Morning Five: 03.08.13 Edition
Posted by nvr1983 on March 8th, 2013
- What appeared to be a historic season for Akron could be on the verge of going down in flames after Alex Abreu, its starting point guard (10.3 points and 6 assists per game), was arrested on drug charges and suspended indefinitely. Abreu was arrested on third-degree felony drug trafficking charges after receiving a shipment of marijuana from undercover officers. With Abreu out the Zips will be susceptible to an upset in the MAC Tournament. Although their record suggests that they could be in the conversation for an at-large bid if they were to lose late in the MAC Tournament, the ongoing absence of Abreu would most likely put them on the outside of the bubble looking in.
- Akron is not the only school that will be missing a key piece for a potential March run as Colorado announced that Andre Roberson is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. The loss of Roberson, the leading rebounder in the country at 11.5 per game, is a big one as he had grabbed over 30% of the team’s total rebounds heading into last night’s game. Like Akron, Colorado is already on the bubble, but thankfully for the Buffaloes they have a bit more wiggle room than the Zips as nobody on the NCAA Selection Committee would have been expecting the Buffaloes to win the Pac-12 Tournament even before Roberson’s illness.
- We hear coaches make ridiculous comments about how important each game is, but we still find Rick Pitino‘s statement that Louisville’s game on Saturday against Notre Dame is the most important home game the school has played during his 12 seasons there amusing. Pitino’s rationale is that not only are the Cardinals playing for at least a share of the Big East regular title and that they will be ” saying goodbye to two really, really special young men.” We can appreciate Pitino’s desire to win the school’s second Big East title since he got there, but we don’t quite get what makes this game so much more important than the others that led to the one that put them in position to win the Big East regular season title. As for the “two really, really special young men” that he is talking about we are assuming he means Peyton Siva (senior) and Gorgui Dieng (a junior, but assumed to be leaving) who the school will be honoring before the game. Again we do not get what puts these two ahead of the other significant players who were played their last home game for the Cardinals during the past 12 seasons. Having said that we wish Pitino the best of luck in their most important home game ever. Until the next one.
- It seems like almost every year a handful of writers churn out columns suggesting that there is “parity” in college basketball citing anecdotal evidence. Peter Tiernan decided to take a semi-scientific look at it and based on his analysis of how often non-power conference teams make the NCAA Tournament and how they perform against seed expectation and it is not that clear that there is as much parity as some would think. Breaking the past 28 NCAA Tournaments (when it expanded to 64 teams) into distinct 7-year eras he notes that the most recent era has the fewest non-power conference teams in the NCAA Tournament although those teams do tend to perform much better than their seeding would suggest. Tiernan does point out that the latter is aided by the fact that non-power conference teams tend to have significantly lower seeds than power conference teams making it relatively easier to outperform their seed. We are not sure we buy Tiernan’s assertion that this argues against the idea of parity as it might actually suggest that non-power conference teams are not getting the respect they deserve from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee although that would probably need a matched-pair analysis of performance of teams with similar seedings from power and non-power conferences.
- The Super Bowl halftime show is a much bigger announcement, but we doubt that they have a more eclectic mix of musical talent than the Final Four based on the announced line-up–Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Muse, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Flo Rida, Ludacris, and others–for this year’s Final Four. We won’t pretend to be fans (or even that familiar) with all of the acts, but we have to give the NCAA credit for picking a diverse group of bands as the listed line-up seems to cover most of the music genres we think that fans at the Final Four might be interested in outside of country music, but we are pretty sure you can find that in or around Atlanta if you are really looking for it.