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.


Let’s stop talking about Georgetown and Notre Dame

January 31, 2009
Gut check time

Gut check time

Two preseason top 15 teams will finally exit the rankings this week, as Georgetown and Notre Dame are struggling so badly their conference affiliation can’t even save them as they continue to take on water.

Today, the Irish were taken care of by Pittsburgh, and Georgetown kept it close but never really made an effort to win, falling to Marquette.  Both teams shouldn’t have been expected to win these games, but now that the two are 3-6 in conference play, it’s time to shed light on their faulty play.

First for Georgetown, they have the road victory over UCONN to hang their hat on, but nothing more. Since then they are 0-5 on the road and, on the whole, have no other impressive wins.  If you want to counter with the “toughest schedule in the nation card,” then we’re going to say they lead the country in missed opportunities.  Plus, they also lost to Tennessee earlier this season.  At the time it was no big deal but as we’ve stated before–the Volunteers lack of fundamentals simply piss us off.

In South Bend, it starts with Luke and ends with Harangody.  The reigning Big East player of the year accounts for 32 percent of the Irish’s offense.  Sounds cool, but it’s never a winning formula for a team with aspirations of making a deep tournament run. His frontcourt running mate, Zach Hillesland ranks among the least talented, regular starters for any Division I college basketball team according to us. Yes, that’s harsh and not based around statistics, but it’s our interpretation of the situation, and proof of how short a rotation Mike Brey is working with.

So is it time to write these teams off?  They currently sit 10th and 11th, (dis)respectfully in the conference, and it’s starting to be less conceivable that many teams will qualify for the field of 64.


‘Cuse goes Run and Gun on ND

January 17, 2009
Looking much more comfortable in the Dome

Looking much more comfortable in the Dome


Over 40 of Syracuse’s 93 points came on the fast break to get a much needed rebound win over Notre Dame, 93-74.  ‘Cuse didn’t only score on the fast break but they also exposed Luke Harangody’s sub-par defensive abilities as Syracuse’s front line scored 48 points on 21-31 from the floor.  Six players scored in double figures for the Orange, who may give the #1 Pittsburgh Panthers a scare on Monday in Pitt.  Johnny Flynn hit big shots and dished out 9 assists.   David Lefko draws attention to the debate on Johnny Flynn, but we know Johnny Flynn is clearly the engine on this team and they will go as far as Flynn can carry them.


Quickie Recap 1.12: Big Monday Premieres

January 13, 2009
Forgetting the object of OT, score to win

Forgetting the object of OT, score to win

The premiere of ESPN’s Big Monday brought us a Big East match up that was intense for all 40 minutes…of regulation.  Someone forgot to tell Mike Brey’s Notre Dame team that an OT loss, still counts as a loss.  Louisville defeated Notre Dame 87-73, Notre Dame only scored 2 points in 5 minutes of overtime. 

Both teams did look sharp in regulation, combining for 19 three pointers.  The game was a back and forth battle all throughout regulation, but with 3:23 to go both teams remained locked at 71.  And then Louisville went off.  Terrence Williams fell two assists shy of a triple-double, tallying 24 points, 16 rebounds and 8 dimes.  Frosh, Samardo Samuels looked like he is starting to get the Big East style of play, being able to post 18 points, 6 boards and 4 “return to sender” blocks.  Notre Dame did get 28 points and 13 rebounds out of Luke Harangody, however it all came in the first 34 minutes of play.  Saturday Louisville will host #1 Pittsburgh and Notre Dame will travel to “The Dome” to take on #8 Syracuse.

The Red River Shootout was the nightcap from Norman, Oklahoma.  The Oklahoma Sooners took control early in the Big 12 rivalry and never looked back at the Longhorns of Texas.  The closest the game ever was, was during the first 19 seconds of the game before Oklahoma made it 2-0.  There were no lead changes and no ties throughout the game.  Oklahoma was led by none other than Blake Griffin, who got his 14th double-double, racking up 20 points and 10 rebounds.  Frosh PG Willie Warren added 17 points.  Had Texas standout AJ Abrams not gone 3-15 from beyond the arc, the story of the game could have drastically changed, but we will have to wait until February 21st when Oklahoma travels to Austin.


Quickie Recap 1.3: Take nothing for granted in the Big East, Wake still perfect

January 4, 2009
A lot of love in Pittsburgh, maybe too much

A lot of love in Pittsburgh, maybe too much

Georgetown received a giant reality check on Saturday afternoon, or maybe it was just the reality of how vicious the Big East will be this year.  After going to Storrs and knocking off the #2 Huskies earlier in the week, they were rewarded with a match-up against the undefeated and energized Pittsburgh Panthers.  The Hoyas kept it close in the first half, with DeJuan Summers putting the team on his back.  However, the depth and toughness of the Panthers was too much for the Hoyas.  Tied at 40 with just under 15 minutes to go in the game, Pittsburgh outscored the Hoyas (turned puppies) 30 – 14 down the stretch in order to prevail 70 – 54.  DeJuan Blair may only be 6’7″ but he may be the second coming of “The Round Mound of Rebound.”  Blair finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds and the Panthers out rebounded the Hoyas 46-21.  Levance Fields dished out 8 assists with zero turnovers, improving his assist to turnover ratio to 4.8 : 1.  The 16 point loss was the Hoya’s worst home loss since 2004.

Moving up I-95 a few hundred miles, there is a little something to jam about today in Jamaica, New York.  The St. John’s Red Storm created a lot of havoc for a sharp shooting Notre Dame team, in order to get a major upset 71 – 65.  Notre Dame came into Saturday’s game averaging slightly under 10 three balls a game.  The Fightin’ Irish were not able to weather the Red Storm’s tenacious defense that only allowed the Irish to hit on 4 of their 17 three point attempts.  DJ Kennedy aided on the offensive end with 20 points, he also collected 10 boards.  Luke Harangody still “got his” in the form of 28 points and 14 rebounds.  This is a bad loss for the Irish, who can’t afford to drop ones to the bottom feeders of the brutal Big East.

Wake Forest took their unblemished record to the Land of Latter Day Saints and were able to keep it perfect in downing the BYU Cougars 94 – 87.  The loss ended a 53 game home win streak for the Cougars.  In an ESPN recap it was stated, “Wake Forest had to rally from an eight-point deficit in the second half and an entire game of deafening taunts and chants from the home fans, who were loud and rowdy throughout the night.” Wrap your head around that.  Mormons = sober, we’re awfully confused.  Jeff Teague led the Demon Deacons with 30 points and James Johnson helped with 22 points and 15 rebounds.  BYU was led by Jimmer Fredette’s 23 points and 9 rebounds, a majority coming from his first half performance.  We’re guessing BYU will not be inviting anymore Demon Deacons into their church gym anytime soon.  Wake now has a full week off before inviting the #1 UNC Tar Heels down Tobacco Road.


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.


Quickie Recap 12.2: Jack McClinton has to slap Buckeye?

December 3, 2008

In a game that showed how reliant Miami is on their standout Jack McClinton, the Hurricanes blew a 14 point lead after “Apples” slapped Ohio State’s Anthony Crater about midway through the first half.  Great audition tape for the Real World (see Jack’s Profile from Siena days).  Ohio State, who really isn’t that good, dictated the pace of the game and chipped away at the Hurricanes, turned tropical depression, to get the mild upset W.  

Steve Lavin made the whole situation sound cool and unfortunately Nick missed it, instead electing to watch the beginning of the end of Will Ferrell’s movie career.  Anyways we’ll wait to see if McClinton is reprimanded further, aside from the predictable bashing he’ll hear from ACC crowds.

In the night cap, Purdue students slept in the cold for two nights just to see their boys play 40 minutes of fairly uninspired basketball, losing 76- 60.  The Boilermakers are clearly talented but are going to have to learn, on-the-fly, how to win big games after missed opportunities against Oklahoma and now the Dukies.  The Blue Devils got 20 each out of Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer.

Notre Dame has announced that Mike Brey will be the offensive coordinator for the football team…well no, but it’s not a terrible The Irish basketball team rained triples all over South Dakota. They were without the services of Luke Harangody (pneumonia), but that had zero bearing on the outcome.  Ryan Ayers and Kyle McAlareny were the key culprits responsible for the team’s 37 three point attempts.  Usually that’s enough to make a coach cringe, but when you hit a school record 19, apparently you just keep telling ’em to fire away.


Quickie Recap 11.26: UNC is pretty, pretty good

November 27, 2008
So much for that injury, Hansborough looked pretty sharp out in Maui

So much for that injury, Hansborough looked sharp out in Maui

We’re guessing that you didn’t spend last night sitting in a well lit living room, sipping on a couple beverages complimented by some sort of vegetable spread, tending to your dog, and watching the few decent games on in solitude. No, we’re guessing you had to keep monitoring the televisions on mute while navigating through cramped bars full of high school “has beens” and “never weres.” Biggest bar night of the year but it’s always fun though, we think.

While you were catching up, partaking in “stop and chats” that you wish never had to happen, UNC made the Irish look like Charlie Weis was coaching them. Tyler Hansborough put up 34 points, while after the game Roy Williams said his star center is playing at only about 75 percent. Ass holes.

Staying in Maui, Indiana did manage a two point victory over host Chaminade in the seventh place game. Phew! You can credit Tom Crean’s staff on that victory. Great advance scouting guys!

In NYC, Blake Griffin, the second best player in the country, led his Sooners over a good UAB team, Ya granted the Blazers blew the lead at the end, but they have talent in a lame Conference USA. We’re not sure if this news made it back to Norman, as attention is strictly on the Bedlam game. Nonetheless, they’ll face Purdue in the NIT Season Tip-Off finals.

If you’re eyes are hurting from the awful football the NFL is giving to us on this sacred day, we noticed that ESPN2 has all the first round games of the Old Spice Classic. Feel free to switch over.

Now if you’ll excuse us we need to go watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade back to bed.

Enjoy Turkey.


Quickie Recap 11.25: Heels to meet Irish in Maui final, ‘Cuse knocks off another

November 26, 2008

Tuesday night certainly provided some flair. Probably not enough for that dickhead restaurant manager in Office Space, but flair nonetheless

Jonny Flynn was the catalyst in a 14 point comeback win for Syracuse. The Orange knocked off their second ranked opponent (#23 Kansas, #18 Florida) in two days. Flynn hit a clutch 3 pointer to tie it up with 6 seconds to go and then the Orange brought the hammer down in OT.

Interesting to see these guys celebrate after the win. A little much? Let’s not forget it is the “O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.” We’re just saying kids, act like you’ve been there before.

We’re pretty sure we know what UNC is bringing to the Thanksgiving dinner Luau, Duck Soup. The most entertaining part of the UNC – Oregon game was the last 3 minutes when UNC unloaded the bench, let’s be honest…we all wanted to see guys like this get some quality PT.

UNC will meet Notre Dame after the Irish slipped by Texas in an entertaining game. The first thing that sticks out here…AJ Abrams was 5-17 in 3pt attempts, Kyle McAlarney was 5-9. Looks like AJ is still learning to play point guard…sometimes you gotta pass first buddy.

Anyone have the over/under on the amount of times they mention the
Hansbrough Brothers or the Zeller Brothers playing for opposite teams? We guessing 16, and that’s 15 times too many.

In other news, Stephen Curry was held scoreless in 32 minutes of play!!! Loyola still loses by 30. A valiant effort Greyhounds.

What to Watch Wednesday night: #8 Notre Dame vs. #1 UNC, 10pm ESPN


Quickie (football) Recap 11.23: Penn St wins Big10, Big12 South gets confusing

November 23, 2008
Sam Bradford now has a strong case to win the Heisman

Sam Bradford now has a strong case for the Heisman

The Oklahoma Sooners created a three way tie for the Big 12 South with their impressive 65-21 beat down of #2 Texas Tech on Saturday night in Norman, Oklahoma. So now that Texas beat Oklahoma, Texas Tech beat Texas and Oklahoma beat Texas Tech, the water gets a little murky. Do not forget that there is still one week left in the season and all three teams don’t play “roll-overs.”

Texas will host Texas A&M in their annual Thanksgiving weekend game.

Oklahoma travels to hostile Stillwater for the Bedlam Game.

Texas Tech gets the mediocre Baylor Bears.

Everyone seems to be looking past Chase Daniels (one of Preseason favorites for Heisman) and his Tigers from Missouri, who await whichever team floats to the top of the Big 12 South. Nothing is a given.

In the Big 10, Penn State rolls on Michigan State, 49-18 in State College. Everyone gets a rose!!! When do we get rid of that? We think someone killed that whole Sports Illustrated Cover pic. With the win the Nittany Lions assured themselves a trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, with a possible rematch against Oregon State and NOT Southern California; Oregon State traveled to Penn State on September 6th, 45-14 Nittany lions. If Oregon State takes care of business next week at home vs. the #24 Oregon Ducks, then they are in the Rose Bowl and USC will be in another BCS game (thank goodness, we don’t know if we can stand another Big 10 vs USC game in Pasadena for the Trojan Invitational).

I (Matt) officially am done talking about Notre Dame, I’ll quietly hang to every snap of the football in which they are involved but you will no longer need to listen to me…until they show me something (at USC next week, wouldn’t that be nice?)


Obligatory Preseason Top 10. #s 10-6

November 12, 2008

OK it’s just about that time. Baseball is finito, ESPN is in full on “NFL ALL DAY EVERYDAY UNTIL IT HURTS!!!” mode, and it’s getting effing cold in the Northeast. That can only mean one thing…National Novel Writing Month college basketball is about to finally tip-off. We’re not that into the whole preseason prediction crap–we’ll leave that to the talking heads. But even so we must post something. So we will stick to a quick top ten, as we finally get this blog rolling.

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#10 OKLAHOMA SOONERS

Blake Griffin does a pretty mean David Tyree

Blake Griffin does a pretty mean David Tyree

When Sophomore Blake Griffin announced in April that he was giving up his Lottery Pick status, millions of dollars and stripper groupies to return to trifling Norman, Oklahoma, you better believe coach Jeff Capel was pleased. Chances are however, the rest of Sooner Country said, “cool” and resumed their insatiable anticipation for the upcoming spring football game.

It’s pretty simple with this team: As (Blake) Griffin goes, so go the Sooners. He’s a preseason All-American, which is well deserved. We should note that his older brother Taylor is on this team, but serves as a bench reserve and doesn’t garner any attention from the NBA.

In addition to BLAKE GRIFFIN, there’s a few other guys to keep an eye on. Tony Crocker will have to continue his 3-point prowess-as he shot over 40 percent from 3 last season. He will look to spot up with passes from freshman Willie Warren, a Top 25 recruit making the transition to point guard.

OU will participate in the NIT Season Tip Off, with potential noteworthy match-ups against Davidson and Purdue. Other than that it’s a pretty easy non-conference schedule, although we’re full of glee for that December 10th match-up against the Maine Black Bears. WHOOOO!!!

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#9 NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

I mean, they sure don't not look alike

I mean, they sure don't not look alike.

GODY!!! OK we just wanted to say that once. The Irish look good this year, and return Big East Player of the year Luke Harangody. That red head can play.

The Irish are set up for a very entertaining season, with one of their best teams on paper and toughest schedules in recent memory. They will get lei’d out in Hawaii and participate in the Maui Invitational, with potential match-ups against Texas and UNC.

We’re expecting a 30 win season from this team, but keep this stretch of games in mind…from January 12th to February 12th their schedule is as follows: @ Louisville, @ Syracuse, UCONN, Marquette, @ Pitt, @ Cincinnati, @ UCLA, and home to Louisville… Good Luck Leprechaun.

In addition to luck and Harangody, the Irish will always be in games with Kyle McAlarney stroking it from deep—he shot 44 percent from 3 last season. They also have Tory Jackson, the “Tito” to McAlarney’s “Michael,” as he led the Big East in assists last year. That reference probably resonated with our fathers, but none of our other readers.

There will be depth issues as the bench lacks a real sparkplug who can score, but a good, top-heavy team here that will certainly be battled-tested come March.

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#8 UCLA BRUINS

It all falls on Darren Collison now, as UCLA is sans Kevin Love

It falls on Darren Collison's shoulders, as UCLA is sans Kevin Love

If college basketball powerhouse programs were like little girls, they would all be whispering into each other’s ears talking about how UCLA has been to three straight final fours, but won NO NATIONAL TITLES!!! HAHAHA!

So this year, as The Buffalo Bills look to reach their fourth straight Super Bowl UCLA looks to reach the Final Four for the fourth consecutive season, Ben Howland will have to find a way to maximize effort. The Bruins return All-American Darren Collison and have an explosive freshman in Jrue Holiday. But with the losses of Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and that really handsome boy Lorenzo Mata-Real, depth will certainly be an issue. If you don’t believe us, James Keefe is expected to start at power forward—over the past two years, he’s only managed 1.9 points per game.

Yes, the Pac-10 will be down this year so UCLA will still be the class of the conference. But getting to Detroit will be tough, as well as keeping those little girls from laughing.

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#7 PURDUE BOILERMAKERS

A Final Four appearance could make Matt Painter national coach of the year

A Final Four appearance could make Matt Painter national coach of the year

If you’re looking for a trendy pick to follow this season jump on the Boilermaker bandwagon, a team that’s got a ton of energy and depth.

All five starters return, and seven of their top eight scorers, to a team bounced by Xavier in the 2nd round of the 2008 tournament. We saw these guys in person last year, and were very impressed with their backcourt—something that’s imperative to success in college basketball.

Coach Matt Painter has supplanted ESPN weirdo Steve Lavin, and New Mexico Head Coach Steve Alford as the “Coolest Guy In College Basketball With Slicked Back Hair.” Although few other competitors really come to mind.

Anyways, getting back to that backcourt, they have guards a plenty and a point guard by committee comprised of E’Twaun Moore (all around stud), Keaton Grant (voted by teammates last year as team MVP), and Chris Kramer (reigning Big 10 defensive player of the year).

There’s also Robbie Hummel. A 6’ 8” guy who can shoot lights out, even though he looks like a 3rd grader shooting with both hands.

Yes there’s a lot of talent here and a lot of guys who can handle the ball, making them a team you don’t want to press. However, the Boilermakers will need to do better on the boards this season. They virtually broke even in rebounding margin, so that will have to be improved if they want to close out games. If they can gel and figure out each other’s roles, there could be great success! in West Lafayette.

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#6 PITTSBURGH PANTHERS

These kids are good at watching basketball, not playing

These kids are good at watching basketball, not playing

We’re not descendants of Nostradamus, but we’re nearly certain that despite Pitt’s high level of talent, they will win at least 20 games, reach the Big East Tournament final, then struggle in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve accomplished the first two feats seven times this decade but have never even played in a regional final. They’ve got the make-up to finally break down that wall this season but some players will have to take on, and perform well, in larger roles. The backcourt now falls on the shoulders of Levance Fields. He is a typical, tough Panthers point guard plucked from the NY/NJ area. Now he will have to run the show with Ronald Ramon no longer around.

Dejaun Blair will be an absolute horse down low. He’s a rebounding machine that loves attention and loves to compete.
Expect him and Tyrell Biggs to take lesser opponents lunch money throughout the season.

The bulk of the scoring will come from Sam Young, a versatile senior who is the 2nd highest returning scorer in the conference. Pittsburgh will be fun to watch, probably even more then their intra-city professional counterparts Steelers and Penguins. I purposely didn’t include the Pirates because they’re more like semi-pro, but even that is being generous.