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Thursday, January 10, 2013

OT: College Basketball Thread

In case anyone’s interested in discussing collegiate-flavored hoops ...

Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 06:03 PM | 270 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, off-topic

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   201. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4376745)
There's that Minnesota team I was rooting for the first half of the year! If they play like that in the tournament, they can make a reasonably deep run!
   202. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4376749)
Is there anything more interminable than the last minute of a reasonably close basketball game that you're not interested in? Or that you actively want to be over?

The end-game in that Indiana-Minnesota tilt seemed to drag on forever.
   203. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4376802)
Oh, as someone who was deeply invested in the game I agree that the last few minutes took literally a half hour. It half killed me.
   204. cmd600 Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:24 AM (#4376832)
How much of that was Sheehey's flop though (and I will not be convinced it wasn't a flop)? It felt like the review took ten minutes (though now that I've said something, if I went back and checked it was probably no more than two).
   205. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4376934)
Oh, as someone who was deeply invested in the game I agree that the last few minutes took literally a half hour. It half killed me.


Brad Nessler said the last minute of the Minnesota-Indiana game took as long as the entire first half of Florida-Tennessee. I'm not sure whether he was engaging in deliberate hyperbole, but it had the ring of truth.
   206. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4376954)
I am annoyed I did not watch the game. I admit I had given up on the Gophers, so promising early and so terrible recently. Hope this is a sign they are back on track.
   207. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4376982)
Is there anything more interminable than the last minute of a reasonably close basketball game that you're not interested in? Or that you actively want to be over?

The end-game in that Indiana-Minnesota tilt seemed to drag on forever.


It's brutal, but not sure what can be done about it. Fewer timeouts per team. Or taking them away except for two each in the last two minutes. It's only gotten worse as everything's become review-able. Coaches instructing their players to fake head injuries is adding on to that delay:

http://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2013/02/and_the_big_ten_lead_and_the_oscar_goes_totom_crean_indiana.html
   208. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4377034)
it is amusing that the wisconsin badgers could win the big ten regular season

likely won't happen but bo ryan may have done his best wizard impersonation this season. it's been a hoot
   209. smileyy Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4377051)
This week in brutal basketball, Xaver 64, Memphis 62. Memphis shot 6-18 from the free throw line, including a 1-7 performance from DJ Stephens, and 0-5 from Tarik Black. Ironically, Memphis shot 8-18 from 3. Contested 21'er? No problem. Uncontested from 15'? Clang! Not that Xavier was much better -- 15-27 from the line.

Xavier has the legs to play like a Top 25 team for about 24-32 minutes, but then their lack of depth starts to show -- they were up 17 against VCU before losing. Last night, they had one PG, one PG/SG, and one guy who if you kinda squint can look like a SG available in their backcourt last night.

   210. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4377075)
It's brutal, but not sure what can be done about it.


I don't know what the solution is either, short of making truly drastic changes to the very nature of the game in the last minute or so. There's a reason trailing teams pull this foul-timeout-quick three-foul-timeout stuff: it's the only way you have a chance when you're down five with 27 seconds to go. And giving a team a chance to win is far more important than my boredom.
   211. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4377091)
And giving a team a chance to win is far more important than my boredom.


This is just crazy talk.
   212. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4377104)
A team shouldn't have a chance to win when they're down five with 27 seconds to go and they don't have the ball!

Imagine if a football team was trying to run out the clock, and the defense was allowed to constantly commit 5-yard penalties that stop the play clock. It's the same thing. It would add drama if the team trying to run out the clock was up by 2. But the defense would also do it if they were down by 14, in the hopes that the offense will eventually fumble the snap, or get into field goal position and then get the field goal blocked, or something.
   213. cmd600 Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4377142)
it is amusing that the wisconsin badgers could win the big ten regular season

likely won't happen but bo ryan may have done his best wizard impersonation this season. it's been a hoot


I said something like this similar to you before, but I didn't notice any responses. This isn't wizardry, its crappy basketball. Taking the air out of the ball isn't some special coaching skill. It's a frequent strategy for out-talented HS girls basketball teams. I'll give them credit for taking advantage of some awful Big Ten reffing at least. They can hang with much more talented teams like Indiana and Michigan because the rules allow them to turn the clock back 50 years, not because they have some secret sauce.
   214. smileyy Posted: February 27, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4377249)
[212] At the same time, the solution is clear. Hit free throws and defend the 3-point arc. If you're going to lose on a sequences of contested 25-footers and/or bricked free throws, maybe you deserve to lose.

If I wanted any rules changes, it'd be to # of free throws awarded on non-shooting fouls late in the game, to make up for the inequity of 2 free throws vs. a 3-pointer. Shoot two and hit them, you get a chance for a third?

This would also eliminate the atrocious "Foul when up by 3" strategy.
   215. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4377320)
cmd

and yet every year ken pomeroy rates them alongside the teams others claim are 'more talented'.

i use quotation marks because i think bo ryan's definition of talent is wildly different from yours.

and yes, i read comments like yours regularly and yet nobody ever provides any technical justification. just that they don't like watching the team play. and by technical justification explain what wisconsin does that fouls the game. telling me 'it's boring' is a ten year old's argument

it's a legit request. i am not a basketball expert by any stretch. but i can read. educate me on what ryan's teams do that as a fan should upset me
   216. andrewberg Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4377323)
explain what wisconsin does that fouls the game


I can't speak for others, but there are definitely specific things about watching Wisconsin (and a handful of other B1G teams that seem to change from year to year) that I do not find entertaining, including:

1. They pretty much never fast break.
2. They pack the lane on defense, forcing the other team to rely on mid- and long-range jumpshots.
3. They spend a lot of time on offense holding the ball and generally not attacking the basket.
4. When they do attack the basket, it usually seems to be with the express intent to draw a foul.
5. They shoot lots of 3's at the end of the shot clock, which is a shot they could get earlier in the clock, so it makes the 30-32 seconds I spent waiting for it seem wasted.

Those are the elements that stand out to me, though I admit I have watched them less and less the last few years. In fact, I have watched less college basketball in general because the long shot clocks, the poor block/charge enforcement, and the clogged lanes frustrate me.

Edit: Let me add that I do not mean to posit that these factors are objectively unentertaining. It is my opinion and I know that there are others who share it. If I grew up in Madison, my tastes might differ.
   217. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:00 PM (#4377325)
andrew

understood. thanks for the list
   218. smileyy Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4377327)
Is it at least semi-apt to say "Wisconsin : college basketball :: neutral-zone trap : hockey"? Successful with the right talent, but not all that entertaining to watch.
   219. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4377329)
one thing that i have asked about and not received any type of educated response is why was the princeton approach of years back hailed as
classic basketball' and wisconsin's style is pilloried. they look pretty similar to me
   220. frannyzoo Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4377330)
1. They pretty much never fast break.
2. They pack the lane on defense, forcing the other team to rely on mid- and long-range jumpshots.
3. They spend a lot of time on offense holding the ball and generally not attacking the basket.
4. When they do attack the basket, it usually seems to be with the express intent to draw a foul.
5. They shoot lots of 3's at the end of the shot clock, which is a shot they could get earlier in the clock, so it makes the 30-32 seconds I spent waiting for it seem wasted.


I see all of these as features, not bugs. I also admit I'm not much of a basketball fan these days, in large part because I see all of the above as features, not bugs. I'm not denigrating the majority who do love the modern game...it's just not for me. While American football has gone quite a bit from my ideal of it, I'm more partial to student-body left/right and 3 yards in a cloud of dust, no sport has gone more "off its hinges" to me than college basketball. Oh well. I'm not the sought demographic these days, anyway.
   221. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4377348)
I think you might have things backwards, franny - college basketball is *more* three yards and a cloud of dust than, arguably, ever before. Offenses are more methodical (pursuing higher % shots), defenses more strenuous, contact more physical, pace considerably slower.
I enjoy the Badgers as well, but I don't want a world of 'em.
   222. madvillain Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4377364)
One of the most sickening losses as a UM fan I've seen in my lifetime. Just pathetic Beilein is quickly losing the fanbase's faith. PSU just made UM basketball a ####### laughstock again. GOd ####### damnit.
   223. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4377382)
I think you might have things backwards, franny - college basketball is *more* three yards and a cloud of dust than, arguably, ever before. Offenses are more methodical (pursuing higher % shots), defenses more strenuous, contact more physical, pace considerably slower.
I enjoy the Badgers as well, but I don't want a world of 'em.


Bilas is crusading to clean up the game and I hope he has some success.

I'm sure the fear with officials is that if they started calling hand-checks and chest bumps and all the other stuff that slides now that it would turn into a giant whistle-fest. I know the argument is that defenses would adjust if the games were called differently, and I mostly believe that but part of me suspects it wouldn't be so simple.
   224. smileyy Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4377711)
I think you might have things backwards, franny - college basketball is *more* three yards and a cloud of dust than, arguably, ever before. Offenses are more methodical (pursuing higher % shots), defenses more strenuous, contact more physical, pace considerably slower.


Agree. Check out the spacing in a college game (especially a game featuring teams in a range of 25-100). Its so packed in. And when that pursuit of higher % shots (working the clock for 30 seconds for a layup or open 3) fails, it often turns into ugly low-percentage shots.

I'm 100% in favor of a 30 second shot clock, combined with some sort of offensive advantage in rules. My proposal is to eliminate the charge call for jumping into a defender (vertical shooting motion). Players shouldn't be penalized for a difficult and exciting play. I don't know if that's enough, or just my pet peeve.

I enjoy the Badgers as well, but I don't want a world of 'em.


I do enjoy an environment that allows the Badgers to exist, but that might be optimizing for an edge case.
   225. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4377771)
another thing is that folks speak of wisconsin's defense being 'big 10' created but wisconsin has done ok in the ncaa and i don't recall bo ryan griping about officiating. sure wisconsin has been torced a few times by a team with a hot hand (cornell and davidson) spring to mind but that happens to every team in the tournament. wisconsin has done the same to others.

i am just trying to reconcile what people write about wisconsin versus the facts available. i appreciate others feedback because i am open to being educated on why ryan's team, while successful, is not a positive for the game.

to me bo ryan is the walter alston of college baseball. a guy who is a bit of a wiseguy, has a self-deprecating sense of humor, as a coach wants control over the flow of the action, has a very specific gameplan and if a player, however physically gifted, isn't a fit he isn't a fit.

rob wilson likely should have transferred two years into his wisconsin career because ryan didn't like his defense and wasn't going to play him except when wilson got nuclear hot with his jumper to offset his weak defense
   226. just plain joe Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4377773)
1. They pretty much never fast break.
2. They pack the lane on defense, forcing the other team to rely on mid- and long-range jumpshots.
3. They spend a lot of time on offense holding the ball and generally not attacking the basket.
4. When they do attack the basket, it usually seems to be with the express intent to draw a foul.
5. They shoot lots of 3's at the end of the shot clock, which is a shot they could get earlier in the clock, so it makes the 30-32 seconds I spent waiting for it seem wasted.


I'm not a Wisconsin fan, or a non-fan either, to me they are just one more team on the college basketball landscape. Here is my take on your observations, FWIW:

1. Probably true, I don't watch as much CBB as I once did so I can't really say for sure.
2. I see this as smart basketball, trying to make your opponent settle for a longer range, lower percentage shot.
3. Again, smart basketball, make the opposition expend as much energy as possible on defence, most teams will sooner or later break down, resulting in a better shot.
4. I agree that charging/blocking is not consistently called in basketball. Again though, what is wrong with trying to maximize your scoring opportunities, in this case by getting the "plus one" or at least two free throws.
5. I agree somewhat with you on this; few things are more frustrating than watching a team pass the ball around for 30 seconds and then crank up a three pointer. Again though, this is part of making your opponent work on defense.

Personally I would rather see teams run the ball up the court and take a shot before the defense has time to get set. That's the way we played basketball (back in the sixties) and that is what I would like to see now. That some (many) teams don't play that way doesn't particularly bother me; as someone else said above, it's good that basketball allows teams like Wisconsin to be successful by playing a half court game.
   227. JJ1986 Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4377776)
My view is that 35 seconds is just far too long for a shot clock in general. No team possibly needs that much. If Wisconsin was taking the air out of the ball for 16-18 seconds that would be a cool strategy, but I don't like anything that emphasizes how long the NCAA shotclock is.
   228. andrewberg Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4377780)
1. Probably true, I don't watch as much CBB as I once did so I can't really say for sure.
2. I see this as smart basketball, trying to make your opponent settle for a longer range, lower percentage shot.
3. Again, smart basketball, make the opposition expend as much energy as possible on defence, most teams will sooner or later break down, resulting in a better shot.
4. I agree that charging/blocking is not consistently called in basketball. Again though, what is wrong with trying to maximize your scoring opportunities, in this case by getting the "plus one" or at least two free throws.
5. I agree somewhat with you on this; few things are more frustrating than watching a team pass the ball around for 30 seconds and then crank up a three pointer. Again though, this is part of making your opponent work on defense.


I completely agree that these strategies are smart if you do not have the athletic advantages to beat teams in other ways, I just do not find it appealing to watch. Between the NBA and the college teams who have the coaching and talent to compete with a more interesting style, there is plenty of basketball to entertain me without having to watch Wisconsin. It's not wrong (and it's competitively smart), it's just not for me.
   229. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4377781)
what's interesting is that wisconsin has tried almost twice as many 3 points as its opponents per the big 10 stats. wisconsin has attempted 625 3 points and allowed others to attempt 373. wisconsin makes 34.7 percent and allows teams to make 30 percent

wisconsin leads the conference in defensive rebound pct and by inspection everyone crashes the boards hence the limited number of fast breaks
   230. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4377785)
After a decade of watching Pitt games in the tournament I would be interested in seeing what sort of whistle-fest would result from a wholesale crackdown on fouls. It seems like every year Pitt, Georgetown and a couple other teams blow through the Big East, and then get to the tournament and are reduced to helpless confusion as their players get into foul trouble three times as fast as they ever did in the regular season.
   231. smileyy Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4377793)
Didn't the Big East experiment with 6 fouls per game in league play? I remember that...didn't help at all.

"Foul trouble" is another pet peeve of mine. I hate that it becomes a deciding factor in a lot of games.
   232. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4377796)
3 of wisconsin's notable losses in the ncaa tourney were to syracuse last year, to cornell in 2010 and davidson in 2008. in every game wisconsin attempted more free throws than the other team. and yet wisconsin lost every game and the latter two were blown out for the simple reason that the opponents hit every shot imaginable. and nobody from wisconsin was griping about the refs affecting the way the badgers played defense.

so when folks talk about the badger defense being predicated on cheating (as shorthand for the various tactics used) it's hard for me to reconcile when this alleged collection of grabby thugs gets beat the old-fashioned way of other teams hitting their jumpers. because that is what happened. and that's ok obviously. you hit your shots you should win
   233. Topher Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4377799)
My view is that 35 seconds is just far too long for a shot clock in general. No team possibly needs that much.


I'm in favor of a change to a 24/30 second shot clock. That said, I think it should be acknowledged that plenty of teams struggle to get a quick shot if the team is bringing the ball up the court after a made shot (therefore the defense has a chance to get in position). It really isn't all that uncommon for a team to spend 15-25 seconds passing the ball around the perimeter, far enough away from the three point line that shooting isn't ever really an option. I don't think teams are trying to slow the game down. This relates to the point above regarding just how physical the game is these days but because it is so physical, post players have a really hard time establishing good position down low -- teams would pass into the paint earlier in the clock if a guy was open.

I'm more in favor of moving the three point line farther out. Because there is a make-able three point shot always available as the shot clock winds down, it encourages teams to be a bit too wise about their shots and not "force" a mid-range jumper. Right now you have most college teams trying to either score within 5 feet of the basket or take a three because both are vastly superior options. If a 12 footer became a decent option for teams, I think you'd find teams shooting much earlier in possessions.
   234. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4377825)
After a decade of watching Pitt games in the tournament I would be interested in seeing what sort of whistle-fest would result from a wholesale crackdown on fouls. It seems like every year Pitt, Georgetown and a couple other teams blow through the Big East, and then get to the tournament and are reduced to helpless confusion as their players get into foul trouble three times as fast as they ever did in the regular season.


This. Syracuse @ Marquette the other night was another exhibit of this. The beatings that the officials tolerate in the BEAST are absurd, I'll be stunned if Marquette goes anywhere in the Tourny with their current approach. As it is with their offense, I don't know how the heck Buzz is doing it with this club.
   235. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4377837)
mrams

what are your two cents on the badgers?
   236. smileyy Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4377847)
Right now you have most college teams trying to either score within 5 feet of the basket or take a three because both are vastly superior options. If a 12 footer became a decent option for teams, I think you'd find teams shooting much earlier in possessions.


This. I think you're right that a more distant 3-point line would help spacing. I don't think it would change where the offense initiates from (as you noted), but it would change where the defense guards out to (cf. Packline defense)
   237. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4377876)
I've seen a lot of WI hoops over the years, (enough where I think Bo's a smug ass, but I also have a lot of respect for him). He very much wants players who commit to his style (the swing offense), as you undoubtedly know.
With the 'swing' (for those who don't know) it is about moving around without the ball until you get mismatches off of switches, it also requires 'bigs' that can shoot, or at the very least who are able to play with the ball in their hands at the arc on offense.

As far as this season, injury bug didn't help them early, their PG play has been unreliable (mostly), their FT shooting has been dreadful. They aren't a very good shooting team either. Dekker looks like a guy who might be a great shooter, but Bo seems to hate playing freshman. With that said, they still play disciplined defense (meaning get back, prevent fast break, crowd the lane) and they still turn the ball over very little. 'Advanced stats' generally like the Badgers for their 'efficiency', points per possession, things like that. I don't know what those figures look like this season, I have other hobbies. Talent wise, not a great team, but yeah, Bo gets a lot out of them, particularly this team. I'd be surprised by a second weekend run in the tournament. They will always be exposed by a good shooting team, until the army of 6-10 white dudes with buzz cuts can get out on the shooters, but that's not Bo's plan, you aren't going to drive to the hole and post your way to beating UW.
   238. cmd600 Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4377895)
and yet every year ken pomeroy rates them alongside the teams others claim are 'more talented'.

i use quotation marks because i think bo ryan's definition of talent is wildly different from yours.

and yes, i read comments like yours regularly and yet nobody ever provides any technical justification. just that they don't like watching the team play. and by technical justification explain what wisconsin does that fouls the game. telling me 'it's boring' is a ten year old's argument

it's a legit request. i am not a basketball expert by any stretch. but i can read. educate me on what ryan's teams do that as a fan should upset me


Pomeroy just measures the results. Wisconsin being able to take advantage of some crappy rules and crappily enforced rules to have a similiar Pomeroy rating doesn't make them as talented.

I don't think Ryan's and my definition of talent are that much different. If he could get a top 10 recruiting class every year, I don't see him turning it down. Kudos to him for finding the talent he does to turn ugly basketball into winning.

If you're going to require video breakdown of what Wisconsin does, then fine, I'm not going to bother changing your mind. If you want to live in a world where Wisconsin doesn't take the air out of the ball, or the Big Ten refs aren't calling games incredibly loose, go for it.

For a team that supposedly has a wizard, I would expect better than OK in the NCAAs.
   239. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4377912)
I was rather stunned to see Wisconsin playing so well in the Big 10. The Badger team I saw get eviscerated by Florida at the start of the season didn't seem likely to compete for anything. It wasn't just the final result that struck me: they looked awful. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what they were trying to do, what their strength was supposed to be. No inside game (they got out-rebounded 40-21), no shooting (31 percent overall), no defense (Florida shot 62 percent from the field), no athleticism.

That they're playing so well in a tough conference speaks awfully well of Ryan's ability to tinker and make something out of nothing.
   240. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4377926)
If you're going to require video breakdown of what Wisconsin does, then fine, I'm not going to bother changing your mind. If you want to live in a world where Wisconsin doesn't take the air out of the ball, or the Big Ten refs aren't calling games incredibly loose, go for it.

it was a legit question and i am surprised to get a response of 'well, you are too stupid to understand so why bother' nature

sorry you feel that way.
   241. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4377950)
mrams

thanks for the response

evans taking jump shots as foul shots is certainly interesting to watch
   242. cmd600 Posted: February 28, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4378013)
it was a legit question and i am surprised to get a response of 'well, you are too stupid to understand so why bother' nature


It's really not though. You know no one with a day job is going to have the time to pour over the video to find the "technical justification" needed to sway you. And it's not a "too stupid" thing, its completely unbalanced work-required to reward ratio. I mean, I've already made it pretty clear that a big part of my complaint is that Big Ten refs call games way too loose, and you've turned that into "folks talk about the badger defense being predicated on cheating", why should I spend as much time as I already have banging my head against the wall?
   243. andrewberg Posted: February 28, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4378023)
why should I spend as much time as I already have banging my head against the wall?


Because the internet.
   244. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4378031)
'call games way too loose' has been a chronic complaint of the big ten officiating for decades. and mrams said stuff in a few sentences which helped me understand a different perspective of how wisconsin is perceived as did others here.

i understand you are not interested in a conversation so i won't respond to your posts further

sorry for the hassle
   245. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 28, 2013 at 08:57 PM (#4378039)
well isn't ironic. got sent a link from grantland where the author discusses how to fix college basketball and the team shown as the accompanying photo is wisconsin
   246. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: March 01, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4378252)
March!
   247. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: March 01, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4378264)
March!
   248. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 02, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4379245)
ASU's push for a tourney bid climaxes with their worst half of the season.

I gotta wonder about Sendek's job security. The new AD seems to have done OK with his hiring of Graham for football; maybe he'll try to stretch it into a double.
   249. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 02, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4379306)
Florida clinches a share of the SEC title. A home game against a crummy Vanderbilt team is all that stands between UF and the outright title.

I know that doesn't mean a lot to outside fans, considering how awful the SEC is. But there's so little history of this kind of success in UF's pre-Donovan past that every tangible accomplishment represents something historic for the program.
   250. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 02, 2013 at 09:29 PM (#4379337)
And in far less important, non-Gator news, Ryan Kelly had a hell of a comeback game for Duke.
   251. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 02, 2013 at 09:32 PM (#4379339)
Arkansas would have a pretty darned good chance of beating any team in the country (see: Florida) as long as the game is played in Fayetteville.

Arkansas would have a pretty good darned chance of losing to any team in the country above high school (see: any number of L's this year) as long as the game is played anywhere but Fayetteville.

I don't suppose Fayetteville is hosting any tournament games this year.
   252. smileyy Posted: March 04, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4380271)
Xavier played their worst game in conference play against UMass. A lot of shortcomings got exposed in the second half. Sure, UMass made their 3's, but Xavier left them open. Sure, the team can't score, but its generally been able to defend beyond its talent level, so to see that fall apart is disheartening. I wonder how much fatigue is going through the team right now, with so many players playing so many more minutes than they're used to.

Its been a frustrating season, and I have to remind myself that the team is probably at the bottom of two troughs -- some recruiting class misses combined with unexpected departures. Either Mark Lyons _or_ Dez Wells on this team probably has them contending for the league title and an NCAA tournament bid. That's not to give the coaches a free pass, but it does provide context and areas for improvement.
   253. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 04, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4380310)
And in far less important, non-Gator news, Ryan Kelly had a hell of a comeback game for Duke.


Teams have been packing the lane against Mason Plumlee and shadowing Curry for a couple of weeks. Cook and Sulaimon can penetrate, but are inconsistent finishers, especially when the lane's crowded. Kelly's outside shooting is a real difference maker for them.

That said, Miami still looked really good. They've come out of nowhere to be a legit Top-5 team. Kelly played out of his mind, and the 'Canes still had a chance to tie the game on the last possession.
   254. VoodooR Posted: March 04, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4380314)
Gonzaga #1 in both polls.

Are they worthy?
   255. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 04, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4380335)
boy did wisconsin throw up all over itself yesterday. all i could tell was that wisconsin couldn't hit a shot despite playing at home. and there were open shots.

the downside of relying on jump shots
   256. SoSH U at work Posted: March 04, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4380346)
Gonzaga #1 in both polls.

Are they worthy?


They're a process of elimination No. 1. No one else warrants the distinction more than them.

   257. smileyy Posted: March 04, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4380390)
[256] Which is what I hate about polls. The "Have you lost lately" game is a stupid one.

Has anyone created a polling prediction model to show how useless they are?
   258. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4382086)
Kind of an odd scene in Bloomington last night. They held their Senior Night festivities after the game (as is traditional), which was an upset loss to Ohio State. They then held a large Big 10 Co-Champions net-cutting ceremony. Again, all after a tough loss.

I'm not criticizing; I know it was a slog for Crean and Indiana after Sampson left. Still, the timing was quite awkward.
   259. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 07, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4382566)
gt beat miami!
   260. madvillain Posted: March 07, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4382582)
Gonzaga #1 in both polls.

Are they worthy?


No, it should be Indiana or Florida imo. Gonzaga is a nice story who has played nobody.

__________________________

This the most brutal B1G season I can remember. Winning on the road in conference play is next to impossible and even the top teams in the conference (IU, UM, MSU, O$U) have slogged their way through with plenty of puzzling (until you realize it's the B1G; it's what happens) losses along the way.

The B1G is simply on another level this year. Hell, I'd take Minny, a team that just lost on the road to NU, over the 3rd best SEC team Kentucky, on a neutral court. Minny might be the 6th best team in the B1G.


gt beat miami!


I think Minny could beat Miami on a neutral court 4 times out of 10 or so. No offense to GT.

Before you call me a homer look at the advanced stats and also -- B1G football sucks I readily admit. But for some crazy reason this conference is loaded most years in hoops. It's especially loaded this year.
   261. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 07, 2013 at 01:43 AM (#4382621)
None taken. It's not that Miami is great, just that GT sucks and I root for them.
   262. smileyy Posted: March 07, 2013 at 05:36 PM (#4383177)
I'd love to see Miami make the Elite 8. I have a fondness for Shane Larkin. The NCAA tournament has a lot of variability though. The Miami program doesn't strike me as one that's built to last, and its kind of a shame to peak at, say, a "only" Sweet 16.
   263. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 07, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4383206)
The Miami program doesn't strike me as one that's built to last, and its kind of a shame to peak at, say, a "only" Sweet 16.


I feel like it's really important in these once-a-decade kind of seasons to come away with concrete achievements, something to point at or put on a banner. In Miami's case, an outright ACC Championship would be a pretty sweet prize, even if they end up falling fairly early in the tournament.

If you have one of these seasons and still come away with nothing (no conference championships, no tournament championships, no national titles) it can really feel like a waste. I remember looking at the one year Texas had Kevin Durant as a pretty massive wasted opportunity. You have this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent, you have him for one year, and you finish third in the conference, runner-up in the conference tournament and exit in the second round of the NCAAs? What did you really get out of Durant, then? Some nice memories, a little good publicity and that's about it.

(To be clear, I don't blame Durant for that at all. I'm quite sure Rick Barnes holds most of the responsibility)
   264. smileyy Posted: March 07, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4383216)
Honestly, it doesn't even need to be an outright championship. Nobody at Xavier cares about the times they split the league title when they won 5 in a row.

But you make a good point overall -- conference championships are an accomplishment oft-overlooked when you're not a dedicated fan of teams in that conference.
   265. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 09, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4385034)
I want to believe the stat guys when they tell me that Florida's close losses are indicative of bad luck and little else, but this is getting obscene. You can't go the last eight minutes of a game without scoring a point. For God's sake, a high school team would luck into a point in eight minutes, even at Rupp.

I don't know how many times Billy Donovan is going to let Kenny Boynton miss long, contested jumpers at the end of games before he understands it's not a high percentage play, but he should learn that really, really soon.
   266. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 09, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4385234)
Congratulations to Florida Gulf Coast and Belmont, our first tournament teams.
   267. Shredder Posted: March 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4385321)
The dynamic among UCLA fans is really interesting to watch. The main UCLA fan site has dug so far into their position that Ben Howland needs to be fired that I'm not sure even another final four would change their mind. So for them, UCLA didn't win the outright Pac 12 championship today, they backed into the championship of an absolutely pathetic conference that any competent coach would have rolled through nearly undefeated. They can't back down from their position that he needs to go, no matter what happens. So you have a big portion of the fan base that is really disappointed the the Bruins just won the conference championship, because it means they might not fire their coach.
   268. smileyy Posted: March 11, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4386438)
[267] At some point you have to measure against results, huh? But that doesn't mean you ignore Howland's peripherals either.

I think you have to remain skeptical if UCLA doesn't reach the FF or Elite 8, and a lot of their freshman recruiting class leaves for the NBA. If you want to play the Calipari game of great 1-year recruiting classes, you have to be able to integrate them and deliver with them too.
   269. frannyzoo Posted: March 11, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4386467)
Okay, the season in which I actually start to care about college B'ball has begun. Watching Western Kentucky v. Arkansas St. kicked it off. Damn that exhibition season is long. Gonzaga v. St. Mary's tonight to confirm a #1 seed for the Zags. Honestly, couldn't the pre-season last about eight-ten games and start February 1? Making only conference tourneys count (how to seed them? I don't care...) would save us about 8,000 unnecessary games to skip on our TV channel flips.

Oh well, let the games begin, for realz and all...
   270. smileyy Posted: March 11, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4386479)
That makes sense for the more casual fan. I think more dedicated fans would rather have the conference regular season count a whole lot more.
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