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...  


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, 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


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...


Friday, March 11, 2016

College Hoops Top 25 (3/11)

Well here it is, my damies. The most meaningless Top 25 of the year. Which is to say that you're going to humor me, and give my other Top 25's some of that proverbial clearwater revival. Either way, there's a higher likelihood than usual that you're viewing this while a game is going on that could radically change my opinion. So, Willis. That's what I'm talking about. But here's my current take, anyway! And make sure to check back on Wednesday for my thoughts on the field of 64. I might even give you my Final Four, this year! Yep. Feelin' frisky. So you'll have that, which should be nice...

But in the meantime, you have this. Which is important, too. Mostly because history has shown me that my penultimate predictions tend to be better than my final thoughts. But that's for you to decide, Teds. I just turn the faucet. It's up to you to provide the necessary filtration. So getcha Brita ready, friends. And get ready for some of that good ole fashion thirst quenching fun. Enjoy...

College Hoops Top 25
1. Michigan St. (26-5) 1

2. Virginia (25-6) 6

3. Kansas (28-4) 2

4. Villanova (28-4) 4

5. Xavier (27-4) 3

6. Indiana (25-6) 9

7. Oklahoma (25-6) 5

8. North Carolina (26-6) 8

9. West Virginia (25-7) 15

10. Kentucky (23-8) 12

11. Utah (25-7) 10

12. Arizona (25-7) 13

13. Purdue (24-7) 19

14. Miami (25-6) 7

15. Oregon (26-6) 21

16. Texas A&M (24-7) 22

17. Seton Hall (23-8) 25

18. Maryland (24-7) 11

19. Dayton (24-6) 24

20. Gonzaga (26-7) NR

21. Providence (23-9) NR

22. Wichita St. (24-8) 16

23. Baylor (22-10) 20

24. Duke (23-10) 18

25. St. Joe's (24-7) 23

just missed: St. Bonaventure; St. Mary's; Texas; Cal; Iowa St.; Wisconsin

dropped: (14) Louisville; (17) St. Mary's


Friday, March 04, 2016

College Hoops Top 25 (3/4): Ex Marchina...

Well, my damies. Conference championship tournaments have begun, and The Big Dance is nearly upon us. And those facts, in combination with the fact that I finally saw Ex Machina this week (that Oscar Isaac fanboy card isn't gonna earn itself), is why you've been blessed with that fantastic gif up there. One which features Oscar Isaac getting his groove on during a particularly memorable scene from said film, all while sporting a gloriously menacing beard reminiscent of a pre-Gitmo Khalid Sheikh Mohammed...

Because college basketball is great. The NCAA Tournament is great. Ex Machina is great. And probably most importantly of all, Oscar Isaac is great. So you should celebrate all of their collective greatness, by taking this weekend to watch both the copious amounts of the pivotal college basketball contests that will be on, and of course, by watching Ex Machina (Amazon is your best bet). Seriously, though. Oscar Isaac is a once in a generation acting talent (see: Inside Llewyn Davis. No, seriously. See it!)), and you all need to act accordingly, and get on board. So, yeah. Ex Machina...

Now, here's my Top 25...

College Hoops Top 25
1. Michigan St. (25-5) 1

2. Kansas (26-4) 3

3. Xavier (25-4) 2

4. Villanova (26-4) 5

5. Oklahoma (23-6) 4

6. Virginia (23-6) 10

7. Miami (24-5) 12

8. North Carolina (24-6) 7

9. Indiana (24-6) 14

10. Utah (23-7) 17

11. Maryland (24-6) 6

12. Kentucky (22-8) 9

13. Arizona (23-7) 13

14. Louisville (23-7) 11

15. West Virginia (23-7) 21

16. Wichita St. (23-7) 19

17. St. Mary's (25-4) 24

18. Duke (22-8) 8

19. Purdue (23-7) 22

20. Baylor (21-9) 18

21. Oregon (24-6) 25

22. Texas A&M (23-7) NR

23. St. Joe's (24-6) 15

24. Dayton (23-6) 16

25. Seton Hall (21-8) NR

just missed: Notre Dame; Texas; Providence; California; Iowa; Iowa St.; VCU

dropped: (20) Notre Dame; (23) Iowa

What To Watch
Ohio St. @ Michigan St.
West Virginia @ Baylor
Iowa St. @ Kansas
UNC @ Duke
Iowa @ Michigan
Louisville @ Virginia

Maryland @ Indiana
Wisconsin @ Purdue