A Beginner’s Guide on how to Handle the Last Few Seconds of a Basketball Game

March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Every year, the NCAA tournament features a litany of close games and down-to-the-wire finishes. That’s what makes it so popular, so riveting and so fun to watch, even for relatively casual fans like me.

This year’s tourney has featured an inordinate amount of last-second finishes. Some teams have handled these finishes expertly (e.g. Butler in the first round, Kentucky last night), but an overwhelming amount of teams have fucked up these situations beyond belief. Last night, Florida State waited until there was about four seconds left to start driving to the hoop, resulting in a horrible shot and no chance to rebound. They lost by one point. Many teams, such as Princeton in the first round, committed the terrible sin of not even getting a final shot off in time. And then of course, the defense has been just as bad and stupid, with the obvious best example being the Pittsburgh-Butler atrocity of a finish, in which both teams traded fouls from more than 60 feet away from the other team’s basket.

I understand programs have more important things to do than practice and work on crunch-time situations, such as try to squeeze as much money out of fans and alumni as possible, so to help these players and coaches out, I’ll present a few bullet points on how to handle the last few seconds of a basketball game. It’s all pretty common sense stuff, and my only credentials are roughly 250 organized games played between 3rd and 10th grade, countless hours of pickup ball and a few YMCA leagues, but I feel like someone needs to dispense this advice, and I’ve absorbed enough basketball through playing, watching and reading about it to qualify.

Here’s the list, in order of importance.

  1. Take a shot with at least five seconds left. In the NBA, you could argue that a player should wait till literally the last second because teams can call timeout and move the ball up the court. In college, even if a team calls timeout, they still have to throw it in from their own baseline. That means if you make the shot with five seconds left, the other team still has to pull off a Christian Laettner-esque play, which is highly unlikely, or they most likely have to shoot from around half court. Also not likely. More important though, if you miss the shot with five seconds left, then guess what? You have a chance to rebound! What a novel concept! Too many of these coaches and players are concerned with having the absolute last shot or getting the glory of a Kemba Walker-esque buzzer beater instead of giving themselves the best chance to score at the end.
  2. Don’t even think about fouling unless a player has a wide-open layup. Defenders certainly shouldn’t be lax by any means, but the worst thing you can do on defense if you’re tied or up by a couple is to even put yourself in a position to commit a foul. (Cough, Pittsburgh, cough cough).
  3. Do foul though if you’re up three. This has been studied endlessly by many statistics nerds, and the result is always the same: Making a team shoot a couple free throws (where they’ll presumably try to make the first and purposely miss the second) gives you better odds to win than simply hoping a team misses its game-tying three. Yet teams rarely foul in this situation.
  4. Get your ass moving! In the FSU game yesterday, their guard looked like an elderly lady at the supermarket when he was walking the ball up the floor. Get moving, and get your defender moving laterally instead of letting him gather his energy.
  5. Know how to deal with what the defense throws at you. This sounds simple enough, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a team do the typical “isolate your best player at the top of the three point line” play only to be completely baffled when the defense traps him. The other four players then get that face that says “Shit. I might have to get the ball here.”

All these problems could easily be fixed if teams would just run through these situations for 15 minutes at the end of every practice. But as we Mizzou fans just saw, coaches often have their minds elsewhere.

All in The Game: So Long, Mike Anderson

March 24, 2011 § 4 Comments

Add me to the list of thousands who prematurely ejaculated on the Mike Anderson story. (By all means, feel free to compliment my eloquent phrasing in the comments section.)

I should’ve let the story completely unfold, and I thought I had by ignoring all the Arkansas rumors over the weekend along with CBS’s very premature reports* about Anderson being gone by Monday. When the Post-Dispatch and a few other outlets reported that Mizzou AD Mike Alden was reconfiguring Anderson’s contract yet again, I figured that was that. The Arkansas rumors had died down but not before Anderson’s agent (who I refuse to name) had hijacked Mizzou for more money. Another offseason, another pay-raise that was earned not through exceptional performance incentives but by flirting with various job openings.

*By the way, much like Stephen A. Smith doesn’t deserve positive recognition for his “reports” about LeBron, Wade and Bosh in Miami being a done deal way before it was confirmed this past summer, this asshole anchor in Tulsa deserves no credit. He was throwing cowshit (or whatever the shit of choice is in Tulsa) at the barn and hoping it would stick. It did, but that doesn’t mean he’s less of an asshole, and it doesn’t let CBS off the hook for taking an unconfirmed story and running with it.

Oh well, I thought. That’s the cost of having a good coach. Anderson played a huge part in pulling the Tigers out of the shithole Quin Snyder left upon his exit,** so while this annual flirtation charade is old, we have to do what it takes to keep our coach and keep continuity with the program. There will always be a Georgia, an Oregon and even a dream job (for him anyway) like Arkansas. But I honestly thought Anderson was a man of his word and wanted to stay at Mizzou — a program he rescued from the abyss and built into something respectable and fun to watch (if not a true year in, year out contender yet) — for good like he said.

**For the record, I didn’t hate Quin nearly as much as most of my Mizzou fans. I think he was a better recruiter than Anderson, and he was a more talented coach. Unfortunately, Quin let drugs and hubris get the best of him, which obviously affected his performance and his rapport with his players. However, anyone who says the entire Quin Snyder era was a dark stain on Mizzou and that Mike Anderson was Mizzou’s savior is very much overstating the truth.

I was wrong. BUT, as is the case with most stories aside from Jeffrey Dahmer’s taste for flesh, this Mike Anderson story is not a simple black and white issue. On the one hand, most of us would jump at the chance to take our dream job, especially if we received a long-term contract that included a substantial pay increase (probably at least 40 percent for Anderson) loaded with sweeteners. Obviously, on the other hand, Anderson preached his loyalty to Mizzou and then apparently did an immediate about-face and preached his desire to Arkansas. Plain and simple, we Mizzou fans were played, and now a lot of us are acted like jilted lovers.

Which is understandable. And if you choose to hold a grudge against Anderson for the rest of your life for the way he handled this situation, I suppose you’re justified. He did go against his word. Personally, Anderson’s departure would have been much more palatable had he just been up front and told Mizzou and us fans that he appreciated all the school had done for him but that he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to coach the school that has played such a significant role in his life. A statement like that*** would have been in line with everything I thought Anderson stood for, which is: respectability, accountability and honesty. The way he handled this situation has shattered that Anderson Paradigm for me.

***Honestly, though, how are coaches supposed to handle these situations? Let’s say you coach School A, but School B is interested in you. If you acknowledge the rumors from B and tell A’s fanbase that you are indeed listening and interested, then A automatically accuses you of having one foot out the door and not being truly invested. If you automatically deny the rumors and say you’re not interested, then you look like a jackass when B gets serious and knocks you out with an incredible offer. If you do the “honorable thing” and “honor your contract” like so many fans demand, then you better be damn sure that you have a shit-ton of job security because once things go south, fans and the AD will turn on you, and you’ll be fired from A. After that, you’ll have to go coach at some shitty school just to even get consideration from B again, although it’s much more likely that you’ll have lost any and all leverage and awesome opportunities forever. Loyalty in sports, or the lack thereof, is a two-way street.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however (which is why it’s in CAPS!), Anderson still is not a bad guy by any means. He’s not John Calipari, who left Memphis with its pants down and dick flapping in the wind to take a monstrous contract at Kentucky. He’s not Billy Gillespie, Calipari’s predecessor, who, according to a friend, notified his Texas A&M players via text message that he was leaving College Station. He’s not Bob Huggins, who unceremoniously left K-State — which took a big risk by hiring him — after one year to jump to the Big East. Anderson helped rebuild this program for five years, gave it an identity and a brand, and left it in good standing with pretty talented players.

From what I gather, Anderson is an honorable man who probably has suffered many sleepless nights recently, whereas Calipari likely slept like a baby after he left Memphis in shambles. I think Anderson just wanted to be liked and couldn’t stand to be villainized on the way out of Mizzou Arena. So instead of getting out in front of the situation, Anderson tried to please the Mizzou faithful while his mind was in Fayetteville. I’m sure his scumbag agent and other handlers didn’t exactly give him good advice either.

Mizzou will bounce back from this minor setback just fine. We’ve made a name for ourselves, and we still have a talented core of players. We’ll bounce back. As for Anderson and this whole fiasco about his coaching future, I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from my favorite show.

It’s all in the game.

Power Rankings: Animal Kingdom Groups

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m back with more power rankings, folks! In the first installment of power rankings, I ranked the months of the year. This time, I’m taking a look at the six different groups of the animal kingdom. (And yes, I’m fully aware that I’m ranking these based on the fifth-grade level of phyla in the animal kingdom. Sue me.) This is somewhat timely since spring just started, which means it’s fishing season, migrating birds season and human-biting season for insects. Without further ado, here are the rankings.

1. Mammals

Hey, I’m in this category! Even though this planet would almost certainly have been better off without mankind, I’ve gotta put mammals number one. We can just do so much more than these other dipshit animal categories. We mammals, especially primates, have highly functional brains compared to all these other groups, and we humans can even think critically. I’d like to see a bee try to write an essay on Thomas Jefferson or even think beyond the most elementary level possible*. Stupid bees! Mammals also have the three coolest species of water creatures — whales, seals and dolphins. We basically make the world go round; plus, humans can build cool shit like buildings and robots. These other losers can only build rudimentary tools and modest shelter. Long live mammals!

*Food! Shelter! Sex!

2. Amphibians

I can’t lie; being able to function on water and land is pretty awesome. Plus, the name just sounds awesome. Amphibians. Amphibians. Amphibians. I could say that all day. Amphibians. This category earns extra points because it indirectly provided us with the Budweiser Frogs.

3. Insects

Fact: I have never liked a single insect I’ve come across. Another fact: I’ve been known to torture and kill various insects that I catch, including but not limited to: flies (duh), mosquitos, bees, ants, wasps, roaches, grasshoppers, lightning bugs and beetles. However, I respect insects because they can lift much more than their body weigh, can often jump much higher than their height. That’s impressive. They also outnumber every other category on this list and therefore could easily rule the world if those dumbasses’ brains ever evolved past the minuscule speck that it is right now. Just look at what termites can do to a house. Or what maggots can do to a corpse. Frightening stuff.

4. Reptiles

Reptiles are kind of cool and are an important part of the food chain (then again, what group isn’t?), but they are too slimy and creepy for my taste. Have you ever touched a reptile and not momentarily freaked out? I haven’t. I once dropped a turtle onto the back of its shell when he decided to brush his disgusting leg against my hand. Also, snakes freak me the fuck out. Even watching them on TV makes me slightly uncomfortable.

5. Fish

I guess some fish are harmless enough, and kind of tasty, and it’s cool that they can swim really well and breathe underwater and all that. But have you seen some of the freakshows that live deep under the ocean? I swear they literally spawned in hell, which makes sense since they live close to the core of the earth. These types of fish are weird and gross and most would totally freak me out if I ever encountered one in the ocean. Don’t tell me you would remain calm if you came face to face with a shark, octopus, squid or whatever the fuck this thing is below.

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS THING?

6. Birds

The only cool thing about birds is that they can fly. That’s it. Otherwise, birds are hopelessly stupid animals whose only use is eating worms and insects. Oh yeah, some of them taste great when breaded and served with green beans, but birds are so fucking dumb that they routinely fly into cars on the highway. If you’re a bird, why even come within 150 feet of ground level unless it’s time to eat? And what are you possibly going to eat on a highway in the middle of Missouri? Granted, some birds, such as eagles, falcons and ravens are badasses and deserve our respect, but the vast majority of birds are dipshits more of the ilk of pigeons and crows, both of which only exist to make a ton of noise and annoy people. Birds are the only reason why I would consider buying a shotgun and getting my hunting license. The fewer of these peanut-brained creatures around, the better.

Who plays basketball at the Rec Center with Mike Anderson?

March 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Forget for a second that Mike Anderson is leveraging Mizzou for more money yet again, and let’s concentrate on this little tidbit from Vahe Gregorian’s latest Post-Dispatch article about Mizzou’s basketball coach:

A Mizzou source said Anderson was believed to be in Columbia and likely playing pickup basketball as he usually does on Mondays at the student recreation center

So many questions.

First of all, to all you fuckers still in school, have you ever seen Coach Mike at the Rec Center? If so, does he only go on Mondays? Have you only seen him during the day, or does he usually go obscenely early like most professors, so he can avoid annoying students? Maybe he goes late at night because his wife gets on his nerves. Who knows? Hopefully you do.

More questions.

Have you ever played pickup basketball with him? Does he still have a nice jumpshot? Is he still quick? Is he better than the average guy on the court at any given time? Does he smell bad? Does he smell good? What does he wear when he plays? What kind of shoes does he wear? Long socks or short? How good is his defense? Hopefully better than Kim English’s. Why doesn’t he just play at Mizzou Arena and invite nine friends?

As for the actual subject of Gregorian’s article — Anderson showing his pimp hand and demanding more money from Mizzou — are you surprised? Loyalty doesn’t exist in sports. I shouldn’t have to tell you that. If Mizzou regresses again next year and then enters a quagmire of NIT appearances for a few years, I’m sure Mike Alden will flex his muscle and either force Coach Mike to take a pay cut or kick his ass out the door. Remember, this is a university that forced its court’s namesake, Norm Stewart, out of his position. So I don’t blame Coach Mike for getting his money, but after three straight seasons if sloppy courtships, this annual charade is getting old.

Now that Coach Mike has what he’s presumably going to get what he wants (to the tune of $2 million annually), and his dream job (Arkansas) will presumably be filled by someone else, it’s time for Coach Mike to stop flirting with teams in the offseason and start recruiting tough sons-of-bitches who are willing to do the dirty work*. Not spoiled assholes who think they are the second coming of Carmelo Anthony and therefore don’t improve on basic fundamentals during their offseason**.

*For example, Kentucky’s starting center, Josh Harrellson, a guy I played against once or twice, went to my rival high school, St. Charles High, which is five miles away from my house and therefore just an hour and a half away from Mizzou. You don’t suppose Mizzou could’ve used a 6’10, 275 lb center who is impossible to move off the low block and rebounds like his life depends on it, do you?

**a.k.a. Kim English

Coach Mike, you’ve built up a lot of good will in Missouri in just five years. You are very gregarious, impeccably sharp, smart, and you do cool things like play pickup basketball on Mondays. Fans like you for all the reasons that they’ve never really embraced Gary Pinkel, even though you guys have both essentially achieved the same level of success. Now, though, once you sign this new contract, it’s time for you to recruit your ass off and never attempt to so much as telepathically communicate with another school’s AD when a coaching vacancy presents itself.

In the meantime, let’s play pickup ball this Saturday.

Stay the Fuck out of my Life, MTV

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have had a long history of hating the absolute shit out of MTV. The vacuous morons that made up the “reality” TV casts of “The Hills,” “Real World” and all the other dipshit shows on that channel made me so ashamed of being a human that I briefly considered becoming a transspecieal like Kyle Broflovski’s dad when he was surgically transformed into a dolphin.

Unfortunately, such a procedure doesn’t exist, so not only I was unable to turn myself into a gorilla, I had to keep living in a world where people referenced these goddamn shows all the time. “OMG! Kristin, did you hear what Tila Tequila did last night??” or “Yo, bro, did you see (Person X) beat the shit out of (Person Y) on the Real World: Washington D.C. last night? Shit was real!”

Throughout high school and most of college, I managed to stay above the fray of MTV’s terribly depressing and frightening programming, which kept escalating in scale (“16 and Pregnant*” and “Skins” come to mind). Then the ubiquitous “Jersey Shore” (hereafter known as JS) came along, and I really had no choice but to watch it. I couldn’t sit through a single late night show’s monologue without hearing a JS reference. The cast was showing up all over the place. My friends all watched it. Shit, even our President referenced Snooki in a speech.

*The people who came up with, greenlit and continue to produce this show deserve to burn in hell for eternity. The parents who allow their sluts of daughters to be glorified on this show deserve to first be slowly tortured for 10 years, then burn in hell for 1,000 eternities. Anyone who watches it deserves to have their TV smashed to tiny pieces.

Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the first season of JS. Let me be clear that I have very little, if any, Italian heritage, so I had no reason to be offended. Plus, I found JS to be different from the other horseshit MTV aired. The cast seemed to be pretty genuine, and not just there to be famous. Remember, JS was a brand new show that had no predecessor, whereas Real World cast members knew exactly what they were signing up for and knew the show would guarantee them their 15 minutes. I thought the crazy emotions that Ronnie and Sammi exhibited toward each other were real, and I thought most of the characters, especially Snooki, Pauly D and Vinnie were generally pretty likable people. Not to mention the all-important fact that they were entertaining and interesting.

But then the second and third seasons came along. The cast members of JS were painfully self-aware of their fame. Whenever they went out, you just knew everyone at that club was aware of JS’s presence, which ruined the point of the show. I still watched the show a little just because it could still be somewhat entertaining as long as the producers weren’t blatantly intervening and manufacturing stupid story-lines. I knew that I was partially responsible for Snooki becoming a best-selling author (and no, that doesn’t mean I bought her book, which I’m assuming contains as many words as this blog post with the rest of the pages containing pictures) and for The Situation pulling in a ridiculous $5 million this past year, but I accepted it. America is always going to have assholes undeservedly getting rich; that’s what capitalism is all about.

But last night’s Roast of Donald Trump took this undeserved fame too far.

When I first heard that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was one of the roasters, I cringed and hoped that Comedy Central would edit him out entirely and CGI someone who’s actually funny, like Sarah Silverman, Bill Maher or really anybody who’s had some kind of track record of performing comedy in public. But when the roast actually started, and they kept teasing that douchebag’s bit as the show was going to commercial, I knew that it was really happening. MTV had finally pushed its boundaries too far. I mean, just watch this shit. It’s so fucking bad that it completely surpassed my expectations. And I expected it to be uncomfortable, awkward and extremely stupid. It was all that and more. Supposedly, Comedy Central actually did edit The Situation because of some tasteless racist jokes. In reality, I’m sure the network edited him down because his bit was so fucking bad and they wanted to keep viewers from actually changing the channel, which I desperately wanted to do**.

**Bad comedy makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t find it funny that the person’s struggling. I just feel extremely awkward.

When MTV assholes start invading our culture this much, it’s clearly not a good sign for the country. Undoubtedly surprising to some of you, I’ve always tended to have a positive disposition in regard to this country’s evolution. Sure, we may not be up to par with much of the free world when it comes to education, but in general, we’re headed in the right direction. Each generation is smarter overall than the previous.

However, I’m genuinely afraid that if our pop culture keeps churning out dumbass, brainless shit like JS, which successfully targets the generation/demographic that’s supposed to be our next wave of leaders in this country (roughly ages 12-34), then we’re going to have a pretty major setback coming our way.

In that sense, maybe The Situation’s appearance was a good thing last night. MTV will learn to keep its — and I use this term in the loosest way possible — “talent” on its stupidass channel where it belongs and not let these assholes ruin a perfectly good — not to mention hilarious*** — roast or infiltrate anything else. Because I swear to God, if I see Snooki guest star on “Modern Family” I will lose my shit.

***Literally every other roaster was hilarious last night. My top 3, with apologies to a close runner-up in Marlee Matlin/Gilbert Gottfried, Snoop Dogg, Anthony Jeselnik and Lisa Lampanelli.

Or if someone wants to sabotage MTV’s signal and possibly vandalize its headquarters on a weekend when nobody’s in the building, that’ll work too.

The Fundamental Flaw of the NCAA Tournament

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

As we all know now, Mizzou was much closer to an NIT bid than most of us imagined. We* deserved it I suppose, since we ended the season in just about the shittiest fashion possible, losing four of our last five, with the main features being listless defense and horrible shooting.

*You’re gonna have to bear with me while I act like I’m on the team.

The committee “punished” Mizzou by sentencing us to an 11-seed and putting a little jolt of fear in us fans by including Mizzou in the list of “Last 6 teams in,” which is a nice little reminder by the NCAA that says: “You suck and barely deserve to be here, but we didn’t want to let in a mid-major like Missouri State because mid-majors’ fan bases are small, don’t travel well, and therefore prevent us from getting ours.**” Also, it’s quite clear that the committee had a slanted bias toward the Big Ten for whatever reason — must’ve been that thrilling 36-33 barnburner of a game between Penn State and Wisconsin a few days ago — which for whatever reason was reciprocated with a pretty heavy bias against the Big 12.

**Ours=$$$

Therefore, a quartet of teams who most people considered on the bubble — Penn State (19-14), Michigan State (19-14), Michigan (20-13) and Illinois (19-13) — easily made it in the tourney without getting that aforementioned jolt of fear. The committee “rewarded” these teams with an 8-seed, a 9-seed and two 10-seeds. Meanwhile, the committee underseeded the five Big 12 teams (minus Kansas) they deemed worthy of the tournament, and they left Colorado (21-13, with three wins against K-state) out entirely, which was easily the biggest snub of the night.

We could go on forever debating why the Big 12 got boned while the Big Ten got blown yesterday.*** But let’s not get off track. The last six teams allowed in all got 11- or 12-seeds. Now, I was surprised to see yesterday that two of the 11-seeds and two of the 12-seeds have to spar in play-in games for the right to face the 6-seed or 5-seed waiting for them. But still, as an 11- or 12-seed, your chances of going to the Sweet 16 or even further are drastically better than an 8- or a 9-seed. So while Mizzou was “getting screwed again” as some people said of our seed, the reality is that I would much rather be in our position than Illinois’ (9-seed) or Michigan’s (8-seed).

***My theory is that the chair of the committee, Eugene Smith, director of Ohio State’s athletics is a corrupt asshole who wanted to make his conference, and therefore his team, look better. Also, the Big 12’s representative was Dan Beebe, the commissioner of the Big 12 conference. Beebe is the buffoon who oversaw last year’s defections of Nebraska and Colorado, who has utterly failed in finding a way to even out the revenue sharing and therefore the competition in Big 12 football, and apparently is a weak-hearted person with no spine who lets strong-willed assholes like Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney take advantage of him. So yeah, I’m assuming he didn’t exactly make a rousing speech in support of Colorado making the tourney over VCU.

Here are some numbers, dating back to 1985 when the field was expanded, to back up my thoughts:

  • 8-seeds: 48-56 1st round, 9-39 2nd round, 3 Final Four teams (3-0 in regional finals)
  • 9-seeds: 56-48 1st round, 4-52 2nd round, 0 Final Four teams (0-1 in regional finals)
  • 10-seeds: 42-62 1st round, 19-23 2nd round, 0 Final Four teams (0-7 (!) in regional finals)
  • 11-seeds: 33-71 1st round, 12-21 2nd round, 2 Final four teams (2-0 in regional finals)
  • 12-seeds: 35-69 1st round, 18-17 (!) 2nd round, 0 Final Four teams (0-1 in regional finals)

First of all, let’s agree that the seedings are often very arbitrary as we saw yesterday. There is no scientific process to it. But the reason that 8- and 9-seeds often get hacked down so early and have only averaged one Sweet 16 appearance every two years is that 1-seeds are often never surprises, and out of all the 68 teams, have the least amount of arbitrariness involved. That’s why 1-seeds have put up the following numbers since 1985.

  • 1 seeds: 104-0 1st round, 91-13 2nd round, 75-16 3rd round, 45-30 4th round (regional finals), 25-20 5th round and 16-9 in the championship game.

In other words, since 1985, 16 of the 26 NCAA champions have been 1-seeds, and 45 of the possible 104 Final teams have been 1-seeds. One-seeds don’t fuck around; a team has to be legitimately impressive all year to land a 1-seed. So that’s why I was kind of happy that Mizzou sort of fizzled out down the stretch and backed into the NCAA tournament. Sure, we’re playing about as bad of basketball right now as any of the 68 teams, but at least we have a puncher’s chance rather than a practically guaranteed first- or second-round exit.

As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, the 2002 Tigers entered the tourney as a 12-seed that had massively underachieved all season. For whatever reason, however, Mizzou got its act together, played with passion and tore through its relatively weak field by handily beating 5-seed Miami and 4-seed Ohio State, both of which were overrated. But again, that’s the arbitrary nature of the seeding coming into play. Then the Tigers beat 8-seed UCLA, which was one of the rare teams to knock off a 1-seed (the 1-seed here being Bob Huggins-coached Cincinnati, which perennially underachieved in the tourney) and suffered a close loss to 2-seed Oklahoma in the Elite 8. Had that 2002 Mizzou team redeemed itself in the Big 12 tournament and won three games before losing the championship, then we likely would’ve been “rewarded” with a 9-seed instead of getting in by the skin of our teeth. And we also would’ve gotten run out of the gym by a 1-seed like Maryland in the second round.

I’ll leave you with two points.

Number one is that Mizzou got a really nice draw. Once again, like in 2002, Mizzou is facing a team in Cincinnati that should probably be rated a little lower. They just lost by 38 in the Big East tourney for God’s sake; even Mizzou didn’t lay down that easily over the last couple weeks. As for UConn, if they can get past 14-seed Bucknell, which has been known to slay a giant or two, they’re playing great basketball now, but their seed is very much inflated. Had they lost that close game to Pitt last week, UConn would probably be a seven-seed. Fatigue could bring this team crashing back down to earth.

Number two is that the tournament will always be flawed because it doesn’t re-shift the brackets. If this was football, the 1-seed would continuously play the lowest seed remaining in its region while the 2-seed would play the second-lowest seed and so on. In theory, this would be much more fair to every team involved. In reality, it would completely ruin bracket pools as we know them, as the brackets would have to be reset after every round of games. It would also be a logistical nightmare for the teams, at least in the first two rounds, because teams are all over the place. For example, Mizzou’s sub-region plays in Washington D.C. while the sub-region below them (SDSU, Temple, Penn State, N. Co.) plays thousands of miles away in Tuscon.

So until the current paradigm shifts, I will have no problem rooting against Mizzou in a situation like this year’s if it means avoiding those damn 8- and 9-seeds. I’d rather have a slight shot of going to the Sweet 16 as opposed to a good shot of winning one game and practically no chance of advancing further.

OMG! It’s Snowing! WTF?

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I found this by Googling "shocked snowman." Google's awesome.

To everyone in Missouri complaining about the snow, please shut the hell up. By now, most of you should know what you’re in for with regard to weather, which is (a.) unpredictability and therefore (b.) horrible meteorologists.

(I suppose (b.) could have something to do with (a.), but I’m pretty sure St. Louis’s meteorologists are especially awful and have a success rate roughly equivalent to Brendan Ryan’s 2010 batting average.)

Anyway, nobody our age should like snow at any time ever at this point, but especially in March when we are supposed to be gratefully draped with warm temperatures and spring weather. So complaining about it is redundant and makes you look roughly equivalent to someone in a volatile relationship who is surprised when her (or his!) spouse beats her (or him!) yet again, just when she (or he!) thought that spouse loved her (or him!) and would never administer a beat-down again. Like the woman (or man!) in the scenario above, you can either move or transfer schools to a warm state that surely would never have any weather problems of its own (besides, you know, tsunamis, earthquakes, thunderstorms and hurricanes) or just shut up and take what Missouri gives you.