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Blog Entry

Dear Gary Mailbag

Posted on: February 21, 2008 10:07 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2008 10:08 pm
 

I figured out a way for Kentucky to get back into contention for the NCAA Tournament.

Plus, I've learned the difference between an open-handed punch and a close-handed punch.

Anyway, here's the latest Dear Gary Mailbag (new and improved and capable of being permalinked!)

From: Will

Putting Butler as a No. 3 seed in the Projecting the Field is just a complete joke. You really don’t have to try and prove something to us readers and put some bold pick out there. Lets be realistic. Butler hasn't beaten a team all year that is going to be in the NCAA Tournament. Be serious, Mr. Parrish, and stop being crazy. You're not Joe Lunardi so don't try and be.

This is the perfect email with which to start the mailbag because it allows me to correct a stupid reader while also telling you how awesome I am, specifically as it relates to projecting brackets. So lets get on with it. First, Butler beat Ohio State and Ohio State is going to be in the NCAA Tournament. So contrary to your statement, Butler HAS beaten a team that is going to be in the NCAA Tournament. Secondly (and man, I LOVE this part!), there was a site last year that documented 30 brackets from around the web. I wrote about it in the old blog, so click this link and scroll down to the March 13 entry to take a look, if you want. If you don't want, that's fine too. Either way, this is all you need to know: Last season I correctly projected 63 of the 65 teams in the field while having 28 teams seeded correctly and 51 teams seeded within one number of their actual seed. Lunardi correctly projected 63 of the 65 teams in the field while having 19 teams seeded correctly and 48 teams seeded within one number of their actual seed. So by any measuring stick my bracket was superior to Lunardi's bracket. And if you click that link you'll find that 27 of the 30 brackets documented were more accurate than Lunardi's, and I'm pointing this out not to goof on Lunardi (he's a solid fella, you should know) but to highlight the fact that the only reason he is considered an authority is because he's presented as an authority on television every other night. Truth is, he doesn't know any more about this stuff than the rest of us, and recent history indicates he might know less. And if I come off as small in pointing this out then, well, what do you want from me? This is who I am.

From: Travis

You are so smart that I think you are a genius.

You must've seen my bracket from last season.

From: Adam

What will it take for Kentucky to get to bubble status?

A time machine.

From: Andrew

I'm a student at Florida State and I love college basketball. My question is how exactly do they decide who makes the NCAA Tournament?

You're a Florida State fan, Andrew. Why would you need to know?

From: Kenneth

I was wondering why South Carolina could not be considered a bubble team?

Because South Carolina is terrible.

From: Rya

You have no respect for the Mountain West. It should be a four bid conference easily. BYU, UNLV, New Mexico, and San Diego State are teams that no top seed should want to play. They are flat-out dangerous. Because the MWC ended its contract with ESPN a few years ago it doesn't get the national exposure it used to get. But everyone better wake-up, because New Mexico and BYU are young and have INSANE recruiting classes coming next year. They are awesome this year, and you could have two MWC teams in the final four next year. Laugh now, but just wait.

I could be waiting forever.

From: Sean

Quick question for you: Can you see ANY scenario, other than the earth cracking open and swallowing all of the PAC-10 California schools, that would get the Washington Huskies into the tourney? I will wait until you stop laughing yourself sick ...

I'm still laughing at that last email, Sean. But if I ever stop I'll get to laughing at yours next, I promise.

From: John

I was wondering why Memphis is still number 1? I know they are undefeated ...

I'll stop you there, John, because you just answered your own question. Memphis is undefeated with eight wins against Top 50 schools -- namely Georgetown, Connecticut, Arizona, Southern California, Oklahoma, Gonzaga and Houston (twice). Meanwhile, every other Division I school has at least two losses. So Memphis is No. 1 ... as long as it doesn't lose to Tennessee.

From: Scott

I thought you were a better reporter than this. It is obvious that you intentionally spun the Robert Dozier situation in a very negative way by leaving segments of the reported facts out. For example, open hand.

Yes, for clarity's sake, Robert Dozier allegedly hit his ex-girlfriend twice in the face with an open hand instead of a closed hand. And isn't it just like a Memphis fan to explain the difference between an open hand and closed hand as it pertains to the alleged striking of a woman?

From: Earl

I was at the Memphis-UAB game. You don't have a clue (about what led to Pierre Niles slapping a fan in the stands). If you weren't there you need to keep your thoughts to yourself. The Tiger players used a lot of self control. If I spit in your face what would you do, turn the other cheek?

You wouldn't have been able to spit in my face, Earl, because I would've been in the locker room. Just look at the pictures in The Commercial Appeal. The tunnel to the locker room is to the right of the frame, but Niles is walking directly towards a fan who is still in the stands. Then he slaps the fan. And though I can't tell you whether the fan spit in Niles' face, I can tell you that if Niles would've just gone to the locker room like a professional then there's no way anybody could've spit in his face. So on some level it doesn't matter that the fans lacked class (which they did, by the way) because the responsibility lies with the student-athletes to exit a potentially bad situation as quickly as possible while remaining calm and not reacting to any obscenities or insults. And to all you Memphis fans defending the slap, here's my question: If Tennessee wins in the final seconds Saturday night and Duke Crews manages to slap a member of the Blue Crew student section on his way out of FedExForum, are you going to write and tell me that it wasn't a big deal because Crews was provoked? if not, then you're a hypocrite.

From: Matt

I read some of the feedback on your article (about Memphis) that got on the quality of people on the Memphis basketball team. ... Now there are people from all over jumping on this and saying how thug all the players are and how John Calipari only recruits bad characters.

First, I have never written that all the players on the Memphis team are thugs. In fact, I've never written the word 'thug' because I hate that word and what it implies. Secondly, I never wrote that Memphis only recruits bad characters because I don't deal in such broad generalizations. But the facts are the facts and here are the facts: Two Memphis players have been accused of hitting women in the past four seasons, 40 percent of the Tigers' normal starting line-up has appeared in a police report, five of the 12 players (41.7 percent) currently on scholarship have appeared in a police report and the program's top recruiting target in the Class of 2008 (Tyreke Evans) recently drove an accused murderer away from the murder he had allegedly just committed. So, you know, if that sounds bad maybe that's because it is bad and not because everybody just hates Memphis.

From: David

Despite Florida's troubles of late, look for the Gators to make a late-season run into the NCAA Tournament as they did in 2006 on their way to their first title. Could this be No. 3?

I just found somebody more delusional than a Memphis fan.

From: Rick

What about Houston? The Cougars are 19-6. I understand they are in C-USA and their schedule works against them, but 19-6 is still pretty good.

There are a whole bunch of teams that would be 19-6 or better with that schedule. Houston has done nothing but beat bad teams and lose to good teams, and that's not the way to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

From: Kit

Before you start talking about Michigan State losing to bad teams, you need to figure out what a bad team is. Iowa is hovering just under .500 so it can't be considered a bad team unless you think every team under .500 is a bad team.

Yes, that is exactly what I think. If you are under .500 in college basketball you are a bad team. Try to find me one that isn't.

From: Creston

I would like to make a general comment about your insights as a sports commentator for college basketball. Overall, I think you are very insightful, intuitive and generally smart. Yet, one thing remains clear to me and others: You have certain recalcitrant biases both pro and con. For example, you are biased for UCLA, Kansas and when they are playing well North Carolina. At the same time, you are contra Duke in ways that one can show rather easily.

You're right, I hate Duke and I love North Carolina so much that when Duke played at North Carolina I wrote about the nicest Greg Paulus column you'll ever read. But don't take my word for it. Take John's.

From: John

It was so refreshing to see a piece like this written without the typical anti-Duke undertones and back-handed compliments. Greg is what he is: a great kid, a leader who cares about his teammates, a tremendous shooter and one of the toughest players in the nation. Thanks for a great piece.

Thanks for noticing.

From: Brinson

Thank you for your beautiful article on Greg Paulus. Beautifully written and accurately stated. What an inspirational young man he must be for his teammates. Greg might not possess great athleticism, but he is an outstanding college comboguard. I know his family, coach and teammates must be very proud of him. He embodies all the qualities of a true student-athlete. I wish he played for my favorite team, the UNC Tar Heels.

See, even North Carolina fans are coming around on Paulus.

From: Andrew

So Sampson called recruits and lied about it? Should IU fire him for that? Probably. But I can't believe my alma mater is being labeled as a dirty program while gaining a minimal, IF ANY, competitive advantage from it. If you are going to risk getting caught, might as well do what Florida State did and go big, right? Is that the lesson?

That's one of the lessons. The other is to never use university issued cell phones
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 8:53 am
 

Dear Gary Mailbag

You wouldn't have been able to spit in my face, Earl, because I would've been in the locker room. Just look at the . The tunnel to the locker room is to the right of the frame, but Niles is walking directly towards a fan who is still in the stands. Then he slaps the fan. And though I can't tell you whether the fan spit in Niles' face, I can tell you that if Niles would've just gone to the locker room like a professional then there's no way anybody could've spit in his face. So on some level it doesn't matter that the fans lacked class (which they did, by the way) because the responsibility lies with the student-athletes to exit a potentially bad situation as quickly as possible while remaining calm and not reacting to any obscenities or insults. And to all you Memphis fans defending the slap, here's my question: If Tennessee wins in the final seconds Saturday night and Duke Crews manages to slap a member of the Blue Crew student section on his way out of FedExForum, are you going to write and tell me that it wasn't a big deal because Crews was provoked? if not, then you're a hypocrite.

Just wanted to say well-said.  I am going to the game but hoping ALL fans act with some class and that they do not  make Tennessee (the state) look (synonym eludes me) on National television. 



mikesyr17
Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 8:42 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2008 2:18 am
 

Dear Gary Mailbag

Gary, since Duke lost its second game in a row to an unranked team, I think that they have lost the #1 seed. To me right now, Memphis and Tennessee are the 2 true #1 seeds and you have as many as 4 teams vying for the other two, Kansas, Duke, Carolina and UCLA, out of those 4 who gets a #1 seed and if Tennessee beats Memphis, will they be the #1 of the #1 seeds in the tournament?



mikesyr17
Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2008 10:26 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



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