A night of revelation

February 5, 2009
We love Dejected photos of the Dorks from Durham

One of us loves dejected photos of the Dorks from Durham, the other weeps

Monday, March 16th, 2009 will not be any normal Monday.  On that particular morning, after you tap into that free coffee that tastes like muddy water, you will collect your 5 brackets from the printer.  Instead of analyzing financial reports, government projects, or whatever garbage occupies the morning hours of your day, there will be brackets to browse.  This year we recommend taking a different approach, by just freakin’ guessing.

There’s been talk about a pattern of incongruities (can you say that?) throughout this season, with team’s not being able to “find” themselves.  Last night’s slate of games pretty much sold us on that school of thought. Syracuse started all the action with a response victory that had Syracuse fan’s thinking of Eric Devendorf as a Catholic Alter Boy.  Jeff Diveronica of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle referred to the ‘Cuse as a “boxer on the ropes.” Syracuse’s beat down of the Mountaineers helped Jim Boeheim and the Orange out of the corner they were backed into, losing three of their last four.

Wake Forest, everyone’s favorite big game team got waxed on the road by the ‘Canes, 79 -52.  The end result: The ‘Canes snap a three game losing streak and sending Wake to their second straight loss, both to an unranked club.  Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald called the ‘Canes victory, “the perfect remedy.” That’s now three ACC road losses for the Demon Deacons.  Will Wake’s fate be a loss to a 14 seed?

Halftime Score: Michigan State 42, Minnesota 16…Game Recap done.  The #19 Golden Gophers came into The House that Izzo Built after building a 18-3 record on the year.  However, the Spartans defended Sparta from warm ups on, jumping out to an impressive halftime lead.  Durrell Summers dropped in 21 on only 10 shots compared to the entire Minnesota starting lineup’s 19 on 27 shots.  Myron Medcalf of the Minneapolis Star called the Gophers debacle “an identity crisis.” He’s probably right, but let’s not forget the Spartans lost both games to Penn State this year.

Two weeks ago Clemson was downed by the very same Wake Forest team that was previously mentioned.  One week ago Wake eeked out a squeaker over the then #1 Duke Blue Devils.  We saw a completely different Tigers team when Duke rolled in last night.   The swarming press of the Tigers made Greg Paulus, Brian Soubek and the rest of the Dookies cough it up more than a pediatrician conducting back to school physical exams.  Clemson was able to pour it on, handing the Blue Devils their worst loss since 1990, a 27 point mauling 74-47.  Clemson did not let the lead drop below 20 points over the final 9 minutes.  Ron Green Jr. of the Charlotte Observer reports that even Clemson Coach, Oliver Perry was surprised by margin of their victory. Clemson might be a National Contender after all.

Notre Dame came into the season as one of the Big East favorites and a Top 10 ranking.  How the mighty have fallen, losing to Cincinnati on Monday night.  Notre Dame drops its SIXTH straight loss and Mike Brey still think “The beat goes on baby,” reports Joe Kay of the Chicago Tribune. Notre Dame is now on the outside of the bubble looking in at teams like Providence, Cincinnati and WVU.

The one certainty from tonight: Heather Cox should not be in HD.

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Next time, face guard!

January 28, 2009

James Johnson gives hope to young men looking to make it out of Cheyenne, Wyoming

James Johnson gives hope to young men looking to make it out of Cheyenne

It always blows our mind when we see a player or team disregard fundamentals, emit a brain-fart, then subsequently lose based on that breakdown.

Tonight Gerald Henderson–after hitting very Kobe-like mid range jumper that tied the game in the final seconds–forgot about the Cardinal rule of defense: stay BETWEEN your man and the ball.  This forgetfulness allowed Demon Deacons forward James Johnson to slip to the basket for an easy lay-in, giving Wake Forest a 70-68 win with just 0.8 seconds remaining.

After the game the Blue Devils seemed to play the “well…what ha..what happened was…” card and said they are taught to switch on all-screens, and weren’t sure what went wrong. That’s probably the right approach, and it will be interesting to see how Coach K covers up this mishap.  Bottom line, they lost because they effed up.

What’s overlooked in all this is that Wake Forest looked like the better team tonight, frankly, playing great defense that resulted in 10 steals and nine blocks. They may have let a 13 point lead slip away, but they were clearly superior down low, and hindered the Blue Devils from behind the arc (where they were 4 of 22), something we know they are highly reliant on.

So Duke’s view from the top will last just as long as the team able to dethrone them, and have now lost in five of their last six visits to Winston-Salem.

Let’s welcome UCONN to the top spot…for now.


Maryland got overwhelmed

January 25, 2009

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Has anyone checked in on Gary Williams this morning? Is he breathing OK?  Duke destroys their [former] rival 85-44, at one point holding a 43 point lead (as displayed in the line graph above).

How much do you think the Terrapins miss even their mediocre and forgotten players– like I don’t know maybe a Laron Profit or even a Mike Jones (Back then the Terrapins didn’t want me, now they’re in complete dismay and...ok sorry I’ll stop). Anyway, those guys probably seem like pretty damn good basketball players right now.

We loved this match-up at the beginning of this decade, but not anymore. The Terps are now 2-3 in the ACC, and are starting to generate talk that this program is headed south for the forseeable future.


ACC tops the Big East

January 17, 2009
Yeah, their togetherness pisses us off too

Yeah, their togetherness pisses us off too

And so it begins…the debate for best conference.  All along the east coast the debate for strongest conference has been fairly hostile among ACC supporters and Big East supporters.  Before the season almost 100% of college basketball fans believed the Big East was the beast of the east but with team’s like Wake Forest, Clemson, Duke and UNC posting up in the Top 10 at the mid season mark, the argument gets a little hazy. 

Saturday afternoon a lot of arguments got a little more heated when Georgetown, coming off an impressive home victory over Syracuse earlier that week, traveled into the Cameron Crazy Kingdom to take on the Dukies.  Earlier in the week, even Coach K got into the mix, proclaiming that the ACC is better than the Big East.  Well, his team responded, defeating the G’town Hoyas 76-67.  The game remained tight until Duke went on an 11-0 run to finish the final 4:38 of the first half.  Duke seemed to have it in cruise control for the remainder of the game.  The debate will finally be settled in March when the dust settles and one by one teams are eliminated.


The NBA is awesome? Baby?

January 7, 2009

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In an intelligent move by ESPN to drum up some interest, we tuned into the unique NCAA/NBA double header and were generally entertained at the dichotomy between the two levels of play and respective announcing crews involved.

At Cameron Indoor, Jeff Van Gundy was astounded that two basketball coaches could tell his players to run an offense for an entire game, Mike Tirico seemed perplexed that a campus could be so bereft of the quintessential college coed, and Mark Jackson had nothing, absolutely nothing, to say. 

Davidson got off to a slow start, and didn’t seem too interested in actually keeping this game close until about seven minutes left in the game, getting down by 27 at one point.  Too late however, as Duke gets another convincing victory.

Davidson Duke Basketball

Sixteen turnovers killed the Wildcats, seven coming in the first eight minutes of the game. Steph Curry smugly walked around chewing on his mouthpiece, but his impact was not extraordinary.  That said, he still managed to “get his,” finishing with 29 points on 10 of 22 shooting.  While the ESPN producers pushed the crew to discuss, ad nauseam, Curry’s prospects in the NBA, it’s clear Van Gundy can’t stand college basketball players.  He lauded the atmosphere and Duke as a program, but clearly wouldn’t draft one of these guys if given the chance…to coach again.

For Duke they’re supposed to win games like this, but it was their fifth consecutve convincing victory — winning by an average of 27.4 points. As Caucasian-laden as they are, the Blue Devils clearly belong in the Final Four equation.

The varsity game featured Dwayne Wade in a uniform, and Carmelo Anthony in a sharp red suede sport coat.  Vitale was naturally lively, and seems to do a much better job keeping up on professional basketball then Van Gundy and Jackson do on the interscholastic game.  Score and story line don’t interest us too much here, as we eventually moved on to round two of Gonzaga – Tennessee.


Duke is a top 10 team, Xavier is not

December 20, 2008

 

A no-doubter for Henderson & Co.

A no-doubter for Henderson & Co.

It was a chance to grab some national attention, silence the haters, and force Dick Vitale to see beyond the BCS schools.  But that wishful thinking never materialized, as Xavier was pummled from start to finish by the Dukies in East Rutherford, 

It was a made-for-tv match-up–with Duke making one of their regular trips to the Tri-state in order to appease their area alumni–but ended up being one of the most disapointing top 10 games in recent memory.  Duke flawlessly capitalized on the Musketeers initial timid and clueless play, jumping out to an 18-1 lead. 

John Scheyer got his, in the form of 23 points on 5-7 from deep, and Gerald Henderson added 19.  Conversly, Xavier’s most noteworthy stat:  nine first-half field goals coupled with 10 turnovers.  Yikes.

The Meadowlands is clearly a comfortable place for Coach K and his players.  Let’s not forget his last December game here, in 2005 when an upbeat Texas left bruised and battered by the Blue Devils.

There will be speculation, however, that Xavier suffered from a post-finals week hangover, but that’s more of a lame excuse. Frankly, Duke is Duke and Xavier is still just an elite Atlantic 10 team still adjusting their eyes to the bright lights of network television.


Quickie Recap 12.6: No Percy no problem, Big 10 earns some respect

December 7, 2008

Rulers of the South

Rulers of the South

Oh what a dreary day to be a ‘Bama fan; a waste of a resurgent season, in our opinion. Granted they exceeded expectations, but this is where college football becomes irritating, We’re glad we have no deeply rooted allegiances and can instead crush Bud heavies every Saturday, all while watching 118 programs slowly widdle away like a slug doused with salt.

‘Bama can now likely look forward to a Sugar Bowl match-up with non-BCS children, Utah or Bosie State. Boring.<a name=”5476386886″></a>

In the other quasi-semifinal, Bob Stoops continues to proves he’s the biggest bully in college football by putting up 60+ points for the fifth consecutive game. It was over before it started and to us, Chase Daniels looked disinterested.

So it’s most likely going to be the Sooners vs. Gators for in the BCS Championship Game. Start your fact checking now Mr. Thom Brennaman.

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In roundball, the Big 10 may have gained some respect with two upset victories…

Meeeechigan’s Deshawn Sims had his shining moment, leading all with 28 in a win over the Dukies, who played like absolute sissies. Coach K’s boys didn’t get to the free throw line even once in the first half, and shot 2-18 behind the new arc. The Wolverines now have two signature wins (UCLA) to hang their hat on come March.

No football left in South Bend? No problem! There’s still reason to be pissed off…as the Buckeyes take down the Irish in Indy. Luke Harangody is back and looking healthy, but the story here is Ohio State’s Evan Turner. He also led all scorers with 28, and has basically emegred as the team’s go-to-guy.

One final game of note, attention-seeking Marquette protects their house, with a win over identity-seeking Wisconsin. Both of these teams have talent but right now aren’t really getting any chatter, especially from us.