Sunday, March 30, 2008

March Madness: Day Eight

Memphis 85 Texas 67, any questions? The Memphis Tigers are in the Final Four and no one is playing better. Two days after running Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans out of the gym, Memphis followed up with an even more resounding victory over the second seeded Texas Longhorns. Led by super-freshman Derrick Rose, Memphis answered all critics by going a combined 30 of 36 at the free throw line. More importantly their tough defense shut down Texas guard D.J. Augustin, who some consider the best guard in the country, forcing Augustin to go 4 of 18 from the floor. Memphis' performance against Texas can be described in three words, bigger, stronger, faster. Junior guard, Chris Douglas-Roberts is 6'7 and freshman guard Derrick Rose is 6'3, and they play like it smothering opponents from the tip to the finish. On Friday night the Memphis Tigers were up THIRTY, yes THIRTY points against Michigan State at the half, yesterday afternoon their 11 point lead was pushed to 18 by the end of the contest. John Calipari has these kids playing the underdog card which has led to not one but two blow out victories after they reached the field of 16, no team has looked stronger. Next up for CDR & Derrick Rose, the UCLA tandem of Darren Collison & Russell Westbrook.

By now you know the dream season of Davidson has ended at the hands of Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks. For everyone outside of Davidson, North Carolina we didn't expect them to put up the fight they did against what most of us consider the strongest team in the nation, but they did. Credit has to be given to the Kansas defense which fought through screens and made sure Curry had a hand in his face every time he touched the ball, the last play of the game was a prime example. Curry was forced into passing the ball off and Davidson couldn't keep their slipper on. On a day where we expected Kansas to show us why they could beat North Carolina next week, nothing could be further from that. If Kansas plans to win a national championship this year they will need much more than 16 points and 12 rebounds COMBINED from their front court of Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur.

So the field is set and for the first time in the tournament all (4) #1's have advanced to the Final Four in what could potentially be the greatest three games this weekend has ever seen. Allow me to do a little re-seeding if you will:

Memphis (1)
Carolina (2)
Kansas (3)
UCLA (4) Play somebody

Sorry Bruins, so that last comment was a bit of a cheap shot because they beat my tournament sleeper. In all honesty has UCLA beaten anyone that we should really be impressed by? Xavier is a good quality team with senior leadership but I'm not sure that win justifies their games against Mississippi Valley State, Texas A&M (6Th in the Big 12, 25-11), and near loss to Western Kentucky. I'm making you four, so surprise me.

Kansas may be in the same category as UCLA, wins against Davidson, Villanova, UNLV, and Portland State aren't exactly numbing. Consider that UNLV, an eight seed, is the highest seed they beat and the only seed lower than 10. Even still Bill Self hasn't lost a game since February 23rd and has the most physically imposing team still alive in the tournament.

Carolina is finally leaving the state of North Carolina to play in a tournament game and it is the National Semifinal game. Without the hoards of Carolina fans wearing their Carolina blue and yelling at the refs it will be interesting to see them play a Kansas team whose bigger front court and comparable back court could bring some big problems their way. The Tar Heel win over Louisville validated them in some way and I think it could propel this teams momentum all the way to San Antonio.

Memphis, who SHOULD have been awarded the #1 seed overall in the entire tournament, arrives in San Antonio with a chip on their shoulder and playing better than anyone. They played in the only region where chalk held up and a 1 & 2 met in the regional final, that was after they crushed Michigan State 92-74. Defeating Mississippi State (2nd in the SEC), Michigan State (27-9, beat Texas) and finally Texas (31-7, second in the Big 12) would validate Memphis' tournament run. Not to mention, because I've done it 12,000 times already, their tough non conference schedule. Lastly, Shawn Taggert, the 6'10" sophomore forward who came off the bench for 18 minutes scored 12 points, hit his free throws, and MOST IMPORTANTLY USED HIS 5 FOULS. If your going to come off the bench, use your fouls and make the other team work for their points, one of the most underrated things in basketball. Memphis was looked over as the overall #1, even though they came within a jump shot away from having an undefeated regular season, they were placed in what was considered the toughest region and if they made it to the Elite 8, they'd play Texas in TEXAS, and what did they do? Smash opponents. BRING ON THE HEELS!

March Madness: Day 7

Could chalk advance? I wanted Louisville to topple Carolina, and as you know I wanted Xavier to shock UCLA. Neither of those things happened, now 2 of the 4 #1 seeds have already punched their ticket to the Final Four, could this be the year all four #1 seeds advance? The question I ask myself after Day 7 of tournament play is this, have I drastically underestimated the top ranked tournament teams?

In LynchyRightNow fashion: NO

I said that Xavier was a sleeper and they were. To make it to the Elite 8 is still a great success for a team from the Atlantic 10 conference. UCLA was just a better team than the Musketeers , the 76-57 drumming of Xavier proved that. The Bruins shot better than 53% from the floor while Drew Lavender and company shot a mere 36%. Story of the day belonged to the back court duo of Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook, who scored a combined 36 points which included being 4 of 6 from behind the arc. After they played Western Kentucky to reach the Elite 8, I said that they would need a better effort from Collison to beat the Musketeers and they got it. Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins are off to their 3rd Final Four in 3 years, that my friends is impressive.

I may have slightly allowed my hatred for Carolina blue to distract me from the truth . The Tar Heels are real good. I don't care for Roy Williams or the officiating of the Atlantic Coast Conference, furthermore I don't understand why they are awarded 4 games in the tournament before they leave their home state. All that said, the Tar Heels are real good. Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals were taking lessons on how to shoot free throws from John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers before the game, resulted in 9 of 16 from the line, the Tar Heels were 18 of 21. David Padgett had 8 rebounds, Hansbrough countered with 13. When the Cardinals pushed back, the Heels held them off, when the Cardinals had momentum, the Heels held them off. The entire second half went back and fourth like this until time ran out. For the first time since the beginning of February, I'll show some respect to Tyler Hansbrough, now I waon't call him "Psycho T" but I will call him a quality Division 1 college basketball player. Hansbrough's 28 points and 13 boards dominated Louisville all night long and left Pitino with a couple hairs out of place on his slick quaf. When Carolina rolls into San Antonio they are looking tougher than any other team based on what they've put up, and they'll have to be if Davidson can't beat Kansas because Kansas is the 1B of this Tourney.

Next UP: Memphis and Kansas look to make history . . .

Saturday, March 29, 2008

March Madness: Stephen Curry Day

Is there really anything else to talk about? The 10th seeded Davidson Wildcats have shocked the tournament knocking off tourney darlings Gonzaga, the Big East regular season champion Georgetown Hoyas, and last night the Big 10 regular season champs, the Wisconsin Badgers. By now you have already heard the name Stephen Curry and why wouldn't you? Curry has scored 30+ points in each of Davidson's three games but it isn't just Curry. Last night while methodically picking apart Wisconsins defense setting 2 and 3 screens each trip down the court to get shots for Curry, guard Jason Richards (13 assists) and forward Andrew Lovedale roughed up the Badgers. Over the next two days we are going to see clip after clip of the Cinderella run of Geroge Mason in 2006, well my friends Davidson is not George Mason. Davidson is the real deal and they expect to be there, just ask Head Coach Bob McKillop who after Davidson's 73-56 win against Wisconsin said "that's Steph, and I expect that of him." Coach McKillop you may be right, but the rest of America didn't see this coming, we are all impressed.

I know I said that there wasn't much else to talk about, thats because there wasn't:

Memphis rolled up Michigan State, with a 50-20 lead before the half Coach Cal was urging his players to push the ball up the floor, you think Memphis isn't playing with a giant chip on their shoulder?

Kansas looked like the best team in the country after finishing off Jay Wright and Villanova. With only eight schools remaining in the field, Villanova was the last of the Big East teams with a shot before Kansas just proved to be to strong, to good, and to big for Nova'.

Texas, playing a home game, didn't care about two of a kind Brook and Robin Lopez, with an 82-62 victory over the Cardinal. Augustin and the final #2 seed left in the tourney toyed with Stanford in the second half, and cruised to an early win.


Friday, March 28, 2008

The Madness Returns: Day Cinco

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were tough but I managed to survive. The three days leading up to the fifth day of the tournament are some of the worst days of the sporting year, luckily the MLB kicked off its season opener (pause) in TOKYO. However tough it was, it was well worth the wait. Pitino rolls, Carolina embarrases the boys from the apple state, UCLA survives . . . AGAIN, and of course Xavier battles West Virginia and I'm left with this:

I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU and did I say I TOLD YOU? The Xavier Musketeers are in the elite 8 and your go-to for the tourney called it. On March 4th, I told all of you that Xavier was the sleeper to watch out for and for the 1st time I was proven to be pretty accurate. I didn't talk about Drake, I didn't talk about So. Cal, and I certaintly didn't talk about PITTSBURGH (sorry Coach Knight), I told all of you that Drew Lavender and Stanley Burrell were leading a strong senior class back to the promise land, where they should have been LAST YEAR. So what they almost choked it away by walking the ball up the court with 14 ticks left on the clock, game over, Xavier advances. Will any of you be surprised if they knock of UCLA tommorow? If you have been watching the tournament, you won't be. The Musketeers have beaten Georgia, Purdue, and West Virginia on their road to the Elite 8. I would hardly consider UCLA's victories against Western Kentucky, Mississippi Valley State, and Texas A&M the same competition. BRING ON THE BRUINS, VALIDATE LYNCHYRIGHTNOW.COM a little bit more, please and thank you.

(I'll even throw in that their win at Amherst against UMass in the regular season is a notch on their belt. Considering what Massachusetts has done at the Carrier Dome and in the NIT this season, your welcome Roche.)

Now to the second game of the night, Carolina at home against Washington State. CBS played all of about 5 minutes after the tip, that's all you need to know. Roy Williams still thinks playing in Carolina isn't an advantage, in the words of Pitino . . . . "head to Freedom Hall, if that's the way you feel."

Orange jacket was left in the closet, and so was Bruce Pearl's shot at a Final Four. Louisville ran Tennessee out of the gym, and with authority. Carolina hasn't faced a Coach like Rick Pitino and hasn't faced a team who plays defense like Louisville. FIVE guys in double digits and holding senior future first round pick Chris Lofton to 3 of 15 from the field in last night's sweet 16 contest. Outrebounding Tennessee 42 to 24 and hitting 77% of their free throws is a good way to prove the Big East is still alive and present in the tournament. Watch out Roy, Ricky's got something to show the country.

Finally, once again UCLA finishes off another lamb, barely. To all the pundents out there who thought that Memphis was the most likely to get dispatched of first, you may be right but has any other #1 seed looked shakier than UCLA? Unable to put away Western Kentucky and Texas A&M until the final moments of their last two games, Kevin Love may be the only thing that has looked good. Time to wake up Bruins, Darren Collison is going to have to do better than 4 points and 1 assist if UCLA is going to reach the Final Four. The same UCLA team that was down 18 against Davidson at Pauley could see itself in the same position, but with no way out this time if Xavier plays like they did against West Virginia.

Next Up: Stephen Curry makes is bid at Wisconsin, Memphis and Kansas look to survive another day . . .

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Madness: Day 4

Duke and Georgetown are not in the Sweet 16, Western Kentucky and Davidson are in. The Memphis Tigers still can't shoot free throws and the Tar Heels scored 100+ in their second straight game. Rick Pitino and Louisville looked real good in their destroying of sixth seeded Oklahoma, 78-48. Other top seeds, UCLA and Tennessee survived while Kansas and Wisconsin coasted to second round victories. All in all, the field of sixteen is going to be more exciting than it has been in years.

As I wrote on Saturday morning, and I assume I'll write it again, Stephen Curry is a BALLER. First he came out drilling Gonzaga for 40 points on Friday afternoon, then he followed that performance with a 30 point thrashing of the second seeded Georgetown Hoyas. During the regular season Curry and his Davidson squad played at Pauley Pavilion against the Bruins of UCLA and only lost by 12 after holding an 18 point lead at one point. They welcomed Duke and UNC to their place and in both games held their own before posting 6 and 4 point losses respectively. Curry went for 20 against Duke, 24 against Carolina, and while cold still scored 15 against UCLA. How shocked are we that they upset Georgetown and Gonzaga? I picked Wisconsin to advance to the round of 8 in two different brackets and still I'll be cheering for Stephen Curry. Tournament MVP?

Despite what Coach Calipari wants his team to believe, free throw shooting is as important as defense in college basketball. One would think, after a three point victory in the second round of tournament play it is only going to get more difficult for Memphis to navigate through, and it does, enter TOM IZZO AND Michigan State. With three games being decided by five points or less on Sunday afternoon it has never been more evident that free throws do in fact MATTER. The Memphis Shaquille O'Neals were 15 of 32 from the charity stripe on Sunday and Coach Cal's response was "we hit 15 free throws and they hit 14, so we were better at the free throw line tonight than them." Errrr, Mississippi State was 14 for 20 and somehow he believes that 70% from the line is worse than 46%, is it any wonder they hate him in Amherst? If Memphis wants to make it to the Final Four the road is going through Texas, where they could eventually end up against the Longhorns in the Longhorn State. With thousands of screaming Hook 'em Horns fans on their back, the free throws don't get any easier.

If you had more than 1 two seed getting to the Final Four, your in trouble. Georgetown and Duke have already been sent home and Tennessee is next. Bruce Pearl and crew may have survived Butler but Pitino is in full blown Tournament mode. With Tennessee set to take on Louisville for the right to play in the Elite 8, they could be running directly into a buzz saw. After beating Boise State in the first round Louisville quickly took Oklahoma to the wood shed. With senior David Padgett scoring just 8 points and 4 boards in 21 minutes the Cardinals were still able to score 78 points and hold the Sooners to under 50 points. The Cardinals have lost just three games since January 23rd, each of the three was by less than 7 points, including an overtime thriller against Pittsburgh in the Big East Tournament. No team has scored more than 68 points in regulation against Pitino's defense in the last five games, the #13 ranked nationally Louisville Cardinals may be the last hope of the Big East due to their highly dissappointing showing in the Tournament.

While chalk help up in the East Region, expect things to get interesting next weekend. GOD I LOVE THIS SH*T.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

March Madness: Day 3

Pittsburgh, Marquette, Notre Dame, and UConn are all heading home after arriving at the tournament with half of their BIG EAST conference in the big dance. West Virginia and Bob Huggins however have knocked off the (2)Dukies and punched their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen. Finally, UCLA survived the nightcap with a 21 point performance from junior guard, Darren Collison. Did I mention how much I love tourney time?

As good as the Big East was this year, only West Virginia survived the Saturday before Easter. It is about time we show some respect for Tom Izzo and the Spartans, the team which scheduled Texas and UCLA on their non-conference schedule has just dispatched of the Pitt, and is eyeing an upset of Memphis in the round of 16. Notre Dame was handled by Washington St. and what else was going to happen when Irish forward, Luke Harangody was a pathetic 3 of 17 from the field and four of his 10 points were from the charity stripe. Unfortunately Marquette was unable to hold of Stanford. Jerel McNeal's 30 point effort, including his back-2-back three pointers in overtime wasn't enough to topple the Lopez twins who combined for 48 points. Brook Lopez, who put in 28 points before his 2 point leaner to win the game with 1.5 left on the clock was nothing short of dominating. The 7-foot junior was 10-20 from the floor and in overtime scored 8 consecutive points, proved to be to big for the Golden Eagles. A conference, The Big East, which was poised to possibly put as many as 7 teams in the Sweet 16 after round 1, may have to settle with just 4. Next up, Villanova, Louisville, and Georgetown.

Down goes Duke, down goes Duke . . errrr should I really have been surprised? My question isn't how the Mountaineers defeated Duke yesterday afternoon, my question is how I selected Duke to reach the sweet 16 in one bracket, and elite 8 in another. If 3-pointers fall, they win, if they don't they lose. I should have seen this coming and not let the slight ACC bias blind me, I admit though. Only 5 for 22 from the arc the Blue Devils weren't able to beat the Bob Huggins coached West Virginia team, who was a preseason ranked 10 in the Big East and finished 5th. Guard Joe Mazzulla picked a great time to come off the bench and score 13 along with adding 8 assists. The big surprise may not be Duke losing, but may in fact be that Huggins, now back home, is having a huge impact on college basketball once again. Duke is now officially off my list of teams that I like to go deep into the tournament, they don't have the size it takes to make a deep tournament run, sorry Coach K.

The PAC-10 has quietly placed 3 teams into the 16 and 3 teams in great position as well. Washington State, UCLA, and Stanford all claimed second round victories, and are looking good doing so. Washington State is looking at the winner of North Carolina/Arkansas, UCLA is looking at the winner of Western Kentucky/San Diego, and Stanford will take on the winner of Miami/Texas, at least one of those three is heading to the elite 8, and my upset is Stanford to beat Texas for their ticket. I think we may have overlooked the PAC-10 who is very strong at the top.

First Game: Siena v. Nova (noon) Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness: Day 2

Interested in upsets? Satisfied. The first day of the 2008 NCAA college basketball tournament was bit of a snooze, admit it were all a little let down by Belmont. Day 2 however, started and finished with a BANG! Davidson's Stephen Curry answered the call and delivered with authority, Jim Calhoun was sent packing before his suitcases were even empty and my man crush Jay Wright avoided costing his Villanova Wildcats a chance at the round of 32, surviving an epic battle with Clemson. Did I mention that Sunday afternoon will include the likes of Western Kentucky & Siena? On Monday morning the NCAA tourney will include either San Diego or Western Kentucky in the Sweet 16, didn't see that one coming.

My MVP of the day goes to Davidson sophomore guard, Stephen Curry. After drilling his 8Th three ball of the day with 1:04 remaining on the clock Gonzaga was all but finished by Curry. The most recent player to score 40+ points in an NCAA Tournament game since Cuse' guard, Gerry Mac, Curry was unstoppable. We were all introduced to Curry during last years tourney because of his former NBA sharp shooter dad, Dell Curry, but there is alot more to the story of Stephen. Playing his high school ball in the state of North Carolina, the Tar Heel & Blue Devil backyard, Curry was overlooked by the ACC powerhouses and choose the road to Davidson. I'm sure Coach K wouldn't mind having Curry's 40-point performance against Belmont Thursday night. Dispatching of tournament regular Gonzaga is quite an accomplishment for the young Davidson Wildcat team, especially when they trailed by as many as 11 points during the game. The road only gets more difficult for Curry and Davidson with Georgetown staring them right in the face tomorrow afternoon.

It will go down as the greatest 4-game upset swing in one location. Basketball fans in Tampa, Florida were witness to victories by (2) twelve seeds and (2) thirteen seeds during Fridays first round tournament play. Knocked out of the tourney on Friday in Tampa were teams from the ACC, SEC, Big East, and every ones tourney sleeper Drake. Advancing were, Villanova, an at-large (12) from a power conference, Siena (13), who I literally know nothing about, Western Kentucky (2), which prevented me from doing any sort of real work yesterday afternoon, and San Diego(13), a city which is now responsible for giving me two of my greatest joys in life, knocking out Jim Calhoun and providing the setting for Will Ferrell, the legend of Ron Burgundy. The real treat will come on Sunday when 2 of the 4 teams will wind up in the sweet 16.

For all of the women in your office pool who decided that this would be the year the sixteen seeds knocked off the one seeds in the first round:

North Carolina beat Mount Saint Mary's 113-74
Kansas beat Portland State 85-61
UCLA beat Mississippi Valley State 70-29
Memphis beat University of Texas - Arlington 87-63

It isn't going to happen, but feel free to keep doing it EVERY YEAR.

Lastly, my tip of the cap for Friday goes to the kids from Indiana, there first round exit is a microcosm of their entire season. After losing their head coach because of NCAA rules violations, the university opted to release the announcement of their coaching search while interim coach Dan Dakich is still in the position and attempting to prep for a tournament game. Another example of how the school could care less about the student athlete and more about their own wallet, GO HOOSIERS!

Friday, March 21, 2008

March Madness: Day 1

A Coach K pants change, the most dynamic freshman duo in the country, and zero upsets, that pretty much sums up day 1 of the finest month in college sports. Despite popular belief the 2008 NCAA college basketball tournament provided alot of excitement especially after the east coast began to settle in for the night.

I'm completely finished with defending the "Dukies", for approximately three weeks I have been touting their live by the three, die by three philosophy but this morning, I'm done. It is one thing when you are shooting three's, missing and then getting the long rebounds to give yourself second chance opportunities, yet it is a complete other thing when you aren't even putting yourself in position to get rebounds. Duke is small and I firmly believe they have benefited from being in the ACC during a down year and playing at Cameron Indoor is a HUGE advantage. After escaping with a first round victory 71-70 to BELMONT, yes BELMONT, I'm embarrassed to say I have them getting to the elite 8 in one bracket and the round of sixteen in another. Conclusion? West Virginia dispatches of them tomorrow, Duke OUT.

The highly anticipated O.J. Mayo v. Mike Beasley was a 7:30 treat. K-State freshman forward and former high school teammate of Mayo, Bill Walker, came to crash the party. Walker's 22 points and 5 rebounds combined with Beasley's 23 and 11 to lead t (11) Kansas State over (6) So. Cal 80-67. What Walker did in the first half while Beasley was on the bench in foul trouble was what kept K-State alive in the tournament. I'm not sure wether or not to credit Bob Huggins, current West Virginia head coach and former K-State head coach who recruited the freshman duo, or Southern California head coach Tim Floyd who failed to develop a game plan to stop anyone but Beasley, which failed. Not to be outdone, super freshman O.J. Mayo poured in 20 points and 5 assists for the Trojans in the first round exit. What we came away with last night was exactly what we went into the game with, both of these future all-stars can ball, and Beasley isn't the only super freshman in his locker room, Wisconsin will have their hands full on Saturday.

My two sleepers moved right along, Xavier escaped with a win over a hot Georgia Bulldog team coming off their SEC tournament championship and Marquette methodically wore down Kentucky with junior guard Jerel McNeal putting 20 points on the Wildcats. So much for the SEC being one of the toughest hoops conferences in the country. The chalk pretty much held up for the remainder of the day with traditional powers Michigan State, Kansas, and UCLA all rolling through their first round opponents. My final note for you bracket animals, next year try not to pick George Mason to win based on a team that two years ago made it to the final four. They were littered with seniors who all took diplomas that Spring, they don't still PLAY for the George Mason.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


As you already know the Houston Rockets lost two nights ago for the first time since January 27th. 22 consecutive wins from January 29th to March 18th, including the last 10 victories without injured All-Star center Yao Ming. In a calender year where the NFL's New England Patriots and PGA Tours Tiger Woods have experienced similar winning streaks, the Houston Rockets most recent accomplishment doesn't hold a candle to those. "Clutch City" quite frankly, I'm just unimpressed.

22 Wins and only 10 against teams with a .500 or better record. Two of those ten against New Orleans, the same team who proceeded to dispatch of the Rockets by 21 points last night. Houston managed to beat Dallas & the Lakers during their streak, both teams missing all stars in Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol. One victory against the Denver Nuggets, who are most likely going to miss the playoffs and have given up 100+ points in 8 of their last 10 games. The remaining five wins are against future Eastern Conference runner-up Cleveland (2), the Washington Wizards who are currently one game over .500 and have a 14-18 record on the road (they played in Houston), the Portland Trailblazers and lastly against the Golden State Warriors on January 29th to start the streak, I'll give em' those two. Still impressed? I'm not.

If what your looking for is a streak that you can be in awe of, look no further than the PGA Tour, yes I said it, golf. The Michael Jordan of golf, Tiger Woods, is in the midst of one of the most remarkable professional golf careers, more importantly in the midst of one of the most remarkable streaks in recent sports history. We'll stick to PGA events, in case you don't know what went on in Dubai earlier this year. In his first three tour events of 2008, Eldrick has gone MJ on the field, three straight #1 finishes and $3,300,000 in winnings. Let me reiterate that, $3,300,000 in winnings, that's for a total of like 12 days of work. Alot has been made of Tiger reaching his 64th career win last weekend, and rightfully so, he did it 14 years sooner than golf legend Ben Hogan. The PGA Tour website documents a Hogan v. Tiger comparison in which they inflate Hogan's career winnings of $332,517 to an estimated $3.2 Mil, that would be an estimated $77 million less than Woods. Yet baseball players are overpaid? If you think Woods is getting bored just watch his highlights on 18 last week, after kindly letting my mailman, Bart Bryant onto Sunday afternoon television Tiger dispatched of him emphatically. Is Tiger lacking competition? I don't think so, could he be just that much better? A tad more impressed by the feats of Eldrick "Tiger" Woods.

So Houston, congratulations on 22 straight wins, you'll be soundly defeated within the first two rounds of the playoffs. Clutch that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Little Bit O' Luck . .

First and certainly foremost, Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my readers. What a lucky day, we celebrate my favorite holiday and one of my top 5 favorite days of the year, the day AFTER selection Sunday. For all of you who don't know about selection Sunday, I cannot help you, your life is sad.

After a bunch of old white guys, primarily athletic directors & program officials, sat around and discussed who they want IN the tourney, and who they want OUT of the tourney, we are left with a field of 65 teams, bound on a journey of college hoops to determine who the best team in the land is, or at least the best team over the next 3 weeks. Tell your bosses and wives you will be utterly useless during the remainder of the month and not even the resurrection of Jesus Christ will stand in your way.

I don't know what it is about those brackets but next to sex and occasionally hitting the links, most men would agree filling out brackets is a top 3 GUY thing to do, what can I say, we live a sad existence. I have about 1,345,098 things to say about the 2008 NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, unfortunately my polling says readers fall off at about the 8th thing so were going to try and limit it to five, sorry I do understand that work gets in the way of your enjoyment of my blog.

5. Call it what you will, but I'm calling it what it is. A HEIST. For the last few weeks I have had it in for the University of North Carolina, and last night didn't help that at all. Hansbrough may be the consensus national player of the year, but I disagree, entirely. I'd rather have the 3rd best scorer and #1 rebounder in the country, Kansas State super freshman, Mike Beasley. Roy Williams isn't the best coach in the country, and in my cell phone of college coaches, he isn't even in my "Five" these guys are, Izzo, Donovan, Self, Howland, and Krzyzewski. From Dicky V to the tournament selection committee, the HEIST is in. North Carolina is being ushered to the elite 8, all while never leaving their home state. No one would disagree, that in the 2007-2008 regular season the ACC as a conference was less than impressive. Maryland, Wake Forest, NC State, and Georgia Tech all had lackluster seasons, the result you ask? 4 ACC Teams head toward the dance. I'm sorry but non-conference victories against Davidson, BYU, and Kentucky, yes that would be 18-12 Kentucky, aren't exactly mind blowing. My heels don't have tar on em'.

4. Arizona State has nothing on Paul McCartney. I understand that the Sun Devils and their faithful feel like they just got jobbed by not making the NCAA tournament. They probably could have won 1 or 2 games in the tourney but who cares besides their fans? From November 19th to January 3rd the Arizona State Sun Devils played one team who is in the tournament, a double-digit victory over Xavier is something to hang your hat on but sandwiching them in between cream puffs doesn't exactly make me think you were done in here. They were the model of inconsistency throughout the last two months of the season: 5-10 in their last 15 games? Arizona may have lost to their counterparts twice but in that same stretch of games finished 8-8. The wildcats also risked their chances by going on the road at Kansas and at Memphis, last time I checked those were 2 of the top 4 teams in the land. When the Devil Rays beat the Yankees 2 out of 3 this spring, whose putting money on the Rays making the playoffs over the Yankees? Enough crying Arizona State fans, you could be Paul McCartney, who is out 48.6 million dollars after losing his divorce settlement to his ex-wife, on St. Patrick's Day to boot, those Brits really must hate the Irish.

3. Bob Knight is owning ESPN. Don't get me wrong I love Jay Bilas, Dicky V, and Hubert Davis but The General has officially taken over in Bristol. NO ONE does what they want more in life than Robert Knight, I'm reminded of the scene in Good Fellas when Ray Liotta is reciting to the audience what happens when Paulie takes over the night club:

"Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week no matter what. Business bad? F*ck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F*ck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning huh? F*ck you, pay me."

ESPN: "Mr. Knight we have a suit prepared for you in the dressing room"
Knight: "No"
ESPN: "Really? Just like no?!?!"
Knight: "No"
ESPN: "Okay, Great."

My bet is that they made the new intern go over the dress code with Bobby before the first interview. Not a job I'd want to have. While all the other experts are taking the usual suspects to win the tourney, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA, Bob Knight predicts that Pitt, yes 6-1 in the month March including the Big East tournament championship on Saturday night over Georgetown, Pitt to win the entire dance. When Digger Phelps asked Knight to admit that he was now part of the media, Knight was about to shove Phelps' tie & highlighter matching combo somewhere special. By far the most intriguing analyst I've ever heard from, when asked a question from an e-mailer out of South Bend, Indiana last night, the former Texas Tech head coach replied:

"Steve, out of South Bend, you probably don't know much about anything"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, how does it feel Steve, you've just been verbally beat down by Bob Knight on selection Sunday. Tune in for the rest of the month to The General on ESPN, it is PRICELESS.

2. I mentioned this several blogs back but now with the tournament set to tip-off, why does Memphis get so little respect? Conference USA is an extremely weak conference to play in for a team of Memphis' caliber but what is the ONE thing we ask of teams that play in a Conference such as that? SCHEDULE A TOUGH OUT OF CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:

Southern California
Austin Peay

That is a short list of the 8 of their out of conference wins, notice anything about those schools? THEY ARE ALL IN THE TOURNEY. Two teams from the BIG EAST, two teams from the PAC-10, and one team from the Big-12. Yet somehow the victories against Duke & Clemson are superior for the case of North Carolina being the #1 overall seed? This isn't like college football where Ohio State schedules my local high school as their first home game of the year then expects to be in the National Championship. You may be saying to yourself, why does he care? Why is it so important that Memphis be recognized as the #1 seed overall? The NCAA does everything that it can to ensure that national powerhouses who have hoards of fans end up in the final four, I.E. North Carolina. In the case of Memphis if they run the table and end up in the elite 8 they will be playing the number #2 in their region, Texas, for a shot at the final four . . . . THE GAME WILL BE IN HOUSTON, TX. Now explain to be how little Memphis ends up with Longhorn fans all over their back trying to earn a trip to the Final Four while North Carolina sits in Raleigh and watches the sea of Carolina blue flow into the stadium? I'm on the Memphis bandwagon, officially. Go Tigers!!!!

1. Power Conferences get ready to play head-on. I disagree with the idea that is being floated out their in many circles that this year is a "down" year for the game of college basketball. Because of the parody in the conferences we are left with teams from each of the "Big 6" conferences squaring off in the first round of tourney play.

Indiana big 10(8) v. Arkansas sec(9)

Clemson acc(5) v. Villanova big east (12)
USC pac 10 (6) v. Kansas State big 12(11)

Mississippi State sec (8) v. Oregon pac 10 (9)
Marquette big east(6) v. Kentucky sec (11)

Purdue big 10(6) v. Baylor big 12(11)
West Virginia big east (7) v. Arizona pac 10(10)

By the end of the day 7 schools from major conferences will have already been bounced from the tournament. I'm always interested in the debate about which conferences are superior to others and on the first weekend of the tournament we'll have an answer for the debate. The Big East teams have games against the Pac 10, SEC, and ACC, who would say that if they run the table in those three games it isn't a feather in the caps of teams like Syracuse? Who sit on the bubble and say why aren't we in when we play who we play night in and night out. The most intriguing conference tournament by far and then to put half of their conference into the tourney is a remarkable accomplishment. No matter what, on the first weekend of the tourney we get to see possibly the future of the NBA play each other with Michael Beasley & K-State squaring off against O.J. Mayo & USC in the Midwest Region.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

There's something about Brett

You've heard it all by now, Brett Favre is the common mans hero, Brett Favre is the type of guy we can relate to, Brett Favre really does wear Wrangler Jeans, blah blah blah. Favre has done some remarkable things in his career and for that I tip the cap, but unlike John Madden, it isn't in my contract that I can't bag on Favre just a little bit.

Playing in the NFL for 17 years is an accomplishment in itself and I clearly don't intend to diminish that, I'm simply asking for people to accurately place him in history. Two active quarterbacks are better than Favre ever was, and in my mind have reached a skill level that Favre never did, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning is going to shred every single last passing record by the time he retires. Tom Brady could potentially win 1 or 2 more rings before his time is up, move over Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw there is a new tenant in that building. If Manning plays as long as Favre has he would only have to average 2,861 yards passing per season to pass Favre on the all time passing yards list. To put it in perspective, Peyton has never passed for less than 3,747 yards in a season. In Tom Brady's eight NFL seasons he has thrown 88 interceptions, at that pace he would have to play approximately 19 more seasons to reach the same amount of interceptions as Favre (288), he would be 1 year away from his 50th birthday at that point. Between Peyton and Tom they have had 4 combined seasons in which their passer ratings were over 100, Favre didn't have 1 in his 17 year career. Arguments? No? Thanks.

He isn't better than Marino, Elway, and certainly not Montana. Don't Argue. By my calculations that makes him clearly out of the illustrious "TOP 5" argument. Hall of Famer, Johnny Unitas played from 1956 to 1973, the time period in which he played was entirely too different to compare to Favre's career. Teams didn't pass nearly as much and if you strictly used statistics to prove your point then Favre would be higher on the list than Unitas:

Favre 5,377 Completions
Unitas 2,830

Favre 442 Touchdown Passes
Unitas 290

Favre 61,655 Passing Yards
Unitas 40,239

Get my drift? Before I receive the hate mail from the "know all" cheese heads, I want to reiterate that I do take my hat off to the accomplishments of Brett Favre. The Green Bay quarterback actually is nothing like you & I, he makes millions of dollars more than you & I, he plays a game for a living unlike you & I, and more importantly he just retired at age 38, something you & I will only dream of. Brett's father would have wanted him to go out and perform like he did after he passed away, he did and it is remarkable, but if your looking for inspiration in that form call Laker guard, Derek Fisher, what he did in last seasons postseason while playing for the Jazz, is alot more inspirational. When Mike Vick gets over his marijuna addiction I won't hear people saying "he has overcome so much in his life" so I don't want to hear the same sentence about Brett Favre just because of his, yes, HIS pill addiction. Be a little more responsible when you discuss Brett Favre, he is clearly one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all time, you don't need stats to prove that point just watch his highlight reel. Brett played the game unlike most athletes do anything, he showed you his emotions, he made YOU and I remember what it was like when you scored a pop warner touchdown. When I was most in awe of Brett is after an interview with former Packer reciever, Antonio Freeman, Freeman told a small story about Brett, after a missed catch Freeman had his head down, Favre walked over to him and confidently said something like this:

"Don't worry about that one, your going to get alot more opportunities today, put that one behind you"

That is the type of guy Brett was, he was passionate about the game of football, he cared about the game of football, and gave the game and the fans everything he could. I am more impressed by that story than I am than with any stat or record of his. I don't want Brett Favre to have another season like 2006, I don't want to watch Brett play in another uniform, and while it was fun, I'm glad he is retiring, on his terms, and when he wants. Thanks Brett, its been great.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lebron v. Kobe

For the next two months your going to hear this argument again and again, who is the 2007-2008 NBA MVP? Last week Kobe Bryant had the edge coming off monster games against Dallas and Sacramento. This week however, King James dropped 50 on the Knicks at the Garden. I ask again, who is the league MVP?

All due respect to Chris Paul, not this year my friend. Along with Kevin Garnett, who has single handily turned around the most storied franchise in NBA history, Paul receives honorable mention for carrying the city of Nawlins' and their hoops team. By years end we will have passed the torch from Steve Nash to Chris Paul and we'll be referring to him as the gold standard of point guards. Mr. Garnett will take advantage of the Eastern Conference home court advantage and lead Boston back from the depths, that was dramatic, I got chills.


Whether Lebron teams up with Jay-Z or not, he is one of the greatest talents this league has ever seen. Hard to imagine that with all the hype surrounding him as a high schooler, his games being viewed on national television, his school receiving endorsement deals, and being saddled with the future of basketball in the state of Ohio, anyone could handle that with the style and grace that James has. We seem to forget that before being dispatched by the greatest sports dynasty of the last 10 years in the finals last season, Lebron led a cast of scrubs to the main event. Will you remember that Daniel Gibson was the point guard of that team or will you think he is your mailman? What is even more unfathomable than that is how Lebron has followed up his heroic efforts last year with his accomplishments this year, his video game stats of 30 ppg, 8 boards, and 7 assists every night out is in a word, RIDICULOUS. Completely overhauling a playoff team in the middle of the season for a declining defensive player with no offensive game, two shooters who are at best "quality," and a second tier NBA point guard would force some to "find their way" for a couple of weeks, not Lebron who has gone for 34 points a night since the overhaul. I firmly believe Lebron could be entering "Shaq" league, in which you could place him on any team, at least in the Eastern Conference, and they'd be an immediate contender to win the East. The things you may not have heard about, if you were living in a cave or busy watching American Idol, Lebron not only told Knick fans that he would score 50 on them, he went out and did it. Twice this season, that we know about, Lebron has told fans in the crowd that it was their fault he went into another stratosphere against their teams and exploded for dominating fourth quarters to winning efforts, what does that prove? He is toying with the competition. Be prepared, this is Lebrons world and we are probably just paying rent.

One person who isn't paying rent however, he owns it outright, is Kobe "Bean" Bryant. The best all around basketball player on the planet is having a career year and he is playing injured. Bryant's 28 points a night may not be as high as Lebron but it is just as explosive. The western conference is as strong as it has ever been in league history and Kobe is still dropping 25-30 points a night, completely devastating teams in the waning minutes of the game. While not as big and physically dominating as Lebron, Kobe is a stronger defensive player and if you could calculate clutch play, I'd give the edge to him as well. I don't think you can use negative opinions on the Eastern Conference as a discredit to what Lebron is doing, but at the same note what Kobe is doing in a tougher conference night in night out is more impressive. My belief is that, should Kobe and the Lakers finish the regular season with the best record in the West he is a hands down favorite for MVP. Here is why I am settling the debate and choosing Kobe Bryant, this isn't like Karl Malone getting the MVP during the "Jordan Years," Kobe is deserving and I'm sure by the time he retires Lebron will win an MVP but with Kobe in the West and playing the way the Lakers are, he gets my imaginary vote.

Game. Set. Match . . . Kobe Bryant for MVP

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Are we there yet?

The bus to March Madness is in the parking lot and the final game of the college basketball 2007-2008 regular season is upon us. I haven't focused to much on college hoops because the regular season is about as important and pointless as sunglasses at night. In March however, the college basketball world invades my life rendering me utterly useless in any other facet of that life.

PREVIEW: The is the first year in recent years that I can completely and honestly pick who I think will win, foregoing my usual putting BC into the sweet sixteen because they aren't getting an invite to the dance.

Don't be shocked, please. Gonzaga has eased its way into being just another NCAA tournament regular away from what they used to be, a sleeper and Cinderella story, they have created a phenomenon. Now, more than ever, teams are NOT sneaking up on anyone:

Xavier 25-4 (AP #8)
Butler 27-3 (AP #14)
Davidson 23-6 (AP #25)

You know who received votes in the top 25 last week? Virginia Commonwealth, Robert Morris, Stephen F. Austin, and St. Mary's. How shocked are you really going to be at first & second round upsets? Remember, several years ago a fellow by the name of George Mason reached the final four.

WARNING: extreme Duke & UNC hatred about to take place . . .

Tyler Hansbrough is soft and so is the rest of his Tar Heels squad, YOU TO ROY WILLIAMS. This may be the only time I ever destroy the ACC but the conference is about as fraudulent as you can get. The media ripped Memphis for WEEKS because they didn't play anyone, except they did:

Southern Cal.
@ Connecticut
@ Oklahoma

Good enough for you yet? Except it probably isn't because along with the hoards of fans who bleed Carolina blue, the media is just as blind. Who has UNC beat?

Clemson (BARELY IN OT)
@ Davidson (Yea, that's comparable to a win @ Storrs, Conn.)

GIVE ME A BREAK! UNC will probably be awarded with a #1 seed and two more soft victories to bring them right into the sweet sixteen. SHOCKING! Duke waxed them back in February and I hope they slice them up again this weekend. If it weren't for the zebras BC would have upset them on Saturday afternoon and Roy would have been crying all the way back to Tobacco Road.

OH! Coach K, don't think your getting off that easy but I can cut you a little more slack, wins at tourney bound Cornell & beating Maryland twice handily allows me to do so. You did dismantle Clemson in regulation and played a team, Alabama, from the SEC so maybe, you attempted to get quality wins. My issue with Duke is, you live by the three, you die by the three. The back-2-back losses at Wake Forest followed by Miami would scare of any crazies from picking them to survive the eyes of March. 8-28 from the arc against Wake Forest proves the point, you live by the three, you die by the three, 15-37 against Miami just days later would further do that. When your Coach is the tallest guy on the floor you may be in for tournament trouble. You know the problem in mirroring the Phoenix Suns? THEY NEVER WON ANYTHING.

While I'm on the subject, Memphis is legit. I don't like John Calipari either but the Memphis Tigers are an excellent team. (1) loss to a top five team does not qualify Memphis as being soft. A quality coached Bruce Pearl Tennessee team knocked off the #1 team in the country by out rebounding Memphis by fifteen boards. Led by Chicago born, Derrick Rose and junior guard CDR (Charles Douglas-Roberts) Memphis has that guard tandem that can lead a team right to the final four. OF COURSE they have weaknesses, charity stripe shooting, and playing in C-USA doesn't help then either but so doesn't every team in the country. The Tigers have done enough in my opinion to prove they are a prime contender, one of the best out of conference schedules in the country as listed earlier does that. Maybe this time Calipari's final four appearance won't be scratched out of the record books *(see 1996 UMASS Minutemen)

Who are the #1's? Memphis is 29-1 and 15-0 in conference play, they are a deserving #1. Enough about them though, here are the remainder of the top seeds:

North Carolina; see this weeks addition of SI, Tyler Hansbrough NCAA college player of the year. As much as I hate it, there is no doubt UNC gets a #1 seed provided they beat Duke in the regular season finale and go deep into the ACC tournament. Despite every media outlet in the country drooling over Hansbrough, Danny Green, Wayne Ellington, and Ty Lawson are the grease on UNC's wheels. The guard trio is averaging a combined 41 ppg and 10 assists a game, and that is without getting the 10,000 phantom calls that Hansbrough gets each game. AGAIN, guard play puts you in the final four.

Playing in a conference which could deliver the most tournament teams, the PAC-10, UCLA will get a #1 seed, deserved. UCLA will be a top seed and will visit the final four for the 3rd time in 4 years. They play on the west coast, so for my EAST COAST BIAS READERS, they are GOOD. If not for the beast, Michael Beasley (K-State, 27 ppg & 12 boards a game) UCLA's Kevin Love would be a contender for player of the year averaging 17 points and 11 boards a game for the 3rd ranked Bruins. 14-2 In conference play, UCLA has tough ball games left against Standford #7 in the AP & Cal to close out the season. Josh Shipp & Darren Collison (notice a theme) lead a tremendous backcourt into tournament play, their 3rd campaign at the final four begins NOW, and this time they'll be NO GATORS.

Finally, Kansas. Despite February losses to Texas & Oklahoma State the Jayhawks have rebounded quite nicely, avenging their first loss to K-State with a 14 point win and dismantling Pat Knight and the Red Raiders by 58 points, ouch, imagine the hemorrhage that the General would have had. Bill Self's squad is B-I-G with Darrell Arthur at 6'9 and Darnell Jackson at 6'8 leading the way the Kansas front court IS the best in the nation. If Kansas can beat Texas in the Big-12 tourney and prove they are the best team in the conference then they are a lock for the fourth #1 seed. Non-conference wins include on the road at Georgia Tech and USC, look for junior guard Brandon Rush to have a great tournament run.

Which conference is poised to take over the field of 65? You have to love the chances of the Big East, right? I agree. The Big East will send maybe half of its conference to March Madness and that doesn't include Syracuse, who blew their chances with losses at Ohio State early and at home against the Minutemen from Amherst. The Big East currently represents 20% of the AP top 25, from Georgetown as high as #10 and Marquette at the back end #20. Pitino and Louisville, #13, took out Kentucky early and will play a great season finale at Georgetown this Saturday. The beasts of the east however I believe rest in #19 Notre Dame and #14 Connecticut, further back in the pack with identical records, UCONN and ND have played great down the stretch run. Notre Dame is 9-2 in their last 11 games and UCONN has lost only once since January 18Th. I will say this though, I fully expect either Louisville or Georgetown to suffer an upset loss within the first two rounds, especially if Pitino is wearing his Colonel Sanders gear.

The Reverse . . Which power conference will be a disappointment? The question wasn't even on the keyboard when I already spit-out B-B-B-Big Ten. Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, and Indiana are the ones we'll talk about. Let me start off with the Hoosiers, hate the school, love Eric Gordon. Had a great coach, team was behind him, and now that is gone, the 25 wins are great but the 5 losses are even greater, three conference losses to better teams, MSU & Wisconsin (2), then you got losses early to UCONN & Xavier, text me when they get bounced. 4-4 since February 1st doesn't exactly impress me Tom Izzo and Michigan State and don't think I forgot about that January game with Iowa, 18 points in each half, ehhhh sorry. The heavy hitters of the Big Ten are Purdue and Wisconsin. Does that mean I can forget about the early losses to the Dukie's and Marquette by Wisconsin, or how about the losses from Purdue at Clemson and Missouri? The top two teams in the conference have good records and have played well lately, but against each other. Their out of conference schedules are riddled rival conference victories, doesn't look so good for the Soft Ten.

So who is the consensus player of the year? He doesn't wear Carolina blue so just stop it. Kansas State power forward Michael Beasley is hands down the best player in the country. As I noted earlier his 27 points a game and 13 rebounds is dumbfounding playing in the Big 12 with opponents like Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Baylor, all who have twenty + wins. The 6'9, 240lb Beasley is an absolute monster of a basketball player, 4 of his first 5 college basketball contests he scored 30 or more points, A FRESHMAN. In the past two weeks here are the point totals from Beasley, 44,30,39 and 33, someone is clearly getting ready for his first and possibly last NCAA tournament. Since the NCAA is largely biased they won't choose a freshman as player of the year for a second straight year expect Michael Beasley to get jobbed, bad.

Which team is the largest sleeper in the tournament? I don't consider that #13 seed who is cute and wins one or two games to be the "team to watch for" so sorry fans of Harry Potter University. The team you NEED to watch for isn't from the Pac-10, Soft-10, ACC, SEC, Big 12, or Big East, oh no they are from none other than the Atlantic 10. Enter the Musketeers of Xavier, don't be shocked they are ranked as high as #8 in the Associated Press rankings. Before Xavier entered their giant chunk of conference play then went on a five game stretch in which they played, Tennessee, Auburn, Virginia, Kansas State and Delaware State, errrr leave off the last one, Xavier came out with 3 wins and 1 loss, not bad for a team from the A-10. One of the most underated things in the tourney is experience, something Xavier has plenty of, starting three seniors, guards Drew Lavender & Stanley Burrell along with senior forward, Josh Duncan. If you don't remember let me help you, this is the same team that SHOULD have knocked off #1 seed Ohio State last year in the tournament but were the victims of Mike Connelly and his miracle three with 2.5 remaining in regulation. Widely considered one of the best games of the tournament and these kids have a good memory. Lavender's best game was his 21 point effort against K-State, the same game that his team held Mike Beasley to just 5 points. Watch for the kids from Xavier, they are going to turn some heads in the tournament.

Just got a text message from Kelvin Sampson, gotta run . . .

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Roy WIlliams, STOP CRYING!

Saturday afternoon my father, uncle, and I showed up at Conte Forum just minutes befor tip-off between #2 ranked North Carolina and unranked 13-14 Boston College. After watching the Eagles lose 12 of their last 15 games I was fully expecting to see the mighty Roy Williams and his Tar Heels blow out Boston College, somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20-30 point differential. This fortunately would be my first time getting to see the boys from tobacco road play up here, and I was in for quite a shock.

I used to be a fan of UNC, simply because I hate Duke and who do you cheer for when they play each other right? NOT ANYMORE. Here are the points of the game, Boston College ended up losing by 10 after they held an 18 point lead early in the second half, BC point guard Tyrese Rice lead all scorers with 46 (34 in the first half) and put on a shooting clinic that I've never witnessed before, and the ACC officials wanted nothing more than to see the heels win. Do I sound disgruntled yet? GOOD.

When I attend or watch basketball games I always witness a different style of officiating. In high school hoops, the refs are 40 to 50 pounds overweight, love their part-time job, and still are trying to be a main part of the game by completely overreacting when they call a charging call, which they do 7 or 8 times a game, its sad I feel for their wives. In collegiate athletics the refs LOVE the standard practice of "the make-up call" which is when they completely botch a play by calling a foul and then proceed to call the next hand check down the court in order to appease the fans who are on top of them ready to kill. The pros have their own set of rules, which most recently included gambling on the games they ref then determining the point spread by getting guys in foul trouble. Okay, so that last one is a little worse than it sounds, no?

Saturday afternoon however I have never been more pissed off after leaving a sporting event IN MY LIFE. The previously mentioned and ripped ACC officials called phantom call, after phantom call, to put UNC star forward Tyler Hansbrough at the charity stripe. It was disgusting. Now I know what your going to say, this guy is just sour grapes, but your wrong. Tyrese Rice who isn't an inch over 6 ft tall but listed as 6'1 dropped 8 of 12 three pointers on UNC and the rest of his points came from his standard drive to the basket where he would get hammered by a bigger, more physical team and laid out on the floor, he shot 11 free-throws. At nearly A FOOT taller and 250 pounds however, Tyler Hansbrough goes to the line to shoot 14-free throws. In six of his last eight games played, ALL ACC CONTESTS, Hansbrough has been awarded with at least 12 trips a game to the free throw line. That stretch includes the last four games where he went to the line 14 times twice, 12 times once, and 13 times another game, HOW is that possible? Jamie Luckie, Gary Maxwell, and Roger Ayers should be ashamed to associate with other zebras today, because that game was ridiculous and I'm disgusted. Yes, Boston College had their chances and missed some shots that would have put them in position to win, but there isn't a bit of doubt in my mind that Hansbrough would have gone to the free throw line 10 more times in the last four minutes had the game been closer.

BUT THAT ISN'T ALL I LEARNED, OH NO. Not only are officials biased toward North Carolina because of their mystique but fans are just as bad, up until yesterday I WAS ONE OF THEM. Friday night during the Celtics v. Bobcats game, UNC head coach, Roy Williams sat in the stands watching some of his former college players play in the pros, very proud he probably was. Ray Felton and Paul Pierce both standouts, both learned under his tutelage, I said to myself "self, what a good coach and quality guy Roy is." Today, I want to kick my own a** for saying and thinking those sentiments about Ole' Roy Williams. I don't care about his hundreds of wins, hall of fame status, or National Championship, Roy Williams is a grown man who acts like a child on the sideline, and should be ashamed of himself. As I mentioned, yesterday afternoon was the first time I'd seen Roy coach in person, yes he shook hands and congratulated Rice on a excellent game, that was respectable, but for the 40 minutes prior he jumped up and down on the sideline like a complete idiot. At times during the contest Roy would ride the refs the whole time the ball was down his end of the floor, he wouldn't even be watching the game just waiting for the ref to verbally assault him. I watched him all over the refs after his team just knocked down a shot on a perfectly ran offensive play because he wanted an "and one call" as if they weren't already getting all the calls. A BC player sprinted back on a fast break and stripped his player to force a jump ball and Williams ran from one end of the bench to the other and jumped up and down, literally, until the sideline ref reversed the call. How do you tell your players to cool down in a stressful situation if you react the way you do? How do you teach young boys to be men when you act like a little boy yourself on the sideline? Someone give Roy a towel for his tears, they are getting all over the court.