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Friday, April 08, 2016

Narration & Vacation OR It Ain't Ova Til It's Nova...


OK, my damies. How's this for my last hot take before I hit my hiatus?:

I was not a fan of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Sure, that title game was must see TV. With arguably the most entertaining closing sequence in championship history. And yes, I was more than mildly entertained by the unexpecTed run of my beloved Syracuse Orange. But outside of those 2 things (and that Syracuse "run" was really only 2 games. Thanks to Dayton and Middle Tennessee opting to remain on their respective buses), this tournament was more or less a total dud...

Yeah, I'm sorry. But not nearly enough of this year's games were actually worth watching. GranTed, the bar was set mighty high. But no higher than usual. In fact, I'd argue that the bar was even lower this year, because nobody had any realistic expectations as to what might go down. You know, because one-and-done parity and no truly dominant/experienced teams etc?  Yeah, well because of all that, many were even predicting that we'd have even more close games than usual. But no. We got mostly blowouts. Or at least an increase in games that weren't what we've come to expect in terms of competitiveness...

And I'll even do you one better! That extremely entertaining championship game? Sure, those teams were very good. And both were totally worthy of cutting down the nets. But they're not legendary and/or particularly interesting teams. So it's kinda hard for them to have played in really all that legendary of a game...

Take the Syracuse title in '03, for instance. GranTed, I'll take some heat for making this comparison, and should probably use that epic Memphis/Kansas clash in '08 to prove my point. But walk with me. That Syracuse team had the country's best freshmen (player?), and improbably beat basically every team in that season's best won, oh by the way, in fantastically dramatical fashion by way of a last second block by Hakim Warrick, against a team that many had considered that season's best in the Collison/Hinrich led Kansas Jayhawks. That's my long-winded way of saying that, for better or worse, truly great games need to have some sort of worthy narrative leading up to them, and can't merely be defined by one singular moment. That Syracuse/Kansas game, along with many other title games past, had it. This game, did not...
conference (the BIG XII) on their way to the title game. A game they

So, yeah. That's my hot take. And yes, I know. I'm a hater. A hater who struggled to keep his favorite movie list under 100 and is constantly refining it. Yep. I'm a hater. And I'd rather be known as a hater than as someone who spends their life on the fence, getting splinters up their ass. Though Lord knows that would probably make me a LOT more popular on Facebook. Where the insecure illiterati reign supreme!...

I also like The Money Pit...

Now go out and enjoy your Springs and Summers, my damies. I'll be in and out intermittently. But mostly I'll be golfing, and passing my various judgements in relative silence. Then again, there's always Twitter...

Be good...

#BAGSMUNMAN

Friday, April 01, 2016

Orange You Glad???...


Well, my damies. The second weekend delivered. Thanks in large part to my beloved Syracuse Orange!..

GranTed, I'm still not 100% sure how they made it to the Final Four. OK, I am 100% sure. But that doesn't make it any less shady. And yes, they are serving as this year's embodiment of  how the tournament doesn't usually reward the nation's best. But screw all that. They're dancing on Marshall Street, baby! And that's all that really matters...

Oh, and I want to apologize for last when when I said nobody cared about your bracket. I totally care. And now that I care, I would like you to reply in kind and start caring about my virtual farm, my virtual mafia empire, and, if you could spare the time, the blog I write in which I devote a large chunk of my time to...wait for it...college basketball and the NCAA tournament!!!...

Yep. That would be rule #1, my damies. Do unto others. Not to be confused with rule #4. Which we all know is to never get high on your own supply. So either sling that crack rock, or let me see your jump shot. Which is my incredibly caucasian way of reminding you to enjoy the actual basketball above everything else. Lest the NCAA Tournament just becomes another reason for you to block a childhood friend on the Facebook...

Enjoy the coronation, friends. And LET'S GO ORANGE!...

Be good...


#BAGSMUNMAN

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Semi-Sweet Sixteen


Well, my damies. I promised you a reaction to the NCAA Tournament's opening weekend. So here it is:

That was the most mediocre, and least satisfying NCAA Tournament opening weekend that I can ever remember.

So, yeah. I haven't been a fan. At least relatively speaking. Sure, I've enjoyed my Syracuse Orange surprising (see: pissing off) the nation at large with their shady run. But even that hasn't been all that entertaining, as neither opponent even bothered to get off the bus. Combine that with the facts that A) I'm not from Northern Iowa, and B) I picked Michigan State to win it all, and forgive me if I don't exactly have a semi as we head into the regional semifinals...

Thankfully, we still have another weekend for which to make good. OR, in failing that, we still have another weekend with which to piss people off with another Syracuse win or two. Either way, we've got more basketball to watch. So it can't be all bad. Unless it is, in which case you'll hear from me again...

So enjoy the weekend, my damies! By which I mean the actual basketball on TV, and not precarious comings and goings of your various bracket pools. Once you filled that thing out, everyone stopped caring. Seriously. EVERYONE. The people pretending to care? Yeah, they don't. They're just unable to get a word in edgewise and/or spending the time that you're talking staring at their smartphone. Either way, they aren't really listening. So I advise you save your breath (and feel free to apply the same strategy when talking about your children, meals, and pets). Or at least wait for someone to ask. Which they won't, unless they're A) bored out of their respective trees OR B) quickly realizing there may be no other common ground...

Oh, and you should make sure you understand why that picture at the top of my post is fantastically appropriate. Because creative and timely Interweb art is the best, and that is some very creative and timely Interweb art. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna tell ya why. Mostly because you're bracket humping rat bastards. But mostly because I rather enjoy sending people down Interweb rabbit holes...

So hop on off, my damies. And enjoy yourself some weekend basketball. Oh, and it's Easter this weekend! Look at me, workin' in a timely rabbit pun without even realizing it! So, yeah. Enjoy that too! OR don't. I'm really more concerned with you enjoying the basketball. But if you can fit in the time to eat enough chocolate eggs and Peeps to give you diabetes, I'm certainly not going to hold it against you. Personally, I'm more looking forward to the 'Easter GBunny' memes should Syracuse beat Gonzaga (though I'd settle for a good 'Be Like Gmike'). But that's putting the cart before the rabbit. So I'll let Al Gore and associates handle that one, should the appropriate occasions hilariously present themselves..

But until then, I'm gone. Enjoy your weekend, friends. And I'll catch you next time...  

#BAGSMUNMAN

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2016 NCAA Tournament Preview: V is For Value...


OK, friends. So I gave it a think, and I figured that this was the best way to go about preparing you for the all important filling out of your NCAA tourney pool brackets. It's simple, it's easy, and best of all, it's quick! So, without further dudes. Here's your primer:

Step 1: Go to KenPom.com, and check for value. Ken Pomeroy's (that's Ken up there grinning like a serial killer) "tempo-free" statistical breakdown is the most comprehensive thing going. And you can quickly find said value amongst his plethora of information by simply comparing his overall ranking and the team's seed in the big dance.

Example: Wichita St. is his 12th rated team, yet the tournament committee only saw fit to judge them as the 41st to 44th best squad.

So, yeah. That would be perceived as potential value. And it doesn't hurt my process that Wichita St. just won their play in game by 20 over KenPom's 29th ranked Vanderbilt Commodores. So, yeah. Sometimes things work. Now let's just hope that this tournament is one of those times...

And that's it! BOOM! Step 1, and step DONE! See? Nice and easy, just like I promised. Oh, and as I promised last week, here's my Final Four. See? I'm just one of those ultimate promise keepers. That, or I'm an attention seeking degnerati. But that's for you to judge. As are these:


SOUTH: Kansas
WEST: Oregon
EAST: North Carolina
MIDWEST: Michigan St.

I don't trust (KenPom's #1 rated) Kansas further than I could throw Villanova (KP's #5, whom I also don't usually trust come tourney time). But the Jayhawks will be the most popular pick as champion. Therefore, there really isn't any value in picking against (or 'fading') them. At least not until the Final Four. That's not always the strategy, mind you. But I think it's a good one to utilize this time around. Then again, I've had that squad donkey punch my brackets into oblivion more times than I'd like to admit. So there's always that, too...

And while Oregon is the worst KenPom rated team (#9) to ever be granted a #1 seed by the selection committee in the 15 years of his ratings, they've got 2 things going for them which I really like. Besides the already beneficial facts that they're one of the hotter teams in the country, that they're well equipped (see: depth and versatility) for an extended run, and that they're largely unknown due to the fact that they play when most of the "experts" (see: east coasters) are already asleep (see: cruising PornHub). And those things are:


1. The only other KenPom Top 10 team in the West is #8 Oklahoma

AND

2. #3 seeded Texas A&M (#17 in KenPom) is likely to be a very trendy pick, after nearly beating Kentucky in the SEC final. Meaning Oregon could be the 3rd most popular pick from the region, despite being it's #1 seed.

Now it's not that there's anything wrong with either Oklahoma or A&M. They're both very capable of making deep runs. But it's not as if Oregon, who probably shouldn't have been given a #1 seed, is in a particularly stacked region, either. Hell, there's just a lot of value there, OK?! For like the half-a-dozen reasons I just listed. And there are few things that excite me more than finding value spots in games of chance, and rooting for a team with an arsenal of dangerously colorful uniforms...

So sign me up, Teds! Because it's time to FORM THE V!!!! Or maybe it's "knucklepuck time"? I often have trouble differentiating between the two. Either way. Oregon. They could be a in a good spot to help you rake in that sweet, sweet casheesh. OR they could lose to St. Joe's in Rd 2, and completely bust your bracket. In which case you'll blame me on your private social media account, and I won't ever see it. So, yeah. Either way...


And there you have it. I gave you a method, threw in some of my own prophetic thoughts, and even managed make an appropriate reference that helped legitimize the title of my post. All in all, I'd say that this has been a pretty successful venture. Something you'll hopefully be able to say when all of the dust has settled, and you're left with nothing but positive memories and a fist full of cash...

So good luck, my damies. And I'll catch you next week. When we'll analyze the fallout, and curse the day on which Ken Pomeroy was born. Probably...

Enjoy the games, Teds. And be good...


#BAGSMUNMAN