During the game against Pitt, Villanova star Allan Ray suffered a freak injury to his right eye that looked really, really bad. An opposing player accidentally poked him in the eye while going for a loose ball, and (according to Becky, who saw it better than me) you could see a little white flap basically sticking out from his eye… or something like that. The armchair diagnosis from Becky’s dad (a former eye surgeon), based on the replay, is a scleral rupture (basically a popped eyeball), which he said could be a blinding injury, depending on how much hemorrhaging there was (if I understanded him correctly). Ted says the recovery time from such an injury would be months, at least. And obviously, if Ray does end up going blind in one eye, he won’t play basketball again, ever. (Depth perception is kind of important.) But of course, this is all based on very limited information (namely, one rather gruesome video replay) and is really just rank speculation. Anyway, Ray is at the hospital with his parents right now.
Aside from the obvious potential personal awfulness of it, this is very, very bad for Villanova’s tourney hopes, and could affect their seed. (Also potentially affecting their seed: Pitt is leading 53-38 with 7:20 left.) It even makes you wonder if the ‘Cats could become the first-ever men’s #1 seed to lose to a #16 seed in the first round, as they’ll be trying to play their first game of the entire season without Ray. The only #1 in either tournament to lose to a #16 — the Stanford women in 1997 — did so after a key injury or two, as I recall. Not that I’m predicting that… just thinking out loud.
UPDATE: Initial, third-hand report (reporter talked to grandfather who talked to mother who talked to doctor) suggests the injury isn’t that severe, but I have no idea what that means, if anything. Here’s the AP article.
Nova lost the game, 68-54. So the Big East title game tomorrow will be #6 Pittsburgh vs. #9 Syracuse. Whoever wins, this will be the first time that a team won four games in four days to capture the Big East title (i.e., the first time a team without a first-round bye won the tourney).
UPDATE 2: Enrico at The 700 Level writes:
From the shot they showed on T.V. it almost looked as if an inordinate amount of white in Ray’s eye was visible as if his eye was popped out of place. Ray immediately went to the ground and was writhing in pain screaming over and over that he couldn’t see.
UPDATE 3: Great news:
NEW YORK — Villanova senior guard Allan Ray is expected to play again this season, possibly as soon as next week in the NCAA Tournament after his vision returned in his right eye late Friday night.
Wildcats coach Jay Wright delivered what the ‘Cats were declaring as euphoric news after the midnight hour in an impromptu media briefing at Madison Square Garden.
Wright said Ray was scheduled to be released from St. Vincent’s Hospital here in New York. He was scheduled to get back to the hotel and then head back to Philadelphia Saturday with the team. The official report was a “soft tissue” injury to the right eye. …
Wright said this was the happiest he has been after a loss. …
“It looked a lot worse than it was,” Wright said. “It’s going to be day-to-day.”
Wright said he was told there was no damage to Ray’s cornea, and no stitches were needed.
“I feel great right now,” Wright said. “I didn’t ask if he could play. I was more worried about his future. And they said he’s fine.”
Becky and I just arrived in Arizona for spring break, having flown in from Chicago. I haven’t set up the new WordPress blog to accept posts via cell phone yet, hence the silence all day.
In other news, Gerry McNamara is SO not overrated.
The vast majority of my weather-related posts between July 2005 and March 2006 have not yet been categorized. Due to technical difficulties, I was using Blogger instead of MovableType or WordPress during that period of time, and thus, my posts were uncategorized. I am in the process of editing my archives and categorizing those old posts, but it will take a while.
All right, I have a challenge for anyone who is bored at work on Friday (or otherwise has a bit of free time) and has more artistic talent than me (which is to say, any at all).
I need a logo (or logos) for this year’s Living Room Times basketball pools.
As you’d expect with just over 60 hours until the selection show, the bubble picture is start to become somewhat clearer. Not in terms of which bubble teams will dance, but in terms of who the bubble teams are, at least.
As long-time readers know, I run a “moneyless” NCAA Pool every year. Two pools, actually: one for the men’s tournament, one for the women’s. This year is actually the tenth anniversary of my NCAA Pools! (Needless to say, you’ll be hearing more about that in the coming days.)
I fully expect this year’s pools to be the biggest ever. I also fully expect to have by far the largest-ever number of contestants who I’ve never met, thanks to the growth of the blog. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but I’m concerned — especially after the Oscar Pool — about an abundance of first-name-only and pseudonymous entries. This is problematic, because since the only prize in my pool is bragging rights (well, and a t-shirt), it’s relatively pointless if you don’t have any clue who you’re competing against! It’s also much harder for me to write my trademark “pool updates” if everybody has names like “Eric S.” and “Chris Mc.” What is the headline supposed to be: “Mc. defeats S.”? :)
Anyway, I want to be clear in advance about the rules. (Some of you may remember the “We Todd”/Ben Eng controversy from 2004. I want to avoid a repeat of that.) So here is an initial draft of my rule on this issue; I’m posting it now in order to solicit suggestions, and survey y’all on whether this is going to present a problem for any of you:
I’ve been running these pools since 1996, and it is traditionally a contest among “real people,” not Internet personas. As such, I vastly prefer for all contestants to enter using their real first and last names. I am willing to make exceptions if a contestant has genuine privacy concerns, but I want to avoid anonymous/psuedonymous entries as much as possible.
If you simply prefer not to have your name be easily “google-able,” I suggest using a variation on your first name that you rarely or never use in real life — for example, if I wanted to insulate a pool entry from easy “google-ability,” I could enter as “Bren Loy” instead of “Brendan Loy.” However, as I said, I vastly prefer people to use their real first and last names, if that is at all possible for you.
In the event of an unsatisfactory self-identification, I will contact you via e-mail and try to come to a mutually satisfactory solution… but I reserve the right to disqualify people whose names do not, in my judgment, adequately identify them. I apologize for being harsh about this, but it is important that I am able to identify people in the pool standings and in my pool updates. It is hard to write good headlines and articles about the pool when the likes of “Ben B.,” “jj” and “We Todd” are competing against people with real names. :)
For contestants with psuedonyms that are well-known in the BrendanLoy.com community (e.g., A Nun Mouse, thebeef, etc.) or in the wider blogosphere (e.g., Boi From Troy, The Backer, etc.), there is a separate field called “Nickname(s)” which allows you to identify yourself as such, in addition to entering the pool with your first and last names. If you are unwilling to “unmask” yourself in this manner, you can leave the nickname field blank. Alternatively, you may choose to enter the pool under your pseudonym, without providing your real name, provided that it readily identifies you to me and the BrendanLoy.com community. In other words, you can’t just make up a nickname on the spot and enter under that; it needs to be a pre-existing psuedonym that readily identifies you. That said, whether I allow a given psuedonymous entry is strictly a judgment call, and I reserve the right to disqualify any such contestants. Again, I greatly prefer if you enter your pseudonym in the “Nickname(s)” field, and use your real first and last names (or some minor variation thereof, e.g. “Bren Loy”) as your official entry name.
If you have questions about any of the above, please e-mail me and let’s talk about it. I truly want people to be able to participate in my pool, so I want to be flexible and accommodate those who have genuine privacy concerns. But I also don’t want my pool standings to become a hodge-podge of meaningless nicknames. And I don’t want my pool updates to begin reading like: “B. takes lead over thebeef; Mc. third; some guy named David fourth, some other guy named David fifth.” :) So I am trying to strike a balance here.
Anyone who enters under an entirely false name (e.g., “Joan Rivers” in the Oscar pool), or who is deceptive about their identity when I contact them about it (e.g., “We Todd” in 2004), or who does not respond to e-mails about the issue (e.g., “Gadget” in 2004), is subject to immediate disqualification.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Criticisms? Ideas?
Is this going to present a problem for any of you?
Like the George Mason player who punched a Hofstra player in the groin (jeopardizing his own team’s NCAA hopes in the process), Oregon’s Aaron Brooks just blatantly, deliberately and viciously elbowed a Washington’s Ryan Appleby in the face during the Ducks-Huskies Pac-10 quarterfinal. He was ejected, and is being rightly booed as he walks off the Staples Center floor. Appleby also left the court — bleeding profusely, possibly due to a broken nose.
UPDATE: Two stitches, but no broken nose or broken teeth, and he may return in the second half.
UPDATE 2: Oregon came from behind to stun the Huskies. The Ducks, who have no at-large or even NIT hopes, are two wins away from the Big Dance. Beat Cal, then beat UCLA or Arizona, and they’re in.