Morning Five: 02.12.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 12th, 2010

  1. Bowling I and Theory of Softball??  Pete Thamel of the NYT as usual is all over the Binghamton report that came out yesterday exposing the unsavory lengths that their athletic department was willing to go in order to have an NCAA Tournament-caliber basketball program.  Meanwhile former head coach Kevin Broadus remains on PAID administrative leave at the university awaiting a decision on his future there.  How can he have any future whatsoever given these findings?
  2. Quick, do you know how many teams currently have undefeated conference records?  If you said nine, then you either came here yesterday or you’re fibbing.  John Stevens wrote an article discussing each of those nine teams and the likelihood that they’ll get through conference play without a blemish.  Hint: the Princeton Tigers (4-0 in the Ivy League) will not.
  3. The New York Daily News reported yesterday that Rick Pitino was interested in the Nets head coaching job, which would make sense considering that they’re likely to have John Wall (and possibly Lebron James?) coming to the tri-state area in the near future.  Pitino responded with a great quote — “there’s not an ounce of truth to [the report],” which, knowing Pitino, means that he was clawing at the possibility of leaving Louisville as soon as possible.  We’ve all been to this dance with Pitino before, but Gary Parrish put it in the starkest terms when he compared it to asking the pretty gal to a middle school dance.
  4. UConn’s Jim Calhoun will be back on the bench Saturday when his Huskies play Cincinnati.  His team went 3-4 in his absence, with wins over St. John’s, DePaul, and somehow, Texas.  What shouldn’t be forgotten, though, is that his team was already 2-3 in the Big East prior to his departure, and in the last six games he coached (including a loss to Michigan), the Huskies’ efficiency margin was -3.3 points per 100 possessions.  How did replacement coach George Blaney do in his seven-game tenure?  The Huskies’ efficiency margin on his watch was -2.1 points per 100 possessions.  So before UConn fans start blaming Blaney for any of the team’s inadequacies this season (a la Pete Gaudet at Duke in 1994-95), they should be careful to examine the entire picture first.
  5. We were anxiously awaiting someone to take up the mantle of supporting the idea of NCAA96, and leave it to Gregg Doyel to be the advocate.  Some of his points are solid — in particular, the nearsighted “tradition” argument.  But the one that really doesn’t make sense to us is the explanation he gives for keeping the “crappy teams” in.  He must not have read our seminal work on the matter, published last week.  See, the problem isn’t that “crappy teams” like Vermont, Bucknell and Davidson would get into the Big Dance; it’s that sub-.500 BCS conference teams like Miami (FL), Alabama, Oklahoma and Washington would get in.  And we don’t want them in — those teams are not good enough, no matter how you evaluate them.  If the NCAA96 implementation would reward strong regular season play for mid-majors whom would otherwise be shut out, we could get on board with it.  But you, us, Gregg and the dog all know that’s not why this will be happening — the majority of the additional 31 spots will go to BCS teams.  And that’s truly crap.
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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