not the "misspelled" shirt! Thank You!Umm...6th man....we need to have a talk. If you are putting up an apology about a misspelling......DON'T USE BAD GRAMMAR IN THE APOLOGY TOO!!!!! "We inadvertently used IN incorrect image."
You are not doing your credibility any favors. Here's a really apology:
Hey, we botched the spelling of the WVU N.I.T. Championship Shirt, but you're BUYING a WVU N.I.T. Championship Shirt....we're sorry for you.
Congratulations, West Virgina NIT Champions (Fanhouse)
Imagine my glee when I turn on the College Slam Dunk/3 Point Contest and our lovely muse Ms. Erin Andrew is on the case. A reader asked for some photos, so I had to oblige. Enjoy folks.
Umm....I'm not trying to start any rumors, but has EA had some surgery done lately? If you're picking up what I'm throwing down. Either that or she's preggers with a certain ball player's child.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
So here's are all of the scenarios I could pull out of the brackets. As I was scrolling through all of the brackets there were some very interesting Final Fours.
My two personal favs were Sooze from BLB having BC in the Final Four, and Laurie from Tulsa's Final of UNLV/Memphis. I would actually have paid to see that final. Here is your end game as I see it....I've probably made a ton of mistakes, so don't be surprised if there are errors.
Who? Mike Jones!- UCLA/OSU- OSU (106 points)
Sports Dad- FLA/GT- FLA (105)
Angry Pirate- FLA/OSU- OSU (103)
Bill Pullman University- FLA/GT- GT (98)
Draft King- FLA/GT- GT (98)
Tampa Apes- UCLA/GT- UCLA (97)
Amaechi's All-Stars- UCLA/GT- GT (88)
289- UCLA/OSU- UCLA (85)
As far as the prizes....I've decided against the results of the poll (thanks for voting though). What if the winner hates UNC....is he really going to want a Natrone Means Jersey? So it's winners choice here at AA. You can choose from any of the four jerseys, and all can pick an AA shirt if they want. Winner also gets a free post. Huzzah!
On a personal note....if Ohio State wins the Final Four game the Awful GF will not finish in last place. She would be ecstatic, so please root for her. (FYI- Also, if OSU wins your new Sports Writing Correspondent will finish in last. We'd all have a place to make fun of him every week in his post.)
You can now get your AA in a convenient 7-Day a week package!
I had two offers the past week from Channel 4 News team members to "do more" for the site, and I've decided to take them up on their offer(s).
The Press Buffet: I mentioned this last week, but Eric from Extrapolater is going to be running a weekly feature on the good and bad of the written word. Look for him in the tubes late afternoon on Friday/early Saturday.
The first installment is on the Schools of the Final Four, and how they're reacting to the trip to Atlanta. I can't wait.
AA The Weekend: In a move that completely copies Deadspin (imitation is the sincerest form of flatery)....I've added a "weekend editor". Brian from One More Dying Quail requested the position, and has the site all to himself on Saturday and Sunday.
B will do a much better job than your Alcoholic Host who is too hammered on boxed wine Saturday and Sunday to provide you with good/legible content.
So there you have it....join them both this weekend as we keep rocking in the Free World.
For those of you that thought FOX was possibly going to stick with Buck in the pregame show for good are going to be a tad upset. Joe Buck is headed back into the booth with partner Troy Aikman, and will not be returning as host of FOX's Pregame Show....
Buck will do only play-by-play next season, as the network will split the duties after incurring higher-than-expected costs for taking "Fox NFL Sunday'' on the road last year. It was conducted at the site of the game Buck was working.Oh well....a boy could dream that he was on his way out. Now we get Buck-Aikman for another 14 NFC East games next season.
Who's replacing him? Well it's pretty obvious, but.....
Curt Menefee, who filled in for Buck when he was broadcasting postseason baseball last October and also bridged the gap when Buck had to leave the pregame show set to prepare for the broadcast, will become the host and work from the network's studios in Los Angeles.So there you have it. Joe Buck is back with his boy Aikman, and Curt Menafee is the Host. All is good in the world (not really). The best part of the story is the little insight into the family lives of both Joe and Troy.
"I love doing games with him, I value his friendship, he's one of my best friends," Buck said. "Our families vacation together, we really enjoy one another and ... I would really hate myself for walking away from that. That was really the decision for me: Do I want to go out to LA every week and be part of the pregame show, or do I want to continue building with Troy to try to get to that level where the class in the history of network television football play-by-play booths is Madden and Summerall. That's what everybody is striving for, that takes decades."Oh that's good. Compare yourself to Madden and Summerall. Nope you're not conceited at all.....great comparison you ass. (P.S.- Is Buck wearing lipstick in that above picture.)
Buck Won't do Fox's Pregame Show (STLToday)
A couple people emailed me this Gus Johnson YouTube video showing highlights from the 2007 Tourney. Well I was going to embed the thing thinking a fan put it together, but the embedding is disabled. Well that can mean only one thing....CBS put it together.
I looked at the "director" and yep...that's where it came from. What's my point you ask?.....Why would CBS spend the time to put together this compilation? I think it's because they understand the press that Gus has gotten over the past three weeks, and they want to capitalize on it being linked everywhere. I mean it's a lock the SportsGuy links it. The Big Question is whether or not they'll continue to bury the guy, or give him the spot he deserves.
CBS...please, please, please pair Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery for a game just once next year. If not for the shear awesomeness, but how pissed off the X's and O's folks will get. Hell, send me a press release and I will pimp the hell out of the game. I promise that it won't fail....you have my guarantee that people will watch. I don't care if it's Sacred Heart v. Eastern Maryland.
Thanks to a link over at True Hoop a ton more people have voted on the Gus Poll. Here are the latest results:
The current approval rating sits at 84.3%, and has continued to rise after the recent influx of visitors the past few days. My age test on the other hand has not worked out very well. Considering 35 as "old" was probably the wrong age to start with.
I wonder what would happen if this poll was for Jim Nantz? Do you think he'd get the same support that our boy Gus got???
Watch the video again, and tell me he isn't having fun (and that you're not getting excited right along with him).
Gus Johnson: Rise and Fire- The Best of the 2007 Tourney (YouTube)
(Hat tip to Our Book of Scrap for sending me the YouTube first.)
UPDATE: Somehow...someone copied the exact same video and re-posted it, so check it out embeddedededed style. Via With Leather via SBTB.
Lots of Lebron talk these past few days, but I couldn't get past this story. It appears (at least to me) that Lebron is trying to bash Stephon Marbury's $15 shoes. Here's a little bit of the press war that's come to light in the past few days.
Lebron on the New York Knicks....
"I mean, come on," said LeBron James, the Cavaliers' star forward whose Nikes cost at least 10 times the price of Marbury's wallet-friendly Starburys. "This city deserves a playoff team. It doesn't make sense for them to have all that talent and not be able to make the playoffs."
Would Lebron endorse a product like Marbury's?
"No, I don't think so," James said. "Me being with Nike, we hold our standards high."
What do you have to say Stephon?
"I'd rather own than be owned."
Oh Snap! What else do you have to say???
Round 1 Winner.....Marbury.
Seriously though....Marbury is doing something pretty amazing with the $15 shoes, and it's pretty classless for Lebron to say some of those things. Doesn't matter if he's joking or not. I'm hoping for the Knicks to make the playoffs now and knock out the Cavs.
Marbury Gets the Roll (Fanhouse)
James Steps up the Shoe Wars (Newsday)
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I don't know who this Brian character is, but I'm pretty sure he was given a Sweet Sixteen Game over Gus Johnson.
I love this game. I freak out every year when it comes on because it's an All-Star game where the kids actually play basketball. I don't even know who the Announcers are, and I don't really care....I'm guessing Jay Bilas and Rob Stone.
You know what I care about? Timbaland is performing!!!!
“With Timbaland’s involvement in the McDonald’s All American Games, it pairs the best of musical entertainment with the best of high school basketball.” said Tara Hayes, McDonald's U.S. Communications.OJ Mayo and the possibility of a JTLake appearance? How could you pass that up?
Groundbreaking Artist Timbaland to perform at the 30th Annual..... (McDonald's)
ESPN baseball analyst Rick Sutcliffe has been with the network for eight years now and has yet to be called upon to do a Royals game.You know why else it's convenient? If you get hammered at the ballpark.....you could just walk or take a cab home.
That’s been unfortunate for Sutcliffe, who makes his home in Lee’s Summit.
“How great would it be just to be able to drive eight to 10 minutes to work just one time?” Sutcliffe said by phone.
Sutcliffe Would Like a Short Commute (KansasCity.com)
The N.I.T. Final Four Announcing Team of Ron Franklin, Bill Raftery, and Fran Frischilla.
I normally can't stand Fraschilla, but with those two guys he's perfect. They had two pretty good games to call last night, and you should check them out in the Final on Thursday if you get a chance.
In related March Madness news.....Billy Packer is at it yet AGAIN! Apparently he thinks that Reyshawn Terry of UNC is soft.......And Rey-Rey don't play that. Good thing UNC is out because Terry might have had some words with Packer.
(Side Note: Reyshawn Terry IS soft. He should be driving to the basket everytime he gets the ball. He would shoot 15 FTs a game if he did this, but he plays around the 3pt line.....and takes horrible shots)
(Side Note #2: I can't believe I just agreed with Billy Packer.)
(Side Note #3: Here's a shot from the stands during WVU's buzzer beater last night. Clemson/WVU is going to be a great final)
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I can understand an Awards Show, but Lawnmowers? I guess it's all about the Benjamins. You may remember back in late February when I posted this. Well, here's the end product....a Cub Cadet commercial.
It's kinda funny, but I see more here. I see the Global Lebron Takeover taking form.....remember when Michael Jordan sold batteries?
Update: Whoops....Lebron already sells batteries. The takeover is upon us!
Wait....before I tell you.....15?!?!?!?! Really??? There's been 15 of these Crapfests? Oh well....I guess it's a tad bit entertaining if Lance Armstrong makes Brokeback jokes and Will Ferrell pretends to be drunk. So who will join these fabulous previous hosts??????
2006: Lance Armstrong
2005: Matthew Perry
2004: Jamie Foxx
2003: Jamie Foxx
2002: Samuel L. Jackson
2001: Samuel L. Jackson
2000: Jimmy Smits
1999: Samuel L. Jackson
1998: Norm Macdonald
1997: Jeff Foxworthy
1996: Tony Danza
1995: John Goodman
1994: Dennis Miller
1993: Dennis Miller
Dane Cook? Nah, too "mainstream".....Morgan Freeman? Nah, too dignified.....
No your 2007 ESPY Awards Host is (drumroll.....and click read more to find out)
DOWN WITH THA KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LeBron James is going Hollywood this summer. The Cavaliers' All-Star will co-host this year's 15th annual ESPY Awards in Los Angeles with late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, the Associated Press learned on Tuesday.Oh wow. This either has Awesomeness or Trainwreck written all over it.
Kimmel has hosted the American Music Awards three times. He and James met a few years ago backstage at the ESPYs. "We shook hands and I said, 'Hello,' and he just kind of looked at me quizzically," Kimmel said. "He's very, very tall. I'm not sure everyone knows that about him."
Lebron James to Co-Host the ESPY Awards (Yahoo)
I was thinking to myself last night that while Jaworski is great for TV Shows and on Radio.....he might not work out as well as everyone thinks he will.
I've watched Jaws twice on AFL coverage this year, and while it was entertaining....it didn't really blow me away. Now I don't know if it's just because the AFL game is so awkward and different, or if he just doesn't have the experience. I guess what it boils down to.....I think they fired the wrong person.
Yes...Joe Theismann is terrible as an announcer. He is the quintessential "Captain Obvious", but I have a question for you.....Was there one time last year when you said, "Wow. Tony Kornheiser is really adding something to this broadcast." I personally can say that number was about 2. And both times he was ragging on Theismann. (Click Read more the rest of the post)
I'm assuming that the reason they chose Ronnie was because he's a company man and he gets along with everyone. He's been on PTI a TON of times, and always volunteers his services for ESPN Radio. While he and Theismann both know the sport, Jaws seems to have a better world view of Sports and is in the know on most every transaction and story.
(I guess what I'm doing here is hashing out in my head if this is going to work, and I think the answer is no. ) You have Tirico who is great at times, but boring during others...he's just average really. You add Jaws who's really only called a handful of NFL games. And voila....you have a pretty average team all-around with some great upside.
So here's the rub.....you add Kornheiser and everything is awkward again. Like last year when he would ask ridiculous Football questions like, "Joe, what's a silent count?", and get a smarmy non-response.
Well this upcoming year he'll say, "Jaws, what's a silent count?", and get this....
"Before an offense can snap the football on a football play, everyone on the line must first come to a set position. If at any time prior to the football being snapped an offensive player moves, a false start penalty may be called. For offensive linemen, who depend on the cadence from the quarterback to determine when they should go, being able to hear and concentrate keeps them from making false starts. The silent count can also play a huge role in slowing down a very aggressive defense. Sometimes, if a quarterback falls into a trend with his snap count, the defense may be able to get a jump on when the ball will be snapped. And for anyone who has played or knows anything about the offensive line, any type of advantage by a defensive player can result in busted play. So, in order to neutralize the aggressiveness on defense, the offense may go with a silent count. The part that makes the silent count effective is that it's hard for the defense to get a jump on the ball when they're waiting on the snap of the ball. But, having a silent count may also work against the offensive lineman. Most offensive linemen will tell you that knowing when the ball will be snapped allows for them to get a small advantage off the ball. But when the offense chooses to use a silent count, most times everyone will be watching for the movement of the football putting both the offense and the defensive line on an equal playing field."Is that really better? For some yes....I'd love all that info. But most will just bash Jaworski for being too "in depth" for the lay person. Here's the reason they gave Theismann for the firing....
“They gave me two reasons. One was, they wanted to make a change. The second was, in reviewing the tapes, when the conversation got back to me, I talked about football. I wasn’t given any indication that I was supposed to talk about anything else. I thought (football) is what we do. What disappoints me more than anything is if I wasn’t doing what they had hoped, I would have appreciated somebody (telling me)”Maybe that was Joe's problem. He was too "Billy Packer" for Monday Night Football. He cared too much about the X's and O's to joke around and rib Tony K. With the direction MNF was/is heading in.....Dancing with the Stars and the "Entertainment" aspect.....Joe stuck out like a sore thumb.
It's not what I, or any other true Football fan wants, but when you gain more viewers than have ever watched MNF before.....you're not going to change the formula.
This is why I think they've set Jaworski up to fail.
“MNF” viewers “want to be engaged with issues and trends around the league, where their team is going,” and Jaworski “is the person to put in there for that”- Norby Williamson, Vice President of Studio & Remote Production
Theimann Photo (Six Pack Speak)
Ron Jaworski Is Amused By Your Complete Lack Of Football Knowledge (Talking NFL)
More Thoughts on MNF and Jaws (East Coast Bias)
Theismann Out (War Cry)
Oh man this is good. You get one door closed on you and another opens up. So Joe is still contracted by ESPN, which makes it unlikely he'll go anywhere else. ESPN is not going to just release him into the free agent pool (which includes Jimmy the Greek and the Boom Goes the Dynamite Guy). No ESPN will plan to move him to College Football....
Theismann's agent, Sandy Montag, said he was convinced there would be interest in Theismann from other networks. But, Montag said, Theismann is under contract to ESPN and would have to be released from it to go elsewhere.And while I hate to do this (because I have no idea where he stole it from)....Neil Best adds...
A spokesman for NFL Network said all the announcers there are locked up, indicating there was no room to add Theismann. That could be a problem at other networks as well.
Theismann conceded the college football offer from ESPN is intriguing.
"I love college football," he said, "but not as much as I love the NFL."
Theismann, 57, still is under contract for four years, and ESPN will offer him another role. A network source said one possibility is Saturday night college games on ABC.So who you ask would he be with on Saturday night Football???
Brent.....Freaking......Musburger. Hallelujah!!! Please ESPN/ABC.....I beg you!!!
Theismann Miffed by Removal from MNF (LA Times)
Theismann Blindsided (Newsday)
P.S.- Neil Best finally decided to give credit to ProFootballTalk.com in that story. Good job Neil.....you're learning.
This really has nothing to do with anything, but I thought you'd all appreciate this "down to earth" Erin Andrews interview. She's talking to the extremely accessed CSTV guys, and she's giving off that "Girl Next Door" vibe you all love. Enjoy.
Hoops Odyssey: Erin Andrews Interview
As seen on The Big Lead.
Monday, March 26, 2007
This is a question posed to those lurkers on the site. You know who you are....the announcers and media that read everyday. I need your opinion, and don't worry....you can protect your identity through anonymous commenting.
Here's the scenario: In the Sweet Sixteen Open Thread I noted that Jay Bilas said this line....
"Jamaal Tatum.....THE GUTS OF A BURGLAR!!!"
Well in my travels through the Women's Tournament I came across this line from lead Play by Play man Mike Patrick.
The Question: Is that stealing, or is this a common phrase I've never heard? And if it is stealing, and was done to you how would you feel?
UPDATE: Okay.....so I guess it's not that big of a deal. If that phrase is more common than I thought....well that's different. It's a pretty cheesy line.
This is the opportunity you've been waiting for Anonymous Commenters, Lurkers, and Spencer Tillman. It's AA's television debut. I warn you though....I don't take myself as seriously as all of you do (For those of you who "get" the site I hope my shiny skin does not turn you off entirely).
Couple of Notes:
- Doing TV for anything is hard (even announcing), but Dan, Jamie, and I have had no schooling and do not get paid millions of dollars.
- It goes fast. Dan and Jamie had enough content for a 30 minute show. It turns out all of the "in the mirror coaching" gave me about 2 seconds of actual material.
- Always load YouTube videos before playing them.
- With all of the technical errors I didn't think it went that bad, and Jamie/Dan did a great job of making light of that fact.
- Yes, I am a bit overweight. When you blow out a knee during an NCAA Division I sporting event.....you don't really want to stay in shape the rest of your life (Who can guess which school and which sport?)
- Jamie and I did not get makeup done. Sub point- I should have gone tanning.
- The Comcast folks did not appear to like the use of the word "banging". I did not admit that it was myself who said the word, but they probably know by now.
- Jamie's dig on it being "Regional Television" had me rolling off camera. I looked around......no one else was laughing.
Special thanks to Washington Post Live, Dan, and Jamie for having me on. It was great, and I hope you all have the chance to go on one day.
One more quick note before you view the vids and start your bashing. Eric from Extrapolater came to me with an idea, and I've taken him up on it. Every Friday before the end of the day Extra P will bless us with his weekly summary of everything Sports Writing. As you know I've tried this before and failed, so he's taking over duties.
His posts will be titled "The Press Buffet" (his idea, and very funny if you know any sportswriters), and the first will be everything Final Four. So for those of you that stop by on the weekend begging for a post.....you'll find him first.
P.S.- I've already heard, "You have a face for Blogging as well". So try not to recycle that one.
UPDATE: A) Thanks for not bashing even though you have every right to do so. B) Thanks for the advice....I promise not to move my hands so much time.
Blog Show #1 A Colossal Failure (Mister Irrelevant)
Wow. (DC Sports Bog)
I refer you to the video of Jeff Green's Buzzer Beater against Vandy (Sorry for it not being embedded....CBS is full of Video Nazis....it's disabled).
Okay you watched it right? The whole world knows Jeff Green traveled right? When you switch your pivot foot entirely....it's a travel right? Clark and Seth thought so.....
Clark Kellogg: "Clearly he lifted his pivot foot before he put that ball in the air." (Check)
Seth Davis: "That right foot is his pivot. As soon as that comes up, it's a travel." (Check)
Kellogg said: "You see happy feet there. . . . Clearly a travel."
Hmmm....who could be the only one who thought differently???
Billy Packer: "I don't think it was a travel at all. It would have to be a very fine line there. I thought it was a great play for Green."
Jim Nantz: "What about Clark's point that the pivot foot came up?"
Packer: "I don't know that it did, from what I saw."
Come on! Will you get the Major School's D's out of your mouth long enough to watch a replay? I'm pretty sure he didn't even mention USC the other night during his obvious UNC fellating. It's time to ship him off to greener pastures CBS.
CBS' Packer Only Sees it One Way...His (Chicago Tribune)
With all of this Football and College Basketball talk there's been some funny baseball moments in the past week or so. I thought I'd throw a few up here and let you enjoy.
From Sons of Steve Garvey on LA Dodgers' Radio Announcer Rick Monday.....
-"Scoring is Loney, and cruising into second with a standup double is James Loney!"
-"So Hamulack gets into strikeout mold."
-"The gooze was nood for the Dodgers this afternoon..."
Umm what? I wish I lived in California....I might understand that....or not. FYI- Rick Monday was actually the baseball player who saved the burning flag back in 1976, so I'll give him a bit of a pass.
My personal favorite came from new FOX Analyst Mark Grace. From The Arizona Snakepit....
-Number of batters into the season before Mark Grace's first off-color remark: one. Daron Sutton asks him, "Do you speak Californian?". Grace's reply: "Si."
Careful Mark.....one of your predecessors was fired for the same exact thing.
All of these tips were passed along by the ultra rad Larry Brown Sports.
Not to pile on here, and go into overkill on the whole Gus Johnson thing, but did anyone stay awake during JB and Elmore's games this weekend? They made an 8 point Florida/Oregon game feel like shuffle board at my grandmother's retirement home. Here are a couple of notes.....
- From RUTS......"Len Elmore is awfully fond of the phrase "penetrate and kick". Seriously, in the two games I saw them do....I heard that probably 40 times. I understand that coming up with new terms is hard, but give it a shot Lenny.
- From Grimey.....By the way, I think about the possibility of Gus Johnson calling this game, and I cry on the inside. Tell me about it.
- From Grimey.....JB already tried to say that Butler's Eric Green was Sidney Green's kid (it's Taurean Green from Florida). Ugh.
- Calling a game with a voice devoid of any emotion should not be allowed ever. In the history of Announcers have the great ones ever not been excited at some point? (See: Marv Albert)
- Great post from Quick Slants on JB and Elmore slowing down the earth's rotation.
After one season as the lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” on ESPN, Joe Theismann will be dismissed and replaced by Ron Jaworski, the network is scheduled to announce today. Theismann is expected to be offered another job at the network.I really don't know how to act for some reason. While others took Tony K. to task last year....I yelled and ranted about Theeeesmann. I even asked for both of their heads at one point. But in the aftermath of this whole thing....I really have no emotions about it one way or another. Maybe I'm just upset that Jaws will be good, and have a repoire with Tony K.....thus making my weekly live-blogs no longer any fun. Oh well....I'll find a way around it.
You know what I have emotions about.....Neil Best. (Read my rant after the jump)....
What the hell is it with writers of major newspapers these days? FYI- As blogs it's our "mission" to beat you to any and all stories, but what happens when we do? You f'ing steal stuff for your own.
Well ProFootball Talk had the story sometime Saturday....what does Best do? He reports the exact same thing at 5:56 on Sunday. No mention of where he got the story at all. Well this was an email to PFT.....
"You need to rip Neil Best for stealing your sh-t. I mean, he just completely ripped you off. . . . You need to pull out a little of that old school PFT whoop ass. Maybe a PFT pic featuring Newsday and Neil Best. I'm serious. This is just wrong stealing this. Neil had NO F--KING CLUE until you broke it."If you were paying attention on the First Round Grades Post.....Neil has done this before. He mentioned in an article that Gus Johnson shouldn't have been yelling that he should have mentioned the intentional foul on Oden, and Xavier not fouling on the final shot. Well I wasn't going to bring it up, but this is from my post on Monday March 19th....
From the last post: Anonymous said...Gus Johnson is the WORST--Doesn't question if the Oden's foul was intentional, doesn't even bring up that Xavier should foul before the 3-point shot attempt. He's just a screamer like Dickie V with lots of sound and fury and signifying nothing. He belongs at the high school level.When did Best's article run? March 20th. I don't want to start a war with Newsday because I like the paper. My first press came from them during the whole Song Girl ordeal. But seriously.....twice in two weeks? Just quote your sources and we're fine. Hell....mine was an anonymous commenter.....I would have quoted him if I could.
So Neil......see how I quoted both the NY Times AND ProFootball Talk up top? Learn the HTML code.....it's not hard you hack.
Update: ESPN has officially declared it to be true.....Jaworski Replacing Theismann (ESPN.com)
Sunday, March 25, 2007
It's official.....Joe Theismann will be replaced on Monday Night Football. The rumor started at ProFootballTalk.com, and has since been confirmed.
Early word on Theismann's replacement is that it will be AFL Analyst Ron Jaworski. Not a bad choice in the least and there will certainly be more news to come Monday.
Special thanks to WBRS Sports and If I Ran... for putting the bug in my ear.
Here are the other accounts.....
Theismann To Be Replaced (USA Today)
But Who Will Exchange Witty Banter with Jim Belushi? (Deadspin)
We Have Nothing To Announce (Fanhouse)
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Don't ask me why I was watching this game, but this girl's shot cracked me up. I thought I'd share....
"Bizarre...Bizzare release point"- Dorris Burke
Friday, March 23, 2007
Run Up The Score here. Hopefully, those of you in the D.C. / Baltimore area caught AA on WaPo Live tonight. He's probably stuck in traffic, or celebrating his appearance over drinks with Jamie and Dan. In his absence, I bequeath to you the gift of Open Thread.
Your early games are Florida vs. Butler (currently a 14-6 lead for the little guys!) and Georgetown vs. Vanderbilt, followed by North Carolina vs. Southern Cal and Oregon vs. UNLV. Your running commentary, predictions, bracket eulogies, and critiques of The Blog Show are humbly requested after the jump.
It's not a real live-blog...just some periodic updates. Head down to the comments for real-time commentary.
Halftime couldn't come fast enough for Butler, who finished the half on the short end of a 13-0 Florida run. That's Florida for you -- alternatively sleepwalking and dominating. I'm not so sure they get away with this routine against any of the remaining elite teams, but who knows, maybe they don't come out half-assed against a team like Ohio State, Kansas, or North Carolina.
Meanwhile, over in beautiful East Rutherford, Georgetown has apparently awakened after falling behind Vandy by 13. Vandy looks to be taking some pretty bad shots at this point, while Georgetown looks energized, yet methodical. Yet, just as I type that sentence, Vandy hits a wide open three after two extra passes. They follow that with a beautiful back door cut (not as painful as it sounds, I'm sure) for a layup and an eight point lead. Georgetown turns it over after Lil' Ewing slips underneath the basket, and Vandy has the ball with 6.4 seconds left in the half. Nice run by Georgetown to make up for fifteen minutes of garage basketball, but they threw it away in the last minute, and are down 32-24 at half.
While this doesn't come close to making up for the lack of upsets in the first two rounds, I don't remember a Sweet Sixteen ever being quite this good. Two one-point games and a three-point game last night (even the UCLA / Pitt game was relatively close) and two very close games tonight. Florida leads by 3 with 5:00 left, and Georgetown leads by 2 with 10:00 remaining. Good stuff.
Florida 65, Butler 57 (Recap Box Score)
Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65 (Box Score)
Two more tremendous games, as this NCAA tournament continues the rare trend of getting better as it progresses. Can we keep the trend going with USC vs. UNC and Oregon vs. UNLV?
Sure looks like it. Oregon has a four point lead on UNLV (37-33, halftime) and the North Carolina / USC game is an end-to-end clusterfrick filled with tremendous athletes and some scorching USC shooting (53%) -- they lead 42-33 with 0.8 seconds left in the half. Everyone on the court looks really, really fast except for Tyler Hansbrough, who will probably receive a lovely bouquet of roses at halftime from an obviously smitten Billy Packer.
Rut-roh, it's another double-digit comeback by a #1 seed. North Carolina has practically erased an early second half 16 point USC lead. It's a one point game with 7:18 remaining. USC looks disjointed and discouraged, and to be honest, they've given it away just as much as UNC has taken it away. Two quick fast break buckets, and the Tar Heels now lead by 3.
Oregon 76, UNLV 72 (Box Score)
North Carolina 74, Southern California 64 (Box Score)
Total choke job by Tim Floyd and USC, as they completely fell apart once UNC started showing signs of life midway through the second half. Nice fight by UNLV in the other game, but Oregon holds on for the victory.
Thanks to everybody who stopped by tonight. I'm sure this thread will be a pleasant surprise to
Hollywood Awful Announcing tomorrow morning.
Short day today since I'm skipping out early to do the Comcast/WaPo Live thing this evening. It's tonight starting at 5pm and running through the Blog Show, which is from 6-630pm.
I should be on for about 20 seconds after Jamie and Dan talk about some YouTube clips. No seriously....about 5 minutes near the end of an action packed show. I've seen the rundown and it should be great.
So Join us on Comcast, or at WashingtonPost.com for the webcast. See you on the screen.
Clark Kellogg! I hope he doesn't know who I am!!!
Blog Show Debuts Tonight (Mister Irrelevant)