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Posted on: February 19, 2010 4:39 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2010 7:51 pm
 

"Jump Around Guy" Jumps Around, Fuels Fans

By C.M. Tomlin

3:30 PM

Every fan base has its unique sources of inspiration. It’s odd, sometimes, where that can be found. 

For the Marquette Golden Eagles, that inspiration can be found in the aptly if not creatively named “Jump Around Guy.” And if Jump Around Guy is a bit of a superhero here at Marquette’s Bradley Center, his unassuming alter ego is Rick Smith, a Milwaukee civil engineer and Marquette alum (class of ’73) who – like Spiderman himself – realized his powers quite by accident.

“My wife and I have been coming to games for about thirty years,” says Smith, “and about four years ago they started playing this song at games – maybe you’ve heard it before – called ‘Jump Around.’”

Smith, of course, is referring to the perennial House of Pain party song, which tends to get a crowd on its feet in most circles. Until four years ago, however, it had been only the student body traditionally erupting for the tune, with which Smith had some issues.

 “I looked around and asked ‘why is it only the students jumping? Why can’t the adults and alumni jump?’ And that’s when someone asked me ‘What’s stopping you?’”

What happened next was the birth of a Marquette fan base legend. Smith rose to his feet and, in tune with the rowdy student section, began dancing along. An ESPN camera caught it all on film, and the engineer’s dance made that night’s SportsCenter.

During the next game, however, Smith didn’t have the choice. As the song played, the students all pointed to Smith, urging him up. So he did what any of us might have done. He jumped around again. And the crowd erupted.

Such was the origin story of Marquette’s Jump Around Guy. And four years later, it’s become Rick Smith’s duty. At each home game, the song plays. The camera goes to Jump Around Guy. And he does his thing. Now a staple, there’s even a Facebook page devoted to him – with over 1800 followers.

“I think it’s a lot of foolishness,” Rick says sheepishly, “but as long as it makes people happy, I’ll keep doing it.”

Indeed, with great power comes great responsibility.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:04 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2010 8:46 pm
 

Destination Scouting Report: Cedar Falls, Iowa

By: Thomas Beisner

1:00 PM

Each morning, the CBS College Basketball Road Trip team will stop spooning each other in their Motel Six beds at the crack of noon, grab a couple of NCAA approved bagels and hit the road in pursuit of their next college basketball destination.  Though their dossier and agenda are to supposed to remain top secret, I went to high school with one of the writers from "Viva Laughlin" and CBS forgot to take back his keys.  Here is what he found…

 

Location:  According to Wikipedia, Cedar Falls, the home of Northern Iowa University, was originally named Sturgis Falls after William Sturgis, a sea-faring American hero from the 18th century.  It was renamed Cedar Falls later due to its close proximity to the Cedar River.  If these standards applied today, tonight’s game would be in Cracker Barrel Falls, Iowa.  (Confession:  Research shows there is not a Cracker Barrel within 100 miles of UNI…how is that possible?)

Traveling Distance:  Today our road warriors embark on a leg of the trip that is so short, Lorenzo Romar might recruit it to play point guard.  Traveling an estimated 271 miles in about 4 and half hours, the fiercest foe will not be the road, but the lingering Milwaukee hangover and Matt’s Jason Mraz playlist.

Mascot:  The Panther.  When I originally typed this, I accidentally wrote “Panter”, which of course is not the mascot.  That’s a contact in Rick Pitino’s black book.

School Colors:  Mostly white.  For this game, however, they'll be really white.

Forecast:  Despite the local weatherman's best efforts to heat things up with a little innuendo, it’s going to be cold.  Like sleeping with your best friend’s girl on the day his dog died and his parents split cold.  The temperature calls for a high of 29 degrees and, with two of the nation’s top-3 scoring defenses battling inside, the shooting might be just as icy. Both teams allow only 55 points per game (UNI: 55.1, ODU:  55.8) and aren’t too shy about shooting the three (UNI: 18 per game, ODU: 15).  However, rain is not expected in the forecast.  At least not from Old Dominion, who shoots 30% from downtown.  (That paragraph is dripping in more cheese than Milwaukee was, sorry.)

Notable Alumni:  Northern Iowa’s alumni list is littered with former football players including former NFL MVPs Kurt Warner and Bryce Paup, making them one of only two schools to have both a defensive and offensive MVP as an alum.  On the Old Dominion side, things are a little more eclectic as the Monarchs boast headband pioneer Chris Gatling, a Watergate burglar and the host of Cash Cab.  If we were awarding points for flat tops, UNI would be the runaway winner.  This is purely based on cultural impact, though, and the non-conference bragging rights go to Old Dominion.

Agenda:  Besides not freezing to death, the agenda is simple.  Soak up everything that is Northern Iowa University and get a first-hand look at two of the best mid-major (is that a dirty word in Cedar Falls?) teams in the country.  If seeing these teams up close helps us earn a couple extra bucks in the office pool in March, then so be it.  And if Drew tracks down this fellow CBSer and former UNI student, we'll apologize later.  Just don't blame it on the Viva Laughlin guy.  He's been through enough.

Cedar Falls, Iowa, let’s do this.

Posted on: February 19, 2010 11:58 am
 

Leaving Marquette...Northern Iowa Here We Come!



It is a little bit of a late start for us as we finally push off and head out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin towards the beautiful flat, deserted plains of Northern Iowa.  We had a great time at Marquette and after the game, went to experience the night life of this fine Jesuit institution.  After completing our trip, we came away with some thoughts on the Marquette Experience:

1.  Marquette Fans and Students are Very Regimented:

We talked last night about the fact that there were "Fatheads" at the game, in which pictures of famous people are held up by the crowd and waved in the air for the television cameras.  Great idea huh?  Well its not quite as impressive when you realize that they are simply made by the University and handed out to students in exchange for their Student IDs after the game.  As we waited for the postgame press conference, the scene of desperate Marquette coeds attempting to pawn off their Shaun White Fathead so they can get to the bars, makes English soccer stadiums look tame.  I like enthusiasm and creativity, but I prefer mine a bit less choreographed.

2.  Everyone at Marquette looks Like You Think They Would:

This is a delicate subject, because we all have our weaknesses in life and from what we have seen, Marquette students and fans are all nice people.  But let me ask you this.  When you think of Wisconsin, what type of person do you think of?  Chances are it is a relatively pale, doughy, white person who looks like they had a wheel of cheese this morning and are looking for a full calorie beer at night.  After coming to Marquette, I have realized that your stereotype could not be more true.  We went to the two big bars on campus and every male and female looked like a pudgier, "yes I just got married and now I can stop exercising" version of themselves.  But they are happy with that, and since there are very few people (with the exception of our "Hottest Marquette Fan" below) in shape to compare themselves to, the pudgy life seems to be a happy life.












Marquette Fan of the Day




3.  Dwyane Wade is God Here:

Everyone has that one person that they take ownership of because they knew or saw them before they were big.  When I was in college, every single person claimed to have seen the Dave Matthews Band on some college campus right way before they got big and "sold out."  That is how every person at Marquette feels about Dwyane Wade.  Every place you go, a picture of Wade is hanging with some enscription like "This is the first spot where Wade bought his 2-week hookup Traci a piece of pizza his Sophomore Year."  If you walk by someone and they arent talking about how much they hate Brett Favre, chances are Wade is the topic and someone will be explaining how they met Wade once and he was "a really cool guy."  Even Kim Jong Il would walk on this campus and say "hey guys, give it a rest...nobody's that perfect."

So now we are off on the road headed to Northern Iowa for tonight's classic Old Dominion-Northern Iowa game.  I will admit that I know nothing about either team and nearly screwed up by taking us to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when it turns out Northern Iowa is in a place called Cedar Falls.  That would have been a nice, early mistake.  We will be around all day to talk about the plains of Iowa on our drive and maybe tell the story about Drew almost not being let into our first game of the trip last night.  Stay tuned.

Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:50 am
Edited on: February 19, 2010 4:43 pm
 

Buzz Williams Press Conference

By: Drew Franklin

3:00 AM



Here are a few quotes from Marquette head coach Buzz Williams post-game press conference and what he was actually thinking as he spoke to the media:

Buzz: “I thought Pitt played outstanding.”

I hate Pitt.  We should’ve won by twenty.  This is our house!  They better get the hell out of town and not even think about stopping for some of our beer.

Buzz:“We didn’t do a good job of sharing the ball.  9 assists, that’s not us.  Normally our assists will be much higher than our turnovers.”

9 assists is pathetic.  I punched 9 holes in the locker room wall after the game.

Buzz:“We were annihilated inside.”

This team desperately needs a big man.  Remember Bo Ellis?  I liked him.

Buzz: “We shot 18 more balls and still got beat.

Does the NCAA Selection Committee look at offensive rebounds?

Buzz: “It was the lowest number of touches in the paint since I’ve been here.”

I don’t actually know that to be true without statistics in front of me.  Please don’t research that.

Buzz: “On the positive end, we had 11 steals and forced 15 turnovers.”

The vibe in here is similar to my grandmother’s funeral. Quick, think of something positive.  Steals!

Buzz: “It’s hard to run when you’re getting the ball out of the net.”

They scored all over us like it was prom night.


Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:28 am
Edited on: February 19, 2010 9:21 am
 

Game Over -- It's Miller Time in Milwaukee

By C.M. Tomlin

11:27 PM

 

Jamie Dixon’s Panthers best Buzz Williams’ Golden Eagles 58-51 tonight, but not for lack of a barnburner. For those of you who’ve been gold-out deprived your entire lives, a few notes from a Marquette home game.

-For a school of 11,000, Marquette fans make an awful lot of noise. It’s easy to see that this team is loved by its base – and even though they may have been especially pumped up for this televised Pitt game, it’s easy to see this fervor isn’t a rarity. Kudos as well to the band right behind us; I think their volume opened my third eye.

-The student section’s incredibly organized. Rarely have I seen a college basketball crowd so rigorously scheduled, from the scheduled reveal of the signature “big noggins” (giant facsimiles of the faces of famous people) to the choreographed front-and-center line dancing to Swedish techno-band Rednex’s “Cotton Eye Joe.” On press row, there was even a noticeable concern when House of Pain’s “Jump Around” failed to come across the PA during a specific second-half forty-second timeout. It’s an almost Rainman-like routine. This bunch should run our nation’s airlines.

-The hype of the game “extras” had a very hockey-esque or minor-league baseball feel. I mean that in a good way; while it was a college game, it also had a lot of spectacle to it. The pre-game show dealt a lot with the players’ personalities, streamers and confetti shot through the air and organized responses from the crowd were standard. Normally you see these kind of shenanigans from athletic teams who need gimmicks to draw fans – not from Division 1 schools whose games actually mean a lot. That’s nice to see – and a great deal of fun.

-Sooner or later, one of these “extreme dunk team” members is going to drill himself on a backboard and knock himself out in front of everyone. It may get left off the sports reel for the night, but it’s sure as hell going to traumatize some fans. I’d just like to point this out. I’m not saying it’s not tremendously entertaining, It just seems that the probability has to catch up at some point. Those cute, traveling jump-rope teams are just as fun for halftime and no one’s ever going to get hurt. I’m just saying. There can’t be this many perfect extreme dunkers in the world.

All in all, Big East basketball at it’s finest – two hungry teams beating the tar out of each other. And now we’re off to experience what else the Brew City has to offer. After all, there’s a baseball team here whose entire identity revolves around beer. That has to mean good things for the rest of the night. And we’re here to experience Milwaukee’s Best, if you feel me. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 18, 2010 11:44 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2010 9:24 am
 

Postgame Pittsburgh vs Marquette Thoughts

MATT JONES

11:30 PM

Some lessons from tonight's Pitt-Marquette game:

1.  Ignore Pittsburgh at Your Own Peril --- I always have the same reaction to Pitt every season.  I know very little about their team and when it comes time for them to play a big game, I assume they will lose.  However more often than not, I ended up being incorrect.  Same thing this year.  Marquette was playing at home in front of a raucous crowd with a potential NCAA berth on the line, yet Pittsburgh dominated the boards in the second half and controlled the pace of place.  Just repeat that sentence and it describes most big regular season games Pitt has played for the last five years.

2.  Lazar Hayward and Maurice Aker Have Been in School Forever --- Seriously, there is no way these guys have only bee in school for four years.  They have to be on the "Jess Settles, Dante Calabria, play in college until they are dragged off to the old-folks home" plan.  I believe they were recruited with Dwyane Wade.

3.  Buzz Williams with Hair is Baffling --- I admit that I dont watch a great deal of Marquette basketball, but I clearly missed the important moment where Buzz Williams decided to grow his hair out.  It really took me off the game when I scanned the bench and didnt see his bald dome standing on the sidelines.  I mean if you turn on Seinfeld and all of a sudden George Costanza has a head full of hair, you are going to be shaken.  I hear that Williams is going back to the shaved look now that the Golden Eagles (aka Warriors) have lost.  I approve.

4.  Marquette Fans Like Their Adult Beverages --- No matter what part of the crowd I looked in, someone was drinking a beer.  It was like Panama City at Spring Break, except instead of hot, tan, fit coeds, the crowd was filled with old, doughy, bedazzled sweater-wearing Milwaukeeans. 

5.  The Fathead Craze is Great ---  I am not sure who started it, but I have now seen the Fathead craze at both Indiana and Marquette games and I highly approve.  When you are in the middle of a big basketball game and you can see a 5 foot picture of Dwight Schrute, Sarah Palin or "The Situation", you cant complain.  I would suggest more obscure figures in the future however...maybe Leo Tolstoy or Sean Sutton's Mugshot.

All in all a great experience, and Pittsburgh gets the win 58-51.  We are leaving soon to figure out what the night life at Marquette will bring and if there is anyway we can meet a Deiner brother. 

Cross your fingers.

Posted on: February 18, 2010 9:07 pm
 

Welcome to Milee-Wa-Kay

By C.M. Tomlin

7:54 PM



One, two, three four, five, six, seven, eight. Schlemiel. Schlemazl. Hasenpfeffer Incorporated...
The air smells of excitement, competition and fried cheese here in Wisconsin tonight as the Marquette Golden Eagles prepare to do battle with the mighty Panthers of Pitt. And make no mistake about it, they do love their team here in Milwaukee.
We're here on press row, eye level. The court stretches out in front of us; the band is thumping like a jet plane in our ears from behind us. And an impressive crowd for a fan base that has to brave Wisconsin-in-February temps. It's a Gold-Out. It's a throw-down. It's a regular Brew-ha-ha. This is Marquette Basketball, and right now, before tip-off, the world is everyone's oyster.
Tonight we'll dive headlong into Marquette fandom and see what it's all about. We may even get some cheese on our shirts. But that's okay, because the cheese here is really, really good.


Posted on: February 18, 2010 5:03 pm
 

Feeling the Love at Valparaiso

MATT JONES
4:54 PM



We left Lexington at 8:30 this morning and have slowly been making our way up Indiana, otherwise known as the "America's Boredom Highway 101."  We now find ourselves in Hobart, Indiana, the town that neighbors Valparaiso University.  Not since Hillman University and Billy Cosby has a college in America been more closely associated with an individual than Valpo is with Bryce Drew.  Everyone remembers where they were that one day they cared about Valparaiso when Drew hit his shot to beat the evildoers from Ole Miss.  However since then, finding anything to know or care about Valpo seems impossible.  Dont believe me?  Here are some basic questions about Valpo that I guarantee you cant answer:

1.  What is the Valpo mascot?

2.  Who is the Valpo coach?

3.  What conference is Valpo in?

4.  Is it private or public?

5.  Is there one girl that is attractive on campus?  (From our limited time here, the answer seems to be no, but if you disagree, email us at collegebasketballroadtrip@gmail.com with proof).

See, even the most basic questions are impossible to answer.  So we actually decided to do some research and find out the three most interesting things about Valparaiso as a University:

1.  Its school motto is In Thy Light, We See Light:  (I like our motto better which is In Luce Tua Videmus Lucem, which loosely translates to "Down the Road from Target")

2.  In 1923 the Ku Klux Klan assembled a bid to purchase the University, but the Lutheran Church outbid the Klan.  This fact seems not to have made the official school brochure.

3.   David Ruprecht, the host of "Supermarket Sweep" is an alumnus.  It is good to see his decision to major in "Grocery Value" while at Valpo paid off.  I must say that as a kid, I watched obscene amounts of "Supermarket Sweep" and was utterly fascinated by it for hours at a time.  I still dont know why shoppers didnt just use the Paul Linde strategy and load up only on meat.

And that really is all Valpo gives you.  So remember folks, if you are on I-65 going north and you see the exit for Valparaiso and think, "man thats where Bryce Drew went, lets stop and see it!", dont.  The only thing really fun to do on campus (walk in the library and recreate the Drew pass and buzzer beater in the library) has already been done by us. 

On to Marquette!

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com