Saturday, March 31, 2007

Florida-Ohio State in the title game

YUCK! How in the heck did we end up with this one? Actually I know why, but what did we do to deserve this? Gators will probably win by 15. I probably won't watch as I have no rooting interest in the game (I dislike OSU and Florida equally). When's football season start or more importantly... I can't wait for the Alabama-FSU game in Jacksonville!

Coaching searches:
- Arkansas is now looking to John Calapari. I don't think he leaves Memphis, but stranger things have happenned. Next up after JC declines... Thad Motta. He'd bolt OSU for Fayetteville as basketball is a little bit more important at Arkansas. The question is will OSU match what Arkansas might offer? Also, John Thompson III is possible as Broyles was in Atlanta for the Final Four (but made his way back before tipoff according to some Arkansas media reports). I want to make clear that nowhere did Broyles or anyone at Arkansas say they went to meet JTIII... probably met up with a bunch of other name coaches as well since they gather atthe Final Four. My guess is they probably marked JTIII as #1 on their list in Atlanta.

- Kentucky is also in the Calapari sweepstakes, but like with Arkansas I think Calapari stays put. Next up is Donovan Tuesday at about.... 9AM. If BD wins Monday I think he bolts for Lexington. He'll still be the other game in town and there's nowhere for him to go but down. The flip side is if he stays he'll be the first coach identified years down the road when people think about Gator basketball.

- Iowa is probably looking at Dana Altman, Kevin Stallings, and JTIII. I'm guessing Altman is their guy, but I admit I'm no more in the know that anyone else that can do some web searches.

Last thing... I want to thank the good folks at Harrah's entertainment for another good weekend in Tunica. Who needs Vegas when I got the Grand and the Horseshoe! Oh yeah... someone officially open I-22 already!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Final Four thoughts and some non basketball stuff

No cinderella... no problem. What we saw this past weekend was competitive basketball amongst arguably the best teams in the country. I read a stat that if you added up the seedings of the Elite 8 teams it was 3 less than the record (four 1s, three 2s, and a 3).

I'm normally not one to believe in conspiracy theories, but I really thought throughout the tournament both Florida and Ohio State got some serious benefits by the officiating... especially Ohio State. In their 2nd round game against Xavier, that ogre Oden clearly knocked the snot out of the Xavier player with seconds to play. I know it's tough to call an intentional foul with little time remaining, but IMO that was one of the few cases it should've been called. If Xavier would've done their job at the FT line I wouldn't have to endure Oden's ugly mug this weekend. Yes... I've grown to despise Ohio State and also believe Oden is so beyond overrated it's not even funny. If you ask me, at this point he's a less offensively skilled Dikembe Mutombo if I was to compare their college careers. I think Ohio State's run ends Saturday as Hibbert, Green, and Wallace take the Hoyas to the championship game.

Florida/UCLA... a rematch of last year's title game. What's changed? Nothing really as UCLA lost Farmar, but Collison has stepped in nicely. We all know Florida brought back everyone. Using that logic the Gators should advance... right? I'm going with UCLA... last year they fell behind early and couldn't get into their game. I'm thinking the game is close throughout with Afflalo scoring late to take the Bill Walton's back to the championship game.

Strong rumor is Gillespe to Arkansas. I'm sure this isn't much of a shock to anyone. The real shock if this goes through will be to the SEC West as he'll have the Hogs dominating the West (and challenging Donovan for SEC supremacy) in a couple of years.

Non basketball stuff...

You want to lose 11 pounds in 2 days? I've got a diet for you... it's called the get a stomach flu bug. You won't want to ingest anything solid for 2 days. I lived off Flavorice, water, and coca-cola. The downside is you feel like crap for the better part of 2 days (heck I should say 3 as I'm still not totally with it). Good times.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Quick Elite 8 factoid

All of the teams remaining either:
1) Won their conference regular season title (all except Oregon).
2) Won their conference tournament (all except UCLA).
3) Won the regular season and conference title (all except UCLA and Oregon).

Anyone that says conference tournaments aren't important should be beaten with a stick repeately (g). Seriously, I think the conference tournaments gets a team ready for the NCAA tournament. Last year UCLA and Florida won their conference tourneys and ended up in the finals.

I can't remember a year where all the 1s, three 2s, and a 3 are in the elite 8. It's been a highly competitive tournament with most the games undecided until the end.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Let's go retro for a bit

Paul Finebaum did a fascinating interview with C.M. Newton on March 20. In it, Coach Newton basically said that in 1980, after winning at LSU and at Kentucky, we came back to host Georgia. After a low turnout, we lose to a Dominique Wilkins-led Georgia team. This was the beginning of the end for Coach Newton. He was gone at the end of the year.

Anyway great interview and the link is below. (By the way, this was before Tubby's news yesterday.)

Coach Newton

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Steve Alford leaves for New Mexico and Tubby Smith to Minnesota

Alford is now a Lobo
New Mexico a few years ago (actually close to 10 years) was a very solid basketball program. I like that they're making a committment to win. Whether or not Alford is the answer remains to be seen, but it's big news to lure a coach from a "name" school. Now we get to see Alford match up with Reggie Theus at New Mexico State.

The Pit in the past was one of the toughest places to play on the road. I think Alford will restore some of that luster... and put the Lobos back in the NCAA tournament on a consistent basis.

Iowa fans probably don't care as he underachieved in Iowa City. I don't know if they'll do better as their greatest coach was IMO nothing more than mediocre (Dr. Tom Davis for those who don't know). Hey, maybe Iowa can bring him back as he resigned from his job at Drake (to retire).

I know what some of you guys are thinking... I'll leave it at that. :)


Edit- Tubby Smith to Minnesota? Wow! This one's out of left field. It looks like Minnesota is getting back into the basketball business. Most will remember Clem Haskins (sp?) had success there before getting busted for cheating like no school has ever cheated before. I believe he took them to the Final Four, but am not certain.

This again is a win-win for both schools... Minnesota gets a name coach and Kentucky fans finally get rid of the guy they thought was bringing the program to mediocrity (sounds familiar?).

Are any of you Bob Dylan fans?


If so, you might be familiar with the often repeated, black-and-white news clip of a mid-sixties Bob Dylan interview. All the journalists have on dark suits, dark ties and hats. It's really a dated piece and it's time frame adds to the irony. In the shortened version, one reporter who obviously has no idea what is going on in the world around him asks Bob, "Approximately how many folk singers would you say are also protest singers?" Dylan's curt reply: "I'd say approximately a hundred and sixty four." (Please forgive me if I remember the numbers wrong.)

By my estimation there are one hundred and thirty eight real Bama Basketball fans. I thought there were one hundred and thirty six, but I identified two high school kids this week who are heading to Tuscaloosa next year and both are committed Bama Basketball aficionados. Not college basketball, but Bama Basketball seems to have about as many fans as curling or the API swim team.

I'm just not sure that anyone really gives a darn about the basketball team. Unless the team is tanking no body really cares about it but the sports writers, and even they print little more than cold summaries of the games. In Mobile we usually have to get box scores from the Internet because the Mobile Mullet Wrap doesn't go to enough trouble to print them where they can be located.

Am I exaggerating? Yeah, maybe a little, but only for effect.

If Mark Gottfried had a half a brain, he could become Bear Bryant type icon in this state. He could create a Bama Basketball legacy and fashion the image any way he desired because he would be writing on a nearly blank sheet of paper.

Who are our Basketball gods? CM and Wimp? Name another. A few people might remember the Rocket Eight, but what were their names and who was the coach? Did CM or Wimp ever make it to the Final Four? No! As much as I enjoy winning tournaments and conference championships (remember those days?), the road to Basketball Valhalla runs through the Final Four.

If Gottfried had not laid that huge egg this year, he had his program on a track that might have made him a fixture in those hallowed halls for the next five or six years. He probably could have begun recruiting on a national basis like most of the biggest programs do. But he blew it.

Sadly for Gottfried, the road back to where we want to be has to go through the hearts and minds of the young men who learned this past season that he does not know what he is talking about. His entire approach to the game of college basketball is flawed. If he is going to succeed at the desired level, he not only will have to change his approach but he will have to convince these kids that he knows what he is doing.

Can he do it? I don't know. I sure hope he can. With an Elite Eight or even a Sweet Sixteen run this year CMG could have begun recruiting on a national basis. Now he will need two or three seasons to overcome the egg he laid this season.

I honestly hope the man looks deeply into himself and asks himself what his parts were in this train wreck of a season. If he can identify and fix those then he has demonstrated himself capable of fixing the rest. I am praying and pulling for the man, because a functioning Gottfried is an excellent thing for our program and for our players.

Only time will tell. Until then, we are stuck with the losers' cheer, "Wait 'till last year!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Quick tournament thoughts

1) UNLV really got hosed getting a 7 seed. Actually, Wisconsin got hosed as they should've played UVA instead of UNLV. I don't know how much further Kruger's Rebels will go, but I'm hoping for an Elite 8 appearance for my bracket.

2) No cinderella... no problem. IMO the best teams are playing this week anyways.

3) My Final Four picks- Florida, Georgetown, Tennessee, and UCLA with Georgetown beating UCLA in the finals. I almost feel nauseous picking UT, but then again... my bracket will be a "winner, winner, chicken dinner" if it happens.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Heath rumored as Michigan candidate

Assuming Arkansas doesn't fire him (and a decision is to be made next week on that) he is a candidate for the Wolverines' job.

I couldn't make this up

If I was a betting man I'd say it's 90/10 that Heath is relieved of his duties in Fayetteville. They have too much tradition to be relegated to a middle of the pack SEC school in hoops. I figure they'll take a shot Gillespe at aTm and Bielein at WVU.

Rod Barnes hired to be Georgia State HC

Well... there goes that rumor of him being an assistant here. Damn.
From espn.com

Oh well... back to the drawing board.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Mark Gottfried files

As many of you know, CMG has 3 winning seasons in SEC play in his 9 years at the Capstone. You can also read this as only 4 losing seasons in 9 years. Either way you read it it's not dominating... or miserable. It's average.

SEC record by year:
Season Overall SEC Record
1998-99 17-15 6-10
1999-00 13-16 6-10
2000-01 25-11 8-8
2001-02 27-8 12-4
2002-03 17-12 7-9
2003-04 20-13 8-8
2004-05 24-7 12-4
2005-06 18-13 10-6
2006-07 22-12 7-9

One regular season title in the 2001-2002 campaign.

Let's talk about the SEC tournament:
- 1998-99: 5 seed. Beat UGA (4E), lost to Auburn (1W)
- 1999-00: 4 seed. Lost to South Carolina (5E)
- 2000-01: 3 seed. Beat Vanderbilt (6E), lost to Florida (2E)
- 2001-02: 1 seed. Beat Tennessee (4E), South Carolina (5E), lost to Miss State (2W)
- 2002-03: 4 seed. Lost to Vanderbilt (5E)
- 2003-04: 3 seed. Beat Tennessee (6E), lost to Florida (2E) in OT
- 2004-05: 1 seed. Beat Ole Miss (5W), lost to Florida (2E) in semis
- 2005-06: 2 seed. Lost to Kentucky (3E).
- 2006-07: 5 seed. Lost to Kentucky (4E).

SECT record: 6-9. No SEC Tournament championships. Played Mississippi St for the championship in 2002.

Now let's log his NCAA tournament record by year, seeding, and final ranking:
- 2001-02: 1-1 (Beat #15 Florida Atlantic 86-78, lost to #10 Kent State 71-58), #2 seed, #8
- 2002-03: 0-1 (lost to #7 Indiana 67-62), #10 seed, unranked
- 2003-04: 3-1 (beat #9 So Illinois 65-64, #1 Stanford 70-67, and #4 Syracuse 80-71, lost to #2 UConn 87-71), #8 seed, #17
- 2004-05: 0-1 (Lost to #12 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 83-73), #5 seed, #21
- 2005-06: 1-1 (Beat #7 Marquette 90-85, lost to #2 UCLA 62-59), #10 seed, unranked

Overall NCAA tournament record: 5-5. We've been in the final rankings 3 times under CMG.

What CMG has accomplished in his tenure at Alabama:
- First ever #1 National ranking.
- First ever appearance in the Elite 8.
- Brought the basketball program out of the gutter.
- Vastly improved our non conference schedule (I wish we'd do the same in football).
- Five 20 win seasons the past 6 years.
- Pushed to get Coleman Colesium updated (which it was badly needing).

There you have it... just the facts. I might be forgetting something. Feel free to add in comments.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Alabama stats, rumors, and end of year report card

I thought about breaking this up into a few posts... but all the compiling made it too much trouble so there :P

I'm normally not one of those guys that thinks stats are the be all/end all barometer of what a team is, but in our case it's a fair indicator of why we underachieved the way we did.

Stats
Alabama stats from ncaa.org. All stats are out of 325 teams

Scoring offense- 83 (73.6 PPG). #1 VMI 100.9 PPG
Scoring defense- 178 (68.8 PPG). #1 Princeton 53.3 PPG
Scoring margin- 94 (4.8). #1 UNC 18.1
FG%- 98 (45.4%). #1 Florida 52.7%
FG% Defense- 78 (41.6). #1 UConn 37.1
3PT FG per game- 164 (6.5). #1 VMI 13.4
3PT FG%- 79 (36.9%). #1 Bradley 42.7%
FT%- 115 (70.8%). #1 Villanova 78.1%
Rebound margin- 53 (4.1). #1 Vermont 9.8
Assists per game- 195 (13.1). #1 VMI 20.6
Blocked shots per game- 21 (5.3). #1 UConn 8.3
Steals per game- 267 (5.6). #1 VMI 14.8
Turnovers per game- 94 (13.7). #1 Butler 9.4
Fouls per game- 4 (14.0). #1 Arizona 13.4

What's all this tell us... nothing really :). The numbers are skewed by some of the non conference teams we played. If those were our SEC stats we'd be playing in the big dance.
Here's the conference stats.

A different story... 10th in scoring offense, defense, and 3pt FG%, 11th in scoring margin, steals, and FG%, and last in assists and assist to turnover margin.

Record vs teams in the NCAA tournament: 3-7 (Wins against Jackson State, Xavier, and Kentucky... Losses to Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Notre Dame, and Arkansas twice).

Rumors
Tom Asbury is rumored to be moving on... and the talk of Rod Barnes coming in to replace him is growing strong. I wanted this last year, but this would be better late than never. Saying that I'm not sure if this happens.

Report Card
Obviously this is subjective. Feel free to be wrong :)

PG: C-
- Not getting BH and MT experience during our relatively easy non-conference schedule bit us in the ass. Steele was never healthy so there wasn't a viable reason why we didn't. I liked what I saw from MT in limited playing time... what I saw from BH tells me he's better utilized as a SG. I like his shot... not his decision making.

SG/SF: C
- I thought Riley played well overall although he was a little too happy shooting the ball at times (read terrible shot selection). Gee pretty much disappeared after the Paradise Jam. I was expecting him to shine. Jemison looked good in his time on the court. He'll be better next season (I hope). Tubbs impressed me the most out of the bunch. He plays tenacious D and is more than servicable as an outside threat. I like him coming off the bench.

C: C-
- Davidson would have a monster game one night and disappear for the next 2 games. His defensive lapses have been discussed ad nauseum. It's been documented what he's been through, but IMO if it was truly affecting his game we should've saw more of Coleman. As for Coleman... still very raw, but unlike most of our fans I think he still has a pretty good upside. I think he can develop to be a 7 point/7 boards kind of center.

PF: A-
- Without Hendrix we probably don't make the NIT. I'm serious... how many games did he take over in conference play? He's still somewhat of a defensive liability, but IMO he has improved that part of his game from last year.

Coaching: C-
- Really I was thinking D+, but I got to give some slack for missing Steele. Still, CMG's reluctance to develop the bench killed us. He came around in the last quarter of the season, but it was already too late. IMO he didn't press his team to play defense until it was already out of control.

Now I'm officially done with this season. I'll compile a CMG file when I get a chance which spans his career as the HC in Tuscaloosa.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

First round NCAA Tournament thoughts...

1) I believe there's 20 teams in the field that can legitimately win this tournament. Reason #1 why the NCAA tournament is far superior to the B(C)S.

2) UNLV will either get ousted by GA Tech in the 1st round... or advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

3) Florida has the easiest road to the Final Four of the top seeds... UNC has the most difficult. FWIW I don't think Ohio State makes it past the Sweet Sixteen.

4) My 1st round winners: Florida, Arizona, Old Dominion, Maryland, Winthrop, Oregon, UNLV, and Wisconsin in the Midwest. Kansas, Nova, Illinois, So Illinois, VCU, Pitt, Indiana, and UCLA in the West. UNC, Marquette, USC, Texas, Vandy, Oral Roberts, Texas Tech, and G'town in the East. Ohio St, BYU, Tennessee, UVa, Louisville, A&M, Nevada, and Memphis in the South (no upsets picked in that region). I am on FIRE (g).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quick non-Alabama basketball thoughts

1) The play in game- it should be a matchup of the last 2 at large bids. I think it's wrong for 2 teams that WON their conference tournaments to have to matchup on Tuesday. Besides, more people would watch the last 2 at large bids play (in this case Illinois and Arkansas I believe) instead of Niagra and FAMU.

2) This year's NIT bracket is pretty tough... a lot of very solid teams playing in the Not Invited Tournament. For giggles I'm picking WVU, Kansas St, SDSU, and Providence to make it to NYC.

3) I'm still miffed how the Big 10 got 6 teams in the NCAA tournament. How did Purdue get a 9 seed?

Sometime next week I'll throw together a composite view of the season with a little bit of history to go with it.

Thank God That's Over

I feel like I can crawl back out from under my rock now. As one of only two or three self-avowed Bama Basketball fans in this town, I am tired of trying to explain the performance of the team and coach this season.

Earlier in the year I complained that some of the players did not seem to care as much about their peformance as I did. Now I hope our coach has enough sense to ask someone else what is wrong with our team and our program. I honestly don't think he can see it. Otherwise he would have begun trying to fix it before the second Arkansas game.

I do not intend this to demean our coach. One aspect of human nature is that we cannot always see what our problems are. Someone once said that the height of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting the results to change. I suspect CMG has exhausted his own capacity to analyze the situation. Sometimes a good consultant is worth the money. I suspect this is one of those times.

Good effort, but in the end Tide falls short

UMass survives in OT 89-87. Lowe scored with under 2 seconds (from memory) left to win it for the Minutemen.
Yahoo box score

I thought the effort was there. The guys didn't sulk about playing in the NIT and it showed. Gee, Riley, and Hollinger all played well offensively. Defensively I thought we also improved despite the 89 points by UMass. Where was this during the conference schedule. If we played like we did last night we'd be in the NCAAs.

The good:
- Gee, Riley, and Hollinger offensively
- Tubbs and Torrance on D
- 8 steals

The bad:
- UMass shot 50% from the field
- Lasme went off... he dominated our big men inside.
- 17 turnovers... still too much.

Well, the season's over now. While I'm not as fired up about next season as I was this one I do think we have the talent right now to be a pretty good team. The question is will we revert to our conference ways and go into a shell or play like we did last night.

Monday, March 12, 2007

UMass stats pack

For those that really care... I'm sure I'll come around. The funny thing is I wanted not to sweat Selection Sunday. I didn't mean not having a chance to make it!
Minutemen stats pack

UMass hasn't been the same since Calapari left them for the NBA (which failed). They went through 2 coaches before seeming to find a good one.

Led by former Kentucky guard Travis Ford, UMass put together a pretty good year going 23-8. Their lack of quality wins kept them out of the NCAAs (only one of note was the win at Louisville). They went 13-3 in conference.

I saw them play once... back in December... for about 2 minutes. Then I realized there was another game on Full Court so I tuned out so I know little about them.

Stats:
- .476 FG, .341 3PT FG, and .619 FT (That's AUful)
- Rebound margin of +8
- 16 turnovers a game and they average 77PPG
- 4 starters average double digits in points

Life is their 3 pt specialist (at a 38% clip). Their 2 top scorers earn their keep from the inside (Freeman and Lasme).
I'll pass on the prediction. I never thought we'd be in the NIT this year. Baseball season starts in 3 weeks.

Gametime is Tuesday at 9:30 EST on ESPN

Oh yeah... a NIT bracket for your viewing pleasure. If we survive UMass I think there's a serious asskicking coming to West Virginia (a team I think should've been in the NCAA... over Illinois, Stanford, and Purdue for sure).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

SECCG and other college basketball thoughts

First, let me address the SECCG in the Ga Dome. I know why they play it there ($), but truth be told it shouldn't as it's one of the worst places to watch a basketball game. Some of the seating is fine, but the "feel" of it is well... off.

I had great seats to the game (see photo... thanks to a connected friend)... 11 rows up center court. There were plenty of empty seats though. On to the game... let me say that Noah gets away with murder inside. He hacks, grabs, and plays dirty. I hope payback's a bitch for him.

Florida didn't bring their A game, but Arkansas brought their C game and the 2nd half told the story. No one from the Hogs could hit from the outside.

Stan Heath is still a terrible coach. From what I understand there is a 900K buyout on the table if the Hogs don't impress in the tourney (assuming they make it).

College basketball musings:
- Georgetown dismantled a very talented Pitt squad last night. I think Hoya paranoia is back and I pick them to make the Final Four.

- UNLV wins the MWC tourney. While they are not the Runnin' Rebels that you remember Krueger has done a magnificent job restoring the program. I think he stays there a long, long time and UNLV finds themself back in the hunt for a NC in the near future. What kid wouldn't want to live in Vegas for 4 years?

- Kansas is looking tough. Regardless of what happens against Texas (down as I type), the Jayhawks are a 1 seed and will make it to the Elite 8. You know that Bill Self runs the high post offense? Not to the degree we do, but it's a part of his gameplan.

- North Carolina takes care of the Wolfpack. West Virginia and Illinois are celebrating in the streets.

- How do all these kids afford the artwork (tattoos)? I was good to pony up $50 for my one tattoo. Some of them have arms sleeved. I wonder if there's a team tattoo artist?

My guess at the top 16:
#1- UNC, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas
#2- Georgetown, Pitt, UCLA, Wisconsin
#3- Texas A&M, Memphis, Wash St, Oregon
#4- So Illinois, Texas, UNLV, Louisville

I know everyone is on pins and needles for the NIT bracket to be announced. That is at 8PM EST I believe.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My condolances to the Orr family

As many of you know, Rodney Orr is the founder of tiderinsider.com... probably the biggest online gathering to post about tide sports. I was a member for 6 years.

Rodney lost both his wife and his son in law in unrelated auto accidents in a short timespan (both yesterday from what I'm reading). I can't imagine the pain he's dealing with. My thoughts goes out to the Orr family.

Pathetic loss to end pathetic season... Cats stomp Tide 79-67

NIT not included in season.
Yahoo box score

My seats were in the Kentucky section and I have to admit I was impressed at the showing of fan support. I've known for years they travel well, but considering their underachieving year the place was fairly crowded for a Thursday game. Usually, the Thursday games are half full at best.

On to the game. We played well for the first 10 minutes of the game and then reality set in and we were down by 8 at the half. We cut the lead to 3 and 5, but then Kentucky got hot and pushed it back to double digits. At the 10 minute mark of the 2nd half I knew it was over.

The good:
- Riley had a solid game from beyond the arc.
- Gee played as well as I've seen him play since the Paradise Jam.
- Hendrix... again a monster inside. Kentucky had no answer for him.
- Got to the FT line a bunch.

The bad:
- Point guard play (mor directed at Hollinger) was AUful. No production offensively and didn't do a good job setting up the offense.
- I expected more out of Davidson today. While 12 and 7 is ok, he should be putting up more.
- 50% shooting and 40% from 3 for the Wildcats.

Next up... the Not Invited Tournament where we'll probably be matched up with South Alabama. Get your tickets now before they sell out. Hopefully the NIT decides that this team should be on the road.

Kentucky stats pack

Wildcats stats pack

Keys to the game... stop Randolph Morris inside and keep Bradley and Crawford in check from outside. I'll take keeping the guards in check and letting Morris go off if I had to choose.

Prediction- Kentucky is as bad offensively as we are, but play defense. Saying that, Alabama pulls the upset 65-62 and firetubbysmith.com goes into server overload.

Hopefully I'll have some photos to share after the game. My digital camera sucks so don't expect AP style photos.

I hope my seats are next to Ashley's... eheh. I'm actually sitting in the Kentucky section so who knows (g).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bubble watch... the major conferences

So I don't have to repeat myself I will list team followed by RPI (in parenthesis), what they need to do in their conference tourney, and if I think they make it.

ACC
Boston College (30)- one win would erase any shakiness. At 10-6 in conference play they're in.
Clemson (36)- at least 2 wins to make it interesting. NIT bound.
Ga Tech (34)- one more win for seeding. They're in.
FSU (47)- elimination game vs Clemson, probably need to make the finals. NIT.

A-10
UMass (56)- win the A-10. Despite being 13-3 in conference their only big win was against Louisville. NIT
Xavier (32)- win a game for seeding. They're in... could go as high as a 5.

Big 12
Kansas State (60)- a trip to the semis would be good for them. They're in if they do... probably out if they don't. I say in.
Texas Tech (41)- ditto... a trip to the semis. Despite being a game back of KSU in conference standing they're in before KSU. I say in as is.

Big East
Syracuse (49)- 2 wins gets them in. An early loss might bump them to the NIT. They're in, but they'll sweat it
West Virginia (58)- 1 win solidifies their case. I say in... sweating a bit.
Villanova (19)- resume should have them in already.

Big 10
Illinois (35)- a trip to the semis is needed. I doubt they can do that so NIT.
Michigan State (22)- don't lose to Northwestern. I say they barely sneak in.
Michigan (53)- better win the Big 10 tourney. Make that 9 years without a NCAA bid.
Purdue (46)- see Michigan. I don't think they're ready for prime time.... NIT.

MVC
Missouri State (38)- lost to Creighton in the semis... that probably puts them out. I say NIT.

MWC
No bubble teams. UNLV (10), BYU (20), and Air Force (25) are in regardless.

PAC-10
Stanford (57)- loss to Zona hurts a lot. They probably need to win the PAC-10 tourney. UCLA and Wazzu are too good to let that happen. NIT.
Washington (75) - 8-10 in conference... also has to win the tourney. Not happenning... NIT.

SEC
Alabama (43)- we all know what needs to happen. Anyone can win the SECT IMO (including South Carolina and LSU) so it's not out of the realm of possibility. NIT
Arkansas (48)- the best shot the SEC West has of making the NCAAs. Make it to the finals and they're in. I believe they do and Hog fans are stuck with Heath for another year.
Georgia (63)- better win the SECT. They have to go through the Gators early to get there. NIT.
Mississippi State (64) - win the tourney. NIT bound.
Ole Miss (61)- see Mississippi State. NIT.

I guess I'll see how accurate I am Sunday :)

Monday, March 05, 2007

For those that care... SEC Tournament bracket

Tournament bracket and start times

My pick to win the tournament... Arkansas. If they do that'll save Stan Heath for the 2nd consecutive year and have Hog fans straddled yet again with the worst coach in the SEC. You think we're pissed at our pathetic season you should try talking to rabid Hog fans about the state of their basketball program.

I plan on being there for the 1st session unless something comes up. Maybe I can share some photos from the cheap seats. I guess I need to get on the ball and get tickets (which probably shouldn't be hard to do this year).

For those that enjoy really good basketball, try watching the PAC-10 tourney if you can. Later in the week we should have some really good Big 12, Big East, and Mountain West conference semis (yes I said Mountain West... UNLV, BYU, and Air Force are all quality teams).

I Support The Troops But Not The Mission

That’s as close as I can come to explaining my thoughts on the present predicament of the Bama Basketball program.

I don’t know what that is supposed to mean in a political sense. It does not make sense to me from that perspective because of the dynamics of the situation. That’s okay. Those people have no duty to explain themselves to, or to be understood by, me.

But in a basketball sense, what I mean is that I support our program and I support our players. I intend to spend my time and my money giving them support when the program is not moving in the wrong direction. But I think our coach needs to explain why he should keep his job and what he would change to prove he is the guy to fix it. I don’t believe in meaningless, non binding resolutions. Until I know what the mission is, I am voting to cut its funding; or at least the part of the funding I can control.

Because we owe you an eye-witness account

Here is what my friend DJCEsq had to say after the M$U game. DJC is a former Marks Madness Member and present Birmingham area attorney who travels to more away games than almost any other non-student I know. (TI's WinstonKennedy attends almost all of them.) He knows more about basketball and about our program than I do. He also has been much slower to pull the trigger on this year's performance than I have.

I now introduce to you my good friend, DJC!

EDITED- Link provided for comments.
DJC from TI

Alcrtide's Expectations

Alcrtide and I have been friends and Bama Basketball fans since our college days in the mid seventies. We talk Bama Basketball almost every week. He is as devoted and knowledgeable fan as you will find. He might not always be correct, but he is always well informed before he express an opinion. That's why I wanted to share his thoughts below with our readers. "Now, here it 'tis."
Edit- link to post. I'd rather give the linked website "credit" for this.
Expectations

Alcrtide's observations

Edited- link to comments. This is from another website.
Alcrtide's comments

Sunday, March 04, 2007

To add to Alias' post below... I'm effin' horrified

This was a huge game for us and we played for the most part like hot effin' garbage. We just got our asses handed to us by a mediocre MSU squad by effin' 30+ points. I'm not linking the box score as I don't want to see it, but if you're into pain go to yahoo or espn.com.

There's got to be a serious conversation between Mal Moore and Mark Gottfried when this nightmare of a season is done. There better be a conversation.

Preseason #11, preseason #1 in the SEC West... now not even a top 50 ranked team and 5th in the friggin' SEC West. Any apologist that says this is mostly due to Steele not being healthy truly hasn't watched much college basketball.

I'll divulge (sp?) deeper into our season long woes after Selection Sunday.

I Took My Own Advice Today

and refused to subject myself to that debacle. When I did turn on the television we were down 88-60. I told my father that if he wanted to see some real basketball he should turn the tv back on to that same channel ten minutes later. The same station was showing a replay of the LeFlore Rattlers high school game.

I am beginning to wonder whether we should wait another year, but I believe that decision already has been made. You guys let me know if things have improved. Otherwise, I don't intend to watch a single game. Life is too short to keep banging my head against the CMG wall any more.

Adios!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bulldogs stats pack II

From mstateathletics.com

Alright... MSU is 16-12 right now... with virtually no chance of making the NCAA tournament (unless they win the SECT which is not out of the question). Their home losses have come to Winthrop (a damn good 'mid major'), Florida (a close loss), and South Carolina (how did that happen?). The have won 3 straight at home with relative ease. Still, we can win in Starkville.

You should know about Gordon, the Delk twins, Slater, and the younger Hansbrough, but a guy to watch is Charles Rhodes. He's been playing better in the middle as the season's gone on. He might give Davidson fits.

It's the same old same old... guard the perimeter and don't let Gordon, Reginald Delk, or Stewart get open looks from beyond the arc. Pound it inside to Hendrix... and maybe Davidson and hope they can find the open man off the double team (and MSU will double team our post players). We need Riley and Gee to go off tomorrow... that would really help our inside game.

The stats:
- 75.5 PPG, 65% FT, 37% 3Pt FG, 46% FG
- Rebound margin is even in conference play (-.1)
- 14 turnovers a game (12 in conference)

Prediction: Why do I do this to myself... Alabama somehow wins in Starkville and makes Selection Sunday (assuming we win one game) must see TV for all Alabama hoops fans.

Oh yeah... I'm still trying to figure out how a kid from Brooklyn (Goodridge) ends up in Starkville.

Yes this stats pack is early... 2 days early. It just gives you more time to rack your brain with MSU stats. Gametime is 2PM EST (1PM CST) Sunday March 4th. If you can't find a TV, but are in front of a PC the yahoo video link is here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Late second half surge pushes Tide past Rebels 69-58

Gritty win by the Crimson Tide... we still have hope in the wacky SEC West.
Box Score

The first half set back basketball 50 years as neither team couldn't throw it in the ocean. Both teams found their shot in the second half, but Riley's key 3s helped us pull away.

The good:
- Held Ole Miss to 58 points on 24-62 shooting
- Defended the 3 well
- Outrebounded Ole Miss 43-33
- Only 10 turnovers

The bad:
- No Torrance in the 1st half. Our substitution patterns are strange.
- Poor shooting (24-65 from the field)
- Riley went from 1st off the bench to 40 minutes? Huh?

An important win to keep our SEC West hopes alive. I'm glad JD goes out a winner on senior night.