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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

OT - 2021 March Madness thread

It seemed as if the dream of a perfect season might end for the Gonzaga men’s basketball team in the West Coast Conference tournament on Tuesday. But Gonzaga found a rhythm in the second half—the Bulldogs were down by 12 points at halftime—to maintain a spotless record by securing an 88-78 win over BYU in the title game.

Gonzaga (26-0) will now enter the NCAA tournament with an opportunity to match college basketball’s last perfect season, achieved by Indiana during the 1975-76 campaign. Per Zags coach Mark Few, the team has embraced the history attached to this moment.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 10, 2021 at 08:47 PM | 121 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college basketball, off-topic

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   1. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 10, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#6008172)
Having learned my lesson, I did not create a bracket pool.
   2. Voodoo Posted: March 11, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6008249)
Duke has a positive COVID test and will not play tonight in the ACC tourney, source told @Stadium. Looks like season is over for the Blue Devils.
   3. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: March 11, 2021 at 02:54 PM (#6008266)
Having been assured all season long after loss upon loss upon loss upon loss that Kentucky would finally get it together in the postseason, I'm wondering what excuse my Wildcats-worshipping friend will come up with now. Looks to me like Calipari didn't do a very good job of rolling the ball out on the floor and sitting back to watch this year.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6008268)
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
THIS IS MARCH
   5. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 11, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6008280)
Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
Drexel at +500,000 to win the tourney. Free money. #DrexelDragons

   6. Voodoo Posted: March 15, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6008716)
Bump.

My final four:

Gonzaga, Florida State, Baylor, Houston -- Zags over Bears in the title game

Crazy #### from my bracket:

#14 Abilene Christian over #3 Texas in first round. BYU to the elite eight. No Big Ten team makes it past the Sweet 16.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: March 15, 2021 at 07:19 PM (#6008719)
most populous US states without a team in men's hoops March Madness 68-team bracket: Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Mississippi, New Mexico (something about M and N states?)
   8. puck Posted: March 15, 2021 at 07:47 PM (#6008722)
Geno Auriemma tested positive. I assume he was not vaccinated...he's 66, he should have been able to get the shot by now.
   9. Voodoo Posted: March 15, 2021 at 11:19 PM (#6008744)
Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa State all fire their coaches today.

Also fun that Rick Pitino makes the tournament this year with Iona and Kentucky and Louisville both are left out.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: March 15, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#6008747)
Geno Auriemma tested positive.

after so many decades of absolute beatdowns of overwhelmed foes - with him keeping the regulars in even in the final minutes of games with his squad enjoying a 30+ point lead - it's a bit refreshing to see Geno and "positive" for once be in the same sentence.

(obviously I wish no harm to his health. he's a dick #crossthread but I still hope he comes out of this safely, so he can have much more time to weigh his future playing time decisions for his dominant teams.)
   11. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 16, 2021 at 01:42 AM (#6008757)
after so many decades of absolute beatdowns of overwhelmed foes - with him keeping the regulars in even in the final minutes of games with his squad enjoying a 30+ point lead - it's a bit refreshing to see Geno and "positive" for once be in the same sentence.

(obviously I wish no harm to his health. he's a dick #crossthread but I still hope he comes out of this safely, so he can have much more time to weigh his future playing time decisions for his dominant teams.)

if you're bitter that he didn't take his team's best players out of a game, send in a goon to take his best players out of the game for him.
   12. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 16, 2021 at 07:58 AM (#6008763)
boop
   13. jmurph Posted: March 16, 2021 at 09:26 AM (#6008767)
after so many decades of absolute beatdowns of overwhelmed foes - with him keeping the regulars in even in the final minutes of games with his squad enjoying a 30+ point lead

I think this kind of thing is usually loser talk. Being roasted by Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi is an honor. I have a friend who "guarded" Allen Iverson in high school. I assure you, his greatest athletic achievement is being able to tell people that an NBA Hall of Famer lit him up a couple times a season for multiple years.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: March 16, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6008780)
there's nothing at all wrong with UConn or any team taking a commanding lead and keeping in the regulars until it's impossible for the other team to mount a rally.

and then - it's over. the players on the losing team already have plenty of "honors" and stories to tell about it for decades to come.

from 2019:

“The majority of coaches in America are afraid of their players,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said on a conference call Tuesday.

“The NCAA, the athletic directors and society has made them afraid of their players. Every article you read: ‘This guy’s a bully. This woman’s a bully. This guy went over the line. This woman was inappropriate.’

“Yet the players get off scot-free in everything. They can do whatever they want. They don’t like something you say to them, they transfer. Coaches, they have to coach with one hand behind their back. Why? Because some people have abused the role of a coach.”

.................

Auriemma makes more than $2 million annually in base salary alone - but it's the players who get to "do whatever they want."

hmm, if that's true - I wonder why they don't want to get paid?

the guy's a dick, proving that not only men's college basketball coaches qualify for that designation.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: March 16, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6008783)
the guy's a dick


And unlike with Greinke, I'm comfortable calling it a permanent state in Geno's case.
   16. jmurph Posted: March 16, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6008785)
It's not at all hard for me to imagine that Auriemma is a jerk, he certainly seems like one from everything I've seen about him. But I don't really follow the non-sequiturs of "running up the score" and whatever that comment is about player power.
   17. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 16, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6008832)
Duke has a positive COVID test and will not play tonight in the ACC tourney, source told @Stadium. Looks like season is over for the Blue Devils.


This was not the year to have no training camp. Duke never gelled, and the offense was a sludge factory all year. I hope Duke's backcourt (Steward and Roach) return. They were sloppy with the ball, but are aggressive, fun players. Not sure if Matthew Hurt will go pro....he's probably a second-round pick, but hey, Ryan Kelly bounced around the NBA for a few years, so Hurt might go for it.
   18. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 19, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6009221)
Bumping the March Madness thread since games start presently.
   19. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 11:51 AM (#6009224)
iowa's gonna run away with this in the end, but penn state's going well enough to make them sweat a little through the blood round.
   20. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: March 19, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6009227)
voodoo, i did two brackets (for a pool that rewards picking upsets) - one of which had every element you mentioned in post 6.
--
i wanna do a self serving whine about georgia tech for a sec.
they're a 9 seed, which i think is a little low given how the ncaa likes to reward play later in the season (they began the season with terrible losses to bad teams, that might have been partly because gt adopted a no contact practice regimen design to lessen covid transmission risks that result in some really awful gametime defense)... and drew loyola of chicago. the top 8 teams in kenpom are all one or two seeds, loyola was #9. ridiculous.
on the bright side, at least tech's acc poty is going to miss the game.
sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
   21. JL72 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6009234)
Der-K

As an Illinois alum, I have the same complaints. GT and Loyola of Chicago are really good teams for the 8-9 seeds. I am not looking forward to playing either of them. I can at least kind of see why GT was placed where they were, as I believe the committee takes player availability into account.

But still a tough draw.
   22. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: March 19, 2021 at 02:24 PM (#6009240)
Tech was seeded 9th prior to the Wright announcement, I think?
But, yeah, I felt for Illinois (who I do have in the final).
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: March 19, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6009244)
That's the bonus bad thing about underseeding. It's also unfair to the teams the underseeded have to face.

   24. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6009248)
marinelli down!!!
   25. JL72 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6009250)
Tech was seeded 9th prior to the Wright announcement, I think?


If that is the case, then that does not make sense either.
   26. Voodoo Posted: March 19, 2021 at 06:04 PM (#6009264)
voodoo, i did two brackets (for a pool that rewards picking upsets) - one of which had every element you mentioned in post 6.


The 'sell the Big 10 short' bracket strategy is looking pretty good so far. Michigan State goes down in the play-in game last night (not too surprising) and Oral Roberts takes down Ohio State (stunning) today. The Buckeyes' Washington was incredibly anti-clutch in this game, playing hero ball in the final minutes of both regulation and overtime, missed crucial free throws and clanked two buzzer beaters.
   27. Voodoo Posted: March 19, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6009265)
GT and Loyola of Chicago are really good teams for the 8-9 seeds.


Loyola-Chicago is a top 10 team in KenPom. Big time underseed.
   28. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6009270)
Loyola-Chicago is a top 10 team in KenPom. Big time underseed.
sure, but are they in a power-5 conference?
   29. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6009271)
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention
pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR

— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021

It’s not just the weight room in San Antonio. NCAA women’s welcome gift vs. the men’s in Indy.
pic.twitter.com/eq3rQ2w9sT

— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) March 19, 2021
   30. JJ1986 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 07:54 PM (#6009277)
Is Cade Cunningham like the 4th option for his team?
   31. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 08:24 PM (#6009283)
Here, for instance, are some College Basketball Guys that the Defector staff remembers:

Spike Albrecht
...
Matt Stainbrook
...
Marshall Henderson
...
Levance Fields
Gerry McNamara

needs more adam emmenecker
   32. JJ1986 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6009285)
Some of those guys (like McNamara) are way too famous to be "some guys." Andrew Harrison was a regular player in the NBA.
   33. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#6009286)
Some of those guys (like McNamara) are way too famous to be "some guys." Andrew Harrison was a regular player in the NBA.
name one thing gerry mcnamara has done since he graduated (or not) from syracuse.

and noone who knows who andrew harrison is, knows who he is as a result of anything he's done in the NBA.
   34. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: March 19, 2021 at 09:05 PM (#6009291)
McNamara's is the only name in that list that I recognize -- and then only barely.
   35. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 19, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6009295)
McNamara's is the only name in that list that I recognize -- and then only barely.
oh, then feast your eyes on matt stainbrook. because unlike taylor coppenrath, noone knows who matt stainbrook is because of anything matt stainbrook's done.

   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 19, 2021 at 09:45 PM (#6009298)
College basketball guys:
Andrew Gaze
Alaa Abdelnaby
Andrew DeClerq
Jimmer Fredette
Casey Calvary
Shea Seals
Tyus Edney
Luke Maye
   37. smileyy Posted: March 19, 2021 at 11:48 PM (#6009310)
[35] if that's not a picture of him driving an Uber, it doesn't truly reflect the glory of the Stain Train.
   38. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 20, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6009333)
Kevin Pittsnoggle
Isaiah Hicks
Blake Stepp
   39. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 20, 2021 at 01:42 PM (#6009338)
If you ever think you had a bad day remember @m1tchmoore got robbed at gunpoint for one dollar and lost in the blood round in one afternoon

— mr bonesaw (@BonesawBrent) March 20, 2021
   40. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 20, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6009339)
I'm not a doctor, but I imagine Myles Amine started the tournament with 2 eyes.
pic.twitter.com/C5F6VZEoAc

— Bloodround Wrestling (@Bloodround) March 20, 2021
   41. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 20, 2021 at 02:23 PM (#6009341)
and with penn state's win by decision at 197, iowa has clinched the team title.
   42. KronicFatigue Posted: March 20, 2021 at 05:24 PM (#6009351)
1) Is the NCAA back to officially calling the round of 64 the first round? On CBS's bracket page, which feels semi official, they are calling it the first round. I hate-hate-hated how they were calling it the 2nd round and the play-in games the new "first round"

2) If they are back to calling it the first round, have they gone back and redone all the stats to indicate as such? Things like "this team has never made it to the second round" were all messed up b/c of that 1st/2nd round nonsense.

3) If we're back to calling this the first round, has NCAA finally admitted the play-in games are a bust? Nobody cares, b/c everyone procrastinates in filling out their bracket, and most people only care b/c of the gambling aspect.

4) [i'm going to cross post this in the nba thread, so forgive the redundancy]. What do you call a 3 point attempt where the defender is kinda sorta close to the shooter and puts a hand up, but the shooter is able to take his true/natural form? Is that an "open" three? A lot of times it's from a catch-and-shoot but not always. I feel like the biggest difference between the NBA game and NCAA is that NCAA will sometimes pass up this shot. It's very frustrating b/c I'm not exactly sure why they're even camped out at the 3 point line if they're not going to take that shot. Instead, they'll drive into traffic without a premeditated plan-b and either reset the offense or force up a bad shot.
   43. smileyy Posted: March 20, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6009355)
[42] Yeah, they're calling those games that no one cares about the "First Four" now.

I remain disappointed that they have the lowest auto-bid teams play each other and the last at-large bids play each other rather than the lowest auto-bid teams play the last at-large bids.

Nearly every last at-large team has screwed the pooch multiple times in their chance to really secure the bid. As a result, I think they deserve the chance to be upset by a team that had to fight tooth and nail through their conference finals to get there.

I guess playing like that would #### up the rest of the bracket by giving the "worst" team in the field a chance to slot themselves in as the 48th best team. Regardless. I'd be far more interested in 16 vs. 12 games than I am in 16 vs. 16 and certainly more than two mediocre power-5 teams trying to figure out who can screw up least.
   44. KronicFatigue Posted: March 20, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6009360)
I'm half with you on that. I think all the play-in games should be at large. It fits the theme of the tournament better: win your conference and you're "in"; if you're on the bubble, you have to do a little more work. From a ratings standpoint, by and large those at-large teams are usually bigger names with bigger audiences.

A 16 vs 16 game gives those teams a chance to win, which they don't have in the real tournament. But I feel like there's still more of an accomplishment to get into the real tournament and go up against a big dog.
   45. smileyy Posted: March 20, 2021 at 07:47 PM (#6009374)
All at-large's in the first four would make sense and actually effective in a bracket.

There's something egalitarian about a 16-seed getting to face a #1 that they'd never be able to schedule (not even as a buy game) and hey, once in forever, they actually get to win.

   46. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 20, 2021 at 08:25 PM (#6009380)
There's something egalitarian about a 16-seed getting to face a #1 that they'd never be able to schedule (not even as a buy game) and hey, once in forever, they actually get to win.
fun fact:
the reason why 14, 15 and 16 seeds are more likely to upset 1/2/3 seeds nowadays is exactly because those terrible conference champions have to play each other to get in.

i was against these games, too, for a long time and for the reasons that have been stated, but if you like seeing huge upsets on the first day of the tournament, this is how the sausage gets made.
   47. Voodoo Posted: March 20, 2021 at 09:07 PM (#6009387)
fun fact:
the reason why 14, 15 and 16 seeds are more likely to upset 1/2/3 seeds nowadays is exactly because those terrible conference champions have to play each other to get in.


This isn't even remotely true. The play-in games amongst conference champions is always 16 seeds only, so it has no bearing on the 14s and 15s and the only 16 seed to ever win wasn't one of that year's two 16 seed play in winners.
   48. Laser Man Posted: March 20, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6009391)
I think the 16 seeds like the play-in games. They get a competitive game on national TV, with a big audience. It's much better than showing up and only getting a blowout loss to the #1 seed.
   49. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 20, 2021 at 10:17 PM (#6009394)
This isn't even remotely true. The play-in games amongst conference champions is always 16 seeds only, so it has no bearing on the 14s and 15s and the only 16 seed to ever win wasn't one of that year's two 16 seed play in winners.

...which means they'd have been a 15 seed without the play in games.
   50. KronicFatigue Posted: March 20, 2021 at 10:17 PM (#6009395)
47 - now there are 6 16 seeds when there used to be 4. 2 of those 6 would have been 15 seeds under the old rules. That means that two of the current 15 seeds would have to be bumped up to 14. And so on and so forth until you get to the last at large.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: March 20, 2021 at 10:42 PM (#6009399)
I might be the only alum here of a school that has played the 16th seed game intermittently since 1985 - FDU.

their near-upset of No 1 Michigan in 1985, in the first year of the 64-team bracket and the last year with no shot clock, may have contributed to the Wolverines losing a close second-round game to Villanova - which later shocked Georgetown and the world in the title game.

my sister also is an FDU alum - and has a daughter who had recently graduated from UMBC in 2019 - which is that No 16 seed that stunned/demolished Virginia in the first round that year - and how many people have that lineage?

the challenge with the play-in games, which are either to gain an 11 seed or 12 seed, depending on how many fluke conference champs there were - is that I think 2019 was the first time in that decade of games that neither play-in winner knocked off the better seed. not unusual for them to win a second game as well, and we even have had a play-in team make it to the Final Four.

as an FDU guy, I wish that wasn't the case, because then I could plausibly claim that they should go back to 64 teams - and screw those middling big-conference teams. but their track record is just way too good.

FDU beat Florida Gulf Coast in a 2019 play-in, which might have been the first time the Northeast Conference ever "won a game" in March Madness (although the league champ has put a scare into the big boys for a while sometimes over the years). ESPN Bracketology this year had the conference tournament favorite penciled in as a 15 seed, but they blew it in the final.
   52. Voodoo Posted: March 21, 2021 at 12:42 AM (#6009406)
...which means they'd have been a 15 seed without the play in games.


While, I still thinks it's an oversell to suggest that it has made upsets more likely in any significant way but I was clearly wrong that it has no bearing on the 14/15 seeds.

However...

#14 Abilene Christian over #3 Texas in first round.


I was right about this! So I'm doing a victory lap right now (and we can ignore my BYU to the EE pick).
   53. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 21, 2021 at 01:45 AM (#6009412)
Winners and Losers of the First Round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament

...
And so, Virginia has completed the strangest championship sandwich in NCAA history:

- In 2018, the top-seeded Hoos lost to no. 16 seed UMBC in the first round, becoming the only no. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history to ever lose a game against a no. 16 seed.
- In 2019, the Cavaliers WON THE WHOLE DAMN TOURNAMENT, capturing the first national title in school history by completing one of the most dramatic March Madness runs of all time. Virginia won both their Elite Eight and national championship matchups in overtime, and squeezed out a one-point win in the Final Four behind some clutch free throws.
- In 2020, there was no NCAA tournament, giving Virginia a rare second season atop the national throne. This will go down as a strange garnish on this championship sandwich, like sprouts or banana peppers.
- In 2021, the Hoos lost to a no. 13 seed in the first round, the team’s second loss to a double-digit seed in a span of three tournaments.

on Friday Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman became the first coach of a no. 3 seed to turn to prop comedy to get his team fired up before a matchup against a no. 14 seed. To be fair, the Razorbacks were playing Colgate, and some jokes are just too good to pass up. So Musselman took out a tube of toothpaste and squeezed it on the locker room floor:

https://t.co/ZlNvOxQF4Y
pic.twitter.com/XwEeSawyaw
— 3 Seed Arkansas Razorback Basketball (@RazorbackMBB) March 19, 2021


I have many questions:

...Is Musselman aware that Colgate University is actually named after the guy who founded the toothpaste company?
...Did Musselman ever consider that the floor of this locker room was carpeted? And that bathrooms never have carpet floors, for reasons including that it is probably difficult to get toothpaste out of carpet?
...Did Musselman immediately clean up the toothpaste? Or did he leave the pile of the toothpaste on the carpet?
The insults trickle down to the tiniest details: The men’s swag bags included a 500-piece puzzle; the women got 150-piece puzzles.

...This isn’t like the men got top-tier options and the women got slightly worse ones. The NCAA provided its men’s basketball players with elite facilities while providing its women’s basketball players with resources that are clearly inadequate. The men got a Ritz-Carlton; the women got a shack.



   54. Howie Menckel Posted: March 21, 2021 at 02:01 AM (#6009415)
SportsCenter
@SportsCenter
·
1h
15-seed Oral Roberts
14-seed Abilene Christian
13-seed North Texas
13-seed Ohio

This is the first time four teams seeded 13 or worse have reached the Round of 32 in a single NCAA Tournament.
   55. bunyon Posted: March 21, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6009423)
as an FDU guy, I wish that wasn't the case, because then I could plausibly claim that they should go back to 64 teams - and screw those middling big-conference teams. but their track record is just way too good.

I don't think their track record is weird. While I would love to see more mid-majors who win regular season championships but get upset in their conference tournament, the 6th or 7th place power 5 team is almost always going to be better. In a single elimination tournament, that 16-12 SEC team can get a little hot, benefit from an upset or pull a single upset themselves and go a long way.

   56. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 21, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6009440)
The play-in games totally suck. 64 team March Madness was one of the few good things the NCAA did, so you knew it wouldn’t last. but....

If we have to have extra teams at all l, I would convert it to a brutal reality-TV 8-team elimination tournament, playing every day: quarters on Monday, semis Tuesday, final Wednesday,

The exhausted winner then gets zero (0) days off before playing the #1 overall seed on Thursday.
   57. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 21, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6009441)
54–The fact that three of those four teams are from Texas could surely set some sort of trivial never-to-be-broken tournament record...
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: March 21, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6009443)
last I checked, Oral Roberts was located in Tulsa - and Tulsa was located in Oklahoma

(and Ohio was located in Ohio)
   59. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 21, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6009445)
oh, duh, had another team in my head.....
   60. nick swisher hygiene Posted: March 21, 2021 at 01:22 PM (#6009451)
Also, even though nobody’s here, I kinda feel like the guy with the stashe for Loyola could maybe bring together Stiggles’ interests in wrestling and hoops....
   61. Voodoo Posted: March 21, 2021 at 01:43 PM (#6009455)
Loyola is really taking it to Illinois right now.
   62. bunyon Posted: March 21, 2021 at 02:37 PM (#6009460)
Loyola is good. I can totally see them making the final four. (I mean, going out on a limb there, huh? Two more wins and the 1 seed already gone).
   63. Mike A Posted: March 21, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6009465)
101-year old Sister Jean's pre-game prayer for Loyola was pretty great:

"As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50% of layups and 30% of its 3 points. Our defense can take care of that."

Yeah, they were criminally underseeded as noted early in this thread.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: March 21, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6009471)
Dayton has had some decent opening weekends by cleverly aligning themselves as an 11 seed or so.

for a mid-major program, reaching the Sweet 16 is enormous in terms of publicity and prestige for recruiting purposes. and there are 3 or 4 days of said publicity before you have to play another game.

so you don't want to be an 8 or 9 seed and then face a 1 in Weekend 1. and not really a 10 seed, either and likely face a 2.

landing an 11, 12, or 13 slot, then, is the way to go in this respect. you tend to get a 3 after a 6, or a 4 after a 5, or a 5 after a 4 (and occasionally it's a 12 vs a 13).

that said, the rare 8 or 9 like Loyola that knocks off a 1 like Illinois gets an exponentially larger benefit. it's just not likely in most cases.
   65. KronicFatigue Posted: March 21, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6009474)
Yeah, they were criminally underseeded as noted early in this thread.


Scanning Kenpom, it looks like Loyola and Wisconsin were the two most underrated/underseeded teams in the bracket. Kinda sucks that they landed in the 8/9 seeds, as it would be very difficult to like them against any #1. I would have been giddy advancing them in my bracket if they were a 10.
   66. Voodoo Posted: March 21, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6009482)
and not really a 10 seed, either and likely face a 2.


The two seed actually does slightly better in getting to the Sweet 16 than the 11, but it's very close and the 12 seed is right there, too. All of those seeds are more than twice as likely to get to the second weekend as the combined probability of the 8/9 winner. It's strange that the 8 seed does so much better than the 9 really, I basically consider them equals, but the eight has done significantly better.

I would have been giddy advancing them in my bracket if they were a 10.


In that case they'd be even more underseeded. The better question is would you have rode them far if they were a 6/7 seed. From what I saw today, the answer for Loyola would have been heck yes.
   67. Howie Menckel Posted: March 21, 2021 at 06:28 PM (#6009486)
It's strange that the 8 seed does so much better than the 9 really, I basically consider them equals, but the eight has done significantly better.

and stranger because the 9 was 72-68 vs the 8 in Round 1 in the modern era, entering this tourney.
   68. Voodoo Posted: March 21, 2021 at 06:59 PM (#6009490)
RE: 66, I meant the ten (but i said two) seed does better than the eleven (barely)
   69. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: March 21, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6009513)
Florida-Oral Roberts has been a very entertaining game.
   70. yo la tengo (the poor man's Ron Darling) Posted: March 21, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6009514)
I feel that the Gators have taken themselves out of the game by slowing down so much. Just get it inside ORU cannot stop the inside game
   71. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: March 21, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6009517)
Back-breaking scoring droughts at the end of games have been UF staples since Mike White took over.
   72. smileyy Posted: March 21, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6009518)
Paige Bueckers just put up 24/9/6 with 4stl and 2blk in her NCAA tournament debut. Sure, its a 1 v. 16 game against High Point, but with a few minutes left she was leading the team in every statistical category.
   73. bunyon Posted: March 21, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6009520)
Hard to beat a 900 foot tall player.
   74. KronicFatigue Posted: March 22, 2021 at 01:08 PM (#6009579)
I'm all for teamwork, ball movement, blah blah blah, but if you have a dominant player like Garza, and the opponent hasn't been able to stop him, just keep feeding him the ball. Let Oregon prove they can stop him BEFORE moving to plan b.
   75. KronicFatigue Posted: March 22, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6009584)
Why was Oregon awarded the basket before the flagrant foul? Basket + 2 fts + possession? The foul was before the shot, doesn't that end the play?
   76. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: March 22, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6009589)
What an embarrassing showing for the Big 10 (at least Illinois lost to a really good team...the rest of them, I dunno).

Michigan ain't gonna last much longer either...
   77. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: March 22, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6009595)
Howard is a solid game coach, but, yes, it's going to be tough without Livers. And that sucks, because Will Wade is not a good person.
   78. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 05:10 PM (#6009623)
I attended the Iowa v Oregon game. It was both a bit weird and exhilarating to attend a real live sporting event, beyond my kids volleyball tournament. NCAA permitting beer sales at tournament now. Wasn't the case a few years back. Iowa fans the majority and a noticeable amount of fans of other teams filling the day with more hoops.
   79. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 23, 2021 at 02:04 AM (#6009674)
Illinois slaps the floor and then gives up a wide open layup.

Never slap the floor.
pic.twitter.com/ieNYCNNOYX

— Connor Newcomb (@ConnorNewcomb_) March 21, 2021
   80. Howie Menckel Posted: March 23, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#6009685)
Howard is a solid game coach

passion is good - to a point.

he's, well, a bit out of control. needs a tall cup of decaf and a reminder that he's 48 years old.

and yes, a pitiful display by the Big 10. noticed Illinois lost by 13 to Baylor in December and beat Ohio U (not St) but 2 points. wondered if all the slobbering was warranted. no longer wonder.
   81. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: March 23, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6009691)
Howard's tactical chops were pretty much the difference last night (well, that, and Wade didn't spend any money on his bench apparently). Growing up on Frieder and Fisher, it is weird to think of Michigan as a technique program rather than a fling-talent-at-them team, but that's been the case since Beilein took over.
   82. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: March 23, 2021 at 11:13 AM (#6009693)
Illinois slaps the floor and then gives up a wide open layup.

For some damn reason, someone did it during a game against Northwestern this year where Illinois was losing by 15 at halftime, but ended up winning by 25. Then it became a laughable tradition afterwards; doing that every game was way more embarrassing than losing in the 2nd round.
   83. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: March 23, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6009694)
and yes, a pitiful display by the Big 10. noticed Illinois lost by 13 to Baylor in December and beat Ohio U (not St) but 2 points. wondered if all the slobbering was warranted. no longer wonder.

Loyola lost to Wisconsin by 14 and also lost to Richmond and Indiana St. Illinois, while shorthanded, also beat Michigan by 20 in Ann Arbor. You can cherry pick individual games all you want, and for any other team besides Gonzaga this year you can stupidly project that out to mean anything you want.

Loyola is good - they're probably going to the Final Four again; at least Illinois didn't lose to an online evangelical school.
   84. puck Posted: March 27, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6010419)
I'm watching the UConn-Iowa women's game due to the incredibly hyped freshmen. Naturally neither scored until there were a few minutes left in the 1st quarter.

I don't like Clark, the Iowa freshman. She goes down to the floor like a central american soccer player. She does draw a lot of contract with aggressive drives but she apparently cannot drive to the hoop without landing hard on the floor every time.
   85. puck Posted: March 27, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6010420)
Clark is the real deal with the deep 3, though.
   86. puck Posted: March 27, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6010422)
Annoying. She drives, initiates contact, doesn't get the call which leads to a steal and a fast break. She just stops running and holds her head.
   87. puck Posted: March 27, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6010423)
I'm not sure when I last saw women's game, but it appears the post up game is still a big deal. Several good bigs in this game.
   88. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 27, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6010424)
i'm surprised that betting on women's sports hasn't taken off. it seems like the edges there for someone who knows what they're doing would be a lot wider than in men's sports, which have a lot more attention devoted to them.

the WNBA should be a degenerate's paradise.
   89. smileyy Posted: March 27, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6010460)
I'm not surprised that Clark struggled against the UConn defense. I was surprised how much trouble Bueckers had getting shots against the Iowa zone. She still stuffed the stat sheet pretty well.
   90. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 28, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6010482)

Loyola is good - they're probably going to the Final Four again; at least Illinois didn't lose to an online evangelical school.


. . . or to Oregon State.
   91. Voodoo Posted: March 28, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#6010504)
The games themselves aren't that compelling, but even in blowouts, Gonzaga is a joy to watch. They move the ball so well and just play a really fun style.
   92. Brian White Posted: March 29, 2021 at 09:37 PM (#6010628)
It's strange that the 8 seed does so much better than the 9 really, I basically consider them equals, but the eight has done significantly better.


This is pretty odd. As 66/67 noted, nine seeds win their first round game just over half of the time. However, in terms of getting into the Sweet 16 and beyond, the eight seeds reach further rounds at double the rate of nine seeds (9.3% of eight seeds reach the sweet 16, vs 5% of nine seeds, etc). I can't figure out if this is random statistical noise, or if there's some kind of bias in the way the committee seeds 8/9 games. It seems to me that nine seeds usually go to middling teams from major conferences - low variance teams that have completely proven that they're the 35th best team in the land, give or take. Maybe there's more variance within eight seeds - less proven teams from smaller conferences who might punch way above their weight, or might be terrible?
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: March 30, 2021 at 12:19 AM (#6010642)
Houston is the first team ever into the Final Four without even having played a single-digit seed.

Their fate was out of their hands in Rd 2 vs Rutgers, which had the choice of advancing or - what they did, in the final few minutes.

am struggling to see what makes them any threat to Baylor - which looked raggedy tonight, but against better competition, and closed well.
   94. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: March 31, 2021 at 12:48 AM (#6010811)
It is great to see a low seeded underdog like UCLA overcome the odds and make it to the Final Four. Very inspiring!
   95. Voodoo Posted: March 31, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6010894)
Especially fun to see the upstart, underdog Bruins face off against the nouveau blue blood, best program in the sport, thought to be unbeatable ... Gonzaga
   96. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: April 01, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6011030)
How often does a true blueblood coaching position come open? Happy retirement, Roy Williams.

And it'll be interesting to see how successful Chris Beard is at lifting Longhorn roundball out of its generations-long doledrums. From UA Little Rock to Texas in 6 years is a pretty decent career trajectory.
   97. Voodoo Posted: April 04, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6011527)
An absolute all-timer, instant classic last night. UCLA played incredible, but it wasn't quite enough. Now we get the Gonzaga Baylor matchup everybody has been talking about all year. It's been a great NCAA tournament.
   98. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 04, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6011530)
100% agree Voodoo. The first game was not great, but the second game more than made up for it. Awesome.
   99. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 04, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6011534)
That UCLA v. Gonzaga game was one of the best college basketball games I have seen in a long time: good defense, incredible offensive execution, lead changes, OT, and a buzzer beater.
   100. Voodoo Posted: April 05, 2021 at 04:29 PM (#6011767)
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