Tag:West Virginia Mountaineers
Posted on: March 17, 2010 8:28 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2010 5:41 pm

10 Things I Learned the Week of March 15th

Hello fans.  Yes, I skipped a week.  Was too busy trying to get ready for selection Sunday.  Started by watching the Big East tournament on Tuesday.  Some great, great basketball being played.  So here are 10 things I learned this past week, all college b-ball style.  Hey, what else is going on right now anyways.  March Madness is second only to the Super Bowl in my book (and please, nobody bring up the BCS Championship game, either.  This right here is the route FBS football should be going).

1) Expanding waistline field - One of the hot (and hot button) topics is expanding the field.  Look, if you expand the field to 96, you make the regular season practically irrelevant.  Winning 20 games is no longer the bar.  Winning 17 and going .400 or better in conference will be enough to do you in most cases.  That means all of the garbage teams in the NIT would make the big dance (and sorry, there are some bad teams there.  Fancy North Carolina or Connecticut making it this year?).  At 96, you're inviting nearly 1/3 of all schools, so why not half?  All of them??  Now if you are talking expansion to 68 or 72, I'm fine with that (would prefer 68 so you have one day of 4 play in games and just the number 1 seeds get these teams that have played the extra game).  But can we please stop the talk of going past this?  It's going to take one of the great things in sports and dilute it to the point of insignificance.  Yes, it's all about the money, but at some point, common sense must prevail.  Also, this would introduce 32 teams getting one bye (or 24 two, which would be worse).  Do you think #7 and #8 seeds deserve byes (or in the second scenario, #12 seeds?  Fancy Florida getting a bye?  How about Cornell?  Could happen if you take 96.)?  I am prefectly happy with where we are today, so please, stop the nonsense and think.

2) .1 away - Don't know how many of you saw the SEC tournament, but Mississippi State was .1 second away from making the tournament instead of being a #1 seed in the NIT.  Personally, I thought they had played their way into the dance with their run (although not at the expense of Florida as ESPN was suggesting.  I want to know how a team you had safely as being in some 7,8 spots up the ladder before beating Auburn [yes, I know, they were supposed to beat Auburn, but still] was suddenly out on Sunday.  Did I miss something happening?  Am I suprised Florida ended up on the 10 line?  Yes I am.  I thought they'd be an 11 or 12.  But they beat Michigan State on a neutral court, beat Florida State, beat Tennessee, and before losing to the Bulldogs in the tournament, beat them in Starkville.  And while you don't want to go in losing 4 of your last 5, the only one of those loses in which they were clear cut favorites was the Georgia game [at Georgia], who had been playing everybody tough the past two months.  The last 10 does not count as much as it used to, although maybe it should.  But that's an arguement for another day).  But, Mississippi State desevred to lose, not for their poor performance from the charity stripe, but their absolute inability to box out when it counted.  I haven't played a lick of basketball in my life, but could clearly see the guy missing on purpose to the right.  So what are the Mississippi State players doing?  Standing around RIGHT AROUND THE CYLINDER.  All four were in the paint jammed up against each other.  Rebound comes out wide right.  Only a UK player there.  Then they don't rebound the missed three.  Game over.

3) Some gritty conference tournament performances - Hats off to Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, West Virginia, Mississippi State, and Ohio State for some of the statements they made in their conference tournaments (although for the Bulldogs, it didn't amount to much).  And for those of your who missed them, the endings of the Ohio State Michigan and West Virginia Cincinnati games were classics.

4) Breaking down the number 1's - No surprise as to the four number one seeds, although I think Syracuse's early exit from the Big East dropped them from #3 overall to #4 and shifted them out West with a potential matchup with Kansas in the Final Four.  Honestly, I think Kansas is the most complete, balanced team in the tournament and will be your winner.  Kentucky is young, and shows it from time to time.  Plus, they are not good from beyond the arc.  A team can play zone and pack it and MAKE them try to win from outside.  Eventually it will cost them (West Virginia, maybe?) although when Wall wants to take over a game, he does.  Duke is Duke.  I made the mistake of picking them last year after promising myself never again, and won't anytime soon.  They always seem to find a way to choke, and I'm afraid this year will be no different.  The Cuse you have to watch out for the injury to Onuaku.  They have the talent to get by the first week without him, but not sure how much longer they can last past that.  I have them as a Final Four team, but that could easily change.

5) Go West Young Man - Beginning my breakdown of the regions, in the West, I have Syracuse beating Pittsburgh in the Final, although I would not be surprised if A) K State was here instead of Pittsburgh or B) Syracuse isn't, especially if without Onuaku.  For everything being equal, though, this is how I think it will shape up.

6) Midwestern Plains - In the Midwest, I have Kansas beating Georgetown, although I would again not be surprised if they beat Ohio State instead.  Just think Georgetown has the better all around team from the better all around conference, but Evan Turner is a special kid, as he proved against Michigan.

7) Dirty South - In the South, I have Villanova beating Duke, although it would not surprise me to see Duke gone sooner.  Nova, especially if their three point shooting is on, just has too much for ANY of these teams, including Duke.

8) East Coast Bias - In the East, I have Kentucky beating West Virginia, although I originally picked it the other way.  No matter what, though, I see these as your two teams in the Final and would be shocked if this wasn't the matchup, regardless of outcome.  As a side note, the potential game between Kentucky and Texas could be interesting as Texas was the #1 ranked team earlier this year, and now an 8 seed.  That's the first time this has happened (a former #1 seeded so low) in a LONG time.

9) Sweet 16 Predictions - As your teams surviving the first week, I have Kansas, Michigan State*, Georgetown, Ohio State, Syracuse, VillanovaVanderbilt*, Pitt, Kansas State, Kentucky, Temple*, New Mexico, West Virginia, Duke, Texas A&M, Baylor*, and Villanova.  The teams with the asterisks are the ones that wouldn't surprise me if they weren't playing into the second week.

10) Final Four Predictions - I have Kansas beating Syracuse 78 - 67 in one game and Villanova beating Kentucky 82 - 78.  For the Championship game, give me Kansas 75 Villnova 69.
Posted on: November 3, 2009 11:00 pm

10 Things I Learned the Week of Nov. 2nd

1) The Sports Media can KMA- For those of you who follow me regularly here, you already know my opinion of the sports media.  Well they did absolutely NOTHING to change that this week.  I give you, the Brandon Spikes youtube video that went viral.  Now, even as a Gator fan, I am not going to sit here and even try to defend Brandon Spikes actions, even though the Georgia running back in an EXTREMELY classy move did.  Honestly, Spikes could have been suspended for the whole Vandy game.  But what gets me, and makes me give a big STFU to Bulldog fans, is that the coverage on this story has been completely one sided, which is a huge shock (not.  Remember, sensationalistic journalism obviously sells these days).  I don't mind people getting on Spikes or asking for punishment or whatever, BUT PLEASE POINT OUT that the Georgia team nearly took his head off during the game, at least twice.  Here's a quote from Mark Richt, who I have a lot of respect for, but obviously received a different version of the game tape than what I witnessed.  Georgia coach Mark Richt said Spikes' "helmet went flying off ... and there was one time he got hit with his helmet off."  Um, coach, what about the time it was going to be third and a half a yard, but you were penalized 15 yards because YOUR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN TRIED REMOVING SPIKES' HELMET WITH HIS HEAD STILL IN IT.  But do we hear about this from the media?  No.  Do we hear an outcry for this guy to be suspended for at least part of a game?  No.  Instead you get the same clueless, classless drivel from Dennis Dodd and Gator Hating onesidedness from John Taylor of collegefootballtalk.com.  Sad thing is, a lot of what Taylor was saying WOULD BE RIGHT, if he just dropped the Gator Hating angle and reported both sides.  He went so far as to say " Even if Spikes was the victim of having his helmet ripped off a couple of times during the game, there's no justification for playing proctologist on a man's eyes.  None."  IF??  IF???  All he has to do is change that "if" to "though" and he'd have a lot more respect.  Georgia fans, you are disqualified because of the people in glass houses rule.  Bama fans, equally disqualified due to sour grapes for Spikes not signing there.  The rest of you, I'm open to your opinions.  Am I just refusing to take off my Orange and Blue colored glasses here, or do I have a point?  By the way, one last thing, Spikes put Urban Meyer in a no win situation here, and can the media please back off of him, too.  Oh, and great win by the Gators, their most complete win of the season.  Joe Cox looks like the new Johnathan Crompton (and ironically, Crompton is lately playing like people thought Jevan Snead would).

2) Quack attack shellacks USC- Wow.  Nearly 400 yards rushing.  Over 600 yards overall.  I thought Oregon would win due to USC's suspect defense that hasn't shown up for 3 weeks now, but I simply did not see that big of a beat down.  A huge thank you to the Ducks for FINALLY taking care of what the pollsters have REFUSED to the past 4 years.  Good luck to the Ducks in Pasadena, most likely on the 1st.  And can we please stop the talk of an Oregon Boise State rematch (unless it is on the 1st).  First off, it would be unfair to Boise State.  What do you do if the Ducks win?  Best 2 out of 3?  Best combined stats?  Secondly, should TCU win out, they will be the more deserving non-BCS team.  Plus, you cannot simply erase the Ducks loss, no matter how well they are playing right now.  Also, I think the Big 10 champ has to be playing on the 7th for the rematch to happen on the 1st.

3) Some Musings on the BCS poll- In a largely cosmetic move, Texas moved up to the number two spot because they played their second complete game in dismantling Okie State while Bama was on a bye leaving pollsters with lasting memories of the squeaker against Tennessee.  Another thing that hurt Bama that's been overlooked by everyone I've seen is that that Va Tech win at the begining of the year just doesn't look so good anymore after they lost to UNC.  Meanwhile a kudos to the poll for having the seven undefeated teams as 1-7 in the poll.

4) Bulls run through the Mountaineers- In a must win to get some respect, the Bulls played one of their most complete games in stopping their annual October swoon and beating the Mountaineers.  They absolutely shut down Noel Devine, and just seem to match up well with them.  While the top 3 in the Big East all have to play each other in the coming weeks, the Bulls are lurking just on the outside with the two loses ALREADY having played the big three.  Depending on how things break, the Bulls could finish second in the Big East with a pretty good bowl game.

5) Indiana must love instant replay- Look, I'm not going to sit here and say it cost them the game, as replay did not score all of those points in the fourth quarter, but HOW does that play get botched, ESPECIALLY WHEN CALLED CORRECTLY ON THE FIELD.  In order to overturn, there (again) HAS TO, HAS TO, HAS TO be INDISPUTABLE video evidence that the call was botched (see, Dustin Doe return for "touchdown" last week).  Still Iowa pulls that junk against most other teams, throwing five picks in a game, and they get buried.  I'll actually be pulling for tOSU come the 14th.  Iowa would be KILLED by the Ducks in Pasadena.

6) The Saints go marching on- What a great game on Monday night, and the Saints just might be the best team in the NFL (although I still think it's the Colts, a close second, though, as much as it pains me to say it).  I must say though that Matt Ryan cost the Falcons by locking in on Tony Gonzalez late in the game.  On the pass that was deflected, Porter already had excellent coverage on Gonzalez (and this was the turning point in the whole game, you go from being potentially up 3 to down 11).  Plus Sharper should have had another pick around the 2 minute mark.  Still, have to give the Falcons credit, too, for never quiting in the game, especially Coy Wire.

7) Favre sticks it to Ted Thompson, Green Bay fans- The whole amazing thing to me (other than Packers fans not wanting to run TT and his tremendous ego out of town) is the quick chemistry that has developed between Lord Favre and Percy Harvin.  People said going into the draft, Harvin had the most upside, it was just a question of would he live up to his potential.  Well, with Favre taking him under his wing, and Percy listening to the grisled vet, the Gator WR/KR could just be the NFL offensive ROY.

8) Other quick lessons taught to me- The Giants are massively struggling on D as one of the games I looked forward to turned into a huge blowout, the Phins swept the Jets (so much for the post week 3 talk of an all NYC Super Bowl) thanks in large part to 2 100+ yard kickoff returns by Ted Ginn Jr. who Dolphin fans were almost ready to run out of town (wonder if Roy Hall held Reggie Nelson for him), and will somebody PLEASE explain to me why JaMarcus Russell is STILL a starting quarterback in an FL that does not start with U, C, or A?

9) The series returns to the Bronx- I know, I'm breaking my own rule a bit here, but in what is turning out to be just like I expected, since it seems the Phillies can only win with Lee on the mound and Chase Utley can only bat with Lee on the mound, I like my Yanks in 6 predicition right now (and I definitely like the Yanks if it goes 7.  Hammels is not the same pitcher any more).

10) The Look Ahead- Next week I do my official NFL playoff predictions, so look for those.  In colleges, give me Notre Dame Navy, to see if the Midshipmen can repeat their performance of two years ago just so I don't have to worry about the Domers cracking the BCS Top 14 and getting an automatic birth, tOSU PSU in a huge Big 10 matchup, and Alabama LSU to decide who will be in Atlanta on Dec. 5th taking on the Gators (seems a little ridiculous that they locked that up on Oct. 31st).  In the pros, it's just Dallas Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Denver.  Oh, and if the Bucs lose again this week, if I can just throw them back along with their throw back uniforms.
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